web analytics
April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Binyamin Netanyahu’

Netanyahu: PA Incitement Caused Pre-Passover Terror Attack

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu blamed Palestinian Authority incitement for the terrorist attack that left a 46-year-old police officer dead, and his 28-year-old pregnant wife and nine year old son wounded.

A terrorist opened fire at Israeli civilian vehicles traveling along Highway 35, near the western edge of Hevron. Israeli soldiers closed off the area in search of the perpetrators but have yet to make arrests.

Netanyahu issued the statement to media following the murder of Israel Police Chief Superintendent Baruch Mizrahi, of blessed memory. He and his family were traveling on the road to a seder to celebrate Passover in Kiryat Arba at the time of the attack.

Mizrahi is to be laid to rest at 1:00 p.m. local time Wednesday at the military cemetery in Jerusalem, Mount Herzl, in the section reserved for the Israel Police.

Mizrahi served as director of Technology in the SigInt Unit for the Intelligence division of Israel Police since June 2011. He served in various roles in the IDF for 25 years, ending his military career as a Lieutenant Colonel in the 8200 Intelligence Unit.

“Baruch z’l devoted his entire life to two great loves – his family and the State of Israel,” said his commander. His entire unit and Israel Police released a statement expressing their joining the grief of the family and their wishes for a speedy recovery for his wife.

The terrorist responsible for the murder was standing by the side of a road, waiting for targets, armed with an AK-47 assault rifle, also known as a Kalashnikov. He also shot at other cars passing on the road, according to the Tazpit News Agency, which received reports of attacks from other drivers.

The AK-47 is the same weapon supplied to the Palestinian Authority police force by the U.S. government, via Jordan, during military training at an American-funded base in Jericho during the Bush administration under the supervision of U.S. Lt.-Gen. Keith Dayton.

“This reprehensible murder of a man who was traveling with his family to a meal for the Festival of Freedom is the result of the incitement for which the Palestinian Authority is responsible. The Palestinian Authority continues to constantly broadcast – in its official media – programs that incite against the existence of the State of Israel,” he said.

“Last night this incitement was translated into the murder of a father who was traveling with his family to celebrate the first night of Passover. The incitement of the Palestinian Authority continues in that it has yet to see fit to condemn this abominable and reprehensible act,” Netanyahu pointed out.

Government Minister Uri Ariel (Bayit Yehudi) released  a statement warning that every PA prisoner release emboldens the terrorists, and demanded the government cancel all future releases. Ariel said the government should require the PA to cancel any unilateral steps at the United Nations as a precondition to continuing any final status talks.

The United States has supplied more than $161 million dollars to the Palestinian Authority for paramilitary training for its security forces. This includes provision of assault rifles, ammunition and other military supplies. There have been a number of terrorist attacks on Israeli citizens committed by so-called “PA police officers” using this equipment.

Although the United States has had the fantasy that the PA security forces would enforce agreements made by its government to abandon violence and restrain terrorist groups in order to “enable” a “two state solution” — that has not worked out. Instead the PA paramilitary force has simply continued along its traditional path of enforcing the corruption of its leaders. Moreover, some of its members have joined – or returned to — terrorist ranks, bringing along with them new knowledge, training and equipment gifted to them from the American government.

These new police terrorists are more dangerous than the garden-variety operatives because they often appear to be security personnel, while being the very opposite.

Naftali Bennett Urges Netanyahu, ‘Annex Settlement Blocs Now!’

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Naftali Bennett, head of the Jewish Home (Bayit Yehudi) party, is urging Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to annex Area C, which encompasses all of the Jewish settlement blocs in Judea (Yehuda) and Samaria (Shomron.)

“It is clear that the diplomatic process has run its course and that we are entering a new era,” Bennett wrote to the prime minister in a letter sent Wednesday. “We have been hitting our heads against the wall of negotiations over and over again for years and we keep getting surprised when the wall did not break. The time has come for new thinking.”

Bennett’s “Settlement Blocs First” plan calls to annex Area C, which is controlled entirely by the State of Israel, and offering Israeli citizenship to Arabs living there. Area C, which comprises 60 percent of the Judea and Samaria regional sector, is home to at least 350,000 Jews – none of whom live in Area A (under full PA control) or Area B (under PA civil control and Israeli military control.)

Highway 60, a favorite target for road terror attacks by Palestinian Authority Arabs, is the main artery that runs from the north to the south from Samaria (Shomron) through Judea (Yehuda) to Be’er Sheva and is routed mostly through Area B.

Under Bennett’s proposal, Areas A and B would receive increased autonomy and a massive infusion of financial investment to upgrade the quality of life in those areas.

He explained the plan on the U.S.-based CNN network last night (Wednesday) and said he will begin to publicize it in the international forums. Bennett contended that since Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights and its reunification of Jerusalem was never recognized internationally anyway, another annexation will not make a difference.

Included in the blocs to be annexed would be Gush Etzion, Ma’ale Adumim, Beit El, Ofra, Ariel and the communities overlooking Ben Gurion International Airport.

Netanyahu Orders Contact Cut with Palestinian Authority

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has ordered all but one Israeli negotiator to cut contact with their Palestinian Authority counterparts.

Netanyahu ordered discussions halted between Israeli and PA representatives on all issues with the exception of security, according to news agencies.

In addition, all government ministries — except the Defense Ministry — are to cease any civilian and economic cooperation with the Palestinian Authority.

Only Israel’s chief negotiator  and former foreign minister Tzipi Livni, head of the Tnua party, was exempted from the ban. The moratorium comes in response to what a government official called the “Palestinians’ grave violation of their commitments in the framework of the peace talks.”

The comment refers to the PA promise made from the outset of the talks to refrain from unilateral attempts to gain membership in international and United Nations agencies, treaties and organizations until after the talks were to end on April 29. Last Monday, April 1, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas broke his word to Israel and the United States, signing and submitting applications to 15 international conventions following a crisis in the talks.

In response, Prime Minister Netanyahu warned earlier this week, “Unilateral steps [on the part of the PA] will be met with unilateral steps on our part.”

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry tried to smooth over new tensions with America’s strongest ally in the region after having appeared to throw Israel under the bus when he met with his own firing squad at a Congressional hearing earlier this week.

Kerry pointed the finger at Israel when asked why the talks failed, claiming “the two sides have taken steps that are not helpful,” State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said in an attempt at “clarification” a day later. “At no stage did he play the blame game,” she claimed. “Kerry even noted especially that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took courageous steps throughout the process.”

But Kerry told the Senate during the hearing that the main reason the talks failed had to do with Israel refusing to free a fourth tranche of PA terrorist prisoners on schedule — a group that included 20 Israeli Arab citizens — preceding a deadline for completion of talks that had to date accomplished nothing other than release from Israeli prisons for 78 other PA terrorists, and no significant concessions from the Palestinian Authority. Kerry also slammed continued construction in established Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. In addition, he said, “Around noon, when they were to reach an agreement, 700 housing units in Jerusalem were announced and ‘boom.’”

As if the announcement of adding new housing in Jerusalem to relieve a population crisis in the capital, and construction in existing towns and cities was the true point of contention upon which agreed-upon negotiations between “professional” diplomats rose and fell.

The lack of clarity about the real reason for the crash of the talks is not being discussed outside of the closed doors in the capitals of the world, although every world leader understands the truth.

PA leaders do not want this millstone, the burden of forever having the responsibility for running this “independent state” — around their necks. They don’t know how, and they don’t have enough skilled people, properly trained to do it yet. And those they do have do not stay due to the corruption and intrigues that go on that pose a constant risk to their lives. It is a hangman’s noose that will eventually kill each and every one of them because of the risk of failure. So each is looking for different ways to escape it — and to somehow find a way blame Israel in the process.

If we are really lucky, perhaps America will stay out of this process long enough to allow Tzipi Livni and Saeb Erekat to walk everyone back from the brink, and just long enough to prevent any forced agreement or unilateral action being imposed on Israel in the near future.

 

 

Will Kerry Be On Hot Seat at Obama Meeting?

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Oy. He’s logged thousands of hours flying back and forth, meeting with leaders from Israel, the Palestinian Authority and surrounding Arab nations. Sleepless nights, endless days, Middle Eastern food and where has it all led?

Back to Square One by anyone’s estimation – and very likely in the eyes of President Barack Obama at the White House.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry reports today (Tuesday) to the president so both can decide what to do next about the persnickety tangle that just won’t untangle in the Holy Land.

The problem is, after the better part of a year, John Kerry may have almost nothing to show for all of his efforts and a massive bill to boot. It’s a credibility problem for him – did he read the situation wrong? Or was it simply a matter of the Western mind not understanding the typical Middle Eastern Arab mentality again? And again. And again. Ad nauseum.

Because we who live here have already seen this before in our neighborhood. There have been so many train wrecks down this gorge, we’ve lost count of the number of peace plans we’ve complied with here in the Land of Israel. Most were American.

And Mr. Kerry is another one lacking the basic understanding of Middle Eastern mentality, the Arab mind and how it works, and the way it goes in this region. Briefings on “Arab culture” don’t cut it when it comes to shuttle diplomacy here. It is just not enough when it gets to the nitty gritty.

The Europeans already know better. They make dry observations, back the Arabs (who they know they can rely on to pull out rather than comply) and then fade out before the sun sets in the West. Of course, ‘intel’ ties always continue with Israel; it would be silly to ignore the needs of national security, right?

But the U.S. has yet to learn that Arab leadership is not reliable. The Palestinian Authority talks one way in English and the other way in Arabic and its word is never its word. Peace is not a concept this entity can understand. The definition of ‘honor’ in this culture is not the same as that of the West – it is defined differently in the Middle East.

Think ASIA when you think of PA government “honor.” That is the closest analogy one can summon. It does not involve life, but death – truly. And age doesn’t count. Babies do qualify. Everyone is expendable.

John Kerry is a well-meaning guy. He really thought he could pull this off. And he did have a peace partner. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu braved his entire coalition to make this last attempt – and almost lost his government over it. In fact, he still might. Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman and Labor leader Isaac Herzog are both taking a shot at widening the fractures so they can climb all over it when new elections come around – and they both hope it’s sooner rather than later.

The last thing Israel needed was to free dozens more terrorists, let alone open the roadblocks to create a new free entrance on to Highway 60 from the Arab side of Hevron. But that’s what Israel did at America’s insistence for the U.S. attempt at new talks with the PA, knowing it was likely to come to naught.

It would be a pity if President Obama were now to rake John Kerry over the coals for following his orders and extending his own personal good faith in the process.

Mr. Kerry is not a young man either, and the constant flights could not have been easy. The stress of struggling to deal with Arab leaders fighting your every effort to reach a compromise could not have been fun. And having to second-guess everyone’s thoughts, words, actions and decisions following each session – although that is the job for which he was trained – must have been the stuff of nightmares.

12 Hours, 2 Meetings for Netanyahu & Kerry; Abbas & Kerry, 0

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has left Israel without speaking to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, and after two intense meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in less than 12 hours.

Kerry met in Jerusalem with Netanyahu for several hours on Monday evening and then again for another two hours on Tuesday morning before leaving to attend scheduled NATO ministerial meetings in Brussels on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Although there was a possibility that Kerry might have gone to Ramallah for a quick meeting with Abbas late Monday night, he chose not to do so. It is believed he will return to Israel in the coming days, possibly to meet with Abbas at that time instead.

Abbas, meanwhile, chaired his own meeting Monday night with top officials from the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the PA’s leading Fatah faction.

Officials decided to again appeal to United Nations agencies for recognition of the PA as an independent sovereign nation if Kerry does not force Israel to free a final group of 30 terrorist prisoners, according to the PA official who spoke with reporters.

Rumors that long-incarcerated Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard might be freed from a U.S. prison as a way to keep the talks going again were raised, but there has been no confirmation by an official source, U.S. or Israeli, that the report was true.

Likewise, an alleged proposal from Israel last Friday offering to free an additional 400 PA terrorist prisoners in exchange for the PA continuing the talks until the end of 2014, and refraining from its appeal to the United Nations, has not been confirmed.

White House spokesperson Jay Carney has told reporters he has “no update” on the status of Jonathan Pollard, and Israeli government officials are tight-lipped about the latest developments under discussion with the PA.

Kerry May Return as Israel Offers PA New Deal to Extend Talks

Monday, March 31st, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has informed Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that he is considering another trip to the region to try and patch up the talks.

This past Friday Israel proposed a new deal to extend the talks with the Palestinian Authority past the April 29 deadline in lieu of freeing a final group of 30 PA terrorist prisoners.

There are rumors the proposal includes the release of hundreds of more PA prisoners incarcerated in Israeli jails, but no reports have been confirmed.

PA officials did not reveal the details of the proposal to international news agencies Sunday but said PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is reviewing a draft of the plan.

The final 30 Arab prisoners were to be released from Israeli jails last week as part of a four-step process launched at the outset of the talks on condition the PA actively participated in the negotiations in good faith.

But Israel has seen little reciprocal movement from PA leaders. As a result, the government last week blocked the final tranche, especially since the tranche included 20 Israeli Arab citizens contested by a block of ministers from the start.

PA officials this weekend told the A-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper they expect the United States to pressure Israel into releasing the terrorists. “The leadership does not want to enter immediate conflict and appear responsible for the breakdown of the negotiation process,” the source said.

Netanyahu has warned U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that his coalition may disintegrate if the prisoners are freed.

Bibi and Peres Sing ‘You and I, We’ll Change the World’ (Video)

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Dinah Shore is the first name that pops in the mid when trying to explain to Americans who exactly was Arik Einstein, Israel’s icon singer who died Tuesday night and was buried today (Wednesday).

For the under-60 crowd, Dinah Shore may not mean much, either. She was the face and sound of good ol’ America, when everything was clean and good. She used to close her television show with a resounding commercial, “See the USA in your Chevrolet/America’s asking you to call; Drive your Chevrolet through the United States/America’s the greatest land of all.”

The analogy is far from perfect, maybe even very distant, but Shore’s smiling voice and positive songs were the same message that Einstein left for Israel, both to the religious and secular, Ashkenazi and Sephardi and the left and right.

For good measure, throw in Perry Como – again for the old folks – as a macrobiotic substitute for Valium, because Arik’s voice and style were smooth and relaxing, especially for a nation living in constant tension.

Einstein’s classic “Eretz Israel” reflects his simple love for the country, without commercialism and without sickening-sweet patriotism:

I built you a house there in the sand/Land of Israel;
I sang a beautiful song about the blue sea /Land of Israel;
what is (left) of the night, oh guard, what is (left) of the night.

Evening hangs over the Golan again /Land of Israel;
there a young soldier lies still in ambush/Land of Israel;
how (far gone) is the night, watchman, how (far gone) is the night

Oh how much I love you/Land of Israel;
so then why am I so sad /Land of Israel;
how much (remains) from the night, oh, keeper, how much (remains) from the night

“Arik Einstein’s well-known reclusiveness, his ordinariness, his averseness to pomposity and grandiosity, his modest way of belonging to this place – these should not hide from those living here the fact that he is a very great and profound artist, with an acute artistic conscience, perfect and totally unique,” Ariel Hirschfeld wrote in Haaretz in 2009.

He was known as a rock singer, but Einstein never screamed, never growled and never shouted. He was Dinah Shore – positive and loving.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu accurately described his songs as the “soundtrack of Israel.” President Shimon Peres stated that his songs would “continue playing life and hope” long after him.

Two people who should remember Einstein forever are the Prime Minister and President. In the mid-1990s, they were filmed singing “You and I, We’ll  Change the World” along with two celebrities, Dan Shilon and the late Israeli icon Ofra Hazan.

The lyrics are most fitting for the two leaders, one of whom is trying to keep evil from destroying the world and the other who is trying to convince evil to come to terms with true peace.

Skip to around 1:30 in the clip below, which was dug up by JTA, to see Netanyahu and Peres sing along – and shed a few tears, not only for Einstein but also for Israel that faces a world that refuses to stand in the Light unto the Nations that Israel beams.

Below the video are the lyrics of “You and I, we’ll change the world” in transliterated form.

Ani ve’ata neshaneh et ha’olam
Ani ve’ata az yavo’u kvar kulam
Amru et zeh kodem lefanai
Zeh lo meshaneh, ani ve’ata neshaneh et ha’olam.

Ani ve’ata nenaseh mehahatchalah
Yiheyl lanu ra ein davar zeh lo nora.
Amru et zeh kodem lefanai
Zeh lo meshaneh, ani ve’ata neshaneh et ha’olam.

Ani ve’ata neshaneh et ha’olam
Ani ve’ata az yavo’u kvar kulam
Amru et zeh kodem lefanai
Zeh lo meshaneh, ani ve’ata neshaneh et ha’olam.
Ani ve’ata neshaneh et ha’olam.

Kerry’s Failures: ‘Iran Deal’ in Geneva, Senate Sanctions Block?

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

When U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry left the Middle East for Geneva at the end of last week, he was flying high from a major smackdown of Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

It appears he ran out of gas, however, once he arrived in Geneva.

There was the deal with Iran that Kerry was trying to push through, that is until the French – the French! – had the fortitude to not just reject, but to publicly blast as a sucker’s deal.  That deal foundered, and eventually all the players rolled up their rugs and regrouped until the next head banging session, which will take place next week.

At the same time that Kerry was meeting with his colleagues in the P5+1 group (the other 4 permanent members of the UN Security Council, Russia, China, United Kingdom, France, plus Germany) in Geneva, he was also spending time on the telephone in a concerted effort to persuade the relevant folks on the Senate banking committee to refrain from passing new sanctions against Iran. That committee’s House of Representatives counterpart had already passed such a measure during the summer.

In today’s State Department press conference, spokesperson Jen Psaki confirmed that Kerry spoke with key senators Menendez, Graham , Levin, Schumer, and Reid last week, as part of his continuing efforts to block the Senate side of the Banking Committee from passing additional sanctions.

But as one of the journalists pointed out, on Monday, Senator Menendez (D-NJ), had an op-ed in USA Today, explaining exactly why increased sanctions at this time is the only way to ensure that Iran will recognize the seriousness with which the global community takes its responsibility to rid the world of an impending mortal threat.

Menendez is not only a member of the Senate Banking Committee, he is also chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He wrote:

Today, Iran has reluctantly arrived at the negotiating table because of tough sanctions imposed by the international community and the U.S. Congress — the same sanctions that critics long opposed.

Iran is on the ropes because of its intransigent policies and our collective will, and it would be imprudent to want an agreement more than the Iranians do.

Tougher sanctions will serve as an incentive for Iran to verifiably dismantle its nuclear weapons program. When Iran complies, sanctions can be unwound and economic relief will follow.

This approach is in concert with our diplomatic efforts and consistent with previous actions taken by the international community. It’s a necessary insurance policy, too. Should Iran fail to negotiate in good faith or abide by any agreement, the penalties will be severe.

Menendez acknowledged that it was appropriate for the world’s diplomats to be engaging in what they do best: diplomacy. But he also reminded everyone that Congress needs to do what it deems necessary so that “the Iranians know what awaits if it continues its to-date unabated pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability.”

Kerry’s next step is a critical one.  While there is bipartisan support for a bill which increases sanctions against Iran – albeit with a trigger date that is not immediate, and which can be dialed back if Iran complies with terms deemed acceptable to the west, the banking committee has agreed it will not vote on the legislation until Kerry meets with them.  That meeting is scheduled for Wednesday.

This administration relentlessly pointed to its foreign policy cornerstone as the “biting sanctions” which brought Iran back to the negotiating table during last year’s campaign season. However, this administration now appears to be in a bigger rush to close a deal, even a “very, very bad deal,” to quote Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, than to ensure it has a verifiable and tightly-woven agreement with a very dangerous enemy.

To quote a Democrat, Bob Menendez, “Iran is on the ropes because of its intransigent policies and our collective will, and it would be imprudent to want an agreement more than the Iranians do.”

Kerry is likely to be joined by Vice President Joe Biden for the meeting with the Senate banking committee members.  That negotiation may be as tough as ones going on in Geneva. The signal from the White House is that members who insist on voting for stiff sanctions will be portrayed as warmongers.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/kerrys-failures-iran-deal-in-geneva-senate-sanctions-block/2013/11/13/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: