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July 29, 2016 / 23 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Geneva’

Analysis: Turkey Toning Down Hopes for Reconciliation With Israel

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016

It appears that, like Israel, Turkey’s government is working to reduce expectations of a reconciliation between Ankara and Israel, just as Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon has in Jerusalem.

The Ankara edition of ‘Today’s Zaman’ published an article Monday headlined: ‘Turkey FM says Israel wanted Erdogan ousted from power, put off deal.”

From the very first paragraph, the article laid the blame for any failure of reconciliation talks at Israel’s doorstep – as Turkey has consistently to this point.

“Turkey’s top diplomat has claimed that Israel has been cold to rapprochement with Turkey because of raised expectations about Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan being ousted from power,” the paper reported.

“Briefing lawmakers in Parliament last Wednesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the framework agreement with Israel was already in place several years ago, saying his government has been in talks with the Israeli side on the same issues that were reported today. ‘In fact, there was a main agreement in place on all these issues, but why was Israel not approaching to [finalize the deal]?” he asked, adding that Israel has been waiting on the departure of Erdogan from power…’”

The foreign minister repeated Turkey’s conditions for the normalization of ties, which include the payment of compensation over the deaths of those who died in the 2010 Mavi Marmara debacle.

What is interesting and new is the position allegedly expressed by Cavusoglu, that Turkey insists on ‘lifting the Israeli embargo on Gaza (the use of language here, as with all diplomatic issues, is very important) and that “Turkey wants to help Gaza residents, including providing electricity to the strip.”

According to Today’s Zaman “the Turkish government’s priority is on lifting the embargo rather than the blockade and hopes to channel development assistance to rebuild Gaza.” (ed.-italics added)

This is the first time Turkey has changed its demand for Israel to drop its blockade of Gaza and instead moved to a request to lift the ’embargo,’ adding a suggestion that it be able to aid in supplying electricity to the enclave.

Despite Ankara’s leanings towards the Muslim Brotherhood, Turkey nevertheless might prove helpful in preventing Hamas from stealing the construction supplies that now go missing to rebuild military infrastructure rather than residential neighborhoods.

On the other hand, one must question whether Turkey is hoping to play a role in Gaza in order to establish a presence in the face of another recently-demoted former ally, Egypt. Israel has in the meanwhile strengthened its relations with Cairo, which has increasingly lost patience with Turkey’s foster son, Hamas.

Cavusoglu also revealed that Israeli officials have expressed concern Turkey would continue its public criticisms after a deal is finalized.

“If Israel continues to implement these policies, including illegal settlements and attacks on Palestine, then we’ll naturally criticize; we are very clear and open about this,” the Turkish foreign minister was quoted as saying.

And herein lies one of the problems: Turkey seems to feel free to interfere in the internal domestic national security issues of other sovereign nations but takes great umbrage when others do the same.

For instance, Ankara has no problem taking on the role of advocate for Hamas, the terrorist organization spawned by the Muslim Brotherhood that rules Gaza, and which has been responsible for countless mained, wounded and dead in Israel. Turkey even welcomed Hamas to establish its international headquarters in Istanbul.

But were another sovereign nation to take the same stance on behalf of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party), the internationally-recognized terrorist group located in Turkey’s southeastern sector, one wonders how Ankara would respond.

Somehow, Turkey fails to see the parallel.

Negotiators from Ankara and Jerusalem are once more trying to work out a way to regain the relationship the former allies once enjoyed. It has been mutually rewarding and is now needed by both as the region faces an impending onslaught by the hordes of Da’esh (ISIS).

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli-Turkish Talks Likely to Focus on Gaza in Geneva

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

Israeli and Turkish diplomats are meeting today (Feb. 10) in Geneva, Switzerland, according to reports in both Israeli and Turkish media.

Although Turkish diplomatic sources did not confirm the report, Turkey’s NTV said Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu was traveling to Geneva for the meeting.

Likewise, although it has not been confirmed, it is likely the two sides are starting to focus on the thorny issue of Israeli national security and Turkey’s insistence on ending the blockade of Gaza. The region has become the central headquarters for a number of radical Islamist terrorist organizations, not the least of which includes its ruling government, the Hamas terrorist group — which has its international headquarters in Istanbul, funded by Iran.

In general, the talks are continuing over how to heal the broken ties between the two former allies following two separate ice-breaker meetings in Ankara between 51 American Jewish leaders with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu earlier this week.

Turkish media ascribes the break to the Mavi Marmara incident in 2010, when a Turkish-owned vessel participated in an illegal flotilla aiming to breach Israel’s blockade of Gaza.

When the flotilla ignored Israeli Navy orders to redirect to Ashdod port, IDF commandos boarded each vessel to bring them in, including the Mavi Marmara. But on that vessel the commandos, armed only with pistols and paintball guns, were attacked by terror activists armed with knives and iron bars. During the clash that ensued, 10 attackers were killed, and a number of IDF commandos were seriously wounded.

Turkey used the incident as an excuse to break its ties with Israel and demanded a formal apology, compensation to families of the “victims” — and removal of Israel’s blockade of Gaza. This would open Israeli citizens wide to the results of a massive delivery to Hamas of weaponry from Iran, not to mention opening the border wide to infiltration of terrorists into Israel, further exacerbating the current wave of terror.

Such a request can be likened to asking Turkey to drop any military defense against the PKK — the Kurdistan Workers’ Party terrorist organization which is recognized by the international community as a terrorist group. The PKK has repeatedly attacked Turkish citizens and government officials. Turkey’s military does whatever it can to defend against the group and eliminate it.

Israel officially “apologized” to Turkey in 2013 over the deaths of her citizens. Discussions over compensation are continuing, according to the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News.

However, Turkey’s Daily Sabah newspaper reported Wednesday that Israel had agreed to pay Turkey $20 million in compensation, which is to be transferred to a special fund “that will in turn provide grants to the families of the Turkish citizens who were killed on injured in the Israel commando raid of the Mavi Marmara, in accordance with the recent agreement between the two countries.”

Turkey continues to maintain a hardline attitude, however, on what it calls “the Palestinian cause in talks with Israel.”

According to the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News, discussions on “how Turkish access to Gaza will be provided in an unrestricted fashion have yet to be clarified.”

The Daily Sabah quoted presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin at a recent Ankara briefing as saying Israel must meet all three conditions to normalize relations. He added Turkey “will continue to play its role until a two-state solution is reached and the Palestinian people have their own state. Permanent peace cannot be achieved in the region without resolving the Palestinian issue,” Kalin said.

However, despite the chilly diplomatic atmosphere business is quite brisk between the two nations.

The group that owns the license to Israel’s mammoth Leviathan natural gas field recently signed a new $1.3 billion contract to supply the Israeli Edeltech Group and its Turkish partner, Zorlu Enerji.

Hana Levi Julian

Geneva Jews Warned to be ‘Vigilant’ in New Terror Alert

Friday, December 11th, 2015

As the Sabbath approached, Geneva’s Jews were warned to be “vigilant” on Friday morning as the Swiss city went on high alert along with the Canadian city of Toronto and the U.S. Midwestern city of Chicago.

All three appeared on a terrorist hit list linked to the Da’esh (ISIS) terror organization, according to a report by Fox News. Four male suspects “tied to ISIS” were being sought in the Swiss city.

Swiss officials said Thursday that a car registered in Belgium, home to some of the Paris attackers, had driven through a police checkpoint near Geneva, Le Matin reported.

Geneva’s Jewish community was warned to be “vigilant,” Swiss television said. “Sensitive sites have been alerted,” said a government official.

Officials said the United Nations’ European headquarters is also on maximum alert following intelligence warnings from federal police in the capital city of Berne about people with “possible links to terror.”

“The heightened security affects the entire Geneva area, and the UN is taking measures that are commensurate with those taken in the host country,” said UN Geneva spokesperson Rheal LeBlanc.

 

 

Hana Levi Julian

Pro-Israel Rally at UNHRC in Geneva

Monday, June 29th, 2015

Some 1,000 demonstrators attended a rally Monday at the Place des Nations in Geneva to express their support for the State of Israel as the United Nations Human Rights Council held its debate on Israel and the Schabes Report on last summer’s counter terror operation in Gaza.

Members and supporters of more than 80 NGOs, including many Jews and Christians, travelled to the Swiss city to express their support for the Jewish state and to urge the U.N. to treat Israel fairly.

“The reason we are here today is to tell the United Nations that it needs to change. It needs to overcome its obsession with Israel,” said World Jewish Congress (WJC) CEO Robert Singer. “This obsession is destructive and it stands in the way of an effective human rights policy that is so badly needed.”

Singer insisted that Israel had a right to defend itself against Hamas. “Gaza is still an occupied territory, but the occupier is not Israel. It’s a terrorist movement called Hamas. Blaming Israel for every woe has become a sport. Not just here at the U.N., but here especially.”

A resident of Gaza Belt community Kibbutz Aza, located just a kilometer away from the southern border (less than a mile), Ofir Libstein also traveled to Geneva to attend the rally. Libstein said, “My four little sons were born into a 15-second reality – the time between the rocket alert and the explosion. By the time they turned two, we had already trained them to run for cover.

“Nitzan, my 11-year-old, was waiting for his soccer training to begin when a rocket attack started. Ever since, he has not been able to sleep by himself. Every alert and every explosion makes him relive the attack.”

Another resident of the area, Adele Raemer of Kibbutz Nirim, described how residents of the kibbutz were nearly murdered last year when terrorists emerged from an attack tunnel.

“I am disappointed by the tone at times of the Human Rights Council, which insinuates that Israel does not demand accountability from her army. I know that in the process of protecting my community, our soldiers have put their lives at risk to save innocent Palestinian lives, aborting vital missions when non-combatant Palestinians were in harm’s way. We all need to be able to raise the next generation to respect our neighbors, not fear them,” she added. This is clearly not a conflict that can be resolved by weapons. It can only be resolved by courageous leaders and diplomacy.”

Hana Levi Julian

Iran ‘Alarmed by Hatred’ – Elsewhere

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

If it were a movie, it would be hilarious, but it is real and tragedy. One could find the positive side and say that the U.N. Human Rights Council provides volumes of evidence for historians to record for future generations that twisted minds did not die with Hitler.

Here are a few choice comments made at the so-called Human Rights Council Monday:

Saudi Arabia: My country, we are based on Islamic Sharia, which upholds human rights.

Venezuela: My country is a model of political tolerance….All people may express their opinions and criticisms freely.

Iran: We are alarmed by horrendous acts of religious and racial hatred in different parts of the world, in particular in Western societies.

The U.N. Human Rights Council keeps most of its workers employed by their spreading blood libels against Israel. CAMERA pointed out that on the same day that the Council heard the above comments, provided by a Twitter follower, Saudi Arabia “recorded its 100th beheading two weeks shy of the mid-year.”

It added:

Apparently, the Saudis are on a record pace. The majority of those decapitated are said to be murderers and drug offenders, however, apostasy is also listed as a capital offense. The executions are usually carried out in public.

The Council’s obsession with Israel has been so widely-document that perhaps, just perhaps, it is beginning to repent.

The United Nations reported Monday on remarks made by Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, High Commissioner for Human Rights, at the 29th session of the Geneva-based Human Rights Council:

[Syria is] the ‘most mind-numbing humanitarian crisis of our era’….

In addition to the situation in neighboring Iraq, where the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) continues to perpetrate the most ‘despicable abuses,’ Zeid talked about Libya, where armed groups continue to engage in violent clashes using heavy weaponry, and indiscriminate shelling of residential neighborhoods.

Zeid then ticked off countries where attention should be paid to human rights: Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Nigeria, Mali, Egypt, Azerbaijan, Burundi, Russia, South Sudan, and Venezuela.

Note that Iran and Saudi Arabia were not specifically mentioned, but that is not the end of the list.

The U.N. report did not conclude without stating, “He also expressed concern about the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.”

He meant the Palestinian Authority, right?

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

US Used Military Transport Plane to Fly Kerry to Boston

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who broke his leg in a cycling accident this week, flew home to Boston from Geneva in a U.S. Air Force C-17 transport plane designed to carry 100 soldiers.

The Secretary of State is one of the most important individuals in the American government. He is leading negotiations with Iran for an agreement on how to supervise its nuclear program without allowing it to gain access to a nuclear bomb.

He obviously needs rest and treatment for his broken leg, but was it necessary to order a special fight in a military transport plane? After all, a broken leg is not exactly a life-threatening injury.

The State Dept. told The Washington Post that the C-17 transport plane, which is the Air Forces’ primary aircraft for global transport of troops and equipment, was carrying “military medical personnel in keeping with standard practice.”

Kerry landed safely in Boston and is being treated at Massachusetts General Hospital.

If you think that we will get by without Kerry in the talks with Iran, making peace for Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and leading the anti-Islamic State (ISIS) initiative, forget it.

State Dept. spokeswoman Marie Hard told reports Monday:

The Secretary’s made a number of calls to his counterparts today, including to the French foreign minister and the Spanish foreign minister…and also to Foreign Minister Fabius, of course, expressing his regret that we won’t be at – he won’t be at the anti-ISIL meeting tomorrow. He will, though, be calling – or be remotely participating in the anti-ISIL meeting…..

He also has made a number of calls to White House and State Department officials, including speaking with the President.

The Secretary is committed to pursuing an aggressive recovery schedule….Secretary Kerry’s main focus for the month of June remains squarely on the Iran negotiations. I want to be very clear about this. His injury does not change that. He and the entire team are absolutely committed to the same timetable and are working toward June 30th as the deadline for these talks.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Secretary of State John Kerry Breaks a Leg

Sunday, May 31st, 2015

While bicycling outside of Geneva, near Sconzier, France, US Secretary of State John Kerry crashed his bicycle into a curb and broke his leg.

Kerry was transported by helicopter to Geneva’s main hospital. He was reported to be conscious and stable, according to AP.

Kerry was holding nuclear talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Once he’s out, Kerry will be heading back to Boston, calling off the rest of his 4 nation diplomatic tour, which included a planned trip to Spain and Paris.

Get well.

Steve

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/secretary-of-state-john-kerry-breaks-a-leg/2015/05/31/

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