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July 2, 2015 / 15 Tammuz, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘dore gold’

Bibi Seals Nationalist Policy with Dore Gold Heading Foreign Ministry

Monday, May 25th, 2015

Dore Gold, former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations and director of a right-wing think tank in Jerusalem, was appointed as director of the Foreign Ministry Monday by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Monday afternoon.

He replaces Nissim Ben-Sheetrit, who was named to the post two years ago by then-Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman.

Gold was born in the United States, grew up in Connecticut and earned undergraduate and doctorate degrees at Colombia University. He was an adviser to Netanyahu in his first term as Prime Minister in 1996.

The appointment of Gold follows the naming of another strong nationalist, Tzipi Hotovely, as Deputy Foreign Minister but who in effect is subordinate only to Prime Minister Netanyahu, who retains the title of Foreign Minister.

With Gold heading the ministry, Netanyahu retains more control.

Both Gold and Hotovely are religious, which rounds out the Foreign Ministry as solid national-religious domain, one which will be a lot more uncomfortable for U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

A powerhouse like Gold takes some of the limelight away from Hotovely, but it also will take some of the heat off her.

No less important is the fact the Gold, a native American and former U.N. ambassador, knows how to talk to the Americans in their language

When asked by CNN earlier this month how he can explain Prime Minister Netanyahu’s statements that “there will not be a Palestinian stage on my watch” and that he still supports a “sustainable two-state solution,” Gold passed the test remarkably.

He said that there will no Palestinian Authority state for the time being because Mahmoud Abbas refuse conditions for Israel to remain secure. He pointed out that Abbas last year rejected the framework agreement worked out with Israel, to leave Israel in a defensible position

He explained that peace must be preceded with the adjectives “safe and secure.”

Behind Breaking the Silence: Foreign Funding, Bounty Hunting, and Hypocrisy

Monday, May 11th, 2015

On May 4 the organization which has given itself the courageous moniker of “Breaking the Silence” issued a harshly critical report about the IDF’s performance in last summer’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza. It claimed indiscriminate shooting by Israeli soldiers caused the deaths of hundreds of Palestinian Arab civilians.

In the days following, that report has itself been criticized, debunked, dismantled and discredited. It’s worth understanding why.

The name of the organization issuing the scathing report, “Breaking the Silence,” suggests no one else has been willing to criticize the IDF. In reality, of course, that is the primary global discourse about the IDF.

And it is not as if IDF soldiers are uncritical of their experiences. But most of that criticism is internally directed, with the goal of actually improving conditions and procedures. BtS’s effort, in contrast, is a public relations exercise in demonizing Israel and its military apparatus.

The international media pounced on what was promoted by BtS as scorching criticism based on more than 60 interviews with unnamed active duty and reserve IDF personnel who participated in last summer’s OPE. (Anonymity of critics is a hallmark of Breaking the Silence’s many reports.)

A report based on testimony from Israeli soldiers who directly participated in the conflict would appear to be unimpeachable.

Except this one is and has been impressively impeached in a series of reports and public comments by a wide range of critics. Those reports have not received the extensive publicity the Israel-bashing original report has.

And why should anyone doubt the veracity of this report?

Well, for one thing, Breaking the Silence has been subject to intense criticism for years, including from such venerable bastions of Israel criticism as Haaretz, Israel’s flagship far leftist media outlet. In 2009, a Haaretz writer said of Breaking the Silence, it “has a clear political agenda, and can no longer be classified as a human rights organization.”

Other critics include former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Dore Gold, former Associated Press reporter Matti Friedman, the well-respected non-governmental watchdog group NGO Monitor and Im Tirzu, a staunchly Zionist Israeli organization.

The various critics offered substantive and persuasive reasoning for rejecting the claims contained in BtS’s latest report.

FOREIGN FUNDING AND BOUNTY HUNTING

First, the funding of Breaking the Silence suggests it has a clear political bias. Despite its claims, including one during a BBC interview, that its organization “are not subcontractors to anybody,” BtS is highly subsidized by foreign entities and governments. That in itself may not be problematic. But bounty hunting, where funding will only be provided if a set level of “scalps” are supplied, reaps malevolently skewed results.

And contrary to BtS’s claim that “the contents and opinions in this booklet do not express the position of the funders,” NGO Monitor research revealed that a number of funders made their grants conditional on the NGO obtaining a minimum number of negative “testimonies.”

Got that? We call that bounty hunting.

“This contradicts BtS’ declarations and thus turns it into an organization that represents its foreign donors’ interest, severely damaging the NGO’s reliability and its ability to analyze complicated combat situations,” observed NGO Monitor’s analysts.

Gerald Steinberg, the executive director of NGO Monitor, told the JewishPress.com that while “the leaders of Breaking the Silence claim to promote Jewish values, they are impostors.”

“From Biblical texts through modern times, Judaism has emphasized political realism and not pacifist myths. Abraham had to show that he had the power to defend his interests, and the same is true for Jacob, and so on. In addition to this distortion, [the authors of the report] are self-promoting messianists who immorally promote themselves through money given by church groups and foreign governments which seek to deny the right of the Jewish people to sovereign equality.”

Netanyahu’s Speech to Congress on Iran to Bring ‘Substance, Not Politics’

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Dore Gold told CNN on Monday that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is intent on getting his message across about the danger facing Israel from Iran.

Basically, it’s the nuclear threat – not the Israeli elections or partisan issues or friction with America – that Netanyahu has come to the United States to talk about, media rumors and extraneous “other” comments notwithstanding.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power told participants at the packed AIPAC convention Monday the U.S. “will not let Iran have a nuclear weapon, period.”

But it’s really not that simple, as Gold pointed out to CNN. To date, no nation has had any real control over Iranian activities, as has been patently obvious to the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency, as reflected in its annual reports, regardless of international inspections and agreements and understandings signed or not signed.

Israel, perhaps more than any other nation, is exquisitely aware of this, since it is Israel’s existence Iran has threatened to snuff out.

“When the prime minister speaks to Congress tomorrow, his speech will have substance no one has heard before,” Gold said, “and he will put it on the table. The political systems in both countries will discuss it. In democracies, that is not odd.”

As for the current difficulties between the United States and Israel, Gold appeared unruffled.

“Differences with allies is not new,” he said. “It happens between the U.S. and Britain… and now with Israel and the U.S.”

Despite the tensions caused by the prime minister’s decision to go ahead with his speech to Congress on Tuesday, said Gold, “We have to do it.

“Look for substance. Don’t look for politics. The substance is there.”

Netanyahu Names Dore Gold as Foreign Policy Consultant

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has named former Ambassador to the United Nations and certified nationalist Dore Gold as an “outside” foreign policy consultant, the office of the Prime Minister announced Thursday. Gold, born in the United States, served in the same position during Prime Minister Netanyahu’s first term of office in 1997.

He will replace Ron Dermer, Israel’s new Ambassador to the United States.

The appointment carries a stern message for the Obama administration and puts a decidedly nationalist tone of the Netanyahu coalition government.

Gold has been the head of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, which previously campaigned for the United Nations to take legal action against then Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for violating Geneva Convention anti-incitement clauses with statements such as Israel should be “wiped off the map.”

Why Russia Supports Iran

Sunday, May 19th, 2013

Recently, PM Netanyahu traveled to the Kremlin to try to talk Russian President Vladimir Putin out of sending advanced weapons, including the S-300 air defense system, to Syria.

Although I wasn’t there, my guess was that Netanyahu said something like, “don’t do this, because if you do we will have to bomb them.” In particular, the S-300 would make it much harder for Israel to interdict arms transfers to Hizballah, or prevent possible chemical attacks against Israel by Syrian rebels or Hizballah, if they should get control of some of Assad’s arsenal.

According to American officials, Netanyahu’s arguments were not successful:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s last-minute trip to Russia on Tuesday apparently did not change the Russians’ intentions to also deliver the advanced S-300 anti-aircraft missile system to Syria. According to the [Wall St.] Journal, U.S. officials believe that Russia is moving more quickly than previously thought to deliver S-300 surface-to-air defense systems to Syria. U.S. officials told the paper that the S-300 system, which is capable of shooting down guided missiles and could make it more risky for any warplanes to enter Syrian airspace, could leave Russia for Syrian port of Tartus by the end of May.

Together, the S-300 anti-aircraft and anti-missile system, and the Yakhont anti-ship system, would pose a formidable threat to any outside intervention in Syria, based on the international Libya model. The anti-ship missiles would be a serious threat to the Israeli navy, as well as the facilities above Israel’s newfound underwater gas reserves. The S-300 could threaten Israeli military and civilian aircraft flying Israeli airspace, and not just over Lebanese and Syrian airspace.

Providing weapons like this to the unstable Syrian regime (or even a stable one) is remarkably irresponsible; but then, this is Putin. My guess is that Putin countered with threats of his own if Israel interferes with Russian actions.

Dore Gold explains which weapons Israel considers “game changers” that it cannot permit to fall into the hands of Hizballah:

a. Chemical weapons.

b. Iranian surface-to-surface missiles equipped with heavy warheads, like the Fateh 110, which has a highly destructive 600 kg. warhead as compared to the 30 kg. warhead on Hizballah’s Katyusha rockets that it launched against Israel in the Second Lebanon War in 2006.

c. Long-range anti-aircraft missiles, like the Russian-manufactured SA-17, which can limit the freedom of action of the Israeli Air Force if deployed by Hizballah in southern Lebanon. The SA-17 uses a mobile launcher. Israeli diplomacy has been especially concerned with the Russian sale of even more robust S-300 anti-aircraft missiles by Russia to Syria, though there are no indications that Hizballah is a potential recipient of this system.

d. Long-range anti-ship missiles, like the Russian supersonic Yakhont cruise missile, that has a range of 300 km. and can strike at Israeli offshore gas rigs in the Eastern Mediterranean. Russia recently sent a shipment of the missiles which will be added to an initial inventory of 72 missiles received first in 2011.

If Iran manages to prop up Assad at the price of turning Syria into a wholly-owned satrapy, then I’m not sure that it would be much better than if Hizballah itself had the weapons, from an Israeli point of view. Israel’s deterrence will be markedly weakened if the decision to use such weapons is taken out of the hands of a semi-autonomous Syrian regime and placed in Iran.

What motivates the Russians?

I think they have decided correctly that control of the Muslim Middle East hangs in the balance, with the main players in the struggle being Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood and other Sunni elements, and Turkey. I think they have decided that the “strong horse” is Iran and the Shiites. In addition, Russia faces challenges from Sunni Islamists within Russia itself and in Muslim states bordering it.

Russia has also always been unhappy with a Western-aligned nuclear power like Israel so close by. In fact some historians have suggested that the Soviets provoked Syria and Egypt to make war on Israel in 1967 in order to justify a strike on Israel’s nuclear facility in Dimona. Israel is also shaping up to be a future rival to Russian domination of the natural gas supply to Europe. An Iranian victory — and incidentally the end of the Jewish state — would be just fine for them.

Ugly? You bet. The forces opposing the Iran-Russia axis include the hostile and economically devastated Egypt, the super-extreme Sunni Salafists (some allied with al-Qaeda), the neo-Ottoman Islamist Turkish regime, Saudi Arabia — and the United States, which may or may not still be a formidable military power, but certainly does not appear to have the resolve to confront Iran, not to mention Russia.

But Israel has survived, even thrived, against similar odds before.

Visit Fresno Zionism.

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