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April 27, 2015 / 8 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘US-Israel’

Netanyahu Pours Salt on Obama’s Wounds

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu jabbed President Barack Obama in the ego Thursday in an announcement of his accepting an invitation by Congressional Speaker John Boehner to address a joint session of Senators and representatives next month.

Just by coincidence, pure coincidence, the Prime Minister will be speaking two weeks before the Knesset elections, a situation which gave Obama the opportunity to rule out a meeting with his sparring partner as a matter of standard operating procedure that the president does not meet with visiting dignitaries near an election.

Whether Boehner invited Netanyahu or whether the Prime Minister invited himself doesn’t matter to President Obama.

Netanyahu advised the American Ambassador but did not notify the president before Boehner made public that the Prime Minister will address Congress, a move that the White House officially said departed from protocol but really meant was a direct  cut at Obama.

The office of the Prime Minister poured salt on the cut Thursday when it announced:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accepted the invitation sent by Speaker John Boehner, on behalf of the bipartisan leadership of the House of Representatives and the Senate, to address a joint meeting of Congress…..

The address will provide an opportunity for the Prime Minister to thank President Obama, the US Congress and the American people for their support of Israel.

Netanyahu has cornered Obama. He will profusely thank the president for the support that both men know is grudging.

And since the president is supporting Israel, and since Israel wants tough sanctions on Iran to remain, just like Boehner does, it only is logical that  Obama is really not supporting Israel if he vetoes a Congressional bill that would impose new sanctions on Iran if does not conclude negotiations on limiting its nuclear program by the next diplomatic deadline, which keeps getting extended while Tehran plays for time.

In case Obama did not get the message from Netanyahu that the Prime Minister and the president are on the same page, even if in a different book.

Netanyahu’s office added:

“Just last week I discussed with President Obama the common challenges we face from Islamist extremism, including resurgent terrorism and Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons.

“I look forward to being able to share with the joint session Israel’s vision for working together to address these threats and to reiterate Israel’s commitment to the bond that unites our two democracies.”

Netanyahu, like most of us, heard or read Obama’s State of the Union address this week in which he vowed to fight terror but, instead of mentioning “Islamist extremism,” made clear that  “we continue to reject offensive stereotypes of Muslims — the vast majority of whom share our commitment to peace.”

Pass the salt, please.

Bloomberg Marks Jerusalem and Tel Aviv as First Non-US Cities for Funds

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

Bloomberg Philanthropies has announced that Jerusalem and Tel Aviv-Yafo are the first non-U.S. cities selected to participate in the $45 million expansion of its Innovation Teams program.

The program aims to improve the capacity of City Halls to effectively design and implement new approaches that improve citizens’ lives  by relying on data, open innovation, and strong project and performance management to help mayors address pressing urban challenges.

Grant funds will allow mayors to hire and fund innovation teams – often called “i-teams” — for up to three years.

Jerusalem will receive $850,000 per year, focusing initially on poverty and economic development. Tel Aviv-Yafo will receive $650,000 per year, focusing initially on issues related to cost of living and illegal immigration.

“Successful innovation depends as much on the ability to generate ideas as it does the capacity to execute them – and i-teams help cities do both,” said philanthropist Michael Bloomberg. “More and more city governments around the world are eager to innovate.”

Bloomberg Philanthropies also announced that grants will go to Albuquerque, Boston, Centennial Colorado, Jersey City, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Mobile Alabama, Minneapolis, Peoria  Illinois, Rochester, Syracuse, and Seattle.

State Dept.: Anti-Settlement Policy Will Remain even After Obama Leaves

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

The State Dept. insists that its anti-settlement policy is not dependent on President Barack Obama and will continue even after he leaves the White House in January 2017.

Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon told high school students this week in Gush Etzion, which the United States considers “illegal,” that the  Obama Administration “won’t be around forever” and that Israel will resume building for Jews in Judea and Samaria once he is gone as president.

He apparently thinks Hillary Clinton won’t succeed Obama.

Ya’alon has a habit of saying what he thinks before he thinks. Earlier this year, he was quoted as stating in “private” remarks that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is “obsessed ‘and has a Messianic complex when it comes to the “Peace Process.”

He didn’t bother to think that his remarks to the high school students this week would be quoted, but maybe it is better off to give the White House a not so gentle reminder that it is going to have to fight hard in the Israeli election campaign if it wants to get rid of people like Ya’alon, who don’t take orders from Washington., which thinks otherwise.

“This Administration’s opposition to settlements is fully consistent with the policies of administrations for decades, including of both parties. So the notion that would change is not borne out by history,” State Dept. spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters at Wednesday’s press question and answer session,

She agreed that Obama will be out of office in two years, pending a sudden change in the U.S. Constitution, and the next administration is not going to change anything regarding the audacity of Israel to build homes for Jews in half of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, where it had been doing so for more than 40 years before President Obama blew in with the wind.

Previous administrations, contrary to what Psaki says, never have been called Jews “illegitimate” for living in areas of Jerusalem that the Palestinian Authority, with the backing of the State Dept. thinks is their God-given property.

Ya’alon notwithstanding, Israel will be stuck with American opposition to Jews living within Israel’s borders that the United States determines, according to Psaki.

It is unusual for a State Dept. spokesperson to predict what future administrations will determine.

Maybe she knows something that no one knows, but it is more likely that her comments give testament to an attempt to make the State Dept.’s long-standing pro-Arab policy part of the White House Bible.

Kerry Summons Netanyahu to Rome for Urgent Meeting before PA Bid to UN

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has summoned Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to an urgent meeting next Monday ahead of a United Nations Security Council vote in two weeks on a Palestinian Authority timetable to demand Israel’s withdrawal to the old Temporary Armistice Lines by 2016.

Haaretz, which often is privy to reports from ”anonymous” senior officials when it comes to cooperation with the Obama, reported that the Kerry-Netanyahu talks will last for several hours.

The Office of the Prime Minister told The Jewish Press it could not confirm or deny the report.

President Barack Obama does not want to be put in a position to have to decide whether or not to veto an anti-Israel decision by the Security Council.PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas has served notice that he no longer is interested in the American-backed “peace process” and that he will achieve his demands via the United Nations, where the General Assembly is overloaded with pro-Arab countries.

As an alternative proposal to the 2016 deadline, France has suggested a two-year deadline for permanent agreement based on the “Green Line” borders that were erased by the Sic-Day War in 1967.

The French proposal is based on Israel accepting the old borders with the exception of land swaps, and that Jerusalem be divided between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Haaretz reported that it is not clear if Kerry will propose his own proposal.

Obama and Kerry’s insistence on forcing an agreement down the throats of both sides, instead of living up to their former word that it cannot bargain for both parties, has left them high and dry.

Israel has refused to buckle under pressure for another building freeze on homes for Jews.

Abbas has snubbed Washington by declaring the “peace process” dead and by essentially telling the United States he can get what he wants in the United Nations, with or without Obama.

The timing of the U.N. vote is incredible because of the sudden election campaign in Israel.

Assuming the Security Council approves the Palestinian Authority proposal, an American veto would spoil the case by anti-Netanyahu parties that the Prime Minister has destroyed good relations with the United States.

The lack of a veto would instantly be seen as an attempt to undermine Netanyahu and interfere in the elections.

If the Obama administration would have taken the opportunity to chuck the whole mess it has fostered, it would be off the hook.

Instead, Obama might find himself hanging on it.

Clinton Plays Up ‘Two-State Solution’ for the Liberal Jewish Vote

Sunday, December 7th, 2014

Hillary Clinton went overboard claiming in a speech Saturday at the Saban Forum how much the Obama administration supports Israel and that there is nothing “personal” in differences between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama.

Saban, an Israeli-born millionaire, has said that he is willing to give “as much as needed” to make sure Clinton will be the next president of the United States. She has not said one way or the other if she will run, but she acts and talks like a candidate in the last week of an election campaign.

The former First Lady and Secretary of State is the same woman who said “F—the Jews” when her Oslo Accords hubby Bill was in the White House, where he was about as faithful to Hillary as he was to Israel.

“The relationship between the United States and Israel is solid, and will remain solid, and will be part of our foreign policy and our domestic concerns, our values, ideals, forever,” Clinton said at the 11th annual Saban Forum.

Naftali Bennett, chairman of the Jewish Home party, is scheduled to speak at the Saban Forum Saturday night. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has to cancel his speech because he is sitting Shiva for his mother, who died on Thursday.

It was only two years ago that Hillary Clinton used the Saban Forum as a stage to accuse Israel of a “lack of generosity” and a “lack of empathy” towards Palestinian Authority Arabs.

With two eyes on the 2016 presidential election, she said Saturday night, she pushed negotiations for the “two-state solution.” Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas already has said several times negotiations, as he calls them, were finished long ago because Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has not accepted his demand that Israel accept his demands at the table or under the dictate of the United Nations.

Netanyahu has said there is nothing to talk about since Abbas won’t recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Until the Netanyahu government collapsed this week and he decided to call for new elections, even the center-left leaders had said the “two-state” solution is nothing but theoretical.

But the American liberal Jewish community, the bulk of American Jews who still realize they are Jewish, are very happy with Israel being the country they dream as a Jewish state that exists to make them feel comfortable as Americans.

They don’t want to hear international criticism of Israel, and if their president says “settlers” are “illegitimate and illegal,” then those settlers should do as Washington says and live in Tel Aviv.

“Now I’m well aware of everything going on and the increasing tensions in the region, in Israel, in the West Bank to say nothing of the continuing aggressive behavior from Hamas coming out of Gaza,” Clinton said. “But the absence of negotiations leaves a vacuum that gets filled by problems, bad actors, threats, other kinds of behavior that are not good for Israel and not good for the Palestinians.

“There is a necessary imperative to continue to try to achieve a resolution between Israel and the Palestinians.”

Clinton is “aware of everything going on”?

Is she aware that the Palestinian Authority has educated an entire generation of Arabs to hate Israel, to hate Jews and to become “martyrs?”

Is she aware that official Palestinian Authority documents show a map of Israel with the word “Palestine” scrawled over it from, Lebanon to Egypt and from Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea?

She is not aware of it because she, and John Kerry, and the entire American liberal Jewish establishment do not want to be aware of it.

They love to hear talk about a “two-state solution” because it makes them feel good that all of those Jews living in Israel won’t upset their breakfast by doing anything that might endanger American security, such as building homes for Jews smack dab next to Arabs in eastern Jerusalem.

Clinton knows that the right-wing Jews are not going to support her. She doesn’t need to sell herself for the votes of the liberal Jewish community, but she wants their money.

 

U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act Omits Visa-Free Travel Rights

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

The U.S.-Israeli “strategic partnership bill” that the House of Representatives passed this week to a road of approval from the Jewish community was approved only after the elimination of one item Israel has sought for years – vial-free travel rights to the United States.

The bill, which the Senate passed in September and awaits President Barack Obama’s signature, only allows Israel to be part of the U.S. Visa Waiver Program is offers the same rights to all Americans.

Israel is not ready to give blanket visas to American Arabs who are security threats to the country, even though discriminating against suspected terrorists violates the sensitivities of many American legislators’ sense of “human rights.”

On the plus side, the new law adds $200 million to the amount of emergency weapons for Israel, which now is $1.8 a year, and promotes more cooperation between Israel and the United States in the fields of energy, alternative fuel technology and security, including cybersecurity.

Kerry and Netanyahu Update Each Other on Iran

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Saturday night traded ”updates” that represent their different positions on negotiations with Iran over its nuclear development.

The officer of the Prime Minister did not spell out what Kerry said, but, not surprisingly, talks are going nowhere fast before a Monday deadline that very well could be extended, and not for the first time. Iran likes to buy time for the obvious reason that it wants to reach the point of no return in being able to get its hands on a nuclear warhead to point at Israel and American military bases.

The Wall Street Journal quoted a senior Western diplomat Saturday that reaching a final agreement by Monday was “impossible.”

“We have reached a point in the talks where probably we can’t have an agreement without some very significant moves from the Iranians,” the diplomat said. “No one can say this is finished … The only thing is we can’t do the job for the Iranians.”

The P5+1 countries – the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China – want guarantees that Iran cannot produce enough material for a nuclear weapon in exchange for lifting economic sanctions.

Iran says it will abide by the agreement only after the sanctions are lifted.

Israel knows Iran is lying, again. The United States should now it by now, but it is so used to believing lies that it can hardly distinguish them from the truth.

Netanyahu said at the beginning of Sunday’s weekly Cabinet meeting, “Last night US Secretary of State John Kerry updated me on the situation in the nuclear talks with Iran. We are anxiously monitoring developments in these talks. We are holding discussions with the representatives of other major powers and are presenting them with a vigorous position to the effect that Iran must not be allowed to be determined as a nuclear threshold state.”

He reiterated the “no deal is better than a deal theme,” in the vain hope that Kerry was listening.

“There is no reason why it should be left with thousands of centrifuges that could enable it to enrich uranium for a nuclear bomb in a short time,” Prime Minister Netanyahu said. “Neither is there any reason why Iran should continue to develop intercontinental missiles, which could carry nuclear warheads, and thereby threaten the entire world.

“Therefore, no agreement at all would be preferable to a bad agreement that would endanger Israel, the Middle East and all of humanity.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/kerry-and-netanyahu-update-each-other-on-iran/2014/11/23/

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