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Posts Tagged ‘diplomacy’

Israel’s Leftwing Minister Tzipi Livni Needs Special Status to Visit Britain

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni has been granted temporary “special mission” status by the British government to ensure she will not be faced with an arrest warrant in the UK for alleged war crimes in Gaza, according to The Guardian.

The former chief negotiator with the Palestinian Authority requires diplomatic immunity to protect her from arrest when she visits the country because she has been targeted before — as have other top Israeli officials. Several have had to actually turn around at Heathrow Airport and return to Israel, in fact.

A “special mission” is defined as a “temporary mission representing a state, which is sent by one state to another with the consent of the latter in order to carry out official engagements on behalf of the sending state,” Foreign Secretary William Hague told parliament members in March 2013.

The term was used to grant Livni the status once before, in October 2011, after she was targeted with an arrest warrant issued in December 2009 by the Westminster Magistrates Court. London attorneys Hickman and Rose had acted on behalf of a relative of a Palestinian Authority Arab who died on the first day of Israel’s counter-terror Operation Cast Lead against Gaza in December 2008. The operation was launched to silence the years-long incessant rocket fire and terror attacks aimed at southern Israeli families. At that time UK citizens could apply directly to a judge for an arrest warrant.

The “special mission” status provides only temporary protection, however, and will not protect Livni or anyone else from future arrests or prosecution for alleged breaches of international law.

Britain’s Foreign Office confirmed the “special mission” status to media, saying, “Since the visit meets all the essential elements for a special mission, and for avoidance of any doubt on the matter, the FCO has confirmed consent to the visit as a special mission.”

The fact is, however, that Livni’s position as Israel’s Minister of Justice — a position in the cabinet and in the security cabinet — should by definition confer automatic diplomatic immunity.

Isn’t it odd that the justice minister of a sovereign democratic state, supported ostensibly by the most powerful nation in the world, now needs the British government to confer a “special mission status” to block its own legal system from sabotaging her visit?

But here’s the real irony.

Livni, for years the coddled daughter of the Israeli left, was the sole voice advocating for concessions on nearly every point. She led the opposition against the government of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu until he co-opted her into the coalition as chief negotiator, where she tried to give away the house.

She promoted massive concessions and advocated for peace with the Palestinian Authority, which then left her politically out on a limb, betrayed by the very people she advocated for. PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who spurned the talks last month, rejected all compromises by Israel – and suggestions by the United States – preferring instead to sign a unity deal with Hamas terrorists.

It goes beyond irony, its simply cannibalistic.

The UN: That Explains It, They’re All Drunk!

Friday, March 8th, 2013

A report in today’s New York Times provides a clue as to why the United Nations does the things it does – the delegates are apparently inebriated, a lot of the time.

According to the Times’ report, U.N. offices are reminiscent of an episode of Mad Men, a show in which many of the main characters have alcohol abuse problems and no serious conversation can be had without a glass of whisky.

And as the U.S. often seems to be the designated driver in international politics, perhaps it is appropriate that the it was an American diplomat, Joseph M. Torsella, who proposed that “negotiation rooms should in future be an inebriation-free zone.”

Of course, this is not the explanation for the sheer madness of many countries’ behavior at the U.N. and on the world stage and their obsession with Israel. But if only it were.

A Nation that Stands Apart

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Today’s New York Times‘ editorial, Israel Ducks on Human Rights, a day after providing a platform for an anti-Israel, factually wrong op-ed about taking Israel/is to the ICC (and which Julian Ku wrote“If this is the Palestinian strategy to resolve their dispute with Israel, than the prospects for the settlement of this dispute are even more remote than I had previously believed.”), asserts that

Israel has increasingly isolated itself from the world with its hard-line policies on West Bank settlements, the Gaza embargo and other issues. This week, it unwisely set itself further apart with a decision to withhold cooperation from a United Nations Human Rights Council review of its human rights practices. If this paper, or any rational person, still considers the UNHRC objective, unstained,  impartial, considerate, reasonable, unbiased or somehow otherwise actually concerned with human rights and not an Israel-bashing forum whose members have ten times more problems with human rights than Israel while ignoring the human rights fiascoes in other places much worse, not to admit all the complaints against Israel are true, I stress, then the readership of the NYT as well as its editors is to be pitied.  By the way, the U.N. Human Rights Coordinator rep in Jerusalem has not yet replied or acknowledged my appeal.

The editorial even notes:

…The council…is clearly not without faults. More than half of the resolutions passed by the council since it started work in 2006 have focused on Israel and its treatment of Palestinians, and Israel is the only country that is a standing item on the agenda for the council’s biannual meetings.  The council hasn’t always been an effective human rights champion. But… Well, we don’t accept “buts” anymore.

The paper then contradicts itself, saying, “Israel shows not only an unwillingness to undergo the same scrutiny as all other countries.” But there is no “same scrutiny”! That’s the point.

The paper issue a threat or two and then adds that “Any new governing coalition that emerges from Israel’s recent elections should realize that there’s a cost to standing apart.”

Except that “Standing apart” is normative Jewishness. The anti-Semites stand us apart. Media bias stands us apart.Our uniqueness stands us apart. Our history and our achievements stand us apart. The Bible stands us apart. Numbers 23:9: “lo, it is a people that shall dwell alone, and shall not take the nations into consideration” (my translation).

While it would be better if the nations treated us better, understood us better, aided us more, at the fundamental level, we have to take that “apartness” into consideration.

Visit My Right Word.

The Salafi Crusades

Monday, December 10th, 2012

Empires leave behind a mess when they leave. And that mess acts as the building blocks of a new empire. One empire falls and another rises in its place. It’s an old story and it is what we are seeing in the Middle East.

The Islamist resurgence was fed by the collapse of two world powers, the USSR and the US. The fall of the Soviet Union robbed the Arab Socialist dictatorships of their support. The last of these, Syria, is now under siege, by Sunni Islamist militias after becoming an Iranian Shiite puppet.

Egypt’s Sadat had made the move to the American camp early enough to avoid the fate of Syria or Iraq, but instead his successor, Mubarak, encountered the fate of the Shah of Iran. With the fall of Egypt, Syria is the last major Arab Socialist holdout, and if it falls, then the Middle East will have shifted decisively into the Salafi column.

Unlike the Soviet Union, the United States has not actually collapsed, but its international influence is completely gone. Bush was accused of many things, but impotence wasn’t one of them. Obama, however, gave the Taliban a premature victory with a pullout deadline, ineptly waffled over the Iranian and Arab protests, before eventually getting on board with the latter, and allowed the UK and French governments to drag him into a poorly conceived regime change operation in Libya.

The Palestine UN vote, China’s South China Sea aggression and Karzai’s growing belligerence were just more reminders that no one really cared what the United States thought anymore. America had ceased to matter internationally as a great power. It still dispensed money, but its government had become an inept tail being wagged by Europe and the United Nations.

The loss of American influence was felt most notably in the Middle East, where its former oil patrons took the opportunity to back a series of Salafi crusades, the political Islamist version of which was known as the Arab Spring. The rise of political Islamists in democratic elections was however only one component of a regional strategy that depended as much on armed militias as on the ballot box.

In Egypt, protests followed by elections were enough to allow the Salafis, a category that includes the Muslim Brotherhood, to take over. That was also true in Tunisia. In Libya, a new American client, the government put up a fight, little realizing that Obama wasn’t Putin, but a horrible mashup of Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Henry Wallace. Instead of getting American backing, Gaddafi got American bombs, and the Islamist militias, armed and funded by Qatar with Obama’s blessing, got Libya. In Benghazi they repaid the help they received from Obama and Stevens by humiliating the former and murdering the latter.

In Syria, the Muslim Brotherhood’s militias are racing the Al-Qaeda linked militias to the finish line in Damascus, while Western pundits prattle reassuringly about a moderate and secular Syrian opposition, which is as moderate and secular as Egypt’s Morsi.

The regional snapshot of the Arab Spring isn’t reform, but a land rush as secular governments affiliated with Russia and the United States fall, to be replaced by believers in an emerging Islamist Caliphate. The Arab Spring isn’t 1848; it’s 638, the Mohamedan expansion at the expense of the ailing Byzantine Empire, a rampage that eventually ended in the Islamization of the Middle East. For Salafis, this is their opportunity to Re-Islamize the Middle East under the full force of Islamic law.

The Muslim world does not keep time by European progressive calendars. It isn’t out to recreate the republican revolutions that secularized and nationalized Europe; rather it is trying to undo the secondhand European effects of those revolutions on the Middle East. The left is celebrating this as a triumph for anti-imperialism, but it’s just a matter of replacing one empire with another.

Muslim imperialism and colonialism were far more brutal and ruthless, as the Indians could tell you, and if the Salafis have their way, and they are having their way for the moment, it will be the beginning of a new wave of global conquests, with old sheiks using oil money from the decadent West to outfit militias of young men with top quality American and Russian weapons before sending them off to die, while they wait for news of the new caliphate and bed down with their eight wife.

This isn’t an entirely new game. Bin Laden was playing it for decades and Salafi crusaders have been fighting the Ottoman Empire and massacring Shiites for centuries. The notion of them extending their power into Cairo would have been absurd, but for the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the backlash from the efforts to modernize its former major cities which created a modernized Islamist movement inspired by Nazi politics and funded by Nazi money. A movement that we know as the Muslim Brotherhood. It took the Brotherhood a good 80 years, but they finally took Cairo.

The notion of the Salafis threatening the Middle East and the whole world would have been even more absurd if American oil companies hadn’t rewarded their tribal allies with inconceivable wealth while turning a blind eye to their ambitions. And the notion that the Salafi crusade would ever extend to Europe would have been even more absurd, if not for the jet plane and the liberal immigration policies of Socialist governments with aging populations looking for a tax base and a voting base.

The Salafis, despite their feigned obsession with the purity of the desert, have piggybacked their conquests entirely on Western technologies and policies, from the wire transfer to the jet plane to the cell phone to liberal political correctness and Third Worldism. The Salafi crusades were never any match for 19th Century policies and weapons, except in the occasional brief conflict. But they are a match for 21st Century policies and the accompanying unwillingness to use the full force of modern weaponry on people that a century ago would have been considered bloody savages, but today are considered potential peace partners.

Declining empires want stability without war and they are willing to cut a deal with anyone on the way up who has a large enough army and will promise to keep the peace. In that way, the imperialism of the Post-American politician is a good deal like Eisenhower’s foreign policy. The difference is that a British Prime Minister in the 1930s or an American President in the 1950s picked their battles, while their contemporary successors allow their battles to pick them and then surrender preemptively.

Carter’s Green Belt strategy hoped to build a wall of Islamist governments to keep the Soviet Union out of the Middle East. The Soviet Union is dead but the Green Belt strategy has been revived by Obama in the hopes of using political Salafis willing to run for office to hold down the Salafist militias willing to kill everything that moves. It’s hard to imagine a more decadent strategy than trying to outsource your defense policy to the least evil of your enemies, but variations on that theme have been the American defense strategy since the Salafi terror attacks of September 11.

After a decade of trying to divide the Islamist sheep from the Islamist goats, feeding billions to Pakistan to fight terror, extraditing Gitmo terrorists to revolving door rehabilitation programs run by Saudi Arabia, setting up a Palestinian state, making nice to Muslim Brotherhood front groups at home and then setting up the Muslim Brotherhood with a few choice countries of their own in the Middle East; the United States is less secure than ever for trying to appease its way out of the Salafi crusade.

Handing over Egypt and Tunisia to the Islamists earned us a new wave of attacks on September 11, 2012. What handing over Syria to the Muslim Brotherhood will get us, assuming that “our” Salafis will even be able to beat out the other Salafis who want to skip elections and move straight to the hand-and-head-chopping and Christian genocide, can only be imagined.

But Western leaders have a long history of misreading the Muslim world by assuming that Muslim leaders want what good European and American liberals do. Instead Muslim leaders want the sort of things that even few European right wingers want anymore.

Understanding the Salafi crusades means imagining a society where Anders Behring Breivik wasn’t a deluded madman fantasizing about an international network of knights waiting to carry out acts of terror in a war to seize control of Europe and murder millions, but where he and his ideas were mainstream enough that billionaires would fund them and tens of thousands of young men would go to carry them out while television shows and preachers cheered them as martyrs.

Europeans, of course, shudder at the idea, but they have brought those tens of thousands of Breiviks into their own societies through Muslim immigration and Saudi and Iranian mosques. And they have turned over the Middle East to the sort of men who make Breivik look like a schoolboy.

One of the men pardoned by Morsi, the new Muslim Brotherhood president of Egypt, was Mostafa Hamza, the head of The Islamic Group, an organization that was responsible for the Luxor Massacre of foreign tourists. The Luxor Massacre consisted of an hour of torture, mutilation and murder that would have sickened even Breivik. But what is an incomprehensible atrocity to the Western mind is an act of courage and bravery to the Muslim mind. And it is on such atrocities that the Salafi crusades build their caliphate of blood and bone.

The Salafi crusades follow those rules and we saw them in action on September 11. We can see them in action in Nigeria where Boko Haram terrorists blow up churches and in Mali where Salafi fighters chop off the hands of thieves and give teenage girls 100 lashes for talking to boys on the street. We can see them in action in Aleppo where the bodies of tortured priests turn up and in Israel where their terrorists fire rockets from the shade of schools and hospitals.

The Salafi political victories, militia victories and terror attacks are all part of the same phenomenon, and it is about time that we confronted it for what it is. War is politics by other means and politics is war by other means. To the Salafis seizing power, by the bullet or the ballot, the one are one and the same so long as the road leads to the Islamic empire of the Caliphate. Obama’s forced decline of America has led to a new wave of Salafi conquests and the war for civilization has begun in earnest.

Originally published at Sultan Knish.

Israel Welcomes 300 Int’l Asian Science Prodigies

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Over 300 young science geniuses from across Asia and the Pacific participated in the sixth Asian Science Camp (ASC) in Jerusalem this past week. Originally initiated by a number of Nobel Prize Laureates in the sciences from Eastern Asia, it was Israel’s first time hosting the science camp, which has been held in a different Asian country each year for the past six years.

The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which has been marking Israel’s diplomatic relations with Asia this past year, in cooperation with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the ORT educational network, organized the week long science camp for the last week of August. High school and university students arrived from 23 different countries– including nations with which Israel does not have diplomatic relations such as Indonesia.

Shannon Canumara, 16, of Jakarta, Indonesia, described the science camp as fascinating. “The lectures have been fantastic. It’s very different from a high school environment, because we get to learn about science not only from textbooks. We actually get to question the professors and their theories,” Canumara told Tazpit News Agency.

Her Indonesian counterpart, Vinsen, 17, added that “even though our country does not have diplomatic relations with Israel, everyone here was so welcoming to us. I hope that someday Indonesia will agree to establish diplomatic relations with Israel in the future.”

Some of the largest student delegations came from China, India, Korea and Japan, while smaller delegations from Turkmenistan, Turkey, Sri Lanka, and New Zealand also participated.

The Israeli delegates, who were chosen according to a strict criterion of academic excellence in science, consisted of 35 Jewish and Arab students from across the country including periphery cities like Karmiel and Yeruham, as well as east Jerusalem and Umm al-Fahm. The science camp featured lectures from five Nobel Prize Laureates in the Sciences from Israel and abroad, including one of the founders of ASC, Taiwan’s Professor Lee Yuan-Ti, Nobel Prize Laureate for Chemistry, as well as Prof Makoto Kobayashi (physics) from Japan, and Israel’s Professor Aharon Chechanover (medical-chemistry) and Professor Israel Uman (game theory) and US Professor Roger Kornberg (biology).

Liangjin Zhao, a second year university student in Beijing, studying electronic engineering, was very impressed with the organization of the science camp. “Although we’ve had little free time, the best part has been to network and make new friends from all over the world. There is such a great combination of people here” Zhao said. Sitting beside her was Noy Moisa, a student at Hebrew University High School of Jerusalem, who agreed wholeheartedly. “We already started connecting with the students via Facebook and e-mail before the camp even began,” Moisa said.

Rawan Mahajna of Um Al Fahm, 19, who plans to study medicine, said the science camp was an opportunity for “connecting minds together and meeting people who share similar science interests.”

“Everyone here speaks the language of science, which goes beyond skin color, religion, background, and politics. I’m really thankful for this experience,” Mahajna said.

“The whole concept of this science camp was to show that science has no boundaries,” said Reut Inon-Berman, one of the organizers of the Asian Summer Camp. “Together, we can get that much further in this field.”

Obama, Not Israel, ‘Outrageously Cynical’

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

http://fresnozionism.org/2012/08/obama-not-israel-outrageously-cynical/

I’ve been asked why I bother writing about anything in the NY Times. Don’t I know that they are predictably biased against Israel? Haven’t I seen David Gerstman’s analyses of Times op-eds (which last month came out 5 anti-Israel to 1 pro-Israel)?

Well, yes. But the Times is important because its positions are so closely correlated with those of the Obama Administration. At least on foreign affairs, the Times is Obama’s Pravda.

Right now the administration is being very, very careful about saying what it thinks about Israel, not wanting to upset the electoral applecart. But the Times isn’t afraid to let it all hang out, as it did in today’s editorial on Israel and Iran:

Israeli leaders are again talking about possible military action against Iran. This is, at best, mischievous and, at worst, irresponsible, especially when diplomacy has time to run.

Let’s see: recent intelligence reports are said to put Iran closer to the bomb than ever. Diplomacy has been ongoing with Iran for a decade, and Iran has made steady progress towards nuclear weapons. Sanctions — which “have not set back the Iranian program by one iota,” according to PM Netanyahu — are best compared to Swiss cheese, with 20 nations, including all of Iran’s major trading partners, having received waivers, and rogue financial institutions facilitating their violation.

Time, and therefore continued diplomacy, is on Iran’s side. Considering that the attainment of nuclear weapons is seen as a top-priority national goal, and understanding that  unhappiness on the part of the Iranian middle class isn’t likely to deter a regime that is prepared to shoot down demonstrators (as it did in 2009), the Times’ contention that diplomacy and sanctions may yet stop Iran is what’s “irresponsible.”

Let’s not leave out estimates, well known to Israeli leaders, that Israel would suffer greatly from the consequences of attacking Iran — both casualties and major economic damage. They would not contemplate such action unless they believed that the alternative was far worse.

The editorial continues:

It is impossible to know what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is planning or why he has ignored American entreaties to give diplomacy a reasonable chance. There is, however, persistent speculation in Israel that Mr. Netanyahu wants to attack in the coming weeks in the belief that President Obama will be forced to support the decision because of his political needs in his re-election campaign. Such a move would be outrageously cynical.

Boy, do they have it backwards. Clearly the White House is applying maximum pressure (more than mere ‘entreaties’) to prevent Israel from doing anything upsetting before the election, regardless of Israel’s security imperatives. This is what is “outrageously cynical!” Unfortunately, Israel feels that it must strike in self-preservation before the hostile Obama has free rein to act on his demonstrated anti-Israel beliefs.

The editorial continues with some remarkably weak arguments against Israeli action. I won’t bother to quote any more; you can read it yourself. The important thing to keep in mind is that Israel would not undertake this, with all the possible negative consequences and dangers, foreseen and unforeseen, unless its leaders felt that there was no other alternative consistent with the continued survival of the Jewish state.

The Obama Administration has made the judgment that the danger to Israel is more than offset by the danger to the President’s reelection.

And its Pravda chimes in.

Source: Behind Closed Doors Panetta Called Israel Ungrateful, ‘Chazerai’

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

Despite the commonly accepted view that the meetings of U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta with Prime Minister Netanyahu, Defense Minister Barak, and President Shimon Peres, were generally positive, in private conversations Panetta expressed frustration at the lack of confidence expressed by Netanyahu and Barak regarding the American commitment to stopping the Iranian nuclear program, Maariv reports. An Israeli source told the paper that the Americans believe Israel is being ungrateful. The source even used the term “Chazerai”—which in colloquial Hebrew means selfishness—to describe Netanyahu’s and Barak’s attitude in light of unwavering U.S. support for Israel’s security.

Panetta’s visit to Israel was intended to enhance the image of the Obama Administration’s unquestionable supports for Israel without question. This is how political circles interpreted Panetta’s decision to create a photo-op next to an Iron Dome battery near Ashkelon, just north of the Gaza Strip.

But before Ashkelon, Panetta met on Wednesday with Prime Minister Netanyahu, who lectured him on the futility of diplomacy, sanctions and “tough” statements which to date have not caused the Iranians nuclear program to budge. The PM also reiterated that the time to resolve the issue peacefully is running out.

“Iran is the world’s largest sponsor of terrorism, and we must do everything to prevent Iran—the world’s most dangerous regime—from developing the world’s most dangerous weapons,” went Netanyahu’s lesson on the urgent need for a military option. “Today the Iranian regime believes that the international community does not have the will to stop its nuclear program. This has to change, and it must change quickly, since the time to resolve the issue through peaceful means is running out.”

Standing by the Iron Dome battery, it actually appeared as if Panetta had internalized the gist of the lecture, begrudgingly or otherwise. “The most severe sanctions imposed on Iran ever are now,” Panetta told reporters. “Iran supports the Assad regime, Hezbollah, and other terrorist elements. We have a strong commitment to Israel’s security. Pressure on Iran will continue, but the military option is on the table if diplomacy fails.”

At which point it was Defense Minister Barak’s turn to lecture his U.S. counterpart on the advantages of military force over diplomacy. Barak told the reporters—with Panetta listening—that Israel’s leadership is pessimistic about the possibility that Iran would abandon its nuclear ambitions following the sanctions. “The possibility that the ayatollahs will sit around the table and decide to give up their nuclear option is very low,” Barak explained his government’s position.

Then Barak delivered his punch line: “Israel must make decisions on this matter, and the U.S. Administration understands it.”

It turns out, according to Maariv, that while Panetta, the trained diplomat, is good at concealing his true reactions to being schooled so openly by two Israeli leaders, he was quite expressive in private about their arrogance.

For the record, however, the explosive term “Chazerai” was used by Maariv’s source to represent an equivalent English term used by Panetta, whose parents immigrated from Calabria, Italy, and probably did not speak much Yiddish at home.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/source-behind-closed-doors-panetta-called-israel-ungrateful-chazerai/2012/08/02/

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