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January 21, 2017 / 23 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Saban forum’

US Secy Kerry Asks Saban Forum: What’s Your Vision of a Unitary State?

Monday, December 5th, 2016

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry looked tired Sunday afternoon (Dec. 4) as he sat down with lead columnist Jeff Goldberg of The Atlantic to address an Israeli-American audience at The Saban Forum in Washington, D.C.

Israel, he said, “is moving in the wrong direction.”

The United States, meanwhile, has “never ever shied away from vetoing a resolution or standing up against an unfair and biased resolution at the UN, at the Human Rights Council, at UNESCO, you name it!” Ever a loyal ally, America stands strong for Israel — but there is “no status quo” and as a friend who feels “genuinely passionate about Israel,” John Kerry felt duty bound to try to help Israelis correct course if possible.

The Secretary begin speaking at the time stamp 44:08.

“I have to share with you facts,” Kerry told the participants, after running down the list of benefits Israel had enjoyed under the administration of President Barack Obama. “I come to you as somebody who is concerned for the safety and the security of the State of Israel, for the long-term ability of the State of Israel to be able to be what it has dreamt of being, and what the people of Israel, I believe, want it to be.”

Apparently, Israel’s electoral process, its legislative branch via the Knesset, its parliament, and its judiciary via the High Court of Justice and its Supreme Court, apparently aren’t relevant as a reflection of that desire.

“I’m here as someone defending Israel’s need for security,” Kerry went on, adding, “The questions I raise about Israel are not because I don’t care about Israel, but because we do care,” suddenly switching to the magisterial “we” form.

“It’s because we want to be able to see this thing develop into the full-blossomed beacon that Israel has the potential of being,” he continued, listing the numerous fields in which Israel is leading the way, such as agriculture, technology and finance, pointing out how Israel could be “sharing with Egypt, with Jordan… (could it be that Mr. Secretary has forgotten Israel has peace treaties and natural resource agreements with both of these nations?) … with the Emirates, with Saudi Arabia, with all of these countries.”

But, he said, the issue is: “Where are we going?

“Let me tell you,” he warned, “There.will.be.no.separate.peace.between.Israel.and.the.Arab.world.

“I want to make that very clear to all of you,” he emphasized. “The Arab world is in a very different place now. There will be no advance and separate peace with the Arab world without the Palestinian process and without the Palestinian peace. Everybody needs to understand that. That is a hard reality.

“There is a basic choice that has to be made by Israel. Are there going to be continued settlements.. or is there going to be separate and the creation of two states?”

Kerry began a long discussion about the Oslo Accords, explaining their origin and sketching out a quick review of their progress and what he believes was the outcome. But the Secretary skipped over some parts, mixed up the timeline and didn’t mention all the terror attacks and violations by the Palestinian Authority that led to the Oslo Accords never quite being carried out the way the script was originally written.

“Now, when Oslo was signed in 1993, … there were 110,000 settlers in the West Bank. Today there are 385,000 settlers… about 90,000 settlers living outside of the barrier, and the barrier, I want to remind everyone here, was established by Israel. It’s a line — not a border, but still a line, established by Israel. There are 129 settlements, and there are about 100 outposts, and outposts, as you all know, are illegal,” Kerry said, his voice beginning to rise with outrage.

“Many of these outposts are built on what is considered to be private Palestinian land,” he stated, without offering a shred of proof, documentation, or even one source for the claim.

“Since Obama became president, the population outside of the barrier in the West Bank has increased by 20,000 people,” he said.

“Leaders, again, in Israel — certain leaders — are fond of saying, “well, the settlements aren’t the reason and the cause for the crisis. No, they’re not. I’m not pretending they are. I’m not here to tell you that the settlements are the reason for the conflict. No, they’re not. But I also cannot accept the notion that they do not affect the peace process. That they aren’t a barrier to the capacity to have peace.

“And I’ll tell you why I know that. Because the Left in Israel is telling everybody they are a barrier to peace and the Right that supports it, openly supports it, because they don’t want peace.

“They believe it’s the greater Israel. They are pursuing a policy of Greater Judea – Samaria, building out into the West Bank, because they believe it belongs to them, and they want it to block the peace!

“Because they want those places to belong to Israel. That’s the history of the settler movement, my friends.

“Out of the mouths of ministers in the current government come profoundly disturbing statements publicly, to whit: Naftali Bennett, said a few days ago, weeks ago, This represents the end of the era of the two-state solution. And, more than 50 percent of the ministers in the current government have publicly stated they are opposed to a Palestinian state, and there will be no Palestinian state.

“So this is the predicament. This is where we find ourselves… Let me give you the alternatives here, folks.

“What is your vision of a unitary state?

“Are you going to run the schools? Are you going to continue to have these roads that are completely checkpointed and blocked that lead to this little island all by itself of the settlement? And the Palestinians are going to live over here? (With this, the Secretary swept his hand over to the other side, a gesture to show isolation; a gesture that showed his frustration and angst.)

“Are they going to vote? And if they’re a majority of the population, are they going to have a Palestinian prime minister of Israel?

“Is it going to be a Jewish State?” Kerry asked. He sounded close to despair.

Hana Levi Julian

Naftali Bennett Takes on the Peace Industry — and Wins

Sunday, December 7th, 2014

Bennett does an amazing job at the Saban Forum. And an even better job taking on Martin Indyk and the Peace Industry.

It’s a long video, but worth watching the whole thing.

Video of the Day

Bennett Cites Agreement with Netanyahu During Campaign

Sunday, December 7th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Bayit Yehudi party chairman Naftali Bennett have agreed to a truce, at least during the upcoming campaign, according to Bennett’s account.

The two men have often been at odds with each other over the past year, even during this past summer’s counter terror Operation Protective Edge.

But in order to face a common threat to a possible coalition deal ahead, the two came to an “arrangement,” Bennett said Saturday night while at the Saban Forum.

“I was critical, and I still am critical of his policies,” Bennett said. “He supports a Palestinian state and I oppose it. I thought that in many cases he made mistakes and I told him, and sometimes publicly, when I thought it might influence the outcome.”

However, he added, “We have an arrangement where we don’t attack each other during these elections. Last time I was strongly attacked by Likud, and ultimately we want to form a strong national bloc which, obviously in my opinion, is good for Israel.”

 

Hana Levi Julian

Clinton Plays Up ‘Two-State Solution’ for the Liberal Jewish Vote

Sunday, December 7th, 2014

Hillary Clinton went overboard claiming in a speech Saturday at the Saban Forum how much the Obama administration supports Israel and that there is nothing “personal” in differences between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama.

Saban, an Israeli-born millionaire, has said that he is willing to give “as much as needed” to make sure Clinton will be the next president of the United States. She has not said one way or the other if she will run, but she acts and talks like a candidate in the last week of an election campaign.

The former First Lady and Secretary of State is the same woman who said “F—the Jews” when her Oslo Accords hubby Bill was in the White House, where he was about as faithful to Hillary as he was to Israel.

“The relationship between the United States and Israel is solid, and will remain solid, and will be part of our foreign policy and our domestic concerns, our values, ideals, forever,” Clinton said at the 11th annual Saban Forum.

Naftali Bennett, chairman of the Jewish Home party, is scheduled to speak at the Saban Forum Saturday night. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has to cancel his speech because he is sitting Shiva for his mother, who died on Thursday.

It was only two years ago that Hillary Clinton used the Saban Forum as a stage to accuse Israel of a “lack of generosity” and a “lack of empathy” towards Palestinian Authority Arabs.

With two eyes on the 2016 presidential election, she said Saturday night, she pushed negotiations for the “two-state solution.” Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas already has said several times negotiations, as he calls them, were finished long ago because Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has not accepted his demand that Israel accept his demands at the table or under the dictate of the United Nations.

Netanyahu has said there is nothing to talk about since Abbas won’t recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Until the Netanyahu government collapsed this week and he decided to call for new elections, even the center-left leaders had said the “two-state” solution is nothing but theoretical.

But the American liberal Jewish community, the bulk of American Jews who still realize they are Jewish, are very happy with Israel being the country they dream as a Jewish state that exists to make them feel comfortable as Americans.

They don’t want to hear international criticism of Israel, and if their president says “settlers” are “illegitimate and illegal,” then those settlers should do as Washington says and live in Tel Aviv.

“Now I’m well aware of everything going on and the increasing tensions in the region, in Israel, in the West Bank to say nothing of the continuing aggressive behavior from Hamas coming out of Gaza,” Clinton said. “But the absence of negotiations leaves a vacuum that gets filled by problems, bad actors, threats, other kinds of behavior that are not good for Israel and not good for the Palestinians.

“There is a necessary imperative to continue to try to achieve a resolution between Israel and the Palestinians.”

Clinton is “aware of everything going on”?

Is she aware that the Palestinian Authority has educated an entire generation of Arabs to hate Israel, to hate Jews and to become “martyrs?”

Is she aware that official Palestinian Authority documents show a map of Israel with the word “Palestine” scrawled over it from, Lebanon to Egypt and from Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea?

She is not aware of it because she, and John Kerry, and the entire American liberal Jewish establishment do not want to be aware of it.

They love to hear talk about a “two-state solution” because it makes them feel good that all of those Jews living in Israel won’t upset their breakfast by doing anything that might endanger American security, such as building homes for Jews smack dab next to Arabs in eastern Jerusalem.

Clinton knows that the right-wing Jews are not going to support her. She doesn’t need to sell herself for the votes of the liberal Jewish community, but she wants their money.

 

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Bibi Shoots Back: Diplomatic Solution Needs Military Threat (Video)

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

There never will be a peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority unless it is willing to accept that Israel is a Jewish state, and there cannot be a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear threat without the threat of a military option, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the Saban conference Sunday.

Addressing the Saban Center for Middle East Policy less than 24 hours after President Barack Obama tried to assure Israel it should trust the “peace process,” the Prime Minister tried to throw the reason for a lack of an agreement on peace with the Palestinian Authority on the shoulders of PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

He pointed out that that the Arab world rejected the existence of Israel as recommended by the British Peel Commission in 1937 and in the United Nations Partition Plan of 1947.

The core of the conflict has never been the borders and settlements, Netanyahu said in a video address. He explained that the problem is the “persistent refusals to accept Israel as a Jewish state. Six prime ministers…have been ready for compromise, but it  was never enough because all of the Israeli proposals, the concessions, were based on the premise that the conflict would be over and there would be no further Palestinian claims on the State of Israel… The Palestinians were unwilling.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu the past year has shifted gears. He knows there is no sense in talking about “issues,” because no matter what Israel says or offers, it faces a broadside opposition by the United Nations, the United States and foreign media, all of which are stuck in the mindset of the Arab world that all of its demands must be met, period, with nothing in return.

He has focused on the failure of the Palestinian Authority, and the Arab world, to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, a condition that even the anti-Israel crowd will have a difficult time in rejecting and which the Palestinian Authority cannot accept if its leaders want to stay alive.

“So the question is not why Israel does not compromise, but [is] why do the Palestinians consistently refuse to accept” Israel as a Jewish state,” Prime Minister Netanyahu declared.

He also deflated the PA cry for sympathy with its Big Lie that it has been around for centuries. “We have been around for nearly 4,000 years,” Netanyahu said. The Palestinian have to come to grips with the fact there will always be a Jewish state next to their own. “He then added another requirement – security. No one has revealed exactly what security suggestions  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and retired General John Allen proposed to Netanyahu also week, but the Prime Minister made it clear that all security arraignments must be “based on Israel’s own forces,” Netanyahu asserted. “There is no substitute for that.”

So Abbas can put that in his pipe and smoke it until time runs out on Kerry’s clock because he has made it clear – and there is no backtracking – that no Israeli soldier will set foot on a future Palestinian Authority state.

So Abbas can put that in his pipe and smoke it until time runs out on Kerry’s clock because he has made it clear – and there is no backtracking – that no Israeli soldier will set foot on a future Palestinian Authority state.

Netanyahu also hammered one point over and over concerning the Iranian nuclear threat, after the usual fawning over Israel’ great admiration, respect and love for the United States, meaning President Obama.

“We share” President Obama’s desire for a diplomatic solution, he stated, but he emphasized that “it must be coupled with sanctions and a military threat to succeed.” For good measure, Netanyahu then repeated,  “A military option is necessary for a diplomatic solution.”

Netanyahu countered several American claims, particularly those of The New York Times and some Obama administration officials, that Israel is exaggerating the threat of Iran.

“Regimes with unlimited appetites act out their mad ideologies,” Prime Minister Netanyahu told the Saban Forum. “The Jewish people take seriously those who speak of our annihilation.

The Prime Minister also threw another monkey into Obama’s wrenching deal with Iran. He said no deal with Iran should be concluded without a declared change in what he called its “genocidal policy.”

Noting that Iranian president Hassan Rouhani last month called Israel “a rabid dog,” the Prime Minister stated that Rouhani regime “is committed to our annihilation, and I believe that there must be an uncompromising demand at the Geneva talks, for a change in Iran’s policy.

“In other words, there needs to be not just a change in the capability of Iran to arm itself, but also a change in its policy of genocide.

Perhaps the most telling remarks by Prime Minister Netanyahu were his six closing words:

“Thank you all –  and good luck.”

It had a slight intonation, of “good luck  because you are going to need all you can get and that won’t be enough.”

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Obama Takes Aim at Israeli Positions on Iran (Full Video)

Saturday, December 7th, 2013

Watch the video starting at minute 8:56



President Obama sharply criticized as not viable a number of Israeli government postures on talks with Iran, but reasserted the military option should those talks fail.

In a wide-ranging talk with Haim Saban, the entertainment mogul who funds the annual Saban Forum in Washington, Obama took aim at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s claims that increased pressure during the interim talks would extract greater concessions from Iran, and anticipated a final deal that would grant Iran some uranium enrichment capabilities.

Alluding to the view of Netanyahu and a number of lawmakers in Congress, Obama said, “what this comes up down to is the perception that if we kept churning up the pressure, new sanctions, more sanctions, more military threats etc, that eventually Iran would cave.”

Instead, Obama said, that would likely drive away allies who have helped keep up the pressure on Iran through U.S.-led sanctions.

Obama outlined U.S. red lines in a final agreement, including the dismantling of the plutonium reactor at Arak and the underground nuclear reactor at Fordow, as well as advanced centrifuges.

However, he made clear an enrichment program would remain in place that would ensure that “as a practical matter, they don’t have a breakout capacity.”

That, Obama acknowledged, contradicted Netanyahu’s objective that “we can’t accept any enrichment on Iranian soil, full stop.”

Israel’s government believes that Iran has been allowed to advance its nuclear capability to the point where even a modest enrichment capability positions it dangerously close to weapons breakout capacity.

Demanding no enrichment, Obama said, was unrealistic, likening it to his believing Congress would pass every one of his legislative initiatives.

The Iranians needed to come to a deal that would afford them some “dignity,” he said, and alluded to broad popular support for some enrichment capacity.

Obama said that he did not trust Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s newly elected president, but noted that he was elected on a platform of reaching out to the West.

Again alluding to a Netanyahu claim, he said that those who say Rouhani is not different from his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadeinjad, a Holocaust denier and anti-Israel maximalist, “understate the shift in politics” in Iran.

Obama twice said that he would reassert the military option should talks fail with Iran.

“I’ve made clear I can avail myself of including a military option, is one we can consider and prepare for,” he said.

He emphatically rejected hard lines in dealing with other countries. “Wherever we see the impulses of a people to move away from conflict and violence and toward a diplomatic resolution of conflict we should be ready to engage them,” he said. “We have to not constantly assume that it’s not possible for Iran like any country to change over time.”

Obama said he had a good, open relationship with Netanyahu. “There are occasionally significant tactical differences, but there is a constancy in trying to reach the same goal,” he said of the relationship.

Addressing renewed Israeli-Palestinian talk,s Obama said mediation is currently focused on addressing Israeli security needs, and appeared to back away from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s insistence that the sides achieve a final status agreement next year.

An agreement, he said, need not address “every detail” but is one that “gets us to a moment that gets us to move forward than move backward.”

JTA

Liberman: Peace Agreement Is Distant, But Talks Are Necessary

Saturday, December 7th, 2013

Peace between Israelis and the Palestinians is unlikely, but talks must continue if only to manage the conflict, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said.

“Trust between the two sides is about zero,” Liberman said Friday evening at the annual Saban Forum, a gathering in Washington of Israeli and U.S. persons of influence.

Liberman said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry would not achieve an agreement within a year, as Kerry has anticipated, and cautioned against creating “expectations.” Liberman excoriated Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas as undemocratic and unrepresentative.

However, Liberman also said he was grateful to Kerry for restarting talks with the Palestinians, saying that dialogue was crucial to preventing violence.

“It’s crucial to keep this dialogue,” he said during his interview-style appearance. “It’s important to manage this conflict.”

Liberman said differences between the Obama and Netanyahu governments on Iran policy were clear, but – in an implied rebuke of Netanyahu, who has sharply criticized U.S. policy – he said such disputes should be handled privately.

“I don’t like all the public discussion about the Iranian issue,” he said. “It’s impossible to discuss on TV screens.”

Netanyahu has said that an interim sanctions relief for nuclear rollback deal negotiated last month between Iran and the major powers is a bad one and will allow Iran to advance toward a nuclear weapon.

JTA

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/liberman-peace-agreement-is-distant-but-talks-are-necessary/2013/12/07/

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