Is Kerry Twisting Israel’s Hand?
Is Secretary of State John Kerry using the threat of tougher European Union sanctions on Israel to press Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu into making concessions to the Palestinians?
Last August, this column was first to report that the Obama administration is working behind the scenes in tandem with the EU’s boycott of Israeli settlements, tying it to Israel’s actions during current U.S.-brokered talks with the Palestinians, according to a senior Palestinian negotiator.
The negotiator claimed at the time that if Israel does not collaborate with the current round of Palestinian talks being brokered by Kerry, the EU financial sanctions could become tougher. The threat was communicated to Israeli officials, according to the Palestinian negotiator.
Now Israel’s largest newspaper, Yediot Aharonot, has reported that Kerry is using the EU sanctions to pressure Israel into complying with talks aimed at creating a Palestinian state that would include the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem.
The newspaper claims Kerry “told the prime minister that he heard from his European friends…that if the negotiations fail, Israel can forget about participating in the European research and development program ‘Horizon 2020.’
“And that will only be the beginning. … More and far weightier actions to boycott Israel will follow. They are already being prepared. This will cause incalculable damage to the Israeli economy.”
New Report Could Prove That The Administration Lied About Benghazi
A leaked four-page incident report could prove that two days before then-UN Ambassador Susan Rice famously told the nation that Benghazi was a spontaneous protest in response to a “hateful video,” the State Department was provided a first-person account stating the attack was a coordinated jihadist assault.
The unsigned report, dated Sept. 14, 2012, was allegedly written by Dylan Davies, a private security contractor at the Blue Mountain Group.
Davies has been in the news in recent days since releasing a book about Benghazi under the pseudonym Morgan Jones and providing a news-making interview to “60 Minutes” in which he criticized the Obama administration’s response to the attacks.
On Friday, “60 Minutes” correspondent Lara Logan apologized and said the network was “wrong” for airing a report based in large part on claims made by Davies, a private contractor at the Blue Mountain Group that provided security at the Benghazi compound that was overrun by Islamist militants on Sept. 11, 2012.
Threshold Editions, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, has recalled Davies’ book, The Embassy House.
The retraction reportedly came after it was discovered that Davies provided a conflicting account of his version of events – including where he was during and after the attack – in interviews with the FBI and in an unsigned Blue Mountain incident report provided to the State Department.
The Washington Post reported details of a Blue Mountain Group incident report it claimed was submitted by Davies to Blue Mountain three days after the attack. The report differed from the story Davies told in his book and in his CBS interview.
The incident report has been widely cited in media as evidence that Davies is not credible. Davies, however, told the Daily Beast he did not write the report and has never seen it. The report was not signed by anyone.
Whether Davies wrote the incident report or not, the State Department confirmed the report leaked to the Post matches the version sent to the U.S. government by the Blue Mountain Group.
The Post further reported that the State Department and Republican congressional aides confirmed the Sept. 14, 2012, report “was included among tens of thousands of documents turned over to lawmakers by the State Department this year.”
If, indeed, the report was submitted Sept. 14, it would mean the State Department had a first-person account in its possession stating the incident was a planned jihadist attack and not a spontaneous protest when Rice appeared on five morning television programs on Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012 to discuss the White House response to the Benghazi attack. In nearly identical statements, she asserted that the attack was a spontaneous protest in response to a “hateful video.” Other Obama administration officials made similar claims.
New Climate-Change Task Force Has Ties To Radicals
President Obama’s new executive order to create a climate-change task force may give an activist group tied to a slew of radicals influence over certifying “green” buildings across the nation. Already, the executive order is coming under fire from critics for possibly pushing federal control over states.