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December 20, 2014 / 28 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Middle East’

Lieberman and Indyk Bash Bennett for Bashing Kerry

Saturday, October 18th, 2014

Martin Indyk, another failed American messiah for the Palestinian Authority, and none other than hawkish Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman unwittingly were on the same soapbox Saturday to bash Jewish Home Minister Naftali Bennett for bashing U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s incredible comments linking ISIS recruitment with the failure of the “peace process.”

Lieberman’s criticism of Bennett clearly reflects the dependence of the Netanyahu administration on the United States to cast a veto against any vote in the United Nations Security Council in favor of admitting the Palestinian Authority as a full member in the General Assembly.

For the record, Kerry’s spokeswoman Marie Harf claimed that Kerry never made such a suggestion although her convoluted explanation essentially said the same thing in other terms.

But Bennett stole the limelight with his remarks Friday that were very undiplomatic and politically incorrect, if not correct from the standpoint of truth, that Kerry was “encouraging global terror.

“It turns out that even when a British Muslim decapitates a British Christian, there will always be someone to blame the Jew,” Bennett said. “There is no justifying terror, only fighting it. To say that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is strengthening the Islamic State is encouraging global terror.”

Kerry stated at a reception for Muslims Wednesday, as reported here, “As I went around and met with people in the course of our discussions … there wasn’t a leader I met with in the region who didn’t raise with me spontaneously the need to try to get peace between Israel and the Palestinians, because it was a cause of recruitment and of street anger and agitation that they felt – and I see a lot of heads nodding – they had to respond to.

“And people need to understand the connection of that… It has something to do with humiliation and denial and absence of dignity.”

We will leave it to the reader to figure out how Harf could claim that there was no linkage.

Israel’s Communications Minister Gilad Erdan was just as caustic as Bennett and said, “Kerry is breaking records for a lack of understanding of what is going on in our region.”

Indyk, who has joined a long list of American “experts” at the State Dept’s ever-expanding foreign policy graveyard, tweeted, “There they go again: Israeli rightist ministers attack Kerry for wanting Israeli-Palestinian peace to help fight IS.”

He supposedly was defending Kerry but his tweet actually spelled out in capital letters that the cause and effect is obvious: Israeli-Palestinian peace will help the United States fight the Islamic State.

Lieberman’s defense of Kerry was not so idiotic.

The foreign minister, who is on top of the list of those panning Kerry’s Peace Talks Follies, can fairly be presumed to have applauded in his heart every word Bennett and Erdan said, but his position as foreign minister took precedence. He clearly is worried about the reaction from Washington, which already has been reeled by several remarks this year by Israeli officials that Kerry is “messianic” and doesn’t have a clue about the Middle East.

That is absolutely untrue. Kerry knows the Middle East is located somewhere between the Atlantic Ocean and the China. He also knows that the King David Hotel is located in Jerusalem, the part that is not “occupied.”

“Let’s state some facts,” Lieberman said. “When our ammunition supplies ran out during Operation Protective Edge, it was the United States that sent us more. It was the Americans who gave us money which enabled us to develop Iron Dome. It was the US who voted with us in the UN Human Rights Council. The United States is the only country that saves us a good deal of grief in the Security Council with its veto.”

Attacking ISIS, Obama Will Only Repeat The Disasters Of His Predecessor

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

This article first appeared in Jewish Business News.

Far from being a fan of ISIS, who represent the very worst in Islamic culture, I nevertheless believe President Obama should leave them alone and not attempt to remove them from the face of the earth, as he has promised a few days ago.

ISIS serves a very important purpose, it is actually a source of stability in the region, and as such should be left to its own devices. Yes, the West must protect its assets in the region, and, yes, care must be taken to bolster innocent bystanders like the Kurds and the kingdom of Jordan against the onslaught of the Islamic ninjas. Other than that, to paraphrase a popular sentiment: don’t just do something, stand there.

Nature abhors a vacuum. Back in the 7th century, as the Roman Empire was losing its oomph in the Middle East, the Arab hordes, led by Muhammad, rushed out of the Arabian peninsula and grabbed all that nice, free property, never to let go of most of it again. This is precisely what ISIS, the new Muslim hordes in the very same region, have been doing.

Thirteen years ago, Barbara Bush’s less gifted son decided to remove the only man in the region who was able, using cruelty, paranoia and a voracious appetite for power, to stop the Iranian Shiite empire from expanding and gaining a hegemony in the region. That wondrous man was Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, and when he fell, he left a vacuum that was quickly filled by Iran and its Shiite allies inside Iraq.

In essence, the United States spent trillions of dollars and countless lives, American and Arab, to give Iran the primacy it so desired in that part of the world. Yes, that was some idiotic move.

And as President Obama decided to cut America’s losses and pull out of the region en mass, he forced the Sunnis to get up and make a move before it was too late. So they did. Taking advantage of the vacuum left by Obama’s America, ISIS has been running through the region like knife through hot butter. And that’s a very good thing.

Because ISIS, despite their obvious religious fanaticism, are realists. They want money and land, which they’ve taken’ and they want a reliable and well equipped army, which they’ve also taken, from America’s Iraqi clients.

But they’ve been staying out of areas where they know they’d get a bloody nose. While attacking women and children wherever they could, ISIS soldiers have kept away from serious confrontations with the IDF and the Jordanian Legion. They’re not interested in fighting for the sake of fighting alone, they’re looking for rewards. So, like I said, that’s a good thing.

The big service ISIS is doing the West right now is checking Iranian power, just as the Sunni rebels inside Syria are keeping the Iranian agent Hezbollah in check, and just as the PLO is keeping Hamas in check, at least to some degree.

It’s a volatile region, where violent, crazed men will always make life terrible for their weaker, more productive, less sociopath neighbors. But now the crazies are balancing one another, like a circle of snakes, each keeping the tail of the next snake in its clenched jaws.

Israel and the West could do worse, by helping any of these brutes. Let them keep each other busy for decades, and let’s wish all of them much success in their bloody endeavors.

Oh, and if you’re a journalist looking to interview these guys – use Skype, for heaven’s sake.

Beware! Beheading Becoming New Fashion for Jihad Terrorists

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Beware! Beheading is rapidly becoming the new fashion method for terrorists. The Islamic State’s methods are spreading very quickly to other geographic arenas in the Middle East and Africa.

In the past couple of weeks we have heard about cases of beheading in numerous other countries. There have been such cases reported in Lebanon, in the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, and in Nigeria as well, the latter carried out by the Boko Haram group who kidnapped hundreds of Christian girls for slaves several months ago.

Unfortunately the media – especially the social media – has no doubt played a major role in exporting the idea of beheading from Iraq and Syria to other parts of the world.

Reports of the incidents zip around the world with each new beheading, although such barbaric methods are not new. Journalist James Foley was not the first victim. And journalist Steve Sotloff, a Jewish Israeli-American dual citizen who hid both his Judaism and his Israeli citizenship, just joined his beheaded colleague.

We have already seen what Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi did to Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. We saw what happened to British soldier Lee Rigby in the streets of London.

Now, I am afraid, beheading has become a fashion; an acceptable, legitimate, ‘regular’ method of jihad.

The Western silence is shocking. Everyone says it is “there” and not “here.” “Who cares about ‘them’?” “Let them kill each other.”

Where are the demonstrations against the beheading of the Yazidis? Where is the support for the Christians in Nigeria? Where are all the moderate Muslims? Why don’t we hear their condemnation of this ‘fashion’ of beheading?

The world is sleep-walking!!

Be warned: if the world continues to simply bat helplessly away in deafening silence, beheading will become a fashion in “our” place as well. If will cross continents and oceans, and no place will remain immune.

Wake up before it’s too late. I hope and pray I am wrong; but I fear that I am only too right.

Obama’s Campaign Against Israel

Friday, August 15th, 2014

It’s getting harder and harder for even diehard apologists to make a case that the Obama administration supports Israel. The latest news comes after a very rocky period in which the administration tried to do an end-around to coerce Israel into a bad ceasefire deal with Hamas, while experimenting with an unseemly and embarrassing (and short-lived) flight ban to Israel’s international airport, and straightforwardly mouthing the false Hamas narrative about an Israeli attack in southern Gaza.

Now administration officials have disclosed, in a leak-blast full of astonishing quotes, that a shipment of arms to resupply Israel after the recent operation in Gaza was stopped when senior officials became aware of it.

But they aren’t just disclosing that the shipment was halted, and that other shipments will be getting a closer look. They are concocting an entire narrative about the Israelis “outflanking” the administration, running off on their own, and being unreceptive to U.S. influence.

Obama is transparent, if you read his oracular signs with the right key. Most responsible observers have been reluctant up to now to use that key. But there’s really nothing else left to do. We’re beyond the point at which the damaging implications of tailored “leaks” from the Obama administration can be explained away.

The most positive interpretation of the administration’s posture, as revealed in the incendiary WSJ article, is that it is ideologically committed to a radical-left view in which Israel figures as the villain. From this ideological motive, Obama hopes to use American influence to limit and confound Israeli policy. Think of the policy the typical flotilla activist would adopt toward Israel, and that’s the thematic pattern in Obama’s executive-branch campaign. The campaign can’t be waged too overtly, because of the inevitable blowback from Congress.

Tending the “BASE

Characteristically, the latest escapade with the halted arms shipment is being disclosed in a way that will gratify Obama’s radical-left political base. Right away, the disclosure has the Obama signature on it (emphasis added):

White House and State Department officials who were leading U.S. efforts to rein in Israel’s military campaign in the Gaza Strip were caught off guard last month when they learned that the Israeli military had been quietly securing supplies of ammunition from the Pentagon without their approval.

Is Obama ever not caught off guard? This opening sentence explains to his base that he and his top officials weren’t responsible for seeming to approve of the IDF’s operation in Gaza by providing supplies to it.

But the sentence also flat-out lies – by implying that there was something sneaky about Israel’s procurement of ammunition. In fact, Israel was reordering ammunition under Foreign Military Sales cases for which reordering is already authorized, without the need for renewed approval. This is not uncommon with foreign military sales (and is actually acknowledged later in the same article, as Jeff Dunetz points out). Depicting a reorder of ammo as “adroit bureaucratic maneuvering” is worse than tendentious, and can have only one purpose. The purpose is clarified here:

But Israeli and U.S. officials say that the adroit bureaucratic maneuvering made it plain how little influence the White House and State Department have with the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu —and that both sides know it.

Certainly this can be read as the Obama administration distancing itself from Israel in a diplomatic and geopolitical sense. But don’t discount the reality of who Obama is as a politician. He’s equally invested in distancing himself, in the minds of his most loyal supporters, from whatever outcome Israel is able to secure from the current conflict. The narrative crafted by this very tailored “leak” is perfectly designed to appeal to those supporters, who at this point are virtually certain to be disappointed in Israel’s outcome.

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.

White (House) Washing Hamas

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

While U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is trying to clean up the mess he created at a closed-door meeting on Friday by claiming Israel had a future as an ‘apartheid state’ if it doesn’t make peace with the Palestinian Authority soon, the American Way, a White House adviser has just added more fuel to the fire.

Middle East adviser to the White House Philip Gordon told American Jewish leaders this week that the new Palestinian Authority unity government deal between the Fatah faction and Hamas terrorists “isn’t necessarily a bad thing.”

Gordon told members of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations at a special briefing that the Palestinian Authority’s impending Hamas-Fatah unity government took the American mediators by surprise, i24News TV reported.

He added that Secretary Kerry warned PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas that the timing of the unity deal was not good, and that the U.S. was not pleased by the news.

Nevertheless, the White House appears to have taken a “wait and see” attitude. Gordon commented during his briefing that in any case it would have been nearly impossible to reach a permanent peace with “half a Palestinian entity.”

The remark is a reference to the fact that the PA chairman and his Ramallah-based government only actually control certain areas in Judea and Samaria. Nearly one half of the PA – the entire region of Gaza, in fact – is under the iron fist of the Hamas terrorist organization. Even Abbas cannot enter Gaza without the permission of the Gaza leadership, for fear of assassination.

All of southern Israel and significant parts of central Israel have been vulnerable to rocket, mortar and missile attacks from Gaza for several years. More than 12,000 such attacks have been launched at Israel over the past decade.

At least two mini-wars have been fought against the region in order to silence the deadly rocket fire that periodically disrupts daily civilian life in southern Israel, and more than a thousand PA Arab terrorist prisoners were freed in a prisoner exchange deal with Hamas in order to rescue IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, who was held hostage in Gaza for more than five years after being kidnapped by a group of Hamas-affiliated terrorists in June 2006.

Indyk Returns to Raise the Dead (Israel-PA Talks)

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

U.S. Special Envoy to the Middle East Martin Indyk is on his way back to the region today (Thursday) to officially revive the talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

State Department spokesperson Marty Harf told reporters at a briefing that both sides have told Secretary of State John Kerry they want to continue negotiations beyond the current April 29 deadline.

Neither side was willing to meet after the terrorist attack in Judea on Monday that killed senior police officer Baruch Mizrahi, a father of five, and wounded his wife and 9-year-old son. The attacker or attackers were standing on the side of the road on Highway 35 near Hevron, shooting at vehicles with Israeli license plates, a witness said. One arrest has allegedly been made but no details were released. Mizrahi was on his way with his family to a seder in Kiryat Arba to celebrate the Passover holiday when he was murdered.

Talks that were scheduled for Wednesday night were cancelled. Both sides were unwilling to negotiate in the face of another Arab terror attack on Jews using an AK-47 – a weapon supplied to PA police by the U.S. military, among others – ostensibly to strengthen its forces so they could ‘fight terror.’

On Thursday, those talks are set to resume with Indyk, Israel’s Justice Minister and chief negotiator Tzipi Livni and negotiator Yitzhak Molcho, and the PA’s chief negotiator Saeb Erekat.

PA spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudaineh told a media briefing in Ramallah that an agreement is already in place to extend the talks.

“The Palestinian commitment is clear to the Israelis and the Americans, and this commitment is that the talks will continue until April 29, and that Israel should release the fourth group of prisoners,” Rudaineh told reporters. “This is the basic Palestinian demand. This is not a Palestinian condition, but it is a Palestinian demand, which was agreed upon with the U.S. secretary of state according to which 104 pre-Oslo prisoners would be released, and in return we would not go to the United Nations organizations for nine months… Now the talks with the Israelis and the Americans are continuing to the end of this month to discuss the basis that could lead to an extension of the negotiations,” he said.

Various proposals are being advanced by Israel in order to wrestle with the issue of the Israeli Arab prisoners among the fourth and final group that was held back due to lack of progress in the talks.

The Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party has threatened to leave the government if those prisoners – Israeli citizens who are all Arab terrorists – are freed.

One option would be to revoke their citizenship and deport them. Another would be to simply send the entire group to Gaza or abroad. In either case, resistance from the PA is expected – as usual.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/indyk-returns-to-raise-the-dead-israel-pa-talks/2014/04/17/

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