web analytics
September 24, 2014 / 29 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’

US Implicitly Backs Peace Now Petition to Destroy Outpost

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

The United States pushed itself into the nitty-gritty of Israeli domestic procedures Wednesday by sending a United States embassy official to Supreme Court hearing on a Peace Now petition to destroy the Givat Assaf outpost in northern Samaria

Peace Now was thrilled at the unprecedented involvement in Israel’s domestic affair’s while nationalists were aghast at the implied pressure on Israel judges to approve the Peace Now appeal.

The United States considers a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria an international issue, but to actually attend a local court hearing, especially one initiated by the Peace Now organization, is implicit support for the leftwing group and could affect the court’s verdict.

It is clear that the embassy official, Andrew Schut, was not on an exercise in civics 101.

His appearance at the hearing, although he did not make any comments, comes three weeks after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry personally called Michael Oren, Israeli Ambassador to the United States, to complain about Israel’s recent decision to consider recognizing four Jewish communities in Samaria instead of destroying them.

The United States justifies its interference in anything concerning the right of Jews to live in Judea and Samaria.

How far can the American government plant delegates in Israel’s system to force its own policies on Israel?

Perhaps next week the Obama administration will send a representative to sit on a Knesset committee discussing Judea and Samaria.

The latest chutzpah is an escalation of a policy that is aimed at removing Jews from Judea and Samaria and areas of Jerusalem where the Palestinian Authority wants sovereignty.

It started out in a much more subtle form.

Twenty years ago, when I was in charge of security in the community where I live in the southern Hevron Hills, an elderly couple – immigrants from South Africa who converted to Judaism at a relatively late age in life – moved a small housing unit to a deserted and barren hill across from the community where I live.

That was around 1993, after the Reagan administration backed the Madrid Conference that developed into what has been misnamed as the peace process.

One evening, I received a phone call from the U.S. Embassy.

“Hi, there,” said the friendly voice. After exchanging a few pleasantries that I started my journalism career not far from his home town in the Blue Ridge Mountains, he said, “Our satellite noticed that one of those ‘caravans’ on the hill, referring to a small three-room and pre-fab trailer home without wheels.

“I was just wondering where they get their water en electricity,” continued the good ‘ol boy from down south. “Do y’all provide them with that? he asked.

I usually am not at a loss for words, but I was flabbergasted that the U.S. Embassy would call me – at night, no less – about a lonely hill.   I eventually sputtered out that I did not have much information for him.

If the American people, even the leftists, knew how deeply their government is involved into building up an Arab-only presence in Judea and Samaria and “eastern Jerusalem, they would be screaming their lungs out.

Around three years ago, when I was writing for Arutz Sheva, a Jewish Press blogger, whose name I will keep anonymous, called me up one day with a shocking story.

She had bought some old file cabinets from the U.S. Embassy in an auction. When she brought them home, she found some of the drawers were filled to the gills with documents and letters from the U.S. Information Agency that exposed the American government’s attempts to undermine a Jewish presence and to help the Palestinian Authority create a “Palestinian” culture.

Given the history of the State Department’s disgust for  Jews living where the administration wants Arabs, and only Arabs, to live, Schut’s appearance at a Supreme Court is not surprising.

Peace Now chairman Yariv Oppenheimer was ecstatic.

He explicitly stated that he understood Schut’s presence at the hearing as a silent but clear statement to warn Israel to think twice before recognizing the outposts in question.

And although the word ”outpost” conjures up a few wild-eyed radicals living in a circle of wagons, Givat Assaf is a community of more than 20 families working and living like every other normal person in the world.  They live on land that was purchased from Arabs, but like all such purchases, Peace Now insists that the Arab sale was a forgery.

Bibi to Talk Separately with Kerry, Sarkozy and Hague – in 4 Hours

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has a busy day Thursday and is scheduled to talk with two foreign ministers and former French President Nicolas Sarkozy in a four-hour time span.

His office announced he will welcome U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at 10:15, and the American efforts to bring Prime Minister Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas together in direct talks will undoubtedly be at the top of the agenda.

Sarkozy will drop in for a discussion at 12:30, followed by British Foreign Secretary William Hague at 2:15 p.m.

Kerry Headed for PA-Israel Crisis that He Created

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is flying again to Jerusalem and Ramallah this week against headwinds he has created with non-stop talk that has heated up the atmosphere in a region where high pressure already is a way of life.

His latest goof was to usurp communication channels between envoys and to personally protest to Michael Oren, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, over the government’s recent move to legalize three Jewish communities in  Samaria.

Kerry has done a lot in the three months since he took over from State Hillary Clinton. He has logged tens of thousands of miles, including three trips to Israel. He has talked and talked days and night to foreign ministers from around the world.

Kerry also has tripped over himself by repeating the Obama administration’s tactic of premising the Arabs everything and delivering nothing.

His phone call to Oren last week takes the cake, whatever is left of it. Haaretz reported on Monday that Kerry told Oren that the government’s change of heart to recognize the Jewish communities instead of demolishing them undermines his efforts to resume direct talked between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.

The newspaper pointed out that Kerry’s choice to not to deliver the message thorough lower-level officials indicates his anger at Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, particularly after Kerry asked Jerusalem and Ramallah to refrain from upsetting the apple cart.

However, the cart never really moved because Kerry has put it in front the horse.

His “hit the ground running” approach in the Middle East is exactly the same mistake President Barack Obama made when he first took office. His “reaching out to Muslims” speech in Cairo created Great Expectations that turned into greater disappointment in the Arab world.

Haaretz’s Barak Ravid, who reported on the details of Kerry’s phone call to Oren, wrote two weeks ago, “Kerry so far looks like a naive and ham-handed diplomat who has been acting like a bull in the china shop.”

Kerry likes talking on the phone. After PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad announced last month he was resigning, the Secretary of State called him and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to prevent the resignation, which, according to Ravid, “did more harm than good.”

Abbas’ Fatah party leaders were against him from the beginning, if for no other reason than because he was hand-picked by the United States to be prime minister. Kerry’s personal intervention only reinforced the fact.

Kerry also has held endless conversations with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, but the more Kerry talks, the less anyone in the Middle East listens.

After 15 years of constant American deadlines for a peace agreement between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, Kerry added another one. He told Congress that the “window of opportunity” will be shut in less than two years. That might be true if he is looking through he window of his plane, from where he can see daylight forever – until he lands.

Another deadline he set a few weeks was the resumption of direct talked between the Palestinian Authority and Israel within two months.

He stipulated that neither side would take any unilateral moves or set pre-conditions.

Reflecting the unspoken view of both the Netanyahu and Abbas administrations that Kerry is a fish out of water in  the Middle East, the Palestinian Authority promptly stated that he would be happy to talk with Bibi, so long as it is understood that Israel will accept in advance everything he wants.

Abbas is only requesting that Israel simply return to the 1949 Temporary Armistice Lines that existed until 1967. And if that is the case, obviously Israel must again announce it will stop building in those areas.

And since no Jews will be living there, Abbas reasons that Israel has no reason not to release Palestinian Authority terrorists from jail.

In the Middle East, no one lets the other side think he can play solitaire, so it is no wonder that the government decided to legalize the Jewish communities.

As Kerry gets closer to boarding the plane for Israel, Palestinian Authority and Israel negotiators are giving him all the rope he needs to hang himself.

Tzipi Livni, Israel’s unofficial Minister for the Peace Process, told the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Tuesday, “We want the Palestinian Authority to know that peace talks are the only game in town.”

Kerry Names Ira Forman to Combat Anti-Semitism

Monday, May 20th, 2013

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has named Ira Forman, who led President Obama’s reelection campaign in the Jewish community, as his envoy to combat anti-Semitism.

The State Department announced the appointment Monday, the same day it released its 2012 report on religious freedom that recorded a “continued global increase in anti-Semitism.”

Forman replaces Hannah Rosenthal, who was appointed by Kerry’s predecessor, Hillary Clinton, and who left last year to direct Milwaukee’s Jewish Federation.

The envoy travels the world to press governments to address institutional and popular manifestations of anti-Semitism.

Forman, a longtime director of the National Jewish Democratic Council, led the Obama campaign’s effort last year to push back against Republican and conservative depictions of Obama as hostile or indifferent to Israel. He was especially active in Florida.

Lapid Unintentionally Helps Right with Bid for ‘Interim PA Pact’

Monday, May 20th, 2013

Yair Lapid, Israel’s Finance Minister and head of Israel’s second largest political party, has unraveled U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to reincarnate the “peace process” before Kerry even packed his bags for another trip to Israel at the end of the week.

He told the Yediot Acharonot newspaper Sunday what everyone except Kerry and the European Union’s Catherine Ashton know – it is unrealistic even to think about a final stage peace agreement for the establishment of the Palestinian Authority as an independent country.

It is questionable if even Kerry’s boss, President Barack Obama, actually thinks an agreement is in the cards.

Maybe, just maybe, Obama has learned what Ronald Regan, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush never seemed to grasp – the Palestinian Authority will make peace with Israel only when it is sure that the Jewish state’s future is doomed.

That is why PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas refuses to budge on the Arab world’s dream to import several million Arabs to Israel, based on their claim that Israel is their home because their parents, grandparents, great-great parents and their dogs lived here.

The Oslo Accords, Clinton’s time bomb that fulfilled his promise to create a new Middle East, although not exactly the way he envisioned, provided for interim borders for a Palestinian Authority state, with final borders to be negotiated.

Bush’s Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in one of her many less enlightened moments, agreed that maybe it was best to simply skip over that little clause and go for broke.

And the “peace process’ since then indeed went broke.

Correctly perceiving that there was no need to concede anything except uncertainty, Abbas re-defined the word “negotiations” to mean “you give and I take,” with the only undecided issue being the date that Israel will supposedly sign its own death certificate.

The term “interim agreement” is no where in his lexicon. It is buried deep, deep under the “peace process,” and here comes Lapid, the last hope for the center-left to keep those pesky national religious Jews from getting too uppity, to the rescue of the right wing nationalists.

He also displayed remarkable honesty and lack of tact at the same by stating that Abbas “is still not psychologically ready for an agreement with Israel, either partial or full.”

That is the kind of statement that sounds like it is right out of the mouth of Avigdor Lieberman, who was foreign minister before he was indicted six months ago for breach of public trust.

It did not take long for Abbas, through an aide,  to react to Lapid’s statements, which reflect either amazing naïveté for a former journalist or just plain stupidity.

“We have heard this idea before and rejected it simply because we know the intention of Israel is to continue building on Jerusalem and other parts of the West Bank,” stated Nimr Hamad, one of Abbas’ sages in Ramallah. Just in case Lapid does not understand, Hamad added that final borders are “the most important thing for us.”

With the United Nations General Assembly already having adopted a resolution recognizing the borders of a Palestinian Authority state exactly as Abbas wants them, talk of an interim agreement can only convince Abbas that Lapid is a nationalist is in disguise.

Lapid is part of an overwhelming majority of Israeli Jews who are not willing to hand over such areas as the Old City on Jerusalem to Abbas.

Abbas could save himself from virtually isolation by the Obama administration if he accepts the idea of interim borders, but to do so would be political suicide, if not a sign of a real-life death wish.

He has dug himself into a hole by promising and promising and promising the PA “street” that he will get everything he wants, lock, stock and barrel.

The joker in the cards is Lapid’s statement Sunday that President Obama could set a three-year time limit for defining final borders while carrying out Bush’s written promise to Israel that such as areas as Gush Etzion and Maaleh Adumim would remain part of Israel.

He also wants to put aside the issues of Jerusalem and the Arab demand for importing millions of foreign Arabs into Israel. Abbas has rejected that idea time and time again.

Kerry Hosts Livni, to Return to Israel to Push Talks

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is meeting with visiting Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni this week and told reporters he will return to Israel in two weeks to push ahead for more “peace process” talks.

In a brief session with reporters,  Kerry did not refer to the de facto building freeze that Israel media reported on Tuesday and was allegedly promised to him by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu during Kerry’s visit last month.

The Palestinian Authority has said it knows nothing about the “quiet freeze.” and the Office of the Prime Minister has not commented.

Livni’s visit and the fact that Kerry is returning so soon  indicate there is truth to the report.

Livni is Israel’s Justice Minister, but her primary interest is in pushing the American-backed “peace process” to create an independent Palestinian Authority within Israel’s borders.

Kerry reportedly pressured Netanyahu into agreeing with an undeclared building freeze on building for Jews in Judea and Samaria and areas in Jerusalem claimed by Abbas.

However, Netanyahu said he would remove the freeze in mid-June, according to the report of the freeze. That would give Kerry only one month to convince Abbas.

“We all believe that we are working with a short time span,” Kerry told reporters. “I will be travelling back to Israel to meet with both Prime Minister Netanyahu as well as President Abbas around the 21st or 22nd of this month.”. There is no expectation that Abbas and Netanyahu will meet with each other.

Report: Kerry Won Five-Week Unofficial Building Freeze from Bibi

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been quietly enforcing a de facto building freeze on all construction for Jews in Judea and Samaria and areas in Jerusalem claimed by the Palestinian Authority, Israeli media reported Tuesday.

The Prime Minister promised U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to curtail construction for Jews until mid-June to give PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas time to fulfill his condition for a return to face-to-face negotiations with Israel.

Army Radio reported that Prime Minister Netanyahu told Housing Minister Uri Ariel, who lives in  the Judea and is a senior member of the Jewish Home party, to suspend publishing tenders for 3,000 residential housing units, including those to advance plans and construction of homes in the E-1 area of Maaleh Adumim.

Ariel insisted there has been no building freeze but added that the Prime Minister has delayed progress for new building, and he referred reporters to the Prime Minister, who arrived in China Sunday for a six-day visit.

Netanyahu’s reported agreement to a five-week freeze, much shorter than the 10-month freeze announced in September 2010, might be a gamble that Kerry will not be able to convince Abbas to resume direct talks with Israel.

There have been no real discussions since the 2010 building freeze, which Abbas demanded before resuming negotiations and then refused because it did not include a freeze in eastern, southern and northern Jerusalem, and did not cover public building in Judea and Samaria.

The E-1 area has become red line for both Abbas and Netanyahu. Any building activity there would infuriate Abbas and win him more support to continue to place the Palestinian Authority on various United Agencies.

If Israel were to even offer a hint to surrender the area, the Jewish Home party would probably pull out of the coalition, and it is doubtful if Likud-Beiteinu would agree to continue to rule with a new coalition that would include the Labor party.

However, Israel desperately needs an approved government budget for this year, and any party that forces new elections without a budget is liable to be severely punished at the polls.

Someone is going to have to climb down from the limb.

If Abbas misses another opportunity to miss an opportunity and starts demanding more conditions, Kerry and Netanyahu can walk away from the tree and leave him hanging there.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/report-kerry-won-five-week-unofficial-building-freeze-from-bibi/2013/05/07/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: