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July 30, 2014 / 3 Av, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘US State Dept.’

Kerry Names Lowenstein as Star ‘Actor’ to Replace Indyk

Sunday, June 29th, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has appointed his long-time aide Frank Lowenstein as “Acting Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations” following the departure of “permanent” envoy Martin Indyk, as reported here.

The State Dept.’s verbal acrobatics concerning Indyk’s departure and Lowenstein’s arrival provide plenty of evident that Foggy Bottom’s reality deals with more with its own in-house industry of solving the unemployment problem than with the realities of the Middle East.

Lest anyone think that the peace process has failed, State Dept. Spokeswoman Marie Harf was careful to tell reporters on Friday that Indyk really did not quit or resign.

The official announcement issued in Washington stated only that Indyk “will be returning to his position as Vice President and Director of Foreign Policy at The Brookings Institution.”

Harf objected to the Associated Press’s reporting that Indyk “quit,” a term she said “is a little negative in tone….. He will be leaving his post here. I’m not sure bureaucratically, technically what he has to do, whether that’s submit a letter of resignation. It probably is. “

The concern to put a positive spin even on Indyk’s resignation reflects the State Dept.’s inability to understand who’s on first in  the Israeli-Arab duel of wits to see who can confuse Washington the most, which is not very difficult.

If you thought the peace process is dead, think again.

“Well, we’re in a pause right now,” Harf stated, with a straight face.

Reporters covering the State Dept. long ago have stopped buying its song and dance. One reporter asked Harf that since no talks between the Palestinian Authority and Israel have taken place since late April, why did it take Indyk two months to “leave.”

“I think he’s been working intensively with the parties to see if they could come back to the table in a meaningful way, and we haven’t been able to get there yet,” explained Harf.

That doesn’t fit, because nearly a month ago, no one could answer a reporter’s question exactly what Indyk was doing, except for being somewhere in Foggy Bottom.

He obviously was doing what hundreds, if not thousands, of other State Dept. employees do. They consult, talk, research, travel, and then consult and talk again and again.

Haaretz journalist Guy Rolnik reported on Saturday that a senior Israel diplomat involved in negotiations in Washington for two decades told him six years ago, “There are thousands of people in Washington who earn their living from the peace ‘process.’ Economic crisis or not, there’s a large group that is working on the peace process, working on the terror threats, working on Middle Eastern affairs – and will always work on the ‘process.’”

The “process” serves the interests of the Palestinian Authority very nicely, because without it, Ramallah could not exist, which it does by handouts from the United States and the European Union.

Harf stated the State Dept.’s self-serving need for the “peace process” when she claimed on Friday that there actually has been “progress” in the peace process since Kerry launched the doomed-from-start resumption of the illusion of negotiations last July.

“In general, we were able to define the gaps between the two parties on all the core issues in a fairly detailed and significant way. That’s something that we broadly knew before that, but I think was one of the things we would say was important. You can’t bridge gaps until you’ve defined them,” Harf explained.

The “peace process” began in 1991 when then-Prime Minister Yitzchak Shamir agreed to debate Yasser Arafat in Madrid. Now, 23 years later, the U.S. State Dept. has made “progress” by figuring out the gaps. The truth is that Washington still does not understand the gaps because it does not understand much of anything that goes on east of Atlantic City, but assuming that it does, is that all the progress that can be reported?

Kerry Does NOT Apologize for the ’Apartheid’ Word

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry does not apologize for suggesting that Israel might become an apartheid state but simply regrets not having used a different word to say the same thing, his spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters Tuesday in a half-hour tragic-comedy media briefing.

At least five different reporters hounded Psaki on Kerry’s statement earlier in the day that he “if he could unwind the tape,” he would have used a different word when saying that a two-state solution is necessary to keep Israel from becoming guilty of apartheid.

Coincidentally or not, today is what was supposed to be the last day of nine months of talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority to bring about a final status agreement to establish a new Arab country smack in the middle of Israel. Kerry took the lead last July to resurrect the dead and buried peace process, which the Obama administration says is needed for the security of the United States.

Supposedly, the United States is in more danger now because there is no Palestinian Authority country.

Reporters questioned Psaki why Kerry retracted the word “apartheid” when that is exactly what he meant, and the  only explanations they received was that a whole bunch of Congressmen, including Democrats, “distorted” his comment and that his public record shows he really is pro-Israel.

Psaki constantly defended Kerry be arguing that several Israeli politicians have previously said that Israel will become an apartheid state if it does not accept a Palestinian Authority state, which would not be apartheid for the simple reason that Mahmoud Ababs won’t let Jews live there, in direct contrast to United Nations conditions for admission.

So does Kerry still believe Israel can become an apartheid state, in a very loose definition of the word, one reporter asked Kerry’s spokeswoman?

Well, she said, Israel will face “challenges” without “two states for two peoples living side by side.” Perhaps she meant Ashkenazim and Sephardim.

Once again the reporters asked, “He does not intend to apologize?”

Psaki answered -he made it clear he would use a different word… The use of the word is a problem.”

Now that it is settled that Kerry apologizes for using the word apartheid and does not apologize for saying that is what he meant, what does the State Dept. have to say for the peace talks that, as reporters noted, have left things a lot worse than they were nine months ago?

Well, actually progress was made because both sides talked about the core issues, according to Psaki.

The Palestinian Authority has shunned the talks in favor of going to the U.N. for recognition, it has announced it and the Hamas terrorist organization are two of a kind in a new unity regime, it failed to win the release of the last batch of murderers – the only reason that Abbas agreed to talks to begin with – and Israel plans to build thousands of more homes in Judea and Samaria where the United States does not recognize Jews as illegitimate or legal residents, but not to worry because both sides talked.

How’s that for progress?

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry does not apologize for suggesting that Israel might become an apartheid state but simply regrets not having used a different word to say the same thing, his spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters Tuesday in a half-hour tragic-comedy media briefing.

At least five different reporters hounded Psaki on Kerry’s statement earlier in the day that “if he could unwind the tape,” he would have used a different word when saying that a two-state solution is necessary to keep Israel from becoming guilty of apartheid.

Coincidentally or not, today is what was supposed to be the last day of nine months of talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority to bring about a final status agreement to establish a new Arab country smack in the middle of Israel. Kerry took the lead last July to resurrect the dead and buried peace process, which the Obama administration says is needed for the security of the United States.

Supposedly, the United States is in more danger now because there is no Palestinian Authority country.

Reporters questioned Psaki why Kerry retracted the word “apartheid” when that is exactly what he meant, and the only explanations they received was that a whole bunch of Congressmen, including Democrats, “distorted” his comment and that his public record shows he really is pro-Israel.

Psaki constantly defended Kerry be arguing that several Israeli politicians have previously said that Israel will become an apartheid state if it does not accept a Palestinian Authority state, which would not be apartheid for the simple reason that Mahmoud Abbas won’t let Jews live there, in direct contrast to United Nations conditions for admission.

So does Kerry still believe Israel can become an apartheid state, in a very loose definition of the word, one reporter asked Kerry’s spokeswoman?

Well, she said, Israel will face “challenges” without “two states for two peoples living side by side.” Perhaps she meant Ashkenazim and Sephardim.

Once again the reporters asked, “He does not intend to apologize?”

Psaki answered -he made it clear he would use a different word… The use of the word is a problem.”

Now that it is settled that Kerry apologizes for using the word apartheid and does not apologize for saying that is what he meant, what does the State Dept. have to say for the peace talks that, as reporters noted, have left things a lot worse than they were nine months ago?

Well, actually progress was made because both sides talked about the core issues, according to Psaki.

The Palestinian Authority has shunned the talks in favor of going to the U.N. for recognition, it has announced that it and the Hamas terrorist organization are two of a kind in a new unity regime, it failed to win the release of the last batch of murderers – the only reason that Abbas agreed to talks to begin with – and Israel plans to build thousands of more homes in Judea and Samaria where the United States does not recognize Jews as illegitimate or legal residents, but not to worry because both sides talked.

How’s that for progress?

State Dept. Can’t Explain Why Kerry Used ‘Apartheid’ Word

Monday, April 28th, 2014

The State Dept.’s Excuse Branch was not able to answer a reporter’s question on Monday if it was wise for U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to use the word “apartheid” when referring to Israel even to a possible situation in the future.

Kerry said on Friday, as reported here, that Israel could become an “apartheid” state if it doesn’t follow his script to give the Palestinian Authority whatever it takes so that the globe-trotting secretary can score at least one artificial success before the Obama administration goes home in two years.

One reporter asked spokeswoman Jen Psaki, the director of the Excuse Branch, if Kerry really thinks Israel is an apartheid state.

Gosh, no, she said. “Israel is a vibrant democracy,” Psaki explained, and hastily added that former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert – you know, the one convicted for bribery – and his former defense minister Ehud Barak – you know, the one who is married to the military-industrial complex – have made similar comments.

Associated Press reporter Matt Lee then stepped up to the mike and asked specifically if it was wise for Kerry to use the “apartheid” word, even if he was referring to a future situation in which the word could be applied to Israel.

The Excuse Branch director danced around the questioning until she finally was pinned in the corner, where she simply ruled that it was time to move on to less interesting subjects, such as the American concern for Egypt’s “preliminary death sentences against 683 defendants and the upholding of death sentences against 37 defendants from a March 25 decision.”

Lee asked, “Can you acknowledge that using ‘apartheid’ is offensive for many,” including Israelis? “Is the Secretary aware of this?”

Psaki went back to the defense that Israeli officials have used the word, but Lee argued, “You are supposed to be neutral” and asked if any other American officials ever used the “A” word during negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Doesn’t Kerry understand that using the word, whether referring to the past, present or future, would cause “angst and indignation.” Lee asked.

After Psaki’s comment that she has “no other comment,” Lee turned the tables and argued that from the Palestinian Authority point of view, Israel is an apartheid state..

“Kerry is getting it from both sides” and was it really “smart” for Kerry to use the word,” he continued.

Lee was followed by Said Arikat, correspondent for Al-Quds, who asked why Israel cannot be defined as an apartheid state since it has checkpoints [then again, so does the United States and every other normal and even abnormal country] and separate roads [which is rarely true except where the Palestinian Authority decides who can use the highways].

Psaki then abruptly put an end to the discussion and stated, “I think we are ready to move on.”

So the questions still stands:

If Kerry really did not mean that Israel is an apartheid state, didn’t he understand that using the “A” word is not very smart?

After all, he is Secretary of State of the United States of America and therefore is very smart.

Isn’t he?

Terrorists Greet Hamas-Fatah Unity with Rocket Attacks on Israel

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Terrorists from Hamas-controlled Gaza attacked southern Israel with two rockets Wednesday evening, just about at the same time that the U.S. State Dept. woke up out of a stupor and managed to say it was “disappointed” in the unity announcement by Hamas and Fatah earlier in the day.

The missiles exploded in open areas near the Gaza security fence and in the Sha’ar HaNegev area, which includes the town of Sderot and surrounding farming moshaviim and kibbutzim. No injuries nor property damage was reported.

Earlier in the day, the IDF pre-empted a planned terrorist attack uncovered by the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) and carried out an aerial attack on a terrorist, missing the target who reportedly was riding a motorcycle in northern Gaza.. Several Arabs were wounded.

The rocket attacks, both those planned and the two carried out, sent a clear message, except to the international community that has long lost its senses of vision and hearing.

U.S. State Dept. spokeswoman old reporters at the daily media briefing that the United States is “disappointed” at the unity pact announced by Hamas and Fatah, led by Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

“The timing was troubling and we were certainly disappointed in the announcement,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said at the daily news briefing.

“This could seriously complicate our efforts. Not just our efforts but the efforts of the parties to extend their negotiations.”

Repeat: “This could seriously complicate our efforts.”

Not really, because the Obama administration complicated “efforts” from the word “go” nine months ago. “Negotiations” have been non-existent because Abbas has left nothing to be negotiated.

He simply has agreed to do Israeli a big favor and give it nine months to turn over 104 terrorists, many of them lifers, in return for nine months in which Abbas does not go to the United Nations for unilateral declaration of the Palestinian Authority as an independent country.

Following the announcement of the Hamas-Fatah unity pact, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu cancelled planned talks with Palestinian Authority “negotiators” Wednesday.

As far as Abbas is concerned, the unity agreement does not mean that “talks” cannot continue. After all, what difference does it make that he has agreed to a unity pact with the rival terrorist group that openly states it wants to destroy Israel?

The joker is that Fatah, headed by Abbas, has broken agreement after agreement, most recently by saying it would go to the United Nations for recognition, but that seems to be okay with the Obama administration because, after all, it is Fatah and not Hamas.

Now that Abbas and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh have torn up the divorce papers and re-married, so to speak, Hamas is Fatah and Fatah is Hamas.

And U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is jilted.

Kerry’s Talks Achieve Peace Between Hamas and Fatah

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Rival Hamas and Fatah factions reached a unity agreement Wednesday afternoon, the big success of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s nine-month Peace Talks that now have given birth to political Siamese twins, guaranteed to destroy the Palestinian Authority.

The outline of the agreement was reported earlier today here.

Hamas announced in Gaza, and Ramallah officials confirmed to the Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency, that peace between Hamas and Fatah will be finalized within five weeks, with elections to take place in six months.

Both rival factions agreed to release political prisoners that each side is holding.

Hamas and Fatah were unified in the Palestinian Authority administration until 2006, when the United States, as it is wont to do, blew it up by encouraging democratic elections that resulted with Hamas winning a majority in the PA legislature and making a fool out of then- U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Slightly one year after the elections, Hamas and Fatah waged all-out war in Gaza. Fatah’s American-trained troops, those who remained alive, scuttled out like scared rabbits and jumped backed into their foxholes in Ramallah while Hamas took control of Gaza and continue its successful effort to its subjects deeper into hell.

Previous unity agreements have fallen flat on their terrorists’ faces, but this time it doesn’t matter  because the announcement itself, less than a week before the official end of Kerry’s nine-month charades, leaves Kerry only being able to announce that he unwittingly really has succeeded in achieving a peace agreement. Given the upside-world today, it would not be a wonder if he gets a Nobel Prize for his efforts.

Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Jewish Home party leader Naftali Bennett reacted to the anticipated unity agreement with the most superfluous statements of the year.

Lieberman said, “It is impossible to make peace with both Israel and Hamas, a terror organization that calls for the destruction of Israel,” and Bennett called the unity an “alliance of terror.”

More interesting will be the reaction of the Obama administration, starting with Wednesday’s daily press briefing at the U.S. State Dept., whose spokeswomen certainly are meeting with Kerry to figure out to get out of the trap the entire administration has set for them by hardly even mentioning the word “Hamas” the past nine months.

As Kerry would say, “’Poof,’ and it is gone.”

“Poof” is gone, but Hamas is around and kicking, when it is not shooting.

Basem Naim, a foreign affairs adviser to de facto Gaza prime minister Ismail Haniyeh was quoted by The Washington Post two months as saying, “Any talks that do not take Gaza into consideration will fail. Obama sees Gaza as a side issue, and he believes that Gaza and Hamas are not at the center of things, because we are not participating in these negotiations. This reflects a kind of naiveté, for the success or failure of all efforts depends on Gaza.”

What, Obama naïve?

How could that possibly be?

He has a grand strategy, just like all his other failed strategies for a new Middle East. Kerry was to hammer out a “framework” for peace, entangling Israel into a web it could not get out of, and then bringing in Hamas with some fancy doubletalk to tie the noose. President Barack Obama, during his visit to Israel and Ramallah last year said, “If there is a model where young Palestinians in Gaza are looking and seeing that in the West Bank, Palestinians are able to live in dignity, with self-determination, that’s something that the young people of Gaza are going to want.”

As in the story of Purim, he made a noose for himself.

US State Dept. Continues Stiff Travel Warings in Israel

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

U.S. government employees are forbidden from traveling anywhere on personal business in Judea and Samaria except for Bethlehem and Jericho, according to the government’s latest travel advisory.

In language softer than previous warnings that scared the dickens out of anyone even thinking of visiting Israel, the advisory pointed out, “Over three million foreign citizens, including hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens, safely visit Israel and the West Bank each year for study, tourism, and business. The Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority make considerable efforts to protect U.S. citizens and other visitors to major tourist destinations. Nonetheless, U.S. citizens should also take into consideration the rules governing travel by U.S. government employees.”

For example, “U.S. government personnel are not permitted to use public buses anywhere in Israel or the West Bank due to past attacks on public transportation.”

That limitation was reinforced after a bombing of a bus in Tel Aviv late last year in which passengers were miraculously saved by quick thinking of a passenger and the bus driver, who evacuated everyone moments before the bomb left on the bus by a terrorist exploded.

According to that logic, Americans should stay off Interstate 81 in Maryland and Pennsylvania because of last month’s murder of a 28-year-old man who was gunned down on the highway near the border between the two states.

Obama Administration Labels Islamic Jihad Leader as Terrorist

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

The Obama administration has designated Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s deputy secretary general Ziyad al-Nakhalah as a terrorist, the U.S. State Dept. announced.

The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the Dec. 22 bombing of a bus in Tel Aviv in which quick thinking by two passengers and the bus driver prevented a mass casually disaster.

“Ziyad has repeatedly taken credit for attacks against Israel,” the State Dept. said. “For example, Ziyad took credit for…indiscriminate missile attacks into Israel in 2011, 2009, and 2008.”

U.S. law bans any transactions with designated terrorists and any assets they have that come under the control of any U.S.-based institution are frozen.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/obama-administration-labels-islamic-jihad-leader-as-terrorist/2014/01/26/

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