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April 26, 2015 / 7 Iyar, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘diplomacy’

Time-Honored White House Diplomatic Traditions on Israel

Saturday, January 24th, 2015

For those readers who have become avid fans of the soap opera unfolding in the White House around the drama between U.S. President Barack Obama and Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, a tidbit just for you.

On Friday, as the White House press corps was engaged in its usual back-and-forth with spokesperson Josh Earnest, they finally managed to force a truth from his lips: The President and the Prime Minister, he said, have a “fundamental disagreement” about diplomatic talks with Iran.

Netanyahu “doesn’t share [Obama’s] view,” Earnest admitted. But still, he claimed, those “differences of opinion” don’t undermine the “unshakable” American commitment to Israel’s security.

On America’s terms, of course. And if it happens to prove mistaken and an existential threat to the Jewish State, which is about the size of New Jersey, well. . .

<menacing music>

As it happens, most members of Congress also have a “fundamental disagreement” with the President about the diplomatic talks with Iran, it seems. Not just the Republicans, who comprise the majority in both houses, but there are a fair number of Democrats who also believe Iran is using the talks simply to gain more time for its covert nuclear development activities.

And Iranians have long made it clear both in the street and in their mosques that their targets will not be limited to Israel; America is in the cross-hairs as well. Members of the intelligence community are well aware of it, as are members of Congress and the Israeli government.

So as early as last October, U.S. Rep. John Boehner was talking to Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer about inviting Netanyahu to address the Congress on the Iranian nuclear threat. The formal invitation was made public last week – and accepted as well – to the apparent “surprise” of the White House.

It’s a bit hard to believe that any of The President’s Men – or Women – could be caught off guard. But let’s leave that bit for quiet contemplation.

It turns out the annual AIPAC conference is being held in March this year – a “must” for every Israeli head of state, and Netanyahu is no exception. The address to Congress made much more sense scheduled around AIPAC, and was penciled in for the same week.

Utter fury at the White House. Sarcastic remarks from press secretary Josh Earnest, with a reference to the Speaker of the House making a “departure from protocol.” On the Prime Minister’s visit, Earnest was altogether tight-lipped, saying his boss was “reserving judgment.”

Later reporters were told that neither Obama nor Secretary of State John Kerry would meet with Israel’s head of state while he is in Washington for both events.

Imagine. One of America’s “closest allies” comes to the capital and neither the President nor the Secretary of State makes time to meet with him, when the United States shares military, intelligence, economy, academic and who knows how many other priorities with Israel.

Not to mention their “differences of opinion” that are so important to work out – something that one would believe an administration so committed to the process of “diplomacy” would consider a priority.

The White House spokesperson tried to put a good face on it.

“As a matter of long-standing practice and principle, we do not see heads of state or candidates in close proximity to their elections, so as to avoid the appearance of influencing a democratic election in a foreign country,” he explained Thursday.

The US-Israel Crisis Created by Obama

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

As Palestinian Authority officials continue to incite their population and Arab terrorists rev up for what they hope will be a third “intifada” last night a mouthpiece for the Obama Administration has lit his own fuse on the internet.

The Atlantic columnist Jeffrey Goldberg led his column Tuesday (Oct. 28) with a comment from a “senior Obama administration official” who called Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu “a chickenshit.”

Goldberg wrote that the comment was “representative of the gloves-off manner in which American and Israeli officials now talk about each other behind closed doors” and “yet another sign that relations between the Obama and Netanyahu governments have moved toward a full-blown crisis.”

I say it’s all hogwash, kashruth and halal notwithstanding.

On June 4, 2009 – just six months after entering the White House – Israel independently rated a grand total of just four sentences in a landmark hour-long speech delivered by President Barack Obama from Cairo. Of the four, one sentence contained a major inaccuracy.

The reference was to America’s “unbreakable” bond with Israel, which Obama insisted was based upon “cultural and historical ties, and the recognition that the aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in a tragic history that cannot be denied.”  (ed. note: italics added for emphasis)

It’s not, and if Obama knew his Qur’an as well he claims to know to, and as well as he allegedly knows his Bible as a Christian – which perhaps he may not – he would know that last is patently untrue.

Yesterday before this brouhaha began Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin revisited this very same issue as he inaugurated a new Museum of History of Polish Jewry in Warsaw, at the invitation of Poland’s President Bronislaw Komorowski. The two men stood together as Rivlin spoke of Jewish history.

“There are those who mistakenly think that the State of Israel is compensation for the Holocaust,” Rivlin said in an ironic response to Obama’s 2009 Cairo claim. “There is no greater mistake. The State of Israel is not a compensation for the Holocaust. The State of Israel was established in its own right.” (italics added)

To be perfectly politically incorrect, Israel is the Jewish homeland because it was granted by Almighty God Himself to His Chosen People. Period, full stop. Read the Old Testament. It’s there in black and white.

Even observant Muslims know it, those who have studied their Qur’an. The passages are quoted often by those Muslim leaders who do truly understand the meaning of coexistence and peace, and even at times by those who don’t.

(Sura 5:20) “And when Moses said to his people, ‘O my people, remember the favor of Allah upon you when He appointed among you prophets and made you possessors and gave you that which He had not given anyone among the worlds.’”

(Sura 5:21) “O my people, enter the Holy Land which Allah has assigned to you and do not turn back [from fighting in Allah’s cause] and [thus] become losers.”

Clearly Obama’s speech writers were not among these well-educated people, nor did he correct them. Perhaps he was unable to, perhaps he didn’t notice.

But his priorities vis a vis Israel were made equally clear in the fact that every other reference to the Jewish State in his Cairo speech was made solely in relation to its relations with the Palestinian Authority and the Arab world.

Obama’s scorn for Israel — and in particular, for its leader — has never really been a particularly well-kept secret.

Barely a year after Obama first entered the White House, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was treated to a taste of that disdain. In 2010 America’s first black president suddenly left Israel’s top leader “on hold” in the Oval Office in a breathtakingly rude manner during an exchange over Obama’s demands that Israel cease building in Jerusalem.

Turkey’s New PM Says ‘No Hope’ of Normalizing Ties with Israel

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

The deep freeze in Israel’s diplomatic relations with Turkey, once its closest ally in the region, likely will continue for the next few years.

That was the essence of the message from Turkey’s new prime minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, the country’s former foreign minister, who follows President-elect Recep Tayyip Erdogan in his position – both diplomatically and politically. Erdogan was prime minister before being elected last month as president.

The prime minister told Turkey’s parliament on Monday that in the Middle East, he saw no hope of “normalizing” ties with Israel unless it stopped attacks on Gaza and ended its blockade, Reuters reported. Both are defensive measures designed to fend off terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians.

None of the English-language Turkish newspapers carried Davutoglu’s remarks in their entirety. The new prime minister is expected to continue Erdogan’s policies. He named a new cabinet last Friday but retained key members of the existing economic management team.

Turkey’s ruling AKP party — and Erdogan in particular — has long been deeply supportive of Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization, and a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood organization that spawned the terrorist group.

On May 31, 2010, Erdogan recalled Turkey’s ambassador to Israel after nine terror activists were killed when they attacked Israel Navy commandoes who boarded a flotilla ship allegedly bearing aid to Gaza. A subsequent search of the vessel found there were no humanitarian aid supplies at all in the hold.

Speaking to reporters during a visit to Chile, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Recep Erdogan said the incident represented a complete violation of international law. “This action, totally contrary to the principles of international law, is inhumane state terrorism,” he claimed at the time. He cut short an official visit to Latin America to ‘deal with the crisis.’

Erdogan has since used the incident to ramp up his anti-Semitic rhetoric and has sabotaged every effort by numerous Israeli and Turkish officials to resolve the “crisis.”

US Continues ‘Peace Process’ with Arabs

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

The United States is continuing its efforts on a Middle East ‘peace process,’ with another meeting scheduled today in Washington.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is set to meet with Palestinian Authority government official Assam al-Ahmad, who represents the Fatah faction, according to a report published in the A-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

Al-Ahmad heads the “reconciliation’ division of the new Palestinian Authority unity government, according to the report.

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/my-right-word/a-nation-that-stands-apart/2013/01/31/

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