Created on Saturday, 24 December 2016 07:57
What can Republicans learn from Trump’s victory? The biggest lesson is that the old way of politics is dead. McCain and Romney showed that twice. Now Trump has shown how Republicans can actually win.
1. Find Your Natural Base
The GOP is ashamed of its base. It doesn’t like being associated with the very voters who made 2016 happen. Its autopsy last time around searched for ways to leave the white working class behind.
There’s a party that did that. Their symbol is a jackass. They just lost big because they ran out of working class white voters.
The Democrats have tried to manufacture their base using immigration, victimhood politics and identity politics. The GOP has wasted far too much time trying to compete on the same playing field while neglecting its base. Trump won by doing what the GOP could have done all along if its leadership hadn’t been too ashamed to talk to people it considered low class because they shop at WalMart.
The GOP wanted a better image. It cringed at Trump’s red caps and his rallies. And they worked. Trump won because he found the neglected base of working class white voters who had been left behind. He didn’t care about looking uncool by courting them. Instead he threw himself into it.
That’s why McCain and Romney lost. It’s why Bush and Trump won. The GOP is not the cool party. It’s never going to be. It’s the party of the people who have been shut out, stepped on and kicked around by the cool people. Trump understood that. The GOP didn’t.
The GOP’s urban elites would like to create an imaginary cool party that would be just like the Democrats, but with fiscally conservative principles. That party can’t and won’t exist. You can run with the base you have. Or you can lose.
2. Media and Celebrities Don’t Matter
The first rule of Republican politics is to look in the mirror and ask, “Are we trying to be Democrats?” Twice Obama’s big glittering machine of celebrities, media and memes rolled over hapless Republicans. Republican operatives desperately wondered how they could run against Oprah, Beyonce and BuzzFeed.
How were they supposed to survive being mocked by Saturday Night Live and attacked by the media?
The answer was to find voters who weren’t making their decisions based on any of those things.
The GOP’s approach in the last few elections was to try and duplicate the Obama machine. These efforts were clumsy, awkward, expensive and stupid. The Obama machine was great at influencing its target electorate of urban and suburban millennial college grads because that’s who ran it and directed it. But that’s not the Republican base. And chasing it was a waste of time, money and energy.
Instead of trying to duplicate the Obama machine, the Trump campaign targeted a class of voters who didn’t care about those things. The white working class that turned out for Trump was a world away from the cultural obsessions of the urban elites who had traditionally shaped both sets of campaigns.
Romney wanted everyone to like him. Being rejected hurt him so much because he wanted to be accepted. Trump ran as an outsider. Being rejected by the establishment was a badge of pride. He couldn’t be humiliated by being mocked by the cool kids because he wasn’t trying to be accepted.
Asking, “Are we trying to be Democrats?” isn’t just for policy. It’s also something for Republicans to remember when Election Day comes around. The Republican base isn’t the Democrat base. When Republicans commit to pursuing their base, they can stop worrying about what Saturday Night Live, Samantha Bee and random celebrities think of them. And they can just be themselves.
The mediasphere matters most when you care about it. When you don’t and when you focus on voters who don’t either, then it ends up as weak and impotent as it did in this election.
3. Go Right Young Man
Hillary Clinton’s campaign with its efforts to appeal to Republicans was a master class in triangulation. The Clintons were radicals who wanted to appear moderate. In the final weeks, Hillary’s people got out their brushes and makeup kits and tried to make her over into a candidate anyone could vote for. But triangulation doesn’t work anymore. Even before Trump, Bernie Sanders nearly derailed her by running as an unapologetic leftist. Hillary Clinton borrowed much of the structure of the Obama campaign, but missed its biggest feature. Obama was much closer to Bernie Sanders than to Bill Clinton. He promised to destroy coal jobs, defended wealth redistribution and turned “You didn’t build that” into his mantra. It was a long way from Hillary’s ultra-cautious campaign. And it worked. Obama’s left-wing base turned out for him.
Trump won by unapologetically going to the right and infuriating the left. And it also worked. Hillary hired plenty of Obama’s people, but it was Trump who had truly learned the lesson of Obama’s victories. American elections are no longer won by going to the center. Some of the most endangered senators had been centrists. The Republican moderate strategy cost them two presidential elections.
The radical left has polarized the country. Chasing the center is a dead end. Instead you champion your base. You promise them everything they want. You make them love you. And you win. Instead of retreating, you double down. It doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks of you. If your base
loves you and will stand for hours waiting to hear from you, they will do that on Election Day. It worked for Obama. It worked for Trump.
4. Money Doesn’t Matter
What do Krispy Kreme, Costco and Donald Trump have in common? They don’t advertise. When you have a compelling enough product, then you don’t need to advertise. You will be talked about and the customers will want to know more about you.
You still need money to win presidential elections, but you need a lot less money than the consultants and experts would like you to think that you do. Trump spent a lot less than Hillary Clinton did. Ad budgets have ballooned, but the impact of advertising in the age of the smartphone is shakier than ever. Ads for national candidates have far less impact than their public presence in the reality show of life. Far more Americans followed Hillary’s health crisis than watched all of her ads combined.
Trump was unafraid to benefit from gobs of media coverage. Even when it was mostly negative. Meanwhile Hillary avoided engaging with the media while spending a fortune on advertising. It was anexpensive and outdated approach that didn’t work for her during the primaries or the general election. The Trump campaign didn’t repeat Romney’s mistake of spending a fortune on consultants. Hillary Clinton did. It’s usually the unnatural candidate, the politician least comfortable in his own skin, who makes that mistake. Instead Trump spent money on the practicals, like the ground game, he paid more attention to local ads than to national ads. And he didn’t make the common mistake of believing he could buy the election. It’s not how he had won the nomination. It’s not how he won the election.
5. Controversy Works
Trump’s campaign was declared dead more often than disco. None of the scandals worked. None of the outrage stopped him. Instead it helped him win. Every downturn in the polls preceded another upturn. If you’re running as a consensus candidate, a scandal can destroy you. But if you’re running against the system, then scandals only make you stronger. Each attack on Trump gave him credibility. It defined him as a politician who wasn’t part of the system. And none of Trump’s critics understood that by attacking him they were only helping him win. They couldn’t stop this compulsive behavior even when it didn’t work. Surely the next scandal was the one that would finally and permanently do Trump in. Even now they’re still thinking that way. Traditional campaigns are run by professionals who see their job as avoiding controversy. Candidates are schooled not to offend anyone. But if you don’t offend anyone, you also don’t inspire anyone.
Inspiration without controversy is a fridge magnet. In politics to inspire, you must be controversial. Controversy made Trump a national and then an international figure. The more an establishment attacked him, the more he was seen as a savior by its enemies. Controversy, more than anything else, made him a change candidate. Trump wasn’t Teflon. He didn’t survive attacks the way Bill Clinton did. Instead he thrived on them until he became the voice of millions of angry Americans. Controversy isn’t something to be feared. It’s something to be embraced. In the years ahead, consultants and experts will insist that Trump’s campaign was a fluke that nothing can be learned from. They will argue that the old failed way of politics is best. But the old way of politics
is dead. The future belongs to Republicans who listen to their base instead of their consultants.
The future belongs to Republicans who care more about what their supporters think of them than what the media does.
Also appeared on Frontpage.com
The writer is a popular New York City based freelance commentator and a Shillman Journalism Fellow at
the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He blogs at sultanknish.blogspot.com
Created on Tuesday, 27 January 2015 09:39
A week after United States Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, and three other brave Americans, were murdered by Muslim terrorists in 2012, on Sept 19, 2012, Jay Carney, on behalf of the President of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama, issued a statement that “We [specifically President Obama] are aware that a French magazine published cartoons featuring a figure resembling the prophet Muhammad, and obviously we [especially President Obama] have questions about the judgment of publishing something like this. We know that these images will be deeply offensive to many and have the potential to be inflammatory. But we've spoken repeatedly about the importance of upholding the freedom of expression that is enshrined in our Constitution."
Press Secretary Carney went on to say that the White House didn't question the magazine's right to publish the cartoons, but "the judgment behind the decision to publish it." In essence, President Obama publicly accused Charlie Hebdo's publishers of bad judgment, and, hence, instead of condemning those who might act on their umbrage, gave a green-light for last weeks' Islamic terrorists to go on a rampage and murder anybody and everybody they could.
It wasn't a casual West Wing blunder that kept Obama from flying to the anti-terror demonstration in Paris. Obama simply didn't want to memorialize the Hebdo cartoonists who, he feels, had slandered the one whom Obama calls "The Prophet Muhammad" rather than just Muhammad.
The real problem was that Charlie Hebdo's cartoonists hadn't "gotten the memo" that they had unwittingly violated Obama's executive-order anti-Muslim speech-crime against publishing something that is "deeply offensive to many [Muslims] and [might] have the potential to be inflammatory [to many Muslims]."
CBS' release of the 2012 Carney/Obama/Hebdo story now shows just how disconnected CBC News is from the real world. CBS News re-released the 2012 archived story not to put Obama in a bad light, but because CBS thought that it showed everyone how wise the president was for warning us that Muslim terrorists were going to take revenge on Hebdo's editorial staff because of its cartoons.What it did, though, was show how Obama had laid the very intellectual predicate and foundation for the last week's Islamist murderers to make good on their threats.
Imagine if an "artist" took a statue of Jesus on a crucifix and immersed it in a clear plexiglass vat of the "artist's" own urine, and the Federal Government helped pay for the artist through the National Endowment of Arts and to add insult to injury, this defamation was exhibited in an American museum. Well, you don't have to imagine it, because the "Piss Christ" art story actually happened in 2012, and when it came tothat slander against a religion, Obama was totally silent. To Obama, "Piss Christ" is art deserving absolute 1st Amendment protection and its offensiveness can be ignored.
Any Christian terrorists who harmed an American Ambassador because of "Piss Christ" would have been labeled Christian terrorists, just like Muslim terrorists should be labeled "Muslim terrorists." But, outside the United States, Obama only shows understanding for Islamic terrorists to commit murder and mayhem because Obama believes it is reasonable that they get upset when someone writes or draws something "deeply offensive to many" and that has "the potential to be inflammatory."
As to the disconnected point of CBS' release of the 2012 Obama/Hebdo story, do you really have to be smart to know that if you publicly challenge Islam, Islamists will come and try to murder you? Weren't Salman Rushdie’s translators and publishers murdered because of the 1989 Iranian government's fatwa by the Ayatollah Khomeini to murder Rushdie for his publishing of The Satanic Verses? Wasn't Theodore Van Gogh murdered in 2004 because he produced Ayaan Hirsi Ali's short film "Submission" which criticized the treatment of women in Islam? It isn't that Obama predicted Hebdo's massacre, it's that Obama rationalizes the Islamists' barbaric terrorist behavior.
What Jay Carney, on behalf of the Leader of the Free World, did by attacking Hebdo in 2012 was to imply that with respect to supposedly protected first amendment free speech that involves Muslims, the "prophet Muhammad," insulting Islamic terror, or even Islam itself, any anti-Islam comment is like yelling "fire" in a crowded theater where people can get killed running for the exits.
So, even though Obama claimed he was upholding freedom of expression, Obama actually said that it's not "good judgment" to exercise freedom of expression when it comes to statements against Islam, or against the terrorists that directly base their terrorism on Islam. Obama wasn't upholding free speech, he was eliminating it. The job of the President of the United States is to protect free speech, not question and derogate the speaker's "judgment."
In short, seemingly by executive-order, Obama deleted First Amendment free speech when exercised to criticize Muslims, turning anti-Muslim speech into a Muslim-self-enforced speech-crime. Obama defines this as speech that "is deeply offensive to many [Muslims] and has the potential to be inflammatory [to Muslims]", meaning that you must avoid it because the Muslim enforcers will get violent, execute judgment and murder you - and the United States won't protect you.
Another instance of this approach to the First Amendment occurred at about the same time in 2012, when Obama made good on his new executive-order on anti-Muslim "speech crimes" by arresting on a trumped-up charge Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the Coptic Christian who made the short movie trailer of the "Innocence of Muslims". The White House claimed the trailer had caused the "spontaneous" Benghazi massacre of Amb. Stevens, and the 3 other brave Americans, an attack later proven to be well-planned in advance.
Every Muslim terrorist in the world got Obama's message when Obama arrested Mr. Nakoula: it was a shout-out to all the world's Islamic Terrorists. Mass-murderers, said the message, Obama has your back, he'll arrest anybody in the US who draws "the Prophet" or criticizes Islamic terror derived from Islam, and will understand if you use their "offensive" speech as a reason to kill anybody you want.
Let us take this a logical step further. The subtle consequence of Obama's message is applicable to what used to be protected free-speech concerning Israel, and the fight for Israel's existence. As a Newtonian thought-experiment, isn't any speech supporting Israel and supporting Israel's right to militarily defend itself against Muslim terrorists bent on Israel's eradication "deeply offensive to many [Muslims]" and doesn't it "have the potential to be inflammatory [to many Muslims]"?" Will Obama's criticism extend to an understanding that one cannot publicly defend or support Israel anymore because supporting Israel will get the Muslims, and anti-Israel psychopaths upset and violent?
Under the president's executive-order anti-Muslim speech crime, criticism of Islam can justifiably cause Islamic violence and murder. Perhaps that explains why he continues to consider the Fort Hood mass-murdering terrorist Nidal Malik Hasan's murder of all those precious soldiers at Fort Hood just "work-place-violence." Hasan had overheard US soldiers denigrating the Muslims terrorists killed by American armed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan who supported Bin Laden's murder of thousands of Americans on 9/11. Obama may believe that Hasan and the entire Muslim world were insulted by the US soldiers' failure to respect Islam, and "the Prophet Muhammad.". Calling Muhammad a historical figure, and not "the Prophet" is, in and of itself, blasphemy and deserving of punishment. To Obama, Hasan wasn't an Islamic terrorist when he was screaming Allahu Akbar and murdering American soldiers, he was enforcing the executive-order ban on anti-Muslim speech-crimes. Obama empowered offended Muslims to execute "self-help" enforcement of his executive definition of such speech-crimes.
The writer, who specializes in security issues, has created an original educational 3d Topographic Map System of Israel to facilitate clear understanding of the dangers facing Israel and its water supply. It has been studied by US lawmakers and can be seen at www.marklangfan.com.
Created on Monday, 26 January 2015 20:51
Jihad has rapidly taken a new and ominous shape.
In the past, bombs were exploded—either human homicide bombs or car/truck bombs. Rockets were launched. Unbelievably, planes were once flown into major Western targets.
Now, President Obama empowers the radical Islamic world further by refusing to join the words “terrorism” and “Islam” and by insisting that Islam is a religion of “peace.” Obama continues to empower Iran to become a nuclear power and, most fatefully, empowers the recruitment efforts of The Islamic State.
He does so each time he refuses to say that the Free World or the Judeo-Christian West is at war with Islamic barbarianism or with radical political Islam.
I once feared and tried to monitor Palestinian and pro-Palestinian surging, potential lynch mobs in the Middle East, in Israel, and globally. The marches and demonstrations, both in the street and on campuses in the West have, over the years, become more aggressive, louder, more entitled.
Now, the threat is a more individual one. Radicalized Islamist sleeper-cell individuals, or “lone wolf” jihadists, dressed in civilian clothing, are taking civilians hostage. They do not “look” like traditional soldiers—they dress like the people they hold hostage and like the people they massacre. We have seen this happen recently in Australia and in France.
Israel has long been used to this kind of challenge—that of facing warriors dressed as civilians who, in addition, hide behind innocent human shields; when they die in the combat which they began, the West counts them as “civilian” dead. The soldier disguised as a civilian, who is fighting a non-traditional war, is a phenomenon that the world at large has refused to understand as long as the victims are mainly Israelis.
Now, more ominously, individuals dressed as civilians are running their cars into crowds yelling “Allahu-Akbar!”
They have butchered Jewish rabbis at prayer in West Jerusalem and as of today, one individual Jihadist has stabbed civilians on a bus and on the street. (Such wild stabbings have happened before in Israel).
It is important to note that the attack took place in Tel Aviv, not in Hebron. As I have always said: The “settlement” that most offends the Arab world is Tel Aviv; the “settlement” that offends is a Jewish infidel presence in the Islamic world.
“It-bak el Yahud”—butcher or slaughter the Jew, is a very up close and barbaric method of homicide. We see the soldiers of the Islamic State be-heading captives and broadcasting their gory deeds. This has attracted sociopaths, angry Muslims and people of color who have converted to Islam and who live in the West.
To the extent to which the Free World does not stop the slaughter of the Jews, it will inevitably get to experience this form of “individualized” Jihad in their own countries.
Prof. Phyllis Chesler
The writer, a Shillman-Ginsburg Fellow at the Middle East Forum and recipient of the 2013 National Jewish Book Award, is the author of fifteen books, including Women and Madness, Woman's Inhumanity to Woman, and The New Anti-Semitism. She has published three studies about honor killing and is at work on a fourth. Her latest book is An American Bride in Kabul, (Palgrave Macmillan). Professor Chesler may be reached at her website www.phyllis-
Created on Sunday, 28 December 2014 08:14
Is it Israel that misses an opportunity to gain an opportunity?
It is passing strange that Israel is pressed endlessly by friends and foes alike to negotiate a so-called peace agreement with the Palestinian Arabs, even though the self-proclaimed Palestinian Authority consists of two brutal terrorist organizations - Hamas and Fatah.
After all, both terror entities are obliged by their charters to wipe Israel off the face of the map and, in the case of Hamas, to exterminate Jews worldwide. Hamas would do it immediately: Fatah would just take a little longer.
That being the case, have Israeli leaders rammed home to the likes of Secretary of State John Kerry, what Israel’s so-called “peace partners” have in store for the embattled Jewish state? If so, then how can Kerry continue to demand that Israel negotiate with such genocidal organizations?
How can Barack Hussein Obama - who is well aware of the evil contents of their charters - continue to demand the same whilst treating Israel and its Prime Minister in such an insulting and humiliating manner - even betraying the Jewish state in the midst of Hamas aggression by cutting off urgently needed weapons supplies?
How can foreign governments continue to embrace the Hamas/Fatah Palestinian Authority when they are, presumably, aware of its unbending determination to exterminate Israel? Is Israel reminding these governments of what is in the Hamas charter and of the apartheid policies of Mahmoud Abbas who will make any territory he is given judenrein (free of Jews)?
If they all know this, then how can the Security Council vote for creating a terror state to be called Palestine? Yes, we know about the specter of anti-Semitism but, perhaps, the answer also is that the odious charters are not being produced and exposed relentlessly. If not, why not?
Where is that Public Relations blitz that for so long should have been employed as a weapon alongside the IDF? Whether it is public relations or military power; attack is always the best form of defense.
One wonders under what rubric bordering upon insanity are such negotiations with an implacable and genocidal enemy meant to continue, and how has such a lamentable state of affairs come about?
We are forced to face the fact that it is always Israel which continues to lose the public relations war with the Arabs and with their supporters who wield increasing influence in the European and American corridors of power. The reason has been clear for a long time but it appears to have been lost on far too many Israeli leaders and politicians.
Going back decades, the Israeli Foreign Ministry gave public relations a very low priority. Why? Because the accepted wisdom was that Israel’s cause was so moral, so self-evident, that it hardly needed any PR defense when compared to the demonstrated genocidal Arab aggression and bloodcurdling threats made repeatedly against the embattled Jewish state.
That was Israel’s mistake, repeated, alas, again and again. Effective Hasbara has been the neglected step child in Israel’s defense; left instead to brave, principled and patriotic individuals to carry the precious burden.
Since the 1967 Six Day War, Palestinian Arab myths, dripping with emotional language, have gradually and inevitably been allowed to seduce vast numbers of the world’s population. The Egyptian born late arch-terrorist, Yasser Arafat, spewed his nonsense of an ancient Palestinian people in world forums, striking a chord among naïve idealists.
Again, misplaced arrogance by too many Israelis in leadership positions scorned such notions. Nobody could possibly believe such drivel, they claimed. Well , millions have.
Now it beggars the mind how such arrant nonsense vomited daily by the Palestinian Authority’s media machine can ever be excised from the minds of so many throughout the world.
The same Yasser Arafat, who wore a keffiyah in the shape of Israel, always hung on his study wall the infamous map showing the Jewish state renamed, ‘Palestine,’ stretching from the River to the Sea. Arafat’s successor, Mahmoud Abbas, now sits in front of that same notorious map and we have seen staged photos of world leaders and politicians standing with the same map behind them shaking the hands of Abbas. A picture speaks a thousand words.
The tragic reality is that people can easily be manipulated and influenced through skillful public relations and outright propaganda
Surely, the example of Nazi propaganda minister, Yosef Goebbels, and his Big Lie should have taught so many Israeli leaders that simple truth. But no, it hasn’t. Incessant propaganda, using highly skilled PR merchants, paid for with limitless Arab oil wealth, has done its damage over the years to the misfortune of Jewish state.
So now we have reached the baleful point where a deeply hostile incumbent in the White House, a man with Islamic sympathies which in themselves are highly suspicious, is threatening Israel with the prospect of the U.S. withholding its veto in the United Nations Security Council against the next predictable and inevitable anti-Israel resolution.
Mahmoud Abbas, the Holocaust denying head of the Palestinian Authority, is planning to bring to the UNSC a resolution calling for recognition of a Palestinian terror state - soon after the U.S. mid-term elections.
Such a perilous state of affairs would have perhaps been markedly reduced if Israel had relentlessly been providing to international forums and world leaders the most effective answer against negotiating an illegitimate peace treaty with the two wings of PA Terror Central - namely the Hamas Charter and the very words of unbridled hate that drips from the mouth of Mahmoud Abbas; the same Abbas who glorifies Palestinian murderers of Jewish babies.
So, for example, let us look at what Hamas has in store for the Jewish state and for Jews everywhere. After reading them, who would still pressure Israel to negotiate when, Hamas, the junior branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, calls for Israel and Jews throughout the world to be destroyed. Negotiate what exactly?
In an article in The Daily Caller blog, Jamie Weinstein exposes the Hamas Charter. He writes:
“Hamas was founded in December 1987. In August 1988, it issued a covenant outlining its mission. The covenant has never been renounced by Hamas, even though some
try to claim it is now merely a historical artifact.
“Here are nine key takeaways concentrating on Hamas, taken straight from its charter.”
1.) Hamas isn’t looking to negotiate a peace deal with Israel. It wants to destroy Israel. Quoting Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna, the charter reads:
“Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.”
2.) Actually, Hamas’ charter goes beyond destroying Israel. It longs for Jewish genocide:
“The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said: ‘The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.’”
3.) Hamas makes it clear in its charter that it doesn’t believe in peace conferences. As its charter states:
“Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement.”
4.) Unsurprisingly for an organization that supports Jewish genocide, Hamas’ charter is explicitly anti-Semitic. For instance, Hamas’ charter claims Jews - not just Israelis - are responsible for all wars:
“There is no war going on anywhere, without having their finger in it.”
5.) And all revolutions:
“They were behind the French Revolution, the Communist revolution and most of the revolutions we heard and hear about, here and there. With their money they formed secret societies, such as Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, the Lions and others in different parts of the world for the purpose of sabotaging societies and achieving Zionist interests.”
6.) And they also control media:
“For a long time, the enemies have been planning, skillfully and with precision, for the achievement of what they have attained. They took into consideration the causes affecting the current of events. They strived to amass great and substantive material wealth which they devoted to the realization of their dream. With their money, they took control of the world media, news agencies, the press, publishing houses, broadcasting stations, and others.”
7.) According to its charter, Hamas favors violent jihad:
“There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.”
8.) Hamas shares the Muslim Brotherhood’s enthusiasm for “death for the sake of Allah:”
“Allah is its target, the Prophet is its model, the Koran its constitution: Jihad is its path and death for the sake of Allah is the loftiest of its wishes.”
9.) Hamas accuses Israel of being like Nazis in its charter. For instance, there’s this:
“The society that confronts a vicious enemy which acts in a way similar to Nazism, making no differentiation between man and woman, between children and old people - such a society is entitled to this Islamic spirit.”
Unfortunately a previous Israeli government allowed Hamas to gain strength in the territories, seeing it as a useful counter to Fatah. This was yet another mistake, which has come back to haunt the Jewish state.
It may be too late. The damage may be too severe but, better late than never, I believe it is incumbent upon a more nuanced and hopefully more effective Israeli public relations campaign to be launched quoting again and again the horrific clauses in the genocidal Hamas charter along with the poisonous words spewing from the PA’s media and from Abbas himself.
These should be offered relentlessly to all international leaders and media outlets so that all will see the absurdity and utter moral bankruptcy of negotiating with such a genocidal Palestinian partner; one which includes Hamas as part and parcel of the so-called Palestinian Authority whose leader, Mahmoud Abbas, utterly rejects recognizing Israel as the state of the Jews and demands that all ‘Palestinian territory’ be judenrein (free of Jews).
Who would still demand that Israel negotiate with such an inhuman entity? Outrageously, the Obama Administration, the EU, the UN, and so many misguided liberal Jews, like the notorious J-Street, still demand that Israel essentially commit national suicide.
Why, pray tell me, must we always witness Israeli leaders, year after year, tremulously refraining from forcefully rejecting the fraudulent charge of Israel being in occupation of ‘Palestinian’ land; a monumental lie that oozes from the very depths of Jew hatred, flies in the face of biblical and post-biblical Jewish history, and makes the very angels in heaven weep.
And why, oh why, must we have to squirm in embarrassment as an Israeli Prime Minister is forced by the present hostile incumbent in the White House to apologize to the Turkish Islamist thug, Recip Tayip Erdogan.
So show the vile Hamas Charter and quote the evil words of Abbas to all who hector and pressure Israel. If they do not come to their senses and recant, they would at least be seen as the immoral enemies of Israel; the Jewish state reconstituted now in its biblical and ancestral homeland.
It seems that the famous aphorism by Abba Eban that, “the Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity,” has become a recurring problem for the Jewish state.
So stop apologizing when it is the Arabs, those who call themselves Palestinians, who have most to apologize for.
Victor Sharpe is a prolific freelance writer and author of several published books including the trilogy, Politicide: The attempted murder of the Jewish state.
Victor Sharpe is a prolific freelance writer with many published articles in leading national and international conservative websites and magazines. Born and educated in England, he has been a broadcaster and has authored several books including a collection of short stories under the title The Blue Hour. His three-volume set of in-depth studies on the threats from resurgent Islam to Israel, the West and to Judeo-Christian civilization is titled, Politicide: The Attempted Murder of the Jewish State. www.amazon.com
Created on Sunday, 18 May 2014 12:03
Talmudic Sage Hillel the Elder had timeless words for us to take to heart. Obama paraphrased them, but missed the most important phrase of all.
“If not now, when? And if not you, Mr. Prime Minister, then who?”
Those were the timeless words of the Talmudic sage Rabbi Hillel, paraphrased, added to and ironically invoked by President Obama to ambush the Jewish Israeli Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, on his trip to Washington DC earlier this year. They are more ironic than ever after the terrorist ambush of Officer Baruch Mizrahi
, father of five, several hours before the Passover Seder.
Obama cited Rabbi Hillel to mock the 'nettlesome' stubbornness preventing Netanyahu from acceding to Obama's vision the "inevitability" of "peace," and the creation of a PA terror state in Judea and Samaria. Obama, however, skipped the real wisdom of Rabbi Hillel's maxim, the phrase immediately applicable to Israel: "If am not for myself, who will be for me?"
Transposed to Israel's current predicament, the question becomes, "If Israel is not for Israel, who will be for Israel?" After the "best-friend-Israel-ever-had" went "poof," we are all forced to face the ugly truth. Obama and Kerry don't have Israel's back, unless it is with a knife. But, Obama has Iran's back. And, Israel is all alone (except for, maybe, the "moderate" Sunnis, whatever that implies).
The media reported that Netanyahu was "deeply disappointed" by Kerry's "poof speech" in which Kerry blamed Israel alone for the breakdown of talks. I have one question: When would Israel like to be "deeply disappointed" by the fact that Obama wants Israel eradicated: before or after Israel gives up defensible mountains of Judea and Samaria that overlook Tel Aviv and Jerusalem? Before or after more freed terrorist murderers encourage others that there is nothing to lose (and a stipend from Abbas to gain) by killing Jews?
If Obama and Kerry stab Israel in the back now in a collegial Senate hearing, how would Obama and Kerry betray Israel when the Palestinian Katyusha rockets fly from Kalkilya in the PA state into Tel Aviv, or Palestinian terrorist mortars from the "liberated" Temple Mount pound into the Israeli Knesset?
What would Kerry or Obama would do to protect Israel: Zero. No, I strike "Zero," they would vote against Israel in the UN.
So the issue is Rabbi Hillel's first question in the paraphrased maxim: "If Israel is not for Israel, who will be for Israel? The problem is that the Israelis themselves are not for the Israelis. Forget about American Jews! Forget the Jewish diaspora! Look at the suicidal Jewish members of Knesset. For example, Meretz’s Zahava Gal-On just likened PM Netanyahu, Liberman, Bennett, Lapid to the Haggadah’s 4 brothers — except instead of the wise, wicket, simple and childish sons of the Haggadah, she opines that three are wicked and ‘one doesn’t know how to quit.’
And how about Israel's "Justice Minister" who threatens Israelis with BDS instead of fighting it? How long would anyone keep a lawyer who spent all his waking hours working on how to destroy your case and win the case for your opponent? But, Israelis actually voted for Tzipi Livni, enabling her to capture a position like "Justice Minister." It's Chelm.
How can American Jews be for a "defensible Israel" when a right-of-center Israel government's Justice Minister isn't for a "defensible Israel"? And on top of that, Livni hysterically expounds that a "defensible Israel" is a "bi-national state."
Is Israeli PM Netanyahu for a really "defensible Israel"? Did Netanyahu defend Israeli Defense Minister Ya'alon, when Ya'alon accurately called Kerry a "messianic, obsessed" person who doesn't understand Israel's defense needs? No, Netanyahu attacked Ya'alon for telling the truth - that the "Emperor had no clothes and was delusional." Netanyahu criticized Ya'alon by saying "sometimes we should talk less, and act more."
"Talk less" about publicly defending Israel's defensive needs?? That's exactly Israel's problem. How do you "talk less" than nothing? No Israeli official is publicly explaining in the official name of the State of Israel why Israel needs Judea and Samaria to defend itself. From Netanyahu's and Israel's deafening silence, any rational person would conclude that Judea and Samaria are not important for Israel's survival.
All the Israeli Nobel science prizes in the world and billion-dollar start-ups in the world won't make a damn bit of difference if Israel - whether willingly or by force - creates an Iranian-terror-state in Judea and Samaria which can rocket Israel to "Kingdom come, 'Obama's' will be done.'
Perhaps I should properly rephrase, transpose, and repeat Obama's Talmudic question: If Israel is not for Israel, who will be for Israel? And, if not you, Mr. Prime Minister Netanyahu, then who? And, if not now, when? For, if Prime Minister Netanyahu doesn't explain the truth now about Judea and Samaria's critical defensive importance to Israel, when will he ever explain the truth?
The writer, who specializes in security issues, has created an original educational 3d Topographic Map System of Israel to facilitate clear understanding of the dangers facing Israel and its water supply. It has been studied by US lawmakers and can be seen at www.marklangfan.com.
Created on Friday, 02 May 2014 18:53
The kiss-of-death (In Italian: Il bacio della morte) is the sign given by a mafia boss to a family-mob-member that signifies that the specific family-mob-member has been marked for death. Marlon Brando, playing Don Corleone, made it famous in the "Godfather" movies.
Obama has just given the Saudis a kiss-of-death, and the Saudis know it.
As a backdrop to recent events, on May 19, 2011, President Obama spoke concerning his war on Muammar Qaddafi:
“Unfortunately, in too many countries, calls for change have thus far been answered by violence. The most extreme example is Libya, where Muammar Qaddafi launched a war against his own people, promising to hunt them down like rats...
"But in Libya, we saw the prospect of imminent massacre, we had a mandate for action, and heard the Libyan people’s call for help. Had we not acted along with our NATO allies and regional coalition partners, thousands would have been killed. The message would have been clear: Keep power by killing as many people as it takes.”
During the first three days of the US attack against Qaddafi in 2011, the US fired 124 precision Tomahawk missiles (costing 1 million dollars a piece), flew hundreds air sorties, and instituted a no-fly zone against Qaddafi.
On to much more recent events. On Friday, March 28, 2014, while about to leave for Saudi Arabia, Obama opined on his failure to attack Assad when the Syrian ruler gassed over a thousand people to death:
“It is, I think, a false notion that somehow we were in a position to, through a few selective strikes, prevent the kind of hardship we’ve seen in Syria. It’s not that it’s not worth it.
"It’s that after a decade of war, the United States has limits.
"And it’s not clear whether the outcome, in fact, would have turned out significantly better.
"To look at a country like Syria and see how it’s been torn apart, to see the humanitarian crisis that’s taking place, surely, that is not consistent with any reasonable interpretation of what Islam is all about, to see children starving or murdered, to see families having to abandon their homes.”
After the Saudi meetings, Voice of America reported
1) Topping the list of concerns is Iran - a rival of Saudi Arabia.
2) The Saudis also have grievances about Obama's decision to not follow up on his threats to strike at the Syrian government after its poison gas attack in a Damascus suburb last year, and what the Saudis see as Washington's reluctance to arm Syrian rebels.
3) The White House says that while the U.S. and Saudi views have - in the words of one senior official - “not been exactly aligned,” there is no fundamental split in the relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia.
And here are a few observations:
1) The Saudis didn’t raise the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In fact, by the Arab League’s recent “10 No’s” vote a couple of days before, the Saudis turned Obama’s pre-condition of “Israel-Surrender-'West-Bank'-First, then form Arab-Israel alliance against Iran-second” on its head.
The Saudis in effect made their pre-condition Obama’s neutering of their Shiite Iranian monster first and last. Once Iran is dead and buried, the Saudis will talk about the Palestinian Arabs. The Saudis had de facto protected Israel’s flank by pushing the maximalist Arab League position which thus insured that Abbas couldn’t compromise on an inch (not that he would have anyway).
2) The Saudis will now be convinced that Obama is lying through his teeth on everything concerning Iran. Obama says, “It’s not clear whether the [Syrian] outcome, in fact, would have turned out significantly better.” Obama may be able to lie to American’s about ObamaCare, but he’s not going to sell the Saudis the same lying rug for a fifth time.
3) In 2011, Obama dropped 124 unmanned Tomahawks on Qaddafi in 3 days before he had barely killed even a thousand people, but in 2014, after Assad had murdered 120,000 Sunnis like “rats,” we hear that “It’s that after a decade of war, the United States has limits.”
Obama has confirmed the Saudis worst fears, no matter how one looks at it. If Obama is telling the truth, America is finished in the Middle East, and can’t defend the House of Saudi; but if Obama is lying, he is lying so badly, it’s hard to contain one’s laughter.
40 Obama reiterated over and over - before he was elected - that he’s not a “Muslim.” However, he seems to present himself as an absolute authority on what “Islam” is all about, and especially about the specific meanings of Iran’s various anti-nuclear “fatwas” - the ones that no one has ever seen! Nevertheless, Obama explains to us, benighted infidels, that Assad and Iran’s murdering of 200,000 Sunnis in Syria and having Shiite Muslim snipers “shoot-to-maim-not-kill” Sunni Muslim children, “is not consistent with any reasonable interpretation of what Islam is all about, to see children starving or murdered, to see families having to abandon their homes.”
Is Obama really serious about that statement? Is he saying, “Islam is only about murdering Jews and Christians, but not other Muslims”? Can it be that he doesn’t watch the news? He has dropped his golf-handicap a couple of strokes.
Obama is so busy 24/7/365 trying to push Israel into 1967-Auschwitz Borders that will irrevocably weaken the Jewish State, that he doesn’t think of anything else.
In conclusion, this is the way the Saudi's see it: Either Obama is so delusional that he really believes what he is saying, or Obama is the biggest fabricator the world has ever seen. Either way, the Saudis now see Obama as an Iranian-stooge, and realize that they have to face a nuclear-Iran without any U.S. defense.
And this is the way the Israeli's see it: Any Obama security guarantees for either the “peace” process or Iran are either total lies, or totally worthless because “It’s that after a decade of war, the United States has limits.” For Obama, after he creates a “West Bank” Palestinian state and/or if Iran develops a nuclear bomb, saving 6 million Jews will be outside “the United States’ limits.”
Israel is going to have to face Iran without the U.S., and possibly with Obama defending Iran by giving Iran a head’s-up warning when Israel launches any attack.
The writer, who specializes in security issues, has created an original educational 3d Topographic Map System of Israel to facilitate clear understanding of the dangers facing Israel and its water supply. It has been studied by US lawmakers and can be seen at www.marklangfan.com
Created on Tuesday, 01 April 2014 21:52
Iran has accused US President Barack Obama of being "two-faced," after he failed to raise the issue of human rights breaches with Saudi Arabia during his visit there last Friday. Obama promised Saudi King Abdullah that he would not accept a "bad deal"
on Iran's nuclear program in the visit.
Iranian General and political commentator Yadallah Jawani accused America and the West of being hypocritical on human rights. As an example, he brought the case of Saudi Arabia, saying it has been ruled for many years by a royal family that breaches the rights of its citizens, and in particular its women.
Jawani pointed the finger at Obama for not mentioning the human rights abuses during his visit, accusing him of hypocritical lip-service for human rights while only advancing his own interests, presumably interests in Saudi oil.
Saudi Arabia has come in for criticism after Saudi princesses revealed in an interview last Friday, the day Obama spoke to King Abdullah, that they were being held as "hostages"
and being starved in a royal compound, after going public with their story
of abuse last month.
A study last November found Saudi Arabia has the third worst women's rights
in the Arab world. In February several education departments banned female employees and visitors not wearing a face veil from entering girls’ schools. Saudi women are not issued driving licenses
Opposition to Iranian nuke is "terror"
Jawani further claimed America and Israel had collaborated in the recent kidnapping of two Iranian soldiers near the border with Pakistan. In making the accusations, Jawani said the US threats that "all options are on the table
" regarding Iran's nuclear program constituted "terror," and caused instability in the region.
In early March, Iranian officials called Obama's threats of preventing the Islamic regime's nuclear aspirations from materializing "the joke of the year
In terms of "terror" and causing instability, Iran's accusations may sound hypocritical to many, given that Iranian lawmaker and Majilis (council) member Mohammed Nabavian said in January that "having a nuclear bomb is necessary to put down Israel
Obama's Saudi visit has received other criticism as well. A report released before the visit revealed the US has kept secret
an extensive study of Saudi textbooks, traditionally rife with Islamic extremism, since the end of 2012.
Created on Saturday, 01 February 2014 17:41
Iran on Thursday dismissed as "unrealistic and unconstructive" comments by President Barack Obama that international sanctions linked to its nuclear program had forced Tehran to the negotiating table, AFP reported.
"The delusion of sanctions having an effect on Iran's motivation for nuclear negotiations is based on a false narration of history,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham was quoted as saying by state broadcaster IRIB.
In his State of the Union address
on Tuesday, Obama said that U.S. and international pressure had led to the interim deal struck in November between Iran and six global powers, under which Tehran agreed to scale back uranium enrichment in return for sanctions relief.
"American diplomacy, backed by pressure, has halted the progress of Iran’s nuclear program and rolled parts of that program back," Obama said.
"The sanctions that we put in place helped make this opportunity possible," he added.
Afkham, in comments posted on the IRIB website, dismissed Obama's comments.
"It is a totally wrong interpretation of Tehran's interest to create an opportunity for Western countries to have another kind of relation with the Iranian nation," she claimed.
Afkham also rejected Obama's assertion that diplomacy had opened a window which could forestall any possible nuclear weapons drive by Iran.
"America considers preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon to be its biggest achievement, but it is wrong since Iran has never sought to obtain a nuclear weapon and will never do so in future," she said.
As part of the nuclear deal struck with Iran in Geneva and which went into effect last week, Tehran committed to limit its uranium enrichment to five percent, halting production of 20 percent-enriched uranium.
In return the European Union and the United States have eased crippling economic sanctions on Iran, which the United States has already begun to do
In his speech, Obama also pledged to veto any bill by lawmakers to impose new sanctions against Iran, warning the move could derail the talks.
On Thursday it was reported that Obama had scored success in his attempt to prevent new sanctions, as several senators have decided not to push
for them following his veto threat.
Created on Tuesday, 28 January 2014 23:05
President Barack Obama on Tuesday threatened once again to veto a new Iran sanctions bill if it is passed by Congress.
The comments came during the State of the Union address, which mostly dealt with internal matters but mentioned Iran in the context of American foreign policy.
Obama noted that American diplomacy “has halted the progress of Iran’s nuclear program – and rolled parts of that program back – for the very first time in a decade,” referring to the interim nuclear deal reached with Iran and which went into effect last week
“As we gather here tonight, Iran has begun to eliminate its stockpile of higher levels of enriched uranium,” he said. “It is not installing advanced centrifuges. Unprecedented inspections help the world verify, every day, that Iran is not building a bomb. And with our allies and partners, we’re engaged in negotiations to see if we can peacefully achieve a goal we all share: preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”
“These negotiations will be difficult. They may not succeed. We are clear-eyed about Iran’s support for terrorist organizations like Hezbollah, which threaten our allies; and the mistrust between our nations cannot be wished away. But these negotiations do not rely on trust; any long-term deal we agree to must be based on verifiable action that convinces us and the international community that Iran is not building a nuclear bomb. If John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan could negotiate with the Soviet Union, then surely a strong and confident America can negotiate with less powerful adversaries today,” said Obama.
He reiterated that “if this Congress sends me a new sanctions bill now that threatens to derail these talks, I will veto it.”
“For the sake of our national security, we must give diplomacy a chance to succeed. If Iran’s leaders do not seize this opportunity, then I will be the first to call for more sanctions, and stand ready to exercise all options to make sure Iran does not build a nuclear weapon. But if Iran’s leaders do seize the chance, then Iran could take an important step to rejoin the community of nations, and we will have resolved one of the leading security challenges of our time without the risks of war.”
The speech only mentioned Israel in passing, as the president noted the U.S.-sponsored peace talks between Israel and the PA in the context of American foreign policy.
“As we speak, American diplomacy is supporting Israelis and Palestinians as they engage in difficult but necessary talks to end the conflict there; to achieve dignity and an independent state for Palestinians, and lasting peace and security for the State of Israel – a Jewish state that knows America will always be at their side,” he said.
Mostly, Obama focused in the speech on "a year of action" in terms of the economy.
"That's what most Americans want -- for all of us in this chamber to focus on their lives, their hopes, their aspirations," Obama said.
The President offered what "concrete, practical proposals" for economic growth and enhanced opportunity, according to transcripts quoted by CNN. While some of his ideas will require congressional action, he has vowed to accomplish parts of his agenda without Congress.
“In the coming months, let’s see where else we can make progress together. Let’s make this a year of action,” he said. “That’s what most Americans want – for all of us in this chamber to focus on their lives, their hopes, their aspirations. And what I believe unites the people of this nation, regardless of race or region or party, young or old, rich or poor, is the simple, profound belief in opportunity for all – the notion that if you work hard and take responsibility, you can get ahead.”
He pledged to make hiring more people easier for more companies by eliminating complicated loopholes in the tax code.
The money saved with this transition, he said, could be dedicated to reform “to create jobs rebuilding our roads, upgrading our ports, unclogging our commutes – because in today’s global economy, first-class jobs gravitate to first-class infrastructure. We’ll need Congress to protect more than three million jobs by finishing transportation and waterways bills this summer. But I will act on my own to slash bureaucracy and streamline the permitting process for key projects, so we can get more construction workers on the job as fast as possible.”
Obama pledged to help entrepreneurs and small business owners by promoting new trade partnerships with Europe and the Asia-Pacific.
He called on Congress “to restore the unemployment insurance you just let expire for 1.6 million people.”
“Congress, give these hardworking, responsible Americans that chance,” urged Obama. “They need our help, but more important, this country needs them in the game. That’s why I’ve been asking CEOs to give more long-term unemployed workers a fair shot at that new job and new chance to support their families; this week, many will come to the White House to make that commitment real. Tonight, I ask every business leader in America to join us and to do the same – because we are stronger when America fields a full team.”
The speech also referred to the educational system, with Obama promising to “invest in new partnerships with states and communities across the country in a race to the top for our youngest children. And as Congress decides what it’s going to do, I’m going to pull together a coalition of elected officials, business leaders, and philanthropists willing to help more kids access the high-quality pre-K they need.”
The president also pledged to do more to help Americans save for retirement and announced that on Wednesday he will direct the Treasury to create MyRA, a new way for working Americans to start their own retirement savings.
Obama praised his Affordable Care Act, noting that more than three million Americans under age 26 have gained coverage under their parents’ plans and more than nine million Americans have signed up for private health insurance or Medicaid coverage.
“I don’t expect to convince my Republican friends on the merits of this law. But I know that the American people aren’t interested in refighting old battles. So again, if you have specific plans to cut costs, cover more people, and increase choice – tell America what you’d do differently. Let’s see if the numbers add up. But let’s not have another forty-something votes to repeal a law that’s already helping millions of Americans like Amanda. The first forty were plenty. We got it. We all owe it to the American people to say what we’re for, not just what we’re against,” he said.
He also mentioned gun violence and said, “I intend to keep trying, with or without Congress, to help stop more tragedies from visiting innocent Americans in our movie theaters, shopping malls, or schools like Sandy Hook.”
On the defense front, he said, “We have to remain vigilant. But I strongly believe our leadership and our security cannot depend on our military alone. As Commander-in-Chief, I have used force when needed to protect the American people, and I will never hesitate to do so as long as I hold this office. But I will not send our troops into harm’s way unless it’s truly necessary; nor will I allow our sons and daughters to be mired in open-ended conflicts. We must fight the battles that need to be fought, not those that terrorists prefer from us – large-scale deployments that drain our strength and may ultimately feed extremism.”
CNN noted that Obama failed to get any of his top 2013 State of the Union
priorities -- a jobs program, gun control and sweeping immigration reform -- through Congress. He went into this year’s speech with only a 43% job-approval rating.
The President hopes to use this State of the Union speech to rebuild his standing enough to force action on some of his priorities, the network noted.
Created on Monday, 20 January 2014 22:09
The problem with Chamberlain’s 1938 Munich appeasement of Hitler wasn’t merely that Chamberlain mistakenly “thought he had saved world peace.” It was that Chamberlain didn’t realize that, by giving Hitler the topographic-beachhead of the Czech-Sudetenland under the Munich diplomatic-umbrella, Chamberlain accelerated, rather than retarded, Hitler’s time-table for his military conquests. Chamberlain’s truly catastrophic mistake was that he misjudged the rapidity of Hitler’s post-Munich mobilization and military moves. Consequently, 70 million people died in World War II.
The problem with Obama’s 2013 Geneva nuclear-appeasement of Iran wasn’t merely that Obama mistakenly “thought he had saved world peace.” It was that Obama didn’t realize that by giving Iran the nuclear-beachhead under the Geneva diplomatic-umbrella, Obama accelerated, rather than retarded, Iran’s time-table for its nuclear advances and conquests. Obama’s truly catastrophic mistake is that he is misjudging the rapidity of Iran’s post-Geneva mobilization and nuclear moves. Consequently, 100 million people will likely die in the coming World War III.
While the actual text of the Obama-Iran Geneva Nuke deal is a legal and substantive horror-show, three specific critical legal loopholes to the Geneva text ensure that Iran’s nuclear program will now accelerate and go nuclear. In essence, the Geneva “Agreement” which was designed to ostensibly deny Iran a nuclear weapon will ensure it quickly attains one. Iran’s recent announcement that Iran just created a new series of centrifuges is the start of what will be a torrent pace of Iran’s short-term nuclear-bomb technological breakthroughs.
Some of the actual text of the legal loophole section is as follows:
“This comprehensive solution would enable Iran to fully enjoy its right to nuclear energy for peaceful purposes under the relevant articles of the NPT in conformity with its obligations therein. This comprehensive solution would involve a mutually defined enrichment programme with practical limits and transparency measures to ensure the peaceful nature of the programme. This comprehensive solution would constitute an integrated whole where nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. This comprehensive solution would involve a reciprocal, step-by- step process, and would produce the comprehensive lifting of all UN Security Council sanctions, as well as multilateral and national sanctions related to Iran's nuclear programme.
There would be additional steps in between the initial measures and the final step, including, among other things, addressing the UN Security Council resolutions, with a view toward bringing to a satisfactory conclusion the UN Security Council's consideration of this matter. The E3+3 and Iran will be responsible for conclusion and implementation of mutual near-term measures and the comprehensive solution in good faith.”
Elements of a first step
The first step would be time-bound, with a duration of 6 months, and renewable by mutual consent, during which all parties will work to maintain a constructive atmosphere for negotiations in good faith.
Iran would undertake the following voluntary measures:
Iran announces that it will not make any further advances of its activities at the Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant, Fordow, or the Arak reactor, designated by the IAEA as IR-40.”
The first textual legal loophole is that the Geneva Document creates a mythical-to-be-agreed-upon future “first step” when the “six month period” would supposedly begin to go into effect. The Geneva text creates a “pre-first step” gap window of time between November 24 and to an undetermined future date of the “first step” before anything remotely occurs.
So Iran, with the absolute diplomatic and umbrella sanction of what is at best a Geneva “press release,” can now start sprinting to a nuke. It’s as if Obama has sanctioned and given diplomatic cover for Iran’s sprinting to a bomb as long as Iran says it may stop sprinting at some time in the indeterminate future.
The second loophole is that the November 2013 Geneva agreement does not remotely require Iran to stop Iran’s nuclear work even after the mythical-to-be-determined-“first step”. According to the Geneva text: “Iran announces that it will not make any further advances of its activities at the Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant1, Fordow2, or the Arak reactor3, designated by the IAEA as IR-40.” (Bold added.)
So, as of the future undetermined “first step,” Iran is only to not make “further advances” past whatever technological achievements it has achieved. So, rather than slow Iran down before the “first step”, by the Geneva terms it gives Iran an actual incentive to race to whatever “advances” it can before parties agree that the Geneva Agreement has started the “first step”.
Then, even once the “first step” has started, Iran can do anything it wants in those facilities up to and including all of its post-November 2013 pre-“first step” “advances”.
Then, there is an additional and even greater problem with this language in that, who knows what exactly constitutes “advances” and who is to determine exactly what constitutes “advances”? Has Iran disclosed all of its “advances”? No. Must Iran under the Geneva document disclose all of its “advances”? No. So, in fact, the exact definition of what nuclear work Iran is actually barred from doing past the undefined “advances” goes from fuzzy to undefinable to unenforceable to unverifiable.
Then there is the ultimate “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed to” loophole. The Geneva document in two places makes clear that despite any “agreements” Iran is not bound by any single term until an absolute total agreement has been made final. So, don’t break out the champagne just yet!
In short, the Obama Geneva Nuclear Agreement is a green-light diplomatic cover for Iran to race to a nuclear bomb.
The writer, who writes on security issues, has created an original educational 3d Topographic Map System of Israel to facilitate clear understanding of the dangers facing Israel and its water supply. It has been studied by US lawmakers and can be seen at www.marklangfan.com
Created on Thursday, 16 January 2014 17:47
To the West, and most particularly to President Obama, the newly elected smiling and turbaned Dr. Hassan Rouhani has been on a "smile" offensive. But to his Muslim brothers, specifically to his Sunni Moslem brothers, with whom Dr. Rouhani "shares" the special affinity of belief in “Allah”, Iranian president Rouhani has been on a different type of offensive. With his Egyptian Muslim co-religionists, he's been on a murderous genocidal war-crimes offensive.
In Syria, Rouhani's puppet Assad has invented a new form of urban warfare: indiscriminately dropping barrel-bombs which blow up schools with dozens of innocent Muslim children at a time. But for Egypt, Iran has been busy training Muslim brotherhood terrorists in Gaza-proper to blow up the country. In the recent Muslim Brotherhood explosion of the Egyptian police headquarters in Mansoura, 14 Egyptians were murdered and over 200 were injured by Iranian-trained Muslim brotherhood terrorists.
Egypt's Al Ahram, just reported that:
"Egypt's Interior Ministry said on Sunday police have detained a Muslim Brotherhood member accused of attacking an opponent of the group in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura, adding that the suspect confessed to being part of a terrorist cell.
The ministry said in a statement that the suspect, Amer Mosaad Abdel-Hamid, confessed to having received – along with other Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood members – military training in Gaza as well as instructions on how to ‘target state facilities, wreak chaos across the country and disturb public peace and security.’"
“‘They [the Egyptians] are entitled to do this,’ says tunnel worker Ahmed Salem, 25, referring to the Egyptians. ‘They are entitled to defend their country [Egypt]. Hamas is the one who is responsible for this.’
"'For what?' [the reporter asked] 'Weapons,' Salem says. 'And the people who go through the tunnels to Egypt and kill their soldiers. Yes, it happens'.”
A late September 2013 report in the Lebanese newspaper As-Safir, said that in light of the Muslim Brotherhood's ouster from Egypt - Hamas, Hezbollah and the Iranian leadership agreed to form a stronger pact and to fortify the "axis of resistance." Then, the Iranian-loving Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar declared that his movement had formed a joint command with Islamic Jihad, a more radical Islamist movement in Gaza and a close ally of the Iranian regime. All were blessed by the newly installed Iranian president Dr. Rouhani on his Inauguration Day.
The bottom line is that nothing moves in the Gaza Strip without Iran's say-so and hence Iran clearly directly sanctioned the Mansoura bombing. In fact, that's why it happened.
Turkey's Islamist Prime Minister Erdogan was also in favor of the training of Egyptian Muslim Brothers to massacre Egyptians. But it all leads back to Gaza. And as Detective Anthony Vincenzo "Tony" Baretta used to say, "Don't do the crime if you can't do the time, don't do it." But Gaza's Hamas did do the crime and the Egyptians know Gaza's Hamas did the crime. So Egypt had better dispense "the time."
After Mansoura, the Egyptians have only one immediate course of action: Obliterate Hamas. Iran and Turkey are too far away to hurt. Anyway, the best spot to harm the chain is at its weakest link and at present, Assad and Hamas are the weakest links. Egypt can save the payback due Iran and Erdogan's Turkey for another day. Today, Egypt should strike what it can, especially since Egypt can strike Hamas without the international law constraints Israel had to endure and can wipe Hamas off the planet.
If Egypt allows Mansoura to go un-revenged and unanswered, then the Egyptian Generals will be correctly seen as feckless by the Muslim brotherhood and Iran. Egypt will be seen as incapable of defending themselves against a clear external and weak enemy. Such weakness by Egypt's generals against an easy target will inspire Egypt's internal, more difficult enemies to believe Egypt's generals are dead men walking who will ultimately fail to defend themselves.
When Egyptian bombs start razing the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood seaside hotels and Hamas headquarters, the Iranians will feel the earth shake under their feet in Tehran. When the Egyptian Arab Sunni bombs wipe out Iran's Hamas puppet Assad, the Iranians will truly have something very real to fear: an "Arab Awakening" to their Persian Hegemonic games.
The writer, who writes on security issues, has created an original educational 3d Topographic Map System of Israel to facilitate clear understanding of the dangers facing Israel and its water supply. It has been studied by US lawmakers and can be seen at www.marklangfan.com
Created on Saturday, 04 January 2014 15:47
The US financial aid designated for the Palestinian Authority (PA) is set to grow considerably in 2014 to $440 million, up from $426 million in 2013. The aid aims to bail out the PA, which in June was revealed to owe $4.2 billion in internal and external debt.
Palestinian Liberation Organization's (PLO) representative in Washington DC, Maen Erekat, reported the figure, saying the transfer was already agreed upon by Congress, but will be influenced by progress in the peace talks with Israel. The PA recently declared the talks have failed, and threatened diplomatic action against Israel.
The financial aid reveals intentions of greater cooperation between the US and the PA.
PA leadership has requested that the US renew a joint committee between the US and PA which was active in the 1990s, so as to discuss common political and financial issues, revealed Erekat.
A PLO representative told the Judea and Samaria-based Arab Ma'an News Agency that most of the US aid will be used for building and development projects, adding that $70 million will be directly transferred to the PA Finance Ministry.
However, the PA has used its foreign-backed funds to reward terrorism.
Reports in November revealed that the PA gave at least $50,000 as a grant to each terrorist released in "gestures" to the peace talks. The released terrorists were also given monthly salaries ranging from 10,000 shekels ($2,800) to 14,000 shekels ($4,000).
Additionally, a former PLO official recently acknowledged PA support for the Nazis during World War II.
Created on Saturday, 28 December 2013 05:50
The Hebrew Makor Rishon's Editor-in-Chief penned a scathing editorial about Obama. But it is also being talked about because of accusations leveled at cetain retired IDF personnel.
Now that the best and brightest have finished their comparisons with Munich and Chamberlain, I wish to provide another, somewhat more shocking, comparison, one that in the past, resulted in people calling for smelling salts.
In March 2010, I attempted to explain the American president's seemingly incomprehensible behavior in simple terms, making use of the name Charles Lindbergh. The legendary pro-Nazi pilot surfaced again in Philip Roth's novel "The Plot Against America", published in 2004. Roth penned a novel based on speculative history ("what would have happened if…")- in this case, what would have happened had Charles Lindbergh won the 1940 elections rather than FDR, the incumbent against whom he ran for president.
The great United States of America and the great land of Germany – the land that was, coincidentally, ruled at the time by that Chancellor named Adolf Hitler - would have developed ties of friendship and mutual accord. Roth waxed eloquent on the effects this would have had on American Jewry and on the resulting cooperation that would have developed between American Jewish leadership and the new anti-Jewish American government.
For nearly four years now, it has been clear that the then-new American president sees the world in a fashion that is diametrically opposed to what we expect from an American government. He disposed of the bust of Churchill that stood in the White House. All the historical narrative that contains the struggle of democracies against totalitarian regimes, the Munich agreement, appeasement, giving in, Chamberlain – all those are one story in his history book. Even the Spanish Civil War is irrelevant. In his book there are imperialism, colonialism, Zionist aggression and peoples that awaken and rebel. That is how, in 2010, this Lindbergh-style president supported Argentina in the renewed hostilities that developed between that country and Great Britain over the Falkland Islands.
By the beginning of 2010, when Obama began a political siege on Israel for building in Jerusalem while evincing goodwill gestures such as stretching out a hand towards Ahmadinejad's Iran, shaking hands with and hugging Chavez as well as offering US friendship to the then president of Brazil, Lula de Silva, it seemed clear that the American president felt that the world was ready for the Chavesian, Ahmadinejadian and Bashar-Assadian style of leadership.
On his visit to Israel in March 2010, the above-mentioned Lula pointedly refrained from laying a wreath on Herzl's grave; he most decidedly did not refrain from laying one on Arafat's grave. This is the world in which the American president feels at home, the one he sees himself leading.
The agreement signed with the Iranians in Geneva sets a new record for the about-face in policy that characterizes the US government under Obama. Obama's policy is not centered on neutralizing Iran's nuclear power. It is centered on the beginning of a wonderful friendship with the Ayatollahs whose regime has not retreated from plans to destroy Israel and which has not abandoned its worldwide terror network.
The secret communications channel, the details of which were revealed in the Maariv Hebrew newspaper magazine cover story, proves that there is a change in orientation and not a concerted diplomatic effort to prevent nuclearization. In the not-too-distant future, we will see Obama on a historic visit to Tehran
and watch him shake the hand of the "Supreme Spiritual Leader".
The fact that Obama has adopted a Lindberghian policy doesn't mean that in this new context he is not being realistic. The worrisome reality is that the relative strengths in the much-discussed, historical hostility between Sunnis and Shiites in the Middle East, are not balanced, this according to a reliable security source with access to intelligence data. Syria is the main area for this struggle and what the US and Israel see is that the Shiites, backed by Iran, are a solid power with the ability to control and carry out a clear policy.
In contrast, the Sunnis do not have any real power at this point. They are fragmented. The Syrian opposition has not proved that it is internally cohesive and can control and keep order in major sections of Syria, let alone in Iraq. They were unable to retain power even in Egypt, where the Muslim Brotherhood won control. So the Americans handed over Iraq, Syria and Lebanon to Iran.
There is no doubt that Preisdent Obama knows very well that he is turning into a partner of leaders who have committed crimes against humanity and a friend of those who declare their intentions of doing so. No problem. He simply prefers Iran over Israel.
In addition, it must be added, that in terms of the past, Israel also preferred the forces known today as Shiite: Iran, the Lebanese Shiites (who became the Hezbollah), for example. But in Obama's case, strategic realism is simply a cover-up for ideological preference.
Obama also prefers to place a wreath on the grave of Ayatollah Khoumeini rather than those of Herzl or Ben Gurion.
This May Sound Terrible, but….
Amir Oren, the Haaretz writer who acts as if he is an American source of influence, had a slip of the tongue last week when he said: "..This is the reason for the adamant refusal of 5 presidents over 28 years to forgive Pollard. The man himself is not important to America, the punitive and preventive lesson his story teaches Israel is what counts: don't be a wise guy and don't show off…Netanyahu, in this regard, is liable to become a political Pollard."
It is probably accurate to say that Amir Oren is threatening us. But who has sent him? Who is behind him? After all, Oren himself is of no importance. What is important is what he is telling us about the real American use of Pollard. The same point was taken on Israel's Channel 2 "Facts" show and in another article by Nahum Barnea (famous columnist, ed.) on relations between the US and Israel. Barnea, unlike Oren, is not confused about where his loyalties lie. He is an Israeli and a patriotic one. He does not think that the Americans are wise or justified in torturing one of their own citizens this way. He has a different spin, comparing Pollard with the freeing of the Iranian scientist within the framework of the Iran agreement.
The slip of the tongue at the beginning of last week was meant to remind former/retired Israeli security personnel that they had better continue to cooperate with the Americans in their anti-Israeli government policies, given that the basic premise is that what is good for the USA is not good for Israel.
I know. It sounds terrible. But the highest ranking security personnel in Israel see what happened to certain persona over the years because of the Pollard saga. Rafi Eitan (who was Pollard's handler) cannot enter the USA. Aviam Sela's (the Israeli general who planned the Osirak attack) budding career was destroyed by American dictates. Amos Yaron (once Defense Ministry director) has problems. Even (former jShabak head) Yuval Diskin
once had trouble getting a visa to the USA.
And even more telling: there is a great demand – and rightly so – for the skills of Israeli security people in various industries here. They combine vast knowledge with diplomatic ability that ordinary businessmen lack. And developing weapons exports vitalizes the Israeli economy - but some of this trade requires American authorization and is dependent on the US.
Therefore, as awful as it sounds, it is quite possible to envisage a situation where top level Israeli security persona fall into line with US directives in an unwritten agreement: i.e. we will back your positions in exchange for freedom of employment. Wikileaks documents exposed the terrible verbal lapses of Israeli security and intelligence personnel at the American Embassy; one can only imagine what they say when they are actually in the US.
So Pollard serves as the stick; and as far as concerns the carrot, I suggest taking a look at how for many years top policy-makers have said that Saudi Arabia – and even Bill Clinton said it – is the pension fund of retired American government officials: Say what we want you to say, announce policies that we like, and at retirement, accept a lucrative job at our expense.
I know it sounds just terrible when it is applied to our people.
And what about former prime ministers? Let us just say that in the marketplace of lectures at universities and various institutes, Ehud Olmert
is not paid to talk about the exciting cultural renaissance in Israel nor about its hi-tech. He is paid to sell Israel and its government down the river for the highest available price.
Amnon Lord, Makor Rishon Senior Editor
The writer is a jounalist, movie critic, writer, editor and tv producer. He served as editor in chief of the popular Makor Rishon Hebrew newspaper and is currently a senior editor with the paper. His writes a much-discussed op-ed column in the paper's weekend news supplement.
Created on Tuesday, 26 November 2013 17:53
The Obama administration, in what’s been called an egregious slap in the face to the Vatican, has moved to shut down the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See — a free-standing facility — and relocate offices onto the grounds of the larger American Embassy in Italy.
The new offices will be in a separate building on the property, Breitbart reported.
And while U.S. officials are touting the relocation as a security measure that’s a cautionary reaction to last year’s attacks on America's facility in Benghazi, several former American envoys are raising the red flag.
It’s a “massive downgrade of U.S.-Vatican ties,” said former U.S. Ambassador James Nicholson in the National Catholic Reporter. “It’s turning this embassy into a stepchild of the embassy to Italy. The Holy See is a pivot point for international affairs and a major listening post for the United States, and … [it’s] an insult to American Catholics and to the Vatican.”
Mr. Nicholson — whose views were echoed by former envoys Francis Rooney, Mary Ann Glendon, Raymond Flynn and Thomas Melady — also called the justification for closing the existing facility a “smokescreen,” Breitbart reported.
“That’s like saying people get killed on highways because they drive cars on them,” he said in the report. “We’re not a pauper nation … if we want to secure an embassy, we certainly can.”
Moreover, the existing facility has “state of the art” security, he said.
Mr. Flynn, meanwhile, said the administration’s announcement reflects a hostility toward the Catholic Church.
“It’s not just those who bomb churches and kill Catholics in the Middle East who are our antagonists, but it’s also those who restrict our religious freedoms and want to close down our embassy to the Holy See,” he said in the National Catholic Reporter. “[There’s no] diplomatic or political benefit to the United States” from the relocation at all, he added.
Catholic Vote, a publication for the Church community, called the move “an unmistakable slap in the face” that clearly communicates that the United States cares little for the diplomatic facility.
And Mr. Nicholson went on, as Breitbart reported: “It’s another manifestation of the antipathy of this administration both to Catholics and to the Vatican — and to Christians in the Middle East. This is a key post for intermediation in so many sovereignties but particularly in the Middle East. This is anything but a good time to diminish the stature of this post. To diminish the stature of this post is to diminish its influence.”
Created on Monday, 25 November 2013 08:43
U.S. President Barack Obama called Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday to discuss an international nuclear deal with Iran that has threatened to raise tensions between the close allies, the White House said.
"The two leaders reaffirmed their shared goal of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon," deputy White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters aboard Air Force One As Obama headed to the U.S. West Coast, reported AFP.
"Consistent with our commitment to consult closely with our Israeli friends, the president told the prime minister that he wants the United States and Israel to begin consultations immediately regarding our efforts to negotiate a comprehensive solution," he added.
Obama stressed that the P5+1 powers negotiating with Iran will seek to obtain a "lasting, peaceful and comprehensive solution that would resolve the international community's concerns regarding Iran's nuclear program," according to Earnest.
He added that Obama and Netanyahu agreed to keep in "close contact" over the deal.
"The president underscored that the United States will remain firm in our commitment to Israel, which has good reason to be skeptical about Iran's intentions," said Earnest.
The phone call comes hours after the West and Iran signed an interim deal which Netanyahu rejected as “a historic mistake”.
Relations between Israel and the United States have been strained for quite some time, as Netanyahu had repeatedly warned before the deal was signed that it was a bad one.
According to some recent reports, the U.S. administration has been frustrated with Netanyahu’s warnings to the point that Obama has been refusing to accept Netanyahu’s phone calls.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry hit out at critics of the deal on Sunday, saying that those who criticize it have a responsibility to “tell people what the better alternative is.”
"Israel will actually gain a larger breathing space in terms of the breakout capacity of Iran," Kerry insisted in an interview on ABC.
"Do you want to sit there and argue that you have to dismantle your program before you stopped it, and while you're arguing about this dismantling it, they progress?" he asked.
Created on Wednesday, 16 October 2013 16:45
A last minute cross-party agreement between Democrats and Republicans in the US Senate has ended a partial government shutdown.
The agreement, forged just one day ahead of the deadline to raise the country's $16.7 trillion debt limit, extends the federal borrowing limit until February 2014, and funds the government until this coming January.
In a statement, White House spokesman Jay Carney released a statement on behalf of President Obama "applaud[ing] Senate leaders Reid (Rep.) and McConnell (Dem.) for working together to forge this compromise."
Democratic leader Harry Reid hailed the "historic" deal, which he said saved the US from "the brink of disaster."
"This legislation ends a standoff that ground the work of Washington to a halt," he declared from the Senate floor Wednesday.
Opposition to Obama's controversial healthcare reforms triggered the first US government shutdown in 17 years, in the face of stiff opposition from Republicans.
News of the deal was received warmly in Wall Street, with the New York exchange jumping 1%.
Created on Friday, 11 October 2013 11:52
After US cuts military aid to Cairo, Washington faces possibility that Egypt will turn to a rival country for aid: "Any inch Obama loses, another power will gain and we will not mind," Egyptian official says.
A US decision to curtail military and economic aid to Egypt to promote democracy may ultimately backfire, pushing Cairo to seek assistance elsewhere and giving Washington less leverage to stabilize a country in the heart of the Middle East.
Washington faces a dilemma in dealing with its major regional ally: Egypt controls the Suez Canal and has a peace treaty with neighboring Israel but its army overthrew the first "freely elected" president, Islamist Mohamed Morsi, in July.
The United States said on Wednesday it would withhold deliveries of tanks, fighter aircraft, helicopters and missiles to Cairo as well as $260 million in cash aid to push the army-backed government to steer the nation towards democracy.
Egypt's government, the second largest recipient of US aid after Israel, said it would not bow to American pressure. The country's military, which has been leading the crackdown against Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, can afford to be even more defiant.
Hundreds of Brotherhood members were killed and about 2,000 Islamist activists and Brotherhood leaders, including Morsi, were arrested.
Army chief Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has emerged as the most popular public figure in Egypt, and he is well aware that many Egyptians have both turned sharply against the Brotherhood and bitterly concluded that Washington supports the movement.
At the same time, many Brotherhood members believe the Obama administration was behind what it calls a military coup.
With its credibility in question, Washington has little chance of getting the two sides to compromise and take part in a democratic, inclusive political process.
Even the European Union, which is seen as far more neutral, has made little headway.
LOOKING TO RUSSIA
Most worrying for the United States is the possibility that the Egyptian army -- the largest in the Arab world -- will turn to a rival country for aid after decades of close ties to Washington.
The United States has long provided Egypt with about $1.55 billion in annual aid, including $1.3 billion for the military.
Military officials told Reuters that the country's generals have grown mistrustful of the United States throughout the political crisis that erupted after Morsi's overthrow.
They were infuriated from early on when the United States began hinting that action could be taken to demonstrate Washington's displeasure at Morsi's removal. Military officials said they were not surprised by the reduction in aid.
"There is a saying among us that 'whoever is covered by the Americans is in fact naked'," one military source said.
"Americans shift their positions based on their interests and don't have principles. But we also know that whatever they say or hint they would do, in the end they will not want to lose Egypt."
Egypt's army is exploring its options. "The military definitely has plans to diversify its source of weapons which include going to Russia," said the military source, who did not elaborate.
El Watan newspaper, which is close to the army, quoted a military source as saying that Egypt will soon announce deals for arms from "new markets other than America" which are of the same standard as ones from the United States.
American efforts to sell democracy in Egypt and return the Brotherhood to politics have deepened long-standing mistrust of the United States.
Conspiracy theories about American plans to divide Egypt and the greater Middle East have mushroomed, with some of the plots detailed in diagrams in newspapers.
"Screw the American aid," read one banner newspaper headline in red. In one part of Cairo, a poster of the American president with a white beard reads "Obama is a terrorist".
Military officials buy in to some of the conspiracy theories, including one which suggests that US ally Israel wants Islamists in power in the Middle East to keep the region unstable.
"Islamists ruling Arabs would be enough to ensure that Israel remain the biggest power in the region," one colonel said.
Support from Gulf Arab states such as Saudi Arabia, which were happy to see Morsi go because of their loathing of the Brotherhood, could give Egypt room for maneuver if it decides to move away from the United States.
After Morsi was deposed, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates promised Egypt a total of $12 billion in loans, grants and fuel shipments. The aid has kept the economy afloat and may give Egypt some policy flexibility.
"Compared to Gulf aid, American aid is peanuts. It won't financially affect Egypt and could easily be filled by Gulf countries," said Abdullah al-Askar, chairman of the foreign affairs committee in Saudi Arabia's Shoura Council, an appointed parliament that has only advisory powers.
"People in the Gulf do not see (cutting the aid) as a democratic message. Otherwise why is America allowing the Syrian regime to continue killing people every day?"
Both Saudi Arabia and Egypt -- Washington's most important allies in the Arab world -- are frustrated with US policy and see Washington as an indecisive superpower.
"The US position is not clear and not understood and comes at a time when Egypt needs help," a government official said. "For sure the US will lose the support of the Egyptian people and it is natural that the void it leaves by its loss of the Egyptian people will benefit another power in the world."
Israel also has issues with the American approach in Egypt. Israel welcomed in private the downfall of Morsi and had urged Washington behind the scenes to provide full support to the new military-backed government in Cairo.
"I would not be surprised, by the way, if tomorrow or the day after, the Saudis and others begin to hold talks with the Russians under the carpet in order to ensure there will be a protective umbrella when the time comes," Former Israeli Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer told Israel Radio.
Sisi has promised a political road map will bring free and fair elections. He is not under any real pressure from Egyptians to speed up the process, and Egyptian officials won't take it too kindly if the United States keeps pressing the military.
"Any inch Obama loses, another power will gain and we will not mind," said the government official.mohammad mursi, israel, suez canal, anti-terrorism
Created on Monday, 07 October 2013 07:57
“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” ~ John Adams, “Argument in Defense of the Soldiers in the Boston Massacre Trials”, December 1770
A serious problem Progressives (no matter which side of the aisle they come from) have is, eventually, they have a smash-mouth encounter with the impenetrable wall known as facts. Their idealistic/fantasy world, which they have willfully chosen to reside in … has real-time consequences for many innocents, who are caught under their rule.
And none more innocent than children…
Case in point … the products of the “Arab Spring” that Mr. Obama lauded are now murdering hundreds of Children. And, thanks to the senile-inspired insistence of his fellow Progressive on the other side of the aisle, Mr. McCain: They are NOW equipped with US weapons.
You see, the touchy-feely McCain “personally” met with these butchers and said that the majority are secular. And vehemently insisted that “There’s about 70 percent still who are Free Syrian Army.” OK, statistical genius … the experts say you’re, well, WRONG!
A study done by IHS Jane‘s Charles Lister, stated, “The insurgency is now dominated by groups with at least an Islamist viewpoint on the conflict.” Oh, I don’t know … based upon McCain’s assertion that a Muslim yelling “Allahu Akbar” after a kill is the same as an American Christian saying “Thank God” … I think it’s safe to say Mr. Lister is 100% correct. (I’m beginning to think McCain is turning into another Jimmy Carter, the Hamas apologist … but in McCain’s case, one for the Muslim Brotherhood.)
And since the transfer of arms to this loathsome lot … there have been a plethora of reports/video of the slaughter of innocents (mostly Christian and non-Sunni). These barbarians, that McCain calls “secular”, have murdered the most innocent among us:
– Syrian rebel terrorists attacked villages in Tal Abyad, near al-Hasakah governorate, killing civilians including women and 120 children. (FNS, Aug. 2, 2013)
- FSA rebels kidnapped and killed dozens of children from Latakkia and Ghouta, Syria. (Beforeitsnews, August 30, 2013)
– Syrian child tied by U.S.-Supported Jihadis and forced to watch the killing of her parents. (Raymond Ibrahim, June 23, 2013)
And this is not taking into account the Christian children who are being slaughtered by these jihadist fiends, since the Syrian Christians are being ethnically cleansed by all those “secular” rebels that McCain was happy to pose with in a photo … when he went on his jaunt for Mr. Obama.
These are al Qaeda related jihadists. Al Qaeda came out of the Muslim Brotherhood. And they are near and dear to Obama’s heart.
Progressives/Liberals have always covered their political grabs with “it’s all about the children” … I guess these don’t count…
…like the ones in the womb, right Mr. President?
Shalom through strength…
Created on Sunday, 06 October 2013 06:54
Presidents Obama and Rouhani have had a phone conversation. It was the first time since 1979 that the presidents of Iran and the United States have spoken to each other.
Iran resents the United States for putting the Shah into power in 1953. The United States resents Iran for holding 52 Americans hostage for 444 days (November 4, 1979, to January 20, 1980). Despite these tangible offenses, the leaders of the two countries were finally able to speak.
Iran and Israel have no such offenses as part of their history. Israel has never ever done anything to harm Iran. Iran, to be sure, sends weapons to Hezbollah, which is a threat to Israel. But Iran has never engaged in any direct hostility against Israel.
Nevertheless, in 2001, Iran’s President Rafsanjani, who is generally described as a moderate, called the existence of Israel an ugly, colonialist phenomenon and said that nuclear war could destroy everything on the ground in Israel but would merely damage the world of Islam.
Iranian leaders have consistently spoken against Israel’s existence. Furthermore, they are creating a nuclear arsenal and have endured severe sanctions in order to keep increasing their nuclear capabilities, while claiming that they are not interested in building a bomb. Their claim is not convincing in light of their willingness to endure economic hardships resulting from sanctions.
So then, why are they continuing to oppose Israel?
Iran’s hostility towards Israel makes no sense whatsoever. Iran has mentioned the plight of the Palestinians on occasion, but Iran has hardly ever been friends with an Arab nation. The big exception is with Assad’s Syria, since Assad is an Alawite and therefore a member of a Shiite sect. Palestinians, and most Arabs, are Sunnis. Sunnis and Shiites have been at war for centuries.
Iran has never faced up to the fact that it has no reason to be enemies with Israel. Neither has the rest of the world. Leaders of all nations take it for granted that Iran is Israel’s enemy, and nobody has ever asked why. Hostility to Israel is the rule and not the exception. Who needs a motive?
On the other hand, Iran does have a reason to worry about the status of Shiites in the Arab world. That is why Iran is aiding Hezbollah, a Shiite organization. Week after week, bombs go off in market places and even in mosques in Iraq and Pakistan. They kill lots of people who happen to be present at the sites of the bombings. The victims are typically Shiites, and the bombs are, by and large, directed against Shiites.
Although Iranian leaders have not been reacting publicly to these religious murders, they are concerned about terrorism. “In July, China and Iran signed an agreement on security cooperation to strengthen their bilateral cooperation to combat terrorism and drug-related crimes. But more such collaborative efforts are needed to bring an end to the scourge of terrorism,” according to an op-ed in China Daily by He Wenping that appeared on September 25.
China is worried about terrorism in Xinjiang Province; Iran is concerned about attacks on Shiites. It makes sense for them to cooperate. Somehow, Iran has not seen fit to publicize this issue.
Recognizing Israel would do Iran a world of good. It could benefit from Israeli technology. It could end the nuclear expansion that provoked the sanctions. It could open up the United States to becoming a trading partner of Iran.
Rouhani would like to make Iran rich and secure. On the other hand, think of how timid he was about recognizing that the Holocaust had happened. If one hates Israel, one is quite open to the concept of denial, since the Holocaust was one of the factors leading to the United Nations vote dividing the British Mandate of Palestine into two states.
On the third hand, what would Iran’s mullahs say? Would they declare Rouhani’s presidency invalid? Perhaps they would. If so, maybe Rouhani could use this as a way of ending the power of Iran’s theocrats.
Israel is the most hated nation on earth, which is a reason that the Palestinian Arabs have never been able to accept a compromise with Israel that would have created a Palestinian Arab state. The Palestinian Arabs are the only independence movement ever to reject independence because of a boundary dispute.
They had to reject it; one can’t make a deal with a party that is universally detested. If Rouhani recognized Israel, it would help the Palestinian Arabs.
Recognize Israel, President Rouhani.
Prof. George Jochnowitz
The writer is professor emeritus of linguistics whose specialty is Jewish languages, in particular the dialects of the Jews of Italy and southern France. He taught for many years at the College of Staten Island, CUNY, and was an exchange professor at Hebei University in Baoding, China. His varied interests include politics, music, the Bible, and humanity itself - and his wife, two daughters and grandson.
Created on Friday, 27 September 2013 11:44
United States President Barack Obama sent a message of reconciliation to Iran in his speech to the United Nations on Tuesday. While Obama reiterated American opposition to the idea of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon, he expressed support for an Iranian civilian nuclear program.
The mistrust between America and Iran has “deep roots,” he began, citing Iranian frustration at U.S. interference and American upset over Iranian proxy attacks and threats against “our ally Israel.”
“I don’t believe this difficult history can be overcome overnight,” he said. “The suspicions run too deep. But I do believe that if we can resolve the issue of Iran’s nuclear program, that can serve as a major step down a long road toward a different relationship, one based on mutual interests and mutual respect.”
“Since I took office, I’ve made it clear in letters to the supreme leader in Iran and more recently to President Rouhani that America prefers to resolve our concerns over Iran’s nuclear program peacefully -- although we are determined to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon,” he continued.
“We are not seeking regime change, and we respect the right of the Iranian people to access peaceful nuclear energy.
“Instead, we insist that the Iranian government meet its responsibilities under the Nuclear Non-proliferation treaty and U.N. Security Council resolutions.”
Iranian religious and political leaders have recently spoken out against nuclear weapons, he noted. “So these statements made by our respective governments should offer the basis for a meaningful agreement.”
However, he noted, “to succeed, conciliatory words will have to be matched by actions that are transparent and verifiable.”
The issue involves the international community, he said, not only the United States and Iran.
Obama concluded, “While the status quo will only deepen Iran’s isolation, Iran’s genuine commitment to go down a different path will be good for the region and for the world, and will help the Iranian people meet their extraordinary potential in commerce and culture, in science and education.”
Created on Sunday, 22 September 2013 07:53
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has postponed the date of his upcoming speech in the United Nations General Assembly from September 30 to October 1, so that he can meet with US President Barack Obama in the White House.
Maariv reports that the rescheduling took place because September 30 is the only day on which Obama could meet Netanyahu, due to the fact that the rest of his schedule is devoted to meetings regarding healthcare.
The report is almost purely technical. Who hasn't rescheduled meetings in order to fit them into a tight schedule? But there may be diplomatic significance between the lines.
Meetings between Israeli prime ministers and US presidents are an almost routine matter in the autumn season, when the United Nations General Assembly convenes and world leaders make pilgrimage to New York. And yet, Netanyahu and Obama did not meet last year, although Netanyahu quite publicy desired the meeting.
Both men were in New York City for the General Assembly. At the time, there was great tension between the two over the matter of the Iranian nuclear threat. With Ehud Barak as defense minister, Israel was making unmistakable “hold me back” noises, threatening to launch a unilateral preemptive strike against Iran, partly due to a feeling that its growing sense of an existential threat was being met with a very cold US shoulder.
Netanyahu made his famous “red line” speech at the UN, highlighting the immediate danger posed by Iran's nuclear weapons program; but Obama, who was in the middle of his reelection campaign, did not find time in his schedule to meet Netanyahu.
Notably, Obama did find time during his New York stay to appear on ABC's “The View,” together with his wife Michelle, where he joked with the female presenters – “I'm just supposed to be eye candy here for you guys.” The disconnect between Israel's dire situation and Obama's lightheaded state of mind could not have been starker.
In previous years, too, occasions on which Netanyahu and Obama met were characterized by visible tension and very bad blood. In March of 2010, he was treated rudely by Obama in the White House, reportedly after being let in through a back entrance.
“For a head of government to visit the White House and not pose for photographers is rare,” wrote Fox News at the time. “For a key ally to be left to his own devices while the President withdraws to have dinner in private was, until this week, unheard of. Yet that is how Benjamin Netanyahu was treated by President Obama on Tuesday night, according to Israeli reports on a trip viewed in Jerusalem as a humiliation.”
One Israeli newspaper called the meeting “a hazing in stages," poisoned by mistrust. The British Telegraph reported that Netanyahu “was left to stew in a White House meeting room for over an hour after President Barack Obama abruptly walked out of tense talks to have supper with his family”, after being presented with a list of 13 demands.
Two months later, it was Netanyahu who “humiliated” Obama by rebuking him on live television, ahead of the AIPAC convention.
“Netanyahu appeared to lecture Mr. Obama following their nearly two-hour meeting Friday—exposing tensions between leaders over Mideast policy that are usually kept out of the public eye,” wrote the Wall Street Journal. “Before cameras and reporters in the Oval Office Friday afternoon, Mr. Netanyahu turned to face the president while telling him Israel 'cannot go back to the 1967 lines' that are 'indefensible.'”
What has changed since then? Possibly, nothing susbstantial. If Norman Podhoretz is correct in his recent Wall Street Journal assessment – Obama's foreign policy failures and apparent inconsistencies are all part of a calculated, sophisticated, long range maneuver designed to implement a policy of extreme American isolationism.
There is another possibility, however. That possibility is that Obama's foreign policy thinking has been following some kind of learning curve, and that reality in the Middle East, as well as within the US media world, have opened his eyes to see just a little bit of light.
According to this more optimistic analysis, Obama's attempts to face off with Putin and Assad over Syria's chemical weapons crimes, pathetic and amateurish as they may have seemed to many, do indicate that he wants to act against weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, or somehow "do the right thing," if only because liberal publications in the US have been hammering him on the subject.
With Obama's policies in Egypt and Syria exploding in his face, his Cairo Speech dreams of a new Middle East devolving into an Islamist chaos, and Iranian “engagement” taking the form of threats against his family, Obama may also be more aware, somewhere deep inside his political persona, of the seriousness of the threats Israel faces. Possibly, his original antipathy for Israel and Netanyahu may have been tempered by the reality of living in the White House for almost five years.
The upcoming UNGA is a moment of great historic drama. Binyamin Netanyahu can be expected to be in top form. All of his warnings over the years have materialized. The danger of WMDs in the hands of rogue states have been demonstrated for the world to see, in Youtube videos of dead children lying in rows. Last year – the feeling was that while Netanyahu drew his red line, Obama had probably flipped the channel on his TV set. This year, however, Obama has also drawn a red line, and has had to try to defend it.
Perhaps, at last, Netanyahu's red line has met Obama's foreign policy learning curve, in which case there is room for very cautious optimism. This time, perhaps, the meeting between the two leaders will not involve snubs and public rebukes, but take place in an atmosphere that is conducive to understandings that can truly deter Iran and Russia from continuing their game of nuclear chicken with the US and Israel.
Created on Saturday, 21 September 2013 06:50
Mr. President, the terrible fix you find yourself in is the predictable result of your own making. You showed vacillation and weakness at every turn. And the thugs are watching.
The civilized world witnessed in revulsion the graphic images, which emerged showing the aftermath of a dawn poison gas attack in the suburbs of Damascus, Syria. The attack wiped out some 1300 people as they lay sleeping in their beds. The Obama administration claims President Bashar al-Assad's forces launched the nerve gas attack while the Syrian government has denounced the US’s assessment of chemical weapons, calling the this accusation, "full of lies."
Gassing of Syrian civilians is a crime beyond the pale, no matter who did it. Yet, where is the rest of the world’s reaction to this atrocity? Some countries, with Russia's Colonel Putin in the lead, are siding with the alleged gasser. In fact, they are turning the tables and accusing the Syrian opposition forces of being the ones who did the gassing to garner support from foreign "fundamentalists."
As for Assad's gassing, Mr. President, perhaps he was testing your resolve in a stepwise manner, to make doubly sure that you are all bluster and your threats, in contrast to his, only hot air. Allegedly, Assad used poison gas several times on a smaller scale and you looked the other way. See what happens when villains go unchecked?
Regardless of who used any chemical weapons, the world can’t just let a thug like Assad go unpunished for murdering well over a hundred thousand people since the conflict began on 15 March 2011. That would be a travesty and a license for him and his handlers, Iran’s mullahs and the Russians, to go on a rampage.
There are no good guys to support in this senseless civil war. The choice seems to be between the devil and the deep blue sea--between Assad's Ba'ath-o-fascists and the Islam-o-fascists. Fascists are fascists. Even the democratic-appearing “Syrian Free Army” suspiciously seems to be of the same old Arab-Muslim hate Israel crowd. Hate Israel. Destroy Israel is the rallying cry of these people.
President Obama, you have my sympathy. You are in a very tight spot, largely of your own doing. You piped up about the “red-line” thing, for whatever reason. Did you think of yourself as the chief constable of the world when you made that statement? Didn't you realize that when push comes to shove, the team you thought you had would turn tail and you yourself get forced to do the same?
Again, Mr. President, the terrible fix you find yourself in is the predictable result of your own making. From the time you took your apology world tour, bad-mouthing the United States, singing the praises of Islam and internationalism, you showed vacillation and weakness at every turn. For one, you did not even find it in yourself to voice your support for the valiant Iranians against the rule of fascist mullahs in the 2009 Green Revolution.
The results: Thousands of democracy’s best children of Iran were slaughtered, maimed, or imprisoned and the Iranian mullahs are emboldened and have tripled their speed in the quest for their ultimate weapon, knowing full well that you neither can nor will do anything to stop them.
More than a year ago, an American ambassador and three other American heroes were brutally murdered in Benghazi, Libya. Along the way, there was the notion of the laughably false explanation initially given to the American public by your administration that the attack was incited by a video. Mr. President, you said while campaigning in Colorado "I want people around the world to hear me: No act of terror will go unpunished."
But you have failed thus far to make good on your promise to do anything when a bunch of Muslim jihadists massacred our ambassador and three other Americans in Benghazi. Your “toothless” rhetoric is proven useless and you have become a laughingstock, Mr. President. You have no credibility left.
Now, Mr. President, you are forced to cover yourself with Colonel Putin's fig leaf. It breaks my heart and mocks our great nation that so trustingly placed its destiny in your hands. I pray you work your way out of this terrible mess with minimal harm. But take heart, bigger and more deadly challenges are down the road in this troubling world.
Mr. President, since the collapse of your “red-line” rhetoric threat and making good on it, the mullahs in the person of none other than the "moderate" selected president of Iran, Mr. Rouhani, announced to the world that they have no intention of retreating one iota from their full speed ahead nuclear project. And then the North Koreans, as if on cue, are re-activating their nuclear facilities.
Well, the bad boys see that this policeman is all bluff. The tiger is toothless. Obama is so impotent and vacillating that a former KGB thug by the name of Putin, a diehard admirer of Stalin, is lecturing him and setting the tone on the world stage. It must be the end of the world.
Bashar Assad is a true son to his genocidal father, Hafiz al-Assad, who had entire towns murdered when they dared to raise their voices demanding their God-given rights. Iranian government officials have repeatedly said that Bashar Assad is Iran's redline. Assad is the Islamic Republic’s puppet. The Islamic government in Iran, is helping Bashar Assad’s Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite, fight predominately Sunni rebels. This includes a presence on the ground of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards actively murdering Sunni brethren.
Bashar Assad's patron saint Putin and his Kremlin Mafia are not exactly running a world charity when they supply the gasser Assad with all kinds of weapons, including the deadly pricy attack helicopters, as well as the raw chemicals for his chemical weapons. Where then does Assad get the money to pay the cash-and-carry Kremlin Inc. for the weapons? Just trace the money. The purser for this puppet, genocidal myopic murdering eye doctor is none other than the Islamic Republic of Iran. The mullahs are calling the shots because they control the purse strings.
Some, playing with words, called Assad a shortsighted eye doctor. He is clearly a genocidal killer of civilian men, women and children. He may even indeed be shortsighted. His handlers, the mullahs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, are anything but shortsighted. They have deadly grandiose plans and aim to pursue them for long after you are gone.
Mr. President, we really need to deal with the source of this mayhem and bloodletting--the turbaned snakes of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the puppeteers who are hell-bent at promoting their death-bearing agenda.
Now, we have the North Korean juvenile with big aspirations trying to do some fishing of his own from the murky water. He has reactivated the shut down plutonium plant to make some of his favorite toys. There is a lesson here, Mr. Obama: Show a little weakness, bleed just a few drops and sharks, big and small, will be all over you to finish you off. And it is not only you; the prize is the annihilation of humanity's finest nation of all nations--the United States of America.
Mr. Obama, don't let a known murderer and former KGB colonel who rose through ranks of that dreaded organization get away with his stunts and his suddenly new found role of abiding by the United Nations’ Security Council guidelines for settling disputes. This duplicitous lowlife is the same person who presided over the killing of tens of thousands in Chechnya. Then he sent his army into the independent nation of Georgia, occupying and basically annexing two provinces of that nation. But, what happened to Putin? You didn’t hear of the UN at those times.
Mr. President, miscreant villains respect only power. Remember the Iranian hostage crisis? The mullahs turned their noses up at Carter and dared him to do anything. They wouldn't budge. The minute it looked like Reagan, the no nonsense candidate, was going to replace the indecisive illusionary Carter, the mullahs released the Americans.
The mullahs’ method of staying in power relies heavily on preventive measures. They don’t bother much with due process of law. They just dispense with the “due” and get on with the “process.” On the slightest suspicion, they arrest, convict and execute. They let Allah in the next world take the time to determine the person’s guilt or innocence. The mullahs have their job to do on God’s earth: To cleanse it from all infidels. When one has a tall order like that to fill, he can’t be bothered with the tedious due process on which the Western democracies “waste” so much time and resources.
Mr. Obama, it takes two to tango, as the old saying goes. The uncompromising oil-intoxicated fanatics of Iran and their proxies don't want to dance with you. They want the entire floor -- the Middle East -- and the rest of the world down the road.
Mr. President, please don't misunderstand me. I sincerely despise violence of all sorts. I am not advocating war. But I certainly believe in the imperative of self-defense. I am certain that with every appeasing step, we incur huge damage to our nation.
President Obama, please don't let the Putins and mullahs of the world become further emboldened. A little North Korean thug is watching very closely to have his turn at us. This one already has the ultimate weapon and is itching to use it. It is a race between him and the mullahs. This is not the time for America to have shaky knees for the world to see.
The writer is an Iranian-American writer, poet, satirist, novelist, essayist, literary translator, public speaker and political analyst who has been writing and speaking out about the danger of radical Islam internationally. He has become a formidable voice in the USA against the danger of global jihad and Islamization of America. He maintains a website at www.amilimani.com. and wrote the book Obama Meets Ahmadinejad and a new thriller Operation Persian Gulf
Created on Tuesday, 17 September 2013 15:35
The White House denied on Monday that President Barack Obama has any intention of meeting with Iran's new president in what would be the first such encounter since the 1979 Islamic revolution, The Hill reported.
Reports over the weekend said that such a meeting could happen on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York next week. Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani is expected to address the world body on Sept. 24.
“There are currently no plans for the president and President Rouhani to meet at UNGA,” National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan told The Hill in an email.
Sunday’s reports on a possible meeting came in the wake of comments made by Obama in an interview with ABC News. Obama confirmed in the interview that he had communicated with Iran’s new president by letter.
Rouhani, who was elected in June, has been described by the West as a moderate cleric.
In a message to the Iranian people after Rouhani's election, the Obama administration said it would be open to engaging “directly” on the issue of Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program. The two countries broke off diplomatic ties in 1980.
"As we have said, we hope that this new Iranian government will engage substantively in order to reach a diplomatic solution that will fully address the international community’s concerns about Iran’s nuclear program,” Meehan told The Hill.
“We remain ready to engage with the Rouhani government on the basis of mutual respect to achieve a peaceful resolution to the nuclear issue," she added.
Israel has warned the world that Rouhani is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and would continue to develop Iran’s nuclear program.
The German weekly Der Spiegel reported on Monday that, in an attempt to convince the West to lift international sanctions on Iran, Rouhani is willing to dismantle the nuclear facility in Fordo, a site which is widely considered to pose a grave threat to Israel and the West.
Created on Monday, 16 September 2013 16:59
United States President Barack Obama reacted Monday to news of a mass-shooting at the U.S. Navy Yard in Washington D.C, which has killed at least twelve people.
“We are confronting yet another mass shooting, and today it happened on a military installation in the nation’s capital,” Obama said.
Those who were targeted knew the dangers of battle abroad, but “today they faced the unimaginable violence that they wouldn’t have expected here at home,” he said.
“We will do everything in our power to make sure whoever carried out this cowardly act is held responsible,” he vowed.
A tweet from the White House stated, “’These are men & women were going to work, doing their job, protecting all of us.’ – President Obama on the victims of the #NavyYardShooting.”
Four people were reported dead shortly after the attacks. The U.S. Navy has now confirmed that 11 people were killed in the shooting, while Washington D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray mentioned "at least twelve fatalities."
Several people remain in serious condition with gunshot wounds.
The exact number of fatalities and injuries has not yet been confirmed.
There were conflicting reports as to how many gunmen were involved in the attacks. Original witness accounts suggested three attackers. One shooter has been killed, identified as 34 year-old Aaron Alexis, who recently began work at the Navy yard as a civilian contractor.
A second shooter is reportedly “contained” but not yet in custody.
One shooter was described by witnesses as a tall, African-American man, while another - now believed to be Alexis - was described as a white man wearing a khaki shirt and military-style beret.
Two US media outlets released tweets identifying one of the shooters, but later retracted their statements.
Witnesses to the attack expressed surprise that the shooters, who were armed with rifles, had gained access to the secure building. All workers must present ID on entrance, and visitors must obtain a security clearance, they said.
Roughly 3,000 people work in the compound that was attacked. Most managed to evacuate shortly after the shooting began with the help of security guards.
Several nearby schools were put under lockdown during the attack. A statement from the DC Public Schools via Twitter said, “When MPD advises that #navyyardshooting is resolved, we will lift the school lockdown.”
Created on Saturday, 14 September 2013 15:26
Leading Kuwaiti newspaper Alrai has reported that the U.S. administration will demand that any agreement made with Syria should commit President Bashar al-Assad to step aside, and commit the remaining parties to working towards a cease-fire agreement.
Momentum towards a U.S. led strike against Syria following its suspected use of deadly sarin gas on August 21 has been stopped in its tracks by a Russian brokered deal that would see Syria hand over its chemical weapons arsenal to the international community.
Reportedly, the new U.S. demand has been met with fury in Syria, where regime officials claim such a move would ride roughshod over the "democratic rights" of the Syrian people to elect their own leader.
Sources close to the Syrian President were quoted as saying: "Not Iran, Russia and not the United State can decide who the Syrian President will be, " adding, "the Syrian leadership expected the demands of Washington to get bigger and bigger, but this is illegal and cannot be considered."
The source added: "The intention was to enter into an agreement regarding chemical weapons that would ensure they don't fall into the wrong hands, but there will be no agreement that seeks to further strengthen the terrorist rebel forces."
As talks are set to get underway in Geneva between, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor voiced his pessimism over the Russian initiative through which Syria's Assad regime could comply with chemical weapons treaties as a way of avoiding western military intervention.
Palmor said that the existing 20-year-old Chemical Weapons Convention, which has been proposed as the tool for verifying Syrian compliance, has failed to attract the multilateral support that would allow it to work.
Syria's neighbor Turkey has also voiced its cynicism over the diplomatic initiative. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said Bashar al-Assad was buying time and should not be trusted.
"We are doubtful that the promises regarding chemical weapons will be met," Erdogan said Thursday.
Created on Tuesday, 10 September 2013 06:17
Obama may be starting a process whose end result will be out of control.
As a U.S. military strike in Syria looms, three high-profile commentators warn that it may lead to “the next World War.” They include syndicated columnist and Fox News contributor Dr. Charles Krauthammer, Fox News host Sean Hannity, and Glenn Beck (former Fox News host who currently runs his own news network called The Blaze). This possibility is not being covered or explored by the mainstream media, but it is a real one.
First of all, let’s deal with the fact that the forces fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are dominated by Al-Qaeda and its affiliates. Senator Ted Cruz (R) from Texas stated on the Glenn Beck radio program on Tuesday that “at least seven out of nine major rebel groups are affiliated with Al-Qaeda.” Even the uber-liberal New York Times declared in April that “nowhere in rebel-controlled Syria is there a secular fighting force to speak of.”
Arutz Sheva also reported in April on the fact that Al-Nusra pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda and in May former IDF general Uzi Dayan told Arutz Sheva “Obviously we shouldn’t support Assad’s ouster, because a weak plague is better than a terror virus that is growing stronger.”
That’s right. Assad is a terrible person and a horrible dictator, but the replacement will (most definitely) be worse.
One example of that was a viral video showing a commander of the Syrian rebel group called the Farouq Brigade in action. The video shows him cutting into the torso of a soldier, he then takes two organs out of his body, and takes a bite out of the heart of the dead solider. There are many other examples of graphic video footage, including frequent beheadings.
These are the people that Barack Obama wants to arm with weapons (and, granted, several prominent Republicans do as well). Moreover, the U.S. has already sent over $1 billion in aid to the rebels and is about to debate in Congress whether or not to intervene militarily in favor of the rebels.
Congress may agree to use military force in Syria, but even if they don’t, Obama can circumvent Congress and attack Syria anyway, just like he did in Libya.
What exactly will happen after a U.S. military intervention in Syria is highly elusive, but one option is that it will spark World War III.
Glenn Beck outlined how a potential third World War would look like three months ago on the Glenn Beck Program. You can read about it and watch the highlights here. Beck and the two experts all agreed that “Syria is a lynchpin, and that intervention will have major, international ramifications.”
When Obama declared late last month that he would attack Syria, Beck warned once again of the ramifications of intervening militarily in Syria. “Now we have Russia, Iran and China telling us, ‘mind your own business.’”
Beck goes on and asks, “You go against China, who buys all of our debt?...This is World War III in the making.” Beck also points out that not only does the U.S. have to go against the aforementioned powers, but also poke “another hornet’s nest” of Islamic extremism. Watch the entire segment here.
Fox News’ #2 in the ratings Sean Hannity argues a similar path, “We’re going to look back through the prism of history, and we’re going to define this era as the rise of the radical Islamist,” Hannity said. “I am telling you it is true — and you’re seeing the formation now of what could very potentially be the next World War, because it’s not just the Middle East that is radicalized. I mean, the eventuality is Israel is going to face a moment like this at some point because all of its neighbors — you got Sunni, Shia — they’re all aligned in their hatred towards Israel.”
“At some point, Israel is going to come under fire, and good countries are going to have to come to its defense,” he continued. “But it’s going to be against radical Islam in all of its forms. You can almost see this precipitating it, if in fact the U.S. strikes and Iran gets involved and Syria gets involved and you’re going to see countries very quickly go down the middle and start taking sides. It has the potential — it’s a powder keg.”
Syndicated conservative columnist Dr. Charles Krauthammer alluded to the “guns of August” in his latest article for The Washington Post, a reference to 1914 and the build-up that lead to World War I. On last Friday’s “Special Report” on Fox News he elaborated on that reference by comparing early 20th century Germany to Iran today, a growing superpower that its neighbors do not know how to contain.
Krauthammer explained, “It scares the hell out of the Arabs. It’s a Persian country. And it now has a client in Syria. The war is being driven by Iran. There’s actual evidence that the Iranian agents, the Revolutionary Guards were involved in the poison gas. Iran controls Hezbollah, which spreads terror in the Middle East and in the region. And Iran is the one driving the war. Iran is looking and it is also developing the nukes, of course.”
These three political experts all have valid points. Striking Syria could start if not a World War, at least a major regional war. And for what?
To help Al-Qaeda carve out its own country and establish Sharia law (like in Aleppo)? According to Obama’s initial statement it is just “a shot across the bows” (meaning a warning shot) to the Syrian Regime. Is that really worth it?
The U.S. will not get a hold of the chemical weapons without boots on the ground, something they have continuously said is not an option. If all the U.S. does is launch a few missiles for a maximum of 60 days, Assad can come out afterwards and say that he “defeated the great Satan.” If Syria or Iran decides to retaliate, either by attacking Israel or by using terrorist sleeper cells across the globe, we may very well have begun World War III.
The author is the founder of WorldMediaMonitoring.com.
Created on Monday, 09 September 2013 07:29
Any vote by Congress for unilateral action would be fraught with difficulty and possibly invite retaliation on a massive scale.
President Obama has tripped over his own red line - leaving the prestige and authority of his Office and America's reputation in tatters.
The President's statement last year on the possible use of chemical weapons - supposedly then awash in Syria whilst a civil war had been raging for eighteen months between the Assad regime and a rebel group comprising Syrian civilians, deserting Syrian soldiers and foreign insurgents - was spot on:
“A red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized.”
No mention was made by President Obama of the need to identify who was utilizing such weapons.
"Utilized" was the operative word - not "utilizer"
That red line appears to have been definitely crossed on 21 August 2013 with a claimed chemical warfare attack using sarin causing more than 1429 confirmed deaths - including 426 children.
USA Today reported on 23 August:
"Syria's chemical weapons program stretches back decades, allowing the country to amass a supply of nerve and blister agents capable of being mounted on long-range missiles that could reach neighboring countries, according to government and independent analysts.
Its program stretches back to the 1970s or '80s — experts disagree on the precise time — as a means of developing a deterrent against Israel's presumed nuclear capabilities, according to analysts and a Congressional Research Service report.
Syria has stocks of sarin and VX, which attacks the nervous system, and mustard gas, which burns the skin, according to the Defense Intelligence Agency.
Syria has generally denied having any chemical weapons, but a spokesman for the Syrian Foreign Ministry, Jihad Maqdisi, said last year that Syria would never use chemical weapons and they were secured.
Syria is one of a handful of nations that the United States says is pursuing an active chemical weapons program, along with Iran and North Korea.
Syria has not signed the Chemical Weapons Convention, which was ratified by the United States in 1997. It is an international agreement banning the production of chemical weapons and calling for the destruction of stockpiles."
Syria's stockpile of any such suspected chemicals cache could have been accessed by the rebel forces during the long running conflict or additional supplies procured by them from other sources.
But did it matter who used chemicals on 21 August? Wasn't there real urgency now to ensure they could never be used again in this conflict?
Wasn't the Obama red line crossed because such weapons had in fact been used in Syria on Syrian civilians - no matter which side had launched such attack?
Instead of focusing on the actual use of such chemical weapons - Obama and his Western allies chose to waste valuable time by accusing the Assad regime as the user of those chemical weapons.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced that a resolution would be tabled with the UN Security Council.
Cameron said the resolution would condemn “the chemical weapons attack by Assad” and authorize “necessary measures to protect civilian lives.” He also stressed that any intervention in Syria would have to be “legal, proportionate” and aimed at minimizing further loss of life.
Russia and China indicated they would veto such resolution.
The UN has since been sidelined as the UK and USA have threatened action without any UN Security Council Resolution as legal backing to justify any action they and their Allies might undertake.
Such action has so far proved illusory as both Cameron and Obama hesitated to initiate any action without the consent of their Legislatures. Indeed the British Parliament has already voted against intervening and any Congress decision will be at least seven days away.
Any vote by Congress for unilateral action would be fraught with difficulty and possibly invite retaliation on a massive scale.
Surely consideration should now be given to urgently securing Security Council approval to a resolution that:
1. Deplores the use of chemical weapons against the Syrian civilian population on 21 August 2013
2. Calls on Syria and the rebel forces to surrender control and custody over any chemical weapons in their possession within 72 hours to the United Nations
3. Reserves the right to take such further action as it considers fit in the event of non- compliance with the Security Council resolution.
There is evidence Russia and China would not veto such a Resolution
On 18 June 2013 - The Group of 8 (G8) — consisting of the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Japan, and Russia — issued a statement in which they “condemn in the strongest terms any use of chemical weapons and all human rights violations in Syria.”
The document pointedly refrained from the need to assign blame for their use.
Australia - now occupying the Presidency of the Security Council - could be a driving force in resurrecting this G8 resolution as the basis for the necessary first step in disarming both sides of chemical weapons.
Precious time is being lost as the conflicting parties in Syria continue their war with increasing death and suffering to its hapless civilian population - with the threat of further chemical warfare now being a distinct possibility instead of a theoretical probability.
The UN Security Council must find common ground on this issue between its 5 permanent members - or be condemned for being totally unable to deal with this humanitarian outrage.
Like its predecessor - the League of Nations - the UN could be writing its own death certificate if it fails to rise to this challenge.
David Singer is an Australian lawyer who is active in Zionist community organizations in that country.
Created on Tuesday, 03 September 2013 07:25
A bit of bitter cynicism at the beginning leads to a sober analysis of probable US actions.
It's really just a cultural thing. We have to respect Syria's cultural diversity.
Syria, likely, doesn't celebrate "Labor" Day as we real Yankees do in Martha's Vineyard. You see, for if Assad and his chemo-genocidal partners-in-chemo-genocidal-war-crimes, Hezbollah and Iran, properly celebrated a "Vineyard" Labor Day, then Obama could have, on Friday August 30, 2013, easily ordered a few Tomahawk missiles to crash into the barracks of the units that the CIA recorded as having murdered hundreds of Sunni women and children with Sarin Gas.
Everybody on the Vineyard starts the Labor Weekend on Thursday. That way, not a single genocidal murderer would have been harmed. They would all be on the beach.
But unfortunately, Syria doesn't observe America's Labor Day, so there might be some chemo-genocidal Iranian soldiers in their Syrian barracks. To be safe, Obama has, seven ways to Sunday, telegraphed the time and places of his possible Labor Day Syrian faux barrage. That way, none of the chemo-genocidal murderers will be harmed. After all, this is "not regime change." This is a "proportional" response to "deter" future mass chemo-genocidal murderers.
Now, let's stop and ask ourselves, what exactly did US Sec State Kerry mean when he said the Sarin attack was a "moral obscenity"? He actually didn't say anything. This Yale graduate knew that "moral obscenity" is an oxymoron. "Moral" and "obscenity" are total opposites, and cancel each other out. It's just a lawyerly way of saying absolutely nothing, and sounding good. Kerry didn't say "Assad's use of Sarin gas use against Sunnis, or any ethic, or religious group is a Geneva war crime," and the United States going to The Hague to prosecute Assad and Khamenei. Kerry said nothing.
But the Tomahawk-for-Sarin attack isn't even a done deal yet. America needs "legal justification" to attack Syria. But if the US needs "legal justification" to attack Assad and the thousands of his Hezbollah and Iranian Syria-based handlers when they have jointly and severally murdered 700 civilians with Sarin gas (let us assume this is proven), then what will be the "legal justification" for attacking Iran over its nuclear program?
Iran's nuclear program is not in legal violation of anything. Read the IAEA's actual motions on Iran. Iran is not in violation of a single IAEA iota. So, if there is "legal justification" needed for reacting to actual Sarin use with hundreds dead, there will be no legal justification for Iran tomorrow, or ever.
Iran has threatened "thousands" of counter-attacking rockets will strike Israel. Has America publicly stated "Israel has nothing to do with Syria/Iran's chemo-genocide of 700 Sunnis"? has the US said "any Syrian/Iranian counter-attack on Israel will be deemed an attack on the continental United States."? No. There's dead silence from Obama.
And if the threat of "thousands" of rockets hitting Israel stops a US attack on Syria, how will the US and/ or Israel ever hope to attack Iran in the future? For, if attacking Syria brings "thousands," surely attacking Iran's nuclear facilities will bring "tens of thousands" of rockets to Israel.
Here is where it gets truly ugly. Last September then-Sec Def Panetta stated that the U.S. had lost track of some of Syria’s chemical weapons. At a Pentagon Press briefing, Sec-Def Panetta stated “There has been intelligence that there have been some moves that have taken place. Where exactly that’s taken place, we don’t know.” That means Hezbollah, Syria, and/or Iran could fire chemical weapons at Israel.
That's not the only ugly "legalistic" part. Under the 8 April 2010 Obama "START Treaty" with Russia ratified by the full US Senate, the United States legally obligated itself to the then-existing "nuclear postures" under the preamble of the START treaty which stated:
"Desiring to bring their respective nuclear postures into alignment with this new relationship, and endeavoring to reduce further the role and importance of nuclear weapons," and "Guided by the principle of indivisible security". Page 1.
These START Treaty clauses obligated the US (but not Russia) to abide by the then existing 6 April 2010 US Nuclear Posture "negative assurance" statement that:
"In making this strengthened assurance, the United States affirms that any state eligible for the assurance that uses chemical or biological weapons against the United States or its allies and partners would face the prospect of a devastating conventional military response – and that any individuals responsible for the attack, whether national leaders or military commanders, would be held fully accountable." Page viii.
And again, on page 16 in the body of the Posture Statement: "In making this strengthened assurance, the United States affirms that any state eligible for the assurance that uses CBW against the United States or its allies and partners would face the prospect of a devastating conventional military response—and that any individuals responsible for the attack, whether national leaders or military commanders, would be held fully accountable."
That's why Obama had to issue the US Nuclear Posture 2 days before START was to be signed. That way START incorporated by reference the then-existing US Posture promises under the "principle of indivisible security" statement.
This "negative assurance" by the US unilaterally promised Russia (and then was incorporated into an NPT conference) that the US would never, ever use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear countries like Syria and/or Iran in response to a chemical or biological attack by Syria and/ or Iran against the US or any ally, or partner.
Obama drafted and promised, and the US Senate ratified, that the US could only use "conventional" weapons in response to a chemical or biological attack. So, Iran could fire a barrage of chemical scuds against Israel, and Obama would sit there twiddling his "conventional" thumbs. Obama wouldn't violate a Nuclear Arms Treaty, not for Israel.
The bottom line is Obama doesn't have Israel's back. Obama has a serrated knife in Israel's back, and might twist it home into its heart.
The writer, who often writes on security issues, has created an original educational 3d Topographic Map System of Israel to facilitate clear understanding of the dangers facing Israel and its water supply. It has been studied by US lawmakers and can be seen at www.marklangfan.com
Created on Monday, 02 September 2013 16:32
A report Monday said that the reason U.S. President Barack H. Obama effectively delayed the threatened American response to the recent chemical attack by Bashar al-Assad's forces was to give the diplomatic process a chance – and to bring Russia on board with the efforts to force Assad to give up his chemical weapons.
The Kuwaiti report said that Obama was consulting with Russian leader Vladimir Putin on ways to persuade Assad to step down from his position without the need to resort to force. Russia sees Syria as a patron state, and has threatened to “take action” if the U.S. or other Western powers attack Syria.
American officials have been concerned over the negative effect of the delay. On Sunday, Syria’s Deputy Prime Minister, Kadri Jamil, mocked Obama, saying that the U.S. “was defeated before the war began.” America’s “muddled” position on airstrikes “has made a mockery of the U.S. administration all over the world,” he said, adding, “previous administrations never cared about public opinion, Congress or allies.”
The U.S. has sent several warships and even a nuclear submarine to the Mediterranean, in apparent preparation for an attack on Syria, and Russia has sent its own warships to the region.
According to the report, Obama told aides last weekend that the delay would give him time to persuade other leaders, including Putin, on the importance of taking action. Obama is set to travel to Russia this week for the G20 Economic Forum Leader's Summit, set to take place in St. Petersburg. Sources said that it was likely Obama and Putin would meet on the sidelines of the event to discuss the Syrian situation.
Created on Monday, 19 August 2013 23:15
How does Obama react to the Muslim Brotherhood's excesses? With open arms.
If the American President was not a prisoner to his own pro-Muslim Brotherhood agenda, the U.S. Administration would now be applauding the Egyptian military’s crackdown on the anti-Western, anti-Semitic and anti-Israel Muslim Brotherhood thugs who have instigated horrific violence in Cairo and throughout much of the country.
Indeed, his own agenda has resulted in untold bloodshed and a human rights meltdown in Syria, Iraq, North Africa, Afghanistan and Yemen. It threatens Jordan, Saudi-Arabia and the Gulf States while leaving Iran free to acquire nuclear weapons capability. And it imposes upon Israel a course which will inevitably lead to national suicide unless the Lion of Judah can finally awake and roar back.
The Egyptian military, acceding to the demands of some 33 million of its citizens to remove the Islamic and Sharia colluding Morsi regime, redeployed to end Mohammed Morsi’s Brotherhood supporters from their occupation of areas of the Egyptian capital. They were met by heavy gunfire and over 100 soldiers and police were killed in the first few hours of the confrontation.
Not surprisingly, Obama never mentioned this fact during his August 15th press conference; a long harangue during which, according to former UN Ambassador John Bolton, Obama predictably blamed not the Morsi rioters but the Egyptian military; again revealing this president’s egregious and systemic support for the Muslim extremists who wish to turn Egypt into an Islamic republic.
Nor did Obama castigate fully the pro-Morsi thugs who turned their savagery upon the hapless embattled Coptic Christian community. It is estimated that perhaps as many as 50 churches and Christian establishments were burned to the ground during the Muslim anti-Christian pogrom; this after Copts have been beheaded in the streets of Cairo. And still the Vatican and world Christendom remain in the main deathly silent.
For decades, ever since the secular revolution of Gamal Abdul Nasser in 1954, successive Egyptian presidents and governments have tried to crush the Brotherhood. This has been done by popular demand from the majority of Egyptians.
Obama’s threats against the military thus fly in the face of all reality. His actions will most certainly act against the best interests of the West and particularly of the United States. But there are many who believe that Barack Hussein Obama is on track to tactically do just that – harm America economically, politically and militarily - and not by incompetence, but by a planned and mendacious strategy. After all, did not Obama promise that he would fundamentally transform America?
During Morsi’s time in office, it should be remembered that sexual assaults against women skyrocketed. Islamic discrimination against women in Egypt under Morsi echoed the horrors perpetrated against females under the Taliban in Afghanistan. It encouraged genital mutilation among Egyptian women, opposed any moves to stop polygamy, and rejected any rights for women to have equality in the distribution of inheritance and assets.
And still, apart from a very few brave souls, the feminists around the world have remained deathly silent. And was there a word of censure by President Obama? Not one peep.
Remember, too, that the first public announcement Morsi made was to call for war against Israel and utter his vile insult – straight out of the Koran – equating Jews with monkeys and pigs.
But what did Obama continue to do in the face of the Muslim Brotherhood’s excesses? Why, he showered the Morsi government with F16 fighter bombers and 400 Abrams tanks – all, no doubt, weapons that eventually could be turned against the Jewish state.
According to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI): Egyptian cleric Dr. Khaled Said, in an interview aired on Al-Hafez TV (via the Internet) on March 17, 2013 described American foreign military aid this way:
“If the (Islamic) revolution declares a framework for dealing with the West and America – they will accept it, kiss our hands, and double the aid they give us. We consider this aid to be jizya [poll tax], not regular aid. They pay so that we will let them be. The aid constitutes jizya.”
All non-Muslims living under Muslim control were forced over the centuries to pay the discriminatory jizya tax if they refused to convert to Islam. Thus American aid to the Morsi regime was considered just that by the Muslim Brotherhood.
According to a report by Debka, an intelligence organization which some commentators often respond to negatively, whether with good reason or not, “President Barack Obama put in a call to Egypt’s strongman, Defense Minister Gen. Abdel-Fattah El-Sissi, debkafile’s intelligence sources report. The US president wanted to give the general a dressing-down much on the lines of the call he made to former president Hosni Mubarak in February, 2011.”
The Debka report continued: “Realizing what was coming, Gen. El-Sissi decided not to accept Obama’s call. The anecdote shows that the military strongman is not only determined to avoid the pitfalls which brought Mubarak down but is equally determined to keep the US Administration from interfering in his plans for driving the Muslim Brotherhood out of Egyptian politics.”
El-Sissi has a trump card that he will use against pressure from the Obama Administration. Saudi-Arabia has already begun to provide the financial support he needs to quell the Muslim Brotherhood, whom the Saudis loathe, as do several of the Gulf States. All this will create another self-induced foreign affairs nightmare for Obama as an ever-widening rift opens up between the rulers of the Gulf States, Saudi-Arabia and the White House.
Indeed, according to Debka, “Our intelligence sources also disclose that, while President Obama was trying to get through to Gen. El-Sissi, the general was on the phone with Prince Bandar, Director of Saudi Intelligence.”
Sadly, Israel, unlike Egypt, doesn’t possess alternate allies who can help buttress the Jewish state from hostile pressure from the Obama Administration; pressure which has forced the Netanyahu government to timidly accede to obscene demands from the Holocaust denying Chairman of the so-called Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, and from U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, to release Muslim monsters with Jewish blood on their hands: Next, to agree to enter into “piece” talks with the Jew hating thugdom, the PA, that currently occupies parts of biblical and ancestral Jewish Judea and Samaria.
Calls have been made by myself and others in the Opinion columns of Arutz Sheva for a push by Israel to be made to create just such foreign alliances, perhaps with India or China. Israel might not be faced with such intolerable pressures from such a presidency as that of Barack Obama if thought had been given to such a strategy much earlier.
Notwithstanding the above, it would be a salutary admonition to the Netanyahu government to consider what Winston Churchill said during his fractious June, 1940 Cabinet discussions with then Foreign Minister, Lord Halifax. During those dark days, when the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) was trapped on the beaches of Dunkirk, Halifax had wanted to appease Hitler with peace overtures via Mussolini. Churchill withstood the appeasement pressure from Halifax and shot back with the following words:
“Nations which go down fighting, rise again; those that surrender timidly are finished.”
Victor Sharpe is a prolific freelance writer with many published articles in leading national and international conservative websites and magazines. Born and educated in England, he has been a broadcaster and has authored several books including a collection of short stories under the title The Blue Hour. His three-volume set of in-depth studies on the threats from resurgent Islam to Israel, the West and to Judeo-Christian civilization is titled, Politicide: The Attempted Murder of the Jewish State. www.amazon.com
Created on Sunday, 11 August 2013 14:43
Obama cancelled his summit with Putin over Snowden. But, maybe not.
I posit Obama cancelled his meeting with Putin because the entire moderate Sunni bloc was tired of Obama's double-crossing and stealthy pro-Iranian alliance, and made Putin an offer he couldn't refuse.
Saudi Arabia will order billions of dollars in Russian arms purchases for moderate Sunni countries such as itself and Egypt. But, most importantly, Saudi Arabia will become a critical an ally of Russia to stop Putin's greatest nightmare, a waxing Sunni extremist arc on his southern-western flank mixed with a nuclear Iran to his south-east.
In short, through Obama's betrayal of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, America has lost as allies the two ultimate pillars of Arab stability: Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Reuters just reported that
"Saudi Arabia has offered Russia economic incentives including a major arms deal and a pledge not to challenge Russian gas sales if Moscow scales back support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Middle East sources and Western diplomats said on Wednesday.
"The proposed deal between two of the leading power brokers in Syria's devastating civil war was set out by Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow last week, they said."
This is nothing short of a watershed event which will turn the entire Middle East up-side- down.
First, the monetary benefit to Russia, and the concomitant monetary detriment to the United States and Great Britain are unimaginable. Russia will gain countless billions, and American weapons companies and thousands of American jobs will disappear. With the revitalized cash flow to its weapons builder's, Russia may even produce weapons which will be tactically and strategically superior to American weapons.
This disappearing American qualitative edge induced by Saudi money funding Russian "R and D" will have cataclysmic practical effects on America's order of battle everywhere in the world.
Second, past the money issue, Saudi Arabia can offer Putin something more precious than rubies. Saudi Arabia can offer itself and the entire moderate Sunni bloc as Russia's common ally against Islamic extremism. Russia can form a strategic alliance bounded by Syria to the north, Saudi Arabia to the south and east, and Egypt to the West with Jordan gluing them all together. Post-Assad all these moderate Sunnis countries represent Putin's best, and only, hope to stop the radical Islamism of the Levant and Mesopotamia.
Finally, Saudi Arabia's greatest asset that will clinch the Arab-Russian alliance is that the Saudis offer Putin a sea of southern stability, while Iran guarantees a cancerous growth of nuclear hegemony which will shortly existentially threaten Russia herself.
Putin wasn't whistling Dixie when then-Secretary of Defense Dr. Robert Gates said "that Russian Prime Minister Putin once told him Iran was Russia's greatest threat, SecDef noted that Russia could plug into the new [missile-defense] system."
If Putin believed Iran was Russia's "greatest threat" before she had an atomic bomb, just imagine the apocalyptic threat Iran would represent if she gained an arsenal uranium and plutonium bombs. Putin could very well have been employing a "keep friends close, enemies closer" strategy with Iran.
Saudi Arabia and Russia have the exact joint cause to worry that Iran represents an existential threat to both of them. Obama clearly doesn't remotely share Russia and Saudi Arabia's alarm about a nuclear Iran. In fact, Obama's call for a bi-lateral Iran-US summit tipped Obama's hand to Putin, who felt that Obama had already sanctioned Iran's acquisition of a bomb, and everything else was a side-show.
As for Israel, Israel's weakness in caving in to the Arab extremist demands of the false peace-process has only given oxygen to the extremist forces that Russia and the moderate Sunnis want to destroy. To the Saudis and the Russians, a Palestinian Arab state will be a nucleus of instability which will topple Jordan on its way to undermining and destroying the last pillar of Arab Muslim moderation: Saudi Arabia.
America has missed the boat.
The writer, who often writes on security issues, has created an original educational 3d Topographic Map System of Israel to facilitate clear understanding of the dangers facing Israel and its water supply. It has been studied by US lawmakers and can be seen at www.marklangfan.com
Created on Wednesday, 31 July 2013 10:10
Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham and John McCain have been asked by President Barack Obama to travel to Egypt next week to urge the military to move ahead on new elections, the senators said Tuesday.
Egypt has been roiled by deadly protests since President Mohammad Mursi was toppled in a military coup on July 3, developments that have threatened the $1.5 billion in annual U.S. military and economic aid to the Arab world's most populous country. Responding to reporters' questions Tuesday about an attempt to cut off the aid, Graham offered up word that Obama, a Democrat, has sought the help of the two lawmakers.
“The president asked Sen. McCain and myself to go to Egypt next week, so we're trying to find a way to get there,” Graham said. “So we can go over and reinforce in a bipartisan fashion the message that we have to move to civilian control, that the military is going to have to, you know, allow the country to have new elections and move toward an inclusive, democratic approach.”
Graham said the two senators were trying to work out the logistics of the trip at the same time Congress was scheduled to begin its summer recess. The senator said the goal was to deliver a unified message that “jailing the opposition is more and more like a coup.”
Last week, the Obama administration told lawmakers that it won't declare Egypt's government overthrow a coup, which would prompt the automatic suspension of American assistance programs under U.S. law. The administration fears that halting such funding could imperil programs that help to secure Israel's border and fight weapons smuggling into the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.
The White House declined to comment about a possible trip.
Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican and possible presidential candidate in 2016, is pushing for a Senate vote on his bill to cut off aid to Egypt. Graham said a vote now could send the wrong signal.
“If you cut off aid, that's a destabilizing event,” Graham said, while a vote for aid would “give people the impression everything's fine.”
Graham said the trip first came up at the July 17 White House meeting in which the two senators met with the president.
Asked whether the Paul bill might pass, Sen. Bob Corker, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said: “I hope not.”
“I do agree we need to comply with laws that we have in our country,” he told reporters, adding that Congress may change the coup restrictions in September to give the president waiver authority to continue providing aid. “Right now, in the middle of this volatile situation, we need to be a voice of calm.”
Sen. Carl Levin, a Democrat and chairman of the Armed Services Committee, has called for halting assistance to Egypt, but he said Paul's proposal was “too extreme.”
“I'm in favor of suspension,” Levin said. But he would support gradual resumption of aid as the government “lives up to the commitments that they make in the constitution, having a diverse Cabinet, having elections according to the six-month schedule.”
Created on Saturday, 27 July 2013 15:17
Last Night, continuing a White House tradition, President Obama hosted his fifth Iftar dinner celebrating Ramadan. The Iftar is the meal that breaks the day of fasting during Ramadan, when Muslim families eat together after sunset. During his remarks, the President thanked the Muslim community for the sacrifices they’ve made for the United States.
"Throughout our history, Islam has contributed to the character of our country, and Muslim Americans, and their good works, have helped to build our nation -- and we’ve seen the results. We’ve seen those results in generations of Muslim immigrants -- farmers and factory workers, helping to lay the railroads and build our cities. Muslim innovators who helped build some of our highest skyscrapers and who helped to unlock the secrets of our universe.
Every day, Muslim Americans are helping to shape the way that we think and the way that we work and the way that we do business.
And that’s the spirit that we celebrate tonight -- the dreamers, the creators whose ideas are pioneering new industries, creating new jobs and unleashing new opportunities for all of us.”
President Obama also wished Muslim Americans and Muslims all around the world a blessed Ramadan.
Created on Friday, 14 June 2013 06:50
The White House said on Thursday that it will provide military assistance to the Syrian opposition after it has been concluded that the Assad’s regime used chemical weapons against his people and crossed what President Barack Obama had called a ‘red line.’
The Obama administration said it has provided Russia with the proof of the chemical weapons in Syria and that the subject will be discussed at an upcoming G8 summit.
The White House, in a statement issued late Thursday, said the use of chemical weapons “violates international norms and crosses clear red lines.”
Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser, told the Associated Press: “We've prepared for many contingencies in Syria…We are going to make decisions on further actions on our own timeline.”
Earlier, a report by the New York Times said U.S. and European intelligence experts concluded that army of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has used chemical weapons against his people.
“The “intelligence community assesses that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale against the opposition multiple times in the last year,” the Times reported, citing an “an internal memorandum circulating inside the government.”
President Obama said in April that there was evidence that gas Sarin was used in Syria but there was not enough proof. “He now believes that the proof is definitive,” the Times quoted American officials as saying.
The memorandum states that between 100 and 150 Syrians have been killed so far in chemical weapons attacks and that experts have “high confidence” in their assessment.
“Our intelligence community has high confidence in that assessment given multiple, independent streams of information,” according to the memorandum.
The report has put pressure on Obama to take a decisive approach to the crisis in Syrian. His long-perceived lackluster policy towards the conflict has frayed U.S. relations with its allies in the Middle East and even in the West.
Last week a French diplomat told Al Arabiya of a “silent rift” between Paris and Washington over a declaration by France that chemical weapons were used in Syria. The diplomat said the United States did not want to declare that chemical weapons were used because that would put the Obama administration in a position to intervene.
Created on Monday, 10 June 2013 09:29
United States President Barack Obama is close to approving arms for the rebels fighting to oust Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, officials told the Associated Press on Sunday.
The sources said that the Obama administration could decide this week to approve lethal aid for the rebels and are also scheduled to weigh the merits of a less likely move to send in U.S. aircraft to enforce a no-fly zone over Syria.
According to the officials, White House meetings on the issue are planned over the coming days. Opposition leaders have warned Washington that their rebellion could face devastating and irreversible losses without greater support, prompting the U.S. to consider drastic action, the report said.
U.S. officials said Obama was leaning closer toward signing off on sending weapons to vetted, moderate rebel units.
To date, President Obama has only committed non-lethal aid, despite lawmakers' calls for more forceful action from the U.S. as the civil war there intensifies and threatens neighboring countries.
One of the reasons for the hesitation in arming rebels is that they include radical, jihadist groups such as the Al-Nusra Front, which has pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri.
Al-Nusra is one of 13 factions in the radical Islamist rebel council that announced its secession from the main opposition force and declared its own Islamic state in Aleppo. The group was recently blacklisted by the United Nations Security Council.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has passed a bill that would approve sending weapons to moderate rebel forces. The committee's chairman, Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., stressed that "now is the time" to act to tip the balance toward resistance fighters.
U.S. Senator John McCain last week repeated his call for his country to take action in the civil war in Syria.
“The longer we wait to take action, the more action we will have to take,” the Arizona Republican said, noting that there are no easy options to ending Syria’s civil war, which has killed 80,000 according to UN figures.
McCain has long been a vocal opponent of Obama's Syrian policy.
Created on Saturday, 18 May 2013 08:58
US president asks Marines to shield him and Turkey's Erdogan from rain, inadvertently breaches Marine Corp Manual.
When United States President Barack Obama asked two Marines to shield him and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan from the rain he was also inadvertently issuing an illegal order.
Apparently Marines are prohibited from holding umbrellas while in dress uniform as it obstructs saluting, and the media gave the curious incident as much coverage as it did the two leaders' statements.
The incident occurred on Thursday, in a joint press conference by the two leaders in the White House's Rose Garden when a light rain started to fall.
"I am going to go ahead and ask folks, why don’t we get a couple of marines – they’re going to look good next to us," Obama said. "I’ve got a change of suits, but I don’t know about our prime minister."
The president, who is also the US Armed Forces' commander-in-chief, was apparently unaware that his request was a breach of protocol, and two Marines in full dress uniform answered his request and hurried to his side holding umbrellas.
The Marine Corps spokesperson remarked on the incident and said that it was a very rare occurrence, and done only because the president explicitly requested it.
According to an interview he gave to CNN, the soldiers will not be punished, even though the Marine Corp Manual specifically states that a soldier's uniform dress code does not allow the carrying of an umbrella and 'no officer or official shall issue instructions which conflict with, alter, or amend any provision without the approval of the Commandant of the Marine Corps.'
Nonetheless, female Marines may carry a small, black umbrella while dressed in regular or dress uniform.
According to the manual, they must hold it in their left hand, as not to obstruct them while saluting with their right.
Created on Wednesday, 01 May 2013 07:11
U.S. President Barack Obama is gearing up to send lethal weapons to the Syrian opposition, according to senior administration officials speaking to The Washington Post on Wednesday.
The officials said Obama was also tightening ties with allies seeking the ouster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and the U.S. would be taking a “more aggressive” leadership role among the allies.
Obama is likely to make a final decision on the supply of arms to the opposition “within weeks,” The Post reported, citing the unnamed officials.
On Monday, Obama spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin, discussing chemical weapons use.
The report on Wednesday stated the U.S. administration “has launched an effort to convince Putin that the probable use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government … should lead him to reconsider his support of Assad.”
In a conference on Tuesday, Obama warned against a rush to judgment on Syria’s use of chemical arms, but said proof of their use would trigger a “rethink” of his reluctance to use military force.
As critics complain that he let Syria cross a U.S. “red line,” Obama said Washington believed chemical weapons had been used in the country’s vicious civil war but did not know exactly who had fired them.
“I’ve got to make sure I’ve got the facts. That’s what the American people would expect.”
“If I can establish in a way that not only the United States but also the international community feel confident in the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime, then that is a game changer,” he warned.
“By game changer, I mean we would have to rethink the range of options that are available to us.”
“There are options that are available to me that are on the shelf right now that we have not deployed, and that’s a spectrum of options,” Obama said, saying he had asked the Pentagon for plans, but did not divulge them.
“We’re clearly on an upward trajectory,” an unnamed U.S. senior official told the Washington Post. “We’ve moved over to assistance that has a direct military purpose.”
The officials did not specify what U.S. equipment is under consideration, although the opposition fighters have specifically requested ¬antitank weapons and surface-to-air missiles, the Post reported.
Created on Tuesday, 02 April 2013 09:28
No one could accuse me of being an 'Obam-aton.' But, but, something positive seems to have happened to President Obama on the way to Jerusalem in 2013. And that something might just be good for Israel, and good for the United States. For within the flotsam and jetsam of inane and tired "Peace Process" clichés contained in Obama's Jerusalem 2013 speech, there was a core statement of possible wisdom: "I've suggested principles on territory and security that I believe can be a basis for talks. But for the moment, put aside the plans and process. I ask you, instead, to think about what can be done to build trust between people.
" Words have meaning. And if Obama's second-term Israel policy follows his "put aside the plans and process" words, a golden age will have dawned for Israel.
It certainly didn't hurt that Egypt is imploding, the Syrians are massacring each other by the tens of thousands, Hamas, almost as if on cue, fired rockets from Gaza, the PA official paper blamed the US for 9/11, Iraq is acting as Iran’s air and land bridge to Iran’s Murderer-in-Chief, Assad, the Kurds are seceding from Iraq, and Iran is closing in on enough fissile material for a nuclear bomb.
The reality is that Israel is about the only place in the entire land mass of the Middle East where Air Force One doesn't have to worry that a stinger missile is going to knock it down when it's landing, and where Obama will be received with unconditional love, man-hugs and kisses.
So, in Obama's keynote, intensely crafted and vetted Jerusalem 2013 speech, Obama clearly didn't double-down on his "1967 borders" idiocy, but instead, appeared to throw it out entirely. Obama's enunciated speech "Peace" policy appeared to be "Out with the 'peace' process, in with trust building." And, what, pray tell, is wrong with that?
Isn't Israel all for the PA building the trust of Israel by the PA's stopping their unabated incitement of Palestinian children to the genocidal murder of six million Jewish Israelis? Aren't all Israelis for the Palestinian Arabs building the trust of Israelis by their building water sewerage treatment plants in the PA that the US Congress has already paid millions for? For, up to now, the corrupt PA has only built up their Swiss 'bank' accounts, instead of building up their "West Bank" water treatment plants. "Trust-building" should be the only issue discussed, and everyone should "put aside the plans and process."
But even though parts of Obama's speech showed great promise, there were still some idiotic "Peace" process vestiges remaining that have to be exposed for the fallacies they are. And as an additional caveat, Obama might be playing a “you get more with honey” Trojan Horse scam where he is trying to repackage “irreversible” Israeli “peace process” concessions as “harmless” trust-building measures. For example, he may be trying “under the radar” to “re-label” Judea and Samaria's Area “B” as Area “A.” Only time will tell.
Regardless, I'll just hit 3 of Obama’s biggie fallacies (though there were a ton).
Obama biggie fallacy # 1: "First, peace is necessary. Indeed, it is the only path to security."
"Indeed," Obama has it upside-down, and backwards. The correct quote is "Si vis pacem, para bellum," which literally means "If you wish for peace, prepare for war," or in more simple and familiar terms, "Peace through Strength." This part of Obama's Jerusalem 2013 speech could be roughly summed up to mean "Security through surrender." Israel won't get "security" through surrender of land, it will get annihilation, and an Auschwitz 2.0. For Israel, Obama's "peace" is actually only the most certain "path" to war.
Obama biggie fallacy #2: "Given the demographics west of the Jordan River, the only way for Israel to endure. . . is . . a viable Palestine."
Again Obama overplayed a losing, tired, and false cliché. For, imagine in two years after Israel's "Peace" retreat, katyushas rain on Tel Aviv, and Israel has to reinvade a Palestinian Arab state that now has an additional newly immigrated two million so-called refugees that it didn't have when Israel first retreated. What would Obama say about those "demographics west of the Jordan River"?
Or, when the additional two million Palestinian Arab "refugees" flock to the new Palestinian Arab state only to have use of its water resources that the PA doesn't have the legal right to? Consequently, the Palestinians would thereby "peacefully" divert the "West Bank" source water that now freely and naturally flows to pre-1967 Israel in underground aquifers, and is Israel's international riparian water right. So, Obama's "demographics" argument actually works against a two-state solution, not for it.
Obama biggie fallacy # 3: "And given the march of technology, the only way to truly protect the Israeli people is through the absence of war. . ."
Because Obama actually made the trip to Israel in the first place, let's "for the moment, put aside" that Obama's "absence of war" rhetorical flourish is inane on its face. At the core, what Obama really meant was the old stand-by "Peace" cliché of "In the age of missiles, land isn't important, so give up Judea and Samaria."
I get it. Israel retreats to the Green Line, all the Muslim nations still keep their long-range missiles, and Iran gains an additional chemical katyusha short-range rocket attack base in Judea and Samaria against Tel Aviv. So, under Obama's "technology" argument, Israel doesn't diminish the long-range Muslim-state missile threat, it merely gets an additional terrorist short-range rocket threat west of the Jordan River into the heart of Israel's population and industrial centers. And, when Israel has to reinvade the area after a terrorist rocket attack into Tel Aviv, all the Muslim nations will then have a great reason to actually fire their long-range missiles into the mobilizing concentrated Israeli forces.
Now, that's brilliant strategic military thinking, if ever I've heard any. In Obama's defense, Ehud Barak and Shimon Peres were the numbskulls who first coined the "In the age of missiles" argument, so we shouldn't be too harsh.
But also, while we're on the "march of technology" argument, with "modern" anti-tank weapons, a Palestinian Arab terrorist could blow up Kfar Saba yellow school buses like they did firing from Gaza, and murder hundreds of 16 year-old Jewish students like they murdered Daniel Viflic (may he rest in peace). In sum, Obama's "march of technology" argument is nothing but a "march of folly."
In closing, we must touch on Obama's novel "Shoe on the other foot" argument. But to compare apples to apples, let's first compare the PA Arab' shoes with those worn by the Gaza Palestinian Arabs now being tortured by their Hamas "brothers," the Syrian Arabs being massacred by the Iranian Puppet Assad by the tens of thousands, or the Egyptian secularists about to be butchered by the Muslim Brotherhood. Given what the PA Arabs would be facing under the heel of their brethren's shoes, I dare say they are darn-tootin' lucky to now be protected by the IDF.
And to be truly fair, Obama should have suggested that the Palestinian Arabs try the Israelis’ shoes on for size. Just imagine if the Jews and Muslims switched roles and switched moral norms. Just imagine if 1 billion raging Jews with 60 percent of the world's oil resources, and 25 Jewish countries in the United Nations openly declared and advocated their undying religious intent to the genocidal murder of the last vestiges of 6 million Muslims where there were only 9 miles between the new hostile border and the Mediterranean Sea? (This isn’t true and is only being used as a hypothetical example.) Would anyone suggest the Muslims should cede a strategically defensive natural mountain range in Samaria, and retreat to an indefensible border where in 9 miles an invading and rampaging Jewish force could liquidate 6,000,000 Muslim civilian men, women, and children?
And, by all means Mr. President, let's truly "put the shoe on the other foot." For, if modern Pancho Villa-inspired Mexican terrorists started firing rockets into Texas or New Mexico border cities, and murdered dozens of Texans, there wouldn't be a single living Mexican within 12 miles of the US border. Just ask President Woodrow “Keep us out of war” Wilson, who ordered General Pershing, without a declaration of war, physically into Mexico with 6,000 US troops for two years chasing Pancho Villa.
Why? Because on March 9, 1916, the Mexican terrorist-revolutionary Pancho Villa crossed into the United States of America into a sleepy Columbus, New Mexico, murdered 19 Americans, and left the American town in flames? Yes, Mr. President, "Let the United States try on Israel's shoes for one minute."
Nevertheless, let's hope the words of Obama's Jerusalem 2013 speech junking what is a delusional "Peace" process turn into actions junking what has been in reality a "War" process. Let’s hope, it’s not an Obama “golf with republicans” legerdemain to coerce Israel to re-label Israeli areas B into A, or C into B. For, if there has been a real Obama change, the world (and especially the Palestinian Arabs) would be a lot safer and freer. But as my illustrious dad says, "The proof is in the pudding.
The writer, has created an original educational 3d Topographic Map System of Israel to facilitate clear understanding of the dangers facing Israel and its water supply. It has been studied by US lawmakers and can be seen at
Created on Saturday, 23 March 2013 12:37
U.S. President Barack Obama left Jordan on Saturday, ending a four-day tour in the Middle East which included a warm embrace of Israel and warnings to Iran on its nuclear program.
Air Force One lifted off from Amman airport in the early afternoon bound for Washington, after Obama spent the morning touring ancient ruins in the southern Jordanian city of Petra.
Obama was seen off at the airport by King Abdullah II, with whom he held talks on Friday dedicated to helping the kingdom deal with the huge influx of refugees from Syria’s deadly sectarian violence.
The president departed Jordan after the tour and was due back in Washington late Saturday.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is meeting Israeli and Palestinian leaders to further explore options for relaunching stalled peace talks after President Obama’s Mideast trip this week.
Following up on Obama’s visits to Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the State Department said Kerry would see Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the Jordanian capital of Amman on Saturday. After that meeting, Kerry will return to Jerusalem to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
During his first trip to Israel and the Palestinian Authority as president, Obama called on Thursday for resumption in negotiations. He offered no new plan on how to get there but said Kerry would be spending considerable time on the matter.
Created on Thursday, 21 March 2013 16:59
PA Arabs are not happy that U.S. President Barack H. Obama is paying Ramallah a visit Thursday. In fact, said a PA official, “we don't want Obama here.”
Speaking to Yisrael Hayom, a PA official who is very close to PA chief Mahmoud Abbas, said that “unfortunately we do not have much hope for this visit, and we don't believe it will lead to a renewal of negotiations.”
“Obama is not wanted here,” said Rassam al-Massry, a top PA official and an organizer of protests against the President's visit. “He declared that he will not pressure Israel to return to negotiations, and he thwarts every attempt by the Palestinians to condemn Israel in the UN,” he said.
Throughout the week, PA Arabs have torn down posters with Obama's image and scrawled anti-American graffiti throughout Ramallah and Bethlehem, which Obama is set to visit Thursday.
Arabs in Bethlehem had a “warm welcome” for American officials who on Monday came to prepare for President Barack H. Obama's visit to the city Friday, by throwing shoes and garbage at the vehicles in an entourage from the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem. Hundreds of Arabs mobbed the vehicles outside the Church of the Nativity, where Obama is scheduled to visit when he comes to Bethlehem.
Sources in the city told Israel Radio that Arab protesters tore down posters with Obama's image, throwing them to the ground and spitting and stepping on them. The protesters threw shoes at other posters that were hung too high for them to easily tear down.
Created on Monday, 18 March 2013 13:55
Arabs in Bethlehem had a “warm welcome” for American officials who on Monday came to prepare for President Barack H. Obama's visit to the city Friday, by throwing shoes and garbage at the vehicles in an entourage from the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem. Hundreds of Arabs mobbed the vehicles outside the Church of the Nativity, where Obama is scheduled to visit when he comes to Bethlehem.
Sources in the city told Israel Radio that Arab protesters tore down posters with Obama's image, throwing them to the ground and spitting and stepping on them. The protesters threw shoes at other posters that were hung too high for them to easily tear down.
The American entourage had entered Bethlehem unannounced, apparently in an effort to avoid such scenes. The entourage was said to be comprised chiefly of security officials who were there to ensure that Obama would be safe during his visit. PA police attempted to stop the crowd from throwing shoes and debris at the American vehicles, and were only partially successful, witnesses said.
Sources in the PA said they were examining ways to ensure that Monday's protests were not repeated when Obama came to town.
Created on Monday, 18 March 2013 08:07
As U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Israel and the West Bank comes close, an official from Washington says the U.S. leader will not bring any peace place as the Jewish state is not ready to make concessions, a newspaper reported Sunday.
When President Obama was asked by a group of Arab-American leaders during a meeting last week on why he did not intend to launch a new peace process, the leader said that Israel was not ready to make concessions, the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, cited an official, who was present at the high-level meeting, as saying.
The official, who kept his identity anonymous, said the U.S. leader was frustrated with fruitlessness of the peace process, claiming it would be pointless to pressure the Israeli government at this time.
Obama arrives on Wednesday for his first trip to the region as president.
At the luxurious King David hotel in Jerusalem, where the president and his entourage will begin their stay, chefs have been busy finalizing special dishes and anticipating the VIP requests, the Associated Press reported.
The historic hotel, which opened in the 1930s and was once headquarters of the British government during the British
Mandate, is no stranger to hosting visiting dignitaries.
However, because Obama is visiting days before the Jewish holiday of Passover, when Jews are forbidden from eating unleavened bread, his menu will be bereft of breads, pastas and other starches.
Jerusalem municipality crews, meanwhile, have been busy hanging a plethora of Stars and Stripes flags, getting ready for the high-profile visitor from the United States.
A factory making those flags has been working full throttle, preparing U.S. flags for the visit.
The factory manufactures flags for official visits of leaders from around the world, but factory owner Avi Marom says the Obama visit is very special.
“As one of the workers said here: ‘It’s the president of the world’,” he explains.
To protect Obama and keep order during the visit, hundreds of police officers and security personnel will be deployed.
“The Israeli police...will be in full action. There’s a large amount of cooperation which is also taking place between the Israeli police and American security,” says police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.
He says the full deployment is understandable: “This is the most important visit that is taking place since President [George W.] Bush’s visit in 2009.”
Obama to visit West Bank
Obama is also expected to visit the West Bank town of Bethlehem.
Palestinian and American security forces have been preparing and inspecting the area of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, a revered site for Christians.
The Palestinians are intent on showing the president what life is like under Israeli occupation.
President Mahmoud Abbas leads a self-rule government that enjoys limited autonomy in the West Bank. But Israel wields overall control of the area, which the Palestinians claim as the heartland of their future state.
Upon reaching Ramallah, just a short distance from Jerusalem, Obama will be greeted by large posters with his image that read - “President Obama: Don’t bring your smartphone to Ramallah. We have no 3G in Palestine!”
Israeli authorities, who control mobile networks in the West Bank, have not granted Palestinian telecommunication companies 3G frequencies.
Created on Sunday, 17 March 2013 18:04
Between 1993 and 2001, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Palestinian Authority (PA) signed six agreements with Israel and conducted countless meetings and summits to bring about a lasting peace between them.
Each Israeli concession was met with Palestinian non-compliance and escalating violence. Six times, Palestinians failed to honor their commitments and increased their anti-Israeli aggressions. Finally, they broke every promise they made and began an all-out guerrilla war against Israel and its citizens.
The failure of the Palestinian leadership to be earnest and trustworthy stands in stark contrast to the statesmanship exhibited by Israel’s peace partners in the region: the late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and the late Jordanian King Hussein, both of whom honored their agreements.
Although Israel succeeded in reaching historic peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan, when the time came to negotiate with the Palestinians in the territories, the Israelis discovered the Palestinian Arabs were unable or unwilling to choose peace or honor their given word.
Despite numerous agreements, the pattern has always been the same: The Palestinian Arabs violate the conditions and commitments of virtually every agreement they sign.
The Camp David Accords
The 1979 Camp David Accords brought peace between Israel and Egypt. Because of Egypt’s key leadership role in the Arab world and the clauses in the peace treaty relating to Palestinian autonomy, the Camp David Accords were a breakthrough which offered a framework for a comprehensive settlement. The Palestinian Arabs, however, failed to respond positively to this window of opportunity.
On March 26, 1979, Israel and Egypt took the first step toward a peace agreement between the Arab world and Israel when they signed the historic Camp David Accords on the White House lawn. The name of the peace treaty reflected the fact that the breakthrough between Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin took place in September 1978 at the U.S. presidential retreat, Camp David. They were guests of U.S. President Jimmy Carter, who acted as the facilitator. The summit took place less than a year after Sadat made his historic trip to Israel and addressed the Israeli parliament (the Knesset) in Jerusalem. That symbolic act made Sadat the first Arab leader to recognize the Jewish state’s right to exist, 30 years after Israel declared its independence.
Peace with Egypt consisted of two accords. One was the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, which finally ended the 1948 War with Egypt and normalized diplomatic relations. In exchange, Israel withdrew from the Sinai Peninsula captured during the Six-Day War, a war that begun when Egypt imposed a blockade of the Straits of Tiran, dismissed the UN forces serving as a buffer between Egypt and Israel, and moved its troops into Sinai, massing on the Israeli border.
The second accord – and the more complicated of the two – dealt with prospects for a comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East with other parties – including ‘representatives of the Palestinian people.’ It established a ‘framework’ designed to settle such issues as the future of the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and Gaza, based on limited autonomy for the Palestinian Arabs living in the Territories. By agreeing to conclude a separate peace with Israel, Sadat exhibited tremendous courage and leadership by breaking with other Arab states, a step that ultimately cost him his life.
Despite the promise of self-rule proffered by the Camp David Accords – the first concrete offer in decades – the PLO denounced them because they failed to call for an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza. Other Arab nations blasted the treaty and branded Sadat a traitor to the Arab world. They imposed economic and political sanctions against Egypt, suspended it from the Arab League, and ousted Egypt from the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries.
The Madrid Conference
The 1991 Madrid Conference marked an important step forward: Israelis and Arabs met face-to-face. For decades, the Arabs had refused to meet with Israelis, their sworn enemies, in face-to-face negotiations. Little real progress was made, except that negotiations with Jordan, renewed at a later point, led to the 1994 peace treaty between Israel and Jordan.
The conference was sparked by the 1991 Gulf War. The U.S. Department of State reasoned that cooperation between the United States and Arab countries during that war signaled a change in the Middle East and sought to use it as leverage to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict. After the Gulf War, U.S. Secretary of State James Baker pressed Israel and its Arab neighbors to agree to an international conference to launch direct negotiations between Israel and each of its Arab neighbors.
Held at the royal palace in Madrid, Spain, between October 30 and November 1, 1991, all parties accepted the 1979 Camp David Accords and two UN resolutions: 242 – which set forth the principle of “land for peace,” and 338 – which called for “direct negotiations” as the framework for talks.
Delegations from Israel, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan attended. The Jordanian delegation included Palestinian Arab representatives from the West Bank and Gaza who had not been involved in terrorist activities (that is, they were not from the Tunis-based PLO). The talks were to follow three ‘tracks’ – Syrian, Lebanese, and Jordanian, culminating in peace treaties that would resolve the issues, including the future boundaries of Israel, the status of the Territories and the populations – Jewish and Arab – living in them.
The Madrid Conference put in motion the process that led to a peace treaty between Jordan and Israel, but it ultimately failed to produce results on the Lebanese, Syrian, or Palestinian tracks. Talks with Syria led nowhere. Talks with Lebanon, which put an Israeli withdrawal from the security zone in southern Lebanon on the table in exchange for Lebanon’s assurance of peace along Israel’s northern border, also failed. Those peace efforts were undercut by Syria’s interference in Lebanese affairs and its support of Hizbullah extremists, who continued to attack Israeli forces in southern Lebanon. Although Israel was willing to discuss limited self-rule for the Palestinians in the Territories, Palestinian Arab delegates demanded full sovereignty over all of Judea, Samaria and Gaza. However, they lacked authorization to speak for all Palestinian Arabs and were given no latitude to deviate from the PLO’s hard-line positions.
The Oslo Accords
The 1993 Oslo Accords marked a potential turning point, which dead-ended when the Palestinian Arabs refused to live up to their commitments and held to their zero-sum hard line, rejecting the very notion of compromise.
When attempts to reach a live-and-let-live solution with Palestinians in the Territories failed to produce results at Madrid, Israel decided to try the ‘PLO track’ as a default option. Most Palestinians at the time and others in the Arab world regarded the PLO as the sole representative of the Palestinian people. It remained unclear whether the PLO could transform itself from a terrorist organization into a responsible political body. Secret negotiations culminated in the 1993 Oslo Accords. In retrospect, it is evident that the PLO was not earnestly seeking compromise; it was only seeking a better base from which to continue attacking Israel.
The agreement signed by Israel and the PLO known as the Oslo Accords was named for the secret talks held between the PLO and the Israeli envoys in Oslo, Norway. The official agreement was titled the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements (the DoP is also called “Oslo I” and the second was dubbed ‘Oslo II,’ though those negotiations took place elsewhere).
At the time, the Oslo Accords were viewed as a historic breakthrough in the Arab-Israeli conflict, perhaps even more so than the agreement between Egypt and Israel, because of its potential it held for a comprehensive peace between Israel and the Arab world. Arab leaders had long maintained that peace hinged on accommodations between Israelis and Palestinian Arabs.
The agreement was signed on the White House lawn on September 13, 1993 by Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and PLO Executive Council Member Abu Abbas in front of almost 3,000 dignitaries and ended in the famous handshake between PLO Chairman Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
After three years of secret talks in Oslo, on August 31, 1993, the Israeli government approved, in principle, a plan for interim self-rule in Palestinian Arab communities in the West Bank and Gaza. On September 9, Arafat sent a letter to Rabin stating for the first time that the PLO recognized Israel’s right to exist in peace and security. In his letter, Arafat also renounced terrorism and other acts of violence, pledging to repeal clauses in the PLO National Charter that called for Israel’s destruction. In return, Rabin signed a letter recognizing the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people, accepting the PLO as a negotiating partner.
The Oslo Accords called for a five-year interim period of Palestinian self-governance at the municipal level, with the scheduling of negotiations on the permanent status of the Territories to begin no later than the third year of the interim period. Permanent status arrangements were to take effect at the end of the five-year period. During that interim period, elections were to be held in a newly established Palestinian Council or legislative body. The Israeli military was to withdraw gradually from populated Palestinian areas, while continuing to protect Israeli settlements in the Territories. Israeli military control and civil administration in Palestinian areas was to be transferred to authorized Palestinian Arabs who would become responsible for a variety of functions, including municipal services and the machinery to combat Palestinian terrorism through a strong Palestinian police force and special counterterrorism units. In short, Palestinian Arabs would take control of all their own internal affairs. In the New York Times, the agreement was heralded as “a triumph of hope over history.”
Two more agreements intended to implement the Accords followed. The first – the May 4, 1994 Gaza Jericho Agreement signed in Cairo - allowed Arafat and the PLO to travel from Tunis to establish Palestinian autonomy in two limited areas. This was designed to test the Palestinians’ and the PLO’s intentions and set up a program for step-by-step extension of autonomy under a Palestinian Authority that the PLO would establish. The second – the August 29, 1994 Agreement on the Preparatory Transfer of Powers and Responsibilities signed at the checkpoint between Gaza and Israel - extended Palestinian self-rule over health, education, welfare and additional fiscal affairs for all Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza.
The first challenge Arafat faced was reining in Palestinians who refused to abide by the agreement. Despite his pledge to crack down on terrorists, Arafat failed the first test of leadership as a peace partner. In retrospect, we can see it is a role he never planned to play. Instead of confronting terrorists, he concluded a series of hudnas, or tactical truces, with rival Islamic elements to prevent a showdown. That led to a tacit division of labor where the PA covered the diplomatic front and radical Islamic groups continued to carry out terrorist attacks.
Israel faced a “Trojan Horse,” an ancient metaphor borrowed by PLO leaders while still in Tunis. The Palestinians’ real intention was to destroy Israel, stage-by-stage, using the Palestinian Authority to establish a platform from which they could attack Israel. The scope of Palestinian terrorism following Oslo escalated to unprecedented levels including systematic targeting of civilians in wave after wave of suicide bombings. Incredibly, the number of Israelis killed by terrorists in the two years following the signing of “Oslo I” was equal to the number of casualties from terrorism in the preceding decade.
Israeli peace architects clung to the hope that these were only temporary setbacks, birth pangs in a breakthrough peace process. Jewish victims of suicide bombings, drive-by shootings and other terrorist acts were labeled ‘victims of peace’ (korbanot hashalom in Hebrew) by Israeli doves. Such Orwellian terminology could not mask or change realities. The window of opportunity opened at Camp David and Oslo, intended to demonstrate the Palestinians’ political maturity and ability to self-govern, was slowly closing. The Palestinians’ perversions and outright violations of commitments, in spirit and substance, grew steadily. Among the most blatant Palestinian violations during the first two years of self-rule under “Oslo I” were:
· Failure to accept Israel’s existence: Constantly referring (in Arabic) to a “phase strategy” designed to use self-administered areas as a base of operations to destroy Israel; comparing Oslo to a historic treaty made and broken by the Prophet Mohammed once it was expedient; continuing to use maps, insignia, and terminology presenting Israel proper as “Occupied Palestine”; disseminating inflammatory and fallacious material that denied Jewish nationhood and Jewish historic roots in the Land of Israel.
· Failure to take ‘all measures necessary against terrorism’: Refraining from disarming lawless militias or even closing their training camps; refusing to outlaw organizations that championed and carried out terrorist acts (including Hamas and Islamic Jihad); seeking reconciliation with such rivals who openly aided, abetted and carried out terrorist acts - in essence, adopting a modus operandi that allowed some Palestinians to attack Israel while others negotiated.
· Failure to change the PLO Covenant: Using a string of excuses and provisos to postpone the vote time and again so that the pledge to remove from the PLO Covenant clauses denying Israel’s right to exist was never fulfilled; likewise, failing to annul clauses calling for an armed struggle to destroy Israel and the denial of Israel’s right to exist.
· Failure to repudiate terrorism and violence and refrain from anti-Israeli propaganda: Constantly calling for a jihad (holy war), praising terrorists as heroes and Hamas leaders as brothers, while vilifying Israel in demonic, antisemitic terms on Palestinian media channels; under self-governance, transforming public schools into factories that inculcate hatred of Israel and Jews and nurture a ‘cult of death’ in children, instead of promoting peace education as they promised.
· Failure to extradite or discipline terrorists: Procrastinating in arrest of suspected terrorists who found asylum in Palestinian Authority areas; or apprehending them and then refusing to extradite them to Israel; abusing the terms of the agreement that allowed the Palestinian Authority to prosecute and sentence perpetrators by conducting bogus ‘quickie trials’ and establishing jails with revolving doors.
· Failure to abide by limitations placed on the Palestinian Authority’s police force: Failing to provide Israel with a full list of police personnel and register all weapons as required; accepting former terrorists into the force who were specifically barred from serving under the terms of the agreement.
· Failure to respect human rights and the rule of law: Creating a police state where the number of security personnel per capita (police, preventive security personnel, etc.) was frightening in scope and where strong arm tactics, torture, and intimidation of citizenry was rampant and where lack of due process and lack of freedom of the press for Palestinians was endemic.
· Failure to adopt transparent methods of funding and honest governmental procedures: Ignoring the norms of honest governance they promised to uphold, misusing foreign aid, resulting in widespread corruption and graft among Palestinian Authority officials and governing institutions. Far from improving average Palestinians’ standard of living, standards plummeted under self-rule as Arafat and his cronies grew rich: Forbes magazine’s 17th annual survey (2003) of the richest people in the world shows Arafat has used his position to amass a personal fortune estimated at $300 million, stashed away in Swiss banks. Ranked among heads of state, Arafat’s personal fortune was reported to be one notch below that of the Queen of England.
The Jordanian-Israeli Peace Treaty
The 1994 Jordanian-Israeli Peace Treaty was made possible by the sense of optimism created by Oslo. But the momentum did not carry over into peace agreements with Syria, Lebanon … or the Palestinians.
Just over a year after the historic Oslo Accords were signed, on October 26, 1994, Israel and Jordan signed a full peace treaty. As with the Oslo Accords, secret talks were held beforehand between the two heads of state, Israel’s Prime Minister Rabin and Jordan’s King Hussein, who met in Washington that summer and agreed to reopen bilateral negotiations which had been suspended since the 1991 Madrid Conference.
The primary drive behind Jordan’s overture was the hope for a peace dividend. Jordan’s port on the Red Sea, Aqaba, had served as a primary port for Iraqi imports and exports, but the international embargo on trade with Iraq in the wake of the 1991 Gulf War dealt a crushing blow to the Jordanian economy. Jordan hoped peace with Israel would bolster its economy by increasing trade with Israel. It also anticipated that a peace agreement would bring additional American aid (which it did). The agreement meant peace along Israel’s longest border. In some respects, it was the one agreement with an Arab state that could have been predicted. Jordan remained neutral during the 1973 Yom Kippur War and for most of its history had earnestly tried to prevent incursions into Israel from Jordanian soil.
King Hussein would no doubt have made peace earlier if not for Jordan’s weak position in the Arab world and Jordan’s problematic demographics. Palestinians, at various junctures, have constituted 60 percent to 80 percent of the Jordanian population, and many opposed peace with Israel. Indeed, a Palestinian extremist assassinated Hussein’s grandfather King Abdullah in 1951, and two Jordanian prime ministers were assassinated for favoring peace with Israel. Hussein and Rabin had developed a warm relationship and a deep trust over the course of numerous unpublicized meetings. To a large extent, peace with Jordan was a question of timing.
Peace with Jordan has been the most normalized and the warmest peace, despite the fact that it was signed during an upsurge in Palestinian terrorism and met considerable opposition by Jordan’s intelligentsia. Unlike Arafat, Hussein boldly stood up for peace against the sentiments of many of his own Palestinian subjects, personally making a condolence call to the parents of children killed by a Jordanian soldier to ask forgiveness, while Arafat vacillated between remaining mum and praising the perpetrators of similar acts. Although dying of cancer, the king even left his sickbed in a last attempt to use his good auspices to save the fate of peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians.
The Taba Agreement (“Oslo II”)
Despite the Palestinian Authority’s failure to honor its commitments in “Oslo I,” Israel decided to give the Palestinians a second chance in 1995 in Taba, with an additional agreement (“Oslo II”) to concede territory and move the peace process forward. The Palestinians responded by escalating terrorism and adding new violations to a mounting list of unfulfilled promises.
The 1995 Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip is often referred to as “Oslo II” because it revised and reiterated a host of obligations set forth in “Oslo I” that had never been fulfilled. It took the concept of Palestinian autonomy forward by transferring more authority and land to Palestinian rule. Despite growing uneasiness with Palestinian non-compliance in honoring both the spirit and substance of the “Oslo I” terms, Israel made a leap of faith by offering self-rule to the overwhelming majority of Palestinians, assuming that once the PLO had more territorial control (and more to lose), their dedication to peace would improve.
Also known as the Taba Agreement, because it was signed in Taba, Egypt, on September 24, 1995, “Oslo II” established a detailed schedule for further redeployment of Israeli troops beyond the ‘Jericho and Gaza First’ enclaves – a process set in motion by the 1993 Declaration of Principles.The agreement divided the West Bank and Gaza into three zones, classified as Areas A, B and C:
· Area A: Gaza and Jericho, as well as seven major Palestinian cities on the West Bank, for which the Palestinian Authority took full responsibility, including internal security and public order.
· Area B: 450 Arab towns and villages in the West Bank where the Palestinian Authority took over civic functions, while Israel continued to control security.
· Area C: Rural and unpopulated areas of the West Bank that Israel considered strategically important to its own defense; Israeli settlements in the Territories also remained the exclusive responsibility of Israel, as set forth in previous agreements.
The Palestinian Authority, however, failed to comply with the terms of “Oslo I” listed above – violations compounded by its non-compliance with the terms of ‘Oslo II,’ including major new violations:
· Failure to revise the Palestinian National Covenant: Arafat made a travesty of his obligation in Gaza, when he pretended to annul the Covenant in the presence of President Bill Clinton, in a manner contrary to the process stipulated in the Covenant itself, by merely staging a spectacle without legal validity.
· Failure to prevent terrorist attacks: Non-compliance continued parallel to terrorist attacks. Failing to act, Palestinian forces began to express openly their support of terrorists at demonstrations by firing weapons in the air, then using those weapons to threaten and even kill members of joint patrols. The most memorable case was a two-day rampage in September 1996 when Palestinian police turned their weapons against Israeli soldiers, leaving 13 members of the Israel Defense Force dead.
· Failure to guarantee religious freedom: Despite pledging to respect their integrity and provide free access to Jewish holy sites in areas transferred to the Palestinian Authority, Palestinians burned down the ancient Shalom al Yisrael (“Peace Upon Israel”) synagogue in Jericho and smashed to rubble Joseph’s Tomb on the outskirts of Nablus, declaring that a mosque would be built on the site.
· Failure to limit the size and firepower of the Palestinian Authority police force: The Palestinian Authority equipped its police force with massive quantities of ammunition and contraband weaponry, the quantity and quality of which was prohibited under the agreement. Between 1995 and 2000, the PA violated the terms of the treaty by increasing the size of the force from 36,000 to 40,000, vastly more than the 12,000 originally envisioned as a ‘strong police force,’ and far above the 24,000 ultimately agreed upon in “Oslo I” or the 30,000 Israel acquiesced to retroactively in October 1995 in ‘Oslo II,’ hoping that a greater force would fight terrorism. In essence, the Palestinian Authority built an infantry force larger than that maintained by the IDF, a genuine military force (which the Accords clearly prohibited) rather than a police force.
· Failure to halt terrorism: The Palestinian Authority police force did not prevent terrorist acts launched by Hamas and others. In September 2000 when Arafat launched all-out guerrilla warfare against Israel, PA police turned into combatants and Palestinian preventive security forces became terror management operators, secretly directing and funding attacks on Israel with money funneled from senior Palestinian Authority leaders. Ultimately, the Palestinian police became perpetrators. In November 2000 an Israeli officer was murdered when Palestinian officials planted a bomb against a wall separating joint Palestinian and Israeli offices, used for synchronizing cooperative security details and transferring essential goods and commodities to Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip.
Five More Attempts to ‘Make Oslo Work’
From January 1997 through August 2000, five more attempts to make Oslo work. They included an Israeli withdrawal from 80 percent of Hebron, an unprecedented offer of statehood and a proposal to give the Palestinians about 95 percent of the West Bank in an attempt to hammer out a final status agreement at Camp David.
Attempt #1: The 1997 Hebron Agreement
Hebron was the last city in the West Bank to be turned over to Palestinian control. It required a special arrangement because a major Jewish holy site (the Tomb of the Patriarchs) is in the heart of the city and because it is the only city on the West Bank where there is a modern Jewish community (all seven other West Bank cities are purely Palestinian). Hebron, along with Jerusalem, Safed and Tiberias, was one of the four holy cities where religious Jews have lived from time immemorial. That distinction changed in 1929 when Arab residents massacred the Jewish community, killing 70, including entire families. The British evacuated the 700 survivors to Jerusalem for safety and never allowed Jews to rebuild the Hebron Jewish community. Four decades later, after the 1967 Six-Day War, Jews resettled in Hebron. While most of the returnees (approximately 5,000) live in a separate Israeli community called Kiryat Arba just outside Hebron, 450 Jewish settlers live in the center of the city – the site of the ancient Jewish community near the Tomb of the Patriarchs – surrounded by some 150,000 Arab residents.
Hebron required special arrangements to mitigate tension caused by the city’s history of violence and religious conflict. That included a massacre of 29 Muslim worshippers in Hebron by a lone Israeli terrorist in 1994. Protocols under the Hebron Agreement included temporarily stationing European observers in Hebron on the seam between Arab and Jewish neighborhoods. The provision for further negotiation and redeployment of Israeli troops, included in the 1995 “Oslo II” Accords, was spelled out in the Protocol Concerning Redeployment in Hebron signed on January 17, 1997. It called for three phases to be carried out over a year’s time, including an Israeli withdrawal from 80 percent of Hebron - though the Palestinian Authority wanted a full withdrawal.
Despite a change of government in Israel as a result of the 1996 elections, Israel’s commitment to withdraw from 80 percent of Hebron was honored by the newly elected Likud-led government, despite continued Palestinian violence and their continued non-compliance with previous obligations.
Violence erupted again when Palestinians protested the groundbreaking of a Jewish housing project in Har Homa, overlooking East Jerusalem. Another Palestinian suicide bombing in Tel Aviv became the last straw, and the new Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, postponed further withdrawals beyond Hebron. Among the added Palestinian violations to earlier agreements was the PA’s release of Hamas terrorists from PA prisons. Arafat had ordered Palestinian Authority police to stop cooperating with their Israeli counterparts.
Attempt #2: 1998 Wye River Memorandum
The Wye River Memorandum – so named because it was convened at the Wye River Plantation in Maryland – was an effort by U.S. President Bill Clinton to restart the peace process. Signed on October 23, 1998 by Netanyahu and Arafat, it was intended to resolve issues of size and timing of Israeli redeployment, which Israel had postponed due to the Palestinian Authority’s failure to combat terrorism and comply with the terms of earlier agreements. Netanyahu introduced the concept of ‘reciprocity’ at Wye River, refusing to offer more concessions until the Palestinian Authority honored its commitments and stopped the violence. The reciprocity principle was reflected in a ‘trade-off’ – restriction of Jewish construction in West Bank settlements to accommodate only natural growth in exchange for a Palestinian Authority pledge to defer its threat to unilaterally declare statehood on May 4, 1999, the date set by “Oslo I” set for concluding the peace process. Wye called for a graduated 12-week exchange of ‘territory for security.’ The Palestinian Authority promised to comply with past commitments and rectify violations in exchange for a phased Israeli withdrawal from another 13 percent of the West Bank. Yet the conditions of Wye were never fully implemented.
Attempt #3: 1999 Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum
The Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum, signed in Egypt on September 4, 1999, was yet another effort to move the peace process forward by using pressure from leaders of Arab countries that had already made peace with Israel. Succeeding Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Arafat signed the Memorandum in the presence of the new monarch of Jordan, King Abdullah II and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, in the presence of U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
The peace process launched with the Oslo Accords in September 1993 had ground to a halt, due largely to Palestinian non-compliance. That led to the Israeli refusal to continue scheduled redeployments as long as its Palestinian partners refused to abide by the agreements, particularly on security issues. Final-status talks, originally scheduled to be completed by May 4, 1999, were rescheduled under the Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum. The new date for completion was September 13, 2000. Both sides agreed that a framework for a final status agreement would be established by March 13, 2000, but that date came and went with a series of working-level meetings and shuttle diplomacy that fell short of real expectations.
Attempt #4: August 2000 Camp David ‘Final Status’ Summit.
When Clinton summoned Barak and Arafat to Camp David in August 2000 for final status talks, Israel made dramatic, unprecedented concessions on virtually every point ever raised in the peace process, including all the major stumbling blocks that had repeatedly defied solutions because of Palestinian refusal to compromise.
According to media reports, Barak made the following offer:
· Establishment of a demilitarized Palestinian state on some 92 percent of the West Bank and 100 percent of the Gaza Strip.
· Dismantlement of most Jewish settlements; uprooting settlers from isolated communities to concentrate the bulk of the settlers inside 8 percent of the West Bank along the Green Line, and annexing this area to Israel in exchange for a transfer of 3 percent of land in Israel proper adjacent to Gaza.
· Establishment of a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem and sovereignty over half the Old City of Jerusalem (the Muslim and Christian quarters) and ‘religious custodianship’ over the Temple Mount; some Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem would become sovereign Palestinian territory, while others would enjoy ‘functional autonomy.’
· A return of Palestinian refugees to the prospective Palestinian state, although no Right of Return to Israel proper would be allowed; generous international assistance to help settle the refugees would be encouraged.
In return, all Israel asked for were two ‘concessions’:
· An end to violence, and
· A public declaration that the terms of the final settlement marked an ‘end of the conflict’ and that there would be no more Palestinian claims or additional demands on Israel in the future.
The offer went beyond long-standing Israeli ‘red lines,’ particularly with regard to Jerusalem and a solution to the Palestinian refugee problem. Barak made it clear this was a one-time, now-or-never offer that neither he nor any future Israeli leader would offer again. Yet Arafat walked out, effectively shutting the door on permanent status negotiations.
According to a post-mortem analysis of the Camp David summit conducted by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, the negotiations were governed by three attributes: They were hypothetical (pending agreement in other areas), oral, and conducted through a third party. “Together, these attributes made Camp David more a ‘brainstorming’ session than formal negotiations in which the parties move from paragraph to paragraph until they reached complete agreement.” Even Abu Mazen admitted the proposals were no more than ‘test balloons.’ As President Bill Clinton stated on July 25 (the day after the summit closed), negotiations under such conditions could not bind either party or be construed as a ‘starting point’ for future negotiations: “Under the operating rules that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, they are, of course, not bound by any proposal discussed at the summit.” Arafat was aware of the rules of the game and the ‘now-or-never’ quality of the Israeli offer. Yet Arafat walked out, his actions underscoring Palestinians’ refusal to seek compromise or reconciliation.
Shortly thereafter, in September 2000, the al-Aqsa Intifada erupted. Subsequently, it became evident that this guerrilla war, launched by the Palestinians, was in the planning stages prior to Camp David. It was accompanied by escalation of violence on all fronts, including waves of suicide bombers, ambushes of civilian traffic on the roads, shootings into Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem, and rocket attacks from Gaza into civilian settlements in the Negev.
Michael Oren, an Israeli scholar of the Six-Day War and other aspects of modern Israeli history, summed up Camp David and the Palestinian position in an article in the December 2001 issue of Harper’s magazine: Why did the Palestinians constantly ‘lose ground?’ Oren asked.
The peace process collapsed not over land but because of the Palestinians’ refusal to accept Israel’s existence. Historically, it has been that refusal rather than Israel’s resistance to compromise that has led to the Palestinians ‘losing ground.’ Cleaving to it will only cost them more.Oren’s assessment of responsibility is backed up by Palestinian pronouncements.
In January 1996, Nabil Sha’ath, a senior member of the PA leadership, considered a ‘moderate’ by Western observers, told a gathering in Nablus:
"We decided to liberate our homeland step-by-step. Should Israel continue [to make concessions] – no problem. If and when Israel says 'enough' we will return to violence. But this time it will be with 30,000 armed Palestinian soldiers…”
On November 28, 1996, in an official communiqué, Muhammad Dahlan, at that time the PA’s security chief responsible for enforcing the 2003 hudna, reiterated:
“The Palestinian Authority does not exclude the return to the armed struggle, and it will use its weapons.”
The term hudna in Arabic refers to a temporary breather for tactical reasons, not a peace pact. Should negotiations ever resume in earnest, the Arabs will no doubt claim that negotiations should begin ‘from the point where negotiations broke off,’ but there is absolutely no foundation for such a claim.
Attempt #5: 2001 Taba Conference
In 2001 – in the midst of Arafat’s War, the al-Aqsa Intifada, a last-ditch attempt was made to end hostilities, renew security cooperation and at least theoretically, re-open negotiations. Yet the Palestinians balked again. Against the backdrop of continued Palestinian violence from the Intifada and with Israeli elections only a few weeks away, Israeli and Palestinian delegations met one last time at the Egyptian Red Sea resort at Taba between January 22 and January 28, 2001. The Clinton administration had tried unsuccessfully to end the Arab violence and bridge the gaps between the two sides with talks in Washington in December 2000.
With Clinton out of office and George W. Bush just days into his presidency, marathon talks were held at Taba. Israeli PM Barak hoped for a breakthrough peace agreement that would boost his election chances against Ariel Sharon. Four committees were created to discuss Jerusalem, refugees, territory, and security, the key aspects of the peace negotiations. The Barak government offered more concessions to the Palestinian Arab delegation, but the Palestinians failed to budge from an ‘all-or-nothing’ stance. Negotiations centered on these issues:
· Jerusalem: Israel proposed creating an international regime in an area of Jerusalem that included the Old City, but the Palestinian Arabs rejected this, saying they wanted sovereignty over the entire city.
· Territories: Israel proposed giving the Palestinian Arabs 97 percent of the land area of the West Bank, yet no agreement was reached.
· Refugees: The two sides discussed the Arab refugees who left Israel in 1948 and the Jews who left Arab countries in the aftermath of the 1948 War of Independence. Palestinians insisted on the Right of Return of all Palestinian Arabs to Israel – a non-starter that would demographically liquidate the Jewish state.
· Security: In return, Israel asked for: 1) an end to violence, and 2) a public declaration that the final status agreement would mark an ‘end of the conflict’ and there would be no more claims on Israel in the future.
The Palestinians preferred armed struggle. A Palestinian state in the West Bank was viewed as a prelude to a Palestinian state from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. Violence continued, despite American efforts to mediate a truce
What Can be Learned from a Post-Mortem of the Oslo Peace Process?
In the two decade that passed since the historic handshake between Arafat and Rabin in 1993, optimistic expectations turned out to be unfounded.
The idea that negotiations, gradual empowerment, and a transfer of territory - ‘hope’ and ‘something to lose’ - would prompt the Palestinians to opt for reconciliation and abandonment of such unbending principles as the Right of Return never translated into reality. Israeli concessions only hardened Palestinian positions.
In the wake of Israel’s last-ditch effort to save the peace process, and 24 hours after Israel’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Ben-Ami tried to mitigate the gap by optimistically announcing that peace was nevertheless within the parties’ grasp, Arafat responded with a speech at the Davos World Economic Forum on January 28, 2001 that symbolically buried the Oslo Accords for good.
In a bellicose diatribe filled with lies and venom, he accused Israel of “fascist aggression” while the Palestinians continued their massive onslaught on Israeli civilians and service personnel. For Barak, this was the last straw: the Prime Minister announced he would not meet with Arafat again before elections (which he lost to Sharon, anyway).
Barak’s political fate was reminiscent of Bill Clinton’s response when Arafat called the outgoing president to thank him for his efforts on behalf of peace: "You are a great man," Arafat told Clinton, three days before the U.S. president left office, according to Newsweek. "The hell I am,” Clinton replied. “I'm a colossal failure and you made me one." The exchange was reportedly described at a New York dinner party where Clinton went on to characterize Arafat as an aging leader who relishes his own sense of victimhood and his incapability to sign a final peace deal. "He could only get to step five, and he needed to get to step 10," Clinton said, laying the blame entirely at Arafat's door.
Refusal to Negotiate in Good Faith
The Palestinians’ refusal to negotiate in good faith shows that they are more interested in perpetuating war with Israel than in finding a way to peacefully live with their Jewish neighbors.
The leaders of Egypt and Jordan took bold steps toward peace, transcending a history of refusal to recognize Israel. Their brethren living in the West Bank and Gaza, however, have refused to exhibit similar courage. Given repeated chances to return to the negotiating table, offered unprecedented tangible concessions by Israeli governments, both Right and Left, the Palestinians refuse to live in peace with Israel. Instead they create obstacle after obstacle and adopt terror as their means of communication with their Israeli neighbors.
Failing to make political gains through three years of guerrilla warfare and a decade of violence, Palestinians, under the short-lived premiership of Abu Mazen, seemed to have returned to a more subtle form of their phase-strategy. They demanded Israel release all Palestinians apprehended for terrorist activities - as if terror never happened. This behavior is reminiscent of Palestinian demands in 1948 - that Israel ignore the war of aggression launched by Palestinians. The change of tactics did not mean acceptance of Israel and abandonment of the Right of Return, only a reversal to that strategy by a different and longer route.
This moderate Munich-style view – to achieve an independent state and then continue to make further demands – was expressed by the late Faysal al-Husseini (considered by many Israeli doves to be a moderate), who, several months after the outbreak of the Intifada, told a forum of Arab lawyers in January 2001 in Beirut:
“There is a difference between the strategic goal of the Palestinian people, who are not willing to give up even one grain of Palestinian soil, and the political [tactical] effort that has to do with the [present] balance of power and with the nature of the present international system. The latter is a different effort from the former. We may lose or win [tactically], but our eyes will continue to aspire to the strategic goal, namely, to Palestine from the river to the sea. Whatever we get now cannot make us forget this supreme truth.”
Dr. Boaz Ganor, executive director of the International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism in Herzliya, stresses that Palestinian acceptance of the 2003 “road map” (proposed by the United States, the UN, the European Union and Russia) amounted to part of the ‘strategy of stages’ meant to lead to the eventual elimination of Israel, though not necessarily by violent means alone. That strategy, according to Ganor, is built on a three-phase approach, starting with the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip; followed by the overthrow of the Hashemite regime in Jordan whose population consists of a vast Palestinian majority; and ending with the unification of both banks of the Jordan River. The third stage would be “a change of rhetorical tacks” from claiming that Israel is a conquering colonialist state to branding Israel a racist ‘apartheid’ state that must become ‘a state of all its citizens,’ eliminating Israel as a Jewish state.
Others believe the last stage will be a wholesale military assault on Israel, once the Arabs have gained a strong enough foothold in western Palestine. In either case, the result is not peace, but rather a recipe for policide or the death of the only free, democratic state in the Middle East.
Scrutiny of Palestinian behavior prior to the 1993 Oslo Accords indicates that this impasse is not a quirk or temporary stumbling block. Unfortunately, the Palestinians’ current behavior, the Palestinian Authority’s failure to live up to its promises and its insistence on a winner-take-all solution using indiscriminate terrorism to achieve its objectives, rests on a long tradition of rejectionism that has stymied countless attempts to find a live-and-let-live solution. A philosophy of rejectionism has been played out through a combination of uncompromising diplomacy and repeated use of violence, time and again, over a period of more than 90 years.
The process set in motion by the Camp David Accords with Egypt, that ultimately led to the Oslo Accords with the Palestinians, never did bring an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict through face-to-face negotiations.
Palestinians’ dogged pursuit of a winner-take-all solution designed to destroy Israel, using violence and rejecting any form of compromise, have stymied all attempts to solve substantive issues between the parties.
The Palestinians have consistently failed to ‘walk the walk’ – breaking commitment after commitment as well as promise after promise and draining agreement after agreement and memorandum after memorandum of meaning.
Only the late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and the late Jordanian King Hussein had the courage and earnestness to pursue peace. Palestinian Arab leaders lack the courage, the integrity and the political maturity required for statehood, employing the same rejectionism Palestinian Arabs have exhibited for over 90 year.
For article with complete footnotes and sources, see the author's website.
Eli E. Hertz is the president of Myths and Facts, an organization devoted to research and publication of information regarding US interests in the world and particularly in the Middle East. Mr. Hertz served as Chairman of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting.
Created on Sunday, 17 March 2013 17:32
Unlike Iraq or Afghanistan, a huge invasion is unnecessary to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities.
President Barack Hussein Obama's dangerous complacency and compromise with Iran has afflicted U.S. foreign policy for too long, causing incalculable damage to Israel's security and American interests in the region.
The truth speaks for itself: diplomacy does not work with states who sponsor and are purveyors of global terrorism and nuclear proliferation.
Only one result is certain: it gives the Iranians breathing space and time to continue their illicit program to achieve nuclear capability. In real sense, endless diplomatic talks and lifting off of sanctions—will not bring the long-awaited message of peace and security in the Middle East.
However, even worse, Obama's unprecedented betrayals make no sense at all.
Obama has selected the least qualified anti-Israel nominee for secretary of defense in a half century and forced out General James Mattis because the superb combatant commander took the Iranian threat seriously.
This self-flagellating nonsense seems deeply rooted on Obama's strange combination of extreme narcissism, Marxism and his Muslim upbringing.
It appeared innocuous at first, but the steady influence of Muslim Brotherhood-led Team Obama in every nook and corner of the Arab Spring led to the Benghazi-Gate cover up- and that is very difficult to ignore.
Obama is self-obsessed in reaching a diplomatic nuclear breakthrough with Iran, an ill-contrived concession that the mullah-led regime has denied. Behind the scenes, however, Obama's secret nuclear deal with Iran garnered a rebuke from the ruling ayatollah.
The diplomatic snub will certainly bring more repercussions, one way or another. This is upsetting at least to Obama, forcing him reluctantly to go for an 'urgent' visit to Israel.
Despite the onerous political and diplomatic fiascos in his first term, the narcissistic U.S. president should not be taken lightly. Why is that?
A great deal of extreme narcissists are embittered, vindictive, detached from reality and cannot accept responsibility. Perhaps, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is fully prepared to effectively deal with an egocentric president, knowing full well that Obama can spin a conversation so quickly that it keeps you off balance and you cannot challenge him.
Will it work? Egocentric demands upon the time and patience of others will be borne, but he will try to avoid fights when Israel is at its strongest moments. In short, what is good for Israel will be good for Obama's image, particularly at a time when the Nobel Peace Prize Committee, it is said, politely asked him to return the coveted peace prize.
While there is no question that diplomacy has to be the preferred path, Obama believes that there is still time for a diplomatic deal with Iran- and that illusion is dangerous nonsense.
Containing a nuclear armed Iran implies a de facto recognition. Since there is no absolute guarantee that Iran will not pursue nuclear weapons in the future, Israel's security becomes more untenable. This policy of containment is irresponsible. for it would only create a dangerous nuclear standoff that is enormously costly and unpredictable .
In any case, it is clear that Obama's misguided and feckless foreign policy is to blame.
It is inconceivable therefore, that despite western efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, the Washington foreign policy establishment still wants to talk more when direct negotiation is not possible. It is the height of absurdity, that despite his alleged show of support, Obama is undermining Israel's military capabilities instead of Iran's - the country which represents a clear and present danger to Israel's existence and the national interest of the U.S.
Unfortunately, Iran is playing a dangerous catch- 22 diplomacy along with its mentor, North Korea. The problems with these two rogue states seem insurmountable, but in reality are not - if the U.S. changes its strategic course.
Enough time has been wasted on restraint and it seems that Israel is, indeed, determined to strike Iran when the time comes to fulfill its duty to defend itself. Moreover, Israel's restraint is in keeping with its desire not to cast itself unnecessarily as an aggressor . And for that matter, Israel does not need any Western assistance to attack Iran.
In any event, it is better for Israel to act like a fool than to be caught off guard by a nuclear detonation over Tel Aviv. At this stage of the nuclear brinkmanship, there is no doubt that a positive outcome is only possible if Israel takes out the nuclear facilities in Iran.
Unlike Iraq or Afghanistan, a huge invasion is unnecessary to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities.
It will be a tremendous success, however, if Syria and Hizbullah in Lebanon is dealt with permanently first. Whichever comes first is moot and academic since it is only a matter of time and opportunity.
Mindful of the almost complete destruction of Iranian military assets in Sudan and Gaza during the Operation Pillar of Defense, Hizbullah does not want to ignite a direct confrontation with Israel - for fear of wiping out thousands of smuggled Iranian-made missiles and chemical weapons inside Lebanon; at the time when Tehran is talking the talk and duping the West.
But know this: Israel, as the only undeclared nuclear armed state in the Middle East, can - theoretically - also be unpredictable. Once again, it is highly possible that a civilization-altering development may again stun the world into disbelief and mute Israel's enemies, sending a brief shockwave across the Middle East.
Yet despite the importance of this development, the mainstream media would be the last to cover the story after it happened. As former Military Intelligence Chief Brigadier-General (Res.) Amos Yadlin said at the AIPAC convention in Washington, a military action against the Iranian nuclear program "is not a war. It is a one-night operation."
Israeli officials also said Netanyahu would look for reassurances that the U.S. would prevent Syria's extensive stocks of chemical weapons - nicknamed "Arms R' Us" by Israeli intelligence - from falling into the hands of al-Qaeda or Hizbullah.
Incessant, anti-Semitic rhetoric and condemnation surely would follow, but consider what a one nighttime operation will do for regional peace and stabilizing oil prices about which the world's economy is so sensitive.
In the past, western media outlets enjoyed a monopoly on outrageous bashing of Israel. This time the information war is in Israel's favor in dealing with distorted information in almost all social media networks, including you tube.
Although the consequence of an imminent war with Iran is highly predictable, it will be difficult at first to accept, let alone believe, that Israel's high technological advantage makes success possible. Perhaps, it may be the main reason why Washington has been dilly-dallying around with regard to support of its staunch ally, Israel.
Israel knows this: the US will not act beyond what it perceives as its own national interests. And if Iran miscalculates the extent of Israeli resolve, the geo-political outcome is awfully predictable.
In the end, Israel's technological or military innovation could easily shift the balance of power back heavily into America’s favor by altering the equation of the Iran nuclear game.
Something has to be done.
Dr. Joe Tuzara
Born in Manila, American by choice, the author is a former clinical research-physician-general surgeon for Saudi Arabian, Philippine and American healthcare systems and currently an American freelance writer as well as op-ed contributor.
Created on Saturday, 16 March 2013 12:01
If you happen to walk past a café in Tel Aviv over the next week and see a familiar face – with an odd-looking mustache and perhaps “mingling” more than your average café-goer – it may be someone you know pretty well.
The scene could be U.S. President Barack Obama carrying out his “fantasy.”
Bemoaning the loss of his anonymity, the president said on Thursday that during his upcoming visit to Israel he wishes he could don a fake mustache as a disguise, and mingle.
"I’d love to sit at a cafe and just hang out," he said in an interview with Israel’s Channel 2 broadcast on Thursday.
"Sometimes I have this fantasy that I can put on a disguise, you know, wear a fake mustache, and I can wander through Tel Aviv and go to a bar and have a conversation, or go down to a university and meet with some students in a setting where it wasn't as formal," Obama said.
Obama said he missed the "spontaneous interactions" he once had while travelling.
"You can’t just slip out and interact with people without having a bunch of guys with machine guns with you," Obama said.
Obama's three-day trip to Israel and the West Bank begins Wednesday.
This is not the first time Obama suggested a mustache look. At a fundraiser last June, he joked that he had tried on a fake mustache early into his presidency to try to convince the Secret Service to let him walk through Central Park on his own, New York-based Enstarz entertainment website reported.
Created on Monday, 11 March 2013 21:40
In a meeting with a group of Arab Americans this week, U.S. President Barack Obama revealed that he will not push the Israelis and Palestinians toward restarting negotiations or outline a new peace initiative during his upcoming visit to the region, but he will take with him a cash infusion of $500 million – which Congress will soon release – of much needed financial aid to the Palestinian Authority.
Obama met at the White House with members from the Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee, the Arab American Institute, the Arab Federation of Ramallah, the American Task Force for Palestine and other individuals and groups.
“Obama said that since the Israeli government has not been willing to make concessions, there is no point in pushing [for negotiations] right now,” one participant at the meeting with Obama said on condition of anonymity.
“He said the goal of his trip was to speak to the Israeli people directly,” said another participant. “He thinks it was a mistake that he didn’t address the Israeli public in his first term.”
Obama’s planned speech to the Israeli public, which has yet to announced, will be complementary of Jewish and Israeli history and accomplishments and Israelis’ hopes of maintaining a democratic Jewish state, said three participants who were at the meeting.
“He said he wanted to see what kind of concessions the Israelis are willing to make and push them in that direction, that’s why he wants to give the speech to the Israeli people,” said one source.
But Obama warned that the speech to the Israeli public might not have what the Arab participants in the meeting were looking for. “But he implored us to give them a pass on this one,” the source said.
Obama told the group he will speak to Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas separately during his planned visit to Ramallah.
Obama wants his plans to include another West Bank stop, though what he will do is still unclear. “He said ‘I don’t want the trip to be a drive by,’” according to a participant “but they haven’t figured out how to do it yet.”
Obama will also tell the Palestinians that “going the way of the United Nations is not the right way. The right way is negotiations,” according to a source.
Obama also expressed his frustrations with the lack of progress on the negotiations. “He was highly engaged but realistic. He understands the community was frustrated; he said he was very frustrated. ‘The only people more frustrated than me,’ Obama said, were the ‘Palestinians living in West Bank and Gaza – it’s a legitimate frustration,’” the source quoted Obama as saying.
One of the participants also said that Obama expressed his frustration with Congress. “Every time the pressure gets to the Israelis they go to Congress,” said the source. “He wants to find a way around that, that’s why he wants to talk to the Israeli public directly.”
Neither the Iranian nuclear issue nor the settlements came up in the meeting, according to the sources who attended. The nuclear issue, however, did come up in Obama’s meetings with Jewish leaders, with whom he met the previous week.
On Jordan, Obama told the participants he will urge the government to continue the democratizations process. “He said Jordan was an example of a monarchy trying to find a way to open up without chaos and that’s something they want to support,” a person who took part in the meeting said. “The president also said if Syrian President Basher al-Assad is willing to negotiate they should, but it doesn’t seem like he’s willing to and the window is closing.”
Obama had a last message to the participants. “He said ‘this trip is not going to give you everything you want’,” a source said.
Created on Sunday, 10 March 2013 16:22
Just before his visit to Israel, apparently the Obama administration has leaked that Obama is coming here not for a photo opportunity, but to seriously move the defunct peace talks forward. He wants, among other things, a timetable of when Israel plans to withdraw from Yehuda and Shomron, Judea and Samaria...the "West Bank".
Mr. President, according to my math and some websites, Abraham was born 1,948 years after creation (yes, Israel was re-established in 1948 and doesn't that bring a smile to your face?). When he was 55 years old, Abraham was commanded to go to Canaan...modern day (and ancient) Israel. So, the first Jew to enter Israel was 2,003 years after creation...or...to put it in more familiar terms, 1758 BCE.
So that makes our presence here in the land of Israel...oh, about 3,771 years, give or take a few (very few) when the Jews left for famine or whatever, and certainly, there have been Jews here continuously, for 2,000 years plus.
That is longer than any other nation alive today, certainly longer than any Arab/Palestinian Arab/Muslim - or even Christian claim to this land. It is documented, substantiated, proven. It is in the ground, buried deep and rediscovered regularly by anyone who digs deep enough to find the history waiting to be uncovered.
But that isn't what you asked, was it? You asked about when we'd be leaving. I did some calculations, using common sense, the current political situation, my own knowledge and research, and figured out that we'll be pulling out of Yehuda and Shomron (what you call the West Bank), etc. - about one week before never; two days after the end of the world.
We'll be here, Mr. President, long after you have turned to dust, your memory not even a breeze in the wind.
We'll be here, Mr. Obama, until the end of time. This is what God has promised and this is what we promise ourselves, our children, our grandchildren and theirs.
You want a timetable for when we'll withdraw - I've given it to you.
Now, let's talk about that other timetable - the one for peace in the Middle East.
It will happen, Sir, when the Palestinians want it, and not before. When they learn to stop dancing in the streets when they succeed in murdering children and exploding buses.
Peace will come when they have no desire to fire rockets at us and no interest in demanding one thousand Arabs at a value of the life of one Jew.
In other words, Mr. Obama - not in your lifetime, sorry.
So, really, if that's why you are coming to Israel - perhaps you can save the gas, save the time. Unless, of course, you are bringing Jonathan Pollard home which is, as our Prime Minister said recently, long past due.
Assuming you still plan on coming, if I were you, I'd go back to Plan B and begin working on what pictures you want.
Paula R. Stern
Paula R. Stern is the Founder and Documentation Manager of WritePoint, a technical writing company.
Created on Saturday, 02 March 2013 13:17
Egypt’s Mohammad Mursi’s English language skills came into question once again, after the recently elected President seems to have misinterpreted a phone conversation with his American counterpart, Barack Obama.
A spokesman for the Egyptian president claimed in a recent report that U.S. President Barack Obama told Mohammed Mursi in a phone interview that he was “looking forward” to the Islamist leader visiting Washington this year.
But according to a White House statement, the planned visit that was talked about in the phone conversation was that of Secretary of State John Kerry to Egypt on March 2.
"The President noted that Secretary Kerry will be traveling on March 2 to Egypt, where he will meet with government and opposition leaders and members of civil society, and will emphasize the need for all Egyptians to work together to build their democracy and promote economic stability and prosperity,” according to the statement.
Asked if there was a planned visit by Mursi to the United States, the White House told Al Arabiya in a statement: “We have no scheduling announcements to make.”
The dialogue carried out between the two presidents on Tuesday discussed the efforts needed to achieve economic and politic stability, according to the U.S. version of the story.
The U.S. Embassy in Egypt also published a summary on its website containing a brief of the talks between the two parties without mentioning Obama’s alleged “looking forward” to Mursi visit.
The inconsistency between the U.S. and Egyptian versions of what might have been discussed was quickly picked by local media and observers in Egypt and in the region, with some suggesting that Mursi’s office was “lost in translation.”
Some argued that Obama told Mursi about Kerry’s visit and Mursi misunderstood and thought the U.S. president is inviting him to visit Washington.
“White House report never mentioned anything about the visit of President of Egypt to Washington, sorry incorrect report from the Egyptian president,” said Fouad Boctor, a Facebook user who commented on the Egyptian presidential statement.
Egypt’s widely circulated newspaper Almasry Alyoum published a piece highlighting the inconsistency and prompting a barrage of reader comments ridiculing Mursi and his presidential team.
One commentator said: “I was sure that Mursi was a liar; did not and will not invite him because Egyptian expats [in America] do not like this man.”
Created on Tuesday, 19 February 2013 09:11
With the situation in Syria continually deteriorating, U.S. officials could re-open the debate on whether to provide weapons to select members of the opposition, the New York Times reported Tuesday.
U.S. President Barack Obama, reluctant to be drawn into a proxy war, has previously rebuffed those in his administration who want to arm the opposition. There is also concern that weapons could be used against Israeli interests.
However, with a new U.S. administration, and a Syrian death toll approaching 70,000, the impetus towards arming opposition groups could be revived.
“This is not a closed decision,” said a senior administration official. “As the situation evolves, as our confidence increases, we might revisit it.”
European Union foreign ministers agreed Monday to “provide greater nonlethal support and technical assistance for the protection of civilians.”
Some analysts say the United States must foster a relationship with opposition forces in Syria.
“The odds are very high that, for better or worse, armed men will determine Syria’s course for the foreseeable future,” Frederic C. Hof, a former senior State Department official and a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, was quoted by the NYT as saying. “For the U.S. not to have close, supportive relationships with armed elements, carefully vetted, is very risky.”
Training the opposition in judicial and legal matters is also important, as the Free Syrian Army has captured prisoners and detained criminals in the areas they control, Hof added.
Despite the White House’s reluctance to send weapons, Russia and Iran have displayed no such qualms in support of the Syrian regime.
The former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, David H. Petraeus, as well as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, support the arming of Syria’s opposition as a way to create allies and influence the military situation inside the country without American boots on the ground.
However, like Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Susan Rise, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, are against the proposal. Rice had pushed for military action in Libya during its revolution.
“In a situation as chaotic as Syria’s, you don’t know where weapons might end up, and what the consequences are if those weapons are used against civilians, against Israel, against American interests,” said an official on condition of anonymity.
Secretary of State John Kerry and Chuck Hagel, the president’s nominee for defense secretary, have differing opinions on what role the United States should play in foreign politics. Hagel is said to be reluctant to become entangled in the affairs of other countries, the NYT reports.
Despite a recent focus on domestic politics by the newly re-inaugurated president, policy towards Syria is constantly under inspection as the death toll rises.
“We have consistently looked at all elements of our Syria policy, including what we can and should supply to the opposition,” said Benjamin J. Rhodes, a deputy national security advisor.
Created on Sunday, 20 January 2013 19:05
President Barack Obama took the oath of office, surrounded by close friends and advisers in a small ceremony at the White House.
This officially begins his second term as President of the United States. Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath at 11:55 a.m. with the president using first lady Michelle Obama's family bible.
"I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, so help me God," Obama said, in the Blue Room of the White House.
Obama, 51, the nation’s first black president, has presided over an economy that is still recovering from the worst recession in a generation. While the world’s largest economy grew at a 3.1 percent rate in the third quarter, this year will bring growth of just 2 percent, according to the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
Over the next two months his administration will engage in a fiscal debate with Republican lawmakers, who hold the majority in the U.S. House, over raising the government’s $16.4 trillion borrowing limit.
Roberts, who stumbled when swearing in Obama, read each line of the oath out loud, before the president repeated it with his right armed raised and his left hand on the family Bible.
At the end of a ceremony which lasted less than a minute, Obama hugged his wife and children before blurting out "I did it" to his youngest daughter.
Obama will take the oath of office for a second time at a time-honored outdoor public ceremony at the US Capitol on Monday.
Created on Saturday, 19 January 2013 16:41
Sources close to Binyamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that the Prime Minister would remain solid in his policies, especially regarding Israel's determination not to return to the 1948 armistice lines, despite the comments President Barack H. Obama reputedly made. The comments, published Tuesday by The Atlantic magazine, have Obama slamming Israeli decisions to build in Judea and Samaria. “Israel doesn't know what its own best interests are,” Obama is quoted as saying by author Jeff Goldberg. “With each new settlement announcement, in Obama's view, Netanyahu is moving his country down a path toward near-total isolation,” Goldberg writes.
According to Goldberg, Obama "has become convinced that Netanyahu is so captive to the settler lobby, and so uninterested in making anything more than the slightest conciliatory gesture toward Palestinian moderates, that an investment of presidential interest in the peace process wouldn’t be a wise use of his time."
"For Israel," Goldberg predicts, "the short-term consequences of Obama’s frustration are limited. The U.S. won’t cut off its aid to Israel, and Obama’s effort to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions will continue whether or not he’s fed up with Netanyahu. "But it is in terms of American diplomatic protection – among the Europeans and especially at the UN – that Israel may one day soon notice a significant shift."
But a report in Ha'aretz Tuesday quoted officials close to the Prime Minister as having Netanyahu dismiss the President's comments. “Netanyahu will continue to stand up to international pressure, as he has for the past four years,” the officials said. “He will continue to look out for Israel's interests and he will not undertake any compromises that could endanger the security of Israel.” He will certainly not agree to return to the 1948 armistice lines, the officials said, “and he will ensure that Jerusalem remains united.”
Likud campaign chief Gideon Sa'ar responded to the implicit attacks on his party's leader, defending the PM while assuring the Israeli public that Netanyahu, who is slated to be elected prime minister for another term, will be able to balance the tricky relationship the two countries enjoy.
"Netanyahu will know how to work with Obama very well while at the same time safeguarding Israel's interests," Sa'ar said. "Netanyahu has the edge over all the other candidates in the diplomatic arena too, not just the security and economic spheres," he added.
Likud officials would not comment on Obama's apparent attempt to intervene in Israel's elections, with the comments coming just a week before Israelis go out to vote.
Created on Tuesday, 08 January 2013 13:54
U.S. President Barack Obama on Mondy named former senator Chuck Hagel as his next defense secretary and counterterrorism adviser John Brennan to head the CIA, urging the U.S. Senate to confirm them quickly.
Hagel, a decorated Vietnam veteran, would replace Leon Panetta at the Pentagon. Critics have already launched attacks over Hagel's record on Israel and Iran.
Brennan is a CIA veteran who withdrew from consideration for the spy agency's top job in 2008 after questions were raised about his views on enhanced interrogation techniques used on terrorism suspects during the Bush administration.
He would succeed retired General David Petraeus, who resigned amid a scandal over an extramarital affair with his biographer.
Since his name emerged last year as a candidate for the Pentagon, some Republicans contend that Hagel has at times opposed Israel’s interests. His critics note that he voted against U.S. sanctions on Iran, and made disparaging remarks about the influence of what he called a “Jewish lobby” in Washington.
The top Republican in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, praised Hagel when he left his Nebraska seat in 2009 for his “clear voice and stature on national security and foreign policy,” but his tone was markedly different on Sunday.
“He ought to be given a fair hearing like any other nominee, and he will be,” McConnell told ABC. “I’m going to wait and see how the hearings go, and whether Chuck’s views square with the job he would be nominated to do.”
But on CNN, leading Republican Senator Lindsey Graham did not shy away from a full-frontal attack, saying Hagel would be “the most antagonistic defense secretary towards the state of Israel in our nation’s history.
“Not only has he said you should directly negotiate with Iran, sanctions won’t work, that Israel must negotiate with Hamas, an organization, terrorist group, that lobs thousands of rockets into Israel.
“He also was one of 12 senators who refused to sign a letter to the European Union trying to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization,” Graham said.
Four years ago, Obama said Iraq was not the only matter where he held similar views with Hagel, a decorated Vietnam veteran who was also once touted as presidential material.
“He’s a staunch Republican, but Chuck and I agree almost on every item of foreign policy,” Obama said in August 2008, a month after taking Hagel with him on a tour of Iraq.
Hagel has also been critical of the size of the American military, telling the Financial Times in 2011 that the Defense Department was “bloated” and needed “to be pared down.”
Hagel served two terms in the Senate, representing the state of Nebraska, and left in 2008. He is now a professor at Georgetown University, but also serves as co-chairman of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, and a member of the Secretary of Defense’s Policy Board.
Created on Friday, 04 January 2013 13:38
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has been accused of taking 10 billion Egyptian pounds (U.S. $1.5 billion) from the American government, according to claims by Egyptian lawyers.
An immediate investigation into the accusation was ordered by Prosecutor General Talaat Abdallah on Thursday.
The lawyers, Mohamed Ali Abd al-Wahab and Yasser Mohamed Sayab, filed the complaint against the Muslim Brotherhood for the allegedly illegal money transaction, Egypt’s private daily Al-Masry Al-Youm reported on Jan. 3.
The complaint noted that Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate for the recent U.S. presidential election, had said that $1.5 billion was given to support Egypt's Brotherhood by the Obama administration.
In addition, the lawyers accused the Muslim Brotherhood of having armed mercenaries or a “third party,” who have instigated violence during and after the revolutionary uprising in the country.
The armed mercenaries are trained in the desert, which lies between the city of Alexandria and Marsa Matrouh in Egypt, the lawyers alleged.
Created on Tuesday, 18 December 2012 18:17
BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 193, This Perspectives Paper is based upon a presentation given at a Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies conference on November 21, 2012.
The new Obama administration is facing some tough choices on how to approach its Middle East foreign policy in the coming four years. Many are quick to argue that the US will be less focused on the Middle East during the next term. They say that by 2020 the US, thanks to the shale oil revolution, will be the world’s largest oil producer. They add that the US is more concerned with “pivoting”from the Middle East and developing ties in Asia.
This does not appear to be the case, however. The US will remain invested in the Middle East. Even if it becomes a net oil exporter, the US will view the free flow of oil from the Middle East as integral to its role as a superpower, and will ensure that there are no disruptions to the world economy that is essential for the US economy as well. The administration will remain committed to Israel, its strongest ally in the region. What is up for debate is how the US will approach the sweeping changes and emerging threats in the region, specifically Egypt, Syria, the Palestinians, and Iran.
Egypt is a complicated issue for the Obama administration, mainly because of the $1.2 billion in annual military aid and $450 million in economic assistance that the US provides for Cairo (the latter is a $200 million increase from last year). Congress is worried about the military aid being sent to Egypt, due to a lack of certainty about its direction. Congress is currently holding up the economic assistance.
The recent clashes between supporters and opponents of President Mohamed Morsi over his seizing of additional powers have the US worried even further about the reality of Egypt’s democratic aspirations. Going forward, Congress may be reluctant to transfer military aid to Egypt. It will want a sense of the role of the Egyptian military going forward, given its close ties with the US in the past.
It would not be surprising that Congress will seek to earmark some military funds for counter-terrorism efforts in Sinai.
The Syrian conflict threatens to destabilize the region and could plunge the Middle East into a Sunni-Shiite war. It is not likely, however, that President Obama will send troops to intervene in Syria. Reports about the atrocities committed by the regime against its own people is bound to guarantee that the Obama administration enhance its support for the Syrian opposition.
What he should do is demand a tighter coordination among the leaders of the Syrian opposition who supply weaponry, as well as insist on a clear national, and not just local, hierarchy within the Free Syrian Army.
Concerning the Palestinian Arabs, the US policy is likely to be “collision no, interest yes.” T
he Israeli left mistakenly believes that a second term US president is limitless in its actions, since he cannot be re-elected. History shows that a second term president is able to enhance his political capital upon his election, but such capital remains defined and is easily depleted, as was the case during the second term of the George W. Bush administration.
Obama will choose carefully how he acts. He will not try to take “revenge” on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and he understands that they will need to work together on Iran.
The US administration is concerned that the Palestinian Authority (PA) will collapse and trigger more instability in Jordan. It believes Israel has a deep interest that the PA does not collapse, as this will lead to greater radicalization. It seems that Prime Minister Netanyahu shares this view.
Washington also perceives the “Arab Spring” differently than Israel. While Israel is trying to ride out the storm, the US feels that Israel needs to acknowledge the recent changes and deal with them more head-on.
Specifically, the US is concerned that the continued impasse between the Israelis and Palestinians will feed Arab regional radicalization, even if Arabs seek to further their own national interests.
The big issue, of course, is Iran. The economic sanctions are currently having an impact, but they are not working to stop the nuclear program. By the end of 2013 the US will no longer be able to say that Iran doesn’t have enough material for the bomb. T
he US must demand clarity from the Iranians over what they plan to do with their nuclear material. In the first few months of his administration, Obama should seek clarity on this issue and make a last-ditch attempt at diplomacy by putting forward an offer that will be clear to the American people and its allies that the US is making a good faith offer, but will not countenance an Iranian nuclear break-out under any circumstances.
Obama will ask Israel not to attack until this clarity is achieved, so that the US can at least claim to have tried all avenues. Therefore, if there is a deterioration, Tehran will be to blame. Iran will most likely reject these overtures, but at least the world will know where all of the actors stand.
Obama knows that if Iran gets the bomb it will destroy American credibility in the Middle East, given that so many American administrations have drawn the idea of Iran with a bomb as a red line. This is the last thing he wants.
BESA Center Perspectives Papers are published through the generosity of the Greg Rosshandler Family.
David Makovsky is the Ziegler distinguished fellow and director of the Washington Institute’s Project on the Middle East Peace Process. He is a graduate of Columbia and Harvard Universities.
Created on Thursday, 13 December 2012 16:59
U.S. President Barack Obama proclaimed Syria's newly reframed opposition as the "legitimate" representative of the nation's people on Tuesday, AFP reported, in the most significant U.S. intervention in a brutal civil war.
As Washington cranked up pressure on beleaguered President Bashar al-Assad, the Obama administration also blacklisted the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Nusra Front, which officials fear seeks to hijack the revolution, as a terrorist group.
The United States has edged slowly towards recognizing the opposition Syrian National Council, and its move follows those of France, Britain, Turkey and the Gulf Cooperation Council regional grouping.
The process was slowed by concerns that the group, recently reconstituted under U.S. pressure, did not genuinely represent all sectors of Syrian society, had links to extremists, and did not fully subscribe to democratic principles.
"We have made a decision that the Syrian opposition coalition is now inclusive enough, is reflective and representative enough of the Syrian population, that we consider them the legitimate representative of the Syrian people," Obama told ABC News in an interview.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had been expected to make the announcement at a Friends of the Syrian People meeting in Marrakesh, Morocco, Wednesday but could not travel owing to illness, AFP reported.
Washington has so far only provided humanitarian, non-lethal aid to the rebels, officially declining to send arms, a position White House spokesman Carney reiterated on Tuesday.
The U.S. administration made clear that it was differentiating between the Council and another group, Al-Nusra, which it sees as having extreme tendencies.
"There is a small element of those that oppose the Assad regime, that in fact are affiliated with Al-Qaeda in Iraq and we have designated them, Al-Nusra, as a terrorist organization," Obama said in the ABC interview.
Though a minority, Al-Nusra has been one of the most effective rebel groups fighting to overthrow Assad, raising concerns that hardline extremists are hijacking the 21-month-old revolt.
The front's fighters, many of them jihadist volunteers from around the Islamic world, were instrumental in the fall of the army's massive Sheikh Suleiman base in northern Syria on Monday after a months-long siege.
The group has claimed responsibility for recent suicide bombings that killed scores of people, and has said it hopes to replace the Assad family's four-decade hold on power with a strict Islamic state.
Washington also Tuesday said it was now less concerned than last week that Assad could resort to using chemical weapons stockpiles against rebels.
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Syria had not taken any new steps in recent days that signal a readiness to use its arsenal.
"At this point the intelligence has really kind of leveled off. We haven't seen anything new indicating any aggressive steps to move forward in that way," Panetta told reporters aboard his plane before landing in Kuwait, AFP reported.
A former top general in Syria's chemical weapons program said on Monday he doesn't doubt for a moment that Assad will deploy his chemical weapons arsenal as he tries to hold onto power.
"The regime started to fall and deteriorate. It's coming to its end," retired Major General Adnan Sillou told ABC News. "It's highly possible that he'll start using [chemical weapons] to kill his own people because this regime is a killer.”
Created on Thursday, 15 November 2012 07:21
So far, the world's leaders seem to be backing Israel's defensive action in Gaza. U.S. President Barack H. Obama and EU Foreign Policy chief Katherine Ashton both expressed understanding, if not support, for Israel's situation, and for the need to break the back of Hamas and other Gaza terror groups that have rained thousands of rockets over the heads of Israelis in the Negev for the past decade.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke to Obama early Thursday, in which “the President reiterated to Prime Minister Netanyahu the United States' support for Israel's right to self defense in light of the barrage of rocket attacks being launched from Gaza against Israeli civilians," a White House statement said. "The President urged Prime Minister Netanyahu to make every effort to avoid civilian casualties."
The statement said Obama and Netanyahu agreed that Hamas needed to stop attacks on Israel to "allow the situation to de-escalate." Obama and Netanyahu spoke after the Israeli leader, who has had a rocky relationship with the current US administration, briefed Vice President Joe Biden on the latest events in Gaza.
Obama also spoke with Egyptian leader Mohammed Morsi, stressing Egyp's "central role in preserving regional security," the White House said. "In their conversation, President Obama condemned the rocket fire from Gaza into Israel and reiterated Israel's right to self-defense," the White House statement said.
The UN Security Council, at an emergency closed session, discussed the situation in Gaza without coming to any decisions. But during the meeting, U.S. Ambassador to the UN strongly defended Israel, saying that said there was no justification for the violence that "Hamas and other terrorist organizations" are aiming at Israel.
“We call on those responsible to stop these cowardly acts immediately,” Rice said, adding that the rocket attacks were harming efforts to end the Middle East conflict and create a PA state. “Hamas claims to have the best interests of the Palestinian people at heart, yet it continues to engage in violence that does nothing but set back the Palestinian cause," said the US ambassador, who is considered a frontrunner to become the next US secretary of state. "Attacking Israel on a near daily basis does nothing to help Palestinians in Gaza nor to move the Palestinian people any closer to achieving self determination and independence," Rice said.
Created on Sunday, 11 November 2012 08:45
In the aftermath of a divisive election in which some campaigns devolved into harsh recriminations and ugly personal attacks, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) issued a statement calling on political leaders in Washington, D.C. to strive for "a new day of civility and compromise" and to unite in order to benefit the common good.
ADL has long raised concern about the polarization and coarsening of the American political debate and divisive appeals to hatred and even bigotry.
"Yesterday, nearly 120 million Americans were participants in the grand democratic project of electing a president and other representatives," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "Today we wake up as a nation facing significant challenges that we must address together. The popular vote shows that we remain a divided country. And so the message to our elected representatives is clear: the ability of our government to function depends on reasoned debate and compromise that rejects the temptation to score political points.”
"It is essential for our country – policymakers, media commentators, indeed all Americans -- to move beyond divisive polarizing politics and to participate in respectful debate without demanding we abandon our principles," Foxman added.
The League welcomed statements from both President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney that they would work together to unify the nation in the aftermath of a bitter election year.
"It is heartening that both President Obama and Gov. Romney committed to lead the country forward by setting aside the partisanship and divisiveness that has riven our politics and society and to strive for a civil and respectful political process that embraces compromise," said Foxman. "We welcome their message and we will hold America's political leadership to the standard they have set."
In his acceptance speech President Obama stated, "We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America."
Gov. Romney, too, said in his concession speech that "our leaders have to reach across the aisle" and called for the country to move beyond "partisan bickering and political posturing."
Created on Thursday, 08 November 2012 10:49
Taliban terrorist insurgents told newly re-elected President Barack Obama on Wednesday to admit that the United States has lost the war in Afghanistan and to act accordingly by pulling its troops out of the country immediately.
"Obama must by now know that they have lost the war in Afghanistan," said spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid in a statement posted on the Islamists' website, as reported by AFP.
"So, without further lying and delays, they should leave our sacred land and focus on their own country instead."
"The American administration should stop acting like police in the world and focus on solving their own people's problems, and don't make the world hate Americans even more," the spokesman said, according to AFP.
The Taliban, who ruled Afghanistan from 1996 until 2001, were ousted by a US-led invasion for harboring Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden after the tragic September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on American soil.
They have since waged a bloody insurgency against the government of President Hamid Karzai, which is backed by more than 100,000 NATO troops, mostly Americans.
All NATO combat troops are due to withdraw by the end of 2014, at which time they will relinquish responsibility for security to Afghan forces.
Created on Tuesday, 06 November 2012 09:24
Israel’s biggest-selling daily newspaper claimed on Monday that President Barak Obama sent a “personal emissary” to a series of secret meetings in recent months with Iranian officials.
The Times of Israeli reported from another daily, Yedioth Ahronoth, that the emissary is Obama’s special adviser Valerie Jarrett.
The newspaper described Jarret, 55, as “a key figure in secret contacts the White House is conducting with the Iranian regime.”
The “secret negotiations” led by a personal representative of Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei were initiated by Jarrett and “have been directed personally by her,” according to unnamed Israeli sources quoted by Yedioth Ahronoth.
“Jarrett served as the personal and direct emissary of the president to secret meetings with the Iranians, which are understood to have taken place in one of the Gulf principalities, probably the Kingdom of Bahrain,” the sources added.
Another daily, Maariv Israeli reported last week that Obama began “a process ultimately designed to reestablish full U.S. diplomatic relations with Iran, including a reopening of embassies, soon after he took office.”
According to Maariv, the initiative intended to reach a settlement with Tehran over suspending its nuclear program.
Created on Sunday, 07 October 2012 16:38
With the current disclosed rate of UF6 20% growth, Iran will have enough 20% U235 stock for more than one nuclear bomb's worth of 90% U235 by this coming April 2013. Here's how they did it and why Bibi was right - yes, soon they will be unstoppable.
Bibi's bomb graphic and scrawled red line did what Obama will never do: Draw a red line for Iran's nuclear program.
And while the bomb graphic wasn't perfect, it was damn good, and got people's attention to the fact that, as of now, the world has not any Iranian nuke red line.
In order to understand the Iran nuke red line debate, one must understand a couple of easy-to-understand principles of chemistry and physics upon which the uranium enrichment process is based. Then, one will have a better idea of what Bibi's bomb graphic really meant, and what has to be done next.
As I have explained in earlier essays, natural uranium is composed of two main isotopes, U235 and U238. The heavier isotope U238 is bad for nuclear bombs in that it has relatively unreactive nucleus compared to its isotope cousin extremely reactive U235’s nucleus which has the same number of protons and three less neutrons. That's why its atomic weight number 235 is three less than 238.
Those extra three neutrons in U238 make the uranium atomic nucleus incapable of a chain reaction necessary for a nuclear bomb. So the key to the uranium enrichment process is to isolate the U235 atoms, separate the U235 atoms and concentrate them in an ever higher concentrations. A concentration of 90% of U235 (or 10% U238) is necessary for use in a nuclear bombs. That's why 90% U235 is called "weapons grade" uranium.
One needs about 40-50 kilograms of 90% uranium in metal form for one nuclear gun-type bomb. Metallic uranium is just like any other metal like gold or platinum.
So how does one actually enrich uranium? The natural uranium metallic low percentage U235 uranium is mixed with the element fluorine and made into a gas called uranium hexafluoride UF6. This is just fancy name that means there are six fluorine atoms bonded to one uranium atom. This UF6 gas is then spun in high-speed centrifuge in a series of connected high-speed centrifuges to make ever higher concentrations of U235 at each centrifuge. The way this is done is the centrifuge spins out the heavier U238 UF6 gas into the rim of the centrifuge leaving the lighter U235 UF6 gas in the core of the centrifuge.
In sum, U238 gas spins out to rim, U235 gas stays in core, U238 gas spins out to rim, and so on.
This higher concentration U235 UF6 gas in the center of the centrifuge is then sucked out of the core by a pipe and piped into the next centrifuge which repeats the process. By stringing a thousand centrifuges together in a series one after another, in this way, the core U235 UF6 gas which gets sucked out of the previous centrifuge, gets a little more concentrated every time it gets sucked out of a centrifuge.
The higher concentrated U238 UF6 gas in the rim of the centrifuge gets re-fed and cycled back into the enrichment cycle at an earlier stage. Little by little, the cascaded siphoned-off uranium U235 UF6 gas gets a higher and higher concentration of U235 until the enrichment operator hits his concentration goal.
Here's how it progresses:
Centrifuge #1: In U235 UF6 20.00%, out U235 UF6 20.03%
Centrifuge #2: in U235 UF6 20.03%, out U235 UF6 20.05%
. . .
Centrifuge #1000: in U235 UF6 89.96%, out U235 UF6 90.00%
Then, the uranium element is isolated and chemically extracted from the high concentration U235 uranium hexafluoride UF6 gas, and is turned into a metal discs just like a gold ingot.
Since the UF6 gas had 90% of U235, the isolated and metalized uranium from this enriched gas has the same enrichment level of 90% U235 weapons grade uranium.
In August 2012, Olli Heinonen, a former IAEA expert, estimated that it would take Iran about "a couple of months" to run an Iranian stockpile of 20% U235 UF6 stock of about " 300 kilograms-an amount sufficient, with additional enrichment, for more than one nuclear weapon." This 300 kilograms of 20% U235 UF6 will boil down to enough 90% U235 for one bomb worth of U235.
As of August 30, 2012, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) declared Iran in open disclosed possession of 189.4 kilograms of 20% UF6 gas which was 43.8 kg more than Iran disclosed to the IAEA and published in its May 25, 2912 report.
This rate of 20% UF6 Iran stockpile growth means about 15 kilograms of UF6 20% U235 per month. If this rate is maintained, this growth rate will hit the Heinonen 300 kilogram U235 stock target in 8 months from August 30, 2012 or April 30, 2012.
This, of course, assumes Iran is not hiding any UF6 stock, which a weak assumption. But, with the current disclosed rate of UF6 20% growth, Iran will have enough 20% U235 stock to spin down to "more than" one nuclear bomb worth of 90% U235 by this coming April 2013.
The confusion in Bibi's bomb graphic was Bibi's use of 70% and 90% labels which could be confused with 70% and 90% enriched uranium. The reason this is confusing is no one enriches past 90%, so the Iranians would never cross the Bibi's red line even if they were building a nuke.
What Netanyahu probably meant was not the percentage of uranium enrichment, but just simply how close the Iranians were to actually building a final nuclear bomb. So, Bibi's meant if the Iranians are only 10 percent away from the bomb, then that's a red line.
Maybe a football analogy would have been a little more accurate. So, if the Iranians are "goal-to-go," then it's time to forcibly stop Iran.
But Netanyahu was the man who stood on the UN podium, faced down the world that thinks “football means “soccer,” and Bibi got everybody's attention with his great bomb graphic, so that is great, in and of itself. Who am I, or anybody, to complain?
However, the real problem is once the uranium gas or uranium metal has been enriched to a high concentration of U235, no amount of bombing (either conventional or nuclear) will destroy the highly enriched U235 uranium contained in the UF6 gas centrifuges, or stop the Iranians from easily recovering the highly enriched U235 uranium from the debris of the bombed out centrifuging works.
For example, in a conventional attack on Fordow which houses thousands of gas centrifuges built into cascading centrifuges, the attacking bombs will (assuming they make it through the concrete) blow up the gas centrifuge containers containing highly pressured UF6 gas. But the uranium UF6 gas will interact with the immediate atmosphere and do two things:
1) at the pressure and temperature of the bombed out building UF6 will turn from UF6 gas phase directly to UF6 solid phase without going through UF6 liquid phase (this is called de-subliming) and ultimately all the UF6 gas will 2) chemically interact with the water vapor contained in the atmosphere, and chemically produce uranyl fluoride UO2F2 which is a bright orange color solid powder which becomes yellow on contact with water.
This uranium powder still will have the relatively high concentration of U235. And this uranyl fluoride solid powder will be easily extracted from the bombed out Iranian nuclear facility debris. So, the Iranians will be able to recollect and recover almost all their highly-enriched U235 uranium from the bombed-out facility. The only thing they have to do is just build a new cascade centrifuge facility.
The terrible consequence of all of this is that the longer Iran is allowed to enrich uranium and stockpile the enriched U235, the shorter time there will be after any possible attack on Iran in which Iran can actually recover their enriched uranium and actually build a bomb.
Therefore, while Bibi's bomb graphic was a great first step towards educating people about the need for a red line for Iran's nuke program, it should be followed up with a clearer definition of what exactly is the level of enrichment of U235 would constitute a "clear, and present danger" to the world.
A good benchmark and starting point would be: how many kilograms of 20% U235 in the hands of Adolf Hitler in 1938 would have represented a "clear and present" danger to Western civilization so as to require military intervention. And, if Adolf Hitler had openly disclosed 189.4 kilograms of 20% UF6 gas in December 1939 would President Roosevelt have rejected an urgently requested meeting with Winston Churchill in favor of a shout-out with Jay-Z?
For more information, visit www.marklangfan.com.
Mark Langfan: The writer, has created an original educational 3d Topographic Map System of Israel to facilitate clear understanding of the dangers facing Israel and its water supply. It has been studied by US lawmakers and can be seen at www.marklangfan.com
Created on Thursday, 27 September 2012 21:15
While Christian churches are being destroyed on a near daily basis in Muslim countries throughout the world, the Obama administration is investing millions of dollars to rebuild overseas Islamic mosques and minarets.
According to the State Department, the mosque restoration program, first reported on back in 2010, is a “cultural preservation” project designed to “fight Islamic extremism by building relationships with Islamic leaders.”
To that end, the State Department, through the US Agency for International Development, is spending millions to preserve mosques and minarets in 27 different Islamic countries.
While the State Department would not reveal the entire cost of its Muslim outreach program, it did acknowledge one restoration project, the refurbishing of Egypt’s 1,300-year-old Amr Ibn El-Aas Mosque, was part of a $770 million program to rebuild Cairo’s sewer system.
Perhaps the State Department’s reticence in sharing the full fiscal details of its taxpayer-funded Islamic goodwill project centered on the fact that federal regulations prohibit USAID funds from being used for saving structures which are used for “inherently religious activities.”
Of course, it should be noted, that the “inherently religious activities” of those overseas Islamic mosques includes preaching hatred of Jews, Christians and Americans, incitement to terrorist activity, and global imposition of Islamic rule.
In recent days, Muslim clerics in at least 20 Islamic countries have used these “houses of worship” to urge their congregations to take to the streets in violent protests to defend Islam over the release of the video “Innocence of Muslims.”
So, given that, it’s not surprising that the Obama administration’s diligent efforts to help preserve the religious heritage of Islam has failed to engender in its Muslim beneficiaries a similar respect toward preserving the religious heritage of Christianity in the Islamic world.
For example, while the State Department was busy repairing Egyptian mosques, scores of Egypt’s Coptic Christian churches were being burned down by Muslim mobs, one which included St. George’s Church in the Egyptian village of Merinab.
The 100-year-old St. George’s was in the midst of its own renovation when local Muslim sensibilities were offended by the presence of a cross, bell, and dome on the church’s roof. So, in the interest of “community peace,” church leaders agreed to take down the spire and cross, leaving the dome intact.
Unfortunately, that compromise proved insufficient to soothe Muslim outrage, leading a Muslim throng numbering in the thousands to descend on the church, burn it to the ground, while shouting, “Kill all the Christians.”
In 2010, the State Department provided monetary support for saving three mosques on Zanzibar Island off the coast of Tanzania, mosques which included the 900-year-old Kizimkazi mosque, considered one of the oldest Islamic buildings on the coast of East Africa.
That generous American donation was repaid in July 2012 when Muslim mobs, shouting, “Away with the church — we do not want infidels to spoil our community, especially our children,” burned down three Christian churches on Zanzibar Island.
In 2011 the State Department provided funds to restore the 15th century Gobarau Minaret in Katsina State in Nigeria’s predominantly Muslim north, an area which has become a virtual killing field for Christians at the hands of Muslim militants, led by the al-Qaeda-linked terror group Boko Haram.
Since 2009 over 288 Christian churches in Nigeria have been burned, thousands of Christian-owned homes destroyed, and over 2,000 Christians killed, including in July 2012 when fifty members of a northern Nigerian church were burned to death in their pastor’s house.
Finally, the State Department provided taxpayer funds to restore the 18th century Golden Mosque in Lahore, in Pakistan’s Punjab province, an area which happened to be the scene of an assault on a Christian colony in July 2009 by thousands of Muslims who set fire to over 50 houses and two churches, burning to death eight people, including a seven-year-old child.
Unfortunately, the ongoing eradication of Christian churches in the Islamic world shows no signs of abating any time soon, especially given comments like those of Sheik Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, who recently declared that it is “necessary to destroy all the churches of the region.”
While Aziz bin Abdullah’s clarion call was directed toward Christian churches on the Arabian Peninsula, it has nevertheless been earnestly followed by Muslims in Islamic countries throughout Africa, the Mideast, and Asia.
For example, in the past two months Muslims in Kenya have attacked 11 churches, assaults which include grenade attacks on a crowd of 150 Christians attending an outdoor church meeting, killing two and wounding more than 30; and one attack during a church service that killed one and injured 16.
In June the Sudanese government bulldozed three church buildings to the ground and confiscated three Catholic schools in the capital of Khartoum, saying that such buildings are now unwelcome in the Islamic-ruled country.
In Afghanistan, where more than 2,000 American troops have died protecting that country, the last public Christian church was demolished in October 2011, forcing Afghan Christians to practice their faith in underground “House Churches.”
In Indonesia, a ministerial decree has led to the closure of more than 400 Christian churches. While Christian worshippers must make due in storefront churches or, lacking that, parking lots and the side of streets, it hasn’t stopped Muslim mobs from trying to prevent those services.
Specifically, in May a horde of 600 Muslims, led by Indonesia’s Islamic Defenders Front, hurled bags of urine, rotten eggs, ditchwater and stones at over 100 Christians attempting to attend church service in an empty parking lot in the city of Bekasi, located outside the capital of Jakarta.
Unfortunately, news of that type of anti-Christian behavior was not included in the recent public service announcement the State Department aired on Pakistani television in which it condemned religious intolerance in the video “Innocence of Muslims.”
Instead, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, while lamenting the hurt feelings the video engendered among Muslims, said the Islamic faith “respects the fundamental dignity of human beings,” and that it is “a violation of that fundamental dignity to wage attacks on innocents.”
Ironically, as Clinton’s public apology was being aired, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, an 82-year-old church in northwest Pakistan, was being burned by a mob of hundreds of Muslims protesting the offending video.
Since that attack was, in the words of Mrs. Clinton, “a violation of that fundamental dignity to wage attacks on innocents,” perhaps she will inquire if there are any funds still available in her mosque restoration program to help cover the costs of rebuilding St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.
Frank Crimi is a San Diego-based writer and author of the book Raining Frogs and Heart Attacks. You can read more of Frank's work at his blog,www.politicallyunbalanced.com.
Created on Thursday, 27 September 2012 17:19
A new report says Iran is being hard hit by international sanctions, but the evidence indicates its nuclear development activities are galloping ahead.
The report, leaked Thursday allegedly by Israel's Foreign Ministry indicates the Islamic Republic is being hard hit by international economic sanctions. Oil exports from Iran have declined by 50 percent over the past year, and the prices of food and electricity have skyrocketed, according to claims published by the Israeli Hebrew-language Ha'aretz newspaper.
Several international news outlets pounced on the report, confirmed to the newspaper anonymously by a Jerusalem source not authorized to speak to media, insisting it will undercut efforts by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to persuade members of the United Nations to finally set a “red line” for Iran on its nuclear development program. Efforts by Arutz Sheva to reach the Foreign Ministry spokesperson to verify the report were unsuccessful.
Netanyahu is scheduled to address the international body's General Assembly on Thursday afternoon, EDT. The prime minister is expected to again call for increased pressure on Iran, stressing that the current sanctions are not having the desired effect.
While Iranians at home may well be facing hardships as a result of the sanctions, there is no evidence whatsoever the Islamic Republic has slowed down its uranium enrichment and other nuclear development activities.
In fact, if anything, Iran's uranium enrichment program has been stepped up, and its President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has reiterated his calls for Israel's annihilation.
U.S. President Barack Obama, meanwhile, chose to spend his off-the-floor time at the U.N. General Assembly at the television studio chatting with the host of The View. However, Obama insisted he had no time to spare for a meeting with Netanyahu, or with any other head of state. The decision received rather jaundiced reviews, especially following televised remarks on the CBS program '60 Minutes' in which he referred to Israel's repeated concerns over the Iranian nuclear threat as "noise."
Obama said during the interview that he understands and agrees with Netanyahu's insistence that Iran not be allowed to obtain nuclear weapons as this would threaten both countries, the world in general, and kick off an arms race -- but any pressure that I feel is simply to do what's right for the American people. And I am going to block out -- any noise that's out there.”
While in New York, however, he did manage to take time to visit with entertainers Beyonce and Jay Z, and do a little fundraising for his re-election campaign.
Created on Wednesday, 12 September 2012 18:25
The White House told Israel Tuesday that there would be no meeting later this month between Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu and President Barack H. Obama. The two had been set to meet in the days after both Obama and Netanyahu
spoke at the UN General Assembly, but on Tuesday, Israeli officials said that the meeting had been canceled
altogether by Obama, due to “schedule issues.”
A tentative meeting had been set for Thursday or Friday September 27 or 28, after both leaders spoke at the UN.
Obama was scheduled to speak on Tuesday, September 18, while Netanyahu was likely to speak on Thursday – a day after
Yom Kippur, when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinajad ws set to speak. Netanyahu's office had sent a message to the
White House indicating that the Prime Minister wanted to meet Obama, and that he was prepared to travel to
Washington to do so, since he understood that the President had a tough campaigning schedule in advance of the
This will mark the first time that Netanyahu will be on U.S. soil and will not meet with Obama. The rejection of the
meeting comes scant weeks before the U.S. Presidential elections. Polls show Obama running roughly evenly with his
challenger, Governor Mitt Romney.
The rejection of a meeting by the White House comes after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's rebuffing of comments
by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, that the U.S. would not set any 'red lines' for Iran's development of nuclear
weapons. Netanyahu, speaking at a press conference with visiting Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, said that
“those in the international community who refuse to place red lines before Iran have no moral right to place a red
line before Israel. If Iran knows that there are no red lines or deadlines, what will it do? Exactly what it does
today – continuing to work to acquire a nuclear weapon without and interference. The world tells Israel to wait
because there is time, and I ask, 'Wait for what?'
Defense Minister Ehud Barak sought to soften the Prime Minister's comments. Barak said that Israel “must not forget
that the U.S. is Israel's chief ally. The U.S. and Israel have intimate intelligence relations, and the U.S. is
Israel's main supporter in security matters.” He added that the U.S. and Israel have a friendship “based on many
years of friendship and shared values between Israel and the American people. Despite the differences, and Israel's
freedom to act in a manner to defend itself, we must remember the importance of our relationship with the U.S., and
that it must not be harmed,” Barak said.
Created on Sunday, 29 July 2012 09:42
President Barack Obama’s national security adviser has briefed Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a U.S. contingency plan to attack Iran should diplomacy fail to curb its nuclear program, an Israeli newspaper reported on Sunday.
The Haaretz newspaper said that the U.S. adviser - Thomas Donilon - had described the plan in talks with Netanyahu earlier this month.
A senior Netanyahu aide, Harel Locker, refused to comment on the report when asked about it in an interview with an Israeli radio station. Another Israeli official reached by telephone, said “we do not comment on closed-door diplomatic meetings”.
Haaretz said the secret briefing was the most significant effort by high-level U.S. officials who had visited Israel in the past month, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to try to dissuade Israel from launching its own military strike on Iran.
The report coincided with a visit to Israel by Obama’s main rival in his reelection bid this November, Republican candidate Mitt Romney, who is due to meet Netanyahu on Sunday.
Quoting a senior U.S. official it said spoke on condition of anonymity, Haaretz said Donilon had told Netanyahu the Pentagon was planning for a possible decision to attack Iran’s nuclear sites, and had shown him some of the plans.
In their talks, the same official said Donilon had also detailed the U.S. military’s ability to penetrate nuclear facilities buried deep underground, and had said that such contingency plans were being drawn up in case of a possible deadlock in diplomacy with Iran.
However according to Haaretz, another U.S. official involved in the talks with Israel said that “based on the intelligence we have, we think there is still time for diplomacy, and the time for a military operation against Iran has not yet come.”
The secretary of the U.S. Air Force, Michael Donley, told the Capitol Hill Club last week that the force's new bunker buster bombs were ready for use if needed, the paper added reported.
In recent months, the bombs, each weighing 15 tons, have undergone technical improvements and are intended for fortified bunkers deep underground where chemical or nuclear weapons are stored. This would include the uranium enrichment facility Fordu, hidden deep inside the mountains near the Iranian city of Qom.
Israel, the U.S. and most other Western nations are convinced that Iran is racing to create an atomic weapon of mass destruction, which it may then aim at the Jewish State.
The Islamic Republic has continued its nuclear development activities despite increased sanctions and four resolutions by the U.N. Security Council condemning Iran for its defiance of the ban on its nuclear development.
There are currently 11,000 centrifuges active in enrichment facilities" in Iran, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was quoted by state media as saying late on Tuesday in a meeting with supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and senior regime officials.
That was more than the 10,000 centrifuges Iran was last said to have had operating, according to a May 25 report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The failure of talks between Iran and six world powers to secure a breakthrough in curbing what the West fears is a drive to develop nuclear weapons has raised international concerns that Israel, widely assumed to be the Middle East’s only nuclear-armed state, may opt for a go-it-alone military strike.
Israel has warned the West it thinks it is only a matter of time before Iran’s nuclear program achieves a “zone of immunity” in which bombs will not be able to effectively strike uranium enrichment facilities buried deep underground.
Iran says its program is solely for peaceful purposes.
On a visit to Jerusalem this month, Clinton said Israel and Washington were “on the same page” with respect to Iran, calling Iran’s latest proposals to world power talks on the issue “nonstarters.”
“Our own choice is clear, we will use all elements of American power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” Clinton said.
Created on Saturday, 28 July 2012 11:46
President Barack Obama signed a bill on Friday to strengthen U.S.-Israeli military ties as he sought to reassure American Jewish voters of his commitment to the two countries’ close alliance on the eve of a visit to Israel by his Republican rival, Mitt Romney.
Obama used a White House ceremony to announce the United States would soon provide Israel with an additional $70 million in funding for its short-range rocket shield known as “Iron Dome,” a project strongly backed by the powerful U.S. pro-Israel lobby.
His focus on strengthening cooperation with Israel appeared timed to upstage Romney, who has accused the president of undermining Washington’s relationship with its number one partner in the Middle East.
Romney, whose Olympics-week visit to London has been plagued by diplomatic stumbles, will travel on Saturday to Israel, a stop his aides hope will resonate with Jewish voters at home.
He is expected to hold talks on Sunday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has had a strained relationship with Obama.
As Obama signed the bill at his desk in the Oval Office, he said it underscored his administration’s “unshakeable commitment” to Israel’s security. Congress passed the legislation last week with broad support from Republicans and Obama’s Democrats.
“I have made it a top priority for my administration to deepen cooperation with Israel across a whole spectrum of security issues,” Obama said in the Oval Office.
He was flanked by U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer and Congressman Howard Berman, the bill's sponsors, and several prominent Jewish leaders, including Lee Rosenberg, chairman of AIPAC, the leading pro-Israel lobby, and Richard Stone, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
Obama, criticized by some of Israel’s U.S. supporters for being too tough on a close ally, wants to shore up his support among Jewish voters, who could prove critical in battleground states like Florida and Pennsylvania in the Nov. 6 election.
Obama received 78 percent of the Jewish vote in the 2008 election, but a nationwide Gallup poll in June showed him down to 64 percent backing versus Romney’s 29 percent.
Obama angered many Israelis and their U.S. supporters last year when he insisted any negotiations on the borders of a future Palestinian state begin on the basis of lines that existed before Israel captured the West Bank and Gaza Strip in a 1967 war. His Middle East peace efforts have stalled.
Obama visited Israel as a candidate in the 2008 campaign but has not done so as president. He has insisted security ties with Israel have never been stronger, though he has pressed Netanyahu to hold off on any attack on Iran's nuclear sites to give diplomacy and sanctions more time to work.
Romney has accused Obama of being too hard on Israel and not tough enough with Iran.
The new bill calls for enhanced cooperation with Israel -- the staunchest U.S. ally in the Middle East and a major beneficiary of military aid -- on missile defense and intelligence, and increased access to advanced weapons.
Obama said Defense Secretary Leon Panetta would visit Israel soon to discuss further cooperation at a time of “heightened tensions in the region.” Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is faces growing international pressure over his brutal crackdown against a 16-month-old uprising.
Created on Tuesday, 24 July 2012 10:09
Created on Sunday, 08 July 2012 15:49
United States President Barack Hussein Obama has invited his Egyptian counterpart Mohammed Morsi to conduct an official visit to the U.S. in September. Deputy Secretary of State William Perez said he delivered the invitation to Cairo during his meetings with the president on Sunday.
This would be the first visit ever to the U.S. by a member of the genocidal Muslim Brotherhood in an official capacity.
Obama previously made a congratulatory phone call to Morsi when his victory in Egypt’s presidential elections was made official. Obama also confirmed the United States' commitment towards democratic development in Egypt and offered his country’s support for the Egyptian economy.
According to Bikya Masr, Morsi sent a thank you message to the American president through Perez.
The Muslim Brotherhood, which was banned from political work for the past 60 years, captured the presidency after prolonged violent protests ousted former strongman Hosni Mubarak. The rebellion that has swept through the Arab world in the last two years was encouraged, among other things, by Obama's speech in Cairo in 2009, in which he sought a "new beginning" in relations between the U.S. and adherents of the Muslim religion.
Obama's invitation to Morsi would seem to indicate he is not overly concerned about a negative reaction by Jewish voters in the election two months later. Polls show that while his support among American Jews is not as high as it was in 2008, he still commands a clear majority among them.
Adding to the complexity of the situation is tthe prospect of a war with Iran that looms overhead, with Israel hinting an attack will take place within months and that it may go it alone if the U.S. does not lead the strike.
Video of a rally that launched Morsi's campaign shows clearly that the Muslim Brotherhood seeks violent annihilation of Israel.
Created on Thursday, 05 July 2012 08:47
The Obama administration approved a move by the United Nations to invite Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, to brief the Security Council on Israel.
“Though the U.S. is a veto-holding power, the extraordinary move has full American approval” and “was a trade-off for having the high commissioner brief the Council on the subject of Syria,” according to National Review.
Pillay, known for her anti-Israel sentiments, has compared “violence perpetrated by Israeli settlers” with “summary executions, rape and torture” in Cote d’Ivoire, “brutal violence” affecting “tens of thousands” in Syria, and “systematic torture” in Afghanistan.
She questioned the legality of the killing of Osama bin Laden within hours of his death; she is the lead champion of the Durban “anti-racism” declaration and conferences; She remained seated while democracies walked out en masse when speaker Iranian president Ahmadinejad questioned the veracity of the Holocaust.
Created on Thursday, 28 June 2012 20:10
The US Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the individual insurance requirement at the heart of President Barack Obama's attempt to overhaul America's healthcare system.
The decision means the massive healthcare intiative, popularly called ObamaCare, which is still only partly in effect, will proceed and pick up momentum over the next several years.
The plan is expected to affect the way countless Americans receive and pay for their personal medical care, and is intended to ensure some 30 million uninisured Americans will recieve proper healthcare.
The ruling also hands Obama a campaign-season victory in rejecting arguments that Congress went too far in requiring Americans to have health insurance or pay a penalty.
Chief Justice John Roberts announced the court's decision to allow the law to go forward.
However, the court did reject two of the administration's three arguments in support of the insurance requirement. But the court nonetheless said the mandate can be construed as a tax, making it constitutionally sound.
"Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness," Roberts said.
The court did take issue with the law's expansion of Medicaid, but even there said the expansion could proceed as long as the federal government does not threaten to withhold states' entire Medicaid allotment if they don't take part in the law's extension.
Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, joined Roberts in the outcome.
Justices Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented.
"The act before us here exceeds federal power both in mandating the purchase of health insurance and in denying non-consenting states all Medicaid funding," the dissenters said in their opinion.
Created on Sunday, 24 June 2012 07:04
"The American President told me in confidence that he is a Muslim."
That was the claim of Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit, as reported in the May 2010 issue of Israel Today. According to journalist Avi Lipkin, Gheit appeared on Nile TV's "Round Table Show" in January, on which he said that "he had had a one-on-one meeting with Obama who swore to him that he was a Moslem, the son of a Moslem father and step-son of Moslem step-father, that his half-brothers in Kenya were Moslems, and that he was loyal to the Moslem agenda."
Obama allegedly said this in the context of reassuring Gheit that he would soon deal with Israel:
He asked that the Moslem world show patience. Obama promised that once he overcame some domestic American problems (Healthcare) [sic], that he would show the Moslem world what he would do with Israel.
Could this be true? Even if Gheit's claim isn't true, or was misreported, every country in the free world must be cognizant of the catastrophic sea change that has taken place in the leadership of the free world -- as witnessed by events over the past year. Barack Obama took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution, and yet whether he is a Muslim or not, he has undeniably gone around the world promoting Islam and Sharia (Islamic law).
And now, if what Gheit says is true, we know why.
The alleged exchange between Obama and Gheit would almost certainly have happened in early January 2010, when Gheit was in Washington, D.C. regarding "Mideast peace talks."
On Thursday, January 7, 2010, the Associated Press reported that "Clinton and Mitchell [were] scheduled to meet" with Gheit on Friday, January 8, 2010: see ABC news here.
On Friday, January 8, 2010, Hillary Clinton and Gheit spoke with each other. The U.S. Department of State has provided video before the meeting: see the Department of State here.
On Saturday, January 9, 2010, NPR spoke with Gheit about his visit: see NPR.org.
This is a devastating claim, and yet no media outlet is covering it. Remember, during Obama's campaign, I and others were excoriated for using his middle name. We were accused of implying he was a crypto-Muslim. We could not discuss his background, his Islamic schooling, his ties to Islam. However, I have meticulously documented his Muslim background in my soon-to-be-released book, The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration's War on America.
It became all too clear after his election how proud Obama was of his Muslim name, background, and family. He made this plain when he gave his very first interview to Muslim media and boasted of these things. He suddenly became proud of the very things that were verboten to speak of during the campaign. That was the level of deceit and obfuscation.
If Gheit's reported claim is true, then Obama is a baldfaced liar. But why? Why lie if you have nothing to hide?
Of course, if Obama believes himself a Muslim, then his prior behavior constituted taqiya -- deception or lies to advance Islam. This he performed brilliantly during his election: He lied with brazen contempt. And now his Islamic Jew-hatred is made painfully clear in his stunning rebuke of Israel. In Israel Today, political analyst Aviel Schneider exposes some of the further implications of Gheit's claim:
That could explain why Obama has instructed that the term "Islamic extremism" no longer be used in official government documents and statements. Furthermore, the US is now accusing Israel of harming American interests in the Middle East. General David Petraeus, the head of US Central Command, said Israel's intransigence on resolving the conflict with the Palestinians is endangering US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Even the US Congress considers Obama's behavior toward Netanyahu humiliating. Three-quarters of the House of Representatives, 337 of 435 members, signed a bipartisan letter to Clinton expressing "deep concern over recent tension" between the two countries, and demanding that it be smoothed over quickly and in private.
"Obama is a real problem for Israel," a senior official told told Yediot. "He is Israel's biggest strategic catastrophe." The newspaper also quoted another official who believes that for the first time Washington has switched sides. "The Obama White House is putting pressure only on Israel but does not expect anything from the Palestinians," he said. "These American demands are unacceptable."
Is it any wonder that Obama's counterterror adviser speaks Arabic, calls Jerusalem "Al-Quds," and calls jihad a "legitimate tenet of Islam"?
We know that Gheit met with Obama in April 2010 in D.C. -- check out White House.gov, which lists Gheit as one of the attendees of a "Nuclear Security Summit" at that time. And they met more than once. Gheit had a private meeting with Obama in May 2009.
Worse yet, Gheit just last month called Israel "the enemy." This after Israel gave them the Sinai (which Israel had won in a defensive war and defended through another one) with all its oil in return for "peace."
How plausible is Gheit's reported claim about Obama? Let's review Obama's track record:
March 2009: Obama declares the "war on terror" is over, despite a dramatic increase in jihad war ops.
March 2009: he floats the idea that he will talk to violent, genocidal Hamas.
March 2009: he demands that more Muslim Americans work in the Obama administration and insists that they be recruited.
April 2009: Obama tells Europe to admit Islamic Turkey into the EU, much to the consternation of the Europeans.
April 2009: Obama demands that non-Muslims respect Islam (despite our differences) in a speech in Turkey.
April 2009: Obama says in a speech from Turkey, "We are not a Christian nation."
April 2009: Dalia Mogahed, the first hijab-clad senior adviser to Obama on Muslim affairs, says in an interview with terrorist- and jihad-supporting Sheik Yusuf Qaradawi's website, "Many have claimed that terrorists have 'hijacked Islam.' I disagree. I think Islam is safe and thriving in the lives of Muslims around the world. What the terrorists have been allowed to take over are Muslim grievances."
April 2009: Obama lays groundwork for a partnership with Hamas.
May 2009: Obama promises to offer his "personal commitment" to Muslims.
May 2009: Obama calls America "one of the largest Muslim countries on the planet."
June 2009: Obama invites the Muslim Brotherhood, a violent global jihadist group whose sole objective is a universal caliphate, to his speech to the ummah (Muslim community) in Cairo.
June 2009: Obama makes a stunning speech to the Muslim world from Al Azhar University in Cairo. It defies explanation.
July 2009: Obama reaches out to the violent jihadists of Hezb'allah.
July 2009: Obama creates a new office at the State Department, Outreach to the Worldwide Muslim community, reporting directly to Hillary Clinton.
July 2009: The State Department Welcomes Hamas mouthpiece Al-Quds TV to D.C. to filmpPropaganda.
Obama promises to close GITMO.
Obama is rebuked when plans are revealed for CIA prosecutions for 911 interrogations: Seven Ex-chiefs of CIA Oppose Case Review: ALL Sign letter to Stop CIA Persecutions.
In July 2009, Obama sanctions the brutal crackdown of those marching for freedom in Iran and sides with the mullahcracy. He stands silent about the Iranian regime's mass executions, mass rape, and murder.
July 2009: Obama plans to slash the U.S. nuclear arsenal.
September 2009: Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton on Obama at the U.N.: "This is the most radical anti-Israel speech I can recall any president making...I have to say I was very shaken by this speech."
October 2009: Obama offers millions in Muslim technology fund.
November 2009, Fort Hood Jihad Coverup: Obama Urges Congress To Put Off Fort Hood Probe, Warns Against Turning Tragedy Into "Political Theater"
November 2009: Obama offers the Taliban control of the Kandahar, Helmand, Oruzgan, Kunar, and Nuristan provinces, in return for a halt to the Taliban missile attacks on U.S. bases.
November 2009: Obama reaches out to bloodthirsty jihadis in the Philippines.
On Thanksgiving eve, Obama issues a special Hajj message to the world's Muslims.
December 2009: Obama's "Non-Religious" White House Christmas and No Christmas Gifts for his Kids.
February 2010: Obama names a Hafiz to the Organization of the Islamic Conference. "And as a hafiz of the Koran, [Hussain] is a respected member of the American Muslim community," Obama said in his message to the Doha meeting, using the Arabic world for someone who has memorized the Islamic holy book.
February 2010: Obama cuts U.S. space program, orders NASA to work with Muslim countries
February 2010: Covering up for jihadists in the White House.
Obama's counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, Involved in Obama Passport Breach
March 2010: Obama Obsession with Islam: Calls "entrepreneurship summit" with Muslims.
April 2010: Libyan President Gaddafi Praises Obama: "Barakeh Obama is friend"; "He is of Muslim descent, his policy should be supported..."
May 2010: Obama's Counterterrorism Adviser Calls Jihad "Legitimate Tenet of Islam."
May 2010: White House Pro-Terrorism John Brennan Speechifies in Arabic, Equates Terrorists with Shoplifters, Lawmakers Call for his Firing.
June 2010: Obama equivocates on the jihad warship convoy (affectionately named a "flotilla" by the media): Obama "Expressed a Deep Regret Over Loss of [Jihadist] Life"
June 2010: Obama administration to Support Anti-Israel Resolution at U.N.
And earlier this week, Obama became the first president to host a press conference with the American flag nowhere in sight.
Ouch. What a disgrace.
Now: will the lapdog media make Obama address Gheit's claim?
The American people deserve answers. But whether or not what Gheit reportedly says is true, Obama's pro-jihad track record is clear.
is the editor and publisher of the Atlas Shrugs website and former associate publisher of the New York Observer. She is the author of The Post-American Presidency (coming July 27 from Simon & Schuster).
on "Report: Obama said 'I Am a Muslim'"
Created on Thursday, 17 May 2012 17:44
"The following are what the holy Quran teaches, but the President Obama know not:
Qur'an:9:88 "The Messenger and those who believe with him, strive hard and fight with their wealth and lives in Allah's Cause."
Qur'an:9:5 "Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war."
Qur'an:9:112 "The Believers fight in Allah's Cause, they slay and are slain, kill and are killed."
Qur'an:9:29 "Fight those who do not believe until they all surrender, paying the protective tax in submission."
Qur'an:8:39 "Fight them until all opposition ends and all submit to Allah."
Qur'an:8:39 "So fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief [non-Muslims]) and all submit to the religion of Allah alone (in the whole world)."
Qur'an:9:14 "Fight them and Allah will punish them by your hands, lay them low, and cover them with shame. He will help you over them."
Qur'an:8:65 "O Prophet, urge the faithful to fight. If there are twenty among you with determination they will vanquish two hundred; if there are a hundred then they will slaughter a thousand unbelievers, for the infidels are a people devoid of understanding."
Qur'an:9:38 "Believers, what is the matter with you, that when you are asked to go forth and fight in Allah's Cause you cling to the earth? Do you prefer the life of this world to the Hereafter? Unless you go forth, He will afflict and punish you with a painful doom, and put others in your place."
Qur'an:9:123 "Fight the unbelievers around you, and let them find harshness in you."
Qur'an:8:72 "Those who accepted Islam and left their homes to fight in Allah's Cause with their possessions and persons, and those who gave (them) asylum, aid, and shelter, those who harbored them – these are allies of one another. You are not responsible for protecting those who embraced Islam but did not leave their homes [to fight] until they do so." [Another translation reads:] "You are only called to protect Muslims, who fight."
Qur'an:48:16 "Say (Muhammad) to the wandering desert Arabs who lagged behind: 'You shall be invited to fight against a people given to war with mighty prowess. You shall fight them until they surrender and submit. If you obey, Allah will grant you a reward, but if you turn back, as you did before, He will punish you with a grievous torture."
Qur'an:48:22 "If the unbelieving infidels fight against you, they will retreat. (Such has been) the practice (approved) of Allah in the past: no change will you find in the ways of Allah."
Qur'an:47:4 "When you clash with the unbelieving Infidels in battle (fighting Jihad in Allah's Cause), smite their necks until you overpower them, killing and wounding many of them. At length, when you have thoroughly subdued them, bind them firmly, making (them) captives. Thereafter either generosity or ransom (them based upon what benefits Islam) until the war lays down its burdens. Thus are you commanded by Allah to continue carrying out Jihad against the unbelieving infidels until they submit to Islam."
Qur'an:9:19 "Do you make the giving of drink to pilgrims, or the maintenance of the Mosque, equal to those who fight in the Cause of Allah? They are not comparable in the sight of Allah. Those who believe, and left their homes, striving with might, fighting in Allah's Cause with their goods and their lives, have the highest rank in the sight of Allah.
Qur'an:2:193 "Fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief) and religion is only for Allah. But if they cease/desist, let there be no hostility except against infidel disbelievers."
Qur'an:2:217 "They question you concerning fighting in the sacred month. Say: 'Fighting therein is a grave (matter); but to prevent access to Allah, to deny Him, to prevent access to the Sacred Mosque, to expel its members, and polytheism are worse than slaughter. Nor will they cease fighting you until they make you renegades from your religion. If any of you turn back and die in unbelief, your works will be lost and you will go to Hell. Surely those who believe and leave their homes to fight in Allah's Cause have the hope of Allah's mercy."
Qur'an:2:244 "Fight in Allah's Cause, and know that Allah hears and knows all."
Qur'an:2:246 "He said: 'Would you refrain from fighting if fighting were prescribed for you?' They said: 'How could we refuse to fight in Allah's Cause?'"
Qur'an:3:146 "How many prophets fought in Allah's Cause? With them (fought) myriads of godly men who were slain. They never lost heart if they met with disaster in Allah's Cause, nor did they weaken nor give in. Allah loves those who are firm and steadfast [warriors]."
Qur'an:3:153 "Behold! You ran off precipitately, climbing up the high hill without even casting a side glance at anyone, while the Messenger in your rear is calling you from your rear, urging you to fight. Allah gave you one distress after another by way of requital, to teach you not to grieve for the booty that had escaped you and for (the ill) that had befallen you."
Qur'an:3:154 "Say: 'Even if you had remained in your houses, those ordained to be slaughtered would have gone forth to the places where they were to slain."
Qur'an:61:4 "Surely Allah loves those who fight in His Cause." Qur'an:61:11 "Believers, shall I lead you to a bargain or trade that will save you from a painful torment? That you believe in Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad), and that you strive and fight in Allah's Cause with your property and your lives: That will be best for you!"
Qur'an 61:12 "He will forgive you your sins, and admit you to Gardens under which rivers flow, and to beautiful mansions in Eden: that is indeed the Supreme Achievement. And another (favor) which you love: help from Allah for a speedy victory over your enemies.