Israel’s allies and enemies – which is which?

Lately I have been feeling that, like Alice in Wonderland, we have stepped through the looking glass and are living in an alternative universe.  Our old allies have turned against us whilst our old enemies are now siding with us and even doing our dirty work for us.

Case in point: It has been documented several times recently how petty and thin skinned is the US Administration. Last week they demonstrated this nasty characteristic once again with their juvenile and petty behaviour against Israeli Defence Minister Moshe (Bogie) Yaalon.

One meeting which did take place: Moshe Yaalon meets US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel

The Administration refused to arrange a meeting between Yaalon and Vice President Biden and other US officials because of their annoyance at Yaalon’s criticism of John Kerry and the US appeasement of Iran:

The Obama administration this week refused Israel defense minister’s requests to meet several top national security aides, still miffed over negative comments he made about Secretary of State John Kerry’s Mideast peace efforts and nuclear negotiations with Iran, US officials said Friday.

While Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon did see Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, the officials said the White House and State Department rejected Israeli proposals for meetings with Vice President Joe Biden, national security adviser Susan Rice and Kerry on his five-day trip to the United States. The administration had sought to stop Ya’alon from seeing Power but the objections were made too late to cancel the meeting, according to the officials.The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the snubs, which were first reported by several Israeli media outlets.

Earlier this year, Ya’alon infuriated officials in Washington with comments accusing the administration of being weak on Iran and questioning the U.S. commitment to Israel’s security. That followed reports that Ya’alon had criticized Kerry for being unrealistic and naive in trying to forge an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

The blogger Abu Yehuda has more on the pettiness of the US Administration and their stupidity in thinking that the Muslim terrorists are not out to get them too.

In another example of American duplicity, the Administration was rather upset at the killing of a Palestinian-American teenager who was shot by the IDF as he was throwing firebombs at Israeli cars. The US has demanded a full investigation. However I did not see them demand a full investigation of the Palestinian American who drove his car into a crowd of commuters, killing baby Chaya Zissel Braun.

The blogger Edgar Davidson chronicles the American hypocrisy:

Israeli security forces killed a Palestinian who was throwing Molotov cocktails at them. And the US Government really did issue the following statement:

The United States expresses its deepest condolences to the family of a US citizen minor (Orwah Hammad) who was killed by the Israeli Defence Forces during clashes in Silwad on October 24. We demand a speedy and transparent investigation into his killing.

This came just two days after the US government initially refused to condemn the Palestinian terror attack that killed 3-month old American-Israeli baby girl Chaya Zisel Baron, and injured many others – an attack that had not only been incited by the rhetoric of PA President Abbas but was wildly celebrated by both Hamas and the PA. The US government – which insists Israel must make concessions to Hamas and the PA – did eventually issue a half-hearted condemnation but in the same statement demanded that Israel “show restraint”. The US Government has also desperately tried to cover up the fact that Chaya (and several of the other injured victims) were US citizens. This is especially strange since we are now seeing a trend whereby the US Government is very keen to announce that Palestinian terrorists ‘victims’ are ‘US citizens’.

So now it seems that any Palestinian terrorist can not only be a hero martyr to Hamas and the PA, but can also be considered an American citizen, thereby gaining the protection of the US government in addition to the UN.

All this while Israeli Jewish Americans receive little to no support from the US Administration they so sensibly left behind.

Karen Yemima Muscara HY’D, murdered in the Palestinian terrorist attack by car

Tragically the death toll from that attack has gone up as another victim died yesterday. Karen Yemima Muscara, a new immigrant from Ecuador who had converted to Judaism, was buried last night in Jerusalem.

Outrageously, her funeral had to be delayed so as to avoid riots as her terrorist murderer was buried nearby. Isn’t it amazing that when Jews are murdered and buried, they don’t go on rampages and riots?

 Hundreds attended the funeral early on Monday of a woman killed in last week’s terrorist attack on a Jerusalem light rail station, including Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and the Ecuadorian ambassador to Israel.

Karen Yemima Muscara was an Ecuadorian citizen in her 20s, had come to Israel to convert to Judaism after discovering she was descended from Conversos, Spanish Jews who were forcibly converted to Catholicism after 1492.

The funeral was postponed so as not to coincide with that of Abdel Rahman al-Shaludi, the man who drove his car into the Ammunition Hill light rail station, killing Muscara and a three-month-old baby and injuring seven others. Police shot Shaludi as he attempted to flee the scene on foot and he later died; he was buried Sunday night in the Muslim cemetery outside Jerusalem’s Old City.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat eulogized Muscara saying that she was “a delicate soul and guardian of peace who fought to be a Jew,” the NRG news site quoted him saying.

“Like many before her, she also fell in love with Jerusalem. Seven months ago she joined us and tonight, with unbelievable pain, she is parted from us,” Barkat said. “As mayor of Jerusalem I say that the situation won’t continue. It’s unacceptable that those whose live their whole lives for peace fall victim to those who glorify death.” He vowed once again to restore calm to Jerusalem.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday flew in Muscara’s parents after she suffered head wounds and was seriously injured in the attack. Her mother said Sunday that her daughter’s dream had been to come to Israel and build her life here, but her life was cut short.

May Karen Yemima’s memory be for a blessing and may her parents, family and friends be comforted amongst the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi

Meanwhile our erstwhile enemy, and often very cold peace partner Egypt is acting more forcefully against Hamas than we could ever hope to do without world condemnation. After a deadly car bombing by Jihadi terrorists against Egyptian forces in the Sinai, killing 28 soldiers, Egypt has cancelled its attempts at reviving Israeli-Hamas peace talks, has closed down the Rafah crossing and is planning building a wall to close off Gaza:

After a terror attack on Friday killed at least 30 Egyptian soldiers in the northern Sinai, Cairo has declared a state of emergency in the area, closed down the Rafah crossing from Gaza, canceled indirect cease-fire talks between Israel and Hamas, and now says it will build a wall to block smuggling with the coastal enclave, Israel’s NRG News reported.

On Friday, militants mounted a complex, combined attack at an Egyptian base using what appeared to be a suicide car bomber, rocket-propelled grenades and roadside charges. Despite Hamas denying involvement, Egyptian security officials charged that attackers utilized smuggling tunnels from Gaza in perpetrating the attack, leading to the breakdown in relations.

Hamas is closely tied to the Muslim Brotherhood, which, under the rule of Mohammed Morsi, was deposed last year.

Hamas leaders warned that the strip was on the verge of an “explosion” if the passage with Egypt remained closed. Israel, meanwhile, has continued allowing humanitarian aid and construction material to enter the enclave.

One would expect that Palestinian “President” Mahmoud Abbas would be outraged at this move by the Egyptians. One would be wrong. In another topsy-turvy turn of events, Mahmoud Abbas is supporting the Egyptian move, as the Elder of Ziyon reports:

Now, this means that Egypt will once again be enforcing a blockade on Gaza. People will not be able to leave Gaza for medical, educational or professional reasons. This is what would be characterized as “collective punishment” if done by Israel..

Egypt, by any yardstick, is treating Palestinians in Gaza worse than Israel is. Israel has not closed the Erez crossings and hundred of truckloads of materials go to Gaza every weekday from Israel.

But how does Mahmoud Abbas respond to Egypt’s latest moves to enforce a crippling siege on Gaza?

He supports them!

After Sisi’s speech, Abbas said “We stand by Egypt’s leadership, government and people, and we support all measures to be taken by the Egyptian leadership in order to maintain security and stability in Egypt in the face of terrorism in the Sinai and all the Egyptian territories, because of the service of the Palestinian cause and the Arab national security.”

Abbas praised the Egyptian position as being “courageous in the face of terrorism,” saying he has great confidence that Egypt will overcome the enemy.

How’s that for hypocrisy?

He probably learned the hypocrisy from the Americans. Or taught it to them.

Flag of Azerbaijan

In another subject of interest regarding Israel’s changing alliances, the Algemeiner has a report from the Muslim world is that Azerbaijan is becoming one of Israel’s emerging Muslim-majority allies in place of Turkey which has become one of our fiercest opponents:

But now, along comes Azerbaijan—the world’s first Muslim-majority democracy, which is fast taking the place of Turkey in becoming a crucial ally of Israel in the Muslim world. It’s no surprise that of all Muslim-majority countries, Azerbaijan would fill the void. Like Turkey before Erdoğan, Azerbaijan has proudly and sometimes aggressively reinforced its secular society, banning the hijab (veil) in schools.

In a gathering with the Jewish community held in the Washington, D.C. area last month, Azerbaijan’s ambassador to the United States, Elin Suleymanov, recoiled from the criticism his country received from the U.S. and others for its tough line on maintaining its secularism. “We are criticized because our girls are not forced to wear the hijab, and this is the worst problem in the Middle East?” he said.

To date, Israel’s relationship with Azerbaijan has taken an almost identical trajectory as its early ties to Turkey. As it had with Ankara, Israel has steadily ratcheted up defense ties with Baku. Last month, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon visited Azerbaijan, one of a number of such recent defense-oriented visits.

As it had with Turkey, Israel has established a vital economic lifeline to Azerbaijan, which provides the Jewish state with 40 percent of its imported oil.

As with Israeli-Turkish relations, bilateral ties between the two countries signal Azerbaijan’s desire to strengthen its connections to the U.S. and the West. The country has become an invaluable NATO supply line to Afghanistan and has joined NATO war efforts.

When much of the rest of the world interrupted flights to Israel during the conflict with Hamas last summer, Azerbaijan continued flying.

Undoubtedly, Israel sees the tremendous potential in its relationship with Azerbaijan, as does Azerbaijan with Israel. American supporters of Israel must do their part to reinforce that relationship in Washington. As was discovered with Turkey, Muslim-majority allies don’t grow on trees.

Indeed. And not only Muslim-majority allies. It seems that Western liberal democratic allies not only do not grow on trees, the ones that have grown seem to be dying and falling like shrivelled leaves.

Israel needs to focus on its own interests and if an ally turns against us, we must learn to stand on our own two feet, besides finding other allies.

A good example of coping with negative fallout: It turns out that during Operation Protective Edge the Americans really did block not only shipments of Hellfire missiles to Israel, but a lot more than that:

The Obama administration stopped shipping to Israel all defense items – and not just Hellfire missiles as previously reported – for a short time in the middle of the war against Hamas, reported Israel Defense’s Amir Rappaport, the well-informed and highly credibly editor of the website.

Makor Rishon added to that report that the US actually cut off all communications with Israel’s Ministry of Defense purchasing offices in the US for days.

In response, Israel is now looking to produce its own weapons so as not to be reliant on fair-weather friends in the future:

The Defense Ministry, now realizing it cannot always depend on the Obama administration in a time of crisis, already has decided under a “veil of secrecy,” according to Israel Defense, to manufacture a highly sensitive weapon in Israel instead of buying it from the United States.

The change in policy is a major step that would wean Israel away from dependence on the United States and which also would be a significant change in the policy of buying American-made weapons with most financial assistance from the United States.

American aid to countries, including Israel, usually is conditioned on a majority of the money being poured back into the American military-industrial complex.

“The Israeli defense establishment will reduce the production of weapon systems in the USA in the context of joint Israeli-American projects, and will rely more heavily on Israeli-made products” as a result of the punitive action taken by President Barack Obama, Rappaport wrote.

The ministry also is examining the possibility of using Israel-made precision guided air-to-surface munition to replace Hellfire missiles, a project that is worth hundreds of millions of dollars, if not billions.

The American decision is cutting off their nose to spite their face, since their military aid to Israel is spent mostly in the US itself, providing jobs and income. But if that’s how they want to play it, Israel too can play the game.

Except that for us it’s not a game. It’s an existential matter of life and death.

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16 Responses to Israel’s allies and enemies – which is which?

  1. cba says:

    “The Obama administration stopped shipping to Israel all defense items – and not just Hellfire missiles as previously reported – for a short time in the middle of the war against Hamas”

    My jaw dropped when I read that. Those [expletive deleteds].

    “The Defense Ministry… has decided… to manufacture a highly sensitive weapon in Israel instead of buying it from the United States”

    Good.

    • anneinpt says:

      My jaw dropped too. I had no idea the embargo was that strong.

      Wait for more, now that Bibi has announced even more building in Jerusalem.

      • Bernard Ross says:

        whatever happened to the announcement of building in E1 before BB election?

        • anneinpt says:

          Bibi manages to make a lose-lose situation out of any incident. If he would announce building and then go ahead, then at least all the “settlers” (I only use the word for convenience’s sake, and not for any political reason) and the right wing – and most of the center too – would be happy. And if Bibi would announce that there’s a building freeze then all the leftists and 99% of the “world” will be happy.

          But he makes grandiose announcements about building, thereby angering the left and the world, and then imposes an unofficial freeze, thereby angering the rightists and the settlers.

          I still haven’t figured out his policy, but he does not seem to be particularly adept at politics, even though he has won every recent election and looks set to win the next one too.

          As to the specifics of your question, I think E1 is caught up in a bureaucratic tangle, probably “by accident on purpose” to avoid actually building there – see above.

          • Bernard Ross says:

            “I still haven’t figured out his policy, but he does not seem to be particularly adept at politics, even though he has won every recent election and looks set to win the next one too.”

            I submit that he is indeed VERY adept at politics: making promises and then not following through on them appears to be his MO wrt construction and other right wing sentiments. Announcements are made to win elections, mitigate right wing anger for actions taken, etc. i believe that BB has one of the lowest PM records for actual building starts.

            • anneinpt says:

              You are correct in your assessment of him and in the amount of building he has created. But this policy of non-building together with grandiose announcements worked for a while, but the right-wing have woken up, and they are now getting angry. Take this together with the huge rise in Palestinian violence in Jerusalem and the situation is becoming very volatile.

  2. Elise Ronan says:

    I wonder how those 70% of Jewish-Americans who voted for Obama, feel now that it is so apparent that their Dear Leader thinks that Jewish children’s lives are worthless. (Of course if they had paid attention earlier they would have known that) But I suppose they are too blinded by their Leftist indoctrination to see their own stupidity. And yes Israel protect yourself, do what is best for you, and don’t think too much about the Jews here in the US. They afterall did not vote in a way that would have protected you. In a discussion with my dentist on the matter, he, a conservative Jew who voted for Obama, said Israel will protect herself. So, in other words, if the candidate doesn’t totally mesh, he votes for the Liberal candidate and doesn’t worry about the survival of Israel.He is typical of Jewish-Americans. Think about that Israel when you are told by the likes of a Peter Beinart and other leftists to worry what Jews here think in the US.

    • anneinpt says:

      Elise, thank you for your insight into the political realities of the American Jewish voters. We Israelis don’t really understand how it all works, and find it difficult to understand how Jews can vote for someone so viscerally anti-Israel. We can forgive them the first time because who knew how bad it would be. But the second time?

      As you implied, and has been said by many others, for many American Jews, liberalism is their primary religion and self-identification, rather than their Jewishness, let alone Israel.

      I don’t object to an American Jew not putting Israel first, after all he is American and not Israeli. But a President who is anti-Israel will end up – if he isn’t already – being anti-Jewish. How can they not see that this is against their own self-interest? It really is quite mind-boggling.

      • Elise Ronan says:

        “None are so blind as those that refuse to see”….the Jews of the US are caught in a time-warp which revolves around the 1960s. They, like their leftist counterparts, refuse to see that the rest of us have moved on and that the allegiances that they were raised with have been destroyed. They also refuse to see the connection between antisemitism and hate of Israel. Maybe this summer woke them up a bit to the truth that those who would destroy Israel would happily destroy them too, but I truly doubt it. I truly think that these particular Jews instead of fighting antisemitism, Jew-hatred and Israel-hatred, will simply pull away from Israel, becoming the Leftist version of the “good Jew,” as if that will save them in the end.

        • anneinpt says:

          I also doubt it somehow. Those who are rethinking were probably rethinking beforehand too. Those that are so blinded by their liberal religion will not rethink anything – it would feel like heresy to them.

    • Harry the Hammer says:

      A lot of those Jewish voters are now upset and even irate. They will be heard in the next presidential election, and now want to know what Hillary (she will likely run) thinks about various issues. Obama is no longer trusted by the Jewish voters. Kerry will receive little or no Jewish support if he decides to run in the next election.

      There are three types of Jews in the USA. The first is those who understand what is happening in Israel and care. Many of these are recent immigrants. Others just understand the issues. The second group is loyal to Israel, but really don’t understand the issues because they are too concerned with their own lives (similar to most people here). The third group is clueless, consisting of mostly younger Jews. They consider themselves “Progressives,” but are really stupid. They never read the Hamas covenant, they don’t understand history, and their idealistic view of the world is naive. They haven’t experienced discrimination and cannot understand the recent anti-Semitism in Europe.

      The good news is that the Islamists are in the middle of a religious civil war, and that the more “radical” Sunni factions want to kill everyone not believing in a particular caliphate. Christians here are waking up to this, and see radical Islam as a serious threat.

      Another 9/11 attack will eventually occur somewhere, but until it does not much is going to change.

      • Elise Ronan says:

        Hillary has never been and will never be a friend of the Jewish people. The fact that she spouts some pro-Israel words during her campaign means nothing. Just because her daughter is married to a Jew means nothing. It is time that the Jews who actually care about the survival of the Jewish people take a good hard look at Hillary and what she really did and said over the decades and especially as part of Obama’s administration. (Never mind her venal incompetence as SoS) And never forget that a large part of the funding for the Clinton /Foundation comes from Qatar and other Arab oil states. Noone bites the hand that feeds them especially a Clinton.

      • anneinpt says:

        Harry, thank you for your comment and welcome to my blog.

        I think the first group of Jews you mention is the smallest. The second 2 groups are the largest, with probably the 3rd group the most politically active and therefore the most dangerous for Israel. Perhaps they will wake up now that ISIS and its friends are rampaging their way across the Middle East – but I doubt it, not until it hits home G-d forbid. I think, but maybe I’m wrong, that they’ll find a way to blame Israel for this too. e.g. if only Israel would give up its settlements ISIS would become a liberal democracy.

        As for Hilary Clinton, she’s a whole lot better than Obama, but to be honest, anyone would be. I’m not sure how much I trust her. But I hope she would be a lot more politically competent. Then again, she has an easy competition.

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  4. Reality says:

    I didn’t realise that the American administration was so disgusting during our recent war.When ISIS lands on their doorstep I will yell hypocrits!I’m delighted Netanyahu has seen the light &started building our own arms here in Israel.It”ll help to create jobs here too.As for finding new non radical Muslim fiends-great!Someone sane in a mad world.Our govt. could also “punish”the US administration by withholding impt. sensetive intel regarding terrorists.2can also play at the “refusal to meet or cancel in last minute “game.Let Kerry et al turn up to meet our top brass only to discover that an”emergency”has called them to Azerbejan or China-whatever.

    • anneinpt says:

      Yes, it’s excellent news that we’re starting to make our own arms here. In fact we always used to until we outsourced to America. The strings attached are not healthy for us, that’s for sure.

      I don’t think Israel would be so petty as to withhold intel from the US. We won’t and can’t sink to their level. And as far as I understand cooperation between Israel and the Pentagon, i.e. American intel, is still very good.

      Same goes for the “cancelling meetings” although I suppose that can be played by ear, depending on the situation at any given moment. Diplomatic illnesses are always a useful excuse. And diplomatic travel, LOL.

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