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October 25, 2016 / 23 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Vice President’

Biden Reveals US Going Out of Its Way to Extradite Erdogan’s Archenemy

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

Turkish rage at the US has been mounting since the failed July 15 coup, which President Erdogan blamed on his former ally Fethullah Gulen, a self-exiled cleric living in Pennsylvania. It has gotten so bad, President Obama sent his VP to smooth things over, and the Turks were not making the task easy for Joe Biden. The Turks began by sending Ankara’s deputy mayor to greet Biden—the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit Turkey since the coup—at the airport. And while the VP was still visiting, the pro-Erdogan Daily Sabah stated: “Biden wasted a trip, Turkey wasted time.”

But Joe Biden, no stranger to hardball politics, took all of that in stride and stayed on message. For one thing, as Anadolu reported Wednesday, Biden hinted that Obama may be prepared to throw Gulen under the bus. “I can understand Mr. President how some of your countrymen would feel that the world didn’t respond rapidly enough to the existential crisis your country is facing,” the VP said at a joint press conference in Ankara Wednesday. “That’s why I want to personally be here. And I was asked by the president to personally be here to represent him, to tell you and all of your colleagues and your countryman how very, very sorry I am, the president and the American people are for the suffering and loss you have endured.”

Biden then said the US is “committed to doing everything we can to help bring justice for all those responsible for this coup attempt. Even as [we] speak, our American experts are on the ground here in Ankara, meeting with your people, closely coordinating with our Turkish counterparts to evaluate and gather material with regard to Turkish requests to extradite Gulen in accordance our bilateral extradition treaty.”

“We have more lawyers working on this case than any other extradition in recent history,” Biden reassured his host. According to Anadolu, during his earlier meeting with Speaker of Parliament Ismail Kahraman, Biden said he and Obama “wish Gulen were in another country, not in the US.”

Erdogan lectured Biden on how Gulen is operating a global terrorist network from his little home in Pennsylvania, and repeated his demand thata the US immediately detain Gulen, so he won’t give media interviews. Biden reportedly put his face in his hands at this point, and tried to explain the US Constitution to his Turkish host.

“The Constitution and our laws require for someone to be extradited that a court of the United States has to conclude there’s probable cause to extradite,” Biden said. “How long it will take will depend on what evidence is presented. Thus far, until yesterday, there has been no evidence presented about the coup.”

“God willing, there will be enough data and evidence to meet the criteria that you all believe exists,” Biden added later.

Good luck, Mr. Vice President.


Tim Kaine’s Decision to Boycott Netanyahu’s Speech Could Hurt Hillary

Saturday, July 23rd, 2016

When Hillary Clinton’s choice for VP, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, joined the Democrats who avoided Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s March 2015 speech to a joint session of Congress, he announced: “There is no reason to schedule this speech before Israeli voters go to the polls on March 17 and choose their own leadership.” Revealing that he had labored to delay the Netanyahu appearance, Kaine said, “I am disappointed that, as of now, the speech has not been postponed. For this reason, I will not attend the speech.”

Before Kaine made his announcement, only three other senators had planned to boycott the speech: the two anti-Netanyahu Vermont Senators Bernie Sanders and Pat Leahy, and Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz. All the other Democratic senators were reluctant to commit either way, and told the press they were thinking about it. Even the biggest Democratic opponent of the Iran deal, New York Senator Chuck Schumer, did not forcefully call on his fellow Democrats to show—not willing to upset an already irate President Obama. Most Democratic legislators who said they’d avoid the speech came from blue states and blue districts. But when Kaine, whose state of Virginia until 2008 voted Republican for president, gave permission to Democrats from red states to boycott Netanyahu when he declared he was skipping the speech.

The Forward on Friday wrote that Kaine “Will be the Jewiest Vice President” under Hillary Clinton, describing him as “a friend to the Jewish community for about as long as he’s been in public service.” But when one reads the reasons why Kaine is so “Jewey” according to the Forward, one realizes Kaine would be a bonanza to leftwing Israeli Jews, very much like the folks who are currently in the White House.

Kaine supports a two-state solution, argues the Forward; also, he is a religious Catholic (so he knows all about the auto-da-fé); during his time as the governor of Virginia, Sabra built the world’s largest hummus factory outside Richmond, and hummus is Jewish, isn’t it, ask anyone from Cairo to Ramallah to Damascus; and Kaine hosted several Passover seders and played matchmaker to Conservative Rabbi Jack Moline’s daughter.

So, in considering Kaine’s pros and cons regarding Israel, you have his support for a nuclear deal with Iran, and his support for a Palestinian State, while on the plus side you have lots of hummus.


Trump ‘Soon to Pick’ Pence to Run as VP on GOP Ticket

Friday, July 15th, 2016

Presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump has chosen Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate — but Trump has deferred making the official announcement, planned for a Friday news conference — “out of respect for this horrible, horrible attack that happened in Nice…. It would be totally inappropriate to have a new conference on this in light of the terror attack in France.”

Trump condemned the attack with a statement approximately eight minutes after news of the attack broke on worldwide news networks.

Instead he said he would reschedule the official announcement, he told commentator Billy O’Reilly on the “Spin Zone” program on Fox News on Thursday evening.

Pence, 57, is a “born-again” Conservative Christian who signed into law a ban on abortions when the fetus has a disability, a major Republican move — but he grew up as a Democrat and to this day loves the late “Camelot” U.S. President John F. Kennedy.

He is known as a strong supporter of the State of Israel, which he says is a result of his Christian faith. This year he signed a bill divesting Indiana from local businesses that participate in the anti-Israel Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Pence met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders during a trade mission to the Jewish State in 2014.

The first-term governor spent 12 years (six terms) as a member of Congress and earlier in the campaign was a supporter of Texas Congressman Ted Cruz.

House Speaker Paul Ryan refers to him as a “personal friend.”

During his time in Washington DC, Pence served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and also on one dealing with technology. In 2008 he was elected chairman of the Republican Conference, the Number 3 spot in the party.

Pence has long experience in foreign affairs and has been a major critic of the JCPOA nuclear deal signed last year with Iran by the five world powers led by the United States, saying it was a threat to Israel.

Pence has also maintained a vigorous relationship with the pro-Israel AIPAC lobby organization. During his tenure as a member of Congress pushed for military defense aid for Israel.

Hana Levi Julian

US VP Joe Biden: No Justification for This ‘Intolerable, Hateful Violence’

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Israel on what may have been one of the bloodiest days in the current wave of terror – but it did not deter him from teaching two of his grandchildren that their commitment to Israel runs deeper than the issue of security.

Biden is in Israel for a two-day visit, together with his wife Jill and the two children of his deceased son Beau, whose mother-in-law is Jewish.

The vice president commented Wednesday morning during a news briefing in Jerusalem that he deliberately brought his grandchildren to Israel this time around. He said he wants them “to see; they’re not too young to understand all of what [Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] talked about – that this is a commitment that is deeper than security.”

That’s a pretty gutsy statement coming from a man whose wife and grandchildren were eating dinner just down the beach as one person was being murdered in an attack, nine others injured.

During the news conference Biden firmly condemned the escalation in violence he encountered upon his arrival.

Biden had headed for a meeting at the Peres Center for Peace while his wife Jill and two grandchildren went to the beach for dinner.

But the meeting had barely started before he began to receive messages about one terror attack after the next – including one about a particularly bloody, gruesome attack “not very far from where” his family was having dinner.

Taylor Allen Force, a U.S. citizen, Vanderbilt graduate student, a graduate of West Point and a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq, was murdered in that attack. Force’s wife was among the nine others who were wounded.

Biden’s comments about that nightmare followed a brief statement by Netanyahu in which he pointed out that Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas refused to condemn the terrorist attacks. His Fatah faction “actually praised the murderer of this American citizen as a Palestinian martyr and a hero,” Netanyahu said.

The prime minister also pointed out the dangers inherent in the “persistent incitement in Palestinian society” that “glorifies murders of innocent people and calls for a Palestinian state not to live in peace with Israel but to replace Israel.”

Gaza’s ruling Hamas terror organization – who will automatically gain citizenship in any Palestinian Authority sovereign state – released an official statement praising the attacks. The group called them “heroic operations” and cited them as proof the wave of terror remains.

“Hamas celebrates the martyrs that have ascended through these operations and confirms that their pure blood will, God willing, be the fuel for escalating the intifada,” the terrorist group wrote on its home page.

Not that this is anything new in our neighborhood; but it is most likely a new experience for Biden. He undoubtedly hears about this from Israelis with whom he speaks, but equally likely rarely gives it much thought.

Clearly, he gave it a lot of thought this time.

“Let me say in no uncertain terms: The United States of America condemns these acts and condemns the failure to condemn these acts. This cannot become an accepted modus operandi,” Biden told reporters.

“This cannot be viewed by civilized leaders as an appropriate way in which to behave,” he continued. “It is just not tolerable in the 21st century.

“They’re targeting innocent civilians, mothers, pregnant women, teenagers, grandfathers, American citizens,” he exclaimed.

“There can be no justification for this hateful violence and the United States stands firmly behind Israel when it defends itself as we are defending ourselves at this moment as well.”

He commented that his own family was very close to the action. “I don’t know how [close], whether it was 100 meters or 1,000 meters,” he said, “but it just brings home that it can happen – it can happen anywhere at any time.”

Hana Levi Julian

Biden Tells Atlanta Jews ‘Honest to God, I Don’t Know If I Will Run’ [video]

Friday, September 4th, 2015

Vice President Joe Biden told a packed Conservative synagogue in Atlanta Thursday night that the biggest factor that will determine if runs for the White House is whether his family can handle it.

His speech was part an Obama-Biden blitz to convince Jews to back the nuclear deal with Iran, which now has enough backing in the Senate to defeat an opposition attempt to override a presidential veto if Congress rejects the deal.

The biggest question on everyone’s mind was not what Biden had to say about “ObamaDeal” but rather if he will run. He answered questions from the audience, including one about putting his hat in the ring, and said:

Honest to God answer is I just don’t know

The most relevant factor in my decision is whether I and my family have the emotional energy to run.

Some people might think that is not appropriate. But unless I can go to my party and the American people and say that I am able to devote my whole heart and my whole soul to this endeavor, it would not be appropriate.

And everybody talks about the other factors — the other people in the race, whether I can raise the money and whether I can put together an organization. That’s not the factor. The factor is, ‘Can I do it? Can my family undertake an arduous commitment that I would be proud to undertake under ordinary circumstances?’

His circumstances are far from ordinary. His son Beau Biden, who was considering running for governor of Delaware, died of brain cancer last May.

The Vice President mentioned a previous tragedy, the death of his first wife and daughter in an auto accident in 1972, in his speech at the Ahavat Achim synagogue. Biden said:

I know from previous experience after my wife and daughter … there’s no way to put a timetable to it.

“If I can reach that conclusion that we can do it in a fashion that would still make it viable, I would not hesitate to do it. But I have to be honest with you and everyone who’s come to me, I can’t look you straight in the eye and tell you I can do it. That’s as honest as I can be.

Considering unfavorable polls of Hillary Clinton when it comes to honesty, Biden is an appealing alternative to the former Secretary of State and to Bernie Sanders, whose popularity has soared in the polls.

Sanders’ success reflects a large sector of the population that is fed up with “establishment political,” but as the Democratic nominee for president. he would leave the Democratic party more vulnerable to a loss to the Republican candidate, assuming the GOP nominee will be someone other than Donald Trump.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Netanyahu Tells US Think Tank Obama’s Deal with Iran Endangers Mideast [video]

Saturday, May 2nd, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told a Washington think tank Friday that the proposed deal with Iran to restrict its nuclear program “would make the world would a much more dangerous place.”

He spoke through a video message at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, where Vice President Joe Biden insisted the deal was “reasonable” and that the United States “has Israel’s back.”

Netanyahu said reminded his audience that Iran “repeatedly threatens to annihilate Israel” and has created “terrorist bases across three of Israel’s borders in Lebanon and Gaza and now on the Syrian Golan.

The Prime Minister asserted:

The international community cannot let Iran’s aggression in the region — in Lebanon, in Iraq, in Syria, in Yemen and elsewhere – to continue under the protection of an Iranian nuclear umbrella. And the international community cannot afford to let the planet’s foremost sponsor of terrorism have nuclear capabilities with which to terrorize the entire world….

The Lausanne framework….would make the world would a much more dangerous place…. Now there are those who say that the Lausanne framework will make Israel safer.

As the prime minister of Israel I can tell you categorically this deal will endanger Israel — big time. But it’s not just Israel that will be in danger: The Middle East and the entire world will be threatened.

Biden told the think tank, “Let’s get something straight so we don’t kid each other. They [Iran] already have paved a path to a bomb’s worth of material. Iran could get there now if they walked away in two to three months without a deal.”

What he didn’t say is that Iran has gotten that far while Obama and Biden were in office. Netanyahu is saying that the proposed deal guarantees that Iran can achieve its goal.

The vice-president said that the United States will go to war with Iran if necessary to keep it from procuring a nuclear weapon.

The inference from Netanyahu’s position is that war can be prevented if Iran can be stopped from becoming a nuclear power, which is why the Prime Minister told the think tank, “A better deal is necessary. A better deal is possible. A better deal must and can be achieved. But if not, no deal is better than this bad deal.”

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Biden Skips Town & Netanyahu Speech to Congress

Saturday, February 7th, 2015

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is skipping town on March 3, and avoiding the proverbial ‘tempest in a teapot’ he fears will occur when Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addresses a rare joint session of Congress.

It is the role of the vice president, as president of the Senate to attend joint meetings of the Congress. But Biden did miss one other session, however, in 2011, according to the White House.

Biden’s office confirmed to NBC News on Friday that he will be traveling abroad at the time of Netanyahu’s speech, but could not say where or why. As NBC News journalist Steve Benen observed, “It’s hardly unreasonable to wonder if this is the diplomatic equivalent if ‘I’m washing my hair – somewhere.’”

“We are not ready to announce details of his trip yet, and normally our office wouldn’t announce this early, but the planning process has been underway for a while,” a spokesperson for the office explained to Politico.com.

Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Thursday she was “seriously considering going” and that it was her “intention to go” although she was still her “hope that the event will not take place. There’s serious unease.”

Three other prominent House Democrats – Reps. John Lewis of Georgia, G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina and Earl Blumenauer of Oregon – plan to skip the session.

Last Wednesday seven Jewish Democrats met with Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer to discuss the controversy, caused in part because the speech was arranged with Dermer by GOP House Speaker John Boehner several months ago, without consulting the White House.

The proximity of the session to Israel’s national elections is also a concern – but far more threatening to the White House, apparently, is the proximity of the speech to the deadline in talks with world leaders for an agreement with Iran on its nuclear development program.

Israel’s prime minister has openly opposed the wide-ranging agreement being discussed by the U.S. and world leaders with Iran, which grants Tehran far more flexibility with its uranium enrichment activities than reasonable or safe, according to military experts.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/biden-skips-town-netanyahu-speech-to-congress/2015/02/07/

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