Monday, July 28, 2014
It is not that John Kerry is officially a persona non grata in Israel. But since last Friday his standing in Israel is such that all the diplomatic niceties among Israeli politicians would not be able to bridge the chasm he has created. Even if by some miracle he does come uninvited the attitude towards him would resemble what one has towards a halfwit - polite with concern for the handicapped.
With regards to Obama the attitude would be different. After all, the office of the president of the US commands respect by itself and yet it has finally dawned on the majority of Israelis that Obama is not America, and that a terrible aberration has taken place with the leadership of the country Israelis usually admire. How is it possible that Obama in effect sides with Hamas and is insisting on a cease-fire to which 86 percent of the Israelis are opposed? He is an enigma one has to acknowledge exists, but whose absurd policies they know the Israeli leadership cannot accept and which will have to be ignored if Israel is to survive.
But all in all, Israelis have come together like I have not seen for a long time. The steady flow of well wishers visiting wounded soldiers at hospitals is amazing. One has to witness it to understand the magnitude and scope. Mountains of cakes, goodies and cards attest to a deep link the population has to the soldiers fighting in Gaza. Israeli flags have popped up on buildings and cars although it is not Independence Day.
I get a feeling that Israelis are saying to the world - we are going to fight our own battles and will not listen to you for we know who we are and what we are fighting for and this time we see through your hypocrisy.
Posted by Mladen Andrijasevic at 6:13 AM
Sunday, July 27, 2014
When Ha’aretz, the left-wing Israeli paper, comes up with the headline “Kerry's cease-fire draft revealed: U.S. plan would let Hamas keep its rockets”, you know that something is very, very wrong.
The Middle East policy of the Obama administration has become insane! One can only look at the US and wonder - how is it possible that despite all the checks and balances built into the US political system we have an administration that sides with Hamas whose Charter, Article 7, reads: "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."? Article 13 of the Hamas Charter reads: There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad.
Either John Kerry screwed up on his own, in which case he should resign, or this was explicit Obama policy, in which case Congress should consider impeachment.
Barak Ravid, writes in Ha’aretz. Excerpts:
The press conference U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry convened together with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukry was one of Kerry's most embarrassing incidents since taking office. And there were quite a few in the last year and a half.
A few hours before the press conference began, the Israeli security cabinet ministers unanimously rejected Kerry's cease-fire plan draft. Kerry, as is his wont, seemed and sounded as if he came from a parallel universe. He claimed to have never presented Israel with a formal offer for a cease-fire, slammed the Israeli media's "mischievous reports" and promised that Netanyahu's office will issue a clarification.
As if that wasn't enough, Kerry claimed he made significant progress in the cease-fire talks and said, deadpan, that the disagreements with Israel are purely on matters of terminology. Reality, of course, was completely different. If anything happened on Friday it was another deep crisis in trust between Israeli senior cabinet members and the American secretary of state.
The draft Kerry passed to Israel on Friday shocked the cabinet ministers not only because it was the opposite of what Kerry told them less than 24 hours earlier, but mostly because it might as well have been penned by Khaled Meshal. It was everything Hamas could have hoped for.
The document recognized Hamas' position in the Gaza Strip, promised the organization billions in donation funds and demanded no dismantling of rockets, tunnels or other heavy weaponry at Hamas' disposal. The document placed Israel and Hamas on the same level, as if the first is not a primary U.S. ally and as if the second isn't a terror group which overtook part of the Palestinian Authority in a military coup and fired thousands of rockets at Israel.
On Saturday, the State Department distributed photos of Kerry's meeting with Qatar and Turkey's foreign ministers in Paris. The three appear jovial and happy-go-lucky. Other photographs show Kerry carousing romantically with the Turkish foreign minister in the pastoral grounds of the U.S. ambassador's home in Paris, as if the Turkish official's prime minister didn't just say a few days ago that Israel is 10 times worse than Hitler.
The secretary of state's draft empowered the most radical and problematic elements in the region – Qatar, Turkey, and Hamas – and was a slap on the face to the rapidly forming camp of Egypt, Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, who have many shared interests. What Kerry's draft spells for the internal Palestinian political arena is even direr: It crowns Hamas and issues Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas with a death warrant.
It's not clear what Kerry was thinking when he presented this draft. It's unclear what he had in mind when he convened the Paris summit. It can only be seen as surreal. Along with foreign ministers from Europe's major nations Kerry greeted with regal honors Hamas' Qatari and Turkish patrons, ignoring what Israel, Egypt, and the Palestinian Authority might have had to say.
Kerry isn’t anti-Israeli; on the contrary, he's a true friend to Israel. But his conduct in recent days over the Gaza cease-fire raises serious doubts over his judgment and perception of regional events. It's as if he isn't the foreign minister of the world's most powerful nation, but an alien, who just disembarked his spaceship in the Mideast. For a few moments Friday one could not avoid recalling the things Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said about Kerry, and admit that despite the fact that it wasn't appropriate, he may have had a point.
If Kerry did anything on Friday it was to thwart the possibility of reaching a cease-fire in Gaza. Instead of promoting a cease-fire, Kerry pushed it away. If this failed diplomatic attempt leads Israel to escalate its operation in Gaza, the American secretary of state will be one of those responsible for every additional drop of blood that is spilled.
Posted by Mladen Andrijasevic at 7:00 AM
Friday, July 25, 2014
Discussion on Israel starts at 3:04
What is ridiculous is the Obama administration refusing to answer simple questions about whether this was dictated by politics. Why the FAA is singling out Israel while not focusing on other areas of the world, and what is offensive is the Obama administration giving $47 million that will go to Hamas who is actively trying to kill civilians, while simultaneously imposing millions of dollars of economic harms on our friend and ally Israel. The State Department needs to answer those questions, and Sean, I announce today that in response to that refusal to answer form the State Department I intend to hold all State Department nominees until they answer these questions. Congress deserves to know and the American people deserve to know was this politics from the White House or was this an airline safety decision, and the facts strongly suggest it was politics and an effort to strong-arm the nation of Israel.
Let me switch to the President and obviously the open mic segment with John Kerry on Fox News Sunday “. This is not a pinpoint strike.” etc. , and he’s outraged . I’ve got some video that I want to show you and I’ll explain to you what it is in case I your monitor does not put it up . You got Hamas masked militants, inside these sophisticated tunnels that they’ve built. You can see they got cement reinforcement there. You have various Hamas armed wing gunmen inside the tunnel minions putting lights on their heads. They wear green uniforms, masks inside the tunnel and you can see the weapons, waking inside the tunnel, they got them. They have literally various masked militants in there. Obviously, this is how they kidnapped those three boys. This is how they launched a lot of their attacks on Israel. Why is the United States saying 1600 rockets we are with you we support you, you have the right to defend yourself
Senator Ted Cruz:
Right! And these Hamas terrorists had tranquilizers and handcuffs precisely to capture innocent Israeli civilians, to capture soldiers and hold them up for ransom. Israel is defending herself against vicious terrorists who are trying to murder innocent civilians and as Prime Minister Netanyahu put it put it very effectively a couple of weeks ag: in Israel they use missile defense to protect their civilians. Hamas is using their civilians to protect their missiles - which is a war crime. And you ask why are we doing this? Sean, the reason is sad, it’s tragic, but the Obama administration is the most anti-Israel administration this government has ever had.
Yesterday we saw the FAA make an unprecedented decision to ban all air travel to the nation of Israel and I’ve asked today the very simple question: Did President Obama just unilaterally launch economic boycott of the nation of Israel, because John Kerry showed up in Israel, gave $47 million to Hamas in Gaza.
That is insanity! We gave $1.5 billion, F-16s and tanks to Mohammad Morsi, who was the head of the Muslim Brotherhood, who said that the Israelis are descendants of apes and pigs. What is wrong with this administration?
Senator Ted Cruz:
Well, and listen. This decision by the FAA raises serious questions. Was this a political decision? Was this driven by the White House? Was it driven by the State Department? If it was based on airline safety as they said, why did they single out Israel? Why not ban travel to Pakistan, or Yemen or Ukraine, where a commercial airliner was just shot down, but instead they targeted Israel. And the timing – at the exact moment Kerry was there trying to strong-arm Israel into stopping their efforts to shut down Hamas’s rockets and tunnels.
You said that you believe that they were trying to blackmail Israel, which I agree with, because they are cutting Israel off from the rest of the world at a very important time, you are right. The State Department spokesman responded to you, and I want to play it and give you a chance to respond.
Clip: Senator Cruz just released a statement saying that the FAA’s flight suspension of Israel is economic blackmail and that the Obama administration is doing this to punish Israel.
State Department spokesman:
Ridiculous and offensive, quite frankly. The FAA takes its responsibilities very seriously. I will speak for them in that case. They make these decisions based solely on the security and safety of American citizens. Period. For anyone who suggests otherwise – it is just ridiculous!
Senator Ted Cruz:
Posted by Mladen Andrijasevic at 7:51 AM
Mark Steyn put it best:
Kerry, as Obama's plenipotentiary, is a paradox - the physical presence of a geopolitical absence:
Yesterday, upon the stair,
I met a man who wasn't there.
He wasn't there again today,
I wish, I wish he'd go away...
I met a man who wasn't there.
He wasn't there again today,
I wish, I wish he'd go away...
Thus John Kerry, in Jerusalem and Cairo and beyond.
Posted by Mladen Andrijasevic at 1:25 AM
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Colonel Richard Kemp:
No other army in the world has ever done more than Israel is doing now to save the lives of innocent civilians in a combat zone. And people like Ban Ki-moon or President Obama or other world leaders who tell Israel they should do more - perhaps Israel should ask them what more they can do?
Islamist extremists around the world use very similar tactics. We’ve seen young boys being given hand grenades to throw at British soldiers with the intention that because they are young boys the soldier won’t shoot so the attacker would be able to do so without being killed himself. On the other hand, if they do shoot that is a propaganda victory for the Taliban.
Many British citizens, civilians, are influenced a great deal by Hamas propaganda, indirectly normally, but also by the way complex subjects are portrayed in the media and incidentally the media in some cases bare responsibility for the killing that is taking place because they are themselves projecting Hamas’s desire at propaganda and that is causing the conflict to continue. So, in some respect irresponsible media have some responsibility. And the majority of the British public are taken in by the influence of the media in this respect. There is a difference in the attitude if you talk to a British soldier or a former British soldier. Because British soldiers have fought this kind of enemy, exactly this kind of enemy in Afghanistan and in Iraq. British soldiers understand what Israelis doing and support what Israel is doing on the whole.
Question: Do you think the IDF in the end of this conflict can make Hamas surrender?
Colonel Richard Kemp:
Inevitably, Israel’s inexorable military force driving in trough Gaza will lead to the surrender of Hamas. Unfortunately, it will cost quite a large number of Israeli soldiers' lives. Of course, whether that happens depends on pressure from the international community, the plans of the IDF and the Prime Minster of Israel, whether or not there is a ceasefire of some sort before Hamas is completely defeated.
Posted by Mladen Andrijasevic at 2:29 PM
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
How do you deal with an incompetent and ignorant US President and Secretary of State who time and again want to interfere in the conflict they understand nothing about?
You demonstrate what they should know about the Middle East and don’t. You let them take the Kerry Quiz!
Posted by Mladen Andrijasevic at 1:57 AM
Thursday, July 17, 2014
BY CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER
— – Israel accepts an Egyptian-proposed Gaza cease-fire; Hamas keeps firing. Hamas deliberately aims rockets at civilians; Israel painstakingly tries to avoid them, actually telephoning civilians in the area and dropping warning charges, so-called roof knocking.
“Here’s the difference between us,” explains the Israeli prime minister. “We’re using missile defense to protect our civilians and they’re using their civilians to protect their missiles.”
Rarely does international politics present a moment of such moral clarity. Yet we routinely hear this Israel-Gaza fighting described as a morally equivalent “cycle of violence.” This is absurd. What possible interest can Israel have in cross-border fighting? Everyone knows Hamas set off this mini-war. And everyone knows Hamas’ proudly self-declared raison d’etre: the eradication of Israel and its Jews.
Apologists for Hamas attribute the bloodlust to the Israeli occupation and blockade. Occupation? There is not a soldier, not a settler, not a single Israeli in Gaza. Does no one remember anything? It was less than 10 years ago that worldwide television showed the Israeli army pulling diehard settlers off synagogue roofs in Gaza as Israel uprooted it settlements, expelled its citizens, withdrew its military and turned every inch of Gaza over to the Palestinians.
There was no blockade. On the contrary. Israel wanted this new Palestinian state to succeed. To help the Gaza economy, Israel gave the Palestinians its 3,000 greenhouses that had produced fruit and flowers for export. It opened border crossings and encouraged commerce.
The whole idea was to establish the model for two states living peacefully and productively side by side. No one seems to remember that simultaneous with the Gaza withdrawal, Israel dismantled four smaller settlements in the northern West Bank as a clear signal of Israel’s desire to leave the West Bank too and thus achieve an amicable two-state solution.
And how did the Gaza Palestinians react to being granted by the Israelis what no previous ruler, neither Egyptian, nor British, nor Turkish, had ever given them – an independent territory? First, they demolished the greenhouses. Then they elected Hamas. Then, instead of building a state with its attendant political and economic institutions, they spent the better part of a decade turning Gaza into a massive military base, brimming with terror weapons, to make ceaseless war on Israel.
Where are the roads and rail, the industry and infrastructure of the new Palestinian state? Nowhere. Instead, they built mile upon mile of underground tunnels to hide their weapons and, when the going gets tough, their military commanders. They spent millions importing and producing rockets, launchers, mortars, small arms, even drones. They deliberately placed them in schools, hospitals, mosques and private homes to better expose their own civilians. And from which they fire rockets at Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
being almost uniformly intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system. Even West Bank leader Mahmoud Abbas has asked: “What are you trying to achieve by sending rockets?”
It makes no sense. Unless you understand, as a Washington Post editorial explained, that the whole point is to draw Israeli counterfire.
This produces dead Palestinians for international television. Which is why Hamas perversely urges its own people not to seek safety when Israel drops leaflets warning of an imminent attack.
To deliberately wage war so that your own people can be telegenically killed is indeed moral and tactical insanity. But it rests on a very rational premise: Given the Orwellian state of the world’s treatment of Israel (see: the U.N.’s grotesque Human Rights Council), fueled by a mix of classic anti-Semitism, near-total historical ignorance and reflexive sympathy for the ostensible Third World underdog, these eruptions featuring Palestinian casualties ultimately undermine support for Israel’s legitimacy and right to self-defense.
In a world of such Kafkaesque ethical inversions, Hamas’ depravity begins to make sense. This is a world in which the Munich massacre is a movie and the murder of Klinghoffer is an opera – both deeply sympathetic to the killers. This is a world in which the U.N. ignores humanity’s worst war criminals while incessantly condemning Israel, a state warred upon for 66 years which nonetheless goes to extraordinary lengths to avoid harming the very innocents its enemies use as shields.
It’s to the Israelis’ credit that amid all this madness they haven’t lost their moral scruples. Or their nerve. Those outside the region have the minimum obligation, therefore, to expose the madness and speak the truth. Rarely has it been so blindingly clear.
Posted by Mladen Andrijasevic at 11:02 PM