web analytics
September 18, 2014 / 23 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘US-Israel’

Netanyahu and Kerry Likely to Meet during AIPAC Session in March

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is likely to meet with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during the AIPAC convention in March, U.S. State Dept. spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters Tuesday.

“I would not be surprised if they have a meeting, of course, or they see each other while he’s here,” she said in answer to a question about reports of a possible meeting. “But that is decades away in the schedule. So I don’t have anything specific for you in terms of a set time or a date or anything.”

US and Israeli Air Forces Join Hands for Military Medicine

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

The IDF’s Israeli Medical Corps and the U.S. Air Force signed a Memo of Understanding Wednesday that “lays the foundation for a deep and ongoing cooperation in areas of aviation medicine, mental health, academics and research,” the Israeli military announced.

The memo was signed at the conclusion of the Surgeon General of the United States Air Force, Lieutenant General (Dr.) Thomas W. Travis’s week-long visit in Israel, in which he was introduced to t activities of the IDF Medical Corps and the Israeli Air Force.

Int’l Flavors to Buy Kibbutz Suppliers for $88 Million

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

The U.S.-based International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF) firm is buying Aromor Flavors, half-owned by Kibbutz Givat Oz, which is located southeast of Haifa.

Former executives ion the Makhteshim phosphates and  chemical giant own the other half of Aromor, which manufactures and markets specialty ingredients that are used in fragrances and flavors.

“We expect Aromor, with its strong R&D capabilities, to provide us with cost-effective, quality materials to use in our formula creations and external sales,” IFF Chief Executive Officer Doug Tough said.

Aromor is a supplier for IFF, and both management teams have worked with each other for years.

Aromor was founded  in 1982 and  has approximately 90 employees, approximately 20 of whom are members of the kibbutz.

The purchase stipulates that the Kibbutz operation will remain at Givat Oz for at least 15 years.

House Spending Bill Restores Aid to Israel to $3.1 Billion

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

Funding to Israel was restored to its pre-sequester level of $3.1 billion in the spending bill the U.S. House of Representatives passed on Wednesday. Aid to the Palestinian Authority was conditioned on its not running to the United Nations for recognition.

The $1.1 trillion bill passed Wednesday is the result of a deal brokered last month between Democrats and Republicans who have struggled for months to compromise on spending bills. It restores about half the cuts mandated by the sequestration, the across-the-board 8 percent cuts which by law kicked in last March when Congress failed to agree on a budget.

Also in the bill is $268.7 million in funding for U.S.-Israel cooperative anti-missile programs, not considered assistance because Israel contributes to the programs.

The bill also links the approximately $400 million the Palestinian Authority receives in annual assistance to programs against incitement, and cuts off aid to the Palestinians if the PA take further steps to secure statehood recognition at international bodies.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee praised the passage.

“These funds fully meet America’s commitment in the U.S.-Israel Memorandum of Understanding, helping our democratic ally meet critical defense needs during this period of heightened regional instability,” it said in a statement.

The Senate is due to consider the spending bill later this week.

Ex-Sec’y of Defense Gates: I Tried to Ban Bibi from White House

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates wrote in his new book that he once tried to ban Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu from the White House, when he was President George H. W. Bush’s national security adviser, because of what he said was the Prime Minister’s “arrogance and outlandish ambition.” Netanyahu was deputy foreign minister at the time.

Gates writes openly about his disgust with Netanyahu in his book “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War.”

“I was offended by his glibness and his criticism of U.S. policy — not to mention his arrogance and outlandish ambition — and I told national security adviser Brent Scowcroft that Bibi ought not be allowed back on White House grounds.” Gates wrote.

On the other hand, Gates said he felt very close to Ehud Barak, who was former Defense Minister and was Prime Minister for less than two years.

The old idiom “you are known by the company you keep” speaks volumes about Gates. Barak was up to his neck in making deals with the military industrial complex and served as an adviser for defense firms after his first fallout with the Labor party following his landslide loss in his re-election bid against Ariel Sharon in 2001.

Gates’ loathing of Netanyahu continues to this day. He wrote in his new book, “I, as a very strong friend and supporter of Israel, believe Jerusalem needs to think anew about its strategic environment. That would require developing stronger relationships with governments that, while not allies, share Israel’s concerns in the region, including those about Iran and the growing political influence of Islamists in the wake of the Arab Spring. … Given a Palestinian birthrate that far outpaces that of Israeli Jews, and the political trends in the region, time is not on Israel’s side.”

If he had his facts right, he would know that  statement about the birth rate simply is not true.

US Rebukes Ya’alon for ‘Offensive’ Remark that Kerry is Messianic

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

The United States  rebuked Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon Tuesday for having reportedly said that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is “messianic,” that the U.S. proposal for security arrangements under a Palestinian Authority state are worthless and that all of us would be better off if Kerry would just pick up his Nobel Prize and leave us alone.

Ya’alon has not denied or commented on the report of his comments, made in private, exposed without a source by Yediot Acharonot. Presumably, Ya’alon has a political enemy who snitched on him.

The United States was understandably insulted. “The remarks of the defense minister, if accurate, are offensive and inappropriate, especially given all that the United States is doing to support Israel’s security needs,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a brief statement.

The beauty of the diplomatic faux pas is that the Israeli government – if it is not comatose – will realize that it is possible to say what it thinks about John Kerry without the world coming apart.

The United States was insulted. So what?

Ya’alon finally has done what no other Israeli leader has done -  call a spade a spade and call a Secretary of State a messianic jerk.

Ya’alon is not a diplomat. He is not the greatest politician, and that is to his credit because he is more intellectually honest than others. It was Ya’alon, as Chief of Staff in 2005, who refused to turn Israeli soldiers into an Iranian goon squad to expel Jews from their homes in Gaza.

At the same time, his three-year term as Chief of Staff was due to end. The usual practice is for the Prime Minister to extend it by another year, but faced with the possibility of a loose spoke in the wheels of destruction, then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon dumped Ya’alon and replaced him with Dan Halutz.

Let’s not forget that it was Halutz, one year later when he was supposed to be totally focused on two Israeli soldiers kidnapped by Hezbollah, who was on the phone with his bank to sell shares on the stock market. When he hung up, he got back to work to lead Israel into the debacle of the Second Lebanon War.

Ya’alon is not a diplomat, but he should know that whatever he says, anywhere, can be quoted. He would not dare stand on a podium and call Kerry “messianic.”

Here is what Ya’alon was quoted as saying:

“Kerry has come to act out of an incomprehensible obsession and a messianic feeling {and} cannot teach me a single thing about the conflict with the Palestinians. The only thing that can save us is if Kerry wins the Nobel prize and leaves us alone.”

He  added that Kerry’s security arrangements “are not worth the paper they are written on.”

Ya’alon issued a written statement after the report that the United States is an important ally. “When there are disagreements, we work through them inside the room – including with Secretary of State Kerry, with whom I hold many conversations about Israel’s future,” he said.

The State Dept. reprimanded him. “To question his motives and distort his proposals is not something we would expect from the defense minister of a close ally,” said Psaki.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stepped on the damage control pedal in a speech in  the Knesset, which marked on Tuesday its 65th birthday.

“We are working to advance regional security and defend our interests,” he said. “True peace is founded on recognition of the nation state of the Jewish people and on security arrangements guaranteeing that territories in Palestinian hands do not turn into launching pads for terrorists. But all that [must be achieved] while respecting our important ties to the United States. We continue to defend our national interests, one of which is the continued fostering of our relations with our ally, the United States.”

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.

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

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: