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October 13, 2015 / 30 Tishri, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Clinton’

Anti-Islamist Protesters Pelt Hillary’s Motorcade with Tomatoes, Shoes

Monday, July 16th, 2012

As U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s armored car motorcade was riding through the Egyptian port city of Alexandria where she had given a speech on democratic rights, a tomato hit an accompanying Egyptian official in the face, and shoes and a water bottle were thrown at Hillary’s car, Reuters reports.

According to a senior U.S. official, said Clinton herself was not hit, since her vehicle had already turned a corner by the time of the incident. But she may have been able to hear the taunts of “Monica, Monica” which the protesters were chanting, a reference to the extra-marital affair conducted by her husband, former President Bill Clinton. Others had chanted the Arabic equivalent of ” Clinton go home,” according to an Egyptian security official.

According to Al Ahram, several liberal and Christian politicians and public figures condemned Clinton’s visit to Egypt, accusing the United States of favoring Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups. There were several large demonstrations by liberal parties and movements, including the Free Egyptians party and the Front for Peaceful Change, against Clinton’s visit outside the U.S. embassy in Cairo, the presidential palace and the Four Seasons hotel in which Clinton was staying. The demonstrators were joined by supporters of Mubarak-era vice president Omar Suleiman.

A large group of Christian politicians – including Coptic MP Emad Gad, rights activist Michael Mounir, former MP Georgette Qeleini and business tycoon Naguib Sawiris, refused to meet with Clinton during her brief visit to Egypt.

In a joint statement on Sunday, they expressed their displeasure with Clinton’s decision to meet with members of Egypt’s Coptic-Christian community following earlier meetings with Muslim Brotherhood members and Salafists. They asserted that Clinton’s move served to “promote sectarian divisions.”

Clinton met with women and Christians, two groups with reasons to fear repression under a Muslim Brotherhood government.

“I will be honest and say some have legitimate fears about their future,” Clinton told reporters. “I said to them … no Egyptian, no person anywhere, should be persecuted for their faith, or their lack of faith, for their choices about working and not working. Democracy is not just about reflecting the will of the majority. It is also about protecting the rights of the minority.”

Clinton said the U.S. had learned that “the hard way,” pointing out that the U.S. constitution originally did not protect the rights of women or slaves.

Al Ahram reported that on Saturday the Front for Peaceful Change, a pro-revolution youth group, issued a statement calling on the Egyptian public to participate in the protests to register its rejection of perceived U.S. interference in Egypt’s affairs and its deal-making with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Al Ahram cites accusations of a secret agreement which was hammered out between the U.S. and the Brotherhood, which the paper says is a common refrain among the opponents of Clinton’s visit.

Emad Gad, a Coptic-Christian member of Egypt’s recently dissolved lower house of parliament, saw Clinton’s visit to Cairo in the context of an alleged U.S.-Brotherhood deal that enabled candidate Mohamed Morsi to assume Egypt’s presidency.

“In exchange for Morsi’s being named president, the Brotherhood is expected to protect Israel’s security by pressuring Hamas – the Brotherhood’s branch in Palestine – not to launch military attacks against Israel, and even accept a peace agreement with Tel Aviv,” Gad told Al-Ahram.

Gad, whom Al Ahram introduces as a prominent political analyst, told the paper that the U.S. was also supporting the Brotherhood in return for maintaining Mubarak-era agreements not to restore ties with Iran.

On Saturday night, according to Reuters, protesters outside Clinton’s Cairo hotel chanted anti-Islamist slogans, accusing the United States of engineering the Muslim Brotherhood’s rise to power.

In her speech at the recently re-opened U.S. consulate in Alexandria, Clinton rejected suggestions that the United States, which had been an avid supporter of the deposed Mubarak, was backing one faction over another in Egypt.

“I want to be clear that the United States is not in the business, in Egypt, of choosing winners and losers, even if we could, which of course we cannot,” Clinton said.

“We are prepared to work with you as you chart your course, as you establish your democracy,” she added. “We want to stand for principles, for values, not for people or for parties.”

Hillary to Visit Israel, PA, Egypt – Audience with Morsi Not Certain

Friday, July 6th, 2012

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton meet the Israeli and Palestinian leaders as well as officials of the new Egyptian government.

The U.S. State Department on Thursday announced an extensive July 5-16 itinerary for Clinton that will include stops in France, Japan, Mongolia, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Egypt and Israel.

A State Dept. press release reads:

“In Paris on July 6, Secretary Clinton will attend the third meeting of the Friends of the Syrian People. At that meeting, the Secretary will consult with her colleagues on steps to increase pressure on the Assad regime and to support UN-Arab League Special Envoy Annan’s efforts to end the violence and facilitate a political transition to a post-Assad Syria. Secretary Clinton will consult with French leaders regarding next steps on Syria as well as on a number of other key areas of global concern.

“As part of her ongoing consultations with senior Palestinian and Israeli leaders, the Secretary will also meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to discuss both parties’ efforts to pursue a dialogue and build on President Abbas’ exchange of letters with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.”

After her swing through the Far East, Clinton will arrive in Egypt:

“On July 14, Secretary Clinton will travel to Egypt to express the United States’ support for Egypt’s democratic transition and economic development. From July 15-16, she will meet with senior government officials, civil society, and business leaders, and inaugurate the U.S. Consulate General in Alexandria.”

It was not clear from the statement whether she would be meeting with Morsi himself.

The Obama and Netanyahu governments have sent out feelers to Morsi, who was backed by the Islamist party Muslim Brotherhood, to assess his support for upholding the 33-year-old Israeli-Egyptian peace.

“This will be followed by a stop in Israel on July 16-17, where she will be meeting with the Israeli leadership to discuss peace efforts and a range of regional and bilateral issues of mutual concern.”

In addition to encouraging the Palestinians and Israelis to resume talks suspended since 2010, the Obama administration has been consulting closely with the Netanyahu government over how best to isolate Iran and keep it from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

Netanyahu has expressed impatience with talks that the Obama administration has led with Iran and is skeptical that newly enhanced sanctions will work. The Obama administration wants to exhaust all diplomatic and economic options before deciding on a military strike.

The announcement of Clinton’s visit comes just after news earlier this week that Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, would visit Israel this summer. Dates for Romney’s visit have not been announced.

JTA content was used in this report.

US: Russia Shipping Attack Choppers to Syria

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton charged Russia with delivering attack helicopters to Syria.

“We have confronted the Russians about stopping their continued arms shipments to Syria,” Clinton said Tuesday at an appearance with Israeli President Shimon Peres. “We are concerned about the latest information we have that there are attack helicopters on the way from Russia to Syria.”

Clinton suggested that Russia was showing bad faith in the international effort to oust the Bashar Assad regime in the 15th month of its crackdown on opponents by claiming that its arms transfers were not used in the crackdown.

“That is patently untrue,” she said. Syria has used helicopter gunships in attacks on civilians, according to reports.

Israel is furious at the arms transfers; its leaders are concerned that the Assad regime may attempt to draw Israel into a conflict as a distraction.

“What happens in Syria matters greatly to the U.S., but matters drastically to Israel,” Clinton said.

She said the United States would give until mid-July to see results from an effort led by former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to achieve a peaceful transition, adding that she had made clear to Annan that Iran could not be involved.

Peres, in remarks at a lunch hosted by the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center, said the Arab League should take the lead in assuming responsibility for the Syrian transition.

Clinton gave the Russians higher marks for their role among the major powers seeking greater nuclear transparency in Iran.

Moscow is due to host the next round of talks with Iran on June 18-19, and Clinton suggested that the Russians share the Western perception that the Iranians are stalling.

“The Russians have made it clear they want the Iranians to advance the discussion in Moscow, not just to come, listen and leave,” she said.

Yoram Ettinger: Jerusalem – American people vs. White House

Monday, May 28th, 2012

Jerusalem has been one of the most dramatic issues of discord between the will of the American people and Congress on the one hand, and State Department-driven presidential policy on the other hand.

In contrast to most Americans and their state and federal representatives, who cherish Jerusalem as the indivisible capital of the Jewish state, all U.S. presidents have embraced Foggy Bottom’s denial of Jerusalem’s status as Israel’s capital, or even as part of Israel. Moreover, the U.S. foreign policy bureaucracy has disavowed the 1947 non-binding U.N. General Assembly Partition Plan, but for one segment — Jerusalem, which the U.N. designated as an international city.

Israel is the only country in the world whose (3,000 year old) capital is not recognized by the State Department and by the presidents of the U.S. However, the American people consider Israel to be the second most trusted and dependable ally of the U.S. (after Britain), and 71% support (and 9% oppose) Jerusalem as Israel’s indivisible capital.

President Barack Obama has gone further than any U.S. president in implementing the Jerusalem policy of denial. He is pressing for an unprecedented construction freeze in Jerusalem beyond the 1949 ceasefire lines, and is trying to eliminate any reference to “Jerusalem, Israel” in present and past official documents and communications.

On the other hand, Jerusalem has earned the affection of the American people since the arrival of the pilgrims in the 17th century, who viewed the U.S. as “the modern day Promised Land,” establishing many towns with biblical names, including Jerusalem. There are now at least 18 U.S. towns called Jerusalem and 32 called Salem, the initial, biblical name of Jerusalem (Shalem), meaning wholesomeness, divine, and peace.

While the American affinity with Jerusalem has cemented the unique covenant between the U.S. and the Jewish state, the State Department never viewed Jerusalem as part of the Jewish state. In 1949, President Harry S. Truman followed Secretary of State George Marshall’s policy, pressuring Israel to refrain from annexing any part of Jerusalem and to accept the internationalization of the ancient capital of the Jewish people. In 1953, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, inspired by Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, opposed the relocation of Israel’s Foreign Ministry from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and prohibited official meetings in Jerusalem. In 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson adopted the Jerusalem policy of Secretary of State Dean Rusk, who opposed Israel’s 1948 declaration of independence. Johnson highlighted the international status of Jerusalem, and warned Israel against the unification of, and construction in eastern, Jerusalem. In 1970, President Richard Nixon collaborated with Secretary of State William P. Rogers in attempting to repartition Jerusalem and to stop Israel’s plans to construct additional neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem.

However, the presidential pressure was short-lived and ineffective due to the defiant Israeli response, which benefited from overwhelming congressional and public support of Jerusalem as the eternal, indivisible capital of the Jewish people.

In 1995, Congress decided to implement the will of the people, passing overwhelmingly (93-5 in the Senate and 374-37 in the House) the Jerusalem Embassy Act. It stipulated the recognition of unified Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and the relocation of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. However, a presidential national security waiver, which was introduced into the bill by Senator Bob Dole with the support of Prime Minister Itzhak Rabin, has enabled Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama to avoid implementation.

In 1999, 84 senators realized that the national security waiver was misused by the White House, and that kow-towing to Arab pressure radicalized Arab expectations and belligerence. They attempted to leverage the co-determining and co-equal power of the legislature and to eliminate the waiver provision. But, they were blocked by Clinton and by then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak.

In 2012, the leaders of the Democratic and Republican parties should heed the historical will of Americans, synchronizing the White House and the State Department with the reality that Jerusalem is Israel’s indivisible capital. Still, the success of such an initiative requires Israeli leaders to resurrect the steadfastness and defiance which characterized Israeli prime ministers from David Ben-Gurion (1948) through Itzhak Shamir (1992).

Originally published at http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=1946

North Carolina Bans Gay Marriage

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

North Carolina approved a constitutional amendment on Tuesday defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman, eliminating the possibility of same-sex marriages in the state.

Unofficial returns showed voters passing the amendment with 61 percent of the vote, making North Carolina the 30th state to adopt a ban on gay marriage.

Campaigning against the amendment included a recorded phone message by former President Bill Clinton, who urged voters to oppose the amendment.

Campaign spokesman for President Barak Obama called the ban “divisive and discriminatory”.

Clinton: Security Council, Germany, to Meet Iran in Istanbul April 13

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says Iran and the group of five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany have agreed to meet in Istanbul on April 13 for the latest round of nuclear talks.

Secretary Clinton made the announcement at a news conference Saturday following a security conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Iran and the six major powers met in Istanbul 14 months ago.

Clinton also urged Persian Gulf Arab states to develop a coordinated defense strategy against Iranian missiles, in collaboration with the US military.

Obama, Clinton, Abbas, Comparing Notes on Eve of Quartet Meet

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Abbas’s spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina has told AFP that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton phoned President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday, ahead of a meeting of the international Quartet scheduled for next month.

Clinton’s call to Abbas was to follow up on discussions between Abbas and Obama a day earlier, the official Palestinian Authority news agency Wafa reported Wednesday.

According to the report, Clinton said a group of US officials are slated to arrive at the region soon. Abbas told Obama on Monday that he would return to negotiations if Israel committed to the demands of the Quartet (e.g. settlement freeze).

Obama’s call to Abbas was their first conversation since their meeting in New York when the US vetoed Abbas’ bid for Palestinian statehood at the UN. This time around, Obama wished to reassure the PA President that the US was committed to Middle East peace, a PLO official told Wafa.

Saeb Erekat told the PA’s official radio station that Abbas told Obama the Palestinians would return to talks if Israel submitted its proposal on borders and security,

After talks ended in January without agreement, Abbas is preparing to send a letter to Israel and the international community outlining the basis for a Palestinian state and reiterating demands that Israel stop settlement building.

Erekat said Abbas briefed Obama on the letter, which will outline his position that Israel is responsible for the failure of the peace process.

Ha’aretz reported on Tuesday that Obama urged Abbas not to include a threat to dismantle the Palestinian Authority in his communiqué.

The Palestinian news agency Ma’an reports that Abbas also discussed the deal reached with Hamas in Doha last month to establish an interim government to oversee new elections. The agreement has since stalled amid criticism from Hamas’ Gaza-based leadership.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/obama-clinton-abbas-comparing-notes-on-eve-of-quartet-meet/2012/03/22/

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