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January 20, 2017 / 22 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

Beware the Revenge of Obama

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

Rejection leads to projection. In his final days, Obama will act to unilaterally move the markers where he still can, including a drive towards Palestinian statehood. Israel should make it clear, both as a threat and as a policy principle to be put into action, that unilateral action (against Israel) will beget unilateral Israeli action in response. If Obama moves the markers, Israel will move the markers…

For some time, it has been our assessment that President Barack Hussein Obama was likely to move dangerously on Israeli-Palestinian issues during his 72-day lame duck period between the November presidential election and the January 2017 inauguration of his successor.

The ruckus he could cause in this danger zone even earned a name: The December Surprise.

After being resoundingly repudiated this week, Obama became an even more dangerous politician.

Obama was trashed and trounced by the American public, on ideological grounds – which indubitably makes him bitter and determined to get his way; out for revenge in his dying days.

Consider: The election of Donald J. Trump as the next president of the United States is the ultimate slap down of Obama. It is a searing personal defeat. After all, Obama made it clear that this election was a referendum on his “legacy.”

He explicitly warned voters that unless Hillary Clinton was elected president, “everything” that he stood for and every policy he worked for would be washed down the drain. Obama literally said that the “fate of the nation” hangs in the balance.

Last Friday, the outgoing president told MSNBC that “If you supported me in ‘08, if you supported me in ‘12, if you think that I’ve done a good job, if you believe that Michelle has done a good job — everything that we’ve done over the last eight years will be reversed with a Trump presidency. And everything will be sustained and built on with a Hillary Clinton presidency.”

Well, there isn’t going to be a Hillary Clinton presidency, and it’s not just because she was a flawed candidate. It’s because half of all Americans rejected the notion that Obama has “done a good job,” and they weren’t interested in “sustaining” his policies. They didn’t want another four or eight years of Obama.

They didn’t buy the Democratic message that everything was swell in America, and that all that was needed was a competent Democrat to advance Obama’s superior approach.

They were offended by Obama’s smug assurances of omnipotent everything: That he possessed exceptional insight on every issue, and that he had executed the most-outstanding economic, social and foreign policy. And that Hillary was the repository of this unique wellspring of near-prophetic and superhuman wisdom.

It was time to take Obama dully down. And so they did, those middle-of-the-road Americans. They weren’t swayed by the crooning of Jay-Z, Beyonce and Springsteen alongside Obama (and Hillary), or the endorsements of Hollywood and high academia.

They whipped and whopped Obama. Oh, this must sting.

REJECTION LEADS TO PROJECTION. A man as ideologically arrogant and unrepentant as Obama is sure to double-down on, not back away from, those things that he most believes in and has yet still to achieve.

It is therefore more likely than ever that in his final weeks in office, Obama will unilaterally act to impose his worldview and move the policy markers wherever he still can.

He will sneer at the aides who tell him that his time has passed, and that he shouldn’t rock the boat. He will reject advisors who assert that he should focus merely on protecting his “achievements” like Obamacare and the Iran deal. He will rebuff activists who are concerned about the state of his camp; he doesn’t give a damn about the fortunes of the Democratic Party.

Instead, Obama will strike-out to make a lasting mark, and strike at those he resents most.

And this means seeking to impose Palestinian statehood, and punishing Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Remember that from Day One in office, Obama prioritized the push towards Palestinian statehood. His very first acts were to appoint George Mitchell as Mideast peace negotiator and squeeze Netanyahu over settlements. Even as Mahmoud Abbas slid precipitously from purported peace partner to out-and-out fomenter of violence and hangman of Israel in international fora – Obama hasn’t wavered in his coddling of Abbas or his commitment to the “urgent necessity” of Palestinian statehood.

If anything, Obama has ramped-up his rhetoric over the past year about the need for “justice” in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. He has repeatedly insisted that Israel’s best interests – about which is an expert and to which he is deeply committed – lie in the rapid establishment of a Palestinian state. Even if it is a runaway state that hasn’t settled its central grievances with Israel.

That’s what Obama was saying in his speech at the funeral on Mt. Herzl for Shimon Peres, when he spoke about Peres’ “moral ‎vision” and passion for “justice”; about the “dehumanizing” and “unfinished business” of peacemaking with Palestinians; and about security that can come only from “true peacemaking,” and by ending ‎Israel’s “slave”-like rule over the Palestinians.‎

I immediately understood Obama’s speech as a warning of “tough love” that can yet be ‎expected of him in the waning days of his presidency, and beyond; of determined action in support of “justice” for the Palestinians (– yes, there is that word again!) that Obama will yet dish out while citing the legacy of Peres as cover.

In other words, the ghost of Peres is a new cudgel to be wielded against Prime Minister Netanyahu and anybody that runs afoul of Obama’s impatient drive towards statehood-now for the Palestinians. I fully expect Obama to hurl forth, no matter how deleterious this may be to real peacemaking or to American positioning in the Mideast.

WHAT CAN ISRAEL DO to counter Obama’s expected foray, probably at the UN Security Council, into the Palestinian morass? Israel should make it clear, both as a threat and as a policy principle to be put into action, that unilateral action (against Israel) will beget unilateral Israeli action in response. If they move the markers, Israel will move the markers.

If the US violates decades of commitments to Israel and acts to prejudge the outcome of direct negotiations between the parties by imposing parameters for a “solution” – say, by recognizing Palestinian statehood, or by articulating border lines, or by criminalizing settlements – Israel should act to shore-up its core interests in Jerusalem and the settlement blocks. That means significant new building in these areas (long overdue!) and even annexation.

Israel’s policy in this regard should be coordinated, if possible, with the incoming Trump administration, but not be dependent on any so-called American green light.

Weinberg David

The Ultimate Slap-Down of Obama

Monday, November 14th, 2016

{Article appeared on the author’s eponymous website}

More than the election’s vote was a victory for Donald J. Trump, it is a searing defeat for Barack Hussein Obama.

In a torrent of impassioned campaign stops over the past six weeks, President Obama made it clear that this election was a referendum on his policies. He explicitly warned that unless Hillary Clinton was elected president, everything that he stood for and worked for would be washed down the drain. He literally said that the “fate of the nation” hangs in the balance.

On Friday, Obama told MSNBC that “”If you supported me in ’08, if you supported me in ’12, if you think that I’ve done a good job, if you believe that Michelle has done a good job — everything that we’ve done over the last eight years will be reversed with a Trump presidency. And everything will be sustained and built on with a Hillary Clinton presidency.”

Well, there isn’t going to be a Hillary Clinton presidency, and it’s not just because she was a flawed candidate. It’s because more than 50 percent of Americans rejected the notion that Obama has “done a good job,” and they weren’t interested in “sustaining” his policies. They didn’t want another four or eight years of Obama.

They didn’t buy the Democratic message that everything was swell in America, and that all that was needed was a competent Democrat to advance Obama’s superior approach.

They were uncomfortable with Obama’s smug assurances of omnipotent everything: That he possessed exceptional insight on every issue, and that he had executed the most-outstanding economic, social and foreign policy. And that Hillary was the repository of this unique wellspring of near-prophetic and superhuman wisdom.

It was time to take Obama down, resoundingly. And so they did, those middle-of-the-road Americans. They weren’t swayed by the crooning of Jay-Z, Beyonce and Springsteen alongside Obama (and Hillary), or the endorsements of Hollywood and high academia.

It’s clear to me, then, that the real headline today is: “Trump thrashes Obama.”

Weinberg David

Betrayed by Obama in 2014, IDF Switching to Rafael Missiles in Case of Hellfire Embargo

Friday, November 11th, 2016

In the summer of 2014, in the middle of the 50-day Gaza War (Operation Protective Edge), the Obama Administration betrayed its “greatest ally in the Middle East” by suspending arms shipments to Israel, and delaying delivery of US-made Hellfire missiles to Israel — expressing concerns that Israel would employ these missiles in areas in Gaza population centers. The unimaginable has happened.

This act of betrayal immediately led to Israel reassessing its views on US aid, particularly the notion that it could always depend on US re-supplies in wartime, and initiated new weapons projects to reduce its dependence on US weapons.

According to a Ynet report this week, The IAF has now modified its Apache helicopters to enable use of Rafael-manufactured air-to-surface missiles alongside and US-mad Hellfire. It means Israel will no longer be at the mercy of future American administrations when it comes to utilizing its most important advantage against Hamas — the helicopter.

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems manufactures a number of air-to-surface missiles, most notably the Popeye and the Have Lite missiles. Its website lists their Main features as being effective against high value land and maritime targets; versatile and cost-effective; offering pinpoint accuracy and lethal efficiency; day, night and adverse weather operation; Battle Damage Assessment (BDA) capability; and featuring a variety of trajectories to meet weather and threat conditions.

Israel deals directly with US companies for the vast majority of its military purchases, but those still require US government permission, which is far from being automatic. In March 2000 the Israeli government was refused permission to purchase BGM-109 Tomahawk missiles.

Incidentally, although the US sells Israel close to $3 billion in weapons, paid for by an aid agreement, the US military uses a variety of Israeli-made military equipment, including:

ADM-141 TALD (Improved Tactical Air Launched Decoy) – a device used to protect warplanes from enemy fire.

AGM-142 Have Nap “Popeye” – the standoff air-to-surface missile with precision guidance we described above.

M120 mortar – A 120 mm mortar developed by Soltam Systems.

B-300 / Shoulder-launched Multipurpose Assault Weapon (SMAW) – An anti-tank or bunker buster recoilless rifle developed by Israel Military Industries. The SMAW is based on the Israeli B-300.

Cardom – A 120 mm “recoil mortar system” using modern electronic navigation, self-positioning, and target acquisition.

Gabriel (missile) – A sea skimming anti-ship missile.

SIMON breach grenade – A rifle grenade designed to breach through doors.

LITENING targeting pod – A precision targeting pod designed to increase combat effectiveness of aircraft.

International MaxxPro – An MRAP armored fighting vehicle.

Samson Remote Controlled Weapon Station – A remote weapon system.

IAI Kfir – An all-weather multirole combat aircraft formerly used by the US Navy for training purposes.

DASH III helmet-mounted display – The first modern Western HMD, upon which the JHMCS was based.

Uzi submachine gun – compact submachine gun primarily used by the ZIM Integrated Shipping Services merchant marine and formerly the United States Secret Service.

JNi.Media

How Will Obama Respond To The French Initiative?

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

Israelis and those of us concerned with Israel’s security are rightfully concerned about President Obama’s intentions in the waning days of his presidency, when he will no longer be concerned with or constrained by potential political fallout from any Mideast diplomatic moves.

It is no secret the president is frustrated by the evaporation of Arab-Israeli peace talks, with no apparent movement toward reconciliation. Inasmuch as Mr. Obama has in the past publicly mused that moving the dispute substantially toward a solution was one of the things for which he hoped to be remembered, many wonder whether he is now reconsidering his longstanding insistence that any solution must not be an imposed one but rather one that emerges from direct negotiations between the parties.

Some are suggesting that he is thinking about finally allowing – by withholding for the first time during his presidency an American veto – passage of one of the periodic Palestinian-inspired resolutions in the UN Security Council calling for one plan or another to be imposed on Israel. Others speculate he will propose his own resolution setting parameters for Israel’s future borders.

Either scenario would be a troubling development since it would reward Palestinian recalcitrance, insert non-Israeli thinking into what is best for Israelis – thereby striking at the very meaning of national sovereignty – and shield the Palestinians from having to make the kind of concessions that would allow for a realistic agreement.

The issue has recently become even more acute with the emergence of a French proposal to convene an international peace conference before the end of the year. Such gatherings tend to become venues for majorities to seek to impose their will on others and are thus unhelpful. So while Israel would be invited, Israel has already said it opposes the conference. The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office stated that “genuine advancement of the peace process and reaching an agreement will only come through direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians…. All other initiatives only distance peace in the region.”

Nonetheless, the French have announced plans for sending several of its diplomats to the U.S. to try to coordinate its efforts with the outgoing Obama administration. So the pot is boiling and, to make matters worse, European Union foreign ministers have announced that they fully support the French conference.

The gang-up on Israel is gathering momentum. We hope President Obama will continue to hold to the principle that the only way toward peace in the Middle East is for the Palestinians to recognize that they cannot count on others to run interference for them.

Editorial Board

Orange is the New Black

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

From all the memes we were sent today, and we received a lot, this was without a doubt the best one.

Photo of the Day

Wikileaks: Rahm Emanuel Also Used Private Email

Monday, November 7th, 2016

The Chicago Tribune reported on Sunday a WikiLeaks revelation that Chicago Mayor and President Obama’s first chief of staff Rahm Emanuel used a private email account like the one used by Hillary Clinton, to communicate with government officials and politicians.

Mayor Emanuel registered his personal email domain — rahmemail.com — on May 16, 2011, the day he was sworn into office. Clinton’s email domain name was clintonemail.com.

Emanuel’s private email account was revealed in last month’s hacked Podesta emails. Then a search of Clinton emails released by the State Department showed Emanuel used his private account to communicate with Hillary when she was secretary of state.

David Israel

State Dept. Condemns Jerusalem Housing Construction Amid Hints of Obama ‘November Surprise’

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

On Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Israeli diplomats are expecting President Barack Obama to force a diplomatic resolution for Israel and the Palestinians at the UN (Obama’s Israel Surprise?). “The White House has been unusually tight-lipped about what, if anything, it might have in mind,” the WSJ noted, “but our sources say the White House has asked the State Department to develop an options menu for the President’s final weeks.”

The Netanyahu cabinet has been extra careful not to provoke the ire of the retiring emperor on the eve of that portion of his term when he no longer needs to worry about the Jewish vote and will be free to follow his heart’s desire on the future of Jewish life in the Middle East. But it’s hard not to provoke Obama and his Secretary of State John Kerry when their threshold for irritation seems to be so low. Such as the building permits for 181 new homes in Gilo, in the 1967 liberated territories, approved by the Jerusalem municipality back in 2012 (the permit was merely updated on Wednesday this week).

When asked during his daily briefing about the Israeli most recent 181 violations of mankind’s hope for peace, State Dept. Spokesperson John Kirby said, “We’re deeply concerned by those reports that the local planning and construction committee in Jerusalem approved permits for … 181 housing units and five community center infrastructure projects in Gilo, which is in East Jerusalem. Our policy on settlements, as I said before, is very clear. We strongly oppose settlement activity, which we believe is corrosive to the cause of peace.”

See? On John Kirby’s planet, which he shares with Kerry and Obama, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and his entourage were already on their way to the Knesset in Jerusalem to sign a peace treaty recognizing Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish State and maintain good neighborly relations with the Palestinian State next door, when suddenly a text message appeared on his smart phone telling him the Jews had decided to force a mass invasion of 181 Jewish families into Gilo — so the entourage turned back and returned to Ramallah.

“These decisions by Israeli authorities are just the latest examples of what appear to be a steady and systemic acceleration of Israeli settlement activity,” Kirby announced, lamenting that “in just the past few weeks, we have seen reports of an entirely new settlement near Shiloh, a potentially new settlement outpost in the North Jordan Valley, and over 80 Palestinian structures demolished in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.”

To provide much-needed context to the spokesperson’s wailing: the new homes in Shiloh will house the anticipated evacuees from Amona, uprooted by decree of a Supreme Court gone insane. And those illegal structures were an attempt by the Arabs to build without a permit in Area C, governed exclusively by Israel — a clear and intentional attempt by the EU, the US and local Arabs to violate the Oslo agreements.

When Kirby suggested that the above moves “raise serious questions about Israel’s ultimate commitment to a peaceful negotiated settlement with the Palestinians,” he was asked if the Administration might be planning to “draw a line in the sand where it comes to actions that you say or you believe hurt the environment for negotiations for a two-state solution.” He answered: “I think [it] shouldn’t surprise anybody that, as an administration … we routinely talk about the situation in the Middle East and in Israel, and that, obviously, is something I think you know Secretary Kerry’s very focused on, so of course we have discussions about this. But I don’t want to get ahead of those discussions.”

There you have it: the most an Administration official has allowed himself to say regarding his bosses’ post-election plans for Israel.

The WSJ suggested on Monday that the Obama Administration might “sponsor, or at least allow, a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlement construction, perhaps alongside new IRS regulations revoking the tax-exempt status of people or entities involved in settlement building.”

Back in 2011, the Administration vetoed precisely this kind of resolution.

A vindictive President Obama could initiate or at least not vote against the formal recognition of a Palestinian state at the Security Council. It would cause Congress to erupt in a storm of rage, especially if the president uses an executive order to do the wicked deed. Which means the next president could revoke such an order with the stroke of a pen.

Which must make one wonder if a President Hillary Clinton would dare to reverse an executive order recognizing the Palestinian State. What do you think?

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/state-dept-condemns-jerusalem-housing-construction-amid-hints-of-obama-november-surprise/2016/11/03/

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