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May 1, 2016 / 23 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama’

Russia, Israel’s New Northern Neighbor, Bombs Targets in Syria [video]

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Russian war planes bombed the Syrian city of Homs Wednesday morning, shortly after an announcement from the Russian Federation Council that it approved “military force abroad” that supposedly is to fight the Islamic State (ISIS).

Sky News Arabic quoted Syrian opposition forces as charging that Russian war planes led the strike on rebel-held areas in the city.

A video on Facebook, seen below, shows the aftermath of the bombing, in which at least 30 people reportedly were killed. Several of the dead were children.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has insisted that Russian force in Syria will be limited to fighting the Islamic State (ISIS).

Israel has put Putin on notice that it will not tolerate any stray fire on Israel, but Russian control of Syrian airspace places both Israeli and American air forces in immediate danger.

An American defense official told Fox News Wednesday that the Obama administration has rejected a Russian demand that the U.S. Air Force withdraw from Syrian airspace.

Israel in the past several years has carried out several aerial attacks on Syrian and Iranian weapons headed for Hezbollah forces in Lebanon.

The bold move by Russia to enter the Syrian civil war fills a vacuum that the Obama administration refused to fill, even when President Barack Obama promised he would bomb Syria after it was proven that Assad was using chemical weapons.

He backed down from the threat, explaining that there was no need to carry out operations because Assad had supposedly turned over his chemical and biological weapons after coaxing from Russia.

The Obama administration is playing with an amputated hand in Syria. After repeatedly stating the Assad must go, Kerry now is accepting his remaining in power for a “transitional period.”

The London Telegraph reported Tuesday that the “United States is considering a possible deal whereby Russia and Iran would stop Syria’s regime dropping barrel bombs on civilians in return for concessions from Washington.”

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Obama, Putin Strongly Disagree over Syria, Ukraine at UN

Monday, September 28th, 2015

(JNi.media) US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday clashed at the annual meeting of the General Assembly of the United Nations over their contradictory views for the future of Syria. Obama was vehement about the need to replace Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, while Putin insisted removing him would be a wrong move. Obama suggested Putin’s engagements in both Syria and Ukraine has been damaging to global instability.

“… We see some major powers assert themselves in ways that contravene international law,” Obama said. “We see an erosion of the democratic principles and human rights that are fundamental to this institution’s mission.” He also said, referring to Syria: “We must recognize that there cannot be, after so much bloodshed, so much carnage, a return to the prewar status quo,” Obama said.

Putin advised the world body to stick with Assad, if they wish to defeat the Islamic State. “We believe it’s a huge mistake to refuse to cooperate with the Syrian authorities, with the government forces, those who are bravely fighting terror face-to-face,” Putin said.

The Russian president was very critical in the role of the US in the world, lamenting that “after the end of the Cold War, the single center of domination has emerged in the world. Those who have found themselves on top of that pyramid were tempted to think that since they are so strong and singular, they know what to do better than others and it’s unnecessary to pay any attention to the UN.”

“I cannot help asking those who have forced this situation, do you realize now what you have done?” Putin said, clearly referring to the US, “Policies based on self-conceit and belief in one’s exceptionality and impunity have never been abandoned.”

Obama was equally critical of Russian aggression in Ukraine, at a high cost to Russia’s economy. “We cannot stand by when the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a nation is flagrantly violated,” he said. He warned that “we, the nations of the world, cannot return to the old ways of conflict and coercion. We cannot look backward. … And if we cannot work together more effectively, we will all suffer the consequences.”

The AP reported that Obama and Putin “briefly shook hands” at the lunch following their speeches. However, they did not speak to one another, seated as they were on either side of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

AP cited US officials who said the crises in Syria and Ukraine call for an Obama-Putin meeting. Obama must discuss with his Russian counterpart his increasingly aggressive maneuvers in Syria, those officials said, as well as push Putin toward a peace deal with Ukraine, which should include not interfering with local elections next month.

JNi.Media

Obama’s UN Speech Ignores Israel but Hits Hard at Putin and Assad

Monday, September 28th, 2015

President Barack Obama’s address to the United Nations General Assembly Monday was extraordinary in its total exclusion of Israel and the Palestinian Authority and its hard-hitting attack on the Assad regime in Syria and its ally Russia.

A strong indication that President Obama has finally realized what he and numerous predecessors did not understand was this statement:

There are no simple answers to the changes that are taking place in much of the Middle East and North Africa.

It is not the first time he has said that, but unlike previous speeches, it was not followed up by the usual pie-in-the-sky statements that “Peace is made with enemies.” or “Solving the Israel-Palestinian Authority struggle is the key to bringing peace to the Middle East.

Saeb Erekat, who chief negotiator for the Palestinian Authority and is secretary-general of the parent PLO, was extremely disappointed with Obama’s speech. He said:

Does President Obama believe that he is able to defeat the Islamic State (ISIS) and terror or bring stability and security to the Middle East by ignoring the continuing Israeli occupation, settlements and the ongoing Israeli attacks on Al Aqsa [the mosque on the Temple Mount]?

Obama’s speech was a resounding “yes” to Erekat.

The “occupation” never was a threat to the Middle East, but the United States foreign policy gurus couldn’t figure that out, even when the Arab Spring rebellions upended stability and brought anarchy, termed by the United States as democracy, to Egypt, Libya, Iraq and other boiling pots in Arab Muslim countries.

Years after the United States ignored ISIS, it has become Public Enemy No. 1 and is being used brilliantly by Russian President Vladimir Putin to justify direct Russian military force in Syria.

When Putin told the United Nations he is fighting the Islamic State, he could have been more accurate, Russia may be the only country fighting ISIS.

The American-led strike force has proven to be pitiful, as the JewishPress.com reported here last week on the American-trained Syrian rebels who betrayed the United States and delivered American weapons to Al Qaeda.

The President verbally attacked ISIS but he was extremely careful to be polite to Islam, stating:

Part of that effort [against ISIS] must be a continued rejection by Muslims of those who distort Islam to preach intolerance and promote violence, and it must also a rejection by non-Muslims of the ignorance that equates Islam with terror.

President Obama mentioned “Israel” zero times in his speech. Ditto for the terms “Palestinian Authority” and Palestine.”

The only time he mentioned “Middle East” was in the context quoted above, that there are no simple solutions.

But he mentioned Syria eight times and Russia 15 times with harsh comments that were nothing short of cold war speech.

For example:

The history of the last two decades proves that in today’s world, dictatorships are unstable.

Consider Russia’s annexation of Crimea and further aggression in eastern Ukraine. America has few economic interests in Ukraine. We recognize the deep and complex history between Russia and Ukraine. But we cannot stand by when the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a nation is flagrantly violated. If that happens without consequence in Ukraine, it could happen to any nation gathered here today. That’s the basis of the sanctions that the United States and our partners impose on Russia. It’s not a desire to return to a Cold War.

But his speech was remarkably chilly towards Moscow. He flatly stated:

Russia’s state-controlled media may describe these events as an example of a resurgent Russia… And yet, look at the results. The Ukrainian people are more interested than ever in aligning with Europe instead of Russia. Sanctions have led to capital flight, a contracting economy, a fallen ruble, and the emigration of more educated Russians

Imagine if, instead, Russia had engaged in true diplomacy, and worked with Ukraine and the international community to ensure its interests were protected. That would be better for Ukraine, but also better for Russia, and better for the world.

President Obama claimed he does not mind a strong Russia so long as it works with the United States “to strengthen the international system as a whole.”.

That gave him a platform to plow into the Assad regime Putin and Russia’s presence in Syria and ISIS, which he still refers to as ISIL and which he called ” an apocalyptic cult.

President Obama stated:

When a dictator slaughters tens of thousands of his own people, that is not just a matter of one nation’s internal affairs… Likewise, when a terrorist group beheads captives, slaughters the innocent and enslaves women, that’s not a single nation’s national security problem — that is an assault on all humanity.

Putin has taken the military offensive in Syria, giving him a military and political base across from Israel’s northern border. Putin knows that the Muslim Middle East understands only one word – “force” – but Obama dealt with the issue from weakness because without a military presence, the United States has little ammunition except Obama’s oratory.

He told the United Nations:

But while military power is necessary, it is not sufficient to resolve the situation in Syria. Lasting stability can only take hold when the people of Syria forge an agreement to live together peacefully. The United States is prepared to work with any nation, including Russia and Iran, to resolve the conflict. But we must recognize that there cannot be, after so much bloodshed, so much carnage, a return to the pre-war status quo.

He could have used that as an excuse to throw in something about the “Israel-occupied Golan Heights,” but he did not.

His speech was remarkable in that it exposed how weak his administration has become in international affairs following the debacles in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan, which now is under growing ISIS influence.

American influence had been on the decline for years but accelerated with the inevitable failure of the “peace process.” which was focused on the wrong country and the wrong issue at the wrong time.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Putin, Obama to Meet Sept. 28 at UN General Assembly

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Barack Obama are set to meet September 28 on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters at a briefing on Thursday, according to Reuters.

On the agenda for the two world leaders will be issues relating to Ukraine and Syria. Iran has not been mentioned, although it is possible that Tehran may be discussed as well.

But there are already two completely different versions of how the agenda for that meeting is supposed to go.

Reporters on each side of the planet heard two separate agendas from the spokespersons for each of the two world leaders.

“When the president sits down with President Putin, the top item on his agenda will be Ukraine,” White House spokesperson Josh Earnest told reporters at Thursday’s news briefing in Washington DC.

Peskov, meanwhile, told reporters in a conference call from Moscow that the crisis in Ukraine would be discussed “if time allows.”

Earnest told reporters that the exact time and date had not yet been decided.

Peskov said the meeting had been scheduled to take place following Putin’s address to the UN.

The Russian spokesperson added that the meeting between the two presidents could last between 50 minutes to a full hour, and it was Peskov who gave the date of the meeting: Sept. 28.

Those who have already purchased their tickets for this event should be sure to bring fire extinguishers as well…

Hana Levi Julian

Senate Dems Vote Against Protecting Israel and Rescuing American Hostages from Iran

Friday, September 18th, 2015

In an attempt to wrest some positive concessions from the Iranians in exchange for lifting sanctions against them under the Nuclear Iran Deal, an effort was made to require Iran to recognize Israel’s right to exist and to release American hostages from captivity through the form of an amendment on Thursday, Sept. 17.

Senate Democrats rejected the attempt, preferring to preserve the Nuclear Iran Deal in its current form, rather than to make even these limited demands on the Iranians.

The amendment was offered by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). The vote was 53 – 45, and 60 senators were needed to move the measure forward.

Only one Senate Democrat voted in favor of the Protect Israel and Free Our Prisoners amendment, Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

Even the other three Democrats who publicly declared their opposition to the Nuclear Iran Deal, Sen. Bob Menendez (NJ), Sen. Chuck Schumer (NY) and Sen. Ben Cardin (MD) voted against the amendment.

ADMINISTRATION SEES REVIEW PERIOD AS ENDED

Under the terms of the Iranian Nuclear Agreement Review Act (Corker-Cardin), Sept. 17 was the final day on which Congress could stop the deal from moving forward by passing a disapproval resolution.

The Obama administration will likely be permitted to enforce this aspect of Corker-Cardin despite its own failure to comply with another substantive requirement, although why that should be so is a question that needs to be addressed.

The failure of the administration to provide Congress with all documentation of all aspects of the Nuclear Iran Deal was set forth very clearly in Corker-Cardin. Congress’s 60 day review period was to begin only after the White House provided those documents. It has not done so.

No documentation was provided to Congress regarding significant portions of the Deal, the so-called secret side deals that deal with Iran’s military site at Parchin and any possible military dimensions of Iran’s previous nuclear weapons program, as was revealed over the past several weeks.

Not a single member of Congress, including all of those who declared their support for the deal, read a single document or description of those side deals. Not only that, but even the vaunted nuclear physicist, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, did not have access ever to the details or description of those matters. To the extent that members of Congress relied on Moniz’s advice to support the deal, they did so despite his failure to ever lay eyes on those all-important side deals.

The Obama administration is certainly acting as if the work regarding the Nuclear Iran Deal is over and it will begin to go into effect next month.

US COORDINATOR OF NUCLEAR IRAN DEAL IMPLEMENTATION NAMED

On the same day that the Senate rejected protection of Israel and return of American hostages from Iran, Secretary of State John Kerry named former ambassador to Poland Ambassador Stephen D. Mull as Lead Coordinator for the Nuclear Deal Implementation.

In his announcement of Mull’s appointment Kerry noted: “as we move past the 60 day Congressional review period.” Some review period.

Kerry described Mull’s experience dealing with Iran’s nuclear program:

Steve played a key role in designing United Nations Security Council Resolution 1929, which imposed additional nuclear-related sanctions on Iran, and marshalling support for its adoption by the Council. He also worked closely with the U.S. Mission to the IAEA in pressing for full accountability in Iran’s nuclear program. Steve traveled frequently to engage with foreign partners and worked across the U.S. government in support of our Iran-related efforts

There surely would have been intense criticism if Mull had not been involved in the Iran nuclear portfolio prior to this appointment. Still, having someone in the position of primary American coordinator for implementation of the Nuclear Iran Deal who oversaw a program that the administration said was insufficient to prevent Tehran from forging forward on its path to nuclear weapons is unsettling.

What is more unsettling, however, is that the administration did an end run around the majority of Congress which opposes the deal, as well as the majority of Americans, who also oppose the deal, in order to impose a new framework which guarantees Iran will become a threshold nuclear state.

The supporters of the Nuclear Iran Deal have worked overtime to prevent the Senate from actually expressing its view on the deal, even though it marks President Obama’s effort to fundamentally change the posture America has maintained for decades regarding power in the Middle East.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Compare Obama’s Rosh HaShanah and Eid-ul-Fitr Messages [Video]

Sunday, September 13th, 2015

President Barack Obama laced his annual Rosh HaShanah greetings with political overtones, in stark contrast to his message to Muslims last July on their Eid-ul-Fitr holiday marking the end of Ramadan.

President Obama reminded Jews that the “Book of Life is open.” Assuming a posture as a Jew, he added:

As millions of Jews ask God to inscribe their names in that Book we recognize how much lies beyond our control.

It was a pointed reminder to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that besides God, there also is President Obama who pulls the strings when it comes to world affairs, such as the nuclear agreement with Iran.

The President then preached peace, which he said is “hard, but right now the book is open.  Not just for God but for us.”

That is a theme that was totally absent from his speech to Muslims in July, when he noted:

The end of Ramadan is a time to reflect spiritually, build communally, and aid those in need. While Eid marks the end of Ramadan, it marks a new beginning for each individual – a reason to celebrate and express gratitude on this holiday.

President Obama then devoted nearly half of his greeting to talk about how millions of Muslims go to mosques for prayers and then have “festive gatherings, gift exchanges, and feasts among friends, neighbors and families.”

He emphasized how “the diversity of traditions paint the vibrant images we see from around the world capturing the spirit and excitement of Eid – colorful dresses or white garments decorating the masses of people standing in lines for prayer, lanterns and ornaments lighting up bazaars and neighborhoods, intricate henna designs painted on hands of young girls and women, and an abundance of delectable foods and aromatic cuisines.”

Then he boasted that Eid-ul-Fitr now is a an official holiday in New York City public schools, and he praised Muslims for helping to raise money “for  the churches burned in the wake of the shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina” by a white racist.

The greeting to Muslims was absent of any reference to radical Muslim violence, peace in the Middle East, or the nuclear threat from Iran. It was a typical patronizing greeting made by every leader to partisan groups.

Now let’s go back to 2009 for President Obama’s first Rosh HaShanah greetings:

I want to extend my warmest wishes for this New Year. L’Shanah Tovah Tikatevu – may you have a good year, and may you be inscribed for blessing in the Book of Life….

At the dawn of this New Year, let us rededicate ourselves to that work. Let us reject the impulse to harden ourselves to others’ suffering, and instead make a habit of empathy – of recognizing ourselves in each other and extending our compassion to those in need.

Let us resist prejudice, intolerance, and indifference in whatever forms they may take — let us stand up strongly to the scourge of anti-Semitism, which is still prevalent in far too many corners of our world….

And let us work to achieve lasting peace and security for the state of Israel, so that the Jewish state is fully accepted by its neighbors, and its children can live their dreams free from fear.

All of that was absent from this year’s greeting, which also did not mention anti-Semitism and certainly not anti-Zionism, lest he prompt reminders that Iran’s idea of peace is a world without Israel.

President Obama was elected on a motto of “change.”

He has fulfilled his promise.

He indeed has changed.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

House Passes Bill Blocking Obama from Lifting Iran Sanctions

Saturday, September 12th, 2015

At the very last minute the House of Representatives is acting as if the house is on fire. Finally.

First, the House voted on Friday – the day after the Senate seemed to hand the President a victory – against the approval of the Nuclear Iran Deal. The vote was 269 to 162.

The House also acted on a bill which was introduced by Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) and Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) on Wednesday, Sept. 9.

That bill, HR 3460, blocks U.S. President Barack Obama from in any way lifting sanctions on Iran’s nuclear program, or from releasing individuals from specially designated terrorist lists which would otherwise be released under the proposed terms of the Nuclear Iran Deal.

The bill not only seeks to prevent the president from lifting sanctions now, it seeks to prevent him from lifting them until the end of his term as president, which is January 21, 2017.

The bill passed by a vote of 247 to 186.

Following the passage of HR 3460, Congressman Zeldin said,

“The President must not lift sanctions on Iran to implement this fatally flawed deal. The leverage that brought the Iranians to the table was the sanctions relief. Negotiating away our leverage while leaving so much out of the agreement is a historic strategic mistake.

“Iran is the largest state sponsor of terrorism, actively working to overthrow foreign governments, while pledging to wipe Israel off the map and chanting Death to America in their streets. So much wasn’t even part of the negotiations, including Iran’s continued efforts to develop ICBMs, blow up mock U.S. warships and unjustly imprison American citizens, including a U.S. Marine, a Pastor and a Reporter.

“This is a fatally flawed deal that paves the path to worsening instability and turmoil in the Middle East and is on track to trigger a nuclear arms race in the region. Furthermore, Congress has not even received the entire agreement yet from the President, specifically the critical components of the deal that would outline the verification agreements entered into between the IAEA and Iran. The President says this deal is not based on trust; it is based on verification, but we don’t even know the full details of the verification regime. It’s unfortunate that some members of Congress choose party loyalty over national security. I also want to thank Congressman Roskam for his very thoughtful and determined effort with this noble cause.”

Congressman Roskam said, “This dangerous nuclear agreement is what happens when the Administration capitulates to the world’s leading state-sponsor of terrorism. Under no circumstances should Congress be complicit in giving Iran a $150 billion cash infusion to further fund attacks against the United States and our allies. That’s why today the House passed this important bill to prevent President Obama from lifting statutory sanctions against Iran under this deeply flawed deal. I want to thank Congressman Zeldin for his leadership on this issue critical to U.S. national security.”

The following is the text of the bill that was passed by the House on Friday, September 11.

A BILL To suspend until January 21, 2017, the authority of the President to waive, suspend, reduce, provide relief from, or otherwise limit the application of sanctions pursuant to an agreement related to the nuclear program of Iran.  Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

 SECTION 1. SUSPENSION OF AUTHORITY TO WAIVE, SUSPEND, REDUCE, PROVIDE RELIEF FROM, OR OTHERWISE LIMIT THE APPLICATION OF SANCTIONS PURSUANT TO AN AGREEMENT RELATED TO THE NUCLEAR PROGRAM OF IRAN.

(a) IN GENERAL.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, prior to January 21, 2017, the President may not— (1) waive, suspend, reduce, provide relief from, or otherwise limit the application of sanctions described in subsection (b) or refrain from applying any such sanctions; or (2) remove a foreign person listed in Attachment 3 or Attachment 4 to Annex II of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action from the list of specially designated nationals and blocked persons maintained by the Office of Foreign Asset Control of the Department of the Treasury.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/house-passes-bill-blocking-obama-from-lifting-iran-sanctions/2015/09/12/

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