Thursday, May 15, 2008


DONALD MACINTYRE INDEPENDENT, UK It doesn't get much cheesier than this. Certainly, not all Carole King fans will applaud the choice of her "You've Got a Friend" as the centerpiece of the entertainment provided for President George Bush last night at an event in Jerusalem to salute his unswerving support for the Israeli leadership over the past seven years. . .

On this, his second, and presumably last, visit to the Holy Land as the President of the United States, Mr Bush brought with him some "beautiful presents" for Mr Peres. But as Channel One's reporter Ayala Hasson tantalizingly explained, the details could not be disclosed "for security reasons". What could this mean?

True, the newspaper Yedhiot Ahronot had in the morning speculated that the US President would mark Israel's 60th by transferring "goodies" negotiated between the two governments in the preceding weeks, such as "advanced types of armament, fighter planes, cruise missiles and new radar systems that will increase the early-warning time for surface-to-surface missile fire". But you had to hope that the mysterious gifts he brought to lunch at the Israeli President's official residence yesterday were a little more, well, homely.

Unwittingly or not, the choice of the King song "When you're down and troubled/ And you need a helping hand/ And nothing, whoa, nothing is going right. . . soon I'll be there" had a more personal sub-text. For the President did his best yesterday to "be there" for Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, facing what may be his most serious police investigation yet into past funding he received from the American businessman Morris Talansky during his terms as Jerusalem mayor and industry minister.

Mr Bush, who had told Israeli reporters in Washington on Monday that Mr Olmert was an "honest guy", hugged him in greeting after touching down at Ben Gurion airport yesterday. Mr Olmert was picked up on the broadcasters' microphones telling the US National Security Adviser, Stephen Hadley: "Holding on, holding on, don't worry.". . .

Not all Israeli commentators have been that impressed. Yedhiot carried a piece by Yitzhak Benhorin pointing out that Mr Bush's approval rating had a hit a "nadir" of 31 per cent while Mr Olmert's was as "soft as pudding". The article was headlined: "A meeting of two lame ducks."


At May 15, 2008 7:49 PM, Anonymous USS Liberty said...

Amazing to think the world has tolerated Israel's state terrorism and nuclear blackmail for over 60 years now. U.S. citizens might still have sound economy, if that parasite Israel wasn't sucking billions o dollars from the U.S. each year, in addition to having the U.S. fight all the enemies it loves to make in the Middle East.


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