Mayors’ moments: Bloomberg’s for red lines, Rahm’s no go-between


New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg met with Israeli Prime Minsiter Benjamin Netanyahu and praised his call for setting a red line on Iran’s nuclear program (while also praising President Obama’s approach to the issue).

Politico reports:

"I thought President Obama gave an excellent speech in the UN, and he was absolutely right to say that Iran must not be allowed to obtain nuclear weapons," he said. "The US and Israel are in complete agreement on that and I think that prime minister Netanyahu made a very compelling case today why a clear red line is needed….I’m sure the US and Israel can work out a common policy."

Bloomberg added, "The fact is the most painful and tragic lesson of the 20th century was that regimes based on superiority and racial hatred can’t be trusted to keep their word to the international community. When we say never again we must mean it. And that requires us to draw certain lines before we reach the point of no return so that we don’t wake up one day and realize it’s too late."

Meanwhile, the mayor of America’s third most populous city, Rahm Emanuel, downplayed the significance of his recent meeting with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak. New reports had previously suggested that Emanuel was being used as a back channel between the Israeli government and the White House.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports:


The mayor tried to play down the importance of the meeting, even as he dodged the all-important question about whether or not he had been used as a diplomatic conduit to Obama.

“There’s no need to think that Rahm Emanuel [should be the messenger]. If the government of Israel has something to say, they know how to reach the White House and they know how to reach officials there. I’m not” the go-between, the mayor said.

He added, “The defense minister and I have known each other since the day he was the prime minister. … He had a meeting with me scheduled for six months ago. It got cancelled. He was in the states for the United Nations and he asked for a meeting. It was an official visit. We had a good meeting. That is about all that really happened.”

And the mayor of America’s second most populous city? Well, earlier this month we saw that Los Angeles’ Antonio Villaraigosa not only thinks that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital but also firmly believed that 2/3 of Democratic delegates agreed with him.


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