Archive for the ‘Tel Aviv’ Category

Obama Picks New World “Winners” and “Losers”

January 24, 2009

The American people gave Barack Obama a mandate to solve the problem.

And the problem is clearly jobs and the economy, a new Pew Research Poll says.

After the economy and jobs, American interest in other more mundane things like global warming, the war against terror and international relations and foreign policy barely makes the poll needle move.

But every nation outside the U.S. is looking to every word and action from President Obama to help them decipher the new direction of the U.S. and much of the world.

[Review & Outlook]
AP

Each New Year in the U.S., dozens of newspapers list what is “out” from the old year and “in” for the New Year.

As the Asian or Lunar New Year is upon us, every nation in the world might feel the need to assess what is “in” or “out” since the President Obama tenure commenced.

China is worried and fear it may be “out.”  China loved George W. Bush as “China friendly” but has already signaled that “Houston, we have a problem.”

Treasury Secretary nominee Timothy F. Geithner’s remarks about China in his Senate confirmation hearings already sent a shock wave through China.

Mark Lander of the New York Times wrote, “A  simple restatement of his boss’s views, Timothy F. Geithner’s assertion that China ‘manipulates’ its currency has complicated a crucial front in President Obama’s efforts to improve America’s relations with the world.”

And China does not see Hillary Clinton as a friend.

Chinese President Hu Jintao, right, shakes hands with former ... 
Chinese President Hu Jintao, right, shakes hands with former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, left, as former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, center, looks on during a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Monday, Jan. 12, 2009. Carter and Kissinger were in China to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of U.S.-China diplomatic relations which began on Jan 1st, 1979.  China hope relations with the U.S. will get even better, but the nation hated to see George W. Bush leave.(AP Photo/ Elizabeth Dalziel, POOL)

Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev says Moscow is ready to help U.S. efforts in Afghanistan by allowing the Americans to ship cargo intended for coalition forces across Russian territory.

But Medvedev and Putin in Russia are loathe to accept U.S. missile defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic and fear other U.S. meddlesome activity in Georgia and elsewhere.

Asked about the prospects of the world with a President of the United States Barack Obama, Russin Preident Vladimir Putin said, “I am deeply convinced that the biggest disappointments are born out of big expectations.”

Pakistan is worried that the flow of American money may dry up, as former President Musharraf of Pakistan seemed to indicate when interviewed by Wolf Blitzer on CNN.

But Pakistan is pleased there will be a new U.S. envoy to the region: Richard Holbrooke.

Iran and several “brothers against Zionism” in Hamas, Hezbollah, and among Palestinians and others seem emboldened by President Obama’s promise of a new way forward in the Middle East, stronger diplomatic efforts to resolve all difficulties, and the appointment of George Mitchell as special envoy.

But naturally, this makes for some concern in Tel Aviv, Cairo and other capitals.

Many in Africa and in the human rights arena are delighted to see Barack Obama as President of the United States but also express some longing for President Bush’s work to fight AIDS and the abuse and neglect of refugees.

Will President Obama do more in Somalia or Darfur?

Mush remains unknown…..

President-elect Barack Obama meets with Mexico's President Felipe ... 
President-elect Barack Obama meets with Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington, January 12, 2009.(Larry Downing/Reuters)

In Mexico: indiscriminate kidnappings. Nearly daily beheadings. Gangs that mock and kill government agents.

This isn’t Iraq or Pakistan. It’s Mexico, which the U.S. government and a growing number of experts say is becoming one of the world’s biggest security risks because of the “drug war.”

But when President-elect Obama, just before his inauguration, met Mexican President Calderon, the discussion was not about drugs or immigration.  The media was told Obama praised Calderon for his work on global warming and energy.

But neither a bad environment nor energy problems are as likely to bring Mexico to its knees — and impact negatively on the United States — as the drug war, according to the U.S. military.

The leadership of every nation on earth is asking, “What does President Obama mean to us?”

Related:
Poll: Economy, Jobs Top Americans’ Priorities (Global Warming Last); Obama Solutions?

Pakistan Auditions For “New Start” in U.S. Policy, Funding From President Obama on CNN

Pakistan welcomes appointment of U.S. envoy

 Most World Leaders Encouraged By Obama Time; Putin Ready for Disappointment

Drugs, Crime Make Mexico “Under Sustained Assault”

Islamist insurgents display their weaponry in Mogadishu during a parade in mid-January.

Related:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD
/europe/01/24/un.somalia/index.html

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France’s President Nicholas Sarkozy Seeks Peace in Gaza

January 5, 2009

France’s President Nicholas Sarkozy is no longer President of the European Union, a rotating appoinment that ended on December 31.

But that has not stopped sarkozy from going where he believes he is needed:  during the next few day Sarkozy will be in Egypt, the West Bank, Tel Aviv, Jordan, and Syria, where he will meet with President Bashar al-Assad.

 

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, left, reacts, with Palestinian ... 
French President Nicolas Sarkozy, left, reacts, with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas upon his arrival in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Monday, Jan. 5, 2009 as part of his two-day Middle East trip to seek ‘paths for peace’ in Gaza. Sarkozy left for Israel and the Palestinian territories where he will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who lost control of Gaza to Hamas in June 2007.(AP Photo/Francois Mori, Pool)
According to the Christian Sciences Monitor: “Sarkozy hosted Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni in Paris last week. Sarkozy works well with Washington, and French diplomacy has ties to Arabs, Palestinians, and the Islamist movement. He can talk with Syria. Moreover, Sarkozy’s criticism of Israel’s response to Hamas rockets puts him closer to core EU views than with Prague‘s,” (the Czech President is now in charge of the EU).
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See the Christian Science Monitor report:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20090105/ts_csm/osarkozy_1
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 Related:
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas: Can He Regain Gaza?
 

 

Israel Planning First Ever Nation Wide Defense Drill

December 25, 2008

The “enemy” clearly is a nuclear Iran headed by someone who wants to eliminate Israel.

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By Yaakov Katz
Jerusalem Post

The exercise, scheduled for July, is called Turning Point 3. It will be the third home front exercise to be held since the Second Lebanon War and the founding of the National Emergency Administration (NEA), the Defense Ministry body responsible for setting national emergency standards.

Turning Point 1 was held in the summer of 2007 and drilled the IDF, Israel Police, Fire and Rescue Services, Home Front Command and other emergency organizations. The second drill, held last April, included all of the above plus various government ministries.

 

“The third drill will include all of the emergency organizations, all of the government ministries [and] the entire civilian population,” a top NEA official told The Jerusalem Post this week. “People will be asked to go into their protected rooms or bomb shelters and ensure that they know what to do in the event of a war.”

On Monday, the NEA conducted an exercise for government spokespeople to see how they would function during a crisis. Spokespeople from the Prime Minister’s Office, the Defense Ministry, IDF, Home Front Command, Israel Police and other bodies participated in the event, which was overseen by NEA head Brig.-Gen. (res.) Ze’ev Zuk-Ram.

“It is important that we have a unified message and not confuse the public,” the NEA official said. “The problem today is that each ministry has several spokespersons and all of the ministries do not always coordinate what they are doing.”

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at the Natanz uranium ... 
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility.(AFP/File/Atta Kenare)

Read the entire article:
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1230111
689150&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Obama to Offer Israel ‘Nuclear Umbrella’ Against Iran

December 11, 2008

U.S. president-elect will offer Israel a strategic pact designed to fend off any nuclear attack on the Jewish state by Iran, an Israeli newspaper reports.

From Fox News
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President-elect Barack Obama will offer Israel a strategic pact designed to fend off any nuclear attack on the Jewish state by Iran, an Israeli newspaper reported on Thursday.

Haaretz, quoting an unnamed source, said the Obama administration would pledge under the proposed “nuclear umbrella” to respond to any Iranian strike on Israel with a “devastating U.S. nuclear response.”

Granting Israel a nuclear guarantee would essentially suggest the U.S. is willing to come to terms with a nuclear Iran, the paper reported.

According to the paper’s source, Obama’s nuclear guarantee would be backed by a new and improved Israeli anti-ballistic missile system. The Bush administration took the first step by deploying an early-warning radar system, which enhances the ability to detect Iranian ballistic missiles.

No immediate comment from Israeli officials or the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv was offered.

Iran denies its nuclear program has military designs. But tough anti-Israel rhetoric from Tehran has spread fears that the Israelis, who are believed to have the Middle East’s only atomic arsenal, could attack their arch-foe pre-emptively.

The source, according to Haaretz, noted that the discussion of the possibility of a nuclear Iran undermines efforts to prevent Tehran from acquiring such arms.

A senior Bush administration source reportedly said the nuclear umbrella was ridiculous and lacked credibility.

“Who will convince the citizen in Kansas that the U.S. needs to get mixed up in a nuclear war because Haifa was bombed? And what is the point of an American response, after Israel’s cities are destroyed in an Iranian nuclear strike?,” he said.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/elections/20
08/12/11/report-obama-offer-israel-
nuclear-umbrella-iran/

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The United States and the Government of israel have always kept open the option of nuclear response to any nuclear attack upon Israel, Peace and Freedom notes.  But during the last several years, both nations have made strides toward a robust and multi-layered missile defense, including for Israel.

MISSILE DEFENSE AGENCY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE The Forward-Based X-band Transportable (FBX-T) radar system has been delivered by the United States to Israel to strengthen Israeli defenses against possible missile attacks from Iran.

Above: The Forward-Based X-band Transportable (FBX-T) radar system has also been delivered by the United States to Israel to strengthen Israeli defenses against possible missile attacks from Iran. DoD photo

Related:
 U.S. Equips Israel With Missile Detection System for Over 1,000 Miles
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 Ballistic Missile Defense: American Technology in Israel for Defense