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March 30, 2015 / 10 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘US.’

US ‘Condemns’ Hezbollah Attack on IDF

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Secretary of State spokesperson Jen Psaki issued a statement on behalf of the United States late Wednesday night (Israel time) strongly condemning Hezbollah’s attack from Lebanon on “IDF forces.”

Israel’s “greatest friend and ally” correctly the attack was a violation of the ceasefire agreement that ended the 2006 Second Lebanon War but failed to say that in fact the attack was not directed solely at Israel’s army but rather at Israeli civilians as well. It was directed at all Israelis.

Six deadly missiles were fired into northern Israeli territory from a distance of approximately three kilometers deep into southern Lebanon, reaching at least two kilometers into northern Israel. They struck a convoy in which civilian vehicles were traveling as well as two completely unprotected IDF jeeps that were clearly not armored and not intended for military conflict.

Two IDF soldiers were killed, two IDF vehicles were incinerated, and seven other soldiers were wounded. Civilians in the cars that followed were severely traumatized and a few were injured. A civilian home in a Druze village, Ghajar, also was struck by a missile, caught fire and was destroyed. That civilian family is now homeless and other civilians in that village and others were also severely traumatized by the attack and the battle that followed, which also cost a UNIFIL peacekeeper from Spain his life.

This was not a military operation aimed at military engagement. This was a terrorist attack on a random target traveling on a civilian road and a random civilian home in a civilian village. Hezbollah was aiming at civilians, in fact.

The United States has deliberately chosen to ignore these inconvenient and uncomfortable facts in its statement of condemnation. Also missing from the statement is the word “terror.”

That’s odd, since Hezbollah appears on the U.S. list of foreign terrorist organizations but then again, the Obama administration has from the start refused to use the term “Islamist” when discussing terror. Instead it refers to “radical extremism” or “extremist attacks.”

The terms make no sense since extremism cannot be anything other than radical and none of the attacks that have taken place in the past six years of the Obama administration have been associated with anything else other than radical Islamist terror groups. The policy is disingenuous at best.

Perhaps the real issue is connected to Iran and its current round of talks with world powers over “limiting” its nuclear development activities. As if Tehnran actually intends to honestly comply with such an agreement, even if one is reached.

Here’s the statement issued by the State Department. At least it actually condemns the correct side; that’s something anyway.

“The United States strongly condemns Hezbollah’s attack today from Lebanon on Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in blatant violation of the cease fire between Lebanon and Israel and UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which called for the immediate cessation by Hezbollah of all attacks. We support Israel’s legitimate right to self-defense and continue to urge all parties to respect the Blue Line between Israel and Lebanon. We urge all parties to refrain from any action that could escalate the situation.

“We are deeply concerned by reports of injuries and casualties on both sides of the Blue Line, including the reported deaths of IDF soldiers and the death of a Spanish UN peacekeeper from the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). We extend our sincere condolences to the victims’ families. We also stand with UNIFIL as it fulfills its important mandate to maintain peace and security along the Blue Line.

“Hezbollah continues to incite violence and instability inside Lebanon by attacking Israel and by its presence and fighting inside Syria, which violates Lebanese leaders’ agreed policy of dissociating Lebanon from foreign conflicts.”

Iran Says Nuclear Deal ‘Impossible’ by Nov. 24 Deadline

Monday, November 24th, 2014

Iran has finally admitted it will not make a deal with world powers over its nuclear development program by the November 24 deadline.

Therefore, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry suggested Sunday that the Islamic Republic consider an extension of its nuclear talks with world powers, according to Associated Press.

Negotiations in Vienna continued with the six world powers as they tried to convince Iran to restrain its uranium enrichment in exchange for reducing international sanctions.

Kerry began separate talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif hoping to salvage the process and convince Tehran to extend talks beyond midnight November 24.

But the only certainty on Sunday was the fact that no deal was possible by the deadline.

“Considering the short time left until the deadline and number of issues that needed to be discussed and resolved, it is impossible to reach a final and comprehensive deal by November 24,” a member of Iran’s negotiating team told the Islamic Republic’s semi-official ISNA news agency.

Iran insists it is not intent on creating a nuclear weapon, but its drive to enrich uranium at high military grade levels and its refusal to reduce or slow down its program belies the claim.

Israel’s prime minister, meanwhile, told the ABC network’s “This Week” program that any deal “that would allow Iran to remain with thousands of [uranium enrichment] centrifuges which it could use to enrich uranium, which you need for a nuclear bomb, in a short period of time,” would be a “bad deal.”

Netanyahu warned viewers that it would be a fatal mistake to reduce or dissolve international sanctions unless Iran’s ability to create an atomic weapon is likewise dismantled.

“If, for any reason the United States and the other powers agree to leave Iran with that capacity to break out, I think that would be a historic mistake,” Netanyahu said.

There is no reason, he said, to allow Iran to keep the centrifuges spinning so it can produce a nuclear bomb. Nor is there any reason to allow Iran to produce intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of carrying a nuclear payload and threatening the entire world.

“Everyone, the entire world, nearly all the regimes in the Middle East” except that of Syria, said Netanyahu, “understand this is a great danger.”

Iranian state-run media, meanwhile, reported that the Iranian Navy had increased its surveillance of foreign military maneuvers. Israel is allegedly reconsidering its use of force against Iran if a “bad deal” – one that endangers the Jewish State, the Middle East, and the rest of the planet – is reached between Iran and world powers this week.

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/with-armenian-orphan-rug-obama-stumbles-again-on-genocide/2014/10/20/

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