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April 24, 2014 / 24 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Condoleezza Rice’

Kerry’s Talks Achieve Peace Between Hamas and Fatah

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Rival Hamas and Fatah factions reached a unity agreement Wednesday afternoon, the big success of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s nine-month Peace Talks that now have given birth to political Siamese twins, guaranteed to destroy the Palestinian Authority.

The outline of the agreement was reported earlier today here.

Hamas announced in Gaza, and Ramallah officials confirmed to the Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency, that peace between Hamas and Fatah will be finalized within five weeks, with elections to take place in six months.

Both rival factions agreed to release political prisoners that each side is holding.

Hamas and Fatah were unified in the Palestinian Authority administration until 2006, when the United States, as it is wont to do, blew it up by encouraging democratic elections that resulted with Hamas winning a majority in the PA legislature and making a fool out of then- U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Slightly one year after the elections, Hamas and Fatah waged all-out war in Gaza. Fatah’s American-trained troops, those who remained alive, scuttled out like scared rabbits and jumped backed into their foxholes in Ramallah while Hamas took control of Gaza and continue its successful effort to its subjects deeper into hell.

Previous unity agreements have fallen flat on their terrorists’ faces, but this time it doesn’t matter  because the announcement itself, less than a week before the official end of Kerry’s nine-month charades, leaves Kerry only being able to announce that he unwittingly really has succeeded in achieving a peace agreement. Given the upside-world today, it would not be a wonder if he gets a Nobel Prize for his efforts.

Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Jewish Home party leader Naftali Bennett reacted to the anticipated unity agreement with the most superfluous statements of the year.

Lieberman said, “It is impossible to make peace with both Israel and Hamas, a terror organization that calls for the destruction of Israel,” and Bennett called the unity an “alliance of terror.”

More interesting will be the reaction of the Obama administration, starting with Wednesday’s daily press briefing at the U.S. State Dept., whose spokeswomen certainly are meeting with Kerry to figure out to get out of the trap the entire administration has set for them by hardly even mentioning the word “Hamas” the past nine months.

As Kerry would say, “’Poof,’ and it is gone.”

“Poof” is gone, but Hamas is around and kicking, when it is not shooting.

Basem Naim, a foreign affairs adviser to de facto Gaza prime minister Ismail Haniyeh was quoted by The Washington Post two months as saying, “Any talks that do not take Gaza into consideration will fail. Obama sees Gaza as a side issue, and he believes that Gaza and Hamas are not at the center of things, because we are not participating in these negotiations. This reflects a kind of naiveté, for the success or failure of all efforts depends on Gaza.”

What, Obama naïve?

How could that possibly be?

He has a grand strategy, just like all his other failed strategies for a new Middle East. Kerry was to hammer out a “framework” for peace, entangling Israel into a web it could not get out of, and then bringing in Hamas with some fancy doubletalk to tie the noose. President Barack Obama, during his visit to Israel and Ramallah last year said, “If there is a model where young Palestinians in Gaza are looking and seeing that in the West Bank, Palestinians are able to live in dignity, with self-determination, that’s something that the young people of Gaza are going to want.”

As in the story of Purim, he made a noose for himself.

For The Israeli Left, Democracy Is Too Democratic

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

David Landau, one of the lions of Israeli journalism, published a stunningly revealing article in Haaretz at the beginning of February – one that gave perfect voice to the Israeli left’s disgust with the nation’s own democratic system.

Due to the efforts of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Landau wrote, “the dream of Israel’s peace camp is coming true.” The dream itself is the “most yearned-for and most oft-repeated” wish, though Landau cautioned it is only spoken of “in private.”

There’s a twist, though: The dream, it turns out, isn’t a Palestinian state. A state is the culmination of the dream. No, the dream is “that friendly foreign governments summon up the political will to force Israel to end the occupation at last, in the interests of its own future as well as in the interests of world peace.”

Israeli leftists “do not dare to say it publicly,” Landau wrote, because they have been cowed into submission by the political rules of Israel’s “semi-theocratic, colonialist democracy.” The right has successfully arrogated to itself “the power to delineate the rules of public debate and the proprieties of political usage. ‘Zionism,’ ‘Judaism,’ and above all ‘patriotism’ are at the mercy of the right, chiefly the religious right, for their definition.”

Amazing how that happened, really, given that the left dominates the Israeli media, the academy, and elite conversation in the country. But it has, and it has because of those darned voters. The left has “concluded, correctly, that to be seen or heard encouraging friendly foreign governments to take tough positions against the occupation – threatening, for instance, economic boycotts – would draw down domestic condemnation, because the public is fairly brainwashed by the usage and definitions of the right.”

Hard to imagine, isn’t it, that a political movement supporting economic boycotts of your own country might rain down condemnation on you within your own country! But such is the deep injustice that has been visited upon Landau and his friends. The “semi-theocratic, colonialist” monstrosity for which they express such loathing and disgust no longer turns to them for leadership. Fancy that!

So powerful has this “brainwashing” been that it has “enfeebled” Landau’s own camp and reduced it to “the constant need to hope and pray that Israel’s foreign friends will step in and rescue her at last, effectively imposing the peace camp’s policy on her, because the peace camp cannot seriously hope to win power in Israel based on that policy.”

Well, wonder of wonders, it may finally have happened. The posse may have arrived. And so, in Landau’s view, “the peace camp would do well to seize upon Secretary Kerry’s warnings as the moment when its dream of foreign support begins to come true and when domestic and international public debate can be pushed back into pragmatic parameters.”

Landau once reportedly told Condoleezza Rice when she was secretary of state that Israel needs to be “raped by the U.S.” for its own good. That was a disgusting way of revealing a deep truth about him, the Israeli left, and its J Street supporters in the United States. They don’t just want their own policies imposed on the body politic that has rejected them. They want it to hurt, too. They want Israel’s electorate humiliated, degraded, and violated for the sin of rejecting them and their pipe dream of peace.

Fowl Peace Talks a Treif Thanksgiving Turkey

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Middle East experts are experts by virtue of their positions of power.

Some of them, like former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, even have learned a thing or two about international affairs. Rice actually has a Ph.D., which as comedian-pianist Victor Borge once said, should be read as “phttttttttttt.”

The experts, and that includes John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Catherine Ashton and the Oslo Accords crowd, may have learned about prophets, kings, oil and sheikhs in International Relations 101, but they missed out on the basics, like selling non-kosher turkeys to the Arabs.

I learned more about Arab-Jewish relations by working in kibbutz turkey barns than Kerry and Ashton could ever learn in their worldwide visits to official residents of presidents and prime ministers in Ramallah, Jerusalem and Amman.

Turkeys, like people, are cute when they are babies, but after a few weeks, they are not like most people. Their feet are scratchy and they begin to stink. When they get to be three months old, some of them pick up a cold, a little bronchitis, or start to hobble on weak knees, probably from too many carbohydrates.

Then they start acting like grown teenagers. The stronger turkeys pick on the weaker ones, just like fifth-graders playing king of the hill. They peck at the skin until the poor gobbler cannot stand on his feet.

When I was in charge of the birds on a kibbutz farm, the sick and injured had their own quarters, a fenced-off intensive care ward where the bullies couldn’t bother them. But sometimes it was too late. Their broken legs and their bronchitis often are more than modern medicine can cure on a cost-efficient basis.

What can you do with a sick and lame turkey? You sell it cheaply. After all, the reason to raise turkeys is turn them into fat candidates for the slaughterhouse and convert them into cold cash. The Humane Society really does not have much demand for them.

That’s where a revised International Relations 101 course could have taught the experts, sitting in their sterilized offices, something besides making roadmaps to nowhere. Even Professor Yossi Beilin, the darling of the Israeli Left, doesn’t know a kibbutz from Damascus.

Peace is a business, like anything else these days. But you have to know the rules of the game. A good Western businessman knows that a handshake is a handshake, a word is a word, and a deal is a deal.

For instance, Tom wants to sell his two-year-old Chevy for $5,000. Clyde wants to buy it for $4,000. One of them budges or there’s no deal. Jim tries to cut a deal at $4,400. If Tom and Clyde compromise at $4,500, Tom gets his money and Clyde gets his wheels. As for Jim, that’s his problem.

But that’s not the way it works in the Middle East. Here, Abe writes out a check and Ahmed gives him the key. The next day, Abe discovers the key doesn’t fit. “Of course it does not fit,” Ahmed retorts. “The price of the car was according to the real value of the dollar. The inflation rate went up 0.2 percent yesterday. You owe me $10!”

Abe protests, “Where’s the cell phone antenna that was on the roof? I am stopping payment on the check. You owe me $25 for the bank charge.”

“I’m not finished stripping the car,” retaliates Ahmed. The DVD is mine, but I’ll put back the original radio. It works most of the time, especially the Al Jazeera channel.”

“Look, here,” snarls Abe. “I paid you $4,500, but that was based on the price of gold. It went up two cents yesterday. The real price is $4,498.09.”

“You can add another $120 for the deluxe hub caps, or I’ll take them with me,” Ahmed shouts.

They agree to talk again tomorrow. That was 10 years ago. They still are talking.

It doesn’t matter that Abe still has to thumb a ride to work and that Ahmed does the same because he doesn’t have enough money for gas. The principles are that the other guy didn’t get what he wanted so they can continue arguing.

In Western societies, negotiations are a means to an end. The objective is to make a deal so both sides get what they want.

Binyamin (Kerry) Netanyahu Freezes New Homes for Maaleh Adumim

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has ordered Housing Minster Uri Ariel to cancel plans for 1,200 housing units that could accommodate thousands of people in the “E-1” area of the city of Maaleh Adumim, located 10 minutes east of Jerusalem and overlooking the Dead Sea.

The cancellation was ordered shortly after the Haaretz newspaper reported that the Housing Ministry has hired an architect to plan construction of residential units for a reported 20,000 people in Maaleh Adumim and in smaller communities in Judea and Samaria. The cancellation affects only E-1 and not other areas.

The Office of the Prime Minister was unusually honest, although inaccurate, in explaining the order to Ariel, a leading Jewish Home minister.

“There is no need to pay international prices for a process that does not have great significance,” it told the Yediot Acharonot newspaper.”

Not of “great significance?” Apparently, the Prime Minister’s office was being sarcastic. More probable, it was being cynical.

E-1 has become a flashing red line for the Palestinian Authority. Building Jewish homes in E-1 would guarantee that the Palestinian Authority would not endanger Israeli security with a contiguous land mass from eastern Jerusalem to Judea and Samaria.

Constant reports that E-1 would “cut off” the Palestinian Authority are patent lies because highways connect Arab villages and cities in all directions.

It has been a political ping-pong ball within Israel, with nationalists such as Ariel fighting tooth and nail for Israel to stand up and take a position that the mostly vacant 4.5 square mile area, which is part of the city of Maaleh Adumim, will be a home for Jews, sooner and not later.

Almost everyone except the Obama administration knows that it will happen. Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas once upon a time may have had little hope that he could prevent E-1 from being developed, but the Obama administration has effectively become his spokesman and is dead set against its development.

The Bush administration gets the first “credit” for opposing construction in E-1 after President George W. Bush came out with his “Roadmap Plan,” which eventually fell off a cliff, a better result than the Oslo Accords that literally exploded in Israel’s collective face.

The saga of E-1 is a prime example of why Israel cannot depend on promises from the United States. President Ronald Reagan once wrote Prime Minister Ariel Sharon a letter that promised recognition of Israel’s right to build there. The promise was not a legal document, and its worth was only as long as Reagan was in office. The Obama adminstration has said it is not committed by the letter.

It was none other than Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin, whose memory has been defaced into an image of Peace Now, who in 1994 provided Maaleh Adumim Mayor Benny Kashriel with documents to make E-1 an official part of the city.

Nearly 30 years later, all that Israel has built on E-1 is a police station. The Arabs have woken up and have sent Bedouin families to dot the area so they can tell foreign and local reporters how they have been living on the land for centuries.

E-1 has been a toy, or pawn, for Prime Minister Netanyahu.

He has defied nationalists and has toed the line in Washington to keep the bulldozers out of the area.

True, after Abbas went to the United Nations last November to upgrade the PA’s status in the General Assembly to that of a non-member state, Netanyahu unleashed the E-1 pawn and announced plans to build 5,000 residential units there.

So much for hot air.

Not a single house has been built there. In fact, Netanyahu inflicted an unannounced building freeze on almost all of Judea and Samaria until last month, one hour after Israel freed the second batch of terrorists in the four-step program to release 104 murderers in return for the privilege of officially arguing with the Palestinian Authority.

Netanyahu’s policy on E-1 sounds like a broken record.

In January 2009, Netanyahu secretly promised President Barack Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that Israel would not build in E-1, according to an Al Jazeera report in 2011.

Netanyahu, of course, denied the report, prompting Maaleh Adumim Mayor Kashriel to demand that the Prime Minister “order the defense minister to submit the master plan for the neighborhood immediately and progress with development on site, as former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon did during his tenure.”

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.

Puffed Rice

Wednesday, November 1st, 2006

The Monitor never quite understood the good feelings Condoleezza Rice managed to inspire among so many conservatives for what seemed like the longest time. The woman never uttered a single word on foreign policy – her alleged area of expertise – that could even remotely be described as original, inspiring, or just plain memorable.

Maybe some conservatives simply appreciated having a prominent female African American Republican – and one in high places, at that – they could throw back in the faces of liberals always quick to characterize the GOP as a party of racist mountebanks.

Or perhaps they were under the impression that someone so apparently close with George W. Bush had to share the president’s core foreign policy beliefs. This despite her being a protégé of Brent Scowcroft, close friend of and adviser to Poppy Bush, who, unlike his son, shared Scowcroft’s State Department-tinged Arabist view of the world.

“Rice,” wrote James Mann in Rise of the Vulcans, his justly praised book on the current President Bush’s foreign-policy team, “was not an ideological conservative…. Her views were much closer to those of Henry Kissinger and Scowcroft than to the Reagan wing of the Republican party.”

Indeed, by the late 1990’s Scowcroft, according to Mann, “had already been working for more than a decade to advance Condoleezza Rice’s career, mostly by bringing her to the attention of Bush’s father. His endeavors on behalf of Rice continued even after she and the [first] Bush administration had left Washington.”

Rice’s influence as National Security Adviser during George W. Bush’s first term was held in check by the administration’s neoconservative contingent, which also managed to keep then-Secretary of State Colin Powell’s Scowcroftian worldview from becoming de facto U.S. Mideast policy. But now Rice has succeeded Powell, and the neocon presence in the White House is a shell of what it was a mere couple of years ago.

Given all that as backdrop, perhaps it’s only natural that a newly puffed-up Rice would feel less restrained in singing a sad song for the Palestinians, a dirge that sounds uncomfortably like something lifted from the songbook of the liver-lipped anti-Israel scold James Earl Carter.

Fresh from delivering widely panned remarks on how solving the plight of the poor, suffering Palestinians would just about be the neatest and peachiest thing the United States could ever do, Rice again revealed a propensity for muddled sentimentality that bore no discernable resemblance to that purported dazzling brilliance one used to hear so much of.

In an interview with Cal Thomas, a key excerpt of which appeared exclusively on Jewish World Review (www.jewishworldreview.com), Rice made the kind of supremely sappy statement that gives banality a good name.

Thomas, the country’s most widely syndicated columnist and a man described by Jewish World Review editor-in-chief Binyamin L. Jolkovsky as “so thoroughly pro-Israel, no matter the consequences,” asked Rice: “What evidence do you have that teaching their schoolchildren at the ages of four and five to be martyrs, to show up in their little uniforms with plastic guns and their headbands, textbooks one grenade plus two grenades equals, you know, three grenades – what evidence do you have out there that if [the Palestinians] had an independent state that they would lay down their arms and not complete the mission of killing the Jews and throwing them out?”

Rice responded with a torrent of clichés – how the vast majority of Palestinians desire peace more than anything, how they wish to live side by side with Israel, how Palestinian mothers don’t want their children to become suicide bombers but rather to mature into studious collegiate types, blah, blah, blah.

His patience evidently depleted, Thomas finally interjected: “Do you think this or do you know this?”

To which the dazzling Dr. Rice, who was as recently as last year was rather ridiculously touted as the Republicans’ ideal 2008 presidential candidate by no less a political maven than Dick Morris (who actually wrote an instantly outdated book called Condi vs. Hillary: The Next Great Presidential Race) responded: “Well, I think I know it.”

An obviously nonplussed Thomas repeated: “You think you know it?”

“I think I know it,” Rice reiterated.

Call it foreign policy by intuition – or empathy or telepathy. Not exactly what Brent Scowcroft had in mind when he was grooming Condi for great things, but probably at least as dangerous as anything floating around the noggin of that old State Department bureaucrat.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/puffed-rice/2006/11/01/

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