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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘US State Dept.’

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.

White House Condemns Iran for Honoring Hezbollah Terrorist

Friday, January 17th, 2014

The United States, which almost ignores the Palestinian Authority when it praises terrorists, has condemned the Iranian foreign minister for honoring Hezbollah mastermind terrorist Imad Mughniyeh, who was assassinated in 2008.

“The United States condemns the decision taken by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif Khonsari to place a wreath at the grave of Imad Mughniyeh, a former leader of Lebanese Hezbollah responsible for heinous acts of terrorism that killed hundreds of innocent people, including Americans,” Caitlin Hayden, the White House National Security Council spokeswoman, said in a statement after Zarif visited Mughniyeh’s grave in Beirut.

Mughniyeh is believed to be behind the 1983 bombings of the U.S. embassy and Marine barracks in Beirut, which together killed 268 Americans and scores of others, as well as attacks in the 1990s on the Israeli embassy and the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, which together killed 114 people.

“The inhumane violence that Mughniyeh perpetrated – and that Lebanese Hezbollah continues to perpetrate in the region with Iran’s financial and material support – has had profoundly destabilizing and deadly effects for Lebanon and the region,” Hayden added. “The decision to commemorate an individual who has participated in such vicious acts, and whose organization continues to actively support terrorism worldwide, sends the wrong message and will only exacerbate tensions in the region.”

The Obama  administration apparently thinks differently when it comes to terrorists working out of Ramallah, where PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas and his officials constantly honor “martyrs.”

After the Palestinian Authority again celebrated the return of murderers whom Israel freed from jails under pressure from  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, a reporter covering the U.S. State Dept. asked spokeswoman Jen Psaki if making heroes out of murdered is not incitement. “I’m not going to give an analysis of every action and what is incitement and what is not incitement,” she replied.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said less than two weeks ago that the Palestinian Authority continues to incite Arabs to commit violence by honoring terrorists and promoting violence in official PA media and in the school system, but Psaki again played foosie rather than say anything that might upset Abbas.

“We’ve spoken about our concerns about incitement consistently over the course of years…I don’t know that we have anything new to report or any analysis on the recent comments over the last couple of days,” she said.

Over the years?

Three years ago, in March 2011, the Palestinian Authority named a town square near Ramallah in honor of Dalal Mughrabi, the female terrorist responsible for an attack that killed 35 Israelis in the 1978 “Coastal Road” massacre. Abbas was on hand for the ceremony.

The Obama administration said nothing for four days.

Silence.

Not a word was heard, because honoring terrorists is not okay if the murderers are from Hezbollah, but it is nice and proper if the killing is part of the Palestinian Authority “resistance” of Israel as  Jewish state.

The State Dept. initially said it was trying to “clarify” the report” of the Palestinian Authority’s honoring Mughrabi.

The spokesman at the time, Mark Toner, finally stated four days later, “We condemn this commemoration of terrorism and have conveyed our deep concern about this incident to senior officials in the Palestinian Authority and have urged them to address it. We underscore that all parties have an obligation to end any form of incitement.”

The Obama administration is “concerned” about Palestinian Authority incitement, just like it is “concerned” about Israel’s building homes for Jews in Judea and Samaria.

Compare that comment with the White House National Security Council’s statement above: ““The decision to commemorate an individual who has participated in such vicious acts, and whose organization continues to actively support terrorism worldwide, sends the wrong message and will only exacerbate tensions in the region.”

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.

Bombing of Bus Brings Out the US ‘Unshakeable Bond’ with Israel

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

The U.S. State Dept. was quick to respond to Sunday’s bus bomb terror attack in metropolitan Tel Aviv and assure Israel it has nothing to worry about because it has the back of the United States.

“We strongly condemn the bombing of a bus near Tel Aviv today,” spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters.

She added, “Our thoughts are with those affected and with the Israeli people at this time. Violent acts targeting civilians are deplorable. We reaffirm our unshakable bond with Israel and our solidarity with the Israeli people.”

She made no mention of numerous comments in the past by her boss, John Kerry, that Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas has stopped terrorist attacks against Jews.

Kerry Rushing Back to Israel This Week

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has pushed off a planned trip to the Far East and will return to Israel and the Palestinian Authority for more discussions, the State Dept. announced Monday.

He left last week after what all reports said was a failed mission to bridge gaps between PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, but he insisted that both sides are closer than ever to reaching an agreement. Abbas made it clear on Monday that he does not accept American proposals for security for Israel if there is a future Palestinian Authority country.

State Dept. spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters Monday that Kerry still is aiming for a final agreement and not an interim pact.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/kerry-rushing-back-to-israel-this-week/2013/12/10/

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