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December 19, 2014 / 27 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Jen Psaki’

OU Rejects US Govt’s Criticism of Jews Buying Homes in Jerusalem

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

On Thursday, Oct. 2,  the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, strongly rejected statements made by White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest and State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki with regard to Israeli plans for housing construction in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Givat HaMatos and Israeli Jews purchasing houses in the neighborhood of Silwan.

Commenting on these matters, Earnest stated: “This development [in Givat HaMatos] will only draw condemnation…” and “It also would call into question Israel’s ultimate commitment to a peaceful negotiated settlement with the Palestinians.” He further condemned “the recent occupation of residential buildings in the neighborhood of Silwan by people whose agenda provokes tensions, it only serves to escalate tensions.”

Psaki, the state department spokesperson, stated: “This development will only draw condemnation from the international community, distance Israel from even its closest allies [and] poison the atmosphere…”

The Orthodox Union’s executive director for public policy Nathan Diament issued the following statement in response:

“We reject yesterday’s harsh statements by the Obama Administration. First, they suggest that the onus for the peace process impasse is upon Israel, when in fact it is decades of Palestinian and Arab rejectionism and incitement (such as that voiced by Palestinian President Abbas at the UN General Assembly last week) that “poisons the atmosphere” for peace. Israel has demonstrated its interest in peace, not merely through words but through deeds, time and again.

Second, suggesting that Jews residing in neighborhoods of Jerusalem—the historic capital of Israel and the Jewish people—is “provocative” is offensive. It is also fundamentally at odds with the notion that differences over Jerusalem are to be resolved in negotiations.

Finally, the implied threat that Jewish residences in Jerusalem will “distance Israel from even its closest ally”—i.e., the United States—is a resort to rhetoric which is entirely unacceptable.

We appreciate the constructive conversation President Obama had yesterday with Prime Minister Netanyahu and the President’s restatement of his “unshakable” commitment to Israel’s security, which has been manifested in many practical ways. Yesterday’s statements by Administration spokespeople run counter to such a useful and productive working relationship.”

State Dept. Complains New Homes in Jerusalem ‘Poison’ US Peace Plan

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

The U.S. State Dept. branded advancement of a project for 2,610 homes for Arabs and Jews in Jerusalem as “poison,” a label totally rejected by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.

The statement by State Dept. spokeswoman Jen Psaki exposes the total hypocrisy of the Obama administration’s stated policy that Israel and the Palestinian Authority should reach an agreement through negotiations.

She charged that the project for new homes in southern Jerusalem “poison the atmosphere not only with the Palestinians, but also with the very Arab governments with which Prime Minister Netanyahu said he wanted to build relations, and call into question Israel’s ultimate commitment to a peaceful negotiated settlement with the Palestinians.”

The key words are a “peaceful negotiated settlement.”

President Barack Obama has repeatedly said that Jews living in parts of Jerusalem claimed by the Palestinian Authority are “illegitimate” and ”illegal.”

He and his “straight man,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, have claimed that the United States will not try to force an agreement on a “take it or leave it basis,” but that is exactly what they do with such statements that every “illegal” home “poisons” the atmosphere.

The construction project indeed poisons the “peace plan,” which is a misnomer for a ploy to grant the Arabs world everything they want without negotiation – Judea, Samaria, the Jordan Valley, half of Jerusalem and mass immigration of millions of Arabs whose only connection to Israel is that they are third, fourth, and fifth generation descendants of permanent “refugees” created by the United Nations for the exact purpose of holding on them as demographic weapon to eliminate Israel as a Jewish state.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with President Obama on Wednesday hours after Peace Now leaked the news that another bureaucratic obstacle has been removed for the construction project in the Givat HaMatos neighborhood, announced two years ago,

More than one-third of the proposed homes are slated for Arabs in the adjacent Beit Safata neighborhood. After Psaki’s condemnation and the White House’s objections that Jews are “stoking tensions” by the purchase this week of more buildings from Arabs in the Silwan area of eastern Jerusalem, Netanyahu said, “Arabs in Jerusalem freely buy apartments, and nobody says that is forbidden. I will also not say that Jews cannot buy property in Jerusalem. There cannot be discrimination between Jews and Arabs.”

Barkat said Thursday, that the Givat HaMatos project, rather than “poisoning” anything is a “necessary” step and that he will not be part of any policy that discriminates between the rights of Jews and Arabs to build in all of Jerusalem.

The Obama administration’s policy, which follows the lead of the Palestinian Authority and the Saudi 2002 Plan, does not object to Arab building in parts of Jerusalem claimed by the PA. It only objects to construction for Jews.

Some of the headlines of the American criticism are misleading are simply wrong.

One large Israeli news site proclaimed, “US-Israel Ties in Crisis Over East Jerusalem Building Plans,” but the disagreement, no matter how harsh Psaki’s words, is the same tempest in the same teapot that has brewed for years.

The real “crisis” is that the Palestinian Authority, Peace Now and the U.S. State Dept. are beside themselves because of their failure to hijack the “peace process” that has been in the works for more than 20 years and which has achieved agreement after agreement that the Palestinian Authority has reneged.

Blatant violations include worsening incitement for terror and the establishment of a Palestinian Authority army, under the guise of a “police force,” but Mahmoud Abbas’ fatal mistake was to ditch the entire premise of the process that a final status agreement is to be reached through “negotiations.” Israel has turned the other cheek dozens of times, but the Netanyahu government has held hits red line concerning Jerusalem remaining united.

State Dept Press Corps Shapes US Response to Netanyahu’s UN Speech

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

The State Department press corps continues to spin madly against any statements or positions taken by the Israeli government, as made clear in the daily press briefing comments following Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Monday, Sept. 29.

Those who paid close attention to Netanyahu’s speech will recall that he made one overarching point. That the Islamic terrorist groups now arrayed around the world, but centered largely in the Middle East, share a common ideology that is a danger to everyone who does not share that ideology. And that ideology is global Muslim domination.

Netanyahu labeled them all “Militant Islam.” In this group he named, in addition to ISIS, Hamas and the Islamic State of Iran, “Boko Haram in Nigeria, Al-Shabab in Somalia, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Al Nusra in Syria, the Mahdi Army in Iraq, the Al Qaeda branches in Yemen, Libya, the Philippines, India and elsewhere.”

To support the position that all share the same goal of global Militant Islamic domination, he quoted the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi; the leader of Hamas, Khaled Mashaal; and the founding and current rulers of the Islamic State of Iran. All three state clearly as their doctrine that their ultimate goal is for Islam to be the supreme faith of the entire world, and for that goal to be realized through force.

Baghdadi: “A day will come when the Muslim will walk everywhere as a master, the Muslims will cause the world to hear and understand the meaning of terrorism and destroy the idol of democracy.”

Mashaal: “We say this to the world: by Allah you will be defeated. Tomorrow our nation will sit on the throne of the world.”

Khomeini: “We will export our revolution to the entire world until the cry of ‘There is no god but Allah’ will be heard throughout the world.’

And this, from the current commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards: “Our Imam did not want the Islamic Revolution for this country. Our duty is to prepare the way for an Islamic world government.” And this, from Iran’s current foreign minister: “We have a fundamental problem with the West, and especially with America. This is because we are heirs to a global mission which is tied to our raison d’être.

So what was the state department press corps’ response to this point made by Netanyahu? It was to ridicule the grouping of ISIS, Hamas and Iran, to paint as absurd the concern that Iran is every bit as dangerous – in fact more so – as is ISIS.

This, from the senior press corps correspondent, Matt Lee, of the Associated Press, regarding Netanyahu: “One, he has a theory or believes that Hamas, ISIS, Iran – and Iran are basically kind of all part of the same big thing, which is this – what he would call a scourge of militant Islam. Do you – does the Administration agree with that?

 MS. PSAKI: (Inaudible) never heard us state it in that way. We believe they’re both terrorist organizations. We obviously believe that ISIL poses a different threat to the United States, based on, of course, the military action and other efforts that are underway. We don’t believe that Prime Minister Netanyahu or anyone else from Israel is suggesting that the United States launch a military campaign against Hamas, so we certainly – they are both designated terrorist organizations under the United States designations, but certainly we see differences –

QUESTION: Well –

MS. PSAKI: – in terms of the threat and otherwise. But go ahead.

QUESTION: But he’s – he linked them with Iran as well, and saying that Shia – it doesn’t really matter, Shia or Sunni, they essentially all want the same thing, which is a Muslim caliphate dominating the world. Do you – does the Administration believe that that is the case, that Hamas, ISIS, Iran, Hezbollah, these other groups, Boko Haram, the ones that you mentioned, are all part of the same kind of militant Muslim –

QUESTION: – Islamic attempt to rule the world?

MS. PSAKI: We would not agree with that characterization, no.

Lee’s question collapses the strong distinction Netanyahu made at the outset, in which he referred only to Militant Islam, certainly not all sunnis and shiites as calling for global Muslim domination.

Israel Goes on Offensive with Announcement of New Homes in Samaria

Friday, September 5th, 2014

Israel announced on Friday it is issuing tenders for 283 new homes in the community Elkana, located on the western side of Samaria and approximately 10 miles east of Kfar Saba, on the northern edge of metropolitan Tel Aviv.

The news is certain to draw the ire of the United States at the daily press briefing at the State Dept. which earlier this week virtually ordered Israel to “reverse” its decision to create a new community in Gush Etzion and build homes for Jews in Jerusalem.

Plans for 2,200 new homes for Arabs in Jerusalem did not draw a whisper from the Obama Defense Minister, as reported here on Thursday,

The new homes for Elkana, where more than 4,000 people were reported as a “land grab” by the AFP news agency, a total lie since, as lawyer-journalist Lori Marcus Lowenthau wrote here yesterday, the land is not “grabbed” from anyone because it has no owners since the time of the Ottoman Empire and Jordanian occupation.

This week’s flurry of announcements for new homes is not a coincidence. Palestinian Authority negotiator Saed Erekat met with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry Wednesday to present PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ three-year-ultimatum that Israel withdraw from every inch of land in Judea and Samaria as well as area of Jerusalem where he claims sovereignty.

A Palestinian Authority said that Israel rejected the idea.

State Dept. spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that the meeting between Kerry and Erekat was “constructive.” But did not reveal any details.

Obama Silent on Plans for New Homes for Jerusalem (Arabs)

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Jerusalem’s announcement Wednesday that a new Arab neighborhood for Arabs will be built was met by a thundering silence by the European Union and the United States, which throw a tantrum every time plans are drawn up for a single house for a Jew in parts of the capital claimed by the Palestinian Authority.

The Jerusalem Local Building and Planning Committee approved building 2,200 housing units on 375 acres in the Arav al-Swahara neighborhood.

Approval was secured after pressure by the judicial system, which was approached by a human rights legal council of the Hebrew University. Right-wing activists and Haredi city councilmen previously have blocked the plan, Haaretz reported.

“The planning of neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem by the municipality is a clear expression of Israeli sovereignty over all parts of the city and strengthens the unity of Jerusalem,” said Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.

He warned that the city faced a wave of illegal construction and accompanying damage to long-term environmental planning, if it did not act to provide more housing for Arabs.

Barkat’s claim that the new neighborhood will help unify the city will be judged in the future, but the lack of American response is nothing less than another admission that it considers Palestinian Authority demands a “done deal.”

On Sunday, the U.S. State Dept. expressed “concern” over plans for new homes for Jews in Gush Etzion and eastern Jerusalem, claimed by the Palestinian Authority, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s spokeswoman Jen Psaki went so far as to state on Tuesday that Israel must “reverse” the decision.

Psaki, who apparently thinks she also is Israel’s Housing Minister, said it was “contrary to Israel’s stated goal of negotiating a permanent status agreement with the Palestinians, and it would send a very troubling message if they proceed.”

Kerry then picked up the phone complained to Netanyahu in what has been reported as a very uncordial conversation.

How, pray tell, can building for Jews be an obstacle to a permanent status agreement and building when building for Arabs is not an obstacle?

Any intelligent person, except for those in the Obama administration – and yes, they are very intelligent but equally ignorant – must conclude that President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry are lying through their teeth when they claim they are not pushing PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ agenda.

They want “negotiations” by holding Abbas’ hand and standing behind Israel with a diplomatic knife to rip Jerusalem apart and returning to the 1049 Temporary Armistice Lines that the want to be permanent, 47 years after the borders were finally dismantled by the Six-Day War in 1967.

Despite all the criticism, including on these pages, of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for caving in so often to American pressure, it really is a wonder that Israel still is one piece considering the open hypocrisy of the White House and State Dept.

Abbas is well aware of that, so he can expect that his negotiator Saeb Erekat, the one who has quite several times but miraculously doesn’t quit, is enjoying a friendly reception in Washington this week.

He reportedly is bringing with him Abbas’ three-year ”plan, to be read “ultimatum,” that Judea and Samaria and half of Jerusalem be rid of Jews by 2017.

US Pushes PA Agenda and Tells Israel to Cancel New Gush Etzion Town

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

The U.S. State Dept. told Israel Tuesday “to reverse” the decision announced earlier this week to clear the way for a new Jewish town on 400 acres of land near Bethlehem.

State Dept. spokeswoman Jen Psaki also castigated the Netanyahu government even planning an announcement for new homes for Jews in eastern Jerusalem, accusing it of acting “contrary to Israel’s stated goal of negotiating a permanent status agreement with the Palestinians, and it would send a very troubling message if they proceed.”

The American statement totally undermine any pretense that the Obama administration is willing to allow the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli government to negotiate and instead is talking for PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who has demanded that Israel cease all activity for Jews in Judea and Samaria and half of Jerusalem that it intends to be part of an independent PA state.

Today was not the first time this week that the United States has objected to the declaration of Givaot, an area in Gush Etzion, as state land, but Psaki’s strong language was virtually an order to the Israeli government.

After having expressed “concern” on Sunday, the absence of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s shuttering in fear, kissing Psaki’s foot and repenting for the ghastly act of laying claim to land that belongs to no one, apparently prompted her to use the sledgehammer Tuesday.

After calling on Israel to change its mind on Gush Etzion, which Abbas and President Barack Obama know very well remain under Israeli sovereignty no matter what, Psaki turned her fury on the audacity of Israel to even consider tampering with Jerusalem.

“We are also very concerned by reports that new settlement and East Jerusalem construction or planning announcements may be issued at any time, including for the sensitive area of (Givat HaMatos) in East Jerusalem,” Psaki added. By stating that ”these steps” are contrary to Israel’s stated goal of negotiating a permanent status agreement with the Palestinians,” she took the issue off the negotiating table.

Her boss, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, has stated several times, as has President Obama, that the United States cannot decide the final status for the Palestinian Authority and Israel. Kerry has made suggestions but never has so boldly told Prime Minister Netanyahu to play by American rules, which change with the wind.

Psaki called the Israel announcements “unilateral steps that undermine the prospects for a negotiated two-state solution.” By the same logic, every time the Palestinian Authority builds a home in Judea and Samaria or in areas of Jerusalem it claims, it is a “unilateral action.”

Is the US Furious Over ‘Israeli’ Criticism of Kerry?

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

The United States is circling the wagons around their secretary of state whose ego was apparently wounded by a torrent of Israeli criticism over the weekend regarding his proposed ceasefire draft plan.

John Kerry’s defenders are helping him look more pathetic by taking such umbrage to a unified Israeli cabinet’s rejection of his ceasefire proposal. And a virtually unified Israeli public, including the leftist and far left Israeli media, who are being accurately represented by the Israeli government’s less than flattering evaluations.

One of the biggest complaints about Israel’s criticism was ascribed to the State Department’s spokesperson Jen Psaki. She said, and was quoted in a myriad of media reports for saying, that Israel’s conduct in disseminating what she claims was false information about the proposed ceasefire draft: “it’s simply not the way partners and allies treat each other.”

There was a textbook example of a journalist baiting a government official to snipe at another government’s leadership despite her best efforts not to seem to be sniping.

At the State Department’s Daily Briefing on Monday, July 28, Matt Lee of the Associated Press was able to put words into Psaki’s mouth, and continue leading her into accepting certain phraseology to suggest — undoubtedly accurately, but surely going further than Psaki intended – that the U.S. administration was furious with Israel for disrespecting Kerry.

The questions asked by Lee included, “how angry are you? How unhelpful do you believe the Israelis, or at least some Israelis have been in this issue? And how angry are you at what you claim to be a serious misrepresentation of what the Secretary was trying to do?”

Lee then followed up with: “so you accuse – you’re accusing at least some in the Israeli Government of waging a misinformation campaign?”

When Psaki informs Lee, and the rest of the press corps, that she doesn’t have any information on the sources who were allegedly providing inaccurate information, the AP reporter followed up by incorporating one of the most quoted phrases of the day. The exchange follows:

QUESTION: When you say that this is not the way friends and allies should treat each other, you’re referring to Israeli treatment of Secretary Kerry and of his – of the Administration’s attempt to get a ceasefire together?

MS. PSAKI: Well, I think there are obviously some anonymous sources that are out there that are speaking on behalf of the views of the Israeli Government. Whether or not that is an accurate depiction of their position is not for me to make a judgment of, but –

QUESTION: So how serious is this, in terms of jeopardizing the relationship?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t think – I think Israel remains an incredibly important partner.

But Lee was only succesful at goading Psaki into revealing what her employer and her department are apparently feeling. But was the anger directed at the appropriate party? And was the criticism, in any event, justified?

The claims that Israeli leadership was harsh in its criticism concerning Kerry’s proposals and his behavior overlook several important facts. To wit: that while anonymous sources were likely quoting at least some members of the Israeli government, the harshest public attacks on Kerry’s flat-footed diplomacy came not from government officials, but from center, left and even far left members of Israel’s famously leftist media. For example, Barak Ravid of Haaretz wrote that Kerry’s “conduct in recent days over the Gaza cease-fire raises serious doubts over his judgment and perception of regional events.”

The Times of Israel’s editor-in-chief, David Horovitz, lambasted the secretary of state’s plan as something that looked like it might have been drawn up by or for Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/is-the-us-furious-over-israeli-criticism-of-kerry/2014/07/29/

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