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October 6, 2015 / 23 Tishri, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘ambassador’

Israel’s Cairo Embassy Officially Reopens for Business

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

Four years after its abrupt closure in the face of a savage mob intent upon its destruction, Israel’s embassy in Cairo is again “open for business.”

The ceremony to re-dedicate the embassy this week was attended by Israeli foreign ministry director-general Dore Gold, together with Israeli Ambassador to Egypt Chaim Koren, although the office remains in Koren’s residence until an appropriate building can be found.

This past June, Hazem Khairat was appointed by Cairo to fill the post of Egyptian Ambassador to Israel. The previous ambassador was recalled by ousted Muslim Brotherhood-backed president Mohamed Morsi in 2012 as a protest over Israel’s defensive actions against Hamas. Gaza’s ruling Hamas terror group was formed by Egypt’s now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

“Under the leadership of Prime Minister [Binyamin] Netanyahu and President [Abdel Fattah] el-Sisi we have seen off threats and we are working with Egypt to achieve stability in the region,” Gold said at the event, according to Al Ahram.

Gold added that “Egypt will always remain the region’s biggest and most significant country.”

The deaths of six Egyptian border guards in a clash between Israeli security and Palestinian Arab terrorists near the Egyptian border, became the “cause” for the rioters who destroyed Israel’s Cairo embassy in September 2011, according to Al Ahram.

First Israeli Female Ambassador to Arab Nation Presents Credentials

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

Einat Schlein made history this week when she (along with a number of envoys from other nations) presented her credentials Monday (Sept. 7) to King Abdullah II in Amman as Israel’s Ambassador to Jordan.

Schlein headed the international division of the foreign ministry’s diplomatic research center and is considered an expert in Middle East affairs.

She has been with the foreign ministry for 22 years, and began her career with a posting in Amman, followed by a stint at the Israeli embassy in Washington D.C.

Schlein, who was appointed to the post in September 2014, is the first woman ever to serve as an Israeli ambassador to an Arab nation.

Israel has increased its female diplomatic corps in general. Out of 12 new Israeli ambassadorial appointments this year, seven women were posted to France, Romania, Bulgaria, Belgium, Cyprus and China.

Sclein is not, however, the first woman to actually serve in the function of an Israeli “envoy” to Jordan. The late prime minister Golda Meir was known to have made several secret trips to the Hashemite Kingdom for highly classified discussions with the great-grandfather of the current monarch.

Schlein was also not the only woman to present her credentials in Amman: Birgitta Siefker-Eberle from Germany was also present to do the same, along with a number of men from various countries.

Netanyahu Spokesman Officially Appointed Ambassador to England

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

Mark Regev, spokesman for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, was formally appointed as the next Israel Ambassador to the UK on Tuesday. The announcement followed a meeting of the Foreign Ministry’s appointments committee on Monday.

A past deputy chief of mission at the Israeli Embassy in Hong Kong, Regev also served as spokesman at the Israel Embassies in Washington DC, and in Beijing. He served as the chief spokesman for the foreign ministry upon his return from Washington, DC in 2004.

Regev immigrated to Israel from Australia in 1982 and has worked at the Foreign Ministry since 1990, but transferred to the Prime Minister’s Office on “loan” in 2007. He began serving as a prime ministerial spokesman with former PM Ehud Olmert, remaining at the post when Netanyahu entered the office in 2009.

The appointment now goes for final, formal approval to the full cabinet.

‘US and Iranian Cartoon Doves’ Shown Defecating on Bibi by Swiss Amb to Iran

Friday, August 28th, 2015

Guilio Haas is the Swiss Ambassador to Iran.

Switzerland has been in a great hurry to get the other nations of the world to join it in treating Iran as if it is an upstanding member of the world community. The Swiss began lifting sanctions on Iran earlier this month.

In accordance with this position, Ambassador Haas revealed Switzerland’s true progressive nature at a meeting attended by hundreds of Swiss and Iranian businesspeople at a Zurich hotel on Thursday, Aug. 27.

Haas was encouraging the businesspeople to invest in Iran, referring to the world’s greatest sponsor of terrorism as a “pole of stability in the Middle East,” and that in his two years in Iran, while he has seen gray-haired men in turbans, “there aren’t a lot of them” and that Western perceptions of Iran as a belligerent nation was about to change as soon as sanctions are lifted. This is what the World Tribune reported about the event.

What the World Tribune did not report was that as part of his effort to encourage the businesspeople to invest in Iran, the Swiss Ambassador projected a cartoon on a huge screen. The cartoon was titled “Iran: now or never.”

That cartoon showed two doves defecating on the head of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. On the chest of one of the doves defecating on Netanyahu is an American flag and on the other the Iranian flag.

Read those two sentences again.

So, you may ask, if the World Tribune article did not mention the cartoon, maybe it is not true?

A reasonable thought, but dashed by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs acknowledgement of the incident.

Reuters reported that the FDFA said the “questionable cartoon” was used, BY THE AMBASSADOR OF SWITZERLAND HIMSELF, without its knowledge and “regrets the use of the cartoon and considers it tasteless.”

“Questionable”? As in some might find it acceptable? “Tasteless”? As in simply in poor taste, but the meaning behind it is acceptable?

According to the Reuters report, the cartoon was intended to portray Israel as the sole holdout against the Nuclear Iran Deal, and the doves, Iran and the U.S. are the lovers of peace.

The FDFA said that “Ambassador Haas did not intend to insult anybody with the cartoon,” Reuters reported. “If that is the case,’ – meaning, if there is someone out there who could possibly be insulted by this – “however, he regrets it and seeks the pardon of everyone who could have felt insulted.”

The businessmen present were not all persuaded by Haas’s blinding diplomacy. Some grumbled that the “level of corruption” IN IRAN was still “unbelievable.” Imagine that.

UPDATE: According to the website of the Swiss Embassy in Iran, Switzerland represents the U.S. in Iran because the U.S. does not currently, officially, have diplomatic relations with Iran. As Ambassador Haas explains in his welcome message:

In the absence of diplomatic or consular relations of the United States of America with the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Swiss government, acting through its Embassy in Tehran, serves as the Protecting Power of the USA in Iran since 21 May 1980. The Swiss Embassy’s Foreign Interests Section provides consular services to U.S. citizens living in or travelling to Iran.

Think anyone at the White House or State Dept. press briefings will ask the spokespeople about this?

Kulanu Chairman Kachlon Apologizes to US for Oren Criticizing Obama

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

Kulanu party chairman Moshe Kachlon rushed off a letter of apology on Wednesday to U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro in the wake of Oren’s sharp criticism of President Barack Obama by Kulanu  Knesset Member Michael Oren.

Oren gave a sneak preview of his book, “Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide,” in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal this week in which he charged that Obama purposely harmed the relationship with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Kachlon is the Finance Minister in the Netanyahu coalition government, but Oren’s new book, which records his observations of his term as Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, set off fears in Kachlon’s mind that everyone in Washington is saying, “Oh, rats. The Kulanu party is out to get us, so let’s get out the darts and use them for target practice on its leader Kachlon, because we are going to have deal with this guy one day.”

Naftali Bennett, chairman  of the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party, must be rolling the floor laughing today after reading Kachlon’s letter.

Bennett led a “stop apologizing” campaign in the elections, in which he said it is time for Israel to stop saying it is sorry for being such a thorn in the side of the world that wants them to behave like toy soldiers and let the gods of the State Dept. and the European Union run the country.

The entire text of Kachlon’s letter is printed below. Before he apologized, he made it clear that has concern is for the image of his party, as if Shapiro cares. He wrote:

Allow me to state that when I initiated ‘Kulanu’ my main goal was to establish a Zionist party that puts Israel’s security and its citizens’ prosperity and well-being as top priority.”

After setting out his credentials as another pompous politician, Kachlon explained to the Ambassador how much he believes  that the “intimate” relationship between Israel and the United States and American support for Israel are great assets.

He then told Oren how smart he is for figuring out all by himself, in a single day, that Oren’s book might cause controversy.

Assuming Shapiro had not already thrown the letter away, he read that Kachlon wrote:

First, “Ally” was written long before Dr. Oren joined ‘Kulanu’ or was even considered by me to join the party.

Second, ‘Ally” is a personal memoir of Dr. Oren….and therefore present s personal perspective and experience while serving as Ambassador.

Kachlon did not even mention the content of the book. His only problem with the book is that it was written by a member of his party, which one day he hopes will run the country.

Kachlon does not understand that President Barack Obama leaves office in 2016 and that there is reasonable chance that a Republican will be in the White House.

Any Republican, no matter who, will have a better understanding of the world than Obama.

The next American Ambassador to Israel might be scratching his head and wondering why Kachlon did not endorse Oren’s book.


Oren's letter

Ex-Amb. Michael Oren Says Obama ‘Deliberately Abandoned Israel’

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

Michael Oren, former Israeli Ambassador to the United States and now a Knesset Member with the Kulanu party, wrote Tuesday that President Barack Obama “deliberately” abandoned a 40-year core policy regarding Jewish population centers in Judea and Samaria.

Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Oren stated that President Obama is a “friend” of Israel but nevertheless maintained that while anyone can make a mistake, President Obama did so on purpose.

In his words:

Only one leader made them deliberately. Obama promoted an agenda of championing the Palestinian cause and achieving a nuclear accord with Iran.

It took Oren six years to respond and correct part of President Obama’s “Reaching Out to Muslims” speech in Cairo, in which he said, “When there is no daylight, Israel just sits on the sidelines and that erodes our credibility with the Arabs.”

Oren, who still is a champion of the “peace process,” sounded like a Netanyahu sympathizer in part of his op-ed, writing that President Obama ignored Israel’s withdrawal of all Israeli soldiers and the expulsion of 9,000 Jews from Gaza in 2005. Obama also ignored several major concessions to the Palestinian Authority, including one that offered it almost all of Judea and Samaria and eastern Jerusalem.

President Obama said in his speech that Israel should freeze all building for Jews in “settlements,” to which Oren finally wrote in his article:

Israeli leaders typically received advance copies of major American policy statements on the Middle East and could submit their comments. But Mr. Obama delivered his Cairo speech, with its unprecedented support for the Palestinians and its recognition of Iran’s right to nuclear power, without consulting Israel.

The Bush administration had committed itself to writing in a letter to then-Prime Ariel Sharon that large population centers, such as Maaleh Adumim and Gush Etzion, would remain under Israeli sovereignty in a future Palestinian Authority state.

Obama abandoned that policy and insisted that the promise by Bush was an “unofficial” and non-binding letter. In Oren’s words:

Mr. Obama also voided President George W. Bush’s commitment to include the major settlement blocs and Jewish Jerusalem within Israel’s borders in any peace agreement. Instead, he insisted on a total freeze of Israeli construction in those areas —’not a single brick.’

It was clear from that time that the Obama was working behind the scenes, and sometimes up front, on behalf of the Palestinian Authority and against Israel.

Oren came out of the closet in his op-ed today and charged that President Obama never asked for any concession from the Palestinian Authority despite the fact the Mahmoud Abbas “violated all of his commitments.”

The United States so far has publicly opposed a Palestinian Authority effort in the U.N. Security Council to condemn Israel for a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria and to vote the Palestinian Authority into the United Nations as a permanent member.

However, the Obama administration has made open statements that it does not know how much longer it wants to use its veto power in the Security Council on behalf of Israel.

President Obama abandoned a four-decade U.S. policy in May 2011 and stated that a future agreement with the Palestinian Authority should be based on the borders drawn under the 1949 Temporary Armistice Agreement, which lasted until the Six-Day War in 1967.

Oren wrote:

If Mr. Netanyahu appeared to lecture the president the following day, it was because he had been assured by the White House, through me, that no such change would happen.

He also wrote that the Obama administration “stunned” Israel by offering to support a Security Council investigation of settlements and by backing Turkish and Egyptian maneuvers to force Israel to come clean on its nuclear capability.

Iran’s First Female Ambassador Since 1979 Islamic Revolution

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

Iranian news agencies are reporting the Islamic Republic is preparing to appoint its first female ambassador since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Marzieh Afkham, one of the country’s highest-profile female public figures, has been tapped for the appointment according to the semi-official FARS and Mehr news agencies. It is not yet clear to which country Afkham would be assigned.

If the appointment is confirmed, Afkham would become the second female ambassador in the history of Iran. Mehrangiz Dolatshahi served as Iran Ambassador to Denmark in the 1970s.

President Hassan Rouhani has presented himself to the international community as a moderate and during his 2013 election campaign promised to improve the rights of women in the country. In 2009 Rouhani’s predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was credited with having appointed Iran’s first female minister.

Domestic reform in Iran, as elsewhere in the Middle East, is a process that can take decades and is measured in micro steps, rather than milestones – a reality that few Westerners understand.

Girls as young as age 10 are forced into Islamic marriages in Iran, and as in other Muslim-majority nations, there is also a high rate of domestic violence. Neither issue is considered unusual in the Islamic world, although more community leaders are at least beginning to recognize it is a matter for “discussion.”

In October 2014, 26-year-old Reyhaneh Jabbari was executed in Tehran by hanging for killing a man who tried to rape her. A massive flood of international appeals to the Iranian government on her behalf to stay the execution proved worthless.

Jabbari was arrested in 2007 for killing a former employee of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence. She was sentenced to death by a Tehran court in 2009 and the verdict was upheld in by the country’s Supreme Court. The scheduled execution, however, was delayed by several months following reception of an online petition bearing 240,000 signatures, urging her release.

Jabbari herself admitted to having stabbed the victim once from the back but said another man had actually done the killing. Amnesty International said her claim was believed never to have been properly investigated.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/irans-first-female-ambassador-since-1979-islamic-revolution/2015/04/14/

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