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December 21, 2014 / 29 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘US.’

Iran’s Best Shot Rapidly Approaching

Monday, November 10th, 2014

Iran is rapidly approaching its last and best chance with the United States to reach a diplomatic agreement over the parameters for its nuclear development program.

The November 24 deadline for the conclusion of negotiations between Tehran and world powers draws closer, with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and European Union senior adviser Cathern Ashton locked into intense discussions in Muscat, Oman, that began yesterday (Sunday, Nov. 9) and are continuing into today (Monday, Nov. 10).

The yawning chasm that separates the sides must still be closed before a deal can be reached to prevent Tehran from producing a nuclear weapon, according to U.S. President Barack Obama, who appeared Sunday on “Face the Nation” on the CBS television network.

“There’s still a big gap. We may not be able to get there,” Obama said.

One of the major concerns in the Middle East – and the rest of the planet – is the possibility that once developed, Iran can and probably would sell its nuclear arms and/or technology to the myriad terrorist groups it generously supports. Most of those have set their sites on the destruction of Israel.

But the month of January will also bring with it a whole new world in the House of Representatives and the Senate – and with that, a drop in Iran’s options for compromise as well as possibly any wiggle room for further discussion, period.

U.S. President Barack Obama at that point will also be far more limited in his ability to protect the Iranian regime’s freedom to expand its uranium enrichment, which has allow it to continue its race towards an atomic weapon.

During Obama’s years in office, Iran has managed to enrich uranium far above the minimum level required for development of military-grade nuclear fuel. He approved a number of loopholes and exemptions for countries such as China and Turkey in economic sanctions imposed on international energy trade with Iran. The sanctions were designed to force Iran into compliance with United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) requests to inspect sites and recommendations for ensuring Tehran’s nuclear program would remain within the guidelines for peaceful civilian use.

Iran, for its part, has consistently refused to limit its nuclear production or development in any way, ever. The Islamic Republic has also vowed throughout each administration since 1979 — the Islamic Revolution — to annihilate Israel, including very recently, despite the current president’s image as a so-called “moderate.”

US-Led Air Strike Reportedly Hit No. 1 Leader of ISIS

Saturday, November 8th, 2014

A U.S.-led air strike on the ISIS may have critically injured or killed the top leader of the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist organization, Al-Arabiya television reported Saturday.

If true, it would be the most dramatic success in the war on terror since US Navy SEALs killed Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden three and a half years ago.

The Saudi-owned media said the radio was carried out on an Iraqi town near the Syrian border, where Reuters witnesses told Reuters senior ISIS terrorist leaders were meeting.

The leader of the ISIS is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, otherwise known as the “Invisible Sheikh” because of his absence from the public.

American officials have not commented except to say that an aerial strike bombed a convoy n an area more than 150 miles from the house where the ISIS meeting was meeting in the town that Al Arabiya said was bombed.

The United States has placed a $10 million bounty on Al-Baghdadi’s head

In two years, he has transformed the ISIS into a billion-dollar terrorist empire that makes $1 million a day from oil fields that its terrorists have captured in Iraq.

President Barack Obama on Friday authorized another 1,500 U.S. soldiers to be deployed in Iraq in the war against the ISIS. It seems the president, who campaigned in 2008 on an anti-war campaign, has discovered that one has to engage terrorists with bullets and bombs and not diplomacy and negotiations.

30,000 Americans in Israel Voted in 2014 US Elections

Friday, November 7th, 2014

(Jerusalem, Israel) Over 30,000 U.S. citizens living in Israel cast their vote in this week’s U.S. elections. iVoteIsrael, the leading organization facilitating the ability of Americans in Israel to vote in US elections, has successfully completed its 2014 campaign making voting from Israel more accessible to as many Americans in Israel as possible.

“iVoteIsrael is pleased to announce that 30,000 Americans from 36 different states have cast their ballots in the 2014 elections from Israel,” commented Matt Solomon, national director of iVoteIsrael. “This represents an unprecedented increase in voter participation from Israel in a non-Presidential election.”

According to iVoteIsrael, the ‘war of words’ between the Obama and Netanyahu administrations that went public during the final weeks of the campaign, including accusations by PM Netanyahu that Israel was being treated in an ‘un-American’ manner, and the labeling of Bibi as ‘ChickenS***’ by a senior Obama administration official became a major driver in turning out US ex-Pats to vote.

“The public meltdown of relations by the heads of State was very distressing for American ex-Pats to witness. Voting came to be seen as a unique outlet for American voters in Israel to proclaim their commitment to a strong US-Israel relationship, even if that is not as evident from the tone of the leadership,” explained Solomon.

Internationally, American ex-Pats typically have less than a 1% voter turnout rate in non-Presidential elections and only 5% in Presidential elections. The 18% of eligible Americans in Israel who voted in the 2014 elections likely continued the trend of American ex-Pats from Israel leading the world in voting in American elections (data for international voter participation in the 2014 mid-terms is not yet available), further solidifying the unique nature of the relationship between the US and Israel, which is not limited to the diplomatic and strategic levels but also, at the grassroots, electoral, and deeply personal level.

In 2012, the 80,000 Americans who voted from Israel represented more than 25% of all overseas voters, representing over 50% turnout rate for eligible US voters in Israel.

“This connection between countries demonstrates the breadth of the unique relationship between the two countries. iVoteIsrael is proud to have played a role in illustrating this connection to the public,” concluded Solomon.

Republicans made significant gains in the midterm U.S. election results this past week, easily gaining control of the U.S. Senate and increasing their control of the House of Representatives. It was the first time since 2006 that Republicans have controlled both chambers of Congress.

Israel Signs Weapons Deals With United States and Canada

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

Israel and the United States announced the continuation of a sale of 19 new F-35 multipurpose fighter planes to Israel, as well as approval for a second squadron.

Israel Aerospace Industries will be assembling the wings of this new fighter, which will also include Israeli-made components. The assembly line for the F-35 parts manufactured in Israel is expected to be inaugurated next week.

Other deals, such as the continued joint development the David’s Sling and Arrow missile intercept systems, were also reached. These deals were discussed and agreed to by Secretary of Defense Moshe Yaalon and his American counterpart Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, when they met in Washington last week.

Elbit Systems also announced a deal to supply the Canadian Armed Forces with mobile satellite communication systems. The systems being sold are exclusive, as they have the ability to connect to the US Defense Department satellite network.

Despite recent comments made by unnamed American officials regarding Prime Minister Netanyahu, the deals point to a working relationship, and continued alliance, between the Unites States and the State of Israel.

With Armenian Orphan Rug, Obama Stumbles Again on Genocide

Monday, October 20th, 2014

(JNS.org) After nearly a year of protests, the Obama administration has finally agreed to permit a rug connected to the Armenian genocide to be publicly displayed. The long ordeal of the Armenian Orphan Rug, held hostage to fears of angering Turkey, has finally ended.

Or has it?

The controversy began in the autumn of 2013, when the Smithsonian Institution announced it would hold an event featuring a new book, “President Calvin Coolidge and the Armenian Orphan Rug,” by Hagop Martin Deranian.

The 18-foot long rug was woven 1925 by 400 Armenian orphan girls living in exile in Lebanon. They were survivors of the Turkish slaughter of approximately 1 million Armenians. The girls sent the rug to President Calvin Coolidge as a gesture of appreciation for America’s assistance to survivors of the genocide. Coolidge pledged that it would have “a place of honor in the White House, where it will be a daily symbol of goodwill on earth.”

Instead, it has become a daily symbol of politics taking precedence over combating genocide.

The White House refused to loan the rug to the Smithsonian. Neither the White House nor the State Department would give an explanation as to why they were keeping the rug locked up. The only plausible explanation is pressure from the Turkish government, which to this day denies the genocide occurred.

As a presidential candidate in 2008, then-Senator Obama said, “America deserves a leader who speaks truthfully about the Armenian genocide.” Yet the statements that President Obama has issued each April on Armenian Remembrance Day have never included the G-word. Instead, he has used an Armenian expression—“Meds Yeghern,” meaning “the great calamity.” Fear of displeasing the Turks appears to be the only plausible motive for that rhetorical evasiveness.

Armenian-Americans are not the only ones who should be outraged. American Jews should be up in arms, too. Not only because of the sympathy that all victims of genocide naturally share—but also because if the White House can permit political considerations to take precedence over recognition of the Armenian genocide, there is a danger that memorialization of the Holocaust could one day suffer a similar fate.

Indeed, Adolf Hitler reportedly once assured his subordinates that their atrocities would not be remembered since “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”

Last week, after numerous protests, the Obama administration announced that it will permit the rug to be displayed for six days in November—kind of a week-long furlough from its imprisonment in a White House closet.

But there is a catch. A big one.

The rug will not be part of a display concerning the Armenian genocide. Instead, it is being mushed together with other foreign gifts to the White House, in a display called “Thank You to the United States: Three Gifts to Presidents in Gratitude for American Generosity Abroad.”

The genocide rug will be sandwiched in between a Sevres vase presented by France to the United States after World War One, and a piece of artwork called “Flowering Branches in Lucite” sent by Japan after the 2010 tsunami.

Grouping victims of genocide together with those who drowned in a tsunami or were left homeless by World War One disguises what happened to the Armenians. It blurs the distinction between something that was inevitable and something that was not. Weather-related disasters and damage caused by wars are inevitable. But the Armenian genocide was different: it was an act of mass murder, systematically planned and implemented by evil men driven by religious and ethnic hatred.

The Armenian Orphan Rug is a work of great beauty. But the point of displaying it is not for the sake of its aesthetic value. Its power is its message. Its significance is as a symbol. It is a reminder of the genocide that the Turks perpetrated against the Armenians. Six days in an exhibit about gifts to the White House is no victory. On the contrary—it is a defeat for everyone who cares about historical truth and everyone who seeks to learn the lessons of the past so that they will not be repeated.

Lieberman and Indyk Bash Bennett for Bashing Kerry

Saturday, October 18th, 2014

Martin Indyk, another failed American messiah for the Palestinian Authority, and none other than hawkish Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman unwittingly were on the same soapbox Saturday to bash Jewish Home Minister Naftali Bennett for bashing U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s incredible comments linking ISIS recruitment with the failure of the “peace process.”

Lieberman’s criticism of Bennett clearly reflects the dependence of the Netanyahu administration on the United States to cast a veto against any vote in the United Nations Security Council in favor of admitting the Palestinian Authority as a full member in the General Assembly.

For the record, Kerry’s spokeswoman Marie Harf claimed that Kerry never made such a suggestion although her convoluted explanation essentially said the same thing in other terms.

But Bennett stole the limelight with his remarks Friday that were very undiplomatic and politically incorrect, if not correct from the standpoint of truth, that Kerry was “encouraging global terror.

“It turns out that even when a British Muslim decapitates a British Christian, there will always be someone to blame the Jew,” Bennett said. “There is no justifying terror, only fighting it. To say that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is strengthening the Islamic State is encouraging global terror.”

Kerry stated at a reception for Muslims Wednesday, as reported here, “As I went around and met with people in the course of our discussions … there wasn’t a leader I met with in the region who didn’t raise with me spontaneously the need to try to get peace between Israel and the Palestinians, because it was a cause of recruitment and of street anger and agitation that they felt – and I see a lot of heads nodding – they had to respond to.

“And people need to understand the connection of that… It has something to do with humiliation and denial and absence of dignity.”

We will leave it to the reader to figure out how Harf could claim that there was no linkage.

Israel’s Communications Minister Gilad Erdan was just as caustic as Bennett and said, “Kerry is breaking records for a lack of understanding of what is going on in our region.”

Indyk, who has joined a long list of American “experts” at the State Dept’s ever-expanding foreign policy graveyard, tweeted, “There they go again: Israeli rightist ministers attack Kerry for wanting Israeli-Palestinian peace to help fight IS.”

He supposedly was defending Kerry but his tweet actually spelled out in capital letters that the cause and effect is obvious: Israeli-Palestinian peace will help the United States fight the Islamic State.

Lieberman’s defense of Kerry was not so idiotic.

The foreign minister, who is on top of the list of those panning Kerry’s Peace Talks Follies, can fairly be presumed to have applauded in his heart every word Bennett and Erdan said, but his position as foreign minister took precedence. He clearly is worried about the reaction from Washington, which already has been reeled by several remarks this year by Israeli officials that Kerry is “messianic” and doesn’t have a clue about the Middle East.

That is absolutely untrue. Kerry knows the Middle East is located somewhere between the Atlantic Ocean and the China. He also knows that the King David Hotel is located in Jerusalem, the part that is not “occupied.”

“Let’s state some facts,” Lieberman said. “When our ammunition supplies ran out during Operation Protective Edge, it was the United States that sent us more. It was the Americans who gave us money which enabled us to develop Iron Dome. It was the US who voted with us in the UN Human Rights Council. The United States is the only country that saves us a good deal of grief in the Security Council with its veto.”

Pentagon Says War against ISIS ‘To Take a Long time”

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

The war against the Islamic State (ISIS) is not going to be solved with a few aerial bombing raids but “is going to take a long time,” Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said at a joint press conference at the State Department Thursday afternoon.

He also said there are a dozen “American adviser teams” working at a “very high level” but that no U.S. personnel are on the grounds and that American soldiers will not step foot on Syrian soil.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/us-news/pentagon-says-war-against-isis-to-take-a-long-time/2014/10/16/

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