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June 26, 2016 / 20 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Jerusalem Post’

In Jerusalem, a Show of Unity at a Time of Crisis

Friday, November 20th, 2015

The impeccably dressed men and women didn’t look like they belonged in Israel. They strolled in promptly at 8am and quietly sipped tea or coffee while chatting politely in languages like Danish and Nepalese But in fact, not only do they belong here, they are some of Israel’s most distinguished residents, albeit temporarily. 

Some 400 Ambassadors and Military Attaches, nearly Israel’s entire diplomatic community, gathered at the Jerusalem Waldorf Astoria last Wednesday for the Fourth Annual Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference. A stellar list of Israeli Statesmen, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, had been lined up by Jeruslaem Post Editor-in-Chief (and MC for the day) Steve Linde, to address the diplomats on urgent issues facing Israel today. “The aim of the conference is to present Israel’s case from a variety of perspectives”, explained Linde in the days leading up to the event, “to strengthen public relations between the State of Israel and the diplomats who reside here, and through them, hopefully with their countries as well.”

“The diplomatic community looks forward to this event every year, it instills a sense of unity among the diplomats and between them and the Israelis too, but since the start of the ‘situation’ it’s almost all people talk about. They feel a sense of unity with Israeli people and are very concerned”, said Ambassador Yitzchak Eldan, President of the Ambassador’s Club of Israel, referencing the recent spate of terror attacks in Israel, “This is a real chance to explain things from the Israeli point of view and our diplomats are eager to listen.”

Ambassador Esteban Penrod Padilla of Costa Rica speaking with Mr. Ashley Perry, President of Reconectar, at the JPost Diplomat Conference.

Ambassador Esteban Penrod Padilla of Costa Rica speaking with Mr. Ashley Perry, President of Reconectar, at the JPost Diplomat Conference. Photo by JewishPress.com.

A worthwhile objective under any circumstances, but especially timely at the moment. With almost daily terror attacks being perpetrated against Israelis, and the world still stunned by the horror that unfolded in Paris last week, there was a sense of solidarity in the room that was palpable even before people found their seats. That was fortunate, as the solidarity theme took a hit off the bat with the first speaker of the day, opposition leader Isaac Herzog, took the mike and promised to do everything in his power to topple the government, as fast as possible.

Solidarity got its mojo back later in the morning, when Prime Minister Netanyahu climbed on the stage shoulder to shoulder with a tall, dark, handsome man who looked like he hadn’t slept for a week. His name didn’t appear in the original program because until last Friday, Ambassador Patrick Maisonnave of Paris was supposed to be an audience member.

A moment of silence observed in memory of the French victims. At its conclusion Netanyahu said, “In Jerusalem, today, we stand with the people of Paris”.

“Terrorism is terrorism”, said Ambasador Maisonnave, “Not only when it affects us on such a horrendous scale, also when it hits Israel. And let me take this opportunity to have a thought for all the victims of the last few weeks, their beloved ones and the injured.”

The Energy Panel

The Energy Panel. Photo by Stephanie Granot.

The conference included a panel discussion exploring Israel’s natural gas market, and speeches by Israel Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, Israel’s striking new Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, Education Minister Naftali Bennett, Israel Air Force Commander Major-General Amir Eshel, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel B. Shapiro, and an emotional debate between Senior Jerusalem Post Reporter Caroline B. Glick and the Ambassador of the European Union Lars Faaborg-Andersen over the European Union’s recent decision to label products made by Jews in certain parts of Israel.

Off to the side, Ambassador Dan Shapiro exchanged some banter with JewishPress.com Editor-in-Chief Stephen Leavitt.

Perhaps Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO of the Jerusalem Post Group, put it best:

“During these difficult days, when Israel is combating murderous terrorism, it’s inconceivable for it also to have to fight for its place in the world and against efforts to enforce an economic and diplomatic boycott against it. An event such as this carries immense importance for public diplomacy.”

Stephanie Granot

Netanyahu to French Envoy: The Beasts Have a Name – Radical Islam

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke with French Ambassador Patrick Maisonnave and expressed the solidarity of the entire country with France following the latest and by far the worst terrorist attack in Paris.

He said:

The people of Israel stand with the people of France. Ambassador, this is not a figurative stance, it’s not just lip service….

It’s difficult for civilized men and women to recognize that our cities, our airways, sometimes our waterways are prowled by beasts that devour the innocent in their way. And the forces of civilization…have no option but to unite very clearly and defeat these beasts.

The beasts increasingly have a name – it is radical Islam.

The Prime Minister spoke at the Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference, where the newspaper’s Herb Keinon asked him if Israel would consider unilateral measures in light of the diplomatic stalemate with the Palestinian Authority.

Prime Minister Netanyahu answered that there are various ways to do so, but he declined to clarify what he meant.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Israeli Cabinet Sworn in after Being Sworn At

Friday, May 15th, 2015

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu began his fourth term as Prime Minister of Israel late Thursday night, presiding over a cabinet of 20, after a raucous Knesset session culminated in the ministers’ swearing-in.  Lest there be any uncertainty about whether Israel really is both a Jewish and a democratic country, the Israeli Parliament session featured empassioned addresses by Arab legislators.

The session also featured a disgusted speech by Labour Party leader Isaac Herzog, who denounced the country’s newly-elected leader and refused to join the government, calling it a “circus” because its platform rejects the Socialist Worker views of the party that controlled Israel from 1948 until Menachem Begin became Prime Minister in 1977.

Herzog’s address was a frontal and personal attack on both Netanyahu and the entire concept of cross-party cooperation in the national interest:

“This is not the government the people wanted,” Herzog said. Facing Netanyahu directly, he went on: “Your partners swindled you. What you created was a circus. Your mentors Ze’ev Jabotinsky and Menachem Begin would have been embarrassed of you. Your way is not my way. My way is the way of the Labor movement that founded this country. Give the Foreign Ministry to one of your MKs. No decent leader would join your circus,” as reported by Gil Hoffman in the Jerusalem Post.

No doubt Bibi has very thick skin, but it would be hard for any human being, even a politician, to forget that personal insult, delivered in front of the entire government and, via the press, the rest of the world.

The  “swindling” that Herzog denounced was in fact a long negotiation with each person who wound up as a Cabinet official – and with several others who did not wind up as such – over who would hold which office.

After oaths had been administered, Netanyahu explained to the Knesset that this lengthy game of musical chairs was necessitated by Israeli’s system of parliamentary elections, which fractures power in the hands of numerous small parties, each of which then has the right to extort as high a price as possible for its support of a coalition.

Netanyahu called for change of this system Thursday night. Though both his own Likud party and Herzog’s “Zionist Union” – the two largest parties – would benefit from such reform, it’s hard to see how sufficient support for it could be found across all these criss-crossing party lines.

Still, there is some hope for progress on some fronts.  Ayelet Shaked will take over as Justice Minister, and she takes office with an ambitious plan to reform the Israeli Supreme Court – long seen by many as a profoundly anti-democratic institution that rejects Knesset-passed laws whenever a majority of its 15 justices disagrees with them.

Likud plans to introduce a bill in the Knesset that will, among other things, require a modest super-majority of the Supreme Court’s justices, rather than a bare majority, before a law could be struck down.

It will be interesting to see whether, if the Knesset adopts such legislation, the Supreme Court strikes that down.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Israeli Paper Responds to UNRWA’s Shocking Boycott Call

Sunday, December 7th, 2014

Last week Chris Gunness, a spokesperson for the United Nations Refugee and Works Agency, had a lengthy temper tantrum on twitter.

The object of that tantrum, the Jerusalem Post‘s editor-in-chief, Steve Linde, responded publicly today.

Linde issued a press release in which he, on behalf of his paper, calmly and soundly rejected the assault by UNRWA’s Gunness.

Gunness was enraged that the Jerusalem Post ran an opinion piece criticizing UNRWA and suggesting numerous conditions be placed on the UN agency by donor nations as a means of ensuring the agency put the needs of the Palestinian Arabs ahead of the agency’s desire for increasing its own girth and coffers.

The Post‘s op-ed was written by a Palestinian Arab, Bassem Eid, the founder and director of the Jerusalem-based Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group.

As described fully in Friday’s UNRWA Spokesman Calls for Boycott of Israeli Paper, Gunness attacked the Post and Linde. Gunness called Eid’s piece “garbage,” referred to the Post as “far right” (a much greater insult than internationally-condemned terrorist group as far as Gunness is apparently concerned) and calling for a complete boycott – “Boycott the JPost! Don’t read their lies” of the Jerusalem Post and calling out Linde. Gunness issued this call to his more than 35,000 Twitter followers.

The UNRWA spokesman falsely claimed the Post had boycotted him, “boycotting me ie no quote.”

In a response which is now posted on his Facebook page, Linde wrote that Gunness’s campaign against the Post “represents an unacceptable breach of protocol and neutrality he is supposed to uphold.”

“An attack of this kind by a senior staff member of a UN body that employs as many as 30,000 people and provides aid to millions of Palestinians is unbecoming,” Linde said.

An op-ed is not a news article. It is an opinion piece written by someone with either expertise or other first-hand knowledge or is credible and has a view not widely covered elsewhere in the media.

The Post‘s op-ed editor, Seth Frantzman, shot back at the petulant claim that Gunness was boycotted simply because he was not quoted – in an op-ed.

“We have a long track record of publishing op-eds from diverse voices on a wide range of issues and will continue to subject all groups to robust critique, despite this intimidation,” Frantzman wrote. “UNRWA’s call for a boycott over an article published by a Palestinian activist who critiqued UNRWA contravenes the concept of open debate and has a chilling effect on free speech.”

The full press release from the Jerusalem Post can be found here, on Linde’s Facebook page.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Saudi Arabia Refuses Visa to American Jewish Journalist

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Michael Wilner is the Jerusalem Post‘s reporter based in Washington, and its White House correspondent. He is an American Jew who does not have Israeli citizenship and has never lived in Israel.

About midday on Monday, March 24, Wilner tweeted, “Saudi Arabia has denied me a visa to cover Obama’s trip this week.”

Wilner is the only journalist in the press corps who was denied entry by Saudi Arabia.

The White House declined to comment publicly, but the Jerusalem Post reported that U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice specifically requested that the visa be granted. Tony Blinken, a special assistant to President Obama, was also reported to have issued a request to Adel bin Ahmed al-Jubeir, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the U.S.

In another Twitter exchange, Wilner answered a reporter from AL Monitor who queried, “Any idea why?” [he was denied the visa.]  “not the faintest idea” Wilner tweeted back.

In a Politico report of the incident, Wilner is quoted as commenting via email, “U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East is a central pillar of our newspaper’s coverage – this trip was important to us. We can only assume Saudi Arabia’s decision was based on discriminatory principles.”

“Obama administration officials privately acknowledged the media outlet was discriminated against,” the Jerusalem Post reported.

Wilner is a 2011 graduate of Claremont Mckenna College and also attended Columbia University.

 

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Fiddling on the Roof, While Iran Goes Nuclear

Monday, April 29th, 2013

It has been clear to me for a long time that the United States is just posturing and not a real world power.  It has no do or die principles and its recent military successes were a long time ago or not worth bragging about.

Most worrisome is the fact that instead of eliminating the Iranian nuclear industry American officials at best  just mumble about letting Israel, one of the smallest countries in the world, “take care of it” if Israel really feels in danger.  Duh!  Iran is anti-American even more than anti-Israel.  For Americans to rationalize that and lie to themselves that Iran would only use weapons against Israel is totally unrealistic and very dangerous.

In Israel Hayom, David Weinberg wrote of how the Americans are hoping to ignore the dangers of Iran to world peace.

Now, Pickering is back at the head of a panel of former senior U.S. officials and outside experts called “The Iran Project,” urging U.S. President Barack Obama to drop sanctions and covert action against Iran, and instead negotiate more intensively with Tehran.
“I fundamentally believe that the balance between sanctions and diplomacy has been misaligned,” says Pickering. He and his colleagues (who at the time included Chuck Hagel, now defense secretary) write that the sanctions policy seems to be backfiring and has “contributed to an increase in repression and corruption within Iran.” They worry that sanctions “may be sowing the seeds of long-term alienation between the Iranian people and the United States.”
In an interview with The New York Times, Pickering also contends that Obama should review the covert program against Iran — which reportedly has included computer sabotage of its nuclear facilities — to “stop anything that is peripheral, that is not buying us much time” in slowing Iran’s progress.

The United States is reverting to its pre-World War Two isolationist mode.  The United States had hoped that it wouldn’t be “dragged into” war with Hitler.  It tried being accommodating, and there were many prominent Americans who didn’t find Hitler problematic.  They certainly didn’t mind his anti-Semitism.

At the Jerusalem Post’s NY Conference, Former Mossad Chief Meir Dagan stated that:

To threaten an immediate attack on Iran is not beneficial to Israel… It transferred the Iranian issue from a worldwide issue to an Israeli issue. I would have been happier had [U.S. President Barack] Obama made his announcement that he would not let Iran get nuclear weapons in Riyadh and not in Jerusalem.

I must admit that I don’t agree with much else that Dagan stated.  He’s total unrealistic when it comes to the chance of “peace” with Arab terrorists.

When you look at the big picture, it’s clear that the Arab terrorism that targets Israelis is also related to the Arab and Islamic terrorism that can be found even in the United States, such as the Boston Marathon bombing.

It’s a very dangerous mistake that Israel is accepting foreign advice/instructions/ideology to do everything it can to make peace with the Arab Terrorists.  It is totally impossible to make peace with terrorists.  Consider it against their religion!

The bottom line is that the world is in big trouble!

Visit Shiloh Musings.

Batya Medad

Indicators of the Road Ahead for Israel

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

With so much turbulence about (especially now but also in the past several years), it’s easy to overlook the fact that Israel has fought no wars against any Arab state since the Yom Kippur War of 1973.

As Robert Satloff notes in the first of the articles we extract below, Israel’s experiences over these last four decades include “successful diplomacy with intermittent bouts of terrorism and asymmetric war against non-state actors.” Looking ahead, there’s more than a little reason to take a sober view of the future.

The End of the Forty-Year Peace between Israel and Arab States Robert Satloff  in the New Republic: With Hamas’ strong political backing from regional states, future historians might very well view the recent Gaza conflict as the first episode of a new era of renewed inter-state competition and, potentially, inter-state conflict in the Arab-Israeli arena… The “old new Middle East” was a region of peace, trade, and regional cooperation. It reached its heyday in the mid-’90s, when Israelis were welcome everywhere from Rabat to Muscat… The “new new Middle East” is the region defined by the twin threats of Iranian hegemonic ambitions and the spread of radical Sunni extremism, where Israelis are not only unwelcome but where they are building fences along their borders to separate themselves from the fight around them… There is much the U.S. can do to postpone the return to inter-state Arab-Israeli conflict. Such a strategy begins with strengthening American-Israeli cooperation and includes such initiatives as preventing Hamas from winning a political victory over the moribund Palestinian Authority, incentivizing moderate behavior from the calculating Islamist leaders of Egypt, speeding the demise of Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria, and preventing the collapse of a wobbly Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

Hamas Tells Fatah: Let’s Fight Israel Together Khaled Abu Toameh in the Jerusalem PostHamas leader Mahmoud Zahar on Monday called on Fatah to join his movement in the fight against Israel and to stop wasting time and effort with the peace process. “Our hands are extended to Fatah to join the program of [armed] resistance and the liberation of Palestine… Let’s join hands and carry the rifle together.”

Hizbullah TV Claims Its Rockets Can Reach Eilat  Zach Pontz in the Algemeiner: Israel’s Channel 2 television broadcast a video from Hizbullah’s Al-Manar TV claiming that the terror group’s rockets could reach as far as Eilat. The segment, accompanied by many graphic descriptions, claimed: “Hizbullah has the following capabilities: the destruction of buildings in Tel Aviv; damage to ports and ships in the Mediterranean and the Red Sea and capability to hit specific targets with missiles on the residents and resources of Israel.” Last week Hizbullah terror chief Hassan Nasrallah told a crowd: “Israel, which was jolted by Fajr-5 missiles [from Gaza] – how will it be able to endure thousands of missiles falling on Tel Aviv and other cities if it attacks Lebanon? Our campaign against Israel is from Kiryat Shmona to Eilat.”

Visit This Ongoing War.

Frimet and Arnold Roth

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