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Israeli FM on crash course with US administration

The Jerusalem Post reports that Lieberman has prepared a draft of Israel’s new foreign policy that places great emphasis on Israeli relations with Third World countries.

Lieberman’s plan revamps Israel’s old peripheral strategy, which is aimed at befriending African countries in order to encircle our Arab enemies. The peripheral strategy failed, as the Africans had no particular reason to ally themselves with Jews. Diamond business and small-arms sales are the last vestiges of the defunct policy.

Lieberman’s Third World agenda is a result of the Western governments’ virtually boycotting him.

By seeking to diversify Israel’s foreign ties Lieberman clashes with Jewish leftists, who need the threat of America abandoning us to push for Israeli concessions. The US administration cannot be happy with Israel inroads into the Western hemisphere, the American sphere of influence.

Lieberman’s policy is regrettably still-born.

34% Orthodox Jews are anti-Zionist

In a recent AJC poll, 34% of American Orthodox Jews voiced support for dismantling all Israeli settlements. Among other denominations, the support is even higher.

Government mulls silencing the ultra-left

According to the Jerusalem Post, the government is contemplating barring Israeli NGOs from taking donations from foreign governments.

The ban is unlikely because of the great influence NGOs have on leftist parties and the High Court. Shimon Peres, whose NGOs are the largest beneficiaries of foreign aid, would oppose the legislation.

The ban would be unenforceable because the aid can be channeled through Western NGOs and wealthy Israeli leftists, rather than coming directly from hostile governments.

Tit for tat is the only proper response, with Israel financing pro-independence NGOs in Basque Country and Northern Ireland. They would also appreciate military training in Israel and once they win, we can be assured of more friendly governments.

What is the US policy on Israeli settlements?

Eugene Rostow, a former dean of Yale Law School who was also undersecretary of state in the Johnson years, would write years later that “Israel has an unassailable legal right to establish settlements in the West Bank.”

Read on

10 June 2009 Posted in work

Hillary Clinton’s Troubling Transformation on Israel

When Hillary Clinton was New York’s junior US senator from 2001 to 2009, she was a vocal supporter of Israel. She was especially strong on Jerusalem, stating in a September 2007 position paper that she believed “Israel’s right to exist in safety as a Jewish state, with defensible borders and an undivided Jerusalem as its capital, must never be questioned.”


Read on

08 June 2009 Posted in work

Jews push PLO to independence

In the Ungar and other cases, Israelis who are also foreign nationals filed suits against the PLO seeking damages for terrorist attacks on their relatives. Similar cases have been won in Israel.

Though the awarded amounts run into hundreds of millions of dollars, actual collections are minuscule.

The court losses push the PA to proclaim independence, which allows it sovereign immunity. The US courts have disregarded sovereign immunity in a number of cases against terrorist-sponsor states such as Iran, but the burden of proof in such cases is much higher.

Welcome to Jerusalem Mein Pope

by Barry Chamish

Twelve years ago, I wrote the following famous edict:

Barry Chamish: Vatican plot against ISRAEL 1997

In March 1994, the newspaper Chadashot revealed a most remarkable secret of the Middle East “peace” process. A friend of Shimon Peres, the French intellectual Marek Halter, claimed in an interview that in May 1993 he delivered a letter from Peres to the pope. Within, Peres promised to internationalize Jerusalem, granting the UN political control of the Old City of Jerusalem, and granting the Vatican hegemony over the holy sites within. The UN would give the PLO a capital within its new territory, and East Jerusalem would become a kind of free-trade zone of world diplomacy.

Halter’s claim was backed by the Italian newspaper La Stampa, which added that Arafat was apprised of the agreement and that it was included in the secret clauses of the Declaration Of Principles signed in Washington in September 1993.

In March 1995, the Israeli radio station Arutz Sheva was leaked a cable from the Israeli Embassy in Rome to Peres’ Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, confirming the handover of Jerusalem to the Vatican. This cable was printed on the front page of the radical left-wing Israeli newspaper, Haaretz two days later. A scandal erupted and numerous rabbis who had invited Peres for Passover services canceled their invitations in protest of his treachery. Peres reacted by claiming that the cable was real, but that someone had whited out the word, “not”; in other words, the cable really said that Israel would “not” hand Jerusalem over to the holy pontiff.

Illustrating the sorry political state of Israel’s rabbis, they accepted this cockamamie excuse and re-invited Peres to their tables. However, in the widely distributed minutes of a meeting with Clinton in 1997, Peres reiterated his diplomacy, ending with the words, “as I had previously promised the Holy See.”

So what did the Swami Barry report? That Foreign Minister Shimon Peres had cooked up a deal offering the Vatican sovereignty over East Jerusalem and its holy sites. That the UN would secure and police the Vatican enclave. And that the PLO would be granted a national capital in the Vatican’s East Jerusalem territory.
So let’s see if my reporting panned out. Oh, you know it did to the smallest detail, but let’s read this week’s news from Jerusalem anyway:

jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1239710858577&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Peres wants to yield sites to Vatican

President Shimon Hand-Over-Israel Peres is willing to hand over sovereignty of key Christian holy sites to the Vatican, a proposition that is reportedly opposed by Interior Minister Eli Yishai, and that has ruffled feathers among other senior government officials, Army Radio reported on Monday.

Beit Hanassi could not be reached for comment on Monday, as it does not issue statements to the press while the president is abroad.

According to the radio report, the president is exerting pressure on the government to give up sovereignty over six sites, including the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth, the Coenaculum on Mount Zion, Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, and the Church of the Multiplication on the Kinneret.

The report quoted Beit Hanassi as saying that talks had been going on long enough, and that the time had come to compromise with the Vatican and come to an agreement.

On Sunday, according to the report, Beit Hanassi requested that the Interior Ministry sign documents ceding sovereignty. Yishai, however, refused.

“Every concession like this limits the Israeli government’s ability to function as a sovereign government in the area,” the interior minister was quoted as saying.
Former Meretz chairman Yossi Beilin, however, was quoted as saying that Israel had not behaved satisfactorily in recent dealings with the Vatican.

“We need to compromise with them,” he said.

israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/131032

(IsraelNN.com) Ten-year-long negotiations between Israel and the Vatican appear to be drawing to a close, with concerns rising that Israel will cede control of the building housing King David’s Tomb in Jerusalem.

The Bilateral Permanent Working Commission—a team of negotiators representing Israel and the Vatican—released an upbeat press release at the end of last week, speaking of “meaningful progress,” “great cordiality,” and a mutual commitment to reaching a final agreement “as soon as possible.”

Tellingly, a plenary meeting has been announced for this Thursday, April 30, at the Foreign Ministry. The meeting will be chaired by the two states’ deputy foreign ministers, Danny Ayalon and Monsignor Pietro Parolin. It is widely believed that the agreement will be signed then.

Church Demands Parts of Mt. Zion

The two states have been negotiating a treaty since March 1999 on matters having to do with Church-owned or Church-claimed property in Israel. Among the most significant issues under negotiation is the Vatican’s demand for the Last Supper room, located on the second floor of the ancient Mt. Zion building that also houses the tombs of Kings David, Solomon, and Hezekiah.

In addition, the Vatican is claiming areas around the Kinneret Sea, as well as in Caesaria and Jerusalem.

Hints and implications in the Vatican and Catholic press have long indicated that the negotiations are expected to end successfully, from the Catholic vantage point, in time for Pope Benedict’s visit to Israel two weeks from now.

Blueprint of an Agreement

A Foreign Ministry official confirmed in 2005 that a “blueprint of a possible agreement with the Vatican has been received.” The proposed contract, as Arutz-7 reported at the time, read as follows:

“The State of Israel hands over to the Holy See the use of the Cenacle [the room of the event known as the Last Supper, above King David's tomb - ed.], of the access path to it, and of the spaces adjacent to it… It is the Holy See’s intention to inform the Bishops—and through them the world’s Priests—that the Catholic Church has been given the use of the Cenacle, inviting them to visit the Holy Place together with their faithful… The Holy See hands over this use of the Cenacle to the Custody of the Holy Land [which acts on behalf of the Holy See]… [which] will keep the Cenacle open from 6 AM to 8 AM for the celebration of the Holy Mass… Official liturgical celebrations of non-Catholic Churches can take place only upon prior written permission by the Custody of the Holy Land.”

The proposed agreement also stipulated that the Holy See will preserve the historic character of the site and keep it open to pilgrims and tourists, and that Israel will provide for the safety of the site. The Foreign Ministry official said at the time that “Israel is not prepared to relinquish its jurisdiction over this area.” The world will find out later this week whether this position is still valid.

After Peres meets with Obama in Washington on May 6:

israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/131215

U.S. President Barack Obama told Jordan’s King Abdullah two weeks ago to meet with leading Muslim Arab countries and persuade them to accept changes in the Saudi 2002 Initiative, according to the London-based Arabic language Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper.

The report reflects the president’s swift action on the Middle East since he was elected last November.

President Obama’s major proposed alteration to the Saudi peace plan is for Arab countries to grant citizenship to approximately five million Arabs who are descendants of former Israelis while allowing them the right to move to a new Palestinian Authority country.

The Saudi plan calls for them to be allowed to immigrate to Israel, a suggestion that virtually every Israeli leader categorically rejects. President Obama also reportedly told the king that he wants the United Nations flag raised over holy sites in eastern Jerusalem, where the PA would have total sovereignty under the Saudi plan.

The president’s master plan calls for Arab countries to set a timetable for raising the Israeli flag in their capitals, a sign of recognition of the Jewish State. Simultaneously, the PA flag would be raised in Jerusalem neighborhoods, a move that would virtually make the Fatah-led government the de facto government in a significant portion of the Jewish capital.

Barak-Lieberman: the first blood

The Jerusalem Post reports that Barak allowed Gerry Adams into Gaza, in defiance of the Foreign Ministry’s decision to prevent the Irish terrorist from meeting with his Hamas colleagues.

Blair, a supposedly impartial Quarter envoy, intervened with Barak on behalf of Adams, whose only purpose in Gaza was meeting Hamas.

Arab MK: Israel is dangerous to the world

In just those words, Haneen Zuabi commented on the Iranian nuclear program. She praised Iran’s weapons development as a means to offset Zionist influence.
Zuabi also condemned “Israeli occupation”—presumably, of Haifa and Tel Aviv. She also regretted that Israel does not fear a war on it by all Arab states (The Jerusalem Post).

Haneen Zuabi from Balad is the first female Knesset member from an Arab party. She’s a darling of Israeli liberals.

Months ago, the Supreme Court overturned the Elections Committee decision banning Balad from elections.

Syria ready for biowarfare

The Jerusalem Post reports on the US Military Intelligence chief’s briefing to the Senate. Even the Pentagon has accepted the fact that Syria has an advanced biowarfare program. Though the Pentagon insists that the biowarfare agents are still not weaponized, that is not an essential step: Syria can deliver bioweapons into Israel through terrorists rather than warheads.

We disagree with the Pentagon’s assessment that the Russians will deliver the MIG-31 export version to Syria very soon. The 2007 deal was not huge, the Russians had not exported that model before, and it is reportedly unstable. And they prefer using the threat of supplying the jets to Syria as leverage with Israel and the United States.

Despite the Pentagon’s assessment, the Senate still refuses to allow F/A-22 sales to Israel, which are a must if we are to restore Israeli air dominance in case of MIG-31E sales to Syria.

US Holocaust Museum whitewashes Arab Nazis

The Jerusalem Post reports on the mufti’s exhibition in the US Holocaust Museum. In this exhibition, the famous Nazi collaborator—a personal guest of Hitler and a close friend of major Nazi officials—is pictured as an innocent Arab leader whose national aspirations were incompatible with German imperialism. The museum chose to ignore Husseini’s well-known involvement in murder and genocidal incitement against Jews.

The exposition follows the museum’s earlier efforts to expand the definition of the word Holocaust to include everything down to the relatively generous American treatment of their black slaves.

Hamas’ free lunch

Worth reading from the Jerusalem Post.

21 March 2009 Posted in work

$5.2 billion aid to Gaza: how to spend?

The vast majority of the 2,800 destroyed homes were empty to begin with. Israel generally bombed houses with weapon caches. Tanks fired at booby-trapped houses; IDF had them marked on the maps. The houses were booby-trapped months ago as Hamas prepared for Israeli invasion, and thus were not habitable.
Reports from Gaza indicate no homelessness.

By far, most of the destroyed houses were associated with Palestinian terrorists. It is bizarre to aid in their reconstruction.

There is no way for Gazans to utilize $5.2 billion. Their GDP is estimated at $600 million in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms. But the aid comes in nominal dollars; a ballpark nominal-to-PPP estimate would be 5:1. The aid, therefore, amounts to something like $25 billion PPP, or forty years of Gazan GDP.
Even if Gazans import all their construction materials rather than using traditional adobe blocks, the aid still exceeds their GDP manifold. Simply, Gazans don’t have enough construction workers to utilize the mammoth aid. Close to 99 percent of it will be diverted to Hamas’ other activities.

Very little of the $5.2 billion pledge will be actually transferred to the PA.

Likud joins the name-calling fray against Livni

out of her league: anti-Livni postersAfter Kadima had ran anti-Netanyahu ads for some time, Likud responded with silly “Out of her league” anti-Livni billboards. Whether the tasteless ads would dissuade anyone from voting for Livni is highly questionable: Likud’s image-makers presume that the image of a tired Tzipi somehow works against her.

Truce with Hamas caused more rocket attacks

Michael Freund offers interesting figures from the Israeli Foreign Ministry: in 2008, 1,151 rockets and 1,239 shells hit Israel. Thus, during the truce period, attacks on Israel from Gaza actually doubled.

Israel’s best prime minister in twenty years resigns

Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Olmert announced he will not run in the Kadima primaries. With across-the-border opposition to Olmert, his Kadima successor would have no trouble forging a new government and replacing Olmert by the end of September.

Olmert might quit prematurely in order to pass the office to Mofaz and improve his chances in Kadima primaries. Presumably, an acting prime minister has better chance in primaries.

Olmert’s successor, be it Shaul Mofaz or Tzipi Livni, would be immeasurably worse than him. Of all the Israeli prime ministers during the last twenty years, Olmert was the only one who, through political intrigues, managed to give nothing to Palestinians and leftist defeatists.

Under Olmert’s government, Israel attacked Lebanon at the first pretext, though she had routinely swallowed similar kidnappings before. The results of the Lebanese war were as good as practically possible: Olmert could not occupy Lebanon, change its government, or carpet-bomb it. Military misdoings during the war were the Defense Minister’s and Chief of Staff’s fault, not prime minister’s.
Olmert quietly and courageously ordered attack on Syria, and did not use the operation for self-promotion as every other politician would have done.

Olmert firmly opposed irresponsible calls to invade Gaza, an operation certain to engage Israeli army in massive urban conflict with no chances of eradicating deep-rooted Hamas.

Despite the tremendous American pressure, Olmert did not dismantle any settlement or significant outpost. Under his leadership, settlements were enlarged and the number of outposts grew manifold.
Olmert presided over a robust economy.

He was a politician par excellence, intrigued and manipulated, gave promises to our enemies not meaning to fulfill them. He soothed Syria with peace negotiations after bombing it, and maintained perfect relations with the American administration even though refusing all of its demands de facto.
All the corruption allegations against him bore no charges, let alone convictions. His alleged financial misdoings were trivial and did not harm the country. Olmert had for long survived an incredible witch-hunt by some of the most corrupt Israeli politicians, including Barak. Stupid right-wingers and Jew-hating leftists joined forces against him, and misused police to that end.

Those who hunted down Olmert bear responsibility for bringing Livni or Mofaz to power.
Notable excerps from Olmert’s resignation speech are here.
Recent articles on Ehud Olmert: Olmert isn’t worse, Others are worse.

The private character of John McCain

From Jerusalem Post: click to read