web analytics
July 5, 2015 / 18 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘NATO’

IAF in Greece Training Against S-300

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

The Israeli Air Force recently completed a joint training exercise in Greece, together with the Greek Air Force.

Over 150 different planes took part in the exercise.

According to Greek sources, the purpose of the training was to gather information on the Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missile system, and test out different tactics against the S-300.

Greece is the only NATO member that has an S-300 system in service.

NATO Chief Added to Obama’s ‘Diss List’

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

U.S. President Barack Obama — America’s Commander-in-Chief — seems to have added the head of the North America Treaty Organization, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, to his “diss list.” No one has any idea why, however.

Stoltenberg, whose office notified the White House staff of the dates well in advance, but his office didn’t even receive the courtesy of a reply from the White House, according to Bloomberg View columnist Josh Rogin.

The NATO chief is in Washington DC for a three day visit that includes attendance at the annual NATO Transformation Seminar. NATO leaders, various experts and top officials from the host company gather to brainstorm on strategies in the sessions, organized by the Allied Command Transformation in Norfolk, Virginia and the Atlantic Council.

Bernadette Meehan, spokesperson for the National Security Council, could not say why Obama did not respond to Stoltenberg’s request for an informal meeting. At last minute, the NATO leader was able to obtain a meeting with Defense Secretary Ash Carter.

But there’s just no getting around the fact that Obama’s behavior is an outright insult. Where was he and what was so incredibly important that he could not make time for the head of NATO –an alliance in which the U.S. is a pivotal member?

The only event on Obama’s schedule for Wednesday, media moguls said, was a short speech to launch the Affordable Care Act. On Thursday he is also pretty free: he heads to Alabama to deliver a speech. Wow. Stressful…

And Stoltenberg isn’t exactly small potatoes: the NATO chief served two terms as Norway’s prime minister prior to starting in October as head of the largest military alliance in the world.

Moreover, he’s on a pretty tight schedule: on Monday he met in Toronto with Canada’s Stephen Harper, where the two discussed the crisis in Ukraine and the threat of the Daesh terror organization, known also as ISIS, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Both issues are of equal concern to the United States, so one would think that President Obama might at least be somewhat invested in hosting Stoltenberg at the White House.

Tuesday he was involved in other affairs. Wednesday was the seminar.

But nary a phone call, text or email was made. Not even an acknowledgment of the request for a meeting. Weird, particularly when one considers the fact that America’s membership in NATO is its main treaty obligation.

In particular, the president has ticked off former U.S. permanent representative to NATO Kurt Volker, who actually served under Obama, as well as under Pres. George W. Bush before him.

“It is hard for me to believe that the president of the United States has not found the time to meet with the current secretary general of NATO, given the magnitude of what this implies, and the responsibilities of his office,” Volker told Josh Rogin at Bloomberg.

Perhaps he was not present to cover the day Obama had his first tiff with Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, stalking out of the Oval Office and leaving Israel’s top leader to hang around while the president had dinner in his private quarters with the family.

Or the time he sneaked Netanyahu out through a side door of the White House, and the time he refused to end a meeting with the routine joint news conference to address questions from international media, because he didn’t want Netanyahu to have the benefit of a photo op.

The list is endless, petty and getting stranger by the day.

It is not at all clear what minor infraction the NATO chief has committed against Barack Obama, but clearly it was something he considers to be of magnified importance – important enough to risk offending the chief of the largest allied military force in the world.

I sure hope it’s worth it.

Western Leaders Head to Ukraine to Try for Peace with Russia

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

US Secretary of State John Kerry, French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel all intend to try and make peace between Ukraine and Russia this week.

Kerry is already in Ukraine to show America’s support for the Kiev government.

Hollande told international media Thursday in Paris that he and Merkel would head first to Kiev and then to Moscow on Friday to present Russian President Vladimir Putin with a proposal “based on the territorial integrity of Ukraine.”

NATO, meanwhile, is unveiling details of a plan to bolster its military presence in eastern Europe in response to the Ukraine crisis, according to the BBC. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg told the news service it will be the biggest reinforcement of its collective defense since the end of the Cold War, centering on a “spearhead” force of up to 5,000 troops with lead units able to deploy within two days. A network of command centers is being established in Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria, Stoltenberg said, in response to “the aggressive actions we have seen from Russia, violating international law and annexing Crimea.”

The French president described the months-long conflict with pro-Russia rebels that wreaked havoc in Ukraine as a full-fledged war. “Ukraine is at war. Heavy weapons are being used and civilians are being killed daily,” Hollande said.

Kerry told the BBC in Kiev that the U.S. wants to see a diplomatic solution to the conflict, but will not close its eyes to Russian aggression.

“We want a diplomatic resolution but we cannot close our eyes to tanks that are crossing the border from Russia and coming into Ukraine,” Kerry said at a joint news conference with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

More than 5,000 people have died in the fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian rebel troops, some of which include Russian “volunteers,” since April 2014. The eastern Ukraine cities of Donetsk and Lugansk are both under rebel control.

Turks Hate Everyone (Except Turks)

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

A new Pew Research Poll found that more Turks dislike Israel than dislike either Hezbollah or Hamas. In fact, Israel is the most disliked country in Turkey, according to the poll, with 86 percent having an unfavorable opinion of the Jewish state.

Of course, Israel is portrayed by the leadership in Turkey as a detestable nation, so it is no wonder that the people share their leader’s view.

As Turkey’s leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has grown first slowly and now ever more quickly away from the policies of the secular heavyweight Ataturk, his belligerence and growing Islamic fervor has frequently found expression in his criticisms of Israel.

The most public ugliness between Israel and Turkey was over the Mavi Marmara disaster in May 2010. Erdoğan blamed Israel completely, loudly and with great fervor, despite the anti-Israel, terrorist-supporting Turkish thugs who attacked the Israelis (who were not permitted to use their live side weapons) boarding their ship when it attempted to break Israel’s legal blockade of Gaza. See the video clip at the end of this article. Ten Turks died in the ensuing meleé and Erdoğan, with his buddy Mr. Obama, demanded Israel both apologize and provide compensation.

Surely the Turks look favorably upon the United States. After all, U.S. President Obama has fawned over the Turkey’s leader Erdoğan, referring to his Turkish counterpart as his closest friend in the Middle East.

No, nearly two-thirds of all Turks have an unfavorable opinion of the U.S., and that less than loving picture has remained fairly constant for more than a decade.

But neither Israelis nor Americans should feel bad. The Turks don’t much like anyone. Other than Turkey. Almost four-fiths of Turks have a positive opinion about their own country.

How do other countries stack up in the opinion of Turks? Not too well. In addition to Israel, the U.S. and Iran being viewed unfavorably by more than three-quarters of all Turks, Russia, Brazil and China are disliked by well more than half of the population.

In fact, the only state which almost – almost – half of the Turkish population does not detest is Saudi Arabia, and still, only 26 percent have what they consider to be a favorable opinion of the Saudis.

Even NATO, of which Turkey has been a member for 60 years, does not rank high with the Turks. Only 19% of the Turkish population has a favorable opinion about NATO, and 70 percent have an unfavorable one.

But perhaps of greater interest is that well more than half of the population has an unfavorable (66 percent) opinion of the European Union, and only a quarter think favorably about the EU. Turkey has been trying desperately for years to join the EU. No doubt its star has fallen with EU members as well.

Another interesting finding is that although Turkey is currently on the hot seat with ISIS gaining strength on its borders, only half of Turkey’s population expressed concern about the growth of Islamic extremism in its country.

What does Israel really detest? Not so much ISIS. It is the tiny Jewish State which is rock bottom as far as the Turks are concerned. Only two percent of the population of Turkey has a favorable opinion of Israel.

UPDATE: With respect to the Mavi Marmari incident: The Israeli soldiers who boarded the ship were not unarmed, as was stated in the original version of this article,they had sidearms. But the Israeli soldiers were not permitted to use their sidearms when they boarded and that order remained in place for the first full hour they were on board, despite the brutal attacks launched on them as they repelled down the ropes, by the ship’s passengers, as seen in the video, above.

Russia Scolds NATO, USA on Sanctions, Troop Movements

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

As pro-Russian separatists eat up town after town in eastern Ukraine, the Kremlin is closely monitoring NATO’s reaction – and the White House response.

Extra troops – 600 from the United States – were sent this week to Poland and the Baltic States to reassure NATO allies. In addition, new sanctions were imposed against Russian officials and pro-Russian Ukrainian separatists by the United States and the European Union.

The moves came following the kidnapping by pro-Russian separatists of some 40 people in eastern Ukraine.

Among the hostages were an Israeli American journalist (freed after Ukrainian government troops entered the city of separatist-controlled Sloviansk). Three members of the Ukraine security service and seven military observers for the Geneva-based Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe are still being held.

The Jewish mayor of Kharkov in eastern Ukraine was likewise shot in the back by would-be assassins on Monday; he was airlifted in critical condition for advanced medical treatment to a hospital in Israel.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov rebuked the United States and the European Union Tuesday over the sanctions imposed on Russia due to the Ukrainian crisis.

“We reject sanctions in any of our relationships, in particular those sanctions that were sponsored by the United States and the European Union, which defy all common sense, regarding the events in Ukraine,” Lavrov told reporters during a trip to Cuba.

He complained the West was “attempting to blame others” for the crisis after sanctions in the United States imposed Monday on seven Russians and 17 companies directly linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The European Union similarly named 15 new targets for sanctions on Tuesday, including General Valery Gerasimov, chief of the Russian General Staff, and Lt.-Gen. Igor Sergun, head of the Russian military intelligence agency, the GRU. Also on the list are Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak and pro-Russian separatist leaders in Crimea and the eastern Ukrainian cities of Luhansk and Donetsk. A total of 48 individuals have so far been hit by EU sanctions thus far.

“The attempts to blame others is the result of weak politicians, or rather of those politicians who understand that their geopolitical ambitions have failed, and they are attempting to blame others,” Lavrov said.

Ukraine’s Crimea region was summarily annexed by Russia’s Kremlin after the province “elected” to secede from Ukraine following the ouster of Ukraine’s pro-Russian president in February due to massive protests by a population demanding closer ties to Europe.

In response, eastern Ukraine has become a hotbed of separatist activity, with one town after the next falling to pro-Russian terrorism. Nevertheless, Russia denies encouraging the attacks, even though the separatists who carried the assault weapons all spoke a guttural Russian, as heard in videos shot by news reporters.

Recently the pro-Russian eastern Ukraine Donetsk province also declared itself independent from the country, and now refers to itself as the “independent Republic of Donetsk.”

12 Hours, 2 Meetings for Netanyahu & Kerry; Abbas & Kerry, 0

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has left Israel without speaking to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, and after two intense meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in less than 12 hours.

Kerry met in Jerusalem with Netanyahu for several hours on Monday evening and then again for another two hours on Tuesday morning before leaving to attend scheduled NATO ministerial meetings in Brussels on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Although there was a possibility that Kerry might have gone to Ramallah for a quick meeting with Abbas late Monday night, he chose not to do so. It is believed he will return to Israel in the coming days, possibly to meet with Abbas at that time instead.

Abbas, meanwhile, chaired his own meeting Monday night with top officials from the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the PA’s leading Fatah faction.

Officials decided to again appeal to United Nations agencies for recognition of the PA as an independent sovereign nation if Kerry does not force Israel to free a final group of 30 terrorist prisoners, according to the PA official who spoke with reporters.

Rumors that long-incarcerated Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard might be freed from a U.S. prison as a way to keep the talks going again were raised, but there has been no confirmation by an official source, U.S. or Israeli, that the report was true.

Likewise, an alleged proposal from Israel last Friday offering to free an additional 400 PA terrorist prisoners in exchange for the PA continuing the talks until the end of 2014, and refraining from its appeal to the United Nations, has not been confirmed.

White House spokesperson Jay Carney has told reporters he has “no update” on the status of Jonathan Pollard, and Israeli government officials are tight-lipped about the latest developments under discussion with the PA.

Abbas to NYT: NATO Force Can Patrol Palestinian State

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas told The New York Times he would be willing to allow a U.S.-led NATO force to patrol a Palestinian state for an indefinite amount of time.

Israeli soldiers and Israeli settlements could remain for five years from the state’s establishment, Abbas said in an interview with The New York Times published on Monday. The offer of five years is up from the three that he has previously offered.

Abbas also said that the Palestinian state would be demilitarized; that it would not have its own army, only a peace force.

The third party force will remain “to reassure the Israelis, and to protect us,” Abbas told New York Times reporter Jodi Rudoren and columnist Tom Friedman at his Ramallah headquarters.

“We will be demilitarized,” Abbas told the newspaper. “Do you think we have any illusion that we can have any security if the Israelis do not feel they have security?”

He called recognizing Israel as a Jewish state “out of the question,” and pointed out that Jordan and Egypt did not sign anything to that effect when they signed peace treaties with Israel.

Abbas said that at the end of the nine months set aside for the peace talks, which will come in April, he would be willing to extend the negotiations, if progress is being made.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/abbas-to-nyt-nato-force-can-patrol-palestinian-state/2014/02/03/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: