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Combatting Israelophobia will be topic of WJC Governing Board meeting

August 19, 2010 Leave a comment

NEW YORK  (Press Release)– Heads of Jewish communities from around the world will gather in Jerusalem for a meeting of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) Governing Board on 31 August and 1 September 2010.  The gathering will focus on ways to fight the growing threats against Israel. It will be addressed by senior statesmen from Israel and abroad.

Writer and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Professor Elie Wiesel will be presented with the first WJC “Guardian of Jerusalem” award in recognition of his lifetime accomplishments on behalf of the Jewish people. Members of the Israeli Haiti emergency rescue operation will receive a special award for their heroic humanitarian efforts in the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein, and opposition leader and Kadima Chairwoman Tzipi Livni will participate.  Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, Governor of the Bank of Israel Stanley Fischer and Tel Aviv Chief Rabbi Israel Meir Lau also confirmed their participation.

Former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar will give a keynote address to delegates about the recently launched Friends of Israel Initiative (www.friendsofisraelinitiative.org).

Ahead of the Governing Board, World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder said:

“Everywhere, we are witnessing concerted efforts to attack the legitimacy of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people. Boycott, sanctions and divestment campaigns are becoming prevalent; Israeli academics, authors, artists and sportspeople are being banned from participating in events; the media often presents a one-sided view of developments, and Israel is almost always being singled out for blame. We will be developing proactive initiatives to address these issues, and we will underline the need for Diaspora Jewry’s continued unwavering solidarity with Israel in a global environment that is increasingly hostile to those positions.”

The WJC meeting will be attended by around 150 leaders representing all major Jewish communities in the world and will adopt the future priorities and action plans of the organization. It will also discuss the difficult situation faced by certain Jewish communities, e.g. in Sweden and Venezuela.

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Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress

Adventures in San Diego Jewish History, August 20, 1954, part 2

July 6, 2010 Leave a comment


Compiled by San Diego Jewish World staff

Personals
Southwestern Jewish Press, August 20, 1954, page 3

Guest Time – Summer time becomes smug-time for San Diegans.  For no matter what part of the country our guests come, we need never apologize for that “unusual weather.”

Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Cohen, had as their guest her sister, Miss Glenna Lipit of New York.  Miss Lipit visited Catalina and relatives in Bevberly Hills and was impressed with all we have to offer, she’s sure to be back soon.

Visiting the Al Hutlers for two weeks are Al’s sister and brother-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Max Becker and daughter, Frances, of Chicago.

Mr. and Mrs. Lester Alweis and children, Donald and Lane, of Lewistown, Mont., have been guests of their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Alweis.

Mr and Mrs. Richard Moorsteen and Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Slater and daughter, Amy, will arrive next week to be houseguests of their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Louis Moorsteen.

Betty, Len, Dick and Pat are ow on a hiking trip through Yosemite Park.

Mrs. H. Berner has young Mike Williams (Michael Schwartz) to thank for prolonging her father’s stay here.  Mr. Cecil Coleman of Venice, Calif., planned to spend just a weekend with his daughter but was so impressed with young Mike’s talents he stayed a full week in order to catch Mike’s TV appearance last Saturday.

Champions in the Making – Judy Karp, daughter of MR. and Mrs. Lou Karp, at 8 years of age, has the makings of a golf champion.  Last year she won her first championship at the Presidio Golf Course Tournament held for girls. This year, playing an exhibition match she made a hole-in-one on a 110-yard drive with a number 7 iron.  She is rated by golf professionals as the best girl prospect for the year.  Judy will defend her championship at Presidio Hills at the tournament to be held about Sept. 10.  Don’t say we didn’t warn you that you will be hearing more from this miniature “Babe.”

Another outstanding athlete to be watched is Martin Schiller of Pacific Beach.  He will compete next week in the 5th Annual Jr. Tennis Tournament in Balboa Park, August 23-26.

Aloha – The picture of the hula dancers on the post card received from Ike Jacobson make it easy to see why Ike finds Hawaii “a wonderful place to enjoy yourself.”

New Home – Congratulations to Sol and Eve Chenkin who have moved into their lovely new home at 5924 Adams Avenue.

Horrors! Florida! – Alan Mishne, president of Zeta Beta Tau State College Chapter will fly to Miami, Florida to attend the 56th Annual ZBT Convention on August 25.  He will be met in Miami by Harvey Goodfriend who, at the present time, is vacationing in New York. Following the convention, Alan will fly to Cleveland to visit with the Mishne family.

Welcome Party—
The Leah Weinberg Memorial Minyan held their meeting Saturday night in the form of a party with all the husbands attending. This was to honor the return of MRs. Louis Stitzel’s sister, Mrs. Shirley Rebuf, to San Diego and the Minyon.

Dinner and cocktails were served in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Stitzel.

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Dr. and Mrs. Charles A. Fleischner will leave San Diego on September 4 for an extended four-month vacation through Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean Islands. They will visit with relatives in Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Caracas, and on their return trip will spend Thanksgiving with Mrs. Fleischner’s sister in New York and Florida, and also visit with her mother and other members of their family in Chicago.  They will return to their home via New Orleans late in December. The entire trip will be made via Pan American.

Thanks – Lee and Morris Douglas wish to thank all their friends for their many kindnesses during Lee’s recent illness.

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Sisterhood Ship to Sail for Membership

Southwestern Jewish Press, August 20, 1954, page 3

You are invited to join the Tifereth Israel Sisterhood aboard the S.S. Memberhip, which will be launched from the Tifereth Israel Patio on Tuesday, August 31, at 8 p.m.

The Membership Ship and dock will be festively decorated by Mrs. Lawrence Cantor and Mrs. Harry Mallen, co-chairmen, while Mrs. Sam Sklar and Mrs. Henry Price will have charge of the galley.

The Membership Skipper, Mrs. Ben Gordon, urges all women who have not received their cruise tickets to call her at CY-5-7143.

The Membership Program Captain, Mrs. Daniel Orlansky, and her crew of sailors, Mmes. Ida Wax, Tillie Gordon, Evelyn Baranov, Betty Feller, Edna Gardner, Dorothy Belkin, Rose Felstein, Raye Lenett, Natalie Smith, Lillian Zemen, Roan Oglesby, Jean Finkleman and Betty Blane promise an entertaining and exceptionally smooth voyage.

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(Admiration)
Southwestern Jewish Press, August 20, 1954, page 3

Admiration is a polite recognition of another’s resemblance to ourselves

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Cradle

Southwestern Jewish Press, August 20, 1954, page 3

Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Levenson announce the birth of their second daughter, Arlene Lori, born July 28. Big sister, 2 ½  year old Nancy, is delighted with her new playmate.

Grandparents are Mrs. Rhoda Dombroff and Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Levenson.

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Deborah Ann Kuntz, born to Dr. and Mrs. Seymour Kuntz, on August 8, will have 4 ½ year old twin sisters, Barbara Susan and Carolyn Louise waiting on her every need.

Grandparents are Hyman Kuntz of Chicago and Anna Kanefsky.
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Mr. and Mrs. Louis Packer (Edith Schertzer) announce the birth of their first child, a son, Charles Harvey, on August 13.  Grandparent are Mr. and Mrs. Julius Packer of New York City and Mr. and Mrs. Louis Schertzer.

Present for the Bris to be held August 22  at the Schertzer residence will be young Charles’ great-aunt, Mrs. Rose Schneider, and daughter, Shirley, of New York.

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Every day Eleanor has something new and wondrous to report to Irv about “Sandy,” the new master of the Kahn homestead.  Daughter, Barbara, who is away at camp, still awaits the thrill of greeting the new arrival.

Samuel James (Sandy) was born July 21.  Maternal grandmother is Mrs. Samuel Barlin of Santa Monica.  Paternal grandparents are Mrs. Fanny Kahn and Mr. A.J. Kahn.

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Classified
Southwestern Jewish Press, August 20, 1954, page 3

Large Bedroom with adjoining bath for employed lady in widow’s home.  ½ block to 3 buses. Very reasonable. Phone CY-5-4309.

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Calendar
Southwestern Jewish Press, August 20, 1954, page 3

August
21st—City of Hope Jr. Aux Barbecue – 6845 Rolando Knolls Dr., La Mesa – 7:30 p.m.

21st—Y.J.C. Club Pot Luck Supper –Tifereth Israel Center – 8:00 p.m.

22nd – Beth Jacob P.T.A. Basket Picnic – 6th and Laurel—10:30 a.m.

23rd—Lasker Lodge Talent Show – Temple Center –9:00 p.m.

26th—Temple Beth Israel Semi-Annual Meeting.

29th—Hebrew Home for the Aged annual Meeting and Installation – 2:00 p.m.

31st – Tifereth Israel Sisterhood Membership Party – T.I. Patio – 8:00 p.m .

September
11th –Cottage of Israel 4th Annual Open Meeting –Tifereth Israel Center – 8:00 p.m.

19th—Poale Zion 2nd Annual Dinner –House of Hospitality.

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Beth Jacob News
Southwestern Jewish Press, August 20, 1954, page 3

The Beth Jacob P.T.A. will hold a Family Basket Picnic on Sunday, August 22, at Balbo Park, Sixth and Laurel Sts.  Games will begin promptly at 10:30 a.m. Bring your own lunch.  Ice cream and cold drionks will be furnished for the children and available for adults.

There will be fun and surprises for all. Be sure to bring your family for a wonderful relaxing day.

Hebrew School classes at Beth Jacob resumed on Tuesday, August 17 and will meet on Tuesday and Thursday. Bar Mitzvah classes will meet Monday and Wednesday.

If you have a child of 6 years. And upward register him in Hebrew School. There is no tuition for members of the Congregation. All children are welcome.

For information call the Congregation office, AT-2-2676.

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Jewish Community Center

Southwestern Jewish Press, August 20, 1954, page 4

Junior Hi — Junior High group found it necessary to postpone plans for a beach party in order to prevent conflict with the Day Camp program.  Party is now scheduled to be held Monday evening, August 30.  All those participating are to meet at the Jewish center at 4:30 … The Day Camp bus will take them to Santa Clara Point. Program includes swimming, wienie roast and cam p fire games with singing, etc.

The following members are responsible for planning the program: Eddie Varon, Mel Brav, Randy Selton, Linda Hess and Roberta Schwartz.  All Junior High youngsters interested in participating are urged to call the Center for detailed information.  A 75c charge will cover the cost of the cook-out and transportation.  The group will return to the Center at 9 p.m. where they’re to be met by their parents.

Parents are urgently needed as chaperons for the above event and are requested to phone the Center to assist in the program.

Volunteer Recruitment Program
—The Center is now busy developing plans for the organization of clubs and special interest groups for the club year beginning Sept. 15. The success of such a program will depend largely upon the support given by the community. We need volunteers to serve as Club Leaders for Junior High and High School age youngsters, play leaders for younger children, and people with special skills such as dancing, musical accompaniment, dramatics, crafts, etc.  People with special hobbies are urged to discuss their interests with a member of the Center staff since such hobbies as stamp collecting, photography, etc., could be developed into excellent Center programs.

Members of the Jewish community are invited to call the Center and let us know whether their youngsters are interested in affiliating with a club. Specific information regarding age and interest will enable the Center to provide a program that will truly meet the needs of the community.

Camp Jaycee—Two hundred forty campers shared in the exciting Camp Jaycee activities which concluded its eighth season on Friday, August 20.  The youngsters learned how to work, live and play together while participating in swimming, horseback riding, hiking, overnight camp-outs, cook,-outs and trips to various San Diego County sites including the military installations of the naval air station, submarine base and coast guard station.  Plans are already under way for the two weeks’ winter school vacation camp period from December 20-31.

‘Call Me Moishe’—A near capacity crowed enjoyed the talents of the Jewish Community Center teen-agers who presented their original musical comedy, “Call me Moishe,” on Saturday, August 14 att Beth Jacob Center.  With the script and music written by Irwin Schatzman, Elaine Shapery and the teens and an orchestra of Ruth Moskowitz, Geo. Wise, Gary Cantor, Gary Fine, Roger Brenes and Sandy Ratner accompanying, the case headed by Leani Leichtag, Irwin Schatzman, Linda Douglas, Gary Cork, Shirley Kaufman, Linda Zuckerman, Sonia Weitzman, Debbie Strauss, Suzy Hutler, Bob Johanis, Steve Rose, Jerry Mendell, Norman Kellner, Phil Brenes, Judy Aved, Diane Fogelman, Adriene Cantor, Janet and Susan Solof, romped through an evening of enjoyable entertainment.

Our hat’s off to Miss Ettie Mallinger and Don Merken, who not only directed the presentation but presented stellar performances in a last minute emergency absence of cast members.

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City of Hope News
Southwestern Jewish Press, August 20, 1954, page 4

To beat the heat and most important, to raise money for the new Leukemia Wing of the City of Hope Hospital in Duarte, the City of Hope Junior Auxiliary have planned a Twilight Patio Supper Barbecue Party at the home of Rosalie and Harold Reisman, 6845 Rolando Knolls, La Mesa, on Saturday, August 21, at 7:30 p.m.

For a $1.00 donation they promise dancing, games, prizes, lots of fun and food galore.  Everyone is invited to come and bring their friends. For reservations call Selma Lindenfeld, JU-2-6329.

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Cottage of Israel
Southwestern Jewish Press, August 20, 1954, page 4

An exceptionally attractive program has already been set up for our Fourth Annual Open Meeting which will take place at the North Auditorium of Tifereth Israel Center on Saturday, Septeber 11, at 8 p.m. The Nominating Committee has set up the following slate of new officers: President, Seymour Gates; Vice President, Dr. Hy Parrell; Treasurer, Phil Abrams; Recording Secretary, Martha Feiler, and Financial secretary, Bess Borushek, with names of delegates left open.

Election will take place at this meeting.

A special treat for this evening will be an address on the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Theodore Herzl’s death by Mr. John H. Ellsworth, President of the San Diego Museum of Man.

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Breitbard Group Invites Grid Stars
Southwestern Jewish Press, August 20, 1954, page 4

SAN DIEGO_-Player invitations have been sent 29 outstanding Southern California high school grid stars to participate in the Breitbard Athletic Foundation’s Sixth Annual Southern California College Prep All-Star Charity Football game here Sept. 1.

All of tho0se invited are graduated high school seniors. Each was invited on the basis of outstanding prep play during the 1953 football campaign.  Only the top available talent is invited each year for the game, which annually pits the All-Southern Cal grads against a similar-picked team of All-Los Angeles City gridders.

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City of Hope Auxiliary

Southwestern Jewish Press, August 20, 1954, page 4

All members who offered their services to the United Success Drive are to report to 1266 7th St. between the hours of 8:30 and 5.  You can phone Academy 3-7191 to find out when they need you the most!  Did you know that San Diegans who were patients at the City of Hope in the last five years received 4115 hospital days at a cost of $82,300.00?

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Del Mar “Track Offers $10,000 Handicap Race
Southwestern Jewish Press, August 20, 1954, page 4

DEL MAR, Aug. 20 – Older route horses, priming for the $25,000 added Del Mar Handicap later in the season, get their first big test here Saturday in the $10,000 added San Diego Handicap over a mile and one-sixteenth.

Twelve horses, representing 10 different interests, are slated to clash in the San Diego, a race which annually separates the wheat from the chaff among the top handicap horses sstabled here.

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(Hebrew Home)
Southwestern Jewish Press, August 20, 1954, page 4

Application for admission to the Hebrew Home for the Aged may be made through the Jewish Social Service Agency, 333 Plaza, BE-2-5172.

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Double Talk
Southwestern Jewish Press, August 20, 1954, page 4

By Janet & Susan Solof

Better get in that extra bit of fun
You better take in the beach and the sun
For school is coming on its way
September 12 is the awaiting day.

“They were having a ball” was what the kids reported about Ruth Moskowitz’s party. Throwing the ball of fun were Jackie Sharpe, Diane Fogelman, Linda Zuckerman, Stan Breitbard, Jan Klaskin, Judy Aved, Ronnie Doctor, Nancy Goodman, Ruth Freidman, Gary and Eddie Naiman, Susan Solof, Roberta Wyloge, Eve Zwanziger, Alan Friedman, Betty Krasnow, Evelyn Witz, Lewis Lucowitz, Carole Toole.

“A line a day?” was what Henry Bray, Alice Lee, Linda Douglas, Martin Winer, Jean Goldstein, Roberta Wyloge, Al Abrams, Elaine Burdman and Ethel Gardiner said to Danny Schaeffer (sic, Schaffer) when they said their good-byes to Danny, at a party given by Judy Yukon. Danny is going to Harvard and we wish him the very best.

Georgette Lesser helped make her cousin, Ken Kadet’s visit memorable. Dancing and eating in her patio with her friends made it quite complete.

It was a surprise when Sandy Byrock walked into a terrific party given by Linda Zuckerman and Susie Hutler and all Sandy’s friends. IT was the official good bye as Sandy is leaving San Diego to live in Santa Monica.

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(Speed Ahead)
Southwestern Jewish Press, August 20, 1954, page 4

The man who puts on too much speed ahead may meet reverses.

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Unveiling
Southwestern Jewish Press, August 20, 1954, page 4

The unveiling of a monument for Joseph Dembo will take place at the Home of Peace Cemetery on Sunday, August 29, at 2;00 p.m. Friends are cordially invited to attend.

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Ensenada Fair to Begin in August
Southwestern Jewish Press, August 20, 1954, page 4

Preparations for Ensenada’s greatest fair, “Feria de Todos Santos,” are in full swing and will be completed much before the August 28th opening date.

A month long event, the fair will feature colorful Mexican entertainment including native dances, rodeos, cock fights, bull fighting demonstrations, grease pole contests and varied fun facilities with each day being highlighted by honoring one of Baja California’s prime attributes.

The fairgrounds, covering several acres of land immediately opposite Ensenada’s luxurious Bahia Hotel, will be a blaze of lights as the colorful concession and carnival gayety create a Mexican version of a “Great White Way.”  All games of chance permitted by the Mexican law will be presented with much wagering expected on all sides.

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(Driver’s License)

Southwestern Jewish Press, August 20, 1954, page 4

A driver’s license is a license for life or death – depending on how you use it.

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(Politics)
Southwestern Jewish Press, August 20, 1954, page 4

At this time politics are on vacation – but even so considerable bait is being dug.

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(Pay Scale)
Southwestern Jewish Press, August 20, 1954, page 4

Nowadays if a man makes half enough to live on he has to be paid twice as much as he is worth.

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“Adventures in Jewish History” is sponsored by Inland Industries Group LP in memory of long-time San Diego Jewish community leader Marie (Mrs. Gabriel) Berg. Our “Adventures in San Diego Jewish History” series will be a regular feature until we run out of history.  To find stories on specific individuals or organizations, type their names in our search box.

Venezuela’s Chávez and Syria’s Assad lash out against Israel

June 29, 2010 1 comment

(WJC)–The presidents of Venezuela and Syria, Hugo Chávez and Bashar al-Assad, have accused Israel of terrorism. “Terrorism for us in the Middle East is one word which has a single synonym; that is Israel particularly,” a joint statement said. Assad met with Chávez in Caracas to discuss economic cooperation and developments in the Middle East.

Both leaders said they were not interested in war in the Middle East, but when diplomacy failed “resistance is the alternative solution and our duty is to support it.”

Chávez singled out Damascus for taking a leadership role in the region, saying Assad was to be commended for his ability to stand up to Western allies. “Imperialism is desperate,” the Venezuelan president said. “It is now threatening the use of force as it has been doing for years.” Chávez called Israel’s government “genocidal” and also condemned the last round of UN sanctions against Iran. Assad said all nations, including Iran, had a “right to develop nuclear energy.”

US Congressman Eliot Engel, a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, swiftly condemned Chávez’ remarks: “Setting aside the falsehoods of his latest diatribe and the presence of the Syrian strongman, Bashar Assad, standing next to him, it’s not difficult to understand why President Chavez would try to distract from his problems at home.”

“If my country had the one of the highest murder rates in the world, the highest inflation rate in Latin America, and an economy which is expected to shrink by more than 6 percent  this year, I, too, would be talking about anything but what’s going on at home. I guess that’s why Mr. Chávez is attacking the Israelis and why Foreign Policy Magazine just ranked him the 17th worst dictator in the world. And, I guess that’s why he’s hanging around Bashar Assad,” Engel said in a statement.

After his visit to Venezuela, Assad met with Cuban leader Raul Castro and later traveled to Brazil, where he met with President Lula da Silva. Assad also plans a visit to Argentina. Both Cuba and Syria are on a list of nations the US considers state sponsors of terrorism.

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Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress.

Switching cars to natural gas would achieve energy independence

June 17, 2010 Leave a comment

By Shoshana Bryen

Shoshana Bryen

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA)  wouldn’t claim to be an expert on the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, but we have long supported diversifying our energy resources – oil, natural gas, nuclear, coal, wind and solar – and our sources of supply – domestic and foreign. 
 
President Obama said in his speech, “Oil is a finite resource. We consume more than 20 percent of the world’s oil, but have less than 2 percent of the world’s oil reserves.” He stressed energy efficiency, green energy and “a comprehensive energy and climate bill to make clean energy profitable… Old factories are reopening to produce wind turbines, people are going back to work installing energy-efficient windows, and small businesses are making solar panels… Some have suggested raising efficiency standards in our buildings like we did in our cars and trucks. Some believe we should set standards to ensure that more of our electricity comes from wind and solar power… [We have to] “seriously tackle our addiction to fossil fuels.”
 
It would make sense to slash the percentage of the world’s oil America consumes. And the source of our oil imports matters greatly, as Providence and geology put a great deal of it under countries currently governed by people with interests inimical to ours. But building efficiency standards, thermal windows and wind turbines won’t do it and a “comprehensive climate bill” is a red herring. 
 
The Energy Information Administration (EIA), the source of government energy statistics, tells us that most of the oil used in this country goes into transportation – gasoline and diesel fuel for cars, trucks, buses, railroads, boats; jet fuel; and the fuel oil used for tankers and other large vessels. (2/3 of the transportation oil is turned into gasoline for cars.) Other uses of oil – heating, factory operation, electricity generation, etc. – have declined considerably. According to the EIA, “while oil continues to account for more than 95 percent of all the energy used for transportation in the United States, oil accounts for less than 20 percent of the energy consumed for other, stationary uses, down from 30 percent in 1973.”
 
The American “addiction to fossil fuels” is really a car problem. Americans won’t give up their cars any time soon, hybrids only nibble the edges of the problem, and when gas prices fall, sales of bigger cars rise (now, for example, as compared to the $4.25/gal we paid after Hurricane Katrina). What if we tried something radical – a public-private partnership?
 
The public part would be the President making a national security finding that importing oil from the Persian Gulf and Venezuela is a threat to American national security interests. He could mandate that American automobiles run on natural gas, which is in abundant domestic supply, within a specified amount of time. Existing cars could be retrofitted (they do it in Argentina) and new cars can be configured. The mandate is the public part. The private part would be auto companies producing the cars and gasoline stations (or “filling stations” as they used to be called and will be called again) creating the infrastructure to make the profit.  
 
The 20 percent of current oil usage that is not transportation-related could come from Canada.
 
It is not the only way, of course, but any serious move would take a truly bold President – one who understands that imported oil funds terrorism and anti-Americanism around the world, and believes domestic oil is a risk for other reasons. It would take a President who would be pleased, not upset, by the howling of Iran, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Russia as oil prices fell in response to diminished American purchase.   
 
It would take a President who is serious.

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Bryen is senior director of security policy of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs.  Her column is sponsored by Waxie Sanitary Supply in memory of Morris Wax, longtime JINSA supporter and national board member.

Chavez fosters anti-Semitism in Venezuela

June 16, 2010 2 comments

NEW YORK (Press Release)–Acerbic and hate-filled statements by President Hugo Chavez and other Venezuelan government leaders are once again contributing to a climate of rising anti-Semitism in Venezuela, where extreme criticism of Israel “continues to be used as a political tool.”

According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), recent statements from Chavez and others in the government fit into a pattern of extreme anti-Israel rhetoric from Venezuela’s current leaders. In the aftermath of the Gaza flotilla affair, President Chavez cursed Israel as a “terrorist state” and an enemy of the Venezuelan revolution and claimed Israel’s Mossad spy agency was trying to assassinate him.

“Extreme criticism and the de-legitimization of Israel continue to be used by the government of Venezuela as a political tool,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “The atmosphere of extreme anti-Israel criticism and an unsettling focus on the Venezuelan Jewish community’s attitudes creates an environment for anti-Semitism to grow and flourish. So far this hasn’t translated into attacks against individual Jews or Jewish institutions.  However, we cannot forget that the Jewish community in Venezuela has already witnessed violent anti-Semitic incidents in the past few years.”

In a new online report, the League documents recent anti-Semitic expressions in Venezuela in the aftermath of the Gaza flotilla incident, including those of government and political leaders, conspiracy theories and accusations in the government-run media, and statements on various anti-Israel Web sites.

In a June 12 interview with the government-owned national television network, Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro was asked about Hezbollah’s alleged presence in Venezuela and the threat of an attack on the Jewish community. He suggested that should a terrorist attack be carried out on Venezuelan soil, a likely culprit would be the “intelligence assassin apparatus of the State of Israel,” the Mossad.

Vilification of Zionism is particularly present in the government-run media and the so-called “alternative” media run by government sympathizers who are intricately intertwined with the government apparatus, according to ADL.  Media and political leaders seem to take their cues from Chavez, who has in the past few years made his feelings about Israel all-too clear.

“While Chavez tries to inoculate himself against charges of anti-Semitism by issuing assurances that he is not against Jews, he and his government hold the Jewish community to account for their positions on Israel,” said Mr. Foxman. “Chavez has called on Venezuelan Jews to speak out against Israel, and this has put the community in a difficult position where their loyalty to their country is being called into question.”

The League’s report includes examples of cartoons and images from anti-Israel rallies, as well as excerpts of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel statements from the Web site Aporrea.org, whose founder and webmaster until February 2009 was Martin Sanchez, the Venezuelan Consul General of San Francisco. Aporrea is a forum for anti-Semitic sentiments filled with stereotypes of Jews reminiscent of the fictional “Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion.”
 
Editors Note: The full report, including visuals, is available on the League’s Web site .

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Preceding provided by the Anti-Defamation League

Hizballah destabilizing force throughout Middle East, State Department testifies

June 9, 2010 1 comment

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Press Release)–Jeffrey Feltman, acting assistant Secretary of State for the bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, on Tuesday delivered an assessment of the threat posed by Hizballah to other Lebanese parties, Israel, and to the wider Middle East.  He spoke to the Senate Foreign Affair’s subcommittee on  Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs.

Chairman Casey, Members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the invitation to appear before you today to discuss Hizballah. We share this Committee’s deep concerns about the threats posed by this terrorist group, its activities, and the support and direction it receives from outside actors. We look forward to discussing Hizballah’s position within Lebanon, its destabilizing role in the country and the wider region, and our ongoing efforts to promote the sovereignty and independence of the state of Lebanon, as well as peace and stability in the broader Middle East.

Hizballah’s persistence as a well-armed terrorist group within Lebanon, as well as its robust relationships with Iran and Syria, and the transfer of increasingly sophisticated missiles and rockets to Hizballah, threaten the interests of the United States, Lebanon, and our partners in the region, especially Israel. Our ongoing efforts to counter those threats include cutting off terrorism financing and interdicting illicit arms shipments, as well as bilateral and multilateral diplomatic efforts aimed at ending those arms transfers and supporting the legitimate Government of Lebanon. We have warned Syria directly about the potential consequences of these destabilizing actions. Most importantly, we are working to achieve a comprehensive peace in the region, centered on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. To be successful, this comprehensive peace needs to include a solution to the problem of Hizballah’s weapons and hostility. A comprehensive peace by definition must also include Lebanon and Syria as full partners.

A Threat to Lebanon’s Interests

Lebanon is a state with a vibrant civil society; however, its people also have a history of relying on sectarian and community leaders. Over the years, this tradition of political decentralization has inhibited the rise of strong state institutions and a truly unifying sense of national citizenship. Hizballah has exploited this environment and managed to attract popular support among segments of the population that have felt traditionally neglected by a weak state or particularly vulnerable to threats from within and outside the country. Hizballah attempts to portray itself as a natural part of Lebanon’s political system and a defender of Lebanese interests. But its actions demonstrate otherwise. Hizballah has demonstrated repeatedly its unwillingness to adhere to the rule of law and submit to the Government of Lebanon’s legitimate authority. The group’s maintenance of a large and potent militia; its repeated use of force, including against Lebanese civilians and civilians of other nationalities; its ongoing violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1701; and its refusal to comply with the disarmament called for in both the Taif Accord and UNSCR 1559, render it a dangerous and destabilizing player in Lebanon and in the region. Hizballah continues to pursue its interests and those of its chief outside sponsor, Iran, by manipulating the Lebanese political system to protect its own power. Hizballah refuses any public oversight or accountability of its activities, which have plunged Lebanon into war in the past and could do so again, while at the same time Hizballah demands the right to veto decisions taken by the Lebanese government.

Hizballah remains the most technically-capable terrorist group in the world and a continued security threat to the United States. Hizballah is responsible for some of the deadliest terrorist attacks against Americans in history, and the United States has designated it as a Foreign Terrorist Organization since 1997. While we recognize that Hizballah is not directly targeting the United States and U.S. interests today, we are aware that could change if tensions increase with Iran over that country’s nuclear program. The administration has also reiterated that it will not deal with or have any contact with the terrorist organization. There has been much debate over the political identity of Hizballah, as well as the prospects for Hizballah to become a legitimate political party within Lebanon. Following Lebanon’s bloody civil war, other militias disbanded or were integrated into Lebanon’s legitimate defense force, the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF). However, despite the group’s rhetoric and political campaigning, there remains today no meaningful distinction between the military and political wings of Hizballah, as Hizballah’s own leaders regularly acknowledge publicly. Should Hizballah truly desire to join the ranks of Lebanon’s other political groups in its democratic system, its path would be clear: it would fully disarm, like all other militias, renounce terrorism and political intimidation, and acknowledge the authority of the Government of Lebanon (GOL) and that government’s right, like other governments, to a monopoly on the use of force. Under those circumstances we could reconsider the group’s status. Make no mistake, these are significant hurdles and we have seen no indication to date that Hizballah is ready to take these steps. The fact that Hizballah is not willing to take these steps reveals its real motivations: since we have no doubt that Hizballah could remain a powerful political voice inside Lebanon even without maintaining arms that violate Security Council Resolutions and endanger Lebanon, its refusal to forswear violence and pursue its interests through political means demonstrates that its agenda is not purely Lebanese. As we noted above, unlike other Lebanese groups that currently seek to play a productive role in Lebanon’s political system, Hizballah is the lone militia that refused to disarm following the signing of the Taif Accord, which marked the end of Lebanon’s tragic civil war. Even following the “Cedar Revolution” of 2005, when the Lebanese people turned out in droves to reassert Lebanon’s full independence and sovereignty, culminating in the withdrawal of Syrian forces, Hizballah has remained in open defiance of the legitimate authority of the Lebanese government, even when it has been part of the same government. In March 2005, as other Lebanese were preparing for the massive March 14 Cedar Revolution in reaction to the shocking murder of Rafiq Hariri, Hizballah actually hosted a counter demonstration, in defiance of Lebanese public opinion, to thank and show its appreciation for Iran and Syria. Hizballah’s arsenal of illegal weapons poses a clear and present danger to the security of Lebanon and the region. Its actions belie the “resistance” rhetoric that it is fond of repeating. One need only look to the disastrous 2006 conflict, precipitated by Hizballah’s kidnapping of Israeli soldiers from across the Blue Line in indisputably Israeli territory, to see that its arms and aggressive action are a source and motivator for violence in the immediate region. Hizballah’s maintenance of arms caches in Southern Lebanon, in clear violation of UNSCRs 1701 and 1559, demonstrates that Hizballah seeks to project its military power in destabilizing fashion. In the 2006 case, Hizballah, without consultation or approval of even its electoral allies, unilaterally chose to take actions that dragged the country into an agonizing and destructive conflict. Hizballah’s actions highlighted the impotence of the words of its primary Christian ally, Michel Aoun, who struggled to justify his controversial February 2006 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Hizballah by saying that, with this MOU, Hizballah accepted limits to its use of its arms.

Even more striking than the external conflict instigated by Hizballah are the events of May 2008. In trying to mask its Iranian agenda, Hizballah had regularly insisted that its arms would never be used against the Lebanese people. Yet in May 2008, Hizballah did exactly that, attacking Lebanese citizens — the very people it claims to protect — in order to protest decisions of the Lebanese government with which it disagreed. Using force to settle domestic political disputes clearly distorts and perverts Lebanon’s democracy.

Despite the devastating effects of its 2006 war with Israel and the 2008 domestic conflict in Lebanon, which Hizballah initiated, Hizballah remains today one of the best armed and most dangerous militias in the world. Its capabilities exceed those of the legitimate Lebanese security services and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). UNSCR 1701 called for the establishment of a weaponsfree zone in South Lebanon that UNIFIL and the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) are actively working to implement. However, we believe that, in addition to its increased activities outside of UNIFIL’s area of operations, Hizballah continues to maintain weapons caches in the south and is actively seeking additional armaments.

Hizballah also claims publicly to have reconstituted and improved its arsenal since the 2006 war. As Lebanon has no domestic arms industry, this would have undoubtedly been accomplished by means of smuggling activity via Syria and Iran. In 2008 alone, Iran provided hundreds of millions of dollars to Hizballah and trained thousands of Hizballah fighters at camps in Iran. Iran continues to assist Hizballah in rearming, violating Security Council resolution 1701. Iran also has been found to be in violation of UNSCR 1747, which prohibits it from exporting arms and related materiel. In 2009, UN member states reported to the UN’s Iran Sanctions Committee three instances in which Iran was found to be transferring arms or related materiel to Syria, a regional hub for Iranian support to terrorist groups, such as Hizballah. A number of media reports also have noted that Hizballah continues using weapons depots in Syria to store its arms before transferring them into Lebanon. While Hizballah no longer maintains an overt militia presence in southern Lebanon — the absence of an overt militia presence being a direct product of Security Council resolution 1701 — it has strengthened its militia infrastructure immediately north of the Litani river and in the Biqa’ Valley since 2006.

While Iran continues to provide a significant portion of Hizballah’s funding, Hizballah has also broadened its sources of financial support in recent years. Hizballah is now heavily involved in a wide range of criminal activity, including the drug trade and smuggling. It also receives funds from both legitimate and illicit businesses that its members operate, from NGOs under its control, and from donations from its supporters throughout the world. Hizballah also has established its own commercial and communications networks outside the Lebanese legal system that in essence rob the Lebanese treasury of the tax revenues that would come via legitimate licensing, registration, and tax reporting.

A Threat to the Region’s Interests

Hizballah’s destabilizing actions also have a global reach. The recent conviction of a Hizballah cell in Egypt for spying, plotting attacks on resorts frequented by tourists, and arms smuggling illustrates Hizballah’s growing regional reach and ambitions. In Iraq, we are also aware of Hizballah providing training and other support to Shia militant groups. As of early 2007, an Iran-based individual by the name of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis formed a militia group, employing instructors from Hizballah to prepare this group and certain Jaysh al-Mahdi Special Groups for attacks against Coalition Forces in Iraq. Hizballah’s web also extends to Europe and diplomatic missions abroad, where Hizballah planned to attack the Israeli Embassy in Baku. While this attack was foiled, and the perpetrators are now imprisoned in Azerbaijan, these actions illustrate the group’s continued disregard for the rule of law, both inside Lebanon and outside its borders.

We must also recognize that the ever-evolving technology of war is making it harder to guarantee our partners’ security. Despite efforts at containment, rockets with better guidance systems, longer range, and more destructive power are spreading across the region, with many in the hands of non-state actors accountable to no one. Reports that Syria transferred SCUD-class missiles to Hizballah are deeply troubling; these destabilizing developments increase the risks of miscalculation and the possibility of hostilities.

On May 25 this year, Hassan Nasrallah, Hizballah’s leader, gave a speech proclaiming for the first time that Hizballah will target Israeli and Israel-bound military and commercial vessels if Israel initiates offensive action against Lebanese ports or undertakes a naval blockade of Lebanon in a future conflict. Hizballah also has made a number of threats and claims recently about the expanding range of its arsenal, with Nasrallah stating that Hizballah has the capability to hit Ben Gurion airport.

The Obama Administration is committed to ensuring Israel’s security and helping Israel to defend itself. The United States and Israel cooperate closely on security issues. On an ongoing basis, both countries participate in joint military planning, combined exercises and training, and collaborate on military research and weapons development.

The United States also cooperates extensively with Israel on ballistic missile defense to ensure Israel is protected against missile threats. We are working with Israel to further develop the Arrow Weapons System, the David’s Sling system to defend against short-range rocket and missile threats, and the X-Band radar to provide early warning and interceptor integration capabilities. Additionally, our biannual military exercise “Juniper Cobra” is the largest joint-military exercise on missile defense. The Obama Administration also committed to provide $205 million in additional funding to help Israel field the Iron Dome short-range missile defense system.

An Obstacle to Peace

Time and again, we have seen that Hizballah’s weapons and Syria’s support for its role as an independent armed force in Lebanon are a threat, both to Lebanon and Israel, as well as a major obstacle to achieving peace in the region. Hizballah exploits the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict to bolster its own interests and influence. The group claims to maintain arms in order to defend Lebanon from Israeli “aggression” and derives much of its popularity from its image as a “resistance” group. In truth, Hizballah is actively using the conflict with Israel in order to gain regional popularity and justify its vast arsenal, acting as a point of leverage in the region for Iran. One of Hizballah’s rhetorical points regards Israeli overflights of Lebanese territory. The UN Secretary General has cited in his reports on UNSCRs 1559 and 1701 that these overflights are a violation of UNSCR 1701, a resolution which we are all committed to seeing fully implemented. Yet there is an unmistakable connection between these overflights and Hizballah’s blatant and ongoing efforts to evade the arms embargo that is the essence of UNSCR 1701; Hizballah’s activities create the very conditions that Hizballah then uses as a pretext to justify its own destabilizing behavior, putting Lebanon at severe risk.

The Obama Administration’s efforts to defuse tensions and to achieve a comprehensive peace in the Middle East — defined as peace between Israel and the Palestinians, and between Israel and all its neighbor states — would, if successful, deal a significant blow to Hizballah and its sponsor in Tehran. Comprehensive regional peace has a special meaning in the context of Lebanon, where, for decades, the absence of peace has facilitated the operation of many organizations whose interests are not Lebanese. In the 1980s, Hizballah took root with the vital assistance of Iranian money, training, weaponry and political support. Although Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanese territory in 2000 – withdrawal certified as complete by the United Nations – should have put an end to Hizballah’s claims to be resisting foreign occupation, Hizballah has been able to manipulate weaknesses in Lebanon’s domestic political structures to preserve the pretense of resistance. While the United States believes firmly that, in compliance with the territorial obligations of UNSCR 1701, Israel must withdraw its forces from northern Ghajjar, reoccupied during the 2006 conflict, the primary stumbling block to peace and stability between Israel and Lebanon is Hizballah’s arsenal and proven willingness to use it.

We understand clearly that a comprehensive peace cannot come at the expense of Lebanese interests, and we understand fully the sensitivity of the issue of the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon who yearn for, and deserve, a viable state of Palestine that they can call home. But Hizballah’s arms and defiance of the international community take us further away from, not closer to, the comprehensive peace that is envisioned in the groundbreaking Arab Peace Initiative, supported unanimously by the Arab League and announced in Beirut in 2002. By contrast, Iran and Hizballah have a very different vision and show no signs of accepting Israel’s right to exist.

The Path Forward

Hizballah’s insistence on remaining armed, aggressive, and unaccountable threatens important American interests and goals – especially our interests in Middle East peace and regional security, in containing the spread of destabilizing weapons and terror financing, and in a strong, democratic, and independent state of Lebanon.

The United States is committed to strengthening the Government of Lebanon and its institutions. Our support to the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and Internal Security Force (ISF) is part of an international commitment to help bolster Lebanon’s legitimate security services at the request of the Lebanese government. Since 2006, we have committed more than $600 million to the LAF and ISF out of a conviction that the Lebanese army and police should provide protection for Lebanon’s people. As demonstrated through their successful domestic counterterrorism operations, the operational improvements in the LAF and ISF as a result of U.S. military and security assistance have been significant thus far and have great potential for growth. The Lebanese state must be prepared, in terms of its institutions and capabilities, for that day when comprehensive peace is achieved; our assistance to the LAF and ISF needs to be seen in terms of that long-term investment. Moreover, the United States provides assistance and support in Lebanon that work to create alternatives to extremism, reduce Hizballah’s appeal to Lebanon’s youth, and empower people through greater respect for their rights and greater access to opportunity. Through USAID and the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), we have contributed more than $500 million to this effort since 2006. These robust assistance programs represent one facet of our unwavering support for the Lebanese people and a strong, sovereign, stable, and democratic Lebanon. Since 2006, our total assistance to Lebanon has now exceeded $1 billion. If we let down the millions of Lebanese who yearn for a state that represents the aspirations of all Lebanese, we would create the conditions by which Hizballah can, by filling a vacuum, grow even stronger.

The United States cooperates directly with international partners to constrict Hizballah’s range of action and impede its ability receive and transfer funds. Hizballah’s network of financial support knows no borders, with active operations in many places around the globe, including Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and Latin America. In addition to the Department of State’s designation of Hizballah as an FTO, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has used Executive Order 13224, which was issued soon after the September 2001 attacks to bolster the US government’s capability to target terrorists’ financial networks, to target Hizballah’s global financial support system. A wide range of individuals and entities that are controlled by or affiliated with Hizballah have been designated under the EO. Financial institutions around the world pay close attention to these designations. The entities that OFAC has targeted include banks and financial front companies operating in Lebanon and elsewhere, such as Bayt al-Mal and the Yousser Company; Hizballah-linked NGOs including The Goodwill Charitable Organization, a fundraising office established indirectly by the Martyrs Foundation in Lebanon; Hizballah’s construction company Jihad al-Bina; and individuals like Abd Al Menem Qubaysi, a Hizballah supporter based in West Africa; Ghazi Nasr al Din and Fawzi Kan’an, two Venezuela-based supporters of Hizballah; and the Barakat network of 10 individuals in the tri-border region of Latin America.

The United States has also taken action against Iranian entities that are involved in funding and supporting Hizballah. Perhaps most importantly, in 2007 the U.S. government designated Iran’s Qods Force, the terrorist wing of Tehran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which has provided extensive support, equipment and training for Hizballah. The year prior, the United States designated one of the largest Iranian state-owned banks, Bank Saderat, for transferring funds to Hizballah and Palestinian rejectionist groups. From 2001-2006, for example, Bank Saderat was used by the Iranian government to provide at least $50 million to Hizballah. Hizballah has used Bank Saderat to transfer funds, sometimes in the millions of dollars, to support the activities of other terrorist organizations, such as Hamas in Gaza.

From his earliest days in office, President Obama has put the difficult work of pursuing a comprehensive peace in the region at the top of his administration’s agenda. The status quo strengthens rejectionists like Hizballah who claim peace is impossible, and it weakens those who would accept coexistence. All of our regional challenges – confronting the threat posed by Iran, combating violent extremism, promoting human rights and economic opportunity – become harder if the rejectionists grow in power and influence.

Leading our efforts, Senator George Mitchell has been working diligently with the parties to build the atmosphere that can produce a negotiated resolution to the conflict. We are encouraging Israel to continue building momentum toward a comprehensive peace by respecting the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people, stopping settlement activity, and addressing the humanitarian needs in Gaza. We are encouraging the Palestinians to do their part by continuing to ensure security, reform their institutions of governance, and end incitement. Regional states who must be concerned about the destabilizing impact of extremist groups like Hizballah and Hamas must do more to bolster the efforts of the Palestinian Authority (PA) under President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad. The PA’s institution-building plans deserve and require continued financial support, and the United States will continue to be a substantial donor. It is also in the interest of Arab states to advance the Arab Peace Initiative with actions, not just rhetoric. Our goal of a comprehensive peace also requires that we work to resolve the conflicts between Israel and Syria and Israel and Lebanon. Through diplomacy and through Special Envoy Mitchell’s efforts, we are actively seeking to restart peace negotiations between Israel and Syria, and to bring Syria to play a more positive role in the region. We are determined to try to build a constructive relationship with Syria, one in which Syria and the United States can be partners in support of that comprehensive peace. Given the differences between Syria and the United States, this will not be an easy or quick process. But, in light of our national interests in a comprehensive regional peace, we are working with the Syrians in a step-by-step process that we hope will build trust and create momentum.

We thank Members of this Committee for expeditiously voting Ambassador Ford out of Committee, as we now await his confirmation by the full Senate. In addition to recent visits to Syria by administration officials, including Undersecretary of State Burns in February, restoring our Ambassador to Damascus will enable the administration to deliver strong, unfiltered messages readily, consistently, and directly to the highest levels of the Syrian government. The Obama Administration has made clear that our diplomatic relations with Syria will never come at the expense of Lebanon, Israel, Iraq, or any of our other partners in the region, and our communications will continue to emphasize the need for Syria to end its support for Hizballah.

Conclusion

The United States continues to take the threats posed by Hizballah to the United States, to Lebanon, to Israel, and the region at large, with the utmost seriousness. We are mounting considerable diplomatic, as well as counterterrorism, and assistance efforts aimed at minimizing the threat and influence of Hizballah in the region, and promoting peace, stability, and prosperity across the Middle East.

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Preceding provided by U.S. State Department

U.S. bungles relationships with Turkey and Honduras

June 8, 2010 1 comment

By Shoshana Bryen

Shoshana Bryen

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Turkey and Honduras, in different ways, highlight the lack of effective leadership the United States currently is able to exercise in the world. 
 
Turkey: Turkish government support for the IHH ship in the Gaza flotilla is now well understood and the anti-Semitic ravings of both official Turks and the Turkish media have made Turkey’s intention to split from Israel clear. 
 
But it is a mistake to think this is only about Israel. Support for the flotilla was only the latest in a series of Turkish decisions designed to distance itself from the United States and move toward closer political relations with countries adversarial to us. Immediately after the bloody 2007 Hamas coup against Fatah in Gaza, the United States and the European Union reiterated that Hamas was a terrorist organization to be shunned. Instead, Turkey’s prime minister invited Hamas leadership to Ankara. The Hamas-Turkey relationship has grown as the Turkey-Palestinian Authority relationship, the relationship supported by the United States and the EU, has declined. Rapprochement with Russia, Syria and Iran, and the Iran-Brazil-Turkey enriched uranium deal are more of the same.
 
After his meeting with Secretary of State Clinton, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told reporters, “Citizens of member states were attacked by a country that is not a member of NATO. I think you can make some conclusions out of this statement.” The implication was that Turkey would ask NATO for some satisfaction-or some slap at Israel.
 
Thank you for the reminder, Mr. Minister.
 
Turkey, as a member of NATO, is privy to intelligence information having to do with terrorism and with Iran. If Turkey finds its best friends to be Iran, Hamas, Syria and Brazil (look for Venezuela in the future) the security of that information (and Western technology in weapons in Turkey’s arsenal) is suspect.  The United States should seriously consider suspending military cooperation with Turkey as a prelude to removing it from the organization.
 
Honduras: The United States tried to have it both ways. The Obama Administration quickly jumped in with Venezuela, Brazil, Cuba and Nicaragua to denounce what it called a “coup” in Honduras. The United States voted with its new best friends to oust Honduras from the Organization of American States (OAS), and cut off various forms of diplomatic and economic aid to the small Central American country. After the Congressional Research Service (CRS) concluded that the Honduran Congress, Supreme Court and military had acted in accordance with the Honduran Constitution, the Obama Administration brokered a deal that permitted the previously scheduled election with previously nominated candidates to go forward.  When the new president was sworn in, the United States recognized the new government and withdrew its sanctions. 
 
All’s well that ends well, right? Not exactly.
 
At the OAS meeting in Peru this week, the United States tried to have Honduras reinstated. Guess who said no; Venezuela, Cuba, Brazil and Nicaragua refused to even to put the issue on the table. Hugo, Lula, Fidel and Danny were perfectly happy to let the Obama Administration join them in ganging up on a (former) American ally. But they still think they’re leading. 
 
Maybe they are.

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Bryen is senior director of security policy of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs.  Her column is sponsored by Waxie Sanitary Supply in memory of Morris Wax, longtime JINSA supporter and national board member.