Did Netanyahu apologize to Ros-Lehtinen over Cuba?

posted at 10:35 am on November 23, 2010 by Fausta Wertz

As you may recall, a couple of months ago Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic was invited by the Cuban Communist regime to interview Fidel Castro. Surprisingly – as Goldberg himself noted - Castro said that Iran should stop slandering the Jews.

The timing of the article coincided with the Jewish holidays, and also came at a time when the Cuban regime is more broke than it’s ever been.

However, Castro’s statements quoted by Goldberg regarding Israel’s right to exist, and Castro’s admiration for Prime Minister Netanyahu’s father, Ben-Zion Netanyahu, renowned historian of the Spanish inquisition, did not fall on deaf ears in Israel, where Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres welcomed Castro’s remarks.

Castro’s remarks also came at the same time that dozens of Cuban political prisoners are forcibly exiled to Spain, without any easing of the dictatorship.

Considering Cuba’s staunch support of the PLO, Lybia, Syria, Iran, and Venezuela (where increasingly, anti-Semitism is official policy), Castro’s recent remarks are opportunistic at best.

Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen called Netanyahu, who apologized. The NY Sun explains

Israel is a small, beleaguered democracy in need of all the help it can get. The exiled Cubans who have been holding out for democracy on their native island are logical allies. And vice versa. How tragic it would have been were Israel to have made a separate peace with the communist regime, all on the notion that a dictator who has for two generations oppressed his own people and joined in the war against the Jews had suddenly come down with a change of heart.

Cross-posted at Fausta’s blog. Hat tip: Joe Lima


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Comments

DOes this mean I can get a falafel in Havana?

Khun Joe on November 23, 2010 at 10:39 AM

DOes this mean I can get a falafel in Havana?

Khun Joe on November 23, 2010 at 10:39 AM

It means that your Havana falafel was fried by Hamas.

thuja on November 23, 2010 at 10:44 AM

Is Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Jewish or Christian?

thuja on November 23, 2010 at 10:50 AM

Episcopalian

Shogun144 on November 23, 2010 at 10:55 AM

Israel’s strategic position depends in part on it and the Jews’ being perceived as intermediaries and intercessors with the US. See, e.g., Turks versus Armenians. Netanyahu knows this and Ros-Lehtinen ought to. If Castro believes that the road to Washington goes through Jerusalem, Israel will discourage him at some cost (perhaps marginal, perhaps not) to its longterm security. That may be a necessary tradeoff given other realities in both US and international politics, but it is still a tradeoff.

Seth Halpern on November 23, 2010 at 10:57 AM

Have a felafel!
Have two felalfels!
Havana-ther felafel!
They are so good!

Shy Guy on November 23, 2010 at 10:59 AM

thuja on November 23, 2010 at 10:50 AM

Her family history has some Jewish ties; but she’s all over the place religiously. I heard she was in scientology at one time.

TimTebowSavesAmerica on November 23, 2010 at 11:03 AM

Make Hummus out of Hamas.

jfshaughnessy on November 23, 2010 at 11:41 AM

Good post.

Is Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Jewish or Christian?

thuja on November 23, 2010 at 10:50 AM

She’s Cuban-American and is a strong supporter of Israel. Not sure about her religious leanings, but she doesn’t seem to identify herself as Jewish.

tneloms on November 23, 2010 at 11:46 AM

Oy-bullsh*t!

Speakup on November 23, 2010 at 1:45 PM

The timing of the article coincided with the Jewish holidays, and also came at a time when the Cuban regime is more broke than it’s ever been.

The hell’s that supposed to mean?

abobo on November 23, 2010 at 3:55 PM

As someone who grew up in Israel, who appreciates America and who is not sympathetic to the Cuban dictatorship and Castro’s alliances at all, here’s what I think:
a) Castro’s statements were not opportunistic. They were genuine.
b) Castro’s alliance with dictators are out of genuine belief in socialism, not because of anti-Semitism or anti-Zionism.
c) Israel has no beef with Cuba regarding anti-Semitism. In fact, Cuba is one of the few places that provided safe haven to Jews before and during WW2, and helped with the Zionist enterprise during the ’50s pre-Castro (similarly to Iran pre-1979).
d) Nations turn from friends to foes and foes to friends. There are no static relationships.

I think that if it weren’t for the US asking Israel to do otherwise, and Iran and the Muslim world asking Cuba to do otherwise, Israel and Cuba would’ve established full diplomatic relations by now.

Cuba’s beef is not with Israel, but with the US. Same for Venezuela. Not because Cuba “hates freedom” and “red white and blue”, but because of politics. Believe it or not the US’ meddling ways are not too popular around the world, particularly in non first-world nations.

BTW same goes for Venezuela. You think Chavez gives a crap about a small land dispute and some phony “occupation” half a world away? No – he cares about allying himself with the anti-US crowd and their pet causes.

Anyway, any time a poodle of the Islamist world shows his true (warm) colours, e.g. what Castro said in that interview with Goldberg, it’s a welcome thing, and should be publicized and responded to by Israel.

AlexB on November 24, 2010 at 10:39 AM