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The Whitehouse. Photo by Rhonda Spivak.


By David Bedein

*Netanyahu Locked in Heated Debate with Obama*

“Ambush” is the word that was widely used in the Israeli media to describe the reception that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was given at the White House recently.
The Israeli media cited a number of steps that were taken by the White House in order to “humiliate” the prime minister, who received “the treatment reserved for the president of Equatorial Guinea,” to use one pundit’s description, or that of “the last of the wazirs from Lower Senegal,” as another pundit put it.

President Obama abruptly left Mr. Netanyahu in the middle of their meeting to go eat dinner with his wife and daughters, reportedly urging the prime minister to meet and consult with his aides “so that if he changed his mind he could inform the president right away.”

“I’m still around. Let me know if there is anything new,” the Israeli media quoted the president as saying.
President Obama reportedly made a list of demands from Mr. Netanyahu, which include Israel’s consent to extend the settlement construction freeze beyond its Oct.1 expiration date and to expand the areas of Jerusalem that it annexed after the 1967 war.

The president also reportedly asked to secure Israeli consent to redeploy its military forces in a way that would restore the situation on the ground that existed prior to the Palestinian uprising in September of 2000.

After 25,000 Palestinian terror attacks between 2000 and 2005, which took the lives of 1,370 people, Israel redeployed its forces throughout Arab populated areas in Judea and Samaria, to reduce Arab terror infiltration.

Mr. Obama also reportedly demanded that Israel release of hundreds of Palestinians who have been convicted of murder and attempted murder.

Throughout the visit, Mr. Netanyahu held personal consultations at the Israeli embassy in Washington, and not on the phone, for fear of being wiretapped.

Most recently, an Israeli lawyer in the employ of the U.S. Justice Department, Mr. Shammai Leibowitz, revealed to reporters in Washington that his supervisors asked him to log translate transcripts of Hebrew language wiretapped phone conversations that emanated from the Israeli embassy in Washington.

Mr. Leibowitz refused to abide by this request and was fired from his position after he met with a reporter and has been indicted for sharing classified documents from the Justice Department with the media.

David Bedein can be reached at [email protected]


By David Bedein

JERUSALEM - The Israeli army conquered the Western slopes of the Golan Heights on the last day of the 1967 war, at the insistence of the resident’s council of Israel’s Upper Galilee region, after Syrian artillery attacks from the Golan had made the lives of the residents of the Galilee impossible. This is because Syria views the Upper Galilee region as belonging to Syria.

Syria has never given up its commitment to conquering the Galilee and annexing it, which provides Israel with a concrete reason why it is not willing to budge from the Golan Heights.

Now there is a new reason why Syria wants the Golan Heights in its hands.

Syria can no longer conceal the massive transfer it is carrying out, after a U.N. report two weeks ago exposed it. The Syrian government uprooted more than 300,000 of its citizens from their dwellings in eastern Syria and moved them to new cities, without any means of survival. The reason: a policy of forced agriculture in the country’s eastern sector, including forced farming of water-hungry crops like cotton and wheat that brought about a total drying up of wells and famine.
According to intelligence analyst Guy Bichor, “Now everyone knows why Syria is so hard-pressed to get its hands on our Sea of Galilee: in order to suck it dry by piping its waters to no-longer-inhabitable areas in the eastern part of the country.”

According to Mr. Bichor, Syria also defers to Turkey in hopes that it will raise the water quotas from the Euphrates. The Syrian plan is to gain control of the Sea of Galilee to solve its water problems.

If Israel were to cede the Golan Heights and its vast water supply to Syria, it is likely Syrian President Bashar Assad would populate the Golan with over one million Syrians.

Concerns remain, however, that Syria would again transform the Golan into a forward base from where it would once again fire missiles on Israel’s Upper Galilee region, since Syria views the Upper Galilee as Syrian territory.

David Bedein can be reached at [email protected]

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.