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November 30, 2015 / 18 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

Netanyahu and Obama Meet: Kindred Nations, Cold Friends

Monday, November 9th, 2015

On Monday morning, Nov. 9, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House. It was the first meet-up between the two leaders in a year filled with monumental events and mounting catastrophes in the Middle East and around the world.

The two were joined by several top level aides. Obama had Vice President Joe Biden and his national security adviser, Susan Rice, while Netanyahu had his Ambassador to the U.S. and longtime confidante Ron Dermer. The U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, was also in the room.

The meeting was well-scripted: the topics included the main source of contention between these two cold friends, the Nuclear Iran Deal, which Obama sees as a cornerstone of his presidency and Netanyahu sees as an existential threat to his nation.

Other topics included Israel’s request for a long-term and greatly increased military aid package. The U.S. has repeatedly dangled such a package in front of Israel as a consolation prize for freezing out the Jewish state from its negotiations with the Islamic Republic of Iran, and then concluding a deal which was fervently opposed by Israelis across the political spectrum.

The two leaders also discussed the spreading assault on security across the Middle East, with the Syrian Civil War now in its fourth bloody year. That war has led to massive human displacement and structural collapse, the deaths of hundreds of thousands, and the exodus of as many as can flee the region, bringing unskilled workers, rampant disease and a brutalized and frequently brutal wave of humanity onto the shores of Europe.

In addition, the growth of the barbarous ISIS and its slow but inexorable spread across the region, and in particular its encroachment into countries which border Israel had to inform the discussion of terrorism in the region, as well.

Before the meeting, Obama said: “It’s no secret that the security environment in the Middle East has deteriorated in many areas, and as I’ve said repeatedly, the security of Israel is one of my top foreign policy priorities. And that’s expressed itself not only in words, but in deeds.”

The recent upswing in terrorist attacks against Israelis by Palestinian Arab citizen-terrorists was a focus of the talk, with the Israeli Prime Minister assuring the U.S. President that he was committed to peace between his people and his Palestinian Arab citizens and neighbors.

The U.S. President said he and his administration “condemn in the strongest terms Palestinian violence against innocent Israeli citizens.” Obama added,”It is my strong belief that Israel has not just the right, but the obligation to protect itself.”

For his part, Netanyahu thanked the President for his continued strong support for Israel’s security.

The Israeli President also assured Obama that despite the carnage, he still wishes to see “two states for two peoples, a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes a Jewish state.”

And there’s the rub. There is no way the Palestinian Arab leadership will or can ever accept a state that is demilitarized. And there is no way the Jewish State can accept yet another Arab neighboring state that refuses to recognize its legitimacy as a Jewish State, and/or one that is armed and will, in addition to its own genocidal wishes for Israel, will certainly be used as a proxy by Israel’s powerful enemies such as Iran.

Washington Leftist Troops to Protest Netanyahu Wherever He Goes

Monday, November 9th, 2015

A whopping 38 organizations are planning to picket Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Washington, starting today (Monday).

One particularly thorny stop on the Prime Minister’s itinerary will be his appearance at the liberal Center for American Progress (CAP) on Tuesday, where he will be interviewed by its president Neera Tanden.

The child of Indian immigrants from Massachusetts, Tanden worked for the 2008 Hillary Clinton campaign and served as domestic policy director for President Barack Obama’s second presidential campaign.

The usual suspects – American Muslims for Palestine, the Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee, Code Pink, Jewish Voice for Peace, RootsAction and the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation – served up petitions with 26,300 signatures, demanding that CAP cancel the event.

These groups essentially argued that there’s no way a progressive would even dream of having a dialogue on Palestine except with Palestinians.

On the day of Tuesday’s event, expect to find “Netanyahu is #NotProgressive” pickets outside the Center for American Progress, 1333 H St. NW, Washington DC, care of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

But before that event takes place, there’s the minor issue of the first meeting between the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of Israel since their spring and summer fisticuffs over the Iran nuclear deal.

Starting at 9 a.m. today (EST), there will be ample pickets outside the White House, sponsored by the ANSWER coalition. Organizers will demand three relatively modest things: Stop all US aid to Israel;

send Netanyahu to the International Criminal Court for War Crimes; and, naturally, self-determination and liberation for the Palestinian people.

Later, from 5-8 p.m., there will be a “No US Tax Dollars for Israel” rally outside the National Building Museum, 401 F Street NW, Washington DC, where the American Enterprise Institute will honor Netanyahu.

The rally, endorsed by those 38 anti-Israel NGOs, will feature Max Blumenthal, Phyllis Bennis, Dr. Osama Abuirshaid and the Rev. Graylan Hagler, all known Israel haters.

It’s going to be a full couple of days for anti-Israelis in Washington DC. The temperatures should stay around 55-60 degrees, with afternoon and evening showers both days.

Bring an umbrella.

Rav Ovadia Joins Kerry, Obama and Rivlin on Baratz’s ‘Hit List’

Sunday, November 8th, 2015

Israel media have put another nail in the political coffin of Ron Baratz, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s nominee to be his national political adviser.

The late revered Rabbi Ovadia Yosef also was on Baratz’s hit list, according to the Chedrei Hareidim website, which published on Sunday a message that Baratz had posted on Facebook in December 2014.

It was revealed last week that Baratz previously has labeled one of President Barack Obama’s remarks as anti-Semitic, said Kerry has the mind of a 12-year-old, and had unkind words for President Reuven Rivlin.

He wrote of Rav Ovadia, the founder and spiritual leader of the Shas party:

Rav Ovadia gave a feeling of honor to many people. Nevertheless, in my opinion, his activities generally were negative.

He damaged not only the State of Israel but also, to a large extent, the same people he was trying to help.

Baratz added that besides his and Rav Ovadia’s having opposite political ideologies, the nominee for media adviser also does not relate to the late rabbi’s decisions on Jewish law and Torah wisdom.

Shas sharply condemned Baratz Sunday, and party leader Aryeh Deri joined the chorus against his being accepted as media advisor.

The party stated:

Baratz’s comments against Rav Ovadia proves his lack of good judgment and his being unsuitable to be the national media adviser.

Baratz’s Facebook post had some kind words for Rav Ovadia, stating that despite his criticism,” Every time I see him I love him and forgave him for everything.”


White House Aides: Obama, Netanyahu, Want 14 Trouble Free Months, Nothing More

Saturday, November 7th, 2015

(JNi.media) According to Reuters, citing Congressional officials, Israel, which currently receives $3.1 billion annually from the US, is looking to increase this aid package significantly, to $50 billion over 10 years. But Administration officials say no new aid agreement is going to be signed during Netanyahu’s visit this week. Some Obama aides believe Netanyahu will be happy to wait out the next 14 months with Obama at the helm, satisfied that there won’t be any new surprises from the Administration, such as a last-ditch peace effort, or failure to block anti-Israel UN Security Council resolutions. The PM is hoping for a new start with whomever becomes the next president.

David Makovsky, director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy Project on the Middle East Peace Process, summed up the Administration’s 2-state efforts for the Oberlin Review Friday saying that “it’s hard to see in the seventh year of an eight-year administration that you’re going to have this magical reset. … These two have had their differences. … I think Obama, coming in, in 2009, thought he would focus much more on settlements. And then Obama, as it went on, thought, ‘Oh no, let’s not focus on that. Let’s focus on getting [Israel and the Palestinians] to the table.’”

And so, Makovsky continued, “Secretary of State Kerry really believed that each side said they wanted a two-state solution, so let’s help them get there. Ultimately, I think that part of the issue was that Netanyahu had no problem with the US holding Israel to a high standard, but he felt the United States held the Palestinians to no standard, and yet, these two have to be accountable for peace. … Netanyahu felt that the United States did not optimize its leverage in those talks and might have been able to get a better deal. … You could ask, ‘Is this … perfect being the enemy of the good?’ You couldn’t get the perfect deal, but you got the best deal you can? I think [Obama and Netanyahu] differed over those two things. Those are the two major differences.”

The fact is, Obama is just too busy elsewhere in the Middle East to be able to pay much attention to Israel and the Palestinians. Having scored his victory with the Iran nuclear deal, against a formidable campaign galvanized to a large extent by Netanyahu, the President is content with a status quo between the two men in which they do not trust each other and do not expect much from one another either.

Israel argues that awarding Iran sanctions relief will allow Tehran to invest heavily in its missile program, and to increase funding to two enemies on Israel’s borders, Hezbollah and Hamas. Israel believes it is entitled to an increased support to be able to deal with these collateral effects of the nuclear deal. According to Reuters, US officials concede only that Netanyahu and Obama might agree to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) negotiations, under which Israel would seek to expand its order of 50 F-35 fighter jets, and to eventually buy the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor military aircraft with vertical takeoff and landing, which combines the functionality of a helicopter a turboprop aircraft.

Obama Recognizes ‘New Reality’: No Two State Solution During His Term

Friday, November 6th, 2015

During a press briefing senior administrative officials from the White House held with members of the media late on Thursday afternoon, U.S. time, it was revealed that there will be no negotiated two state solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Arab people.

The three senior administrative officials on the call were Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes, NSC coordinator for the Middle East Rob Malley, and U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro.

The reason the briefing was held was to prepare for the meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama, which will take place Monday morning, Nov. 9.

The administration officials revealed the various topics they expected the two heads of state would discuss, including the recently concluded Nuclear Iran Deal, the situation in Syria and the recent deployment there by foreign nationals including Iran and Russia, and Israeli relations with its Palestinian Arab neighbors in Gaza and Judea and Samaria.

But the big news was what the administration officials referred to as the “New Reality” between Israel and the PA, the increased tensions and violence, which makes clear that there will be no final status negotiations between the parties any time during the remainder of the Obama administration.

Of course the administration officials continued to insist that the Two State Solution is the only viable option open to the parties. They made clear that “settlement building complicates the achievement of a viable Palestinian State,” and that the U.S. government continues to view such activity as not constructive.

Administration officials made clear that acting Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas has been chided for continuing to engage in incitement to violence, and that Prime Minister Netanyahu is expected to engage in confidence building measures to leave open the promise of a Palestinian State.

Several reporters asked for details about the anticipated Memorandum of Understanding regarding military aid from the U.S. to Israel. Expectations were dampened when the officials stated the discussion Monday morning would just be the beginning and not the end of that negotiation.

The U.S. officials also rebuffed several questions about a recent hire by the Israeli government who had posted unsavory comments about U.S. officials. They suggested it was a decision for the Israeli government and the U.S. president would not be reduced to questioning personnel decisions by other nations.

The strongest recurring theme from the officials was that Iran remains a dangerous player in the region and that is why it was essential that the Nuclear Iran Deal be concluded, so that such a dangerous player would not have nuclear weapons at its disposal.

But the big news was: No Two State push for the remainder of President Obama’s term.

Jerusalem Challenges US with Building Freeze on Arabs as Well as Jews

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

A Jerusalem municipal committee has temporarily frozen all building construction permits in eastern Jerusalem, not only for Jews but also for Arabs, Army Radio reported Monday afternoon.

The office of the Prime Minister insists that it had nothing to do with the Jerusalem City Building and Planning Committee’s decision to freeze construction.

The halt in construction comes just before Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is to visit President Barack Obama to try to mend fences. It also comes shortly after the Obama administration denounced a near-final bureaucratic advancement in plans for building 900 new residential units in the Hareidi Ramat Shlomo neighborhood, adjacent to the Arab Shuafat area.

A source in the municipality said the decision to freeze all building construction permits was made so there will be no question of discrimination.

The freeze puts Washington in a bit of a bind.  

It frequently has opposed building for Jews in eastern Jerusalem, a tacit approval of discrimination in favor of Arabs. This time, any criticism from the White House or the State Dept. would have to explicitly state that its policy discriminates in favors of Arabs.

Eastern, southern and northern Jerusalem, unlike Judea and Samaria, are not ruled by the military and instead have full legal status as any other city in Israel. The  United States and virtually the rest of the world continue to define half the capital as “occupied,” even though more than 250,000 Jews live in areas that were restored to Israel in the Six-Dar in 1967, including the Kotel.

The decision was made during a discussion on the approval of the units for the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood. The same apartments were approved in an earlier bureaucratic five years ago on the same day Vice President Joe Biden step foot in Israel for a visit.

The timing infuriated Biden, and the project has caused consternation in Washington every time another step is approved.

US ‘Willing’ to Send Soldiers to Fight ISIS in Iraq and Syria

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015


United States army soldiers might be sent to Syria and Iraq to fight the Islamic State (ISIS), Secretary of Defense Ash Carter told the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday.

His remarks directly contradict President Barack Obama, who has said the United States will not have any “boots on the ground” in Iraq and Syria. They also reflect the Obama administration’s concern that Russia has become the one and only Western power broker in the Middle East, filling the vacuum that President Barack Obama has left open by discarding opportunities to take the lead.

Carter told the committee:

We won’t hold back from supporting capable partners in opportunistic attacks against ISIL, or conducting such missions directly whether by strikes from the air or direct action on the ground.

Last week, U.S. soldiers participated with Kurdish forces to free hostages held by ISIS in northern Iraq, but the Pentagon said that the maneuver did not mean the United States was putting “boots n the ground” in the country.

But Carter has said that there probably will be “more raids of this kind and that the rescue mission “represents a continuation of our advise and assist mission.”

In simple English, the United States is putting boots on the ground in specific operations, for the time being, in the war against ISIS, but the White House is saying it isn’t.


Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/us-willing-to-send-soldiers-to-fight-isis-in-iraq-and-syria/2015/10/28/

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