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March 2, 2015 / 11 Adar , 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘john baird’

Palestinian Authority Arabs Pummel Canadian Foreign Minister with Eggs

Sunday, January 18th, 2015

Palestinian Authority protesters pummeled visiting Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird with eggs late Sunday morning as he left a meeting with Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki in Ramallah.

Baird was not injured.

He is meeting with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman Sunday afternoon. Baird will not visit the Temple Mount or the Western Wall.

Israel Radio that the egg-throwing protest appeared to be organized and that PA soldiers were at the scene.

The demonstration was organized by the youth movement of the Fatah movement, headed by Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas. Protesters held signs reading: “Baird you are not welcome in Palestine.”

Canada is opposed to the recent Palestinian bid to pursue war crime charges again

Palestinian Authority senior official and former “peace process” negotiator Saeb Erekat wrote in the Toronto Globe & Mail Friday, “The spokesman for Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird asked me to apologize to the Israeli government, citing the equivalency I drew between the terror of the self-styled ‘Islamic State’ and that of Israeli settlers who under the banner of a ‘Jewish State,’ and with the backing of their government, have been in a campaign of terror that include the burning of mosques and churches, the destruction of olive groves and the brutal murder of Palestinian civilians.

“After spending the past few years listening to Mr. Baird going out of his way to legitimize the banality and brutality of a 50-year-old Israeli occupation, I tell Mr. Baird: enough. If there is anyone that has to apologize, it is Mr. Baird himself.

“He should first apologize to his own citizenry, many of whom are God-loving Jews, Christians and Muslims who would never condone nor cheer for an Israeli government that stretches support to Israeli settlers who attack churches and mosques.

“Mr. Baird should apologize for his active encouragement of Israel’s brute and ugly occupation and its apartheid policies.”

Erekat’s op-ed was a perfect invitation for protesters to target Baird, whom he singled out as spokesman for Israel.

He wrote:

When the UN in 2012 upgraded Palestine’s status from an observer entity to an observer state, it was not the Israeli Foreign Minister who traveled to New York in order to defend Israel’s position; unfortunately, it was Mr. Baird.

Though his efforts were and remain largely ineffective (the resolution passed with an overwhelming majority of 138, with only 9 voting against), they came as a slap in the face to Palestinian efforts. Canada also lobbied against our UNESCO membership….

Last November, Canada was one of six countries voting against several UN resolutions requesting an Israeli withdrawal from occupied Palestine…

Mr. Baird should apologize: It’s never too late!

Baird's car splattered with eggs.

Baird’s car splattered with eggs.

Canada Condemns PA Terror Kidnapping, But Obama’s Silent

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

Canada has firmly condemned last week’s Palestinian Authority terrorist kidnapping  of three teenage boys but U.S. President Barack Obama has yet to say a word about the attack — even though one of the hostages is an American citizen.

The boys are students at the Makor Chaim yeshiva high school at Kfar Etzion in Gush Etzion. They were apparently abducted somewhere near the Judean town of Alon Shevut, about 15 minutes south of Jerusalem.

Palestinian Authority Unity Government Arabs starting passing out candies and other sweets in the streets of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, to celebrate the attack after hearing about the kidnapping.

Palestinian Unity Government Arabs celebrate the kidnapping of 3 Jewish boys.

Palestinian Unity Government Arabs in Gaza celebrate the kidnapping of 3 Jewish boys.

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird issued the statement Saturday night, strongly condemning the kidnapping and reminding the PA in no uncertain terms that its paramilitary forces were trained, equipped and armed by Canada and the U.S.

“Canada is deeply concerned by reports that three Israeli teenagers may have been kidnapped in the West Bank and condemns those aiming to instigate conflict.

“We urge the Palestinian security authorities, who have been trained through Canadian and U.S. leadership, to make every effort to investigate this incident and work diligently to ensure the safe return of these children to their families.

“We call for the immediate release of the three Israeli teenagers. Whoever has taken this action must be found and brought to justice,” Baird said.

While Canada was unequivocal in its public condemnation of the terror attack on the three innocent teens, Israel’s “best friend” — the United States — has remained silent on the issue. The White House has made no public statement whatsoever, and the State Department restricted itself to a phone conversation between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Following is the transcript of the terse dialogue that took place between reporters and the State Department spokesperson as journalists tried to make sense of United States actions in the wake of the terrorist attack on the three boys Thursday night, especially given that one of kidnapped teens was an American citizen.

QUESTION: And last one, and this is in the Middle East. There’s reports coming out of the West Bank that there’s – three teens were kidnapped, and one of them is an American citizen. Do you have anything on that?

MS. HARF: We are aware – of course seen the reports, are very concerned for their well-being. The Secretary a short while ago expressed his concern in a meeting with Tzipi Livni in London and also has spoken with President Abbas this morning about it as well.

We are working with the Government of Israel and with the Palestinian Authority to try to ensure the situation is resolved quickly, and that the three teenagers are safely reunited with their families. I can’t confirm citizenship at this point.

QUESTION: Okay.

QUESTION: Did you – the Israelis say that the Palestinian Authority has – is responsible for their –

MS. HARF: I don’t have a readout of those conversations.

QUESTION: No, no, no. I understand that, but the Israelis are holding – say that the PA is responsible for their – these – the safety of these three teenagers.

MS. HARF: Well –

QUESTION: Do you share that?

MS. HARF: What we know is the Israelis and the Palestinian Authority are working closely together on efforts to find the three teenagers and to hopefully bring a quick resolution to the matter, and of course giving this cooperation our full encouragement.

QUESTION: But you don’t think that the PA –

MS. HARF: I don’t have more. I don’t have anything more on this, Matt.

QUESTION: Okay, all right. The Israelis also say that they told Ambassador Shapiro, right?

MS. HARF: Yes, Ambassador Shapiro.

QUESTION: Ambassador Shapiro, yes – about the one who has American citizenship. Can you confirm if there was a conversation between him and the Israelis about one of the three, regardless of whether you can confirm –

MS. HARF: I’m sure Ambassador Shapiro has been in contact on this.

QUESTION: All right.

For the record, the Fatah faction led by Mahmoud Abbas — who heads the Palestinian Authority Unity Government — has called on shopkeepers in Judea and Samaria via its official Facebook page to destroy their CCTV security camera footage in order to sabotage the IDF’s efforts to rescue the kidnapped teenagers and hunt down the terrorists who attacked them.

If the United States believes that handing out sweets to celebrate the kidnapping of Jewish children by terrorists and destroying security film footage to foil their rescue is evidence of how the new Palestinian Authority Unity Government “works closely together” with the Israeli government to find and rescue the kidnapped teens,  there’s a bridge for sale in Brooklyn. At a bargain price.

Canada Says One Thing And Publishes Another on Israel, Lawyers Say

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Former Israeli ambassador to Canada Alan Baker and prominent Toronto lawyers have condemned an apparent discrepancy between Ottawa’s fervid public support for Israel and official policy.

Baker, who served as Israel’s ambassador to Canada from 2004 to 2008, and six Toronto lawyers, have written to Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird demanding the Foreign Affairs Department website be changed “to align it with statements and policies publicly expressed by the Prime Minister, yourself and other government representatives,” the National Post newspaper reported.

The complaint comes on the eve of a high-profile visit by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper next week.

The attorneys are particularly upset that the website refers to Judea and Samaria, eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights as “occupied territories” and declares the construction of Jewish communities and parts of the separation barrier inside those areas as illegal.

“Parts of this policy statement appear to run counter to the Canadian expressions of support for Israel and its positions,” the group wrote, “as well as against specific statements repeatedly made by Prime Minister Harper and Foreign Minister Baird.”

Information on the Foreign Affairs website reflects long-standing Canadian policy, which comports with the widely accepted international view that the West Bank, eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights are occupied territory because they were restored to Israel in the Six-Day War in 1967.

In response, Baird’s spokesman, Rick Roth, said Harper and his Conservative government “have articulated Canada’s policy on Israel and the Middle East at great length since 2006.

“Israel has no greater friend in the world than Canada,” Roth told the Post, “and it is through our actions, not just words, that this rings true.”

Canada Wants Richard Falk Ousted for ‘Palestinian Holocaust’ Comment

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013

Canada has called for the removal of a top U.N. official who accused Israel of having “genocidal intentions” against Palestinians.

Ottawa “completely rejects and condemns” the “appalling” remarks made by Richard Falk, U.N. Special Rapporteur for the Palestinian Territories, Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird said in a statement.

Canada has previously called for Falk to be fired “for his numerous outrageous and anti-Semitic statements,” Baird said, “and these [latest] comments underscore once more the complete and total absurdity of his service as a UN Special Rapporteur.”

Baird again called on the U.N. Human Rights Council “to remove Falk from his position immediately.”

In a Dec. 15 interview on Russia’s English television news channel RT, Falk was asked about a past article he had written in which he said that Israel was “slouching toward nothing less than a Palestinian holocaust.”

Falk told RT, “When you target a group, an ethnic group and inflict this kind of punishment upon them, you are in effect nurturing a kind of criminal intention that is genocidal.”

Baird said the comments not only “undermine the fundamental values of the United Nations, they also belittle the terrible genocides that have tragically taken place throughout history and around the world.”

Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor also attacked Falk’s statements, The Jerusalem Post reported.

“This man has already branded himself as the radical version of extremism,” Palmor said.

Canadian Ministerial Visit to Jerusalem: A Geneva Convention Lesson

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

Oh, the irony! Canada’s foreign minister, John Baird, has been lambasted for meeting with an Israeli government official in eastern Jerusalem – but barely anything has been said about the minister with whom he met: None other than Justice Minister Tzipi Livny, possibly best known for her willingness to divide Jerusalem in a final settlement with the Palestinian Authority.

As noted here in the past, Livni basically lost her chance to be prime minister because of her stance on Jerusalem. In late 2008, after she rose to the helm of the Kadima Party, Kadima won the national election and Livni was handed the chance to form the government. However, in part because of her willingness to grant Arab control to parts of Yerushalayim, she was unable to sway the Shas Party to join her coalition and Benjamin Netanyahu became prime minister instead.

Earlier that year, then-Foreign Minister Livni led negotiations with the PA – and promised PA chief Mahmoud Abbas that Israel would cede the entire Atarot airport complex in northern Yerushalayim. She has repeatedly stated that though she knows the entire Land of Israel is ours, she believes there will be peace only if Israel agrees to split Yerushalayim.

Others believe, of course, that statements of that type actually keep peace from arriving, for they encourage the Arab parties to maintain their intransigence.

Rather than ask why Minister Baird met with Minister Livny in the eastern Jerusalem office, why not ask why Minister Livny agreed to meet there with Minister Baird? She certainly knew the fallout that would result, placing her in the same corner as the Land of Israel loyalists with whom she started her career (her father was an Etzel officer in 1948, along with Menachem Begin, and she herself was a longtime Likud member and MK). She has not commented on the matter on her Facebook page or in any other public forum; she would likely prefer that the matter be forgotten.

In any event, John Baird has once again been shown to be true-blue with Israel. He also toured an IDF outpost in the Golan Heights on his recent trip, and in the past has visited the Old City of Jerusalem with an Israeli escort. Both the Golan and eastern Jerusalem are considered hot spots that many Western political officials make sure not to visit so as not to be viewed as recognizing Israeli control there.

Minister Baird deflected all criticism of these visits, however, and especially the most recent one in the Justice Ministry. He said they are “irrelevant” to the larger discussion of Middle East peace.

“I’m just not interested in getting into the semantic argument about whether [if] you have a meeting with one person on one side of the street it’s OK, and [if] you have a meeting on the other side of street it’s not,” Baird said.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor also defended the meeting. “There should be nothing unusual about meeting Israel’s justice minister in [eastern] Jerusalem,” he said. “What is strange is that this is the exception.”

Though Canada’s embassy in Israel is not in Jerusalem but rather in Tel Aviv, and though Minister Baird emphasized that he supports the PLO’s bid for statehood, Canada is a very strong friend of Israel – possibly its best in the world.

“The great struggle of our generation is the struggle against terrorism,” Baird told an Israeli TV station last week, “and far too often, the Jewish people, Israel, has been on the front lines of that struggle. We want to work with Israel to see a lasting peace in this region.” He also related that he had urged Abbas to agree to resume talks with Israel without preconditions, but to no avail.

Canada and Israel have strong, multidimensional bilateral relations that have only intensified in recent years. The relationship has been marked by increased cooperation in public security, defense, trade and investment, with increasing numbers of ministerial visits.

“Israel appreciates Canada’s moral stand on a range of issues,” said Prime Minister’s Office spokesman Mark Regev, “and we appreciate Canada’s friendship.”

The PA did not let Canada or Minister Baird off lightly for his visit in eastern Jerusalem. Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat sent him a sharp official letter of complaint, alleging that he had violated international law by “knowingly aiding another state in the perpetration of a crime.” The referred-to “crime,” based on the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention, is that of attempting to annex what Erekat called “our capital,” and of transferring civilian population to occupied areas.

However, many legal scholars agree that Israel’s policy in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem in no way violates the Geneva Convention.

Eli E. Hertz – a member of our International Keep Jerusalem Council and president of Myths and Facts, Inc., which researches and publishes important topical matters regarding global U.S. interests – has written on this topic extensively. He explains that when the Convention refers to “occupied territory,” it has the Nazi occupation of Europe in mind, and that there is no legal basis for using the term in connection with the Israeli-Arab conflict.

Hertz quotes Professor Julius Stone, a leading authority on the Law of Nations, as categorically rejecting use of the term “occupied territory” to describe Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem. This, for the following reasons:

● The relevant clause, relating to the invasion of sovereign states, is inapplicable, because Judea and Samaria (Yesha) did not belong to any other state. Israel did not capture Yesha from its legal sovereign, but rather from Jordan, whose rule there was recognized by only two countries: Great Britain and Pakistan. Even the Arab League did not approve of Jordan’s “annexation” of these areas.

● The relevant article in the Convention was formulated in light of the Holocaust, seeking to prevent genocide – which is not a fear in the present situation.

● Settlement of Jews in Judea and Samaria is voluntary, does not displace local inhabitants, and is associated with a dramatic improvement in the economic situation of the [local Arab] inhabitants since 1967.

As such, Israel is not in violation of international law, and Minister Baird took the proper moral stance in recognizing that Israel, and not any Arab entity, has the most valid claim – if not the only one – to the Holy City, Yerushalayim.

To help spread the message that Jerusalem is Jewish, KeepJerusalem.org invites you to participate in our eastern and northern Jerusalem bus tours. For information, e-mail tours@keepjerusalem.org or visit our website at www.keepjerusalem.org.

VP Biden Confirmed for AIPAC Speech as Iran Nukes Heat Up

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Vice President Joe Biden will speak next Monday to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, just as Iran’s nuclear program is taking center stage once again, with rumors that it is closer than ever to producing a nuclear weapon.

Israel has been insisting that Iran’s nuclear program poses an existential threat which must be stopped by any means available, including a military strike. Biden will undoubtedly express the U.S. most current policy regarding this threat.

The Obama administration has expressed its preference for a diplomatic solution, but also committed to military intervention should all the other means fail.

President Barack Obama, who addressed group last year, will visit Israel later this month and will, therefore, skip the AIPAC meeting this year.

The annual AIPAC Policy Conference is the largest gathering of the pro-Israel movement. Thousands of participants come from all 50 states to take part in “three of the most important days affecting Israel’s future,” as the organization’s website puts it.

The 2013 conference will be held March 3-5, in Washington, D.C. AIPAC has published the names of the speakers who will appear at its podium next week, with the following VIPs topping the list:

The Honorable Joe Biden

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak,

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird

House of Representatives Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA)

Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn (R-TX)

House of Representatives Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD)

Senate Armed Services Committee Member John McCain (R-AZ)

Senate Armed Services Committee Member Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ)

Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Marcia Fudge (D-OH)

Ambassador Dennis Ross

Elliott Abrams

Canada Tells Iranian Diplomats to Take a Hike, Israel Cheers on

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

Canada suspended diplomatic relations with Iran, closing down its embassy in Iran and giving Iranian diplomats in Canada five days to leave its soil, Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird announced Friday.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quickly welcomed the decision, calling on the rest of the world to follow suit while, predictably, Iran denounced it.

Speaking in Vladivostok, Russia, Baird summed up the reasons for the decision saying that the Canadian government views “the Government of Iran as the most significant threat to global peace and security in the world today.”

Baird went on to list a litany of actions by the Iranian government, from providing military assistance to the regime of Bashir Assad in Syria, “refus[ing] to comply with UN resolutions pertaining to its nuclear program,” threatening Israel’s existence, violating human rights and supporting terrorism.

Baird also said that Iran “has shown blatant disregard for the Vienna Convention and its guarantee of protection for diplomatic personnel” and therefore “Canada can no longer maintain a diplomatic presence in Iran” due to safety reasons.

Elaborating to reporters, Baird referred to the attack on the British Embassy in Tehran last November, the New York Times reported.

That same day, Baird and Canadian Minister of Public Safety Vic Toews also announced that Canada has listed both Iran and Syria as state sponsors of terrorism. That decision will allow victims of terror to sue both countries under Canada’s Justice for Victims of Terror Act.

Later in the day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper for taking “a bold measure which displays leadership and sends a clear message to Iran and the entire world.”

Netanyahu said the decision was particularly important in light of the “anti-Semitism and hatred” displayed at the conference of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran, which was attended by 120 countries and U.N. General Secretary Ban Ki Moon.

Netanyahu called on the international community to follow Canada’s example and reiterated his call on the world to set “clear red lines for Iran.”

Meanwhile, an Iranian foreign ministry spokeperson, Ramin Mehmanparast, condemned Canada decision, saying it was one of Canada’s “extremist policies in the field of foreign policy” and that it was “in fact, the pursuit of Zionist and British dictated policies,” the Tehran Times reported.

The Canadian government, led by Stephen Harper and Canada’s Conservative Party, has shown support for Israel on a number of instances as of late.

In November 2010, Harper said Canada was “morally obligated to take a stand” for Israel, adding that “as long as I am Prime Minister . . . Canada will take that stand, whatever the cost.”

In May this year, Baird spoke in Washington D.C. about the importance of defending Israel, comparing Iran to the Nazi threat of World War II, and visited Israel only a few weeks ago in August.

Canada also stood with Israel in opposing the Palestinian Authority’s bid for U.N. recognition as an independent state in 2011.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/canada-tells-iranian-diplomats-to-take-a-hike-israel-cheers-on/2012/09/08/

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