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April 16, 2014 / 16 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

President Obama’s Passover Statement

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

The following is President Obama’s statement on Passover (April 14, 2014).

As he has in the past, the President held an official Passover Seder at the White House.

Michelle and I send our warmest greetings to all those celebrating Passover in the United States, in Israel, and around the world.

On Tuesday, just as we have every year of my presidency, my family will join the millions taking part in the ancient tradition of the Seder. We will enjoy the company of friends and loved ones, retell a timeless story, and give thanks for the freedom we are so blessed to enjoy.

Yet even as we celebrate, our prayers will be with the people of Overland Park, Kansas and the family and friends of the three innocent people who were killed when a gunman, just one day before Passover, opened fire at a Jewish community center and retirement home on Sunday. As Americans, we will continue to stand united against this kind of terrible violence, which has no place in our society. We will continue to come together across faiths to combat the ignorance and intolerance, including anti-Semitism, that can lead to hatred and violence. And we will never lose faith that compassion and justice will ultimately triumph over hate and fear.

For that is one of the great lessons of the Exodus. The tale of the Hebrew slaves and their flight from Egypt carries the hope and promise that the Jewish people have held in their hearts for thousands of years, and it is has inspired countless generations in their own struggles for freedom around the globe.

In America, the Passover story has always had special meaning. We come from different places and diverse backgrounds, but we are bound together by a journey from bondage to liberty enshrined in our founding documents and continued in each generation. As we were so painfully reminded on Sunday, our world is still in need of repair, but the story of the Exodus teaches us that with patience, determination, and abundant faith, a brighter future is possible.

Chag Sameach.

What Just Happened to the Peace Talks?!

Friday, April 4th, 2014

To anyone who has been through a few rounds of these peace talks over the years, it was kind of obvious that they were going to have to collapse. What wasn’t obvious was how, when or what excuse would be given.

Abba Eban once incorrectly said that the Arabs “never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” I say incorrectly because he assumed that the Arabs must have the same desire and goal for peace as he did, and they just keep messing it up.

But that statement is wrong because the underlying assumption is wrong. The Palestinian Authority is not interested in peace. At least not in the way Abba Eban understood it.

The Palestinian Authority was obtaining the release of some very horrible terrorists, a lot of them, and even lots more of them in the future. If the leaks were even partly true, they were, in their salami method, getting some seriously bad concessions from Israel, and they were doing it with the help of the most friendliest, pro-PA, anti-Israel government in US history.

And all they had to do was keep talking.

Yet they threw it all away.

Why?

It wasn’t because they weren’t getting major concessions in the talks, they were, and over time they would have gotten even more.

It wasn’t because they were being forced to offer any concessions in return – because they weren’t.

Well, except for one nonnegotiable.

Netanyahu demanded they acknowledge Israel as the Jewish state.

This would mean ending the fight, and recognizing the Jewish right to the land of Israel, and admitting that Israel was making concessions to the PA. But primarily it meant declaring an official end to the war and trying to destroy Israel.

Look at one of the precondition demands the PA made yesterday.

They demanded that 15,000 PA citizens be granted Israeli citizenship. Does that really jive with the narrative that they want their own state for their own people, or does that jive better with the fact that they still want to destroy Israel and overrun it with Arabs? The answer speaks for itself.

The PA collapsed the peace talks, most likely because they were reaching that point, just like they reached that point in the past, where they had to decide, do they want to be a normal, productive country, or do they want to continue to try to destroy Israel.

The answer is clearly the latter, and perhaps partially, because they have no culture to be the former.

But unfortunately, as experience shows, this doesn’t mean the end of the peace talks. It means the end of this round, and at some point they’ll be started up again.

Perhaps after (yet another) unilateral declaration of statehood. Perhaps after a UN vote. Perhaps after another intifada (which Israel will win). Perhaps next week, if the US gives them a big present.

And the game will continue. The talks will restart, and they’ll reach the point near the end, where they’ll collapse again, for only one reason, because a signed peace agreement won’t allow for the destruction of Israel.

Abbas Demands Total Israeli Capitulation or I Won’t Talk to You

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Mahmoud Abbas lost his marbles, and the Palestinian Authority went berserk Thursday without the Peace Talks Straight Jacket as they came up with a bunch of new conditions for extending peace talks that essentially eliminates them.

That has been the aim of Mahmoud Abbas from Day One, but now that he is feeling its oats by thumbing its nose at the Oslo Accords, the Roadmap, John Kerry, President Barack Obama, Tzipi Livni and the Good Humor Man, he has removed all pretenses and acted like he has the world in his pocket.

He has the United Nations in his pocket, but has yet to learn that the world still includes non-Muslim countries and even a few nations that tolerate and sometimes actually support the existence of the State of Israel.

In response, Israel’s long-time cream puff negotiator Tzipi Livni finally showed her Israeli stuff and essentially told the Palestinian Authority not only to get lost, but she also offered to help it do so by suggesting a few sanctions on Ramallah.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry maintained his cool and reminded Israel and the Palestinian Authority that he has led the horses to the trough and now it is time for them to decide whether they want to drink his poison.

If Abbas drinks, he is a dead man because it means compromising, a cardinal Arab sin. If Israel drinks, it means suicide as a Jewish state.

Abbas got off his horse and jumped on a bronco, but he doesn’t know how to ride it.

Following are some of his new demands for extending talks, which really have been an illusion anyway except that make Kerry feel like he has accomplished something:

–Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu must sign on the dotted line that a new Arab country, once known as the Palestinian Authority, will include all of the land that was restored to Israel in the Six-Day War in 1967;

–Netanyahu must sign on the dotted line that the capital of this new insane asylum will be eastern Jerusalem, meaning its flag will fly over the Western Wall;

–Israel not only will release the terrorist that the Palestinian Authority  demanded it free last week, but it also will include a few others, 1,174 to be exact, including Marwan Barghouti, serving five life terms in prison for arranging the murders of Israelis;

– Israel will end the maritime blockade of Hamas-controlled Gaza;

–The IDF will not enter Arab-controlled cities, not even to arrest terrorists;

Israel will give the Palestinian Authority control over ‘Area C,” which includes most of the Jews who live in Judea and Samaria.

The only demand missing is for Israel to admit that the Holy Temples never existed, God forbid, and that the Elders of Zion should be the official textbook in Zionist schools.

There are a few other demands, none of them surprising since they have been Abbas’ game plan all along. His strategy has been to get what he wants with the help of Kerry. If that doesn’t work, Plan B is to rely on the hopes that the United Nations will force Israel to go belly-up.

Plan C goes back to the favorite Arab solution – war.

Israel promptly announced that the Palestinian Authority can forget about the fourth batch of terrorists leaving their jail cells, a superfluous announcement since the PA already has refused to approve the list of names of terrorists who were to be released.

Even Tzipi Livni has enough of this nonsense.

and she must be complimented for being so graceful as to giving the Palestinian Authority a chance to repent by formally asking it to withdraw its request to join 15 U.N.-related agencies, more formally known as treaties and conventions.

Kerry, Livni and Abbas Take a Seventh-Inning Stretch

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Here is an on-the-spot play-by-play report on Wednesday’s action in the Peace Talks Charades.

Tzipi Livin screws up her face and throws a spit ball at the Palestinian Authority, which swings and misses.

John Kerry calls Abbas and reaches first base.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman steps up to the mound and pitches a curve ball by announcing he will vote against any proposal to release Arab murderers who carry Israeli citizenship.

Martin Indyk takes a walk to Jerusalem and scores a triple play with Livni and Saeb Erekat.

Commentator Samantha Power puts in her two cents, which is about all it is worth, and opines that unilateral actions by the Palestinian Authority “will be a profound threat to Israel and devastating to the peace process.”

Duh.

Housing Minister Uri Ariel, playing right field, urges Netanyahu to find another game and cancel the Oslo Accords, forgetting that they sank long ago in Foggy Bottom except when the State Dept. fishes them out for stale news.

Tourism Minister Uzi Landau, the government’s biggest windbag, carries his bat, points to the bleachers, and says that Israel can punish the Palestinian Authority by annexing Judea and Samaria and slapping sanctions on Ramallah.

His home swing misses by a mile, and he takes a shower.

The Arab League, playing shortstop, forces everyone to take a rain check for a week, when it will meet to grunt and groan and come up with a face-saving pitch for Abbas.

NY Times Comes Out against Freeing Pollard for Peace Talks

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

The New York Times’ editorial on Wednesday called the idea of using Jonathan Pollard as a bargaining chip for peace talks “a lamentable sign of America’s desperation to keep both sides talking.”

The newspaper does not dictate to Obama, but it more often than not reflects his thinking, or the other way around.

In this case, it is questionable if Obama was thinking, and the Times was unusually harsh in its criticism of him and his administration.

It stated that the proposal came from Washington, although it is not known whether the White House or Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu initiated the idea. It may be a moot issue because the general reaction in the United States has been negative, and the Palestinian Authority apparently shot it down.

Mahmoud Abbas and his aides reportedly were furious after hearing about the idea because there is no way they will let Israel get Pollard while arch-terrorist Marwan Barghouti remains in an Israeli prison cell.

The emergence of the convicted spy Jonathan Pollard as a bargaining chip in Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations is a lamentable sign of America’s desperation to keep both sides talking. Peace between Israelis and Palestinians can be achieved only if they want it for themselves, something that is very much in doubt right now.

The editorial called the proposals a “bad idea [that] would do nothing to advance progress on the core issues of a peace deal.”

Obama Facing Vocal Opposition to Freeing Pollard

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

President Barack Obama is taking it on the chin for the suggestion that the United States free Jonathan Pollard in exchange for Israel’s releasing terrorists and agreeing to a partial building freeze on building Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria – all of this in order to keep Israel and Palestinian Authority on the diplomatic war path for another year.

Obama has repeatedly rejected any idea that Pollard be freed from his life punishment for passing on to Israel classified information during his work for the Pentagon.

Maybe the president is smoking something strange. He talked his way into office, and now he is doing a great job in proving he is not much of anything besides a  great orator and a brilliant comedian.

But his handling of “Pollard for terrorists and peace talks” is no joke.

It would be interesting which presidential advisers came up with the horrendous notion of freeing Pollard so Israel can free terrorists so John Kerry can talk  and talk.

Obama is ultimately responsible, as the buck stopped at his desk when he backed the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, backed the Muslim Brotherhood regime, backed the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood regime, backed military action against Syria and backed no military action in Syria.

It is a small wonder that an Associated Press poll released last week showed that only 59 percent, and not 89 percent, of Americans disapprove of the way he is running the country.

Even The New York Times would have a hard time coming up with an excuse for the immorality of deciding that Pollard can go free because the President of the United States thinks that the security of Americans is dependent on another year of tortured conversations between American mediators and negotiators for the Palestinian Authority and Israel.

Dozens of American officials and former officials have said Pollard was dealt a fixed deck and an unfair trial.

Although anyone who knows how much or how little damage Pollard has done to the United States isn’t talking, perceptions are more important than the truth when it comes good ol’ American patriotism.

The Pollard episode, for whatever harm it may have done to the United States, did more harm to the American ego.

The revelation that Pollard worked as a double agent made him a traitor in the eyes of millions of Americans, and U.S. media still report he was convicted for “spying,” which is not true.

Obama showed some cold feet Tuesday, and White House press secretary Jay Carney said “no decision” has been made.

Criticism of freeing Pollard is coming from all quarters, including defense and intelligence officials, politicians and even a former Middle East negotiator.

“I think what he did is exceeded only by Edward Snowden,” Retired Adm. Thomas Brooks told Foreign Policy.

The Christian Science Monitor reported, “Pollard peddled secrets that included details of US spy satellites, analyses of foreign missile systems, and the extent of NSA surveillance of foreign governments.

“He reportedly offered material to South Africa, Argentina, and Taiwan, and was in touch with officials in Pakistan. Then-Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger testified in court that the US national security community suspects that much of what Pollard stole ended up with the Soviet Union, through the USSR’s own network of spies and moles.”

Aaron David Miller, a former Middle East negotiator for Republican and Democratic administrations, wrote in TIME Magazine, “Releasing Pollard… reflects the weakness and desperation of an administration that is presiding over a peace process not yet ready for prime time.

“What does the administration get for releasing Pollard — something none of its predecessors agreed to do? A final deal on Middle East peace? How about just an agreed framework to guide the negotiations? How about agreement on just one ball-busting-tough issue like borders or Jerusalem?

Pollard Refused to Attend Parole Hearing

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Jonathan Pollard may have ditched the deal in the making by which the Obama administration would free him from his life sentence in a U.S. federal prison cell if Israel agrees to release terrorists “with blood on their hands” along with several other security prisoners

Patricia Smoot, a member of the U.S. Parole Commission, said on Tuesday that Pollard has waived a planned parole hearing for the same day, the Associated Press reported.

The hearing was to be held at the federal prison in Butner, N.C., where Pollard is imprisoned.

No reason was stated for Pollard’s refusal, but it is possible that he is protesting the proposal that he be exchanged for terrorists. Israel also has promised to limit construction for Jews in Judea and Samaria so U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry can prolong his peace process saga for another year.

Others claim that Pollard did not show up for the hearing because his lawyers postponed it for procedural reasons.

Israel’s Housing Minister Uri Ariel commented on Tuesday, “I was personally told he is against being released in such a shameful deal.”

Pollard previously has objected to his being used as a bargaining chip in a mass release of Palestinian Authority terrorists by Israel.

It won’t be known until Wednesday, when Kerry arrives in Ramallah, if the deal will go through, but Pollard’s refusal to attend a parole hearing could cause problems for the Obama administration. Many U.S. intelligence and defense officials, as well as a large number of dyed-in-the-wool Americans, would prefer that Pollard die in jail, especially if his release is for no other reason than extending the failed peace process for another year.

Rumor Mill Turns Pollard into a Bargaining Chip

Monday, March 31st, 2014

The media’s favorite “anonymous but official” sources are spreading the word that the Obama administration may be willing to release Jonathan Pollard if Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu frees a few hundred terrorists, possibly including those with Israeli citizenship.

It is far from a done deal, but where there is smoke, there is fire, the same smoke that was blowing last week when the same story made the rounds, as reported here.

This time it is more serious because  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry must come up with the goods this week in order to keep his peace talks fantasy from disappearing into thin air.

President Barack Obama has consistently said that Pollard committed a “serious crime” and will not be pardoned, but it is no secret that one of his positions often take a back seat to one of his dearest principles, which is to control other leaders, especially Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas.

Israeli officials confirmed that the Obama administration has been willing to discuss the subject of freeing Pollard but added they have little hope that anything will come out of it. The officials certainly do not want to create great expectations, but they also may be telling the truth.

If the deal goes through, Pollard might even be freed in time for Passover, and the pundits already are playing up the concept of the release symbolizing the holiday celebrating the Jews freedom from slavery in Egypt. The comparison is strictly abstract, but it brings out all the emotions that Obama can use to play on the heartstrings of Israelis as well as many American Jews.

There is much more support in Israel for freeing Pollard than there is in the United States, where American patriots consider Pollard a spy, although he was not convicted for spying.

However, many former and current American officials have admitted that Pollard underwent an unfair trial and was unfairly punished. He was handed down a life sentence for passing on to Israel, an ally, classified information. The offense usually is punished with 2-4 years in jail.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, who is travelling with  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, said Monday, “Jonathan Pollard was convicted of espionage and is serving his sentence. I do not have any update for you on his status.”

Besides getting her facts wrong – Pollard was not convicted of espionage – she simply spews out whatever Kerry wants her to say, so her statement can be ignored.

If Kerry succeeds in forging an agreement between Netanyahu and Abbas to continue talks, at the price of Israel’s freeing hundreds of terrorists  in return for Pollard, a dual America-Israeli citizen, Pollard would feel like a prisoner of confused emotions as much he is a physical prisoner while in jail

He has dismissed previous attempts to win his release in exchange for Israel’s freeing terrorists, stating he would prefer to stay in jail than knowing he weakened Israel’s security and contributed to the spilling  of more blood. More than 120 Israelis have been murdered by terrorists who have been freed, many of them having signed a pledge never to return to terror.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/rumor-mill-turns-pollard-into-a-bargaining-chip/2014/03/31/

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