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April 23, 2014 / 23 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘President Shimon Peres’

Peres Sends ‘Mazal Tov” to Kate and William

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

President Peres sent a special message of congratulations on Tuesday in honor of the birth of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge’s new baby.

He also sent a special gift of a baby suit with an embroidered message on it – “From Israel with Love”

“From Jerusalem, Israel, I want to express our happiness and prayers for the young prince,” President Peres wrote. “Never in my life did I see the people of the world so united in happiness. It was a demonstration of where royalty helps democracy and where the people have shown what a true democracy is. The streets were full and smiles were on everybody’s face.

“I am happy to see the whole world so happy with the birth of this young boy. I am 90 years old, so I saw his father when he was a young boy and now I hope we shall see this newly born prince, doing his job in the most democratic and royal manner. The world became richer with this event.

God bless the Queen, From Jerusalem, Mazal Tov!”

Kerry Sweating to Save Face and Announce ‘Peace Talks’

Sunday, June 30th, 2013

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has turned his schedule upside down to keep his three-ring circus from collapsing under his “peace tent” that he has weighted down with his fake smile and iron fist to save himself from looking like a diplomatic clown.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas are not so stupid as to let themselves be blamed for any failure to resume a charade of the resumption of the peace process after a hiatus of more than two years. That leaves Kerry doing cartwheels to get the monkey off his back.

Israel has insisted that there be no pre-conditions, which in today’s diplomatic acrobats would mean acceding whatever Abbas demands, such as a building freeze or accepting a future PA state on the “basis” of the old borders of Israel.

Abbas has insisted that the only thing to talk about is when Israel is ready to accept what he considers a de facto state based on all of his political and territorial demands that the United Nations General Assembly, which is in his pocket, has confirmed through a resolution that is non-binding but which gave the PA a free pass to sit on key U.N. committees such as UNESCO. Next in line is the International Court.

Kerry has brought in Jordan’s King Abdullah into the picture. He is on his knees before Washington because of the spillover of the Syrian civil war into Jordan and the kingdom’s own precarious state in the face of louder tremors from the Bedouin and non-Jordan Arabs (read: Arabs who fled from Israel.) Add to that the up and coming Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan and you come up with n explosive mixture that makes the king all the more dependent on the United States for help.

King Abdullah will do anything Kerry tells him to do, and it is in his own best interests to show himself as peacemaker by bringing the three-ring circus into his own court.

Netanyahu has two Israelis who are weighing him down. President Shimon Peres and “Minister of Peace Process” Tzipi Livni, like Kerry, have made as career out of “good will” concessions to the Palestinian Authority.

It is anyone’s guess what will come out of all this, but after wading through all of the trial balloons and media manipulation by the actors, Kerry clearly will be a lot less effective in other parts of the world if he is seen as a failure in the Middle East and cannot pin the blame on Abbas or Netanyahu for failing to resume direct talks.

The worst-case scenario for Kerry, if he cannot pull off a four-way stage show now, probably will be an agreement to continue talk about continuing to agree to talk about an agreement.

The circus must go on.

Moses Took the Right Turn after all, Says Netanyahu

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

“It turns out that Moses wasn’t such a bad navigator after all, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the Israeli Presidential Conference birthday party for President Shimon Peres Thursday evening.

Negating the old joke that Moses could have turned towards Saudi Arabia and lead the People of Israel from Egypt to a land of oil instead of one of “milk and honey” and sand, the Prime Minister said, “We’re lucky enough not to have discovered gas in our first 65 years, or 60 years, because we could rely on our wits, on our ingenuity.

“And yesterday we decided to open up our gas fields for developing an export. We’re not going to make the mistake of those countries who said we shall not export, and the gas remained in the ground and in the sea. We’re going to develop the gas for our internal market and we’re going to fill up the coffers of the state with what we bring from exports for the benefit of all Israelis.”

Israel Will Be ‘First Totally Digital Country,’ Says Cisco CEO

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Cisco’s CEO touts Arab-Jewish teamwork, meet with Peres, announces an innovation venture with   Bezeq communications system, and predicts Israel will be the world’s first totally digital country.

Cisco CEO John Chambers, speaking about his company’s involvement in Israel Electric Corporation’s fiber optic venture, predicted on Wednesday, “Israel is about to become the first fully digital country in the world.”

“This is something that most countries do a little at a time; you are going to do everything at once,” he added.

Cisco also announced it is opening a new innovation center with Israel’s Bezeq communications system and its mobile cell division Pelephone and will test on Pelephone’s live production network the world’s first self-optimizing heterogeneous configuration that combines small-cell, Wi-Fi and macro technologies, Globes business newspaper reported.

Last February, Cisco paid $475 million for Israel’s Intucell company.

Chambers. who attended President Shimon Peres’ pre-90th birthday celebrations Tuesday night, said after meeting with Wednesday with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that Cisco intends to make available $15 million for funds “that support integration of Israeli Arabs, and development of innovative security technologies.”

Cisco already employs approximately 200 people in Israel and intends to hire 100 more,

Tomorrow 2013 – Tony Blair’s Vision

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Once a year, President Shimon Peres hosts the President’s Conference and once again this year, I was invited to attend. It’s fun to go as a blogger – to be recognized with all the honor and privilege of a journalist. Of course, we don’t get the same pay, but we are free in a way that journalists shouldn’t be. They are supposed to report the news, though too many break that line and cross into the realm of making news.

Bloggers are free to think and express thoughts and so it is particularly nice that we are rewarded here with this. Being a blogger/journalist means walking past a line of dozens, perhaps even hundreds to the front – express check in.

The conference is called Tomorrow 2013 – and it presents a vision of what is to come – something quite ambitious for a man of 90 years of age. This year, Peres’ annual conference has become a joint birthday celebration. Barbra Streisand, Sharon Stone, and Bill Clinton have come to help him celebrate.

As with last year, the lead speaker is former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair. He is a great speaker, grace, intelligence, humor. He has a vision of the Middle East that enables us to see a bright and clear world, where there is mutual respect, security for all, and truly a world focused on that which betters mankind. He says he is not naive and in many ways I agree. He correctly points out that “much of the sentiment in the west right now is to stay out of Syria, but,” he points out, “as every day shows, the cost of staying out” can (in my words here) be measured in the bodies of innocent Syrians.

Regarding the Syrians, he says “there is only one recourse – to do what is right, even if it is not popular.” He is a popular, dynamic speaker – offering words that are obvious and yet sincere – “we should stand up for truth and democracy.” And yes, he tells us here in Israel, in the only democracy in the Middle East, that “democracy is not just a way of voting, it is a way of thinking.”

My problem with Tony Blair is that when it comes to Israel…suddenly the naiveté comes through. He says we are wrong to think that the two-state solution idea can’t work; in fact, he believes we who believe in any other long-term solution live in a fantasy. He recognizes potential security issues and yet misses the most fundamental of points. This year, as last year, I am left to wonder how he can be so smart when it comes to Syria and Iran, and so blind when it comes to what is happening here.

I’m left with the simple and irrefutable truth that a speaker last year said. I can’t wait to hear her again this year – from her mouth, I expect the truth – the truth as it applies to Israel and the truth as it applies to others in the Middle East. “Even if you give them Jerusalem,” she said last year, “even if you give them Jerusalem, there won’t be peace.” That is the great truth that so many at this conference refuse to see. It goes against all the Tony Blair and Bill Clinton and even Shimon Peres want to believe. And yet, a truth it is.

Visit A Soldier’s Mother.

Robert DeNiro and Peres Talk About Iran

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

American actor Robert  De Niro landed in Israel with his son Tuesday morning for a 24-visit, highlighted by his appearance at this evening’s birthday bash for President Shimon Peres, who turns 9o on August 2.

DeNiro, who is not Jewish, met with the president at his Jerusalem home, and among other topics, they spoke about the Iranian nuclear threat. The president also related to the actor and his 17-year-old son the modern history of the re-establishment of the State of Israel and the country’s relations in the Middle East.

The prize-winning actor said he brought is 17-year-old son with to learn about Israel.

“Thank you for coming, President Peres told DeNiro, “We are very happy to see you in our country. Although you received an Oscar prize for your work, you also receive a great amount of love from the People of Israel.”

DeNiro thanked him for his words and noted this is his fifth visit to Israel.

Streisand Spouts Off on Women ‘In Foreign Land of Israel’

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

Barbra Streisand, now “Dr. Streisand” following an award from Hebrew University on Monday, joined a host of celebrities and politicians who know nothing about Israel but can’t resist telling the country what is best for it, especially for Jewish women.

She played a handicap game, prefacing her remarks about women’s religious rights in Israel with an apologetic remark, “”I realize it’s not easy to fully grasp the dynamics of what happens in a foreign land.”

Let’s stop right there for a minute.

She is the only artist ever to receive an Academy Award, Tony, Emmy, Grammy, Directors Guild of America, Golden Globe, National Medal of Arts and Peabody Awards and France’s Legion d’honneur as well as the American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Streisand is the recipient of two Oscars, five Emmys, 10 Grammies, a Tony and 12 Golden Globes including the Cecil B. DeMille Award. The three films she directed received 14 Oscar nominations.

She holds an Honorary Doctorate in Arts and Humanities from Brandeis University. She received The Humanitarian Award from the Human Rights Campaign and was awarded the ACLU Bill of Rights Award from the American Civil Liberties Union for her defense of U.S. constitutional rights.

On Monday, she received an honorary PhD from Hebrew University, where, just by coincidence, she contributed a huge sum of money for a building in memory of her father Emanuel, whom she praised as “a teacher, scholar and religious man who devoted himself to education.”

Professor Menachem Ben-Sasson, president of the Hebrew University, said, “Her love of Israel and her Jewish heritage are reflected in so many aspects of her life and career.” University officials described her as “a close friend of Israel.”

Okay. Now we have her credentials for her declaring, in a “foreign land,” that it “is distressing to read about women in Israel being forced to sit in the back of the bus or when we hear about ‘Women of the Wall’ having metal chairs thrown at them when they attempt to peacefully and legally pray.”

Streisand loves Israel, so much so that she is visiting the country for the first time in, let me count, 29 years.

There is no doubt she really does love Israel. Almost every Jew, even those who call it an Apartheid state, say they love Israel.

And like every other Jew, not to mention the non-Jews, Streisand thinks she knows what is best for Israel.

Once an American becomes Secretary of State, or a super star in sports or entertainment, or filthy rich, or gives money to Israel, he or she usually realizes that produces instant wisdom concerning Israel.

At least Streisand had the decency to be honest by unintentionally make herself look awkward, stating that Israel is “a foreign land” to her understanding.

She spoke the truth, more than most if not all other foreigners.

Israel indeed is foreign, even to Jews, who feel filled with spirit at the Western Wall but can’t tell the difference between an Arab and a Sephardi Jew, between an “anti-suicide bomber security fence” and an “Apartheid Wall,” and between a settler and a Jew from Tel Aviv.

Streisand’s comments were not so far off the mark, except that they were totally redundant and damaging to Israel in that they simply broadcast exceptions as a rule.

It indeed was distressing that a handful, more or less, of Haredim threw metal chairs and objects – on one day and only one – at women trying to pray in their own minyan at the Western Wall, which officially is an orthodox synagogue.

Granted, the official Haredi attitude towards the Women of the Wall movement is questionable and is expressed in a way that is destructive. But it is more or less a dead issue.

Ditto regarding her comments about women sitting in the back of the bus, a phenomena that is disgusting, which occurs on a tiny percent age point of buses and is on its way to the recycle bin.

After addressing both issues that already are old and irrelevant news, she admitted, “Repairs are being made, and that’s very good.”

Streisand, as a good liberal Jew who is visiting Israel to sing at the Israeli Presidential Conference Tuesday night, undoubtedly is undergoing a spiritual experience this week.

State Dept. Shows Faint Signs of Dumping ‘Peace Process’

Monday, June 10th, 2013

U.S. State Dept. comments on U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s scheduled return to Israel this year offer faint indications that the Obama administration, may finally be getting ready to tell the Palestinian Authority and Israel, “Go fight it out among yourselves and leave us alone.”

No one is quite certain why Kerry is coming, unless he has some super-duper trick up his sleeve. PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has dug his heels deep in the Saudi 2002 Initiative that has been developed into the basis of PA demands that there is nothing to be negotiated.

On the Israel side, Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon, one of the most senior and nationalist Likud Knesset Members, took it upon himself to say that the government is against a two-state solution.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was so upset that he called on the Sabbath to the Times of Israel website, which had quoted Danon, to voice his distance from Danon’s remarks.

The facts on the ground tell the story. On the one hand, Palestinian Authority Arabs, heavily backed by European Union and international leftist funding, have settled on thousands of acres in Judea and Samaria to stake claims and isolate Jewish communities.

On the other hand, In  the first three months of this  year, there were 865 housing starts in Judea and Samaria, compared with 313 in the same period in 2012, mirroring the nationalist influence of the Jewish Home party and its “partner through silence,” Yair Lapid and his Yesh Atid party.

Significantly, the figures do not include areas of Jerusalem claimed by the Palestinian Authority and where the Netanyahu government has reportedly carried out a de facto building freeze since the beginning of the year.

Senior PA negotiator Saeb Erekat said Sunday following Danon’s comments, “I believe that a government that continues to tender settlements and rejects the two-state solution will not go for peace.”

So why does the Obama administration really think anyone is listening?

It does have an audience, limited but elite.

Only someone with the Ivory Tower view of President Shimon Peres, and there are still a few thousand like him, could actually believe that Abbas is sincere in wanting a peace agreement with Israel, even if all of his demands are met, while refusing to declare that Israel is a “Jewish state.” And only the same view could actually believe that peace can be achieved even Israel were to satisfy all of Abbas’ demands.

“It’s clear not only to us Palestinians but also to the American administration and John Kerry that the current Israeli government is not interested in the peace process,” Nimr Hamad, an adviser to Abbas, told the Associated Press. “The Palestinian position is clear. Israel has to be forced to stop the settlement activity.”

Abbas has long passed the point of no return, and Netanyahu, honest or not, can comfortably go through the motions of wanting to negotiate because he knows Abbas will refuse.

Is Kerry finally getting the message?

In Washington, the growing doubts among reporters of what has become a “peace process charade” have started to creep into the State Dept. comments.

In Friday’s daily news briefing, State Dept, spokeswoman Jen Psaki emphasized what previously has been stated as  a secondary clause:

“Let me just reiterate the larger point here, which is that this is between – this is up to the Israelis and the Palestinians to make the decision to move back to the negotiating table… But it is ultimately up to both sides, regardless of who else is involved on the outside.”

She could not even answer reporter’s questions concerning what meetings Kerry will conduct.

Kerry and President Barack Obama have said before that in the end, the Palestinian Authority and Israel  must decide if they want an agreement.

Kerry does not want to be another failure  following a long line off U.S. diplomats who have thought they could change the Middle East.

The smartest thing would be for Kerry to blame both sides and make a quick exit.

Is Kerry smart? Don’t bet on it.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/state-dept-shows-signs-of-dumping-peace-process/2013/06/10/

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