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Posts Tagged ‘Efraim Halevy’

Lawmakers: Obama Watering Down Iran Sanctions, PA Punishment

Friday, December 14th, 2012

There are some in Congress who are fed up not only with the unilateral actions taken by the Arab Palestinians to subvert the agreed-upon path to Middle East conflict resolution, but also with this administration’s repeated efforts to create unlevel footing such that Israel is doomed to stumble and fall on the world stage.

Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-CO5), is one long-time supporter of Israel who is deeply unhappy about recent events that endanger the Jewish State, and the reluctance of this administration to aggressively block – and sometimes is the one that needs blocking – of those actions.

In response to the Arab Palestinian effort to upgrade their status at the United Nations from non-state to state non-member observer, pro-Israel, pro-peace (the real kind) members of the U.S. Senate moved to impose consequences on the Arab Palestinians for thumbing their noses at the Obama administration and Congress and for shredding the remnants of the Oslo agreements.

Even before the U.N. Resolution passed, Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wy.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and James Inhofe (R-Okla. ) introduced amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act to cut funding to the PA and to close the PLO mission in Washington, D.C., which is what the Arabs were told would happen if they moved forward with their U.N. ploy.  Pro-Israel groups such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the National Council of Young Israel and the Zionist Organization of America condemned the U.N. resolution and urged that stiff consequences be imposed.

However, when the NDAA was reported out of the Senate in early December, the amendments designed to enforce consequences on the PA for its unilateral U.N. action had been stripped from the bill.  There was some speculation at the time that it was pressure from the White House, or even that it was  left-wing anti-Israel political heft that forced lawmakers to remove those measures.

According to Washington, D.C. journalist Alana Goodman, the amendments were removed because of Senate procedural rules. She wrote,

The amendment was dropped from the bill because of a technicality in Senate procedure, according to Senator Lindsey Graham’s office, which sponsored it.

“Once cloture was invoked, the amendment was not eligible for a vote because it was not technically germane to the legislation,” said Graham spokesperson Kevin Bishop.

Cong. Lamborn believes that “the NDAA is too far along in the process – it is going to conference, probably by next week” – to affect aid to the PA through that vehicle, but he told The Jewish Press that concerned members are already working on vehicles to impose the necessary consequences on the Arab Palestinians.

THE PATTERN CONTINUES WITH WATERING DOWN IRAN SANCTIONS

But Lamborn is also deeply concerned with continued efforts by the administration to “water down” the latest sanctions on Iran.  While U.S. administration cheerleaders continue to extol their efforts in passing “biting” sanctions, there have been reports that even in the latest efforts to sanction – i.e. punish, deter, prevent wrongdoing – Iran for moving forward on its path towards nuclear weaponization, this U.S. administration insists on weakening the efforts.

The latest sanctions which passed unanimously through the Senate on Nov. 30 as part of the NDAA, would blacklist Iran’s energy, port, shipbuilding and shipping sectors, and impose new barriers to Iran’s ability to obtain insurance for those industries.  It would also greatly increase U.S. support for human rights in Iran and impose harsh penalties on those who divert humanitarian assistance to other purposes.

But Tommy Vietor, the National Security Council’s Spokesman, explained that it is “the White House’s view the sanctions aren’t needed and aren’t helpful at this time,” according to Josh Rogin in White House Opposed New Iran Sanctions,” in Foreign Policy.

Journalist Rosie Gray posted in an article the administration’s redlined draft of the Senate amendments to the current Iran sanctions bill she said were submitted to the Armed Services Committee of the House and Senate.  One of the most significant proposed changes is the doubling of the time in which the sanctions would take effect, from the 90 days which the Senate proposed, to 180 days.  Gray said the document was provided to her by a Democratic source.

Gray writes,

The bill as passed by the Senate would bar transactions with businesses owned by Iran’s government, which are on a Department of the Treasury list of “specially designated nationals,” or SDN’s. The administration wants to prevent this part from applying to any of these business entities that aren’t already flagged for terrorism, human rights abuses or proliferation. The administration also wants to remove sanctions from metal providers.

Perhaps of greatest concern is that the administration continues to insert or offer additional waivers to countries, thereby undercutting what other wise might actually be biting sanctions.

Former Mossad Chief to Speak to Winnipeg’s Jewish Community

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Efraim Halevy, former head of Mossad, is coming to lecture at the annual Distinguished Lecture series in Winnipeg, on May 3, 2012.

The series benefits the work of the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada (JHCWC). The evening with Halevy is the primary fundraising event for the Centre which manages museum displays and the Holocaust education and awareness programs. The JHCWC also maintains historical materials which preserve the history of Western Canada`s Jewry, in particular in the province of Manitoba. The community`s genealogical research archives are also maintained on site.

The collection includes copies of community newspapers dating back as early as 1910, over 7000 photographs, a complete database of Jewish gravestones (current to December 2010), and countless manuscripts and papers. This archive is constantly growing; for example, we recently received the Yiddish papers of Adele Wiseman, Canadian literary luminary.

The JHC’s many publications on Western Canadian Jewish history include: Coming of Age: a History of the Jewish People of Manitoba, Our Musical Heritage: a Century of Jewish Musicians and Music in Winnipeg, and nine volumes of essays in Jewish Life and Times, with special volumes on Jewish women, Jewish radicalism in Winnipeg, pioneer life and Jewish Farm Colonies.

Previous invitees to the annual Kanee Distinguished Speaker Series lecture, have been internationally-known speakers such as Sir Martin Gilbert, Dr. Deborah Lipstadt and Ambassador Dore Gold. In 2012 it is Efraim Halevy, former Chief of Israel’s Mossad.

Halevy will speak at the Shaarey Zedek Synagogue on Thursday, May 3, 2012 at 8:00 p.m. His topic, “Impossible Missions: Israel’s greatest threats inside and out” candidly outlines the country’s modern day challenges.

The Centre invited Israel’s legendary security consultant, negotiator, political provocateur, speaker, author and retired Mossad Director, many months in advance. His talk, however, comes as Israel grapples on the international stage with its rift between the security establishment and the country’s political leadership.

Winnipeg, nestled at the geographic centre of North America, may be the beneficiary of significant insights from Halevy, renowned for his iconoclastic views.

His often controversial stance is based on a 40 year career in the Mossad. Having moved up the ranks from intelligence officer in 1961 to years as Director of Israel’s elite Institute of Intelligence and Special Operations, Halevy is uniquely positioned to cut through the rhetoric of USA, Israel, Iran, and Syria.

Audience members will have the opportunity to ask questions after a lecture of about an hour. It is expected that Halevy will reveal provocative plans and fresh insights for co-existence once and for all.

With service to no less than five Israeli Prime Ministers, countless international dignitaries, and hundreds of missions and negotiations in his charge, he has worked ceaselessly in the cause of Israel’s security. Much of it in “secret diplomacy.”

It is expected that the evening will also touch on the prestigious Shasha Centre for Strategic Studies. The Israeli-based centre researches policy and presents white papers to stimulate public discussion leading to practical policies to effect sustainable change in the Middle East. This meshes well with the education initiatives of the JHCWC as well as its mandate to monitor news and events pertaining to racism, anti-Semitism, and world news affecting the Jewish community.

Winnipeg audiences anticipate fresh perspectives from the man who began to share behind the scene details on his watch in his book, “Man in the Shadows.”

As anonymous in his civilian look as George Smiley, the lead character in a John le Carré novel, Israel’s modern day spymaster and now editorial writer and professor holds that creative solutions must be found and soon.

On Iran Halevy has said, “They don’t know how to extricate themselves. We have to find creative ways to help them escape from their own rhetoric.”

Contrary to the panic generally promoted about Iran’s nuclear arms status, the evening is likely to touch on his views of Israel’s military and strategic might – “I believe that Israel is indestructible.”

Pragmatic and hopeful Halevy is known for his initiatives to “start the ball rolling.”

While to many outside of Israel the situation looks dire, Winnipeg’s audience may find solace in Halevy’s sign off line in a recent Jerusalem Post editorial, where he wrote, “The impossible happens twice a week in Israel.”

The lecture is a public event open to all. For more information on the work of the Jewish Heritage Centre visit http://www.jhcwc.org/

Former Mossad Chief: Turkey Would Remain Neutral in Israel-Iran Confrontation

Monday, February 6th, 2012

Former Mossad Chief Efraim Halevy, in an interview with Russia TV, estimated that “Turkey would take a neutral position” in the event of a military confrontation between Israel and Iran.

Halevy, who served as Mossad’s chief from 1998-2002, also discussed Israel’s isolation in the post-”Arab Spring” Middle East, and claimed that Israel was in a far safer, integrated position than it was before it signed the Camp David Accords with Egypt in 1978.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/former-mossad-chief-turkey-would-remain-neutral-in-israel-iran-confrontation/2012/02/06/

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