web analytics
August 23, 2014 / 27 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Bill Clinton’

Lapid Unintentionally Helps Right with Bid for ‘Interim PA Pact’

Monday, May 20th, 2013

Yair Lapid, Israel’s Finance Minister and head of Israel’s second largest political party, has unraveled U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to reincarnate the “peace process” before Kerry even packed his bags for another trip to Israel at the end of the week.

He told the Yediot Acharonot newspaper Sunday what everyone except Kerry and the European Union’s Catherine Ashton know – it is unrealistic even to think about a final stage peace agreement for the establishment of the Palestinian Authority as an independent country.

It is questionable if even Kerry’s boss, President Barack Obama, actually thinks an agreement is in the cards.

Maybe, just maybe, Obama has learned what Ronald Regan, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush never seemed to grasp – the Palestinian Authority will make peace with Israel only when it is sure that the Jewish state’s future is doomed.

That is why PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas refuses to budge on the Arab world’s dream to import several million Arabs to Israel, based on their claim that Israel is their home because their parents, grandparents, great-great parents and their dogs lived here.

The Oslo Accords, Clinton’s time bomb that fulfilled his promise to create a new Middle East, although not exactly the way he envisioned, provided for interim borders for a Palestinian Authority state, with final borders to be negotiated.

Bush’s Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in one of her many less enlightened moments, agreed that maybe it was best to simply skip over that little clause and go for broke.

And the “peace process’ since then indeed went broke.

Correctly perceiving that there was no need to concede anything except uncertainty, Abbas re-defined the word “negotiations” to mean “you give and I take,” with the only undecided issue being the date that Israel will supposedly sign its own death certificate.

The term “interim agreement” is no where in his lexicon. It is buried deep, deep under the “peace process,” and here comes Lapid, the last hope for the center-left to keep those pesky national religious Jews from getting too uppity, to the rescue of the right wing nationalists.

He also displayed remarkable honesty and lack of tact at the same by stating that Abbas “is still not psychologically ready for an agreement with Israel, either partial or full.”

That is the kind of statement that sounds like it is right out of the mouth of Avigdor Lieberman, who was foreign minister before he was indicted six months ago for breach of public trust.

It did not take long for Abbas, through an aide,  to react to Lapid’s statements, which reflect either amazing naïveté for a former journalist or just plain stupidity.

“We have heard this idea before and rejected it simply because we know the intention of Israel is to continue building on Jerusalem and other parts of the West Bank,” stated Nimr Hamad, one of Abbas’ sages in Ramallah. Just in case Lapid does not understand, Hamad added that final borders are “the most important thing for us.”

With the United Nations General Assembly already having adopted a resolution recognizing the borders of a Palestinian Authority state exactly as Abbas wants them, talk of an interim agreement can only convince Abbas that Lapid is a nationalist is in disguise.

Lapid is part of an overwhelming majority of Israeli Jews who are not willing to hand over such areas as the Old City on Jerusalem to Abbas.

Abbas could save himself from virtually isolation by the Obama administration if he accepts the idea of interim borders, but to do so would be political suicide, if not a sign of a real-life death wish.

He has dug himself into a hole by promising and promising and promising the PA “street” that he will get everything he wants, lock, stock and barrel.

The joker in the cards is Lapid’s statement Sunday that President Obama could set a three-year time limit for defining final borders while carrying out Bush’s written promise to Israel that such as areas as Gush Etzion and Maaleh Adumim would remain part of Israel.

He also wants to put aside the issues of Jerusalem and the Arab demand for importing millions of foreign Arabs into Israel. Abbas has rejected that idea time and time again.

Hillary and Bill Clinton Give Weiner the Cold Shoulder

Monday, May 13th, 2013

Anthony Weiner can forget about any support from Hillary and Bill Clinton if he decides to run for mayor of New York City, the New York Post reported Monday. The main reason is Huma Abedin, Weiner’s Muslim wife who suffered disgrace shortly after their marriage when Weiner was caught using the Internet for online relationships with women.

Abedin, unarguably Hillary Clinton’s closest aide, decided to swallow her pride and remain married to Weiner, one reason being that she was pregnant. She had the emotional support of her former boss who went through a similar period following the scandal of the relationship between her husband Bill and his aide Monica Lewinsky

“The Clintons wish Weiner would just disappear. Every time he pops up, it’s a reminder of Bill’s scandal with, and it isn’t helpful to Hillary’s hopes for 2016,” one Democrat told the New York newspaper.

The Clintons are not expected to officially endorse a candidate for the mayor of New York.

Bill Clinton Tried to Block Israel’s Taxing Newly-Found Gas

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

Former Bill Clinton, the man who unwittingly carried out his promise for a “New Middle East,” worked as a paid lobbyist to pressure Israel against increasing taxes on natural gas from huge off-shore energy fields, former Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz revealed.

Clinton’s wealth is estimated at well over $55 million, making him the richest living president, but no one knows better than him that “enough is never enough,” especially when it comes to “helping” Israel.

One of his most famous “accomplishments” as president was to engineer the signing of the Oslo Accords, with a grinning Yasser Arafat and Yitzchak Rabin at his side on the White House lawn. Clinton promised a “new Middle East,” and we got one when the Oslo Accords literally exploded in Israel’s face in 2002.

Clinton has not given up his version of helping Israel while making pocket money to boot.

Israel has the wonderful problem of figuring out how much to tax the gigantic natural gas pumped from discoveries off the Mediterranean Coast. The energy fields will bring billions of dollars in profits for energy companies, and the government wants a share of the natural wealth.

As Finance Minister, Steinitz proposed raising taxes on companies that developed the natural resources. The energy firms still would be left with envious profits but wanted to stop the tax hike, a reasonable objective for any company.

Clinton’s agreement to be its front-man raises serious questions about the ethics of a former president lobbying a foreign country.

“Pressure [against the tax hike] began from the White House,” Steinitz told the Hebrew language Maariv newspaper.

“The energy companies hired American lobbyists, including former President Bill Clinton, who sent letters and had discussions to dismantle the Shashinsky Commission,” which examined the natural gas issue, “and to stop the tax law.”

“Members of the U.S. Congress asked me for clarifications,” Steinitz said. “We began to feel a sense of pressure, as if we were doing something impeachable to commercial ties between the two countries. I tried to explain that we are among the countries earning the lowest rates from natural gas and petrol, that we get nothing and that the citizens of Israel have as much moral right to profit from public resources as do private companies.”

The Shashinsky recommendations for a tax increase in November 2010, and the pressure decreased, apparently under orders of President Barack Obama.

No one has accused Clinton of doing anything illegal, but the ethics of the former president’s polices and accumulation of wealth following his terms of office deserve examination.

“Between 1997 and 2003 …You went from a period, a regime, where people did have at least some concern about going to jail, to a point where everything is legal. …Looking back I would say that this period definitely started under Clinton,” said Charles Ferguson, whose documentary film Inside Job in 2010 won an Academy Award.

Clinton certainly did not have to lobby against Israel for lack of money.

“I never had any money until I got out of the White House, you know, but I’ve done reasonably well since then,” Clinton has said in an understatement that would be laughable if not true.

“Reasonably well?” Let’s check.

As a lame duck president in December 2000, Clinton signed into law the Commodities Futures Modernization Act, which ensured that derivatives could not be regulated. Two months later, shortly after leaving the White House, Clinton received $125,000 from Morgan Stanley for a speech Clinton he delivered to the company in New York City.  A few weeks later, Credit Suisse also hired Clinton for a speech, at a $125,000 speaking fee, according to the NakedCapitalism.com website.

“It’s not a coincidence that deregulation accelerated in the late 1990s, as Clinton and his whole team began thinking about their post-Presidential prospects,” the site added.

If Clinton was only somewhat rich man before becoming president, he has more than made up for lost change.

In the decade after the end of his second term, he pocketed nearly $10 million for speaking fees. That comes out to a lot more than his hourly wage as president.

And who paid for the privilege of hearing his wisdom?

Citigroup: $250,000; Deutsche Bank, $150,000; Goldman Sachs, $300,000 for two speeches, and that is only three coins in the fountain.

Yale Elects First-Ever Israeli Student Union President

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

Yale University students have Jerusalem-born native Daniel Avraham as the first Israeli president of the Student Union.

Avraham, a 24-year-old sophomore, learned at the Gymnasia Herzliya high school and is a former IDF intelligence officer. He is studying in the university’s ethics and economics program.

Former Yale Student Union presidents include former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, her successor John Kerry, and former U.S. presidents George, both father and son, and Bill Clinton.

Bill Clinton as Father of the Year

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

The news that Bill Clinton was chosen as father of the year by The National Father’s Day Council has brought for the scoffers. Really, the dude with Monica Lewinsky? The man who humiliated his wife?

They’re wrong. A man can be an imperfect husband and still be a great Dad. In fact, it’s become something of a national crisis. There are way too many men who love their kids more than their wives when, in truth, a healthy marriage dictates that the relationship between the parents always has to come first.

Countless wives who have come to me for counseling complain that they are married to indifferent, unromantic, selfish husbands. Yet, when I ask them, “Does he neglect his kids the way he neglects you?,” the majority of the time they say, “Actually, no. He’s a great Dad.” Even women who have divorced their husbands and told me what miserable marriages they were in will then tell me that, remarkably, their ex continues to be an engaged and loving Dad.

I’m reading The Patriarch, David Nasaw’s magisterial book about Joseph Kennedy. What the biography shows is that Kennedy was a deeply anti-Semitic, compulsively adulterous, misogynist. But boy did he love his kids. A man who put making money before almost all else, the exception was dropping everything whenever his kids were ill. To be sure, there were horror stories like the lobotomy of his daughter Rosemarie. But by and large, though he was an awful, philandering husband who  his wife with endless affairs, he was extremely attached to his kids.

Which brings us to Bubba.

A few months ago, while I was sitting at the JCC in Manhattan at a lecture that featured my friend Rabbi Marc Schneier of Westhampton and was moderated by Chelsea Clinton, I was suddenly disturbed by a rush of men with noodles coming out of their ears. Bill Clinton came in and sat in the seat right in front of me. His daughter was on stage and he wanted to see her. He arrived very quietly and was clearly there to show his daughter support. Then, this past Summer, Clinton toured a country very close to my heart, Rwanda, for his Clinton Global Initiative. In so many of the pictures he is walking around with one hand on his daughter’s shoulder. Not even his biggest critics deny that he is a loving and involved father who has given his daughter great confidence in herself as a woman, even as he has, most assuredly, caused her pain by acts of unfaithfulness that hurt her mother, all the more so because they were so public.

The two are not incongruous. You can be a great father even if you’re not exactly the greatest spouse.

Of course, it’s best to try and be both.

Everyone Expecting Hillary Home Run in 2016

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

It is no surprise that folks are already inking in Hillary Clinton’s name as the top pick for the Democratic party’s nominee for president in 2016.  But it is, perhaps, surprising that even top Republicans are anticipating not just a run, but are predicting that Clinton will be unbeatable.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich was on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, December 9.  He and others on the program predicted it would be “virtually impossible” for any Democrat to beat Clinton in the race to be the Democratic nominee for president in 2016.

Gingrich told viewers there might be another familiar name on the ballot in 2016 – he was speaking about former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.  If that happens, everyone will be able to re-use their political buttons from old campaigns – President George H.W. Bush ran against Bill Clinton in 1992.  That time around Clinton was considered by almost all pro-Israel supporters as the candidate more favorable for Israel.

Clinton’s approval ratings have always been high amongst American Jews – this was true even after the infamous “Suha Smooch.”

Back in November, 1999, Hillary Clinton was seated on the stage next to the wife of the Palestinian Liberation Organization president Yasir Arafat, when Suha Arafat gave a speech.  In that speech Mrs. Arafat claimed that Israelis used toxic chemicals daily to poison ‘Palestinian’ women and children.  Although Mrs. Clinton had a simultaneous translation as the speech was given, when Arafat finished speaking, Mrs. Clinton stood up, then kissed and embraced Arafat.

That embrace became the star of the first-ever airing of a television ad paid for by the Republican Jewish Coalition.  Clinton’s misstep initially cost her with the Jewish community, but she recovered and went on to become a two-term U.S. Senator from New York.

In fact, according to political analysts, Clinton received the bulk of the Jewish vote and donations in the Democratic presidential primary in 2008.

And just as the vast majority of American Jews forgave Clinton for the Suha Smooch, it should surprise few that the vast majority of American Jews paid little mind to words she uttered last week at the Saban Forum hosted by the Brookings Institution, held in Washington, D.C.

Secretary of State Clinton was the keynote speaker at the Saban Forum on November 30.  In her speech, Clinton extolled the virtues of the U.S. administration’s relationship with Israel and reiterated the campaign talking points describing this administration as Israel’s best friend.

During the unscripted question and answer session, Clinton charged the Israelis – the Jewish people – with not understanding or feeling the pain of an oppressed people.  She responded to a query raised by Israeli journalist Ilana Dayan regarding the suspicious nature of Israelis:

So, look, I’m not making excuses for the missed opportunities of the Israelis, or the lack of generosity, the lack of empathy that I think goes hand-in-hand with the suspicion. So, yes, there is more that the Israelis need to do to really demonstrate that they do understand the pain of an oppressed people in their minds, and they want to figure out, within the bounds of security and a Jewish democratic state, what can be accomplished.

Clinton also subtly criticized Israel’s retention of tax funds collected by Israel and earmarked for the  Palestinian Authority. The money was withheld as a small step towards covering the gross delinquency in payment by the PA to Israel for its electricity consumption.

Clinton described Israel’s decision to withhold those funds as an indication of Israel’s lack of generosity, “I think that the more generous Israel can be on everything from expediting the tax revenues that Israel collects and then remits to the ‘Palestinians,’” the closer it will bring peace to the region.  Clinton described the PA  as not only moderate and secular, but as also successful and having “accomplished quite a bit” with “very little money,” and “no natural resources.”  The billions of dollars in international aid received by the PA over the years apparently did not factor into her evaluation.

Few doubt that Clinton will seek her party’s nomination in 2016.  And fewer still should doubt that American Jews will ignore the Saban Smackdown, just as they ignored the Suha Smooch.

The President And The Rule Of Law: Where Is Bill Clinton?

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Soon after the oral argument in the Supreme Court on Obamacare, when it appeared there was considerable skepticism among the justices as to its constitutionality, President Obama expressed the view that it would be “unprecedented” for the unelected court to overturn legislation passed by an elected legislature. But not only did the president’s words fly in the face of the court’s role as ultimate arbiter of a law’s constitutionality, he has arrogated to himself the right to unilaterally override legislative enactments. We have already noted, for example, his effectively amending U.S. immigration law by creating an exemption in the law, which Congress has refused to enact, for certain illegals in terms of deportation.

Within hours of the Obamacare argument in the Supreme Court, when it appeared likely Obamacare would be struck down, President Obama issued a statement in which he said,

There is not only an economic element to this, a legal element to this, but there is a human element to this. And I hope that’s not forgotten in this political debate.Ultimately, I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.

And I would like to remind conservative commentators that for years what we have heard is that the biggest problem is judicial activism and that an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law.

To be sure, the president is a nationally elected figure, yet his role, in the words of the Constitution, is to “take care that the laws [enacted by Congress] be faithfully executed….”

Yet earlier this month the Obama administration asked the Supreme Court to strike down various provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act, overwhelmingly passed by Congress in 1966 (the House vote was 342-67, with two members voting present and 22 not voting while the tally in the Senate was 85-14 with one member not voting) and signed into law by President Bill Clinton.

Indeed, House Republicans have had to retain private counsel to defend the 16-year-old law because the Obama administration has declined to defend it in court. (Worthy of note is the fact that no state referendum seeking approval of same sex marriage has ever passed.)

However, Mr. Obama, who on May 9of this year became the first president to publicly express his support for same-sex marriage, believes the Defense of Marriage Act, which denies same-sex couples legally married under state law the federal benefits afforded to heterosexual couples, should not be enforced, in direct contradiction of a lopsided congressional vote to the contrary.

Another Clinton-era law enacted by Congress was welfare reform, which contained as a key provision the requirement that welfare beneficiaries must find and maintain some sort of employment in order to qualify for federally funded assistance. Last week, however, the Obama administration , through a memo from the Department of Health and Human Services, asserted it had the authority to waive that requirement and advised state welfare agencies they no longer had to enforce it.

The HHS claim is astonishing and palpably lawless. HHS is relying on two provisions of the Social Security Act which are among several that govern federal welfare programs. Section 402 requires states to submit an administrative plan to the federal government describing how they will spend federal welfare funds. However, Section 1115 also authorizes HHS to issue certain waivers to various sections, including 402, so that a state can experiment with different approaches. The HHS memo claims it is relying on Section 1115. So the HHS theory seems to be that since it can relieve states from the requirement that they provide a welfare-spending plan to HHS, HHS can also relieve them of the requirement that welfare recipients need to work in order to qualify.

This alone shows how much of a stretch this all is. But in addition there is the little matter that part of the language of Section 1115 is: “[A] waiver granted under Section 1115 or otherwise…shall not affect the applicability of Section 407 to the State.” And it is Section 407 that requires welfare recipients to work in order to receive benefits.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/the-president-and-the-rule-of-law-where-is-bill-clinton/2012/07/18/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: