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January 25, 2017 / 27 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Foreign Policy’

Saudi Arabia ‘Optimistic’ on Incoming Trump Administration

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told a news briefing in Paris on Monday (Jan. 16) that his government is “optimistic” about the incoming administration of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump.

Speaking in English, the Saudi foreign minister said his government is looking forward to working with the new American administration “in all areas that are a concern for both of us,” according to Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty.

Speaking one day after the Paris summit on “solutions for peace” between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, al-Jubeir said the views of the Saudi government aligned with those of U.S> President-elect Trump in a number of areas.

“Wanted to restore America’s role in the world – we welcome this,” he said. “Wanting to defeat [ISIS], absolutely. Wanting to contain Iran and prevent it from causing mischief through its negative policies in the region: absolutely, we have been calling for this for years,” he said.

“Our interests align” on Iran, Syria, Yemen, energy and other issues, he added. “We may have disagreements on how to get there, but we don’t disagree on what needs to be done, and that will not change.”

Saudi Arabia has been among those who have consistently been involved behind the scenes in trying to find a way to work out a “solution” to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Hana Levi Julian

President Rivlin Gets Annual Strategic Survey for Israel, Warns: We Don’t Yet Know Middle East Policies of President-elect Trump

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

Israel does not yet know what President-elect Donald Trump has in store, policy-wise, for the Middle East, President Reuven Rivlin warned Monday, and added that the political agenda this year in Europe has raised the level of uncertainty and the need for “readiness” even further in the Jewish State.

The president made the remarks upon receiving the “2016-17 Strategic Survey for Israel” produced by the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) at his official residence in Jerusalem.

“The ‘Strategic Survey’ always considers elements of uncertainty,” he said. “However, this year more than ever uncertainty is especially high.” He noted that elections are being held in France, Germany annd elsewhere. “Uncertainty is always a recipe for risk, and also for opportunities and we need know how to deal with it – and utilize it – wherever possible.”

Nevertheless, he said, there are also things that do not change. One of those he pointed to is the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

“We must begin to think practically, to allow us to build the conditions for future agreements with the Palestinians. There is no other choice, we must begin to think ahead, how we can get out of the political stalemate. Included in this Strategic Survey are a number of articles and ideas, which open horizons to real practical thinking on building the conditions for future agreements with the Palestinians.”

The INSS ‘Strategic Survey’ is open to the public, enabling every Israeli to understand individually the significant security and political challenges currently faced by the State. The document also provides recommendations on “the ways to deal with” those challenges.

“The conclusion is that Israel must preserve its independence in order to safeguard its essential interests,” the president commented. “Yet in the same breath, you make clear that specifically for the sake of this security and independence, Israel must have cooperation with as many countries as possible in our region and around the world. You highlight that sovereignty and security will never be assured only with high walls and military might. Today more than ever, this is a message of unparalleled importance.”

Hana Levi Julian

WJC President Ron Lauder: David Friedman Will Make ‘Outstanding’ Ambassador to Israel

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

World Jewish Congress President Ron Lauder, himself a former U.S. ambassador, met Monday with President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Ambassador to Israel, attorney David Friedman.

The meeting ended with a strong endorsement for Friedman by Lauder, who expressed confidence that Friedman will make an “outstanding ambassador.”

“During the campaign, it was no surprise to me when Donald Trump boldly declared he would ‘send a clear signal that there is no daylight between America and our most reliable ally, the State of Israel‘,” Lauder said.

“I have known President–elect Trump for 50 years and I can personally attest to his heartfelt commitment to the special kinship between the United States and Israel.”

“As president of the World Jewish Congress, I welcomed the opportunity to meet yesterday with Ambassador-designate David Friedman.

“A thoughtful and accomplished individual, David Friedman is both a proud American and a passionate advocate of the benefits that the United States and Israel have enjoyed from a friendship that has spanned decades. I am confident that he will be an outstanding U.S. ambassador to Israel,” Lauder added.

“Having had the privilege of serving the United States as Ambassador to Austria under President [Ronald] Reagan, I fully recognize it is the president, not any ambassador, who sets American foreign policy,” Lauder said.

“I am sure that President-elect Trump has made the appropriate choice in selecting David Friedman to advance the Trump administration’s diplomatic policies.”

Hana Levi Julian

Trump Team Warns Obama Not to Push Foreign Policies During Transition Period

Saturday, November 12th, 2016

An unidentified Trump national security advisor said, “The machinery of government is going to have to keep grinding as best it can,” but warned that Obama and his aides shouldn’t go seeking new adventures or pushing through policies that clearly don’t match Trump’s positions, according to a report in Politico on Thursday.

The advisor pointed out that in Israel there are worries that Obama may make a move against Israel in the UN Security Council. One possible move is recognizing a Palestinian State.

Obama may also try to push the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal through Congress, which Trump opposes.

The advisor told Politico, “I don’t think it’s in keeping with the spirit of the transition … to try to push through agenda items that are contrary to the president-elect’s positions.”

Obama said that he wants to make sure the transition process is successful.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Hudson Institute Awards 2016 Herman Kahn Prize to Israeli PM Netanyahu

Saturday, September 24th, 2016

The Hudson Institute has awarded its 2016 Herman Kahn Prize to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “in appreciation for his leadership and achievements in leading the State of Israel.”

Netanyahu and his wife Sara attended the institute’s gala event Thursday night in New York City.

The prime minister discussed his policies vis-à-vis socio-economic and foreign policy issues in his acceptance speech, and said there was no alternative to Israel’s great alliance with the United States, which is based on shared values.

At the same time, Netanyahu said Israel is working to strengthen its standing in the international arena, so the automatic majority against Israel in the United Nations will disappear.

He noted the strength of Israel is based in its abiding faith and said that its position is strengthening thanks to its strength and its knowledge. Netanyahu also said that in the Middle East, “One makes peace with the strong,” adding that Israel is strengthening daily.

The prime minister predicted that in the end, modernity will defeat radical Islam.

Hana Levi Julian

Will Israel be ‘Trumped’ by the US Presidential Elections?

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

There is a great deal at stake for Americans voting in this year’s U.S. presidential elections — but at least as much is riding on the results for the State of Israel.

GOP frontrunner Donald Trump has been one of the few candidates in the race to insist he would maintain neutrality when dealing with Israel and the Palestinian Authority from the White House.

Israeli Jews surveyed so far have nevertheless expressed more faith in his ability to deal fairly with Israel than any of the other candidates.

This may be due to Trump’s blunt, “in your face” style – the very characteristic that so alienates some of his American audiences – but which is similar to a large percentage of Israelis in the Jewish State.

It is far easier to deal with a person who is “up front” about their intentions, one might say, than a smiling politician who hides the weapon. Moreover, Trump pulls no punches about dealing with tough situations in a like manner – a necessary Middle Eastern attitude.

But probably the biggest factor in his popularity has to do with his willingness to simply say he will be neutral in dealing with both sides.

At an MSNBC town hall meeting in South Carolina on Feb. 17, Trump described a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority as “probably the toughest deal in the world right now to make.” What he did promise was that if he were elected president, he would “give it one hell of a shot.” This was a deal in which he would act as “sort of a neutral guy,” he said. Wisely, when asked whose fault it was that no agreement had been reached so far, he deflected the question – and did not blame either side.

That is the mark of a real negotiator, one who has the seasoned skills of someone who has been at the table for a very long time. It gives the lie to those who claim Trump lacks foreign policy experience; they forget that Trump has been dealing with political leaders around the world for years while cutting deals in nations on different continents for his various business interests.

Israelis have too often heard American politicians claim their undying support of Israel only to throw the Jewish State under the bus as they try to “bring peace” to the Middle East.

However, at a Republican debate held on CNN, Trump did comment at one point: “It doesn’t help if I start saying, ‘I am very pro-Israel, very pro, more than anybody on this stage… With that being said, I am totally pro-Israel.” But he was unwilling to go farther, and made no promises whatsoever. Certainly no promise to ‘bring peace to the Middle East.’

Nearly every single U.S. presidential candidate has vowed to move the American embassy to the Israeli capital of Jerusalem – and not one has done it once taking office.

Every American president swears up and down about the “unbreakable bond” between the two countries – but that didn’t stop President Barack Obama from freezing the supply of basic military equipment and ordnance in the middle of Israel’s defensive counter terrorist war with Hamas in the summer of 2014.

Promises are one thing and action is quite another, and if Israelis have learned anything, it is to know not to depend on fancy promises. So when a guy like Trump says he will be neutral, after flowery vows of endless support – that gets the attention of Israelis who are really sick of making that run for the bomb shelters.

Trump’s style and substance is straightforward, simple and different. He’s making no promises and no pretensions to expertise. He is an executive who says he’ll run the country pretty much the same way – by hiring top experts to do what they do best, in the areas of their specialization.

Hana Levi Julian

Minister’s Wife Posts Stupid, Racist Obama Tweet

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

Hey, didja hear the one about the politician’s wealthy wife who put her keyboard in her mouth and had to have it yanked out real fast?


Well, a whole bunch of others apparently have.

Israel Interior Minister Silvan Shalom found himself scrambling on Monday to clean up after a horrific diplomatic gaffe by his wife, heiress to the mammoth Hebrew-language newspaper Yediot Aharanot, via Twitter.


Judy Nir-Mozes Shalom, had the social media crowd all a-Twitter on Sunday after tweeting a stupid racist joke that she posted in very poor taste.

“Do u know what Obama Coffee is? Black and weak,” she wrote.

The fallout was swift and merciless, with accusations that Shalom’s wife was “racist” and had caused “grievous damage” to Israel’s foreign relations. Which although it likely did, it probably just added to the poor foreign relations the state already has with Obama.

An apology tweeted by Shalom – who shrugged off the faux pas by calling the post “a stupid joke somebody told me” did little to clear the air. Nothing, even.

This behavior between the two governments is not new. Nasty slurs have been slung at Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu by staff in the Obama administration as well.

But it does no good and causes a great deal of harm when an Israeli government official – or a close family member of that individual – lowers him or herself to firing demeaning pettiness at others.

This is stupidity Israel can ill afford at any time, and certainly not right now, with U.S. presidential elections just over the horizon. Ultimately, what goes around, comes around.

Rachel Levy

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/ministers-wife-posts-stupid-racist-obama-tweet/2015/06/22/

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