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May 24, 2015 / 6 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Israeli Jews’

The ‘Most Illegitimate’ Regime; the Jihadist Middle East; and Remembering Yehuda Avner

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

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The P5 +1 are convinced that Iran is a legitimate negotiating partner. But Dan Diker, host of VOI’s National Security, has the opposite idea. Dan joins Yishai in-studio to discuss the folly of the nuclear talks. He also raises historical precedents for US-Israel tensions, such as the diplomatic assault launched on the Jewish state by the administration of President Gerald Ford. He then draws parallels between the holidays of Purim and Passover, using them as parables for today’s times.

Then, Ali Jabber is a pseudonym for an Arab who sees Israel as the harbinger of peace, democracy and human rights. He joins Yishai to discuss why so many other Arabs are still mired in the jihadist mindset.

Finally, Yishai talks about Israeli diplomat Yehuda Avner, who died recently. Avner worked as an adviser to prime ministers Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres, and wrote speeches for prime ministers Golda Meir and Levi Eshkol. He also served as ambassador to Australia, Ireland and the UK. Yishai reads passages from Avner’s highly acclaimed book, “The Prime Ministers,” describing Esther Cailingold, a young Jewish female fighter writing her final letter as she took part in a battle of Israel’s War of Independence.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Israeli ‘Bigotry’ and the Jews of J Street

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

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Seth Frantzman and Mati Wagner, op-ed and editorial page editors (respectively) at The Jerusalem Post, join Yishai in-studio. Seth just returned to Israel from a food-filled and uber-capitalist trip to Dubai. Mati just came back from a fact-finding mission about slain Argentinian prosecutor Alberto Nisman. Having both spent election night at the headquarters of the Joint Arab List in Nazareth, they discuss the accusations of bigotry against PM Benjamin Netanyahu.

Then, the recent J Street conference featured remarks by White House Chief-of-Staff Denis McDonough, who said that Israel is engaged in a 50-year occupation which “must end.” The Jews in the audience clapped wildly and showed great excitement when the potential advent of a Palestinian state was discussed. Why? Paul Miller, executive director of the Salomon Center, reports from the conference.

Finally, Alan Elsner, Vice President for Communications at J Street, an organization that identifies itself as the “political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans,” joins Yishai from Washington to explain.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Bibi Apologizes to Arabs but Obama Does not Apologize to Jews

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has apologized to Israeli Arabs for his Election Day statements urging Jews to counter the “droves of Arabs” at the polls, but President Barack Obama and American media have not apologized to Netanyahu for falsely representing his remark.

The New York Times lead off the hit parade of Netanyahu-bashers by calling the Prime Minister’s remarks a smack of “racism.” and Obama picked up the thread by accusing Netanyahu of inciting racism.

But what did Netanyahu actually say? Here is his quote, widely reported by thousands of news outlets:

Right-wing rule is in danger. Arab voters are going to the polls in droves. Left-wing organizations are bringing them in buses.

That’s it. He did not imply or even suggest that Arabs should not vote. He simply stated that because Arabs are “coming out in droves” to vote, presumably for the Joint Arab List that might agree to allow a left-wing coalition government, Jews needed to show up at the polls and vote for the Likud.

The New York Times editorial the day after the elections reads as if Netanyahu had said something else. The editorial stated:

This outrageous appeal to hard-line voters implied that only he could save Israel from its enemies, including the country’s Arab citizens, who represent 20 percent of the population and have long been discriminated against….

In his desperation, Mr. Netanyahu resorted to fear-mongering and anti-Arab attacks.

Anti-Arab? “Enemies.” That is what The New York Times may wish Netanyahu had said, but fiction makes for good reading at the Times.

President Barack Obama followed by stating,

Although Israel was founded based on the historic Jewish homeland and the need to have a Jewish homeland, Israeli democracy has been premised on everybody in the country being treated equally and fairly.

And I think that that is what’s best about Israeli democracy. If that is lost, then I think that not only does it give ammunition to folks who don’t believe in a Jewish state, but it also I think starts to erode the meaning of democracy in the country.

Where, pray tell Mr. President, did Netanyahu even hint that Jews and Arabs are not treated equally?

The president’s reaction, along with that of the NY Times and the Israel anti-Netanyahu media, is an egregious libel  based on a non-truth and a twisted interpretation that is unparalleled outside of dictatorial regimes where truth is another word for a lie.

Netanyahu’s comments certainly were undiplomatic and offensive in a country where the Arabs are a minority and often discriminated against, but they were not racist by any stretch of the imagination. They simply touched a raw nerve by referring to Arabs as a political group that could block a right-wing government.

He apologized Monday, stating that he “knows my comments last week offended some Israeli citizens and offended members of the Israeli-Arab community. This was never my intent. I apologize for this. I view myself as the prime minister of each and every citizen of Israel, without any bias of religion, ethnicity or gender.”

But President Obama, The New York Times and the Israeli establishment media have not flipped to  the other side of the coin.

If it is wrong for Netanyahu to scare Jews into voting by warning that the Arabs might usher in a left-wing government, is it kosher for  pro-Arab groups to urge Arabs to vote to counter Jewish right-wing ballots?

In the weird world of truth in the bankrupt left, the end justifies the means when it comes to defeating the right wing.

At least two pro-Arab groups, The Abraham Fund and Ameinu, have admitted to organizing a campaign to urge Arabs to vote, and  there is suspicion that The Abraham Fund may have done so with the help of the American taxpayer.

The Abraham Fund’s election campaign slogan was “Building a shared future for Israel’s Jewish and Arab citizens.”

It launched a “Broad-Based Action Plan to Increase the Participation of Arab Citizens in upcoming Elections for Knesset.” The Abraham Fund, based in Jerusalem, New York City and London,  stated that it “focuses its plans on a number of areas including running conferences for Arab students in colleges and launching a media and advertising campaign to persuade the Arab public to participate in the democratic process and vote in the elections.”

Fair enough, but targeting Arabs to vote is no less “racist” than targeting Jews to vote, regardless of the reason.

But it is not fair if State Dept. grants are used to encourage Arabs, and not Jews, to vote.

WorldNetDaily journalist Aaron Klein reported, “In 2010, the State Department provided the Abraham Fund a $999,715 three-year grant for an education initiative in cooperation with Israel’s Ministry of Education. Another part of the grant was designated to a project with the Israeli security services aimed at fostering closer Arab-Jewish ties.

“Amnon Beeri-Sulitzeanu, co-executive director of the Abraham Fund, told KleinOnline the U.S. government funds are not being utilized for the voter-participation drive.

“‘The initiative is being paid for by private donations from donors interested in Arab participation,’ he said.

“He acknowledged, however, that ‘some (money for the project) comes from our core funding at the Abraham Fund. Since our workers are getting paid anyway, some of their job is dedicated to the vote project.'”

Another group that tried to get more Arabs to vote in last week’s elections is Ameinu, an American non-profit organization. It director Kenneth Bob said at a J Street panel Sunday, “We helped put together a get-out-the-vote effort in the Arab community.”

He confirmed charges by Netanyahu that U.S.-funded groups were behind the move to bring Arabs to the polls. The Washington Free Beacon quoted Bob as saying, “When Bibi spoke about the tens of millions of dollars pouring into this effort, my only correction was it wasn’t tens of millions. He exaggerated a little bit.”

The Free Beacon reported in February on a confidential memo drafted by Ameinu in December 2014 outlining the Arab-targeted initiative led by the group Givat Haviva, which “brought a delegation of Arab-Israeli mayors to the United States in February to meet with Democratic leaders and learn political organizing techniques.

“The State Department expedited the mayors’ visas, according to internal correspondence obtained by the Free Beacon.

“One week before the trip, Darawshe and other Givat Haviva representatives also met with high-ranking American diplomats, including the deputy mission chief, at the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv to discuss the planned visit.”

No one has apologized for encouraging Arabs, but not Jews, to vote in the elections.

Kulanu Chairman Moshe Kahlon Becomes ‘Kingmaker’ in Israel

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Former Likud member Moshe Kahlon, leader of the Kulanu party, became the “kingmaker” of the next coalition Monday when recommended President Reuven Rivlin task Likud’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with the formation of the new government.

“We nominate Netanyahu and the broader the base of the coalition, the better it will be for all of us,” said Kahlon, who told the president that his party had a social orientation that was focused on the human being.

Kahlon’s hearty endorsement brought Netanyahu to an absolute majority of 61 votes in his favor, which allowed Rivlin to announce the prime minister would be tasked with forming the next government – one of the swiftest coalition assignment determinations ever to take place.

Also voting for Netanyahu on Sunday in addition to the Likud were the delegates from the Bayit Yehudi, Shas and United Torah Judaism parties. An endorsement from Yisrael Beytenu that followed shortly after brought Netanyahu’s total to 67 mandates.

The total meant that although the president had yet to meet with the far-left Meretz party, which had five votes to either add or withhold, neither would change the outcome.

At present, not including Meretz, the merged Zionist Union led by Labor party chairman Isaac (“Buji”) Herzog holds 24 votes. The remaining 24 potential coalition members, which include Yesh Atid and the Joint Arab List are holding back for the time being.

Rivlin pointed out that it is not a given that all those who voted for Netanyahu will actually support the government he assembles, when the time comes.

Even after a president has tasked a designated person to form a government, and even that person successfully forms a coalition, the government still must be approved by the Knesset plenum, he noted.

US President Barack Obama Calls to Congratulate Netanyahu

Friday, March 20th, 2015

U.S. President Barack Obama finally called Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to congratulate him — on the Likud party’s success at the polls.

According to a statement issued by the White House, the President “emphasized the importance the United States places on our close military, intelligence and security cooperation with Israel, which reflects the deep and abiding partnership between both countries.

“The President and the Prime Minister agreed to continue consultations on a range of regional issues, including the difficult path forward to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” the statement continued.

“The President reaffirmed the United States’ long-standing commitment to a two-state solution that results in a secure Israel alongside a sovereign and viable Palestine.

“On Iran, the President reiterated that the United States is focused on reaching a comprehensive deal with Iran that prevents Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and verifiably assures the international community of the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear program.”

Obama was preceded by Secretary of State John Kerry, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, and numerous others in congratulating Netanyahu on the historic re-election for a fourth term – the only prime minister to be so chosen since Israel’s founding father, Prime Minister David Ben Gurion.

The issue of Israel’s security is growing exponentially more serious as the days pass, with terror groups backed by Iran and global jihad organizations surrounding the Jewish State.

Aside from the clear and present danger posed by the Iranian nuclear threat to Israel’s existence, the Daesh global jihad terror group is becoming an increasing concern as well.

This past Wednesday, the European Union formally blamed the group, known also as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria terrorist organization, and as ISIS, for a bloody attack at Tunisia’s iconic Bardo Museum in that nation’s capital. At least 19 people were killed, including 17 foreign tourists, and 20 others were wounded.

“With the attack that has struck Tunis, the Daesh terrorist organization is once again targeting the countries and peoples of the Mediterranean region,” EU foreign policy chief Mogherini said in a statement late Wednesday.

“This strengthens our determination to cooperate more closely with our partners to confront the terrorist threat.”

Israeli security personnel have been closely tracking the progress and growth of Daesh terror cells in the region, particularly in northern Israel, Gaza, Judea, Samaria and other areas within pre-1967 Israel.

A number of Arabs who have become involved with the terror group have been identified and arrested by Israeli security forces. Others who left the country and traveled abroad to fight with Daesh are being tracked.

It is for this reason — among others — that Prime Minister Netanyahu has been adamant about ending assumptions of well-meaning nations who believe they can simply force Israel back to the negotiating table with the PA to sign on to any two-state solution.

US President Obama Punishes Israel for Re-electing PM Netanyahu

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Punishment for Israelis who chose to re-elect Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu this week was not long in coming from U.S. President Barack Obama.

The Obama administration is now reportedly weighing the option of whether to agree to a draft resolution at the United Nations Security Council calling for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, as well as the withdrawal of Israel from Judea and Samaria, with mutually agreed land swaps.

The resolution would force Israel to enter immediate talks with the Palestinian Authority, in advance of a final status agreement for both sides.

Obama administration officials said Thursday the White House may support passage of this new resolution, according to a report published in the New York Times.

“We are now in a reality where the Israeli government no longer supports direct negotiations. Therefore we clearly have to factor that into our decisions going forward,” a White House official said.

Major differences have emerged between the two administrations over the question of how to deal with the constant threat posed by a Palestinian Authority that succors and glorifies the terrorists in its midst.

Future contacts between Israel and the United States would be managed by Secretary of State John Kerry and Pentagon officials, the White House official added, saying, “The president is a pretty pragmatic person and if he felt it would be useful he will certainly engage. But he’s not going to waste his time.”

For decades, U.S. presidents traditionally call the apparent victor of Israeli elections after the polls have closed to congratulate them on their win. Likud Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has received that call three times in the past, including from President Barack Obama, even during their most fractious relations – but not this week.

Instead, “the day after,” Netanyahu received a public scolding from Obama on his “divisive language” and a refusal by the American president to call his Israeli counterpart to offer the traditional congratulations. Secretary Kerry did make the call, per the tradition.

In an initial response to Israel’s election results, White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters that the U.S. would have to “re-evaluate” its position.

On Wednesday, the White House spokesperson talked about the president’s “deep concern” over the “divisive language” used by Netanyahu’s Likud party, claiming attempts to marginalize Israel’s Arab citizens in social media posts urging voters to get to the polls to offset a high turnout of more radical Arab voters supporting the united Arab party lists. “These are views the administration intends to convey directly to the Israelis,” Earnest said. Similar efforts by Obama during past presidential campaigns among targeted populations were seemingly forgotten.

During Obama’s own electoral campaign, as GOP Congresswoman Ileana Roz-Lehtinen of Florida pointed out, the president himself used divisive language while trying to whip up support from Latinos. “If Latinos sit out the election cycle, we’re going to punish our enemies and we’re going to reward our friends,” he said at the time — which she noted was a “pretty divisive kind of rhetoric” as well.

“The [Israeli] election is over,” Roz-Lehtinen told Fox News. “Let’s move on.”

But in fact, that’s not happening. “They’re really sticking it to Netanyahu to this day,” she added, “… but President Obama needs to understand that the United States Congress sides with Prime Minister Netanyahu on [Iran].”

The straw that broke the camel’s back for the president, apparently, was a remark by Netanyahu during his campaign in which he stated he would not allow creation of an Palestinian Authority state next to Israel due to what is now obviously a security threat.

Earnest, however, said the president still believes a “two-state solution” is best, even though top Israeli leaders warn that such a move would pave the way for an Iranian launching pad on Israel’s borders – or worse, an ISIS terror state right in Israel’s midst.

State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said Wednesday that the administration would “absolutely” continue to push for an independent PA state.

Speaking on CNN, White House political strategist David Simas congratulated Israelis – but not Netanyahu – and noted the difficult process of coalition building still lies ahead.

“Sometimes that takes a couple of weeks and we’re going to give space to the formation of that coalition government, and we’re not going to weigh in one way or the other, except to say that the United States and Israel have a historic and close relationship and that will continue going forward.”

PM Netanyahu’s Prayer of Thanks at Western Wall for Historic Victory

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu took his family and went straight to the Western Wall in his first post-election public appearance Wednesday to say a prayer of thanks for the resounding victory of his Likud party.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara go to the Western Wall following an historic fourth landslide win at the polls.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara go to the Western Wall following an historic fourth landslide win at the polls.

The Likud garnered 30 mandates out of 120 seats in the Knesset; Netanyahu’s closest rival, Isaac Herzog, won 24 mandates with his Zionist Union coalition merger with Tzipi Livni.

Netanyahu is the first Israeli prime minister since David Ben Gurion to be re-elected for a fourth term. He also is well aware of who is really in charge: Netanyahu also made sure to head for the Western Wall just prior to leaving for the United States to deliver his historic address to the U.S. Congress in Washington DC — the only head of state ever to address America’s legislators three times, other than Winston Churchill.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu prepares to place a note in the Western Wall.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu prepares to place a note in the Western Wall.

Netanyahu told media who were present for his post-electoral visit to the Western Wall on Wednesday that he was moved by the responsibility that he felt was placed upon his shoulders.

“Here in this place I am awed by the historical significance of a people renewing itself in its homeland after 4,000 years. I am moved by the weight of responsibility that the people of Israel have placed upon my shoulders and appreciate the decision of Israeli citizens to choose me and my colleagues against all odds.

“I would like to say that I will do everything in my power to care of the welfare and security of all Israeli citizens,” he added.

Netanyahu was accompanied to the Wall by his wife Sarah.

Last night (March 17) during his victory speech at Likud campaign headquarters in Tel Aviv, Netanyahu said, “Reality is not waiting for us. The citizens of Israel expect us to quickly put together a leadership that will work for them regarding security, economy and society as we committed to do – and we will do so.”

The Likud said in a separate statement that it is talking with the Bayit Yehudi party led by Naftali Bennett, as well as with Kulanu, the party led by former Likud member Moshe Kahlon, and the hareidi-religious parties.

The prime minister was clear during the campaign in stating his belief that recent history shows it is no longer in Israel’s best interests to support the establishment of an independent Palestinian Authority state. Netanyahu is therefore intent on building a right-wing government coalition that holds similar views.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/pm-netanyahus-prayer-of-thanks-at-western-wall-for-historic-victory/2015/03/18/

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