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May 28, 2015 / 10 Sivan, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Foreign Policy’

Abbas’ Son Loses $10 Million Libel Suit in US Court

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit threw out a $10 million libel suit by one of the sons of Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas Friday, the same day the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York upheld a lower court’s dismissal of a suit demanding compensation from settlers for “terrorist stacks.”

The suit in New York charged several right-wing Israeli charities with funding settlers in violation of anti-terrorism laws. “American federal judges recognize the difference between the financing of murder and violence… and legitimate bona fide financial support of the daily needs of peaceful Israeli settlements over the Green Line,” said attorney Nathan Lewin, who represented the charities.

The libel suit that was rejected in Washington may go to the Supreme Court, said a lawyer for Tarek Abbas, one of the PA chairman’s sons.

He sued Foreign Policy magazine and Foundation for the Defense of Democracies researcher Jonathan Schanzer, who in 2012 wrote an article for the magazine, whose subhead line read:

Are the sons of the Palestinian president growing rich off their father’s system?

A three-judge panel unanimously agreed that defining defamation to include raising a question would “dramatically chill” public debate.

The judges wrote:

Just imagine the severe infringement on free speech that would ensue in the alternative universe envisioned by Abbas. Is the Mayor a thief? Is the quarterback a cheater? Did the Governor accept bribes? Did the CEO pay her taxes? Did the baseball star take steroids? Questions like that appear all the time in news reports and on blogs, in tweets and on cable shows. And all such questions could be actionable under Abbas’ novel defamation theory.”

Admitting that journalists often unfairly raise questions to imply a negative conclusion, the judges stated, “There is no good or predictable way to neatly divide (i) the questions that are routinely posed in America’s robust public forums from (ii) the kinds of questions that would be actionable as defamation by implication under Abbas’s theory.”

Abba’s lawyer Louis Adolfson told Politico. “We are considering our options,” meaning a possible appeal to the Supreme Court.

Schanzer wrote in his article for Foreign Policy, “The conspicuous wealth of Abbas’s own sons, Yasser and Tarek, has become a source of quiet controversy in Palestinian society since at least 2009, when Reuters first published a series of articles tying the sons to several business deals, including a few that had U.S. taxpayer support.

“Yasser, the elder son,…owns Falcon Tobacco, which reportedly enjoys a monopoly on the sale of U.S.-made cigarettes in the Palestinian territories. According to the Toronto Star, Yasser also chairs Falcon Holding Group, a Palestinian corporate conglomerate that owns Falcon Electrical Mechanical Contracting Company, an engineering interest that was established in 2000 and boasts offices in Gaza, Jordan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and the West Bank.

“This business success has come with a helping hand from Uncle Sam: According to a Reuters report, Abbas’s company received $1.89 million from USAID in 2005 to build a sewage system in the West Bank town of Hebron.

Yasser Abbas also manages a company that engages in public works projects for his father’s regime and which was awarded $300,000 in USAid funds between 2005 and 2008.

His younger brother Tarek’s advertising firm received $1 million in USAID funds “to bolster public opinion of the United States in the Palestinian territories.”

And what do Palestinian Authority Arabs think about the sons of their leader, who now is serving something like the 10th year of his elected four-year term of office?

Schanzer wrote:

On a research trip to Ramallah last year, several Palestinians told me that the Abbas family dynasty is common knowledge. However, discussion of the issue rarely rises above a whisper — thanks to growing fear of retribution by PA security officers, who have apprehended journalists and citizens for openly challenging President Abbas’s authority.

Tarek could have been $10 million richer, but the U.S. Appeals Court in Washington ruined his plans.

‘Arab-Israel Alliance’ Leaving Obama Isolated

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has jabbed President Barack Obama with a stinging remark that although Israel and the United States are friends, fears of Iran and the ISIS have forged a “new partnership” of Israel and “many of our Arab neighbors.”

Netanyahu took the opportunity of being charged with the responsibility to form a new government to say:

We very much appreciate, and will take care to preserve, our alliance with the best of our friends, the United States; however, we will continue to work to prevent the agreement with Iran, an agreement that endangers us, our neighbors and the world. We see eye to eye with many of our Arab neighbors regarding the danger posed by Iran and we also view positively the benefit that this new partnership could have for the region.

The chaos in Yemen has once again embarrassed the Obama administration by exposing another colossal foreign policy failure that has made President Obama increasingly isolated in the region.

Obama and his foreign policy gurus still hold on to the delusion that if Israel simply would agree to surrender every inch of territory that was restored to the country in the Six-Day War in 1967, the sky would be filled with doves of peace, pooping on Jews, instead of rocks and rockets aimed at Jews.

The biggest problem with that policy, which to be fair has been fostered by every administration in the past 40 years thanks to the State Dept., is that the Arabs world couldn’t care less about the Palestinian Authority.

Mahmoud Abbas was supposed to be the messenger for Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Arab League to force Israel into submission and prepare the way for a Muslim takeover over “Palestine.”

Instead, corruption, mismanagement and the failure to accept the word “compromise” have left the Palestinian Authority a sorry welfare state.

When it comes to keeping the Palestinian Authority alive, it is the European Union that has forked over most of the money while the oil-rich kingdoms pledge billions of dollars and end up giving a few shekels.

Abbas has become nothing but a depreciating tool for the Arab League to use to pay lip service to the masses that Jerusalem will be the capital of a Muslim country.

One big exception has been Qatar, but its money has gone to the Iranian-backed Hamas terrorist organization, which has been boycotted by Egypt but endeared by Turkish President Recep Erdoğan.

Given events in Yemen, both Qatar and Erdoğan, must be fretting and sweating at the idea of Iran’s adding Yemen to its real estate portfolio, which includes a good slice of Lebanon and is trying to move in on Syria.

While the Obama administration and its media groupies try to prove themselves that Prime Minister Netanyahu is isolating Israel, it is the president who is finding himself increasingly alone.

Saudi Arabia was unhappy with Obama last year after he backed off his threat to directly fight the Assad regime, which has begun using chemical weapons against opposition forces.

Add the failures of the Obama administration in Libya, Afghanistan Iraq and now Yemen, and throw in growing signs that he will call a “bad deal” with Iran a “good deal,” and it is no wonder that Saudi Arabia and its Sunni Muslim allies feel more comfortable with Israel than with Washington.

Al Qaeda and ISIS are Israel’s New Northern Neighbors

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Al Qaeda, ISIS, Syrian rebels, and soldiers loyal to Syrian President Bassar al-Assad are engaged in free-for-all and barbaric war that is taking place dangerously close to the Golan Heights border with Israel.

The Syrian government announced Sunday that it has reclaimed control only parts of Kuneitra, on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has jumped on the chaos to thump his comparison of ISIS with Hamas, while President Barack Obama shocked Americans with a candid appraisal that the United States “does not have a strategy yet” to deal with the New Middle East, light years away from what then-President Bill Clinton promised when he sold the snake oil known as the Oslo Accords.

So long as terrorists kill each other in Syria, Israel can relax, but if and when one terrorist group survives and takes over, the IDF will be wishing for the good ‘ol days of fighting Hamas in Gaza, despite Netanyahu’s description that if a rose is a rose is a rose, ISIS is Islamic Jihad is Hamas. To paraphrase his famous “duck” statement in the United Nations, concerning a nuclear Iran, “if it looks like a wild animal, and if it walks like a wild animal, and if it talks like a wild animal, it is a wild animal – and not a duck.”

The radical Islamic movement has proven that extremism and barbarity are relevant terms, and the ISIS has made Assad look human, more or less, and made Al Qaeda look like middle-of-the-road Islam.

The Syrian government has not admitted the ISIS massacre of approximately 150 of its soldiers, who dropped their weapons and ran for what they thought was their lives in a battle. Instead, the ISIS caught up with them and murdered them. Before their deaths, several of them were “convicted” after their admissions of sins against Islam by not having raped and murdered enemies.

Naughty, naughty radical Muslims, they were.

It is difficult to express ”good news” when beheadings and kidnappings are common are Syria, but Obama’s “we do not have a strategy yet” comment on Thursday should be interpreted positively and not negatively.

It is a bit shocking that the Obama administration’s foreign policy gurus have been standing aside for more than three years during the bloodbath in Syria, after initially siding with Assad.

However, considering that everything his administration touches turns to you know what, Israel and the rest of the world might be better off to the let animals act like animals, pity the innocent civilians who are caught in hell on earth, and let the United States worry about Ferguson and immigrants from Mexico.

Israel also is undoubtedly anxiously preparing for a potential future battle against ISIS or Al Qaeda domination on the Golan Heights.

ISIS, Al Qaeda and Syrian rebels have common enemies in Basher Assad and Israel, but they also are battling each other in order to stake a claim of which terrorists will rule whatever is left of Syria in the future.

The Al-Nusra terrorists long ago split off from Al Qaeda, engaged in its own civil war while fighting both rebels and Assad.

It is all in the name of Allah.

“We in the Al Nusra Front only fight to raise the word of Allah, to make the oppressed triumphant,” one fighter said, according to Fox News. “We only fight to get rid of the enemy Bashar and his soldiers. We have come to fight them so that we can impose Allah’s laws on the country.”

Al Qaeda distances itself from ISIS and announced that ISIS “is not a branch of the Al Qaeda group [and] does not have an organizational relationship with it and is not the group responsible for their actions.”

White House ‘Shocked’ that Ya’alon Criticizes Obama

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Officials at the a White House are incredibly upset with Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, who had the audacity Monday to say that that the  United States’ foreign policy is so weak that Israel cannot depend it on it to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear capability.

President Barack Obama’s definition of ”friendship” – and everyone knows that Commander in Chief himself has said he is the greatest pal Israel has had since George Washington – means  the Israeli government must pat the president on his head every time he blinks, and he has been doing a lot of that lately.

Ya’alon said in a speech at Tel Aviv University earlier this week that allies have expressed “disappointment” at American policies leading up to the Russia-Ukraine crisis and that the United States clearly is  “demonstrating weakness.”

The Obama administration has accused the Israeli defense minister of insulting its senior officials and undermining the relationship between the US and Israel after he criticized American foreign policy for projecting “weakness” throughout the world.

“If you sit and wait at home, the terrorism will come again,” Ya’alon said. “This is a war of civilizations. If your image is feebleness, it doesn’t pay in the world. Nobody will replace the United States as global policeman. I hope the United States comes to its senses. If it doesn’t, it will challenge the world order, and the United States is the one that will suffer.”

That was not exactly harsh language. On the contrary, Ya’alon put the United States on a pedestal when he said that no one can replace it.

But the criticism was too much for President Obama, whose foreign policy blunders have brought him compliments from no one outside the State Dept.

“We were shocked,” one official was quoted as saying.

Not only was he shocked, he was “mystified” at Ya’alon, who earlier this year was reprimanded by the American government for very undiplomatic language he uttered in what was supposed to be closed meeting, where he called Kerry “messianic”” and obsessive.” Ya’alon expressed his wish that Kerry would simply go home, collect his Nobel Prize for No Peace and “leave us alone.”

Ya’alon seemed to have learned his lesson, His criticism was offered in friendly terms, but the White  House official was quoted as saying that the defense minister shows a “disturbing pattern” in which he “disparages the U.S. administration, and insults its most senior officials.

Moshe Ya’alon  has not replied to the Obama administration’s feeling sorry for itself, but one Israel minister told Army Radio “The foreign policy of the United States all over the world is collapsing. I learn from this that Israel must not be Ukraine. It is ridiculous today to hear the Americans talking about guarantees for Israel’s security.” So now it is an unnamed ministger who has not learned the Obama Commandment,”Thous shalt not criticize” – unless you are a Muslim country, Russia, China or a Republican.

 

Ya’alon Calls the Obama Administration a Weakling

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, who earlier this year called U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry “messianic” and “obsessive,” upped the ante on Monday by calling the entire Obama administration a weakling and undependable in the “stop nuclear Iran” campaign.

“We had thought it would be the United States that would lead the campaign against Iran,” said Ya’alon at a lecture at Tel Aviv University.

He cited the Ukraine crisis as an example of “weakness” in the White House which he said cannot be depended on to stop Iran’s nuclear program. “We had thought it would be the United States that would lead the campaign against Iran,” said Ya’alon.

“People know Iran cheats”, he added, but the United States and its other Western allies “engage” Iran, leaving Israel with no choice other than “ to behave as though we have nobody to look out for us but ourselves.”

That is as close as he can come to threatening a military attack on Iran without actually giving the order in public.

His comments came on the eve of more talks with Iran in Vienna under the shadow of the crisis with Russia over its plan to annex the Crimean peninsula of the Ukraine.

As for the talks with Iran, Ya’alon implied a zero rating for American and Western negotiators. “Unfortunately, when it comes to negotiating at a Persian bazaar, the Iranians are better,” according to Ya’alon.

For good measure, the Obama administration’s feebleness regarding the civil war in Syria, where he said lack of American support for Sunni Muslims at war with Syrian President Bassar al-Assad and his Iranian-Hezbollah allies is a “disappointment” to rebels and their supporters, such as Saudi Arabia.

Ya’alon did not say anything that others in the government do not know, but he simply is being less diplomatic and calling a spade a spade and a weakling a weakling.

It is a bit pitiful that Kerry and Obama talk as if the world has not changed in 60 years since the United States was the undisputed world leader. When it said jump, other countries would ask, “Head first or foot first.”

When Obama says jump, the other side indeed jumps – on Obama. It is not surprising that Iran mocks the United States every day. It is not even a small miracle that Muslim countries make fun of him.

But now it is both the Palestinian Authority, which this week supported a YouTube song video mocking Kerry, as seen here, and Israel’s defense minister using Obamas a punching bag.

Israel and the Palestinian Authority are Obama’s two hopes to show the world how much influence he has, and the world is seeing exactly how impotent he is.

The last word goes to Mitt Romney, was laughed at in the 2012 presidential campaign when he attacked Obama’s foreign policy.
He wrote in The Wall Street Journal Tuesday, “President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton traveled the world in pursuit of their promise to reset relations and to build friendships across the globe. It is hard to name even a single country that has more respect and admiration for America today than when President Obama took office, and now Russia is in Ukraine.”

What the Syria Crisis Tells Us about the Israel Lobby

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

Barely minutes after the news broke earlier this month that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) was planning a major effort on Capitol Hill to garner support for the Obama administration’s plan for a limited military operation against the Syrian regime, the conspiracy theorists were having a field day.

As always, it’s instructive to note how the notion that American foreign policy is a prisoner of organizations like AIPAC, the main pro-Israel lobbying group in America, is an idée fixe on both the far left and the extreme right. Juan Cole, a left-wing academic with a strong online following, grabbed the opportunity to argue that AIPAC, in advocating for what he described as “attacking Syria,” is out of touch with the opinions of most American Jews, who are not evil neoconservatives but solid progressives. The anti-Zionist Jewish blogger M.J. Rosenberg ranted about how “AIPAC and its cutouts are the only lobbying forces supporting the administration’s plans for war.”

Not to be outdone, Rod Dreher of The American Conservative, a magazine founded by Pat Buchanan, wrote that in supporting military action, AIPAC was endangering the lives of Syrian Christians, whom he believes are better off under the Assad regime.

Such concern for the plight of Christian minorities in the Middle East is touching, but also a tad disingenuous, as The American Conservative has never shown much sympathy for the fate of those Christian communities, from Nigeria to Pakistan, who suffer from Islamist atrocities. When you bring Israel into the equation, however, the magazine suddenly finds its voice.

The combined message here is clear: Syria is Iraq Redux, another “endless war” America is being pushed into by a shadowy Jewish cabal.

Critics of these conspiracy theories have rightly pointed out the anti-Semitic pedigree on display here. The idea that Jews are powerful enough to manipulate their governments from behind the scenes is a staple of modern anti-Semitism. Still, let’s for a moment take the Israel Lobby thesis on its own merits. Is the charge that the “Lobby” is the real authority when it comes to U.S. foreign policy empirically verifiable?

The answer to that question is a resounding no. In fact, what the latest developments on Syria demonstrate is that rather than the “Lobby” running the administration, it is the administration that runs the “Lobby.”

AIPAC, along with mainstream Jewish advocacy organizations, had been largely silent on the atrocities taking place in Syria. In that sense, they were no different from the other influential groups and individuals who were either undecided on the issue of a limited military operation or firmly opposed to it. It’s no secret that Obama always faced a rough ride in Congress, especially as some of his traditional supporters, like the MoveOn.org PAC, actively opposed any intervention in Syria.

Similarly, the Jewish left is uncomfortable with the prospect of taking on the Assad regime; J Street, a group that once ludicrously claimed to be Obama’s “blocking back” on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict issue, has deserted the president over Syria.

Rather than pushing for war, then, AIPAC and similar groups were drafted in at the last minute to boost support for a president who was looking dangerously isolated. The irony of an administration that includes Chuck Hagel, the defense secretary who famously bemoaned AIPAC’s influence, running to groups like AIPAC to secure backing shouldn’t be lost on anyone. Even so, away from the political point scoring, what this shows is that the influence of pro-Israel groups is something this administration values. Equally – and this is key – these groups will wield that influence when the administration requests that they do so.

Importantly, this is not the first time the administration has turned to the “Lobby” for support on Middle East-related matters. Part of the reason Secretary of State John Kerry was able to galvanize support and publicity for his efforts to renew the Israeli-Palestinian peace process was that he turned to American Jews, whose principal organizations dutifully trumpeted his message. The fact that Kerry’s diplomacy has yielded few results isn’t really his fault, nor is it the fault of American Jews. The stasis on the Israeli-Palestinian front is the consequence, as it always has been, of rejectionism among the Palestinians, whose leaders remain distinctly queasy about doing anything that might smack of accepting Israel’s legitimacy.

Any worry about all of this on the part of American Jewish organizations should relate not to accusations of outsize influence but to association with failure. So far Israel has little to show for its decision, under pressure from the Americans, to release Palestinian terrorists ahead of the talks; meanwhile, the Syrian intervention proposal is mired in confusion because of widespread concern that an American-led operation will be too little, too late.

If the Obama administration can be confident of anything, it is that its American Jewish partners will never go so far as to openly criticize the president. Far from being the war-crazed cabal depicted in the imaginations of conspiracy theorists, the “Israel Lobby” is in reality an oasis of calm reliability for a president who may just be on the cusp of his biggest foreign policy failure.

400 Killed in Terror in 5 Days and Obama Says ‘World More Stable’

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Islamic terrorists killed 70 plus people in Kenya, 78 Christians in Pakistan, 142 people in Somalia and about 100 in Iraq the past four days, but President Barack Obama told the United Nations Tuesday, ”The world is a more stable place than it was five years ago.”

The President quickly added that, sure, there are “problems” in Kenya, Pakistan, Iraq and other countries, but so what?

“Al Qaeda does not have the capacity to carry out another 9/11,” he explained. That may or may not be true, but it reflects the egocentric attitude of the American government, which takes responsibility for safeguarding the world even though it lost its authority years ago.

Al Qaeda still is a “problem” for other governments, President Obama admitted. but there are bigger problems, such as Israel trying to exist.

President Obama outlined where the United States stands on world conflicts. Syria must not be allowed to have chemical weapons, he said, without batting an eyelash over the fiasco of his hastily climbing down the ladder of a confused foreign policy.

But more important, he said there are two great issues that can be solved to make peace for the world: Iranian’s nuclear aim and the “occupation.”

He repeated the term “occupation” several times to make it clear that the United States backs the Palestinian Authority while saying it really is just bringing Israel and the Palestinian Authority to the so-called negotiating table to thrash it out by themselves.

When he insisted that Israel’s security is dependent on the creation of a Palestinian Authority country within Israel’s current borders, President Obama did not mention that two Palestinian Authority terrorists murdered two IDF soldiers the past four days. Maybe the numbers are not high enough to be considered terror.

He obviously and sincerely believes that if Israel simply would duplicate its idiocy in 2005, when it expelled all Jewish civilians and withdrew the IDF from Gaza, the Palestinian Authority will have no reason to attack Israelis.

President Shimon Peres is almost the only person in the world still trying to figure out why Hamas attacks with missiles and rockets after the expulsion eight years ago. President Peres may soon have company because Obama assumes that PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas would never do such a thing if Israel pulls out Judea and Samaria.

Just in case Obama thought he could fool all of the people all the time, he added that the United States “is not taking sides” in Egypt, after having ushered out Mubarak, ushering in the Muslim Brotherhood and then ushering it out a year later.

It was not one of Obama’s greatest speeches. He tried to bury the Islamic terrorist attacks the past few days as footnotes so they would not get in the way of his view that the world is such a more stable place today.

For the record,  more than 130 people have been murdered in Iraq the past four days, 96 in two suicide bombings on Saturday in a Shi’ite neighborhood in Baghdad. Dozens more were killed in terrorist attacks at funerals, including 14 on Monday.

Thousands of people have  been killed in terrorist attacks the past few months, 12 years after the Bush administration declared “victory” to make Iraq safe for democracy. Speaking of democracy, the suicide bombings on Saturday came as Kurds in an autonomous northern region voted in local legislative elections.

Al Qaeda is increasing its attacks in Iraq, where Sunni rebels are terrorizing the Shi’ite government – one group of terrorists against another. Terrorists in Iraq on Tuesday launched an attack against police and military sites with car bombs, rockets and machine guns in western Iraq, killing at least nine policemen.

In Pakistan on Sunday, Islamic terrorists killed at least 78 Christians and wounded more than 100 others in a suicide attack on a church.

Meanwhile, terrorists in Nigeria dressed up as soldiers and gunned down at least 142 people on a highway and burned homes on Sunday.

The terrorist attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi is not over. After four days, Kenyan authorities continue to say they have secured the mall and there are not more hostages, but fighting continues.

Local officials told the Associated Press that the morgue is preparing for the arrival of a large number of bodies, meaning that the official death toll of 68 is likely to reach three figures.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/400-killed-in-terror-in-5-days-and-obama-says-world-more-stable/2013/09/24/

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