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July 24, 2014 / 26 Tammuz, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘John Kerry’

John ‘Chicken’ Kerry Skips Israel on New Middle East Tour

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is on his way back to the Middle East for the umpteenth time, heading for Egypt and Jordan but without chancing a slip on the unwelcome mat in Jerusalem and Ramallah.

More significant is that the State Dept. announced Kerry’s tag-alongs will be  National Security Staff Senior Director for Middle East and North Africa Prem Kumar, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Egypt and Maghreb Affairs William Roebuck, Spokesperson Jen Psaki, and assistant to the Joint Chiefs of Staff,  Vice Admiral Kurt Tidd.

Kerry’s entourage is most notable for who is not going to give the travel agents more business . Absent are Jeffrey Feltmnan, the Assistant Secretary for the region, and former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk, who now is President Barack Obama’s personal hangman for the “peace process.” He has been hanging out in Washington incognito the past several weeks, and the State Dept. has not been able to tell nosey reporters exactly what he is doing, not that he ever knew himself.

“At the President’s direction, Secretary of State John Kerry will travel from June 22-27 to the Middle East and Europe to consult with partners and allies on how we can support security, stability, and the formation of an inclusive government in Iraq, to discuss Middle East security challenges, and to attend the NATO Foreign Ministerial,” the State Dept. declared in a press release.

After visiting Cairo and Amman, “The Secretary will then travel to Brussels, Belgium, to participate in the NATO Foreign Ministerial, which will discuss preparations for the NATO Summit in September as well as the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. In Paris, France, the Secretary will meet with key regional partners and Gulf allies on Middle East security challenges, including Iraq and Syria.”

Nothing about Israel, Nothing about the Palestinian Authority, and nothing about the “unity” government of Fatah and Hamas.

Journalists at the daily State Dept. media briefing don’t even ask about the “peace process” anymore, and the kidnapping of the three missing teenagers only crops up when the reporter for the Al Quds pro-Arab newspaper constantly jabs the spokeswomen about Israel’s “disproportionate” counter-terrorist operations.

It would be interesting to hear his reaction if Israel took “proportionate’ action and kidnapped three Palestinian Authority teenagers and whisked them away without a hint of who abducted them and if they are alive or not.

Kerry and the Obama administration can easily count on the media to forget about the peace process follies, thanks to the Syrian civil war and the collapse of security in Iraq, both countries where the United States made careful preparations for stability. Obama, who declared the assassination of Osama bin Laden was the beginning of the end of Al Qaeda, now is watching the terrorist organization breathing down the backs of Jordan and Baghdad.

Kerry’s predecessor Hillary Clinton, three months after the first peaceful protests three years ago against the regime, defended Syrian President Bassar al-Assad as a “reformer.” Prior to the uprising, when Kerry was head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he was President Obama’s personal ambassador to Syria to restore diplomatic relations. He is lucky he did not succeed, but he has a pretty clean track record on that score.

Iraq is keeping the experts in Foggy Bottom busy to see how many more mistakes they can make.

Kerry and the Obama administration are licking their chops after the shambles of their nine-month crusade to make matters worse for Israelis and Arabs.

Keeping on top of the rapid-fire crises in the Middle East the past three years has been like trying to catch popcorn while it is jumping around in the machine.

U.S. Frees Military Aid to Egypt

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

The United States has agreed to release its promised foreign aid funds to Egypt, frozen since former President Mohammed Morsi was ousted a year ago. Secretary of State John Kerry made the announcement during a visit to Cairo two weeks after President-elect Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was sworn into office following May elections.

El-Sisi, who served as defense minister and field marshal prior to his election, has been cracking down on the Muslim Brotherhood — which backed Morsi’s candidacy and which took over the government once he was in office — and terrorism in the Sinai Peninsula.

Officials at the State Department said the mostly military aid, totaling some $1.5 billion, will be used to pay existing defense contracts. Kerry also promised to send 10 Apache attack helicopters, which el-Sisi’s forces will use against terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula.

“The Apaches will come, and they will come very, very soon,” Kerry promised at a joint news conference Sunday in Cairo.

My Brother’s Sleeper

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

Here in Israel, as throughout the world, prayers and hopes abound for the safe return of the three teenagers ruthlessly abducted by Palestinian terrorists.  Most governments have condemned the kidnappings and have demanded the return of the boys.

The US has taken a position consistent with that of other nations.  President Obama has not formally addressed the issue of the kidnapping, apparently too busy with improving his golf.  Rather, the White House released a statement of Twitter:

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of 3 Israeli teens who were kidnapped last week. May they be reunited with their sons soon.

The State Department also put out a statement of its own:

The United States strongly condemns the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers and calls for their immediate release. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families. We hope for their quick and safe return home.  We continue to offer our full support for Israel in its search for the missing teens, and we have encouraged full cooperation between the Israeli and Palestinian security services.  We understand that cooperation is ongoing.

We are still seeking details on the parties responsible for this despicable terrorist act, although many indications point to Hamas’ involvement.  As we gather this information, we reiterate our position that Hamas is a terrorist organization known for its attacks on innocent civilians and which has used kidnapping in the past.

So what’s missing here?  The obvious point is that one of the “three Israeli teenagers” happens to be an American citizen.  Why are the highest bodies in the U.S. government ignoring the fact that one of their own fellow citizens has been kidnapped, apparently by a U.S.-designated terror organization?  Why does the U.S. simply call the kidnapped boys a bunch of Israeli teens, when one is a full-fledged, passport-toting American citizen?  If President Obama were to be injured here, would the State Department decry the injuries suffered to “a tourist visiting Israel”?  Would they not state that the man in question was an American citizen and thus worthy of American help and concern?

I have written previously about the lack of US prosecutions of the dozens of Palestinian terrorists who wounded and killed scores of American citizens during the Second Intifada (see here and here).  The U.S. has treated American terror victims, even those who were briefly visiting Israel or studying overseas for a year, or even contractors hired by the U.S. government itself, as somehow being “sabra” Israelis who deserve sympathy but not much more. President Obama recently made a statement after the U.S. successfully captured the apparent mastermind of the Benghazi attack:

White House and Pentagon officials publicly confirmed the capture late Tuesday morning. At an event in Pittsburgh, President Obama also said the capture is a “message to the world” about what happens when Americans are attacked. “No matter how long it takes, we will find those responsible and we will bring them to justice,” Obama said. In a written statement, the president thanked the “painstaking efforts of our military, law enforcement and intelligence personnel,” and said the suspect would “now face the full weight of the American justice system.”

After President Obama made his statement, I took the liberty of asking the director of the Department of Justice Office for Justice for Victims of Overseas Terrorism whether the President’s words applied to cases of American citizens harmed by Palestinian terrorists.  She never wrote back, though it was the large number of Americans killed and wounded here that led to the creation of her very office in 2005.  Her lack of response was no surprise, as the U.S. has generally seen terror victims as a burden.

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.

PA Unity Government Attacks Southern Israel

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Residents of the Eshkol Regional Council headed again for their bomb shelters this morning.

A single Qassam rocket was fired shortly after 9:15 a.m. from Gaza, which is now part of the newly-unified Palestinian Authority “unity government” bonding the region’s former Hamas terrorist rulers together with the Ramallah-based Fatah faction led by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. The missile landed in an open field near the entrance of a kibbutz near Israel’s southern border, the 0404 website reported.

No one was injured and there was no damage, according to officials at the site.

The Color Red rocket alert siren blared throughout the region at about 9:15 a.m. local time, sending residents in the area racing for their safe spaces.

Because the region is located so close to the border with Gaza, most public buildings, including schools, are protected with anti-rocket armored roofing. Those in private homes, stores and malls, however, still must reach safety within 15 seconds before the rocket or missile or mortar explodes in their area.

The question now is, will the unification of Fatah — whose paramilitary forces were armed, equipped and trained by the U.S. military forces in Jordanian training camps over the past several years — bring even more firepower to Gaza, already generously funded and armed to the teeth by Iran?

How does Israel respond to today’s attack, given the delicate diplomatic dance involved with the current, ah… shall we say, ‘discussions’ … going on between Jerusalem, Washington and Brussels over the new reality in the Palestinian Authority?

A PA delegation from Ramallah was in Washington two days ago, in fact, to shmooze with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

The United States and the European Union are strongly supporting the new PA Unity Government (PUG), because it ostensibly is comprised of ministers with “independent” status, allegedly unaffiliated with any terrorist group. Nevertheless, five Hamas-backed lawmakers were sworn into their new office from Gaza through a video hookup last week, and the new government allegedly now administers Gaza as well as PA-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria.

Although PA leader Abbas insisted the new entity would continue to “work towards peace,” this morning’s attack makes clear that last week’s statement by his coalition partners (Hamas and allied terror group Islamic Jihad) — that they intend to continue the fight to annihilate Israel — has more credibility.

US Continues ‘Peace Process’ with Arabs

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

The United States is continuing its efforts on a Middle East ‘peace process,’ with another meeting scheduled today in Washington.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is set to meet with Palestinian Authority government official Assam al-Ahmad, who represents the Fatah faction, according to a report published in the A-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

Al-Ahmad heads the “reconciliation’ division of the new Palestinian Authority unity government, according to the report.

Netanyahu Slams Int’l Community for Supporting Hamas Government

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

PM Netanyahu slammed members of the international community who have rushed to support the Palestinian Unity Government with Hamas, at his Sunday cabinet meeting. Netanyahu said that anyone who thinks that Hamas will be moderated is mistaken, clearly hinting at US Secretary of State John Kerry, who reportedly, secretly offered Hamas financial aid in exchange for moderating their public positions against Israel.

Netanyahu reiterated that PUG president Mahmoud Abbas’s first obligation is demilitarizing the areas under his control. No one in the international community is even bothering to demand that Hamas’s independent terrorist army be disarmed.

Netanyahu also singled out Australia with exceptional praise for clearly stating the truth about Jerusalem not being occupied territory.

The text of Netanyahu’s speech follows:

“Over the weekend, the leaders of Hamas reiterated their intention to destroy the State of Israel. Whoever hoped that the Palestinian unity between Fatah and Hamas would moderate Hamas is mistaken. Instead of the Palestinian authority taking over Gaza, the signs are being more and more seen that the complete opposite is taking place, i.e. that Hamas is increasing its control in the Palestinian Authority areas in Judea and Samaria. Therefore, international pressure must be applied on Abu Mazen to dissolve the partnership with Hamas. This touches on the roots of the conflict and the roots of a solution in which peace is achieved between us and the Palestinians.

In any case, Abu Mazen promised to uphold all of his previous commitments, and the first of these is honoring the commitment to demilitarize the areas under the control of the Palestinian government, including – of course – the Gaza Strip.

Over the weekend we also heard an interesting declaration from the Australian government of a kind that we do not always hear. It simply said that eastern Jerusalem is not occupied territory; the minimum is that is an area in dispute.

To say this sharply and with such clarity and, I would say, courage, is refreshing given the chorus of hypocrisy and ignorance, ignorance not only of ancient history, but of recent and current history. What has really happened here? Who invaded who? Who occupied what? What is subject to negotiation? What is the area in dispute? These are new things. I certainly appreciate this stand by the Australian government and I am certain that all those who want to see an agreement here based on peace, justice and truth – and it is impossible to build peace based on historic lies – would agree. There is truth and it must be embraced. It requires many, many conclusions and steps, but it certainly does not require the sanctification of lies.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/netanyahu-slams-intl-community-for-supporting-hamas-government/2014/06/08/

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