A small group of officials working mostly from the White House are tightly controlling U.S. foreign policy, bypassing other government agencies and making decisions without employing the expertise of those agencies, according to diplomatic sources speaking to this column.
A senior Middle East diplomatic source said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently apologized to a Mideast leader, explaining to him that U.S. policy regarding his country is being dictated by the White House, not her agency.
The diplomatic sources all confirmed Clinton has been largely cut out from the decision-making process, as have U.S. National Security Adviser James Jones and other top figures.
They identified the White House group largely controlling foreign policy as consisting of President Obama, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, top Obama adviser David Axelrod, and National Security Council Director Denis McDonough. Also involved are Mark Lippert, chief-of-staff of the National Security Council, UN Ambassador Susan Rice and Jim Messina, White House liaison to Congress.
The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
The sources said it was significant Obama has only called one Cabinet meeting thus far – a symbolic confab to mark his 100th day in office.
They also said it was telling that Clinton was not granted the right to appoint her own deputies. They said many State deputies were political appointments to return favors from last year’s presidential campaign.
According to the sources Obama is involved in the decision-making process and particularly concerned with the Palestinian issue. They declined to describe Obama as anti-Israel, but they painted him as heavily pro-Palestinian.
Former PA Official Boasts Of Terror Attacks
A former Palestinian Authority official has boasted that members of his group’s official security forces are responsible for carrying out the “greatest and most important” terrorist attacks against Israelis.
The statement comes one week after Israel approved the transfer of 1,000 U.S. and European assault rifles to those same security forces. PA militias regularly receive American arms, funding and advanced training.
In an interview on official PA television translated by Palestinian Media Watch, the PA’s former minister of prisoners, Ashraf al-Ajrami, defended his group’s security forces against accusations from the rival Hamas terrorist organization. Al-Ajrami stepped down as minister earlier this year. He is still active in PA politics and is a member of PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party.
Al-Ajrami went on to boast of several “famous” attacks carried out by the PA security forces, including deadly shootings against Jewish civilians and soldiers.
Since the late 1990s, the U.S. has run training bases for PA militias. The U.S. also has provided hundreds of millions of dollars in financial aid and weapons to build up the PA militias.
The U.S. currently operates training bases for the PA police and other militias, such as Force 17 and the Preventative Security Services in the West Bank city of Jericho and also at U.S.-operated bases in the Jordanian village of Giftlik.
Fatah: No Need For Hamas To Recognize Israel
Hamas does not need to recognize Israel’s existence as a precondition for joining a Palestinian unity government, a top member of the Palestinian Authority’s negotiating team told WorldNetDaily.
“We are not demanding Hamas recognize the state of Israel. It’s not even part of the talks. Even we as the Fatah movement didn’t recognize the state of Israel,” said the PA negotiator, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The negotiator is leading efforts to forge a unity government between Hamas and PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party. The two have been at odds since Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip from Fatah in the summer of 2007. The unity efforts could result in new Palestinian elections as early as January and would bring Hamas into the U.S.-backed and funded PA.
Top PA Official: Palestinians Have
‘Right To Resistance’
The Palestinian people have a right to “resistance” against Israel, declared a top official in the Palestinian Authority who is known for his moderate views.
Qadura Fares, a PA minister and member of parliament, told this column in an exclusive interview that his Fatah party next month will vote on whether to officially incorporate “resistance” against Israel in its official charter.
“We have to decide about resistance. I think the Palestinian people, just as anyone in world, have a right to resistance to defend our freedom. We won’t [give up] the resistance and embark on a strategy of only negotiations with the Israelis,” Fares said.
Fares was referring to Fatah’s sixth General Congress, which is scheduled for August in Bethlehem. At the meeting, hundreds of voting Fatah members will discuss the future of their party and pass official resolutions outlining Fatah’s major objectives.
Senior Fatah sources said a list of resolutions to be voted upon includes a text affirming as one of Fatah’s main objectives the “resistance” and “armed struggle” against the Jewish state. Fares confirmed this draft resolution.
Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief for WorldNetDaily.com. He appears throughout the week on leading U.S. radio programs and is the author of the book “The Late Great State of Israel.” Follow Klein on Twitter under the name “AaronKleinWND.”