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December 9, 2016 / 9 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Biden’

Clinton Mulling Biden for Secretary of State

Friday, October 28th, 2016

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s short list for her old job of Secretary of State starts with Vice President Joe Biden, according to Politico, citing a source close to the campaign. Apparently, the campaign has not yet approached Biden with the proposal.

A six-term senator, Biden chaired the Senate Foreign Relations Committee before joining the Obama Ticket, and is considered an expert on the Middle East and on eastern Europe. He has been used by President Obama as his envoy to both regions. It has been noted that Clinton and Biden do not often agree on policy, Clinton being more inclined to intervene militarily, while Biden advocates a more reserved policy.

Biden would probably be the best Democratic selection from the point of view of Israel, and especially the Netanyahu Administration. He has had a rough and tumble relationship with AIPAC on occasion, but in 2008 described his relationship with the pro-Israel lobby: “I’ve never disagreed with AIPAC on the objective. Whenever I’ve had disagreement with AIPAC it has always been a tactical disagreement, not a substantive disagreement.” Following that statement, an AIPAC spokesman praised Biden’s leadership and stated: “We look forward to continuing to work with him in the Senate or in the White House.”

Like the bulk of the Democratic party, Biden supports a two-state solution. In 2009, he told an AIPAC conference that Israel “has to work towards a two-state solution” and “dismantle existing outposts and allow Palestinians freedom of movement.” He also called on the Palestinians to “combat terror and incitement against Israel.”

However, in 2007 he stated, when asked about the failure to achieve peace between Israel and the PA: “Israel’s a democracy and they make mistakes. But the notion that somehow if Israel just did the right thing, [the peace process] would work … give me a break.” He also stated that “The responsibility rests on those who will not acknowledge the right of Israel to exist, will not play fair, will not deal, will not renounce terror.”

The 2007 Biden-Brownback Resolution on Iraq, passed by the Senate with a 75-23 majority, including 26 Republicans, called for federalizing Iraq with separate regions for Kurds, Shiites, and Sunnis. Iraq’s political leadership and the GW Bush Administration united in denouncing the resolution. In retrospect it appears that following it might have prevented the violent emergence of ISIS.

In 2008, Israel Army Radio cited an unnamed source that said Biden had told Israeli officials privately that Israel “will have to reconcile itself with the nuclearization of Iran.” A Biden spokesman stated that “this is a lie peddled by partisan opponents of Senators Obama and Biden and we will not tolerate anyone questioning Senator Biden’s 35-year record of standing up for the security of Israel. … [Biden views a nuclear Iran as a] grave threat to Israel and the United States.” Israeli officials said at the time that the story was “dubious.”

Finally, as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Biden called for “hard-headed diplomacy” with Iran. He also has called for the implementation of “coordinated international sanctions” on Iran, but called to ” complement this pressure by presenting a detailed, positive vision for U.S.-Iran relations if Iran does the right thing.” In that context, in 2007, Biden voted against declaring the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization, because “war with Iran is not just a bad option. It would be a disaster.”

JNi.Media

Friend of Israel Slated to Become HRC’s WH Chief of Staff

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta is the top choice to serve as White House chief of staff come January 2017, Politico reported Thursday. The choice of chief of staff will signal the presidential candidate’s expectations of her relationship with Congress, as well as her international plans.

A close Clinton ally told Politico that, on the campaign, Podesta was part of a small group of advisers the candidate “can already shorthand with.” Expectations are that should he agree to serve, it would be only for one year. “The question is can she convince him to do it for a year,” the source said, adding, “He could get the administration stabilized, and get hiring done.”

Podesta served as President Clinton’s Chief of Staff from 1998 until the end of Clinton’s time in office in January 2001.

As reflected from the thousands of his emails dumped by Wikileaks, Podesta is a great advocate of transparency, and has frequently criticized Hillary Clinton’s tendency for secrecy and cover-ups. In a 2004 speech at Princeton University, he condemned what he called the U.S. “excessive government secrecy” and “bloated secrecy bureaucracy.” He supported President Clinton’s Executive Order 12958 which helped declassify 800 million pages from the U.S. diplomatic and national security history. He called Executive Order 12958 “perhaps the biggest accomplishment of the Clinton administration.”

Podesta and Jake Sullivan, Clinton’s likely appointment for National Security Advisor (he is currently serving as Vice President Biden’s NSA), are considered friends of Israel, a fact supported by countless leaked emails. Podesta and Sullivan come across in these emails as associates of the pro-Israel circle of Hillary Clinton advisors, some of whom have been on close personal terms with Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer. Dermer used their good services to communicate a message from Prime Minister Netanyahu to the presidential candidate, asking her to curb her enthusiasm in support of Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran.

One particular leaked email exchange, between John Podesta and his daughter, Megan Rouse, offers an un-staged insight into the former’s stand on US-Israel relations. Rouse wrote her father: “I’ve heard a concern from some folks who care deeply about Israel that Hillary will be the president ‘most unfriendly to Israel in our history, worse than Obama.’ Thoughts on how I might respond in conversation?”

Podesta replied: “That’s a bit crazy. Obama developed a real feud with Bibi, but she has been a staunch defender of Israel since her Senate days. Probably her very best supporters are Haim Saban, and Danny Abraham who would not be with her if she wasn’t totally committed to Israeli security.”

Incidentally, Podesta would much rather serve in Hillary Clinton’s cabinet as energy secretary, and was behind President Obama’s climate initiatives. The problem is that getting the job would require Senate confirmation, a road paved with months and months of hearings on those nasty Wikileak emails bearing his name and address. Apparently, not all of them were as sweet as his exchange with Megan…

JNi.Media

Biden Reveals US Going Out of Its Way to Extradite Erdogan’s Archenemy

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

Turkish rage at the US has been mounting since the failed July 15 coup, which President Erdogan blamed on his former ally Fethullah Gulen, a self-exiled cleric living in Pennsylvania. It has gotten so bad, President Obama sent his VP to smooth things over, and the Turks were not making the task easy for Joe Biden. The Turks began by sending Ankara’s deputy mayor to greet Biden—the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit Turkey since the coup—at the airport. And while the VP was still visiting, the pro-Erdogan Daily Sabah stated: “Biden wasted a trip, Turkey wasted time.”

But Joe Biden, no stranger to hardball politics, took all of that in stride and stayed on message. For one thing, as Anadolu reported Wednesday, Biden hinted that Obama may be prepared to throw Gulen under the bus. “I can understand Mr. President how some of your countrymen would feel that the world didn’t respond rapidly enough to the existential crisis your country is facing,” the VP said at a joint press conference in Ankara Wednesday. “That’s why I want to personally be here. And I was asked by the president to personally be here to represent him, to tell you and all of your colleagues and your countryman how very, very sorry I am, the president and the American people are for the suffering and loss you have endured.”

Biden then said the US is “committed to doing everything we can to help bring justice for all those responsible for this coup attempt. Even as [we] speak, our American experts are on the ground here in Ankara, meeting with your people, closely coordinating with our Turkish counterparts to evaluate and gather material with regard to Turkish requests to extradite Gulen in accordance our bilateral extradition treaty.”

“We have more lawyers working on this case than any other extradition in recent history,” Biden reassured his host. According to Anadolu, during his earlier meeting with Speaker of Parliament Ismail Kahraman, Biden said he and Obama “wish Gulen were in another country, not in the US.”

Erdogan lectured Biden on how Gulen is operating a global terrorist network from his little home in Pennsylvania, and repeated his demand thata the US immediately detain Gulen, so he won’t give media interviews. Biden reportedly put his face in his hands at this point, and tried to explain the US Constitution to his Turkish host.

“The Constitution and our laws require for someone to be extradited that a court of the United States has to conclude there’s probable cause to extradite,” Biden said. “How long it will take will depend on what evidence is presented. Thus far, until yesterday, there has been no evidence presented about the coup.”

“God willing, there will be enough data and evidence to meet the criteria that you all believe exists,” Biden added later.

Good luck, Mr. Vice President.

JNi.Media

Biden Attacks ‘Overwhelmingly’ Frustrating Israel Hours after Bus Bombing

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

Vice President Joe Biden attacked time and again the Netanyahu government which he said causes the White House “overwhelming frustration,” in a speech at the leftwing J Street organization’s annual gala dinner on Monday. “The present course Israel’s on is not one that’s likely to secure its existence as a Jewish, democratic state— and we have to make sure that happens,” Biden said.

Biden recalled his recent meetings with both Netanyahu and PA Chairman Abbas, concluding that “there is at the moment no political will that I observed among Israelis or Palestinians to move forward with serious negotiations. The trust that is necessary to take risks for peace is fractured on both sides.”

According to Politico, the tone and direction of that Biden reference and his overall speech “seemed to rule out the chances of a final year peace push from the Obama administration.” Perhaps.

Biden acknowledged the attack on a Jerusalem bus by Arab terrorists that took place on the same day he was sharing his frustrations regarding the Netanyahu government’s lack of willingness to pursue the two-state solution. Biden condemned the bombing, saying it had been done by “misguided cowards.” He offered prayers to the injured and their families. Which is probably more realistic at this point than anything else the administration could do to promote its goals in the region. That should be frustrating indeed.

Biden began his speech with praise for another guest of honor, young, first-term MK Stav Shaffir (Zionist Camp – Labor), who reminded him, he said, of the time he had run for the Senate at the age of 29. “May your views once again begin to have a majority opinion in the Knesset,” Biden said.

Not likely. In fact, if Labor ever wants to be a contender in Israeli coalition politics, it’ll have to move to the center—as the majority of its members have been advocating—which could mean the dropping of needless indulgences like Shaffir.

Towards the end, Biden said, “We are Israel’s maybe not-only friend, but only absolutely certain friend.” That statement will be tested in November, after the elections, when the US Administration will have to decide whether or not to veto a UN Security Council resolution unilaterally declaring a Palestinian state.

JNi.Media

Kerry, Biden Slated to Speak at J Street Gala

Sunday, April 17th, 2016

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry are both slated to speak Monday at the J Street 2016 National Gala.

The event is scheduled to take place at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Netanyahu Thanks Obama for Visit to Israeli Embassy ‘After so Many Years’

Monday, January 25th, 2016

At the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, Jan. 24, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered several pointed remarks.

Netanyahu thanked U.S. President Barack Obama “for deciding to attend the International Holocaust Remembrance Day event at the Israeli embassy. The US President has not been at the Israeli embassy for many years.” The day of remembrance this year will be observed on Jan. 27.

Although Netanyahu claimed that Obama’s decision to attend the event was evidence of the strong relationship between the two countries, his verbiage suggested otherwise.

Netanyahu claimed the relationship between the two nations is “very strong and steadfast.”

He went on to stay that “what has collapsed is the talk about a collapse and what is becoming increasingly clear is that this special relationship finds expression in very many areas.”

One example of such expression being found is the package of security assistance for Israel from the U.S., the terms of which Netanyahu hopes will be finalized in the coming months.

Discussion about that package officially began in earnest between the two parties once the U.S.-led negotiations concluded over the Nuclear Iran Deal. The U.S. sought to assure Israel that it “has Israel’s back” despite the deal, by providing what it claims is adequate protection from Iran’s war-mongering.

The Israeli government initially refused to engage in discussions about the memorandum regarding U.S. military assistance to Israel, in order to make clear it was not acquiescing in the American rationale for the deal with Iran, which Netanyahu lobbied against relentlessly, claiming it would pose an existential risk to the Jewish State.

Once the deal releasing Iran from sanctions was concluded, the Israeli prime minister came back to the table for the military assistance package which is expected to exceed $3.1 billion per year, and may reach $5 billion per year. The new ten year deal follows an earlier one which is set to expire in 2017.

Netanyahu concluded his public statements before the cabinet meeting by mentioning talks he had at the World Economic Forum at Davos with Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry. Following their talk, Biden “reaffirmed the unshakable U.S. commitment to Israel’s security.”

Netanyahu said, “Everyone understands that in the end, in the whirlpool in the Middle East, with the rise of radical Islamic forces, Israel is the U.S.’s strongest, and most loyal and stable, ally in the region. This also finds expression in the shared values and common interests that we are advancing.”

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Biden Tells Atlanta Jews ‘Honest to God, I Don’t Know If I Will Run’ [video]

Friday, September 4th, 2015

Vice President Joe Biden told a packed Conservative synagogue in Atlanta Thursday night that the biggest factor that will determine if runs for the White House is whether his family can handle it.

His speech was part an Obama-Biden blitz to convince Jews to back the nuclear deal with Iran, which now has enough backing in the Senate to defeat an opposition attempt to override a presidential veto if Congress rejects the deal.

The biggest question on everyone’s mind was not what Biden had to say about “ObamaDeal” but rather if he will run. He answered questions from the audience, including one about putting his hat in the ring, and said:

Honest to God answer is I just don’t know

The most relevant factor in my decision is whether I and my family have the emotional energy to run.

Some people might think that is not appropriate. But unless I can go to my party and the American people and say that I am able to devote my whole heart and my whole soul to this endeavor, it would not be appropriate.

And everybody talks about the other factors — the other people in the race, whether I can raise the money and whether I can put together an organization. That’s not the factor. The factor is, ‘Can I do it? Can my family undertake an arduous commitment that I would be proud to undertake under ordinary circumstances?’

His circumstances are far from ordinary. His son Beau Biden, who was considering running for governor of Delaware, died of brain cancer last May.

The Vice President mentioned a previous tragedy, the death of his first wife and daughter in an auto accident in 1972, in his speech at the Ahavat Achim synagogue. Biden said:

I know from previous experience after my wife and daughter … there’s no way to put a timetable to it.

“If I can reach that conclusion that we can do it in a fashion that would still make it viable, I would not hesitate to do it. But I have to be honest with you and everyone who’s come to me, I can’t look you straight in the eye and tell you I can do it. That’s as honest as I can be.

Considering unfavorable polls of Hillary Clinton when it comes to honesty, Biden is an appealing alternative to the former Secretary of State and to Bernie Sanders, whose popularity has soared in the polls.

Sanders’ success reflects a large sector of the population that is fed up with “establishment political,” but as the Democratic nominee for president. he would leave the Democratic party more vulnerable to a loss to the Republican candidate, assuming the GOP nominee will be someone other than Donald Trump.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/biden-tells-atlanta-jews-honest-to-god-i-dont-know-if-i-will-run/2015/09/04/

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