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Monday, March 18, 2013

Netanyahu's New Coalition Will Meet Obama

Nadene Goldfoot
Netanyahu has formed his new coalition with Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu.  For the first time the ultra orthodox are left out.  He also has Yesh Atid, a centrist party and Jewish Home Party which is far right.

About the last thing done was on Sunday when Netanyahu  appointed the former military chief, Moshe Ya'alon, as the defense minister.  He's a hard-liner on the Palestinian peace process.
"In 2005, Ya’alon opposed Israel’s plan unilaterally to withdraw from the Gaza Strip. That disagreement with then-Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz and the government of Ariel Sharon led to the end of his tenure as IDF Chief. "Netanyahu gave cabinet posts to his Likud Party colleagues the day after telling President Shimon Peres that he finally succeeded in forming a coalition.  It took 6 weeks of work to accomplish this.

The new 4-party coalition government most likely will be presented to the Knesset and sworn in Monday.  Tomorrow Obama leaves for Israel and will arrive on the 20th.  "The coalition is expected to focus its energies on domestic issues—especially new laws that would scale back draft exemptions and other government perks for the ultra-orthodox."  A big complaint is that students in Yeshivas that are ultra-orthodox have not had to serve in the armed forces like everyone else including women.  They are needed, and as a result will also retain a better resume that is more attractive to employers if they are not in the rabbinate.  .

As to the Palestinian peace process, a Palestinian lawmaker, Mariam Farhat, 64 years old, a mother of 10 had said that she wished she had 100 sons to die while attacking Israelis.  As it was only 3 have died who were killed while carrying out deadly attacks against Israelis that she was able to praise and support.  She just passed away of health complications.  This gives me an idea of the ideology and mind-set of the people who oppose Israel's existence.  Golda Meir of the Labor party and 4th Prime Minister of Israel had said in 1957 that peace would come when the Arabs loved their children more than they hated Jews.  It hasn't happened yet.  That's been 56 years of waiting.

 President Obama will be in Israel on the 20th.  He plans a listening tour of Israel.  Obama doesn't have a demonstratively warm relationship with the public of Israel so hopes to improve on this . A poll showed that 90% of Israelis viewed Obama as indifferent, unfavorable or even hateful.  Obama and Netanyahu have had a notoriously poor relationship last year especially.  What hurt Obama in the eyes of the Israelis was his trip to Cairo, Egypt in 2009 where he called for a "new beginning" in America's relations with the Muslim world.  Things have become worse for Egypt since then which also affects Israel's security since the Muslim Brotherhood is now in power and they have major plans to get rid of Israel.  Now Obama even refuses to speak to the Knesset in Jerusalem, Israel's capital, which Clinton and Bush did.   Instead, he will speak in the International Convention Center.  He prefers to speak to college students.  (My thought is that at that age I was young, impressionable and believed anything an older adult might say.  I didn't have a background in history at all yet except a smattering  of US history.  Yes, my high school history classes except for one was terrible.)  

"Palestinian chefs have reacted with indignation upon hearing that Obama’s dinner at President Shimon Peres’s residence on Thursday will feature hummus and falafel, presented to the American president as “Israeli cuisine.”  Well, when I lived in Israel from 1980 to 1985 I lived mainly on these two items.  After all, we're back in the Middle East.  This is healthy food.  I couldn't find bagels and almost decided to open my own bagel shop, but I did find bagelas, something similar.  "The main course will include lamb chops and zucchini flowers stuffed with mushrooms. Fruit and Israeli chocolate will be served for dessert."  Lucky Obama, lamb is so expensive here in Oregon.

"“We, a group of Palestinian chefs, are prepared to counter this flagrant Israeli attack on our culture by preparing the official dinner for presidents Obama and Abbas,” Abdul Khaleq told al-Ayyam. “[Our dinner] will reveal the fallacious claims of the occupation and its continuous attempts to rob our folklore, this time in the presence of the president of the biggest country in the world.”

And so, we have another fight on our hands, a food fight.

Oregonian newspaper 3/18/13 page A5.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

great and I learned something as usual thank you. Keep on keeping on!