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May 28, 2015 / 10 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘John Kerry’

Lithuania Restores Military Draft, Eyes Ukraine’s Fight for Life

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

As the situation in Ukraine provides an object lesson in what to avoid in national defense strategies, Lithuania has decided to restore mandatory army service to its list of “to do”s for young men entering adulthood.

Lithuanian males from ages 19 to 27 will be called to serve their country for a period of nine months beginning in September 2015. The draft will be in force for the next five years.

Some 3,000 eligible males will be drafted, government officials told international media on Tuesday. President Dalia Grybauskaite said after a meeting of top government officials and military leaders the measure was necessary due to the “growing aggression in Ukraine. Lithuania has no tanks or military aircraft, however. Its entire military force totals some 15,000 troops.

The move comes amid tensions that continue to widen concern around the region — as well as around the world — as Ukraine fights for its life with pro-Russia separatists seizing control over an increasingly wide area.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Saturday, according to the DW website.

Speaking to a meeting of U.S. senators, an irritated Kerry said Tuesday that officials in Moscow had been “lying” about Russia’s involvement in Ukraine.

“Russia has engaged in a rather remarkable period of the most overt and extensive propaganda exercise that I’ve seen since the height of the Cold War,” Kerry told the Senate subcommittee meeting. “And they have been persisting in their misinterpretations — lies — whatever you want to call them — about their activities to my face, to the face of others, on many different occasions,” he added.

On Saturday, he and the Russian foreign minister would meet to discuss “Syria and other things” before leaving for Iran to continue negotiations on Tehran’s nuclear development program.

Kerry Sets Up Israel as Fall Guy if Palestinian Authority Goes Bankrupt

Saturday, February 21st, 2015

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told his British counterpart Phillip Hammond Saturday he is worried that the Palestinian Authority might go belly-up might be cause for Mahmoud Abbas to cease security coordination with Israel.

Hammon, like every other leader in the European Union,  also should be worried because a bankrupt Palestinian Authority would prove to the citizens in the European Union that their countries have thrown billions of dollars down the drain by keeping Abbas’ regime solvent.

The State Dept. has repeatedly said that Israel should resume turning over to the Palestinian Authority more than $100 million in tax revenues it collects each month on goods that are sent into Judea and Samaria.

The PA owes the Israel Electric Corp. hundreds of millions of dollars for electricity, which is reason enough to withhold the tax revenues. Israel always has resumed the payments until Abbas’ move last year to join the International Criminal Court.

Abbas has repeatedly threatened on different occasions and for different reasons to halt security coordination with Israel, a move that only would hasten the downfall of the Palestinian Authority. Without the help of the IDF, anarchy would reign, so no matter what Abbas does, he loses.

Kerry’s spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters last week:

It’s true we’re very concerned about the continued viability of the Palestinian Authority if they do not receive funds soon, either in terms of the resumption of monthly Israeli transfers of Palestinian tax revenues or additional donor assistance….

If the Palestinian Authority ceases security coordination or even decides to disband, as they have said they may do as early as the first week of March if they do not receive additional revenues, we could be faced with a crisis that could gravely impact both the Palestinians and the Israelis with potentially serious ripple effects either – elsewhere in the region.

Harf, Kerry and Obama: ‘The Answer to Violent Extremism is #Jobs4RandomFolk’

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

As children it was reassuring to hear Mister Rogers, clad in his cardigan sweater and slippers, remind us that people sometimes do bad things, but that does not mean they are bad people.

It is much less reassuring when the leaders of the Free World act as if they are impersonating Mister Rogers and as if those who depend on their leadership are  elementary school kids whose lunch money was stolen.

It is undoubtedly true that not all Muslims are violent extremists, but there is, currently, an assault on western civilization and it is being waged by Muslim extremists in the name of Islam.

This week the U.S. has been hosting a summit on Countering Violent Extremism. Some may have hoped real answers would be forthcoming.

So when U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry writes in a Feb. 18 op-ed that the U.S. vision for countering violent extremism is to create a safer and more prosperous future, jaws dropped. Those jaws didn’t drop because Kerry’s words were insightful or inspiring. The dropped either in disbelief or as the first physical manifestation of a yawn. We’ve heard all this before; it was wrong then and it’s wrong now.

It was the same response some had to the atrocities committed against the United States on Sept. 11, 2001. “If only” those misguided men had access to education and employment, and chickens in pots, they would not turn to such unspeakable violence. But those men did have access to education and all the opportunities open to those who do. Deprivation of opportunity is not what drove their violent extremism, and it isn’t what is driving Boko Haram or ISIS or al Qaeda.

The “education and opportunity” prescription is the same one offered to explain Palestinian Arab terrorists. But those who write the prescription ignore the reality: many of those who engage in terrorism are not without opportunities, it is a choice they make regardless of standing in life and access to education, and it is one offered to them by a leadership with vise-like control over its followers.

It is the same prescription that inspired mass-ridicule when recently uttered by Marie Harf, deputy spokesperson for the U.S. State Department. The twitter hashtag that rocketed to the top of the charts, “#Jobs4ISIS” was a laughingstock.

Despite what Deputy Spokesperson Harf, and her boss Secretary of State Kerry, and his boss, U.S. President Obama insist is not the case, the violent extremists threatening world order are Islamist extremists, and what they need is not more jobs.  They need to be defeated militarily.

And yet, when claiming that military defeat is the wrong goal, Kerry proceeds to give examples of the violence committed by the random violent extremists. And each example is an act committed by Islamists in the name of Islam: “Military force is a rational and often necessary response to the wanton slaughters of children, mass kidnappings of schoolgirls, and beheading of innocents. But military force alone won’t achieve victory.”

The word Islam never appears in Kerry’s 14 paragraph, 938 word op-ed on Countering Violent Extremism.

The word Muslim appears once. It crops up in the category of the biggest victims of this unnamed, orphan, random violent extremism. It comes up in a paragraph in which Islamophobia and anti-Semitism are lined up as equal victims. It is employed to demonstrate that not only is the source of violent extremism random, so are the victims:

A safer and more prosperous future also requires us not to be distracted by divisions grounded in hatred or bias. There is no room in this fight for sectarian division. There is no room for Islamophobia or anti-Semitism. Violent extremism has claimed lives in every corner of the globe, and Muslim lives most of all. Each of us is threatened, regardless of ethnicity, faith or homeland.

The rest of Kerry’s op-ed reads like something an earnest high school disciplinarian might say to teenagers who have been unruly. Kerry uses phrases like “peaceful communities” and “a vision that is positive and proactive,” a world with “concrete alternatives” and “a chance at a better life.”

For one brief, almost shining moment, Kerry stumbles on to a good idea. “The most basic issue is good governance.” But then, he drops the thought and instead goes on to discuss what the rest of the world needs to do in order to make the potential random violent extremists feel better about themselves and so less likely to blow us all to kingdom come.

Once again, as he concludes his statement, Kerry kicks into #jobs4ISIS mode. He channels Mister Rogers and suggests we all need to be ‘tailoring our efforts and targeting our resources’ and training youth so they can become employed and embrace “dignity and self-reliance,” as well as “security and justice.”

Jaw-dropping. Pardon the yawn.

 

Joe Biden Looking for Reason to Flee the Country when Bibi Speaks [video]

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

The Obama administration’s new excuse to explain why Vice-President Joe Biden will be “out of the country” when Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addresses Congress next month is that he has to attend a Panama government inauguration – that occurred last July.

Kerry also has conveniently planned a trip to skip not only Netanyahu’s speech but also the annual pro-Israeli lobby AIPAC, which until this year has been a favorite podium for American political leaders to say how much they love Israel. Like Biden, he also does not where to keep himself busy and out of trouble.

The White House previously has stated that Kerry and Biden won’t be around for Biden, but now they are trying to figure out what kind of event in a foreign country they can dig up to elegantly get out of being questioned in Washington when Netanyahu is speaking.

The vice president of the United States normally attends joint sessions of Congress, but National Security Council Spokesperson Bernadette Meehan stated last month, “As a matter of long-standing practice and principle, we do not see heads of state or candidates in close proximity to their elections…. The President has been clear about his opposition to Congress passing new legislation on Iran that could undermine our negotiations and divide the international community.”

Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Minority leader in the House of Representatives, insisted that many if not most of her party’s Congressmen are not boycotting the Prime Minister, She said:

I don’t think anybody should use the word ‘boycott. When these heads of state come, people are here doing their work, they’re trying to pass legislation, they’re meeting with their constituents and the rest. It’s not a high-priority item for them.

The Prime Minister of Israel is going to speak about the Iranian nuclear program aimed at developing a nuclear weapon that threatens the entire world, and Pelosi says his speech “is not a high priority for them.”

And what is Biden’s cover-up for Obama’s orders to go invisible when Netanyahu speaks?

State Dept. spokeswoman Jen Psaki explained to reporters Wednesday, “I believe the Vice President’s attending the inauguration for the new Government of Panama.”

That is very interesting because the Panama government was inaugurated last July 1.

Associated Press journalist asked Psaki about the contradiction, and she admitted that “perhaps that’s not the right information.”

When Lee persisted that perhaps Psaki can “invent a country that he could go to,” she insisted, “I don’t think inaugurations for new leaders are invented.”

She is right. Excuses, and not inaugurations, are invented.

So where will Biden and Kerry find themselves on March 3?

Psakai said:

Well, we’ve already been clear that we don’t have to plan – we don’t have plans, I should say, to have a meeting. I think the more likely reason is that the Secretary is probably going to be out of town, which I don’t think surprises any of you, given his overseas travel schedule. We’re still working out the next couple of weeks.

“We have a trip we’re working on for early March, late February.”

As a gesture to the government of the United States, The Jewish Press has done some homework for the Obama administration and has come up with suggestions where Kerry and Biden can go in hiding.

First of all, they shouldn’t miss the opportunity to attend the Malaysian International Furniture Fair, which begins March 3.

They can get “two for the price of one” in Malaysia by visiting the three-day conference, beginning on March 3, of the Global Food Safety Conference. They can tune in on the main topic, “How well do you know your Supply Chain?”

Ukraine Conflict Transforming to ‘Russia versus the West’

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

Despite a cease-fire that went into effect one minute after midnight on Sunday, the conflict has apparently resumed between pro-Russia separatists and Ukraine government forces, but with clear Russian involvement.

The European Union has responded by activating sanctions against nine organizations and 19 people in Russia, including two Russian deputy defense ministers and Iosef Kobzon, age 77 — a Jewish man known as the “Russian Frank Sinatra.”

Kobzon is a long-time member of the Russian parliament. Sanctions were imposed against him because he “visited the so-called Donetsk People’s Repubic and during his visit made statements supporting separatists” after the Kremlin annexed Crimea, seizing it from Ukraine, the EU Official Journal explained. Donetsk is Kobzon’s birthplace.

For weeks the Russian-backed separatists have been focusing their attention on laying siege to the railway hub of Debaltseve, which so far has remained under the control of the Ukraine forces.

U.S. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said at a briefing over the weekend that photos snapped in eastern Ukraine provided “credible pieces of evidence” that Russia herself – and not just separatist rebels – has been involved in the conflict.

“We are confident that [large amounts of artillery and multiple rocket launchers seen in the images around Debaltseve] are Russian military, not separatist systems,” Psaki said.

Secretary of State John Kerry spoke with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, in a phone conversation on Saturday to discuss the situation. Kerry expressed concern over what he called efforts by Russia and separatists to cut off the town ahead of the cease-fire.

Artillery fire was also exchanged in massive shootouts around the rebel-held regions of both Donetsk and Lugansk. Rocket attacks were directed at areas around the government-held Azov Sea port city of Mariupol on Saturday as well.

Last week a teacher at the Chabad-Lubavitch preschool was killed in Donetsk when a rocket slammed into her apartment, killing her instantly. Irina Shelkayeba was an active member of the Donetsk Jewish community and a teacher at the Ohr Avner Preschool, Rabbi Aryeh Schvartz told Chabad.org.

The Beth Menachem synagogue – the only synagogue left in Donetsk – survived a narrow miss in a rocket attack that followed Shelkayeba’s death the same day. Instead, a minibus in a bus station some 300 meters away was hit by a shell in an attack that followed on the heels of the one that killed Shelkayeba.

Four people were killed in that attack, including the driver of the bus, which was incinerated along with a nearby vehicle. Nevertheless, the synagogue’s morning minyan (quorum) gathered to pray the regular morning service 90 minutes later as it does each day. Emergency food and supply packages sponsored by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews were then distributed at the Jewish Community Center next door to the synagogue.

The city’s Chabad emissary, Rabbi Pinchas Vishedski, said, “We have recently known many especially difficult and terrible days. I ask that Jews worldwide pray for their brethren in the war-torn territories – for everyone living in danger – and that they should all have peace and security.”

Kerry Says ISIS ‘Insults the Religion They Falsely Represent’

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

Secretary of State John Kerry clearly placed the Islamic State (ISIS) out of the realm of Islam, or even radical Islam, and declared that its terrorists “are an insult to the religion they falsely claim to represent.”

Kerry’s statement Tuesday, following the announcement that American aid worker and ISIS hostage Kayla Mueller has been confirmed dead, came one day after President Barack Obama did not refer to radical Islamists as such but instead commented here on “vicious zealots who behead people or randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris.”

Kerry made it clear that “ISIL, and ISIL alone, is the reason Kayla is gone,” but he then disassociated them from Islam, to wit:

Like our friends in Jordan, our resolve is unshaken to defeat this vile and unspeakably ugly insult to the civilized world and to defeat terrorists whose actions – killing women, killing children, burning people alive – are an insult to the religion they falsely claim to represent.

Eulogizing Mueller, Kerry said that she was “a compassionate young American who represented everything good about the human spirit.”

He added, “She so purposefully had one mission in life from the very start, and that was to help people…. She embraced children who had lost their parents. She comforted the sick and the wounded…. Kayla’s sense of values, her humanity and generosity, her idealism – this is what will endure, and it will endure long, long after the barbarity of ISIL is defeated.”

If Kerry can say that the Islamic State falsely represents Islam, can he say the same about Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Taliban, Al Qaeda and their jihadist allies?

If the Islamic State is not defined as radical Islam, will its eventual defeat mean that radical Islam is guaranteed a long life?

US Begins to Use ‘Daesh’ for ISIL, ‘Islamic State’

Monday, February 9th, 2015

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry honored the memory of a Jordanian pilot tortured to death by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in finally calling the group by its Middle Eastern, regional Arabic name: ‘Daesh.’

The radical Islamic terror group that swallowed massive territory in Syria and Iraq and is penetrating into Europe, the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza, already has had many names.

ISIS, ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, as it is called by U.S. President Barack Obama) and “Islamic State.”

But among Arabs and Israelis the group is referred to as “Daesh,” the Arabic language moniker by which it is known to every Middle Eastern nation.

Last year after a particularly vicious attack by the group in France, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius called on the rest of the world to join the Middle East, contending the group never was and never will be an “Islamic State.”

Most of Europe rallied to that call, especially following its savage execution of Jordanian pilot Muath al-Basaesbeh after which it released a video a month later, showing how it burned him alive in a metal cage.

The main holdouts were English-speaking countries, among them the United States, which clung to the “ISIL” acronym, as did Great Britain.

Yesterday, however, it appears the United States joined the Middle East and Europe. Secretary of State John Kerry referred to the group as “Daesh” during a panel discussion at the Munich Security Conference.

One of the major tests facing the United States, Europe and “the entire civilized world,” he contended in his address, is “the rise of violent extremism.”

Kerry went on to detail how each week brings new examples of “how far the evil of these extremist groups reaches.

“Daesh’s execution of a captured Jordanian pilot by burning him alive is a new level of depravity. And far from hiding such a despicable act, they posted a video of it for all the world to see.

“And last week, the UN reported the horrifying ways that Daesh treats even its most vulnerable captives – crucifying children; burying children alive; handpicking mentally challenged children to serve as suicide bombers and kill even more innocent people. This is what we’re up against.”

But it’s not just Daesh, Kerry warned. On a visit to Pakistan last month, “extremists viciously attacked a military school, and Pakistani officials showed me the time-stamped photos of the sequence of the school’s assembly hall before and after that December 16th assault.

“At first, there were children, as children would be, lined up in their uniforms, sitting in their chairs in this auditorium, innocent faces attentive, listening, watching, waiting for knowledge. Minutes later, the scene changed – brutally and horribly – from a learning center into a killing chamber. Blood everywhere, broken eyeglasses, scattered textbooks, torn jackets, young kids strewn across the floor, lifeless bodies.”

On that day, Kerry added, the school’s principal was escorted to safety but returned to try to save her students. “When challenged by the assassins, she pointed to the children saying: “I am their mother,” her last words. “When they’d finished their slaughter in the auditorium, they telephoned on cell phones to call back for instructions, and the instructions that came through were, about the soldiers who were closing in, “kill them and then blow yourselves up.

“Let me be clear,” Kerry continued, “there are no grounds of history, religion, ideology, psychology, politics, economic advantage or disadvantage, or personal ambition that justify the murder of children, the kidnapping and rape of teenage girls, or the slaughter of unarmed civilians. These atrocities can never be rationalized; they can never be excused; they must be opposed with every fiber of our being, and they must be stopped.”

He added that the world “cannot and will not cower in the face of this extremism.” Which extremism?

U.S. administration officials led by President Barack Obama cannot even bear to name it. How can America fight an enemy that it fears to even define?

Readers, there was one word missing from that incredibly passionate, graphic account delivered by America’s secretary of state to those participating at the Munich conference. Everyone there knew the word that was missing, and everyone understood its implications. Most of those in the room have used that word because for them it holds no special significance. They may fear it — but they face it.

Radical Islam. Basic radical Islamic extremism which gave birth to murderous hatred of those who do not believe in the same way.

This is an ancient threat in a new package and must be fought — as such things have been before.

But first, let’s call it what it is so at least there’s no confusion on the battlefield.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/us-begins-to-use-daesh-for-isil-islamic-state/2015/02/09/

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