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Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed

Klein-Aaron

U.S. Keeping An Eye
On Jewish Construction

Delegations from the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem were seen in two Jerusalem neighborhoods in recent days monitoring Jewish construction projects there, Israeli officials told this column.

The consular staff visited Gilo and Pisgat Zeev, two entirely Jewish neighborhoods in the eastern sections of Jerusalem.

The Palestinians seek a state that encompasses as of now undefined areas of eastern Jerusalem. Multiple Israeli prime ministers have been adamant that the major Jewish neighborhoods of Gilo and Pisgat Zeev will remain within Israeli jurisdiction in any future deal.

This reporter first exposed in 2009 that the Obama administration had set up an apparatus to closely monitor Jewish construction in Jerusalem and the strategic West Bank to the point of watching Israeli moves house-to-house in certain key neighborhoods, according to informed Israeli officials.

In March 2009, Obama’s then-Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, oversaw the establishment of an enhanced apparatus based in the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem that closely monitors the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods, incorporating regular tours of the areas, at times on a daily basis, the officials said.

Previously, under the Bush administration, the consulate kept a general eye on Jewish Jerusalem and West Bank construction, receiving much of its information from nongovernmental organizations.

“Mitchell’s apparatus takes things to a whole new level. They are watching very closely,” said an Israeli official.

Poor Choice For Investigator
Into Benghazi Attack?

The Obama administration’s lead investigator into the Benghazi attack, former Ambassador Thomas Pickering, previously held a clandestine meeting with Hamas aiming to open U.S. dialogue with the terrorist group, according to informed Middle Eastern security officials.

Sources within Hamas told KleinOnline that the June 2009 meeting allegedly took place in Geneva with two Hamas leaders – Bassem Naim and Mahmoud al-Zahar. Naim is Hamas’s health minister while al-Zahar is the chief of Hamas in Gaza.

Pickering, meanwhile, is further tied to the revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa via his role as a member of the small board of the International Crisis Group, or ICG, one of the main proponents of the international “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine.

That doctrine was used to justify the NATO campaign that disposed Moammar Gaddafi’s regime in Libya.

Billionaire George Soros is on the ICG’s executive board. Soros’s Open Society Institute is also one of only three nongovernmental funders of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, the group that devised the doctrine.

The ICG itself has long petitioned for talks with Hamas as well as normalized relations with the Muslim Brotherhood, for years urging the Egyptian government to allow the Brotherhood to establish an Islamist political party.

The crisis group has also petitioned for the Algerian government to cease “excessive” military activities against al-Qaeda-linked groups and to allow organizations seeking to create an Islamic state to participate in the Algerian government.

Pickering’s meeting with Hamas in 2009 served as an “important step” to open eventual dialogue between the Islamic group and the Obama administration, Hamas’s chief political adviser in Gaza, Ahmed Yousef, told this reporter that year.

At the time the State Department told the Jerusalem Post the meeting between Pickering and Hamas was not sanctioned by the White House and that official U.S. policy regarding the group remained unchanged: Hamas first must recognize Israel, renounce violence, and abide by previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements as a precondition for dialogue with the U.S.

About the Author: Aaron Klein is a New York Times bestselling author and senior reporter for WND.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York's 970 AM Radio on Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern. His website is KleinOnline.com.


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