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US officials insult Netanyahu. Loaded Israeli 9/11 cartoon follows shortly after.
#1
It's old news now, but I found this to be grimly funny.

October 28, 2014. Jeffrey Goldberg writes an article for The Atlantic detailing a nadir in the relationship between Netanyahu and Obama.

http://www.theatlantic.com/international..._page=true

A picture of the two leaders is captioned Not friends at all', and the story makes reference to the gloves off manner in which American and Israeli officials now talk about each other behind closed doors'. Writes Goldberg:

Quote:"Over the years, Obama administration officials have described Netanyahu to me as recalcitrant, myopic, reactionary, obtuse, blustering, pompous, and "Aspergery." (These are verbatim descriptions; I keep a running list.)"


The story hits the Israeli media. From the Times of Israel, on October 29 -

US Anger at Netanyahu said red-hot' as ties hit new low'

http://www.timesofisrael.com/us-anger-at...t-new-low/

The Goldberg article is quoted.

Quote:One senior administration official was quoted by the publication as calling the Israeli prime minister "a chickenshit," referring to what he saw as the premier's pandering to his political base for fear of electoral defeat, his refusal to make any diplomatic headway with the Palestinians and moderate Arab states, and his fear of initiating wars… "The good thing about Netanyahu is that he's scared to launch wars," the senior official said, referring to the prime minister's ongoing but so far unrealized threats to strike Iran to stop its nuclear program…

.. But while Netanyahu's "recalcitrance" has long frustrated Washington, Goldberg wrote, it is his apparent contempt and open derision for American leaders that has sparked fury there.

On October 30[SUP]th[/SUP], following the volley of insults towards Netanyahu, where senior administration figures call Netanyahu a chickenshit and a coward, Haaretz prints a cartoon. Pictures speak louder than words. It's here.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/haaretz-car...ntroversy/

Cartoonist Amos Biderman offered the following explanation.

Quote:Biderman explained in a phone interview with The Times of Israel that the cartoon implied that Netanyahu was leading to "a disaster in Israel-US relations on the scale of 9/11," pointing to the prime minister's "arrogance" and unchecked settlement construction in retaliation for Palestinian terrorism and diplomacy alike.

That's one explanation, and the Times article runs a list of comments from Israeli readers who express dismay at the piece. Possibly they protest too much though. I suspect a few other readers weren't as bothered, as the cartoon can be construed as sending a different, covert message, and one that definitely expresses contempt and open derision' from Netanyahu to the US. The Israeli PM looks very cheerful in the cockpit of that plane, and with the dancing Israelis in mind, as a f*** you' to American officials following the earlier insults, it's probably hard to beat.

The all-time champ of 9/11 cartoons with covert messages though remains this 2004 effort by Steve Bell. I'm still not sure how he snuck this one through.

http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-images/G...ney512.jpg
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#2
http://www.haaretz.com/news/report-netan...l-1.244044

The Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv on Wednesday reported that Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu told an audience at Bar Ilan university that the September 11, 2001 terror attacks had been beneficial for Israel.
"We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq," Ma'ariv quoted the former prime minister as saying. He reportedly added that these events "swung American public opinion in our favor."

http://www.nytimes.com/2001/09/12/us/day....html?_r=0
Asked tonight what the attack meant for relations between the United States and Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, the former prime minister, replied, ''It's very good.'' Then he edited himself: ''Well, not very good, but it will generate immediate sympathy.'' He predicted that the attack would ''strengthen the bond between our two peoples, because we've experienced terror over so many decades, but the United States has now experienced a massive hemorrhaging of terror.''

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2001...319-6906r/
[FONT=&amp]Of the Mossad, the Israeli intelligence service, the SAMS officers say: "Wildcard. Ruthless and cunning. Has capability to target U.S. forces and make it look like a Palestinian/Arab act."[/FONT]
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#3
Middle East policy is no doubt another area where reality is hidden under layers of mythology to support a number of U.S. domestic and international strategic and sentimental goals of various religious factions. Would American Jews as a group be as supportive of the defense budget if Israel wasn't under siege? Would as many be receptive to the neocon right agenda?

There is psychological cost for Israelis using public transportation and policing the occupied areas, as there is for their residents, subject to constant humiliation at checkpoints. The grandchildren of the original displaced refugees in the camps could be living like Saudi princes in neighboring countries for a fraction of what's been spent on defense in the region over the years, but all of the countries in the region would get less aid from their Western or Russian patron states and religious sympathizers if they got along. It is self-perpetuating.

Bad idea to stoke polarization in a part of the world where stubbornness and long memories are part of the culture.

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