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August 3, 2015 / 18 Av, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘State Dept.’

Egypt vs. ISIS: Victory or Death

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

Egypt said it is in total control of the Sinai the day after massive and well-coordinated attacks by the Islamic State (ISIS) on army and police posts.

Israel’s Channel 2 television reported that Israel has given the green light to Egypt to bring in heavy weapons into the Sinai, as required under the 1979 peace treaty that paved the way for Israel to surrender the Sinai a decade after the Yom Kippur War.

Positioning heavy weapons in the Sinai always carries the risk they can be used against Israel, but for the time being, Israel is the last enemy on Egypt’s mind.

Egypt may have done Israel a big favor by demanding the Sinai, which for years has become a fiefdom of Bedouin criminals and graduated into a no man’s land open for grabs by Bedouin, Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood and now ISIS terrorists.

Israel remains on high alert while Egypt said it will not stop its counter-offensive against Sinai jihadists until all of them are “eliminated.”

The ISIS attacks yesterday killed between a dozen and nearly 100 Egyptian army officers, soldiers and policemen, depending on whom you want to believe.

The numbers do not matter because the attacks on 15 different posts proved that ISIS is a very organized army.

Egyptian bombing raids continued into the night following the wave of attacks that were aimed at cutting off Rafah and El-Arish, which would have created a critical threat to Israel.

The IDF immediately shut down border crossings at Egypt and Gaza after the ISIS offensive, but re-opened the Kerem HaShalom crossing Thursday morning to allow trucks into Gaza with foods and merchandise..

Egypt will “exterminate” every jihadist in the northern Sinai, said its military spokesman.

Brigadier General Mohamed Samir said:

We control the situation in Sinai 100%.

The army claimed it killed more than 100 jihadists.

The cabinet of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi Wednesday night approved urgent measures that call for “swift justice,” which can be translated as “don’t let democracy get in the way of survival.”

Four years after the rebellion against Hosni Mubarak, ostensibly because of his autocratic rule, his regime has been reincarnated.

Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Transitional Justice Ibrahim Al-Heneidy said that In the absence of the parliament, Al-Sisi has legislative powers.

Coincidentally or not, ISIS attacked the day after terrorists killed Egypt’s state prosecutor Hisham Barakat, who was riding in a motorcade. Barakat had said that if former Muslim Brotherhood president Mohammed Morsi is sentenced to death, the execution will be carried out.

Heneidy said that terrorists will face harsher punishment, meaning execution or life in prison.

The death penalty also will apply to anyone who funds terror, a classification that puts Muslim Brotherhood officials on notice that Al-Sisi is bent on destroying the organization that ruled Egypt only one year ago.

The process of appeal also will be shorted. “Under the current law, defendants are allowed to appeal verdicts twice, but under the amended draft, this process will be shortened to give defendants the right to appeal the verdict just one time,” said Heneidy. Furthermore, if a higher court accepts an appeal, the regime will be able to call for a retrial in the Court of Cassation, whose decisions are final.

So what did the Arab Spring rebellion and the Obama administration achieve by getting rid of Mubarak?

If the State Dept. has learned that transplanting American democracy in the Muslim Middle East is like feeding Muslims ham and eggs during Ramadan, it was worth everything to teach Washington a lesson.

The odd are heavy that the State Dept. has not yet learned.

US Policy: Passports of Americans Born on Israeli Golan Heights List ‘Syria’

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

The U.S. passport of an Americans born on the Israeli side of the Golan Heights must state the birthplace as Syria, according to U.S. State Department. policy.

The JewishPress.com raised several questions with the U.S. Embassy following the recent Supreme Court ruling that ruled against Congress being able to overturn Executive Branch policy concerning the stated birthplace of an American born in Jerusalem.

The policy was and continues to be that the birthplace on the passport is “Jerusalem,” without a country, regardless of whether he was born in “West” Jerusalem or in the rest of the city that was reunited in the war.

But what would happen if there were a hospital on the Israeli side of the Golan Heights and an American birth were registered there?

It may not even be a theoretical question in the near future. The NRG website reported last week that Druze in the Israeli side of the Golan Heights want to establish and maintain a hospital to treat their brethren wounded on the Syrian side of the border.

Regardless, this is American policy, updated in 2008 and stated under the bureaucratic section “M 1360 APPENDIX D  BIRTH IN ISRAEL, JERUSALEM, AND ISRAELI-OCCUPIED AREAS

(CT:CON-254)”:

  1. Background. As a result of the June 1967 Arab-Israeli War, the Government of Israel currently occupies and administers the Golan Heights, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. U.S. policy recognizes that the Golan Heights is Syrian territory [bold-face added} and that the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are territories whose final status must be determined by negotiations.

  1. Birth in the Golan Heights: The birthplace that should appear on passports whose bearers were born in the Golan Heights is SYRIA [capital letters appear in the original text].

Perhaps the State Department is not aware of it, but there are questions whether Syria even exists today. There is a “Syrian government” that controls a shrinking part of the country.

The Islamic State (ISIS) controls a good portion of Syria. Rebels control a healthy (or unhealthy) part. Al Qaeda also has claims.

But for now, Syria is Syria, including the Golan Heights, even if Israel annexed the strategic area 34 years ago, and even if half the population of the Golan Heights is Jewish.

Policy is policy, and if an American wants to test the unreal reality, it is only a matter of time before there really will be a need for a hospital there. By that time, perhaps Syria not longer will exist.  Since Foggy Bottom cannot possibly come up with the conclusion that the Golan Heights is in Israel, it would have to accept facts on the ground across the border. Perhaps an American born will see his passport stating, “Golan Heights, Islamic State.”

Who knows? Anything is possible with the State Department, anything except Jerusalem being recognized as Israel’s capital and the Golan Heights being considered part of the Jewish country.

The State Department regulations offer some other fascinating tidbits.

What if you were an American born before 1948, before Israel became an independent country, but in parts of Jerusalem that were only reunited in 1967? For example, let’s say you were an American born in 1947 in the Old City, which at that time was the home of Misgav Ladach Hospital.

Guess what would be written on the passport?

The policy states:

For persons born before May 14, 1948 in a location that was outside Jerusalem’s municipal limits and later was annexed by the city, enter either PALESTINE or the name of the location (area/city) as it was known prior to annexation.

“Palestine” was what all of the British Mandate was called, but the Palestinian Authority has adopted the name, which is on many of its official documents and which its schools teach means all of the Land of Israel. “All” means “all,” including Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Eilat.

There is a lesson here about the formulation of American policy. Once it is established, it is written in stone, and even a Congressional act cannot change it. This is what was learned from the Supreme Court decision that said that the Congressional Act in 1998 recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel does not mean that the State Department has to agree to it.

The State Department formulated its policy long ago that the Golan Heights belongs to Syria. No negotiations, No compromise. No nothing. It is Syria, period, and if tomorrow it is the Islamic State, we’ll see.

The other side of the policy is that Judea, Gaza, Samaria and “eastern, southern and northern” Jerusalem “are territories whose final status must be determined by negotiations.”

The folks at the State Department cannot be that stupid to realize that there will be no negotiations. It must know there is no one with whom to negotiate. It must know that in the eyes of the Palestinian Authority, there is nothing to negotiate except what color ink Israel uses to sign over the store, while the Palestinian Authority uses invisible ink.

Now we know why the Obama administration is so stubbornly fixed on the “peace process.’ It knows it has no chance, but policy is policy.

The State Department stated ages ago that the final status of the “territories” will be decided by negotiations, and that’s that. The world may change, but policy is a different story, especially if a change might help Israel.

The State Department decided way back when that the Golan Heights belongs to Syria, and that is why an American born there would have a passport stating “Golan Heights, Syria.”

And what if an American were born in the State Department? Is that part of the United States or is it territory occupied by policy-makers who cannot see past yesterday?

Israel’s Latest ‘War Crime’ and Human Rights Violation: Uprooting Trees

Friday, June 19th, 2015

Israel uprooted approximately 1,000 almond and olive trees that were planted illegally in a land grab on the western edge of Gush Etzion on Thursday, an action that Arabs are calling a “war crime” and even a human rights violation.”

The office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) stated:

[We] carried out the eviction of an illegal invasion of around 1,000 olive trees planted illegally without permits on state land in Wadi Fukin.

The area is located between the security fence and the Hareidi city of Beitar Illit, west of Efrat.

The Palestinian Authority’s official WAFA website claimed that the land is owned by Arabs.

The London Independent reported:

Palestinians have accused Israel of a war crime after military tractors destroyed around a thousand olive and almond trees belonging to local farmers on the grounds that they were illegally planted on state land….. Three years ago, Israeli authorities posted signs saying that the land belongs to the state, farmers said.

Wasel Abu Yusuf, a member of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, told the newspaper: This is occupied territory and international humanitarian law and the Geneva Convention apply. This is the land of the Palestinian state and any colonialist settler building or expropriation of land or cutting trees is a war crime against the Palestinian people.

If they are going to claim it is a “war came,” why not go even farther and charge Israel with violating human rights?

That may sound absurd, but read what an unidentified journalist, whom we can assume to be Al Quds correspondent Sayid Erikat, told the State Dept. at yesterday’s daily briefing:

Yesterday the Israelis pulled out something like 1,800 trees in the West Bank; they uprooted trees and so on. I mean, we talked about the commission of inquiry and human rights abuses and so on. Is that something that you would like to see the Israelis stop doing?

State Dept. spokesman John Kirby answered, “I haven’t seen the report on the trees being uprooted. You’re going to have to let me go back and look at that. I just don’t have anything on that.

What is amazing is that there was no laughter from Kirby or fellow journalists.

Ex-Amb. Michael Oren Says Obama ‘Deliberately Abandoned Israel’

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

Michael Oren, former Israeli Ambassador to the United States and now a Knesset Member with the Kulanu party, wrote Tuesday that President Barack Obama “deliberately” abandoned a 40-year core policy regarding Jewish population centers in Judea and Samaria.

Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Oren stated that President Obama is a “friend” of Israel but nevertheless maintained that while anyone can make a mistake, President Obama did so on purpose.

In his words:

Only one leader made them deliberately. Obama promoted an agenda of championing the Palestinian cause and achieving a nuclear accord with Iran.

It took Oren six years to respond and correct part of President Obama’s “Reaching Out to Muslims” speech in Cairo, in which he said, “When there is no daylight, Israel just sits on the sidelines and that erodes our credibility with the Arabs.”

Oren, who still is a champion of the “peace process,” sounded like a Netanyahu sympathizer in part of his op-ed, writing that President Obama ignored Israel’s withdrawal of all Israeli soldiers and the expulsion of 9,000 Jews from Gaza in 2005. Obama also ignored several major concessions to the Palestinian Authority, including one that offered it almost all of Judea and Samaria and eastern Jerusalem.

President Obama said in his speech that Israel should freeze all building for Jews in “settlements,” to which Oren finally wrote in his article:

Israeli leaders typically received advance copies of major American policy statements on the Middle East and could submit their comments. But Mr. Obama delivered his Cairo speech, with its unprecedented support for the Palestinians and its recognition of Iran’s right to nuclear power, without consulting Israel.

The Bush administration had committed itself to writing in a letter to then-Prime Ariel Sharon that large population centers, such as Maaleh Adumim and Gush Etzion, would remain under Israeli sovereignty in a future Palestinian Authority state.

Obama abandoned that policy and insisted that the promise by Bush was an “unofficial” and non-binding letter. In Oren’s words:

Mr. Obama also voided President George W. Bush’s commitment to include the major settlement blocs and Jewish Jerusalem within Israel’s borders in any peace agreement. Instead, he insisted on a total freeze of Israeli construction in those areas —’not a single brick.’

It was clear from that time that the Obama was working behind the scenes, and sometimes up front, on behalf of the Palestinian Authority and against Israel.

Oren came out of the closet in his op-ed today and charged that President Obama never asked for any concession from the Palestinian Authority despite the fact the Mahmoud Abbas “violated all of his commitments.”

The United States so far has publicly opposed a Palestinian Authority effort in the U.N. Security Council to condemn Israel for a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria and to vote the Palestinian Authority into the United Nations as a permanent member.

However, the Obama administration has made open statements that it does not know how much longer it wants to use its veto power in the Security Council on behalf of Israel.

President Obama abandoned a four-decade U.S. policy in May 2011 and stated that a future agreement with the Palestinian Authority should be based on the borders drawn under the 1949 Temporary Armistice Agreement, which lasted until the Six-Day War in 1967.

Oren wrote:

If Mr. Netanyahu appeared to lecture the president the following day, it was because he had been assured by the White House, through me, that no such change would happen.

He also wrote that the Obama administration “stunned” Israel by offering to support a Security Council investigation of settlements and by backing Turkish and Egyptian maneuvers to force Israel to come clean on its nuclear capability.

Obama Trying to Convince Israel to Sign Non-Proliferation Treaty

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

An American official is in Israel to try talk with officials about a regional conference on making the Middle East a nuclear-free zone.

Israel is assumed to have approximately 200 nuclear warheads, if not more, but the government retains a policy of “nuclear ambiguity” in which it does not deny or admit the possession of nukes.

No other country in the Middle East has nuclear power, and Israel’s assumed nuclear stockpile is considered a strong deterrent to enemy Arab countries.

The Arab world has been pressuring American governments for years to force Israel to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which would be an admission the country has nukes and could open the door for Arab countries to insist they also want nuclear power.

Asst. Secretary of State Thomas Countryman is in Israel towards the conclusion of this month’s once-every-five years review conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

A Middle East conference on mass destruction weapons was supposed to take place in 2012 but never came to fruition.

Arab countries have failed to convene a regional conference with terms that are weighted against Israel, which has indicated it might join the NPT if there were peace with the Arab world.

State Dept. spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters on Thursday:

The NPT review process is in its final week in New York. There’s no final text on this issue of the Middle East conference. We are working to ensure that a final text meets our interests and those of Israel. Both the United States and Israel support the creation of a WMD-free zone in the Middle East. We’re closely working with our Israeli partners to advance our mutual interests, including preserving the NPT.

 

Most US Citizens Believe Terrorists Are Within the Borders of their Poor, Incompetently Run Country

Friday, May 15th, 2015

Here’s a news update from the US, where the Leader of the Free World is making peace with our Persian neighbors.  According to a new FOX news poll, President Obama’s constituents – that would the population of the United States – have the following opinions:

• Six in ten Americans think it likely – and almost a third think it “very likely” that terrorists live in their home town. No word on whether these are Mennonite terrorists or some other, more unusual, kind.

• Sixty percent also think the United States is in a recession.  That’s down from 74 percent last year, but still a clear majority.

• Just over half – 53% — think the Obama administration is neither “competent” nor “effective” in managing the federal government.

In related news, 57% think it likely that Hillary Clinton was influenced in her work, while she was Secretary of State, by donations made to her family’s foundation.

No word on whether that number would go up if the Russians who bought uranium with the State Department’s authorization, and who also made donations to the Clinton Foundation, had been able to find the receipt issued by the Foundation.

Israel ‘Disappoints’ US with 900 New Homes for Jews in Jerusalem

Friday, May 8th, 2015

The U.S. State Dept. has expressed “disappointment” and “concern” over Jerusalem’s final approval for 900 new housing units for Jews in northeastern Jerusalem, near the Arab neighborhood of Shuafat.

The homes for Ramat Shlomo have gone through several stages of bureaucratic approvals, giving the impression to foreign readers that seven approvals means 6,300 homes are being built instead of 900.

The 900 units are the same ones that caused a storm of protest in the Obama administration when the project passed another bureaucratic step just about the same minute Vice President Joe Biden landed at Ben Gurion Airport for a visit in 2010.

The Obama administration still spouts the “peace process” and “two-state solution” but in effect has not taken any actions to punish Israel for building or the Palestinian Authority for inciting terror and ditching the “peace process” that President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry espouse.

The policy of benign neglect made the job of State Dept. spokesman Jeff Rathke a bit difficult at Thursday’s briefing.

He went through the usual routine of saying:

 We strongly oppose steps by the Israeli authorities to advance construction in East Jerusalem. This is a disappointing development, and we’re concerned about it just as a new Israeli Government has been announced. Israel’s leaders have asserted that they remain committed to a two-state solution.

Let’s stop right there. None of the journalists at the daily State Dept. briefing, not even ace Associated Press reporter Matt Lee, has thought of asking why building homes for Jews (and in Jerusalem too) means the end of the concept of “two states.”

If they would stop and think about what the Palestinian Authority wants, they would realize that the “two states” would mean that no Jews can live in half of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria but that Arabs can live in whatever is left of Israel.

If a Jew-free Palestinian Authority country is not racist, what is?

But let’s assume that for the sake of peace, the Obama administration really is not out of its mind and that two states will mean the lion and lamb can sleep side by side – if only Israel would stop building homes for Jews.

That is when things get sticky for the spokesmen became reporters start asking why Washington does not put a stop to Israel’s insistence that Jews have a right to live in all of Jerusalem.

Rathke said, “We need to see that commitment in the actions of Israeli” and that  “construction of housing units in East Jerusalem is damaging and inconsistent with that commitment. We continue to engage with the highest levels of the Israeli Government, and we continue to make our position clear that we view this as illegitimate.”

A couple of reporters wondered about action instead of words. One asked:

Well, then what is the point of saying we need to see that commitment? If it becomes the case that you don’t ever see that, or you don’t see the commitment and you don’t do anything about it, what good is saying that we need to see that commitment?

Rathke sang and danced like this:

Well, this is a longstanding U.S. policy. We’re reiterating that policy in relation to this specific development that Said asked about. This is our view and it hasn’t changed.

Every time Israel builds another home for Jews in areas that cause the Obama to express “disappointment” and “concern,” Obama and Kerry lose more credibility among the Arabs.

President Barack Obama has created for himself a trap that was born with his predecessors Carter, Reagan, Clinton and the junior Bush.

Instead of standing by his word that it is up to the Arabs and Israel to make war or peace as they see fit, he went against his own stated common sense that he would not set the conditions for a peace agreement.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israel-disappoints-us-with-900-new-homes-for-jews/2015/05/08/

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