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November 28, 2015 / 16 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

Obama and Hollande Commit to Destroying ‘Radical Terrorism’ of ISIS

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

U.S. President Barack Obama and French President François Hollande held a joint press conference at the White House on Tuesday, Nov. 24, to reinforce their dedication to eradicating ISIS while maintaining the common values America and France share, values of freedom for all, including religious freedom and equality.

Obama spoke first. He pushed the theme of the Nov. 13 Paris terrorists targeting not military or political leaders, but ordinary people who had gathered to sing, to eat, to compete. The terrorists, Obama said, “focused on the very spirit of France, and by extension, all liberal democracies. It was an attack against the world itself.”

While most of the talk was about true love and loyalty between the two nations and increased and enhanced intelligence sharing and continued commitment to destroying ISIS, a few newsworthy nuggets were uttered.

The very first question asked by a reporter was about the overnight shooting down of a Russian fighter jet by the Turks, and the impact that will have on the coalition fighting ISIS.

Both presidents said they were still in the fact collection stage and both emphasized the necessity that the incident not be permitted to escalate.

However, President Obama in particular took this opportunity, and several others, to softly chastise Russia. He said, “this reflects the ongoing problem with the Russian operations” in Syria. Instead of targeting ISIS with their airstrikes, the Russians have been concentrating on hitting the “moderate opposition.”

“Russia is welcome to be a part of this coalition,” Obama said, but it must make the “strategic shift,” which Obama said he’s been stressing to Putin for five years already, “from propping up the Assad regime” to helping to take out ISIS.

Hollande repeatedly referred to Friday’s United Nations Security Resolution 2249, pointing out that there is a unified position, which is that “strikes must be against Daesh (ISIS), against terrorism,” that all the nations must coordinate and cooperate against ISIS. That resolution calls ISIS an “unprecedented threat to international peace and security” and calls on all member states to take all necessary measures to help defeat it.

Some of the reporters took the heads of states to task, asking why, given the leaders’ statements for more than a year that “Assad must go,” they’ve welcomed Russia into the coalition, which seems inconsistent with that goal.

French President Francois Hollande at the White House, Nov. 24, 2015.

French President Francois Hollande at the White House, Nov. 24, 2015.

Hollande refused to give a specific expiration date for Assad’s leadership, saying only that it “must be as soon as possible.”

Hollande claimed that “there is a new mindset now.”  He said it was because not only has the crisis continued for four years and left more than 300,000 people dead, but it is no longer contained within the region, and has begun spilling over into Europe and the rest of the world.

So what will France and the U.S. and the coalition partners do that is different, now?

They will not be sending in ground troops, Hollande said, but instead will be “intensifying strikes, with more specific targets.” They will “focus on cutting off Daesh resources, taking out their command and training centers, reducing the flow of foreign fighters, targeting the hearts of the cities where Daesh is,” and helping to ensure the local forces on the ground are able to complete the tasks of destroying ISIS.

Hollande again invoked Friday’s Security Council resolution, which he said was “evidence that the entire world is committed to fighting against Daesh, that is the one single goal, to fight against terrorism and to defeat Daesh.”

“Assad cannot be the future of Syria, there must be a transition from Assad” Hollande said, “he’s the problem, he cannot be the solution.”

U.S. President Barack Obama. Nov. 24, 2015.

U.S. President Barack Obama. Nov. 24, 2015.

Obama also looked to the future, beyond the elimination of ISIS, and talked about what would be needed to put Syria back together. “It will be a long process to put it back together, create stability, rebuild lives,” Obama said, “but it’s possible.”

Circling back to Russia, Obama pointed out that the coalition fighting ISIS is made up of 65 countries, whereas “Russian and Iran are in a coalition of two.” Right now, Obama said, “Russia is the outlier” in supporting Assad.

But with all the discussion of eradicating ISIS and ensuring that the flow of terrorist fighters be cut off, both leaders re-committed themselves to inviting in refugees from the Middle East, and not betraying our central values.

Obama said that “America is strengthened by people of every faith and background.” He said “we must not succumb to fear or allow it to divide us,” while repeating the claim that “nobody goes through more intense checks than refugees,” as if that is a reassuringly high standard.

Finally, Obama will be going to Paris on Monday, along with 150 other heads of state, for the Climate Change Conference. Hollande said “Paris has never before hosted so many leaders.” He sees this meeting as a symbol to the terrorists that they will not disrupt the plans and lives of civilized people. He also said it shows that the strength of the shared value of “life.”

Hollande said the world leaders would be gathering in Paris to take a symbolic stand against radical terrorism and also to show they are working to prepare for the future.

In the more than one hour press conference devoted to a global response to the barbarous terrorist global-caliphate-seeking ISIS, the words Islam and Muslim were not uttered.

“Viva la France and God bless America,” were Obama’s final words.

Half the United States Won’t Accept Syrian Refugees [video]

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

Half of America’s 50 governors have rejected President Barack Obama’s plan to relocate 10,000 Syrian refugees throughout the country.

Muslim American groups immediately accused them of “Islamophobia.” Ibrahim Hooper, national communications director of CAIR, told Al Jazeera.

We believe these governors are succumbing to fear and Islamophobia. This is really a non-issue because refugees and immigrants are checked thoroughly by the authorities before entering the US.

In Israel, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has stated that Israel is not a position to take in refugees, but Opposition leader Yitzchak “Bujie” Herzog asserted that “Jews cannot be indifferent when hundreds of thousands of refugees are searching for a safe haven.” He did not refer to the risk of terror or the effect on increasing the non-Jewish population in Israel.

Several of the American governors, all of them Republican except for New Hampshire, said they would accept Christian Arabs, prompting President Obama to express his horror at what he called discrimination that is not “American.”

The President said in his speech on Friday night’s Islamic State (ISIS) massacres in Paris:

That is shameful. That is not American. That is not who we are. We don’t have religion tests for our compassion. Pope Francis visited…he didn’t just speak of Christians who are being persecuted…

I was very proud after 9/11 when President Bush] was adamant and declared that is not a war ion Islam….”

Governors’ comments indicated this is a war against terror and not Islam, and since almost all of the terrorists are Muslims, they are not taking any chances.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott wrote in an open letter to President Obama:

Neither you nor any federal official can guarantee that Syrian refugees will not be part of any terroristic activity.

Jeb Bush, one of the leading Republican candidates for the GOP presidential nomination, said that the United States should accept only “the Christians that are being slaughtered.”

Texas Senator Ted Cruz, also vying for the nomination, stated that there “is no meaningful risk of Christians committing acts of terror.”

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said:

There may be those who will try to take advantage of the generosity of our country and the ability to move freely within our borders through this federal resettlement program, and we must ensure we are doing all we can to safeguard the security of Americans.

Here is a list of states whose governors said they will not cooperate with federal efforts to disperse Syrian refugees:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho;

Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine;

Massachusetts,Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey;

North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin.

Only seven states have said they will accept refugees. Only one of them, Utah, has a Republican governor. The six states with Democratic governors are:

Connecticut, Hawaii, Kentucky, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Washington.

Below is the video of President Obama’s horror that states reject Syrian Muslims refugees:

Obama Adamant His is the Right Strategy; Hollande Recognizes ‘We are at War’

Monday, November 16th, 2015

U.S. President Barack Obama had everyone’s attention with the major world leaders and international journalists attending the G-20 Summit in Antalya, Turkey on Monday, Nov. 16.

In the wake of Friday’s Paris massacres carried out by ISIS and its supporters which led to hundreds dead and wounded civilians, it is not an exaggeration to say that people were anticipating a statement of strength and resolve from a man in the position which has long been considered the leader of the free world.

That is not the message they heard from Obama.

Instead, Obama appeared to be digging in his heels, refusing to consider that he may have misjudged ISIS and may have pursued the wrong strategy thus far with the growing barbaric and now global threat to civilization, ISIS.

Obama bridled at the reporters who asked variations of the same questions: did you underestimate ISIS? are you going to change your strategy, given ISIS has grown in size and capability in the year since he committed to fighting them? do you now agree that ISIS is not ‘contained?’

“That’s the same question I’ve already answered three times,” Obama said. He insisted that the strategy the U.S. is pursuing is “the right one,” and that he would not just announce a new strategy that makes for a good headline. He referred to the Paris massacre as a “setback.”

Obama responded to the query whether he knew that ISIS had the capability to carry out an attack like the one in Paris: “We have been fully aware of their potential to carry out a full military attack,” he said, but he continued to dig in, not only insisting his strategy is the right one, but also continuing to downplay the enormity of the threat.

The U.S. Commander in Chief described ISIS as “a handful of people” with “not wildly sophisticated weapons,” ones “who don’t care if they die.” That, he claimed, is what makes it very difficult to defeat them.

One reporter dared to ask the President whether the president thought he “understand[s] this enemy well enough to defeat them?”

The U.S. President was terse, he was indignant and he was dismissive of the journalists for not being satisfied with his answers. What people did not see or hear was an anger directed at the global enemy. When Obama said the nations are united to “defeat this enemy, ISIL,” his tone sounded more like he was reading a shopping list or a weather report than a conviction to overcome the barbarians.

The President finally did find his footing when he launched into his familiar trope of Muslims being the largest number of victims. “The overwhelming majority of victims of terrorism are themselves Muslim.”

Obama made the point, once again, that it is “wrong to equate ISIL with Islam,” it is “wrong to consider ISIL a Muslim problem instead of a terrorist problem.”

He admitted that “the most vicious terrorist groups at the moment claim to be speaking for true Muslims,” but countered that by pointing to leaders of the Muslim majority countries like Erdogan in Turkey, and the leadership of Malaysia and Indonesia, who are “tolerant and work to be inclusive of all their people.” Really? Ask the non-Muslim majorities in those countries how well they are treated.

But this time Obama was willing to concede that it is important for “Muslims around the world to ask very serious questions about how these ideologies have taken root and built up over time” just as it is important for non-Muslims not to stereotype Muslims.” He claimed that “there have been times when there has not been enough pushback against extremist thoughts or rationales for why Muslims feel marginalized.”

Hezbollah Leaders Fears ‘Zionist Plot’ for Syria to Recognize Israel

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

Hezbollah’s second-in-command, Sheikh Naim Qassem, has warned of a plot to form a new Syrian government that would recognize Israel, according to the Iranian Tasnim News.

He was quoted as telling the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought:

What is happening in Syria is damaging a government that supports the resistance in the face of the Zionist occupiers.

Tasnim reported, “Sheikh Qassem underlined that the crisis in Syria is part of a broader plot with the purpose of establishing a new government in Damascus that would recognize the Tel Aviv regime and give in to the US and Israeli demands.”

If Qassem is worried about the Obama administration’s recognizing the Golan Heights as being part of Israel, he can relax, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu indirectly brought up the issue in his meeting this week with President Barack Obama, but the President ignored the hint.

Lebanon, which is dominated by Hezbollah, and Iran are fighting side by side to try to keep Bashar al-Assad in power. The intervention of Russia to support Assad has been parallel with secret Israeli-Russian cooperation on aerial and ground combat operations.

Israel reportedly attacked Syria yesterday in what appears to be another interception of advanced weapons from Syria to Hezbollah.

Netanyahu Hits Home Run in US as MVP (Most Valuable Politician)

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu pitched a perfect game in his visit to the White House and speeches to Jews during his trip to the United States.

President Barack Obama and the Prime Minister had a mutual interest in their “letting bygones be bygones” meeting. Neither had anything to gain by trying to upstage the other.

The President could only have damaged the next Democratic presidential nominee if he had done so, and the Prime Minister is more interested in American military aid and preventing a jihadist Syria than he is in showing off to the White House that he is more popular in Israel than his host is with Americans.

Regardless of their disagreements over the nuclear deal with Iran, both leaders know very well that the “unbreakable bond” between the United States and Israel is not just an expression. Without Israeli intelligence on the Middle East, America would be up the creek.

Without a certain degree of American support, Israel would be dogpaddling in the creek.

The fact that President Obama publicly stated that the “two-state” mantra will remain so until the distant future was a direct statement to  Palestinian Authority chairman that Washington finally understands, without saying so, that the Arab world does not want a true peace between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.

Jordan, for example, wants a Palestinian Authority country on its border as much as the Ayatollah of Iran wants to play golf with Obama.

Obama’s statement in effect sent the dead and buried “peace process” into the mausoleum of illusions for historians to laugh at.

It gave Prime Minister Netanyahu a great send-off to address approximately 2,000 guests of the American Enterprise Institute Monday night, where he was honored with the Irving Kristol Award.

Bill Kristol introduced Netanyahu as the “preeminent leader of the free world,” and the honoree quipped, “I’m not used to receiving such awards in Israel.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu preached to the chorus, which wildly applauded his understanding that the Arab-Israeli conflict is not based on religion, the “occupation” or politics. He hit the nail on the head and said:

The core of the conflicts in the Middle East is the battle between modernity and early premeditative medievalism.

In his speech to the Federations’ General Assembly on Tuesday, the Prime Minister scored a hit with the bulk of American Jews by embracing all streams of Judaism, especially when he promised:

l invest directly in the development and fostering of Conservative and Reform communities in Israel.

After playing music to the ears of President Obama, the right wing and the pluralistic Federations, he turned his attention to the liberal CAP, which took a lot of flak from left-wing groups for even inviting the Prime Minister to speak.

Obama’ dumping of the “peace process” and Abbas suicide strategy for creating a Palestinian Authority country opened the gates at CAP for Netanyahu.

Abbas has made Netanyahu look good even to liberal Jews. He has exposed himself as a fake, a con man, a liar and just another Arab leader who is failing to reach his objective on the diplomatic front as every Arab general has failed to do on the military front – destroy Israel.

Netanyahu now can reach out to the bulk of American Jewry who love the idea of “two states.” They previously rejected the Prime Minister but now accept the fact that it is not Israel’s fault it won’t happen.

The liberals who love any president so long as he (or she) is a Democrat and now they can be happy that Obama and Netanyahu have nothing left to fight about. They want Israel to be a nice doggie so their non-Jewish friends won’t look at them awkwardly when Israel flexes its muscles, but they no longer can blame the “occupation” for stabbing attacks in Tel Aviv.

Netanyahu said:

Just about any Israeli in his right mind agrees with what I’m about to tell you: Any deal or any arrangement, unilateral or negotiated, must have Israel maintain the ability to defend itself, by itself, against any threat, including from territories that are ceded. That’s the most important provision. That’s something I don’t see Palestinians accepting now.

American  Jews, from all political and religious streams, and President Obama finally realize, even if they won’t admit it, that Israel is the only normal country in the Middle East and that Netanyahu is a lot smarter than they figured.

Netanyahu Addresses Jewish Federations on US Trip

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

On Tuesday afternoon, Nov. 10, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered an address to the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America.

In his talk, Netanyahu addressed a broad range of issues, but stressed most importantly of all the strong relationships between Israel and the United States, and, concomitantly, the need for unity within the Jewish community:

“No matter what disagreements there have been within the Jewish community, maintaining the unity of our people is of paramount importance. There is only one Jewish people. There is only one Jewish state. And now, more than ever, we must work together to unite the Jewish people and secure the Jewish state,” Netanyahu said.

The Israeli prime minister wowed the audience with a series of spectacular facts about the Jewish State, talking about it being the “global epicenter of innovation” in the areas of water technology, agritech, medicine, science and in the cyber field.

He reminded them of the incredible leadership Israel has provided to the world in terms of recycling water and water technologies. Israel’s continued and dramatic economic growth and its growing trade, especially in the new markets of India and China.

He then discussed the major challenge to Israel’s existence, which is security, and how that creates its major financial challenge, which is paying for its defense. He thanked the American people for the support it provides Israel. Netanyahu pointed out that he had a “wonderful discussion” on Monday with President Obama about securing that assistance for the coming decade.

Being particularly mindful of his audience, the Prime Minister spent a great deal of time talking about Israel’s values and its “intense, robust democracy.” He talked about Israel’s pluralism, its egalitarianism, its growing and thriving Christian population and its proud and strong LGBT community.

Netanyahu reminded the JFNA audience of the Arab members in Israel’s knesset and on its Supreme Court, and he mentioned the field hospital Israel built on its border with Syria which was set up specifically to treat thousands of wounded Syrians, at Israel’s expense. And he talked about Israel’s immediate humanitarian missions to provide assistance in disasters throughout the world.

After briefly touching upon the dangers currently surrounding the Jewish State, he returned to his theme of optimism about Israel and its future. He talked about the alliance between Israel and America and the growth of the Birthright program. He stressed the support given to Israel by the U.S. and the assistance Israel provides to the U.S., especially in terms of intelligence.

The vast majority of members of the JFNA audience are members of the Reform and Conservative movements, and the Israeli Prime Minister spoke about new efforts to involve and provide comfort to those movements in Israel.

The Prime Minister spent the last third of his talk addressing the issue of anti-Semitism and how it relates to Israel.

My dear friends,

The unity of the Jewish people is important at all times, but especially at this time. It’s especially important when the assault on the Jews is not confined to the Middle East, because as Michael said correctly there is a wave of anti-Semitism that is raging across Europe, but it goes beyond there to other continents as well.

I want to say something about anti-Semitism. My father was a great historian and a student of this phenomenon. It has ancient roots. It goes back roughly to Hellenistic times, five hundred years before the birth of the Christian era. It has a long tradition and old traditions die hard. Sometimes they don’t die. For centuries the world believed the worst things about Jews – and these lies were believed not just by the ignorant masses; they were believed as well by the educated elites. They said about us that we were poisoners of wells, spreaders of plagues, killers of children. Now the lies that were once leveled at the Jewish people are now leveled at the Jewish state. They say that Israel harvests organs, spreads AIDS and executes innocent children.

Once, the Jewish people couldn’t even raise its collective voice to fight against these lies, these slanders. Today, we have a voice. Today we have a voice. And we must ensure that our voice is heard loud and clear. We must speak out against the slander of the Jewish people and the Jewish state. Now, whether it’s the Prime Minister of Israel speaking at the United Nations or Jewish students speaking at a college campus, we can and must fight lies and the only way you fight lies is telling the truth. We have nothing to be ashamed of. We have everything to be proud of. Stand up proudly. Speak the truth about Israel. Be proud as Jews.

The truth is Israel is a great country, a deeply moral country. Of course, like all countries, Israel is not a perfect country. But Israel is constantly judged by many in the international community according to a standard of perfection that is applied to no other country and that no country could possibly meet.

There is a name for holding the Jews to a different standard than other people. You know what it’s called. It begins with an “a” and it ends with an “m”. We recognize it for what it is. You cannot, you cannot hold the Jewish state to what I call the triple standard. One standard is for the dictatorships – you don’t expect much of them. The second standard is for the democracies. And the third standard – it’s not even a double standard, it’s the triple standard. There’s a special defined standard for the democracy called Israel. No way, no double standards, no triple standards. Treat Israel fairly. Treat Israel decently.

Now I have a friend whom you may know. His name is Alan Dershowitz. And he gave what I think is a very good test. He said this in the Oxford Student Union. By the way, he said he was the only one who won an Oxford Student Union debate on Israel. He gives a great fight. So here’s what our friend Alan Dershowitz, a great exponent of the truth, said. He said name a single country in the history of the world faced with threats comparable to those faced by Israel that has a better record of human rights, complies more rigorously with the rule of law and does more to minimize civilian casualties. He asked that and the answer was: There is no other country. Israel stands at the top of the list.

And I think we have to speak the truth about peace as well. The truth is that the reason that we don’t have peace yet with the Palestinians is not because of the settlements or a territorial dispute, the territories that that were won in our defensive war of 1967. Israelis and Palestinians had a conflict for half a century – almost 50 years – before Israel captured any of those territories or built even a single one of those settlements. And afterwards, we left part of that territory – Gaza. Left it to the very last centimeter or inch. Stripped out the settlements, went to the ’67 boundaries, uprooted all the people who were there, disinterred people from their graves. What did we get? Peace? We got rockets.

The truth is that the reason that there isn’t peace between Israelis and Palestinians is the persistent Palestinian refusal to recognize the Jewish state in any boundary. That’s the truth. If you recognize the problem, you’ll be able to get to its solution.

And here’s another simple truth: The truth is that Israel seeks peace. The truth is that I seek peace. And when Israel, the people of Israel, the governments of Israel, met Arab leaders who wanted peace equally, like Egypt’s Anwar Sadat and Jordan’s King Hussein, Israel made peace. We could do so when you meet an Arab leader who essentially says we’re burying the past. We’re seizing the future. We have no more demands of the Jewish state.

And when Israel will face a Palestinian leadership that seeks peace, that is willing to bury the past, that will make no more demands on the State of Israel – not get a state next to Israel in order to displace Israel, not get a state next to Israel in order to flood the adjoining State of Israel with millions of Palestinian descendants; when we meet a leader who actually is willing to recognize finally the Jewish state, we will have peace and that is the first requirement, the most essential requirement.

I remain committed to a vision of two states for two peoples where a demilitarized Palestinian state recognizes the Jewish state, and Israel will continue to work for peace in the hope that what is not achievable today might be achievable tomorrow. Netanyahu then took a quick historical tour through the nearly seven decades of Israel’s existence. He ended his lengthy talk with gratitude.

Obama Won’t Make It Easier for Pollard to Go Home

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

(JNi.media) Under the terms of Jonathan Pollard’s release, due this Nov. 20, he must remain in US territory for five years, under supervision, which would preclude any plans of making aliyah—he already received his Israeli citizenship some 20 years ago. According to the Washington Post, Pollard’s supporters have asked Prime Minister Netanyahu to ask President Obama at their Monday meeting—which was reportedly better than expected and lasted 45 minutes longer than scheduled—to use his executive power to waive the parole condition and allow the released spy to go to his new home.

Last week, Obama’s deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters he “wouldn’t be surprised” if Netanyahu raised the Pollard issue with Obama, but Netanyahu would not confirm or deny when reporters asked him after the meeting about Pollard.

Pollard’s attorney said last week that his client was going to live in New York, where he had a job and a home waiting for him, but, if he could, he would have preferred to join his wife, Esther, in Israel. “He wants to make a contribution, he has lots of significant ideas,” the attorney said.

But, judging by Netanyahu’s silence, the official White House line and the absence of leaks to the contrary from the White House, it appears President Obama will not intervene to let Jonathan Pollard skip his parole period and go home. Pollard is 61, which means that, after serving out his 5 halfway years, he could start collecting Israeli social security. He did contribute quite a bit to Israeli security, after all.

Meanwhile, Gail Berman’s The Jackal Group is developing a feature film about the Pollard’s case, based on Martin Blank’s play “The Law Of Return,” about Pollard’s work for the US Navy, and the process of his becoming a spy. Blank will write the script, Berman and SVP Film Development’s Rory Koslow are producing for Jackal Group. Perhaps the released Pollard could be hired as consultant.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/obama-wont-make-it-easier-for-pollard-to-go-home/2015/11/10/

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