Updated: April 26, 2009 added numbers 3 and 4
compiled by Cem Ertür
25 April, 2009
1) Remarks by President Obama at the Holocaust Days of Remembrance Ceremony (23 April 2009)
2) Remarks by Secretary of State Clinton Before House Appropriations Subcommittee (23 April 2009)
3) EU president: Europe blind to scale of Iran threat (25 April 2009)
4) Israeli Deputy Defence Minister: War can erupt any day, and Israelis need to know this (23 April 2009)
Remarks by the President at the Holocaust Days of Remembrance Ceremony
The White House web site, 23 April 2009
|How do we ensure that “never again” isn’t an empty slogan, or merely an aspiration, but also a call to action?|
[US President Barack Obama, Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony at the United States Capitol, Washington D.C. , 23 April 2009]
Opening Remarks Before House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs
by Hillary Rodham Clinton, US Foreign Minister
Washington, DC, 23 April 2009
|[W]e have been working closely with our friends and partners and interested nations with respect to engaging with Iran. […] Every [Arab] country with whom I have personally met — and that’s most of them by now — wants very much to support the strongest possible posture toward Iran. […] This unites Israel and the Arab neighbors in the region. Everyone is concerned, as we are, about Iran’s activities.
We are concerned both about their pursuit of nuclear weapons and about their interference in the internal affairs of their neighbors and their support for terrorism and organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah. […]
We could argue — and many Arab countries have — and […] [Jordan’s] King Abdullah […] has made public statements to this effect — that for Israel to get the kind of strong support it’s looking for vis-a-vis Iran it can’t stay on the sideline with respect to the Palestinian and the peace efforts, that they go hand-in-hand […] They believe that Israel’s willingness to re-enter into discussions with the Palestinian Authority [i.e. Fatah] strengthens them in being able to deal with Iran. […]
And we have to sort of get everybody together in one place, which hasn’t yet happened, to figure out how that can proceed.
Well, the proposed missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic is designed to address a threat from Iran. […] We’ve been telling the Russians over and over again, this is about Iran; we think Iran is a threat to Europe and to you.
Note: A fraction of this transcript is available at the U.S. Department of State website:
excerpt from: EU president: Europe blind to scale of Iran threat
by Barak Ravid, Haaretz, 26 April 2009
|The rhetoric of the Israeli officials [on the issue of Iran] is understandable. […] [T]he fact that Iran is a threat whose danger can be magnified if the country will have a nuclear weapon – that is something the entire world knows about. The fact that the EU is somewhat underestimating this threat is also true. Nevertheless all of us are looking at this twin track approach toward Iran. I think that there is still time for hard power against Iran, but only after all soft-power means have been already used.|
[outgoing Czech Prime Minister Topolanek, Haaretz interview, 24 April 2009]
Vilna’i: War can erupt any day, and Israelis need to know this
by Yaakov Katz, Jerusalem Post, 24 April 2009
|“The Israeli home front will be part of any future war. Everyone needs to know that there is a chance in the next war that a missile will fall in their backyard. In contrast to the past, this time we are not scared of preparing the entire population for this possibility.”|
[Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilna’i, 23 April 2009]
Clinton: US engagement with Iran puts us on much stronger international footing (22 April 2009)
Israeli Prime Minister: We will not allow Holocaust deniers to carry out another Jewish Holocaust (20 April 2009)
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Of course negotiations with the Palestinian Authority would strengthen Israel’s ability to deal with Iran, but negotiations here don’t mean mere negotiations, the sitting, talking and taking pictures, for that has come to mean nothing of substance to Palestinians and the Arab world. They’ve been there many times before, and they know all too well that if there was no real intention, on the part of Israel ,to make serious peace, the kind that requires making tough compromises, reaching agreements, then they’d be meaningless and a waste of time to all. It’s quite obvious, without any doubt, that the present Israeli government has no intention in entering into any serious negotiations with the Palestinians or the Syrians, and even if they were coerced by the US into sitting at a table with them, pretending to be negotiating and not more than that, it would be so obvious, especially with this government. Israel will not negotiate seriously for two simple reasons: first, they are so hung up pathologically on their ideology of keeping it all, pretty much, to themselves, except for some meagre crumbs of disjointed pieces of land here and there that hey hope that the Palestinians will eventually accept, as the alternative would be nothing. Second, Israel, or to be more accurate, the extremist Israelis like Netanyahu and Lieberman, don’t see any need to compromise, simply because they don’t have to, so why should they? They are so misguided and taken with their military strengths that they feel that they can handle militarily anything they may have to face. And that’s their Achilles’ heel, their weakness, for history is filled with examples of nations that were so intoxicated with their own military power and their superiority, that they developed such blinding arrogance and false sense of “no-one-can-touch-us attitude”, but they always came to regret that arrogance and paid heavy price for it. The historical perspective weighing in here which Israel doesn’t seem to comprehend and realize is that nothing stays the same, and much stronger and mightier armies and nations were eventually defeated and regretted their own arrogance and that they had the chance to make peace and ensure the safety of their nation for posterity, but they didn’t.
My guess is, as things seem today, Israel has opted for the no peace/no compromise option and will blow any chance for peace with its neighbors. But I guarantee you that the day will come when they’ll regret it and pay much heavier price than what they’d have to give up in a reasonable compromise. Israel’s worst enemy is its own intransigence and arrogance, and they’ll end, one day, the biggest losers.
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