Tuesday, April 28, 2015

US Expects Israeli Pledge to Two-States to Continue - Cynthia Blank



by Cynthia Blank

In veiled threat, Wendy Sherman says if Israeli gov't doesn't show commitment to two-state solution, US will have trouble backing it in UN.

 
U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman
US Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman had a harsh 
message for American Jewish leaders on Monday.

Sherman warned them that if the new Israeli government does not demonstrate a strong commitment to the two-state solution, the US will have trouble assisting it in efforts to halt international initiatives at the United Nations. 

Speaking at a conference of the Reform Movement in the United States, Sherman insisted the US government has "always had Israel's back in the international arena, even when it meant standing alone. This will continue to be the case."

But, she continued, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's actions prior to elections "raised questions about his commitment to the two-state solution."

Sherman refers to a series of interviews the Prime Minister gave days before general elections on March 17, in which he vowed not to establish a Palestinian state. Netanyahu later backtracked on his statements. 

"We will be watching very closely to see what happens on this [Palestinian] issue after the new government is formed," Sherman added.

"If the new Israeli government is seen to be stepping back from its commitment to a two-state solution that will make our job in the international arena much tougher... it will be harder for us to prevent internationalizing the conflict."

The Undersecretary's remarks come amid renewed efforts on the part of France and New Zealand to draft a UN Security Council resolution to revive long-stalled peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. 

Essentially, Sherman's words translate as a veiled threat implying the US may not use its UN veto on such a resolution. 


Cynthia Blank

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/194650#.VT6QtpOzd-8

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Yemen as a Middle East hot spot - Dr. Reuven Berko



by Dr. Reuven Berko

The Iranians, currently at a disadvantage facing a Sunni Arab coalition supported by the West, have the Tehran-Beirut conduit and are using "peripheral" conflicts that are "minor and limited in scope" as an opening gambit against the Arabian Peninsula while they wait for a nuclear bomb of their own. When that is constructed, they will push forward, unhindered. 

On April 21, Saudi Arabia changed the name of its operation against the Houthis in Yemen from "Decisive Storm" to "Restoring Hope."

But in reality we're talking about "False Hope." Saudi Arabia claimed it stopped the operation because of U.N. Security Council Resolution 2216, which calls for a diplomatic solution to the conflict in Yemen, and said the action was halted at the request of the president of Yemen in light of the success in eliminating the Houthis' stocks of heavy weaponry and ballistic missiles. In practice, the Houthis and the "popular resistance" are fighting fierce battles, no one is winning, and the maritime siege and coalition air and sea strikes continue. 

Saudi Arabia is treating the results of its operation as a "victory," and other than clashes with Houthi infiltrators on its border is refraining from a land incursion. Military analyst Gen. Fayez al-Dwairi said the "popular resistance" is in urgent need of anti-tank weapons to defeat the Houthis, who are far from beaten and are still holed up in key areas of Yemen and the entrance to Aden. 

The lack of a victory is seen in the fact that President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and most of his people are actually in Riyadh. Very few of them are under constant attack by the Houthis in Aden. Al-Dwairi argues that in contrast to the pessimistic predictions about the four capitals that "fell" into Iran's hands, Sanaa has not been conquered. He says that some 85 percent of the Houthis' military capability has been destroyed, and that the "popular resistance" is in control of about 50 percent of Yemen. 

In light of the "victory," analysts are split about the reasons why the operation was stopped. Some argue that there are no Houthi targets left to attack. Others believe that the reluctance of Pakistan, Jordan, and Egypt (which is dealing with its own troubles at home) to take part in a ground operation limits the coalition's operational capabilities. Still others think that the Saudis fear a direct war of attrition with Iran. 

Remember, when nine Iranian ships loaded with missiles reached the shores of Yemen, the Americans sent in the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, and the Iranian support ships turned tail and headed home. Reports out of Yemen say that two American cruise missiles were recently fired at unidentified targets in Sanaa. 

It looks like even the Americans have realized that the Houthi activity in Yemen is a critical part of Iran's move to take over the Middle East. In mid-April, U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter warned Tehran that the Americans had both military options and the massive ordinance penetrator technology to use to destroy the Iranian nuclear program. This weekend, the White House reiterated that it would continue providing logistic support for Saudi Arabia's campaign against the Houthis. Secretary of State John Kerry even warned Iran against bogging Lebanon down in another war. Congress also bolstered oversight mechanisms in light of the impotent agreement President Barack Obama has put together with Iran. 

Russia, an anti-American player that identifies with Syrian President Bashar Assad and the Iranians, confirmed in early April that it was selling Iran the S-300 aerial defense system to use in the event of a Western attack. The Iranians, currently at a disadvantage facing a Sunni Arab coalition supported by the West, have the Tehran-Beirut conduit and are using "peripheral" conflicts that are "minor and limited in scope" as an opening gambit against the Arabian Peninsula while they wait for a nuclear bomb of their own. When that is constructed, they will push forward, unhindered. 

It also looks as if the Turks, who have their own imperialist dreams, understand that the reach of a "nuclearizing" Iran from Tehran to Beirut curtails their ability to invade or assist the Sunni Arab nations. Despite their hatred for Assad, their fear of the Iranians and the Russians keep them from ousting him. Although he visited Tehran this month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared that Iran's attempts to take over the region were unacceptable and that its terrorist organizations must leave Yemen. Just to be on the safe side, Turkey is building three nuclear reactors to "produce electricity." 

Over the weekend, Saudi King Salman and the Saudi defense minister met in Riyadh with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan -- a nuclear state -- and a delegation that included Pakistan's military chief and its defense and intelligence leadership. Sharif openly committed to provide sea and air support to Saudi Arabia if it should be attacked by Iran. The Middle East nuclear reactor is heating up, and Obama is busy with his deals.


Dr. Reuven Berko

Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=12375

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Syrian Province Falls To Al-Qaeda Militia - Sean MacCormac



by Sean MacCormac

With Idlib in rebel hands, the entire province is now out of the control of the Syrian government, and an attack on the loyalist stronghold of Latakia, and perhaps even further support for the battle in Aleppo, is possible.

A group consisting of fighters from al-Qaeda affiliate Nusra Front (Jabhat al-Nusra) and US-backed rebel groups captured the Syrian town of Jisr al Shughur in the Idlib province Saturday in an offensive dubbed by the rebels “The Battle of Victory.”  The rebels took the city rapidly after a four day battle partly by  utilizing American-made TOW missiles and other advanced weaponry. Much of the American weaponry has ended up in the hands of the Nusra Front after the Islamist group defeated US-supported rebel forces.

This victory comes in the wake of a recent alliance between Sunni Islamist groups not affiliated with Islamic State. The alliance is named “Army of Fatah” after the original conquering Muslim army of the seventh century. Rebel forces launched the offensive with a three pronged assault on Jisr al Shughur. Government forces expected an attack on Ariha rather than an assault on Jisr al Shughur from the west. Reports from loyalist troops state that the rebels were assisted by a significant number of guerrillas who came over the Turkish border. The Turkish government has been accused in the past by the Kurds of giving support to the Nusra Front.

The loss of Jisr al Shughur prevents the Syrian government from supplying the surrounded western bases of Mastuma and Ariha via ground, hampers loyalist travel from Latakia to Aleppo, and is the second major loss for government forces in the past month since the fall of Idlib, the capital of Idlib province, to rebel forces on March 28. With Idlib in rebel hands, the entire province is now out of the control of the Syrian government, and an attack on the loyalist stronghold of Latakia, and perhaps even further support for the battle in Aleppo, is possible.

With Al-Qaeda making an effort to retake their former position as the premier Sunni jihadist organization from Islamic State, the United States should be more careful about arming Syrian rebels, even if they profess to be moderates. Given the U.S. track record in arming Syrian Islamists, who have repeatedly either failed to defeat, or else willingly cooperated with Al Qaeda, there’s no reason to believe that we will be more successful at the vetting process at this late stage.

The U.S.’s decision to create false distinctions between Syrian Islamist militias, Al Qaeda, and Islamic State, has created an incoherent policy where one Global jihadist organization (Islamic State) is facing airstrikes and a popular campaign to role it back, while the other, (Nusra Front) , is at best being ignored, or at worst, knowingly aided by a confused Syria policy.


Sean MacCormac

Source: http://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/2015/04/27/syrian-province-falls-to-al-qaeda-militia/

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Is Amnesty International Anti-Semitic? - Michael Curtis



by Michael Curtis


The stated objective of AI is to work to protect human rights worldwide, and to mobilize the grassroots power of millions of people to effect change.  Yet its members refused to approve a text that called on the U.K. government to monitor anti-Semitism closely and periodically review the security of Britain’s Jewish population.

In the roster of organizations whose well-meaning objectives have been distorted by bias and prejudicial resolutions, Amnesty International (AI) stands high.  For those concerned with human rights, AI is now part of the problem, not part of the solution.  It has lost the treasure of a spotless reputation.

The stated objective of AI is to work to protect human rights worldwide, and to mobilize the grassroots power of millions of people to effect change.  Yet its members refused to approve a text that called on the U.K. government to monitor anti-Semitism closely and periodically review the security of Britain’s Jewish population.

A majority of members of AI at its annual general meeting in London on April 19, 2015 thought otherwise.  The members, by a vote of 468 to 461, rejected a resolution to campaign against anti-Semitism, and to tackle the rise in anti-Semitic attacks in Britain, whether physical or verbal, online, or in person.

The difference between this action in London and political activities in Paris is telling.  The French government has proposed 40 items of legislation aimed at combating expressions and manifestations of anti-Semitism.  To this end, it would encourage, among other things, countering the spread of anti-Semitism by training teachers and sports clubs and by setting up social media sites to oppose intolerance.  The French government is also proposing that advocacy and action of racial and religious hatred should be regarded as criminal offenses.

To her credit, Marine Le Pen, chair of the National Front (FN), like other French politicians, has been conscious of the increase of anti-Semitism and of attacks on Jews in France.  Whether she acted to protect the political interests of her party or for more sincere reasons, on April 12, 2015, she disowned the statements made by her 86-year-old father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, who founded the party in 1972.  In an interview on April 7, 2015, in the extreme right-wing anti-Semitic publication Rivarol, the elder Le Pen had repeated his minimization of the Holocaust and his defense of Marshal Petain, the head of the collaborationist Vichy regime during World War II.  For him, the Nazi gas chambers were a “mere detail” in the history of the war.

The vote against the resolution at the AI meeting in London was disgraceful and indeed dishonorable for three reasons.  First, the resolution had explained the increasing problem.  In February 2015, the report of the British All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Anti-Semitism found that there was a 221-percent increase in hate crimes directed at Jews during the 2014 Gaza conflict when compared with same period in 2013.

Secondly, it was [the] only resolution defeated during the whole conference, and it related only to British Jews, not to the State of Israel.  Thirdly, it displayed that for AI, the concern about anti-Semitism was less significant than other human rights issues.  One might even conclude that the 468 members voting against condemning anti-Semitism might not disapprove of it or, even more, might believe that Jews have no human rights.

AI officials defended the vote in specious fashion.   AIUK condemned all forms of hate crime and discrimination, but “unfortunately we could not campaign on everything.”  The officials argued that AIUK could not pass a resolution calling for a campaign with a single focus.  This belied the reality that resolutions passed at the 2015 conference were on a number of specific issues: abortion, Guatemala, Colombian activists, torture in the U.K., and asylum detention in the U.K.  At its conference the year before, resolutions included subjects of sex work, garment workers in Asian countries, Guantánamo, Guatemala, and Sri Lanka.

The AIUK explanation for the silence on anti-Semitism because of the “single focus” issue seems even less plausible in the context of its past activity.  Its report in July 2009 on Operation Cast Lead charged Israel with war crimes.  In 2012, AI published an 85-page report critical of the State of Israel.  It also in April 2012 published a 123-page report on discrimination against Muslims in Europe ("Choice and Prejudice Discrimination against Muslims in Europe").

That report expressed concern about the disintegration of human values and opposed discrimination on grounds of religion or belief.  More pointedly, it dealt with some of the consequences of the discrimination Muslims in Europe faced in several areas of life because of their religion, ethnic origin, or gender.  It held that discrimination against Muslims was fueled by stereotyped and negative views.

And an earlier “single focus” concern was a 2010 resolution on discrimination and violence towards the Sinti and Roma communities in a number of European countries.

Can one expect impartiality on Middle Eastern and Jewish issues from AI?  In 2014, it issued a report that accused Israel of war crimes for its attacks on civilian buildings and residential homes during the Gaza-Israel conflict.  Yet it did, in a sense, compensate for this by another report in March 2015 revealing that Palestinian organizations had committed war crimes during the 2014 conflict in Gaza by killing both Israeli and Palestinian civilians.

Nevertheless, it has long been apparent that AI is critical of Israel in a totally disproportionate fashion compared with its criticism of other countries.  AI has had officials and staff members who may or may not be overtly anti-Semitic but who are strongly unsympathetic toward the State of Israel and can be considered pro-Palestinian.  The former executive director of AIFinland, Frank Johansson, was prone to refer to Israel as “nikkimaa” (scum state).  He confessed he could not think of any other country that could be described in this way.  A former staff member, Deborah Hyams, in 2008 signed a statement that Israel was a state founded on terrorism and massacres.

Probably the staff member currently most critical of Israel is Kristyan Benedict, of Indian and Trinidadian descent and a convert to Islam who has defended the implementation of sharia law in the U.K.  He is described as the campaign manager for crisis work with special focus on Syria.  As such, he has not commented on the 220,000 killed and the 9 million displaced in the brutal war in Syria, but he has been critical of Israel’s “occupation of the Golan Heights,” which, he declares, violates international law.

Benedict has described Gaza as an outdoor prison – not because of Hamas terrorist control of the area, but because of Israel.  On a number of occasions he has equated Israel with apartheid South Africa and compared Israel with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.  He also knew, as many of us did not, that Israel is included in the list of dictatorial regimes, such as Burma, North Korea, Iran, and Sudan, that abuse basic universal rights.

It is pitiful that AI should have descended so low in its partiality in Middle Eastern affairs and in its lack of genuine concern for human rights – at least for the human rights of Jews.


Michael Curtis

Source: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2015/04/is_amnesty_international_antisemitic.html

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Shurat HaDin Launches Campaign to Change Rules of War - Gedalyah Reback



by Gedalyah Reback

Israeli law center Shurat HaDin will host a landmark conference next week on changing laws to better fight terrorist organizations.

 
Nitsana Darshan-Leitner
Nitsana Darshan-Leitner
Shurat HaDin
 
Israelis have long complained about double standards when it comes to their right to fight wars of self-defense. Often times there is a level of scrutiny on Israel’s battlefield operations, unmatched compared to international media evaluations of wars launched by Western countries or even the recent Saudi air campaign in Yemen. Even at a fundamental level, there are some points when Israel’s entire justification for a war of self-defense is undermined by Israel’s detractors eager to delegitimize any substantial military action takes, no matter its opponent.

These, among a host of other issues, will be up for discussion at a special two-day conference in Jerusalem next week called "Toward a New Law of War", arranged by Shurat HaDin Israeli Law Center. The conference is a spectacle of Israeli and foreign experts from different sectors of public service, the military and the field of international law. Topics will be covered by teams of experts in panel format, including fighting in residential areas, proportionality, defining war crimes, human shields and the International Criminal Court (ICC).

What is lacking in international law that requires this conference here and now? Is it the lack of solid definitions of terms like "proportionality" and "terrorism?" Is it broader than that?

"The law of armed conflict is supposed to protect civilian lives and property,” says Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, Director of Shurat HaDin. “It is not supposed to be used as a weapon in the fight, where one side cynically uses the other side's compliance with the law to gain an advantage.”

Darshan-Leitner says that it is not necessarily ambiguity about key concepts in the rules of war like proportionality or terrorism that need clarifying, as much as maintaining the integrity of the laws so that they are fairly applied.

She says Operation Protective Edge was just the latest reason to organize this type of event. Hamas has incorporated a cynical strategy, in her words, that seeks to pin civilian deaths on Israeli forces while obfuscating Hamas’ tactics of targeting civilians, which are a matter of fundamental strategy.

“This past summer's war with the terrorists in Gaza evidenced everything that is wrong with the law. Hamas' leadership used human shields, targeted Israeli civilians with rocket attacks, and attempted to utilize tunnels to conduct terror-operations against Israeli towns, knowing that if the IDF responded in kind, Israel would face massive international condemnation and allegations of war crimes against it.”

“Hamas determinedly used the laws of war, which are supposed to protect civilians, as a strategy to target and kill Jewish civilians. The current laws of war are an anachronism.”

An issue raised by many in the legal arena – not only in Israel – is that the current rules of war enshrined in the Geneva Conventions do not weigh proper consideration for the effect of non-state actors: terrorist organizations, rebel groups, separatist provinces and the like. Asymmetric warfare presents major issues where enemy fighters operate among civilians and will often wear plain clothes. Thus, without being able to identify an enemy combatant by his uniform, a soldier will avoid an apparent civilian who is actually a legitimate target.

“We need urgently to discuss fresh ideas for removing the incentive for Hamas and other armed terrorist groups like the PLO and Hezbollah to break the law when they fight against democracies like Israel,” said Darshan-Leitner.

What this might be is an opportunity to place Israel in the complete opposite position from where it sits today: rather than a ‘pariah’ of international law where the Israeli government ignores biased UN resolutions and claims it would not be able to get a fair hearing in international courts, Israeli expertise might be in a position to actually lead major changes in international rules of war that could place Jerusalem in an enviable position in the future.

Would affecting discourse put Israel in a position to have that sort of influence?

“Israeli law professors are renowned for their scholarship in the laws of armed conflict and in International Humanitarian Law,” says Darshan-Leitner, “but we want to expose the larger theoretical world of academic discourse to the real world problems that commanders face.”

It is Israeli experience in these matters that is actually placing the Jewish State high above other countries in terms of scholarship.

“Shurat HaDin's conference is unique in that it brings commanders, scholars and attorneys together to talk about what has not worked and what needs to change. We absolutely can make a difference in the direction which the law takes by bringing together scholars with commanders.” 

This would only be the first event, however. When asked if Shurat HaDin foresees a series of international conferences like this, Darshan-Leitner responds in the affirmative.

“Absolutely, this will be an established annual event and the leading conference in the field. We have a truly first-rate group of panelists and moderators and a great venue for what will be a very interesting event.  We are grateful for our supporters who have made this possible, and look forward to working with other groups in the future, as the renown of the conference grows.”

Darshan-Leitner added, “We are very excited to have organized this important international conference on this subject crucial to Israel's defense and survival. Until now the terrorists have use the laws of war as a sucker's game against democratic armies.  As a result the IDF is facing the threat of war crime prosecutions from many directions. We intend to start the international discussion to bring the laws of war into the 21st century."

To attend the conference, register here with Shurat HaDin. To see the conference's full schedule, see the program here.


Gedalyah Reback

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/194597#.VT5AdpOzd-9

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Turkey's Supposed Nemesis: "The Mastermind" - Burak Bekdil



by Burak Bekdil


  • "The Mastermind" is not the product of a bunch of crazy fanatics. It is a calculated move by a bunch of smart politicians who want to win votes from an inherently anti-Semitic, religiously devout Muslim population.
  • It is an ugly but clever move, reminiscent of the various methods applied by the Nazi propaganda machine in the 1930s, to abuse millions of minds.
Turkey's biggest enemy, according to its Islamist rulers, is not the fanatical jihadists who now neighbor their country in large swathes of land in Syria and Iraq; nor is it the thousands of "sleepers" at home -- the same jihadists who have not staged a sensational act of terror, but might yet. The enemy is not the political and military advance of Shiite radicals in the region, or a nuclear Iran. It is not extreme left-wing terrorists who only recently murdered a state prosecutor. It is not Russia, China or Western civilization. It is what President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says is "the mastermind" that tirelessly plots against Turkey.

In a December 2014 speech, Erdogan said:
"I am emphasizing this: Do not think that these are operations that target me personally. Do not think that these operations are against our government or any [political] party. My friends, the target of these operations and initiatives is Turkey, Turkey's existence, her unity, peace, and stability. They are especially against Turkey's economy and its independence. As I have said before, behind all these there is a Mastermind, which has now become part of our national conversation. Some ask me, 'Who is this mastermind?' and I say, 'It is for you to research this. And you do know what it is, you know who it is.'"
Orders taken, a fiercely pro-Erdogan television news channel, A Haber, decided to research "that." Thus, the documentary "The Mastermind" came into being. The film was first broadcast on March 15, 2015 and has been repeatedly aired since then, in addition to several pro-government media outlets posting it on their websites.

The main theme of the film is the 3,500-years of "Jewish domination of the world." It focuses on three "Jewish" historical figures (one of whom was not Jewish): the medieval Spanish philosopher and Torah scholar Moses Maimonides, Charles Darwin (who was not a Jew), and German-American philosopher Leo Strauss.

Here are some narrative excerpts from the film, which opens with images of the Star of David and a replica of the Temple in Jerusalem:
"The Mastermind, whose roots go back thousands of years, who rules, burns, destroys, starves the world, creates wars, organizes revolutions and coups, establishes states within states -- this 'intellect' is not only Turkey's curse, but the curse of the entire world. Who is this mastermind? The answer is hidden inside truths and facts that can never be called conspiracy theories.
...
This story begins in the very old days, 3,500 years ago, when Moses brought his people out of Egypt to Jerusalem. The only guide he had was the Ten Commandments... We have to look for the mastermind in Jerusalem where the sons of Israel live.
...
Maimonides... who lived in the Middle Ages believed that 'the Jews are the Masters, and all other people are to be their slaves'"
The title screen from the new anti-Semitic Turkish documentary, "The Mastermind."

The film then features several pro-Erdogan pundits, academics and journalists, commenting on the mastermind:

"As they destroy the entire world, the Jews are searching for [the lost] Ark of Covenant." says one.

"The Jews use Darwin's theory [of evolution] to assert that God created them – but everyone else evolved from apes," says another.

One claims that the Jews believe that they, the descendants of Isaac, consider themselves the masters, and that "all of us," the descendants of Ishmael, are created to serve the Jews.

And another blames "the mastermind" -- whom he identifies as the Jews as well as the U.S. (which the film earlier claims is dominated by the Jews) for both the destruction of the Ottoman Empire and for the coups in modern Turkey aimed at ousting Islamist leaders and parties.

Finally, an advisor to Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu claims that all anti-government activity in Turkey was, in fact, attempts by "a mastermind" to bring down Turkey and its government.

Sounds surreal? Not in Turkey in the year 2015. "The Mastermind" is not the product of a bunch of crazy fanatics. It is a calculated move by a bunch of smart politicians who want to win votes (and often succeed) from an inherently anti-Semitic, religiously devout Muslim population.

According to the findings of a survey by Switzerland-based pollster WIN/Gallup International, 79% of Turks identify themselves as religiously devout, compared to 75% of people in the Palestinian territories and just 30% in Israel.

Among many Sunni Turks, anti-Semitic sentiment is often a prerequisite to piety. Therefore, the film "The Mastermind" [theoretically but most likely practically too] directly targets an audience that makes 79% of Turkey -- more than 60 million people -- ahead of critical parliamentary elections on June 7.

It is an ugly but clever move, reminiscent of the various methods applied by the Nazi propaganda machine in the 1930s, to abuse millions of minds.

All you need, in this evil scenario, is a theory linking every evil to the Jews, and a large enough audience ready to buy your fraudulent conspiracy theory.


Burak Bekdil, based in Ankara, is a Turkish columnist for the Hürriyet Daily and a Fellow at the Middle East Forum.
Source: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/5608/turkey-antisemitism-mastermind

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Charity watchdog puts Clinton Foundation on 'watch list' - Thomas Lifson



by Thomas Lifson

“It seems like the Clinton Foundation operates as a slush fund for the Clintons,” said Bill Allison


Charity Navaigator functions as a guide to the reliability of nonprofit organizations, to inform donors.  Isabel Vincent of the New York Post reports on the questions being raised by it over the Clinton Foundation.
Charity Navigator, which rates nonprofits, recently refused to rate the Clinton Foundation because its “atypical business model . . . doesn’t meet our criteria.”
Charity Navigator put the foundation on its “watch list,” which warns potential donors about investing in problematic charities. The 23 charities on the list include the Rev. Al Sharpton’s troubled National Action Network, which is cited for failing to pay payroll taxes for several years.
It is not the only watchdog alarmed at the Foundation’s practices:
“It seems like the Clinton Foundation operates as a slush fund for the Clintons,” said Bill Allison, a senior fellow at the Sunlight Foundation, a government watchdog group once run by leading progressive Democrat and Fordham Law professor Zephyr Teachout.
Another danger sign:
In July 2013, Eric Braverman, a friend of Chelsea Clinton from when they both worked at McKinsey & Co., took over as CEO of the Clinton Foundation. He took home nearly $275,000 in salary, benefits and a housing allowance from the nonprofit for just five months’ work in 2013, tax filings show. Less than a year later, his salary increased to $395,000, according to a report in Politico.
Braverman abruptly left the foundation earlier this year, after a falling-out with the old Clinton guard over reforms he wanted to impose at the charity, Politico reported. Last month, Donna Shalala, a former secretary of health and human services under President Clinton, was hired to replace Braverman.
Mr. Braverman ought to prepare himself for subpoenas.


Thomas Lifson

Source: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2015/04/charity_watchdog_puts_clinton_foundation_on_watch_list.html

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Obama’s 67 degrees of separation from Israel - David Horovitz



by David Horovitz


As Israel turns 67 in the vicious, unstable Middle East, the current US administration has proved a vital ally. But ties could and should have been closer

The United States has long been Israel’s most important ally. It is a partner whose support is central to the capacity of tiny Israel — insignificant demographically, and only nine miles wide at its narrowest point — to survive in the vicious Middle East.

Israel, for its part, is the sole dependable democratic ally that the United States has in this part of the world, its 8.3 million people on the front line of the battle against tyrannical regimes and expansionist Islamic extremism. 

That’s why any daylight in the relationship between the two countries is deeply disquieting for most Israelis and many Americans, and a source of encouragement to Israel’s enemies.

The Obama administration has been deeply supportive of Israel in innumerable ways. It has provided firm diplomatic backing — even in areas where it disagrees with Israel, such as over the settlement enterprise. Time and again, the US has voted with Israel and/or to protect Israel at the United Nations and in the UN’s various forums, some of them strategically and obsessively hostile to Israel.

Under Obama, the US has ensured that Israel preserves its crucial qualitative military edge over enemies and potential enemies, maintaining military aid even in years of severe financial crisis. The two countries have worked intimately to develop cutting edge defensive weapons systems, and even at the height of domestic US political tension and paralysis, the administration proved willing and able to ensure further emergency funding for the Iron Dome rocket defense shield.

US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pose with military personnel next to an Iron Dome battery at Ben Gurion Airport on March 20, 2013 (photo credit: Avi Ohayon /GPO/ Flash90)
US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pose with military personnel next to an Iron Dome battery at Ben Gurion Airport on March 20, 2013 (photo credit: Avi Ohayon /GPO/ Flash90)

The Obama years have been marked by scientific and intelligence cooperation. They have seen unprecedented journeying back and forth by senior politicians, military chiefs, security experts from both sides, creating relationships of trust and effective action.

But daylight between the allies — including publicly aired differences over central issues and policies — has been a near-constant feature too. Some of it stems from the lousy personal relationship between Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. More of it stems from their substantive differences over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and, especially, the appropriate strategy for keeping Iran from the bomb. At times, ties have descended into dismal nadirs that shame both sides, with unnamed US officials branding Netanyahu “chickenshit,” for instance, or Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon reportedly portraying Secretary of State John Kerry as an “obsessive, messianic” meddler whose security proposals are not worth the paper they’re printed on.

Plenty of blame attaches to Netanyahu, who plainly would much rather have had a Republican (or just about anybody but Obama, for that matter) in the White House; who clearly thinks the president doesn’t begin to “get” Iran and the ruthless Middle East; who refused to freeze settlements in the cause of Kerry’s 2013 peace effort; and who resorted to some fairly despicable tactics — for which he later apologized — to ensure his reelection last month.
Israel has no doubt of the Islamic Republic’s determination to cheat, charm and bully its way to a nuclear weapons arsenal
But that still leaves a great deal of blame at the door of Obama and his administration.

As Israel marks its 67th anniversary of independence, it finds itself threatened by a rearming Hamas in the Gaza Strip. In southern Lebanon, it faces Hezbollah — an Iranian-backed terror army with 100,000 missiles. It watches the Syrian civil war spiral endlessly onward, with President Bashar Assad unpunished for unleashing chemical weapons against his own people, and with Iran and Hezbollah now poised just across the border on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights. It sees Islamic State, a terrorist group nobody had heard of a couple of years ago, committing sickening acts of barbarism in Syria and Iraq, and causing alarm in neighboring Jordan. It casts its eyes south, to Egypt, where Abdel Fattah el-Sissi is battling to marginalize Islamist terror groups. It monitors Iran’s relentless military progress, and has no doubt of the Islamic Republic’s determination to cheat, charm and bully its way to a nuclear weapons arsenal.

A different American administration could not have easily quashed all or even any of these threats. But a different American administration would likely have been more effective in addressing them, and in working shoulder-to-shoulder with its only reliable partner in the region.

The Memorial Day ceremony at the Western Wall on April 21, 2015 (Photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
The Memorial Day ceremony at the Western Wall on April 21, 2015 (Photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israel has made it through to its 67th birthday, but it’s been a relentless struggle — and that struggle shows few signs of getting easier. The best possible working relationship with the US administration is central to Israel’s capacity to keep marking anniversaries as a thriving Jewish state. Daylight in those ties, to put it brutally, can cost lives; it’s anything but coincidence that Israel remembers the thousands upon thousands who have fallen in its defense on the day before it celebrates each anniversary of independence.

Netanyahu keeps telling Obama there’s a better deal to be done on Iran. I tend to agree. There’s certainly a better way to conduct US-Israel relations, especially if you believe that Obama considers himself a friend of Israel.

Here then, in the heartfelt but likely forlorn hope of a change for the better in this unnecessarily fraught relationship over the coming year, are an anniversary-appropriate 67 ways in which the president and his mighty administration, unfortunately, have put daylight between the US and Israel. Sixty-seven ways they’ve distanced themselves, or haven’t been as much help as they could and should have been. Some for which Israel also bears some responsibility. Some relatively minor. Some profoundly troubling. Sixty-seven disquieting degrees of separation.

1. Obama visited Turkey and Iraq in April 2009, early in his presidency, but not Israel.

2. Visited Saudi Arabia and Egypt, but not Israel, in June 2009; same trip did include a visit to Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany.

3. Failed to highlight the Jewish people’s historic connection to the Land of Israel in landmark outreach speech to Islam at Cairo University, on June 4, 2009.

US President Obama delivering his famed Cairo Speech in 2009. The president highlighted the need for social progress in his first major address to the Muslim world. (photo credit: screen capture, YouTube)
US President Barack Obama speaks in Cairo on June 4, 2009. (photo credit: screen capture, YouTube)

4. Did come to Israel in March 2013… Has since been twice more to Saudi Arabia.

5. Chose to speak to Israeli students at the International Convention Center in Jerusalem on that trip, rather than to the Knesset — in contrast to his 2009 visit to Turkey, when he addressed parliament and hailed Turkey’s “vibrant secular democracy.”

6. Seems willfully blind to the perceived religious imperative behind Islamic extremism, notably including Iran-championed Islamic extremism, and insistently deaf to the entreaties of those — notably including Israeli leaders — who try to open his eyes.

7. Horrified Israel by giving initial backing in 2010 for Egypt’s relentless efforts to win global support for a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction, by which Cairo has long sought to impose international scrutiny upon, and ultimately the elimination of, Israel’s reported nuclear capabilities.

8. Candidate Obama told AIPAC in June 2008 that “Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.” Then he backtracked, citing “poor phrasing.”

Vice President Joseph Biden gestures upon his arrival at Ben Gurion airport, near Tel Aviv, Israel, Monday, March 8, 2010. Biden arrived in Israel Monday, the first leg of a five-day tour of the Middle East. Biden's trip is the highest-level visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories yet by an Obama administration official.PHOTO/POOL/Yariv Katz Flash90
Vice President Joseph Biden gestures upon his arrival at Ben Gurion airport, March 8, 2010. (photo credit: POOL/Yariv Katz Flash90

9. Tasked then-secretary of state Hillary Clinton with telephoning Netanyahu to berate him for a planning committee’s approval of new housing in Jerusalem’s Ramat Shlomo neighborhood, which lies over the pre-1967 Green Line, during Vice President Joe Biden’s 2010 visit to Israel. Netanyahu had apologized for the timing of the decision, Biden had accepted the apology, but Clinton was then dispatched to reopen the dispute. The content of their phone conversation, including the secretary’s devastating accusation that the dispute raised questions about Israel’s commitment to its relationship with the United States, was promptly leaked to the US media.

10. Castigated Netanyahu in a March 2014 interview with Bloomberg’s Jeffrey Goldberg timed for publication precisely as the prime minister was flying in to meet with him. Warned, in relation to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, that there’ll come a point “where you can’t manage this anymore, and then you start having to make very difficult choices: Do you resign yourself to what amounts to a permanent occupation of the West Bank?… Do you perpetuate, over the course of a decade or two decades, more and more restrictive policies in terms of Palestinian movement? Do you place restrictions on Arab-Israelis in ways that run counter to Israel’s traditions?” Reasonable questions, indeed, but aired publicly, in a slap-in-the-face interview when the prime minister is on his way to the White House?

11. As so often in the Obama presidency, such criticism of Israel was not matched by a similar public critique of Palestinian policies — no parallel interview taking Mahmoud Abbas to task — when the Palestinian Authority president visited the White House two weeks later.

12. The Obama Administration declared in June 2014 that it would “work with” the new Fatah- and Hamas-backed Palestinian unity government, even though Hamas made plain that it had not reformed and remained committed to the destruction of Israel. The “unity” government has, unsurprisingly, barely functioned. Weeks after its formation, Israel’s Shin Bet exposed a Hamas plot to unseat Abbas and take over the West Bank.

A screenshot from a cartoon published on the Facebook page of the Fatah movement depicting three Jews fleeing as a car driven by a Palestinian tries to run them over, November 2014.
A screenshot from a cartoon published on the Facebook page of the Fatah movement depicting three Jews fleeing as a car driven by a Palestinian tries to run them over, November 2014.

13. The Obama administration has failed to highlight and critique relentless incitement against Israel by Abbas’s mainstream Fatah faction, notably including cartoons published by Fatah on its Facebook page last winter encouraging Palestinians to carry out murderous car attacks against Israelis for the sake of the Temple Mount, at a time when several Israelis were killed in a spate of such attacks.

14. The administration has also chosen not to make a major issue of Abbas’s dismissal of Jewish ties to the Temple Mount, including his warning last November that the Palestinians will not allow Israeli extremists to “contaminate” the Mount, and that allowing Jewish prayer at the site would risk a global religious war.

15. In seeking to revive peace talks in 2013, the administration pressed Israel into releasing dozens of the most ruthless Palestinian terrorists, including the orchestrators of murderous bombings. Such actions might be justified at the culmination of a peace effort, when a full and final resolution of conflict is agreed, but not as an interim measure in what proved, unsurprisingly, to be another unsuccessful effort to push for a deal.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas poses with prisoners released on October 30, 2013 as part of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations (photo credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash90)
PA President Mahmoud Abbas poses with prisoners released on October 30, 2013 as part of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations (photo credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash90)

16. Also sought to have Israel release some of its own citizens — Israeli Arabs involved in terrorism, whose freedom was sought by Abbas — as part of the same ill-fated diplomatic effort. The issue of those Israeli Arab security prisoners was one of the factors behind the collapse of the Kerry-mediated process in spring 2004.

17. Apparently seeking to pressure Israel for more flexibility in peace talks, in a joint interview with Israeli and Palestinian TV stations in November 2013, Kerry warned of a third intifada if his diplomacy failed: “I mean does Israel want a third Intifada?” he asked. “Israel says, ‘Oh we feel safe today, we have the wall. We’re not in a day-to-day conflict’,” said Kerry. “I’ve got news for you. Today’s status quo will not be tomorrow’s…” Israel’s neighbors, he warned, will “begin to push in a different way.” Kerry did not balance his criticisms of Israel with similarly potent criticisms of Palestinian incitement against Israel, stubbornness in negotiations.
The Obama administration has made no significant effort to tackle terrorism at its roots — at the level where recruits are indoctrinated
18. Three months later, Kerry referred to boycott threats against Israel. “The risks are very high for Israel,” the secretary told a conference in Munich in February 2014. “People are talking about boycott. That will intensify in the case of failure.” The State Department later stressed Kerry himself has always opposed boycotts and was simply describing actions undertaken by others.

19. Then, in April, Kerry told a closed meeting of world leaders that Israel risked becoming “an apartheid state” if it did not make peace soon. He said the next day that he wished he could “rewind the tape.”

20. “Administration officials” — reportedly special envoy Martin Indyk — placed primary blame on Israel, in extensive conversations with Yedioth Ahronoth, for the failure of the 2013-2014 Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.

View of the Jewish settlement of Efrat in the West Bank (Photo credit: Hadas Parush/Flash 90)
View of the Jewish settlement of Efrat in the West Bank (Photo credit: Hadas Parush/Flash 90)

21. The administration warned in October 2014 that Israel’s latest settlement plans would “draw condemnation from the international community, distance Israel from even its closest allies [and] poison the atmosphere.” At issue were building projects in the Givat Hamatos neighborhood of Jerusalem, among others. The Obama administration has consistently and very publicly opposed all building over the pre-1967 lines, largely eschewing distinctions between construction inside Jerusalem, inside major settlement blocs that Israel seeks to retain under a permanent accord, and inside isolated settlements.
‘It’s a hell of a pinpoint operation, it’s a hell of a pinpoint operation’ — John Kerry, on Israeli strikes in Gaza, unaware that his microphone was live
22. The Obama administration has made no significant effort to tackle terrorism at its roots — at the level where recruits are indoctrinated. Preventing new generations and iterations of Islamist terrorism requires the reform of what young, impressionable Muslims are taught in school, what they hear in the mosques, what they watch and read in the media. The United States should be galvanizing the international community and using every ounce of its own diplomatic and economic leverage to marginalize extremist educators, spiritual leaders and media channels, and to encourage those who teach, preach and broadcast moderation.

23. The administration was ambivalent, at best, to the fall of a Muslim Brotherhood president in Egypt, Mohammad Morsi — whose movement is deeply hostile to Israel and gave birth to Hamas — and his replacement by Ahmad Fattah el-Sissi.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi takes his oath of office at the Supreme Constitutional Court in Cairo, Egypt, June 8, 2014.  (photo credit: AP/MENA)
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi takes his oath of office at the Supreme Constitutional Court in Cairo, Egypt, June 8, 2014. (photo credit: AP/MENA)

24. Lack of firm US support for el-Sissi — who has commendably spoken out several times about the imperative for a reform in Islamic thought, warning that Islam is becoming a source of “destruction” and is “making enemies of the whole word” — risks pushing the Egyptian regime into the embrace of Russia.

25. Having vowed that the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime in Syria would cross a red line and carry “enormous consequences,” and with Kerry in August 2013 delivering an impassioned address in which he confirmed such use and termed it a “moral obscenity” for which there must be accountability, Obama cancelled plans for a punitive strike at the last minute. Instead, he accepted a Russian diplomatic initiative for the dismantling of Assad’s chemical weapons arsenal — an admirable, non-violent solution if it proves effective, and a troubling one in terms of the message it sent to Iran regarding the credibility of American red line and military options.

Syrian President Bashar Assad tours the neighborhoods of Daraya, August 1, 2013. (photo credit: Syrian Presidency/Instagram)
Syrian President Bashar Assad tours the neighborhoods of Daraya, August 1, 2013. (photo credit: Syrian Presidency/Instagram)

26. The administration has repeatedly leaked details of alleged Israeli strikes on Syrian weapons depots, shipments and military targets, prompting everything from bafflement to fury in Jerusalem. Twice in the summer of 2013, CNN, the New York Times and other outlets quoted administration officials saying Israel was behind such strikes, when Israel was staying silent in hopes of avoiding Syrian retaliation. Those leaks had Israeli officials reportedly scratching their heads.

27. By November — when an Obama administration official reportedly told CNN that Israeli warplanes had attacked a Syrian base at Latakia, and that the target was “missiles and related equipment” set for delivery to Hezbollah in Lebanon — Israel was said to be conveying bitter protests to the White House and complaining that the US leaks endangered national security.

28. The State Department initially refused to co-sponsor a 2014 UNESCO exhibit detailing the Jewish people’s 3,000-year relationship to the land of Israel, citing the “sensitive juncture in the ongoing Middle East peace process… after thoughtful consideration with review at the highest levels.” Created by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, co-organized with UNESCO, and co-sponsored by Israel, Canada, and Montenegro, the exhibit was postponed at the last minute due to Arab pressure, renamed (with “Israel” excised from its title), and adjusted before finally opening six months later, now with US co-sponsorship.

UNESCO's Director General Irina Bokova poses with the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Rabbi Marvin Hier and the original poster for the exhibit on the Jewish people's 3,500-year connection to the land of Israel, in January, 2014. (photo credit: Courtesy Simon Wiesenthal Center)
UNESCO’s Director General Irina Bokova poses with the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Rabbi Marvin Hier and the original poster for the exhibit on the Jewish people’s 3,500-year connection to the land of Israel, in January, 2014. (photo credit: Courtesy Simon Wiesenthal Center)

29. Obama failed to provide robust support for dissidents whose protests against the Iranian regime were brutally suppressed during Iran’s 2009 presidential elections. Initially silent, on June 15, 2009, he said it was “up to Iranians to make decisions about who Iran’s leaders will be,” adding that “we respect Iranian sovereignty and want to avoid the United States being the issue inside of Iran.” A week later, he condemned “the threats, beatings and imprisonments of the last few days.”

30. More recently, Obama chose not to condition his diplomatic outreach to Iran on the regime halting its relentless incitement against Israel, including Ayatollah Khamenei’s tweeted 9-point plan for destroying Israel.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivers a speech in Tehran (photo credit: AP/Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader/File)
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivers a speech in Tehran (photo credit: AP/Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader/File)

31. Obama chose not to condition his diplomatic outreach to Iran on the regime halting its Holocaust cartoon competitions.

32. Or its displays of “Death to Israel” banners at military parades.

33. Or its continued orchestration of acts of international terrorism.

34. Or its calls to arm Palestinians in the West Bank to fight Israel, its support for terrorist groups in Gaza, its funding and arming of Hezbollah in south Lebanon, and its growing direct involvement in anti-Israeli violence in Lebanon and Syria.

35. Obama went ahead with the Lausanne talks even as Ayatollah Khamenei was calling “Death to America” and rebuffing his calls for a better future.

36. Obama went ahead with the Lausanne talks even as an Iranian militia leader, Basij commander Mohammad Reza Naqdi, was declaring that the destruction of Israel is “nonnegotiable.”

37. In the words of Israel’s strategic affairs minister, Yuval Steinitz, the US-led world powers shifted unaccountably from seeking to “dismantle and neutralize” Iran’s nuclear capabilities, to freezing and inspecting them. Worse still, the “non-deal” in Lausanne, Steinitz added acidly in a Times of Israel interview earlier this month, neither fully freezes nor fully inspects the Iranian program.

38. A major landmark in that shift was Obama’s declaration, at the December 2013 Saban Forum in Washington, that the Iranian regime could be allowed to have a peaceful nuclear program with “modest enrichment capability” under a permanent deal.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses a joint meeting of the United States Congress in the House chamber at the US Capitol in Washington, DC on Tuesday, March 3, 2015, in a speech warning against the then-looming US-backed deal with Iran (Win McNamee/Getty Images/AFP)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses a joint meeting of the United States Congress in the House chamber at the US Capitol in Washington, DC on Tuesday, March 3, 2015, in a speech warning against the then-looming US-backed deal with Iran (Win McNamee/Getty Images/AFP)

39. Mocked Netanyahu for seeking a meeting with him in March, two weeks before the Israeli elections, when the prime minister spoke to Congress about the emerging terms of the deal with Iran. Hosting the German chancellor, Obama joked that Angela Merkel “would not have asked” for such a meeting so close to her elections.

40. Brusquely dismissed Netanyahu’s speech to Congress on March 3 as “nothing new.” (Israelis were deeply divided over the merits of the prime minister’s trip to Congress, where he essentially lobbied against the US president, and risked rendering Israel a more partisan issue in American politics. By contrast, they seem to widely share Netanyahu’s concerns over the emerging deal, and his fear that the Obama approach as it stands will not thwart Iran’s nuclear drive. A Times of Israel poll two months ago found three in four Israelis don’t trust Obama to keep Iran from the bomb; at the very least, most Israelis would presumably like the president to give Netanyahu a further serious hearing.)

US President Barack Obama makes a statement to the press after a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House, March 3, 2015, in Washington, DC. soon after Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress (photo credit: AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI)
US President Barack Obama makes a statement to the press after a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House, March 3, 2015, in Washington, DC, soon after Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress (photo credit: AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI)

41. Ignoring Netanyahu’s repeated suggestions for a better deal, Obama consistently claimed that Netanyahu has not offered any alternative to the emerging Iran accord.

42. Hailed an agreement reached with Iran in Lausanne that is not signed, features no agreed text, and key elements of which are disputed by Iran.

43. Failed to ensure that the P5+1 powers are in full accord on what was agreed at Lausanne.

44. Despite the US’s immediate post-Lausanne insistence that sanctions on Iran would only be lifted in phases, in accordance with Iranian compliance, two weeks later Obama opened the possibility of negotiating on Iran’s demand for immediate lifting of sanctions.

45. Under the terms of the Lausanne framework, as set out by the US, the deal keeps over 5,000 centrifuges spinning at the Natanz facility.

46. It “converts” but does not dismantle the Fordo facility.

47. It “converts” but does not dismantle the heavy water reactor at Arak.

48. It allows ongoing research on more advanced centrifuges.

49. It does not address Iran’s missile development programs.

50. It does not require a full accounting by Iran to the International Atomic Energy Agency on the possible military dimensions of its nuclear activities to date.

51. By Obama’s own account, it does not provide for anywhere, anytime inspections at suspect Iranian military facilities, but rather for a complex “international mechanism” in which Iran could seek to bar such access.

52. It seems likely to spark a regional nuclear arms race.

53. Obama summarily rejected Israel’s plea that Iran be required to recognize it as part of the permanent nuclear deal.

54. Had his spokespeople backtrack implausibly on his candid acknowledgement earlier this month that Iran would be able to break out to the bomb almost immediately when key limitations in the emerging nuclear deal lapse.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sets out his 'red line' for Iran on a cartoon bomb drawing during a September 27 speech to the General Assembly (photo credit: Avi Ohayun, GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sets out his ‘red line’ for Iran on a cartoon bomb drawing during a September 27, 2012 speech to the General Assembly (photo credit: Avi Ohayun, GPO)

55. Pushing the deal with Iran, and apparently seeking to undermine its most prominent critic Netanyahu, the White House in early April mimicked the cartoon bomb drawing which the prime minister presented to the UN General Assembly in 2012 with a revamped version of its own, complete with red line. Where Netanyahu’s bomb drawing featured fuse wire leading to an explosion, the White House version featured a severed detonator wire and the captioned assertion that the framework deal will “shut down” Iran’s uranium-enrichment path to the bomb.

A diagram issued by the White House, similar to the one used by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2012 to illustrate the dangers of a nuclear Iran, points out the advantages of a nuclear deal with Tehran, April 8, 2015 (Photo credit: Courtesy  White House website)
A diagram issued by the White House, similar to the one used by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2012 to illustrate the dangers of a nuclear Iran, points out the advantages of a nuclear deal with Tehran, April 8, 2015 (Photo credit: Courtesy White House website)

56. Despite Israeli fears that Russian S-300s, if supplied to Iran, would complicate any resort to force against Iran’s nuclear facilities, and that the missile defense systems could impact Israel’s air supremacy over Lebanon and Syria if they found their way to Hezbollah and the Assad regime, Obama sounded forgiving when discussing Vladimir Putin’s declared decision to deliver the weaponry to Tehran. Obama noted on April 17 that Putin had previously suspended the sale “at our request. I am frankly surprised that it held this long, given that they were not prohibited by sanctions from selling these defensive weapons.” In the studio of Israel’s Channel 10, one commentator reported, “Jaws dropped.”

57. Defending the Lausanne framework agreement, Obama inaccurately claimed that Netanyahu does not seek a “peaceful resolution to the Iranian issue.”

58. During the 2014 war with Hamas, the US delayed the shipment to Israel of Hellfire precision air-to-surface missiles.

59. And tank shells.

60. It also instituted “additional steps” in the process of sending weapons to Israel.

61. After Netanyahu stressed Israel’s efforts to achieve pinpoint accuracy in hitting Gaza terror targets during war of summer 2014, Kerry, unaware that his microphone was live, derided the Israeli claim: “It’s a hell of a pinpoint operation, it’s a hell of a pinpoint operation,” he repeated sarcastically to an adviser. (In November 2011, in another inadvertently overheard exchange, at a G-20 summit in Cannes, France’s then-president Nicolas Sarkozy told Obama he couldn’t bear Netanyahu, who he called a “liar.” Responded Obama: “You are fed up with him, but I have to deal with him even more often than you.”)

John Kerry stands with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, left, and Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid al-Attiyah in Paris, France, on July 26, 2014. (photo credit: US State Department)
John Kerry stands with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, left, and Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid al-Attiyah in Paris, France, on July 26, 2014. (photo credit: US State Department)

62. Last July, although an Egyptian ceasefire proposal acceptable to Israel was on the table, Kerry embarked on a mission to engineer a ceasefire to the Israel-Gaza war in circumstances that continue to be much disputed between Israel and the United States. This included outreach to Hamas-backing Qatar and Turkey, and the transmission of a text to the Israeli cabinet that, while the secretary denied that it was anything of the kind, was understood in Jerusalem to be a ceasefire proposal, was seen as a capitulation to Hamas, and was furiously rejected as such by unanimous cabinet vote.

63. Following Netanyahu’s March 17, 2015 election victory, Obama waited two days to call to congratulate him. Phone call was reportedly difficult in content, with the president said to make clear he didn’t believe Netanyahu was genuinely supportive of a two-state solution, and to indicate that the US would no longer automatically support Israel at the United Nations. Obama then declared that the US was evaluating its options on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

64. Chose to accept that Netanyahu meant what he said, the day before the elections, in ruling out Palestinian statehood, but not that Netanyahu meant what he said, two days after the elections, in support of “a sustainable, peaceful two-state solution.”

Benjamin Netanyahu in an Election Day message, March 17, 2015 (screen capture: YouTube)
Benjamin Netanyahu in an Election Day message, March 17, 2015 (screen capture: YouTube)

65. Warned publicly about the threat of Israel’s democracy eroding, after Netanyahu complained that Arabs were streaming in droves to the polling stations on election day. Did not similarly highlight Netanyahu’s apology for his remarks.

66. As of this month, the Obama administration no longer rules out advancing UN resolutions regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

67. Obama refusing to meet with Netanyahu prior to the June 30 deadline for a deal with Iran, because he fears a face-to-face meeting would likely end with Netanyahu “publicly venting his complaints about the president’s policies,” according to a New York Times report published on Israel’s 67th Independence Day.

Hat tip: Sefton Bergson
David Horovitz

Source: http://www.timesofisrael.com/obamas-birthday-gift-to-israel-67-degrees-of-separation/

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

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