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December 26, 2014 / 4 Tevet, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘US-Israel relationship’

House Panel Approves $2 million for US-Israel Energy Cooperation

Sunday, July 14th, 2013

The U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee has allotted $2 million for U.S.-Israel energy cooperation in the fiscal year 2014 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill.

The money in the bill is the latest such appropriation under the 2007 U.S.-Israel Cooperation Act, which created a grant program to support research and development of renewable energy sources.

“Our national security depends on the development of alternative energy,” Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), a lead sponsor of the Act said in a statement. “Funding for the U.S.-Israel Energy Cooperation Program has already advanced innovative new energy projects.”

Other lawmakers pushing for the allocation included Reps. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) and Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.).

Mother of New Ambassador Dermer: He’s a Red-Blooded American

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

Ron Dermer, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s choice to succeed American-born Michael Oren as Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, moved to Israel 16 years ago but his mother Yaffa told the Miami Herald, “ I think he’ll do a wonderful job because he’s a red-blooded American.”

Yaffa Dermer, a resident of Florida but born and raised in Israel, quickly added that her son “loves” Israel.

Her son wears a kippa and is modern Orthodox.

He also is a good son, his mother says. “He told me he’s going to visit me a lot.”

 

 

Netanyahu Names American Immigrant Ron Dermer Ambassador to US

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Tuesday he is appointing American-born Ron Dermer as Israel’s next Ambassador to the United States, the second American in a row to represent Jerusalem in Washington.

Dermer, who will replace Michael Oren, has served as Prime Minister Netanyahu’s senior adviser for the past four years and served as the economic attaché at the Israeli Embassy in Washington from 2005 to 2008.

He was born in Florida, is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business and holds a master’s degree in philosophy, politics and economics from Oxford.

Dermer immigrated to Israel in 1997. He once wrote in the now defunct New York Sun that he “left America because I wanted to help another nation I love defend the freedoms that Americans have long taken for granted.”

Dermer has a background of political activism in the Republican party, having worked with the GOP in the 1994 mid-term elections before going to Oxford. While studying there, he shuttled to Israel to work on behalf of Natan Sharansky and his Yisrael B’Aliyah party.

His appointment gives Prime Minister Netanyahu a close ear in Washington, where Dermer is familiar with back channels, noted JTA’s Ben Sales last year, when Dermer’s name was being floated for the ambassadorial post.

“Netanyahu likes him, respects him and listens to him,” Netanyahu’s former national security adviser Uzi Arad told the JTA. “I often asked for his advice. In many ways he was a guy to listen to. When it came to knowledge and being cultured and erudite and intellectually inclined, that’s him.”

“He understands how Americans view Israelis and how Israelis view Americans,” Mitchell Barak, an Israeli pollster who met Dermer as an adviser to former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, told Sales. “He knows how to work [in Washington] and has personal relations.”

Dermer’s views are strongly nationalist and indicate that Netanyahu is finished with any more “good will” concessions to the Palestinian Authority.

Dermer castigated The New York Times in 2011 with an open letter that attacked its news coverage and its Op-Ed page.

Times columnists “consistently distort the positions of our government and ignore the steps it has taken to advance peace,” Dermer wrote in the letter, which was published in The Jerusalem Post. “It would seem as if the surest way to get an op-ed published in The New York Times these days, no matter how obscure the writer or the viewpoint, is to attack Israel.”

Dermer wrote in 2003 that Israel would be giving up its sovereignty if it were to agree to the Bush “Roadmap” plan.

“It is one thing for Israel to take into consideration what America says,” he wrote. “In fact, Israel’s national interest demands that it do so. But it is quite another to cede to a third party, no matter how friendly, the right to determine Israel’s future.”

Dermer co-authored with Sharansky “The Case for Democracy,” a book that reportedly was a major influence on President George W. Bush..

GOP Jews Leave Meeting with Rand Paul with ‘Pleasant Surprises’

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul held a conciliatory meeting with the Republican Jewish Coalition in his latest bid to forge ties with the pro-Israel community and left the GOP Jews with some “pleasant surprises,” Matthew Brooks, the Republican Jewish Coalition’s director, told the Washington Post.

“While there may be areas of disagreement, he is very, very different — and certainly different with regard to his father,” Brooks said of last week’s meeting between Paul (R-Ky.) and the RJC board.

The RJC has sharply criticized Paul since his successful 2010 run for the Senate, particularly because of his opposition to defense assistance for Israel. Since then Paul, who is eyeing a 2016 presidential run, has visited Israel and taken pains to distinguish himself from his father, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), a perennial presidential candidate who has cast his own opposition to aid for Israel in stinging criticism of the Jewish state.

Brooks told the newspaper that Paul spoke of “putting Israel in a different category” than other nations. Paul earned a standing ovation last month at a meeting of the Zionist Organization of America on Capitol Hill.

Turbulent Middle East Guarantees Increased US Arms for Israel

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

“Astonishing” American support for Israel guarantees the country 10 more years of security aid from Washington, and probably a higher amount despite sequestration, according to sources quoted Tuesday by the US-based Defense News.

“Support for Israel in the United States is astonishing. I have no concerns that aid to Israel will be diminished,” said  Stuart Eizenstat, a former official who negotiated an aid package during the administration Bill Clinton.

The current 10-year aid package, worth $30 billion, expires in 2018, but negotiations already are in progress for the next agreement that will cover the decade until 2027.

Israel has three points in its favor, despite the sequestration – immense popularity among Americans, the threat of war in the increasingly unstable Middle East, and the threat of a nuclear Iran.

At the heart of Washington’s dependence on Israel is Jerusalem’s immense intelligence establishment, which frequently has supplied information far more accurate than what the Pentagon comes up with. A classic example is Israel’s warning several years, rejected by the United States, that Iran did not suspend its nuclear development

“There’s no other foreign country favored in terms of assistance; and this support is bipartisan, bicameral and largely protected by sequestration,” said Eizenstat. He told Israeli business leaders in Washington on Monday that he is not worried about the level of future American aid.

“It is in the interest of Congress and future administrations to sustain or even enhance aid to Israel, particularly given the turmoil in this region and all the threats and pressures on Israel,” he declared.

The demands by the Palestinian Authority, which wants to become an independent state based on Israel’s surrendering more than half of the country and accepting foreign Arabs who would reduce Jews to a minority, no longer are a sledgehammer that the Obama administration can gold over Israel’s head,

PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas has more or less lost all trust in Washington since he played out his hand and dumped the beloved American ides of direct negotiations with Israel by going to the United Nations for recognition.

Howard Berman, a former chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee,  told Defense News that resumption of l peace negotiations would “improve the climate” for a new 10-year aid deal but added, “I can tell you the special and strong relationship with Israel is enduring … It is not linked to any particular issue.”

Ambassador Oren: Samantha Really, Really Cares about Israel

Monday, June 10th, 2013

Samantha Power, President Obama’s nominee to replace Susan Rice as Ambassador to the United Nations, “cares deeply” about Israel’s security needs, Israeli ambassador to Washington Michael Oren recently told The New York Times.

“Samantha Power and I have worked closely over the last four years on issues vital to Israel’s security,” he said. “She thoroughly understands those issues and cares deeply about them.”

Oren is as much a politician as he is a diplomat. He admitted he usually does not comment on presidential nominees until they are confirmed by the Senate.

So why did he have to go out of his way and tell The New York Times, Obama’s unofficial press agent, that Power is such a great fan of Israel, where 11 years ago she advocated calling for US troops to act as policemen?

Oren saw the need to defend the President and score points if she is confirmed by the Senate, even though the nomination of Power has left many Jewish groups and leaders on different sides of the fence.

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) did not surprise anyone by strongly opposing her nomination, while the Conservative Jewish movement came out in favor of her, as did the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

The American Jewish Committee had no comment, and B’nai Brith said it was withholding approval of Power’s nomination until she addressed her earlier remarks under oath during Senate confirmation hearings.

“Israel has few real friends at the United Nations and at the top of the list is the United States, and it is really incumbent on the representative to be prepared, willing and able to rebuff and repel that kind of language,” said the group’s executive vice president, Daniel Mariaschin.

Power’s supporters have pointed out that she was on the front lines to work against anti-Israel resolutions in the United Nations, particularly the Palestinian Authority attempt to win United Nations Security Council approval for becoming a full-fledged member of the United Nations. The Obama administration threatened to cast a veto, which in the end was not necessary because the PA was lacking one vote to win the necessary two-thirds approval for the motion to move to the floor of the General Assembly.

Power may “deeply care” about Israel. Every US political leader is “Pro-Israel” because every one of them knows what is good for Israel, much better than the dumb Israelis. The American government also knows what is good for Iraq, Egypt, Syria and almost every other place in the universe, including the moon.

Being “pro-Israel” is not a condition to be the American Ambassador to the United Nations. First and foremost, the Ambassador must be pro-United States.

But that is like being pro-Israel. Every one has his or her own meaning of what is good for America.

Samantha Power obviously thinks Obama is good for America, as did most of the electorate. She was one of his strongest supporters even before anyone heard of his becoming a presidential candidate in 2008.

She also thinks “engaging enemies’ is good for the United States. It is the “engagement” policy that helped bring then U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to declare, two months after the beginning of the Arab Spring protests in Syria, that Assad is a “reformer.”

By the way, it was the same Clinton, when she campaigned against Obama for the Democratic party’s nomination for its presidential candidate, whom Power called a “monster.”

Power also has mouthed off at people whom she thinks are violating human rights.

She once not only called Yasser Arafat and Ariel Sharon violators of human rights, she also put them on the same level in her declaration against “Sharafat.”

When Power hears of human rights violations, she goes bonkers and always assumes the “other side” is to blame. That is why she backed the Muslims against the Buddhists in Burma.

The Canada Free Press wrote, “In her 2004 review of a book by the radical leftist Noam Chomsky, Ms. Power agreed with many of his criticisms of U.S. foreign policy and expressed her own concerns about what she called the ‘sins of our allies in the war on terror,’ lumping Israel with Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Pakistan, Russia, and Uzbekistan.

In 2007, she stated, the American government’s relationship with Israel “has often led foreign policy decision-makers to defer reflexively to Israeli security assessments, and to replicate Israeli tactics….”

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.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/left-wing-idol-samantha-power-to-replace-rice-as-un-ambassador/2013/06/05/

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