“The man of peace from Massachusetts intercepted with his own hands the reasonable cease-fire that was within reach, and pushed both the Palestinians and Israelis toward an escalation that most of them did not want.”
— Ari Shavit, Haaretz
“I mean, when I voted for the war, I voted for what I thought was best for the country,” Kerry said. Then after taking a swipe at a Democratic presidential candidate who disrupted his coronation by actually opposing the war, he added, “Did I expect George Bush to f–k it up as badly as he did? I don’t think anybody did.”
Fast forward more than a decade. John Kerry is now secretary of state. And things are certainly f–ked up, perhaps more than anybody expected.
Kerry’s attempts at Middle East diplomacy have been almost universally panned, even by left-wing Israeli newspapers like Haaretz. “Kerry isn’t anti-Israeli; on the contrary, he’s a true friend to Israel,” states one of the more charitable Israeli accounts of Kerry’s Gaza maneuvers. “But his conduct in recent days over the Gaza cease-fire raises serious doubts over his judgment and perception of regional events.”
There are less charitable takes on Kerry’s peacemaking abilities. The Times of Israel’s Avi Issacharof described “an extraordinary phone call taking place between a senior Palestinian Authority official and an Israeli counterpart, during which the two mocked the senior diplomat’s naivete and his failure to understand the regional reality.”
[Check out W. James Antle’s book “Devouring Freedom: Can Big Government Ever Be Stopped“ at Amazon.com]
Ari Shavit, the author of the Haaretz piece, concluded, “The man of peace from Massachusetts intercepted with his own hands the reasonable cease-fire that was within reach, and pushed both the Palestinians and Israelis toward an escalation that most of them did not want.”
An Associated Press diplomatic correspondent tweeted,
Looks like phase one of new US Mideast peace strategy to piss everyone off so much they stop fighting each other & turn on Kerry is working.
— Matt Lee (@APDiploWriter) July 28, 2014
Kerry has finally beaten Bush: he has proved that he is a uniter, not a divider. Read the rest of this entry »
John Kerry: Someone who millions of Thais, Israelis, Kurds, and Americans can all agree upon:… http://t.co/fTkyOdVV3O
— Michael Yon (@Michael_Yon) July 29, 2014
CNN has removed one of its reporters covering the Israel-Hamas conflict after she tweeted that Israelis cheering missile strikes in Gaza and whom she said threatened her were “scum,” the Huffington Post reported.
Diana Magnay reported live Thursday night as Israel commenced its ground operation in Gaza while around her, a group of Israelis cheered the missile strikes in the background. She tweeted afterward, later deleting it… (read more) TheBlaze.com
Image source: BuzzFeed
Hundreds of Arabs flocked to the Temple Mount on Tuesday afternoon to celebrate the barrage of rockets upon Israel’s civilian population. The video, captioned in Arabic, reads “[c]elebrations at the Holy Al-Aqsa mosque after hearing the sounds of rockets explode in occupied Jerusalem.”
Police say the protesters began throwing stones and firecrackers at a group of visitors, prompting the authorities to respond with stun grenades and rubber bullets.
Poll: 74% of Israeli Jews Believe Americans Applying More Pressure on Israel, 64% Do Not Trust Kerry on SecurityPosted: March 11, 2014
This poll is interesting, I recommend visiting the source site for detailed results. While it’s easy to see Kerry as a polarizing or unpopular figure, it would be useful to see how Kerry compares to previous U.S. Secretaries of State. I’m inclined to think Kerry’s unpopularity is not unique. It’s the office, not the person, that invites distrust in the Israli-Arab world, we’d have to compare him to his predecessors. Or–it could be that Kerry stands out as a distrusted figure?
One thing is clear: The legitimization of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel sentiments in the U.S. and Europe is on the rise. [example: 23 percent rise in anti-Semetic incidents in Netherlands] And the global wave of systematic anti-Christian violence is deeply troubling. Obama’s hostility to Israel contributes to, or reflects, the shift in anti-Israel opinion in the west, particularly on college campuses. The distrust of the U.S. in Israel should surprise no one.
The Israel Democracy Institute‘s summary begins like this:
- Which Side are the Americans Pressuring?: 74% of Israeli Jews believe the Americans are more strongly pressuring Israel than the Palestinians to accept the framework agreement, while 12% believe they are equally pressuring both sides and 5% believe they are more strongly pressuring the Palestinians. (Israeli Jews who see Israel as under more pressure include 86% of the self-defined right-wing, 57% of the center, and 50% of the left-wing.) Among Israeli Arabs, 29% believe the Americans are more strongly pressuring the Palestinians to accept the framework agreement, 26% believe both sides are being equally pressured, and 25% believe Israel is under more pressure.
- US Secretary of State John Kerry‘s Concern for Israeli Security:64% of Israelis (66% of Jewish Israelis and 53% of Arab Israelis) do not trust Kerry to take Israel’s security into account as a crucial factor in the framework agreement. 32% of Israelis (31% of Jewish Israelis and 32% of Arab Israelis) do trust Kerry to take into account Israel’s security. (Jewish Israelis who trust Kerry on security include 18% of the right, 39% of the center, and 79% of the left.)
- US Secretary of State John Kerry’s Motivation: 60% of Israelis (61% of Jewish Israelis and 56% of Arab Israelis) believe that Kerry’s main motivation for reaching a framework agreement is a personal interest in making history as a statesman where others before him had failed. 21% of Israelis (22% of Jewish Israelis and 16% of Arab Israelis) believe Kerry is motivated by honest concern for the future of the two parties, and 9% of Israelis (8% of Jewish Israelis and 14% of Arab Israelis) believe he is equally motivated by the chance to make history and concern for the parties.
Apple reportedly purchases PrimeSense, the Israeli 3D body sensor firm behind Microsoft Kinect for $345MPosted: November 17, 2013
According to Israeli publication Calcalist.co.il, Apple has purchased PrimeSense, the company behind the original Microsoft Kinect’s technology somewhere near a valuation in the $345M range. According to the report, a delegation of PrimeSense senior executives visited Apple’s engineering offices in recent days. The purchase would bolster Apple’s living room TV interface offerings and allow Apple to add controls with body movements and hand gestures to its products.
Calcalist reported in July that Apple was mulling a purchase for somewhere in the neighborhood of $280M. PrimeSense had issued a denial that it was in talks to be bought by Apple. As we know with past history surrounding these type of matters, company denials don’t often mean much in the grand scheme of things.
Apple purchased Israeli Flash chip optimization company Anobit in late 2011 for $400M+, also originally reported by Calcalist. The company now functions as one of Apple’s R&D centers in country. Read the rest of this entry »