Barack Obama

A Chanukah Miracle For Allan Gross

"Hag sameach."  Those were the first words of the newly freed Alan Gross at his Washington press conference Wednesday afternoon.

After five years in a Cuban prison for trying to smuggle Internet equipment to the communist country's tiny Jewish community, he was freed as part of a dramatic change in relations between Havana and Washington..

Gross gave special thanks to the Greater Washington Jewish Community Relations Council and its executive director, Ron Halber, for their ongoing campaign for his freedom.

Pollard's Albatross

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu phoned Secretary of State John Kerry Saturday evening to ask him to intervene to release Jonathan Pollard in the wake of a fainting incident that send the convicted Israeli spy to a hospital earlier in the week.

"Jonathan is sick, his health is in danger, and after 30 years in prison it's time he is released," according to a statement from the PM's office. 

Hagel Out; 'True Friend Of Israel'

Chuck Hagel's nomination to be secretary of defense two years ago was met with considerable angst on the part of many friends of Israel. His resignation today was met with regret, especially at the Israeli Defense Ministry.

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon called him "a true friend of Israel" who made "large and significant" contributions to the two nations' security ties. 

That's a far cry from the initial response to nomination of the maverick former Republican senator from Nebraska. 

Will Iran Deal Be DOA On Capitol Hill?

The old saying that goes: Those who know don’t say. Those who say don’t know.

It is a fitting response to all the public speculation about what will come out of the Iranian nuclear negotiations that are supposed to be completed by November 24.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as gone into overdrive in messages to leaders trying to hammer out a deal with Tehran: the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China, German and the European Union.

US-Israel In Crisis? Not Yet. Stay Tuned

A Wall Street Journal interviewer this week declared "the US-Israel relationship has hit new lows in the Obama era." 

If she had bothered reading this blog or my Washington Watch column, or had she even done a little bit research she'd have known better.

Worst Ever? Not Quite

There's much talk about how relations between the United States and Israel, especially between the two leaders, are worse than ever. 

Not quite.  For all the personal animus between Barack Obama and Bibi Netanyahu, and there certainly is a lot of it, they are at least still speaking to each other, which is more than could be said of George H.W.Bush and Yitzhak Shamir.  President Bush felt the prime minister had lied to him and refused to take his phone calls for quite a while.

Learning To Play Well With Others

When Bibi Netanyahu was in grade school, his teachers probably did not check the box on his report card where it said, "plays well with others."  He has a long history of clashes with political colleagues and others.  Two of his stronger critics and rivals inside his own Cabinet and are former senior aides who broke with him.

So it comes as no surprise that he also has a long history of difficulty in getting along with foreign leaders – French, German and British but most notably Americans.

White House Calls Netanyahu ‘Chickenshit’ Comment ‘Inappropriate’

10/28/2014 - 20:00

A White House spokesman said a U.S. official’s anonymous attack describing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as cowardly was inappropriate.

How Did They Find Out: Obama Waging War On Whites

Barack Obama has been waging a “war on whites” since coming to office, with an aim to “divide us all on race, on sex, greed, envy, class warfare, all those kinds of things.”

That charge comes from the fertile mind of Alabama Republican Congressman Mo Brooks. 

It is part of the Democratic strategy to keep Hispanics from voting Republican, he said, and he predicts it will cost the President’s party white votes. And that, in his view, is why he and House Republicans killed comprehensive immigration reform this year.

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