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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

Obama to Invite Abbas to White House

Monday, February 24th, 2014

President Barack Obama is ratcheting up the pressure and will invited Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas to the White House, Arab media reported Monday.

A summit in Washington with Abbas would “even things out” politically since the president is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu next week, when the Prime Minister will address the annual AIPAC policy conference.

Meanwhile, Abbas and his “peace talks” negotiator Saeb Erekat continue their globetrotting expedition to shore up support for their conditions for creating the Palestinian Authority as a new Arab country within Israel’s current boarded.

Erekat is meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow, which is strongly in Abbas’ corner.

Bipartisan Letter to Obama Urging Action on Erdogan

Friday, February 21st, 2014

More than 80 dignitaries from across the political spectrum on Thursday wrote President Obama asking him to get involved in what they describe as the anti-democratic actions of Turkish Prime Minister Racep Tayyip Erdogan.

The letter opens:

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is increasingly undermining a central pillar of the decades-long, strategic U.S.-Turkish partnership: Turkey’s growing democracy. We are writing because of our deep dismay at this development and to urge you to make clear to the Turkish public America’s concern about Turkey’s current path. Silence will only encourage Prime Minister Erdoğan to diminish the rule of law in the country even further.

Next, the letter writers warn:

The response of Prime Minister Erdoğan to potential challenges to his rule—first large public protests beginning in May 2013, more recently allegations of massive corruption that reach the highest levels of his government—threaten to take Turkey from an imperfect democracy to an autocracy.

They conclude:

We fear that Prime Minister Erdoğan an d the Turkish public have taken American silence to mean that the Prime Minister retains U.S. support and can proceed as he wishes. In the meanwhile, the damage to Turkey’s democracy keeps worsening. We believe it is important now to make it clear, privately and publicly, that Prime Minister Erdoğan’s autocratic actions and demagoguery are subverting Turkey’s political institutions and values and endangering the U.S.-Turkey relationship.

Among the signatories you’ll find Morton Abramowitz, former US ambassador to Turkey, Elliott Abrams, deputy national security adviser in the George W. Bush administration, David J. Kramer, executive director of the U.S.-based Freedom House, and L. Paul Bremer, head of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in post-war Iraq. John Podhoretz, Ambassador Dennis Ross, GEN Charles F. Wald, USAF (Ret.), and Mortimer Zuckerman are also on the list.

Report: US to Squeeze Israel into De Facto Surrender of Settlements

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

The Obama administration’s next step in satisfying the Palestinian Authority is to demand that Israel clamp a building freeze on Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria that it assumes eventually will be destroyed and whose families will be expelled, Army Radio reported Wednesday.

The radio network quoted unnamed American negotiators as saying that a partial building freeze will be necessary to coax PA  chairman Mahmoud Abbas  into continuing  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s peace talk strategy, which has been a thin camouflage for forcing Israel to accept most of Abbas’ conditions for the creation of the Palestinian Authority as a country.

So far, Kerry has not demanded or suggested that Abbas make any moves to stop incitement, control terror, recognize Israel as a Jewish state, accept the presence of Jews in Judea and Samaria, or forfeit all demands that Israel accept foreign Arabs immigrants.

The report came hours before  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Abbas in Paris.

The office of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has not responded to the report, and if reporters ask the U.S. State Dept. about it at today’s daily press session, they will undoubtedly receive the same answer to every other rumor – “no comment” but stated in approximately 200 words of a song and dance.

Netanyahu cannot be expected to reject anything, given his lengthy record of capitulating on almost every issue in years of off-and-on discussions with the Palestinian Authority and Obama administration officials.

The only red line that Netanyahu has held is the demand that Abbas call Israel a Jewish state, a questionable condition that makes Israel appear anywhere from proud to silly, depending on one’s view.

The stakes get higher each time a concession is made. Agreeing to freeze construction for Jews in outlying Jewish communities would be a de facto surrender of all Jews living there. On paper, the Prime Minister could argue that if Kerry’s efforts fail, Israel would renew construction.

But history shows that every concession by Israel becomes another fact on the ground that allows negotiations to drag on until another concession is demanded,

If Netanyahu were to agree, the coalition government could crumble, leaving Netanyahu with the option of calling elections or risking a break-up of the Likud-Beiteinu party and chancing the success of forming a new government with Labor and the Haredi Shas and United Torah Judaism parties.

If the report in Army radio is a trial balloon and Netanyahu doesn’t buy it, it is going to burst. Once these kinds of ideas are floated, they become a firm condition for Abbas, who so far has been able to depend on Kerry to most of his negotiating with Israel.

The entire “peace talk” marathon is getting messier and messier for Israel. It agreed to start the “nine-month” process last July by freeing 104 terrorists, in four batches.

Ever since that first show of weakness, Netanyahu’s positions have fallen like dominoes because he  is negotiating from weakness and with one hand tied behind his back.

Kerry knows it and is squeezing him for political blood.

US Jewish Groups Work to Sign People Up for Health Care

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

American Jewish organizations are going to bat for ObamaCare and are using social media to reach as many people as possible in an effort to convince them to sign up for health care under the Affordable Care Act.

During Tuesday’s Jewish Community Day led by the left-leaning National Council of Jewish Women, or NCJW, Jewish activists reached out to as many people as possible to educate them about the health insurance marketplace.

“Access to affordable and comprehensive healthcare is fundamental for living a long and healthy life, which is why NCJW worked for the passage of the Affordable Care Act and has been focused on its full implementation ever since,” said Nancy Kaufman, CEO of the National Council of Jewish Women

“Our goal for community education is non-partisan and apolitical. Our aim is to make sure that as many people as possible have the opportunity to enroll in affordable healthcare that best suits their individual needs and budget ahead of March 31,” said Kaufman. “I am encouraged by the array of participants in this Day of Action, spanning local and national groups across the country.”

Those participating in the action day were encouraged to host a special Shabbat centered on health care, hold a text study, write about the issue in their newsletters and speak to individuals in an effort to encourage more people to enroll.

Other participating groups included the Religion Action Center for Reform Judaism, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the Rabbinical Assembly, Keshet, the Jewish Labor Committee and Uri L’Tzedek.

Palestinian Negotiator: Kerry Plan Includes Israeli Withdrawals

Saturday, January 25th, 2014

Israeli negotiators are discussing a series of limited withdrawals linked to progress by the Palestinian Authority in maintaining security, a senior Palestinian official said.

The withdrawals are part of a plan for a peace agreement being brokered by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, according to an interview with Yasser Abed Rabbo published in the London-based al-Hayat daily. Abed Rabbo said the concessions will include land in the Jordan Valley.

“There are talks on long-term security arrangements and standards [that would be] subject to so-called improved performance on security by the Palestinians, overseen by Israel,” said Abed Rabbo, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Israel would determine “in the end, whether the desired level had been reached or not, although the Americans say they will be present and involved in evaluating this performance so that Israel will evacuate some areas, especially from the Jordan Valley.”

Speaking in broader terms, Abed Rabbo said “the plan proposes Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, the establishment of the Palestinian capital in a part of East Jerusalem and solving the refugees problem in accordance with former U.S. President Bill Clinton’s vision.”

But Rabbo said there are considerable gaps between the positions of the Israeli government and the Palestinian leadership. Netanyahu ”is refusing to open the file on Jerusalem,” he said, while the Palestinian side is adamant in rejecting Israel’s demand that it be formally recognized as the Jewish state.

Clinton proposed Israel allow a small number of refugees, estimated at up to 100,000 people, to move into Israel.

According to Kerry’s plan, settlement blocs would remain under Israeli control as would border crossings and air space, though American and Jordanian troops would be present as well, Abed Rabbo said. Israel, he added, would retain the right to enter Palestinian territory in hot pursuit.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to discuss the progress of talks with Kerry on Friday in Davos, Switzerland, where both leaders are attending the annual World Economic Forum meeting.

Wasserman Schultz Turning Her Back on Israel over Iran Sanctions

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Florida Democrat Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s pro-Israel image is being tarnished – make that blackened – by a firmly based report that she is the number one obstacle to a bi-partisan Congressional initiative to threaten new sanctions on Iran, effectively scuttling the recent interim agreement secured by President Barack Obama and the rest of the P5+1 club.

Her spoiler role, reported Wednesday by the Washington Free Beacon, starkly differs from her wild support in August 2012 for the “hardest-hitting sanctions in history” against Iran thanks to Congress having made “clear to the world [that] we are resolute in using all tools at our disposal to halt Iran’s nefarious nuclear ambitions.”

Those “nefarious ambitions” apparently have transformed in less than 18 months into the development of enriched uranium for medical research and other do-good humanitarian efforts that are a disguise for a nuclear warhead headed for Israel, if not Washington.

President Obama has threatened he will veto any Congressional bill to impose harsher sanctions on Iran and put a hole in his “engagement” with the Ayatollahs. Nevertheless, leading Democrats such as New York Sen. Charles Schumer and New Jersey’s Sens. Robert Menendez and Cory Booker don’t buy it, and they support the proposed bill that shows Iran it cannot get away with murder literally.

House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland also was on the sanction bandwagon but backed off in the past two weeks. Why?

All fingers point to Wasserman Schultz, the Free Beacon reported, and the reactions back home in her strongly Jewish South Florida district are far from favorable.

“Every minute she is publicly silent, or working against bipartisan efforts to pressure Iran, is a minute she is siding with the Mullahs over the American people who overwhelmingly want mounting pressure,” one Democratic Congressman told the Washington newspaper.

“Debbie has been busy at home telling her constituents she is doing all she can to stop Iran, but in reality it appears she is busy behind the scenes working to scuttle bipartisan action to put increased sanctions pressure on Iran.”

It quoted a South Florida Jewish community leader as saying that her constituents have serious problems with her new soft-on-Iran position.

She has a Congressional ally with Florida Rep. Alan Grayson, who also opposed the bi-partisan effort, but she will have a lot of explaining to do at a meeting this week called by Jewish leaders in her South Florida district.

Wasserman Schultz’s spokeswoman did not reply to the Free Beacon’s request for a comment on the report.

The first sign of her currying favor with President Obama and closing her eyes to Iranian’s Islamic wish to annihilate Israel came on November 25, after the interim agreement was reached.

“I commend President Obama, Secretary Kerry, Under Secretary Sherman and their team for the tremendous amount of work they put into these negotiations,” she said in a press release. “This agreement provides a framework to stop the development of a nuclear weapon in Iran while we work to negotiate a broad, comprehensive deal to permanently dismantle their nuclear weapons capability.”

After having bragged in 2012 that the Congressional sanctions caused Iran “a daily loss of $133 million and 1.2 million barrels of oil… [and] that we will not accept a nuclear Iran, and that we are prepared to use all options at our disposal to keep the world free from this Iranian threat.” she has swallowed the Obama “let’s trust Iran” policy hook, line and sinker.

Wasserman Schultz is ignoring official Iranian statements that make it clear it signed the agreement to buy time.

For example, the interim agreement would prohibit Iran from adding more centrifuges at its uranium enrichment facilities.

So how did Iran follow up? Well, at least it is honest, to wit:

“We have two types of second-generation centrifuges. We also have future generations [of centrifuges] which are going through their tests,” Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, said less than two weeks ago.

Also last December, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry assured the House Foreign Affairs Committee that the Arak reactor in Iran that is designed to use plutonium, which could be used to construct a bomb, is “frozen stone cold, where it is” and “we’re actually going to have the plans for the site delivered to us.”

Really?

Salehi announced a week later that Iran’s heavy water installations Arak will continue its work with full power.

If Wasserman Schultz still believes that Iran has turned over a new leaf and no longer has “nefarious ambitions,” all she has to do is look at Lebanon and Syria.

Hezbollah, now up its neck in Syria and working with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, is smuggling anti-ship missiles from Syria piece by piece after previous attempts to smuggle them into Lebanon were ruined by Israeli intelligence, followed up by Israeli aerial strikes on the weapons.

So Iran really does not need a nuclear bomb if it can simply use Hezbollah to blow Israel off the map.

Wasserman Schultz may be the woman who saves President Obama from having to veto the sanctions bill, which already has the support of 50 senators, twice as many as when the bill was introduced last month, and one short of a majority.

The bill is aimed at putting teeth into the interim agreement by declaring that Iran must abide by it rather than simply biding time until a final agreement is reached, if that ever happens.

If not, then new sanctions would go into place.

It appears that the only thing that might change Wassermann Schultz’s new go-soft-on Iran position is a severe backlash from her constituents, who are more worried about the Iranian nuclear threat against Israel – and the United States – than she is.

Kerry to Return Soon with ‘Framework,’ Says US Ambassador Shapiro

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry may return to Israel within a month with his “framework” agreement to push Israel and the Palestinian Authority off their respective cliffs, U.S. Ambassador Dan Shapiro said Tuesday.

“I hope he will return in another month so Washington can present both sides a proposal for a framework agreement,” Shapiro told Israeli radio.

If anyone thinks that Kerry failed in his visit last week because he didn’t unpack his “framework,” guess again. The Secretary of State left Israel for Jordan and Saudi Arabia before returning to the United States because he knows who is calling the shots in the Middle East.

It is not Mahmoud Abbas, who will do whatever the Arab League tells him to do, and it is not Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who so far has not defended a single red line on anything except to keep illegal African infiltrators from taking over the country.

Kerry knows he has no chance of convincing Abbas to retreat one inch and of convincing Netanyahu that the United States knows what is best for Israel.

When Kerry and President Obama say Israel’s security is their number one concern, it is true – but only through the lens of their dreamy-eyed telescope that sees Israel as better off with another enemy Arab state.

The “framework” will include all of the core issues and will be presented to the Israeli public and the Palestinian Authority so everyone can understand its character and intent for a final agreement, according to Shapiro.

In a not so subtle threat to Israel, he said, “I think Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu realizes that failure in the talks will make thinks a lot more difficult for the Israeli army.” That is the follow-up to Kerry’s open incitement on his previous visit when he rhetorically asked if Israel wants a new intifada by refusing to hand over more than half of Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley to the Palestinian Authority and expel tens of thousands of Jews from their homes.

The more Arab violence spreads throughout Israel, the more ammunition Kerry and foreign media have to convince the world – and more importantly the Israeli public – that Israel better raise its hands and agree to die slowly instead of putting up a fight and die immediately.

Kerry and Obama have said they will not force either side into an agreement. But that is exactly what they are doing, in the most Machiavellian way, and all of this is ostensibly for the sake of Israel’s security, which in Obama’s mind is conditioned on the United States deciding who is on first in the Middle East, just like it decided in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Egypt.

Sure, things did not work out well, but everything will turn out just right as soon as Israel signs a deal with Abbas.

The “framework” is going to be phrased in a way that if either side balks, it will lose the blame game. Prime Minister Netanyahu already has maneuvered Israel into a tight corner, surrounded by Kerry’s incitement, escalating Arab terror, the European Union and the specter of a boycott if it does not keel over.

But Kerry is not forcing Israel to do anything.

American Worker Kidnapped by Al Qaeda Appeals to Obama

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

An American Jewish government contractor kidnapped by Al Qaeda in Pakistan again has asked the Obama administration to negotiate with his captors.

Al Qaeda released a video message from Warren Weinstein, a former Peace Corps and USAID official, late Wednesday night in which he says he feels “totally abandoned and forgotten,” according to the Washington Post. The video was sent to journalists and news services in Pakistan, according to reports.

Weinstein, 72, sitting by himself against a white wall, asks Obama to release Al Qaeda terrorists in exchange for his release.

“You are now in your second term as president of the United States, and that means that you can take hard decisions without worrying about re-election,” he said.

A link to a photo of a handwritten note was also sent to journalists. The testimonial letter is dated Oct. 3, 2013; it is not known when the video was filmed.

Weinstein, of Rockville, Md., was kidnapped in August 2011 outside Pakistan while he was working for J.E. Austin Associates, a private company that advises Pakistani businesses.

The U.S. State Department did not receive a copy of the video, but was provided with one by the Post.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said that U.S. officials are “working hard to authenticate” the message. She reiterated the government’s call for Weinstein’s release.

The United States has said it will not negotiate with Al Qaeda, which the United States designates as a terrorist organization

In a video released in May 2012, Weinstein also appealed to President Obama to save his life, asking him to accede to his captor’s demands, including the freeing by the United States of all al-Qaida and Taliban suspects.

In September 2012 Weinstein appealed to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a video released by Al Qaeda, to help free him.

“As a Jew, I am appealing to you, Prime Minister Netanyahu, the head of the Jewish State of Israel, as one Jew to another, to please intervene on my behalf, to work with the mujahideen and to accept their demands so that I can be released and returned to my family, see my wife, my children and my grandchildren again,” he said in the video.e

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/american-worker-kidnapped-by-al-qaeda-appeals-to-obama/2013/12/26/

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