Monday, January 30, 2017

903 CIA & Green Left ('Liberal', 'Feminist') Coup against Trump; he plays Zionists against them

CIA & Green Left ('Liberal', 'Feminist') Coup against Trump; he plays
Zionists against them

Newsletter published on 29 December 2016

(1) CIA Coup to stop Trump taking office & improving Russia relations -
James Petras
(2) Michael Moore urges Green Left "rapid response teams" to block Trump
& Congress
(3) Gloria Steinem to march in Trump inauguration protest, vows "we will
organize"
(4) Trump plays Zionists against Liberal (Green Left) Jews - Israel Shamir
(5) Trump the disappearing "Neutral Guy" on the Mideast crisis
(6) Israeli Ambassador lambasts Obama. Obama furious that Netanyahu got
Trump to phone al-Sisi

(1) CIA Coup to stop Trump taking office & improving Russia relations -
James Petras


From: "Ken Freeland diogenesquest@gmail.com [shamireaders]"
Date: Wed, 28 Dec 2016 11:37:17 -0600
Subject: [shamireaders] Petras - The Coup against Trump and His Military
- Wall Street
  Defense
From: James Petras <jpetras@binghamton.edu>

http://petras.lahaine.org/?p=2118

The Coup against Trump and His Military – Wall Street Defense

James Petras

Introduction

A coup has been underway to prevent President-Elect Donald Trump from
taking office and fulfilling his campaign promise to improve US-Russia
relations.  This ‘palace coup’ is not a secret conspiracy, but an open,
loud attack on the election.  The coup involves important US elites, who
openly intervene on many levels from the street to the current
President, from sectors of the intelligence community, billionaire
financiers out to the more marginal ‘leftist’ shills of the Democratic
Party.

The build-up for the coup is gaining momentum, threatening to eliminate
normal constitutional and democratic constraints.  This essay describes
the brazen, overt coup and the public operatives, mostly members of the
outgoing Obama regime.

The second section describes the Trump’s cabinet appointments and the
political measures that the President-Elect has adopted to counter the
coup.  We conclude with an evaluation of the potential political
consequences of the attempted coup and Trump’s moves to defend his
electoral victory and legitimacy.

The Coup as ‘Process’

In the past few years Latin America has experienced several examples of
the seizure of Presidential power by unconstitutional means, which may
help illustrate some of the current moves underway in Washington.  These
are especially interesting since the Obama Administration served as the
‘midwife’ for these ‘regime changes’.

Brazil, Paraguay, Honduras and Haiti experienced coups, in which the
elected Presidents were ousted through a series of political
interventions orchestrated by economic elites and their political allies
in Congress and the Judiciary.

President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton were deeply involved in
these operations as part of their established foreign policy of ‘regime
change’.  Indeed, the ‘success’ of the Latin American coups has
encouraged sectors of the US elite to attempt to prevent President-elect
Trump from taking office in January.

While similarities abound, the on-going coup against Trump in the United
States occurs within a very different power configuration of proponents
and antagonists.

Firstly, this coup is not against a standing President, but targets an
elected president set to take office on January 20, 2017.  Secondly, the
attempted coup has polarized leading sectors of the political and
economic elite.  It even exposes a seamy rivalry within the
intelligence-security apparatus, with the political appointees heading
the CIA involved in the coup and the FBI supporting the incoming
President Trump and the constitutional process.  Thirdly, the evolving
coup is a sequential process, which will build momentum and then
escalate very rapidly.

Coup-makers depend on the ‘Big Lie’ as their point of departure –
accusing President-Elect Trump of 1) being a Kremlin stooge, attributing
his electoral victory to Russian intervention against his Democratic
Party opponent, Hillary Clinton and 2) blatant voter fraud in which the
Republican Party prevented minority voters from casting their ballot for
Secretary Clinton.

The first operatives to emerge in the early stages of the coup included
the marginal-left Green Party Presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein, who
won less than 1% of the vote, as well as the mass media.

In the wake of her resounding defeat, Candidate Stein usurped authority
from the national Green Party and rapidly raked in $8 million dollars in
donations from Democratic Party operatives and George Soros-linked NGO’s
(many times the amount raised during her Presidential campaign).  This
dodgy money financed her demand for ballot recounts in selective states
in order to challenge Trump’s victory.  The recounts failed to change
the outcome, but it was a ‘first shot across the bow’, to stop Trump.
It became a propaganda focus for the neo-conservative mass media to
mobilize several thousand Clintonite and liberal activists.

The purpose was to undermine the legitimacy of Trump’s electoral
victory.  However, Jill Stein’s $8 million dollar shilling for Secretary
Clinton paled before the oncoming avalanche of mass media and NGO
propaganda against Trump.  Their main claim was that anonymous ‘Russian
hackers’ and not the American voters had decided the US Presidential
election of November 2016!

The ‘Big Lie’ was repeated and embellished at every opportunity by the
print and broadcast media.  The ‘experts’ were trotted out voicing
vitriolic accusations, but they never presented any facts and
documentation of a ‘rigged election’.  Everyday, every hour, the
‘Russian Plot’ was breathlessly described in the Washington Post, the
New York Times, the Financial Times, CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, BBC, NPR and
their overseas followers in Europe, Asia, Latin America, Oceana and
Africa.  The great American Empire looked increasingly like a ‘banana
republic’.

Like the Billionaire Soros-funded ‘Color Revolutions’, from Ukraine, to
Georgia and Yugoslavia, the ‘Rainbow Revolt’ against Trump, featured
grass-roots NGO activists and ‘serious leftists’, like Jill Stein.

The more polished political operatives from the upscale media used their
editorial pages to question Trump’s illegitimacy.  This established the
ground work for even higher level political intervention:  The current
US Administration, including President Obama, members of the US Congress
from both parties, and current and former heads of the CIA jumped into
the fray.  As the vote recount ploy flopped, they all decided that
‘Vladimir Putin swung the US election!’  It wasn’t just lunatic
neo-conservative warmongers who sought to oust Trump and impose Hillary
Clinton on the American people, liberals and social democrats were
screaming ‘Russian Plot!’  They demanded a formal Congressional
investigation of the ‘Russian cyber hacking’ of Hillary’s personal
e-mails (where she plotted to cheat her rival ‘Bernie Sanders’ in the
primaries).  They demanded even tighter economic sanctions against
Russia and increased military provocations.  The outgoing Democratic
Senator and Minority Leader ‘Harry’ Reid wildly accused the FBI of
acting as ‘Russian agents’ and hinted at a purge.

The coup intensified as Trump-Putin became synonymous for "betrayal" and
"election fraud".

As this approached a crescendo of media hysteria, President Barack Obama
stepped in and called on the CIA to seize domestic control of the
investigation of Russian manipulation of the US election – essentially
accusing President-Elect Trump of conspiring with the Russian
government.  Obama refused to reveal any proof of such a broad plot,
citing ‘national security’.

President Obama solemnly declared the Trump-Putin conspiracy was a grave
threat to American democracy and Western security and freedom.  He
darkly promised to retaliate against Russia, "...at a time and place of
our choosing".

Obama also pledged to send more US troops to the Middle East and
increase arms shipments to the jihadi terrorists in Syria, as well as
the Gulf State and Saudi ‘allies’.  Coincidentally, the Syrian
Government and their Russian allies were poised to drive the US-backed
terrorists out of Aleppo – and defeat Obama’s campaign of ‘regime
change’ in Syria.

Trump Strikes Back:  The Wall Street- Military Alliance

Meanwhile, President-Elect Donald Trump did not crumple under the
Clintonite-coup in progress.  He prepared a diverse counter-attack to
defend his election, relying on elite allies and mass supporters.

Trump denounced the political elements in the CIA, pointing out their
previous role in manufacturing the justifications (he used the term
‘lies’) for the invasion of Iraq in 2003.  He appointed three retired
generals to key Defense and Security positions – indicating a power
struggle between the highly politicized CIA and the military.  Active
and retired members of the US Armed Forces have been key Trump
supporters.  He announced that he would bring his own security teams and
integrate them with the Presidential Secret Service during his
administration.

Although Clinton-Obama had the major mass media and a sector of the
financial elite who supported the coup, Trump countered by appointing
several key Wall Street and corporate billionaires into his cabinet who
had their own allied business associations.

One propaganda line for the coup, which relied on certain Zionist
organizations and leaders (ADL, George Soros et al), was the bizarre
claim that Trump and his supporters were ‘anti-Semites’.  This was were
countered by Trump’s appointment of powerful Wall Street Zionists like
Steven Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary and Gary Cohn (both of Goldman
Sachs) to head the National Economic Council.  Faced with the Obama-CIA
plot to paint Trump as a Russian agent for Vladimir Putin, the
President-Elect named security hardliners including past and present
military leaders and FBI officials, to key security and intelligence
positions.

The Coup:  Can it succeed?

In early December, President Obama issued an order for the CIA to
‘complete its investigation’ on the Russian plot and manipulation of the
US Presidential election in six weeks – right up to the very day of
Trump’s inauguration on January 20, 2017!  A concoction of pre-cooked
‘findings’ is already oozing out of secret clandestine CIA archives with
the President’s approval.  Obama’s last-ditch effort will not change the
outcome of the election.  Clearly this is designed to poison the
diplomatic well and present Trump’s incoming administration as
dangerous. Trump’s promise to improve relations with Russia will face
enormous resistance in this frothy, breathless hysteria of Russophobia.

Ultimately, President Obama is desperate to secure his legacy, which has
consisted of disastrous and criminal imperial wars and military
confrontations.  He wants to force a continuation of his grotesque
policies onto the incoming Trump Administration.  Will Trump succumb?
The legitimacy of his election and his freedom to make policy will
depend on overcoming the Clinton-Obama-neo-con-leftist coup with his own
bloc of US military and the powerful Wall Street allies, as well as his
mass support among the ‘angry’ American electorate. Trump’s success at
thwarting the current ‘Russian ploy’ requires his forming counter
alliances with Washington plutocrats, many of whom will oppose any
diplomatic agreement with Putin.  Trump’s appointment of hardline
economic plutocrats who are deeply committed to shredding social
programs (public education, Medicare, Social Security) could ignite the
anger of his mass supporters by savaging their jobs, health care,
pensions and their children’s future.

If Trump defeats the avalanching media, CIA and elite-instigated coup
(which interestingly lack support from the military and judiciary), he
will have to thank, not only his generals and billionaire-buddies, but
also his downwardly mobile mass supporters (Hillary Clinton’s detested
‘basket of deplorables’).  He embarked on a major series of ‘victory
tours’ around the country to thank his supporters among the military,
workers, women and small business people and call on them to defend his
election to the presidency. He will have to fulfill some of his promises
to the masses or face ‘the real fire’, not from Clintonite shills and
war-mongers, but from the very people who voted for him.

(2) Michael Moore urges Green Left "rapid response teams" to block Trump
& Congress


http://thehill.com/blogs/in-the-know/in-the-know/michael-moore-instructions-for-taking-on-donald-trump

BY MARK HENSCH - 12/27/16 10:11 PM EST

Michael Moore outlines steps for challenging Trump

Liberal filmmaker Michael Moore on Tuesday detailed his five-step
strategy for countering President-elect Donald Trump

"All hands on deck!" Moore wrote on his Facebook page.

"Brush yourself off and let’s get busy because: a.) All hope is not
lost; b.) There are more of us than there are of them; and c.) The
roadside is littered with the ended careers of self-absorbed,
narcissistic politicians whose arrogance led them to do things that
caused their early resignation or impeachment. Don’t think that can’t
happen here."

Moore then predicted Trump would be "a lot worse" than many expect
before calling on voters to pressure their lawmakers to oppose the
president-elect.

"If he/she is a Republican, they will explain why they ‘support the new
president,’" he said. "You then must politely tell them you and everyone
you know will work to unseat them in 2018 if they don’t act
independently from Trump."

"If your rep is a Democrat, tell him/her you expect them to AGGRESSIVELY
fight the Trump agenda — and if they don’t, you will work with others to
support a true progressive in the Democratic primary in 2018."

Moore also urged voters to form their "own rapid response team" to
quickly react to Trump and the GOP-led Congress.

The "Fahrenheit 9/11" director then called on those frustrated with
Trump to personally protest events surrounding the Jan. 20 inauguration
in Washington, D.C.

Moore added Democrats needed fresh leadership after losing to Trump,
pointing to Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), a candidate for chairman of
the Democratic National Committee, as a good starting point.

"Here’s what the old guard gave us: TWICE in 16 years the Democratic
candidate WON the [popular] vote for president but LOST the White
House," he said. "Incredible! This has got to stop!"

"[Ellison] is the future and everyone else is the past," Moore added.
"He will fight to turn this around and, as a son of the Midwest, bring
that part of the country back from the dark side."

Moore concluded that Americans frustrated with establishment politicians
could personally run for office against Trump and his allies.

"It’s time to stop carping about politicians and become one. But a
different kind of one! We have no choice. We’ve left it to others — yes,
Democrats — and they are inept and continual losers. Haven’t you had
enough? Run for office, any office!"

(3) Gloria Steinem to march in Trump inauguration protest, vows "we will
organize"

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/312064-feminist-icon-gloria-steinem-to-march-in-womens-protest-after

Feminist icon Gloria Steinem to march in Trump inauguration protest

BY JENNIFER CALFAS - 12/28/16 08:06 PM EST

Feminist leader Gloria Steinem will help lead a major women’s protest
following President-elect  ’s inauguration.Donald Trump

Steinem will participate in the women’s anti-Trump march after the
inauguration on Jan. 21.

Steinem was named one of the march’s honorary co-chairs, alongside Harry
Belafonte. Steinem made the announcement in an Instagram post on Tuesday.

"Proud to announce my role as honorary co-chair of the Women's March on
Washington. See you there?" she wrote in the post.

The protest, called the Women’s March on Washington, is slated to have
thousands of participants and will take place in Washington, D.C.

Plans for the demonstration were created just after Trump was elected
president on Nov. 8.

Steinem was a strong supporter of Democratic nominee  .Hillary Clinton

She came under fire during the primaries when she suggested that young
women who supported Clinton's challenger only liked him to attract men.
She later apologized for the comment.Bernie Sanders

After Trump's win, Steinem wrote in an op-ed: "We will not mourn, we
will organize."

(4) Trump plays Zionists against Liberal (Green Left) Jews - Israel Shamir

From: "israel shamir israel.shamir@gmail.com [shamireaders]"
Date: Wed, 28 Dec 2016 21:36:40 +0300
Subject: [shamireaders] Christmas Surprise by Israel Shamir

Christmas Surprise

By Israel Shamir

http://www.unz.com/ishamir/christmas-surprise/

I promised you Christmas wouldn’t be dull! In a surprising move, for the
first time in 40 years, the US voted in the UN Security Council against
official Tel Aviv’s wishes. The miracle friends of Palestine and
progressive Israelis prayed for – occurred, after all. This is one of
the first benefits of Donald Trump’s victory – the long stretch of
American subservience to Jews has been broken. Yes, it was done by Obama
administration – but this wouldn’t have happened if Ms Clinton were the
President-Elect.

For 40 years the US vetoed every UNSC resolution potentially limiting
Israel’s unalienable right to treat its goyim the way it desires, inter
alia, stealing their land and settling Jews in the stolen property.
(This was in line with Jewish traditional vision that gentiles have no
rights in general, like a cat has no right to its cushion or a horse to
its stable; they keep it only as long as it suits the man.) The world
community gnashed their teeth, Israeli mirth bordered with glee, but the
US remained steadfast on its defence of Israel.

In 2011 this very President Obama vetoed a resolution practically
identical to the one he permitted to pass now. Since then Obama gave
Israel $38 billion of military help. What changed now? Why this time
Obama decided his Israeli nemesis deserves some harsh treatment?

The New York Times explained this by freedom of his approaching
retirement. Like the kids the last day of school before summer vacation
feel free to prank and settle accounts, the exiting politicians tend to
unload their chests, often about Jews they were forced to bear with,
tolerate or venerate.

The Malaysian leader Mohammad Mahathir waited until his last day in
office in 2003 to say the Jews have now gained control of the most
powerful countries and rule the world by proxy. Jimmy Carter and George
Bush Senior did not wait: they acted to limit insatiable Israeli
appetites in the first term at office, and failed to get re-elected.
Obama ran two full terms and now he is free to frolic for a while.

This may explain the timing, but not the feeling. Nothing annoys a
powerful man more than the need to kowtow to an obscure power. Not to a
king but to somebody who has no army. The church had annoyed many
rulers; the Jews are a greater nuisance. Never so much trouble from so
few, said a friend. Many people hope for their fall. Even very cautious
politicians and statesmen would rejoice if these arrogant people were
cut down to size.

For a US president, the frustration should be hard to bear. He,
ostensibly the most powerful man on earth, has been humiliated many
times by Israelis. When he visited Israel, the chief rabbi Obadiah
Youssef said he should kiss feet of Jews who permitted him to come
hither. His proposals for a rather fair settlement of Palestinian
problem were rudely rejected and his own Congress received Netanyahu
with such panache as he was rarely if ever granted.

What is the mundane source of Israel’s power? Now, as in 1917, it is
American Jews’ ability to influence American public opinion via their
media machine. This is what the Jews said to Lord Balfour in 1917,
asking him to promise Palestine to Jews and in return they would pull
the US into WWI. In no other country the Jews are that powerful as in
the US, and wherever they are powerful – they are powerful because of
America’s support and insistence. This should be another source of
frustration for an American president.

And now the Jews failed Obama and Hillary Clinton whom he supported.
They failed to deliver American public opinion. They tried, they
activated all their media, they paraded their Masters of Discourse, and
still they failed. Trump deftly used the crack between liberal Jews and
Zionists and avoided being called The Enemy of Jews, as the powerful ADL
insisted. After the election, President-elect Trump had set
<http://www.unz.com/ishamir/trump-sets-the-cat-among-the-jewish-pigeons/>
the cat among the pigeons by nominating Mr Friedman as the US ambassador
in the Israel. He turned the crack between liberal Jews and hard Zionist
Jews into a war.

"Hell just froze over,
<http://mondoweiss.net/2016/12/article-saying-zionism/?utm> reported
Mondoweiss, a progressive Jewish site: The New York Times runs an
article saying Zionism is racist". Liberal Zionist Jews of America have
been called to choose: are they with racism and Zionism, or with liberal
values.

The European Far Right used this trick of appealing to Zionists against
liberal Jews for years. Breivik the Norwegian mass murderer promoted it,
too. European Far Right parties that refused to play with Zionists and
Liberal Jews found themselves in the cold with zero media coverage.

Now a similar scheme had been used by the Brits – they gave Jews the
thing they wanted, namely Theresa May announced that she decided to
accept the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)
definition of antisemitism and to integrate it into British law, and in
the same time they facilitated the US abstention by making the text
palatable for Obama.

The Russians did it, too: they took over the TV channels from the Jewish
oligarchs, removed them from power, but cozied up to Chabad
fundamentalists and to Netanyahu.

The world will set itself free of Jewish hegemony, but this complicated
transition calls for using one bunch of Jews against another one. Or so
the politicians feel. However, the moment of freedom is approaching. As
the US hegemony declines, the Jewish one follows it into decline. Trump
won though the Jewish media, Masters of Discourse were against him. This
lesson will be learned by politicians, and implemented.

Israeli behaviour contributed a lot to the change. The white people like
fair play: they gave full rights to Jews and blacks though it was not to
their advantage. But the Jews do not care for the fairness, just for the
bottom line. Their mistreatment of Palestinians exceeded every limit of
tolerance. They could relinquish Palestine altogether and live well on
78% of its territory they got by means fair and foul. They could have
the Two States’ Solution, where Palestinian state has no control over
its borders, skies, water or military, but still has a flag and a
national anthem.

Or, if they want the whole land of Palestine, they should treat
Palestinians fairly, give them rights in one state, instead of slowly
planting more Jewish colonies on the stolen Palestinian land while
claiming to pursue Two States track. But the Jews preferred to have
their cake and eat it. Such a trick may work for a while, but not
forever, and thus Zionists learned the limits of their power.

The drama of the UNSC vote deserves to be sung. Egypt tabled the draft,
and it came under the pressure of Israel. General Sisi is rather weak
ruler; he came to power through a military coup; he is not very popular
and is susceptible to pressure. Netanyahu asked Trump to give Sisi a
talk; so he did. Trump is worried his adversaries will play some nasty
trick on him before inauguration, and he needs some protection. Sisi
agreed to postpone the vote indefinitely. Now Obama had been properly
annoyed by Trump’s interference and by Netanyahu’s going over his head.
One President at a time, he said famously.

Four states picked up the motion dropped by Egypt. New Zealand had been
threatened by Netanyahu who promised "war", recall of his ambassador and
removing the embassy. But New Zealand did not budge an inch. They
already sorted the matter out with England, and Netanyahu’s threats were
just so much of hot air for them. A few years ago, they already had sent
the Israeli ambassador packing home after it transpired Israeli Mossad
assassins were equipped with phony NZ passports.

The motion has been tabled again. Netanyahu called Putin in despair.
Putin was very friendly and promised to do what he can. The Russian man
in the UN, Vitally Churkin, indeed tried to postpone the vote until
after Christmas, or after Trump’s inauguration, but nobody else agreed
with him. So he voted for the motion.

He could not do else: as a member of the Quartet, Russia is a strong and
generous supporter of Palestine, and she is an historic protector of
Palestinians. Until recently Russia did not recognise Israeli conquests
of 1948, and that includes West Jerusalem. In the Russian maps, the
borders of Israel are the 1947 Partition plan demarcation lines, 7000
square km less then 1949 Green line. Israelis underestimated Russian
moral and religious fibre.

A day earlier, Israel’s representative stayed away from the vote on
Syria in the UN General Assembly, in order to please Putin. So Netanyahu
expected quid pro quo, but Putin preferred not to endanger the Russian
well-deserved and hard-earned reputation as the protector of Palestine
and Syria. The Russian president is a rational man. He wants to be
friends with Israel for many reasons, but not for any price: he is not
Sisi, nor sissy. Besides, Netanyahu did not hesitate to bomb Damascus
airport and Syrian army units, Russia’s allies. Putin did not fight
back, but he remembered that.

Now Netanyahu is in hysterics; he threatens the world with diplomatic
war and attacks the PNA. In a frenzy, he called Ambassadors of UNSC
member states to come to his Foreign Office on Christmas Day, as in the
case of war. He still did not get that he had lost. Israel and its
policy towards Palestinians are greatly disliked by entire world for
they are arrogant and unfair.

Netanyahu hopes Trump will change everything back into his favour. I
doubt it. Now Trump feels he needs Jewish support, but after
inauguration? He’ll see its cost may be too high. Trump will probably
play it like Putin: being friendly but minding his own business.

And truly angered Obama has one more shot, on January 15, 2017, when the
French program may internationalise the peace talks. This is a big
danger for Netanyahu and his far right.

It appears the Jews greatly overestimated their real punching weight.
They fell to believe in the Protocols as in their charter of power,
while it was just a story. And such stories have a shelf life and
validity date.

Israel Shamir can be reached at
<mailto:adam@israelshamir.net>adam@israelshamir.net

This article was first published at
<http://www.unz.com/ishamir/christmas-surprise/>The Unz Review.

(5) Trump the disappearing "Neutral Guy" on the Mideast crisis
http://nationalinterest.org/blog/paul-pillar/trump-goes-all-the-settlers-18850
https://consortiumnews.com/2016/12/24/trumps-disappearing-neutral-guy/

Trump Goes All In With the Settlers

Paul R. Pillar

December 23, 2016

Presidents-elect of the United States generally have hewn to the dictum
that the country has only one president at a time, and that this is
especially important with foreign policy.  The incoming president plans,
appoints, announces, and does anything else he wants to indicate what
his course will be after noon on January 20th, but until then it is the
incumbent president who makes and executes U.S. policy and who
negotiates with and makes demarches to foreign governments.  Donald
Trump has been behaving differently.  But even some of his previous
moves during this current transition period, such as breaking with
protocol on relations with Taiwan or telling the Chinese to keep the
marine drone they stole, did not go as far in interfering with the
execution of current policy as he now has gone regarding a United
Nations Security Council on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and matters
in the occupied territories.

It is not only that Trump issued a statement that constituted an attempt
to pressure the current administration into a course of action that
would do the bidding of a foreign government.  His operation met with a
delegation organized by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, so
secretly that Israeli press that learned of the visit describes it as
"clandestine".  Trump also, following Netanyahu’s lead, pressed
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt to withdraw the UN  resolution
that his country had introduced.

Even just as a matter of procedure, this violation of the
one-president-at-a-time principle ought to have provoked outrage. That
it did not provoke much may be due to Trump’s mastery of the art of
diverting attention from a subject by quickly saying something else that
is at least as likely to grab headlines.  In this case the attention
diverter was Trump’s comment about starting a new nuclear arms race.

As a matter of substance, Trump’s posture toward the UN resolution
should be occasion for deep dismay.  Long forgotten is his promise to be
a "neutral guy" in addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Since he
made that pledge he has come to terms with Sheldon Adelson and, through
other statements and appointments, has made clear that he will be
anything but neutral.  In case there was any remaining doubt about that
as of a couple of weeks ago, all such doubt was erased with his
appointment as ambassador to Israel of bankruptcy lawyer David
Friedman—who, by his own words, including likening liberal U.S. Jews to
Nazi stooges, and by his personal connections to the settler movement,
is firmly opposed to peace and in favor of indefinite occupation.  It
would be less incredible for Friedman to become Israeli ambassador to
the United States rather than the other way around, although even then
he would be representing only an extreme right wing rather than the
people and interests of Israel as a whole.

As for the newest UN resolution, Trump’s statement, echoing a familiar
formulation that the Netanyahu government uses whenever the possibility
of Security Council action arises, says that "peace between the Israelis
and the Palestinians will only come through direct negotiations between
the parties, and not through the imposition of terms by the United
Nations."  There is absolutely nothing in the draft resolution that
Egypt had introduced that precludes or impedes direct negotiations
between the parties or that suggests in any way that such negotiations
will not still be necessary to set the terms of any final peace
agreement.  Far from "imposing" terms, the resolution declares the need
to get beyond the obstacles that are preventing effective direct
negotiations from taking place and being able to achieve a two-state
solution that will be a lasting basis for peace between Israelis and Arabs.

That the resolution specifically mentions Israeli settlements in
occupied territory simply reflects how this unilateral altering of facts
on the ground has been steadily closing the negotiation space and making
it ever more difficult for direct negotiations to set the terms of peace
and arrive at a solution with two viable and secure states.  That the
resolution declares the colonization through settlements to be a
"flagrant violation of international law" simply restates
long-established principles of international law regarding the
responsibilities of an occupying power in territory conquered through
military force.

The draft resolution was comprehensive in identifying the obstacles to
effective direct negotiations. It’s not just the settlements, and it’s
not just what Israel is doing.  The resolution "calls for immediate
steps to prevent all acts of violence against civilians, including acts
of terror, as well as all acts of provocation and destruction, calls for
accountability in this regard, and calls for compliance with obligations
under international law for the strengthening of ongoing efforts to
combat terrorism, including through existing security coordination, and
to clearly condemn all acts of terrorism."  The resolution further
"calls upon both parties … to observe calm and restraint, and to refrain
from provocative actions, incitement and inflammatory rhetoric".

In light of all the above, Trump’s statement that the resolution "is
extremely unfair to all Israelis" is baseless.

Anyone with a concern for Israel’s security and well-being should be
aware that the continued colonization of the West Bank through expansion
of settlements does not correlate positively with such security and
well-being.  To the contrary, it detracts from Israeli security.  It
involves an added burden on the Israel Defense Forces, and it is the
most visible part of an occupation that is by far the biggest stimulus
and support for those intending to do Israel harm.

Anyone concerned with U.S. interests should be aware that the United
States has no positive interest in the settlements or in the religious
or local economic motivations that have stimulated their growth.  For
the United States, it is all negative, in terms of instability,
prospects for violence, the stimulation of extremism, and the United
States being resented and targeted because of its role in permitting the
settlement enterprise.

The combined pressure from Netanyahu and Trump got al-Sisi to withdraw
the resolution.  It is appropriate for Egypt to play a leadership role
in trying to improve the conditions for negotiation of an
Israeli-Palestinian peace, for historical reasons dating back to the
Camp David Accords of 1978.  The peace treaty with Egypt that Israel
sought was only one-half of the bargain struck at Camp David.  The other
half was supposed to be progress toward a peace covering the Palestinian
territories.  Anwar Sadat has been revolving in his grave over how,
nearly four decades later, what process there has been has failed to
yield an end to the occupation.

The case for the current resolution remains strong.  Four other members
of the Security Council—New Zealand, Malaysia, Senegal, and
Venezuela—pressed ahead with the resolution even when a bullied Egypt
backed off.  The Obama administration deserves commendation for allowing
the resolution to pass when it finally came to a vote on Friday.  A
positive vote in support would have been even better, rather than the
United States once again being in a lonely position on UN measures
involving Israel.  In this case the United States was the only one of
the fifteen Security Council members that did not vote in favor of the
resolution.  The Republican members of Congress who now are denouncing
the administration even for abstaining should be made to point to words
in the resolution itself and explain exactly what they allege is wrong
with it.  Otherwise they are just blindly following the lead of an
Israeli government that will perpetuate the occupation, and the negative
consequences that flow from it, forever.

Trump did not have to interfere with the incumbent administration’s
diplomacy.  It would give him more options to let the incumbents take
the domestic political heat for breaking the pattern of repeated
occupation-covering U.S. vetoes at the Security Council.  Even if Trump
is determined to stay in bed with the settlers and the Israeli
right-wing, he could still assume such a posture starting on January
20th, however mistaken such a posture is.

Perhaps Trump’s abandonment of his "neutral guy" moment is another
instance of his gravitating to wherever he hears the loudest applause,
with that applause coming in this instance from the lobby that would
scream the loudest if he were to move in a different direction. Perhaps
it is an instance of his being swayed by whoever in his inner circle has
most had Trump’s ear recently and been motivated to use that access to
press special interests.  That inner circle member can be the lawyer who
helped him through bankruptcies in Atlantic City. Or it could be Trump's
son-in-law, whom Trump has talked about as a Middle East envoy, who,
like the lawyer, has personal ties to West Bank settlements, and who
reportedly wrote, along with Stephen Bannon, the statement denouncing
the resolution.  Either way, this is a poor way to make U.S. foreign policy.

Paul R. Pillar, in his 28 years at the Central Intelligence Agency, rose
to be one of the agency’s top analysts. He is author most recently of
Why America Misunderstands the World.

(6) Israeli Ambassador lambasts Obama. Obama furious that Netanyahu got
Trump to phone al-Sisi


http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/12/israel-netanyahu-obama-un-security-council-resolution.html

Is Netanyahu sacrificing Israel on his crusade against Obama?

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu knows that Israel will pay,
diplomatically and politically, for its over-the-top response to the
anti-settlement UN Security Council resolution, but it seems he doesn't
care.

Author Ben Caspit

Posted December 27, 2016

Translator Danny Wool

Top officials in the US administration, most notably Secretary of State
John Kerry, must have spent Dec. 26-27 in regret and licking their
wounds. After all, they agreed to accept the credentials of Israel’s
Ambassador to Washington Ron Dermer in 2013. Of course, this came after
an energetic campaign and a whole slew of promises by Israel and by
Dermer himself. Dermer finally persuaded Kerry to accept him (despite
his closeness with senior Republicans) over a private dinner in
Washington between just the two men and their wives. Dermer promised
Kerry the world, swearing to do everything he could to tone down Israeli
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to avoid unnecessary spats with the
White House, and to create a direct, intimate and honest channel of
communication between the president and the prime minister.

This week, that same Dermer was interviewed by at least two major
American news networks, CNN and MSNBC, in which he did everything but
curse out President Barack Obama and his advisers. His behavior was
unprecedented. It was the first time that a serving Israeli ambassador
launched a full frontal assault on an American administration still in
office, on American soil.

Dermer had all sorts of deprecating terms to describe the US
administration, including "runaway train." He claimed that Israel had
incontrovertible proof that the United States itself was behind the
initiative that led to UN Security Council Resolution 2334 against
Israel’s settlement policy Dec. 23, and that Israel would present this
evidence to President-elect Donald Trump’s staff once the new
administration takes office. Meanwhile, the United States has evidence
that Israel already presented its evidence to Trump’s staff, including
his son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Meanwhile, the Americans are furious that the Israelis already used
Trump for their own ends after the Egyptians presented the first draft
proposal of the resolution to the Security Council. They say that Trump
called Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and convinced him to
withdraw the draft. According to Israeli sources, Obama’s staff was
outraged when it realized what Israel had done. As far as administration
officials were concerned, Israel had crossed another red line, and in a
particularly brusque manner at that. The Israelis were working with the
Trump administration before it even took office. They were going over
the head and behind the back of a serving American president.

Just one day later, two other members of the UN Security Council,
Senegal and New Zealand, submitted their proposal. The United States
abstained, for the first time in Obama’s presidency, and did not veto
the resolution. Israel suffered a devastating blow. The Security Council
resolution could worsen Israel's standing in the international arena. It
was a bitter parting gift from Obama, the exact scenario that Netanyahu
worried about more than anything else over the past year — as was
described in several Al-Monitor articles.

The relationship between Washington and Jerusalem has never seen such an
extreme, belligerent low point in the modern era. And it didn’t end with
Dermer either. The ambassador’s boss, Benjamin Netanyahu, called
America’s behavior "a disgrace," going so far as to say that the
administration had stabbed Israel in the back. "They betrayed us,"
Netanyahu said, according to a senior political source who spoke with
Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. Netanyahu also told his Cabinet
that during one of his many phone calls with Kerry in the week preceding
the vote, "Friends don’t take friends to the Security Council." Yuval
Steinitz, a minister with particularly close ties to Netanyahu, said,
"The Russians would never betray an ally like that." Of course, Steinitz
never explained why he didn’t have harsh words for the Russians too,
especially since they voted for the Security Council resolution, while
the United States had just abstained.

Many in Israel, including sources in Netanyahu’s own party, believe that
the prime minister lost control — not only of himself but of the entire
situation. His behavior as a result of the Dec. 23 decision has been
described by a political source close to him (who spoke on condition of
anonymity) as "rapture of the deep," using a diving term to describe the
drunken behavior that divers experience when diving too deeply.
Netanyahu immediately set off on a campaign to punish the offenders,
calling Israel’s ambassadors to Senegal and New Zealand back home for
consultations. He canceled a meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa
May and a visit by the Ukrainian prime minister to Israel, instructed
his ministers to curtail their visits to countries that voted in support
of the resolution (including Britain, France, etc.), announced that his
government would no longer provide financial support for various UN
bodies and suspended in part relations with a long list of countries.
Netanyahu is acting like the leader of a major power, with the whole
world hanging on his every whim as it waits for his latest
pronouncement. In other words, he is oblivious to reality. The question
is whether he really believes in this alternative reality that he
created for himself, or whether this is some cynical, cold and
calculated political maneuver.

Conventional wisdom is that Netanyahu knows exactly what he is doing. It
is a perfect imitation of what Trump did over the last year. He is
lashing out at all norms, spitting at political correctness, breaking
all the rules of the game and denigrating anyone who isn’t him.

Netanyahu knows that a criminal investigation would probably be launched
against him in the near future, as a nine-month-long police probe comes
to an end. He knows that he will need the support of his constituents,
so he is bolstering his standing among the public. The steps that he has
taken so far have been embraced enthusiastically not only by his
supporters but by the Israeli right in general. This sense of national
pride, self-confidence and fighting back with full fury was always
associated with the Israeli right. Netanyahu is simply fanning the
flames, and he is doing it in a frenzy. He knows that Israel will pay,
politically and diplomatically, for his over-the-top response, but he
simply doesn’t care.

Netanyahu gives the impression that he is enjoying every minute of this.
It seems as if his son Yair has been updating him around the clock about
the huge wave of fervent support across the various social networking
platforms, giving Netanyahu cause to proceed full steam ahead. On
Christmas Day itself, he ordered the Foreign Ministry to summon the
ambassadors of the 12 countries that voted against Israel for a dressing
down. Even popular American Ambassador Dan Shapiro was summoned to
Jerusalem — though in his case, it was for a private talk with the prime
minister himself rather than some esoteric reprimand in the Foreign
Ministry. Shapiro has seen just about everything during his term in
Israel. According to a source in his inner circle who spoke to
Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, he later said, "It was unpleasant,
but it’s part of the job."

With all of this going on, the government failed to invest its attention
or energy into discussing the actual problems resulting from the
Security Council’s resolution against the settlements. Will Israel
charge full steam ahead toward the impending iceberg? It seems as if it
will. And as it inches closer and closer, the orchestra will only turn
up the volume. The party on deck is reaching a new crescendo.


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