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July 23, 2014 / 25 Tammuz, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Obama Administration’

White House Names First Envoy for Holocaust Survivor Services

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

The White House on Friday announced the appointment of Aviva Sufian as the first Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Special Envoy for U.S. Holocaust Survivor Services.

Vice President Joe Biden had announced the formation of the new position in December 2013. Sufian “will focus on those [Holocaust] survivors currently living in poverty, as well as those who may not be receiving services for which they are currently eligible,” according to the White House.

“She will coordinate with colleagues at HHS and across the Federal government to advance programs that help Holocaust survivors, including national service programs such as AmeriCorps VISTA,” the White House said. “She will also collaborate with nonprofit organizations and the private sector to raise awareness about the needs of this vulnerable population and explore public-private partnerships that could provide additional support.”

According to the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), one-quarter of Holocaust survivors in the U.S. are living at or near the federal poverty line.

“We are thrilled to be working with Ms. Sufian as we launch this new effort to provide Holocaust survivors the support they need to live in dignity,” said Michael Siegal, chair of the JFNA Board of Trustees.

Sufian is currently director of regional operations for the HHS Administration for Community Living, and previously served as senior advisor at the Social Security Administration.

Al Qaeda-Linked Terrorists Kill Three Egyptian Policemen in Sinai

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

Terrorists linked with Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for gunning down three Egyptian policemen in the Sinai Peninsula Sunday, attacking the policemen’s bus with rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns.

The Egyptian army responded through a message on Facebook, “We assure the Egyptian people of the great determination of its men to fight black terrorism and the complete elimination of the advocates of oppression and sedition and blasphemy from followers of the Muslim Brotherhood.”

The military regime in Egypt has branded the Muslim Brotherhood Public Enemy No. 1 and has linked it with virtually all terror that has plagued Egypt since the ouster of Muslim Brotherhood president Mohammed Morsi last year.

Saturday was the third anniversary of the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, and at least 49 people were killed in battles, mostly with supporters of the Brotherhood. The Interior Ministry stated it arrested more than 1,000 “rioters.”

For those with short reminders, the Obama administration helped get rid of Mubarak and fostered close ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, which won post-Mubarak elections. Washington then figured out that maybe the Brotherhood was not so much better than Mubarak, if not worse, and backed Morsi’s ouster.

Then it backed the new military regime, headed by General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, expected to win the next election for president.

The current regime and Morsi share two things in common: violence and hatred of Israel.

White House Condemns Iran for Honoring Hezbollah Terrorist

Friday, January 17th, 2014

The United States, which almost ignores the Palestinian Authority when it praises terrorists, has condemned the Iranian foreign minister for honoring Hezbollah mastermind terrorist Imad Mughniyeh, who was assassinated in 2008.

“The United States condemns the decision taken by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif Khonsari to place a wreath at the grave of Imad Mughniyeh, a former leader of Lebanese Hezbollah responsible for heinous acts of terrorism that killed hundreds of innocent people, including Americans,” Caitlin Hayden, the White House National Security Council spokeswoman, said in a statement after Zarif visited Mughniyeh’s grave in Beirut.

Mughniyeh is believed to be behind the 1983 bombings of the U.S. embassy and Marine barracks in Beirut, which together killed 268 Americans and scores of others, as well as attacks in the 1990s on the Israeli embassy and the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, which together killed 114 people.

“The inhumane violence that Mughniyeh perpetrated – and that Lebanese Hezbollah continues to perpetrate in the region with Iran’s financial and material support – has had profoundly destabilizing and deadly effects for Lebanon and the region,” Hayden added. “The decision to commemorate an individual who has participated in such vicious acts, and whose organization continues to actively support terrorism worldwide, sends the wrong message and will only exacerbate tensions in the region.”

The Obama  administration apparently thinks differently when it comes to terrorists working out of Ramallah, where PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas and his officials constantly honor “martyrs.”

After the Palestinian Authority again celebrated the return of murderers whom Israel freed from jails under pressure from  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, a reporter covering the U.S. State Dept. asked spokeswoman Jen Psaki if making heroes out of murdered is not incitement. “I’m not going to give an analysis of every action and what is incitement and what is not incitement,” she replied.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said less than two weeks ago that the Palestinian Authority continues to incite Arabs to commit violence by honoring terrorists and promoting violence in official PA media and in the school system, but Psaki again played foosie rather than say anything that might upset Abbas.

“We’ve spoken about our concerns about incitement consistently over the course of years…I don’t know that we have anything new to report or any analysis on the recent comments over the last couple of days,” she said.

Over the years?

Three years ago, in March 2011, the Palestinian Authority named a town square near Ramallah in honor of Dalal Mughrabi, the female terrorist responsible for an attack that killed 35 Israelis in the 1978 “Coastal Road” massacre. Abbas was on hand for the ceremony.

The Obama administration said nothing for four days.

Silence.

Not a word was heard, because honoring terrorists is not okay if the murderers are from Hezbollah, but it is nice and proper if the killing is part of the Palestinian Authority “resistance” of Israel as  Jewish state.

The State Dept. initially said it was trying to “clarify” the report” of the Palestinian Authority’s honoring Mughrabi.

The spokesman at the time, Mark Toner, finally stated four days later, “We condemn this commemoration of terrorism and have conveyed our deep concern about this incident to senior officials in the Palestinian Authority and have urged them to address it. We underscore that all parties have an obligation to end any form of incitement.”

The Obama administration is “concerned” about Palestinian Authority incitement, just like it is “concerned” about Israel’s building homes for Jews in Judea and Samaria.

Compare that comment with the White House National Security Council’s statement above: ““The decision to commemorate an individual who has participated in such vicious acts, and whose organization continues to actively support terrorism worldwide, sends the wrong message and will only exacerbate tensions in the region.”

Kerry Exposes Saudi Arabia as Abbas’ Senior Negotiator

Monday, January 6th, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry left the Middle East Monday after trying to shore up support from oil-rich Saudi Arabia, the real power broker in the Saudi Arabia and whose monarch, “Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah,” is the one man who can order the Palestinian Authority when to jump, where to jump and how to jump.

He also made sure to hold a last-minute conversation with Israeli Opposition leader Yitzchak Herzog, chairman of the Labor party that is ready to jump into the coalition and save Prime Minister Netanyahu from new elections if and when the Jewish Home party finally has had enough of his song and dance while erasing all the red lines in talks with the Palestinian Authority.

Kerry left with his ballyhooed “framework” still stuck in his suitcase. It actually simply was another version of “guidelines,” “roadmaps” and other Foggy Bottom innovations, all of which are the same thing except for their names.

It was Saudi Arabia that came up with the 2002 “Peace Initiative” by which Israel would agree to everything that Mahmoud Abbas now is demanding in return for “normalization” of diplomatic ties with the Arab League countries.

“Normalize” does not mean diplomatic recognition. It means whatever any country wants it to mean, but the bottom line is money, meaning trade relations. It does not mean that the Israeli flag will fly in Riyadh.

Before Kerry left Saudi Arabia, Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal told reporters, “His Majesty again reiterated the principles of the Arab Peace Plan and agreement (inaudible) come to respond to Palestinian national wishes to receive (inaudible) ultimately.”

In other words, he told Kerry to jump in the lake.

Kerry said, “I’m always grateful to the incredible hospitality of my friend Saud al-Faisal, whose friendship and counsel I value enormously.

“I want to thank His Majesty for not just the length of the meeting, but for the quality of the meeting, for the fullness of the exchange of ideas, and particularly for his enthusiastic support for the efforts that are being made with respect to the peace process and the effort to try to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.”

In other words, Kerry jumped in the lake head first.

Before doing so, he may have laid the groundwork for a brilliant diplomatic coup to grind Israel’s nose into the dirt or, more likely, to prepare the United States for an even worse debacle in the Middle East, a feat once thought as impossible.

The Saudi-based Arab World reported Monday, “Looking to ease the concerns of Saudi Arabia and Jordan, Kerry said that America’s allies could count on US support. Kerry is in Saudi Arabia on the second leg of a tour through the Middle East.”

Kerry has promised he will never sacrifice Israel’s security.

He has promised the Palestinian Authority it will have a country based on the borders that would leave Israel without security.

He has promised that Saudi Arabia, which is unhappy over President Barack Obama’s appeasement of Syria and Iran, it has its full support.

Kerry is now on his way back to Washington to look for snake oil.

Knesset Members Hand Peres Petition for Freeing Pollard

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

Knesset Members Nachman Shai and Ayelet Shaked, who head the legislative caucus to free Jonathan Pollard, presented President Shimon Peres on Wednesday with a petition signed by 106 MKs calling for the release of Jonathan Pollard.

Peres added to what is most likely another useless exercise of frustration by stating, “It is both a right and a duty for me to bring before the President of the United States of America the request to free Jonathan Pollard which comes with agreement from across the political spectrum. I will pass this petition on to President Obama.”

Bully for you, Mr. President.

By the way, Peres passed up a golden opportunity to publicly state his support for freeing Pollard by turning down President Obama’s Freedom Medal award. However, President Peres preferred the award.

At the photo op of the presentation of the petition, MK Shai, a Labor party legislator, said, “The release of Jonathan Pollard, is a national matter, all the Knesset members including the Arab ones agree, it is the only issue on which we have consensus.”

The Campaign Coordinator of the campaign to free Jonathan Pollard, Efi Lahav said, “As someone who visited Jonathan Pollard in prison in the United States, I can say that his health is in a bad way, time is ticking and it might even be too late.”

Kerry Riding a Loaded Freight Train to Run Over Israel

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is coming to Israel Thursday night with a one-two knockout punch that puts on the table American plans for Israel’s security in a future Palestinian Authority state.

In addition, Israel has agreed to another American project to would further pave the way for increasing de facto Palestinian Authority sovereignty in areas officially control by Israel and where Jewish communities’ future existence will be threatened.

The Obama administration repeatedly has promised it will not force on Israel an agreement with the Palestinian Authority, but in practice, that is exactly what it has done by the old trick of publicly announcing suggestions and leaving the foreign media and international community to condemn Israel for not accepting them.

The Palestinian Authority then threatens to end the “peace talks” and go the United Nations, leaving U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s diplomatic knife in Israel’s back.

Retired Gen. John Allen, one of President Barack Obama’s “special envoys” to the Middle East who acts as the President’s Israeli defense minister in absentia, reportedly has come up with plans based on his expert knowledge of exactly what Israel needs to defend itself.

Until last year, Allen commanded American forces in Afghanistan, which apparently gives him an excellent understanding of the Jewish state’s security needs.

A host of Israel political leaders and military officials have made it clear that Israel must maintain a military presence in the Jordan Valley in any future Palestinian Authority state.

But Israel’s leaders have said a lot of things, such as dismissing any possibility that it would release mass murderers to bring back the bodies of fallen soldiers, or the return of one live soldier, or for the privilege of sitting down face to face with Palestinian Authority officials whose idea of negotiations is that Israel can decide whether to accepts its demands today or tomorrow.

Details of Allen’s have not been leaked, but given the Palestinian Authority’s rejection of Israel’s deploying soldiers in the Jordan Valley, Allen is bound to come up with something that will sound super-sweet but will end up as poison, which can be smelled in statements from Washington.

One U.S. official said Allen “has been working closely on the ground with his Israeli counterparts,” The Associated Press reported. The official said the Americans realize that security is “paramount” as Israel contemplates taking “calculated risks for peace.”

Been there, done that.

The United States does the “calculations, the Israeli government takes the “risks” and Israeli families pay the price at the cemetery.

A U.S. official traveling with Kerry said the ideas were not a “plan” that could be accepted or rejected.

Sure.

The Haaretz daily said that Allen will tell Netanyahu of his security plans when they meet on Thursday. Kerry then will go to Ramallah, leaving Israel holding the blame bag if it dares to say “no.”

The Associated Press reported that “the American thinking is that if Israeli security concerns can be met, other issues, such as borders, will then fall into place.”

In other words, the U.S. State Dept. has come up with another formula for peace and love in the Middle East. It wasn’t long ago that the United States knew – it did not think, but it knew – that settling the Palestinian Authority-Israeli dispute would open up the locks on all of the regions problems, such as Egypt.

And Syria.

And Iraq.

And Iran.

Kerry’s arrival in Israel Wednesday night follows European Union warnings that if Israel does not agree to a peace pact, the EU will increase its boycott of settlements and will stop funding the Palestinian Authority.

Fowl Peace Talks a Treif Thanksgiving Turkey

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Middle East experts are experts by virtue of their positions of power.

Some of them, like former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, even have learned a thing or two about international affairs. Rice actually has a Ph.D., which as comedian-pianist Victor Borge once said, should be read as “phttttttttttt.”

The experts, and that includes John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Catherine Ashton and the Oslo Accords crowd, may have learned about prophets, kings, oil and sheikhs in International Relations 101, but they missed out on the basics, like selling non-kosher turkeys to the Arabs.

I learned more about Arab-Jewish relations by working in kibbutz turkey barns than Kerry and Ashton could ever learn in their worldwide visits to official residents of presidents and prime ministers in Ramallah, Jerusalem and Amman.

Turkeys, like people, are cute when they are babies, but after a few weeks, they are not like most people. Their feet are scratchy and they begin to stink. When they get to be three months old, some of them pick up a cold, a little bronchitis, or start to hobble on weak knees, probably from too many carbohydrates.

Then they start acting like grown teenagers. The stronger turkeys pick on the weaker ones, just like fifth-graders playing king of the hill. They peck at the skin until the poor gobbler cannot stand on his feet.

When I was in charge of the birds on a kibbutz farm, the sick and injured had their own quarters, a fenced-off intensive care ward where the bullies couldn’t bother them. But sometimes it was too late. Their broken legs and their bronchitis often are more than modern medicine can cure on a cost-efficient basis.

What can you do with a sick and lame turkey? You sell it cheaply. After all, the reason to raise turkeys is turn them into fat candidates for the slaughterhouse and convert them into cold cash. The Humane Society really does not have much demand for them.

That’s where a revised International Relations 101 course could have taught the experts, sitting in their sterilized offices, something besides making roadmaps to nowhere. Even Professor Yossi Beilin, the darling of the Israeli Left, doesn’t know a kibbutz from Damascus.

Peace is a business, like anything else these days. But you have to know the rules of the game. A good Western businessman knows that a handshake is a handshake, a word is a word, and a deal is a deal.

For instance, Tom wants to sell his two-year-old Chevy for $5,000. Clyde wants to buy it for $4,000. One of them budges or there’s no deal. Jim tries to cut a deal at $4,400. If Tom and Clyde compromise at $4,500, Tom gets his money and Clyde gets his wheels. As for Jim, that’s his problem.

But that’s not the way it works in the Middle East. Here, Abe writes out a check and Ahmed gives him the key. The next day, Abe discovers the key doesn’t fit. “Of course it does not fit,” Ahmed retorts. “The price of the car was according to the real value of the dollar. The inflation rate went up 0.2 percent yesterday. You owe me $10!”

Abe protests, “Where’s the cell phone antenna that was on the roof? I am stopping payment on the check. You owe me $25 for the bank charge.”

“I’m not finished stripping the car,” retaliates Ahmed. The DVD is mine, but I’ll put back the original radio. It works most of the time, especially the Al Jazeera channel.”

“Look, here,” snarls Abe. “I paid you $4,500, but that was based on the price of gold. It went up two cents yesterday. The real price is $4,498.09.”

“You can add another $120 for the deluxe hub caps, or I’ll take them with me,” Ahmed shouts.

They agree to talk again tomorrow. That was 10 years ago. They still are talking.

It doesn’t matter that Abe still has to thumb a ride to work and that Ahmed does the same because he doesn’t have enough money for gas. The principles are that the other guy didn’t get what he wanted so they can continue arguing.

In Western societies, negotiations are a means to an end. The objective is to make a deal so both sides get what they want.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/the-other-side-of-israel/fowl-peace-talks-a-treif-thanksgiving-turkey/2013/11/21/

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