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September 19, 2014 / 24 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘John Kerry’

Arab Sources: State Dept Again Pressuring Israel to Restart Talks

Monday, September 1st, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State of John Kerry has again begun to ‘remind’ Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that it’s time to restart the final status talks with Palestinian Authority leaders.

Kerry allegedly phoned Netanyahu over the matter, adding a suggestion that Israel consider releasing that fourth group of terrorist prisoners that were held back from the final tranche that was canceled when the previous set of talks crashed and burned.

But Israel’s prime minister didn’t see things the same way, according to a report in the London-based Al Quds al-Araby – prompting Kerry to cancel his scheduled visit to Israel next week.

It is worth mentioning at this point that such reports are often best viewed with at least a large tablespoon of salt.

A source quoted in the Palestinian Authority also told the newspaper that a PA delegation to include chief PA negotiator Saeb Erekat and intelligence head Majid Faraj said they would travel to Washington tomorrow (Tuesday) to meet instead with Kerry there, and present a new initiative.

Another PA delegation headed by PLO official Mustafa Barghouti is set to arrive today (Monday, Sept. 1) in Cairo as well. There, too, discussions will include – in addition to the follow-up to cease-fire arrangements with Gaza – the issue of restarting talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

It’s the same PA officials who plan to charge Israel with war crimes and violations of international human rights laws.

(Allegedly the PA has said they are planning to “delay” their applications to the UN Security Council and other international commission, IF an agreement is reached within four months.)

It’s also the same PA unity government that includes the Hamas terrorists who kidnapped three Israeli teens and murdered them in Gush Etzion on June 12.

The same PA government that is led by the Fatah faction, which includes the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terrorist wing – which participated in the firing of rockets, missiles and mortars at Israel from Gaza.

The same PA government that has reneged on every agreement and backed out of every negotiation deal it has ever made with Israel.

The same PA government that has never managed to meet even the most basic obligations about working towards a ‘language of peace’ it agreed to under the Oslo Accords that established its existence as an entity in the first place.

The countless publications of the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) organization, which monitors PA media publications and broadcasts make it clear there have been no changes whatsoever in the glorification of terror at the government level from Ramallah. So how does Mahmoud Abbas differ from Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal?

Simple. He wages war with words, encourages terror at the diplomatic and educational level.

It’s the most dangerous terrorism of all, and the United States and Europe both fund his efforts, full throttle.

Mashaal Vows Cease-Fire a Step to New ‘Resistance’ War against Israel

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Hamas’ supreme leader Khaled Mashaal dashed any hopes of long-term peace with Israel in a speech in Qatar on Thursday in which he shot from the hip at Israel and also at his terrorist organization’s new partner, the rival Fatah movement headed by Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

His lengthy speech in Qatar, which has financed Hamas terror and which fought Egyptian cease-fire proposals, followed by one day a “victory” speech by Ismail Haniyeh, the senior Hamas political leader in Gaza. Mashaal’s silence while Haniyeh accepted the cease-fire is a clear sign of a fierce power struggle between Hamas in Gaza and between Mashaal and Qatar, which holds the purse strings.

Mashaal also claimed victory, with lies that Hamas missiles hit the Ben Gurion Airport, which is not true, and that more than 5 million Israelis hid in bomb shelters, a gross exaggeration. However, there is no doubt that Hamas succeeded in scaring the daylight out of millions of Israelis, interrupting a few flights and generally turning half of Israel into sitting ducks.

And this won’t be the last time, regardless of a cease-fire, he warned.

“Whatever happened [in Gaza] is not the end to this story, and this is not the last operation to free Palestine. It was an important stop on the way to victory,” Mashaal declared.

His speech threw every obstacle possible on the road to negotiations with Israel. The talks are supposed to begin in a month, leaving open the possibility, or probability, that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is carrying on secret negotiations that will be formalized in 30 days.

The Prime Minister suffered another blow to any trust that Israelis may have for him with a report on Thursday that he met secretly with Jordanian King Abdullah, and perhaps Abbas, prior to the cease-fire, circumstantial evidence that Israel negotiated under fire, contrary to Netanyahu’s promise.

If Mashaal gets his way, there won’t be any talks because one of the new powers in Gaza is slated to be Abbas, whose security forces would patrol Gaza borders, according to the Egyptian proposal. That would provide Cairo with another tactic to get rid of Hamas.

Mashaal nailed Abbas to the wall in his speech, accusing him of throwing cold water on the resumption of the intifada during the war by allowing his security forces to limit protests.

“The next operation needs to use all of the Palestinian capabilities, not just part of them,” Mashaal said. “The resistance is holy and weapons are holy. There is no such thing as a country without weapons.”

A country or not, Gaza still has at least 2,000 rockets as well as anti-tank rockets and presumably anti-aircraft missiles. It still has rocket factories, one of which was filmed in production by Hamas during one of the failed cease-fires during the war.

Netanyahu had demanded that any halt in violence would be accompanied by disarming Hamas, but this week’s cease-fire only left the issue to be put on the negotiating table, along with Hamas’s demands for a deep-sea port and an airport.

Mashaal’s speech was full of hate and crude accusations that Israel inflicted a “Holocaust” on Gaza by “destroying schools and hospitals,” which all but the most extreme anti-Israel media now know were used by Hamas as rocket launching and terrorist command centers.

“We are against what Hitler did to the Jews, and Israel committed a second Holocaust in Gaza. Israel is an embarrassment to Jews and to the entire world,” according to Mashaal.

His rhetoric was aimed at Abbas as well as Israel. If and when negotiations begin, Egypt and the United States will be on the side of Abbas, who despite his unity government with Hamas has proved politically smart by a patient and single-minded tactic of using international support to slowly but surely win concession after concession from Israel until there is nothing left to negotiate.

Netanyahu Tries to Sell Bill of Goods that Israel Won Goals in the War

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu gave a miserable sales pitch to the Israeli people Wednesday night in a weak effort to turn around public opinion that is unhappy, if not disgusted, with his agreeing to the cease-fire announced by Hamas and its new war partner, Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas.

The Prime Minister, followed by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantzת repeated over and over Israel’s achievements in the war

Netanyahu claimed that Israel achieved the goals it set from the beginning, mainly to restore quiet to Israel and to destroy terror tunnels.

He also rewrote his promise earlier this month that there will no cease-fire without disarming Hamas. Magically, that now has become a “long-term” goal.

He buried that promise among the insistence that “Hamas did not get one demand” that it made before the cease-fire.

Netanyahu listed Hamas’ demands as a deep-sea port, an airport, freeing terrorists who were released in the delay of the return of Gilad Shalit and then were re-arrested for returning to terror, mediation of Turkey and Qatar in cease-fire talks.

And what happened to his position that Israel would not negotiate under fire?

Technically, Netanyahu kept its word. Israel negotiators were recalled from Cairo every time Hamas broke a cease-fire and resume rocket fire on Israel.

But negotiations do not require face-to face discussions. Does Netanyahu want everyone to believe that Israel was not updated on the Egyptian-brokered plan and Hamas’s reactions?

Does he really want everyone to believe that Hamas and the Palestinian Authority announced the cease-fire without knowing that Israel would accept it?

And if indeed that is what happened and the cease-fire simply fell on Israel out of the blue, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s acceptance only shows how destructively passive he was, failing to seize the last days of the war to make demands.

More likely, the United States was involved. U.S. State Dept. spokeswoman Jen Psaki said yesterday that Kerry and his point man in the Middle East, Frank Lowenstein, were in constant contact with Netanyahu.

She said the United States was not an active participant in the talks but was part of the action, in one way or the other.

Netanyahu hammered away at all of the achievements that are well-known – the destruction of terror tunnels, the relentless attacks on hundreds of Hamas command centers, rocket launchers and weapons factories and storerooms.

Approximately 1,000 terrorists were killed in the war.

Israel’s successes in the war cannot be pooh-poohed. Hamas indeed was dealt a crippling blow. Hamas knows very well that the days are over when it can lob mortar shells and launching rockets at the Gaza Belt without a fierce retaliation.

However, the Israeli public, including the influential center and center-left in Tel Aviv, no longer trusts agreements with Arabs and does not trust the Israeli government, no matter who is charge, to walk out of diplomatic negotiations without opened up the chicken barn for the foxes.

“Hamas is isolated politically, and we received legitimacy in the international community,” Netanyahu insisted. He said that Israel won solid backing in the international community, and that is true – today. And maybe tomorrow.

By next week, it will have evaporated into thin air, and once again there will be international demands that Israel make peace by diplomatic suicide.

One of the most disturbing statements at the press conference was made by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, who boasted that it will take Hamas 10 years to re-build.

So what do we have? A 10-year respite before the next war?

Netanyahu noted that Israel has allegedly enjoyed peace and quiet in the north since the cease-fire that ended the Second Lebanon War in 2006.

ISIS Beheadings Mark Declared War on the United States

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

President Barack Obama is “appalled” and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is angry at the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, whose execution was posted in an online video by his killers, the Islamic State ISIS group also known as ISIS.

While the United States, Britain and other Western countries professed their shock, actually believing that these grisly acts only happen to other Muslims and African Christians but never to Americans, except Daniel Pearl.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu showed Wednesday night that Israel is a lot more tuned into reality.

In his address to the country in which he promised that Israel will not stop the war against Hamas until total quiet is restored, he compared Hamas with ISIS.

If you are surprised, you are dreaming.

Beheading someone is savage. It is an act of an animal who wants to inject fear into the hearts of souls of decent people.

Hamas also has beheaded people, mainly those Gazans who hate the terrorist regime and took the risk to relay intelligence information to Israel on Hamas.

Beheading is gory but no less than Hamas terrorists’ primitive behavior after they killed Israeli soldiers and blew them to bits and pieces.

Hamas animals, AKA terrorists, actually picked up body parts, a head here and a finger there, and hustled them off through terror tunnels with the intention of using them to barter with Israel for the return of terrorists in Israeli custody.

The two families of two soldiers whose body parts were not recovered or were only partially recovered did not fall into the trap that would have undermined Israel’s war effort. They buried their sons with whatever body parts there were, and in one case there were virtually none.

Once the soldiers were buried, the Hamas animals’ plans were foiled.

An animal is an animal, or if you prefer, a terrorist is a terrorist, but the United States still doesn’t get it.

U.S. State Dept. assistant spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters Wednesday that despite Netanyahu’s statement that Hamas and ISIS are look-alikes, they cannot be compared.

Of course not. ISIS is not a potential peace partner for Israel, but Hamas is.

President Barack Obama said the world was “appalled” by the beheading of Foley in Syria and that “the United States of America will continue to do what we must do to protect our people. .We will be vigilant and we will be relentless.”

Wow, isn’t that scary?

Americans security officials verified the authenticity of the video showing the beheading after the recorded marks by Foley that the United States and the West are to blame for his imminent death because of their “complacent criminality” that he said is the cause of his death.

The video showed another American journalist Steven Sotloff, and warns that he will be the next to die.

If words could kill, Obama slaughtered ISIS, calling it a “cancer” and stating, “No faith teaches people to massacre innocents. No just God would stand for what they did yesterday and what they do every single day. People like this ultimately fail. They fail because the future is won by people who build and not destroy.”

Now what?

The ISIS video warned that the “next move” is up to Obama.

An hour after Obama spoke, the U.S. Air Force carried out 14 bombing raids on ISIS targets.

It is a bit late for that.

The United States has spent two decades making the Middle East safe for democracy by sending American troops all over the place and undermining autocratic but stable regimes so that can be replaced by autocratic and unstable regimes that have left a vacuum of power grabbed by terrorists, or animals.

Bi-Partisan Senate Trio Demand Answers From Kerry on UNRWA Conduct in Gaza

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

At least some members of the U.S. congress finally realized that if weapons belonging to Hamas were found in UNRWA facilities, questions need to be asked of UNRWA employees as to how those weapons got there, who put them there, who observed them, what – if anything – was done to remove them (or to keep them there), along with other pertinent and essential lines of inquiry.

U.S. senators Mark Kirk (R-IL), Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Marco Rubio (R-FL), sent a letter last week to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, demanding an investigation into the actions of  the United Nations Refugee and Works Agency (UNRWA) during the fighting in Gaza.

The senators used very strong language to condemn the agency on several different bases.

First, the discovery, on three different occasions, of Hamas weapons in UNRWA facilities, whereupon the weapons were returned to the terrorist organization, Hamas.

Second, UNRWA has repeatedly issued statements condemning Israel and ignoring the wrongdoing of Hamas.

And third, the senators pointed out the very troubling close affiliation between Hamas and UNRWA, the irrefutable proof of which was the election of 25 Hamas candidates were voted onto the 27 member UNRWA ‘s workers’  union board in 2012.

Next, the senators explained why they are convinced it is appropriate for them to demand such an investigation into UNRWA: we pay for it! The United States contributed $294 million in 2013. It is the single largest donor to UNRWA. Since 1950, more than $5 billion U.S. taxpayers’ dollars were funneled into UNRWA.

Senator Mark Kirk is a member of the Senate Appropriations sub-committee which has jurisdiction over the Department of State, as well as U.S. contributions to U.N. activities. Kirk said in a statement posted on his website:

I am demanding a credible and independent assessment of UNRWA’s actions during this crisis. Given UNRWA’s ties to terrorism in the past, U.S. taxpayers deserve immediate answers and full transparency regarding their intentions and actions. The State Department must make clear to the U.N. that it need to take all necessary steps to prevent Hamas from using taxpayer-funded property to launch attacks against our allies.

Senator Cardin, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, added:

When leaders and organizations of the United Nations blur the clear distinction between a nation-state defending itself and a terrorist organization attempting to murder civilians, Americans take note. When an organization funded in part by the U.S. suggests that the two are morally equivalent, U.S. taxpayers take note. Israel is undertaking extraordinary efforts to avoid civilian casualties while Hamas cynically uses other Palestinians as human shields and deliberately attempts to kill Israeli civilians. U.N. resources and personnel cannot be complicit in Hamas’ violent terrorist actions.

Senator Marco Rubio is also a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Rubio had the following to say:

As the U.N.’s leading source of funding, American taxpayers will not tolerate the use of U.N. facilities by terrorists to stage attacks against our allies. We know Hamas has been using civilians as human shields and stores its weapons and fighters in civilian buildings, but for the U.N. to stand idly by while Hamas attacks Israel from its facilities is an outrage. This is the latest example of why the U.S. needs to bring greater transparency and accountability to the U.N. by pursuing reform of its programs and institutions.

The text of the letter the senators sent to Secretary of State Kerry:

Dear Secretary Kerry,

We write to express our profound concern with the troubling role the United Nations Refugee and Work Agency  (UNRWA) has played during the ongoing crisis in Gaza, including multiple instances of weapons found at UNRWA schools as well as one-sided statements from UNRWA leadership that unjustly condemn Israel. For instance, on July 14, UNRWA Commissioner General Pierre Krahenbuhl stated that Israeli security forces are acting “contrary to international humanitarian law” and also called Israel’s Gaza blockade “illegal.”

As you know, UNRWA admitted on July 17, July 22nd, and July 30th that it found rockets belonging to Hamas on its property. We commend UNRWA’s quick condemnation of these incidents, but are concerned with the ultimate fate of these rockets, which UNRWA claimed to have turned over to the “local authorities” or have gone missing. We fear that this means these rockets may have found their way back into Hamas’ hands.

We urge the State Department to launch an independent investigation into these incidents and to call on the United Nations leadership to hold UNRWA accountable, including by reprimanding or dismissing the UNRWA staff responsible as appropriate, as well as asking the U.N. to ensure that these incidents never take place again.

In the course of your investigation, we ask you to examine the fate of these rockets, what measures the U.N. took to secure UNRWA property, and how the U.S. intends to work with the U.N. to make sure incidents like these are never repeated.

As you know, the United States is the largest donor to UNRWA and has contributed almost $5 billion to the organization since 1950. The United States taxpayers deserve to know if UNRWA is fulfilling its mission or taking sides in this tragic conflict.

We look forward to your reply,

Sincerely,
Now that the strong statements have been made and a letter from three members of senate committees with jurisdiction over the State Department and the U.N. has been sent to the secretary of state, it behooves Israel’s supporters to demand follow-through.

Hamas Huffs and Israel Bluffs towards New Ceasefire

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

Rumors of another 72-hour ceasefire are flying along rockets from Gaza on southern Israel Sunday afternoon while Israel maintains it will not hold negotiations under fire.

Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorists, who are separated only by which group can scream louder that the Zionists must be destroyed, attacked Israel from the Gaza border to Ashkelon more than 30 times Sunday morning.

Israel retaliated with a limited number of targeted aerial strikes. Hamas claimed, as usual, that an innocent child –this time a teenager – C was killed.

Israeli negotiators left the so-called ceasefire talks, which Hamas has tried to turn into negotiations for its demands, because of the continued rocket fire that broke the last 72-hour truce Friday morning.

The Arab negotiators threatened on Sunday they would leave Egypt if the Israelis don’t return. The Netanyahu government has not commented and has not offered a clue if negotiators are ready to fly back to Cairo.

Everyone is threatening everyone, but Israel is unlikely to refuse a ceasefire and lose Brownie points on the diplomatic front.

Despite protestations from both sides, talks for a ceasefire are going on behind the scenes. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is part of the action he never loses an opportunity to play with fire. He has talked again with officials from Qatar, which feeds Hamas money and hosts a computer system programmed by which pressing “enter” will set off an underground rocket launcher in Gaza.

One sign of a new ceasefire by Sunday evening was a fresh barrage of rocket attacks on Gaza Belt communities and as far north as Ashkelon. There was minimal property damage and no injuries.

The attacks will give Hamas an opportunity to say that it has scared Israel into a ceasefire and subsequent negotiations. If the rocket fire magically ends one minute before a ceasefire, then Israel can claim as if it stood its ground and refused to talk about a ceasefire before Hamas ran out of breath.

If Hamas really were serious about digging for an extended round of attacks and counter-attacks, it would have fired a missile towards Tel Aviv. It still might launch just to impress itself

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is feeling pressure from a large segment of the population and even from center-left Knesset Members not to go back to another round of allowing Hamas to harass Gaza Belt communities and to retaliate for the rocket explosions as if they were on Tel Aviv.

The problem is that the world already is used to Israel playing the wimp when the rockets are aimed at rural areas and usually explode in open areas. Once in a while there are near-misses of a rocket hitting a classroom of children.

Israel is gaining some international sympathy as even the BBC and The New York Times are beginning to own up to the truth that the number of civilian casualties in Gaza is far less than Hamas claims.

But the momentum is in Hamas’ favor. By all accounts, Gaza has been devastated, and the pictures of the destruction that foreign media publish day after day have incited hundreds of thousands of anti-Zionists around the world to protest. In South Africa, an unprecedented anti-Israel rally drew approximately 50,000 demonstrators.

Western media and many political leaders know that Israel is in the right “but” – meaning, “Hamas is at fault, so let’s sit down and talk about making peace with Hamas.”

This is a dramatic change in reasoning with the same unreasonable conclusion, a change from the mantra that “Israel is at fault, so let’s sit down and talk about making peace with Hamas.”

Obama Authorizes Targeted Air Strikes Against ISIL

Friday, August 8th, 2014

For the first time since December 2011, US President Barack Obama has authorized targeted air strikes against Al Qaeda-linked ISIL (Islamic State in the Levant) terrorists in Iraq.

“When we have the unique capabilities to help avert a massacre, then I believe the United States of America cannot turn a blind eye,” Obama told a news briefing Thursday. “Today, America is coming to help.”

However, White House spokesman later added a blunt clarification for reporters: “No combat boots on the ground.” The US would support Iraqi and Kurdish fighters in their efforts to beat back the Islamic State, but no American soldiers would pay the price in their stead.

Secretary of State John Kerry added that “ISIL’s campaign of terror against the innocent, including Yezedi and Christian minorities, and its grotesque and targeted acts of violence bear all the warning signs and hallmarks of genocide. For anyone who needed a wake-up call, this is it.”

It is not really clear how the Islamic State’s “campaign of terror against the innocent” in Iraq differs from Palestinian Arab terrorist rocket attacks raining down on southern and central Israel, and their stabbing and rock attacks against civilians on the roads and within Israeli communities.

U.S. military aircraft dropped humanitarian aid to Iraqi refugees who have been trapped in the north of the country for some time, officials said, including 16 bundles containing 5,300 gallons of fresh drinking water and 8,000 “meals ready-to-eat” or MREs, near Sinjar. Thousands are trapped on a mountaintop near Sinjar, Defense One reported, trying to flee the Islamic State terrorists.

The terror organization launched a coordinated attack spanning “hundreds of miles” in northern Iraq, administration officials said, leading to fears of “genocide.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/obama-authorizes-targeted-air-strikes-against-isil/2014/08/08/

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