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July 30, 2016 / 24 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘John Kerry’

US Cravenness Gave Iran Green Light for Missile Launches

Tuesday, March 15th, 2016

This U.S. administration’s  desperation to conclude the Iran Nuclear Deal – whatever its actual terms or deterrence power – led to the likelihood that Iran’s latest militaristic provocations are immune from censure. That is so, despite America’s stated horror at Iran’s actions and even despite the Obama administration’s claim that Iran’s actions are a breach of its international law duties.

On March 8 and 9, Iran conducted missile tests from several different locations within its borders. The missiles were launched by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps with the express intent “to demonstrate Iran’s deterrent power and the Islamic Republic’s ability to confront any threat” against it, according to an official statement.

A Revolutionary Guard commander was quoted as saying that the missiles were designed to hit Israel, “our enemy the Zionist regime,” from a safe distance. The missiles were reportedly stamped with the words, in Hebrew: “Israel should be wiped from the pages of history.”

Obviously what Iran did was belligerent, but did it violate any agreements to which it should believe itself to be bound, and which would provide for international censure?

The answer seems to be that while Iran’s firing those missiles would have been prohibited before the U.S. and its international partners entered into the Iran Nuclear Deal, as the result of concessions made in order to induce Iran to sign the deal, we no longer have a supportable basis for complaint. Before the deal, yes, after the deal – which was touted by its proponents as making us all safer, no.

Nicely done you guys.

In fact, the Iran Nuclear Deal did not, until the very late stages, address ballistic missiles at all. At least one good reason why it did not is that there already was a United Nations Security Council Resolution in place that explicitly dealt with this problem.

UNSCR 1929, passed in 2010, prohibited Iran from engaging in any activity relating to ballistic missiles: “Iran shall not undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles.” The “shall not” language is crystal clear, and allows no wiggle room, ballistic missile activity by Iran is verboten.

But late in the game during the recent negotiations, when the U.S. became desperate to close the deal, Iran not only held firm on its initial conditions, but began making new demands. That was when the issue of ballistic missiles came into play.

And the U.S., so desperate for a deal, gave Iran two enormous missile-sized gifts.

First, it crossed its own red line of not including anything in the Nuclear Iran Deal that was not about Iran’s nuclear program. It did this by inserting into the deal a provision which put an end date on Iran’s ballistic missiles ban. Eight years after the signing of the Nuclear Iran Deal, Iran, with the official blessing of the international community, will no longer be subject to a ballistic missiles embargo.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry considered that a win. Why? Because Iran wanted it lifted immediately.

This missile gift was recognized and heavily criticized by the few critics of the Nuclear Iran Deal, most of whom were ignored.

The second Iran Missile Gift was far more serious, and, incredibly, received far less attention.

This gift applied to Iranian ballistic missile activity during the eight years until the ban was lifted. And it removed every last tooth in that provision, at least domestic ballistic missile testing, production and launches.

Recall the language quoted from UNSCR 1929? It was a blanket prohibition: “Iran shall not” engage in any ballistic missile activity.

During the final drunken haze of granting concessions to achieve a “deal,” the U.S. changed the impregnable “Iran shall not,” by endorsing the full Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and incorporating various implementation schemes, to instead read “Iran is called upon not to” develop ballistic missiles. That’s in Annex B, Para. 3, of UNSCR 2231, which was adopted by the full Security Council on July 20.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Kerry on Syria: May Be Too Late to Keep Whole, May Get Much Uglier

Wednesday, February 24th, 2016

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned Tuesday the world community may not be able to save Syria – what once was Syria, anyway – if the current fighting continues much longer.

Speaking at a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the State Department’s annual budget request, Kerry had a grim outlook for the future of Syria.

“It may be too late to keep it as a whole Syria if we wait much longer,” the Secretary said, according to Reuters.

Even if the regime’s Russian-backed forces re-take the northern city of Aleppo – the largest commercial hub in the country – Kerry said it is hard to hold territory in Syria at this point.

For starters, the Secretary told the committee that he cannot guarantee that Russia will stick to the new cease-fire signed this week between the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and moderate opposition forces. Moscow and Washington also signed on to that truce, which excluded the Da’esh (ISIS), Al Qaeda and Jabhat al-Nusra (Al Nusra Front) terrorist groups.

The U.S. military is already looking ahead to a “Plan B,” he said, and will continue to support rebel efforts to overthrow Assad if Russia abandons its obligations under the truce.

“This can get a lot uglier,” Kerry warned. “Even if Russia took Aleppo… holding territory has always been difficult,” he said, according to Foreign Policy magazine. “Russia has to be sitting there evaluating that.”

Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker (R-TN) asked Kerry what would happen if in fact “this cease-fire doesn’t hold? I don’t think Russia believes that anything is going to happen.”

Kerry ducked the question, replying instead, “I’m not going to say this process is sure to work because I don’t know. But I know that it’s the best way to end the war, and it’s the only alternative available to us if indeed we’re going to have a political settlement.”

The Arab world, on the other hand, may not be as willing to wait around and see.

Gulf nation governments and that of Saudi Arabia have already warned their citizens to leave Lebanon if they haven’t already. As early as last week, rumors were flying that Turkey and Saudi Arabia were preparing their troops for a ground invasion of Syria to deal with the Da’esh (ISIS) terrorist threat on their own.

Hana Levi Julian

US Secy John Kerry, PA Leader Mahmoud Abbas to Meet in Jordan

Saturday, February 20th, 2016

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is set to meet with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) in Jordan on Sunday, according to the U.S. State Dept.

Kerry arrived in Amman on Saturday. The Secretary had meetings scheduled with Jordanian monarch King Abdullah II and Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh.

Among the items on the agenda is the situation in Syria and the increasing impact the war is having on the Hashemite Kingdom.

Kerry and Judeh are scheduled to meet Sunday morning before the Secretary is to visit the king for a discussion on the military campaign against Da’esh (ISIS) in Syria.

According to Amnesty International, Jordan currently hosts approximately 635,324 refugees from Syria, about 10 percent of its own population.

More than 4.5 million refugees have fled Syria and are to be found in five host countries: Jordan, Iraq, Turkey, Lebanon and Egypt.

Kerry also discussed the Syria crisis with British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond on Saturday morning in London, prior to his trip to Jordan.

State Department spokesperson John Kirby told reporters at a briefing the two men discussed efforts to broker a partial cease-fire in Syria, and ways to get humanitarian aid to civilians trapped and starving in villages and towns that are still under siege.

Hana Levi Julian

Turkey Shells Kurds in Syrian Border Village After Recapture

Saturday, February 13th, 2016

Over the weekend, Turkish forces shelled the Syrian village of Maranaz and the Menagh airbase, both of which were re-captured recently by the Kurds.

Israel is watching the situation in Syria closely; events across the northern border have serious potential to affect Israeli national security. Although Israel coordinates its activities with Russia, that doesn’t mean every move by Moscow is one that works well for Jerusalem across the northern border. Nor does Russia necessarily take into consideration how its military activities might impact Israeli security. The same holds true for Turkey.

Coverage earlier in the day by international media claimed Turkish artillery was aiming its shelling at villages that were under the control of Jaysh al-Thuwar (Revolutionary Army), not YPG, (Kurdish People’s Protection Units militia). A Turkish government source told Reuters on Saturday that Turkey’s military force shelled YPG targets near the town of Azaz in northern Syria. The source did not explain the extent or reason for the shelling.

The Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), like the YPG, is considered by Ankara to be a branch of the Turkish PKK terror organization.

The PKK is recognized by the United States and the European Union as a terrorist entity. However, neither considers the YPG or the PYD to be terrorist organizations.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed the shelling struck areas of Aleppo, including Menagh, that were recently taken by YPG. The Syrian Kurdish YPG group confirmed the news in a tweet early Saturday evening. Local sources said the shelling did not have any major impact and was not hampering YPG efforts or operations at either location.

“It’s just a propaganda show to pretend they are not idle while al-Qaeda is smashed,” wrote a local source in a response on the Twitter social networking site.

But the artillery aimed Kurdish positions, rather than Da’esh targets, has raised more questions about the Ankara’s goals at a time when Turkey has turned up the pressure over its candidacy for European Union membership.

Moreover, as a member of NATO, Turkey has flatly stated that it expects the world organization to come to its aid in the event that its borders are breached.

But what if those borders are breached by desperate Kurds fleeing flaming wrecks of cities shelled by Turkish artillery?

Those same Kurds are viewed by Turkey as “terrorists” and yet the United States does not view them in the same light. How would this conflict be resolved among two members of NATO, sworn to protect each other under “siege” ?

Meanwhiel, special forces from the United Arab Emirates are reportedly being sent to Syria to help Sunni fighters recapture Raqqa, the northern Syrian city seized by Da’esh (ISIS) for use as the capital of its world caliphate.

It is not clear how many forces the UAE plans to send to Syria for the mission. But Saudi Arabia has also pledged to send forces to train and help local fighters recapture Raqqa.

Numerous Kurds fell in the initial battle to hold the city.

Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, however, warned other nations they not interfere in the Syrian conflict. Medvedev said in an interview with the German newspaper Handelsblatt that more foreign intervention will only exacerbate the conflict and could lead to a “permanent war.”

Meanwhile, Israel could easily be caught between all parties and find itself dancing at numerous weddings all at the same time.

Having managed to maintain a cold peace with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for decades on the Golan Heights border, Israel has lately been forced to maintain a much closer watch in the area. The various groups jockeying for position in what is colloqually now being referred to as “the Syrias” are coming closer and closer to the Israel-Syria border — close enough to be seen with binoculars.

Hana Levi Julian

Kerry’s State Dept ‘Appalled’ by (Unnamed) Terrorist Attacks on Israelis

Monday, January 18th, 2016

Apparently attacking two defenseless women, one the mother of six, the other a pregnant woman, was too much for even Secretary of State John Kerry’s State Dept. to ignore.

About midday D.C. time on Monday, Jan. 18, the U.S. State Department issued a statement condemning the barbaric attacks on two Israeli women in less than 48 hours. One of the women was murdered at the door of her own home as several of her children watched or heard in horror. The other victim, a woman five months pregnant, was stabbed in a clothing store in her home community, who remains in Shaare Tzedek Meical Center’s Trauma Unit.

The U.S. acknowledged the horrific attacks on the two Israelis, mentioning each by name.

This is the full, six sentence, one paragraph condemnation issued by Kerry’s State Department’s spokesperson John Kirby:

We condemn in the strongest possible terms the terrorist attacks over the past two days against Israeli civilians. We were appalled and deeply saddened by the death of Dafna Meir, a mother of six, who was attacked on Sunday in her own home. We extend our deepest condolences to her family, friends and community. Today, a pregnant Israeli woman, Michal Froman, was stabbed in the West Bank. We wish her a full and complete recovery. These horrific incidents underscore the importance of affirmative steps to restore calm, reduce tensions and bring an immediate end to the violence.

It is appropriate for the State Dept. to condemn these brutal attacks, as they do others even when far less brutal, when they occur in the region.

The title of the statement uses the term “West Bank” to note where the attacks took place, rather than simply stating Israel. On the other hand, at least neither the title nor the statement itself describes the places where the women were attacked as “settlements,” as did, for example, the BBC  and even the JTA, in their reports.

At least as significant is that while the U.S. condemned the savage attacks, no responsibility was placed on any actors. The “terrorist attacks” happened, but nothing was said about who committed the acts, or who directed the attacks. In both instances it is already known that Palestinian Authority Arabs were the terrorists who knifed the women, one to death. One of the terrorists was an Arab who had been welcomed in to work in the community where he stabbed to death the mother of six. The other terrorist was an Arab teenager from nearby Bethlehem who entered the yishuv through a hole in the fence surrounding the community.

Not assigning blame when Palestinian or Israeli Arabs stab, slash, shoot or ram innocent Israelis is part of the modus operandi of John Kerry’s State Department, as it also was when State was run by now presidential-candidate Hillary Clinton.

This time, at least, the victims were particularized, but the people and entity responsible were not. That’s a problem that allows the responsible parties to remain anonymous and blameless on the world stage, where Israel, Israelis and, in particular, the Israeli government is always named and blamed.

Just wait to see what is the response to the new dictate by the chief security officer for Gush Etzion, the area south of Jerusalem in which the pregnant woman was stabbed. Arabs will now be barred from entering any of the Jewish towns in the area. Collective punishment? Apartheid? It’s coming. Four…three….two….one.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Millions of Jews Inciting Muslims by Praying for Rebuilding Holy Temple

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

This is a blog post by Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

From the Muslim point of view, millions of Jews are inciting Mohammed’s followers by praying every day that the Holy Temple be rebuilt.

Arab media have made it a daily ritual, almost a prayer, to charge that the Israeli government and Jews visiting the Temple Mount are really plotting to rebuild the destroyed Temple.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has taken a tough stand against Jews who even try to utter a prayer on the Temple Mount, which boils the blood of Muslims who respond with violence, which nevertheless their clerics preach from Temple Mount mosques.

Perhaps the Obama administration is not aware of it, but millions of Jews, including those from the Conservative stream of Judaism, pray every day for rebuilding the Temple.

Arab media occasionally refer to the prayers as proof of the “plot” to destroy the Al Aqsa mosque by archaeological excavations that supposedly are carried out in order to weaken the mosque’s foundations and cause the mosque to collapse, if radical Islamic sacrilege don’t beat them to the punch and bring down the house on themselves

The next step, according to the Arab paranoia, is a construction crew entering and building the Third Temple.

Neither the Palestinian Authority nor Jordan, which is the formal “custodian” of the Temple Mount, has stated that worldwide Jewish prayers are incitement, but it may be just a matter of time.

American-Israeli journalist Maayan Jaffe wrote this week for JNS:

[Is] the current Palestinian uprising is solely political?

Not so, says Adnan Abu Amer, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at the National University for Open Education. From his perspective, some worrying trends indicate, ‘we are regressing into a religious war….

‘We are seeing a politicization of religious values – people using religion for political purposes. This is dangerous.’

She also quoted Ofer Zalzberg, senior analyst with the Middle East Program of the International Crisis Group, as noting that “one-fifth of the Likud membership is national religious” and that Jews following “a Messianic, Temple-focused Judaism” believe they are fighting a “holy war.”

Zalzberg stated, “On both sides, eschatological beliefs are being misunderstood, abused and misused” and express concerns about the links between religious and violence.”

He told Jaffe:

What is the link between religion and violence? One is about things that because of your religious beliefs you want or even need them and therefore you would fight for them, use violence, to secure them….

The other is that you have needs or goals that are in fact not driven by religion, but for different reasons, religious leaders use religious discourse to grant them legitimacy. This is part of the dynamics we are seeing in the current escalation of the conflict.

Now that the Israeli government has more or less crushed the idea of Jews praying on the Temple Mount, radical Islamic leaders, whose existence is dependent on violence, may have to turn to universal Jewish prayer to drive their followers into a frenzy.

The traditional Jewish  prayers in the morning service are preceded by reciting Biblical and Talmudic passages about sacrifices, and conclude with the prayer that may it be God’s will that “the Temple should be built speedily in our days.”

If that is not enough to rankle radical Muslims, Jews recite three times a day in the silent “Amidah” prayer:

Return in mercy to Jerusalem Your city and dwell therein as You have promised; speedily establish therein the throne of David Your servant, and rebuild it, soon in our days, as an everlasting edifice. Blessed are You L-rd, who rebuilds Jerusalem…..

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Was Your Congressman One of 32 Who Called for Closing PLO Office in US?

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has praised Congressmen for demanding what the State Dept. rejected.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, running for the Republican party nomination for president, signed up 31 other Congressmen, as reported here last week, to write a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry demanding that the Obama Defense Minister close the PLO offices in Washington.

The Congressmen argued:

The United States government has an obligation to publicly denounce the PLO’s actions and should immediately revoke its waiver.

Allowing the PLO to maintain an office in Washington, D.C. provides no benefit to the United States or the peace process. Closing the PLO office in Washington, D.C. would send a clear statement that the kind of incitement to violence perpetrated by the PLO and its leaders will not be tolerated.

The State Dept. rejected the demand. The ZOA came to the Congressmen’s defense because “Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority (PA) has never fulfilled its obligations under the Oslo Accords to outlaw terrorist groups, extradite terrorists, confiscate illegal weaponry and end the incitement to hatred and murder in the PA-controlled, media, mosques, schools and youth camps that fuels the conflict.”

The ZOA added:

The PA even gives pensions to families of Jew-killing terrorists. And the larger the number of Jews murdered-the larger the pension. President Obama and Secretary Kerry say nothing about any of these PA terrorist actions. The PA should be placed on the US list of terrorist entities, and should not have an office in our Capital.

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein added, “Put quite simply, the PLO does not merit the diplomatic immunity and the status that comes with it. President Obama gave Abbas’ PA this upgrade despite the fact that the PA has not altered its behavior, even while receiving annually hundreds of millions of dollars in US tax-payer funded aid.

Below are the names of the Congressmen, all of them Republicans, who signed the letter:

Ted Cruz  and Randy Weber from Texas; Mark Meadows, North Carolina; Ilan Ros-Lehtinen,  Ron DeSantis, Jeff Miller, Carlos Curbelo, Ted Yoho, Bill Posey, Mario Diaz-Balart, and Curt Clawson from Florida;

Jeff Duncan, South Carolina; Doug Lamborn, Colorado; Scott DesJarlais, Tennessee;  Scott Perry, Pennsylvania; Jody Hice, Georgia;

Tim Huelskamp, Kansas; Lee Zeldin, New York, Gary Palmer, Alabama; John Fleming, Louisiana, Jim Jordan, Ohio; Morgan Griffith and David Brat from Virginia;

Matt Salmon, Paul A. Gosar and David Schweikert, Arizona; Stevan Pearce, New Mexico; Scott Garrett, New Jersey; and

Ken Calvert, Marlin Stutzman from California and David B. McKinley and Alex Mooney from West Virginia.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/was-your-congressman-one-of-32-who-called-for-closing-plo-office-in-us/2015/12/29/

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