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March 29, 2015 / 9 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘secretary of state’

Pressure on Iran Picking Up to Sign a Nuclear Deal

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

US Senate to Vote on Sanctions If No Iran Deal, EU Sanctions Already Reinstated

The United States Senate has threatened to impose sanctions on Iran if President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are not successful in shepherding a nuclear technology deal through talks between world powers and Iran.

The European Union has already reinstated sanctions against 40 Iranian companies, including dozens of shipping firms, in order to increase pressure on Iran to sign on the dotted line.

The EU General Court lifted the sanctions on firms that were linked to the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines carrier (IRISL) in January, saying the EU had not proved the IRISL was actively supporting nuclear proliferation.

IRISL attorney Maryam Taher told the Reuters news agency the move was “purely politically motivated and not based on any proper evidence. The whole purpose of the EU sanctions is to leverage pressure on the Iranian government to come to an agreement in relation to nuclear proliferation.”

On Monday, the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported that it could not state definitively that Iran’s nuclear program had no “military dimensions.” Issues meant to resolve suspicions of weaponization work remain, according to IAEA director-general Yukiya Amano said in his report, despite what he called “good cooperation” from Tehran regarding the November 2013 comprehensive safeguards agreement.

However, he said, “We continue to verify the non-divergence of nuclear material declared by Iran, but we are still not in a position to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful purpose.”

If international negotiators come up empty-handed this time around (they have already missed one deadline), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Tuesday at a weekly news briefing “Another heavy dose of sanctions would be an appropriate remedy.”

If an agreement is signed, the lawmakers would pass a bill requiring the president to submit the deal to Congress for its approval. The bill also contains a provision that would temporarily remove Obama’s ability to waive sanctions.

Obama says he will veto both bills.

Negotiators took a break on Friday and reconvene this week as the March 31 deadline inches closer. World leaders will try again to close a deal with a nation whose Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called on Saturday for “Death to America,” while its President Hassan Rouhani expressed optimism that an agreement could still be reached.

U.S. Frees Military Aid to Egypt

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

The United States has agreed to release its promised foreign aid funds to Egypt, frozen since former President Mohammed Morsi was ousted a year ago. Secretary of State John Kerry made the announcement during a visit to Cairo two weeks after President-elect Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was sworn into office following May elections.

El-Sisi, who served as defense minister and field marshal prior to his election, has been cracking down on the Muslim Brotherhood — which backed Morsi’s candidacy and which took over the government once he was in office — and terrorism in the Sinai Peninsula.

Officials at the State Department said the mostly military aid, totaling some $1.5 billion, will be used to pay existing defense contracts. Kerry also promised to send 10 Apache attack helicopters, which el-Sisi’s forces will use against terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula.

“The Apaches will come, and they will come very, very soon,” Kerry promised at a joint news conference Sunday in Cairo.

Netanyahu ‘Welcomes’ Kerry with Lecture on PA Terror

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu gave visiting  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry a stark welcome Thursday evening by pointing out to him how the Palestinian Authority incites terror with its celebrations this week after Israel’s freed more terrorists who murdered Jews.

Kerry ignored the comments and spoke of “my friend Bibi” and said is such a “great pleasure” to be back in Israel

He spoke of the sun set on the Old City and how it reminded him of history, but he did not said what history – the Temple Mounts or Al Aqsa mosque.

One of his most amazingly naïve or stupid comments was, “After five months, I think it is safe to say we know what the issues are.”

And he calls himself Secretary of State? If he had read the newspapers 65 years ago, or even 10  years ago, he would have known what the issues are.

Netanyahu repeated for the 5,935th time that he would never surrender Israel’s security, and Kerry paralleled his comments, saying that really knows what is good for Israel’s security.

The Secretary of State also said he is encouraged that an agreement can be made between the Palestinian Authority and Israel can be reached because he saw a recent poll that shows most people want a “two-state” solution.

Does anyone else have any other straws to give Kerry to grab at.

PA Back in Town to Wink at PA’s Loaded Deck of Cards

Sunday, September 15th, 2013

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is visiting Israel and the Palestinian Authority Sunday to rah-rah “peace talks” even though the Palestinian Authority continues to violate the ground rules by threatening it will win recognition by several countries if the talks fail.

“Failure” in PA language means Israel’s insistence to actually negotiate at negotiations instead of signing on the dotted line, which would make Kerry and Obama very happy.

It is no wonder that Kerry, fresh from letting Vladimir Putin saving President Barack Obama from himself, is using the visit to show how much he loves Israel by meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to update him on Syrian President Bassar al-Assad’s pledge to get rid of his chemical weapons.

That is the same Assad who said last week that Syria he has no chemical weapons.

The United States knows just as much, if not more, about Assad’s chemical weapons thanks to Israeli intelligence than it does to its own. The most probable positive outcome for Kerry in his visit to Netanyahu will be a great photo-op for Jews to marvel how the Secretary of State thinks so much of Israel.

Of course, Kerry also will spread his wings over Ramallah and talk with Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, even though they met in London exactly seven days ago in London to discuss the “developments in direct peace talks that were resumed on July 14.”

PA and Israeli negotiators pledged to abide the American ground rules and to uncharacteristically be quiet, not update the media on progress or lack of progress and not negotiate through the media.

That rule applies to Israel but not to Saeb Erekat, senior negotiator for the Palestinian Authority, which has broken virtually every agreement it has signed with Israel, under American auspices, the past 20 years.

Erekat last week threatened that if the talks fail, the Palestinian Authority will go back to its two-year-old tactic of simply violating the Oslo Accords again and taking the unilateral move to obtain recognition as an independent country from countries ready to sign up.

The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), which has senior authority over the PA, distributed to its executive committee a document in which Erekat states that some countries already have promised to recognize the “State of Palestine” if Israel does not grant it all of its political and territorial demands.

Erekat last week also issued a rather thinly-disguised threat of violence.

“We hope that the Israeli government understands that their impunity is evaporating and that it is in Israel’s interest to go for justice and peace rather settlements and Apartheid. Settlement construction shows a lack of seriousness towards the idea of a Palestine and Israel living side by side in peace and security. We will be contacting different members within the international community in order to make clear to those who are trying to sabotage our efforts, that settlement construction has a price and that this price will continue to grow.

“Some people in Israel continue to believe that the endgame for negotiations should not be peace but rather, further colonization. We call upon all parties that had vigorously advocated for the resumption of negotiations to do whatever is needed to block and to punish the latest decisions made by the Israeli government and the Occupation Municipality in Jerusalem.”

That is pretty strong language for someone who is supposed to be holding “secret peace talks.”

Earlier this month, PLO secretary-general Yasser Abed Rabbo, always good for an anti-Zionist quote, pitched in and warned that Israel is risking a “political catastrophe” in the PA if it does not simply keep quiet and sign. A “political catastrophe” in the Palestinian Authority can only mean one of two things: an overthrow of Abbas or a new campaign of violence – oops, make that “resistance.”

He accused Israel of encouraging “settlers” to continue “violations” by building homes in Judea and Samaria and areas of Jerusalem claimed by the PA.

Abed Rabbo also violated Kerry’s ground rules by stating, “Until now there has been no progress” in the secret talks and that we’re now seeing what we expected — that there is little hope for their progress, in fact that hope is non-existent and negotiations are futile.

Kerry’s Palestinian Mission: Create Facts on the Ground

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the harassment of the pro-Israel organization Z Street by the IRS. A couple of days later, I suggested that left-wing Jewish groups cooperated with the administration in calling for scrutiny of Zionist groups, because of their pathological hatred of ‘settlers’ and ‘settlements’.

Now investigative reporter Alana Goodman has shown that there were numerous Zionist groups in addition to Z Street that were improperly targeted by the IRS. It also turns out that the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and even Palestinian negotiator Ahmed Querya — as well as Jewish groups like J Street, the New Israel Fund, and the Union for reform Judaism, along with administration-friendly journalists — all called for IRS investigations of Zionists who might be funding settlement activities.

Yes, it’s all about a few Jews living in a place that the administration — like the Jordanians in 1948 and the PLO today — believes should be free of them. Transferring these Jews out has been a top priority goal of US policy for decades.

Now think about this. Our new Secretary of State, John Kerry, recently proposed a $4 billion program to develop the ‘Palestinian economy’:

“These experts believe we will increase the Palestinian GDP by as much as 50 percent over three years,” Kerry told the closing session of the World Economic Forum meeting on the shores of the Dead Sea in Jordan.

“The most optimistic estimates foresee enough new jobs to cut unemployment by two-thirds to eight percent down from 21 percent and to increase the median wage by 40 percent,” said the top US diplomat.

Some 100,000 jobs in home construction alone could be created in the next three years, while tourism could triple.

The economic predictions are ridiculous, but never mind. What I find interesting is that this is precisely an attempt to create Arab ‘facts on the ground’ in Judea and Samaria — to create a Palestinian state by simply building it, on disputed land.

In other words, at the same time that the administration is trying to choke off Jewish building in the territories, by pressuring Israel (there is an unannounced freeze on construction in effect since Obama’s recent visit) and by using the IRS against private parties that might assist ‘settlers’, Kerry plans to finance a massive building campaign for Palestinian Arabs!

So while the administration does all it can to stop Jews from building on land within existing settlements, because they say it will hurt the peace process by foreclosing options, it finds nothing wrong with encouraging extensive Arab construction in the same disputed territory.

This is just another illustration of the way our government has swallowed the completely false story that the Arabs are the default owners of all the land outside the Green Line.

Visit Fresno Zionism.

PA Refuses to Change ‘A Few Words’ for Kerry

Monday, April 8th, 2013

The Palestinian Authority revealed Monday that it refused to agree with visiting U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s request to change a “few words” in the 2002 Saudi Peace Initiative.

The Saudi peace plan promises “normalization” of relations with Israel – without express recognition of the country – in return for Israel’s retreating back to the 1949 Temporary Armistice Lines that existed until 1967 and accepting the immigration of several million foreign Arabs.

Even the most leftist of Israelis, except for those really on the fringe of the fringe, have rejected the demand for allowing a flood of Arabs to destroy the Jewish character of the country.

But Kerry is undaunted.

In typical State Dept. tunnel thinking, he dug up the Saudi Peace Plan in an effort win the support of the Arab League and, according to senior PA negotiator Saeb Erekat, asked Ramallah to make a small compromise in the wording.

“Kerry asked us to change a few words in the Arab Peace Initiative but we refused,” Erekat told the Voice of Palestine radio station Sunday, according to the Washington Post.

The Palestinian Authority really has no reason to compromise.

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has carefully carried out a one-track-mind strategy for eight years, replacing Yasser Arafat’s pistol on the belt with a suit and tie and globetrotting to win international support.

While official Palestinian Authority media honor suicide bombers and without a wink show Arabs in Judea, Samaria and Gaza maps of Palestine with borders of the Mediterranean Coast and the Jordan River, Abbas has played along with the Bush administrations without committing to anything.

Feeling full confidence that he no longer needs the United States, Abbas went to the United Nations in November and won his long-sought recognition, although only in a resolution, that recognizes all of his demands without recognizing Israel as a Jewish state.

Kerry is trying to turn back the point of no return, and even after Erekat said he turned him down, the Secretary of State, was seen in Israel without blindfolders on Monday even though he said he sees “a road ahead” on the two-state solution for peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Kerry met President Shimon Peres on Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day and participated in the national wreath-laying ceremony at Yad VaShem.

Invoking the same evangelical-like tone of President Barack Obama when he visit Israel last month, Kerry said, “You have to believe in the possibilities to be able to get there. You and I believe in them and I’m convinced there is a road ahead.”

The road ahead for Abbas is elsewhere.

While Kerry was solemnly saying that the wailing sirens of Yom HaShoah had a “profound impact” on him, Abbas, whose doctoral thesis was on Holocaust denial, was on his way to Qatar to meet with Arab League diplomats for the next step on how to negotiate without negotiating.

What Kerry Doesn’t Know About Democracy and Islam

Friday, March 1st, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

In practically his first outing as secretary of state abroad, John Kerry made some remarkable statements in a meeting with young Germans.

The main thing being widely quoted is his statement, “In America, you have a right to be stupid if you want to be… And we tolerate it. We somehow make it through that. Now, I think that’s a virtue. I think that’s something worth fighting for.”

Of course, there’s a right to be stupid in America! Indeed, just this week it’s been expanded into having a right to be simultaneously stupid and secretary of defense!

To be fair, Kerry’s statement was in the context of defending, albeit not very well, freedom of speech in America. (Kerry was obviously referencing President Barack Obama’s U.N. speech in his own talking points.) How Kerry defends it is what’s scary and dysfunctional.

He was basically saying: Yeah, we know that all these dumb people who don’t agree with us are wrong but we let them talk anyway because it works out okay in the end since nobody listens to them anyway. While he used the words “virtue” and “worth fighting for” those sentiments seem to be clumped onto the end for form’s sake. Kerry certainly doesn’t say–or understand–that people have rights and government has limits. Instead, he talks as if the ruling elite tolerates such fools because it’s so nice.

That is remarkably different from a more traditional defense of American liberty like: We have seen how in a free market place of ideas the best standpoints generally triumph, people are happier, and prosperity ensues. Or, we believe that people are endowed with rights by their creator and no one can or should take them away.

Now that standpoint is really “something worth fighting for” and Americans in the institution now run by Chuck Hagel have been doing so for a couple of centuries. No American goes into battle to defend the right to be stupid.

Oh, wait! Kerry apparently does think so since, as he put it, showing his superior grasp of the English language: “You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”

So, you have the right to be stupid but watch out because if you are you might end up in the armed forces fighting to defend the right to be stupid!

In contrast to a proper approach, Kerry makes the American system sound like letting the deranged walk the streets as homeless people, babbling incoherently but doing little harm. Sure, let them cling to their guns and religion while we smart people make all the decisions. He’s merely turning around a traditional left-wing critique of democracy that comes from Herbert Marcuse or Noam Chomsky, of “repressive tolerance.”

And that seems to be what Kerry and Obama really believe. Ironically, they are the modern-day equivalent of what used to be called right-wing reactionaries ruling a patriarchal society that consists of aristocrats and peasants.

Another feature of Kerry’s performance was displaying the Obama Administration propensity for apologizing. The question Kerry was answering came from a young German Muslim who merely asked him about his views on Islam. There was no criticism of the United States. It was an invitation to go into a riff about America as a great, tolerant place not to cringe and insist that outside of stupid people the United States America isn’t horribly “Islamophobic.”

Implied in Kerry’s response was the video that supposedly inspired the Benghazi attack. As you know, this claim is either discredited or, in the words of Kerry’s predecessor, supposedly doesn’t matter. On the verge of his visit to the Middle East, repeating the false notes of the new Obama era national anthem—America the Guilty—is not a good idea.

Kerry added that he’s reading a book entitled No God but God by Reza Aslan, which he gushingly praises and accepts as his source on Islam. There are, of course, many books on Islam and Kerry is free to read whatever he wants. Yet the choice of this particular one is also revealing.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/rubin-reports/what-kerry-doesnt-know-about-democracy-and-islam/2013/03/01/

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