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October 22, 2014 / 28 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Catherine Ashton’

Kerry Riding a Loaded Freight Train to Run Over Israel

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is coming to Israel Thursday night with a one-two knockout punch that puts on the table American plans for Israel’s security in a future Palestinian Authority state.

In addition, Israel has agreed to another American project to would further pave the way for increasing de facto Palestinian Authority sovereignty in areas officially control by Israel and where Jewish communities’ future existence will be threatened.

The Obama administration repeatedly has promised it will not force on Israel an agreement with the Palestinian Authority, but in practice, that is exactly what it has done by the old trick of publicly announcing suggestions and leaving the foreign media and international community to condemn Israel for not accepting them.

The Palestinian Authority then threatens to end the “peace talks” and go the United Nations, leaving U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s diplomatic knife in Israel’s back.

Retired Gen. John Allen, one of President Barack Obama’s “special envoys” to the Middle East who acts as the President’s Israeli defense minister in absentia, reportedly has come up with plans based on his expert knowledge of exactly what Israel needs to defend itself.

Until last year, Allen commanded American forces in Afghanistan, which apparently gives him an excellent understanding of the Jewish state’s security needs.

A host of Israel political leaders and military officials have made it clear that Israel must maintain a military presence in the Jordan Valley in any future Palestinian Authority state.

But Israel’s leaders have said a lot of things, such as dismissing any possibility that it would release mass murderers to bring back the bodies of fallen soldiers, or the return of one live soldier, or for the privilege of sitting down face to face with Palestinian Authority officials whose idea of negotiations is that Israel can decide whether to accepts its demands today or tomorrow.

Details of Allen’s have not been leaked, but given the Palestinian Authority’s rejection of Israel’s deploying soldiers in the Jordan Valley, Allen is bound to come up with something that will sound super-sweet but will end up as poison, which can be smelled in statements from Washington.

One U.S. official said Allen “has been working closely on the ground with his Israeli counterparts,” The Associated Press reported. The official said the Americans realize that security is “paramount” as Israel contemplates taking “calculated risks for peace.”

Been there, done that.

The United States does the “calculations, the Israeli government takes the “risks” and Israeli families pay the price at the cemetery.

A U.S. official traveling with Kerry said the ideas were not a “plan” that could be accepted or rejected.

Sure.

The Haaretz daily said that Allen will tell Netanyahu of his security plans when they meet on Thursday. Kerry then will go to Ramallah, leaving Israel holding the blame bag if it dares to say “no.”

The Associated Press reported that “the American thinking is that if Israeli security concerns can be met, other issues, such as borders, will then fall into place.”

In other words, the U.S. State Dept. has come up with another formula for peace and love in the Middle East. It wasn’t long ago that the United States knew – it did not think, but it knew – that settling the Palestinian Authority-Israeli dispute would open up the locks on all of the regions problems, such as Egypt.

And Syria.

And Iraq.

And Iran.

Kerry’s arrival in Israel Wednesday night follows European Union warnings that if Israel does not agree to a peace pact, the EU will increase its boycott of settlements and will stop funding the Palestinian Authority.

EU Parliament Members Urge ‘Rethink’ on Judea and Samaria

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

European Union’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton’s attempt to ban funding of projects in Judea and Samaria, the Golan Height and areas of Jerusalem claimed by the Palestinian Authority is being challenged by 27 Members of the EU Parliament.

Aston’s guidelines are to go into effect January I, but Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has threatened to pull Israel out of the seven-year  EU Horizon 2020 project to which Israel is committed to contribute approximately $800 million.

In a letter addressed to Ashton, the MEPs, from across the political spectrum, urged the EU Commission, the EU’s executive arm, to reverse or at least soften the guidelines, the European Jewish Press reported.

Israel has taken part in EU research and development programs since 1996, including over the last seven years in which 1,584 Israeli researchers took part in more than 1,300 projects and received a total of more than $800 million in grant money.

EU Climbing Off the Limb after ‘Boycott Judea and Samaria’ Attempt

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

The European Union is quietly trying to climb down from a weak limb it stood in July with a statement but Foreign Policy chief Catherine Ashton “that bilateral agreements with Israel do not cover the territory that came under Israel’s administration in June 1967.”

The Israeli government reacted strongly, and even President Shimon Peres objected to the policy. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called Ashton’s bluff by saying that Israel would not participate in the Horizon 2020 program if she did not back down.

Since then, the EU has been excelling in acrobatics saying it really did not mean what it said. A high-level delegation from the European Union is in Israel this week to come up with a clever way to correct its “settlement guidelines” in a way that will not make it look ‘pro-settlement.”

Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin warned that if there is no deal, the Horizon 2020 program, which gets underway this Friday, would lose out on Israel’s contribution of technology and know-how while Israel would lose funding for projects. “As it stands, we cannot sign Horizon 2020. It would force us to discriminate against our own institutions,” Elkin said.

Ashton Visits Morsi in Secret Location

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Mohammed Morsi is alive and well, said European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton after a visit to the secret location where he is being held by the Egyptian military.

She was the first person to officially visit Morsi since the army put him under house arrest four weeks ago in the “coup” that the military regime denies is a coup.

Ashton said, “Morsi is well. He has access to information in terms of TV, newspapers, so we were able to talk about the situation and we were able to talk about the need to move forward. We had a friendly, open and very frank discussion.”

The EU official is trying to come up with a political solution to the crisis in Egypt following the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood president, who was elected a year ago.

 

 

EU Backs Off Condemning Settlements before Kerry Visits Israel

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has succeeded in convincing the European Union to back off from passing another critical resolution of a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria, an indication that the international community is losing its patience with the Palestinian Authority.

The Foreign Ministers were expected to adopt a critical resolution on Israeli settlement policy following their monthly meeting in Luxembourg on Monday, according to the European Jewish Press.

Instead, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton told a press conference that ministers had simply “reaffirmed our commitment to the two-state solution.”

Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Romania reportedly called for the more moderate statement while Denmark and other critics of Israel lost their initiative for a sharper condemnation.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas are trying to put the other in the role of “bad boy” if U.S. Secretary of State John Kelly does not succeed in arranging for direct talks when he visits Israel later this week.

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.

World Powers Give Up on Iran Nuclear Talks

Saturday, April 6th, 2013

The European Union’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers have collapsed.

Ashton said on Saturday that the two sides “remain far apart on substance,” after a second and, apparently, final day of negotiations in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said there was no agreement further talks – neither a date nor a place have been set.

Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili admitted there were differences between the two sides. He reiterated Iran’s position that it has a right to enrich uranium, and complained that Tehran was not receiving recognition, as well as more concessions from world powers, before agreeing to curtail its uranium enrichment production. He also stated that the demands and the sanctions “are a sign of enmity towards the people of Iran.”

In the two days of meetings in Kazakhstan, the major powers had hoped to reach a compromise with Iran, whom they believe is engaged in a covert effort to produce nuclear bombs.

Delegates from the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany met with Iranian officials on proposals that would have allowed for exceptions to the international sanctions program against Iran, if the Iranians would shut down their nuclear facilities and turn over their stockpile of enriched uranium.

Earlier, a spokesman for Ashton urged Iran to take a “confidence-building step” and reassure the international community it is not engaged in a nuclear weapons program for military purposes.

Iran claims that its nuclear program has only peaceful purposes, namely power generation.

The United States attended the talks with the four other permanent members of the UN Security Council: Britain, France, Russia and China, as well as Germany.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/world-powers-give-up-on-iran-nuclear-talks/2013/04/06/

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