Tag Archives: administration

Obama Snubs Israel – Again!

Obama snubs Israel by not inviting it to an international organization it naturally belongs to.

According to the MIPT (Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism) Terrorism Knowledge Base, which covers the period from 1968-2006, Israel suffered the fifth highest number of terror fatalities of any country over those years.

Calculated per capita, however (using today’s population figures), Israel moves into third place, having lost 19.2 lives per 100,000 people to terrorism over that period.

As a result of its frequent targeting by Palestinian terrorism, Israel is considered to be one country with vast experience in fighting terror.

 

On September 22, 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has launched the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) – an Obama-Administration initiative “to build the international architecture for dealing with 21st century terrorism… provide a unique platform for senior counterterrorism policymakers and experts from around the world to work together to identify urgent needs, devise solutions and mobilize resources for addressing key counterterrorism challenges.”

The Obama administration chose Turkey to co-chair the GCTF. Turkey’s Islamist-leaning government disputes that Hamas is a terrorist group.

Obama snubs Israel - Clinton, Davutoglu, GCTF
Hillary Clinton and Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu, co-chairing GCTF launch, September 22, 2011.

The Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) has been assembled by the United States as a multilateral counterterrorism body with 30 founding members (29 countries plus the EU) from around the world:

Algeria, Australia, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, Egypt, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Morocco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

But Obama snubs Israel, again – Israel was not included by the Obama administration as a member of the Global Counterterrorism Forum.

11 of the 29 GCTF state-members (Algeria, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates) are also members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), some of which are hostile towards Israel.  All subscribe to the OIC’s 1999 Convention on Combating Terrorism which states that “armed struggle against foreign occupation, aggression, colonialism, and hegemony, aimed at liberation and self-determination in accordance with the principles of international law shall not be considered a terrorist crime,” referring to, of course, Palestinian and Muslim terrorism targeting Israel.

A documentary film ‘Hear their Voices’, (produced by the Global Survivors Network) was screened at the launch of GCTF on September 22, 2011, featuring terrorism survivors from Jordan, Northern Ireland, Pakistan, India, Uganda, Turkey, Columbia, Spain, Northern Ireland, Indonesia and the United States.

Israeli terrorism survivors were not featured in that film.

In her opening remarks, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said – referring to the screened film – that “they were victims of al-Qaida and its affiliates, of other terrorist groups like the PKK, Lashkar e-Tayyiba, the FARC, just to name a few.”

She did not mention Hamas, Hezbollah, or any other Palestinian terror organization involved in terrorism against Israel.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton then added that “From London to Lahore, from Madrid to Mumbai, from Kabul to Kampala, it’s innocent civilians who have been targeted…”

Her lists of cities victim to terrorist attacks did not include Israeli cities affected by terrorism such as Jerusalem, Tel-Aviv or Sderot.

On June 7, 2012, the second meeting of the Coordinating Committee of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) opened in the Turkish city of Istanbul, with foreign ministers and senior representatives from the 30 founding countries in attendance.

Obama snubs Israel - GCTF, Istanbul
The 2nd meeting of the Coordinating Committee of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) in the Turkish city of Istanbul, June 7, 2012.
Addressing the GCTF event in Istanbul, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton mentioned the challenge of terrorism in Turkey, Mali, Somalia, Yemen, Nigeria, the Maghreb and Europe, referred obliquely to Pakistan and Afghanistan, and commented on terrorist kidnappings in Latin America and the Sahel.

Israel was not mentioned as a country subjected to terrorism, and was still kept out of the Global Counterterrorism Forum.

After the June 7th gathering in Instanbul, with Israel still conspicuously absent from the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), U.S. Senators Joseph Lieberman and Mark Kirk petitioned Clinton over Israel’s “wrongful omission”, expressing their disappointment with Israel’s exclusion from the inaugural meeting of the Global Counterterrorism Forum.

In the letter, Senators Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) told Clinton that “there are few countries in the world that have suffered more from terrorism than Israel, and few governments that have more experience combating this threat than that of Israel.”  “One of the stated missions of the GCTF is to ‘provide a needed venue for national [counterterrorism] officials and practitioners to meet with their counterparts from key countries in different regions to share [counterterrorism] experiences, expertise, strategies, capacity needs and capability-building programs.’ We strongly believe that Israel would both benefit from, and contribute enormously to, this kind of exchange,” Lieberman and Kirk wrote.

But Obama snubs Israel, again – Despite their pleas, the Obama administration is still excluding Israel from the counterterrorism forum and neglects to mention its long and deadly struggle with terrorism.

The 3rd GCTF gathering in Madrid, Spain, on July 9, 2012, was described as a “high-level conference on the victims of terrorism”.  Maria Otera, US Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights gave a speech titled “Victims of Terrorism”, noting terrorist attacks in Pakistan, Jordan, Northern Ireland, Uganda, Turkey, Indonesia, India, Spain, Columbia and the United States.

Again, Israel was not mentioned.

“Last September at the official launch of the Global Counterterrorism Forum” Maria Otera added, “I had the privilege to introduce the premiere of a film ‘Hear their Voices’, which tells the stories of eleven survivors of terrorist attacks from Pakistan, Jordan, Northern Ireland, Uganda, Turkey, Indonesia, India, Spain, Columbia, and the United States,” Otero said before the gathering of nations.

Again, Israeli terrorism survivors were not included in her roll-call of terrorist victims.

The State Department denied awareness of particular opposition of Israel’s involvement in the Forum by its members, and stonewalled reporters who inquired about the issue during its daily briefing.

“This is a conference about victims of terrorism. And I’m curious to know why [Otero] doesn’t mention Israel or Israelis in her comments talking about victims of terrorism,” asked AP reporter Matthew Lee on July 9, 2012. “Does the administration believe that Israel and Israelis specifically have been victims of terrorism?

“I don’t have the details of the Under Secretary’s speech”, responded Mr. Ventrell, a State Department spokesperson, who later promised to seek further details on the matter.

A day later he was unable to provide any details.

On July 12, 2012, Lee pitched the question again:

QUESTION: So I’m led to believe that you have an answer to my question about Israel and the Global Counterterrorism Cooperation Forum or whatever it’s called?

MR. VENTRELL: I do, Matt.

QUESTION: Yes?

MR. VENTRELL: We believe that Israel would make a valuable contribution to the Global Counterterrorism Forum. We have raised the issue of Israeli participation in relevant GCTF activities with a number of GCTF partners at very senior levels. We will continue to do so as we move forward. Our discussion with Israel concerning the GCTF – our discussions have focused on Israeli participation and relevant activities to allow Israel to share its counterterrorism expertise with CT practitioners from GCTF-member and other countries.

Still, to date, Israel has not been invited by the United States to join the Global Counterterrorism Forum.

Obama’s Growing List of Omitted Facts

In a speech on December 16, 2011 at the 71st general assembly of the Union for Reform Judaism, President Obama proudly mentioned a list of his administration’s actions in support of Israel as ‘facts’.

Some ‘facts’ he listed included…:

– “On my watch, the United States of America has led the way, from Durban to the United Nations, against attempts to use international forums to delegitimize Israel.”

– “In fact, I am proud to say that no U.S. administration has done more in support of Israel’s security than ours. None. Don’t let anybody else tell you otherwise. It is a fact.”

Obama's Speech at the Union for Reform Judaism
Here are some facts about the Obama Administration’s relations and support of Israel and handling of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – facts Obama has failed to mention in his speech:

Snubbing Netanyahu. On March 23, 2010, Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu visited President Obama in the White House.

Obama treated his guest to a series of slights. Photographs of the meeting were forbidden and an Israeli request to issue a joint-statement once it was over were turned down.

In the meeting, Obama has presented Netanyahu with a list of 13 demands designed both to the end the feud with his administration and to build Palestinian confidence ahead of the resumption of peace talks. When Netanyahu refused to heed to these demands – Obama had left the room to ‘have dinner with Michelle and the girls’ leaving Netanyahu and his aids all to themselves for over an hour in the Roosevelt Room.

As he left, Mr. Netanyahu was told to consider the ‘error of his ways’. “I’m still around,” Mr. Obama is quoted as having said. “Let me know if there is anything new.”

 

Panetta Reprimanding Israel.  It is well documented that it was the Palestinians who have walked out of direct peace negotiations with Israel back in October 2010.

PLO-confirms-Top
Speaking in Washington on December 2, 2011 at the Saban Conference, an annual forum sponsored by entertainment mogul Chaim Saban and the Brookings Institution, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta was asked: “Mr. Secretary, you made a strong statement about Israel’s responsibility to make peace. What steps should it [Israel] take now? Withdraw the Israeli army from Palestinian territories?” “No”, said Panetta, “Just get to the damn table!“.

 

 

Expressing Disdain for Netanyahu. The president of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, told President Obama that he could no longer bear Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, and went on to call Mr. Netanyahu a “liar” in a private conversation overheard by several French journalists in November 2011 at the Group of 20 summit meeting in Cannes. Obama repliedYou are fed up with him, but I have to deal with him even more often than you.”

 

Obama’s Ambassador Blames Israel for Anti-Semitism. On November 30, 2011, in his introduction to a gathering about anti-Semitism in Europe titled: “Conference on Fighting Anti-Semitism in Europe: What is Next?” U.S. ambassador to Belgium Mr. Howard Gutman, said that Muslim hatred for Jews stemming from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should not be construed as anti-Semitism.

 

Imposing a Peace Arrangement on Israel.  In his aforementioned speech on December 16, 2011 at the 71st general assembly of the Union for Reform Judaism, President Obama declared that “Peace can’t be imposed from the outside. Ultimately, it is the Israelis and the Palestinians who must reach agreement on the issues that divide them.”

Yet, in a different speech on May 19, 2001, Mr. Obama declared: “The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps…”

 

Insisting on Halt To Settlements as Pre-Condition to Peace Talks. In May 2009, after the first meeting in the White House between Obama and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, President Obama has declared: “Settlements have to be stopped in order for us to move forward“.

Palestinians, who until that point had never made a total settlement freeze – including in areas beyond the Green Line in Jerusalem – a condition for negotiations, heard Obama and pounced. If this was what the American president was saying, how could they ask for anything less?

 

Hillary Clinton Scolds Netanyahu; David Axelrod blisters Israel on East Jerusalem Settlement ‘Affront’ while the Palestinian Authority Names a Public Square in a Terrorist’s Honor. While Obama administration’s officials are busy condemning Israel‘s decision to build some housing units in its own capital, and while Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is busy scolding Prime Minister Netanyahu for 45 minutes over the phone, the Palestinian Authority dedicated a public square to the memory of a brutal murderer who in 1979 led the worst terrorist attack in Israel’s history, slaughtering 37 innocent civilians, including children, and the Obama administration is silent.

 

Breaking America’s Promise to Israel NOT to Call for its Return to 1967 Borders. In 2004, The Unites States of America made a promise to Israel that it would not be forced back to the pre-1967 lines.

In his speech on May 19, 2001, Mr. Obama declared: “The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps…”