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September 2, 2014 / 7 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘us state department’

State Dept. Calls for Restraint, But Doesn’t Know Name of Kidnapped American Boy

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

In Wednesday’s press briefing, US State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki called for restraint on all side, during the search for the three kidnapped boys.

MS. PSAKI: Well, Said, we’ve been in touch with both the Israelis and the Palestinians throughout the course of the last several days since these teenagers were kidnapped. We know this is a difficult time obviously on the ground. We’ve urged continued security cooperation between the Israelis and the Palestinians in the search for the kidnapped teenagers. We were encouraged by President Abbas’s strong statement to the Arab and Islamic foreign ministers today in Saudi Arabia. But – and certainly as the search continues and in our conversations, we urge both sides to exercise restraint and avoid the types of steps that could destabilize the situation. And that’s a message that we are conveying in all of our conversations as well.

After 6 days, she also finally admitted that one of the kidnapped boys is an American citizen.

MS. PSAKI: We do, yes. So we can confirm that one of the kidnapped was an American citizen.

But after 6 days, Psaki doesn’t actually know his name.

QUESTION: Which one? MS. PSAKI: I believe his name has been reported. I don’t have it in front of me right now.

The State Department still believes that paying the PA, which then pays Hamas had no influence in Hamas’s decisions (such as pulling their financial chestnuts out of the fire).

QUESTION: But there’s – numerous Israeli officials have said that the U.S. decision to work with and continue to fund the Palestinian government, the new unity government, is – contributes – contributed to this incident with the three – is it – am I correct in thinking that you still would reject such an allegation?

MS. PSAKI: Yes, that is correct.

Keep that certainty of hers in mind, while recalling that Ms. Psaki couldn’t even bother to learn the name of the kidnapped American boy.

It’s Naftali Frenkel.

US Admits: Hamas Unity Government Can Launch Rockets, and Still Receive US Funds

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

US State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said at a press briefing on Wednesday that the US condemns the rocket fire from Gaza, and expects the Palestinian Unity Government and PUG president to condemn those attacks. But Psaki admits that condemning, not stopping those attacks is the maximum they expect from PUG President Mahmoud Abbas.

Furthermore, Psaki admits that even though Hamas is a member of the Palestinian Unity Government, the US admits that Hamas independently controls Gaza, and admits that Hamas launches rockets at Israel, and admits that the US will ignore all that continue to work with and fund the Palestinian Unity Government of which Hamas is a full member and consequently, a recipient of those US funds.

At the end, Psaki answers that the rocket launches really aren’t large enough of an attack to get the US to change its position.

The questions are great, and it makes for such fascinatingly convoluted reading:

MS. PSAKI: Well, we condemn all rocket fire from Gaza. It is unprovoked aggression against civilian targets and is totally unacceptable. We welcome President Abbas’s prompt and outspoken condemnation of this attack. We note that he has demanded that all the Palestinian factions remain committed to the ceasefire agreement that was signed in Cairo in 2012, and we expect the Palestinian Authority will do everything in its power to prevent attacks into Gaza – from Gaza into Israel. But we acknowledge the reality that Hamas currently controls Gaza.

QUESTION: Well, okay. So the Israelis say that President Abbas, since the unity government has been formed, that he bears responsibility for not disarming this or not preventing this attack and attacks of its kind. Do you agree that President Abbas shares – or it is his responsibility to do that, and that he is – the Israelis could look at him and say this is his fault?

MS. PSAKI: Well, we believe that President Abbas must do all in his power to prevent deterioration in the security situation, but we would also note that he has upheld his responsibility to maintain security coordination with Israel and he has publicly stressed his commitment to do that. And so I think he has made every effort to be – continue to be a partner in this regard.

QUESTION: So this doesn’t have any – this attack doesn’t have anything – won’t have any bearing on your decision to work with the unity government and continue to provide assistance to it?

MS. PSAKI: It does not. Obviously, we’re concerned about it and we condemn it in the strongest terms. But his – President Abbas’s ability to impact these type of attacks is really severely limited at this point in time.

QUESTION: Well, yeah, but isn’t that part of the – I mean, that’s part of the entire problem with agreeing to go along and work with a government, is it not? I mean, the Israelis said the whole time that these attacks are going to continue. If you recognize that his ability is extremely limited to prevent this kind of thing, for there to be security cooperation between him, his government, and the Israelis, how is it that you made the leap to go ahead and say, “All right, this is a government that we can do business with?”

MS. PSAKI: Well, this is one – this was the creation of an interim technocratic government. Obviously, at some point there will be elections. This is an interim period. As we’ve long stated, we’ll – we’re continuing assistance if we – but we’ll be watching closely and if something changes, so will – we’ll act accordingly. But nothing –

QUESTION: So how many more rocket attacks do there have to be before you decide that it’s – that we made a mistake?

MS. PSAKI: Well, again, Matt, you’re familiar, I’m sure, with what the criteria are for delivering assistance. While we’re very concerned about these rocket attacks and we feel President Abbas needs to do everything possible to prevent them, we understand that his ability to do that is severely limited at this point in time.

QUESTION: So but then I don’t understand why – I can’t – I mean, if you think that this guy doesn’t have control over everyone who is either a member of or is backing his unity government, why would you do business with it? Why would you give it money? I mean, if you were one part of – I don’t know, one segment of the Israeli society, political society or otherwise, you could, if you hold Abbas responsible for this attack, hold the United States, in a sense, responsible for this attack because you guys are just continuing to support the unity government.

MS. PSAKI: Well, as you know, there are no members of Hamas in the technocratic unity government – technocratic government, I should call it, which is the accurate –

QUESTION: Right.

MS. PSAKI: – term for it. That is one of our criteria for continuing to provide assistance. We’ll be watching closely over the course of the coming weeks and months.

QUESTION: So even though it is backed by Hamas and you hold Hamas responsible for this rocket attack today, that – you don’t see a connection? No?

MS. PSAKI: I’m not suggesting we don’t understand the connection, Matt. But again, this is a case where President Abbas strongly condemned these actions. We think he should do everything possible to prevent them from happening and to call for and provoke unity among these groups. But we understand at this point in time there’s very little that he can do to prevent them.

QUESTION: Why is it in your interest to continue to deal with the interim government notwithstanding this rocket attack?

MS. PSAKI: Because the Palestinian people and our relationship with the Palestinian Authority is an important relationship to the United States. We continue to believe that support to them is something that is important to the United States.

QUESTION: But if Hamas feels that it can shoot rockets from Gaza into Israel with impunity and this has no effect whatsoever, for example, on its ability to form a unity government with the PA, even if there are no Hamas members in the actual government – you have a disincentive that you could use here, which would be to stop dealing with the unity government or to stop funding it, and that might tell Hamas, “Well, maybe we should think twice about sending rockets in.” But the way you’ve cast it, they can send an unlimited number of rockets in and they can still be supportive of this unity government and you’ll still give the unity government and the PA money.

MS. PSAKI: Well, we made a decision as the United States Government that our assistance to the Palestinian Authority is important to the United States. And so that’s why it is continuing. And they did – have met the criteria, including the Quartet principles that have been laid out. We will be judging this government by its actions and we will address issues as needed moving forward, but nothing has changed at this point in time.

QUESTION: You don’t see this attack as an action of the government?

MS. PSAKI: No, we –

QUESTION: You see it by – you see it as an action by a supporter of the government. Not you, I’m talking about Hamas, right? I mean, you – correct me if I – I mean, if you – well, is that correct? Let’s just start there. You see this as an attack by Hamas on Israel. Is that correct?

MS. PSAKI: Yes.

QUESTION: Yes. You do understand the equivalent – the Israelis say that because Hamas is a – while there are no Hamas members in it, this government, this technocratic government is supported by Hamas, and therefore this is a problem. You don’t agree with that.

MS. PSAKI: Well again, Matt, this is a technocratic government that just formed in the past couple of weeks. We’ll be watching events closely as time continues. The government itself has abided by the principles that we have outlined through the Quartet and what the United States expects as well, and we’ll evaluate accordingly. But nothing has changed as it relates to our assistance.

QUESTION: All right. And then just on Abbas himself, you say that he has condemned it. But the condemnation is really – I mean it’s good, I suppose, that he is not applauding and saying this is a good thing. But he needs to stop it, doesn’t he? Isn’t that the U.S. position?

MS. PSAKI: Well, he’s also demanded that all factions abide by the ceasefire agreement.

QUESTION: Right. But at some point it’s got to be actions, not words, right? So this is – I just – this is not an action enough to get you to – to get the Administration to change its position?

MS. PSAKI: Correct.

QUESTION: Okay.

QUESTION: Clarification: Are you certain that it was Hamas that fired the rocket, or could it be some rogue group from Gaza? Because there are all kinds of rogue groups.

MS. PSAKI: Well, Said, I don’t have any more information. I think we’re all familiar with the connection between Hamas and Gaza and how they control Gaza.

‘Highest Levels’ of US Administration Deny Jewish History

Sunday, January 19th, 2014

I’ve been complaining about the Obama Administration a lot recently, particularly about its insistence on Israeli concessions to the PLO for an impossible peace deal, and for its enabling Iran’s nuclear program. But even more shocking — because it puts the administration’s ideological opposition to the very foundation of the Jewish state on display — is this:

UNESCO, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, has pulled a Jewish exhibit two years in the making, entitled “People, Book, Land – The 3,500 Year Relationship of the Jewish People and the Land of Israel,” after a zero hour protest from the Arab League, The Algemeiner has learned.

The exhibit, which was created by Los Angeles-based Jewish human rights group the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) together with UNESCO, was scheduled to open on January 20th, 2014, at UNESCO’s Paris headquarters. The invitations had already gone out, and the fully prepared exhibition material was already in place. The display was co-sponsored by Israel, Canada and Montenegro.

It is not surprising that the Arab League is opposed to anything that suggests that Jewish sovereignty in the Middle East has any legitimacy. But the stunning part is that prior to the Arab League’s objection, the State Department withdrew the US as a sponsor of the exhibition, using language almost identical to that of the Arab League! Here is the US position:

“At this sensitive juncture in the ongoing Middle East peace process, and after thoughtful consideration with review at the highest levels, we have made the decision that the United States will not be able to co-sponsor the current exhibit during its display at UNESCO headquarters,” wrote Kelly O. Siekman, Director at the Office of UNESCO Affairs of the State Department, in an email seen by The Algemeiner.

J. E. Dyer writes,

What’s so damaging to the peace process … about a Jewish history exhibit?  According to the Arab League, it’s the evidence it would present of the Jewish people’s long association with the land of Israel.  The campaign to suppress that evidence is a new lie, dating only to about the 1960s as a coherent political endeavor.  It started with Yasser Arafat and other Arab politicians, and continues today with such grotesqueries as the assertion – made on occasion by Mahmoud Abbas – that “Jesus was a Palestinian.”

The appalling thing, however, is that the U.S. government is throwing in with this campaign, by tacitly agreeing that the historical truth about the Jews and Israel is inimical to “peace.” [my emphasis]

‘Appalling’ is too kind. I prefer ‘disgraceful’.

Could there be a clearer demonstration of the anti-Zionist, indeed anti-Jewish attitudes of the State Department — and indeed, since the decision was taken after “review at the highest levels,” the President?

Visit Fresno Zionism.

Peace Must Be Near: Embassy Ordering Americans to Avoid Israeli Taxis

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013

The following email was sent out by the US Embassy in Israel:

From: mailto:amctelaviv@state.gov
Sent: Tuesday, December 24, 2013 7:19 AM
Subject:
Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens: Response to December 22 Bus Bombing in Tel Aviv

U.S. citizen employees of the U.S. Embassy and their families are temporarily prohibited from using sheruts, the mini-bus shared taxis. The temporary prohibition on sheruts is in effect for the next two weeks as we assess the security implications of the December 22 bomb attack on a public bus in the Bat Yam neighborhood of Tel Aviv. This restriction is in addition to the longstanding prohibition on the use of public buses and their associated terminals and bus stops in Israel.

No mention that this minor transportation disruption is the result of Secretary of State Kerry trying to force negotiations on the Palestinian Authority, and this is their official response.

Incidentally, the reason only mini-buses are mentioned is probably because the embassy staff wouldn’t be caught dead on an Israeli public bus — probably for fear of being caught dead.

So far, according to the Shin bet, Israel’s internal security agency, the monthly acts of terrorism have risen from 82 back in July, when public opinion wasn’t so aware of the negotiations between Tzipi and her Pal Pals, to 167 in November, when it’s becoming clear that the U.S. may manage to squeeze some form of an agreement out of the two sides.

This is the pattern in Israeli-Arab peace talks since 1994, when we were blessed by the Oslo accords, and since then every time we hear of another phase in the negotiations, more blood is shed.

Michael Wolfowicz, who blogs for the Times of Israel, suggests this is not unique to the Palestinians, and all over the world terrorists try to prevent peace and stability by doing what they do best: murdering civilians.

Except that over here we’ve seen that these acts of terror are being committed by government decree, both in Gaza and in the PA. Calls to arms are official on the part of our negotiations partners, who wants peace with us like we want a hole in the head.

Sadly, both sides have been receiving more holes in the head than anything else, since this madness began, back in 1993.

Meet the Monster Behind Syria’s Chemical Weapons

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

The man responsible for producing the poison gas that last week killed approximately 1,000 Syrians, including children, bears a description of a monster from the Nazi regime, whose officers, and a large part of the population, considered themselves to be superior by virtue of their love of fine culture and refined arts, despite the Nazi death machine.

Dr. Amr Najib Armanazi, now 69 years old, routinely visited his children in London, where they studies. He and his wife frequently travel to Washington.

Israel Defense writer Ronen Solomon issued a profile of Armanazi on Thursday, disclosing a chilling resemblance to the same characteristics of Nazi war criminals who could discuss philosophy and understand fine art while engineering the torture and extermination of 6 million Jews.

He has a ”fatherly appearance, with white hair and a pleasant smile,” according to Solomon.

He is in charge of the majestically termed Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC) near Damascus. The name is a euphemism for what could be called “Poison Gas and Chemical Warfare Co. Ltd.

The United States, and Israel, knew years ago that Syria was producing chemical weapons but did nothing to stop it. That was during the era when Washington was convinced that if Israel would simply hand over the Golan Heights to Syria in exchange for a piece of paper saying the countries were at peace, all of the region’s problems would be solved.

It took the U.S. State Dept. until Sept. 9, 2012 to put its stamp of disapproval on Armanazi. It declared, “The SSRC is the Syrian government agency responsible for developing and producing non-conventional weapons and the missiles to deliver them. The SSRC also has a public civilian research function; however, its activities focus on the development of biological weapons, chemical weapons, and missiles. During his tenure, Armanazi oversaw a facility that was involved in the production of sarin nerve agent.

“Amr Armanazi, has engaged, or attempted to engage, in activities or transactions that have materially contributed to… the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction…, including any efforts to manufacture, acquire, possess, develop, transport, transfer or use such items.”

Armanazi, a former computer engineer, has a longtime acquaintance with the Assad family. His father was Syria’s ambassador to several countries, including India and Egypt.

He worked in the 1990s for Assad, who then was managing the Syrian Computer Society, another names that rings of innocence but which developed computer systems for the military.

Armanazi later took over the management of the Scientific research Center, which also was to develop nuclear warheads.

He oversees  thousands of workers who develop and produce chemical weapons, using “immunology laboratories” and “environmental research”  laboratories to perfect materials for genocide.

The manufacturing center for producing Sarin gas and nerve agents is located in northern Syria, according to Solomon, the same region where Israel in 2007 bombed a building that was to serve as a nuclear reactor. It was being built under the guidance of North Korean scientists, who had been in close contact with Armanazi since 2001.

Solomon revealed that Armanazi traveled to Pyongyang several times and helped establish a straw company named “Namchongang Engineering Services” in Damascus, which was a cover for North Korea’s nuclear activities in Syria.

Like the Nazi elite, Armanazi has made himself into an image of a fine, elderly and cultured family man. One of his daughters earned a Masters in Business Administration from the University of London and is senior manager of Nissan in Syria.

One of his sons studied in London for a degree in economics and works there for a bank.

And their father’s legacy is the murder of civilians, including children, by poison gas.

Armanazi’s office is in a complex that includes warehouses for storing chemical weapons.

If the United States attacks Syria, it can be assumed that the cultured Armanazi will be far, far away from his office.

Terrorist Attacks Down to ‘Only’ 12 a Week

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

The good news for residents of Judea and Samaria is that the number of terrorist attacks dropped by 20 percent in July compared with June. The bad news is that there still were 50 attacks, or approximately 12 a week.

The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) released the statistics, which are of little solace to victims, also showed a similar pattern in Jerusalem, where residents suffered 26 attacks in July, down from 39 in June.

Another disturbing factor if that the most of the attacks involved firebombs (Molotov cocktails), and not rocks, which also can be deadly but less so than a burning bottle that smashes through a car window.

The ISA also fudged the statistics a bit by counting a multiple-rock or firebomb attack as a single incident. For example, although there were 50 “attacks” in Judea and Samaria in June, security officials reported that there were 60 firebombs thrown.

The report does not include dozens of hundreds of rock-throwing attacks that are not reported by drivers , who are more concerned with stepping on the gas and escaping with their lives than with telephoning officials to tell them they almost got killed.

It also does not take into account dozens of attacks that were thwarted, such as the arrest of a knife-wielding Arab in Hevron and of another terrorist carrying material for a bomb in his car. Another area not covered in the statistics is vandalism. Arabs in Hevron tore off mezuzahs four times the past month at the Patriarchs Cave in Hevron.

There also were four attacks with small arms in Jerusalem as well as one stabbing, which caused serious wounds to a man walking in the Old City after visiting the Western Wall.

Terrorists from Gaza also were busy, shooting five rockets, while their colleagues in Sinai carried out one attack with two missile launches at Eilat.

Jordan Moves to Scrap Peace Treaty over Arrest of Jerusalem Mufti

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

The arrest of the Jerusalem Mufti on Tuesday for throwing chairs at Jews on the Temple Mount prompted the Jordanian parliament on Wednesday to demand that King Abdullah expel the Israeli envoy. The legislators also called to start a draft for a law to scrap the peace treaty with Israel.

Police arrested an Arab from entering the Temple Mount, and an enraged Grand Mufti and other Arabs began throwing plastic chairs at five Jews who entered the Temple Mount under police escort. Arab media said they prostrated themselves, an act of prayer that the Waqf prohibits, except for Muslims.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told The Washington Post the group did not carry out any act of prayer. As usual, Palestinian Authority media exaggerated the entire scene. Arab media always report that Jews “stormed” the Temple Mount. The Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency reported that 50, and not five, Jews prostrated themselves.

Israeli police stepped in to end the clash before it could get out of hand and arrested the Mufti, a rare action.

It did not take much time for Jordan to hear of the altercation, and the country’s parliament unanimously agreed that the kingdom should expel the Israeli ambassador and recall its own ambassador from Tel Aviv. The parliament added its own imagination to the facts and claimed that Israel is trying to build a bridge between the Al Aqsa mosque and Jerusalem “settlements.” The parliament also called for drafting legislation to scrap the peace treaty with Israel.

Several hours later, Israel released the Mufti, which probably was not related to the Jordanian parliament’s move. The government knows full well that the Arab world will not sit passive with the Jerusalem Mufti being taken from his home for interrogation.

The U.S. State Department was asked by reporters to comment on the fuss, and assistant spokesman Patrick Ventrell told them, “We urge all sides to respect the status quo of this holy site and to exercise restraint and refrain from provocative actions.

As usual, the State Dept. does not what it is talking about.

Status quo? From when? From 1967?

The Israeli government passed the Protection of Holy Places Law on June 27, 1967.

It states:

“The Holy Places shall be protected from desecration and any other violation and from anything likely to violate the freedom of access of the members of the different religions to the places sacred to them or their feelings with regard to those places.”

The wise State Dept. does not also know much about the Mufti, Muhammad Ahmad Hussein.

In 2006, he stated that suicide bombings of Israelis were “legitimate, of course, as long as it plays a role in the resistance.”

On the other hand, one could say he simply was maintaining the status quo, which the Oslo Accords and the peace treaty with Jordan changed.

Jordan controlled the Temple Mount until the Six-Day War in 1967. Before then, Amman did not let Jews visit holy sites in the Old City of Jerusalem. It also prohibited Christians from most churches and holy sites in the Old City, Judea and Samaria, except for few and far between visiting foreign dignitaries.

After Jerusalem was restored to Israel in 1967, the Israeli government didn’t want to have much to do with the Temple Mount for many reasons, not the least of which was the concern of a religious war with Muslims as well as the complicated and complex issue in Jewish law of whether it is even permitted for a Jew to ascend to the site of the destroyed First and Second Temples.

The government left authority for the Temple Mount site in the hands of the Muslim Waqf site, with the stipulation that Israeli police could patrol the site and enter the mosque area, if necessary.

The “status quo” ended in 1969, when an Australian evangelical Christian tried to burn down the mosque to hasten the Second Coming, if not World War III.

Muslims began to renovate buildings on the Temple Mount and tried to minimize the presence of Israel soldiers. A plot by a Jewish underground movement to blow up he Al Aqsa mosque and Dome of the Rock to awaken Jews to a spiritual revival, or alternatively, bring on World War III.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/jordan-moves-to-scrap-peace-treaty-over-arrest-of-jerusalem-mufti/2013/05/09/

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