Focus on Israel

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Air Date: January 29, 2015

Host: Jim Schneider

Guest: David Rubin

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David is a former mayor of Shiloh, Israel, in the region of Samaria, known to most as the West Bank. He is the founder and president of Shiloh Israel Children’s Fund dedicated to healing the trauma of children who have been victims of terrorist attacks as well as rebuilding the biblical heartland of Israel. He is author of the following books: Peace for Peace: Israel in the New Middle East, The Islamic Tsunami: Israel and America in the Age of Obama and his latest, Sparks from Zion.

There currently exists considerable controversy regarding Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s scheduled visit to the U.S. where he has been invited by congressional leaders to address a joint session of Congress. He is being snubbed by the White House with President Obama refusing to meet with him.

Speaker of the House John Boehner invited Netanyahu after the recent terrorist attack on France. Interestingly, John Kerry and President Obama were absent from the Paris post-attack rally.

David pointed to other political issues that exist behind this controversy as well. For example, in Israel, Netanyahu received a lot of criticism for accepting the invitation to speak to the U.S. Congress because the speaking date is just a few weeks before Israeli elections.

On the American side, criticism came primarily from the Obama administration and from some congressional democrats who criticized Boehner for making the invitation, saying that it’s purely political. Boehner has defended his decision to invite Netanyahu because he feels that Obama doesn’t seem to get it when it comes to topics like Islamic terrorism and the Iranian efforts to build a nuclear bomb.

Jim also had David comment on the news that President Obama isn’t meeting with Netanyahu so as not to influence Israel’s upcoming elections. However, multiple news sources are reporting that President Obama is allegedly seeking revenge and that his political ally is being dispatched to help unseat Netanyahu from his post.

What is the root of this animosity between these two leaders? David pointed to disagreement over how to deal with Iran’s nuclear program, how to handle Islamic terrorism as well as the building of homes in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

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