Irã, China, Rússia, Paquistão contra EUA e Israel

Por Luis R. Miranda
The Real Agenda
11 de fevereiro de 2012

O Alto Comissariado do Paquistão na Grã-Bretanha reiterou o apoio do seu país à República Islâmica do Irã em caso de ataque do regime israelense.

Wajid Shamsul Hasan, disse ao jornal britânico The Sun que “o Paquistão não tem outra escolha senão a de apoiar o Irã”.

“Nós não iríamos ser vistos como parte da campanha de Israel contra qualquer país. Se Israel atacar o Irã, isso terá um impacto no Paquistão “, disse o Comissário do Paquistão.

“Devemos proteger os nossos interesses. Temos também uma população xiita no Paquistão, que não vai ficar de braços cruzados “, disse ele.

O funcionário paquistanês alertou que a Grã-Bretanha deve ajudar a parar a guerra que Estados Unidos está realizando contra o Paquistão com “drones” que estão assassinando centenas de civis inocentes.

Wajid Shamsul Hasan, disse que as relações de seu país com os Estados Unidos estão no seu mais baixo nível. ”A paciência tem certamente atingido níveis de exaustão”, disse ele.

Hasan disse que o Paquistão apóia a guerra contra o terrorismo realizada pela Grã-Bretanha e os EUA, mas pediu ao primeiro-ministro britânico, David Cameron, condenar os ataques de avioes nao tripulados dos EUA em seu país como “crimes de guerra” e “execuções do Estado.”

“O dano é grave – escolas destruídas, comunidades, hospitais. As vítimas são civis, crianças, mulheres, famílias. Nossas perdas são enormes “, o jornal citou a Hasan.

“Eu acho que o tempo está se esgotando para o governo do Paquistão tomar uma posição. Em algum momento tem que tomar medidas punitivas para detê-los. Deve-se fazer alguma coisa para defender suas próprias fronteiras e territórios “, disse Hasan.

Hassan pediu ao primeiro-ministro britânico para convencer os EUA que os ataques com drones são contraproducentes, por isso os americanos são “as pessoas mais odiadas pelos habintantes do Paquistão.”

Junto com o Paquistão, Rússia e China manifestaram publicamente que apoiariam o Irã se os EUA ou Israel se atrevem a atacar aquele país. Tanto a Rússia quanto a China vetaram uma iniciativa das Nações Unidas que imponhe mais sanções contra a Síria, e no passado contra sanções semelhantes contra o Irã. Rússia e China também protestaram o envio de tropas especiais da Inglaterra e dos Estados Unidos para o solo iraniano e sírio para desestabilizar os governos desses países.

Artigo traduzido do original Iran, China, Russia, Pakistan vs US and Israel

Global Peace and Conflict Management: Palestine and Israel Search for Peaceful Co-Existence

by Mahboob A. Khawaja, Ph.D.
The Real Agenda
January 23, 2012

The Western political leaders and public institutions indulge in rhetoric of peace making but lack the vision, capacity, and courage to take challenging steps to make it happen. It is all politics of peacemaking – an illusion on the screen and not the real peacemaking. To gather people’s attention, they will invent abstract issues and reshape the facts of human history to manipulate the voters and gain cheap favors. Politics is a game of pretension and apprehension, not doing the good for the people with purpose, honesty and clarity of intentions.

To console human mind, the Western leaders and political lobbyists are at least talking in public, but what about the Arab rulers – are they talking? Are they doing anything at all? Do they have the moral, intellectual and visionary leadership capacity to do anything useful for the deprived Palestinians and for themselves?  One would imagine, the Arab rulers being at the helms of oil pumping power, abundance of dollars and influence – they must be equipped to play a significant role in global political affairs. Not so, time and history tell the story otherwise. They are the wrong people, with wrong thinking and doing the wrong things.

We Palestinians must still reconcile ourselves with our history, and with the perhaps futile sacrifices of the past century. And  we must restore Palestine to its place not simply as a small piece of territory between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River but an idea that for years galvanized the Arab world into thinking about and fighting for social justice, democracy, and a different kind of future than the one that has been imposed on it by force and by an absence of Arab will.” (Edward W. Said, Peace and its Discontents, 1996)

To discard history and insult knowledge –based global informed minds, recently Mr. Ginrgrich, the Republican Party’s competing candidate  claimed that “ “Palestinian are an invented people.”  Strangely, Gingrich claims to be an historian and educated person being a former Speaker of the Congress, but he played a stupid joke with his informed audience across the US and elsewhere.  The truth is that Gingrich is lying in return for few dollars and a complacent public image to embark on historical deceit. Palestinians have been living in Palestine for centuries. Uptil 1945, Palestine had 85% indigenous Palestinian population not otherwise. Would Gingrich care to see the historical mirror? The Jewish homeland in Palestine is outcome of the British- American complacency to avoid accountability for the centuries of conscious persecutions of the Jews in Europe. There was a culture of anti-Jewish religious metaphor across the European world that spilled over to America while Europeans migrated to the new world. Ironically, Arabs are the only people and civilization that enjoys a history of extending human dignity and equal treatment to Jewish people in their homes and hearts. Today, Palestinians are the victims of Israeli occupation and cruelty in Palestine. They live under barbed culture as did the Jews under the Nazis. Perhaps, Jewish emigrants from Eastern Europe could not think to free themselves from the past except to sustain the Nazi culture of human atrocities and reshape Palestine with barbed wires walls and check points to reinvent the insanity of Nazism. What a strange co-incident of human history?  When darkness prevails, people and nation seem to lose the sense of direction. For ages, the capitalist Europeans-American fought ideological wars against communist Russia and China. Today, they eagerly and desperately trying to bridge the historical gulfs often seem unbridgeable. History is not fixed nor is the destiny of people. Jews should know better as they have gone through various critical junctures in their life cycle- it is the enlightened foresight that can envisage the future for the Arab-Israeli co-existence, not the warfare of the past or the denial to establish an independent State of Palestine..

Palestinian factions NEED political unity, new intelligent leadership and creative strategies to deal with Israelis. Divided Palestinians will lead to divisions and disparity, not unity of purpose.  The essence of global politics and purpose calls for the Palestinian factions to be united at one platform and committed to logical purpose of peace and co-existence. There is no functional alternative to peaceful co-existence with Israel.  History expound horrible consequences of warmongering and killings, it solves no problem but create more unsolvable situations of conflicts. Some of the traditional Palestinian leaders should encourage the new generation of educated and competent people to assume leadership for building a new future on equal terms with Israel. Palestinians need unity of thought and action as one people. Their division represents absurdity, not intelligent outlook to the purpose of freedom from the Israeli occupation.  Late Professor Edward Said (“Who is in charge of the Past and the Future”), makes the point: “We acquired a modern political identity by virtue of that struggle, which is very far from over. Today our sense of our history and past should fuller, more critical, more insightful, not less. Above all, it should be written by us, not the American Secretary of State, nor the Israeli government. If we do not take charge of our history what future, if any, will be left for us to think about and implement?” Whether it is Fatah or Hamas, they should see the interest of the people, not the rudimentary flip-flop of the old tribal warfare. Their strength lies in their purpose of being rational people to make ways for the future generation to live in peace.  Palestinian leaders should focus on the goal not on discard and declare the independence as it seems they are following it through. MJ Rosenberg, in his most recent article (“US: Recognize State of Palestine In 2011”-ICH, 01/20/2011) notes:

“The best alternative is a U.S.-brokered settlement that would establish a State of Palestine, with contiguous borders, alongside Israel. East Jerusalem would be the Palestinian capital. In exchange, Israel would get the two things it has always insisted are the only demands it makes of the Arabs: secure, recognized borders and security guarantees from the United States. (The security of the Palestinian state would also be guaranteed.”

The Western political leaders and public institutions indulge in rhetoric of peace making but lack the vision, capacity, and courage to take rigorous steps to make it happen. It is all politics of peacemaking – an illusion on the screen and not the real peacemaking. To gather people’s attention, they will invent abstract issues and reshape the facts of human history to manipulate the voters and gain cheap favors. Politics is a game of pretension and apprehension, not doing the good for the people with purpose, honesty and clarity of intentions.  To console human mind, the Western leaders and political lobbyists are at least talking in public, but what about the Arab rulers – are they talking? Are they doing anything at all? Do they have the moral, intellectual and visionary leadership capacity to do anything useful for the deprived Palestinians and for themselves?  One would imagine, the Arab rulers being at the helms of oil pumping power, abundance of dollars and influence – they must be equipped to play a significant role in global political affairs. Not so, time and history tell the story otherwise. They are the wrong people, with wrong thinking and doing the wrong things.

The proactive initiatives rest with the visionary leaders on both sides of the barbed wire. To see things beyond the obvious, not just for today but for tomorrow and day after tomorrow, in the near future and for distant future to be built on mutual recognition, equality and freedom. Holocaust was engineered against the Jews by the Europeans not by the Arabs. The Arab civilization is remarkably unique and credible to claim that Jews have been living amidst their culture and in co-existence for centuries. The concept of state without people is void. Only Hitler and Mussolini could have been flattered by the absolutism of the state doctrine. The current Israeli PM Netanhou talks of peace and con-existence with Palestinians but defies logic when it comes to action in the same spirit. In one sided glorification of the state of Israel another strand can be traced out in Netanhou’s mindset and that is interwoven emotions of hatred and fear of the unknown if an equal State of Palestine will come into being.  Palestinians are the victims of perpetuated fear against their culture and freedom. Arguably, when two national entities exist side by side and treat each other with respect, they develop trust and accountability for mutual survival. Leaders lead and leaders talk openly and learn from the complex situations and difficult circumstances stalling the human change and progress. Those with a picture of the future will survive, others will remain prisoners in the depth of human ignorance and self- imposed failure. Israeli policy makers and leaders with strong institutionalized capacity of thinking and actions do enjoy respect for diversity of opinions and freedom of alternatives. No matter who comes into political power, Israelis have learned to manage their interests and ultimate strategic goals of unity and purpose.  Not so with the oil producing Arab elite, they lack intellectual imagination and strength of the will power to tolerate diversity of opinions. They follow one-track box and often without thinking of their own national interests. Their global image in policy making and behaviors carries no weight at all in any global setting. The oil revenues created illusion of transitory economic prosperity have blindfolded the Arabian elite to see the world as a challenge and to strive for a balanced (mizan) discourse of policy behaviors. Those who strive for change and continuous movement in life are viewed respectfully and are successful. When the Arabs were committed to Islam as a system of life, they were people enriched with originality of thinking and proactive vision of success for the future, not just for the self but for the whole of mankind. But the borrowed oil-based economic prosperity has destroyed the Arab minds, drained out their positive THINKING, Islamically knowledge-based culture and values, not just the originality of things for the good of humanity but transformed them into captives of  false illusions without reality. The Arab rulers are subservient to the policy dictates of the Western masters, not accountable to the interests of the people they govern. If they were intelligent and energetic in new thinking with strong presence in global politics, they could have evolved new institutions and offered help to search for feasible solutions to major political problems such as Palestine, systematic governance and remaking of Muslim Ummah. The on-going recent authoritarian brutalities in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and other locations in the Arab heartlands signal a stern warning to all concerned. They demand immediate action to stop the killing of the masses simply asking for freedom and human dignity. Over 60 years since their freedom from the European colonization, Arab elite failed to develop public institutions, sustainable system of governance and participation of the new generation in societal change and development. They are incapable to deal with any major issues of peace and conflict resolution. Bashar al-Assad, Ghaddafi, Ben Ali

Abdullah Saleh and Hosni Mubarak were not the leaders but insane people who were put to high offices to serve their foreign Masters. To the Arab people, bundle up the dummies, selfish and stupid rulers and ship them out to where they belong – most likely permanent resting places in Washington or London’s cemeteries – the ruling imperial forces backing the age of authoritarianism. The futuristic Arab rulers would NEED an inward eye and right thinking to serve the people, not the masters in Washington or London.

The former colonial master of the Middle East, the British policy makers are confused on matters of principles. Their interest is derived from the unknown and often glued to financial gains in playing the political cards. Britain is no longer a superpower but shrinking to be a colony of the US as it was during the Roman Empire. They follow blindly the US lead in global affairs as they did in Iraq and Afghanistan- fighting without a cause and killing others and get killed.  The US leaders believe that war is the lifeline for the economy and the big political-military-industrial complex controlling the nerve of the US strategic thinking and policies. They need wars, not peace. The Middle East does not long for another war but peace and co-existence for human well being and living together. The US superpower role and influence is redundant. It wants normalization of relationships between the Arabs and Israel without solving the problem of Palestine on its merits. Its foreign policy is overwhelmingly one-sided to push for Israel’s political interest first and not the balanced approach to pursue a “peace process” for the establishment of an independent State of Palestine with capital in East Jerusalem. The recent Wikileaks documents spell out how the Palestinian PLO leadership in negotiations with Israel and the US compromised the right of self-determination and abandoned the goal of Palestinian freedom for personal greed and stupidity.  Palestinian people must develop new and educated leadership with vision and integrity for the future. Arabs despite being rich in banking and palaces are weak and need moral and intellectual strength that oil pitched dollar cannot buy. Listening and learning is much part of the leadership trait as it is rational substance for effective leadership. Are the oil producing Arab rulers listening to the voices of REASON? A decade earlier when this author proposed to one influential Arab foreign minister to establish a university of global security, peace and conflict management to help cultivate their institutionalized capacity building to deal with global issues including Palestine and strengthen their capability in public institutions and  global political interaction.  Strangely enough, his reply was that we have the best experts from USA and Europe to advise us. Surely, Allah does not guide the ignorant and wicked. The Al-Qura’an clarifies the truth that “intelligent people always readily accept advice.” Are there any Arab leaders looking for intelligent advice and guidance to reconnect themselves with the aspirations of the masses?

Why the Arabs and Palestinian leaders failed to make progress in global conflict resolution? Late Professor Edward W. Said puts it in a nutshell: “we must all take the blame in colossal failure.” (Peace and its Discontents). The oil rich Arabs have no leadership, no vision for the future, nor presence in the US policy making corridors. They are overwhelmed with erecting tallest buildings made of dust across the Arabian gulf region. The big thinking behind the tall edifice does not change the political scale in Washington nor frighten anybody. Dust is dust, it does not change its originality. They lack public institutions and inward foresight and will to assign priority to the freedom of Palestine. Hardly any Arab leaders can communicate openly to the informed global community. Some Arab rulers are wasting time and opportunities to buy obsolete US weaponry worth of $60 billion or more but it will not change the Arab status-quo in the Middle East strategic construct mainly dominated by Israel. What Israel and America need is an intellectual and political challenge that the naïve and submissive Arab rulers cannot imagine. There are no Arab armies and no Arab leaders to challenge anybody on any fronts. Under Islam, the Arabs used to claim and enjoin moral and intellectual superiority in dealing with enemies and in situations of conflict.  Now the oil pumped prosperity conspiracy (fitna) has made the Arab rulers redundant and irrelevant to the 21st century political games. At a Middle Eastern university campus, while this author was speaking on the current affairs, a mention was made that “Arab prince live in palaces, not with people.” Among the audience some of the ruling elite got allergic and nauseated. Consequently, next time, the Arab embassy refused to issue the visit visa.   The superficial oil-based prosperity has bewildered the Arab rulers to the extent that some have become intolerable to any rational concerns. They THINK of the self, not of the people or of the Muslim Ummah. Would another jolt as was inflicted to Saddam Hussein change the Arab thinking of the politics of the palaces? Have they learned anything from the killing of Ghaddafi and ousting of Hosni Mubarak and other self-made presidents and kings? There is a culture of pretension across the Western political governance about human rights and liberty. Nobody questioned Ben Ali while he was decreeing anti-Islamic practices and torturing political activists in Tunis. All of  sudden, the Western news media opens up its closed circuits to Arabs activists, Mr. Obama  speaks out, so does Ban K Moon, the unheard UN Secretary General on human right violations in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen and so many others.  Were they dormant and deaf in the past prior to the ousting of Mubarak and killing of Ghaddafi? Palestinian leaders should not wait for anything to happen out of the blue but organize themselves as one people of UNITY striving to achieve national freedom from Israeli occupation. Palestinians do enjoy global consensus and support to declare the independent State of Palestine with capital in East Jerusalem.  The Palestinian leadership of all factions should articulate initiatives and political UNITY to make it happen. There is a persistent disequilibrium prevalent in the Middle East and this is what threatens the Israeli existence. The establishment of an independent State of Palestine will logically balance the obvious imbalance between the Arabs and Israel.  In early 1980’s, while student in the US, the author had the honor of knowing Professor Edward Said – a Palestinian genius – a great thinker for the good of mankind. Late Professor Edward Said (Peace and its Discontents: Essays on Palestine in the Middle East Peace Process, 1996), was not just a visionary but enriched with proactive thoughts and a truly passionate intellectual and committed warrior to the cause of freedom of Palestine:

“I sincerely believe in reconciliation between peoples and cultures in collision, and have made it my life’s work to try to further that end. But true reconciliation cannot be imposed, neither can it occur between cultures and societies that are enormously uneven in power. The kind of reconciliation that can bring real peace can only occur between equals, between partners whose independence, strength of purpose, and inner cohesion allows them fully to understand and share with the other.”

Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja is a contributor to The Real Agenda. He specializes in global security, peace and conflict resolution with keen interests in Islamic-Western comparative cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including the most recent one: Arabia at Crossroads: Arab People Strive for Freedom, Peace and New Leadership. VDM Publishers, Germany, September 2011.  Comments are welcome at:

Ron Paul Warns about Iran War Propaganda

by Luis R. Miranda
The Real Agenda
January 12, 2012

This is another Iraq in the making. Another false threat to take the United States and the rest of the world -international community- into another war that may be even more dangerous than the previous two in the middle east. This is the summary of what Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul is warning about in a new ad that reminds us about false information, the yellow cake kind of information that took the United States and its allies to invade Iraq in 2003.

The same argument is being used in 2012 to provoke another war; this time with Iran. The unfounded “take it to the bank” proposition made by Colin Powell a few years ago, is now circulated around the decaying main stream corrupt media, that once again wants to make people feel afraid about a nonexistent threat. The WMD hoax ran by the Bush administration and the corporate media after 9/11, that Saddam Hussein was involved in the terrorist attacks, and that he had pursued and successfully obtained nuclear material for a bomb took the United States and a handful of allies to invade Iraq and complete the killing of at least 1,000,000 Iraqis. Today both George W. Bush and Colin Powell say they regret having gone to war on the dubious information, but are quick to blame information the sources and not themselves.

Many years before the attacks on US soil and as a consequence the retaliation on Iraq came about, only Ron Paul used his limited time on the House floor to warn the public about unwarranted, illegal wars to come, which would be based on false information. This wars would, as he accurately pointed it out, help the consolidation of power over territories and resources in the middle east by the forces of the military industrial complex, otherwise known as the US military and the ‘international community’.

See ad below:

During a time when the war drums beat louder than ever, not even the usual suspects can hide the fact that an open war is being fought in the shadows against Iran and that it is Israel itself the one conducting most of it with the help of the United States intelligence agencies. As reported by Fox News, IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz testified secretly for Israel’s Knesset’s foreign affairs and defense committee, and revealed that Israel itself was engaging in sabotaging Iran’s nuclear program through a series of “unnatural” acts:

“2012 is expected to be a critical year for Iran.” He cited “the confluence of efforts to advance the nuclear program, internal leadership changes, continued international pressure and things that happen to it unnaturally.”

Ron Paul continued to warn against unprovoked wars back in 2002 as he explained to an unsuspecting public and a gullible Congress, that waging war on countries that had not threatened or posed a real threat to the United States would increase the chances that more hatred and attacks abroad and at home occurred. “Yisrael HaYom’s coverage further reinforces the notion that he was referring directly to the “mysterious explosions” that have rocked Iran of late. As the FoxNews article notes, it’s no accident that the hearing occurred less than 24 hours before the latest assassination,” reports

As Dr. Ron Paul has explained at length, Iran is completely right to show its preoccupation with the continuous aggression that comes from the United States and its partners in the region. Although the Department of Defense denies that the most recent movements and war games carried out along with Israel are a direct response to Iran’s preparations for what seems to be an imminent attack on its nuclear energy installations, three new warships have moved closer into the Strait of Hormuz in order to press Iran to abandon its current position in the region.

“Another carrier strike group, led by the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, concluded a port visit to Thailand on Tuesday and was now in the Indian Ocean. It is on track to join the Vinson in the Central Command area of operations, which begins in the neighboring Arabian Sea,” reports Reuters.

But Iran’s response to US aggression has been exactly to not back off from its position. From all the countries threatened by the US, Israel, Britain and France in the last few months, Iran is the only one that has held strong. Its military is ready to conduct another significant naval drill over the next couple of weeks in preparation for a major US/Israeli military exercise. This scenario raises the chances that both Iran and the US may use the opportunity to cook up a false flag event. The message from Iran has been clear so far:  “stay out of the Persian Gulf”.

With many of his warnings becoming true after 30 years of being straightforward with the public, Ron Paul is riding a wave of popularity that does not seem to end. In the latest national poll, the Congressman from Texas is second among independents and Republicans when these two groups are added together. In the last poll, he was only 1 percent behind Obama, a number well within the margin of error. These numbers greatly increase his chances of heading into the next few primaries in a head to head fight against current front runner Mitt Romney, who is still expected to hit a plateau and sink, just like all other contenders did. Ron Paul on the other hand has risen steadily passing everyone but the former Massachusetts governor.

Even Fox News’ Neil Cavuto has come out to warn that Mr. Paul may not only be a force during the current Republican primaries, but also a strong candidate for a run as an independent. Cavuto explains that as things are right now, Paul has the potential to steal important amounts of votes from both the Republican front-runner, as well as the incumbent president. See the video below:

As things are right now, it seems that Ron Paul still has a lot of room to grow as his message continues to resonate with more and more Americans of all ages, especially young adults and military servicemen and women. He continues to climb on the polls in the state of South Carolina positioning himself among the top three contenders, leaving behind people like Rick Perry, John Huntsman and Rick Santorum who just a few weeks ago were above Paul. Is it his consistent message what has earned Paul his meteoric rise? Probably. Will this rise in the polls and continuous appearances in second and third places guarantee Mr. Paul a strong showing on future primaries? It seems it will. Will his rise be strong enough to beat up the establishment candidates? We will see.

Israel’s Peres says Iran attack “more and more likely”

AFP – Israeli President Shimon Peres said “an attack on Iran” by Israel and other countries was “more and more likely.”

He told Israeli private television’s second channel: “The intelligence services of the different countries that are keeping an eye on (Iran) are worried and putting pressure on their leaders to warn that Iran is ready to obtain the nuclear weapon,” Israeli media reported.

“We must turn to these countries to ensure that they keep their commitments … this must be done, and there is a long list of options,” Peres declared.

Israel on Thursday completed a major civil defence drill in the Tel Aviv region aimed at simulating a response to conventional and non-conventional missile attacks, the military said.

On Wednesday, Haaretz newspaper reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak were seeking to win cabinet support for a strike on Iran, which Israel and the West suspect is looking to build an atomic bomb.

On the same day, Israel tested a rocket-propulsion system that press reports said was capable of firing ballistic missiles, although officials declined to comment on the specifics of the system and said it was a routine test.

A poll published by the Haaretz daily on Thursday found Israeli public opinion divided on a strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities, with 41 percent in favour, 39 percent opposed and 20 percent undecided.

Iran, meanwhile, declared that it would “punish” Israel in case of an attack on its territory.

Obama Sold Bunker Buster Bombs to Israel

Is an attack on Iran’s nuclear sites closer than before?

The Daily Beast
September 26, 2011

Barack Obama has spent his entire time in office urging the Israelis to make wrenching concessions to the Palestinians, and the American Jewish community has questioned his loyalty. But appearances can be deceiving.

At the U.N. last week, Obama sided with Israel by pushing against thePalestinian vote for statehood. Even more telling: behind the scenes Obama has pressed hard to secure the Israeli state—through major military support.

Surrounded by 15 Jewish-community leaders in the White House back in 2009, Obama chose his words deliberately. He knew he faced suspicions after publicly pressing Israel to give in to the Palestinians on housing settlements. A fraudulent election that returned Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to power in Iran left Israelis even more concerned about their security—and the new U.S. president’s intentions.

“I’ll always be there for [Israel], but we are going to ask to make hard political choices—settlements, borders,” Obama pointedly told attendees at the meeting. His remarks were confirmed by Newsweek through interviews and notes taken by a participant.

Rabbi Eric Yoffie, a Reform Jewish leader, asked the president to explain why he singled out Israel in public for criticism over its settlements rather than keep disputes with an ally private. Obama grabbed for his then–chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, a longtime Israel supporter whose father was a member of the Zionist militia known as the Irgun.

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