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Tag: benjamin netanyahu

Danziger Draws

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Gaza Truce Between Israel And Hamas Begins, Mediated By Egypt

By Nidal al-Mughrabi and Dan Williams GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A truce between Israel and Hamas began on Friday at the hour set by Egyptian mediators, and U.S. President Joe Biden pledged to salve the devastation of the worst fighting in years with humanitarian aid for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. In the countdown to the 2 a.m. (2300 GMT Thursday) cease-fire, whose timing Hamas had confirmed but Israel did not, Palestinian rocket salvoes continued and Israel carried out at least one air strike. Each side said it stood ready to retaliate for any truce violations by the other. Cairo said it...

Why Are The New York Times And Politico Promoting A Fake Kerry Scandal?

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

The New York Times and Politico are helping spread a manufactured scandal against former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, now the White House's special climate envoy, over the manifestly absurd claim that he disclosed secret Israeli operations in the Syrian civil war to Iran's foreign minister.

In articles posted on Monday, the Times and Politico played up attacks on Kerry by Republican politicians such as Sens. Dan Sullivan of Alaska and Rick Scott of Florida, as well as former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley. By focusing on this aspect to their coverage, they are doing exactly what Fox News is demanding for other media outlets to follow its lead.

In addition, the Times and Politico pieces gave little consideration to the obvious objection that the information was not secret — even though both outlets had reported on the strikes before. (And so did Fox.)

Kerry has issued a strongly worded denial, saying that such an exchange never happened:

Iran International, a United Kingdom-based outlet, first reported on a leaked interview recording of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who claimed that military leaders kept him in the dark about Israeli strikes on Iranian assets in Syria and that he learned of the strikes from Kerry. According to the outlet, this claim is "not very credible," since those attacks were already reported via international media.

An analysis in the right-wing Jerusalem Post saw through the problem in Zarif's claim as well: "The idea that Zarif was told information on Israeli airstrikes by John Kerry and that he didn't know about airstrikes on Iranian convoys in Syria appears ridiculous. Does he not read his own Iranian media? Does he not have any sources inside his own ministry? … Is he the most uninformed foreign minister in the world?"

But in its latest story on Kerry's denial and Republican political attacks, the Times played down the extent to which the strikes have been public knowledge — which if emphasized, would have cast doubt on both Zarif's version of events and any notion of Republican outrage.

"Israel has made little effort to deny years of strikes attributed to it by Syria's government, news outlets and nongovernmental organizations tracking the Syrian conflict," the paper said. In fact, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu admitted to the strikes on a hot microphone during a meeting with Eastern European leaders in 2017, with further public admissions in 2018 and early 2019. The Times also could have noted that the Israeli military publicly acknowledged in September 2018 that it had struck over 200 Iranian targets since just 2017 — let alone the time period before that — but the paper instead chose to be vague on just how public this knowledge is.

Instead the Times simply noted: "A New York Times article from 2019 included similar information on the number of Israeli strikes." Besides the hair-splitting over the particular number, the Times previously reported on Israeli strikes against Iranian targets in Syria multiple times in 2013 and also reported in 2018 on the escalating conflict between the two countries. But instead, it referred to just one of its articles from 2019, which happened to include information the Israeli military had already divulged the year before.

Politico followed a similar pattern, covering the story as more of a political back-and-forth in a piece headlined "GOP tears into Kerry amid Iran controversy," without acknowledging the fact that these attacks were already public knowledge.

And while it noted in the seventh paragraph that "Zarif's version of events has not been independently corroborated," one of the asterisks it attached to his remarks was that it is "also unclear whether Kerry allegedly revealed the Israeli operations to Zarif before they were publicly reported by Israel itself in 2018."

This framing depicts the Israeli actions in Syria as having been some kind of secret. In fact, Politico itself had casually mentioned the fact of the Israeli strikes over the years.

But noting such facts now would get in the way of media narratives that rely on covering political squabbles while treating partisan and opportunistic accusations as if they were legitimate.

Republicans Rage Over Budget, Bibi, And Border, But Can't Dent Biden In Polls

Congressional Republicans are once again outraged that President Joe Biden has not allowed them to run his calendar. This time they are furious that he has not yet submitted a formal budget to Congress.

Biden, who was inaugurated on Jan. 20, has been president for just 76 days. He has spent much of that time cleaning up the messes left by Donald Trump: the ongoing deadly coronavirus pandemic, the economic crisis the pandemic has caused, and systemic problems of racism and violence made even more visible in the past four years.

Still, Republicans on the House Budget Committee used their official Twitter account on Tuesday to attack Biden for not yet releasing a budget proposal.

"President Biden's lack of transparency is historic as he continues to fail to submit any budget plan or outline to Congress," they charged. "When he does it will be the latest a President has submitted an initial budget outline to Congress in the modern budget era. @POTUS where is your budget?"

Biden's acting budget director has been on the job for less than two weeks. Rather than cooperate with Biden's team to ensure a smooth transition, Trump's team at the Office of Management and Budget pretended that they were going to write the 2022 budget, even after Biden's decisive election victory.

Congressional Republicans are demanding that Biden prioritize filing a budget document as if the president is obligated to do exactly what they tweet he should do.

Over the past two months, they have whined repeatedly when Biden didn't drop everything to meet assorted other GOP demands.

For weeks, they complained that since his inauguration, President Biden had not had a phone conversation with embattled and indicted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — even though the two had spoken during the transition and Netanyahu's ambassador to the United States had made clear he was in no rush, saying, "The prime minister is not worried about the timing of the conversation."

"What is @POTUS avoiding?" asked Texas Rep. Ronny Jackson on Feb. 11. "I urge President Biden to ignore the radical left in his party and make a strong show of support for our partnership with Israel by calling @IsraeliPM Netanyahu."

"From Xi and Putin to Mario Kart, President Biden has found plenty of time for many activities since being sworn in," groused Rep. Lee Zeldin of New York on Feb. 16. "It's past time to pick up the phone and call America's loyal friend, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu."

"Over the years, the U.S. has strengthened our relationship with Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, due to our shared interests and values," tweeted Tennessee Rep. David Kustoff on Feb. 17. "Yet, after 28 days, @JoeBiden has still not picked up the phone to call Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu."

Biden and Netanyahu spoke on Feb. 17.

Next, Republicans, who had defended Trump as he attacked and stonewalled the press for four years and set records for the length of time that passed between news conferences, went after Biden for not holding a formal news conference. Biden had frequently answered reporters' questions in informal settings.

"Why does Joe Biden, the least transparent president in history, need to announce his press conference over a week in advance?" asked Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert on March 17 after the White House announced the date.

"What kind of President takes 64 full days to finally have a press conference? NOT a mentally competent one I'll tell you that!" tweeted Jackson on March 18.

"If Trump had gone 60+ days without taking questions and then held a nonsensical press conference like Biden did yesterday, the Dems would be shouting to invoke the 25th Amendment," tweeted Texas Rep. Brian Babin on March 26, the day after Biden spent an hour answering questions from the White House press corps about immigration, Trump, and Biden's plans for 2024.

More recently, congressional Republicans have demanded Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris visit the U.S.-Mexico border to witness what they call a "crisis."

"It's time @JoeBiden takes responsibility for the crisis he has created at our border and makes a visit to see it for himself," Sen. Rick Scott of Florida tweeted on March 23.

"Our border is devolving into more chaos as the days go by," claimed Boebert on March 24. "Joe Biden has yet to announce plans to visit and Kamala Harris cackled at the thought."

"Move the southern border to Delaware and Joe Biden might visit it," sniped Texas Rep. Lance Gooden on March 29.

Biden said in response to questions on whether he'd visit the border, "At some point I will, yes. ... I know what's going on in those facilities."

Despite the GOP outrage, voters seem unperturbed.

According to FiveThirtyEight polling averages, Biden continues to enjoy the positive job approval ratings he's seen since taking office. Those averages put current approval of the job he's doing at 53.6% and disapproval at just 39.6%.

This is a significant reversal from his predecessor. After his first week in the White House, Trump never again reached his highest average approval rating of 46% and spent most of his four years in office with a majority of those polled disapproving of his job performance.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Trump Prods Netanyahu To Attack Biden — And Gets Rebuffed

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday declined to take the bait when Donald Trump invited him to attack Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Trump hosted Netanyahu and other foreign leaders on a conference call in the Oval Office to announce "normalization of relations," according to the White House.

"Do you think Sleepy Joe could have made this deal, Bibi? Sleepy Joe, do you think he would have made this deal somehow?" Trump asked Netanyahu.

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Will Netanyahu Try To Annex The Jordan Valley Before November?

This article was produced by Globetrotter, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

On July 1, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised he would annex part of the Jordan Valley. He did not, but he may still do so before U.S. elections in November and while President Donald Trump is still in office. It could be his legacy.

Trump's challenger, former vice president Joe Biden, has joined the chorus of world leaders who object to the annexation, arguing that what little remains of a two-state solution would be finished, legally, but he said he would continue U.S. aid to Israel. Even if Netanyahu annexes a small piece of the area, the argument would be the same. The amount would be irrelevant.

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Danziger: Bloody Balloting

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.com.

Danziger: Another Border Fiasco

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.com.