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August 3, 2015 / 18 Av, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Yuval Steinitz’

Israel Saved Obama’s Neck on Assad’s Chemical Weapons

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

Israel let President Barack Obama off the hook on which he hanged himself by saying he would bomb Syria because of Bashar Assad’s’ use of chemical weapons, former Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren wrote in his new book.

The man behind the covert plan was none other than Yuval Steinitz, who at the time was Minister of Intelligence. He also is one of the loudest hawks when it comes to warning that President Obama and the other P5+1 powers are in the midst of making a terrible if not lethal mistake by dealing with Iran over its nuclear weapons program.

Assad’s use of chemical weapons, a war crime – as if he were not guilty of others – was discovered in 2013.

President Obama had done everything possible to avoid getting directly involved in the war in Syria, where any result would be a bad result.

However, the use of chemical weapons was a red line President Obama could not ignore.

Obama threatened several times to bomb Syria, and after a month he suddenly changed course 180 degrees.

Oren said it was due to Steinitz, who with the approval of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu came up a plan for Assad to turn over his chemical weapons stockpile to Russia, Assad’s ally.

Bloomberg News reported that Oren wrote in his new book “Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide,” to be launched next week but not yet released to the public, that Israel was not against an American aerial attack but was willing to help the president avoid it.

Steinitz was the source of the idea even if it was not a plan so much as an off-the-cuff remark that set off a domino chain reaction.

According to Oren, Steinitz mentioned the idea to the Russians, and then to the State Dept., which did not take him too seriously. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov took it very seriously, and the plan quickly moved forward in the United States and United Nations, with Prime Minister Netanyahu’s blessing.

Oren wrote:

The idea originated with an Israeli minister, Yuval Steinitz, who first pitched it to the Russians, who were eager to avoid an American intercession that they could not stop. Netanyahu next brought it to Obama and received a green light.

Before Obama changed course, he had gone so far as to ask the pro-Israel AIPAC lobby to lobby for a war resolution, Oren writes.

Obama never credited Israel, which Steinitz and Netanyahu agreed would not be a good idea,

Steinitz told The New York Times that that he and Prime Minister Netanyahu kept their mouths shut about their role in helping Obama so that no one would say “it’s an Israeli strike [or] Israeli conspiracy, [and] maybe it’s a reason to stop it.”

He told the newspaper:

They never asked if they can give us credit, and we never asked them to give us credit,” he added. “Until today, it was a secret.”

Israel didn’t want credit, giving both Russia and Obama the opportunity to boast.

Oren wrote:

In subsequent interviews, Obama rarely missed the chance to cite the neutralization of Syria’s chemical capabilities as an historic diplomatic achievement.

Russian president Vladimir Putin also took credit for the initiative and praised this ‘vivid example of how the international community can solve the most complex disarmament and non- proliferation tasks.’

Israel’s role remained unmentioned, but its citizens were relieved not to have to sign up for more gas masks.

Granted that President Obama may not think that Israel should bow down to him for not bombing Syria instead of risking retaliation against Israel and the horrendous scene of Israelis walking around with gas masks on their faces because of a chemical attack.

And granted that Obama should not let Israel dictate policy on key issues just because Israel helped him in another area.

But it is one thing not to thank Israel, at least not in public so the the Arabs won’t get upset, and it is another matter to create an image of hate of the leader of an ally that, intentionally or not, may have saved President Obama from one of the worst of the many disasters of his foreign policy.

No one is asking him to say, “Thank you,” but it is reasonable to expect a bit of civility. Obama simply can’t get over his control trip complex.

The president’s obsession with the non-existent “peace process” and with a deal with Iran, no matter what, has blinded him into treating Netanyahu like a voodoo doll in which he has to stick pins.

List of Likud Ministerial Appointments

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

The following is the list of Likud ministerial positions:

Moshe Ya’alon – Defense Minister
Yuval Steinitz – Minister of Infrastructure, Energy and Water
Yisrael Katz – Minsiter of Transportation and Intelligence Ministry
Ze’ev Elkin – Minister of Absorption
Yariv Levin – Minister of Tourism
Miri Regev – Culture and Sports Minister
Danny Danon – Science, Technology and Space Minister
Benny Begin – Either Strategic Affairs Minister or a Minister without Portfolio
Haim Katz – Minister of Welfare and Social Services
Ofir Akunis – Minister of Communications
Gila Gamliel – Minister of Senior Citizens
Silvan Shalom – offered the Interior Ministry, but Shalom hasn’t yet accepted it, as he wants the Foreign Ministry.
Gilad Erdan – Either Minister of Interior Security or Temporary Foreign Minister
Tzipi Hotovely – Deputy Foreign Minister

Obama Finally Forced to Admit Iran’s Nuclear Breakout Time ‘Zero’ in 13 Years

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

It took a lot of pressure and many more speeches and harangues by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu than anyone probably wanted to hear, but at the end of the day, it paid off:

U.S. President Barack Obama was finally forced on Tuesday to admit the truth: In 13 years – if not fewer – Iran’s breakout time to an atomic bomb will be zero.

That means the world will have practically no warning whatsoever as to when Iran actually reaches its nuclear weapons capability – if it has not already done so by then, without telling anyone.

According to a report by the Associated Press, Obama told NPR News that for the first decade following the new deal reached last week with world powers led by the United States in Lausanne, Switzerland, Tehran will be capped at 300 kilograms of enriched uranium. The president insisted this was not enough to convert to a cache of weapons-grade fuel.

But then the president said this:

What is a more relevant fear would be that in Year 13, 14, 15, they have advanced centrifuges that enrich uranium fairly rapidly, and at that point, the breakout times would have shrunk almost down to zero.

By then, restrictions on Iran’s enriched uranium stockpiles will have been eased for the two years prior – in Years 11 and 12 – which means there will already have been two years in which to gather enriched nuclear fuel.

The admission confirms just one of a long list of concerns that Israel’s prime minister had underlined to the U.S. Congress – and to the rest of the world – in his repeated explanations of why “an even greater danger” exists that Iran could “get to the bomb by keeping [this] deal.”

Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz on Monday issued a government statement outlining “the irresponsible concessions given to Iran” in the agreement. The document also showed “how dangerous the framework is for Israel, the region and the world.”

Among the changes demanded by Israel to the current agreement between Iran and world powers prior to the June 30 final deadline (which the United States has ignored):

  • Bar further Iranian research and development on advanced uranium enrichment centrifuges;
  • Significantly reduce the number of centrifuges available to Iran for it to reactivate in violation of the deal;
  • Close down the Fordow underground enrichment facility;
  • Require Iranian compliance in detailing previous nuclear activities with potential military dimensions;
  • Ship Iran’s stockpile of lower-enriched uranium out of the country;
  • Ensure “anywhere-anytime” spot inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities.

The document (click here for the PDF file) also made clear – as has Netanyahu, repeatedly in statements to the media – that the current agreement “ignores the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program to Israel.” The prime minister emphasized that a “better deal” can and must be reached with Iran, “an enemy of the United States whose regime, even during the negotiations, continued to conduct aggression in the region and to call for the destruction of Israel.”

The document pointedly calls attention to the fact that under the current agreement:

  • Not a single nuclear facility will be shut down;
  • Iran is allowed to continued advanced uranium centrifuge enrichment research and development;
  • Iranian intercontinental ballistic missile program development is altogether ignored;
  • Sanctions that could be used to regulate Iran’s compliance are instead removed.

Included in the document are 10 questions aimed at those who negotiated this deal and support its passage into law:

1. Why are sanctions that took years to put in place being removed immediately (as the Iranians claim)? This removes the international community’s primary leverage at the outset of the agreement, and make Iranian compliance less likely.

Netanyahu Not Replacing Dermer

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

A source in the Prime Minister’s office said that PM Netanyahu is not planning to replace Israel’s Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer, according to Galey Tzahal.

The Obama administration, besides their open dislike for Netanyahu, apparently aren’t enamored by Ambassador Ron Dermer either, and the administration has purportedly demanded that Netanyahu replace him.

The source was responding to the rumors that Dermer would instead be made Ambassador to the UN, and either Yuval Steinitz or Ron Prosor would replace him.

Obama Aides Lay Groundwork to Betray Israel at UN Security Council

Saturday, March 21st, 2015

Aides to President Barack Obama told media Friday the U.S. will “reassess” its relationship with Israel in the wake of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s re-election to an historic fourth term.

A White House official couched the nasty reality in more diplomatic language, saying the president had told the prime minister “we will need to re-assess our options following the prime minister’s new positions and comments regarding the two-state solution.”

An official statement distributed following the call said the president had emphasized the U.S. “longstanding commitment to a two-state solution” during his conversation with Israel’s prime minister.

Earlier in the day on Thursday, Netanyahu clarified his position on the issue, explaining his reasons for a statement during the campaign in which he told supporters he would not back the establishment of a Palestinian state during his fourth term. In that clarification Netanyahu talked about the present realities in the Middle East with which Israel has to contend. He also noted that he supports the same conditions for negotiating a sustainable peace that he had set forth in his speech at Bar Ilan University in 2009: a demilitarized Palestinian state led by a government willing to recognize the Jewish State of Israel.

But he pointed to changes on the ground that cannot be denied – or ignored – and that present a real threat.

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has united his government in Ramallah with that of Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization, which is allied with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Lebanon-based Hezbollah. All three are faithful proxies of Tehran. In addition, Gaza is now home to bases for a number of Salafi global jihad terrorist groups. Among them are the Army of Islam, Al Qaeda, and Daesh, also known as ISIS or the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Iran and its proxies are also literally parked on Israel’s borders, in Lebanon, Syria, the Syrian side of the Golan Heights and the Sinai Peninsula. A new Palestinian state would be ripe for the picking as well, creating for Israel an existential threat that no leader could allow.

None of which has impressed Obama. At a briefing on Friday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters: “Now that our closest ally in the region – and one of the two parties who would be responsible for negotiating a two-state solution – has withdrawn from their commitments, to that ideal, it means that we need to rethink the kinds of policy decisions that we’re going to have to make going forward.”

Never mind the fact that the Palestinian Authority – the first of the two parties responsible for negotiating the two-state solution — withdrew from its commitments several years earlier.

Obama has entirely ignored the fact that the PA, via the PLO, unilaterally dropped out of the internationally-recognized Oslo Accords. He has also turned a blind eye as the PA abandoned its moral and legal obligations to negotiate a final status agreement with Israel, using the United Nations as an excuse to break that deal. The General Assembly of the United Nations participated, allowing itself to be so used by granting the entity non-member observer nation status, which opened the door for the PA to join hundreds of international treaties.

Some members of the American media are also using a double standard to judge Israel’s decisions on its national security and foreign policy.

CNN news anchor Wolf Blitzer interviewed Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz as part of Israel’s “Likud-led government” and baldly demanded to know: “Do you support what’s called a two-state solution, Israel living alongside, the new state of Palestine.”

Israel Reminds US ‘Iran As Great a Threat as ISIS’

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

Intelligence and Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz says that Iran is still a greater threat than the global Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terror organization.

The terror group has spread its threat level to the borders around Iraq and Syria, and has taken over the Iraqi side of the sole border crossing with Jordan – an ominous sign – as well as two crossings with Syria, which is creating a growing security concern for Amman.

Asked in a radio interview whether Israel would help defend Jordan from ISIS, Steinitz said Sunday that Israel would certainly help the Hashemite Kingdom in its defense against the radical Islamist terrorists.

“Jordan is a strong state, but still, if Jordan were truly in danger from these jihadist extremists and asked for our assistance, Israel has a very clear interest in the existence of Jordan,” Steinitz said.

He added, however, that he believes the threat to the Hashemite Kingdom may have subsided, given the ability of Kurdish fighters to beat back the ISIS forces with the aid of U.S. air strikes in Iraq.

Steinitz acknowledged that the threat to the region from ISIS is real – but the threat to Israel and the rest of the world from Iran is far greater, he warned. ISIS, he said, “is a threat for a few years; Iranian nuclear weapons will be with us – if Iran becomes a nuclear power – for dozens of years.”

Steinitz recently met in Washington with American officials to discuss the upcoming nuclear talks with Iran, pointing out that while building a world coalition to fight ISIS is important, it is equally important not to forget the Iranian nuclear threat.

Steinitz: Abu Mazen Playing ‘Double Game’

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz said Monday that the threat posed to neighbouring countries by the Islamic State terrorists shows that Israel must not withdraw from Judea and Samaria without first obtaining the complete demilitarisation of Gaza.

Steinitz added that Israel is not opposed to long-term ceasefire, but added that Jerusalem would condition the rehabilitation of Gaza on the disarming of the Strip.

Speaking to Israel Radio, Steinitz accused Palestinian Authority President Abu Mazen of breaking his commitments by allowing terrorists to fire rockets at Israel.

Steinitz also accused the PA leader of playing a double game vis-à-vis Israel – Hamas fires rockets and missiles at Israel, while Abu Mazen fires “diplomatic missiles” that threaten to ask the UN to try Israeli leaders at the International Court of Justice at the Hague.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/steinitz-abu-mazen-playing-double-game/2014/08/26/

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