Kerry blames Israel for collapse of peace talks. Ridiculous. This is part of a troubling pattern of this White House alienating America’s friends & appeasing our enemies.

Secretary John Kerry.

Secretary John Kerry.

(Washington, D.C.) — UPDATED: Over the past year of the peace talks, Israel has consistently taken practical, concrete steps to show goodwill, including releasing hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, some of whom were terrorists with blood on their hands.

Israel took such measures even though Palestinian terrorists have continued to fire rockets and missiles at innocent Israeli civilians over and over and over again.

What practical, concrete steps did the Palestinian leadership?

The sad fact is that Mahmoud Abbas gave concrete nothing in return.

What’s more, he outright refused to even consider recognizing Israel as a Jewish state. Then he embarked on unilateral steps to create an independent Palestinian state in direct defiance of the terms of the peace process which call for a negotiated settlement. Then he refused to continue the peace talks beyond the April 29th deadline without Israel releasing thousands of more prisoners.

Yet now Secretary of State John Kerry is blaming Israel for the breakdown of the talks. Consider the latest headlines:

This is ridiculous, bordering on the infuriating. Netanyahu appointed good people to negotiate in good faith. Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, the chief negotiator, is not exactly a right wing Likudnik. She is part of Israel’s center left. She wanted a deal. She worked hard for a deal. Yet she became increasingly frustrated by the resistance of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to bring serious ideas and compromises to the table, and then had to speak out when Abbas decided to sign 15 international treaties to unilaterally creating a Palestinian state.

“The past week wasn’t a good week and we will have to fight to see how we can correct and move forward,” said Livni on Israel’s Channel 2 news. “It isn’t simple. It’s very complicated. This is a real crisis.”

Bloomberg reports that “Livni called Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ bid last week to join international bodies ‘a violation and a big mistake that will make it very difficult to go back to normal.”

When Abbas has burned Tzipi Livni — a woman deeply committed to a two-state solution — you know things have really gotten bad.

Yet once again Kerry is blaming Israel.

Sadly, this is part of a troubling pattern of the Obama administration alienating America’s friends and appeasing our enemies. Mr. Obama and Mr. Kerry have invested enormous amounts of time in trying to force enormous Israeli concessions to create a final peace deal with the Palestinians, even though everyone told them the Palestinian leadership was not prepared to deal seriously. Yet the most important mission in the Middle East right now is stopping Iran from building nuclear weapons, yet the White House and State Department are treating Iran with kid gloves.

As former Senator Rick Santorum and I stated last week:

What troubles us most is the feckless, rudderless foreign policy of President Obama. Do our enemies fear him? Do our friends trust him? To the contrary, Mr. Obama is presiding over the systematic collapse of American credibility around the globe, from the Middle East to Russia to Asia. This vacuum of leadership is creating a very dangerous global environment and must be corrected quickly.

 

We believe in a bipartisan approach to American foreign policy. The challenges we face are serious but manageable if we unite as a country around a policy of peace through strength. That said, we also believe in the important role of a loyal opposition that warns the government when it is heading in the wrong direction.

 

In the 1930s, Winston Churchill warned the world that Adolf Hitler and the Nazis represented a gathering storm that had to be stopped early and decisively lest disaster ensue. A new gathering storm is brewing, as dangerous as the last, if not more so. We need an honest, strong, principled American foreign policy now more than ever, especially when it comes to the Iranian nuclear threat. The stakes are too high for miscalculation.

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>> On April 7th, 1944, two men escaped from Auschwitz. 70 years later, novel inspired by real events is a best-seller — click here to learn more.

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Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

Exclusive new poll: 72% of Americans see Putin as “clear and present danger” to U.S. and Israel.

Vladimir Putin: a "clear and present danger"?

Vladimir Putin: a “clear and present danger”?

(Washington, D.C.) — In preparing for the launch of The Auschwitz Escape, I contracted with a nationally-respected polling company to ask a series of questions that would help me better understand American attitudes towards the Holocaust, Israel, the Iranian nuclear threat, and the crises in Syria and Ukraine. The results were both fascinating and sobering.

In the days ahead, I will share all the results of this polling data with you. But given the crisis in Ukraine, I decided to begin by writing a column for National Review Online releasing the results of how Americans now perceive Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

HOW DANGEROUS IS PUTIN? JUST LOOK AT HIS OWN WORDS

By Joel C. Rosenberg

Who is Vladimir Putin, and what does he really want? Why exactly has he suddenly sent tens of thousands of heavily armed Russian troops into Crimea? Why did he invade Georgia in 2008? Why is he selling arms to bloodthirsty regimes like that of Bashar Assad in Syria? And why is selling both advanced arms and nuclear technology to a rogue terrorist state like Iran?

In the face of such questions, President Obama looks disoriented and confused. He and his national-security team have been painfully slow to understand the Putin threat. They’re now scrambling to develop a coherent and convincing policy to contain Putin, much less have a chance at rolling him back.

The American people now see Putin as a real and growing threat, and not just to the former Soviet republics but to the national security of the United States and our allies, including Israel.

This month, I engaged McLaughlin & Associates, a nationally-respected polling firm, to ask a series of questions of 1,000 likely U.S. voters. Among them:

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: “In light of Russia’s invasion of southern Ukraine, and Russia selling arms and nuclear technology to Iran, and Russia selling arms to the regime of Bashar Assad in Syria, I have come to believe that Vladimir Putin and the government of Russia pose a clear and present danger to the national security of the United States and our ally, Israel”?

In 2012, Mr. Obama mocked those who even raised such a question. Today, a remarkable 72 percent of Americans said they agreed with such a statement. Only 19 percent disagreed.

Are they right? Is Putin as serious a threat as Americans believe? To answer that question requires going beyond Washington conventional wisdom and listening carefully to what he has said in the past….

[To read the rest of my column on National Review Online, please click here.]

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FLASHBACK: PAST COLUMNS ABOUT PUTIN, RUSSIA AND THE BIBLICAL PROPHECIES OF EZEKIEL 38 & 39

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Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

Epicenter Update: 1) Abbas at White House rejects Israel as “Jewish State.” 2) Kerry says Israel wrong to insist on “Jewish state” recognition.” 3) Iraqi oil production surges to highest level in 30 years.

Palestinian Chairman Mahmoud Abbas met with President Obama today at the White House.

Palestinian Chairman Mahmoud Abbas met with President Obama today at the White House.

(Washington, D.C.) — Here’s a snapshot of some of the most important developments in the epicenter in recent days.

SECRETARY KERRY SAYS ISRAEL WRONG TO INSIST THE PALESTINIANS RECOGNIZE ISRAEL AS A “JEWISH STATE” — “In his appearance before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs on March 13, 2014, Secretary of State John Kerry, convener, main proponent, and mediator of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiating process, found it necessary to make a surprisingly one-sided comment and prejudgment on one of the central and most delicate issues on the negotiating table – Israel’s basic and principled requirement of recognition of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish People,” notes Israeli Ambassador Alan Baker, who helped craft the Olso Accords, in an analysis for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. “Kerry opined that he views Israel’s position ‘as a mistake,’ considering that the ‘Jewish State’ issue was ‘sufficiently addressed by UN General Assembly Resolution 181 of 1947, which recommended the establishment of independent Arab and Jewish states in Palestine.’ He said there are ‘more than 30–40 mentions of a ‘Jewish state’ in the resolution, and added that the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat ‘confirmed that he agreed it [Israel] would be a Jewish state’ in 1988 and in 2004. It would appear that once again, as with previous one-sided and pre-judgmental statements, Secretary Kerry has either been ill-advised or is deliberately engaged in an effort to neutralize the ‘Jewish State’ issue in the current negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. He is doing so by attempting to determine that the question of Palestinian support for a Jewish state was already resolved by PLO leader Yasser Arafat in 1988, and is therefore redundant and unnecessary…..”

PALESTINIAN LEADER ABBAS AT WHITE HOUSE AGAIN REJECTS ISRAEL AS “JEWISH STATE” — “U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday told Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that he would have to make tough political decisions and take ‘risks’ for peace, as would Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,” reported the Times of Israel. “Abbas, for his part, reiterated his rejection of Israel’s demand that its status as a Jewish state be enshrined in a future peace accord, asserting that previous Palestinian recognition of Israel was sufficient….Speaking to Netanyahu’s demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state, Abbas said that ‘since 1988 and into 1993, we have been extending our hands to our Israeli neighbors so that we can reach a fair and lasting peace to this problem. Since 1988, we have recognized international legitimacy resolutions and this was a very courageous step on the part of the Palestinian leadership. And in 1993, we recognized the State of Israel.’”

IRAQI OIL PRODUCTION SURGES TO HIGHEST LEVEL IN 30 YEARS – “Iraq’s oil production surged to its highest level in over 30 years last month, surprising skeptics of the country’s efforts to restore its oil industry after decades of war and neglect,” reports the Wall Street Journal. “In its monthly oil report published Friday, the International Energy Agency said Iraq’s oil output jumped by half a million barrels a day in February to average 3.6 million barrels a day. The country hasn’t pumped that much oil since 1979, when Saddam Hussein rose to power. The Iraqi output surge came as the IEA also predicted oil supply from the U.S. and Canada would continue its “relentless” increase this year, easing concerns that higher global demand and geopolitical issues caused by the crisis in Ukraine could push oil prices upward….Iraq’s oil minister said in December the country would target oil production of 4.1 million barrels a day this year. New fields coming on stream are expected to add 500,000 barrels a day of output in the next few months. Last month’s surprise jump in oil production came as a major bottleneck at Iraq’s southern export terminal Basra was finally removed. Shipments of oil from the country rose to 2.8 million barrels a day in February, up by 600,000 barrels a day compared with a year ago.”

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Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

O’S PARTNERS IN PEACE: Iranian Military General Swears on His Religion That They Will Annihilate Israel

When it comes to Barack Obama, there are — best I can tell — three possible reasons for his catastrophic track record.

Imagine a Venn diagram with three interlocking circles. One is labeled Marxism, the other is marked Hatred, and the last one is captioned Ignorance. All three circles overlap with different ratios depending upon the actual policy.

Take Obama’s Middle East policy. Please. He has, in just five short years, isolated our strongest ally Israel; attempted to prop up the Nazi-aligned Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt; toppled a strongman in Libya leaving Al Qaeda in charge; permitted a U.S. ambassador and other diplomatic personnel to be slaughtered during a seven hour gunfight without lifting a finger to help; failed to pursue said terrorists despite multiple promises to do so; and attempted to interfere in Syria by drawing bogus “red lines” failing only after Congress refused to empower evil bastards of one stripe or another.

But the worst element of all of Obama’s miserable foreign policies failures relate to Iran. During the Green Revolution that threatened to topple the Islamofascist Mullahs, Obama refused to speak out during the critical first week of riots and protests. Eventually the resistance movement was crushed thanks to Obama’s inaction and — seemingly — tacit endorsement of the Mullah’s actions.

Then there’s Iran’s nuclear program, which no credible observer believes is destined for anything except for the manufacture of atomic bombs. Instead of choking the Islamofascists through sanctions, Obama instead argued for relaxing the economic noose.

And his reward is the entirely predictable set of statements coming out of Tehran.

Iranian Deputy Commander Warns They Are Ready to Annihilate Israel

MEMRI. Org: Speaking at a conference held in Tehran, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Deputy Commander Brigadier-General Hossein Salami said: “We, here, can muster all our energies in order to annihilate the Zionist entity, more than 1,400 kilometers away. We are ready for that moment in the future.”

Following are excerpts from the speech, which aired on Al-Alam TV on March 11, 2014.

Brigadier-General Hossein Salami: Despite the geographical distance, we are attached to the hearts of the Palestinians. How is it that our slogans and goals are identical to the slogans and causes of the Palestinians? Why do we strive to become martyrs and risk our lives for the Palestinian cause?

The answer is that the religion of Islam has designated this for us – this goal, this motivation, this belief, this energy – so that we, here, can muster all our energies in order to annihilate the Zionist entity, more than 1,400 kilometers away. We are ready for that moment in the future.

These Islamonazis are Obama’s “partners in peace”. His negotiating partners. His pals.

Can it be any more clear what Barack Hussein Obama’s true agenda is?

Hat tip: BadBlue News

Doug Ross @ Journal

ESCALATION: At least 70 rockets fired at Israel from Gaza. Israeli jets hit 29 targets in Gaza in response.

MIDEAST ISRAEL PALESTINIANS>> LATEST UPDATES: Israeli aircraft hit 29 targets in Gaza after rocket attack — Islamic Jihad bases targeted; State Department calls heavy barrage ‘reprehensible,’ says Israel has the right to defend itself

“The Israeli Air Force launched airstrikes in the Gaza Strip shortly after 10 p.m. on Wednesday in retaliation for a massive rocket barrage earlier in the day, the largest of its kind since 2012,” reported the Times of Israel at 5pm eastern. “Israeli planes struck 29 targets in the Strip, the army said in a statement. Palestinians said at least five strategic points were hit in the coastal enclave, primarily in areas around the cities of Khan Younis and Rafah.”

As of this hour, Haaretz is reporting at least 70 rockets have been fired from Gaza at southern Israel.

“Israeli communities near southern and northern Gaza have come under heavy rocket attack on Wednesday evening,” reports the Jerusalem Post. As of 1:30pm eastern, “the IDF said at least 30 rockets had been fired in the largest attack since 2012′s Operation Pillar of Defense. “

“Israel Radio reported that up to 55 rockets had been fired into Israel in the deluge of projectiles,” the Post noted. ” The Iron Dome rocket defense system shot down three of the rockets, according to the IDF Spokesperson’s Office.  The IDF fired artillery rounds at two terror infrastructure targets in response.”

The Post added: “Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s attack, according to reports by Palestinian media. On Tuesday, the Israel Air Force struck an Islamic Jihad cell in southern Gaza, minutes after identifying it as being behind a mortar attack on  an IDF unit on the Gaza-Israel border….Islamic Jihad said the Israeli strike killed  three of its operatives. The IDF confirmed the aircraft’s hit on the terrorist  cell, and said that the aircraft had then returned safely to its base. The army added that it would not tolerate any attack on military forces operating along  the border. Islamic Jihad has been behind a trickle of attacks in recent days that have tested the cease-fire in place between Palestinian terrorist  groups in Gaza and Israel.”

Developing….

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Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog