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January 31, 2015 / 11 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Binyamin Netanyahu’

Time-Honored White House Diplomatic Traditions on Israel

Saturday, January 24th, 2015

For those readers who have become avid fans of the soap opera unfolding in the White House around the drama between U.S. President Barack Obama and Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, a tidbit just for you.

On Friday, as the White House press corps was engaged in its usual back-and-forth with spokesperson Josh Earnest, they finally managed to force a truth from his lips: The President and the Prime Minister, he said, have a “fundamental disagreement” about diplomatic talks with Iran.

Netanyahu “doesn’t share [Obama's] view,” Earnest admitted. But still, he claimed, those “differences of opinion” don’t undermine the “unshakable” American commitment to Israel’s security.

On America’s terms, of course. And if it happens to prove mistaken and an existential threat to the Jewish State, which is about the size of New Jersey, well. . .

<menacing music>

As it happens, most members of Congress also have a “fundamental disagreement” with the President about the diplomatic talks with Iran, it seems. Not just the Republicans, who comprise the majority in both houses, but there are a fair number of Democrats who also believe Iran is using the talks simply to gain more time for its covert nuclear development activities.

And Iranians have long made it clear both in the street and in their mosques that their targets will not be limited to Israel; America is in the cross-hairs as well. Members of the intelligence community are well aware of it, as are members of Congress and the Israeli government.

So as early as last October, U.S. Rep. John Boehner was talking to Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer about inviting Netanyahu to address the Congress on the Iranian nuclear threat. The formal invitation was made public last week – and accepted as well – to the apparent “surprise” of the White House.

It’s a bit hard to believe that any of The President’s Men – or Women – could be caught off guard. But let’s leave that bit for quiet contemplation.

It turns out the annual AIPAC conference is being held in March this year – a “must” for every Israeli head of state, and Netanyahu is no exception. The address to Congress made much more sense scheduled around AIPAC, and was penciled in for the same week.

Utter fury at the White House. Sarcastic remarks from press secretary Josh Earnest, with a reference to the Speaker of the House making a “departure from protocol.” On the Prime Minister’s visit, Earnest was altogether tight-lipped, saying his boss was “reserving judgment.”

Later reporters were told that neither Obama nor Secretary of State John Kerry would meet with Israel’s head of state while he is in Washington for both events.

Imagine. One of America’s “closest allies” comes to the capital and neither the President nor the Secretary of State makes time to meet with him, when the United States shares military, intelligence, economy, academic and who knows how many other priorities with Israel.

Not to mention their “differences of opinion” that are so important to work out – something that one would believe an administration so committed to the process of “diplomacy” would consider a priority.

The White House spokesperson tried to put a good face on it.

“As a matter of long-standing practice and principle, we do not see heads of state or candidates in close proximity to their elections, so as to avoid the appearance of influencing a democratic election in a foreign country,” he explained Thursday.

Netanyahu to Address US Congress on Iran

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will reportedly address a joint session of Congress on February 11 at the invitation of Speaker John A. Boehner, who has asked him to address American legislators on the issue of Iran.

Boehner extended the invitation Wednesday less than 24 hours after President Barack Obama snubbed the Congress on the issue in his State of the Union address on national television.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu is a great friend of our country, and this invitation carries with it our unwavering commitment to the security and well-being of his people. In this time of challenge, I am asking the prime minister to address Congress on the grave threats radical Islam and Iran pose to our security and way of life,” Boehner wrote in a statement. “Americans and Israelis have always stood together in shared cause and common ideals, and now we must rise to the moment again. As many have pointed out, there’s no proof Obama’s actions have in fact halted Iran’s nuclear program. Indeed, the diplomacy has worried those who most fear the consequences of a nuclear breakout in Iran, including Netanyahu.”

The invitation was a strong gesture of support to the Jewish State. But it was also a direct slap at the president who repeated his threat to veto any proposed legislation toughening sanctions against Iran over its nuclear development activities. Obama wants lawmakers to allow him time to complete diplomatic negotiations with Tehran.

Last week it was announced that Iran is building two new nuclear plants “for peaceful purposes” – similar to all the other “peaceful civilian” nuclear facilities now churning out uranium enriched to military weapons grade levels.

Iran’s atomic agency chief said a week ago that Iran is increasing its uranium enrichment capacity to 30 tons per year, according to the Tasnim news agency, as quoted by China’s Xinhua news group. The increased production levels are intended to meet the “fuel needs of the Bushehr nuclear power plant.”

But at the beginning of the current round of negotiations, didn’t the Iranians agree to “freeze” their program during the talks? It is no secret that Iran has used talks to buy time in the past – nor is it a secret to anyone who watches the “talk game” that they are doing it now as well.

Israel’s prime minister has warned world leaders repeatedly about the risk facing their nations, their people and his own because of the gamble taken by the White House. He also said there was a limit as to how far Israel would be willing to allow that gamble to endanger Israeli lives.

Netanyahu has addressed the U.S. Congress twice before, in 2011 and prior to that in 1996. Each time he has addressed the threat of Iran’s steadily growing nuclear prowess and what it could mean for America and the world.

Next month’s address will undoubtedly exacerbate the already strained ties that exist between Jerusalem and the White House. But time is running out for everyone. Netanyahu and the people of Israel face elections in March.

Iran can do a lot of damage before then.

Turkey’s Erdogan Attacks Netanyahu for ‘Daring’ to Show Up at Paris Unity Rally

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

One day after Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas appeared arm in arm with world leaders in Paris at Sunday’s unity rally against radical Islamist terror, he joined Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in slamming Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for doing the exact same thing.

Turkey’s new presidential palace in Ankara was given the opportunity to witness a “dress show” during Erdogan’s welcoming ceremony for Abbas as a visiting head of state for the first time on Monday. The two shook hands flanked by a costumed retinue before moving on to a meeting room for bilateral talks. Erdogan also took the opportunity to meet with members of the media together with Abbas, where the pair lashed out at Israel’s prime minister for showing up to the event in Paris.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu joined Netanyahu, Abbas and other world leaders who gathered to honor the memory of the 17 people murdered last week in terror attacks by Islamist extremists. The Turkish president said, however, that Netanyahu had no right to participate due to the civilian casualties in Gaza resulting from Israel’s war with the ruling Hamas terror organization last summer.

“I also hardly understand how he dared to go there,” Erdogan told reporters. For one, you give an account for the children and women you massacred,” he said, according to AFP.

“How can you see this individual who carries out state terrorism by massacring 2,500 people in Gaza waving his hand? He is waving his hand as if people are very enthusiastically waiting for him,” Erdogan was quoted as saying.

The Turkish president went on to say that historically, Muslims were never on the side of terror, nor did they perpetrate massacres. Last week’s slaughter in Paris resulted from racism, hate messages and Islamaphobia, Erdogan contended.

“We hope that those attacking nations cease their assault on our mosques,” he said. “Take note that the acts of terror are not carried out in a vacuum. The acts follow a predetermined script and we should be alive to a plot against the Islamic world.”

Erdogan accused Israel of ‘escalating tensions in the region by violating holy sites along with its recent increasingly aggressive behavior,’ according to a report published in Turkey’s Todays Zaman newspaper. He added that protecting the Al Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount, known to Muslims as the “Noble Sanctuary” and the third holiest place in Islam, ‘is not only the duty of Palestine, but also the entire Islamic world,’ according to the report – implying that the site is in danger. The Turkish president also vowed to continue fighting against Israel’s ‘reckless behavior that recognizes no rules’ with other Muslim countries and the international community, the newspaper reported.

With regard to the Paris terror attacks, Erdogan asked European authorities to ‘take preventive measures against those who attack mosques and Muslims,’ saying ‘these are all provocations’ and adding ‘these things are not being done for nothing… These are all a result of a scenario. There are also games being played over the Islamic world. We need to be aware of this too.’

Erdogan said it was ‘meaningful’ that Muslims were being blamed for a massacre that was committed by ‘French citizens.’

Netanyahu, World Leaders to Unite at French Solidarity Rally

Sunday, January 11th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is heading to France together with Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, as well as MK Eli Yishai as the Knesset’s representative, to attend a unity rally in Paris today (Sunday, Jan 11).

The Israeli government leadership will join with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron, King Abdullah II of Jordan and his Queen, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and a million more.

Abu Mazen – the Arab terrorist name of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas — initially said he wouldn’t be able to go because of inclement weather, but has since changed his mind.

The “silent march” is being held to protest terrorism, and to honor the memory of the 17 victims murdered last week in a three-day series of attacks in Paris by radical Islamist terrorists.

Rallies are also planned in numerous cities around the globe.

French police are still hunting for Hayat Boudienne, the common law wife of one of the terrorists slain on Friday. However, it is believed she has left the country and headed to the Middle East. Turkish police have told authorities Boudienne may have passed through Turkey on her way to Syria, Fox News reported Saturday night.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is also expected to participate in the solidarity rally in Paris, according to Turkey’s official Anatolia news agency.

The news follows a report last week that the exiled politiburo chief of the Hamas terror group, Khaled Mashaal, has been invited to establish a new headquarters in Turkey. Mashaal was allegedly expelled from Qatar, along with top officials of the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist organization.

The Al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), has taken responsibility for the attack Wednesday at the Charlie Hebdo satirical weekly magazine office.

The terror group released a statement over the weekend claiming the assault was launched in revenge for the “honor” of the prophet Muhammed, the founder of Islam.

The statement issued by the group’s spokesperson said the leadership of AQAP directed the operations and chose their target carefully. He added that the terror organization delayed taking responsibility for the attack because of “security reasons.”

U.S. intelligence sources said that 34-year-old Said Kouachi, one of the suspects killed on Friday, had traveled to Yemen in 2011 and made “direct contact” with Al Qaeda training camps.

‘Palestinian Authority Not a State, Can’t Sue in ICC’

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas can sign as many treaties as he wants – even the Rome Statute – but the bottom line remains that Ramallah signatures do not a sovereign nation create. Without being a nation, one cannot indict a nation either.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu bluntly reminded Abu Mazen – the terrorist name by which Abbas is known in the Arab world – of that reality in remarks following a discussion at the prime minister’s office in Tel Aviv on Thursday.

“We expect the International Criminal Court to reject outright the Palestinian Authority’s hypocritical act because the Palestinian Authority is not a state,” Netanyahu stated. “It is an entity in alliance with a terrorist organization, Hamas, which perpetrates war crimes.

“The State of Israel is a nation of laws with a moral army that upholds international law,” he continued. “We will defend the soldiers of the IDF just as they defend us.”

Netanayhu met with officials on the Palestinian Authority’s accession to 20 international treaties in addition to joining the ICC.

Earlier in the day Abbas filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court at The Hague (ICC) accusing Israel of committing war crimes in “Palestine” at various times since June 13, 2014.

The move came one day after the United Nations Security Council voted to reject a resolution granting statehood to the PA and forcing Israel to withdraw by 2017 from all territories conquered in the 1967 Six Day War.

Israel Warns Palestinians, ‘Fear the Intl Criminal Court’

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

Reactions to the new membership of the Palestinian Authority in the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the The Hague have not been long in coming.

With the signature of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on the Rome Statute sealing the entity’s membership in the Court, Israeli leaders immediately issued their responses.

As Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu noted, the move may very well be a signature on a death warrant for the Palestinian entity.

“The one who should fear the International Criminal Court at The Hague is the Palestinian Authority, which is in a unity government with Hamas, a declared terrorist organization like ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) that commits war crimes,” Netanyahu warned.

“We will repel this latest effort to force diktats on us, just as we have repelled the Palestinian turn to the [United Nations] Security Council.”

Legally, the ICC’s Rome Statute forces the Palestinians to undergo the same scrutiny as any other member nation, and to abide by the same human rights standards as well. Thus the PA “unity government” — which includes Gaza’s Hamas terrorist organization — can now legitimately be held culpable at the ICC for its use of its citizens as human shields, among other war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by its terrorists during its war with Israel in summer 2014.

Abbas signed the Rome Statute and 21 other international treaties just a day after a draft resolution submitted by Jordan on behalf of the PA was voted down at the United Nations Security Council.

The resolution called for the withdrawal of all Israel Defense Forces from Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria (all areas conquered in the 1967 Six Day War) by 2017. The move would have left more than half a million Jews living in those areas completely defenseless in the face of an already escalating deadly intifada.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman also had harsh words for Abbas, saying he “can sign whichever treaty he wants. [But] the only ones who have committed war crimes in the conflict here are the Palestinians.”

Citing countless lethal attacks and “indiscriminate murderous terrorism against babies, children, women and men over the past 100 years” by PA Arab terrorists, Liberman warned Abbas not to threaten Israel, “the nation with the most moral army in the world.”

Economics Minister Naftali Bennett also scored Abbas, saying that “he who has the evil of terrorism spread throughout his head should not venture out into the sunlight.”

Bennett labeled the PA leader as one of the “greatest inciters of terrorism,” noting that Abbas is a “veteran Holocaust denier who should approach the Court as a defendant only.”

PM Netanyahu Competes in International Bible Quiz

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu competed on Tuesday in the fifth International Bible Quiz held in Jerusalem on Tuesday… but despite his year-long study sessions at the prime minister’s office and at home, the winner was an Israeli named Hananel Malka.

Netanyahu accepted the loss with grace, commenting that he loves to learn.

“I study Bible every week with my son, and I draw enormous strength from it,” the prime minister said. “Therefore I decided to re-establish the Bible Quiz for adults, and I renewed the Bible department…

“That’s the spirit that gives us the strength to stand against all of the challenges and pressures,” he added.

Deputy Education Minister Avi Wortzman told participants at the competition, “The Bible was and is the main unifier of our identity as a nation. The Bible is the source of our lives; it is the source of our rights to fight for our lives here in the Land of Israel.”

Wortzman added that just as the Bible is connected to all, “we must do everything so that it returns to the main street of Israeli society.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/pm-netanyahu-competes-in-international-bible-quiz/2014/12/24/

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