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December 5, 2016 / 5 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘state’

Two Former Senior State Dept. Officials to Incoming President: Lay Off the Peace Vision Thing

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

“Memo to the Next President: Avoid the ‘Vision Thing’ in the Mideast,” two former senior State Department officials whose work centered on Middle Eastern issues, Aaron David Miller and Richard Sokolsky, wrote in Politico this week. Based on their more than half a century’s worth of combined experience working on Middle Eastern issues in the Department of State, the two offered both their former boss, Hillary Clinton, and her opponent, Donald Trump, a list of ten things they should not do or say, if they wish to survive the “landmines, traps, hopeless causes, and impossible missions” this region has to offer in ample portions.

Eighth on their list of commandments is: Thou shall not “chase after Israeli-Palestinian peace without clear indications that the locals themselves and the Arabs, too, are prepared to act.”

“It should be evident by now,” they point out, that the gaps on the core issues “between Prime Minister Netanyahu and [Chairman] Abbas are just too wide to be bridged.” True enough. They also point out that even if they support the two-state solution (which they don’t disclose), it does not stand a chance unless the leaders of both sides “are willing and able to make decisions” — and it’s highly unlikely that whomever is chosen to succeed Abbas would be able to make them.

What’s left to be done, then, without the hope for peace any time soon? Plenty, apparently: “help keep Israeli-Palestinian security cooperation afloat; promote development of the Palestinian economy and issues relating to movement through checkpoints and border crossings; try to identify smaller issues such as the greater development of areas in parts of the West Bank under Israeli control; and increase cooperation on issues such as water, electricity, and infrastructure.”

Until there’s a change in the current stalemate, the two ex-officials, who are now working for Washington think tanks, recommend that the next Administration “stay away from high-profile US-initiated efforts to take on the big peace process issues. The advice Bill Clinton gave to one of us before the July 2000 Camp David summit is inspirational but not always right: trying and failing isn’t better than not trying at all. Failure undermines US prestige and power in war and peacemaking. It already has.”

Still, Miller and Sokolsky advise, don’t hang a closed-for-the-season sign on US involvement in the Middle East. The stakes – terrorism, energy security for much of the world, and nuclear proliferation – are as high as they’ve ever been. The US may not be able to transform the region (no Arab Spring 2.0, please), but it “cannot easily leave it either.”

And so, for a sane and pragmatic Mid-East policy, “avoid the vision thing, in particular major involvement in nation building and conflict resolution where locals have an insufficient stake, will or capacity to take on the lion’s share of the responsibility. Instead, drill down on protecting core vital interests that involve American security and prosperity, work with partners who, while not sharing US values, may share some key US security interests, and look for opportunities to use tools such as economic and technical assistance and support for civil society to build capacity and help governments deliver economic and social justice to their public.”

Amen.

JNi.Media

The New York Times Declares War on the Jewish State of Israel

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

It would seem as if the New York Times has declared political and propaganda war on the Jewish state of Israel. Not on a particular government or policy – but on Israel. For how else could one describe the NYT’s call to pass resolutions in the UN to force a “peace” on Israel? The New York Times – the newspaper of record that could barely mention the Holocaust during WW II except near Ma Kettle’s recipe for apple pie on page 49 (I exaggerate, but that’s the gist of it with some rare exceptions) – has gone on record for a diktat to be imposed on Israel by the UN Security Council, of which Israel has never been a member because of the strong anti-Israel bias in the UN! This diktat that the New York Times is openly calling for, would force on the only Jewish state, a “solution” that a clear majority of its population sees not only as a mortal danger, but also as a great, immoral injustice.

The latest UNESCO resolutions remind us once again – as if we needed reminding – that the UN is hugely populated with four types of nations: the brainless scare-crow, the heartless tin-man, the cowardly lion and Dorothy. The brainless scare-crow are those who seem not to have a clue as to where Israel really is, what’s really the size of our country, the history and what the other side really wants, which is to make Israel into “was Real”. The heartless tin-men are those – like Russia or China – who know, but pursue their supposed interests at the expense of the Jewish nation. The cowardly lion are the Europeans who know that Jerusalem if foremost the capital of the Jewish religion – but act cowardly out of fear of the Arabs, as well as imaginary self-interest. And then there is Dorothy – Israel, who knows that the UN isn’t Kansas, where the rain falls and grain grows, where there is logic, rules of nature and natural morality. All Dorothy wants is to be left alone so she can go home, to the only home she ever knew, lived in and prayed for, and where she was the only sovereign independent state that her home ever knew.

Suggesting that the UN be the arena to “solve” the Arab-Israeli conflict is to suggest passing resolutions to force Israel to surrender to forces that wish her destruction, that do not recognize the basic right to national self-determination in our homeland, that seek to have the international “community” deny our history and the very essence of our religion and way of life. The New York Times suggestion is the move of all three-in-one characters: brainless, heartless and cowardly.

Of course the rumor is that this is a trial balloon of what President Obama wishes to do, which is to try to do more damage to the Jewish Nation during his last two months in office than he has done in the last eight years. There are always some so conceited and chock full of hubris that they think they know the solution to a problem that has eluded solving for almost a century. That’s either the scare-crow or the cowardly lion speaking, because it avoids seeing the reality: the problems of the Middle East – including the threats against Israel’s existence – stem not from anything Israel or the West have done or are imagined to have done, but from Arab society itself, reinforced by the Arab imperialist dream supported by the Arab religion of Islam. Or perhaps it’s a heartless choice to throw Israel under the bus for the sake of closer relations with the Arabs or Iran, which is another Western dream to sucker the East.

One thing I know for sure: the Jewish people have been around and thriving for over three thousand years and we’ll be around and thriving long after the last edition of the NYT is printed and long after anyone remembers who BHO was.

Dovid Ben-Meir

State Asks for 7-Month Delay in Destruction of Amona

Monday, October 31st, 2016

The state has asked the High Court of Justice to delay the destruction of the Jewish community of Amona by seven months.

At present, the community is set to be demolished by the end of this year. A ministerial committee for legislation was set to vote this week on a bill that would have officially recognized Amona and other similar communities but the vote was delayed by a week.

A bill dubbed the ‘Arrangement Law,’ was introduced by MK Shuli Mualem-Refaeli of the Bayit Yehudi party. It proposes that homes built using government support should not be demolished if the claimants are able to show prior ownership. Instead, the land of the community in question would be confiscated by the state. The claimants would receive fair market value and the burden of proof would be moved to the Palestinian Authority claimants, away from the Jewish residents.

Representatives for the state said in their petition the delay is necessary in order to prepare a solution for the residents who are losing their homes.

One of the alternative placements where the residents may end up is in the Jewish community of Shvut Rachel, according to the court papers. The other site is not far from the community’s current location.

The attorneys for the state underlined in their petition that the state is not seeking the delay in order to keep Amona in its current location. Rather, the state is working on finding a solution that will allow for a “peaceful” evacuation, and to reduce tensions that have already skyrocketed over the issue.

Hana Levi Julian

Biden Not Interested in Becoming Clinton’s Secretary of State

Sunday, October 30th, 2016

Vice President Joe Biden on Friday told CNN he was not going to be Secretary of State in a President Hillary Clinton Administration. “I’ll do anything I can if Hillary’s elected to help her, but I don’t want to remain in the administration,” Biden said, adding that he hadn’t been approached to take the job.

“I have no intention of staying involved. I have a lot of things to do, but I’ll help her if I can in any way I can,” Biden said.

Sources close to the Clinton campaign have been saying that Biden tops Clinton’s short list for State, although there has been no official comment regarding the appointment from the campaign.

David Israel

Clinton Mulling Biden for Secretary of State

Friday, October 28th, 2016

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s short list for her old job of Secretary of State starts with Vice President Joe Biden, according to Politico, citing a source close to the campaign. Apparently, the campaign has not yet approached Biden with the proposal.

A six-term senator, Biden chaired the Senate Foreign Relations Committee before joining the Obama Ticket, and is considered an expert on the Middle East and on eastern Europe. He has been used by President Obama as his envoy to both regions. It has been noted that Clinton and Biden do not often agree on policy, Clinton being more inclined to intervene militarily, while Biden advocates a more reserved policy.

Biden would probably be the best Democratic selection from the point of view of Israel, and especially the Netanyahu Administration. He has had a rough and tumble relationship with AIPAC on occasion, but in 2008 described his relationship with the pro-Israel lobby: “I’ve never disagreed with AIPAC on the objective. Whenever I’ve had disagreement with AIPAC it has always been a tactical disagreement, not a substantive disagreement.” Following that statement, an AIPAC spokesman praised Biden’s leadership and stated: “We look forward to continuing to work with him in the Senate or in the White House.”

Like the bulk of the Democratic party, Biden supports a two-state solution. In 2009, he told an AIPAC conference that Israel “has to work towards a two-state solution” and “dismantle existing outposts and allow Palestinians freedom of movement.” He also called on the Palestinians to “combat terror and incitement against Israel.”

However, in 2007 he stated, when asked about the failure to achieve peace between Israel and the PA: “Israel’s a democracy and they make mistakes. But the notion that somehow if Israel just did the right thing, [the peace process] would work … give me a break.” He also stated that “The responsibility rests on those who will not acknowledge the right of Israel to exist, will not play fair, will not deal, will not renounce terror.”

The 2007 Biden-Brownback Resolution on Iraq, passed by the Senate with a 75-23 majority, including 26 Republicans, called for federalizing Iraq with separate regions for Kurds, Shiites, and Sunnis. Iraq’s political leadership and the GW Bush Administration united in denouncing the resolution. In retrospect it appears that following it might have prevented the violent emergence of ISIS.

In 2008, Israel Army Radio cited an unnamed source that said Biden had told Israeli officials privately that Israel “will have to reconcile itself with the nuclearization of Iran.” A Biden spokesman stated that “this is a lie peddled by partisan opponents of Senators Obama and Biden and we will not tolerate anyone questioning Senator Biden’s 35-year record of standing up for the security of Israel. … [Biden views a nuclear Iran as a] grave threat to Israel and the United States.” Israeli officials said at the time that the story was “dubious.”

Finally, as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Biden called for “hard-headed diplomacy” with Iran. He also has called for the implementation of “coordinated international sanctions” on Iran, but called to ” complement this pressure by presenting a detailed, positive vision for U.S.-Iran relations if Iran does the right thing.” In that context, in 2007, Biden voted against declaring the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization, because “war with Iran is not just a bad option. It would be a disaster.”

JNi.Media

Israeli Arabs Terrified of Joining Palestinian State

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman’s Monday interview with Al Quds revived Israeli Arab fears of his proposal, which he has been promoting for several years, that a future peace deal will see a swapping of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria for Israeli Arab towns in the Arab triangle in central Israel.

On its face, the Liberman “Umm Al-Fahm proposal,” named after the thriving Israeli Arab city, is logical: why not swap a 100% Arab block of settlements in Israel for a 100% Jewish block of settlements in what has been designated the future Palestinian State? Let the Jews become part of the Jewish State and the Arabs be reunited with their brethren in the Arab State?

MK Ayman Odeh, Chairman of the Joint Arab List, told Israeli Radio Tuesday that Liberman’s suggestion is unacceptable, since the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria are illegal, and so they are not a viable bargaining chip in the negotiations. In other words, in order for a deal to be acceptable to Odeh, there must be a purely Arab state next door to a partially Arab state.

MK Odeh did not mention that, despite his gushing Palestinian patriotism (he refers to himself as an Israeli Palestinian), he and his voters have no intention of substituting life in a third world Palestinian State for their lives in democratic Israel.

Umm Al-Fahm’s deputy mayor Wisam Agbariya was irate back in 2014, when Liberman first proposed his swap, which would keep the city intact, only switch its political allegiance to the much heralded new Palestinian State. “I admit that I feel Palestinian, but I do not feel that the day of liberation has arrived. I don’t want to undergo another Nakba (the 1948 ‘catastrophe’)” he told Al Monitor. “For 65 years, part of the Palestinian nation has been formed here, let’s call it a population group under special conditions. Now you come to harm us again?”

How would becoming proud citizens of a Palestinian State harm this proud Palestinian? Apparently, he was insulted by being compared with the settlers and by being turned into “a bargaining chip.”

Naturally, he did not mention his understandable aversion to becoming part of a ruthless Arab tyranny that spends all its resources on maintaining the PLO in control and invests nothing in infrastructure and very little in healthcare and education.

Ahmed Machmid, a bookkeeper and nursing student, father of two daughters, told Al Monitor, “I am worried what will be if it does happen, what will be with us? How will we live? How will we become part of a state that has not been established yet? And if it [a Palestinian state]is established, that will be the beginning of our destruction. How does a country that calls itself democratic, dare to expel 300,000 people? Are we supposed to be the victims of this peace?”

Machmid then added, with rare candor, “It is annoying and depressing. There’s no doubt that the State of Israel is the strongest country in the Middle East and everyone wants to live here. I was born here and am connected to the country economically, socially and emotionally. Why am I responsible for the antics of [Arab] Knesset members [Azmi] Bishara or [Ahmad] Tibi? They don’t represent me, and I tell you that they also do not represent the majority. Go out to the street to talk to the people and ask who is willing to become part of the Palestinian Authority. No one.”

Why then would Israeli Arabs wish to see their brethren next door become the subjects of such an undesirable Palestinian State? Apparently, even honest Machmid did not have enough honesty on hand to answer that question.

David Israel

Lying in State [photos]

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

The body of Shimon Peres was brought to the Knesset, where his coffin will lie in state until the funeral on Friday, to allow the public and the world can pay their last respects.

Dignitaries from around the world are flying in to pay their last respects to the 9th president of Israel.

Photos by Tomer Neuberg/Flash90 and Hadas Parush/Flash90

The Knesset Honor Guard lowers the Israeli flag at half-mast during a ceremony in memory of Former Israeli President Shimon Peres at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem on September 28, 2016.

The Knesset Honor Guard lowers the Israeli flag at half-mast during a ceremony in memory of Former Israeli President Shimon Peres at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem on September 28, 2016.

 

Peres laying in state at the Knesset

 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pauses in front of the coffin of late former Israeli president Shimon Peres where the public will be invited to pay their last respects before his burial, in Jerusalem, on September 29, 2016.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pauses in front of the coffin of late former Israeli president Shimon Peres where the public will be invited to pay their last respects before his burial, in Jerusalem, on September 29, 2016.

 

President Reuven Rivlin and his wife Nechama lay flowers at the coffin of late former Israeli president Shimon Peres where the public will be invited to pay their last respects before his burial, in Jerusalem, on September 29, 2016.

President Reuven Rivlin and his wife Nechama lay flowers at the coffin of late former Israeli president Shimon Peres where the public will be invited to pay their last respects before his burial, in Jerusalem, on September 29, 2016.

 

Bill Clinton at the Knesset saying good-bye to his friend Shimon Peres.

Bill Clinton at the Knesset saying good-bye to his friend Shimon Peres.

 

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Jewish Press News Briefs

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