Two men got a little too close to the White House over the past two days.
Two men got a little too close to the White House over the past two days.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a primer to his major speech before Congress Tuesday, sought to assure Americans who support Israel that the alliance between the two nations remains strong despite “differences” that have strained the relationship recently over Iran’s nuclear program.
Netanyahu addressed the American Israel Public Affairs Committee or AIPAC Monday in Washington, D.C.
Leading up to his much anticipated address to Congress, he sought to downplay the controversy that has been brewing for weeks about the way in which he was invited to speak. The invitation came from House Speaker John Boehner without prior notification of the White House, which has led to more than 30 Democrats vowing to boycott the Tuesday speech.
“I also bring you news that you may not have heard, you see I’ll be speaking at Congress tomorrow,” Netanyahu said. “You know. Never has so much been written about a speech that hasn’t been given.”
He said he wanted to clarify the purpose of the speech to Congress.
“It is not to show any disrespect for President Obama or the esteemed office that he holds. I have great respect for both,” he said. “I greatly appreciate all that president Obama has done for Israel.”
He thanked Obama for the security cooperation, intelligence sharing, support at the United Nations, “and some things I can’t divulge.”
“My intent is also not to inject Israel into the American partisan debate,” the prime minister told the 16,000 AIPAC delegates.
Then he cut to the point of his visit — Iran and its nuclear program. Therein lies the “differences” between the U.S and Israel and the crux of the current strain in relations with the Obama administration.
He said the relationship between Israel and the U.S. has transcended partisan politics in the past and he believes it will continue to do so.
“An important reason why our alliance has grown stronger in decade after decade is that it has been championed by both parties and so it must remain,” Netanyahu said. “Both Democratic and Republican presidents have worked together with friends from both sides of the aisle in Congress to strengthen Israel and our alliance between our two countries. And working together they have made Israel generous military assistance and missile defense spending. We saw how important that was just last summer.”
“That’s why the last thing that anyone who cares about Israel, that I would want, is to see Israel become a partisan issue. And I regret that some people have misperceived my visit here this week as doing that. Israel has always been a bipartisan issue and Israel should always remain a bipartisan issue,” he said.
The issue of Iran, however, seems to be challenging that bipartisan principle upon which the alliance has relied.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the purpose of my address to Congress tomorrow is to speak up about a potential deal with Iran that could threaten the survival of Israel,” Netanyahu said. “Iran is the foremost state sponsor of terrorism in the world. Look at that graph, look at that map on the wall. It shows Iran training, arming, dispatching terrorists on five continents.”
Iran envelops the entire world with its “tentacles of terror,” he said.
“This is what Iran does now without nuke weapons. Imagine what it would do with nuclear weapons. And this same Iran vows to annihilate Israel. If it develops nuclear weapons it would have the means to achieve that goal. We must not let that happen.”
The prime minister said he has a “moral obligation to speak up in the face of these dangers while there is still time to avert them.”
“For 2,000 years my people, the Jewish people, were stateless, defenseless, voiceless,” he said.
“We were utterly powerless against our enemies, who swore to destroy us. We suffered relentless persecution and horrific attacks,” he continued. “We could never speak on our behalf and we could not defend ourselves. Well, no more. No more! The days when the Jewish people are passive in the face of threats to annihilate us, those days are over.”
The friendly crowd broke into thunderous applause as Netanyahu pronounced “No more!”
“Today in our sovereign state of Israel, we defend ourselves,” he said. “And being able to defend ourselves we ally with others, most important of those being the United States of America, to defend our common civilization against common threats.”
Netanyahu said Israel would defend itself and in so doing seek to form the basis of a broader alliance of nations with the resolve to fight state-sponsored terrorism.
“So today we are no longer silent. We have a voice. And tomorrow, as the prime minister of the one and only Jewish state, I plan to use that voice,” he said.
“I plan to speak about an Iranian regime that is threatening to destroy Israel, that’s devouring country after country in the Middle East,” a clear reference to Iraq and Syria. “That’s exporting terror throughout the world, and that is developing as we speak nuclear weapons, lots of them. Ladies and gentlemen, Israel and the United States agree Iran should not have nuke weapons but we disagree on how best to prevent Iran from developing those weapons.”
He said differences between even the closest of allies are natural and to be expected.
“The United States of America is a large country, one of the largest. Israel is a small country, one of smallest,” he said. “America lives in one of safest neighborhoods, Israel lives in one of the most dangerous. America is the strongest power in the world. Israel is strong, but it’s much more vulnerable.
“U.S. leaders worries about the security of their country, Israeli leaders worry about the survival of their country. I think that encapsulates the difference,” he said. “I’ve been prime minister of Israel for nine years. There has not been a single day, not one day, that I didn’t think about the survival of my country, and the actions that I take to ensure that survival, not one day!”
This is not the first time the U.S. and Israel have had serious differences. Those differences go all the way back to the inception of the state of Israel, Netanyahu reminded his audience.
In 1948, Secretary of State George Marshal opposed David Ben Gurion’s intention to declare statehood.
“In 1967, as an Arab noose was tightening around Israel’s neck, the U.S. warned if Israel acted alone, it would be alone. But Israel did act. Acted alone to defend itself,” Netanyahu said.
In 1981, under Prime Minister Menachem Began, Israel destroyed the Osirak nuclear reactor in Iraq and the U.S. reacted by suspending arm sales for three months. When Ariel Sharon launched Operation Defensive Shield against Palestinian terrorists in the West Bank, the U.S. demanded that Israel withdraw its troops immediately, but Israel continued until the operation was completed.
“There is a reason I mention all these. I mention them to make a point. Despite occasional disagreements, the friendship between America and Israel grew stronger and stronger, decade after decade,” Netanyahu said. “And our friendship will weather the current disagreement as well, and grow even stronger in the future. I’ll tell you why, because we share the same dreams, because we pray and hope and aspire to the same better world. The values that unite us are much stronger than the differences that divide us. Liberty, equality, justice, tolerance, compassion. As our region descends into medieval barbarism, Israel is the one that upholds these values.
“As (Syrian President Bashar) Assad drops bombs on his own people, they are treated in Israel hospitals right across the fence in the Golan Heights.
“As Christians in the Middle East are beheaded and their ancient communities are decimated, Israel’s Christian community is growing and thriving. The only one such community in the Middle East!”
“As women in the region are repressed, enslaved and raped, women in Israel serve as chief justices, CEOs, fighter pilots. In a dark and savage and desperate middle east Israel is a beacon of humanity, of light and of hope.”
“Ladies and gentlemen, Israel and the U..S will continue to stand together, because American and Israel are more than friends. We’re like a family. We’re practically mishpocha (Yiddish for an entire family network). Now disagreements in the family are always uncomfortable. But we must always remember that we are family, rooted in common heritage, upholding common values, sharing a common destiny. And that’s the message I came to tell you today. Our alliance is strong, our friendship is strong and with your efforts in the years to come it will get even stronger. Thank you America. Thank you AIPAC, and may God bless you all.”
(CHRISTIANTODAY) — Marks & Spencer have dropped their ban on words such as “Christ” and “Jesus” when customers order flowers online.
The retailer provoked criticism when it emerged that people making online orders could use words such as “jihad”, Buddha and Allah in accompanying messages, but “Christ” and “Jesus” were blocked.
Marks & Spencer had in fact blocked these words to avoid their misuse, and the block was intended as a way of avoiding offence. The words have now been reinstated, a spokesman said.
BARCELONA, Spain—At Mobile World Congress 2015, Intel has unveiled its latest in a very long line of attempts at securing a beachhead in the mobile market: the Atom x3, Atom x5, and Atom x7 SoCs.
As the naming implies, the Atom x3 is a low-end part that is probably destined for developing markets in countries such as India and China. The Atom x5 and x7, however, are quad-core 14nm Cherry Trail chips with Broadwell-class Intel HD graphics. Performance-wise, the x5 and x7 chips should be pretty good—but right now we only have Intel’s own benchmarks to go on. There’s also no word from Intel on the power consumption of the new chips, which is rarely a good sign when you’re trying to break into a highly competitive, entrenched market.
Let’s start at the bottom. Atom x3 is essentially rebranded SoFIA, but now along with a 3G version there is a new chip (the x3-C3440) with an integrated LTE modem. Rather unusual despite its use of the Atom brand name, the x3 is a 28nm chip that isn’t being built at Intel’s own fabs. Instead, Intel is using a foundry (most likely TSMC or Rockchip), primarily because it isn’t cost effective for Intel to build chips with integrated modems on its own bleeding-edge 14nm node. The top-end Atom x3, the x3-C3440, has a quad-core CPU and Mali 720 MP2 GPU (yes, that’s a GPU designed by ARM Holdings). We probably won’t see the Atom x3 in Western markets; it will be cheaply fabricated in Asia, and it will be used in very cheap phones and tablets. We have asked Intel what CPU core is being used by Atom x3, but the company hasn’t yet responded.
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