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October 10, 2015 / 27 Tishri, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Middle East’

Kerry Drafts Americans in War on ISIS, Offers $5 Million for Information

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

The U.S. State Dept. has posted a $5 million reward to any American who can turn over “information that will disrupt the trade of oil and trafficking of antiquities that benefit the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.”

The press release on the notice from the State Dept.’s Rewards for Justice added:

Today’s announcement marks the first time the U.S. Secretary of State has authorized a Rewards for Justice offer for information that could be used to disrupt sale or trade in oil or antiquities by, or on behalf of, a terrorist organization.

The Obama administration began to take notice of ISIS years ago, but it wasn’t until the beheading of Americans journalist James Foley last year that Americans began realizing the power and growing threat of the criminal and terror organization.

More than one year after the brutal murder of Foley, the first of three Americans who so far have been beheading victims, Kerry unveiled his weapon to defeat ISIS. His boss, President Barack Obama, told the United Nations this week that military force is not enough to overcome the radical Islamist group.

One of the reasons that has been true is that the United States foreign policy experts never really know who is on first in the Middle East. After having helped Hosni Mubarak out of power and into jail and ushering Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Morsi in power and then out of power, U.S. army officers trained and armed “trusted” rebels to fight the Assad regime. The unit graduated from training and promptly turned over the American weapons to Al Qaeda.

Apparently lacking information on ISIS’ illegal trade, Kerry now has drafted Americans into the war, figuring that good citizens will come up with the goods to lead to the disruption of ISIS criminal trade.

The State Dept. announced:

The U.S. Department of State expects this reward offer will encourage individuals to come forward with information regarding persons or entities engaged in the production, facilitation, processing, smuggling, distribution, sale, and trade of oil and antiquities that would benefit ISIL, as well as the information on the smuggling networks, methods, and routes underlying these activities.

While the United States has allowed Syria to create a military base in Syria, right across from the Israeli border, Kerry has let loose his doomsday weapon to help wipe out ISIS.

Naïve is one of the kindest words that can be used to describe American foreign policy, especially in the Middle East, a policy that has left a huge vacuum that Russian President Vladimir Putin is filling to the hilt by taking over Syrian airspace and carrying out aerial attacks.

Putin claims that the only reason Russia is bombing Syria is to attack Islamic State (ISIS) forces. The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that official said a Russian bombing raid in Syria on Wednesday targeted an area held by rebel forces that are backed by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Middle East Quartet Hits Only Flat Notes

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

The world is rapidly changing, nowhere more so than in the Middle East. Russia has amassed a military presence, Iran is on the brink of nuclear weaponhood, Saudi Arabia and Iran are in the early throes of a death match for regional hegemony and hundreds of thousands of Syrians have been slaughtered by other Arabs, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of homeless Arab refugees fleeing their brethren for safety to an unprepared and terribly frightened Europe.

But you would never know the entire Middle East is in flames, and all the action is happening to their east, to hear the statement from the Middle East Quartet issued from their meeting on the sidelines (from which they should never come out) of the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, Sept. 30.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and European Union High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Federica Mogherini once again intoned their time-worn and ludicrous, mantra – that the solution to the Middle East crisis will be the creation of a State of Palestine, otherwise known as the “Two State Solution.”

How absurd. And how pathetic. But what’s even more absurd than the Quartet still desperately clinging to a so-called solution to the Middle East conflict which involves only the tiniest and least violent conflict in the region, is that the merry foursome continues to speak as if the two sides are nearly equally culpable, even as they bear down harder on Israeli actions than they do on the official sanction and glorification by the Palestinian Arab leadership of Arab terrorism.

The Quartet’s statement reads as if it were simply lifted from a decades-old template:

The Quartet noted with deep concern recent violence and escalating tensions surrounding the holy sites in Jerusalem and called upon all parties to exercise restraint, refrain from provocative actions and rhetoric, and preserve unchanged the status quo at the holy sites in both word and practice.

The Quartet expressed its serious concern that current trends on the ground – including continued acts of violence against Palestinians and Israelis, ongoing settlement activity and the high rate of demolitions of Palestinian structures — are dangerously imperiling the viability of a two-State solution. The Quartet condemned in the strongest possible terms violence against Israeli and Palestinian civilians and reiterated that unilateral actions by either party cannot prejudge the outcome of a negotiated solution.

Blah, blah, blah.

Really? This is what passes for the highest level of international diplomacy?

But wait. It gets worse.

The Quartet underscored that the status quo is not sustainable and stressed the importance of both sides’ demonstrating, through policies and actions, a genuine commitment to a two-State solution in order to rebuild trust and avoid a cycle of escalation. The Quartet expressed strong support for concrete and significant steps that will help stabilize the situation, reverse current trends by showing meaningful progress towards creating a two-State reality on the ground and restore hope among Palestinians and Israelis that a negotiated peace is possible.

Guess what, fellas? It isn’t possible. At least not any time soon. And unless these internationally acclaimed diplomatic dinosaurs figure out that the status quo is the very best they can hope for into the foreseeable future, they’ll be making the same speech every year for the next 60 years.

Meanwhile, the acting leader (now in his tenth year of his four year term) of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas, took his cues from the diplo-dinosaurs and trotted out his favorite mantra: “we deserve a state because we keep demanding one, and we refuse to concede a single demand because no one ever seriously pushes us to do so.”

Abbas submitted a request to the Security Council seeking recognition of the Palestinian Authority as an independent country, with Jerusalem as its capital. And no one laughed. But few people were in the room, which might suggest that even if the Quartet and UNWRA act as if the plight of the Palestinian Arabs remains the most serious problem in the world which requires the infusion of tens of millions of dollars every year, few others do. Or at least few others are willing to waste their time listening.

In a tour de force of comical timing, the Quartet “expressed support for the Palestinians to achieve genuine national unity on the basis of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) principles.” These principles were announced as a part of the Oslo Accords in September, 1993.

And during Abbas’s speech on the same day at the GA, the Arab Palestinian acting leader announced from the U.N. podium that his people are no longer bound by the Oslo Accords. Abbas renounced all political and security agreements with Israel.


In addition to the fabled Two State Solution, the Quartet also struck a minor chord of fancy when it called for the Palestinian Arabs in both the so-called West Bank and Gaza to be integrated under a single authority. Hamas and Fatah (and the other smaller gangs of terrorists) are as far from being able to work together to improve the lives of Palestinian Arabs in the region as are the Israelis and either faction of Palestinian Arabs able to negotiate an agreement that could end their disagreements.

That ain’t happening.

And you know what else has not happened? The billions of dollars in aid pledged by Arab countries for rebuilding Gaza after its last military confrontation with Israel has not been provided. Even the Arabs in the rest of the Arab world recognize that the Palestinian Arabs are the least of the region’s problem. But the Quartet keeps churning out tired, cliche-laden statements.

Time for a new band.

Netanyahu Calls Abbas’ Speech ‘Deceitful’ and ‘Inciting’

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Prime Minister Netanyahu responded to Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ speech in the United Nations Wednesday with charges of “deceit” and “incitement.”

A statement from his office said:

Abu Mazen’s speech was deceitful and encourages incitement and lawlessness in the Middle East.

In contrast to the Palestinians, Israel is strictly maintaining the status quo on the Temple Mount and is committed to continuing to do so in accordance with the agreements between us and the Jordanians and the Waqf.

We expect and call on the [Palestinian] Authority and its leader to act responsibly and accede to the proposal of the Prime Minister of Israel and enter into direct negotiations with Israel without preconditions.

The fact that he – time and again – has refused to do so is the best possible proof of the fact he does not intend to reach a peace agreement.

Abbas Wins a Flag but Backs Off from ‘Bomb’ at Half-Empty United Nations

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Mahmoud Abbas informed the United Nations General Assembly Wednesday that he has submitted a request to the Security Council for recognizing the Palestinian Authority as an independent country based on its territorial demands with its capital in Jerusalem.

He also conditioned the Palestinian Authority’s abiding by agreements on Israel’s doing the same, which in his view means agreeing to all demands for a new state based on the Arab world’s terms.

However, the fact that the General Assembly was half-empty symbolizes the decreasing interest in the “Israeli-Palestinian” struggle and is a follow-up to President Barack Obama’s speech earlier this week in which he totally ignored the issue.

Abbas did not drop his threatened “bombshell,” perhaps a direct cancellation of all agreements, after a warning from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to keep his cool. Instead, he spun the yarn that the Palestinian Authority honors all agreements but that Israel does not..

His favorite point was “illegal settlements.” There is no agreement with the Palestinian Authority that Israel will not retain a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria, unless negotiations conclude otherwise. But Abbas is relying on U.N. resolutions as “agreements.”

Since he has the support of most of the United Nations and foreign media, he can get away with the semantic trickery.

Abbas referred to Israel as an “occupying power” five times in his 40-minute speech, and he played on theme of the “Holy Land” six times, alleging that the “occupying power” prevents Muslims from worshipping at the Al Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is expected to tell the General Assembly in his speech that the Palestinian Authority is behind vicious incitement on the Temple Mount in an effort to change the status quo and prohibit Jews from the holy site.

Abbas’ speech was filled to the brim with accusations against Israel, which afterwards called the address one of “incitement,” while he acted as the eternal peacemaker.

He rewrote history for a receptive audience and media, stating in part:

We entered those negotiations with open hearts and attentive ears and sincere intentions, and we were ready with our documents, papers and proposals. But the negotiations broke down just weeks after their launch…..

Sincere efforts and endeavors undertaken by international parties were repeatedly wrecked by the positions of the Israeli government, which quickly dashed the hopes raised by the launch of negotiations last September.

Unsurprisingly, Abbas weighed into “settlements.” an issue on which he has the full backing of the Obama administration. He told the United Nations:

Settlement activities embody the core of the policy of colonial military occupation of the land of the Palestinian people and all of the brutality of aggression and racial discrimination against our people that this policy entails.

This policy, which constitutes a breach of international humanitarian law and United Nations resolutions, is the primary cause for the failure of the peace process, the collapse of dozens of opportunities, and the burial of the great hopes that arose from the signing of the Declaration of Principles in 1993 between the Palestine Liberation Organization and Israel to achieve a just peace that would begin a new era for our region.

He repeated what has become an Arab mantra, totally unsubstantiated by facts, that Israel is conducting “excavations that threaten our holy places, and its military checkpoints prevent our citizens from getting access to their mosques and churches.”

Abbas managed to bring Israeli Arabs under his umbrella, warning that the Israeli government is imposing “new conditions…that will transform the raging conflict in our inflamed region into a religious conflict and a threat to the future of a million and a half Christian and Muslim Palestinians, citizens of Israel.”

His speech exposed the Palestinian Authority strategy of using the original peace agreement with Israel as a basis to demand that all its conditions be met under “negotiations,” which in essence have left nothing to be negotiated.

Abbas recalled that in 1988, “We agreed to establish the State of Palestine on only 22% of the territory of historical Palestine – on all the Palestinian Territory occupied by Israel in 1967.”

Syria Urges Russia to Attack All Rebel Forces

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

The Syrian ambassador to Russia said Wednesday he hopes that the Russian Armed Forces will attack all the terrorist organizations present in Syria, including the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra.”

Ambassador Riad Haddad told Moscow’s Sputnik news that the Russian Air Force headquarters would be determined by the military command.

It is inevitable that Russia will not limit its military operations in Syria to attacks on the ISIS, as President Vladimir Putin has assured President Barack Obama.

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad is totally dependent on Russia to save his neck, and Russia is so heavily invested in Syria and Iran that it cannot afford to see the ISIS, rebel forces or Al Qaeda carve up the country.

Breaking News: Russia Gives Green Light for Air Strikes in Syria

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015


The Russian Federation Council has approved a resolution that allows military force outside of the country, clearing the path for Russian air strikes in Syria.

The vote followed a request from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for military help to help him survive.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed that Russian involvement in Syria is intended to fight the Islamic State (ISIS), and the Kremlin chief of staff insists that air strikes will be limited to hitting ISIS.

However, it can easily be claimed that ISIS is operating in areas controlled by other rebel groups fighting Assad and that military strikes will be widespread.

The presence of Russian warplanes in Syria gives Moscow a base to take over Syrian skies, where Israel occasionally has attacked Russian and Iranian weapons en route to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Hezbollah and Iran also have sent thousands of soldiers to Iran, allowing for a Russian-Iranian-Hezbollah alliance across from Israel’s border with Syria.

Fox News reported Wednesday that Russia has demanded that the United States remove all of its warplanes from Syrian airspace. A senior defense official told Fox:

We have had every indication in recent weeks that (the Russians) were going to do something given the build-up.

There is nothing to indicate that we are changing operations over Syria.

Netanyahu to Lash Out in UN at Palestinian Authority Incitement

Monday, September 28th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will lash out at Palestinian Authority incitement on the Temple Mount in his speech at the United Nations on Tuesday, government sources reported.

He also will tell an unreceptive Generals Assembly that Israelis are on the front line against the threat of a nuclear Iran. Sources in the office of the Prime Minister said the speech will be very “powerful,” but now that the Iran deal is just about history,

it is doubtful that his appearance will match the attention-getting event three years ago when he drew a picture of Iran’s approaching the “red line” beyond which it cannot be stopped from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

Prime Minister Netanyahu also will blame the Palestinian Authority for the failure of the “peace process.” which is hardly on the back-burner while the Islamic State (ISIS) and Russia’s involvement in the Syrian civil war have become the focus of American worries..

After his speech, he is expected to meet with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and later with Jewish leaders.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/netanyahu-to-lash-out-in-un-at-palestinian-authority-incitement/2015/09/28/

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