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December 9, 2016 / 9 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Thomas Pickering’

Clinton ‘Very Interested’ in Secret Plans to Fund Shaming of Israel and Spark ‘Palestinian’ Demonstrations

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

UPDATED see end of article for update

While the U.S. government complains about a proposed Israeli law that will force non-governmental organizations operating in Israel to reveal whether they’re actually operated by foreign governments, it turns out that the U.S. government itself planned to use NGOs in Israel to manipulate Israeli policy. How? By sparking demonstrations among Palestinians, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

Several high-level advisors to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sketched the plan in emails, and Clinton directed that the emails be printed, apparently so she could study them carefully.

In an email, former Ambassador Thomas Pickering proposed to Clinton exactly who should be involved in the demonstrations, and the specific venues and buildings at which demonstrations should be conducted.  He even names at least one NGO to steer the protests he wanted to create: — “The Peace Now organization (Shalom Akshav)” – which Pickering suggests “despite its decline.”

The goal of the Pickering proposed demonstrations was to force Israel back to the negotiating table with the Palestinian Arab leadership.

Strikingly, given recent U.S. attacks on Israel’s proposed law mandating transparency among NGOs, the State Department advisers cautioned Clinton that their campaign would have to be secret.  “The United States, in my view, cannot be seen to have stimulated, encouraged or be the power behind” the plan to encourage such demonstrations. To achieve the desired result without being outed, Pickering suggested that “third parties and a number of NGOs” be drafted to be the public face on the plan.

Pickering was awarded an honorary degree by Brandeis University in 2014 for “elevat[ing] diplomacy to a high art.” Indeed.

The State Department emails describing the Pickering plan have something to offend everyone. Pickering urged Clinton to include only Palestinian women, and not men, in the planned demonstrations because the men would not remain peaceful.  “On the Palestinian side, the male culture is to use force.”  Indeed, Pickering explained to Clinton, for Palestinians “male culture comes close to requiring” violence.

The spirit of Pickering’s proposal was echoed by Anne-Marie Slaughter, who, in another email, proposed that the State Department find a group of millionaires/billionaires who would promise to contribute billions of dollars in a “Pledge for Palestine.”  Slaughter was confident that “even 30 calls to the right people in the Clinton fundraising network” would quickly generate the desired cash. Slaughter appeared to delight at the prospect of having Israelis be shamed for building homes “in the face of a Pledge for Peace.” The email went to Clinton as well as Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedin, and others. Clinton responded to Slaughter’s proposal, writing: “I am very interested – pls flesh out. Thx.”  Slaughter served as Clinton’s Director of Policy Planning.

Apparently the actual uses of the funds were unimportant, because Slaughter’s email did not say anything about what the money should be spent on. Perhaps tunnels in Gaza.

UPDATE: The link to the email between Clinton aide Slaughter and Clinton was dropped in the posting of this article. It is now embedded in the text.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Brandeis Commencement Speaker Leads Iran Cheerleader Squad

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

All those concerned about the dangers of Iran obtaining the ability to produce nuclear weapons have been closely watching the negotiations between Iran and the U.S. and its partners in the P5+1.

Perhaps no country has been more concerned about that danger than Israel, the nation which the Iranian leaders continue to brazenly threaten with annihilation.

It is reasonable to conclude that those who are urging the negotiators to proceed apace, to succumb to Iranian threats and demands without integrating ironclad precautionary methods are not overly concerned about the safety of Israel.

Given the university’s past “sister” relationship with Al Quds University, perhaps that explains Brandeis’s willingness to offer Ambassador Thomas Pickering – the Iran cheerleader and harsh critic of Israel – an honorary degree as this year’s Commencement featured speaker.

But what about Iran’s human rights record?

Don’t Brandeis students think hanging gays and summary executions are sufficiently objectionable to protest a pro-Iran commencement speaker?

And yet, Brandeis University is having as its 2015 commencement speaker an ardent supporter of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ambassador Thomas Pickering.

A few weeks ago JewishPress.com exposed Pickering’s disdain for Israel and his demands that the U.S. stop coddling the Jewish State and only making demands on the Palestinian Arabs (we’re not kidding).

The lack of a response from the university shows that Justice Brandeis’s namesake university doesn’t care so much about Pickering’s lack of support for Israel’s current leadership. But Israel’s existence? Or how about human rights?

STRONG SUPPORT FOR IRAN’S DEMANDS REGARDING ITS NUCLEAR PROGRAM

It is now clear that Pickering is at the forefront of those advocating for the rights of Iran to continue with its nuclear program, without ensuring every possible cautionary step be taken, and for the as-soon-as-possible rapprochement between the U.S. and Iran, human rights failings be damned.

This year’s planned commencement speaker at Brandeis is anxious to improve U.S.-Iran relations. And “improve” means increasing recognition of and hospitality towards the Islamic Republic by the U.S., without any necessary concomitant improvement in, oh, say, antagonism voiced by Iranian leadership towards the U.S. or any of its allies. Or even any improvement in its treatment of its own citizens.

Pickering has a leadership role in the big three pro-Iran diplomatic organizations: the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), the American-Iranian Council and the Iran Project. All three of these entities are focused on normalizing relations between the U.S. and Iran without demanding Iran first improve its appalling human rights record.

Pickering and his colleagues were delighted when the administration announced the P5+1 pre-Agreement Agreement, back on April 2; they immediately lauded the deal.

And then, when there was so much pushback, not only from the Israeli leadership, or from the Republican leadership, but from the leadership of the Democrats in Congress, Pickering and his pals began playing defense for the deal.

Pickering and his pals at the American-Iranian Council feared that the Congressional proposal might “hamper a speedy resolution to the nuclear deal as well as the AIC’s broader goal of rapprochement between the United States and Iran.”

They did not want to lose the momentum that had seemed to have been gained at Lausanne (momentum that began sputtering as soon as the fact sheets put out by the U.S. and Iran differed dramatically on significant points).

The AIC was horrified that Congress might “undermine all the progress and goodwill” that the negotiators had achieved in Switzerland.

“We remain steadfast in our support for a diplomatic resolution to the nuclear issue that would remove a major issue that has bottlenecked a broader rapprochement between the US and Iran,” AIC advised on its website.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

It’s Official: Justice Brandeis Wants his Name Back

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

Of all the absurd positions Brandeis University has taken over the years, the latest really may be the final straw.

Last year Brandeis suffered widespread disgrace for revoking an offer to grant an honorary degree to a Muslim-born advocate for women and children’s rights who had been subjected to female genital mutilation and threatened with murder by Islamic fundamentalists for being “anti-Islam.” This year, Brandeis selected as its commencement speaker a former U.S. State Department careerist who thinks the state of Palestine exists and that “Palestine” “granted” to Israel land that “Palestine” had been “assigned” in 1947.

That former administration official, Thomas Pickering, wrote a public letter last year encouraging the U.S. administration to stop kowtowing to Israel — and we all know how eager the Obama administration has been to take orders from Jerusalem.

Pickering has the reputation of being extremely anti-Israel even amongst his peers – and for the State Department, that’s quite an achievement. If Justice Louis Dembitz Brandeis, the ardent Zionist and advocate for the disenfranchised (for him the concepts were naturally compatible) for whom Brandeis University was named, could see what his namesake university was doing, he would demand his name be removed.

REVOCATION OF HONORARY DEGREE TO HIRSI ALI

It was just a year ago that Brandeis University withdrew an offer to award an honorary degree Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a world-class humanitarian, because some dimwitted students, aided and abetted by professors with ossified mindsets, insisted the woman was “Islamophobic.” Hirsi Ali, knows from firsthand experience more about Islam than all the mewling students and professors put together.

The suffix “phobic” means an irrational fear of something. Hirsi Ali’s distaste for Islam is as based in reality as it can get.

Dial forward to this spring, when Brandeis commencement and its speakers is once again a topic.

So what does Brandeis University do? Pick a noncontroversial speaker who is deserving of an honorary degree for being a decent human being, perhaps someone with some connection to the university itself? Nah.

BRANDEIS CHOOSES ANTI-ISRAEL ADVOCATE AS COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER

Instead, Brandeis University announced that its commencement speaker for 2015 is former Ambassador and under secretary of state for political affairs Thomas Pickering, someone who fervently believes Israel is inappropriately coddled by the Obama administration and that the Jewish state has stolen land from the mythical land of Palestine, despite the “Palestinians” having graciously conceded a huge chunk of the land “assigned” to the “Palestinians in 1947.”

That’s right, Israel is coddled by the Obama/Kerry approach to the Middle East conflict, according to Pickering. And the “Palestinians” are the magnanimous yet oppressed party on the losing end of the stick with Israel. This view is out of touch with Zionists – whom Brandeis the justice, if not the university, would have hoped a school bearing his name would graduate.

We know Pickering’s positions and ahistorical understandings because, almost exactly a year ago, Pickering and a few of his like-minded public pals signed a letter published as an op-ed calling on this U.S. administration to stop allowing Israel to walk all over it.

You see, in the eyes of Pickering and his well-known Israel-despising co-signers Zbigniew Brzezinski, Henry Siegman, Lee Hamilton, Frank Carlucci and Carla Hills, this administration should man up and stop allowing the world to think it shares Israel’s views about its security needs and its history. Also, time to jettison those annoying facts that support reality.

UNABASHED ZIONISM OF JUSTICE BRANDEIS

But first, you need to know what kind of Zionist Louis Brandeis was. While a secular Jew, Brandeis became an ardent and unabashed Zionist. Not only was he an early president of the Zionist Organization of America, but he believed in territorial control by the Jews of all the land promised for a Jewish State by Lord Balfour in 1917.

Louis Brandeis was a firm believer in helping to arm the Jews who were attempting to create a Jewish state. He insisted that the contours of the Jewish state had to extend to the north, to the “Litani watersheds” which is in the south of what is now Lebanon, and to the east, to the “plain of Jaulan Hauran,” which is now in northwestern Jordan and southwestern Syria.

It is in the context of Justice Brandeis’s approach to Zionism that the letter written by Pickering and his fellow anti-Israel pen pals must be understood.

PICKERING PENS SHOCKINGLY ANTI-ISRAEL OP-ED

What follows are some of the more surprising snippets of that letter:

“The United States has allowed the impression that it supports a version of Israel’s security that entails Israeli control of all of Palestine’s [sic] borders and part of its territory.”

“Israel’s confiscation of what international law has clearly established as others’ territory,” Israel’s “illegal land grabs only add to the Palestinian and the larger Arab sense of injustice that Israel’s half-century-long occupation has already generated,” “No Palestinian leader could or would ever agree to a peace accord that entails turning over the Jordan Valley to Israeli control,” “these Israeli demands can hardly justify the permanent subjugation and disenfranchisement of a people  to which Israel refuses to grant citizenship in the Jewish state.”

The Israelis “do not have the right to demand that Palestinians abandon their own national narrative, and the United States should not be party to such a demand.”

The hate-filled five also mocked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s claims that Israel was prepared to make “painful compromises” in his May 2011 speech to a joint session of Congress. According to The Five, every one of the painful compromises – “regarding territory, borders, security, resources, refugees or the location of the Palestinian state’s capital” are ones required of the Palestinian Arabs and “do not reflect any Israeli compromises.”

“Although Palestinians have conceded fully half of the territory assigned to them in the U.N.’s Partition Plan of 1947” ignoring at least two monumental facts: one, there were no Arabs claiming to be “Palestinians” in 1947, so there was no assignment of land to “Palestinians,” but instead to undifferentiated Arabs in the region, and two, the Arabs to whom the land was assigned refused that assignment and instead chose to go to war rather than have any Jewish state at all in the region.

What are they talking about? There was no concessions by the Arabs, “Palestinians” or otherwise.  Instead, there was a humiliating defeat of the five Arab nations which attacked the tiny ragtag Jewish army and lost.

Pickering and his four pals, after ignoring history, reality, international law and facts, then cheered on what they consider to be the righteous Palestinian Arabs who “are not demanding a single square foot of Israeli territory beyond the June 6, 1967, line.”

So clueless about history are the Pickering plus four, that they again raise the “assigned” territory, attacking Netanyahu for daring to “establish equivalence between Israeli and Palestinian demands,” and insisting that Israel gets still more of the “78 percent of Palestine it already possesses.” Pickering and his pals call this “politically and morally unacceptable,” and demand that the United States “not be party to such efforts.”

BRANDEIS GRINDS IN

When asked why Brandeis chose to honor Pickering, a known anti-Israel public official, a member of the Brandeis Communications team came back – after requesting two extensions – with a woefully shallow response.

Bill Schaller, Brandeis’s “executive director of integrative media,” emailed back that Pickering has had a “long and diverse career, which has often included staunch advocacy for Israel.”

The one example of “staunch” Israeli advocacy Brandeis offered was Pickering’s “efforts to repeal the UN resolution regarding Zionism.”

That resolution, equating Zionism with racism, was passed in 1975 and was finally repealed in 1991.  So even by the University’s lights, Pickering’s last Zionist stand was 24 years ago. And while Pickering may have played a positive role in helping to revoke that heinous United Nations resolution – most people recall New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan and U.S. Ambassador John Bolton as central players – his actions regarding the Jewish State within living memory are alarmingly hostile.

Even the United Nations at one time was not anti-Israel. But that world body is currently considered anti-Israel because of its recent history. Pickering should be judged similarly.

In its statement, Brandeis officials explained that it “engage[es] an outside firm to vet the candidates,” in addition to involving Board members and faculty.

Perhaps the university should consider engaging an outside firm to educate its board members and faculty on the namesake of their university.

The author of this article graduated from Brandeis University in 1980. To honor Justice Brandeis, she has torn up her diploma.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Former US Envoy Favors ‘Trading Pollard for PA State’

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Thomas Pickering has stated that Jonathan Pollard is a “traitor” but should be released from prison if it would convince Israel to agree to sign an agreement with the Palestinian Authority.

It is incomprehensible that a patriotic American like Pickering can state that a man, an alleged traitor to the United States and who should remain in jail for life, can be freed for the sake of a diplomatic plum for President Barack Obama.

Pollard is far from a traitor by any definition and never was convicted of spying. Calling him a traitor is plain libel. He was caught handing over classified information for Israel, an offense that never has been punished for more than four years in jail until the Pollard trial, such as it was.

Pollard himself has argued against being used as barter for Israel’s freeing Palestinian Authority murderers, which Israel has done time and time again anyway while  Pollard remains in jail.

Pickering is not the only former U.S. ambassador to Israel who says Pollard should be released. Samuel W. Lewis, who was the envoy from 1977 to 1985, also has come out for his being released, but Lewis rejected the linkage with the so-called peace process. “He betrayed us, and I am glad he sat in prison, but 28 years is time enough,” he said.

Pickering stated, “I think that achieving an Israeli-Palestinian framework agreement is far more important than the continuation of Pollard’s incarceration.”

It is astounding that a distinguished 40-year veteran of the Foreign Service could even suggest that a country, in this case Israel, would give up its sense of security and gamble on its future in order to win the release of Pollard.

But if we understand that Pickering, by default of  having been an employee of the State Dept., has the same clone mentality of everyone else in Foggy Bottom, it all makes sense.

Who else but a State Dept. veteran would say, as Pickering did in a speech in 2010 to the Florida Atlantic University, “Peace can be made between Syria and Israel”?

Actually three was one non-State Dept. man who said that. Meet John Kerry, who as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in his pre-State Dept. days commuted to Damascus, chummed with Syrian President Bassar al-Assad and knew he was on the way to a peace agreement.

Well, you can’t win them all. But Kerry can’t win anything.

Kerry undoubtedly would suggest to  Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that Pollard be freed if he were to think that the Prime Minister would make “painful concessions.”

Pollard has suffered for too many years in prison, but no one can imagine the suffering he would go through if President Obama were to free him in return for Israel’s surrendering the Jordan Valley, surrendering Israeli sovereignty over all of Jerusalem or even only over the Old City, expelling tens of thousands of Jews and accepting another armed Arab country as a neighbor.

Such a scenario  is unlikely not because Kerry is not capable of offering Pollard for a Piece of Peace paper – Kerry is capable of selling his grandmother for that – but because it won’t happen.

It is so immoral that it cannot comprehended by anyone except a State Dept. veteran like Pickering.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/former-us-envoy-favors-trading-pollard-for-pa-state/2014/01/08/

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