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A light in the darkness

May 21, 2020

Blue-Eyed Baby Elephant Is So Brave And Sweet | The Dodo Wild Hearts

Joe Biden: Israel’s Fake ‘Friend’

April 19, 2020

A long destructive track record of undermining Israeli security. Mon Mar 16, 2020 John Perazzo

Joe Biden is not a friend of Israel. He never has been. In fact, if elected POTUS he would take U.S-Israel relations back to the horror of the Obama years. A time when the U.S publicly vilified Israel. A time when the U.S undermined Israel’s security at the UN. A time when the U.S embraced Israel-haters such as  Morsi and Erdogan. A time when the U.S emboldened the genocidal mullah’s in Iran, and a time when the U.S coddled the neo-Nazi Palestinian Authority. Sadly the vast majority of Jewish Americans will still vote for Joe Biden over the pro-Jewish and pro-Israel Donald Trump in November. It’s a disgrace. #Jexodus.

Joe Biden: Israel’s Fake ‘Friend’

By FrontPage Magazine, March 16, 2020:

Joe Biden has made a habit of describing himself as a loyal, stalwart friend and ally of Israel. At a campaign stop earlier this month, for instance, he declared: “I’m so proud of the Obama-Biden administration’s unprecedented support for Israel’s security.” But a careful examination of Biden’s track record reveals his long and extremely troubling history of undermining Israel’s security and public image. Some lowlights:

1982: Biden’s Angry Exchange with Menachem Begin

At a Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting on June 22, 1982, an animated Senator Biden, banging the desk in front of him with his fist, warned then-Prime Minister Menachem Begin that if Israel did not stop establishing new Jewish settlements in the West Bank,[1] U.S. aid to that country might be cut off.

Begin responded forcefully:

Don’t threaten us with cutting off your aid. It will not work. I am not a Jew with trembling knees. I am a proud Jew with 3,700 years of civilized history. Nobody came to our aid when we were dying in the gas chambers and ovens. Nobody came to our aid when we were striving to create our country. We paid for it. We fought for it. We died for it. We will stand by our principles. We will defend them. And, when necessary, we will die for them again, with or without your aid.

And with regard to Biden’s theatrical furniture-banging, Begin said:

This desk is designed for writing, not for fists. Don’t threaten us with slashing aid. Do you think that because the U.S. lends us money it is entitled to impose on us what we must do? We are grateful for the assistance we have received, but we are not to be threatened. I am a proud Jew. Three thousand years of culture are behind me, and you will not frighten me with threats. Take note: we do not want a single soldier of yours to die for us.

1995-2020: Biden’s Stance on the Relocation of the U.S. Embassy in Israel

Biden voted for the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, which recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and required the U.S. president to relocate the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, though the law allowed the president to waive the move every six months if he believed that a delay would further the interests of national security.

When he ran for vice president with Barack Obama in 2008, Biden said: “I think we should move the embassy, but you don’t have a [Israeli] government asking us to move the embassy there. Let them make the judgment.”

Throughout the eight years that followed, the Obama-Biden administration never even hinted that it might contemplate relocating the U.S. embassy. Indeed, the administration refused even to affirm that Jerusalem was Israel’s capital. For example, in March 2012, an Obama-Biden State Department spokeswoman, Victoria Nuland, told a gathering of journalists: “With regard to our Jerusalem policy, it’s a permanent-status issue. It’s got to be resolved through the negotiations between the parties…. We are not going to prejudge the outcome of those negotiations, including the final status of Jerusalem….. [O]ur embassy, as you know, is located in Tel Aviv.”

When Donald Trump announced in December 2017 that he not only recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital but also planned to move the embassy to that city, Biden remained silent. Nor did he issue a statement when the embassy was actually physically relocated in May 2018. More recently, in a November 2019 interview with PBS, Biden was asked if he, as president, would reverse Trump’s move. He replied: “Not now. I wouldn’t reverse it. I wouldn’t have done it in the first place.”

2009-2017: The Obama-Biden Administration’s Strained Relationship with Israel

No American presidential administration ever had so strained a relationship with Israel as did Obama-Biden. As Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren said in 2010, “Israel’s ties with the United States are in their worst crisis since 1975 … a crisis of historic proportions.” Author and scholar Dennis Prager concurred, “Most observers, right or left, pro-Israel or anti-Israel, would agree that Israeli-American relations are the worst they have been in memory.” In the spring of 2011, David Parsons, spokesman for the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, lamented that the “traditional, special relationship between America and Israel” was being thrown “out the window in a sense.” And in October 2012, Israeli lawmaker Danny Danon, chairman of Likud’s international outreach branch, said that the Obama administration’s policies vis-a-vis Israel had been “catastrophic.”

2010: The Obama-Biden Administration Criticizes Israeli Settlements:

While Vice President Biden was visiting Israel in March 2010, a Jerusalem municipal office announced plans to build some 1,600 housing units for Jews in a section of that city. In response, Biden told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that this development “endangers regional peace” in the Middle East. In a separate statement, Biden added, “I condemn the decision by the government of Israel to advance planning for new housing units in East Jerusalem,” calling it “precisely the kind of step that undermines the trust we need right now” for constructive peace talks.

Ten days later, Netanyahu traveled to Washington in an effort to put the U.S.-Israel relationship back on more solid footing, but as the Wall Street Journal reported, the prime minister “was snubbed at a White House meeting with President Obama — no photo op, no joint statement, and he was sent out through a side door.” Washington Post columnist and Middle East expert Jackson Diehl wrote that “Netanyahu is being treated as if he were an unsavory Third World dictator.” And ambassador Michael Oren called Israel’s rift with America “the worst with the U.S. in 35 years.”

2010-2015: The Obama-Biden Administration’s Repeated Leaks to the Press About Israel

In 2010, the Obama-Biden administration – determined to do everything in its power to turn public opinion against a possible Israeli military strike targeting Iranian nuclear facilities – leaked information about a covert deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia, whereby the Saudis had agreed that they would allow Israel to use their airspace in order to wage an attack against Iran and its nuclear facilities.

On March 22, 2012, the Obama-Biden administration leaked to The New York Times the results of a classified war game which predicted that an Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities could lead to a wider regional war and result in hundreds of American deaths. Institute for National Security Studies analyst Yoel Guzansky interpreted the motives behind the Obama-Biden leaks as follows: “It seems like a big campaign to prevent Israel from attacking. I think the [Obama-Biden] administration is really worried Jerusalem will attack and attack soon. They’re trying hard to prevent it in so many ways.” In a May 29, 2012 column in the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, longtime defense commentator Ron Ben-Yishai noted that the leaks would “make it more difficult for Israeli decision-makers to order the IDF [Israeli Defense Forces] to carry out a strike, and what’s even graver, [would] erode the IDF’s capacity to launch such strike with minimal casualties.”

On April 8, 2012, the New Yorker reported that according to information leaked by the Obama-Biden administration, the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad was helping to fund and train the Iranian opposition group Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK). This revelation was intended to portray Israel as being unwilling to negotiate in good faith with the government in Tehran, and to thereby undermine any moral authority that Israel might claim in the event of a future military strike against Iran.

In early May 2013, two Obama-Biden administration officials leaked classified information to the media indicating that Israel was behind a May 3rd airstrike against a shipment of advanced surface-to-surface missiles at the airport in Damascus, Syria. Israeli security analysts said that the leak could not only endanger any Israeli agents who were still on the ground in Syria, but could also increase the likelihood that Syrian President Bashar Assad would retaliate against the Jewish state. Again, the purpose of the leak was to paint Israel as an unnecessarily aggressive, bellicose nation.

For similar purposes, in early November 2013 an Obama-Biden administration official leaked to CNN the fact that Israeli warplanes had attacked a Syrian base in the port of Latakia. The planes were specifically targeting Russian-made SA-8 Gecko Dgreen mobile missiles, so as to prevent their delivery to the terrorist organization Hezbollah. Israeli officials called the leak “scandalous” and “unthinkable.”

In January 2015, the Obama-Biden administration — which opposed the notion of imposing any new economic sanctions against the Iranian regime — leaked information indicating that an unnamed Mossad official had recently acknowledged that the enactment of such sanctions would be akin to “throwing a grenade into the [nuclear negotiation] process.” The leak’s implication was that the Mossad official was privately opposed to sanctions. But approximately 12 hours later, that official – Mossad leader Tamir Pardo – stepped forth and, by means of a written statement issued by his office, clarified exactly what he had said and meant:

Contrary to what has been reported, the head of the Mossad did not say that he opposes imposing additional sanctions on Iran…. Regarding the reported reference to ‘throwing a grenade,’ the head of the Mossad did not use this expression regarding the imposition of sanctions, which he believes to be the sticks necessary for reaching a good deal with Iran. He used this expression as a metaphor to describe the possibility of creating a temporary crisis in the negotiations, at the end of which talks would resume under improved conditions.

2013: The Obama-Biden Administration’s Secret Negotiations with Iran

In early November 2013, it was reported that the Obama-Biden administration had begun softening U.S. sanctions against Iran (vis-a -vis the latter’s nuclear program) soon after the election, five months earlier, of that country’s new president, Hassan Rouhani. This move set the stage, in turn, for the United States — in conjunction with Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany — to propose a short-term “first step agreement” with Iran at a November meeting in Geneva. The deal, which sought to freeze Iran’s nuclear program for approximately six months in order to create an opportunity for a more comprehensive and lasting bargain to be negotiated later, required Iran to stop enriching uranium to a weapons-grade level, to refrain for six months from activating its plutonium reactor at Arak, and to stop using its most advanced and powerful centrifuges“In return,” said the London Telegraph, “America would ease economic sanctions, possibly by releasing some Iranian foreign exchange reserves currently held in frozen accounts. In addition, some restrictions affecting Iran’s petrochemical, motor and precious metals industries could be relaxed.”

On November 8, 2013, the Israeli government, which the Obama-Biden administration had not informed of the negotiations, was stunned to learn of the secret talks with Iran. News of the agreement led to the canceling of a joint media appearance between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. One Israeli official was quoted saying that “the Iranians are leading the Americans by the nose.”

Netanyahu, outraged at the prospect of this agreement, said that the Iranians “got everything … they wanted” – most notably “relief from sanctions after years of a grueling sanctions regime” – “and paid nothing.” “It’s the deal of a century for Iran,” Natanyahu added, “it’s a very dangerous and bad deal for peace and the international community.”

Eventually, this 2013 agreement would evolve into the famous Iran Nuclear Deal of 2015 – officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – where the Obama-Biden administration joined the governments of Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany in signing an accord with Iran.

2014: The Obama-Biden Administration Threatens to Shoot Down Israeli Fighter Jets

In 2014, not long after Israel had discovered that the U.S. and Iran had been involved in the aforementioned secret negotiations regarding Iran’s nuclear program, the Netanyahu government prepared a military operation designed to destroy that program. The Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida reported that when an unnamed Israeli minister revealed the attack plan to Secretary of State John Kerry, President Obama threatened to shoot down the Israeli jets before they could get within striking distance of their targets in Iran.

2014: The Obama-Biden Administration Tells Israel to Stop Assassinating Iranian Nuclear Scientists

On March 3, 2014, the Associated Press reported that the Obama-Biden administration had told Israeli authorities to stop their targeted killings of Iranian nuclear scientists. According to AP: “Israel’s Mossad spy agency has supposedly taken out [mostly with car bombs] at least five top Iranian nuclear experts in an attempt to slow the country’s nuclear program … An unidentified U.S. official disclosed the program to CBS while claiming [that] the … administration is leaning on its Middle Eastern ally to stop the targeted killings and wait for the current deal to disarm to play out.”

2015: The Obama-Biden Administration Is Enraged by Netanyahu’s Acceptance of John Boehner’s Invitation to Address Congress

On January 21, 2015, Republican House Speaker John Boehner invited Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, who was strongly oposed to the emerging U.S. agreement with Iran regarding the latter’s nuclear program, to speak (on March 3) to a joint session of Congress about the security threat posed by Iran. In response to Boehner’s action, an outraged Obama-Biden administration accused the House Speaker of having violated “protocol” by extending the invitation on his own initiative instead of asking the executive branch to extend an invitation.

When it was subsequently announced that Obama would not be meeting personally with Netanyahu during the latter’s March 3rd visit, the president offered this explanation: “We don’t meet with any world leader two weeks before their election. I think that’s inappropriate.” “As a matter of long-standing practice and principle,” added White House officials, “we do not see heads of state or candidates in close proximity to their elections,” so as to “avoid the appearance of influencing a democratic election in a foreign country.”

The Obama-Biden administration also urged members of the Congressional Black Caucus to boycott Netanyahu’s speech, and to speak out against it publicly as well. Vice President Joe Biden, for his part, vowed to skip the speech.

In early February 2015, it was learned that the Obama-Biden White House’s tale of having been blindsided by Boehner and Netanyahu was a lie. This was made evident by a correction added to a New York Times article that stated: “Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel accepted Speaker John A. Boehner’s invitation to address Congress. He accepted after the [Obama-Biden] administration had been informed of the invitation, not before.”

Also in February 2015, it was learned that the Obama-Biden administration’s claim that its decision not to meet with Netanyahu in Washington was based on a desire to avoid “inappropriate[ly]” influencing the upcoming Israeli election, was also a lie. This was evidenced by the fact that during the weekend of February 7-8, Vice President Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Munich, Germany to meet with Israeli Labor leader Isaac Herzog, Netanyahu’s opponent in the election.

2015: Declassification of a Document Revealing Israel’s Nuclear Program

In early February 2015, – when the Obama-Biden administration was enraged by the recent announcement that Prime Minister Netanyahu would soon be addressing a joint session of the U.S. Congress regarding Iran’s nuclear program — the Pentagon quietly declassified a top-secret, 386-page Defense Department document from 1987 containing extensive details of Israel’s nuclear program. The document was entitled “Critical Technological Assessment in Israel and NATO Nations.” As the Israel National News (INN) explained, the Jewish state’s nuclear program was “a highly covert topic that Israel has never formally announced [so as] to avoid a regional nuclear arms race, and which the U.S. until now has respected by remaining silent [about it].” Added INN: “[A] highly suspicious aspect of the document is that while the Pentagon saw fit to declassify sections on Israel’s sensitive nuclear program, it kept sections on Italy, France, West Germany and other NATO countries classified, with those sections blocked out in the document.”

2015-2018: Biden & The Iran Nuclear Deal

On July 14, 2015, the Obama-Biden administration – along with the leaders of Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany – together finalized a nuclear agreement with Iran. The key elements of the deal were as follows:

  • Iran would be permitted to keep some 5,060 centrifuges, one-third of which would continue to spin in perpetuity.
  • Iran would receive $150 billion in sanctions relief – “some portion” of which, according to Obama-Biden National Security Adviser Susan Rice, “we should expect … would go to the Iranian military and could potentially be used for the kinds of bad behavior that we have seen in the region up until now.”
  • Russia and China  would be permitted to continue to supply Iran with weapons.
  • Iran would have the discretion to block international inspectors from military installations and would be given 14 days’ notice for any request to visit any site.
  • Only inspectors from countries possessing diplomatic relations with Iran would be given access to Iranian nuclear sites; thus there would be no American inspectors.
  • The embargo on the sale of weapons to Iran would be officially lifted in 5 years.
  • Iran’s intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) program would remain intact and unaffected; indeed it was never even discussed as an issue in the negotiations.
  • The heavy water reactor in Arak and the underground nuclear facility in Fordo would remain open, violating the “red lines” that Obama had repeatedly cited.
  • Iran would not be required to disclose information about its past nuclear research and development.
  • The U.S. would provide technical assistance to help Iran develop its nuclear program, supposedly for peaceful domestic purposes.
  • Sanctions would lifted on critical parts of Iran’s military, including a previously existing travel ban against Qasem Suleimani, leader of the terrorist Quds force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
  • Iran would not be required to release American prisoners like Iranian-American Christian missionary Saeed Abedini, Iranian-American Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, or U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati.
  • The U.S. and its five negotiating partner nations would provide Iranian nuclear leaders with training courses and workshops designed to strengthen their ability to prevent and respond to threats to their nuclear facilities and systems.
  • Iran would not be required to renounce terrorism against the United States, as the Obama-Biden administration deemed such an expectation to be “unrealistic.”
  • Iran would not be required to affirm its “clear and unambiguous … recognition of Israel’s right to exist” – a requirement that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had pleaded for. As Obama-Biden State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said, “This is an agreement that is only about the nuclear issue … [and] doesn’t deal with any other issues, nor should it.” Similarly, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said “we do not see a need that both sides recognize this position [accepting Israel’s right to exist] as part of the final agreement.”
  • Whatever restrictions were placed on Iran’s nuclear program, would begin to expire – due to so-called “sunset clauses” – at various times over the ensuing 5 to 26 years. Specifically: the ban on Iranian arms exports would expire in 2020; the ban on Iran’s manufacture of advanced centrifuges would begin to expire in 2023; unilateral or multilateral nuclear sanctions against Iran would become extremely difficult to re-impose after 2023; the cap of 5,060 IR-1 centrifuges at Iran’s Natanz facility would expire in 2026; and restrictions on the number and types of centrifuges and enrichment facilities operated by Iran, would expire in 2031.

Joe Biden took on the role of being the administration’s leading public promoter of the Iran deal. He casually dismissed the concerns of critics – most notably Netanyahu – who warned that the sunset clauses for key parts of the agreement would “pave Iran’s path to a bomb.” Those people, Biden said, simply “don’t get it, they’re wrong.”

2017-2020: Biden Opposes Trump’s Withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Deal

After President Trump decided to pull America out of the Iran nuclear deal, Biden characterized Trump’s strategy as “a self-inflicted disaster” that would make “military conflict” and “another war in the Middle East” much “more likely.”

During a January 2020 presidential campaign event, Biden called on Trump to rejoin the Iran agreement. “The seeds of danger were planted by Donald Trump himself on May 8, 2019 — the day he tore up the Iran Nuclear Deal,” said Biden, forgetting that the date on which the U.S. withdrew from the agreement was actually May 8, 2018. Biden added that Trump had “turned his back on our closest European allies” by selfishly “decid[ing] that it was important to destroy any progress that the Obama-Biden administration did.”

2015: The Obama-Biden Administration Criticizes Netanyahu for Seeming to Abandon Support for a Two-State Solution

The Obama-Biden administration was angered in March 2015 when Israeili Prime Minister Netanyahu, late in his re-election campaign, told the Israeli news outlet Maariv that he would not allow the creation of a Palestinian state on his watch — a position which Obama-Biden viewed as a shift away from Netanyahu’s previous assertion (in 2009) that his “vision of peace” included “two free peoples” — i.e., Israelis and Palestinians — living in separate, independent, adjacent states. Responding to Netanyahu, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said: “The prime minister’s recent statements call into question his commitment to a two-state solution. We’re not going to prejudge what we would do if there was a U.N. action” — implying that Obama-Biden might depart from America’s customary practice of vetoing United Nations Security Council resolutions opposed by Israel.

Netanyahu subsequently clarified that he remained open to a two-state solution, but only if “the Palestinian leadership [would agree] to abandon their pact with Hamas and engage in genuine negotiations with Israel.” Notwithstanding the prime minister’s clarification, White House spokesman Josh Earnest stated that “[w]ords matter” and that there could be “consequences” for Netanyahu’s initial remarks in this instance.

2016: Biden Publicly Ridicules Israel After a Terrorist Bombing Wounds 21 Jews

Just a few hours after an April 18, 2016 terrorist bus bombing in Jerusalem had wounded at least 21 people, Vice President Biden delivered a speech to the Israel advocacy group J Street, an organization that traces the Mideast conflict chiefly to the notion that “Israel’s settlements in the occupied territories have, for [many] years, been an obstacle to peace.” In the course of his talk, Biden said: “I firmly believe that the actions that Israel’s government has taken over the past several years — the steady and systematic expansion of settlements, the legalization of outposts, land seizures — they’re moving us, and, more importantly, they’re moving Israel in the wrong direction.” “The present course Israel’s on is not one that’s likely to secure its existence as a Jewish, democratic state,” Biden added. Conversely, he singled out for praise a young left-wing member of Israel’s parliament, Stav Shaffir, who was a harsh critic of Benjamin Netanyahu: “May your views begin to once again become the majority opinion in the Knesset,” Biden said to Shaffir.

2016: The Obama-Biden Administration Urges Israel to Exercise “Restraint” in the Wake of Palestinian Terror Attack

In the immediate aftermath of a June 7, 2016 terrorist attack in which two Palestinian gunmen had shot nine Israelis (killing four) in a Tel Aviv shopping complex, the Obama-Biden State Department cautioned the Israeli government to “exercise restraint” in carrying out its vow to increase security control over the West Bank and its residents.

2016: The Obama-Biden Administration Again Condemns Israeli Settlements

In the summer of 2016, the Obama-Biden administration renewed its attacks against Israeli settlements.  In what journalist and scholar Caroline Glick characterized as a “shockingly hostile assault” against Israel, the State Department issued the following statement:

We are deeply concerned by reports today that the government of Israel has published tenders for 323 units in East Jerusalem settlements. This follows Monday’s announcement of plans for 770 units in the settlement of Gilo. We strongly oppose settlement activity, which is corrosive to the cause of peace. These steps by Israeli authorities are the latest examples of what appears to be a steady acceleration of settlement activity that is systematically undermining the prospects for a two-state solution…. We are also concerned about recent increased demolitions of Palestinian structures in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which reportedly have left dozens of Palestinians homeless, including children…. This is part of an ongoing process of land seizures, settlement expansion, legalizations of outposts, and denial of Palestinian development that risk entrenching a one-state reality of perpetual occupation and conflict. We remain troubled that Israel continues this pattern of provocative and counter-productive action, which raises serious questions about Israel’s ultimate commitment to a peaceful, negotiated settlement with the Palestinians.

2016: The Obama-Biden Administration Abstains on U.N. Vote Regarding Israeli Settlements

On December 24, 2016, the Obama-Biden administration – in a major departure from traditional U.S. policy – abstained from voting on a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning the existence and construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The resolution also declared that all of eastern Jerusalem – including Judaism’s most sacred site, the Temple Mount – was “Palestinian territory” that was being illegally “occupied” by Israel in “a flagrant violation under international law.” The Obama-Biden abstention allowed this resolution to pass, prompting Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to condemn the administration’s “shameful betrayal.” “From the information that we have,” Netanyahu added, “we have no doubt that the Obama administration initiated [the abstention], stood behind it, coordinated on the wording, and demanded that it be passed.”

2019: Biden Draws a Moral Equivalence Between Israel & the Palestinians

During his current presidential campaign, Biden, drawing a moral equivalence between the Israelis and the Palestinians, has stated that “neither the Israeli nor Palestinian leadership seems willing to take the political risks necessary to make progress through direct negotiations.”

2019: Biden Reaches Out to J Street

In November 2019, Biden sent a video message conveying his support and friendship to a conference of the aforementioned organization J Street. One of the featured speakers at this conference was Osama Qawasma, a spokesman for the terrorist Fatah organization created by the late Yasser Arafat, mass murderer of Jews. Qawasma is also a member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council; an advisor to the Palestinian Authority’s current anti-Semitic president, Mahmoud Abbas; and an opponent of “the American-Israeli attempts to denounce Hamas as terrorist.”

Another Islamic extremist who spoke at the J Street conference which Biden saluted was Saeb Erekat, Secretary-General of the PLO Executive Committee, who has openly defended Hamas and the funding of Islamic terrorists.

2019-2020: Biden Demands a Two-State Solution and Condemns the Israeli “Occupation”

Biden today maintains that “there’s no answer” to the Arab-Israeli conflict other than “a two-state solution,” adding that “I think the [Israeli] settlements are unnecessary.” Asked if he considers the “occupation” to be “a human rights crisis,” Biden replies, “I think occupation is a real problem, a significant problem.” He reaffirms that “I will insist on Israel, which I’ve done, to stop the occupation of those territories, period.”

Happy Passover! Chag Pesach Sameach

April 8, 2020

HAMAS LEADER: “If Gazans start dying from the China Virus because we run out of ventilators, we will make sure that six million Israelis are unable to breathe”

April 4, 2020

https://barenakedislam.com/

NETANYAHU: WE WILL HAVE NO CHOICE BUT START MILITARY CAMPAIGN IN GAZA

September 12, 2019

On tarmac before heading to Russia PM said the goal of trip is to maintain Israeli freedom of action in Syria

BY ROSSELLA TERCATIN, ANNA AHRONHEIM  SEPTEMBER 12, 2019 14:17 3 minute read.  

Netanyahu: We will have no choice but start military campaign in Gaza

IDF tanks gather near the Gaza border. (photo credit: KOBI RICHTER/TPS)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Thursday that Israel may have no choice but to embark on a military operation in Gaza to overthrow Hamas.

“It looks like there will be no other choice but to embark on a wide scale campaign in Gaza,” Netanyahu said in an interview with Kan Reshet Bet Radio shortly before he boarded a flight to Moscow where he is expected to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.“There probably won’t be a choice but to topple the Hamas regime. Hamas doesn’t exert its sovereignty in the Strip and doesn’t prevent attacks,” he said. “We have a situation in which a terror group that launches rockets has taken over, and doesn’t rein in rogue factions even when it wants to.”

Netanyahu’s comments also came two days after a campaign rally in the southern city of Ashdod was interrupted by incoming rocket sirens after rockets were fired from the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

The prime minister said he wasn’t fazed by the rocket alert sirens when he was taken to safety by his security guards and that it was “absurd” if he remained on stage.

“I was calm and collected, I spoke quietly to the people in the audience and told them to evacuate,” Netanyahu said. “I wouldn’t stand there like some kind of macho, telling everyone to stand still with me so we can all get hit by a missile. I acted in accordance with the Shin Bet protocol, that’s what you should do in these situations … anyone who tells you otherwise is being irresponsible,”

In the interview, Netanyahu criticized his own ministers who have been calling for the IDF to attack Hamas.

“Stop agitating for an operation in Gaza,” Netanyahu said. “There will be an operation but I will not embark on it a moment before we are ready. I don’t base my policy on tweets.”

Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigor Liberman tweeted in response to Netanyahu’s comments, saying that  “Bibi will go to an operation in Gaza after he annexes the Jordan Valley and Elkana, and he will do all of this only after his next meeting with Boris Yeltsin, of blessed memory.”

Liberman’s tweet referred to Netanyahu calling Britain’s prime minister Boris Yeltsin in Sunday’s cabinet meeting.

On the tarmac before boarding the plane to Moscow Netanyahu said that the goal of his trip to Russia is to maintain Israel freedom of action in Syria.

“This is a very important trip. We are currently operating in several arenas, at 360 degrees, to ensure Israel’s security, in the face of attempts by Iran and its proxies to attack us,” he said.

“This trip aims to continue this important coordination that prevents our collision with the Russian forces,” Netanyahu said, adding that the ultimate goal in Syria is to force Iran out of Syria, a goal that “is far from being achieved.”

Emphasizing the importance of the operations in Syria and highlighting how crucial the coordination with Russia is in this perspective, the prime minister said it “is important for us to continue to maintain the IDF and IAF’s freedom of action against Iranian, Hezbollah and other terrorist targets.”

Speaking to Russian media ahead of his visit, Netanyahu said that through talks between him and Putin “we were able to avert a near-unavoidable crash between the Russian Air Force and our own forces during an operation in Syria.”

When asked about the relationship between Tehran and Moscow, he claimed “I don’t think Russia and Iran are getting closer, quite the opposite in fact, I see many situations in which [Russians] and Iranians have different interests.”

On Wednesday, Moscow condemned Netanyahu’s intention to annex the Jordan Valley if he wins next week’s election, warning that this could lead to an “escalation” in the region.

The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying that Moscow believes implementation of the plan “could lead to a sharp escalation of tension in the region and undermine hopes for the establishment of a long-awaited peace between Israel and the Arab neighbors.”

Trump Says He Has Fired John Bolton as National Security Advisor

September 10, 2019

JOSHUA CAPLAN10 Sep 20196,1722:45

President Donald Trump announced Tuesday that he has terminated National Security Advisor John Bolton from his position, citing strong disagreement on “many of his suggestions” regarding foreign policy.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

“I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House. I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration, and therefore I asked John for his resignation, which was given to me this morning. I thank John very much for his service,” the president wrote in a pair of tweets.

President Trump revealed he will name Bolton’s successor “next week.”

Shortly after President Trump’s announcement, Bolton tweeted that he offered his resignation Monday evening, to which the outgoing White House official said the president replied: “Let’s talk about it tomorrow.”

Charles Kupperman, who serves as Deputy National Security Advisor, will take over as Bolton’s acting replacement, Bloomberg News reports, citing an unnamed White House official.

Libertarian-leaning Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) praised President Trump following the news of Bolton’s ouster, tweeting: “I commend @realDonaldTrump for this necessary action. The President has great instincts on foreign policy and ending our endless wars. He should be served by those who share those views.”

The president’s announcement came roughly two hours prior to a White House press briefing slated to feature Bolton, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

News of Bolton’s departure follows reports that he and Vice President Mike Pence opposed plans for the president to hold peace talks at Camp David with the Taliban regarding the U.S. withdrawing troops from Afghanistan. The president has denied there were disagreements between himself and others in the White House.

Bolton’s championed hawkish foreign policy views dating back to the Reagan administration and became a household name over his vociferous support for the Iraq War as the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. under George W. Bush.

Since joining the administration in the spring of last year, Bolton has espoused skepticism about the president’s whirlwind rapprochement with North Korea and has advocated against President Trump’s decision last year to pull U.S. troops out of Syria. He masterminded a quiet campaign inside the administration and with allies abroad to persuade President Trump to keep U.S. forces in Syria to counter the remnants of the Islamic State and Iranian influence in the region.

Bolton was appointed President Trump’s third national security advisor in April 2018. He succeeded Army Gen. H.R. McMaster.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

How Despots Interpret Deals with the West

September 6, 2019

by Bassam Tawil
September 6, 2019 at 5:00 am

https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/14805/despots-deals

  • The European Union wants the world to welcome Iran back into the international community because as far as the Europeans are concerned, it appears that the stronger Iran is, the better: a renewed Iran would further Europe’s hope of seeing Israel and the Jews wiped off the face of the earth. Heard just a few months ago were calls such as, “send Jews to the ovens,” “Hitler didn’t finish the job,” and “kill the Jews.”
  • The Trump administration has created the impression in the Arab and Muslim world that it is ready to beg the leaders of Iran to engage in direct negotiations with Washington. This approach is exceptionally harmful to US interests: it sends a message to many Arabs and Muslims that Americans are prepared to surrender again and humiliate themselves for the sake of any kind of deal with the Iranians. As Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said last month, America should “bow down” to Iran. Seems it is.
  • Advice to the Trump administration is: Stay strong. As Osama bin Laden correctly observed, “When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature, they will like the strong horse.”
  • Strength and more strength is the only way to earn the respect of those running the show in Beijing, Kabul, Moscow, Pyongyang, and especially in Tehran, Gaza and Beirut.
US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper was quoted as saying on August 28 that the US is “not seeking conflict with Iran.” During the Pentagon press briefing, Esper repeated Trump’s calls for diplomatic efforts with Iran. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The European Union says it will support talks between the US and Iran, but only if the current nuclear deal with Tehran is preserved.

The idea of direct talks between the US and Iran seems to have developed after President Donald Trump recently said he was ready to meet Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani.

“We are always in favor of talks, the more people talk, the more people understand each other better, on the basis of clarity and on the basis of respect,” EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini said last month.

The EU wants the world to welcome Iran back into the international community because — this might sound harsh, but it is increasingly hard not to believe it — they are hoping that the leaders of Tehran will focus their efforts on achieving their goal of annihilating Israel. As far as the Europeans are concerned, it appears that the stronger Iran is, the better: a renewed Iran would further Europe’s hope of seeing Israel and the Jews wiped off the face of the earth. Heard just a few months ago were calls such as, “send Jews to the ovens,” “Hitler didn’t finish the job,” and “kill the Jews.”

US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper was quoted as saying on August 28 that the US is “not seeking conflict with Iran.” During the Pentagon press briefing, Esper repeated Trump’s calls for diplomatic efforts with Iran. “You saw over the weekend some reporting. The president once again said that he’s more than willing to meet with Iran’s leaders to resolve this… diplomatically.”

The Trump administration’s gestures towards Iran, however, do not appear to have impressed the leaders of the Islamic Republic. In fact, Arabs and Muslims have a habit of misinterpreting gestures from Westerners as a sign of weakness and retreat. In addition, such gestures have historically whetted the appetite of Arabs and Muslims, leading to demands for yet more concessions.

The Trump administration has created the impression in the Arab and Muslim world that it is ready to beg the leaders of Iran to engage in direct negotiations with Washington. This approach is exceptionally harmful to US interests: it sends a message to many Arabs and Muslims that Americans are prepared to surrender again and humiliate themselves for the sake of any kind of deal with the Iranians. As Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said last month, America should “bow down” to Iran. Seems it is.

In the eyes of many Arabs and Muslims, the US now appears to be courting the Iranian regime despite Tehran’s increased support for terrorism, particularly in the Middle East. These Arabs and Muslims are even convinced that it is only a matter of time before the Trump administration comes knocking on Iran’s door, begging for a meeting between Trump and Rouhani.

The Iranians are already making it appear as if they are the ones who need to consider whether or not to meet with the Trump administration. This policy is designed to send the following message to Arabs and Muslims: “See how these pathetic Westerners have come to us, begging? See how they have zero self-respect?”

Echoing this approach, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said last month:

“It won’t be possible for us to engage with US unless they stop imposing a war, engaging in economic terrorism… If they want to come back to the [negotiating] room, there is a ticket, and that ticket is to observe the agreement.”

Zarif was referring to the 2015 nuclear deal, also known as the JCPOA, but never signed by Iran and never submitted to the US Senate to make it a binding treaty.

Zarif is saying, in other words, that Iran has its own pre-conditions for talking with the Trump administration. Statements like these are aimed at making Iran appear to Arabs and Muslims as a country that can afford openly to challenge — and even degrade — the US.

For now, the Iranians appear as if they have the upper hand and final say in the crisis with the US. This bearing further emboldens Tehran’s leaders and proxies throughout the Middle East, especially Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip and the Houthi Shia militias in Yemen.

The Trump administration, rather than avoiding the telephone calls of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, would do well to learn from Israel’s experience when it comes to offering gestures and making territorial and political concessions: that striking deals with Arab and Islamic regimes and organizations, such as Iran and the Palestinian Authority — as well as the Taliban, China, North Korea and Russia, which all seem to think that honoring agreements is for other people — tends to come with a heavy price.

In 1993, Israel signed the Oslo Accord with the PLO — a move that allowed then PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and thousands of his “fighters” to move from Tunis to the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The Israelis were hoping back then that the Oslo Accords would lead to real peace and coexistence, with the Palestinians living under PLO rule. The Oslo Accords, nonetheless, have since proven to be a disaster for both Israelis and Palestinians. Why? As it later transpired, Arafat and the PLO never had any intention of implementing the agreements. Arafat, in fact, spoke of the Oslo Accord as a modern version of Mohammad’s Treaty of Hudaibiyyah, in which the prophet had promised not to attack a Jewish tribe for ten years, but instead came back in two years and wiped it out.

PLO official Faisal Husseini on two separate occasions in 2001 described Oslo as a “Trojan Horse” – presumably first to open Israel to Palestinian demands and then to destroy it.

In 2006, Palestinian journalist Abdel Al-Bari Atwan revealed in a television interview that Arafat had told him that he was planning to turn the Oslo Accords into a curse for Israel.

“When the Oslo Accords were signed, I went to visit [Arafat] in Tunis. It was around July, before he went to Gaza. I said to him: We disagree. I do not support this agreement. It will harm us, the Palestinians, distort our image, and uproot us from our Arab origins. This agreement will not get us what we want, because these Israelis are deceitful.

“He [Arafat] took me outside and told me: By Allah, I will drive them [the Jews] crazy. By Allah, I will turn this agreement into a curse for them. By Allah, perhaps not in my lifetime, but you will live to see the Israelis flee from Palestine. Have a little patience. I entrust this with you. Don’t mention this to anyone.”

When Arafat and the PLO realized at the 2000 Camp David summit that their plan had been uncovered, they launched a massive wave of terrorism, called “the Second Intifada,” against Israel. At that meeting, Arafat received the most generous offer to date from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak — but the Palestinian leader still said “no.”

Barak’s proposal, according to various sources, included the establishment of a demilitarized Palestinian state on approximately 92% of the West Bank and 100% of the Gaza Strip, with some territorial compensation for the Palestinians from land inside Israel; the dismantling of most of the settlements; and the establishment of the future Palestinian capital in large parts of east Jerusalem. (An offer in 2008 from then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, even more far-reaching, was rejected by the Palestinians without even a counter-offer.)

Israel had believed what the PLO and Yasser Arafat said, and ended up facing an unprecedented campaign of suicide bombings and different forms of terrorism that have claimed the lives of thousands of Israelis in the past 27 years.

In 2005, Israel again paid a heavy price for a move that was supposed to promote peace and stability in the Middle East: the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. Then, Israel withdrew to the 1949 armistice line bordering the Gaza Strip after evacuating more than 8,000 Jews from their homes in the Gaza Strip settlements. Israel’s gesture, however, was misinterpreted by many Palestinians as a sign of weakness and retreat. The way most Palestinians saw it was: “Wow, we have killed 1,000 Jews in four and a half years — and now the Jews run! What we need to do is step up our terrorism: today they are evacuating the Gaza Strip, tomorrow they will evacuate the cities of Ashkelon, then Ashdod, then Tel Aviv … and from there to the sea.”

So, the Palestinians continued to fire rockets from the Gaza Strip at Israel even after the Israeli pullout. They had evidently concluded that spilling more Jewish blood would force the Jews to make even greater concessions and lead eventually lead to the elimination of Israel.

Similarly, Israel has repeatedly paid a heavy price for other gestures, such as releasing convicted terrorists from prison or removing checkpoints. Virtually each time, the Palestinian response was mounting more terrorism and killing more Jews. Many Palestinians who were released by Israel in the past few decades have returned to terrorist activity. They clearly saw their release from prison as a sign of weakness, and not as a gesture of goodwill on the part of Israel. Their conclusion was: to get Israel to release more prisoners, kill more Jews.

Most of all, the Trump administration would be wise to learn from Israel’s bitter experience in dealing with Iran’s Palestinian proxies: Hamas and Islamic Jihad. How many ceasefire agreements has Israel reached with the Gaza-based terrorist groups in the past 15 years? Probably at least ten. What has happened since then? Most of the agreements were violated by Hamas and Islamic Jihad, sometimes within hours, days or weeks.

Israel has learned the hard way that agreements with terrorists and dictators (such as Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas) are not worth the paper they are written on — and usually simply serve to invite further violence.

The Trump administration, in its overtures towards the Iranian regime — and China, North Korea, Russia and the Taliban — could well be facing the same scenario. Advice to the Trump administration is: Stay strong. As Osama bin Laden correctly observed, “When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature, they will like the strong horse.”

Strength and more strength is the only way to earn the respect of those running the show in Beijing, Kabul, Moscow, Pyongyang, and especially Tehran, Gaza and Beirut.

Bassam Tawil is a Muslim Arab based in the Middle East.