The Celebrate Israel Festival on May 31 at Pier 94, slated to be the largest gathering to date of Israeli-Americans in New York.
True to his word, President Obama has demonstrated that when it comes to Israel’s security, he does indeed have the country’s back. In the current confrontation with Hamas, he has from the start unequivocally laid the blame on Hamas and said Israel has the right to defend itself and that for the crisis to end Hamas must stop firing rockets at Israel.
Further, his robust support for Iron Dome has resulted in the saving of countless Jewish lives, and the military aid he has authorized over the past four years has enhanced Israel’s ability to strike back at Hamas. Moreover, his staunch, and very public, support of Israel has certainly hobbled the attempts by the usual suspects to press the charge of “disproportionality” against Israel.
So there is much for which to be grateful. But at the same time we have to wonder whether the president made any promises or commitments to those adversaries of Israel he enlisted in the effort to bring both sides to a cease-fire. And were any inducements dangled in front of Hamas?
Just consider the following exchange between State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland and reporters concerning the parade of foreign dignitaries visiting Hamas officials in the Gaza Strip:
Ms. Nuland: We appreciate the fact that [Egyptian] Prime Minister Kandil went personally to try to ameliorate the situation. And will continue to work with them on the efforts that we can all take to try to de-escalate.Question: Have they coordinated the visit with Washington or with the Israelis?
Ms. Nuland: Well, I think both we and the Israelis were aware that the prime minister would make this visit….
Question: …I don’t understand. Two weeks ago you said it would be a bad idea for [Turkey’s] Erdogan to go to Gaza. You were not particularly enthusiastic about the emir of Qatar going to cost. And now all of a sudden it’s a wonderful thing that the Egyptian prime minister went there?
Ms. Nuland: … [W]e have a different situation, obviously.
Ms. Nuland: We are in the process of trying to de-escalate a very, very dangerous situation between Gaza and Israel. So the purpose was completely different in this case, and can be helpful, we think.
Question: It can be helpful because they’re talking to Hamas.
Ms. Nuland: Because they’re talking to Hamas, they’re talking about the danger of this kind of situation.
Question: So the way that Hamas gets a stamp of U.S. legitimacy in terms of being an interlocutor is to fire lots of rockets into southern Israel, and then you’re okay with people going to talk to them?
Ms. Nuland: We have a – we have an extremely dangerous and volatile situation. We have a dangerous situation inside Gaza, we have a dangerous situation inside Israel. It is not a matter of legitimating violence. This is a matter of supporting diplomacy to get this to end, which is a different thing than what the visits were intended to do before this.
Question: Okay. Through the mediation with your good friends the Qataris, the Egyptians, and the Turks, Hamas moderates tremendously and gives up on rockets and so on. Will that be, like, an opening with direct contact with Hamas, with the United States?
Ms. Nuland: With our direct contact with Hamas?
Question: Yes, ma’am.
Ms. Nuland: You know what our conditions for contact with Hamas have been. They have not changed; they will not change in this circumstance. They need to recognize Israel’s right to exist. They need to renounce violence and take those other measures that we’ve always called for.
Prudence requires vigilance.
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We take a whole person approach, giving our people assistance with whatever they need.
During my spiritual journey I discovered G-d spoke to man only once, to the Jewish people at Sinai
20 years after the great Ethiopian aliyah, we must treat them like everyone else; no better or worse
Many Black protesters compared Baltimore’s unrest to the Palestinian penchant of terrorism & rioting
She credited success to “mini” decisions-Small choices building on each other leading to big changes
Shavuot 1915, 200000 Jews were expelled; amongst the largest single expulsions since Roman times
Realizing there was no US military threat, Iran resumed, expanded & accelerated its nuclear program
“Enlightened Jews” who refuse to show chareidim the tolerance they insist we give to Arabs sicken me
Somewhat surprisingly, the Vatican’s unwelcome gesture was diametrically at odds with what President Obama signaled in an interview with the news outlet Al Arabiya.
The recent solid victory of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party produced something very different.
The reaction is so strong that nine times out of ten, parents engage in some form of coping mechanism before arriving at a level of acceptance of a special-needs diagnosis.
“…his neshamah reached out to us to have the zechus of Torah learning to take with him on his final journey.”
“Let’s get something straight so we don’t kid each other…[the Iranians] already have paved a path to a bomb’s worth of material,” said Mr. Biden. “Iran could get there now if they walked away in two to three months without a deal.”
The president is unwilling to cede any of what he considers his exclusive powers in the area of foreign policy and has struggled mightily to keep the Senate away from any role in the kind of deal to be negotiated.
A committed Religious Zionist, he was a sought-after adviser on Zionist affairs around the world.
More important, Mr. Obama is simply acceding to Iran’s position on the timing of the lifting of sanctions.
For our community, Mrs. Clinton’s foreign policy record will doubtless attract the most attention. And it is a most interesting one.
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