President Obama NOT anti-Israeli

DEBKAfile lifts fog from the Obama-Netanyahu balance sheet

DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis

June 13, 2009

Almost a week after Israeli prime minister held his first talks with US president Barack Obama at the White House, last Tuesday, May 18, some of the fog obscuring their content is finally beginning to clear.

The White House was forced to rebut a major misapprehension, that the US president would use his June 4 speech in Cairo to launch a new Middle East peace plan.

There never was such a plan, DEBKAfile's Washington sources confirm. Once that misapprehension was removed, some of the subjects really discussed by the two leaders hoved into sight - or proved false.

For instance, Obama did not demand the repartition of Jerusalem; neither was he keen to pursue the Palestinian issue at all at this time. Most of all, he was after space to engage in negotiation with Tehran without the threat of a surprise Israeli military strike against Iran's nuclear sites hanging over the talks.

Who then had an interest in running the false hare of an Obama Middle East plan?

1. At some point, the White House preferred unclarity to an admission that the president had backed away from his pressure on Israel to negotiate a two-state peace accord with the Palestinians. In fact, Obama was persuaded by his awareness that Palestinian divisions are too profound to hope for results. The "two-state" formula is applicable in the foreseeable future only to the Palestinians - Hamas which rules the Gaza Strip and Fatah which dominates the West Bank Palestinian Authority.

For now, the US president has decided practically that it would be better to stick to the less ambitious goals of developing the West Bank economy, its governing institutions and a security apparatus, exactly as advised by Netanyahu and special Middle East Quartet envoy former UK prime minister Tony Blair. If some day Tehran and Damascus decide to join forces with Washington – a diminishing prospect at present – the US president can go back to promoting a united Palestinian state alongside Israel.

But Obama is keen on developing an expanded road map to bring moderate Arab governments into the peace process with Israel and start introducing normal relations on a regional level.

It may be assumed that the US president and Israeli prime minister did not exhaust this burning issue in their initial, ice-breaking conversation and they will remain in touch. Furthermore, these moves remain to be hammered out in Washington and in follow-up talks with the Israelis. Meanwhile, Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, a pivotal figure in this initiative, is rumored to be very ill after cancelling his visit to Washington.

2. Jordan's Abdullah II's advisers at court were responsible for planting the tale of a new Obama peace initiative to be purportedly unveiled on June 4. Its provisions, such as making Jerusalem the twin Palestinian-Israeli capital, were to be imposed on Israel.

This fairy story was picked up by Israel's often anti-Netanyahu media, although its source was dubious - the London-based Arabic al Quds al-Arabi, which is a platform for radical Muslim quarters such as Hamas. The fiction gained wings from the lack of authoritative information on the content of the face-to-face conversation between Obama and Netanyahu last Tuesday, May 18.

This forced White House spokesman Robert Gibbs to produce a damper. Friday, May 22, Gibbs said "I know there has been some conjecture that included in this speech will be some detailed comprehensive Mideast peace plan, and it is not the intention nor was it ever the intention of this speech."

He made it clear that Obama's words would deal with Washington's relations with the Muslim world.

3. The Israeli prime minister himself felt the need to keep hidden his concession of a six-month time limit for Washington's dialogue with Tehran. On the one hand, he persuaded Obama for the first time to accept a time limit for those talks; on the other, it is longer than Israel thinks safe,

DEBKAfile's Washington sources note that Netanyahu convinced the president to agree to an Iranian deadline while standing by his refusal to endorse Obama's "two state" solution of the Palestinian issue in return.

Still, he knew the deadline would be hard to sell at home, especially after Iran successfully test-fired its first accurate long-range surface to surface missile while he was still in Washington.

Obama and Netanyahu put a couple of safety valves put in place.

One of the two joint working groups they set up, headed by US national security adviser James Jones, will meet regularly to keep track of progress of the bilateral US-Iranian negotiations and report back to the White House and Jerusalem.

(The second team, headed by Middle East envoy George Mitchell, will be in charge of the Palestinian issue.)

It stand to reason that the US president and Israeli prime minister did not exhaust this burning issue in their initial, ice-breaking conversation and will remain in touch.

But Netanyahu may find it hard to explain why he promised no Israeli surprise attacks against Iran for six months – even though major disruptions loom: Lebanon's pro-Western government may be overthrown by its June 7 election or thereafter, Iranian long-range missiles introduced to the Gaza Strip, Mahmoud Abbas' new Palestinian government in Ramallah collapse, and Tehran will continue its shock tactics.

To shift the focus from his consent to US diplomacy with Iran, Netanyahu spoke passionately about Jerusalem upon his return although, according to our sources, its status was not under assault at his White House talks.

"The flag that flies over the Kotel is the Israeli flag... Our holy places, the Temple Mount -- will remain under Israeli sovereignty forever,” he told yeshiva students.

And “Jerusalem was always ours, will always be ours, and will never again be divided,” he vowed at the annual Jerusalem Day state ceremony on Ammunition Hill, Jerusalem, honoring the soldiers who fell in the Six-Day War in 1967.

A Declaration of Dependence~Greg Laurie

A Declaration of Dependence

Posted: July 11, 2009
1:00 am Eastern

© 2009

The United States of America just celebrated its 233rd birthday. Imagine what kind of world we would live in today if there had never been a USA. There would have been no one to turn back the Nazis and their allies in World War II. There would have been no one to stand up against the tyranny of communism over the years. There would have been no one to stand up for the small nations that are unable to help themselves, not to mention the billions of dollars that has been sent out in foreign aid.

From our nation's foundation, we have learned what right and wrong are. We have been raised, at least in our very origins as a country, to believe there is a God who guides the affairs of man, and there is a responsibility that comes with the bounty given to us. We are a country that was clearly founded on the teachings of one book, and that book is the Bible.

Of course, some would say that I am wrong, that we are a pluralistic society and these origins are not as I have explained them. But all revisionism aside, if you honestly look at history, you will see that our founding fathers had a firm belief in the words of the Bible.

Thomas Jefferson said, "The Bible is the cornerstone of liberty ... ." George Washington concluded, "It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible." And Andrew Jackson said the Bible is "the rock on which our republic rests."

Your bumper can be a beacon of truth – let 'em know where your priorities lie with "Worship God, not Gov" magnetic message

As my friend Chuck Smith has pointed out, sometimes we forget that the Declaration of Independence — independence from foreign tyranny — also declared our dependence on an eternal God. These words close out the Declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of divine providence: "And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor." Yes, it is a Declaration of Independence, but it is also a declaration of dependence on God.

We rightly sing, "America! America! God shed His grace on thee." He certainly has blessed us.

Inscribed at the base of the Statue of Liberty are these words: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of the teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

There is no other country on Earth that people flock to like the United States of America. They have come from all around the world. There are no walls that force its people to stay in. They are free to leave if they want to. It is the American Dream, and it is alive and well. Every day it is proven that people can come from other cultures and other countries and live this dream through hard work and diligence. It is an amazing thing.

Our Declaration of Independence states, among other things, that we have the right to pursue happiness. But are we a happy people? Where do you think Americans are today in terms of personal happiness?

A news reporter asked someone on the street, "Do you know what the two greatest problems in America are?"

The person responded, "I don't know, and I don't care."

The reporter said, "Then you have both of them." That is the problem: many of us don't know, and many of us don't care.

On the Jefferson Memorial are these words from Thomas Jefferson: "God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever."

Whenever there is an outbreak of violence somewhere in our nation, people scratch their heads and wonder why. The media interview the so-called experts who offer their opinions. Meanwhile, the Bible offers its own assessment of the problems of man. It doesn't say we are all victims, as some would assert. It doesn't say we all have diseases, as others would tell us. It doesn't say that we are merely dysfunctional. It says that the heart is desperately wicked (see Jeremiah 17:9). We have sin inside of us. That is why we do the things that we do.

Because of this, we need to realize that no politician is going to save us. No act of Congress will turn America around again. The answer to our nation's problems is not political; it is spiritual. We need to turn back to God, because although we have forgotten him, he has not forgotten us.

A study was done of the world's great civilizations. It looked at various nations that have come into prominence and then disappeared into obscurity. It noted that every nation has an average cycle of 200 years, and each one of the nations went through the following sequence: from spiritual faith to great courage, from great courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependency, and from dependency back to bondage.

We need to get back to God. We need to get back to the God who sent his son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sin. We need to get back to the true and living God who can save America.

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Greg Laurie is the senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, Calif., one of the eight largest churches in America. He has just completed his autobiography, "Lost Boy," which tells the story of his turbulent childhood, growing up with an alcoholic, seven-times divorced mother, and finding a new life and destiny at age 17. Learn more about his life and ministry at


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