Ileana Chides Netanyahu Over Cuba

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benjamin-netanyahu.jpg
This is a guest post by Anya Landau French, who directs the New America Foundation/U.S.-Cuba Policy Initiative. This post originally appeared at The Havana Note.
Politico’s Ben Smith reports that incoming House Foreign Affairs Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen worked to shut down a potential warming of Cuban-Israeli relations after Fidel Castro made a surprise defense of the Jewish people earlier this year. (Castro questioned Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for his failure to recognize the holocaust, and said that “no one has been more slandered than the Jews.”)
According to Smith, Israeli officials saw Castro’s uncharacteristic remarks as an opportunity.

Israeli leaders reacted warmly to an unexpected defense of Jews and Israel, and criticism of Iran, from Cuban leader Fidel Castro in an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Castro’s “deep understanding” and President Shimon Peres wrote in a warm letter to Castro that the comments were “a surprising bridge between the hard reality and a new horizon.” Israeli officials, I’m told, saw the moment as an opportunity to widen a fissure in the hostility of the global left for Israel.

Alan Berger, at the Boston Globe, would probably agree (h/t to the Atlantic’s Goldberg). After Goldberg publicized Castro’s comments, Berger argued that Castro himself sought to moderate some of his allies with his comments.

“Whatever his personal feelings about the matter, Castro was drawing a bright line between himself and Ahmadinejad. At the same time, he was giving a lesson to his foremost student, Ch

Comments

35 comments on “Ileana Chides Netanyahu Over Cuba

  1. Valeria says:

    Sara Palin and Ileana Ros-Lethinen – what more can the world wish for ?

    Reply

  2. PissedOffAmerican says:

    The following comment is acceptable criticism of Israel, and if lodging such criticism, you will not be labeled as being anti-semitic…..
    ” .”

    Reply

  3. JohnH says:

    The IRS must be full of anti-Semites. Imagine denying tax exemptions to Jewish billionaires who want to lobby for a foreign government. These are nothing short of Gestapo techniques. I mean, who but Nazis could imagine doing such a thing?

    Reply

  4. Carroll says:

    Al Capone anyone.
    Z Street alleges IRS playing politics
    August 26, 2010
    WASHINGTON (JTA) — A pro-Israel activist group filed a lawsuit alleging
    that its application for U.S. tax-exempt status is being unduly scrutinized.
    Z Street, a right-wing group intended to counterbalance left-wing J Street,
    said in its lawsuit that the U.S. Internal Revenue Service delayed and may
    deny their application for tax-exempt status because it was receiving
    further scrutiny over whether the organization would oppose the Obama
    administration’s policy on Israel. Z Street filed the complaint Wednesday in
    Pennsylvania against the commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service.
    Experts in nonprofit law told the Forward that the allegations are unlikely
    to be true.
    The complaint alleges that IRS agent Diane Gentry said applications from
    organizations dealing with Israel-related issues “are being sent to a
    special unit in the D.C. office to determine whether the organization’s
    activities contradict the administration’s public policies.”
    Laura Rozen noted in her blog at Politico that the IRS may have been trying
    to determine whether or not Z Street was an educational organization, which
    is a requirement for tax exemption.
    “Furthermore Agent Gentry advised Z Street’s counsel that she questioned
    whether Z Street’s activities were educational as described under Section
    501(c)(3) of the Code, but instead might be lobbying, or that Z Street might
    be an ‘action organization,’ which is the case when the only way to
    accomplish the purpose of the organization is through legislation,” the
    lawsuit stated.
    According to the Forward, applications for tax-exempt status are sent to the
    IRS’s quality assurance office in Washington if they involve terrorist
    countries or if the IRS receives a petition from a third party to deny the
    applicant tax-exempt status. Z Street’s petition could have been sent to
    Washington for either of those reasons.

    Reply

  5. Carroll says:

    HaHaHaHa…..here’s an early Christmas present for you all.
    Breaking NewsThe Canadian Press – ONLINE EDITION
    US warns Ottawa that WikiLeaks release will damage U.S. relations with allies
    By: The Canadian Press
    OTTAWA – The U.S. government has notified Ottawa that the WikiLeaks website is preparing to release sensitive U.S. diplomatic files that could damage U.S. relations with allies around the world.
    U.S. officials say the documents may contain accounts of compromising conversations with political dissidents and friendly politicians and could result in the expulsion of U.S. diplomats from foreign postings.
    A Foreign Affairs spokeswoman says the U.S. ambassador to Canada David Jacobson has phoned Minister of Foreign Affairs Lawrence Cannon to inform him of the matter.
    Melissa Lantsman says the Canadian Embassy in Washington is “currently engaging” with the State Department on this matter.
    A State Department spokesman said Wednesday the release of confidential communications about foreign governments probably will erode trust in the United States as a diplomatic partner.
    U.S. diplomatic outposts around the world have begun notifying other governments that WikiLeaks may release these documents in the next few days.
    _With files from the Associated Press.

    Reply

  6. JohnH says:

    “Most client states cost far more and deliver far less.”
    What a joke! What does Israel “deliver” to the US besides problems? Lots of serious foreign policy people are asking about what benefits accrue from having Israel as a rogue client.

    Reply

  7. nadine says:

    “Well, nadine, most strong leaders of powerful countries with client states would not put up with the kinds of uncooperative behavior from its clients that the US tolerates from Israel. ” (Dan Kervick)
    On the contrary, Dan, most client states cost far more and deliver far less. We pay Egypt $3 billion a year – Mubarak couldn’t survive without it (unlike Israel) – and you tell me, what cooperation do we get? Obama couldn’t get a mere gesture out of him!
    “If Obama was an Israeli-style leader, then high-ranking but uncooperative Israeli officials would have to watch out for car bombs. So the Israelis should be quite happy they have a pussycat like Obama in charge.”
    No legitimate leader has to fear car bombs from Israel — but then, you can’t tell legitimate leaders from terrorists, and you almost always prefer the terrorists, so why complain?
    You love those tactics when Iran or North Korea uses them. But that’s just the point, isn’t it? They use them against the US allies. Your real complaint against Israel is not that it is anti-US, but that it is pro-US.

    Reply

  8. samuelburke says:

    Israel is not americas friend at all…
    Grant F. Smith, director of the Institute for Research: Middle
    Eastern Policy in Washington, D.C., discusses Steve Rosen

    Reply

  9. DonS says:

    OT . . .
    “Is America on the path to permanent war?”
    http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/11/23/war.afghan/index.html?hpt=C1
    Or are we already there?

    Reply

  10. DonS says:

    “We might as well put Lyndie England in charge of the United States’ Congress. ”
    To put England in charge of the U S Congress would be a regression that the t-partiers would not tolerate. I think. England is almost socialistic. Except they do have wonderful surveillance.

    Reply

  11. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “PALIN: But obviously, we

    Reply

  12. PissedOffAmerican says:

    We might as well put Lyndie England in charge of the United States’ Congress.
    Bibi. Lyndie. Whats the difference, except in the wieght of their power?

    Reply

  13. DonS says:

    “BTW, where the fuck are we finding the money to send carrier groups into Korean waters, . . .”
    Sarah Palin says we have a treaty. It must be this way.

    Reply

  14. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “So the Israelis should be quite happy they have a pussycat like Obama in charge”
    Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about those of us not of Israeli citizenship. The wretch Nadine lives here, supposedly. Is it just ignorance that blinds her to how corrosive our relationship with Israel is? Somehow I doubt.
    She sees it, but just doesn’t give a shit. America, and Americans, are dispensable within her twisted set of values and loyalties.

    Reply

  15. PissedOffAmerican says:

    When was the last time N.Korea killed an American citizen execution style, or shot an American citizen in the head?
    Cuba?? Has it committed such crimes in recent memory?
    Israel has become despicable. We shoulda bombed the shit out of them over the Liberty incident, and cut off their free ride. Maybe had we of done that, they wouldn’t be so hell bent on national suicide, and so damned arrogant that they’ll shoot American citizens and spit in the face of the President of the United States, without fear of censure, criticism, or being held accountable. Not that I give a shit at this point if they want to commit national suicide. But they’re dragging us down with them.
    I don’t think Nadine is an anomoly, I think the wretched anti-american Israel firster bigot is the rule rather than the exception in modern Israel.
    And how can anyone with two brain cells to rub together think this piece of shit Netanyahu wants peace after what he has done these last two years? Hell, just his actions these last two months is enough evidence to conclude that a “two state solution” is not, never was, on his agenda.
    BTW, where the fuck are we finding the money to send carrier groups into Korean waters, or to give this parasitic little enclave of bigots in Israel 3 billion dollars worth of military hardware?
    Hows it feel knowing that the likes of Nadine has the reins of power in Israel, and in a large part are dictating American foreign policy? Read her shit carefully. Now imagine her with immense power, and a leash around the necks of 99% of OUR Congress. Comforting, eh?

    Reply

  16. JohnH says:

    Exactly, Dan. With friends like Israel, who needs enemies?
    Yet the foreign policy mob is quick to cry “bloody murder,” when Iran or North Korea behave in ways that pale in comparison to how Israel behaves.
    For example, how many secrets have Iran or North Korea stolen and then resold to America’s enemies? Israel has made a business of selling stolen state secrets. Of course, all of this is kept very, very quiet, because Israel is “our friend.”

    Reply

  17. rc says:

    “… most strong leaders of powerful countries with client states would not put up with …” — U.S. has Israel and China has North Korea. They serve a purpose, and are thus tolerated.

    Reply

  18. Dan Kervick says:

    Well, nadine, most strong leaders of powerful countries with client states would not put up with the kinds of uncooperative behavior from its clients that the US tolerates from Israel. Israel is all alone out there in the Middle East, of course, and has no clients. But if it did have one, there is no way it would endure the routine effrontery and humiliations from those clients that Israel directs at American presidents.
    A Russian leader, for example, or your typical Israeli leader, would make their wills known to leaders of both sides in this dispute, and then would send out their covert intelligence agents to put their wishes into action. If Obama was an Israeli-style leader, then high-ranking but uncooperative Israeli officials would have to watch out for car bombs. So the Israelis should be quite happy they have a pussycat like Obama in charge.

    Reply

  19. Don Bacon says:

    Neither Iran nor North Korea threatens the US, whereas the opposite is not true.

    Reply

  20. nadine says:

    Dan Kervick, the measure of the kind of leader I most admire is that he wouldn’t see all the shit that’s been pulled, and will be pulled, at all, because our enemies would be worried about his reaction. Do you think Iran or North Korea worries about Barack Obama’s reaction? Ha! They know Obama will write a sternly-worded letter to the editor.

    Reply

  21. Bart says:

    Who will rid us of these two troublesome tribes?
    Too bad they didn’t both settle in Wyoming with her three electoral votes.

    Reply

  22. questions says:

    Countercyclical music for the day:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXegTyYcbU4&feature=related
    Do a few sun salutations, feel some gratitude. Rebalance.

    Reply

  23. sanitychecker says:

    The unreality of this piece is quite something. So we’re led to believe that all the imperialist, United Fruit alums who still regard Latin America as a giant banana republic and control US policy in the region (remember Honduras?) will turn around and embrace Castro because he’s had a kind word for the Jews.
    Is the unwritten subtext that Jews must be controlling US policy since opening up to Cuba is now linked to Cuban-Israeli relations? Castro is playing that moron of Goldberg like a fiddle.

    Reply

  24. Dan Kervick says:

    Nadine, you should be very happy that Obama isn’t the kind of leader you most admire.

    Reply

  25. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Rosenberg is all over Rosen’s threats, drooling optimism that something will actually come of this. He’s wrong. Israel has occupied the United States Congress, and there is NO WAY that the treasons committed by members of the United States government, on Israel’s behalf, are going to be exposed. Israel now owns YOU, your CHILDREN, and your FUTURE. Our politicians stopped governing in our best interests a long time ago.
    http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389×9617644

    Reply

  26. nadine says:

    Hi questions,
    Who said this?
    “Based on my reading of this torturous history, I would not try to start negotiating between Israel and Palestine by leaning on or bribing Israel for the umpteenth time. It hasn

    Reply

  27. questions says:

    Scary tough talk from the admin!
    “”These problems must be fixed,” Assistant Treasury Secretary Michael Barr told members”
    “Officials this fall formed a federal foreclosure task force”
    “Barr said officials also are working to determine whether the institutions properly considered”
    “Examiners, he said, “are also conducting interviews”
    “They then plan to aggregate their findings and determine what regulatory actions would rectify the problems. ”
    “confirmed Tuesday that Barr is leaving his post to resume his academic career and spend more time with his family.”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/23/AR2010112305480.html?hpid=topnews
    ******
    Tough talk, tough action.
    Extend and pretend!
    *****
    Happy Thanksgiving to one and all! And remember, the fake Taliban guy we negotiated with — well, we had our suspicions. Still, we gave him a LOT of money!
    Eat tofu, and enjoy the day, the record corporate profits, and Wall Street spending!
    And extend, pretend, get on line early Friday, or even get on line now and sleep outside. It’s only tofu you’re passing up anyway!
    Read everything Jonathan Bernstein posts, including his link to Sarah Binder who really does know Congress.

    Reply

  28. DonS says:

    “America is not an empire on its way down — that’s just what you and your fellow America-haters want it to be.” No one is impressed that you pretend to wave a big flag. If you can’t understand the financial trajectory of this military driven state, you are kidding yourself.
    Keep dancing faster nadine.
    “America-haters” huh? Mighty brave ad hominem for a proven Israel firster.

    Reply

  29. nadine says:

    America is not an empire on its way down — that’s just what you and your fellow America-haters want it to be. America is a superpower being led by a weak, arrogant, ignorant leader. Leaders like that can be jerked around even when they hold the stronger hand – esp. if they must deal with a canny opponent.

    Reply

  30. Don Bacon says:

    Carroll’s got the flavor — an empire on its way down, like the USA, can easily be jerked around by anyone, not to exclude ancient Fidel Castro in Cuba and young Kim Jong Un in Korea, while those eleven nuclear carrier groups sail around in circles with their ships rusting away and American leaders express their displeasure at the “provocations.”
    Chalmers Johnson would understand.

    Reply

  31. Carroll says:

    HAHAHAHA!….maybe crazy like a fox Castro said it just to get the US Jew Cuban Ileana Ros-Lehtinen- Netanyahu spat going.
    Hsyterical…..dual loyalist to Israel and Cuba US congressperp melts downs in tizzy over her two loyalties clashing.
    Think of all the skits on this type of thing Jon Stewart could do if he wasn’t a Jew who hated Cubans ..LOL….what ever will the politicans do when all their little niche people start fighting with their other little niche people? Just too damn funny for words.

    Reply

  32. JohnH says:

    “AIPAC…has, over the years, destroyed anyone who has tried to have it named what it really is, a dangerous foreign lobby and nest of spies.”
    http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2010/11/why-is-the-fbi-looking-the-other-way-gordon-duff.html
    And Obama, the Undecider, is happy to be in bed with AIPAC, appeasing Netanyahu will billions in free fighter jets.

    Reply

  33. nadine says:

    One can see that a Cuban exile would not be pleased with any word of praise for Fidel Castro.
    However, you have to bear in mind that Netanyahu has narrow room for maneuver, considering that the US is current led by a leftist Euro-weenie who is busy advertising weakness and cluelessness all over the world. Netanyahu is trying to exploit what ruptures in the left he can find.
    Meantime, North Korea is trying to start a war, fearless of reaction from the US.
    Hizbullah is preparing to launch a coup in Lebanon.
    Iran presses on for the bomb, supports terrorists all over the Mideast, and broadcasts Nazi propaganda and Holocuast denial.
    Obama really is Carter II, and this is the end of 1978. Remember what kind of year Carter had in 1979. China invaded Vietnam, the USSR invaded Afghanistan, and the Shah fell. America’s enemies figured that Carter might be voted out in 1980, so they had to make the most of their window of opportunity.

    Reply

  34. Cee says:

    I couldn’t get this terrorist supporter out of my mind.
    The political pressure to grant Bosch a pardon was begun during the congressional campaign run by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, herself a Cuban American, and overseen by her campaign manager Jeb Bush. The resultant pardon reputedly saw huge celebrations in Miami, in what was then called ‘Free Orlando Day”
    There is a wealth of information on this Bosch fellow through the years. Here is a brief background in an article from the The Guardian UK in 2002.
    The Bush dynasty and the Cuban criminals
    New book reveals links of two presidents and the governor of Florida with exiled hardliners.
    Most controversially, at the request of Jeb, Mr Bush Sr intervened to release the convicted Cuban terrorist Orlando Bosch from prison and then granted him US residency. According to the justice department in George Bush Sr’s administration, Bosch had participated in more than 30 terrorist acts. He was convicted of firing a rocket into a Polish ship which was on passage to Cuba. He was also implicated in the 1976 blowing-up of a Cubana plane flying to Havana from Venezuela in which all 73 civilians on board were killed.
    CIA memorandums strongly suggest, according to Bardach’s book, that Bosch was one of the conspirators, and quotes the then secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, as writing that the “US government had been planning to suggest Bosch’s deportation before Cubana airlines crash took place for his suspected involvement in other terrorist acts and violation of his parole”.
    Bosch’s release, often referred to in the US media as a pardon, was the result of pressure brought by hardline Cubans in Miami, with Jeb Bush serving as their point man. Bosch now lives in Miami and remains unrepentant about his militant activities, according to Bardach.
    …”In July this year, Jeb Bush nominated Raoul Cantero, the grandson of Batista, as a Florida supreme court judge despite his lack of experience. Mr Cantero had previously represented Bosch and acted as his spokesman, once describing Bosch on Miami radio as a “great Cuban patriot”.

    Reply

  35. Cee says:

    A Cuban exile
    A coward who never got over the fact that her people ran instead of staying to fight for what they claim to believe in.
    I don’t want to hear a peep from these folks.

    Reply

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