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Monday, July 12, 2010     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Obama rejected Netanyahu request for F-15E
in 'tough' session

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has rejected another Israeli request for advanced combat platforms.

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Diplomatic sources said Obama refused a request by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for Israeli access to a proposed stealth variant of the F-15E fighter-jet.

Netanyahu, during what was termed a tough and unpleasant session, failed to win Obama's agreement to approve the export of U.S. offensive systems, including combat jets and helicopters produced by Boeing.


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"Netanyahu asked that the United States expedite the export of military equipment and allow Boeing to export the stealth F-15 as part of the Foreign Military Sales program," a diplomatic source, briefed on the July 6 meeting at the White House, said. "Obama did not reply."

The sources termed the 90-minute one-on-one session between Obama and Netanyahu as "tough", with the two men far apart on such issues as a Palestinian state in the West Bank as well as Iran. They said Obama warned Israel against any military strike on Iran and stressed that Washington would resolve Iran's nuclear threat through a mixture of sanctions and diplomacy.

For the first time, the sources said, Netanyahu urged Obama to release weapons and platforms approved by the previous administration of then-President George W. Bush. This included air transports, attack helicopters, precision-guided munitions and other systems approved by Bush in 2007 and 2008 and since frozen by Obama.

A key request was for Obama to grant Israel access to Boeing's proposed F-15 stealth variant, called Silent Eagle and unveiled in 2009. Both Israel and Saudi Arabia have expressed interest in the stealth design, but the Obama administration has ordered the closure of the F-15 production line as the Defense Department prepares for the introduction of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

"Israel wants the stealth F-15 as its next aircraft, but Washington wants Israel to buy the F-35 ahead of every other international partner," the source said.

On July 10, the Silent Eagle completed its maiden flight in a demonstration of the F-15's stealth capabilities. Boeing said the 80-minute flight would soon be followed by a test of its weapons suite, including the firing of the AIM-120 air-to-air missile.

The sources said Obama also urged Netanyahu to accept Palestinian Authority conditions for the resumption of direct negotiations. One of the demands submitted by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas was for Israel to agree to a full withdrawal from the West Bank before talks begin.

"There is very heavy pressure on Netanyahu to make unilateral concessions to the Palestinians," the source said.

For his part, Netanyahu maintained that the alliance between Israel and the United States continued to be "stable and strong." Speaking to the Cabinet on July 11, the prime minister said his meeting with Obama included discussions on Iran, Palestinians and efforts to force Israel to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The Israeli premier did not report any agreement with the president.

"I gained the impression that the president is also attentive to the state of Israel's special security needs," Netanyahu said. "On these issues, we are working in concert."

The diplomatic sources said Obama's decision to stage a warm greeting for Netanyahu stemmed from an urgent call from the Democratic Party leadership. They said Jewish supporters have been withholding contributions for the party's campaign for congressional elections in November 2010. A key victim of this has been Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid from Nevada, trailing in the polls in the race against his Republican challenger.

"Obama might come [to Israel] in the fall if he sees that the Jews are still not contributing to the campaign, and get some photo-ops at the Western Wall," another source said.

A White House official confirmed that the administration continues to press the Netanyahu government to agree to major and imminent concessions to the PA to ensure the establishment of a Palestinian state in the entire West Bank by 2012. The official said the fissures in the relationship between Jerusalem and Washington were deep and would take years to repair.

"An alliance is like china," the official said. "When you glue it together, the cracks don't disappear."




Comments


It's not just Christian Right Americans who support Israel. It's objective people who can assess the events of the past 60 years and make a logical judgment that Israel has pursued peace against an implacable, violent, and dangerous enemy, Palestinians directly, and the world-wide majority of Muslims. I had no reason to support either side, yet I see clearly who is the humane, pluralistic, moral side and who is the hateful, nihilistic, murderous side. Why this isn't clear to any humanist, particularly on the left, continues to baffle me.

John Adams      2:18 p.m. / Sunday, July 18, 2010


Excellent article. Many points here are not covered in the leftist Israeli media. The enemies of freedom have a friend in the White House.

george hay      7:53 p.m. / Thurday, July 15, 2010


President Obama needs to read history as events actually occurred and not just the leftist interpretation. The American people need to re-instate President Bush's policies on the Middle East.

Milt      12:38 p.m. / Tuesday, July 13, 2010


The Christian Right, which has been unwavering in its support of Israel, is presently the best (and perhaps, only) friend that Israel has. Reliving the Inquisition and historic European anti-Semitism won't help Israel obtain the weaponry it needs to survive today. By now, even the fuzziest-minded liberal Jews must realize that Israel is doomed if Obama has his way.

Syd Chaden      12:23 p.m. / Tuesday, July 13, 2010


The American people need to undo everything that Obama had done and that of what he has undone of President Bush's policies.

Dav S      11:15 a.m. / Tuesday, July 13, 2010


And four out of five Jews voted for Obama because they hate the Christian Right more than they love Israel. Much like the Palestinian Islamists hate the Jews more than they love their own children.

Bob A      8:28 a.m. / Tuesday, July 13, 2010

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