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April 1, 2015 / 12 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘State Dept.’

State Dept. Takes Foot Out of the Mouth of John ‘Talk with Assad’ Kerry

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

State Dept. spokeswoman have been working overtime trying once again to extricate the foot of their boss John Kerry out of his mouth after he responded to a question on CBS if the United States would negotiate with Syrian President Assad:

We have to negotiate in the end…. What we’re pushing for is to get him to come and do that, and it may require that there be increased pressure on him of various kinds in order to do that.

His comments, an apparent dramatic reversal of Obama administration policy, set off alarm bells in France, which insists Assad will not be part of a negotiated solution.

But here come Deputy Spokeswoman Marie Harf and her senior, Jen Psaki, to the rescue.

After Assad specifically said he was referring to Assad, Harf said he was not and that the policy stands – a negotiated settlement with the Assad regime but not with him.

Psaki continued to foot-extraction operation in the daily briefing with reporters on Monday and explained:

By necessity, there has always been a need for representatives of the Assad regime to be a part of this process. It has never been and would not be Assad who would negotiate — and the secretary was not saying that today….

It would not be and would never be, and it wasn’t what Secretary Kerry was intending to imply, that that would be Assad himself.

In plainer English, Kerry did not imply what he said.

The reporters at the briefing did not miss a beat and still expressed their confusion of what the man really says, implies and thinks, if that is the right word.

After Psaki insisted that the opposition parties sitting at a negotiating table by themselves “wouldn’t result in a political process or the conclusion of a political process that would bring an end to the suffering of the Syrian people,” a journalist asked:

Almost all the statements by all the different opposition groups basically were critical of the Secretary’s statement, and basically saying there’s no way that they would negotiate with Assad. Do you see any other way…?

Psaki reiterated that what Kerry did not say what he said and answered, “Well, I just stated that’s not what we’re indicating. Obviously, there would need to be representatives of the regime. That’s always been the case. But I think it’s also important to remember, for everyone, unfortunately there’s no process that’s ongoing right now, so we’re purely talking about how it would work potentially if there were to be a process in place.”

One reporter tried to help Psaki and asked, “Can you say that he [Kerry] was imprecise and that he perhaps should have answered the question, ‘Will you negotiate with him’ in a little better – in a little more precise fashion to say that he means the regime?”

Psaki jumped at the opportunity and reasoned that Kerry simply used the name “Assad” as “shorthand, obviously, representative of the regime.”

How exactly Kerry expects to convince Assad’s associates to come to the table with the demand that Assad must go is another question that one the Secretary of State can answer, but he is good at making up insolvable riddles to keep him busy, when he not busy saying what he doesn’t mean.

For example, he still pursues the “two-state” solution through negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, which has said that there is nothing to be negotiated. All Israel has to do is sign on the dotted line on a document he has written.

Reporters at the media briefing on more or less on the same page. One of them told Psaki, “I’m trying to understand the wisdom behind casting some sort of an element of finality, saying that he cannot be a part of Syria’s future and so on, when in fact – I mean, I saw the envoy to Syria, and he said we think that Assad was serious, he wants an end to the violence. …. Whether like him or not like him, he is part of Syria. So in that sense, why cast the finality that we will not negotiate with him under any conditions?”

Kerry Sets Up Israel as Fall Guy if Palestinian Authority Goes Bankrupt

Saturday, February 21st, 2015

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told his British counterpart Phillip Hammond Saturday he is worried that the Palestinian Authority might go belly-up might be cause for Mahmoud Abbas to cease security coordination with Israel.

Hammon, like every other leader in the European Union,  also should be worried because a bankrupt Palestinian Authority would prove to the citizens in the European Union that their countries have thrown billions of dollars down the drain by keeping Abbas’ regime solvent.

The State Dept. has repeatedly said that Israel should resume turning over to the Palestinian Authority more than $100 million in tax revenues it collects each month on goods that are sent into Judea and Samaria.

The PA owes the Israel Electric Corp. hundreds of millions of dollars for electricity, which is reason enough to withhold the tax revenues. Israel always has resumed the payments until Abbas’ move last year to join the International Criminal Court.

Abbas has repeatedly threatened on different occasions and for different reasons to halt security coordination with Israel, a move that only would hasten the downfall of the Palestinian Authority. Without the help of the IDF, anarchy would reign, so no matter what Abbas does, he loses.

Kerry’s spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters last week:

It’s true we’re very concerned about the continued viability of the Palestinian Authority if they do not receive funds soon, either in terms of the resumption of monthly Israeli transfers of Palestinian tax revenues or additional donor assistance….

If the Palestinian Authority ceases security coordination or even decides to disband, as they have said they may do as early as the first week of March if they do not receive additional revenues, we could be faced with a crisis that could gravely impact both the Palestinians and the Israelis with potentially serious ripple effects either – elsewhere in the region.

Saudis Hold Body of U.S. Elbit Subcontractor After Mysterious Death in Tabuk

Sunday, February 1st, 2015

Saudi Arabia has yet to release the body of a U.S. defense subcontractor who was working for Israel’s Elbit Systems when he died under mysterious circumstances after being sent to the country to help complete a weapons deal.

Christopher Cramer was working for Kollsman Inc., a firm that subcontracted for the Israeli defense electronics company, when he was found dead last month on the ground outside his third-floor hotel room in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia.

“We received a message from Kollsman Inc., Elbit Systems’ subcontractor in America, saying its employee Chris Cramer passed away during a work trip,” said a spokesperson for Elbit Systems.

“The circumstances of his death are being investigated by the American State Department. We have no further details at this stage and we are waiting for the State Department to update our American subcontractor. Cramer worked for the company for 12 years. We cannot provide details on the project he was working on, but this is a Kollsman product, an American product with no Israeli technologies involved in its production.”

Cramer, 50, provided technical assistance for a demonstration and sale of a TOW anti-armor missile system as an employee of Kollsman Inc., Fox News reported over the weekend. Authorities in Saudi Arabia claim that Cramer committed suicide by jumping to his death from the third floor of a hotel – but the facts just don’t add up. His family does not believe he committed suicide; they say he was murdered because he appeared to be a threat to the lucrative arms deal that was in process.

Noah Mandell, the family attorney and a longtime friend of Cramer’s, told Fox News the problem was with the customer. “The missile system was already sold to the Saudi company and they were complaining that it wasn’t working,” Mandell said.

“He was basically sent to see if he could prove that they were firing it incorrectly.” Mandell added that he believes the company that purchased the equipment wanted the missiles to malfunction. “The point of sabotaging equipment is you get a customer who has to buy a new set, and you’ve still got the old equipment,” Mandell said.

A spokesperson for Kollsman Inc. said Cramer had even posted a video of one of the missile firings, showing that everything was operating and fully functional. Mandell received messages from Cramer on the night that he died, saying his life was in danger and asking his friend to contact the State Department.

“I’m at the Marakim Tabuk Hotel in Saudi,” he texted his roommate back in New Hampshire when he could not reach Mandell. “I think something bad is going to happen to me tonight. Please contact State Dept. ASAP. Bad things were said.”

Mandell missed three calls within eight minutes on his voice mail that night. Cramer may not have trusted his own employers as well; the company rushed to inform his family that his death was a suicide. Now Kollsman says it will wait for the outcome of the Saudi probe.

“The question is… Why was Chris calling his dog sitter and his lawyer in America instead of his own company? They sent him into hell and had no plan to get him back,” Mandell charged. More to the point, the delivery of Cramer’s body to the United States has been delayed and has still not arrived on U.S. soil. His family is waiting to be able to send it for an autopsy.

Under American law, it is up to the FBI to investigate the circumstances when an U.S. citizen dies overseas – but the FBI gets involved only “if they are invited to do so by the local authorities,” according to the State Department. “They don’t have the jurisdiction to go into a country and start an investigation. They have to be invited in,” an FBI official told The Daily Beast. “Our standard practice is to neither confirm nor deny FBI investigations.”

State Dept. Says Taxpayers’ Money not Used in V-15 Campaign

Friday, January 30th, 2015

The U.S. State Dept. said Thursday the American government used to fund the left-wing OneVoice group that is campaigning against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu but that no grants were given after last November.

Spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters, “The U.S. Government grant to OneVoice Israel was for $233,500. The duration of this grant, as I mentioned yesterday but just to reconfirm, was from September 23rd, 2013 through November 30th, 2014.

” No payment was made to OneVoice after November 2014.”

The grant was for a project “to support a two-state solution,” she said.

Concerning allegations that the State Dept. is funding a campaign to dump Netanyahu, she said, “No. It’s an absolutely false report. The reports were stemming from inaccurate reporting – and a lack of reporting, perhaps I should say, on this grant that I’ve given you many details on.”

The question remains why the U.S.  government has to grant organizations money to promote the “two-state solution.”

Apparently, it wants to share the failure with others.

 

 

Snide Remarks from State Dept. Over Jerusalem Housing Plans

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

The United States has — again — expressed its strong disapproval over the latest plans to build badly-needed housing in an overcrowded Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem.

The district planning and building committee today (Monday, Nov. 3) approved 500 new housing units in the Ramat Shlomo section of Jerusalem, an area built after the 1967 Six Day War. The State Department slammed the move, calling it “unfortunate” and “illegitimate.”

A week ago, the prime minister’s office approved plans to build 600 new housing units in the same neighborhood, in addition to 400 units in Har Homa, another post-1967 neighborhood in the capital.

Washington said at that point that Israel was taking steps that were “not conducive to peace in the region and a two-state solution.”

The State Department expressed “deep concern” over plans for what it called “settlement construction” in Jerusalem, in a loud echo of the anger bellowing from microphones in the Palestinian Authority.

But none of the neighborhoods in Jerusalem even faintly resembles a “settlement” and there is nothing remotely agrarian or rural about any of them.

Nevertheless, while meeting with U.S. officials in Washington, PA spokesperson Abu Rudaineh called today’s housing approval a “direct challenge” to the Obama administration” in a clear attempt to provoke the U.S. into attacking Israel.

A spokesperson for the far left ‘Peace Now’ organization eagerly aided and abetted the effort, telling the AFP news agency the approved housing units in Ramat Shlomo would “expand” the neighborhood’s existing “settlement.”

To put this all in perspective, please note that the average Israeli residential high-rise in Jerusalem’s Romema neighborhood, not far from the Central Bus Station, is built with eight to ten floors and features two or four units on each floor. So we are talking about the equivalent of perhaps a dozen to eighteen high-rise buildings – maybe double that if they are smaller. An addition of two streets, maybe.

This is called “expansion” of a “settlement?” Really?

State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki underlined the sharp disappointment of the Obama government with the decision in her news briefing, claiming that Israel had no interest in peace with the Palestinian Authority because the housing project had been approved.

“Obviously, if they were going to restart a peace negotiation we would be seeing actions,” she said. “Actions like these are contrary to that objective.”

Oddly, she made no mention of the Palestinian Authority unity government’s violation of the cease-fire agreement on Friday night, by allowing Gaza terrorists to fire a rocket at southern Israel. The rocket landed in the Eshkol Regional Council district but did not injure anyone and did not cause property damage.

For some strange reason, Psaki and her boss have not considered the multiple violations of the cease-fire that have taken place since August to be ‘actions’ that signal the Palestinian Authority has no interest in “restarting a peace negotiation.”

A thinking person targeted in a rocket attack or some other form of terrorist violence (such as a shooting, rock attack or firebombing) might actually think that “actions like these are contrary to that objective.”

No?

Even Haaretz Thinks Kerry’s Ceasefire Is One-Sided against Israel

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

A leak of of  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s ceasefire proposal reveals that it ignored the need to destroy terrorist tunnels and disarm Hamas while granting the terrorist organization, outlawed by the United States, millions of dollars to entrench itself in Gaza.

The “framework,” as Kerry called it, was so clumsily put together that the left-wing Haaretz newspaper, a long-time champion of peace with Hamas, reported that Kerry’s “conduct in recent days over the Gaza ceasefire raises serious doubts over his judgment and perception of regional events. It’s as if he isn’t the foreign minister of the world’s most powerful nation, but an alien, who just disembarked his spaceship in the Mideast.”

After Hamas thoroughly rejected a ceasefire proposal by Egypt last week, Kerry knew he could not get support from Hamas without going through its allies, Qatar and Turkey. He staged a press conference with their foreign ministers, ignored Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority, among others, and presented a proposal to the Israel Cabinet that was unanimously rejected Friday night.

Kerry made things even worse when he insisted that the Cabinet did not “reject” the proposal because, in his words, “There was no formal proposal submitted to Israel. Let’s make that absolutely crystal clear. Prime Minister Netanyahu called me a few minutes before this to tell me that that [rejection] was an error, and he’s putting out a statement to that effect … It’s fair to say that Israel had some opposition to some concepts, but that doesn’t mean a proposal by any means.”

Okay. It is not a proposal. It is a framework, one of Kerry’s favorite words dating back to his Peace Process Follies, where Palestinian Authority ultimatums became “negotiations” and the American “ultimatum” also was a “framework.”

The Jewish Press asked the Prime Minister’s spokesman if Netanyahu issued a “clarification,” as Kerry said he would. The spokesman, known for his accessibility and prompt response, has not answered after three hours of phone calls and text messages.

Until proven otherwise, it is more than conceivable that the Office of the Prime Minister has nothing to say. There is no sense in embarrassing Kerry since he does a good job at that all by himself.

The ”framework,” in the word of Haaretz’s Barak Ravid, “placed Israel and Hamas on the same level, as if the first is not a primary U.S. ally and as if the second isn’t a terror group which overtook part of the Palestinian Authority in a military coup and fired thousands of rockets at Israel.”

Kerry held a press conference on Saturday, slobbering praise on the Qatari and Turkish foreign ministers. In the first two words in the excerpt of the YouTube below, Kerry uttered two words that fewer and fewer believe anymore. He said, “I understand.”

He understands Israel’s needs and understands this and understands that but does not understand anything more than he says at the moment.

According to his own spokeswoman Marie Harf Friday, the Secretary of Talk “made 13 phone calls as of today. He ended up making a total of 25 yesterday – very busy – talking mainly about his attempts to help broker a ceasefire in Gaza.”

What’s good for the phone company is good for the United States.

For all his talk, he delivered a draft that, again in the words of Haaretz’s Ravid, “was a slap on the face to the rapidly forming camp of Egypt, Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, who have many shared interests. What Kerry’s draft spells for the internal Palestinian political arena is even direr: It crowns Hamas and issues Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas with a death warrant.”

US Refuses to Admit Palestinian Authority Involved in Terror

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

The U.S. State Dept.’s position is that it does not know that Hamas was involved in the kidnap murder of three Israeli teenagers and that despite continuing missile attacks from Gaza, it is “reviewing” events to determine if the Palestinian Authority unity government is “abiding by…the pledges that they made” to refrain from violence.

Israel has categorically identified the terrorists as members of Hamas, and it is no secret that the terrorists from Gaza, where Hamas officially is part of the unity government with Fatah headed by Mahmoud Abbas, but – no – the government of the United States  is “reviewing…circumstances on the ground.”

Hamas terrorists kidnap and kill children and try to kill Israelis with missiles, blowing up factories and hoping to blow up children in a kindergarten, and the United States is “reviewing  circumstances on the ground,” as if it is has a front row seat in a horror movie, except that this is live action.

“Would Hamas’s involvement in something like this[kidnap-murders] be cause for the Administration to rethink its support for the Palestinian – the new Palestinian Government?” Associated Press reporter Matt Lee asked State Dept. Spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

She solemnly answered, “We do look at all kinds of information as it relates to our relationship with the Palestinians, our relationship with any entity that we work with. So I’m not going to make a prediction. I don’t know what the outcome will be of the final findings.”

That is what the State Dept. does – it looks at information. If it furthers its agenda to expel Jews from all of Judea and Samaria and most of Jerusalem, Foggy Bottom doles it out to the hunger media hacks looking for more ammunition to shoot down Israel. If it does not further agenda, it files it away under “delete.”

That explains Psaki’s comments on missile attacks.

Lee asked, “There were also, I think, 14 – more than a dozen rockets that were fired into southern Israel from Gaza today. Is that something that would make you rethink your position as it relates to the Palestinian Government?”

No chance, at least not for now.

First of all, Psaki explained from her agenda pamphlet, the United States is going to take the really bold action to “review” circumstances to see if the Palestinian Authority renounces violence.

So does kidnapping and murdering three young yeshiva students and shooting missiles at Israeli mean that the unity government has not renounced violence?

No need to worry.

Psaki reassured everyone, “We expect, and President Abbas has on many occasions also renounced this type of action. And there’s a certain responsibility in conveying that to any entities that the Palestinians are tied with.”

But not even the State Dept. can fool all of the people all of the time.

“If I shoot you at the same time as saying I renounce violence, that doesn’t really make much sense,” AP reporter Lee said and then added, “what you’re saying, though, is that apart from the teenagers – because we don’t – you don’t know – you’re not sure of the circumstances – just the rocket attacks themselves are not cause to have you rethink your relationship with the government.

“You think right now that they are abiding by the requirements?”

Guess what? Hamas is not involved in the government.

Psaki, reading from her Agenda 101 book, recalled that the “technocratic” government “doesn’t involve members of Hamas… [and] obviously, when there are incidents of violence, when there are rocket attacks, those are certainly cause for concern and we take every incident into consideration.”

Thank God, the Obama administration will show its “concern” but it also can save face for the Palestinian Authority.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/us-refuses-to-admit-palestinian-authority-involved-in-terror/2014/07/01/

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