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January 18, 2017 / 20 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘White House’

Kerry Defends Obama Decision to Abstain at UNSC Vote Condemning Israel

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016

Kerry Defends Obama Decision to Abstain at Anti-Israel UNSC Vote

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry pushed back on Wednesday against the fury in Jerusalem that has followed the decision by President Barack Obama to order the abstention that allowed the UN Security Council to unanimously pass anti-Israel resolution 2334(2016) last Friday.

“The two-state solution is the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace for Israelis and Palestinians,” he began, saying that only with two states can Israel remain Jewish and democratic. “Friends need to tell each other the hard truths,” he said. “The policies of [the government of Benjamin Netanyahu] are leading … towards one state.”

Kerry flatly denied an accusation by Israeli leaders that Obama was directly behind the formulation and sponsorship of the resolution, saying the administration “did not draft or originate” the measure and instead insisting it was advanced by Egypt and “other nations.”

Nevertheless, Kerry also said bluntly, “The United States did in fact vote in accordance with our values… the vote in the United Nations was about preserving the two-state solution. That’s what we were standing up for.” He repeatedly expressed concern that the two-state solution was in “jeopardy,” and that a “one-state solution… will not be able to be both Jewish and democratic.”

In a pointed jab at the Netanyahu government, he said, “Let’s be clear. Settlement activity has nothing to do with Israeli security.” Kerry also called for “both sides” to show willingness to work towards peace by making “meaningful” gestures.

On the part of Israel, he recommended the government “transition the administration of Area C to the Palestinians” in accordance with the once-upon-a-time long-term-goals of the long-dead Oslo Accords.

The Secretary also sketched a brief outline of the points he believes would be best to set as final status goals once the two sides come to the negotiating table, for “the way forward” during direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

They were as follows:

1. Provide for secure and recognized intl borders based on the 1967 lines with mutual agreed equiv swaps, viable and contiguous Palestine

2. Fulfill the vision of Res. 181, two states for two peoples, Jewish and Arab, where each can achieve their national aspirations – with mutual recognition and full equal rights

3. Just equal fair rights for Palestinian refugees … comprehensive resolution consistent with two states for two peoples … compensation, options and assistance … Can come from the international community.

4. Establish united Jerusalem as the international capital for two states with access to holy sites for all three world monotheistic faiths.

5. Satisfy Israel’s security needs and ensure Palestine can provide security for its people in a non-militarized state

6. End the conflict and all outstanding claims and enhanced regional claims by the Arab peace initiative.

Hana Levi Julian

Russia: 2-State Solution Only Possible Through Direct Talks

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016

Russia has apparently not quite finished expressing its views on the issues raised by the UN Security Council’s condemnation of Israel’s existence, development and growth in territory won from enemies who attacked the Jewish State in 1967 and thereafter.

The full statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry explaining Moscow’s position following its vote in the UN Security Council in favor of Resolution 2334(2016) condemning Israeli Jewish communities in post-1967 areas was posted in English to the government website this week.

As Russia’s deputy ambassador explained to listeners on Israeli Army Radio on Tuesday, it seems Moscow was not entirely satisfied with the resolution as it was presented, but decided to vote with its fellow Council members anyway.

According to the statement, “The Russian Federation voted for it because the resolution is based on tested formulas reflecting the general view of the international community, which have been reaffirmed many times, on the illegality of Israeli settlement plans in the Palestinian territory.

“Consensus could have been achieved through more rigorous work, which would have taken longer and precluded any rash decisions that may damage the cause,” the foreign ministry commented in its statement on its website.

More to the point, however, is the conclusion reached by Moscow regarding the endless insistence by Washington that the “two-state solution” is the sole “solution” possible between Jerusalem and Ramallah, and the only way forward in order to achieve peace between Israel, her neighbors in the Palestinian Authority and anywhere else in the region.

“Our experience shows convincingly that a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is only possible through direct talks between Palestinians and Israelis without any preconditions,” states the Russian Foreign Ministry.

“It is with this aim in view that Russia has been working and will continue working as a member of the Middle East Quartet of international intermediaries to facilitate such negotiations. We would also like to reaffirm our readiness to host a meeting of the leaders of Israel and Palestine in Moscow.

“We hope that the parties will opt for the policy of constructive cooperation aimed at settling the Middle Eastern problem very soon.”

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly stated his willingness to meet with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas for direct talks, without preconditions, anywhere at any time.

Abbas has consistently refused to meet for direct talks with Netanyahu at any time, anywhere, for any reason, unless Israel first agrees to all preconditions set by the Palestinian Authority; hence the PA leader’s preference for venues such as the UN Security Council, the Paris Summit, and elsewhere but a face-to-face negotiating table.

Hana Levi Julian

Russia ‘Wanted to Delay the Vote’ at UN Security Council

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

Now that the United Nations Security Council has safely passed the anti-Israel resolution 2334(2016) condemning the Jewish State, Russia is expressing second thoughts about the measure.

In an interview with Israeli Army Radio on Tuesday, Deputy Ambassador to Israel Alexei Drovinan said that Moscow didn’t really want to vote on the resolution in the form it was brought to the floor.

“Russia had several issues with the wording of the resolution, and the manner in which the decision was made,” Drovinan said. “We wanted to delay the vote.

“Unfortunately, none of the other members accepted our position, and so the resolution was brought to the floor for a vote.

“We are also dissatisfied with the narrow focus of the measure, that it dealt only with one aspect of the conflict, the settlements,” he added.

Of course, one can ask why — if Russia was so dissatisfied with these issues — Moscow chose not to exercise its veto, if only to force the measure back for a rewrite, rather than choose to allow it to pass with a unanimous vote.

Instead, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova subsequently took the opportunity to lay the blame for the entire incident upon U.S. President Barack Obama, saying in a statement quoted by the Tass news agency that the foreign policy of the American president “evokes aversion of the entire world.

“I think this man and his team — naturally, speaking about the man we mean the team which has proved to be bad for all on the global arena. They have failed to fulfill their obligations taken before some countries, they have failed to fulfill what they were commissioned to, including by the American people on the global arena.”

Now the question is, will Russia again vote with the crowd if the same scenario is repeated with another anti-Israel measure at the UN Security Council before Obama leaves the White House on January 20, 2017?

Hana Levi Julian

Jason Miller Declines White House Post as Communications Director

Monday, December 26th, 2016

Trump campaign communications adviser Jason Miller announced Monday (Dec. 26) that he has declined GOP President-elect Donald J. Trump’s offer to become the White House Communications Director.

Miller told reporters that he and his wife are “excited about the arrival of our second daughter in January, and I need to put them in front of my career,” according to AOL News.

Before joining the Trump campaign and subsequent transition team, Miller served as senior communications director for Texas Senator Ted Cruz during his GOP campaign for the presidential nomination.

Since Miller has turned down the post, newly-appointed incoming White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer is to absorb the duties that would be assigned to the communications director, according to the report.

Hana Levi Julian

Jerusalem Bracing for Obama’s Other Shoe

Monday, December 26th, 2016

The severe retaliation employed by Prime Minster Netanyahu against UN Security Council temporary members Senegal, Ukraine and New Zealand were not an expression of blind rage by a smarting leader, as some on the left have explained it, but a last-ditch effort to warn these smaller countries against repeating their mistake should the Obama Administration drop the other shoe on Israel just before the January 20 inauguration of President Donald Trump, a political source said Sunday night, according to NRG.

Oleh Lyashko, leader of the Radical Party of Ukrainian, bewailed the great damage inflicted on his country with the cancellation of a state visit of Prime Minister Vladimir Groisman in Israel as a result of the Ukraine’s vote in the UN Security Council.

The Israeli PM also cancelled a meeting with the new Prime Minister of the UK and summoned US Ambassador Dan Shapiro for “clarification.”

One of the clues to the PM’s anxiety about the damage a vengeful retiring president can still inflict on the Jewish State is the un-delivered speech by Secretary of State John Kerry. In his Dec. 22 press briefing, Dept. Spokesperson John Kirby, referring to the Egyptian delegation last Thursday pulling its proposed anti-settlements resolution, said that “the Secretary was preparing to deliver some remarks today about a vision for the Middle East and certainly the Middle East peace process itself. And he decided that, in light of the postponement of the vote, that it would be prudent for him to postpone his remarks as well. I’m not going to preview the remarks with any specificity, beyond just saying that it certainly was going to be about the Middle East and the process.”

Kirby explained that the Kerry “vision speech” was timed “in concert with what we expected to be a vote today, […] and in light of the fact that the vote has been postponed, he’s decided to postpone his remarks.”

He then stressed that “it doesn’t mean that it has to be done on the same particular day, but that’s the timing that we chose to pursue. And if and when the Secretary delivers those remarks, we’ll certainly keep you apprised and let you know.”

Netanyahu knows that Kerry is eager to give his vision speech, because of all the failures of his four years in office, which have inflicted hundreds of thousands of deaths on the region, his failure to bestow peace on Israel and the PA wounded him the worst. The outgoing secretary invested so much time, effort, and personal prestige in forcing that peace deal down the Israeli rightwingers’ throats – his ticket to a Nobel peace prize – he hates to walk away without any permanent achievement.

President Obama, too, is smarting, as he prepares to see much of his signature achievements being reversed by the next Congress and the Republican Administration. He can’t give it to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has outplayed him everywhere, most notably in influencing the US election, establishing his control over eastern Ukraine, and ramming through Syria in support of its homicidal President Assad. But he, Obama, can punish Prime Minister Netanyahu for eight years of bad blood.

This is why Netanyahu has been lashing at those temporary UNSC members, literally cutting them off from every bit of technological advantage with which Israel has endowed them. But it isn’t just Israel –Netanyahu’s message is also a hint that by voting against Israel, should the opportunity come up again, they could raise the ire of Obama’s replacement.

That was, most likely, the message President-Elect Trump delivered last Thursday to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi: Don’t get stuck being messenger boy for a departing president, do business with me, the new guy. And el-Sisi blinked and withdrew.

Netanyahu’s spokesman David Keys told CNN Israel has “ironclad information, frankly, that the Obama administration really helped this resolution and helped craft it, from sources internationally and sources in the Arab world.” Keys added that the UNSC resolution was not just “deeply anti-Israel,” but represented a “last-minute jab” at Israel by the Obama administration. This means the gloves are off in the fight between Obama and the Israeli PM. No more niceties, no more pretense. The Obama White House is the enemy and it must be stopped, or at least slowed down.

JNi.Media

This Makes Up for Everything: Happy Hanukkah! Chag Sameach from the White House!

Sunday, December 25th, 2016

President Barack Obama issued a Hanukkah greeting on Friday – one day ahead of the start of the Jewish holiday, and at about the same time his UN envoy abstained at a Security Council, throwing the Jewish State to the dogs for the first time since his spiritual predecessor President Jimmy Carter had done in it 1980. Obama explained that “the meaning of this holiday has inspired an American tradition of religious freedom.”

 


Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in 165 BC by the Maccabees after it had been desecrated by Helenized Jews and their imperial patrons in Damascus. Obama, who hosted more than 1,000 people during two Hanukkah receptions at the White House last week, on Friday afternoon addressed how the values of the holiday apply to everyone, regardless of their faith.

He did not mention that, had the Maccabees redeemed the Holy Temple today, they would surely have been condemned by the UN Security Council, with the US abstaining, because said Holy Temple stood in “Occupied East Jerusalem.”

“For more than two millennia, the story of Hanukkah has reminded the world of the Jewish people’s perseverance and the persistence of faith, even against daunting odds,” the president said. “For more than two centuries, the meaning of this holiday has inspired an American tradition of religious freedom – one codified in the Bill of Rights and chronicled in the enduring promise President George Washington made in his letter to the Jews of Newport, Rhode Island: that the United States ‘gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.’

“May the flicker of each flame in every Menorah remind us all of the profound miracles in our own lives. And may the light of hope we shed continue to drive out darkness and brighten the futures we build for our families, our neighbors, our communities, and our world.

“On behalf of Michelle and my family, Chanukah Sameach. Happy Hanukkah!”

It can be safely said, to paraphrase the late Winston Churchill, a man who never pretended to like Jews but nevertheless sacrificed tens of thousands of his countrymen’s lives to end their mass murder, Never has a smaller man said so much and meant so little.

JNi.Media

Netanyahu Slams Obama’s Betrayal at Security Council

Saturday, December 24th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued an irate message following the US’ betrayal of its most loyal Middle East ally. On Friday, the US chose to abstain at a critical anti-Israel vote at the UN Security Council, for the first time since the Carter Administration in 1980. The Council passed a resolution condemning Israel’s settlements enterprise in the liberated areas of Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. The vote passed with the vote of 14 of the council’s 15 members, to the sound of great applause. A veto by the US – or any of the five permanent members of the council – would have killed the resolution.

Netanyahu’s message was unabashed: “Israel rejects the anti-Israel resolution at the UN and will not abide by its terms. At a time when the Security Council does nothing to stop the slaughter of half a million people in Syria, it disgracefully gangs up on the one true democracy in the Middle East, Israel, and calls the Western Wall ‘occupied territory.

“The Obama administration not only failed to protect Israel against this gang-up at the UN, it collaborated with the UN behind the scenes.

“Israel looks forward to working with President-elect Trump and with all our friends in Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike, to negate the harmful effects of this absurd resolution.”

Indeed, the president-elect tweeted Friday evening: “As to the UN, things will be different after Jan. 20th.”

Obama’s deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said Netanyahu had only himself to blame for being knifed in the back as he had been, for failing to heed repeated US warnings against his increased settlement activity. “Prime Minister Netanyahu had the opportunity to pursue policies that would have led to a different outcome today,” Rhodes said.

But The Hill’s Jordan Fabian noted that Rhodes couldn’t really explain how the betrayal at the UNSC would improve the situation in the Middle East. Instead, it appears Obama just used his last chance to smack Netanyahu right where it hurt, in a final show of force, once he was free of the need to restrain himself on account of the elections.

As Rhodes put it, quite shamelessly, “There is one president at a time, [and] President Obama is the president of the United States until Jan. 20 and we are taking this action, of course, as US policy.”

In other words, we’re doing it because we can.

Netanyahu has begun to retaliate for the vote, ordering the Israeli ambassadors to New Zealand and Senegal for consultation. Israel does not have diplomatic ties with the two other states that called for a vote on the resolution – Venezuela and Malaysia. The PM also canceled a scheduled visit of the Senegal’s foreign minister to Israel in retribution for its vote as a temporary UNSC member, and voided Israel’s entire aid package to that country. He also canceled the visits of the non-resident ambassadors from Senegal and New Zealand.

Israel’s UN envoy Danny Danon said the US betrayed Israel, saying in a statement: “It was to be expected that Israel’s greatest ally would act in accordance with the values that we share – and would have vetoed this disgraceful resolution”

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) attacked President Obama, stating: “President Obama is personally responsible for this anti-Israel resolution. His diplomats secretly coordinated the vote, yet he doesn’t even have the courage of his own convictions to vote for it. This cowardly, disgraceful action cements President Obama’s richly deserved legacy as the most anti-Israel president in American history.”

Actually, Obama will probably have to fight Jimmy Carter for the title, but it’s close.

The Republican Jewish Coalition released a statement saying that “by allowing the United Nations’ anti-Israel resolution to be adopted by the Security Council, in the face of fierce bi-partisan opposition, the actions of the Obama Administration will forever be remembered as a dark, shameful moment for our country. The resolution passed today will only serve as a greater barrier to peace, which can only truly be achieved through negotiations. Instead of pressuring the Palestinians to be a partner for peace, President Obama chose to break with long-standing diplomatic practices and allowed the one-sided, anti-Israel United Nations to be used as a tool to bludgeon Israel, our greatest ally in the Middle East.

“We applaud the efforts of Republican Senators, led by Senator Graham, to strip funding to the United Nations, which has time and again showed their anti-Israel bias. What happened today will forever be on the heads of the President, his Party, and groups like J Street that remained silent.”

This last part might not be such a smart move – some in Israel have pointed out that the last time the US cut its UNESCO funding it lost its influence on that vehemently anti-Semitic body, and remained unable to assist Israel when it is being attacked there. If anything, the Trump White House should enhance its involvement to be able to sway the support of the members in a desired direction.

Knesset opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Camp) condemned the UNSC vote and Netanyahu with the same breath, stating: “This is a difficult night for Israel. I strongly oppose this harsh resolution of the UN Security Council, which is a strategic defeat for Israel.”

The far-left was giddy. Meretz Chair MK Zehava Galon said she was happy the US did not veto the resolution “against the policy of annexation and settlement and not against Israel.” She pointed out the vote was “the direct result of the law to legalize settlements, with Israel having lost all its shame and the world having lost its patience.”

The party to the right of Netanyahu’s Likud was also pleased with the vote, recognizing a rare opportunity to use the unifying anger of the vast majority of Israelis to get some positive action going. Habayit Hayehudi Chairman MK Naftali Bennett said on Saturday night that now is the time to “switch from retreat to sovereignty.” Bennett added that “thousands of terrorists the world over are watching the UN resolution, seeing it as a call to arms. This resolution is the direct outcome of the policies of Oslo, of concessions, withdrawals and splitting – and the result of our public agreement to establish a Palestinian State at the heart of our country. [This resolution] must be discarded to the trash heap of history like all its predecessors.”

“This is the time for a U-turn,” Bennett said, “It’s time to switch from retreat to sovereignty. The conclusion is that we must stop marching on the suicidal track of a Palestinian State and to impose Israeli law on Ma’aleh Adumim, the Jordan Valley, Ofra and the entire Area C, as soon as possible.”

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/netanyahu-slams-obamas-betrayal-at-security-council/2016/12/24/

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