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Posts Tagged ‘Susan Rice’

Rice: Settlement Plans Caused ‘Tensions’

Saturday, November 16th, 2013

U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice said Israeli settlement expansion announcements helped spur recent tensions between Israel and the Palestinians.

In a speech Thursday to a Washington think tank, the Middle East Institute, Rice said the United States remained committed to Middle East peacemaking, but made clear that Jewish settlement construction plans are hampering those efforts, Reuters reported.

“We have seen increased tensions on the ground. Some of this is a result of recent settlement announcements. So let me reiterate: The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity,” she said.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday his delegation of peace negotiators had resigned over the lack of progress in statehood talks with Israel. The development would mark a new low point for the talks, which resumed in July.

Abbas suggested negotiations would continue but that he would need a week to resume talks.

The disclosure Tuesday that Israel’s Housing Ministry had commissioned separate plans for nearly 24,000 more homes for Israelis raised U.S. concern and drew Palestinian condemnation.

Netanyahu intervened later in the day, ordering a halt to the projects amid condemnations by several world powers.

Netanyahu has accused the Palestinians of creating “artificial crises” over the settlement issue and has said that most of Israel’s building in Judea and Samaria and eastern Jerusalem is in areas it intends to keep in any future peace deal.

Netanyahu: Israel Will ‘Respond Fiercely’ if Attacked by Syria

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that while Israel is not part of the Syrian civil war, the Jewish state would “respond, and we will respond fiercely” if attacked.

Netanyahu held an urgent meeting with his security cabinet on Tuesday afternoon in Tel Aviv, following a meeting between senior Israeli officials and U.S. security officials in Washington, DC. After the Israeli security cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said Israel “was prepared for any eventuality” relating to the Syria conflict.

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon echoed Netanyahu’s stern warning to Syria.

“Those who dare to test us will encounter the IDF’s might,” Ya’alon said. “Facing the storm, the IDF’s spirit is no less strong.”

Meanwhile, late Monday, U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice hosted a delegation led by Israel’s National Security Chairman Yaakov Amidror for consultations on Iran, Egypt, Syria and a range of other regional security issues.

“Today’s meetings were the latest in a series of regular, high-level consultations between the United States and Israel, consistent with our strong bilateral partnership, and part of our unshakable commitment to Israel’s security,” a White House statement read.

Israeli Delegation Meets with National Security Advisor

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

A delegation headed by Chairman of Israel’s National Security Council Yaakov Amidror met last night with U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice. The White House statement said that the meeting is the latest in a series of routine consultations between the two countries, in which issues such as Syria, Iran, Egypt, and other security problems in the region were discussed.

Left-Wing Idol Samantha Power to Replace Rice as UN Ambassador

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Human rights champion Samantha Power is slated to replace U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, whom President Barack Obama appointed as National Security adviser after Tom Donilon quit on Wednesday. Power’s nomination, unlike Rice’s appointment, requires Senate confirmation.

Rice is a long-time supporter of Obama and was in line to be Secretary of State until Republicans bashed her for incorrect reports on the terrorist attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, where the American ambassador was brutally killed.

Donilon has been rumored for several weeks as wanting to throw in the towel after five years and charges of throwing around his weight.

Both Donilon and Power are part of the “clubhouse” atmosphere in the Obama administration. Donilon’s wife Cathy Russell was a former chief of staff to Jill Biden and is the State Department’s ambassador at large for global women’s issues.

Power, a Catholic, is married to Cass Sunstein, born into a Jewish family and a controversial liberal, whose views include abolishing marriage. He was appointed as President Obama’s information czar, and both he and his wife Samantha scare the dickens out of conservatives with their views that principles of democracy should not interfere with defending human rights, especially of those who are safely far away and do not challenge American influence.

Rice, during her term as Ambassador, said she spends an overwhelming amount of her time defending Israel, which basically meant voting against the Palestinian Authority’s insult to the United States’ efforts to force Israeli concessions towards what was supposed by a PA compromise for establishing itself as an independent country.

With Rice as National Security Adviser and Power as Ambassador, if confirmed, human rights will likely be a top issue.

Both women also are incredibly aggressive in their views of using force, Power much more so. Rice supported a NATO invasion of Libya, and Power has supported military intervention in both Libya and the Balkans.

And Israel.

Power has served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights.

Her views, and those of husband Cass Sunstein, are wildly supportive of human rights, so much so that she said in a televised interview in 2002 that it might be necessary to bring in the U.S. Army to police Israel.

She has since regretted her remarks, denying that she really meant what she said. Ditto concerning her foul-language attack, which cannot be published here, in which she called Hillary Clinton a “monster” during the Obama campaign for the nomination as Democratic presidential candidate in 2008.

Her statement about Israel, which can be seen in the video below, was made after her interviewer fed her a soft-glove question that if she were a presidential adviser, how would she respond to events in Israel if “at least if one party or another [starts] looking like they might be moving toward genocide?”

The “one party or another” obviously is Israel, since Palestinian Authority terror is politically correct as a “human right,” so long as it does not spill into the streets of America.

Power welcomed the opportunity to express her views that the United States needs to make the Middle East safe for the United States, even if it means “alienating a domestic constituency of tremendous political and financial import [Read: Israel]…or investing…billions of dollars, not in servicing Israel’s military, but actually investing in the new state of Palestine.”

She then dropped her bombshell that “external intervention” is needed.

“Unfortunately, imposition of a solution on unwilling parties is dreadful. It’s a terrible thing to do; it’s deference to [leaders] who are fundamentally politically destined to destroy the lives of their own people.”

She is not partial to Palestinian Authority Arabs.

Power is best known for her efforts to increase public awareness of genocide and human rights abuses, particularly in the Darfur conflict.

Although a darling of the left-wing, she is not shy to advocate all of the methods associated with tyrants.

Power has an itchy trigger finger.

She has said, “My prescription would be that the level of American and international engagement would ratchet up commensurate with the abuse on the ground.”

She also predicted before Obama became president that after taking office, he would change his mind on his promise to pull American combat troops out of Iraq. So far, her prediction was wrong, but considering the wave of terror that is engulfing Iraq, “It’s not over until it’s over.”

Benghazi’s Lesson

Monday, May 20th, 2013

I haven’t written about the Benghazi affair before. I’m not in a position to judge whether the State Department or military could have intervened in time to save Ambassador Stevens, or why the consulate wasn’t reinforced, etc.  I’m sure the disaster could have been prevented, and someone is responsible for it. But I’m not the one to explain how and who.

What I am competent to discuss is the politics of the decision to present the attack as something that it was not and that the relevant people knew at the time it was not.

Some of President Obama’s opponents have been saying that it was all about the election. Obama’s claim was that he had more or less ended the terrorist threat — after all, he killed bin Laden! So the truth that an American ambassador was murdered on the anniversary of 9/11 by al Qaeda linked terrorists would not be helpful. Therefore, the story that the attack grew out of a spontaneous demonstration over an anti-Islam video was pushed instead.

This is true as far as it goes. But it doesn’t go far enough. The fact is that the video story was part of a theme that has run through Obama’s presidency from the beginning. This is the idea that the policy of the United States toward the anti-Western jihad should have two dimensions: we will kill overt anti-American terrorists, while at the same time try to placate the Muslim world through diplomacy and propaganda.

Every effort is made to relate positively to Muslims here and abroad. Aid programs are established to Muslim countries. NASA administrators are asked to reach out to the Muslim world. Less benignly, ‘Islamophobia’ is presented as a more dangerous phenomenon than domestic jihad, the administration embraces the Palestinian cause, supports Islamists in Egypt, falls in love with the Islamist prime minister of Turkey, etc.

This policy, which started immediately before Obama’s inauguration when he pressured Israel to withdraw from Gaza, found full expression in his Cairo speech of June 4, 2009. Although I was initially shocked by his obscene equation of the Holocaust with the way the “Palestinian people … have suffered in pursuit of a homeland,” the most alarming thing about the speech taken as a whole is its obeisance to the Arab and Muslim historical narrative, the story that is told to justify aggression against the U.S. and the West (and Israel is only a small part of this).

For example, he said,

The relationship between Islam and the West includes centuries of co-existence and cooperation, but also conflict and religious wars. More recently, tension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations. Moreover, the sweeping change brought by modernity and globalization led many Muslims to view the West as hostile to the traditions of Islam.

In other words, it’s all our fault. Never mind the cultural and political backwardness that made Muslim nations hellholes for all but a tiny privileged minority, never mind the cynical behavior of kleptocratic Muslim leaders who sold themselves to whomever would supply the most weapons for them to use in their wars and intrigues against each other and Israel — their problems are all because of those Western colonialists!

Compare them to Israel, which freed itself from British domination to become the most successful nation in the Middle East, or Vietnam, or many other formerly colonized peoples. And keep in mind that many Arab countries, like Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq, went rapidly from Ottoman domination to independence, suffering little, if at all, from Western exploitation.

Obama’s approach extended to the way we respond to ideologically-motivated terrorism in the U.S. The administration seems to have taken the true statement “not all Muslims support terrorism” and quite invalidly inferred from it that “Islam can never be the motive for terrorism.” So Major Nidal Hassan’s mass murder at Ft. Hood is explained as workplace violence, other terrorists are defined as mentally disturbed, the Department of Homeland Security issues a directive that such words as “jihad” and “Muslim” cannot be used in connection with terrorism, and the NYPD is criticized for carrying out surveillance of mosques.

In the view of the Obama administration, the enemy is not an ideology. It is only specific organizations (whose motives are not discussed) that attack us.

Any disagreement with this position — anyone who suggests that there is a dangerous ideology of political Islam out there which often finds violent expression in terrorist acts — is stigmatized as an Islamophobe, a kind of racist, a designation which places the person so vilified outside the pale of discourse, and justifies denying him or her the right to speak publicly.

And so we come back to Benghazi. What better explanation could be given for the disaster than an Islamophobic video? Not only does the randomness of the outburst excuse everyone involved for the failure — who could have known this would happen? — and not only does it hide the fact that even the acknowledged war against al Qaeda hasn’t been going as well as they would like us to think, it casts blame precisely on those intolerant opponents of the administration’s policy of trying to placate the Muslim world!

Thus the schmuck who made the video is imprisoned for a year for a parole violation, after Hillary Clinton tells the parent of one of the U.S. personnel murdered in the attack that she would see to it that the filmmaker was arrested and prosecuted.

The dual policy — killing overt terrorists while expressing love and respect for Islam — is both unfortunate for our real allies, like Israel, which sees itself pressured into concessions to the PLO or Hamas as a way to show that Obama cares about Palestinian Muslims, as well as a failure.

The reason for the failure is a misunderstanding of the messages we send as they are received in Arab and Muslim cultures. The message of caring and respect that we are trying to send is perceived as weakness. Muslims understand that non-Muslims can either fight or submit to Islam — it’s not possible to admire Islam while at the same time refusing to submit. So Obama’s gestures are either ignored or indicate that he is not strong enough to fight.

At the same time, the drone strikes and the war in Afghanistan kill Muslims, and it is the duty of Muslims to avenge these killings. The fact that the perpetrators are non-Muslims makes them obscene in these cultures, the reversal of the natural order.

In the meantime, the morale of our police forces on the home front is weakened, the tools necessary to discover and prevent jihadist terrorism are taken out of their hands, and aggressive Islamic ideologues in our mosques and college campuses are encouraged.

A better policy would be to stop pretending to admire the people who hate us. We should say to the Muslim world, “look, we have a system that’s different from yours, we think it’s better, and we intend to defend it. Anyone who hurts us or our allies will get it back ten times over.” We don’t need to ‘declare war on Islam’ to do that, as apologists for the present policy claim.

Our leaders have become so used to lying, that they haven’t considered simply being honest and standing up for what we believe.

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Unanswered Questions About Susan Rice

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

President Obama reportedly has decided to appoint U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice as his next national security adviser. Since the national security adviser is a member of the president’s executive staff, Ambassador Rice would not need to be confirmed by the Senate, as would a nominee for a cabinet-level office such as secretary of state. (It will be recalled that worries over her prospects at being confirmed by the Senate derailed her widely expected nomination as secretary of state).

Given that the national security adviser has the ear of the president and in most administrations is an enormously significant member of the foreign policy team, salient parts of Ambassador Rice’s record warrant scrutiny.

There still are serious, unanswered questions concerning Ms. Rice’s role in the aftermath of last year’s terrorist attack on the American consulate in Benghazi that resulted in the deaths of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans. Since that time it has been learned that the administration knew almost at the outset that the attack was a well-planned operation of Islamist terrorists. Yet officials initially claimed the attack was a spontaneous reaction to an anti-Muslim video. Indeed, Ambassador Rice touted the notion of a spontaneous mob action for several days after the event despite the evidence to the contrary.

On what basis did Ms. Rice promote the false storyline? Did she knowingly mislead the public or was she duped? These are important questions about someone who would advise the leader of the free world on a daily basis.

In terms of Israel, we continue to be dismayed by her performance at the U.N. Security Council in February 2011, when she cast the U.S. veto of an Arab-initiated resolution condemning Israeli settlement expansion. President Obama had said early on that the U.S. would not go along with it and if necessary, block the measure by voting against it. (Because the U.S. is a permanent member of the Security Council, this meant the measure could not pass no matter how many affirmative votes were cast by others.)

A video of that Security Council session shows a visibly upset Ambassador Rice as she cast the negative vote. Her body language and facial expressions strongly suggest she was doing something she really didn’t want to. And most of her speech was characterized by a lambasting of Israel for its settlement activity.

One excerpt:

[W]e reject in the strongest terms the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity. For more than four decades, Israeli settlement activity in territories occupied in 1967 has undermined Israel’s security and corroded hopes for peace and stability in the region. Continued settlement activity violates Israel’s international commitments, devastates trust between the parties, and threatens the prospects for peace….

While we agree with our fellow Council members – and indeed, with the wider world – about the folly and illegitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity, we think it unwise for this Council to attempt to resolve the core issues that divide Israelis and Palestinians. We therefore regrettably have opposed this draft resolution.

And then there were the instances when she snubbed Israel. She skipped Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech to the U.N. in September 2012. She was not present during the UN debate over the Goldstone Report and left it to her deputy to read a statement from the Obama administration opposing it. She was also absent from the UN Security Council in 2011 when the U.S. opposed Palestinian efforts to declare statehood at the United Nations, again relying on a deputy to read an administration statement.

To be sure, Ambassador Rice has her defenders in the pro-Israel community who cite her many efforts defending Israel against the institutionalized demonization that is part of everyday life at the U.N. But that doesn’t quite alleviate our concern over her apparent embrace of the Palestinian narrative on the core issues of the Arab-Israel conflict – even when the president seems to be leaning the other way.

Israeli UN Envoy Admonishes UN Security Council

Sunday, January 27th, 2013

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor told the UN Security Council last week that the “Council needs a GPS system to find its moral center in this debate on the Middle East.”

Prosor addressed the issue of settlements in his speech, saying that “there are many threats to the security in our region. But the presence of Jewish homes in Jerusalem – the eternal capital of the Jewish people, has never been one of them.”

He further clarified that the existence of a Palestinian state did not depend on E-1 construction connecting Ma’ale Adumim and Jerusalem, which are 7 kilometers apart. “Those who make this claim are the same people who stand up and speak about a contiguous state between Gaza and the West Bank, areas divided by more than 70 kilometers… which would cut Israel in two.”

Addressing the current Middle East situation and Israel’s latest elections, Prosor admonished the Security Council for its continued silence in the face of terror and oppression that reigns across the Middle East. “Most of the millions in our region who live under oppression, fear, and violence are completely ignored in this debate,” the ambassador stated during UN Security Council’s monthly open debate on the Middle East in New York last Wednesday.

Prosor stated that, instead, a “litany of half-truths, myths, and outright lies about Israel” are the focal points of Security Council sessions, adding that the monthly debate which the Security Council holds on the Middle East falls short of its original mission to advance global peace and security.

The ambassador emphasized that there were other challenges facing the Middle East, highlighting both the regime of Syrian President Bashaar Assad and the Aytollah regime in Iran. “More than 60,000 were killed in Syria in just the past two years,” Prosor stated. Among those killed, he said, were hundreds of Palestinians living in refugee camps bombed by Assad’s fighter jets. Prosor also noted that Assad’s chemical weapons could be taken over by Al Qaeda or Hezbollah. He mentioned the oppressive Hezbollah regime in Lebanon that had “transformed the country into an Iranian terror base,” and that Iran’s advanced missile technology with nuclear weapons and extremist ideology “leaves the lives of millions” hanging in balance.

Following Prosor’s speech, U.S. ambassador to the UN Susan Rice took the opportunity to criticize Israel on settlement activity. “We have reiterated our longstanding opposition to Israel’s West Bank settlement activity, as well as construction in East Jerusalem, which run counter to the cause of peace,” declared Rice. She said that construction in E-1, connecting Jerusalem to Ma’aleh Adumim, “would be especially damaging to efforts to achieve a two-state solution.”

Ambassador Rice, however also voiced Washington’s disapproval of the Palestinians’ use of ‘State of Palestine’ on their nameplate at the UN Security Council session. She stated that the United States did not recognize the UN General Assembly vote to upgrade the status of Palestine as a non-member observer state on November 29, 2012, saying that “…any reference to the ‘State of Palestine’…do not reflect acquiescence that ‘Palestine’ is a state.”

While the Middle East peace process and occasionally even Syria, dominated the Security Council session on Wednesday – they were described as the “two major crisis” facing the region by several ambassadors – Israel’s UN envoy offered another perspective on the debate.

“I have a novel idea. Perhaps this discussion could occasionally spend some time examining why the situation in the Middle East remains unstable, undemocratic and violent. I’ll give you a hint: it has nothing to do with Israel,” stated Prosor.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-un-envoy-admonishes-rice-over-east-jerusalem/2013/01/27/

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