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November 30, 2015 / 18 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘washington’

US Removes Iran, Hezbollah from National Intelligence Terrorist List

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Both Iran and its Lebanon-based proxy, Hezbollah, have been removed from the National Intelligence list of terrorism threats – the most authoritative document produced by the National Intelligence Agency.

Fox NewsOn The Record with Greta Susteren reported late Tuesday on information found in the unclassified version of the report, the Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Communities 2015 (PDF), dated February 26, 2015. An annual report, this one was delivered recently to the U.S. Senate by National Intelligence Director Lt.-Gen. (ret.) James Clapper.

The document noted Iran’s “intentions to dampen sectarianism, build responsive partners and de-escalate tensions with Saudi Arabia.” Also noted was the fact that “Iranian leaders – particularly within the security services – are pursuing policies with negative secondary consequences for regional stability and potentially for Iran… Iran’s actions to protect and empower Shia communities are fueling growing fears and sectarian responses…”

The intelligence report added that Tehran’s “overarching strategic goals of enhancing its security, prestige and regional influence” have led it to “pursue capabilities to meet its civilian goals and give it the ability to build missile-deliverable nuclear weapons, if it chooses to do so.”

Whether or not Iran would choose to do so it still not clear, according to the U.S. intelligence assessment. However, if the Iranian government decides to go ahead, there exist no “insurmountable technical barriers to producing a nuclear weapon,” American intelligence experts concluded, most likely to be delivered via intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Former U.S. Ambassador John Bolton told Fox News journalist Greta Susteren that he believes the removal of Iran and Hezbollah from the terrorist list was not a simple “format change” as reporters were told at a briefing, but rather a deliberate attempt by the Obama administration to deceive the American public.

“What we’re having now is an Orwellian example of disappearing references to Iran and its proxy Hezbollah from the terrorism report,” Bolton said, during an exchange with Susteren on Fox. “This was a concession, I think, by the administration relating to the nuclear negotiation. You will not find it in the signed deal.

“How many other concessions has the administration made that are not in the deal — that may not even be related to the nuclear program — in this desperate effort to get a deal?”

Meanwhile, Iran is moving to widen its sphere of influence in South America, where its diplomatic ties are already strong with Argentina and even warmer with Venezuela, which has the largest reserves of uranium in the Western hemisphere, outside of Canada.

Photos that flashed across Fox News during a report by Susteren showed a heavily guarded facility that was set up in Bolivia in 2011, allegedly with Iranian backing.

“There are elements of that facility which is supposed to be some type of military academy,” Susteren reported, “but is very heavily fortified. And the suspicion is that it’s being used by Iran as a way to have a footprint in Bolivia” which she described as “not a friend of the United States.”

Despite the disappearance of Iran from the terror map in the 2015 National Intelligence assessment, Fox journalist Cathern Herridge also noted that “the documents, the photos and Congressional testimony show that Iran is really effectively expanding its influence into South America, into our neighbor.”

In effect, Herridge said, Iran is “creating a launching pad into North America.”

Bolton concurred in his own remarks. “Look, Iran has terrorist networks all over this hemisphere,” he pointed out. “Remember, three years ago, the Justice Department indicted senior officials of the Revolutionary Guards Corps for conspiring to kill the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States in Washington by infiltrating through the Mexican border.

“I think this is just another example of Iran’s activities.”

White House Takes Aim: Netanyahu ‘Departing From Protocol’

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

A spokesperson for President Barack Obama is making sure Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu knows his boss is disgruntled.

The White House says it is “reserving judgment” of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress about Iran on February 11, but that the event to which the prime minister has been asked to speak “is a departure from protocol.” The event is being held at the first branch of the American government, the legislative branch.

Netanyahu’s planned visit comes in response to a direct invitation by Congressional Speaker John A. Boehner, who asked the prime minister to address lawmakers of both houses on the issue of the Iranian nuclear threat. Boehner extended the invitation Wednesday, Jan. 21, less than 24 hours after Obama snubbed the Congress on the issue in his State of the Union address, broadcast live Tuesday night local time on national television.

White House spokesperson Josh Earnest told reporters in a briefing aboard Air Force One that it had not yet spoken with Israeli government officials. He said U.S. officials are reserving judgment on prime minister’s visit until they hear from their Israeli counterparts about Netanyahu’s plans.

“The protocol would suggest that the leader of one country would contact the leader of another country when he’s traveling there,” Earnest told reporters traveling with Obama. “This particular event seems to be a departure from that protocol,” he added dryly in a clear poke at Israel’s top leader and the Speaker.

As has been the case for some time, there is obviously no deep friendship between the American president and the Israeli prime minister. Nor have Obama’s staff in recent months bothered to trouble themselves to hide their own personal distaste for most members of the Israeli administration.

But this latest sarcasm makes it plain the president is now granting new privileges to those who speak for him; or perhaps he is no longer chooses to restrain his own emotions in the interest of diplomacy or simple good taste.

Sadly, this particular battle is not even with Netanyahu although Obama has decided to make it so: actually it’s between the president and his Congress, and Israel’s prime minister is just being caught in the crossfire.

In his address, Obama vowed to veto any measure that in any would infringe on negotiations with Tehran over its nuclear development activities.

Israel’s voters, meanwhile, are facing a national election in March. Netanyahu will have to answer to his constituents at the ballot box himself and explain what, if anything, he has or has not done to eliminate the existential threat to Israel presented by Iran’s nuclear program.

Netanyahu has repeatedly warned the international community, and the United States, that Israel will never allow Iran to achieve its goal in creating an atomic weapon of mass destruction.

No Israeli government official, and few – if any – intelligence officials in the world today actually believe Iran’s claims that it is continuing to increase and upgrade its uranium enrichment activities for “peaceful purposes only.”

Even if the Supreme Leader himself crosses his heart and solemnly says so.


Alan Gross Credits Jewish Efforts for His Release From Cuba [video]

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Newly released from prison in Cuba, Alan Gross thanked his wife, his lawyer, the Jewish community, President Obama and numerous others in helping secure his freedom.

Speaking at a news conference Wednesday in Washington, Gross opened his statement with a Hanukkah greeting and a thank you to the president.

“Chag sameach,” he said. “What a blessing to be a citizen of the United States of America. Thank you President Obama for everything you have done today.”

He credited the advocacy by his wife of 44 years, Judy Gross, and his lawyer, Scott Gilbert, for getting him out of prison. He also thanked the Jewish community.

“To the Washington Jewish community, Ron Halber in particular and his staff at the Jewish Community Relations Council, all of the executive directors, staff and volunteers of participating JCRCs, federations, synagogues, schools, and other Jewish, Christian and Muslim organizations nationwide, God bless you and thank you,” Gross said. “It was crucial to my survival knowing that I was not forgotten. Your prayers and actions have been comforting, reassuring, and sustaining.”

In a deal that American officials said was technically separate from Gross’ release, the United States and Cuba agreed to exchange the three remaining incarcerated members of the “Cuban Five,” a Florida-based spy ring, for an American spy held in Cuba for 20 years and whose identity remains a secret.

It came, too, as the United States and Cuba agreed to re-establish full diplomatic ties that were severed in early 1961.

Gross, a Jewish-American who had been in detention in Cuba for five years of a 15-year term for crimes against the state, originally went to the island nation to do contract work for the U.S. government and help connect Cuban Jews to the outside world.

He suffered health problems during his imprisonment, and in his statement referenced his significant weight loss and the loss of some teeth.

“Ultimately, the decision to arrange for and secure my release was made in the Oval Office. To President Obama and the NSC staff, thank you,” Gross said. “A judicious lesson that I have learned from this experience is that freedom is not free.”

Gross expressed fondness for the Cuban people, saying they were not responsible for his ordeal and that he is pained “to see them treated so unjustly as one consequence of two governments’ mutually belligerent policies.”

He hailed Obama’s announcement that Havana and Washington now would resume diplomatic relations.

Indyk ‘Atones’ on Yom Kippur by Dumping on Israel

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Martin Indyk, former U.S. Ambassador to Israel and another ex-Middle East “Peace Process” huckster, spent part of the Yom Kippur Day of Atonement grumping over Israel’s not laying down as a doormat for the Obama administration.

His comments were reported by the Washington Free Beacon, which said it obtained an audio of Indyk’s remarks made at a conservative synagogue on the fast day.

Setting aside the fact the recording on Yom Kippur violates Jewish law, and not digging too deep into the sin of speaking evil of Israel, Indyk’s remarks say a lot about the pitiful intellectual level of American liberal Jews.

The Netanyahu government has total “disrespect” for the Obama administration, he said.

“The U.S.-Israel relationship is critical, is essential to Israel’s survival, and the relationship is in trouble, according Indyk, who once “joked” that he made aliyah to Washington to save Israel.

He also told fellow Jews that American support for Israel “is the bedrock that Israel has always relied on … and I worry that bedrock is crumbling.”

Israel right-wing leaders, he sermonized in his informal conversation, “manifests itself with right-wing politicians standing up excoriating our leaders, who are trying to do their best for Israel.”

Indyk, Kerry, the Clintons, Obama, Rice – the whole bunch of them – just don’t understand how Israel can be such an ingrate to the American government’s knowing what is best for Israel.

That attitude is encouraged by the liberal Jewish establishment that Indyk represents.

On Yom Kippur, Jews, for the asking, are forgiven for their sins against God, but the holiday does not atone Jews for sins committed against fellow Jews. Each one has to do the work himself.

It is a given that Indyk would not ask forgiveness from fellow Jews, the ones who do not consider that Israel’s raison d’etre is to allow American Jews not to feel uncomfortable about being Jewish by virtue of a strong Jewish state.

It is not a given that Indyk cannot even take one day of rest from the liberal Jewish theme that Israel was created to be the embodiment of the American melting pot, a country that can be called “Jewish” in name but which in practice should be ”Israeli,” wrapped up in the flag and felafel.

God, of course, is out of the question because the same liberals want church, the synagogue and mosques separate from the State of Israel.

They want Israel to be their key for social status among non-Jews who seek Israel being accepted by Arabs by their standards so they continue to feel comfortable that Israel is a charity case and so they can comfortably ignore growing anti-Semitism in the United States of America.

Indyk is the epitome of the liberal American Jew who sees his existence as a Jew dependent on Israel’s being a “yes man” for the American president, whether Republican or Democrat.

He is fraught over the end of the “peace process,” which made America’s liberal Jews so proud to be Jews when they pledge to buy Israeli bonds on Yom Kippur. Whether or not Indyk bought bonds, he has not forgiven for Israel for ruining the liberal American dream of expelling Jews from Judea and Samaria and half of Jerusalem.

Not surprisingly, a healthy number, if not a majority, of those Jews are Orthodox.

The liberal Jewish establishment does not forgive Israel for not letting a corrupt and racist avowedly anti-Semitic Palestinian Authority to take charge.

Indyk, according to the Free Beacon report, also criticized the Obama for “fueling perceptions that the United States is withdrawing from the region, a view that he said is the result of both the Bush administration’s intervention in Iraq and Obama’s withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan. “That perception is the reason for the Obama’s not having credibility in Ramallah and in Jerusalem.”

PA Unity Government Attacks Southern Israel

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Residents of the Eshkol Regional Council headed again for their bomb shelters this morning.

A single Qassam rocket was fired shortly after 9:15 a.m. from Gaza, which is now part of the newly-unified Palestinian Authority “unity government” bonding the region’s former Hamas terrorist rulers together with the Ramallah-based Fatah faction led by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. The missile landed in an open field near the entrance of a kibbutz near Israel’s southern border, the 0404 website reported.

No one was injured and there was no damage, according to officials at the site.

The Color Red rocket alert siren blared throughout the region at about 9:15 a.m. local time, sending residents in the area racing for their safe spaces.

Because the region is located so close to the border with Gaza, most public buildings, including schools, are protected with anti-rocket armored roofing. Those in private homes, stores and malls, however, still must reach safety within 15 seconds before the rocket or missile or mortar explodes in their area.

The question now is, will the unification of Fatah — whose paramilitary forces were armed, equipped and trained by the U.S. military forces in Jordanian training camps over the past several years — bring even more firepower to Gaza, already generously funded and armed to the teeth by Iran?

How does Israel respond to today’s attack, given the delicate diplomatic dance involved with the current, ah… shall we say, ‘discussions’ … going on between Jerusalem, Washington and Brussels over the new reality in the Palestinian Authority?

A PA delegation from Ramallah was in Washington two days ago, in fact, to shmooze with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

The United States and the European Union are strongly supporting the new PA Unity Government (PUG), because it ostensibly is comprised of ministers with “independent” status, allegedly unaffiliated with any terrorist group. Nevertheless, five Hamas-backed lawmakers were sworn into their new office from Gaza through a video hookup last week, and the new government allegedly now administers Gaza as well as PA-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria.

Although PA leader Abbas insisted the new entity would continue to “work towards peace,” this morning’s attack makes clear that last week’s statement by his coalition partners (Hamas and allied terror group Islamic Jihad) — that they intend to continue the fight to annihilate Israel — has more credibility.

US Continues ‘Peace Process’ with Arabs

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

The United States is continuing its efforts on a Middle East ‘peace process,’ with another meeting scheduled today in Washington.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is set to meet with Palestinian Authority government official Assam al-Ahmad, who represents the Fatah faction, according to a report published in the A-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

Al-Ahmad heads the “reconciliation’ division of the new Palestinian Authority unity government, according to the report.

Anne Frank Tree Sapling to Be Planted In D.C.

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

A sapling taken from the tree that grew outside the attic where teen Holocaust diarist Anne Frank was hidden will be planted at the U.S. Capitol.

The tree will be planted on the west front lawn on April 30.

Saplings taken from the tree have been planted around the world. The tree, at more than 150 years old and weakened by a fungus, collapsed in stormy weather in Amsterdam in 2010.

Anne frequently wrote about the tree in her famous diary, which was discovered and published after the Holocaust. She died at the age of 15 at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/anne-frank-tree-sapling-to-be-planted-in-d-c/2014/04/10/

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