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September 16, 2014 / 21 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘peace tlaks’

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.

US Rebukes Ya’alon for ‘Offensive’ Remark that Kerry is Messianic

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

The United States  rebuked Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon Tuesday for having reportedly said that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is “messianic,” that the U.S. proposal for security arrangements under a Palestinian Authority state are worthless and that all of us would be better off if Kerry would just pick up his Nobel Prize and leave us alone.

Ya’alon has not denied or commented on the report of his comments, made in private, exposed without a source by Yediot Acharonot. Presumably, Ya’alon has a political enemy who snitched on him.

The United States was understandably insulted. “The remarks of the defense minister, if accurate, are offensive and inappropriate, especially given all that the United States is doing to support Israel’s security needs,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a brief statement.

The beauty of the diplomatic faux pas is that the Israeli government – if it is not comatose – will realize that it is possible to say what it thinks about John Kerry without the world coming apart.

The United States was insulted. So what?

Ya’alon finally has done what no other Israeli leader has done -  call a spade a spade and call a Secretary of State a messianic jerk.

Ya’alon is not a diplomat. He is not the greatest politician, and that is to his credit because he is more intellectually honest than others. It was Ya’alon, as Chief of Staff in 2005, who refused to turn Israeli soldiers into an Iranian goon squad to expel Jews from their homes in Gaza.

At the same time, his three-year term as Chief of Staff was due to end. The usual practice is for the Prime Minister to extend it by another year, but faced with the possibility of a loose spoke in the wheels of destruction, then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon dumped Ya’alon and replaced him with Dan Halutz.

Let’s not forget that it was Halutz, one year later when he was supposed to be totally focused on two Israeli soldiers kidnapped by Hezbollah, who was on the phone with his bank to sell shares on the stock market. When he hung up, he got back to work to lead Israel into the debacle of the Second Lebanon War.

Ya’alon is not a diplomat, but he should know that whatever he says, anywhere, can be quoted. He would not dare stand on a podium and call Kerry “messianic.”

Here is what Ya’alon was quoted as saying:

“Kerry has come to act out of an incomprehensible obsession and a messianic feeling {and} cannot teach me a single thing about the conflict with the Palestinians. The only thing that can save us is if Kerry wins the Nobel prize and leaves us alone.”

He  added that Kerry’s security arrangements “are not worth the paper they are written on.”

Ya’alon issued a written statement after the report that the United States is an important ally. “When there are disagreements, we work through them inside the room – including with Secretary of State Kerry, with whom I hold many conversations about Israel’s future,” he said.

The State Dept. reprimanded him. “To question his motives and distort his proposals is not something we would expect from the defense minister of a close ally,” said Psaki.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stepped on the damage control pedal in a speech in  the Knesset, which marked on Tuesday its 65th birthday.

“We are working to advance regional security and defend our interests,” he said. “True peace is founded on recognition of the nation state of the Jewish people and on security arrangements guaranteeing that territories in Palestinian hands do not turn into launching pads for terrorists. But all that [must be achieved] while respecting our important ties to the United States. We continue to defend our national interests, one of which is the continued fostering of our relations with our ally, the United States.”

Kerry Meeting with Netanyahu to End Two-Day Visit

Friday, December 13th, 2013

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has been meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Friday morning  and into the afternoon following his talks with Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas Thursday night.

The snowstorm that has literally placed Jerusalem under siege forced Kerry to alter his plan to talk twice with the Prime Minister, once before meeting with Abbas and again afterwards.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon will join Friday’s meeting at some point, indicating that the U.S. proposal for security arrangements in the Jordan Valley will be discussed. Abbas so far has rejected any IDF presence in the Jordan Valley, even for an interim period of several years. Israel reportedly is not happy with the American proposal but has not rejected it.

Kerry arrived in Israel in the middle of the snowstorm late Thursday and plans to fly out to Vietnam later today (Friday).

Arabs Attack Jewish Homes in Jerusalem’s Old City

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

A mob of Arabs attacked two Jewish homes in the heart of the Old City of Jerusalem Tuesday night, wounding a security guard in his eye and causing property damage.

One home, known as the “Flowers House” because of its location near Herod’s Gate, also known as Flower’s Gate, was attacked from two directions with at least two Molotov cocktails and firecrackers.

The wounded guard suffered from shrapnel in his eye and was evacuated to the Shaarei Tzedek hospital. The fire ignited by the projectiles caused property damage but other security guards at the scene were able to extinguish it.

A resident of the Flowers House told Tazpit News Agency that when security forces arrived and began searching for the attackers, Arabs began attacking the nearby “Emet House” with rocks.

Police were at the scene but did not carry out any arrests.

“This is not the first time we have been attacked like this,” said the resident, who asked to remain anonymous. “This was clearly a coordinated attack, involving two attacking groups and scouts. We do not live with a true sense of security here, but I understand that I serve as an emissary, and like on the frontier, if I am not here no Jews will be, and therefore I am not only here for myself.”

She expressed satisfaction with the security guard’s decisive response last night, but criticized the police. “Even when they arrest armed suspects they release them for what they claim is a lack of evidence.”

A police spokesperson confirmed that the attack occurred and that the guards fired warning shots in the air. He added that police are searching for the attackers.

Palestinian Authority media did not report the attacks but the Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency did inform tis readers that Israeli police “demolished a room” in the nearby Silwan Valley.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/arabs-attack-jewish-homes-attacked-in-jerusalems-old-city/2013/08/21/

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