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Inside the Middle East
August 24, 2010
Posted: 1553 GMT

The Israeli Embassy to the United States in Washignton D.C. (David Jenkins/CNN)

Imagine you are the leader of your country making an important diplomatic visit to another country. You would expect, as is custom, to be met on the ground by personnel from your embassy who would assist with all of the complicated logistics and protocol of a state visit.

Pretty standard stuff that usually gets taken for granted in the world of international diplomacy, but not if you are Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and your foreign ministry staff  is on strike.

report in Tuesday's Haaretz describes  that the latest salvo by the union representing Israel's foreign ministry workers in its ongoing battle with the finance ministry over wages will be fired when Netanyahu visits Washington in September for the start of peace talks with the Palestinians.

Per Haaretz, after meeting Tuesday the union announced that embassy workers in Washington "will refuse to assist in any administrative aspect of the visit, including hotel reservations, organizing transportation for the Netanyahu or his staff, and the prime minister's arrival at the airport"

The labor dispute has been going on for a number of weeks and a speedy resolution does not appear to be in sight. Visitors to the Foreign Ministry website are greeted by a large red banner announcing  "As part of the sanctions announced by the Israel Foreign Ministry workers' union, the Consular Department will not provide services to the public and telephone calls will not be answered"

The English website for Israeli newspaper Yedioth Aronoth describes how foreign ministry employees have already stopped offering services to diplomats visiting the Jewish State and will stop holding meetings in its embassies and consular offices abroad.

Barring a resolution Netanyahu's office will have to handle all the arrangements of his visit  to the United States along with the help of the White House.

We contacted  a foreign ministry spokesman for their reaction but,  perhaps unsurprisingly, he was not answering the phone when we called.

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Filed under: General •Israel •Netanyahu


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Smith in Oregon   August 24th, 2010 10:33 pm ET

No surprise that hundreds of American soldiers are dieing in the Middle East because of a lack of a lasting Middle East Peace treaty AND Israel is dragging it's feet and it's governmental officials are reluctant to even attend a meeting to resume Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.

Tip: Tell the Israeli Government they'll receive free taxpayer dollars if they come to the White House and then steer them into the Peace Negotiation meeting with the Palestinian leaders, Win-Win and Israel would be certain to show up.

Filipe   August 25th, 2010 2:11 pm ET

Hey Smith,

Why is it that you think there are hundreds of American casualties in the ME because of Israel????

Wasn't it Dubyas decsion to invade Iraq ??? Is that what you're crying about??

Or is there some other place in the ME you've got American casualties???

Why is it always someone else's fault??

Can't handle the fact that the US is meddling in other peoples' business because their own self centered interests??

Get over it !!!!!

Take responsibility for your own actions for a change !!!!

Geeez!!!!

proud zionist   August 25th, 2010 8:34 pm ET

smith

"No surprise that hundreds of American soldiers are dieing in the Middle East because of a lack of a lasting Middle East Peace treaty"

prove your stupid nonesense or shut up forever, ignoramus and nitwit

John A   August 25th, 2010 10:26 pm ET

America funds Israel and so America must raise its taxes to help Israel pay for Israels diplomatic staff. That has always been the solution to all of Israels economic issues.

Bye the way is there anything else Israel would like America to give free of charge? I think just about every item under the sun has already been paid for by America, but who could ever say no to anything those charming Israeli assassins could ask for? Whatever they want America should pay for in blood and gold. After all that is the special relationship between Israel and the USA.

miriam   August 26th, 2010 9:38 am ET

John A,

You still don't get it!!!!

The US aid to Israel is a fraction of the aid distributed around the world.

80% of the purely military aid that Israel receives from the US is repaid back into the US economy in contrast to the military and economic aid that is given to other countries world-wide who repay nothing.

Blaming the Jewish state for American economic woes is a continuation of an age-old baseless libel.

Understand the facts rather than persistently spreading lies.

proud zionist   August 26th, 2010 1:16 pm ET

America must raise taxes to help israel pay for what, nitwit?

I suggest you boycott israel. start with throwing out your pc, laptop, cellphone etc. all have israeli inventions in it.

and i hope you get MS. you can then boycott Rebif, an israeli invented drug. and not to forget the disk on key, another israeli invention. centrino, another one. smart cards. voice mail.

boycott all of them, johnny baby, if it makes you feel better, live without them.

use only opalestinian inventions in your daily life, like kassams. suicide bombers, throwing adversaries from the roof, lynching, kidnapping. yeah, johnny baby, live with hamas

John A   August 26th, 2010 1:53 pm ET

Miriam, you know, I know, we all know Israel does not have the financial capacity to pay for itself. Israel is built on American money. Where is the lie in this statement?

Add Israels population, multiply by Israels tax rate and find Israel spending power. Israel could not pay for its infrastructure, military or even industrial developments without America.

Miriam, mathematics doesn't lie! Israels spending and Israels ability to earn do not add up.

Is mathematics anti Semitic? Israel can't answer the maths and neither can Miriam. Every time they cant answer facts, they bring out the anti Semitic claims. Hence Maths must now be an anti Semitic activity.

Smith in Oregon   August 27th, 2010 12:50 am ET

A unexpected result came from the test of a small fission nuclear warhead in the first atomic railroad artillery piece. That was the high speed of the projectile greatly increased the resulting overpressure focus on the resulting nuclear explosion. Sadly, what that means is that a ICBM traveling and it's MIRV's impacting at Mach 10 would greatly focus and expand the resulting devastation compared to a aerial dropped weapon traveling at 200mph.

The new Dolphin-Class diesel electric submarines which Germany built for Israel contain two large 650mm torpedo tubes which are identical to those used by America's Seawolf and Virgina class attack submarines. Those are specifically used to fire while submerged the larger tomahawk nuclear tipped cruise missiles which former President Bill Clinton had refused to sell or give to Israel citing that would change the strategic alliance in the Middle East which consequently is the same rhetoric Russia uses to deny a export of one of it's weapons systems to the Middle East.

It is however entirely likely the depraved and allegedly utterly corrupt former President Bush jr. did give Israel several of America's large Tomahawk cruise missiles which Israel has loaded with it's own nuclear warheads.

Much as Iran has in de-engineering Chinese and North Korean weapons, it is highly likely Israel has de-engineered an American Tomahawk cruise missile to design and build a production line of their own on the cheap.

Israel's new Dolphin-Class submarines have been tracked by Chinese surveillance craft in the Persian Gulf near the narrow and shallow Strait of Hormuz next to Iran. I suspect Israel intends on using it's submerged launched nuclear tipped tomahawk cruise missiles against the entry access of each of Iran's deep mountain military complex's and likely it's smaller Harpoon cruise missiles using conventional warheads on Iran's above ground barracks, factory's and military complexes using the Six 533mm specially designed tubes built into each of these Dolphin class submarines.

Israel's PR campaign of using it's fighter's plus a large fleet of refueling tankers to bomb Iran is simply a false flag, Egypt's radar systems would immediately see them cross over into Jordan and Iran would be like duck hunters waiting for the ducks to fly over and blast them out of the sky.

America calling upon Israel-Palestine leaders to come to Washington DC., sadly appears to be another false flag to lull the World and Iranian's into thinking Israel is not going to attack them before the Russian built civilian nuclear reactor is fully fueled and on-line.

I doubt Israel would pull that off if International Atomic Energy inspectors were physically in the Russian civilian nuclear reactor site or at one or other important atomic energy sites in Iran, same with Russian engineers and Russian atomic scientists helping the Iranian team load and bring online that Russian made reactor. It seems to me simply too much for Israel to bite off if a IAE team and a score of Russian diplomats and engineers were killed in the sneak attack by Israel.

If Iran were really intelligent, they would closely follow the physical whereabouts of the Russian diplomats. Russian scientists and AEI teams who would likely receive a last minute U.S. State Dept. order to leave those areas and likely the entire country of Iran just prior to Israel launching it's submerged cruise missiles, whereupon Iran could immediately ramp up it's defenses to full-on high alert.

If Israel bombed a fully loaded operating nuclear power reactor, they know that would release tremendous amounts of radiation and potentially cause a game changing shift around the world against Israel.

That endgame is now likely pushing Israel to launch it's submarine sneak attack within the week. While the world is thinking of the false flag 'peace meeting' early in September, they fail to see the upcoming sneak attack until 'after' it occurs.

Smith in Oregon   August 27th, 2010 12:55 am ET

Israel Country Report: GDP data and GDP forecasts; economic, financial and trade information including the banks in Israel; country and population overview.

Total Cash Reserves $61.6 Billion. Under the widely alleged depraved and utterly corrupt Bush-Cheney, American taxpayers had loaned Israel nearly 50% of that total amount (30 Billion) and Bush-Cheney changed that to a GRANT, free money. A whopping 50% of their entire nations reserve cash reserves!

Gross Domestic Product GDP
199.5 Million Barely enough to rebuild their fighter jet fleet alone with newer upgrades.

Gross Purchasing Power:
201.3 Million Clearly indicating their credit rating is just barely over what they are worth.

GDP per capita: $26,843 Less than Greece and many other small nations around the world.

GDP World share total:
0.29% And yet AMERICA has been pouring some 30% of all of the Billions it's taxpayers hand out to the entire world's needy country to Israel whose Total World Share is 1/3 of 1% !!!

Smith in Oregon   August 28th, 2010 6:57 am ET

North Korean leader Kim Jong II and his youngest son, Jong-un have traveled into China in Kim Jong II's heavily armored special train where it is rumored he met with Chinese President Hu Jintao on Friday.

The North Korean leader, Kim Jong II had previously spent five days in China this past May with the Chinese president.

Although this newest visit by the reclusive North Korean leader could be seen simply as a introduction of Kim's youngest son, Kim Jong to the Chinese leaders, it could also signal a heightening of tensions and expectations of a possible conflict in lieu of this Tuesday nights prime time scheduled speech to the American nation by President Obama which supposedly focuses on the Afghanistan War and Middle East conflicts.

If the present Korean stand-off went active, it is likely the North Korean leader and his youngest son would chose to be relatively safe in the powerful nearby country of longtime ally, China.

miriam   August 29th, 2010 12:17 pm ET

John A,

Israel is built on the hard work and dedication of its population and supporters, the same way that most successful countries of the world function.

Israel receives some military aid from the US but is not propped- up by American taxes however much you repeat the claim.

Take your tax arguments to the support the US gives to other regimes in the world whose populations dislike Americans and don't pay a cent back. Then perhaps your complaints might get a hearing.

miriam   August 29th, 2010 12:41 pm ET

Smith,

Rather than spreading conspiracy theories and isolated, irrelevent statictics, why not spend time analizing statistics from every other country in the world.

You'd be surprised at what you'd find.

Smith in Oregon   August 30th, 2010 1:51 am ET

Just prior to the 'scheduled' startup of forging a peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinian people, a prominante Israeli Rabbi stated to his gathered congregation, "Abu Mazen and all these evil people should perish from this earth," Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, spiritual head of the religious Shas party in Israel's government, said in a sermon late Saturday, using Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's popular name. "God should strike them and these Palestinians – evil haters of Israel – with a plague," the 89-year-old rabbi said in his weekly address to the faithful, excerpts of which were broadcast on Israeli radio Sunday.

How disappointing and entirely expected that the Spiritual Head of the Shas party in Israel's government would call, demand and urge his congregation and fellow Israeli's for the genocide of the Palestinian people mere days before the 'scheduled' Peace talks with Palestinian leaders.

Nearly everyday, American's in the Middle East are killed because Israel has not signed a fair, honest and long lasting peace treaty with the Palestinians and it's Arabic neighbors. Israel continues to beg Billions of free American taxpayer dollars and not a single week goes by where Israel is not threatening to start WW3 by bombing Iran over Iran having a single civilian Russian built nuclear power electrical generation plant.

Israel is a tiny country and yet sucks and consumes nearly 1/3 of the total aid that American's gives to the entire world each year alone! Many nations whose populations are starving, improvised and struggling to overcome famines are far more worthy of those Billions of free American taxpayer dollars.

Sign the damn Peace Treaty Israel!!!

miriam   August 30th, 2010 9:37 am ET

Smith,

You are so repetitive.

How many times can you copy your comments on one blog?

How many different blogs can you copy your comments onto?

It would be one thing if they were honest and fair, but when they are mostly made up of myth, conspiracy and lies, one can only conclude that they are just propaganda being fed to the widest possible audience.

Smith in Oregon   August 31st, 2010 10:03 pm ET

Facts speak for themselves, opinion's vary.

August 10th., IDF Israeli forces and armored bulldozers crushed some 200 ancient Islamic headstones in a centuries old and loved Islamic cemetery in a utterly callous, illegal and depraved push to erect more illegal settlements on Palestinian property, in this case literally over the graves of Palestinian ancestors. Multiple news agency's reported on this incident around the entire world.

Israel has 1/640 th. the land mass compared to the 22 Arabic States. About the size of New Jersey and sits in the dismal 153rd. place in nation sizes out of 239 in the entire world. Israel's entire GDP to the World Share is a dismal 1/3 of 1%!!! If Israel sparks a arm's war across the Middle East, the sands in the hour glass will begin marking the demise of Israel. Israel needs to dedicate itself, girded with courage to craft a honest and lasting peace with the Palestinian people and each of it's Arabic neighbors.

Israel Country Report: GDP data and GDP forecasts; economic, financial and trade information including the banks in Israel; country and population overview.

Total Cash Reserves $61.6 Billion. Under the widely alleged depraved and utterly corrupt Bush-Cheney, American taxpayers had loaned Israel nearly 50% of that total amount (30 Billion) and Bush-Cheney changed that to a GRANT, free money. A whopping 50% of their entire nations reserve cash reserves!

Gross Domestic Product GDP
199.5 Million Barely enough to rebuild their fighter jet fleet alone with newer upgrades.

Gross Purchasing Power:
201.3 Million Clearly indicating their credit rating is just barely over what they are worth.

GDP per capita: $26,843 Less than Greece and many other small nations around the world.

GDP World share total:
0.29% And yet AMERICA has been pouring some 30% of all of the Billions it's taxpayers hand out to aid the entire world's most needy country's to Israel whose Total World Share is 1/3 of 1% !!!

miriam   September 1st, 2010 2:34 pm ET

Smith,

More repetition.

The IDF had nothing to do with the removal of the the recently erected, fake "gravestones" in the disused graveyard. The site had formally received approval by Islamic authorities to be built over as a commercial centre planned by Arabs during bthe Mandate.

One minute you complain about Israel "occupying" too much land and then the next you mock her size and economic position, obsessing about irrelevent and inaccurate data and making false claims of her draining the US economy.

Smith in Oregon   September 2nd, 2010 11:24 pm ET

It is utter non-sense to even suggest a armored Israeli bulldozer could bulldoze an well loved ancient Islamic cemetery, crushing some 200 century's old gravestones, memorials and markers WITHOUT dozen's of IDF forces armed with machine guns protecting that Israeli bulldozer operator.

Everyday Palestinian people would otherwise immediately yank that bulldozer operator out of that piece of equipment and greatly humble him with a royal beating.

Several American States with their populations consisting of far more residents than all of Israel combined are teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, Bush-Cheney changed some 30 BILLION dollars in federal loans to the Israel Government to a FREE GRANT GIVEAWAY. That money is gravely needed here in America and represents a Drain on the American Taxpayers who have a real need for those funds.

Over 40 MILLION American's are now on the Emergency Government Food Stamps programs and that does not count their family members nor those that are homeless and not in that program. Pouring unlimited American taxpayer money into Israel and the Middle East IS DRAINING the U.S. ECONOMY.

miriam   September 7th, 2010 12:13 pm ET

Smith,

Your myths and conspiracies get more and more fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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