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August 21, 2014 / 25 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
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Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama’

Obama’s Campaign Against Israel

Friday, August 15th, 2014

It’s getting harder and harder for even diehard apologists to make a case that the Obama administration supports Israel. The latest news comes after a very rocky period in which the administration tried to do an end-around to coerce Israel into a bad ceasefire deal with Hamas, while experimenting with an unseemly and embarrassing (and short-lived) flight ban to Israel’s international airport, and straightforwardly mouthing the false Hamas narrative about an Israeli attack in southern Gaza.

Now administration officials have disclosed, in a leak-blast full of astonishing quotes, that a shipment of arms to resupply Israel after the recent operation in Gaza was stopped when senior officials became aware of it.

But they aren’t just disclosing that the shipment was halted, and that other shipments will be getting a closer look. They are concocting an entire narrative about the Israelis “outflanking” the administration, running off on their own, and being unreceptive to U.S. influence.

Obama is transparent, if you read his oracular signs with the right key. Most responsible observers have been reluctant up to now to use that key. But there’s really nothing else left to do. We’re beyond the point at which the damaging implications of tailored “leaks” from the Obama administration can be explained away.

The most positive interpretation of the administration’s posture, as revealed in the incendiary WSJ article, is that it is ideologically committed to a radical-left view in which Israel figures as the villain. From this ideological motive, Obama hopes to use American influence to limit and confound Israeli policy. Think of the policy the typical flotilla activist would adopt toward Israel, and that’s the thematic pattern in Obama’s executive-branch campaign. The campaign can’t be waged too overtly, because of the inevitable blowback from Congress.

Tending the “BASE

Characteristically, the latest escapade with the halted arms shipment is being disclosed in a way that will gratify Obama’s radical-left political base. Right away, the disclosure has the Obama signature on it (emphasis added):

White House and State Department officials who were leading U.S. efforts to rein in Israel’s military campaign in the Gaza Strip were caught off guard last month when they learned that the Israeli military had been quietly securing supplies of ammunition from the Pentagon without their approval.

Is Obama ever not caught off guard? This opening sentence explains to his base that he and his top officials weren’t responsible for seeming to approve of the IDF’s operation in Gaza by providing supplies to it.

But the sentence also flat-out lies – by implying that there was something sneaky about Israel’s procurement of ammunition. In fact, Israel was reordering ammunition under Foreign Military Sales cases for which reordering is already authorized, without the need for renewed approval. This is not uncommon with foreign military sales (and is actually acknowledged later in the same article, as Jeff Dunetz points out). Depicting a reorder of ammo as “adroit bureaucratic maneuvering” is worse than tendentious, and can have only one purpose. The purpose is clarified here:

But Israeli and U.S. officials say that the adroit bureaucratic maneuvering made it plain how little influence the White House and State Department have with the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu —and that both sides know it.

Certainly this can be read as the Obama administration distancing itself from Israel in a diplomatic and geopolitical sense. But don’t discount the reality of who Obama is as a politician. He’s equally invested in distancing himself, in the minds of his most loyal supporters, from whatever outcome Israel is able to secure from the current conflict. The narrative crafted by this very tailored “leak” is perfectly designed to appeal to those supporters, who at this point are virtually certain to be disappointed in Israel’s outcome.

Obama Holds Up Weapons Transfer to Israel

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

An imminent delivery of Hellfire missiles set to arrive in Israel from the US has been held up by the White House.

Moreover, the transfer of any weapons and other military hardware to Israel, even routine munitions requests, is now being blocked by the State Department and the White House.

In clear language, it means that any form of American military aid – once a ‘given’ by Israel’s “closest friend and ally” – is now being scrutinized by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, at a time when Israel is facing an enemy supplied by Iran and Syria, and intent on its destruction.

The move has only served to further wind up an already tense relationship between the White House and Israel.

According to an Israeli government official quoted by the Wall Street Journal, “We’ve been there before with a lot of tension with us and Washington. What we have now, on top of that, is mistrust and a collision of different perspectives on the Middle East. It’s become very personal.”

Specifically, the Pentagon blocked delivery of the Hellfire missiles because officials at the White House and in the State Department were worried about the reaction of Palestinian Arabs in the US and abroad, according to the report.

The WSJ article cited a number of past conflicts between the Obama administration and the Netanyahu government. It then went on, however, to say the straw that broke the camel’s back had to do with the attack near the UNRWA school in Gaza.

“The watershed moment came in the early morning in Gaza July 30. An Israeli shell struck a United Nations school in Jabaliya that sheltered about 3,000 people. Later that day, it was reported in the U.S. that the 120-mm and 40-mm rounds had been released to the Israeli military,” WSJ reported.

A US diplomat complained about being “blindsided” and officials at the White House and State Department were disturbed by what they considered a risk to regional stability and Israel’s interests due to a “humanitarian catastrophe,” according to the report.

However, no one was blindsided. The Israelis filed a routine request for munitions as they always did. Israeli bureaucracy is famous for its automated mentality, which is set in motion months in advance. Even the draft notices for upcoming 18-year-olds begin two years earlier – at age 16 – and then are sent out six months before the actual appointment.

A US defense official also said there was nothing unusual about the request.

“There was no intent to blindside anyone. The process for this transfer was followed precisely along the lines that it should have,” the official said.

But with regard to the July 30 attack, the information was reported from Gaza inaccurately from the start, deliberately manipulating and inciting American officials.

Pallywood wins again – but it is a bit odd that top government officials could so easily be misled, unless it’s an active choice on their part.

That’s not the fault of American media but rather due to the Hamas propaganda machine and the willingness of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to collaborate.

It’s also due to the need for journalists to stay alive; there have been more than a few reporters who have managed to leave Gaza and later were courageous enough to admit they were threatened with death if they were to photograph, let alone report, the truth of what they were doing to their own civilians there.

The lone shell that was fired struck outside the school compound, as was already admitted by at least one UNRWA official in a tweet several hours after the event.

Obama Authorizes Targeted Air Strikes Against ISIL

Friday, August 8th, 2014

For the first time since December 2011, US President Barack Obama has authorized targeted air strikes against Al Qaeda-linked ISIL (Islamic State in the Levant) terrorists in Iraq.

“When we have the unique capabilities to help avert a massacre, then I believe the United States of America cannot turn a blind eye,” Obama told a news briefing Thursday. “Today, America is coming to help.”

However, White House spokesman later added a blunt clarification for reporters: “No combat boots on the ground.” The US would support Iraqi and Kurdish fighters in their efforts to beat back the Islamic State, but no American soldiers would pay the price in their stead.

Secretary of State John Kerry added that “ISIL’s campaign of terror against the innocent, including Yezedi and Christian minorities, and its grotesque and targeted acts of violence bear all the warning signs and hallmarks of genocide. For anyone who needed a wake-up call, this is it.”

It is not really clear how the Islamic State’s “campaign of terror against the innocent” in Iraq differs from Palestinian Arab terrorist rocket attacks raining down on southern and central Israel, and their stabbing and rock attacks against civilians on the roads and within Israeli communities.

U.S. military aircraft dropped humanitarian aid to Iraqi refugees who have been trapped in the north of the country for some time, officials said, including 16 bundles containing 5,300 gallons of fresh drinking water and 8,000 “meals ready-to-eat” or MREs, near Sinjar. Thousands are trapped on a mountaintop near Sinjar, Defense One reported, trying to flee the Islamic State terrorists.

The terror organization launched a coordinated attack spanning “hundreds of miles” in northern Iraq, administration officials said, leading to fears of “genocide.”

US President Obama Has ‘Sympathy for Gazans’

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Hamas plans to return to war on Friday, while US President Barack Obama says it’s time to “open Gaza.”

During cease fire talks in Cairo, Hamas terrorists told mediators in Cairo they will resume their battle against Israel on Friday promptly at 8 am local time.

U.S. President Barack Obama explained to reporters at a briefing Wednesday in Washington, meanwhile, that although he had “no sympathy for Hamas,” he had “great sympathy for ordinary people struggling within Gaza.”

“Long term, there has to be a recognition that Gaza cannot sustain itself permanently closed off from the world,” Obama said.

In that, the American president appears to be joining Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in calling for Israel to lift its counter terror blockade on the region. The blockade was implemented in an effort to prevent Gaza terrorists from importing the very items with which they waged war against Israel this time. Despite Iran’s vows to send Gaza “all the weapons it needs to annihilate Israel,” Erdogan has consistently scored Israel for not lifting the blockade.

Nevertheless, overland crossings between Israel and Gaza have in fact been open daily for years, until recently — and even throughout the war, the Erez Crossing was operating for passage of humanitarian supplies, international aid workers, medical patients and journalists.

While advocating for “an opening of Gaza so that they do not feel walled off,” the president offered no answers for the millions of Israelis who will be forced to race for bomb shelters at the whims of Gaza terrorist rocket launchers.

“The U.S. goal right now would be to make sure that the cease fire holds, that Gaza can begin the process of rebuilding,” he said – appearing to patently ignore the flat refusal by Hamas to extend the cease fire past Friday.

Israelis, he added, need to “feel confident that they’re not going to have a repeat of the kind of rocket launchers that we’ve seen over the last several weeks.”

But this Tuesday a 10-minute barrage that went on up to the last second before the start of the current cease fire, a 26-missile attack was fired at more than two dozen towns and cities in southern and central Israel. Neighborhoods were hit in Jerusalem, Gush Etzion, Ashdod, Ashkelon, the Gaza Belt, Kiryat Gat, Be’er Sheva and Gush Dan, among others. Even an Arab village near Bethlehem was hit. So how are Israelis supposed to “feel confident” with that display from Gaza? Obama didn’t say.

Obama Betrays Israel at UN Over UNRWA

Monday, August 4th, 2014

The U.S. Congress has been there for Israel right from the start, but perhaps that signature on the Iron Dome funding last Friday was inked after President Barack Obama had his arm twisted a little. It’s impossible to know.

Obama told reporters at the White House on Friday that he understood Israel’s need to defend itself; and literally the day after, Hamas terrorists fired 11 shells at Israel from a mortar positioned right next to another UNRWA boys’ elementary school, this one in the Zeitoun section of Gaza City.

Nevertheless, Obama’s representative to the United Nations on Sunday conveyed an entirely different message to the rest of the world.

In a statement regarding Israeli gunfire aimed at Hamas terrorists next to an UNRWA school in southern Gaza, the U.S. Mission to the UN completely betrayed its ally.

The IAF air strike referred to in the current U.S. complaint came in response to mortar fire aimed by Hamas terrorists standing around the gate of an UNRWA boys’ elementary school in the border town of Rafah – who then fled on a motorcycle, taking care to drive as close as possible to civilians along the wall of the school.

The missile fired by the Israeli pilot targeting the terrorists – who were firing at Israeli soldiers on the ground at the time – didn’t miss. It hit the terrorists. But the large explosion predictably also killed the civilians who were standing nearby – precisely as Hamas planned and hoped, creating another gory photo op for the anti-Semitic world to feed on. And feed they did, egged on by the United Nations itself, and sadly, even by Israel’s ally.

Here’s the statement submitted from the U.S.:

“Today’s strike outside an UNRWA school in Rafah, where an estimated 3,000 people were taking shelter, is horrifying. This incident, which took the lives of at least ten Palestinians, including one UNRWA staff member, and injured many more, is only the latest in a conflict that has left dead approximately 1,750 people, including 11 UN staff, and injured many thousands more. Additionally, the UN estimates as many as 475,000 people have been displaced by the violence, of whom more than 259,000 are sheltering in 90 UNRWA schools, which are not equipped as shelters. It is imperative that all sides work towards a ceasefire that ends the rocket attacks and tunnel threat from Hamas, and the perilous situation faced by civilians in Gaza.

“We call on all parties to take all feasible precautions to prevent civilian casualties, comply with international humanitarian law and respect UN facilities in Gaza. We further call on Israel to conduct a full and prompt investigation of this incident as well as the recent strikes that hit other UNRWA schools. Civilians, many of whom have been told to evacuate their homes by the Israel Defense Forces, must be able to find refuge in safe, UN-designated shelters.”

Sound like an ally? Hamas is officially recognized as an international terrorist organization on the U.S. State Department’s own list of terror entities – but one would never know that from reading this statement, which makes it seem as though Hamas is the wronged party, and a legitimate entity to boot.

What’s wrong with the Obama administration?

‘Last Minute’ Iron Dome Infusion from US

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

The Congress voted Friday morning to transfer an additional $225 million to Israel for the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system.

The move came less than 24 hours after Hamas terrorists kidnapped an Israeli soldier during a cease fire demanded by the United States and the United Nations.

President Barack Obama immediately signed the measure into law, and the funds were transferred overnight, according to a report posted by ABC News.

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee two weeks ago approved the transfer of $351 million, bringing the total appropriations for Israel to $621 million.

The funds transferred last night followed a unanimous vote of approval by the Senate just before the start of a long Congressional recess.

“This is a good example of us being able to put aside partisan considerations and work together to help our good friend, Israel,” Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told Politico.

“I will stand by Israel for a lot of personal reasons but certainly for political reasons,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). “And I have no hesitation in declaring to the world that’s how I feel.”

Senatora Tom Coburn (R-OK) tried but failed to convince his colleagues to pass an amendment to offset the costs of helping Israel by “reducing unnecessary contributions to the UN.”

United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay, meanwhile, earlier had slammed the United States for funding the entirely defensive Iron Dome anti-missile system.

“Americans not only equipped the Israelis with weapons used in the Gaza Strip but also helped Israel in the amount of almost a billion dollars to develop the Iron Dome system that protects the residents from rocket fire,” Pillay said. “Gaza residents were not given similar protection from Israeli bombing.”

Pillay has called for an international investigation of Israel’s counter terror operation in Gaza, claiming the IDF is guilty of war crimes. She has not, however, used the same criteria in addressing the actions of Hamas, who started this war, and freely uses civilians as human shields in combat and in placement of weaponry for use against Israel.

Israeli Cabinet Cowed Back Into ‘Tit-for-Tat’ by Obama?

Monday, July 28th, 2014

Has Israel been forced by U.S. President Barack Obama to return to the ‘tit-for-tat’ retaliation strategy that ruled the south prior to Operation Protective Edge?

The IDF destroyed two concealed rocket launchers and a weapons factory in northern and central Gaza late Monday morning, “in retaliation for this morning’s missile attack on Ashkelon,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said.

However, Hamas terrorists didn’t miss a beat, and launched another barrage of missiles at the Ashkelon Coastal region at about 12:40 pm.

To date, Gaza terrorists have fired some 2,540 rockets and missiles at Israeli civilians since the start of Operation Protective Edge.

The IDF appears to have been forced into standby mode by the political establishment due to pressure from the White House. The Obama administration led a demand by the United Nations Security Council Sunday that Israel carry out another ‘humanitarian’ cease fire.

Hamas has violated every cease fire in which Israel has participated, resulting in the flow of Israeli blood – and not always Jewish at that – and today was no exception.

An Israeli soldier was wounded by Hamas artillery fire in a firefight launched by the terrorists in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun this morning, during the so-called ‘cease fire.’ The soldier is now listed in fair condition at Sheba Hospital in Tel HaShomer Medical Center in Tel Aviv.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-cabinet-cowed-back-into-tit-for-tat-by-obama/2014/07/28/

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