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Libyan Civil War Spills into Tunisian Jewish Areas

By IsraelNationalNews.com

Libya's civil war is spilling over into Tunisia, particularly into the southern island of Djerba, where the majority of the country's Jews live. Al Qaeda terrorists, who have become increasingly active, have begun to use the area as a route to smuggle arms from various locations into Libya.

Libyan refugees and opposition forces have been fleeing across the border into Tunisia to escape the fighting – often with Libyan government forces at their heels. The refugees have poured into Djerba by the thousands, followed by Libyan missiles aimed at their backs.


Obama to AIPAC: Israelis, Palestinians Should Negotiate a New Border

By Ha'aretz, IsraelNationalNews.com & VOA News

President Barack Obama said his call for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations based on the pre-1967 lines did not mean the future state of Palestine would have those exact borders.

"By definition, it means that the parties themselves – Israelis and Palestinians – will negotiate a border that is different than the one that existed on June 4, 1967," Obama said on Sunday morning to the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. "It is a well-known formula to all who have worked on this issue for a generation. It allows the parties themselves to account for the changes that have taken place over the last 44 years, including the new demographic realities on the ground and the needs of both sides."

Last week, Obama said Israeli-Palestinian peace talks should be based on the pre-'67 lines, with mutually agreed swaps. He also said the difficult issues of Jerusalem and the right of return for Palestinian refugees should be deferred for later. In response, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called such borders "indefensible."

"If there is a controversy, it's not based on substance," Obama said Sunday. "What I did on Thursday was to say publicly what has long been acknowledged privately."


AIPAC issued an official statement following the speech expressing appreciation for Obama's assurance that the U.S. does not expect Israel to withdraw to the lines that existed on June 4, 1967, and was also glad the U.S. president explicitly condemned Hamas as a terrorist organization.

There actually was one solitary "boo" in the middle of the speech, when the president tried to explain what he meant by the "1967 lines." But there was much applause too.

"President Obama is brave, sincere, but a little bit naïve", said Victor Saban from Los Angeles. "I think Israel should stay the course and see what develops in the region and with the Palestinians. You have to stay the course until you have a real partner for peace."

The president addressed what he called "misinterpretations" of his address at the State Department. "Since my position has been misrepresented several times, let me reaffirm what "1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps" means. By definition, it means that the parties themselves - Israelis and Palestinians - will negotiate a border that is different than the one that existed on June 4, 1967. That is what mutually agreed upon swaps means. It is a well known formula to all who have worked on this issue for a generation. It allows the parties themselves to account for the changes that have taken place over the last 44 years," he said.

Netanyahu, who remains in Washington and will address the pro-Israel lobby group on Monday, has since sought to downplay what media reports describe as a worsened rift with Obama, saying Saturday that there will be differences among friends.

Saying he was not surprised that his public statement of these principles generated controversy, Obama said he discussed with Mr. Netanyahu "realities", including demographic changes, in the Middle East.

"What I did on Thursday was to say publicly what has long been acknowledged privately. I have done so because we cannot afford to wait another decade, or another two decades, or another three decades, to achieve peace. The world is moving too fast. The extraordinary challenges facing Israel will only grow. Delay will undermine Israel's security and the peace that the Israeli people deserve," he said.

The president again rejected Palestinian attempts to de-legitimize Israel. Palestinian leaders intend to seek U.N. General Assembly recognition of a Palestinian state in September.

Obama said the unity agreement between Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah poses "enormous obstacles" to peace and went on to demand that Hamas recognize Israel's right to exist. "No country can be expected to negotiate with a terrorist organization sworn to its destruction. And we will continue to demand that Hamas accept the basic responsibilities of peace, including recognizing Israel's right to exist, and rejecting violence, and adhering to all existing agreements," he said.

The president reiterated his view of the status quo in Israel-Palestinian peace efforts as "unsustainable". "The march to isolate Israel internationally, and the impulse of the Palestinians to abandon negotiations, will continue to gain momentum in the absence of a credible peace process and alternative. And for us to have leverage with the Palestinians, to have leverage with the Arab States, and with the international community, the basis for negotiations has to hold out the prospect of success," he said.

Fatah spokesman Saeb Erekat was quoted as saying talks with Israel could resume that would lead to a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders, but said without Netanyahu's agreement to "turn over a new leaf" there would be no point talking about a peace process.

Obama also underscored the "ironclad" U.S. commitment to Israel's security and maintaining Israel's qualitative military edge, noting U.S. aid for Israel's new "Iron Dome" anti-missile system that defends against Palestinian rocket attacks.

He also repeated U.S. determination to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, noting U.S. and United Nations sanctions, and said Iran continues to "support terrorism across the region" including providing weapons and funds to terrorist organizations."


Cantor: Israel is America's Most Loyal Ally

By IsraelNationalNews.com

Republican Eric Cantor, the GOP majority leader in the House of Representatives, addressed the attendees of the annual AIPAC policy conference in Washington, D.C. on Sunday.

Speaking of his immigrant roots and of his pride of being Jewish, Cantor told the audience that "America needs Israel as it is our most stable and loyal ally," adding that "America must do everything in its power to protect Israel. It is okay to vilify Israel but it is not OK to scapegoat Israel."

Cantor also spoke of the Iranian nuclear threat and said that "those that deal with Iran" will not be accepted.

He addressed the conflict between Israelis and Arabs and said that the root of the conflict is not the so-called 1967 lines (the 1949 armistice lines which defense experts have said would be indefensible), but rather the refusal of the Palestinian Authority to recognize Israel. Israel wants to live in peace, said Cantor, but PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has to stop promoting hate and should come to the negotiating table. Until that happens, noted Cantor, there can be no peace, particularly with Hamas being part of the PA government.

Cantor noted that Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson saw America as the new Israel and wanted to see the Israelites return to their ancestral homeland. Israel deserves America in reality, not just in rhetoric, he said. Finally, said Cantor, now is the time to lead and not to follow, noting that this is essential for both the survival of Israel as well as for the future of America.


Jewish Americans Mull 2012 Obama Re-election Bid

By IsraelNationalNews.com

Jewish Americans are looking ahead to the 2012 presidential race, and President Barack Obama's re-election bid – and they're beginning to wonder.

Among those reconsidering their support are New York's former Mayor Ed Koch. "I believed that then-Senator Obama would be as good as John McCain (in the 2008 election) based on his statements at the time, and based on his support of Israel," Koch told Reuters in an interview following Obama's Middle East policy speech Thursday. "It turns out I was wrong."

Mortimer Zuckerman, publisher of the New York Daily News, warned that Obama has alienated numerous former supporters, who he said were "very upset and feel alienated." The billionaire real estate developer and publisher said bluntly that Obama will get "less political support, fewer activists for his campaign, and I am sure that will extend to financial support as well."

Zuckerman's own paper endorsed Obama for the 2008 presidential run, as did Zuckerman himself – but he declined to say whether the same would hold true this time around.

According to the latest Zogby poll, Obama enjoyed a 10-point bounce in popularity after the successful assassination of Al Qaeda chief terrorist Osama bin Laden. However, John Zogby also found that only 41% of U.S. voters believe the president deserves to be re-elected, with another 10% undecided. The latest findings give him a 48% approval rating, the U.S. pollster told Newsmax V – taking him "out of the danger zone," but leaving him within easy reach of a competitor.


42% of Israeli Arabs Displeased with Citizenship

By IsraelNationalNews.com

Forty-two percent of Israel's Arab citizens are unhappy about the fact that they are citizens of Israel, according to the latest survey on Jewish-Arab relations conducted by Prof. Sami Samouha.

Samouha found that more than 62% of Israeli Arabs think Arab rioters in October 2000 acted appropriately, and 14.5% believe violence is a legitimate means to express protest. Both Jews and Arabs feel threatened by each other, the researcher said. Nearly 80% of Arabs fear massive expropriation of Arab land, and 53.8% say most Jews can not be trusted. One-third fear being harassed by authorities if they protest.

Among Jews, 62.7% fear that the high Arab birth rate poses a threat to Israel's future, and 80% fear Israeli Arab support for the Palestinian Authority. Eighty percent believe that non-Jews wishing to receive citizenship should be required to swear loyalty to Israel as a Jewish, democratic state.

"The Jewish citizens of Israel are willing to accept Arabs and act for their integration into society and for equal rights, but only on the condition that the Arab does not define himself as 'Palestinian' and accepts the Jewish and democratic nature of the state," Samouha explained.

On a more positive note, 80% of Israeli Arabs and 70% of Jews said they believe that someday Israeli Jews and Arabs will have a good relationship, and 80% say Jews and Arabs should have ties that are based not in necessity – for instance, using the same hospital – but in a mutual desire for a connection between the communities.

Sixty percent of Israeli Arabs believe that Jews are a nation that deserves a state, and 75% of Israeli Jews believe Jewish leaders should avoid extreme statements regarding Arabs.

Samouha has been conducting the annual survey since 1976. For the 2010 poll, researchers spoke to 711 Israeli Arabs face to face, in Arabic, and interviewed 700 Jewish Israelis on the phone in Hebrew or Russian. Bedouin and Druze Israelis were included as "Arab."


US Rabbis Support Israel, Explain 1967 Border Security Dangers

By Israel Faxx News Services

Somewhere deep within the green, tranquil American heartland, US Rabbis are responding to the speech of US President Barack Obama calling on Israel to accept the dangerous and lethal pre-war borders of 1967. Borders which are not defensible against Islamic terror attacks and Arab armies seeking war with Israel.

That enemy combat jets would take a mere 4 minutes to reach Tel Aviv those terror missiles could be placed feet away from Ben-Gurion Airport.

Rabbi Jeffrey Glickman of Temple Beth Hillel knew, as many other rabbis in the US, that something was now very wrong. He told the Israel News Agency that beyond the comfort zone of his congregation that the Jews of Israel could face another Holocaust if they were forced to live without defensible borders, something that was promised to them by the UN after the 1967 war.

"Do these Jews know that the lives of their brothers and sisters living in Israel are today at greater risk as a result of President Barack Obama appeasing Arab oil interests in the Middle East?," he said.

Glickman smiled at his congregants and stated: "It is hard to explain Israel's security predicament to someone living in a country 500 times the size of Israel. But imagine the entire United States compressed to the size of New Jersey."

"Next, put on New Jersey's northern border an Iranian terror proxy called Hizbullah. which fires 6,000 rockets into that small state. Then imagine that this terror proxy has amassed 60,000 more missiles to fire at you. Wait. I'm not finished. Now imagine on New Jersey's southern border another Iran terror proxy called Hamas. It too fires 6,000 rockets into your territory while smuggling even more lethal weapons into its territory."

Glickman asked "Do you think you would feel a little bit vulnerable? Do you think you would expect some understanding from the international community when you try to defend yourselves?"


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