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March 27, 2015 / 7 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘diplomacy’

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.

Rubin Reports: Extra! Extra! World Agrees on How to Solve Syrian Civil War!

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012
http://rubinreports.blogspot.co.il/
“The early bird might catch the worm but the early cat catches the bird.”
–Me
Here it is at last. The perfect case study of the “international community’s” diplomacy on the Middle East, as quoted from a Wall Street Journal article describing efforts to resolve the Syria conflict. And the article has the perfect headline, too!
World Powers Reach Syria Compromise
So the problem is solved, right?
“‎An international meeting in Geneva on Saturday on Syria’s crisis agreed, with support from Russia, to support a political transition. However, officials at the meeting said any chance for a political transition to succeed rests on the willingness of the Syrian regime to cooperate.”

That’s right! The powers have agreed to a transition to a new government which will go into effect as soon as the current dictatorship agrees to be overthrown and its rulers flee for their lives and watch their supporters probably be massacred. Perhaps the world will then install a new Islamist government in Syria, forcing it down the throats of the real democratic opposition, which will be dedicated to spreading revolution and striking against Western interests.

Isn’t diplomacy wonderful?

Next week: The world solves the Israel-Palestinian conflict!

Liberating Our Jerusalem

Monday, May 21st, 2012

http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/2012/05/liberating-our-jerusalem.html

When Jordan’s Arab Legion seized half of Jerusalem, ethnically cleansed its Jewish population, and annexed the city– the only entity to recognize the annexation was the United Kingdom which had provided the officers and the training that made the conquest possible. Officers like Colonel Bill Newman, Major Geoffrey Lockett, and Major Bob Slade – under Glubb Pasha, better known as General John Bagot Glubb, whose son later converted to Islam – invaded Jerusalem and used the Muslim forces under their command to make the partition and ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem possible.

Since then the annexation and ethnic cleansing has become an international mandate. It would be absolutely inconceivable for the international community to denounce an ethnically cleansed group which survived attempted genocide for moving back into a city where they had lived. It is however standard policy at the State Department and the Foreign Office to denounce Jews living in those parts of Jerusalem that had been ethnically cleansed by Muslims, as “settlers” living in “settlements”, and describe them as an “obstruction to peace.” Peace being the state of affairs that sets in when an ethnic cleansing goes unchallenged.

Describing Jewish homes in Jerusalem, one of the world’s oldest cities, a city that all three religions in the region associate with Jews and Jewish history, as “settlements” is a triumph of distorted language that Orwell would have to tip his hat to. How does one have “settlements” in a city older than London or Washington D.C.? To understand that you would have to ask London and Washington D.C. where the diplomats insist that one more round of Israeli compromises will bring peace to the region.

They say that there are three religions in Jerusalem, but there are actually four. The fourth religion is the true Religion of Peace, the one that demands constant blood sacrifices to make peace possible, that insists that there will be peace when the Jews have been expelled from Judea and Samaria, driven out of their homes in Jerusalem, and made into wanderers and beggars once again. Oddly enough this religion’s name isn’t even Islam– it’s diplomacy.

Diplomacy says that the 1948 borders set by Arab countries invading Israel should be the final borders and that when Israel reunified a sundered city in 1967, it was an act of aggression, while when seven Arab armies invaded Israel in 1948, it was a legitimate way to set boundaries. When Jordan ethnically cleansed East Jerusalem, it set a standard that Israelis are obligated to follow to this day by staying out of East Jerusalem.

Vice-President Biden was so upset that the Jerusalem municipality had partially approved some buildings in the city during his visit that he threw a legendary hissy fit. Hillary Clinton stopped by MSNBC to tell Andrea Mitchell that, “It was insulting. And it was insulting not just to the Vice-President who didn’t deserve that.” David Axelrod browsed through his thesaurus and emerged on the morning shows calling it an “affront” and an “insult.” Two for the price of one.

Editorials in newspapers denounced the Israeli government for this grave insult to the Obama Administration.”Israel’s Provocation”, the Chicago Tribune shrieked in bold type, describing it as a “diplomatic bomb” that went off in Biden’s face. The Atlantic, eager to get in on the action metaphors, described Israel slapping Biden in the face. A horde of other columnists jumped in to depict the Israelis kicking and bashing the poor Vice-President, while holding his head in the toilet.

Whether Joe Biden was the victim of the Jews or the Jews were the victims of Joe Biden is all a matter of perspective. The Hitler Administration was quite upset to find that Jewish athletes would be competing in the 1936 Munich Olympics. When you ethnically cleanse people, they are supposed to stay ethnically cleansed. It’s in poor taste for them to show up and win gold medals at the Olympics or rebuild their demolished synagogues. It’s insulting to the ethnic cleansers and their accomplices.

That sounds like a harsh accusation, but it’s completely and undeniably true.

When Muslims move into a Jewish town, poor Joe doesn’t come crying that he’s been bombed with a diplomatic affront and slapped with a Menorah. When Muslim countries fund Muslim housing in Israel, there are no angry statements from Clinton and no thesaurus bashing from David Axelrod. Muslim housing in Jerusalem or anywhere in Israel is not a problem. Only Jewish housing is. The issue is not Israel. If it were then Arabs with Israeli citizenship would get Biden to howl as loudly. It’s only the Jews who are the problem.

Iran Prepared to Take Military Action Over Disputed Gulf Island

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

AP reports that the Iranian army is prepared for a military confrontation with the United Arab Emirates should diplomacy over a disputed gulf island fail.

“We do not allow any country to carry out an invasion,” ground forces commander Gen. Ahmad Reza Pourdastan told Iranian state television. “If these disturbances are not solved through diplomacy, the military forces are ready to show the power of Iran to the offender. Iran will strongly defend its right.”

The Abu Musa island in the Persian Gulf is controlled by Iran, but the UAE disputes Iranian sovereignty. The island is situated at the entryway to the Strait of Hormuz, which is of critical strategic importance due to the fact that almost one-fifth of the global oil supply passes through it.

Iran has threatened to close the Strait should it be attacked.

 

Diplomacy & Sanctions- Twin Beacons of False Hope

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

The latest in the Obama administration’s campaign to convince an already skeptical public that Iran should not be attacked – by either the US or Israel, is none other than Dennis Ross. A former State Department advisor, NSC official, and special assistant to President Obama, Mr. Ross made his argument in a February 15th New York Times op-ed “Iran is Ready to Talk.”

His opening line sets the tone, if not the accuracy: “Speculation about an Israeli strike against Iranian nuclear facilities is rife, but there is little discussion about whether diplomacy can still succeed, precluding the need for military action.” Since he is only the most recent in a long line of Obamite “Talking Heads” on TV and penning op-eds in recent months, it is disingenuous to suggest that “there is little discussion.”

The Obama administration is in full court press mode suggesting diplomacy is the way – the only way. On February 1st, Radio Free Europe reported: “US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said on January 31st that a combination of Western sanctions and diplomacy could still persuade Iran to abandon nuclear work which could be diverted toward an atomic weapon.” William H. Luers and Thomas R. Pickering, in a February 2nd New York Times op-ed entitled “Envisioning a Deal With Iran”, wrote: “As the dangers mount in the confrontation between the United States and Iran, both sides will have to raise the doors high for diplomacy to work, and to avoid conflict.” These are only a couple of examples of the endless discussions Mr. Ross must have missed by not reading, listening to, or viewing any American media vehicle in the past several months.

Ross admits from the start that “Many experts doubt that Tehran would ever accept a deal that uses intrusive inspections and denies or limits uranium enrichment to halt any advances toward a nuclear weapons capability, while still permitting the development of civilian nuclear power.” But having said that, he nonetheless claims: “But before we assume that diplomacy can’t work, it is worth considering that Iranians are now facing crippling pressure and that their leaders have in the past altered their behavior in response to such pressure.” When Iran has comparably “altered their behavior” in the past he doesn’t say. But no matter, declares Mr. Ross: “Notwithstanding all their bluster, there are signs that Tehran is now looking for a way out.” Again, the reader is left to guess the signs, since he doesn’t identify any.

As proof of Iran’s growing isolation in the region, Ross points out: “Gone is the fear of Iranian intimidation, as the Saudis demonstrated by immediately promising to fill the gap and meet Europe’s needs when the European Union announced its decision to boycott the purchase of Iran’s oil.” And here, he offers the proof that “Even after Iran denounced the Saudi move as a hostile act, the Saudis did not back off.” Mr. Ross neglects to mention that Sunni Saudi Arabia has been in a tizzy about a nuclear Shi’ite Iran for sometime and not thrilled with the take-it-slow Obama approach. The Guardian (UK) reported last June 29th that Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former Saudi intelligence chief and ambassador to Washington, warned senior NATO military officials that… “We cannot live in a situation where Iran has nuclear weapons and we don’t,” he said.

“Beginning in 2010, Washington worked methodically to impose political, diplomatic, economic and security pressure, making clear that the cost of noncompliance would continue to rise while still leaving the Iranians a way out,” Mr. Ross explains. “This strategy took into account how Iranian leaders had adjusted their behavior in the past to escape major pressure — from ending the war with Iraq in 1988 to stopping the assassinations of Iranian dissidents in Europe in the 1990s to suspending uranium enrichment in 2003.”

Mr. Ross fails to mention that Iran was attacked first by Iraq, accepted a UN brokered ceasefire after 8 years of combat and destruction, a loss of 500,000 soldiers and civilians, and completely restored its pre-war borders. He fails to point out that assassinations of Iranian dissidents in 1990’s was reduced due to proactive measures of international law enforcement agencies and the fact that most of the wanted dissidents were already killed. And his contention that Iran suspended uranium enrichment in 2003 repeats the canard promoted in the now infamous National Intelligence Estimate, which was wrong when written and again by even the latest International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) report. Iran merely hid its uranium enrichment operations and blithely lied about them, while certain American intelligence officials blindly bought it out of political expediency.

Ross maintains that “The Obama administration has now created a situation in which diplomacy has a chance to succeed.” Although he admits that “It remains an open question whether it will.” Meanwhile, he suggests Israel gamble on its national survival. Given their foreign policy record thus far, that is a scary contention.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/diplomacy-sanctions-twin-beacons-of-false-hope/2012/02/21/

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