PR Job – Obama Admin Displays Its Effective Israel Outreach
Lots has been made of late of the massive PR job the Obama administration has been selling American voters & Jewry regarding Israel. Everything is just great, there never was a crisis, the whole thing was really just some ‘faulty messaging’.. In fact, we may have imagined the whole thing here in Israel *eyeroll*.
I do have a vivid imagination.. But never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that a US Deputy National Security Adviser (tasked with advising the President on the war on terror no less) would lavish praise on the Hezbollah terrorist organization!? Then follow that outrageousness up by referring to the Capital of the State of Israel Jerusalem as Al Quds in an official statement, on official White House video no less!
John Brennan calls for the US to build up Hezbollah moderates!
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration is looking for ways to build up “moderate elements” within the Lebanese Hezbollah guerrilla movement and to diminish the influence of hard-liners, a top White House official said on Tuesday.
John Brennan, assistant to the president for homeland security and counter-terrorism, met with Lebanese leaders during a recent visit.
“Hezbollah is a very interesting organization,” Brennan told a Washington conference, citing its evolution from “purely a terrorist organization” to a militia to an organization that now has members within the parliament and the cabinet. “There is certainly the elements of Hezbollah that are truly a concern to us what they’re doing. And what we need to do is to find ways to diminish their influence within the organization and to try to build up the more moderate elements,” Brennan said.
He did not spell out how Washington hoped to promote “moderate elements” given that the organization is branded a “foreign terrorist organization” by the United States. “We don’t deal with them,” he acknowledged.
Last month, the United States and Israel accused Syria of arming Hezbollah with increasingly powerful missiles and weapons technology. Brennan said he raised those concerns during his recent visit to the region.
This is the man advising the President on Counter Terrorism, and this is the administration that has a “rock solid commitment to Israel’s security”.
This terrorist organization is now viewed as legitimate because it has members in Lebanese parliament? Despite starting a war with Israel 3 years ago, bombarding Israeli civilians with thousands of rockets and now arming itself with tens of thousands more including long range weapons most normal countries do not even possess, let alone any other terrorist groups. They need to be ‘engaged’ like Iran & Syria to ‘promote their moderation’.
It’s total progressive insanity from the Muslim / Arabist outreach capitol of the World – The Obama White House! Hamas cannot be far behind.
Michael Rubin at AEI unleashes..
Reuters reports that the Obama administration wants to help shore up “moderates” within Hezbollah. In order to help the White House identify terrorist moderates, I offer this list:
- Hezbollah: The moderates are the ones who make car bombs only out of midsize vehicles rather than SUVs or trucks.
- Hamas: Moderates still believe in annihilating Israel, but they refrain from advocating throwing all the Jews into the sea because of environmental impact; they propose burying some instead.
- Taliban: Ask Colin Powell. It’s been almost nine years since he spoke of moderate Taliban, so his definition might be ready by now. But, generally, moderate Taliban dilute the acid somewhat before they toss it into unveiled women’s faces.
- Al Qaeda: The moderates are the ones who would have taken down only one World Trade Center tower, rather than both.
- PLO: Moderates are pragmatists: They are willing to speak about tolerance and reform so long as the State Department keeps the subsidy flow coming. They accuse radicals of making the purchase of Western weaponry to funnel to terrorists that much more difficult.
- Abu Sayyaf: Moderates refrain from using a blunt knife when beheading captive Western tourists.
- IRGC: Moderates firmly believe that they should keep their nuclear bomb yields below 50 kilotons so that the radiation cloud from nuking Israel doesn’t blow back too far.
Pandering to Islam.. Obama Style.
If all this was not disturbing enough, here’s Brennan putting the cherry on top just in case you were buying the White House PR Job about Israel, Jerusalem or anything else.
I’m not the Prime Minister of Israel, just a citizen.. But I can’t imagine anyone here is going to be overly thrilled with the notion of ‘embracing the moderates’ in the terrorist organizations trying to kill us, or by the White House referring to our Capital as Al Quds!?
I seem to recall Hezbollah murdering US Marines, French soldiers, Americans (including CIA station chiefs) but I guess this was the phase when they were terrorists. Now that they only fire tens of thousands of missiles at Israelis, murder our boys ect they are militiamen come diplomats.. Isn’t that just special?
Fixture in Peace Process for 25 Years No Longer Religious Believer in Power of American Messiah
Miller, a center left State Department fixture who has advised 6 different Secretaries of State is a public policy fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars, prolific author and columnist.
He is considered for better or worse amongst the top US experts on the region & Middle East Peace. He has just penned an article in Foreign Policy that has shaken the American Status Quo to its very foundations.
He describes in the lengthy worthy piece how US policy & Peace Processing has become a religion for American bureaucrats & political leaders, a religion he formerly practiced but now no longer believes in..
Like all religions, the peace process has developed a dogmatic creed, with immutable first principles. Over the last two decades, I wrote them hundreds of times to my bosses in the upper echelons of the State Department and the White House; they were a catechism we all could recite by heart. First, pursuit of a comprehensive peace was a core, if not the core, U.S. interest in the region, and achieving it offered the only sure way to protect U.S. interests; second, peace could be achieved, but only through a serious negotiating process based on trading land for peace; and third, only America could help the Arabs and Israelis bring that peace to fruition.
He describes how these concepts have become immovable dogmas of the religion, and how Obama has thrown himself full force into becoming a believer, pursuing them with zeal. The problem is, Miller no longer carries the faith..
Today, I couldn’t write those same memos or anything like them with a clear conscience or a straight face. Although many experts’ beliefs haven’t changed, the region has, and dramatically, becoming nastier and more complex. U.S. priorities and interests, too, have changed. The notion that there’s a single or simple fix to protecting those interests, let alone that Arab-Israeli peace would, like some magic potion, bullet, or elixir, make it all better, is just flat wrong. In a broken, angry region with so many problems — from stagnant, inequitable economies to extractive and authoritarian governments that abuse human rights and deny rule of law, to a popular culture mired in conspiracy and denial – it stretches the bounds of credulity to the breaking point to argue that settling the Arab-Israeli conflict is the most critical issue, or that its resolution would somehow guarantee Middle East stability.
Uh oh.. This is contrary to the very pillars Obama & his administration have laid forth in their endless Israel Assault of pressure. Leak after leak, statement after statement, all highlighting how solving the Arab Israeli Palestinian conflict is the most critical puzzle piece, and a top American national priority interest. The statements have been piling up in fact.
The American left wing has gone so far as to frame the life & death of American soldiers themselves as requiring immediate resolution of the problem.. Of course, that is patently absurd. But the left, seizing on the anti-Israel attitude is making ever rising claims of absurdity and the false memes are spreading fanned by a loving it media. All this despite individuals like Petraeus himself stating clearly this is simply not the case, that these memes are false.
We have seen so far the results.. Absurd efforts to define local zoning laws in Israel all the way from Washington D.C.; A pressure campaign to topple Netanyahu; Frigid Israeli American relations; Threats, public dressing downs of foreign leaders; A total fantasy like American eyeball aversion to the Palestinians or their actions, while Israel is routinely blamed for everything under the sun.. No matter, the Obami soldier on as if on Crusade to borrow from Miller’s religious metaphor.
Miller doesn’t see the factors for Peace
He writes that Obama & advisers are trying to manufacture artificially the necessary components for peace and a deal using sheer American will. But that this is an illusion as there are no partners currently, or willingness in the region in order to conclude such a deal irrespective of America’s will, and that in the end this will result in a stunning American failure.
Bottom line: Negotiations can work, but both Arabs and Israelis (and American leaders) need to be willing and able to pay the price. And they are not.
Under these circumstances, the refrain from many quarters is that America must save the day. If the Arabs and Israelis are too weak or recalcitrant, then the United States must support and/or push them to make the deal.
Miller chides the administration for making huge errors in the focus on settlements, and questions the logic behind the Obama strategies themselves as they do not lead in any way to a deal or peace, only to expending more & more American political capital without benefit, concluding..
The believers need to re-examine their faith, especially at a moment when America is so stretched and overextended. The United States needs to do what it can, including working with Israelis and Palestinians on negotiating core final-status issues (particularly on borders, where the gaps are narrowest), helping Palestinians develop their institutions, getting the Israelis to assist by allowing Palestinians to breathe economically and expand their authority, and keeping Gaza calm, even as it tries to relieve the desperation and sense of siege through economic assistance. But America should also be aware of what it cannot do, as much as what it can. [...]
In many ways there are subtle & not so subtle jabs at the Obama admin here, the entire religious framework and Yes We Can attitude gets a thorough lashing in Miller’s piece. Time for believers to re-examine the faith, the statement is directed at the Department of State, the NSC & Obama himself and the message is clear enough, cut it out because No We Can’t.
Miller was on to something..
He posited that the Obama administration on the Arab Israeli conflict was not transformational, but transactional – Trying to focus on the dozens of details and seeking endless concessions to iron them out to produce a deal. But, he felt that as tough as the Obama admin may get to wring concessions, they would have to be respectful of Israel & the relationship to succeed.
He stated that listening to Israel would be more important than lecturing Israel in order to notch gains. That American will & opinion matched that of Israeli will & opinion, that the countries identified with each other on a powerful plane, and that Obama would need to proceed cautiously lest he upset that balance..
Off a cliff
We have since seen the admin push this transactional concept to the very edge right along with the US Israel relationship itself, thoroughly disregarding Miller’s warnings. Precisely because they do not listen, they do not respect, and many suspect they do not care about Israel in the least. I would add to Miller’s provocative & interesting piece that not only he, but a great many are now no longer believers..
If you want to know why you need only look at President Obama and his ugly relationship with the State of Israel.
Obama Peace Plan?
The unfriendly American administration which has perpetuated crisis over settlements and Jerusalem has squandered Israeli trust & faith in its efforts to endlessly court Muslims & the Arab world, all of it at American & Israeli strategic expense as the move to halt Iran flounders.
84% – Overwhelming majority refuse division of Jerusalem.
90% – Overwhelming majority refuse handing off Jordan River Valley security zone.
81% – Overwhelming majority state Obama “improper” to ‘impose’ plan.
Polling of Palestinians themselves shows overwhelming opposition to any Peace or two state solution!
Would accept the creation of a Palestinian state within the pre-1967 borders with a land exchange as a final solution for the Palestinian problem?
66.7% against VS 28.3% in favor, and 5% who did not know or did not express an opinion.
Would support division of Jerusalem as a capital of two states?
77.4 opposed such a plan VS 20.8% in favor, and 1.8% had no opinion or chose not to express it.
The Obama administration seems incapable of embracing Arab rejections of peace. Senior Obama officials continue to meet privately in the White House with the radically left American Jewish group Jstreet, with prominent anti Israel figures like Brzezinski, all of it in order to seemingly form policy. Policy that is totally unacceptable in Israel, and is clearly oblivious to both Israeli political & public reality!?
Brezinski may have proposed the latest imposed peace plan, but calling for America to impose a fake plan that delivers no peace, only endless Israeli concesions is long standing policy for far left American groups like Peace Now, J Street etc. Meanwhile, the policy of linking endless Israeli concessions & Palestinian statehood to stopping Iran from developing nuclear weapons is alive & well, despite the fact that a prominent proponent of engagement himself has declared this linkage policy to be a serious mistake.
Just how far is President Obama willing to go to accommodate the idea of containing a nuclear Iran, as opposed to stopping one?
I mean beyond..
- Creating crises after crises with Israel.
- Embracing false Arab narratives.
- Watering down sanctions.
- Rejecting congressional fuel sanction efforts.
- Freezing arms sales to Israel.
- Dividing Jerusalem.
- Polling at 4% in the holy land.
- Overlooking Syrian SCUD weapon exports to Hezbollah
EU, World will be shocked to learn Israel is a Democracy
The Peace Process is being endangered by appeasement. The Palestinians have rejected every peace deal to ever grace their plate, now they refuse to even negotiate. Putting aside for a moment the fact they clearly don’t desire a state so much as the destruction of ours, one begins to wonder why some are so eager to appease them endlessly?
The list is long..
- Israeli Governments of the right & left
- The EU
- American Presidents
- Donor countries pumping in billions per annum in cash
- The UN
- Liberals, NGOs..
It’s practically a party! There are however two entities that are decidedly less keen on appeasing Palestinians. They consist of the Arab world & the Israeli public.
Picking up the Peaces
The Arabs refuse to appease the Palestinians because they’ve been employing them as pawns to bludgeon Israel for over 40 years now. Why ruin the gravy train? No one gives the Palestinians less money, less rights, less land or lesser dreams for a better future then their own Arab brethren, Lebanon is a prime example.
The Israeli public on the other hand, which has given the Palestinians more money, more rights, more land & more hopes for a better future than any Arab nation on earth now refuses to do much more. Out of patience, because this same public has inevitably paid the price of being the pawns sacrificed by the rest of the appeasing world in the name of Palestinian violence, terror, and intransigence. Here in Israel much of that public has simply had enough. That includes incidentally Arab residents of East Jerusalem whom themselves want no part of a PA state it seems.
The dangerous cycle of appeasement has now come to the point where the PA is not even negotiating for Peace. They want all their demands met, they want a state, they want the billions in aid, they want to be courted as players – and in return they offer nothing. Peace is not even on their table.
It’s not land for peace, its now land for appeasement.
The attempt by Sweden, the UK & others this week to pre-determine final status issues when the Palestinians themselves refuse even to negotiate smacks of the most sickening appeasement we’ve seen to date. These moves rejected by Israel, rejected by the US, and opposed by EU member states including new Europe, Italy & France smack of a form of psychosis removed from all reality. Well reality will come crashing in soon enough.
The Referendum Bill
The bill 1st tabled under the Olmert Kadima government, passed 1st reading then but was put aside due to elections. It is now tabled again & headed to 2nd & 3rd reading & probable passage. The rest of world may choose to play pretend, but Israel annexed East Jerusalem & the Golan Heights after the defensive 67 war. International actors may think they can pre-determine reality, but they will come up against an inconvenient truth – Israeli democracy & Israeli law, both of which trump pitiful international declarations.
As early as Wednesday, the Golan Heights and Jerusalem Referendum Bill could return to the Knesset plenum for a key vote, after a late-night decision Tuesday by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation ensured coalition support for the controversial bill. [...]
“We must safeguard the Land of Israel and accelerate the legislative process, in order to prevent a future possibility of retreat against the will of the people,” said Science and Technology Minister Daniel Herschkowitz, shortly after the committee’s vote.
Indeed, Jerusalem & the Golan belong to the people of Israel, annexed. We control the land - This also is an ‘inconvenient truth’. Our governments, our allies, our ‘Palestinians friends’ can huff & they can puff but when push comes to shove reality can prove to be a cruel mistress. Our current Prime Minister as opposed to previous clowns in the post knows this well..
Netanyahu backs referendum bill, wants public’s support for withdrawals
Knesset expected to pass ‘continuity law’ that allows body to continue legislative discussions on bill obligating national referendum on withdrawals. ‘Any historic peace agreement I bring will be based on support from majority of public,’ PM says. [...]
We hold all the cards.
Any deal must be based in reality, palatable to the Israeli electorate. We are much more crucial to the process than Abbas or his crooked thieving cronies. EU officials would be wise to embrace reality instead of living in an unelected tax payer funded dream consisting of caviar, limos, jets, and unbackable feel good pronouncements designed to tickle Abbas’ testicles. Here in Israel we live in the real world. The threats are grave, the will of the people here is strong & the Democracy will have its say – Whether the EU likes it, or not.
Update: Booyah! – Knesset votes in favor at JPOST
The Knesset voted Wednesday afternoon in favor of continuing legislative work on the Golan Heights and Jerusalem Referendum Bill, by an overwhelming majority of 68 to 22, with one abstention. [...] The vote crossed coalition-opposition lines, with over one-third of Kadima MKs supporting the bill, but with the majority of Labor ministers conspicuously absent from the vote.
Livni voted NAY <– After negotiating in total secrecy with PA, nearly selling the farm.. Leader of Kadima doesn’t feel its necessary to consult the public on issues that will affect Israelis for generations. Epic fail.
Sympathy is now all rioted out..
Every week, now seemingly every day. Rioting, stoning police, setting fires to police cars, garbage bins, buildings. Over what? A parking lot. A mentally unstable woman who abused her child!? An autopsy for a Haredi man murdered? Where does it end exactly.
The crime scene in Jerusalem’s Geula neighborhood has turned into a battleground between police and haredim. A few dozen ultra-Orthodox people threw stones at police officers dispatched to the hostel on Tsfaniya Street, where a 50-year-old man was murdered Sunday night during a fight. The protesters tried to block removal of the murdered man’s body from the scene.
In the Mea Shearim neighborhood intense clashes broke out between the two sides. Haredim threw stones and metal objects at police officers, who responded with stun grenades. Eight police officers and an ultra-Orthodox man were lightly wounded. Three police officers were evacuated to the hospital for medical attention. The rest of the wounded were treated by ambulance crews on the spot. Damage was caused to a police patrol car and two motorcycles.
Haredim started fires at a number of different locations throughout the city. A police cruiser was set ablaze on David Yellin Street [...]
I had some sympathy at first. Yes it’s true that being beyond ultra Orthodox to the point of removal from modern day society at every level is certainly a challenge in a modern state, even if it is the Jewish state. Personally it is a bit absurd for me, but to each his own - To a limit. This is not 150 BCE. Nor do we live in the Shtetl in some remote part of Poland or Lithuania. Polling originally done in Israel by Channel 2 of religious & haredi populations showed they overwhelmingly did not support this rioting. Most polled did not see any benefit, only continued detriment to Haredi & non Haredi relations within Israel. Many called it Hillul Hashem - Those are the understatements of the year!
Lack of respect
These rioters are extremists beyond normal definition of the word, Mea Shearim has become an alien landscape. They claim that the state does not respect them, but to date they have given very little reason for the state or anyone else to accord them very much respect, as they do not respect others in any shape manner or form & they seem to relish this fact. They seemingly do not respect law, be it biblical or state law for that matter. Throwing stones, lighting fires, all on Shabbat? This is not a siege & the Romans are not at the gate. For many it seems this has become a game, we see many smiling & laughing in the TV footage as they hurl stones at security forces.
There must be accommodation for all, these extremists do not own title to Jerusalem or Israel. They are citizens like all others even though many do not recognize themselves as such. They must respect the rule of law. Their customs & beliefs are already very much respected within areas of the city with massive Haredi populations, if that is not enough that is simply too bad. They are behaving like animals and destroying the image & reputation of hundreds & thousands of peaceful law abiding and valued Haredi Israeli citizens for what can only be described as absurdity.
No one will win here, least of all this minority of the Haredi population.
Personally, I’ve had enough and I am very late to the party. The vast majority of Israel had enough weeks ago. The Hezbollah has created a terrorist state within a state in Lebanon. That is totally unacceptable. It is just as unacceptable that a group of extremist nutcases should venture to do the same in the heart of Israel. I find it particularly distasteful that like the Palestinians many of these anti-Israel protesters are using not only violence, but sending their children out to do so in their stead. Just like the Arabs in the territories & the Hamas.
We should react in kind, enough is enough. Bring out the water cannons, start arresting everyone & put it down like an Intifada because that is exactly what this is. I asked my Haredi neighbor here in Tel Aviv what he thought about all this as we met taking out the trash. He’s fully Orthodox with 8 kids, aside from the fact that he is raising chickens in my backyard (lol) I consider them model citizens. As an example the Rooster, which I was fully prepared to slaughter in the kosher manner has been removed in favor of accommodation. He answered “Busha” – Embarrassment / Shame, and he was not referring to the State.
Netanyahu calls for 2 states
Will the Americans finally be satisfied? Netanyahu called for a 2 state solution for 2 peoples, the chief American demand of Israel – But stressed that critical limits must be placed on Palestinian autonomy, that it cannot be business as usual as with other states in the world. Limits to borders and security, demilitarized, etc. Stressing the need to recognize Israel as A Jewish state before progress can be made.
Netanyahu also stressed in the most applauded section of the speech that Israel, the land of Israel is our birthright & spent time laying out history in stark contrast to Obama’s speech in Cairo which was filled with whimsical poetry, but dangerously disregarded reality & history. He went directly at & challenged Obama’s message stressing the Holocaust as cause for the birth of Israel, stressing instead our longing and ties to the land for the length of Jewish history.
Regarding settlements, Bibi stressed that Israel will not expand borders of settlements or impinge on Palestinian lands but did not call for halts to construction within Israeli settlements. Our rights cannot be simply steamrolled thankfully, and initial statements from the right wing & settler movement have been somewhat supportive (keep in mind this is within a few minutes of the speech), there might be other voices and opinions raised shortly. Despite that, it was a solid speech.
Jersusalem, Refugees off the table
No negotiation of Israel’s unified capital, no refugees to return to Israel in the pursuit of peace. He did call for the Arab world to join in the task of building peace, especially to build a joint economic foundation for peace. He similarly to other PMs (most famously Golda Meir) stated his willingness to travel to any Arab country, any Arab capital in the pursuit of peace and invited Arab leaders to Jerusalem for talks with Israel any time.
On the whole, he presented like Obama a vision for peace, but one which unlike the American vision takes into account Israel’s views & needs and not only the Arab demands. This was not a work plan, but a statement of Israeli principles. On the whole it was a good speech, I felt emotion when Netanyahu spoke of Israeli history & sacrifice and by the same token he stressed we are willing to make more sacrifices for peace, things that no other nation would do or expect for peace.. Such is the Jewish people’s desire to live in peace & security with the Arab world.
The Palestinians as normal, as usual for the last 60 years time & again (another detail not acknowledged by the Obama administration to date) have already rejected Netanyahu’s words & call for peace to move forward.. Stating we will have to wait 1000 years for peace negotiations if their demands are not met. Typical.
Initial Links & updates
JPOST: PM lays out Israeli positions for Palestinian State
Haaretz: On Netanyahu, Palestinian rejection.