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December 9, 2016 / 9 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘House’

Eisenhower And Nasser: The Alliance That Wasn’t: An Interview with Former White House Adviser Michael Doran

Thursday, November 10th, 2016

 If the U.S. were only more understanding of Arab grievances, our position in the Middle East would vastly improve. So goes a popular theory. Crafting foreign policy based on this premise has repeatedly failed, but many politicians seem mysteriously drawn to it nonetheless.

One of the first to chase this chimera was President Dwight Eisenhower. As former White House adviser Michael Doran writes in a new book, “Ike’s Gamble: America’s Rise to Dominance in the Middle East” (Free Press), Eisenhower believed that propping up Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser in the 1950s at the expense of Great Britain and Israel would convince him to ally with the U.S. against the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Nasser had other ideas, though. He took all the U.S. aid he could get and then turned to the Soviet Union. A decade later, he tried destroying Israel in the Six-Day War.

Doran, a senior director in the National Security Council under George W. Bush from 2005-2007, currently serves as a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute where he specializes in Middle East security issues.

The Jewish Press: According to your book, the United States essentially built Nasser into the powerful Arab leader he became. Please explain.

Doran: When Eisenhower came to power in 1953, there were 80,000 British troops in the Suez Canal zone and the Egyptians and the British were on the brink of a war. The United States thought if war broke out, it would find itself on the side of a dying European imperialism suppressing Arab nationalism, which would be disastrous, it thought, for the Cold War. So, to make a long story short, what Eisenhower did is force the British to get out of Egypt, which handed Nasser his first big political victory.

Two years later, during the Suez Crisis in 1956 – when Israel, Britain, and France attacked Egypt – Eisenhower again handed Nasser a victory by bringing Britain to the brink of economic ruin. Nasser had very cleverly filled boats with concrete and sunk them in the Suez Canal, and then, working with his allies in Syria, he blew up the oil pipeline running from Iraq to the Mediterranean. Sixty-six percent of Europe’s oil went through the Suez Canal and the other 33 percent went through this pipeline, so Nasser managed to cut off all the oil to the British. But when Anthony Eden, who was the prime minister of Britain, asked Eisenhower for North American supplies of oil, Eisenhower said “No.” The markets got wind of this and the bottom dropped out of the pound.

So Eisenhower used extreme economic measures to force the British and French out of Egypt and then put very powerful diplomatic pressure on the Israelis to evacuate the Sinai with almost no concessions by the Egyptians. These moves handed Nasser an incredible political victory over the three enemies of Arab nationalism, if you will, and turned him into a figure of mythic power in the Arab world.

You write that we didn’t just support Nasser diplomatically; we actually provided him with propaganda expertise.

Yes, that’s one of the most surprising and fascinating aspects of the miscalculation. Behind the scenes, the CIA started treating Nasser as a close ally of the United States even before the agreement between the British and the Egyptians of October 1954. Nasser duped the Americans. He understood how important he was to them – that they really needed an Arab ally who would help them organize the Arab world [against the Soviets], and he led the Americans to believe that he was going to play that role.

So Eisenhower and Dulles, the secretary of state, started giving Nasser all kinds of support that they should’ve withheld until they really knew where he stood in the Cold War. They gave him beneficial press in Western outlets we had influence over; they gave him the most powerful broadcasting equipment in the Middle East; and they actually sent Paul Linebarger, who was an expert on black propaganda, to Egypt to help develop the content of Nasser’s propaganda.

There was a revolution in communications taking place in the Middle East at the time, and the transistor radio allowed an Arab leader with a powerful broadcasting system to beam his voice into every household in the Arab world. Nasser was the first to capitalize on that, and the United States helped him.

And despite all this help, Nasser nevertheless turned to the Soviet Union.

Correct. By September of 1955 – that’s just one year after the Americans helped Nasser get all the British troops out of Egypt – Nasser brokered the Soviet-Egyptian arms deal and received a huge amount of weaponry from the Soviet Union. Then Nasser turned his propaganda machine to the Arab world and said that we, the Egyptians, are working with the Soviets to drive the British from the region and defeat Israel. In general, Nasser took our broadcasting equipment and used it to broadcast anti-American and anti-Israeli propaganda, which destabilized the Arab allies of the West in the Cold War, particularly Jordan and Iraq.

So the theory Eisenhower had when he first came into office – that by distancing himself from his allies he was going to open up a space for cooperation between the United States and Egypt – [was incorrect] and what actually happened was he opened up a space for Soviet-Egyptian cooperation and destabilization of the whole Middle East.

We didn’t turn off our propaganda support for Nasser, though, until March of ’56.

Why did we wait so long?

One of the more interesting aspects of the story is the role Nasser’s anti-Israel policies played in his relations with the United States. When Nasser made the arms deal with the Soviets in September of 1955, he managed to convince the Americans that it wasn’t a move against them, and he does that by playing the Israel card. He tells them he has to get weapons from the Soviet Union in order to defend himself against Israel, which he depicts as extremely aggressive.

He says, “Look, I’m a moderate, but I’m surrounded by extremists and the extremists expect me to defend Egypt against Israeli aggression. If I don’t accept these arms from the Soviet Union, they will topple me, and you’ll get then somebody’s who’s more extreme than me. So you should play along with me and allow me to do this.”

And the Americans bought it because they themselves came into power with the sense that Israel was an albatross around their neck and that Israel was the source of their problems in the Arab world. They bought it to such an extreme that their response to the Soviet-Egyptian arms deal in ’55 was funding for the Aswan High Dam, which was Nasser’s flagship development project. So Nasser aligned with the Soviet Union, and the United States responded by offering him a huge gift.

Nasser may have ultimately duped us, as you put it, but he is hardly the only Arab leader to have done so over the years. Time and again, Arab leaders have smiled while saying one thing to U.S. officials and then doing something completely different afterward. Don’t Western leaders realize Arab leaders operate in what might be called a culture of deviousness?

Elliot Resnick

“A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand”

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

{Originally posted to the Israel Rising website}

“A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become lawful in all the States, old as well as new — North as well as South.”

-Abraham Lincoln, 1858

No matter who wins today, it is clear that by all accounts America is heading towards the 21st Century version of 1860.  True there is no longer chattel slavery, yet the feeling of deep divisions within the country can no longer be ignored or dismissed.

Millions of Americans feel the federal government is too involved with personal decisions.  These same people see an economy that only works for the 1%. Factories have closed, skills are outdated, and new jobs pay far less than before. Blue collar workers, inner cities, and millennials feel disenfranchised.

As a dual American/Israeli citizen who grew up in the USA, worked in politics,traversed the country and now lives in Israel’s biblical heartland, I look at the country where I was born and grew up in from a different vantage point.  For me looking in from the outside, America is a radically different place. It has strayed far from the compass that the Founders built for it.

It is true the United States has been on the edge before, but there were always external forces that unified the nation or a cause that empowered one side to over take the other.  With nothing of the sort, America heads for a long era of division and social disintegration.

Yet, despite all of this, the ideals  of the Founding Fathers and a moral electorate live on.  Perhaps not within the confines of a single country, but rather in those individuals seeking to strive for a better world through personal freedom based on biblical roots.

The way forward as America and the West transitions into unchartered and dangerous waters is to cling to the Creator and his light.

David Mark

Whoops! White House Pivots On Jerusalem

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

Although the phrase “Jerusalem, Israel” fairly rolls off the tongue, no U.S. administration has ever recognized any part of Jerusalem as being part of Israel.

This counterintuitive policy has resulted in much silliness as events, particularly since the 1967 Six-Day War, have simply overtaken the reasons for not considering all of Jerusalem the capital of Jerusalem.

Last week the funeral of former Israeli president Shimon Peres on Mt. Herzl was the stage for the latest such episode. Thus, the first White House announcement releasing the transcript of President Obama’s eulogy listed, at the top of page one, the cemetery’s location as Jerusalem, Israel. It didn’t take long, however, for the White House to circulate a “corrected” version that pointedly had a line drawn through “Israel.” And therein lies a strange tale.

The background to the policy is rooted in the 1947 UN Middle East partition resolution that declared Jerusalem an international city under the legal jurisdiction of the UN. However, when the 1948 Arab-instigated war against Israel ended, the armistice agreement, notwithstanding the partition provisions making Jerusalem an international city, tracked the realities of the resulting military lines, which left western Jerusalem effectively in Israeli hands and eastern Jerusalem effectively in Arab hands.

Most countries, including the U.S., refused to accept the new status as anything other than temporary; their overarching goal was the eventual internationalization of Jerusalem. Ignored was the fact that the Arab effort to destroy Israel could only be taken as an abrogation of the mandate. Nor did the 1967 war in which Israel won control of eastern Jerusalem, thus uniting both parts of the city under effective Israeli control, change the position of most world governments.

To be sure, Congress in 1995 passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act that recognizes Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel:

 

(a) STATEMENT OF THE POLICY OF THE UNITED STATES

(1) Jerusalem should remain a undivided city in which the right of every ethnic and religious group are protected;

(2) Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel…

 

But succeeding American administrations have simply ignored this plain congressional mandate except when some officials momentarily forget in the pursuit of some procrustean political correctness.

In a way, this latest incident highlights the foolishness as no other. Is it conceivable that the funeral of a former president would somehow be scheduled to take place outside his own country? And yet we have the president of the United States traveling to Mt. Herzl in Jerusalem to deliver a eulogy upon the death of a former president of Israel on behalf of the United States. Is that not a powerful statement in itself of recognition of Jerusalem as being part of Israel?

Indeed, you cannot find a picture of Mr. Obama speaking at Mt. Herzl without several Israeli flags – and only Israeli flags – flapping in the wind.

Even The New York Times, certainly no supporter of those who take a hard line on Israeli control of Jerusalem, got caught off guard. Its news story reporting on President Obama’s trip to Jerusalem was headlined “Obama Flies To Israel for Shimon Peres Memorial Service.” And the story began with: “Both were Nobel laureates who labored for peace in the Middle East but failed to achieve it. Now, their joint efforts are at an end as President Obama prepares to pay final tribute to Shimon Peres in Jerusalem.”

It’s time for American presidents to follow the congressional mandate, not to mention plain common sense, and recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel. To continue the current farce not only flies in the face of legal precedent and logic but also suggests to the Arabs that they may yet see a United States that champions their cause. There can be no greater incentive for their continued recalcitrance.

Editorial Board

White House Corrects Obama’s Eulogy Transcript, Deletes Israel

Saturday, October 1st, 2016

The White House staff on Friday corrected what appears to have been a clerical “error”, based on its long-standing policy of not recognizing any part of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, when it released a transcript of President Barack Obama’s eulogy for Israel’s late former president, Shimon Peres.

The original location in which the eulogy was delivered, listed at the top of page one, was “Jerusalem, Israel.”

Mind you, Mount Herzl Cemetery is in the western part of the capital.

However, shortly after, the White House rushed to disseminate a corrected version with the country “Israel” crossed out with a single line through it. The correction was first noted by William Daroff, Senior Vice President for Public Policy & Director of the Washington office of The Jewish Federations of North America.

On the current version on the White House website Israel has been deleted.

Hana Levi Julian

Bolton, Shaked Inspire Packed House At Pro-Israel Event

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

Love of Israel and politics came to Queens on Sunday with Israel’s minister of justice, Ayelet Shaked, and Ambassador John Bolton speaking to a packed audience at the Young Israel of Jamaica Estates.

Known for her outspokenness, Shaked is a computer engineer by trade who has been a member of Knesset for the Jewish Home party since 2013. She was appointed justice minister in 2015 and was a driving force behind Israel’s 2016 NGO transparency law, which requires NGOs that receive more than half their funding from foreign governments to publicly acknowledge that in their official reports.

In her remarks on Sunday, Shaked evoked the memory of 9/11, noting that “A direct line connects the criminals who planned and perpetrated the September 11 attacks and the accursed terrorists who this year attacked innocents in Orlando and in Jerusalem, in Paris and in Tel Aviv, in Brussels and in Kiryat Arba.”

Shaked also declared that “There is only one Jerusalem, undivided and unified…the eternal capital of the Jewish people.” She was equally supportive of the rights of Jews to live in Judea and Samaria, stating: “The ranges of Judea and Samaria are not foreign territory but the land of our forefathers, the cradle of our Jewish culture, and a prime strategic asset whose renunciation is tantamount to a renunciation of the entire state of Israel.”

Shaked’s condemnation of BDS activists as “modern anti-Semites disguised as fighters for freedom and justice” was augmented by sharp words from Bolton, who served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations from 2005-2006 under President George W. Bush and who has called his role in getting the UN to rescind the infamous Zionism is Racism resolution in 1991, when he worked in the George H.W. Bush administration, “the highlight of my career.”

“The only path to peace that Israel’s enemies can see,” he said, “is to act as if two wars of [Arab] aggression really never took place. Israel has been put on the defensive in the political arena in ways that it never really was on the defensive for very long in the military arena.”

Tracing earlier efforts at delegitimization to the Zionism is Racism resolution, Bolton stated that “BDS really is part of the argument against Israel itself.”

Zionist Organization of America president Morton Klein also gave an impassioned speech against Israel’s detractors. “The success of the 1967 war,” he said, “in which Jews recaptured Judea and Samaria and unified Jerusalem, led to an Orwellian myth of occupation.” According to Klein, “the goal of Arab Muslim Jew haters is not a Palestinian state; it’s simply to destroy the Jewish state of Israel.”

Other speakers included Donald Trump’s Israel adviser David Friedman, general partner and co-founder of NGN Capital Ken Abramowitz, and owner and chairman of D.H. Blair Investment Banking Corp J. Morton Davis.

The event was sponsored by the National Council of Young Israel and organized by chairpersons Dr. Joseph and Karen Frager, co-chairpersons Dr. Paul and Drora Brody, and media coordinator Mrs. Odelya Jacobs.

Sara Lehmann

Fisherman’s House Discovered on Ashkelon Beach

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

A building used by fishermen in the Ottoman period, containing fishhooks and fishing weights, was exposed in an archaeological excavation conducted in Ashkelon, north of the Gaza Strip.

Young residents of Ashkelon and the vicinity who were employed by the Israel Antiquities Authority in an archaeological excavation in the city, recently uncovered buildings that were once used by local inhabitants who were engaged in fishing along the Mediterranean coast. The excavation was carried out for the Ashkelon municipality, at the initiative of the Ashkelon Economic Company, in an area where a new neighborhood is slated to be built, in the northern part of the city.

As part of a project being led by the IAA and aimed at educating young people about their past, dozens of boys and girls were engaged in the challenging work of unearthing the coastal city’s past.

The finds that were discovered: metal fishhooks, dozens of lead weights, a large bronze bell.

The finds that were discovered: metal fishhooks, dozens of lead weights, a large bronze bell.

According to the excavation directors, Federico Kobrin and Haim Mamliya, “Two of the buildings that we uncovered are very curious, and it seems they were used as a fisherman’s house and a lookout tower, possibly a lighthouse, dating back to the Ottoman period (1299 to 1922 CE). The tower was situated on a lofty hilltop, and it looks out over the Mediterranean Sea. From the tower one could signal and direct ships that were sailing between the ancient ports in Ashkelon and Ashdod-Yam.”

Kobrin adds, “The fisherman’s house is divided into three rooms, and a wealth of artifacts was discovered in it that are indicative of its use: metal fishhooks, dozens of lead weights, a large bronze bell, and even a stone anchor. The building’s entrances were fixed in the north in order to prevent the high winds and sea storms from entering into it.” According to the archaeologists, “this is the first time that a building was exposed in Ashkelon that we can attribute with certainty to the fishing industry.”

Federico Kobrin, excavation director on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, near the lookout tower.

Federico Kobrin, excavation director on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, near the lookout tower.

Kobrin noted that “working with youth was both a challenge and extremely satisfying. The young people participated in uncovering part of their city’s past; they labored diligently and conscientiously, showed their interest and curiosity regarding the finds, and it was a pleasure to work with them.”

The fisherman’s house will be preserved and incorporated in the development of the neighborhood and strip of beach for the benefit of the residents and to create a connection between them and those who lived and fished there in the past.

JNi.Media

White House: Obama to Veto Bill Empowering 9/11 Families to Sue the Saudis

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

President Obama intends to veto a bill which allows families of 9/11 victims to sue the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in US courts, White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters on Monday.

“The president does plan to veto this legislation,” Earnest said, reiterating, “I do anticipate the president will veto the legislation when it is presented to him. It hasn’t been presented to him yet.”

According to The Hill, this could be the first time Congress would be able to override an Obama veto. Democratic lawmakers have been pressuring the Administration to leave the bill alone for the sake of the 9/11 victims’ families, and for the sake of their reelection come November. Democratic lawmakers are concerned the veto would ignite a showdown between the White House and Congress that would damage the president and make him less effective on the serious issues, namely the fight over the budget in the lame-duck session of Congress. The bill passed unanimously by a voice vote in both the House and Senate.

Earnest cautioned that “this law actually opens up the United States to the risk of being hauled into court in countries around the world,” and added that “the president will continue to explain his opposition to this legislation … up until Congress decides whether to override his veto.”

The Saudi dominated, six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), announced on Monday that the proposed law “contravenes the foundations and principles of relations between states and the principle of sovereign immunity enjoyed by states,” possibly assuming this sovereign immunity includes the right to plot an attack on major civilian centers of the host country.

GCC Secretary General Abdullatif al-Zayani also said in an unveiled threat that “such laws will negatively affect the international efforts and international cooperation to combat terrorism.”

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/white-house-obama-to-veto-bill-empowering-911-families-to-sue-the-saudis/2016/09/13/

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