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September 17, 2014 / 22 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Joe Biden’

Kerry Protests while Kiev Burns (Video)

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Kiev turned into a bloodbath Thursday, with anywhere from 70 to more than 100 killed and dozens of policeman kidnapped by protesters.

The violence, similar to that in Egypt, Syria and other countries where social protests quickly turned into street battles and all-out war between regimes and demonstrators, has again left the Obama administration looking weak.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry last December protested the violence of government forces against protesters and failed earlier this month in his intervention to solve the political crisis that has exploded into deadly street battles.

The European Union has voted for sanctions against the government, and the United States has issued a visa ban on 20 senior government members considered responsible for the attacks on anti-government protesters.

Kerry last December expressed “disgust” at the violence, and now Vice President Joe Biden this week announced his “grave concern.

“We call for utmost restraint,” said Kerry. “Human life must be protected. Ukrainian authorities bear full responsibility for the security of the Ukrainian people. As church bells ring tonight amidst the smoke in the streets of [Kiev], the United States stands with the people of Ukraine. They deserve better.”

The State Dept. just doesn’t get it that no one really is listening to what he has to say.

Hillary ‘F.’ Clinton Way Ahead of the Pack in Poll

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Hillary Rodham Clinton holds a 6-1 lead among Democrats answering a Washington Post-ABC News poll on their choice for president in 2016.

Clinton, whose middle name easily could be “F.” considering how many times she has been reported as using the “f—“ word,  has virtually no competition in both areas – the nomination for presidency and an uncouth vocabulary. She has used the four-letter word not only as an adjective for Jews but also as an adverb for almost every subject imaginable.

For better or worse, Clinton has 73 percent backing of Democrats, according to the poll. The second most popular is Vice President Joe Biden, with only 12 percent.

On the Republican side, the nomination is up for grabs, and the party does not look like it is any better shape than it was in 2012, when it failed miserably to take advantage of President Barack Obama’s sagging popularity.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s aura has been blackened by the recent bridge-traffic scandal, and he is in third place with 13 percent support, behind Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan and former Florida governor Jeb Bush. None of the potential candidates has solid backing from the Tea party.

After Christie, there are senators Ted Cruz of Kentucky and Marcio Rubio of Florida.

The Republicans have a year or so to get their act together and unite, a distant possibility at this stage of the game.

Clinton, if she runs and wins,, would be the first woman president of the United States and the first president whose husband held the office.

White House Names First Envoy for Holocaust Survivor Services

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

The White House on Friday announced the appointment of Aviva Sufian as the first Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Special Envoy for U.S. Holocaust Survivor Services.

Vice President Joe Biden had announced the formation of the new position in December 2013. Sufian “will focus on those [Holocaust] survivors currently living in poverty, as well as those who may not be receiving services for which they are currently eligible,” according to the White House.

“She will coordinate with colleagues at HHS and across the Federal government to advance programs that help Holocaust survivors, including national service programs such as AmeriCorps VISTA,” the White House said. “She will also collaborate with nonprofit organizations and the private sector to raise awareness about the needs of this vulnerable population and explore public-private partnerships that could provide additional support.”

According to the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), one-quarter of Holocaust survivors in the U.S. are living at or near the federal poverty line.

“We are thrilled to be working with Ms. Sufian as we launch this new effort to provide Holocaust survivors the support they need to live in dignity,” said Michael Siegal, chair of the JFNA Board of Trustees.

Sufian is currently director of regional operations for the HHS Administration for Community Living, and previously served as senior advisor at the Social Security Administration.

Biden Tries to Create a New Sharon Legacy of Peace

Monday, January 13th, 2014

Visiting U.S. Vice President Joe Biden got the ball rolling Monday evening to create a legacy of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as a man of peace in a meeting with President Shimon Peres, who hosted Biden along with Democratic legislators Rep. Eliot Engel of New York and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida.

Biden declared that the situation has changed in Israel, whose necessity he declared once “was literally to keep from being pushed into the sea by hostile neighbors that were more powerful and had larger armies and more weapons.”

The vice president then declared that the circumstances have changed and that”Israel is a significant power in its own right.”

He then uttered a masterful phrase of doubletalk, stating that “Sharon did not change but changed his focus.”

Stating that Sharon once told him once that he understood the need for peace, Biden jumped to the conclusion that this reflected “the understanding that Israel’s ultimate security rested on a genuine accommodation with the Palestinians borne out of secure borders.”

Perhaps he meant the border with Gaza, where Sharon encouraged the development of Jewish communities to defend Israel’s security and then expelled them and withdrew all of the IDF to defend Israel’s security.

The results were see a few hours before the funeral Monday and only minutes after Sharon’s coffin was in the ground – rocket attacks from northern Gaza, less than two miles from the Sharon family home where the funeral took place.

Now that Biden established Sharon’s legacy of peace, he took up the Obama administration gambit that “the only place where there is a possibility for an island of stability is quite frankly between the Palestinian people and the Israeli people, in two secure states respecting one another’s sovereignty and security.”

Biden’s remarks were tailor-made for Peres, who jumped on the opportunity to be registered in Guinness under the category for the longest playing broken record.

“We have an open window and God knows when it will happen again. … I believe there is a serious attempt to make the right decision and there is only one – two states for two peoples.  They are our neighbors and we have to make peace with them,” said President Peres.

He matched Biden’s doublespeak with a well-crafted phrase. “We cannot change nations but we can change relations.” All that he forget was to be recorded for another Guinness accomplishment of the man who has said more than anyone else in the world, “He who makes in the Heavens will make peace on us and all of Israel.”

Let’s forget the “Amen,” please.

Peres then surprised everyone with news that has never been reported anywhere else. “There are changes on our side and on the Arab side,” he revealed. “The fact is that even the Arab League formerly a negative front against Israel today offers peace, whether we agree with all the proposals or not there is a change that we must consider.”

Interesting.

The Saudi Peace Initiative of 2002, backed by the Arab League, offered “normalization” of relations with the Zionist state. All that Israel had to do was hand back every inch of land from where the Arabs tried to destroy Israel in 1967 and, just for peace, allow the immigration of several million Arabs from foreign countries – including enemy states of Syria and Lebanon.

Taking into account Biden’s doubletalk on Sharon not changing but only changing his view, and Peres’ remark that relations can change with  enemy nations that don’t change, then conditions for war indeed can be called a recipe for peace.

Yitzchak Rabin’s death has been desecrated with the manufacturing of a Legacy of Peace, that, like Biden’s attempt after Sharon’s death.

Sharon Returns Home for the Last Time in Quiet Funeral

Monday, January 13th, 2014

Former General, Defense Minister and Prime Ariel Sharon was buried at his Shikmim Farm in the northern Negev Monday afternoon as a large number of reporters and small number of private citizens attended.

Egypt and Jordan, the two Arab countries with home Israel has a peace treaty, did not send any representatives to the memorial earlier in the day or to the funeral.

Turkey also did not send an official. Nor did China, Japan, South Africa and India, among other countries.

If old soldiers “just fade away,” then Sharon was one of them. He was considered a great soldier and general but he really did fade away, as evidenced by bitter memories, an eight-year coma and the sparse turnout at the Knesset, where his coffin was displayed on Sunday, and at the funeral Monday afternoon.

There were only three eulogies, two from Sharon’s sons Omri and Gilad and the first by IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, who noted that Sharon was buried at his home after having returned there for the last time following eight years in a coma in hos Tel Aviv hospital room. “The IDF you so cherished will continue in your footsteps for many years,” Gantz said.

The late Prime Minister’s younger son Gilad delivered the last eulogy, noting his father’s political and military contributions. He added that Ariel Sharon built more than 100 communities, particularly those in the Golan Heights m Judea and Samaria.

No one, of course, would note at the funeral that Sharon also destroyed nearly two dozen of those communities in the expulsion from Gaza and northern Samaria in 2005.

Omri Sharon said “Look around Ariel, Look around and see the people who cherish your memory.”

Omri was looking at the people who had to come – the politicians, the military brass and police officers, who outnumbered the 100 or so people who were at the Sharon family farm where Sharon was buried.

More obvious were the thousands of people who did not come, not counting the Arabs.

Three factors kept people away from the funeral – bitter memories on both sides of the political fence, the long coma that made Sharon appear all but dead for years, and scary warnings from official sources of clogged highways and tough security checks.

The Arabs and lefties have only one memory of Sharon, a man who supposedly wanted nothing more to spill as much blood as possible.

The rightwing will never erase the memory of the Prime Minister of Israel ordering bulldozers to destroy the homes of 9,000 Jews and ordering the police and even the armed forces, whose job is to defend the country from enemies, yanking women and children, as well as men who served as combat soldiers and officers in the IDF, from their homes.

Hamas wanted to attend the funeral, which was only about a mile away from northern Gaza, with rocket fire but after having launched a couple in the morning, apparently heeded a stern warning by the IDF of what was in store for Gaza if it tried to do during the funeral.

Earlier in the day, at the memorial ceremony in the Latrun army site, where Sharon was injured in the War for Independence in 1948, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden  said, “We’ll never know what the ultimate arc of Sharon’s life had been if he had been able to pursue his goal of peace.”

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair remarked, “The state he fought for from the age of 14 had to be protected. When that meant fighting he fought. When that meant peace he sought peace… All Israeli leaders I’ve encountered have something unusual and precious – true love of country, state and land.”

President Shimon Peres, who planted a wreath of flowers after the funeral ceremony, said at the memorial. “You cultivated the land with your scythe and defended it with your sword.”

Not everyone made the expulsion of Jews disappear from memorial speeches. Ze’ev Zambish, long identified with the Amana organization that has built thousands of homes for Jews in Judea and Samaria, commented that the expulsion was “painful” but that he still “has a great love” for Sharon.

Senators Appalled by Kerry’s Anti-Israel Remarks in Iran Briefing

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

In what was described as a “purely emotional” appeal that did not reveal the necessary specificity to assuage lawmakers’ concerns about a deceptive Iran on the brink of acquiring the ability to produce nuclear weapons, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with members of the U.S. Senate banking committee on Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 13.

Kerry remained adamant that if congress ups the sanctions, it will push away Iranians from the negotiating table.  And many members of congress seemed to be just as adamant that de-fanging sanctions at this stage of negotiations, when the Iranians remain unwilling to make major concessions, will mean any deal will be at great cost to the west and have little substantive effect on Iran’s nuclear abilities.

“Our hope is that no new sanctions would be put in place for the simple reason that, if they are, it could be viewed as bad faith by the people we are negotiating with,” Kerry said before entering a closed-door briefing with members of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, according to CNN.

“It could destroy the ability to be able to get agreement,” he added, “and it could actually wind up setting us back in dialogue that’s taken 30 years to achieve.”

But after the meeting, the few congressmen who were willing to speak had harsh words both about the content of what was discussed, but also the atmospherics.

“It was fairly anti-Israeli,” Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) said to reporters after the briefing. “I was supposed to disbelieve everything the Israelis had just told me, and I think the Israelis probably have a pretty good intelligence service.” He said the Israelis had told him that the “total changes proposed set back the program by 24 days.”

A Senate aide told BuzzFeed that during the meeting, “every time anybody would say anything about ‘what would the Israelis say,’ they’d get cut off and Kerry would say, ‘You have to ignore what they’re telling you, stop listening to the Israelis on this.’”

“They had no details,” the aide said. “They had no ability to verify anything, to describe anything, to answer basic questions.”

Republicans and Democrats alike have questioned the sagacity of removing sanctions at this point in the negotiations, rather than ratcheting them up now, and then dialing them back down if an acceptable deal is reached.

Kerry’s approach, which placed the onus in exactly the opposite direction, was that the U.S. and the rest of the global community could “dial back up” sanctions later, if no agreement is reached with the Iranians.

“If this doesn’t work, we reserve the right to dial back up the sanctions. I will be up here on the Hill asking for increased sanctions, and we always reserve the military option,” he said. “Let’s give them a few weeks, see if it works, and we have all of our options at our disposal.”

In addition to Kerry, Vice President Joe Biden and State Department’s lead Iran negotiator Wendy Sherman were also present at the meeting.  Bret Stephens held up a non-rose-colored lens to Sherman’s career in Monday’s Wall Street Journal.

 

VP Biden Meets with Yair Lapid in Washington

Friday, October 11th, 2013

Yair Lapid, Israel’s Finance Minister and leader of the number two Yesh Atid party in the coalition government, met with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and other top U.S. officials Thursday.

Lapid, who was in Washington to attend a round of World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings, sat down with Biden, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Phil Gordon, the White House Middle East coordinator.

“In a wide ranging conversation, the Vice President and Minister Lapid discussed Israel’s economy as well as regional issues, including recent developments with regard to Iran, Israel’s negotiations with the Palestinians, and the importance of strengthened economic cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority,” a White House statement said.

Lapid’s party has 19 seats in the Knesset, but the most recent poll showed it would win  only 12 seats if elections were held today.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/vp-biden-meets-with-yair-lapid-in-washington/2013/10/11/

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