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September 22, 2014 / 27 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Jimmy Carter’

Greetings from Apartheidia

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Friends (or at least those of you who aren’t… well you know),

Its another beautiful day here in Apartheidia, the place formerly known as Israel. The decision has been made to change names to reflect the reality of the situation that exists here now that we have not decided to commit suicide by accepting 5 million Palestinian refugees (there are actually only 3,500 refugees, but when you thrown in children, grandchildren, and their accountants the number grows somewhat), re-drawing the lines of Israel to only include the Port of Tel Aviv (we fought hard for that one), and Herzliyah Pituach (and that’s about it), and to neuter the IDF.

So, as that master of diplomatic acrobatics John Kerry so aptly pointed out, there is nothing left for us to do but to come out of the Apartheid closet.

There is just one problem we are all grappling with. Who are we exactly “apartheiding,” if I can put it that way. There have been numerous concerned citizen meetings in our town and others trying to get answers to this.

We asked our Ethiopian gardener about it and he said that he is saving up for an apartment, so if the country goes to hell, it should drive down the price of real estate. Our Arab family GP said no more antibiotics, get out and get some fresh air, even if it meant rubbing elbows with the apartheided.

Our Druze contractor did say that many of his family were being apartheided to death across the border in Syria, but he admitted that this didn’t have much to do with events on this side of the Golan.

There were some of our married friends who offered their spouse as an apartheid victim (or victor), the goal being a bit of critical distance.

But basically, we haven’t been able to quite figure out who is being apartheided. It’s funny, if you read the newspapers, you see the many opportunities for apartheid, whether it is Russians in the Ukraine, Christians most anywhere in the Mid East (oh, except here in Apartheidia, where they have just been recently responding to a voluntary IDF draft notice), and by their choice, Muslims most everywhere in Europe.

Look, if that searing light of diplomacy and international understanding, John Kerry (who must be channeling the all time guru of enlightened international affairs, Jimmy Carter) says we are an Apartheid state, then we must be.

We just need some help here getting with the Apartheid program. This place looks too much like one of those Benetton ads. One of the ideas that came out of the most recent town meeting was that “Apartheid Begins at Home.” In other words, each of us, in our own ways can start the ball rolling. Some particularly good ideas:

1. No more humus, because that might connote acceptance of  Arabs.

2. No more burekas, because that might connote acceptance of Mizrachim. Ditto malawa because of the toxic association with Yeminites.

3. Olives. Forget about it. Too many are grown by Arabs. Ditto dates.

4. Dining out in Tel Aviv, especially groovy areas like Neve Tzedek and Yaffo. Out of the question. Could be consorting with gays.

5. No more driving in northern Israel, since the main roads go through Druze villages and that’s no longer tolerable.

6. Jerusalem? No way. Its out of central casting for It’s A Small World.

7. Stay away from the IDF. They have those Beduoin units, Hareidi units, and they let Druze guys serve wherever they want.

8. You can’t even go to Judea and Samaria any more because too many Palestinians work there, in crimes against humanity locales like the SodaStream factory.

Jimmy Carter Backs Abbas’ Appeal to the UN

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter insisted Monday that Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s decision to ask for membership in international associations of the United Nations actually will help the “peace process.”

It takes a bit of a twisted imagination to follow the man’s mind. Such as it is, but here is what he said in a statement in the name of the “Elders,” a group of bored and boring world leaders who have decided they can promote peace in the world that they helped botch.

“The decision by the Palestinians to exercise their right to join international organizations should not be seen as a blow to the peace talks,” Carter said . “I hope that, on the contrary, it will help to redress the power imbalance between Israelis and Palestinians, as we approach the 29 April deadline set by Secretary Kerry.”

When Carter says “imbalance,” he means Abbas’ not having the upper hand. A “balance” of power means that Israel is under the bus.

In order to make that happen, Carter and the Elders ignored the fact the Abbas totally broke the rules of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s Peace Talks Follies when he said he would turn to the United Nations.

What really happened, according to Carter, is that decision to ask to join 12 U.N. treaties and conventions was “consistent with the UN non-member observer state status obtained by Palestine in November 2012.”

Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway and deputy chair of The Elders, added, “This move opens the way to more inclusive and accountable government in the West Bank and Gaza. It has the potential to strengthen respect for human rights and provide ordinary Palestinians with essential legal protections against discrimination or abuses by their own government.”

He thinks that the poor Arab on the street in Ramallah will benefit from the Palestinian Authority’s being a member of the organization for the rights of children, for example.  Does the distinguished former prime minister of Norway know that Iran and Saudi Arabia are member of Convention on the Rights of the Child?

Has the United Nations Convention against Corruption, which Abbas wants to join, helped the man on the street in Argentina, Angola, Egypt, Iran,, Libya, and Sudan, some of the most comport countries in the world who are members of the enlightened committee?

But none of this is important, because Carter said it is all going to help the peace process.

Jimmy Carter Says Boycotting Israel Is ‘Too Much’

Monday, March 24th, 2014

Former President Jimmy Carter said Monday he does not support the leftist-Arab “boycott, divest, sanction” campaign against Israel but added that products made in Judea and Samaria should not carry a “Made in Israel label.”

He told the Associated Press in an interview that he and other “elders,” a group of retired senior leaders, “decided not to publicly endorse any kind of embargo, or so forth, against Israeli invasion, or occupying troops in Palestine.”

“Israeli invasion?”

Not only did her use the phrase, the Associated Press did not have the decency to correct Carter’s perversions of history, For those under the age of 40 and who have never learned anything in the past beyond the Russian invasion of Ukraine, seven Arab countries tied to annihilate Israel in the Six-Day War of 1967. When they failed, they abandoned their second-class Arabs in Judea, Gaza and Samaria. So much for the “invasion.”

But Carter counts himself as pro-Israel because he does not support a boycott.

Thanks for no favors.

Robert Strauss, Democratic Kingmaker and Ambassador, Dies At 95

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Robert Strauss, the son of small-town Texas shopkeepers who became an adviser to presidents of both parties, died Wednesday at the age of 95.

He helped found in 1945 Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, the energy law firm that pioneered powerhouse lobbying after its 1971 move to Washington.

Strauss, whose parents ran a general store in a small town in Texas, forged his first important political ties at the University of Texas working on the congressional campaign of Lyndon Johnson and the student body campaign of John Connally, who later became governor.

Connally’s sponsorship decades later led to Strauss becoming chairman of the Democratic National Committee after the party’s presidential candidate, George McGovern, suffered a crushing defeat in 1972.

Strauss led the rebuilding of the party and started advocating on behalf of the little-known governor of Georgia as a possible candidate — a bet that paid off in 1976 with Jimmy Carter’s election as president.

Carter made Strauss a trade envoy and later named him a special ambassador so he could help negotiate the emerging Egypt-Israel peace agreement. Strauss was among Carter’s advisers who successfully counseled the president to resist bringing the Palestine Liberation Organization into the process until it recognized Israel.

Strauss also endeavored to smooth relations between the Jewish and black communities after Carter fired Andrew Young, the U.S. envoy to the United Nations, for meeting with PLO officials.

Strauss, like so many top Jewish officials before and after him, was his administration’s unofficial liaison to the Jewish community — a role he did not appear to always relish, storming out of one particularly testy meeting with Jewish leaders over Carter’s peace process policies in 1980.

After Carter’s inauguration in 1977 and his naming Strauss as a trade envoy, JTA asked Strauss whether Carter would preserve Jackson-Vanik, the legislation linking human rights performance to trade status that was considered critical to liberalizing exits for Jews from the Soviet Union.

The Nixon and Ford administrations had fiercely resisted the legislation — Henry Kissinger, the Jewish secretary of state, was especially contemptuous of it — but Carter would go on to embrace it, one of the rare high points in his relationship with the Jewish community.

However, Strauss was noncommittal and felt it necessary to explain to JTA how being in government necessarily changed his perspective.

“I could have emotional and historical views and the prejudices from that,” he said. “Now, with my present responsibilities, I must be absolutely certain that I am looking at it [Jackson-Vanik] from the standpoint of the whole America. I will take a purely critical and analytical look and I will speak out when I have the authority.”

Strauss said he suffered little anti-Semitism growing up in Texas, saying that he only thought about being Jewish when his parents kept him home on Yom Kippur.

He joined the Baptist Young People’s Union to meet girls, he told the Dallas Morning News in a 1981 interview, and was elected its president.

“Of course, the preacher had to put a stop to that because I wasn’t a member of that church,” Strauss said.

Within weeks of Carter’s defeat in 1980, Strauss — who had chaired Carter’s campaign — began to meet routinely with President-elect Ronald Reagan and became an adviser to him.

Reagan awarded Strauss the Medal of Freedom in 1981, and his vice president and successor, President George H. W. Bush, named him ambassador to the collapsing Soviet Union in 1991, which led to Strauss becoming the first U.S. envoy to the post-Soviet Russia.

Once it became clear in the 1980s — with credible female and African-American runs for the president and vice president – that presidents no longer had to be white, Christian and male, pundits often would turn to Strauss and ask him to name the first likely Jewish president. He invariably would offer himself.

The self-promotion ostensibly was in jest — Strauss liked to remind people that his mother expected him to become the first Jewish governor of Texas — until it wasn’t. Jack Germond, the political columnist, once recalled trying to talk Strauss out of a presidential run in 1983.

“He was a Jew from Texas and a lawyer and businessman who had made a lot of money in ways that might have to be defended,” Germond said in a 2005 Washingtonian magazine article cited in Strauss’ Washington Post obituary. “Above all, he had a wise mouth that no candidacy could survive in this age of political correctness.”

President Obama in a statement lauded Strauss’ appeal across the spectrum.

“Bob was one of the greatest leaders the Democratic Party ever had, yet presidents of both parties relied on his advice, his instincts, and his passion for public service — not to mention his well-honed sense of humor,” he said.

Strauss’ wife, Helen, died in 2006. Strauss is survived by two sons, a daughter and seven grandchildren.

Israel Must Learn Taiwan Lesson and Grow Up

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Nations have no permanent friends or allies, they only have permanent interests. Paraphrasing Lord Palmerston (Henry John Temple)

While Israel and the United States share some common, fundamental values, in reality, they have very different interests.

The most basic example is the Middle East.

America’s first priority in the region is to keep the oil flowing, and reduce reliance on any single country for that resource.

Israel’s top priority is survival.

Iran is the best example of where these differences come to a head.

Israel is rightfully worried that Iran wants to commit nuclear genocide against it. America, on the other hand, is not overly concerned about an Iranian attack, but would definitely like to see Iranian oil flowing into the U.S., while keeping Iran out of Russian hands.

It fits well into an American Middle East strategy, that Iran, whatever its regime, would have a working relationship with the U.S.

That doesn’t mean that the U.S. would destroy Israel to satisfy Iran, but the it has no problem with Israel paying a price in exchange for Iran’s friendship.

Think Jimmy Carter, China and Taiwan. Back in 1979, Carter switched his allegiance from Taiwan to the People’s Republic, practically overnight. It’s what superpowers do.

This leaves Israel in a dilemma.

Iran will get nuclear missiles, because it plans to get them – at all costs. The U.S. wants a rapprochement with Iran, and a few nuclear bombs aren’t going to stand in the way of that. Israel attacking Iran, on the other hand, would.

Israel doesn’t have too many initial options here.

Israel can pressure the U.S. Congress to try to reduce the size of the bus Israel gets pushed under. Israel can attack Iran alone, and pray that it’s strong enough, and be prepared to endure the consequences it will face from the U.S. and from an Iranian retaliation. Or Israel can keep its mouth shut, ride out the Obama storm, and be prepared to eventually face off with a nuclear Iran, with expansionist goals, protecting its proxies on Israel’s border with its nuclear umbrella.

There is another option that Israel can take.

Israel can grow up, and cut the American umbilical cord.

Israel needs to diversify.

It needs to go out and begin building better and deeper relationships with other strong countries – Russia included. It doesn’t need to cut its ties with the US, but it does need to end its complete reliance on the US, because Israel’s interests and US interests are not the same.

It doesn’t need to be big moves either. Simply buying some military from Russia would give Israel customer (not client) status, and that would change all the relationships. The US would also be faced with a choice, and pushing Israel under the bus would have consequences for the US in return.

Israel could then play those relationships off one another, just like the big boys do.

The U.S. had been holding back parts of Israel’s economy, specifically that of the military industry. Israel can begin selling its systems that compete with the US’s military industry. It’s well known that Israel’s war tech is superior, and selling a few major systems would do well for the Israeli economy.

And finally, Israel can apply Israeli law over Area C, and unilaterally declare that the price for a nuclear Iran, is an Israel with borders that we believe are needed for our protection, as well are historically and legally ours. The Arabs in Areas A are free to run their government and live their lives however they want, as long as they don’t attack us or attempt to harm us in any way.

Taiwan manages to thrive and grow, despite the Chinese shadow, and its president being persona non grata in Washington (even if it is now trying to build a relationship with China)

Israel has a lot more going for it than Taiwan.

A little growing up, and a little diversity never hurt anyone.

Visit The Muqata.

Obama’s Foreign Fiasco

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Originally published at Daniel Pipes.

It’s a privilege to be an American who works on foreign policy, as I have done since the late 1970s, participating in a small way in the grand project of finding my country’s place in the world. But now, under Barack Obama, decisions made in Washington have dramatically shrunk in importance. It’s unsettling and dismaying. And no longer a privilege.

Whether during the structured Cold War or the chaotic two decades that followed, America’s economic size, technological edge, military prowess, and basic decency meant that even in its inactivity, the U.S. government counted as much or more in world developments than any other state. Sniffles in Washington translated into influenza elsewhere.

Weak and largely indifferent presidents like Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton mattered despite themselves, for example in the Iranian revolution of 1978-79 or the Arab-Israeli conflict in the 1990s. Strong and active presidents like Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush had greater impact yet, speeding up the Soviet collapse or invading Afghanistan and Iraq.

But now, with Barack Obama, the United States has slid into shocking irrelevance in the Middle East, the world’s most turbulent region. Inconstancy, incompetence, and inaction have rendered the Obama administration impotent. In the foreign policy arena, Obama acts as though he would rather be the prime minister of Belgium, a small country that usually copies the decisions of its larger neighbors when casting votes at the United Nations or preening morally about distant troubles. Belgians naturally “lead from behind,” to use the famed phrase emanating from Obama’s White House.

Obama's 2009 speech in Cairo was a very long time ago.

Obama’s 2009 speech in Cairo was a very long time ago.

Qatar (with a national population of 225,000) has an arguably greater impact on current events than the 1,400-times-larger United States (population: 314 million). Note how Obama these days takes a back seat to the emirs of Doha: They take the lead supplying arms to the Libyan rebels, he follows. They actively help the rebels in Syria, he dithers. They provide billions to the new leadership in Egypt, he stumbles over himself. They unreservedly back Hamas in Gaza, he pursues delusions of an Israeli-Palestinian “peace process.” Toward this end, the U.S. secretary of state made six trips in four months to Israel and the Palestinian territories in pursuit of a diplomatic initiative that almost no one believes will end the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Doha, now more influential than Washington in the Middle East.

Doha, now more influential than Washington in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, the U.S. secretary of defense called Egyptian leader Abdul-Fattah al-Sisi 17 times in conversations lasting 60-90 minutes, yet failed in his pleas that Sisi desist from using force against the Muslim Brotherhood. More striking yet, Sisi apparently refused to take a phone call from Obama. The $1.5 billion in annual U.S. aid to Egypt suddenly looks paltry in comparison to the $12 billion from three Persian Gulf countries, with promises to make up for any Western cuts in aid. Both sides in Egypt’s deep political divide accuse Obama of favoring the other and execrate his name. As dozens of Coptic churches burned, he played six rounds of golf. Ironically, Egypt is where, four long years ago, Obama delivered a major speech repudiating George W. Bush policies with seeming triumph.

Obama’s ambitions lie elsewhere – in augmenting the role of government within the United States, as epitomized by Obamacare. Accordingly, he treats foreign policy as an afterthought, an unwelcome burden, and something to dispatch before returning to juicier matters. He oversees withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan with little concern for what follows. His unique foreign policy accomplishment, trumpeted ad nauseam, was the execution of Osama bin Laden.

So far, the price to American interests for Obama’s ineptitude has not been high. But that could change quickly. Most worrisome, Iran could soon achieve nuclear breakout and start to throw its newfound weight around, if not to deploy its brand-new weapons. The new regime in Egypt could revert to its earlier anti-Americanism and anti-Zionism; already, important elements in Egypt are calling for rejection of U.S. aid and termination of the peace treaty with Israel.

As an American who sees his country as a force for good, these developments are painful and scary. The world needs an active, thoughtful, and assertive United States. The historian Walter A. McDougall rightly states that “The creation of the United States of America is the central event of the past four hundred years” and its civilization “perturbs the trajectories of all other civilizations just by existing.” Well not so much perturbation these days; may the dismal present be brief in duration.

Yet Another Jewish Org Poised to Honor a BDS Enthusiast (video)

Friday, May 17th, 2013

One would think that after several recent public relations disasters when Jewish or Jewish-connected organizations honor people who support political and economic warfare against the State of Israel, that Jewish groups would stop doing this.

But one would be wrong.

First there was Yeshiva University’s Cardozo Law School which presented a human rights award to one of the world’s leading defamers and delegitimizers of Israel, former U.S. president Jimmy Carter.

Then there was the 92nd Street Y which came very close to providing a public platform from which leading BDS advocate Roger Waters would spew his venom against Israel. Luckily for the 92nd Street Y, Waters had to change the date of the appearance, and the Y took that opportunity to slip out of the noose it had created for itself.

Then there was the incredible fiasco of the State of Israel itself inviting a long-time critic of the Jewish State, scientist Stephen Hawking, to a major scientific conference in Israel.  A little due diligence would have revealed that Hawking was already on record as embracing a hostile narrative against Israel. But no, Israel invited Hawking to give a talk at the President’s Conference.  Hawking rebuffed the Jewish State, backing out of his commitment because he wanted to support the academic boycott against Israel. And Hawking and, especially, those who make the demonization of Israel their life’s work, were thrilled to chalk up a victory in the BDS war against the Jewish State.

Now we learn that the American fundraising arm of a wonderful Israeli institution – Soroka Medical Center – is poised to honor yet another soldier in the delegitimization war against Israel.

On June 18 at the Harvard Club in New York City, the American Friends of Soroka Medical Center will hold its annual gala.  The Statesman for Health Award is being given to a man who helped the virulently anti-Israel Jewish Voice for Peace support the boycott of Ariel Cultural Center. Mandy Patinkin not only supported the Ariel boycott, he allowed his name to be used to recruit other celebrities to vilify the cultural center in the Jewish town of Ariel. Some statesman.

Patinkin has done more than simply sign a letter of support for artists boycotting a cultural center in Israel, he has also assisted in a fundraiser for Jewish Voice for Peace, and has long been a national board member of Americans for Peace Now.  Just last year, at a conference in Israel he talked about having had his eyes opened while on a tour of Hebron with his good friends from Breaking the Silence, an organization committed to demonizing the Israel Defense Forces as a military force of terror, bent on acquiring territory, and not a defensive, ethical military.

Patinkin, unlike some with whom he associates, is not an Israel hater.  He simply believes that Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria are the nub of the problem and if Jews would just get the heck out of the area, peace would break out.

Patinkin said he supports Israel in a variety of ways, but says the “settlements ignite the situation” between Israelis and Palestinians. For Israel to build a new theater “in an illegal settlement” was adding fuel to the fire.

It is hard to listen to Patinkin and imagine anything other than that he has a warm, loving soul and just wants everyone to get along.  But he’s a big boy now, one with an audience who listens to him.  And with that following comes a responsibility.

The same is true for the American Friends of Soroka.

It is not enough to find a sweet Jewish man with a beautiful voice, one whose star is on the ascent because of his role in a huge television series hit. If the American Friends of Soroka wanted to honor someone, it would have been nice if they found someone who loves all of Israel, someone who doesn’t encourage economic warfare against any of it.

And now Jews are left with the choice of not going to a fundraiser for a wonderful, non-political medical center in Israel, or going and watching as an American Jew who encourages the economic boycott of a Jewish town is given an award.  It’s a tough choice that Jews should not make other Jews make.

 

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/yet-another-jewish-org-poised-to-honor-a-bds-enthusiast-video/2013/05/17/

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