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September 15, 2014 / 20 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Obama Administration’

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.

Netanyahu Links Iran with Order to Cancel E-1 Building Plans

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu publicly stated on Wednesday that he ordered Housing Ministry Uri Ariel to retract his plans for development of the controversial E-1 area of Maaleh Adumim because of expected reaction of the international community at the same time he is campaigning against letting  up the pressure on the Islamic Republic.

He said Ariel’s decision to advance the project by hiring an architect was “an unnecessary confrontation with the international community at a time when we are making an effort to persuade elements in the international community to reach a better deal with Iran.”

Ariel, a member of the government coalition partner Jewish Home party, has not commented and is licking his wounds. Prime Minister Netanyahu took a deep breath and two weeks ago when he tolerated Ariel’s leading an unsuccessful battle against freeing more Palestinian Authority terrorists in order to continue the struggling discussion between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.

Stopping a “bad deal” with Iran is paramount in Netanyahu’s policy, and he immediately snuffed out Ariel’s once he heard about them. Ariel’s plans for homes in the E-1 area, although it is part of the city of Maaleh Adumim, set off alarm bells in Washington and Ramallah and triggered a short crisis that Netanyahu quickly defused at the cost of building an image of following orders from the Obama administration.

“At this time, the attention of the international community must not be diverted from the main effort – preventing Iran from receiving an agreement that will allow it to continue its military nuclear program.,” Netanyahu told the Knesset.

PA Negotiators Finally Quit – Again

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

Saeb Erekat and Mohammed Shatayyeh finally have quit as Palestinian Authority negotiators after endless threats to do so because of Israel’s audacity to continue to permit Obama’s “illegitimate” Jews to build their homes in Judea and Samaria.

Erekat’s previous resignation was reported here two weeks ago, and Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas quickly rejected it, but this time he accepted their decision. He added that maybe, just maybe, he can convince Erekat to change his mind.

Wednesday’s act in the Peace Talks Follies followed reports on Tuesday that Israel’s Housing Minister Uri Ariel is going ahead with plans for 1,500 new residential units in Judea and Samaria.

Erekat, with deft timing, pounced on the opportunity to resign, which Abbas ascribed to “lack of progress” in the discussions with Israeli negotiators Tzipi Livni and Shlomo Molcho.

Abbas has brilliantly danced circles around the Obama administration so that the U.S. State Dept. has no choice other than to dance to his tune or bail out as a power broker, which it isn’t anyway.

He told CBC television in Egypt, “Either we can convince it to return, and we’re trying with them, or we form a new delegation,” he said. Either way, “Bring on the clowns.”

Talks with Israel won’t resume for a week, giving the State Dept. plenty of time to put on a spectacular show of damning Israel, perhaps enough to give Erekat a sense of satisfaction that he caused more humiliation of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

On the other side of the coin, several Likud Knesset Members said after Wednesday’s Palestinian Authority terrorist murder of an IDF soldier that Livni and Molcho should quit the talks in protest over continuing terror.

That is not going to happen, but Wednesday’s murder certainly might be the last straw that will break the Cabinet’s back and refuse to approve stage three in the four-step release of Palestinian Authority terrorists.

If the Cabinet refuses next time around, it is bye-be to the peace talks, and Israel can justifiably point the finger at Abbas for not combatting terror while pretending he wants a Palestinian Authority country that will protect Israeli citizens.

US Mid-East Czar: Settlers Bad

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

The United States strongly condemns settler violence and does not accept the legitimacy of Judea and Samaria settlement expansion, a top Obama administration official told the American Task Force on Palestine, JTA reported.

Philip Gordon, the National Security Council coordinator for Middle East policy, emphasized perceived Israeli transgressions in describing the difficulties afflicting renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in an address Tuesday evening to the annual gala dinner of the ATFP.

“The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement expansion,” Gordon said, an apparent reference to new housing starts announced by Israel in recent weeks.

Citing attacks by settlers on Palestinian olive groves, he said, “We also strongly condemn settler violence.”

Of course, it is well known that no olive tree is ever pruned by Arabs – they’re all cut down brutally by settlers who, let’s face it, hate olive trees and are even prepared to violate the laws off Shabbat to take down those poor trees.

Like on Saturday, Oct. 19, as reported by Ma’an, Israeli settlers chopped down more than 100 olive trees in “the village of Qaryut early Saturday.”

“Ghassan Daghlas, a PA official who monitors settler activities in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that settlers from the illegal Israeli settlement of Eli destroyed over 100 trees.”

Here’s a telling factoid in the same Ma’an story: “According to a 2012 report on Israeli settler violence released by the Palestine Center, a Washington-based nonprofit, every year the olive harvest period sees the highest peak in attacks on Palestinian civilians and property.” So, you prune your tree, then you realize there are so many broken branches rolling on the ground, they shouldn’t go to waste, and you come up with this ingenious story about settlers who are violating the Sabbath because they hate olives so much.

Gordon praised both sides for renewing talks and for confidence building measures, noting that Israel has released prisoners convicted of terrorist attacks and that the Palestinians have suspended bids to achieve statehood recognition.

You see the difference between the two sets of gestures? The released prisoners are gone, and even if the Palestinians walk from the negotiations table tomorrow, the prisoners will stay gone. But the suspended bids for statehood – they can be unsuspended at any time.

It’s so cool when you can do that…

However, in citing elements that do not create a “conducive atmosphere” for the talks, Czar Gordon did not mention Israeli complaints about the Palestinians, including a spate of recent rocket attacks and the Israeli sense that Palestinians are not doing much to discourage incitement to violence. Heck, they’re doing much of the inciting themselves, over their official TV.

He praised Israel for removing some restrictions inhibiting Palestinian movement in Judea and Samaria, but called on it to do more.

According to JTA, The ATFP is a leading advocate for a two-state solution, and works closely with a broad array of Jewish and pro-Israel groups. Many of them were represented at the gala dinner.

Jewish groups collaborating with ATFP include Americans for Peace Now.

Much of the above report was filed by JTA, but we felt compelled to correct some of the items presented as facts in the initial copy. We did so much fixing, that we feel it can no longer be presented as a JTA report. But the original news gathering for this report was definitely done by JTA.

White House Presses Congress Not To Intensify Sanctions

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

The National Security Council has asked Congressmen at a White House briefing to delay passing new Iran sanctions, according to BuzzFeed.

The meeting with top staffers from congressional committees dealing with Iran sanctions was called after the Obama administration launched renewed talks this month with Iran in the wake of pledges from its newly elected president, Hassan Rouhani, to cooperate with major powers in making Iran’s nuclear program more transparent.

Administration officials have said sanctions will remain in place until Iran tangibly shows it is abiding by U.N. Security Council resolutions and suspending uranium enrichment, but some congressional leaders, in line with the policy advised by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, want to intensify existing sanctions as a means of increasing leverage over Iran.

Peres Hoping for a Possible ‘Iranian Spring’ Rebellion

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

President Shimon Peres said on Thursday that he sees the possibility of an “Iranian Spring” rebellion that would upset the Iranian regime’s nuclear cart.

“Don’t underestimate the power and ability of the people,” the president said in an on-stage interview at The Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference.

Is it possible? Yes. Is it probable? Who knows?

But is it desirable?

The United States praised the new promised democracies in the Middle East as the Arab Spring rebellions swept from Tunisia throughout the region.

In every single case – Tunisia, Yemen, Libya, Egypt and Syria – a brutal dictatorship has been replaced by brutal anarchy, which only has made the entire region more unstable, unreliable and unpredictable.

But the Peres mentality is identical with his Nobel Peace Prize promoters in the U.S. State Dept., where its experts have doctorate degrees on the Middle East and Islam but don’t know hummus from techina.

The United States was hopeful for an “Iranian Spring” under the Ahmadinejad regime in 2009 and 2010. His goon squads put out the fires.

The Obama administration welcomed the Arab Spring rebellion in Egypt, ushered out Mubarak and now is without a reliable voice in Cairo, which is trying to climb the slippery slope of bankruptcy under a military regime that knows an election now would result in more chaos and violence.

Libya, where the United States thought it was saving the country from Qaddafi, is facing civil war.

Both Al Jazeera and The Huffington Post on Thursday ran an analysis that, in brief, stated that the country is flooded with weapons and rival tribes that are not far away from turning into chaos – again.

For Peres’ short memory, two years ago plus one day, the Libyan National Transitional Council declared “the liberation of Libya” after the civil war in which Qaddafi was killed a few days later.

Ostensibly, the United States did not intervene in Egypt or Syria as it did in Libya. Instead, the Obama administration has encouraged upheaval in the name of democracy and has received anarchy in the name of upheaval.

Israel was much better off with Mubarak and still is better off with Assad. “Better the enemy you know than the one you don’t know.”

Assad, for all his threats and demands of Israel, never has been a direct threat. Unlike Jordan and Egypt, there is no “peace treaty” to fret over.

Peres’ concern on Iran, of course, is focused on the threat of nuclear weapons.

If there were to be an Iranian Spring, not even President Peres – Mr. Optimism – knows if it would be for the better or the worse, and it would not necessarily spell the end of a nuclear Iran.

Forcing change is risky in the Middle East.

Does Peres remember what happened in Iraq?

Remember Gen. “Stormin’ Norman Schwarzkopf? He commanded a typically American “victory” in the 2001 Gulf War, carrying out a textbook offensive to crush Saddam Hussein’s war machine, declare victory and return as a war hero.

If President Peres reads the right newspapers, he knows that Iraq is plagued by suicide bombings and terrorist attacks almost every day.

The United States may have won the war, but it lost Iraq. For more on that, read what The Jewish Press’ Yori Yanover wrote here.

The aftershocks of the war were the same as those after the Arab Spring rebellions.

Mr. President, are you sure you want another one?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/peres-hoping-for-a-possible-iranian-spring-rebellion/2013/10/24/

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