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Arens: Israel Can Say `No' to Obama


Moshe Arens, former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations and Defense Minister in the Gulf War in 1991, says it is "not a big problem" for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to say "no" to Obama.

"Americans respect us when we stand on principle," he told Israel National News. He said Israel, at times when it was politically weaker than today, often took stands against U.S. presidents "who were our friends."

CBS Poll: Israel Can't Count on US Public If Iran Attacks


Israel would find itself without widespread support from the American public for United States reprisals against Iran if Tehran attacks the Jewish State, according to a new CBS poll.

The survey gave respondents several options on which actions by Iran would justify an American attack. Three-quarters of the respondents would support an American attack on the Islamic Republic under various circumstances, but 25% rejected any attack--even if Iran were to strike on American soil.

Only 15% of the respondents would support an American counter-attack if Iran were to limit its attack to Israel, although another 13% said that the United States should attack Iran if it conducts a nuclear weapons test. Presumably, some or all of the same 13% might also back a strike if Israel were attacked, bringing the theoretical total to 28%.

Approximately 25% would support American retaliation if the Islamic Republic were to strike on American soil, and a similar number said an attack on the U.S. fleet in the Persian Gulf, where approximately half of the world's oil and gas supplies flow, would be enough to justify reprisals.

The results of the poll by CBS' 60 Minutes program and Vanity Fair magazine showed surprising anti-war sentiment. Nearly a quarter of the respondents said they "would never support" a war with Iran.

The poll is particularly significant because the Congressional midterm elections are only four weeks away, and President Barack Obama is struggling to fight off what the polls show will be a severe voter rebellion against his Democratic party.

Surveys have shown that voters are concerned with domestic issues, particularly health and the economy, and have little interest in Israeli affairs and the Iranian nuclear threat. Obama's new appointment of White House Chief of Staff Peter Rouse, replacing Rahm Emanuel, reflects a strategy to focus less on foreign policy issues.

The CBS poll also covered the Ground Zero Mosque, and 63% said they agree with opponents to the planned Muslim religious community center near Ground Zero. Only 30% expressed backing for the developers of the project.

IDF Worried by Possible 'Peace Talk' Terror Spike


Dictionaries define 'peace' as "the absence of war or other hostilities," but a senior IDF officer fears that further "progress" in the "peace talks" between Israel and the Palestinian Authority will mean more, not less, attacks against Jews.

A senior officer in the Judea and Samaria Brigade told Arutz Sheva Tuesday that "if the talks progress there will be problems and a spike in the number of terror attacks can be expected, because of Hamas's desire to derail the talks."

Asked if another full-scale terror war (dubbed 'Intifadah' by the Arabs) like the one that was launched in 2000 could occur, the officer replied in the negative. "The Palestinians do not have the ability to carry out a serious Intifadah because of the fact that all of the terror groups [in Judea and Samaria] are unarmed, the [Fatah subgroup] Tanzim does not exist and the other organizations do not have the weapons for terror attacks. However, it is clear that progress in the talks will entail problems, and we can expect a rise in the number of 'lone attacks' like the one we experienced in the past month."

The senior officer said that the security fence within Judea and Samaria is doing the job it was built to do in a very good way. He said the PA Arabs have developed what he termed "fence awareness" and understand that the fence cannot be breached. He said that whereas Arabs freely crossed illegally into "smaller Israel" before the fence's construction, the number of such infiltrators is now down to three or four a week.

This, he said, makes it difficult for the terrorists to "export" terror into smaller Israel. Asked about the delays in traffic that often occur at the IDF checkpoints, he explained that these are inevitable because the soldiers have to check vehicles to make sure they are not ferrying anyone illegally.

In response to a question about the way the IDF sees the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria, the senior officer said that "we see the settlers as a body that has to be protected in any case and by any means."

The officer singled out the Arab village of Azun between Kalkilya and Shechem as one of the most problematic in Judea and Samaria. While the level of terrorism there has decreased, the villagers still commit two to three terror attacks every week, he said – mostly rock attacks on motorists.

The officer said it was likely that US pressure would eventually force the IDF to stop entering PA cities to chase down terrorists. However, "At this point this is not the picture and not the reality," he said.

Livni at Harvard: Conflict with Iran Unsolvable


Opposition Head Tzipi Livni (Kadima) said Tuesday that Iran believes in a religious ideology that makes the conflict with it irresolvable.

"The latest pronouncements by [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad and the heads of the regime prove that the world must increase the pressure of sanctions on Iran and supplement them with political sanctions against the regime." she went on to say, in a speech at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

"The world must stop giving the Iranian leaders pulpits from which to spew their venom, be it in the United Nations or anywhere else," Livni added. "As long as Ahmadinejad denies the Holocaust and talks about destroying Israel, the world cannot be tolerant and listen to him, and it must cease giving him ammunition for spreading his creed."

Livni accused the Israel government of wasting two years in which it did not continue the negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. "Now [the Israeli government] must reach the decisions that will save what is left of the negotiations," she said.

"The Prime Minister knows that Kadima will support him if he makes these decisions and it would be better if he makes them quickly," she warned. "The clear Israeli interest is to end the conflict with the Palestinians. This is not a favor to the president of the United States... This is the time to reach decisions in this matter and time does not work in Israel's favor. Avoiding the decisions hurts Israel's interests and the [resent status quo is dangerous."

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