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  1. #1
    Banned dmytryp's Avatar
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    Gimme a break

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomac...ssein-1.300793
    During the interview Wednesday, when confronted with the anxiety that some Israelis feel toward him, Obama said that "some of it may just be the fact that my middle name is Hussein, and that creates suspicion."
    Are you ***ing joking?

  2. #2
    Jambo Bwana
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    Wow. That's really condescending. The funny thing is, the whole thing with equating Obama's middle name with certain things (him being a Muslim, etc.) is way more popular in the U.S. than it is in Israel.

    That's the dumbest thing I've heard from a politician in some time.
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  3. #3
    Banned dmytryp's Avatar
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    Obama was relatively popular in Israel after he was elected. His populartiy started to plummet after the Cairo speach

    P.S. I forgot, Ethan Bronner (NYT's ME bureau chief) had once claimed on air that the Israelis don't like Obama because he is black

  4. #4
    My Fist Your Face nighttimer's Avatar
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    What's the big goddamn deal? It makes about as much sense as some of the other dumb-ass reasons I've heard offered up as to why Obama isn't considered a true friend of Israel.

    An American President who doesn't treat the Muslim world as a bunch of bloodthirsty barbarians and offers an open hand instead of a clenched fist? Yeah, I can see how that would piss off some folks.
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  5. #5
    Banned dmytryp's Avatar
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    Yeah, because you know so much about Israelis and what they think, right?

    P.S. Remind me, what is your reaction when people suggest folks condemning Israel are motivated by anti-semitism?

  6. #6
    My Fist Your Face nighttimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmytryp View Post
    Yeah, because you know so much about Israelis and what they think, right?
    Nope. Never claimed to be an expert on what Israelis think. I leave that to you. What I care about is what's best for America and what's best for Israel isn't always what's best for America.

    P.S. Remind me, what is your reaction when people suggest folks condemning Israel are motivated by anti-semitism?
    It's a bullshit strong arm tactic used to shut up anyone who condemns Israel for anything.
    The memory of oppressed people is one thing that cannot be taken away, and for such people, with such memories, revolt is always an inch below the surface.
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  7. #7
    Banned dmytryp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nighttimer View Post
    Nope. Never claimed to be an expert on what Israelis think. I leave that to you. What I care about is what's best for America and what's best for Israel isn't always what's best for America.
    So, how exactly are you in a position to claim what you did about the reasons Israelis don't like Obama (by the way, this isn't strictly true. Personally Obama is doing ok in Israeli public opinion, his policies -- not so much)


    Quote Originally Posted by nighttimer View Post
    It's a bullshit strong arm tactic used to shut up anyone who condemns Israel for anything.
    Ok. How is this different then implying Israelis are racists (which the claim that Israelis don't like Obama because of his middle name does, and which your claim that Israelis don't like anybody who "doesn't treat the Muslim world as a bunch of bloodthirsty barbarians and offers an open hand instead of a clenched fist")?

  8. #8
    My Fist Your Face nighttimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmytryp View Post
    So, how exactly are you in a position to claim what you did about the reasons Israelis don't like Obama (by the way, this isn't strictly true. Personally Obama is doing ok in Israeli public opinion, his policies -- not so much)
    Why? What's wrong with his policies?

    Ok. How is this different then implying Israelis are racists (which the claim that Israelis don't like Obama because of his middle name does, and which your claim that Israelis don't like anybody who "doesn't treat the Muslim world as a bunch of bloodthirsty barbarians and offers an open hand instead of a clenched fist")?
    Go back and read my post. I never said Israelis are racists and I implied nothing. That's your interpretation and you're welcome to it. I don't choose to nourish it and I won't debate it. Facts are relevant. Your feelings are not.

    And if you can produce the quote...y'know the actual remark?....where I said ISRAELIS don't like anybody who "doesn't treat the Muslim world as a bunch of bloodthirsty barbarians and offers an open hand instead of a clenched fist", I'll explain it.

    Not what you THINK I said, dmytryp. Not what you BELIEVE I said. WHAT I actually said.

    Just for a change, stick to the actual facts and not your own narrative of what you think happened.
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  9. #9
    My Fist Your Face nighttimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmytryp View Post
    Too long to explain. The list is long.
    Fine. Forget I asked.

    Please, explain what exactly had you meant. And your mock indignation is funny as hell. i gave almost complete quote the last time -- only omitted the part about American President
    "Please, explain what exactly had you meant."

    Huh? I can try. Just as soon as you explain what exactly you're trying--and failing--to say in a coherent sentence.

    My mock indignation is funny as hell? Your sudden broken English is pretty amusing too.

    Quote Originally Posted by dmytryp
    P.S. I notice you didn't try denying that Obama's implication was that Israelis are racist.
    Why would I? "Implication." There's your favorite word again.

    Tell me what President Obama said. Not what you think he implied.
    The memory of oppressed people is one thing that cannot be taken away, and for such people, with such memories, revolt is always an inch below the surface.
    HOWARD ZINN, A People's History of the United States


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  10. #10
    'Twas but a dream of thee El Jefe MacAllister's Avatar
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    Ahem.
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    practical experience, FTW kappapi99's Avatar
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    Obama has snubbed their prime minister and prevented them from defending themselves. Isrealis are afraid the U.S. will not come to their aid if attacked. Rightly so, IMHO.

  12. #12
    Super Moderator SuperModerator Cranky's Avatar
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    How, exactly, has the President of the United States prevented the Israelis from defending themselves? Last time I checked, *every* nation has an unabrogated right to do exactly that. Doesn't mean everyone is going to agree on what constitutes self-defense, I hasten to add.

    But the way you're putting it definitely needs clarification.

    As for the rest of the thread, I'm gonna echo El Jefe and say again "Ahem". Carefully, folks.
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  13. #13
    a person worse than you. Absolute Sage William Haskins's Avatar
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    obama has used race and his "funny-sounding name" as a crutch since the campaign. i fail to see how it can be surprising that he continues to do so.

    he says to judge him by his actions and not by his race and "funny-sounding name," but when people do so, and are critical of him, either he or his supporters fall back on the same tired old meme.
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  14. #14
    practical experience, FTW kappapi99's Avatar
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    Gladly:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...052902304.html

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...av=hcmoduletmv

    Obama is systematically taking away every method of defense Israel has.

    Bond

  15. #15
    Super Moderator SuperModerator Cranky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kappapi99 View Post
    Gladly:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...052902304.html

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...av=hcmoduletmv

    Obama is systematically taking away every method of defense Israel has.

    Bond
    Thanks for the links. But that is not saying what you think it's saying. For one, the second article doesn't even *mention* Obama. Secondly, the first one is talking about an action plan for the NP treaty. One that Israel is being pressured to sign, certainly. It's a nuclear proliferation treaty signed by over 180 different nations, one of which is the United States. Israel, from my reading, criticized the conference which is supposed to focus on non-proliferation in the middle east, mainly due to the handwaving diplomats are engaging in wrt to Iran's nuclear ambitions. The conference and the action plan are/were to be non-binding, btw. So what the point of any of it is beyond grandstanding is debatable, IMO.

    How any of this equals Obama handcuffing the state of Israel is beyond me. Especially when you consider this quote from your first article:

    The U.S. delegation at the NPT review in New York had fought to excise all mentions of Israel in the final document. But on Thursday evening, as delegations prepared for a last round of talks, the conference president informed them that the latest draft of the text was a take-it-or-leave-it document, officials said. Final NPT documents require a consensus.

    Many diplomats had expected U.S. officials to withhold approval of the final document because of the mention of Israel. But the U.S. government was apparently reluctant to be viewed as the spoiler at a conference that focused on one of Obama's priorities.
    So in the end, since Obama decided it was more important to reach a consensus on nonproliferation overall (not saying I agree or disagree here) rather than stand on that particular hill, he's...what? Keeping Israel from defending itself? Again, none of this is going to stop Israel from defending itself against an attack. They've done it before, despite international criticism, and they will again if they feel it's necessary. Whoever the US has in the White House is going to be largely irrelevant when it comes to Israel trying to prevent it's own destruction, and rightly so.
    Last edited by Cranky; 07-09-2010 at 05:52 PM. Reason: clarification; taking my own advice
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  16. #16
    Banned dmytryp's Avatar
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    First, let me just state first that I don't agree with the assesment "Obama
    had prevented Israel from defending itself"
    Now, that's out of the way
    Quote Originally Posted by Cranky View Post
    Thanks for the links. But that is not saying what you think it's saying. For one, the second article doesn't even *mention* Obama. Secondly, the first one is talking about an action plan for the NP treaty. One that Israel is being pressured to sign, certainly. It's a nuclear proliferation treaty signed by over 180 different nations, one of which is the United States. Israel, from my reading, criticized the conference which is supposed to focus on non-proliferation in the middle east, mainly due to the handwaving diplomats are engaging in wrt to Iran's nuclear ambitions. The conference and the action plan are/were to be non-binding, btw. So what the point of any of it is beyond grandstanding is debatable, IMO.
    There are two issues.
    1. Obama admin promised Israel before the conference it would not sign anything singling out Israel. In the end it did (preferring the "success" of the conference over not allowing Israel to be singled out).
    2. The admin had allowed the conversation to be derailed from the major issue of Iranian nuclear race into more Israel bashing.


    Quote Originally Posted by Cranky View Post
    So in the end, since Obama decided it was more important to reach a consensus on nonproliferation overall (not saying I agree or disagree here) rather than stand on that particular hill, he's...what? Keeping Israel from defending itself? Again, I say unto you, none of this is going to stop Israel from defending itself against an attack. They've done it before, despite international criticism, and they will again if they feel it's necessary. Whoever the US has in the White House is going to be largely irrelevant when it comes to Israel trying to prevent it's own destruction, and rightly so.
    The problem, as Israelis see it, the admin failed so far to stand on any hill with regards to singling Israel out. This isn't strictly true, since it did stand on the Goldstone issue. But this treaty, after agreement with the Israeli gov and without mentioning Iran or any other non-signatories is a very problematic issue (for the Israelis), which was closely followed by what is seen by many Israelis as Obama hedging his bets about the Gaza flotilla issue (I am not saying this is necessarily true, or it isn't justified as far as US goes, but this is how it is seen by the Israeli public).

    Taken in isolation, the NPT issue would not be enough to destroy the trust of Israelis in Obama or his admin, but it isn't in isolation, and there were several other cases where US had seemingly went back on its commitments to Israel.

  17. #17
    Super Moderator SuperModerator Cranky's Avatar
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    Okay. Apparently, I need a megaphone to get the "AHEM" loud enough.

    Knock off the back and forth personal insults, now please. Thank you.
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  18. #18
    Super Moderator SuperModerator Cranky's Avatar
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    I don't really disagree with you, dmytryp. The only criticism I really have of the administration's handling of the conference is that I wish they had been more successful in including some condemnation of Iran's nuclear ambitions. They were never going to win the fight wrt Israel. Hell, is anyone ever going to win that fight? Probably not in my lifetime, though I hope otherwise.

    On the OP, it's certainly one of the dumber things I've heard Obama say. It's lame.
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  19. #19
    Banned dmytryp's Avatar
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    It was a dumb and insulting thing to say, but it also indicates a larger problem with this admin -- unwillingness to admit mistakes (this isn't unique to Obama's admin by any means, but that doesn't make it better). It took the admin about a year to admit that its approach to Israel was problematic. And even then, they didn't admit that they might have done anything wrong, or that they misunderstand some of the players. Rham just told a group of rabbis that "they screwed up the messaging" (if I remember correctly). They did so rather reluctantly after Israeli public opinion polls showed that less than 10% of Israelis see Obama as "friendly", and after a large number of local US supporters of Israel (including major Dem supporters like Ed Koch) started voicing their displeasure at the admin's handling of the relations.

    So, in this light Obama's statements are doubly insulting. As I said earlier, he had a fair amount of good will in Israel when he got elected (though by some polls Israelis would have preferred McCain), but that good will eroded. To now blame this on implicit Israeli racism towards Muslims is, well...

  20. #20
    practical experience, FTW Torrance's Avatar
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    The real idiocy of his comments is found in the following:

    Obama told Israel's Channel 2 TV that apprehension about his name among Israelis could be eased if they checked the roster of his top aides.

    "Ironically, I've got a chief of staff named Rahm Israel Emmanuel," Obama said, and "my top political adviser (David Axelrod) is somebody who is a descendant of Holocaust survivors."

    Can you imagine if Bush said something that stupid? There should have been a tough follow-up about Reverend Wright and his comment that, "Them Jews aren't going to let him talk to me. I told my baby daughter, that he'll talk to me in five years when he's a lame duck, or in eight years when he's out of office. They will not let him to talk to somebody who calls a spade what it is. ... I said from the beginning: He's a politician; I'm a pastor. He's got to do what politicians do." I would have loved to have seen his face as the reporter asked, "Would those be the jews keeping you from talking to Reverend Wright?"
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  21. #21
    My Fist Your Face nighttimer's Avatar
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    Thumbs down

    Quote Originally Posted by Torrance View Post
    The real idiocy of his comments is found in the following:

    Obama told Israel's Channel 2 TV that apprehension about his name among Israelis could be eased if they checked the roster of his top aides.

    "Ironically, I've got a chief of staff named Rahm Israel Emmanuel," Obama said, and "my top political adviser (David Axelrod) is somebody who is a descendant of Holocaust survivors."

    Can you imagine if Bush said something that stupid? There should have been a tough follow-up about Reverend Wright and his comment that, "Them Jews aren't going to let him talk to me. I told my baby daughter, that he'll talk to me in five years when he's a lame duck, or in eight years when he's out of office. They will not let him to talk to somebody who calls a spade what it is. ... I said from the beginning: He's a politician; I'm a pastor. He's got to do what politicians do." I would have loved to have seen his face as the reporter asked, "Would those be the jews keeping you from talking to Reverend Wright?"
    What really would have been stupid would be dragging up an old irrelevancy like Reverend Wright into a discussion with the Prime Minister. Got any new insights about Bill Ayers you'd like to share, Torrance?

    Yeah, Obama must really hate those Jews. He keeps Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod in his inner circle to make sure doesn't forget it.
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  22. #22
    Jambo Bwana
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    Quote Originally Posted by nighttimer View Post
    Yeah, Obama must really hate those Jews. He keeps Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod in his inner circle to make sure doesn't forget it.
    Just to be clear, is anyone here really suggesting that Obama hates Jews?

    (And I understand Nighttimer's sarcasm - I'm asking if Nighttimer or anyone else thinks that others are making that suggestion.)
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  23. #23
    practical experience, FTW Torrance's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nighttimer View Post
    What really would have been stupid would be dragging up an old irrelevancy like Reverend Wright into a discussion with the Prime Minister. Got any new insights about Bill Ayers you'd like to share, Torrance?

    Yeah, Obama must really hate those Jews. He keeps Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod in his inner circle to make sure doesn't forget it.
    Truth hurts. It is not irrelevant that Obama calls a hateful piece of garbage like Reverend Wright, "mentor". You can try to scrub the stain of a twenty year affiliation off of Obama, I however will not. Clinton called Byrd's racist past a youthful dalliance. What a hell of a way to put it. This is the kind of hypocrisy you come to expect from enlightened folks who will forgive indiscretions if it allows them to nuzzle at the teet of power.

    As for your comment about bringing this up with Netanyahu, I have no idea what you're talking about. The nonsense Obama spewed was during an interview with an Israeli television outlet.

    It's nice to know upfront how skewed your views are. I suppose plantation owners weren't racists because after all, they had some black folks working for them. Jesus. Hey... pal... are you a racist? No worries, just hire yourself a kindly black accountant or a kindly black lawyer and all of your sins are forgiven! Unreal.
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  24. #24
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    Israel apologists have a lot of nerve to be upset over innocuous comments like this when the government of their prime minister has sabotaged high level meetings with the Obama Administration twice this year with imprudent actions.
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  25. #25
    Jambo Bwana
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    Quote Originally Posted by clintl View Post
    Israel apologists have a lot of nerve to be upset over innocuous comments like this when the government of their prime minister has sabotaged high level meetings with the Obama Administration twice this year with imprudent actions.

    I normally don't find myself apologizing for Israel, but this shouldn't have much to do with Netanyahu and the Israeli government.

    Obama's comment was about the Israeli people themselves, and paints them as having unjustified (and that's debatable, certainly) grievances with Obama, the basis for those grievances being Obama's middle name. It's insulting to the Israelis, whether Netanyahu has done bad things or not. (And I'm not a supporter of Netanyahu by any stretch.)
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