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December 20, 2014 / 28 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama’

Obama White House Condemns Designation of Gush Etzion Lot as ‘State Land’

Monday, September 1st, 2014

The administration of U.S. President Barack Obama has sharply condemned the Israeli government’s decision Sunday to designate a lot in Gush Etzion as state land.

The decision came as a direct result of the kidnapping and murder by Hamas terrorists of three teenage yeshiva students on the site in early June.

The U.S. claimed the move would damage future final status talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

“We have long made clear our opposition to continued settlement activity,” a Statement Department spokesman said. “This announcement, like every other settlement announcement Israel makes, planning step they approve and construction tender they issue, is counterproductive to Israel’s stated goal of a negotiated two-state solution with the Palestinians. We urge the government of Israel to reverse this decision.”

In general, the U.S. has opposed Israeli development in Judea and Samaria, although most past administrations have ameliorated their concerns, depending on circumstance.

The 4,000-dunam lot is located adjacent to the Gush Etzion community of Alon Shevut, not far from bus stop and hitchhiking post where Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Frenkel and Gilad Sha’ar were abducted by Hamas terrorists and then murdered on June 12. Their bodies were found three weeks later in Judea after a massive manhunt by thousands of IDF soldiers and security personnel, in a field owned by the Hebron-based Qawasme clan along Highway 60 between Hebron and Gush Etzion in the PA town of Halhul.

Prior to the designation, the Judea and Samaria civil administration had designated the status of the area — known as Geva’ot — as ‘survey land’ as ordered by the political establishment after the bodies of the three teens were recovered. The move froze the status of the area and prevented construction plans from moving through the system until a determination could be made about its future, according to the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT).

Geva’ot is not new. In 1982, an Israeli cabinet decision laid the groundwork for development of the area as an IDF Nahal community, which started in 1984 and then closed two years later. For the next 10 years the site became the home of the Shevut Yisrael Yeshiva, with small pre-fab homes. In 1998, The Gush Etzion Regional Council reached out to the government, requesting construction of a full-scale city on the site similar to Ariel, Ma’ale Adumim, Modi’il Illite and Beitar Illit. Plans began but two years later were dropped due to international diplomatic pressure. In 2008, once again the plans were picked up and moved forward in 2009, especially after the Annapolis Summit came to naught. By 2012, initial authorization for 523 homes was secured from the Defense Ministry — and there the project was frozen.

Gush Etzion is well within the area Israel is likely to retain in any final status agreement with the Palestinian Authority.

The PA immediately responded that the site belongs to districts of two separate PA-controlled cities: Bethlehem and Hebron. Bethlehem is located across the road and is more than five and a half miles north. Hebron is the same distance, to the south.

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, declared Sunday evening, “The settlement enterprise is illegal,” in a sweeping condemnation of every Jewish city, town and village built in Judea and Samaria, including any that might be built on the newly-designated state land. Nearly 400,000 Jews now live in Judea and Samaria.

He, too, said the move would “bring about a further deterioration” in talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority – which at this point includes Hamas in its unity government.

The PA has had to be repeatedly dragged to the negotiations table over the years, each time with ‘enticements’ and ‘good will gestures’ forced on Israel by the United States.

Netanyahu: Hamas Mistaken to Think Israel Lacks Unity, Determination or Fortitude

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned Hamas terrorists Sunday not to underestimate Israel’s ability to hold out under any ‘war of attrition’ the group might attempt.

“We are in the midst of a combined military and diplomatic campaign,” Netanyahu said at the start of Sunday’s government cabinet meeting in Jerusalem.

“From the first day, the Israeli delegation to Cairo has worked under clear instructions: Insist on the security needs of the State of Israel. Only if there is a clear response to our security needs will we agree to reach understandings,” he said.

The comment came in response to the rejection by Hamas of an 11-point tentative plan reached Thursday in Cairo, in connection which Palestinian Arab representatives had expressed optimism.

That was before Hamas leaders had made the requisite pilgrimage to see politburo chief Khaled Mashaal, who is based comfortably in Qatar – not with his suffering brethren in Gaza – and who over the weekend with his Qatari handlers immediately nixed the deal.

Israeli officials had maintained silence about the plan throughout the weekend, other than to say that any deal must meet the security needs of the Jewish State.

On Saturday night, Hamas leaders returned to Gaza with bluster and brazen attitude, demanding the inclusion of two points that were turned down by Israel: construction of a seaport and airport in Gaza. Both would create an instant express route for the import of weaponry into the enclave, totally impractical from Israel’s security standpoint since Hamas has proved itself to be without honor and incapable of sticking to agreements or cease-fires for any length of time.

Last week, the Wall Street Journal revealed the White House placed a ‘hold’ on an imminent delivery of Hellfire missiles that was due to arrive in Israel and issued an order to the Pentagon that future military transactions must be scrutinized directly by the State Department and the Oval Office.

The move emboldened Hamas and its backers, who might otherwise have reached the point of understanding that it was in the best interest of Gazans for Hamas to reach an agreement for quiet, if not peace, with Israel. Instead, the terrorist group decided it would prefer to continue its campaign of terror.

Late Saturday night, Hamas officials announced that Israel should prepare for a “long war of attrition” if the Jewish State is not willing to “meet all our demands.”

But that’s a mistake, Netanyahu said, despite the sporadic demonstrations that terrorists have seen on television protesting against the government’s handling of the conflict.

“In the past month Hamas has taken a severe military blow. We destroyed its network of tunnels that it took years to dig. We intercepted the rockets that it had massed in order to carry out thousands of deadly strikes against the Israeli home front. And we foiled the terrorist attacks that it tried to perpetrate against Israeli civilians – by land, sea and air,” Netanyahu said.

“If Hamas thinks that it can cover up its military loss with a diplomatic achievement, it is mistaken,” he warned. “If Hamas thinks that continued sporadic firing will cause us to make concessions, it is mistaken.

“As long as quiet is not restored, Hamas will continue to take very harsh blows. If Hamas thinks that we cannot stand up to it over time, it is mistaken.

“In the stormy and unstable Middle East in which we live, it is not enough that there be more strength, determination and patience are also necessary. Hamas knows that we are very strong but maybe it thinks that we do not have enough determination and patience, and here it is making a big mistake.”

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?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/obama-betrays-israel-at-un-over-unrwa/2014/08/04/

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