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November 27, 2015 / 15 Kislev, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘United States’

Abbas Wins a Flag but Backs Off from ‘Bomb’ at Half-Empty United Nations

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Mahmoud Abbas informed the United Nations General Assembly Wednesday that he has submitted a request to the Security Council for recognizing the Palestinian Authority as an independent country based on its territorial demands with its capital in Jerusalem.

He also conditioned the Palestinian Authority’s abiding by agreements on Israel’s doing the same, which in his view means agreeing to all demands for a new state based on the Arab world’s terms.

However, the fact that the General Assembly was half-empty symbolizes the decreasing interest in the “Israeli-Palestinian” struggle and is a follow-up to President Barack Obama’s speech earlier this week in which he totally ignored the issue.

Abbas did not drop his threatened “bombshell,” perhaps a direct cancellation of all agreements, after a warning from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to keep his cool. Instead, he spun the yarn that the Palestinian Authority honors all agreements but that Israel does not..

His favorite point was “illegal settlements.” There is no agreement with the Palestinian Authority that Israel will not retain a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria, unless negotiations conclude otherwise. But Abbas is relying on U.N. resolutions as “agreements.”

Since he has the support of most of the United Nations and foreign media, he can get away with the semantic trickery.

Abbas referred to Israel as an “occupying power” five times in his 40-minute speech, and he played on theme of the “Holy Land” six times, alleging that the “occupying power” prevents Muslims from worshipping at the Al Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is expected to tell the General Assembly in his speech that the Palestinian Authority is behind vicious incitement on the Temple Mount in an effort to change the status quo and prohibit Jews from the holy site.

Abbas’ speech was filled to the brim with accusations against Israel, which afterwards called the address one of “incitement,” while he acted as the eternal peacemaker.

He rewrote history for a receptive audience and media, stating in part:

We entered those negotiations with open hearts and attentive ears and sincere intentions, and we were ready with our documents, papers and proposals. But the negotiations broke down just weeks after their launch…..

Sincere efforts and endeavors undertaken by international parties were repeatedly wrecked by the positions of the Israeli government, which quickly dashed the hopes raised by the launch of negotiations last September.

Unsurprisingly, Abbas weighed into “settlements.” an issue on which he has the full backing of the Obama administration. He told the United Nations:

Settlement activities embody the core of the policy of colonial military occupation of the land of the Palestinian people and all of the brutality of aggression and racial discrimination against our people that this policy entails.

This policy, which constitutes a breach of international humanitarian law and United Nations resolutions, is the primary cause for the failure of the peace process, the collapse of dozens of opportunities, and the burial of the great hopes that arose from the signing of the Declaration of Principles in 1993 between the Palestine Liberation Organization and Israel to achieve a just peace that would begin a new era for our region.

He repeated what has become an Arab mantra, totally unsubstantiated by facts, that Israel is conducting “excavations that threaten our holy places, and its military checkpoints prevent our citizens from getting access to their mosques and churches.”

Abbas managed to bring Israeli Arabs under his umbrella, warning that the Israeli government is imposing “new conditions…that will transform the raging conflict in our inflamed region into a religious conflict and a threat to the future of a million and a half Christian and Muslim Palestinians, citizens of Israel.”

His speech exposed the Palestinian Authority strategy of using the original peace agreement with Israel as a basis to demand that all its conditions be met under “negotiations,” which in essence have left nothing to be negotiated.

Abbas recalled that in 1988, “We agreed to establish the State of Palestine on only 22% of the territory of historical Palestine – on all the Palestinian Territory occupied by Israel in 1967.”

Russia, Israel’s New Northern Neighbor, Bombs Targets in Syria [video]

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Russian war planes bombed the Syrian city of Homs Wednesday morning, shortly after an announcement from the Russian Federation Council that it approved “military force abroad” that supposedly is to fight the Islamic State (ISIS).

Sky News Arabic quoted Syrian opposition forces as charging that Russian war planes led the strike on rebel-held areas in the city.

A video on Facebook, seen below, shows the aftermath of the bombing, in which at least 30 people reportedly were killed. Several of the dead were children.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has insisted that Russian force in Syria will be limited to fighting the Islamic State (ISIS).

Israel has put Putin on notice that it will not tolerate any stray fire on Israel, but Russian control of Syrian airspace places both Israeli and American air forces in immediate danger.

An American defense official told Fox News Wednesday that the Obama administration has rejected a Russian demand that the U.S. Air Force withdraw from Syrian airspace.

Israel in the past several years has carried out several aerial attacks on Syrian and Iranian weapons headed for Hezbollah forces in Lebanon.

The bold move by Russia to enter the Syrian civil war fills a vacuum that the Obama administration refused to fill, even when President Barack Obama promised he would bomb Syria after it was proven that Assad was using chemical weapons.

He backed down from the threat, explaining that there was no need to carry out operations because Assad had supposedly turned over his chemical and biological weapons after coaxing from Russia.

The Obama administration is playing with an amputated hand in Syria. After repeatedly stating the Assad must go, Kerry now is accepting his remaining in power for a “transitional period.”

The London Telegraph reported Tuesday that the “United States is considering a possible deal whereby Russia and Iran would stop Syria’s regime dropping barrel bombs on civilians in return for concessions from Washington.”

Netanyahu to Lash Out in UN at Palestinian Authority Incitement

Monday, September 28th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will lash out at Palestinian Authority incitement on the Temple Mount in his speech at the United Nations on Tuesday, government sources reported.

He also will tell an unreceptive Generals Assembly that Israelis are on the front line against the threat of a nuclear Iran. Sources in the office of the Prime Minister said the speech will be very “powerful,” but now that the Iran deal is just about history,

it is doubtful that his appearance will match the attention-getting event three years ago when he drew a picture of Iran’s approaching the “red line” beyond which it cannot be stopped from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

Prime Minister Netanyahu also will blame the Palestinian Authority for the failure of the “peace process.” which is hardly on the back-burner while the Islamic State (ISIS) and Russia’s involvement in the Syrian civil war have become the focus of American worries..

After his speech, he is expected to meet with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and later with Jewish leaders.

Obama’s UN Speech Ignores Israel but Hits Hard at Putin and Assad

Monday, September 28th, 2015

President Barack Obama’s address to the United Nations General Assembly Monday was extraordinary in its total exclusion of Israel and the Palestinian Authority and its hard-hitting attack on the Assad regime in Syria and its ally Russia.

A strong indication that President Obama has finally realized what he and numerous predecessors did not understand was this statement:

There are no simple answers to the changes that are taking place in much of the Middle East and North Africa.

It is not the first time he has said that, but unlike previous speeches, it was not followed up by the usual pie-in-the-sky statements that “Peace is made with enemies.” or “Solving the Israel-Palestinian Authority struggle is the key to bringing peace to the Middle East.

Saeb Erekat, who chief negotiator for the Palestinian Authority and is secretary-general of the parent PLO, was extremely disappointed with Obama’s speech. He said:

Does President Obama believe that he is able to defeat the Islamic State (ISIS) and terror or bring stability and security to the Middle East by ignoring the continuing Israeli occupation, settlements and the ongoing Israeli attacks on Al Aqsa [the mosque on the Temple Mount]?

Obama’s speech was a resounding “yes” to Erekat.

The “occupation” never was a threat to the Middle East, but the United States foreign policy gurus couldn’t figure that out, even when the Arab Spring rebellions upended stability and brought anarchy, termed by the United States as democracy, to Egypt, Libya, Iraq and other boiling pots in Arab Muslim countries.

Years after the United States ignored ISIS, it has become Public Enemy No. 1 and is being used brilliantly by Russian President Vladimir Putin to justify direct Russian military force in Syria.

When Putin told the United Nations he is fighting the Islamic State, he could have been more accurate, Russia may be the only country fighting ISIS.

The American-led strike force has proven to be pitiful, as the JewishPress.com reported here last week on the American-trained Syrian rebels who betrayed the United States and delivered American weapons to Al Qaeda.

The President verbally attacked ISIS but he was extremely careful to be polite to Islam, stating:

Part of that effort [against ISIS] must be a continued rejection by Muslims of those who distort Islam to preach intolerance and promote violence, and it must also a rejection by non-Muslims of the ignorance that equates Islam with terror.

President Obama mentioned “Israel” zero times in his speech. Ditto for the terms “Palestinian Authority” and Palestine.”

The only time he mentioned “Middle East” was in the context quoted above, that there are no simple solutions.

But he mentioned Syria eight times and Russia 15 times with harsh comments that were nothing short of cold war speech.

For example:

The history of the last two decades proves that in today’s world, dictatorships are unstable.

Consider Russia’s annexation of Crimea and further aggression in eastern Ukraine. America has few economic interests in Ukraine. We recognize the deep and complex history between Russia and Ukraine. But we cannot stand by when the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a nation is flagrantly violated. If that happens without consequence in Ukraine, it could happen to any nation gathered here today. That’s the basis of the sanctions that the United States and our partners impose on Russia. It’s not a desire to return to a Cold War.

But his speech was remarkably chilly towards Moscow. He flatly stated:

Russia’s state-controlled media may describe these events as an example of a resurgent Russia… And yet, look at the results. The Ukrainian people are more interested than ever in aligning with Europe instead of Russia. Sanctions have led to capital flight, a contracting economy, a fallen ruble, and the emigration of more educated Russians

Imagine if, instead, Russia had engaged in true diplomacy, and worked with Ukraine and the international community to ensure its interests were protected. That would be better for Ukraine, but also better for Russia, and better for the world.

President Obama claimed he does not mind a strong Russia so long as it works with the United States “to strengthen the international system as a whole.”.

That gave him a platform to plow into the Assad regime Putin and Russia’s presence in Syria and ISIS, which he still refers to as ISIL and which he called ” an apocalyptic cult.

President Obama stated:

When a dictator slaughters tens of thousands of his own people, that is not just a matter of one nation’s internal affairs… Likewise, when a terrorist group beheads captives, slaughters the innocent and enslaves women, that’s not a single nation’s national security problem — that is an assault on all humanity.

Putin has taken the military offensive in Syria, giving him a military and political base across from Israel’s northern border. Putin knows that the Muslim Middle East understands only one word – “force” – but Obama dealt with the issue from weakness because without a military presence, the United States has little ammunition except Obama’s oratory.

He told the United Nations:

But while military power is necessary, it is not sufficient to resolve the situation in Syria. Lasting stability can only take hold when the people of Syria forge an agreement to live together peacefully. The United States is prepared to work with any nation, including Russia and Iran, to resolve the conflict. But we must recognize that there cannot be, after so much bloodshed, so much carnage, a return to the pre-war status quo.

He could have used that as an excuse to throw in something about the “Israel-occupied Golan Heights,” but he did not.

His speech was remarkable in that it exposed how weak his administration has become in international affairs following the debacles in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan, which now is under growing ISIS influence.

American influence had been on the decline for years but accelerated with the inevitable failure of the “peace process.” which was focused on the wrong country and the wrong issue at the wrong time.

Crowd Assaults Anti-Islamist for Tearing Pages out of Koran [video]

Sunday, September 27th, 2015

A “professional” protester yelled at a Ohio university that the Koran is evil and ripped out some pages. A crowd assaulted him. Whether it was a “vile and disgusting” action or “freedom of speech, or both, an anti-Islamist activist got his point across through social media that has posted a video of his ripping pages out of the “evil” Koran.

The man, identified as John Williams, showed up on Ohio’s Wright State University and ranted against the Islamic holy book while surrounded by a crowd that included Muslims who did not take kindly to the sermon.

When Williams started ripping out pages from the book, he was assaulted, and police intervened to protect him.

Wright State Police Chief David Finnie said:

Our role here was simple. First of all, we support people expressing their First Amendment rights. There’s no better place than an academic setting.

University President David Hopkins expressed his own personal opinions of Williams’ performance:

An individual not associated with our university ventured onto our campus and expressed himself in ways that many found disrespectful to various groups because of their religion, sexual orientation, gender, or status as a victim of sexual assault. His actions, in my opinion, were vile and disgusting.

We all understand that public universities are places where a free exchange of ideas promotes the intellectual development of students and informs civic activity and policy beyond campus.

Williams said he is a member of “Quad Gods,” a group that criss-crosses the United States with religious protests.

He told the crowd, “God is love.”

US Denies Report Kerry Prevented Abbas-Netanyahu Meeting

Sunday, September 27th, 2015

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry allegedly ditched a meeting initiated by Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, according to Israeli and Ramallah officials quoted by Haaretz Sunday morning.

As with most reports on the “peace process,” you have to search for the kernel of truth amid the pile of lies.

Or in the language of State Dept. spokesman John Kirby, the details that were reported are not exactly accurate.

The story began last Monday, when Abbas told four retired Israeli ambassadors that he had said last month he was ready to meet with Netanyahu but, according to the Haaretz report, “a third party who is not Israeli” ditched the idea.

Netanyahu also has been stating how much we supposedly wants to meet with Abbas to revive the “peace process.” Both men must know they are playing charades, but on the other hand, both know that Abbas is standing on a thin limb on a high tree by putting all his eggs in the basket of the United Nations, whose General Assembly talk is the organization’s contribution to global warming. And both know that anarchy threatens to blow up the whole works.

According to the report, a third party from a country other than the United States set up a meeting between Netanyahu and Abbas, who then said he needed Kerry’s permission.

That already sounds a bit cockeyed since Abbas has diplomatically spit in the face of Kerry for years, peaking with the Palestinian Authority’s stating that it is putting the “peace process” in the hands of the United Nations, a move which is the last nail in the coffin of the Oslo Accords that call for negotiations with Israel.

Kerry reportedly told Abbas not to meet with Netanyahu without his illustrious presence. For the time being, Kerry has other things on his mind, particularly making sure Congress does not turn the tables and vote against the nuclear deal with Iran.

American officials’ interpretation of the story indicates they may finally be right on at least one thing in the Middle East. Their version is that Abbas simply is trying to blame Kerry for a meeting which the Palestinian Authority leader really does not want.



Delta Adds 4 Weekly Flights on Tel Aviv Route

Friday, September 25th, 2015

Delta is picking up traffic American Airlines will lose when it halts its Philadelphia-Tel Aviv route in January.

Delta Air Lines announced Thursday it is adding four flights a week to its JFK-Tel Aviv route in addition to the current daily round-trip service.

The new flights will begin in May, five months after American Airlines, which is merging with US Airways, halts its Philadelphia-Tel Aviv route. The company claimed it was losing $20 million a year on the route.

Delta obviously sees greener fields in Israel. Its additional flights will use a Boeing-77-200ER craft that can seat 291 passengers. Five daily round-trip flights from Philadelphia to JFK will help pick up the traffic that US Airways-American is abandoning.

Delta’s Senior Vice President Nat Pieper stated:

From next summer, Delta will offer more than 2,300 extra seats between Tel Aviv and New York, one of our largest trans-Atlantic markets, responding to customer demand for increased non-stop service.

With 11 weekly services between the two cities and a choice of departure times, we are offering customers greater flexibility when it comes to planning their travel both to New York and throughout the U.S.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/delta-adds-4-weekly-flights-on-tel-aviv-route/2015/09/25/

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