Friday, June 05, 2009



Clinton shreds Bush-Israel settlement understandings, fuels US-Israel row

DEBKAfile Special Analysis

June 6, 2009, 1:34 PM (GMT+02:00)

Gloves off, no more legalistic quibbling

Gloves off, no more legalistic quibbling

US secretary of state Hillary Clinton roughly rejected any secret Bush agreements with Israel on expanding settlements. Her intention was to have the last word and so shut down the Obama administration's argument with Israel over a West Bank settlement freeze. But she only threw fresh fuel on the fire when she stated emphatically on Friday, June 5, that according to the negotiating record which Bush officials turned over to the Obama administration, "There is no memorialization of any informal and oral agreements."

Israel officials have protested that Barack Obama's demand for a total freeze on settlement expansion contradicts a series of understandings – some written, some oral – with Bush officials which permitted expansion under certain conditions. This argument was put forward by prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu in his wide-ranging talks with the US president on May 18 and reaffirmed by Israeli officials when they met US Middle East envoy George Mitchell in London ten days later.

This key understanding referred to was reached in 2004: It provided for Israel's voluntary evacuation of the Gaza Strip and the northern tip of the West Bank (which took place the following year) would be counter-balanced by Washington's acceptance of the need for continuing construction in the large population blocks in other parts of West Bank territory to meet natural growth needs.

This understanding was reached by Bush's national security adviser, Stephen Hadley and his deputy Elliott Abrams in talks with Israeli officials. Brig. Gen.

At their London meeting of May 28, Mike Herzog, defense minister Ehud Barak's chief of staff, bore witness to Mitchell that he had led the Israeli team at the 2004 talks and that those talks had indeed ended with the two US NSC heads' endorsement on behalf of the Bush administration of continued Israeli settlement construction to keep pace with the natural growth of those communities.

Elliott Abrams is quoted Friday by the Washington Post as acknowledging last week that there had been unwritten understandings between Washington and Jerusalem, as Brig. Herzog affirmed.

By repudiating any such understandings – written and spoken - Clinton has dragged US-Israeli relations into a new trough. It is now a straight issue of word against word, Washington versus Jerusalem's. This is a dark point for restarting any peace process between Israel and Palestinians or other Arab governments for an accord on substantial issues which have defeated every past peace effort.

The "settlements" referred to by Obama in his demand for an end to all construction apply to five Israeli urban centers: its capital, Jerusalem, which the US does not recognize with or without its post-1967 extensions (although successive administrations have pledged to locate its embassy there), Maaleh Adummim just east of Jerusalem, Efrat to the south, Ariel to the north and Modiin Ilit, southeast of Tel Aviv.

Their total population is estimated between 250,000 and 300,000, plus isolated communities which are home to another approximate 180,000 Jewish inhabitants.

These figures do not include the unauthorized outposts over whose removal Israel is not arguing.

Abrams in an article he published on April 8 hinted that the passage in the 2004 Bush letter to Ariel Sharon - "It is realistic to expect that any final status agreement will only be achieved on the basis of mutually agreed changes that reflect these realities" - was an indirect recognition of demographic "changes" (in the Israeli and Palestinian populations over 42 years) and understanding for the "realities" applying to the large settlement blocks, meaning that Israel was entitled to continue their development.

However, DEBKAfile's Washington sources stress, Eliott Abrams has no standing in the new administration. Obama and his team will adopt or dump the understandings reached by his White House predecessors not according to archival evidence but according to whether or not they suit his new international policy directions over which Jerusalem is getting badly worried.

The Netanyahu government is now facing its first real test. In Washington, the gloves are off. If the prime minister holds to his defensive, accommodating posture toward on the settlement issue and fails to punch back with demands that the other side - and the United States itself stand by former accords and commitments - he will find himself inexorably forced back step by step on other vital security interests, including Iran's accelerated nuclear weapons program.

Legalistic quibbling over dead letters will not avail - as Israeli officials will discover when confronted with new pressures for concessions from US envoy Mitchell next week.


ג וַאֲבָרְכָה, מְבָרְכֶיךָ, וּמְקַלֶּלְךָ, אָאֹר; וְנִבְרְכוּ בְךָ, כֹּל מִשְׁפְּחֹת הָאֲדָמָה. 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and him that curseth thee will I curse; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.'



Obama Birth Atty Orly

Taitz Receiving Death Threats
President Obama Embraces Islam

June 5, 2009 | From

But by doing so, he’s empowering the radicals.

In seeking a “new way forward” with the Muslim world, President Barack Obama now views his Muslim heritage as a diplomatic advantage, rather than a liability. Before being elected as president in November, as Jake Tapper notes here, the Obama campaign had been quick to downplay and obscure his Muslim roots. During one campaign stop in September, for example, Obama rebuked critics who were trying to “scare” people by saying he had “Muslim connections.”

Unusually large movements of gold reported in and around Fort Knox


All topics open to discuss – except Obama eligibility
100% of posts scrubbed from White House transparency site ask about birth certificate

Posted: June 06, 2009
12:10 am Eastern

By Drew Zahn
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

When it comes to evaluating and discussing transparency in government, one issue – and one issue alone – has been deemed out of bounds by a White House website

: President Obama's continued concealment of his birth record.

As WND reported, the Obama administration's Office of Science & Technology

launched the online forum to allow Americans to discuss ways of creating an "open government," which in turn resulted in a flood of people seeking disclosure of Obama's proof of eligibility to serve as president.

As part of the forum's rules and guidelines, posts that are obscene or reveal personal information, like Social Security numbers, are scrubbed completely, while those that are deemed off-topic are removed to a separate archive.

But a quick survey of flagged, removed and archived posts from yesterday reveals 100 percent of those yanked for being off-topic were, in fact, on the same topic.

The Open Government Initiative's online forum contains 21 entries deleted yesterday, all of them submitted to the thread on "Transparency Principles" and all of them discussing Obama's birth records, including a comment from WND's Chelsea Schilling.

One user, Jason Roberts, expressed his concerns on the forum about the White House hosting a "transparency" discussion without properly addressing the eligibility topic.

"The fact that the birth certificate issue hasn't been resolved, precludes any possible discussion of government transparency," Roberts wrote. "It is a farce to sit with hands folded and pretend to have some self-righteous discussion about government transparency when Mr. Obama is refusing to be transparent about his birth certificate, passport records, and school records. If his presidency started with his being sworn in, then the transparency must start with him willingly releasing his long-form birth certificate."

Are you motivated yet to join the billboard campaign and clear up the air of mystery surrounding Barack Obama's constitutional eligibility to serve?

Roberts continued, "This issue will never go away. It will be there, stoked and kept fresh daily, for 8 years if necessary, until it is addressed. And the one to blame is Obama."

Comments not scrubbed from the site for being off-topic include the following:

  • A man's detailing of his full-body rash and medical problems – prompting four additional comments on Lyme disease – on a thread devoted to the proper qualifications for presidential appointees to science posts

  • A claim on the thread dedicated to scientific integrity within the OSTP that Americans are being "covertly assaulted" with secret energy weapons and then accused of being paranoid or mentally ill

  • A pair of posts advocating more widespread use of marijuana in a discussion thread on government whistleblowers.

Despite the removal and archiving of posts related to Obama's birth certificate, however, the discussion continues to be dominated by questions of Obama's qualifications to serve as president.




Rush on Fox News with Hannity


President Obama's Cairo Speech: Outrageous, Absurd, Embarrassing

Barack and Michelle Obama decline dinner with the Sarkozys

Book: Obama marriage strained by 2000 House race

The Associated Press

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

WASHINGTON — For all the smiling photos of Barack and Michelle Obama, the couple went through a tough time in their marriage in earlier years, according to a new book.

"Renegade," by journalist Richard Wolffe, says the couple's marriage was strained by Barack Obama's unsuccessful 2000 run for Congress.

Wolffe writes that Michelle Obama "hated the failed race for Congress in 2000, and their marriage was strained by the time their youngest daughter, Sasha, was born a year later."

"There was little conversation and even less romance," Wolffe writes. "She was angry at his selfishness and careerism; he thought she was cold and ungrateful."

When Obama ran for the Senate in 2004, his wife still had mixed feelings about her husband's love of politics, and played no part in the campaign, the book says.

By the time Obama decided to run for president, the couple's two children were older and Michelle Obama was more supportive.

"We're going to be fine," the book quotes her as saying. "We just have to make sure the girls are fine. We're strong enough to take anything on and be OK at the end."

Wolffe covered the presidential campaign for Newsweek, and is a political analyst for MSNBC.


A collage portraying U.S. President Obama wearing a kaffiyeh which is set to be posted across Israel by rightist group Hazit.

Last update - 22:53 03/06/2009
'We're launching a campaign against anti-Semitic Obama'

By Raphael Ahren, Haaretz Correspondent and Haaretz Sevice

Some 130 protesters gathered in front of the American Consulate in Jerusalem Wednesday afternoon to rally against U.S. President Barack Obama, who had just launched his Middle East tour, during which he is expected to reach out in friendship to the Muslim world.

As more than a dozen local and international journalists looked on, the protesters chanted "No, You Can't" and waved posters saying "20 new 'settlements' by 2010 - Yes We Can!"










DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis

June 4, 2009, 4:36 PM (GMT+02:00)

During his fast-moving two days stay in the Middle East, crowned by a speech from Cairo to the world's Muslims on June 4, US president Barack Obama pursued some practical politicking behind the scenes, DEBKAfile's regional sources report. His private talks with Saudi King Abdullah and overnight stay in Riyadh June 3 and his conversation with Hosni Mubarak at the presidential Quba palace the next day cemented a new coalition between the US, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, cutting out the special US-Israel relationship.

'Birthers' take eligibility battle to next level
White House can't hide from swarm of citizenship posts in 'open government dialogue'

Posted: June 04, 2009
10:40 pm Eastern

By Chelsea Schilling
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

The White House has moved on to its discussion phase of the "open government dialogue," where several citizens are once again calling on Barack Obama to release his elusive "long-form" birth certificate to establish his constitutional eligibility to serve as president.

The Office of Science & Technology forum features a new format where it encourages people to "start thinking more deeply about the principles that should define transparency and guide our policy priorities."

Users identified by their full names may register and vote to reject or approve various ideas, offer their own insight or flag subjects as "off-topic."

The first topic of discussion focuses on defining and prioritizing "transparency principles."

The following comment from WND on the eligibility issue was flagged for moderation within minutes of posting and later deleted – even though it did not violate terms of participation:

Another user, Jason Roberts, expressed his concerns about the White House hosting a "transparency" forum without properly addressing the eligibility topic.

"The fact that the birth certificate issue hasn't been resolved, precludes any possible discussion of government transparency," Roberts wrote. "It is a farce to sit with hands folded and pretend to have some self-righteous discussion about government transparency when Mr. Obama is refusing to be transparent about his birth certificate, passport records, and school records. If his presidency started with his being sworn in, then the transparency must start with him willingly releasing his long-form birth certificate."

Roberts continued, "This issue will never go away. It will be there, stoked and kept fresh daily, for 8 years if necessary, until it is addressed. And the one to blame is Obama."

User David Farrar reported disappearance of an eligibility post and echoed Roberts' argument.

"The mere fact that a post has been simply wiped off this forum without a trace, without any public notification as to why, or by whom, seems to violate every aspect of the principles of transparency in government," Farrar wrote. "Didn't we just summarize the fact that providing a verifiable record is at the very cornerstone of governmental transparency, and here we have a government agency, or a corporation acting on its behalf, erasing the record of their own actions in an attempt to be anything but transparent. Doesn't anyone see the hypocrisy?"

As WND reported, despite the "open government dialogue" website being overrun with hundreds of threads addressing the eligibility issue, the White House appears to be moving on with its discussion while ignoring concerns from thousands of people about Obama's "long-form" birth certificate.

"We read and considered all the proposals," Beth Noveck, White House deputy chief technology officer for open government, said in a statement on the White House website. "We took the voting into account when assessing your enthusiasm for a submission, but only somewhat in evaluating relevance."

She continued, "The ideas that received the most organized support were not necessarily the most viable suggestions."

The eligibility topic also hit Twitter, with numerous tweeters encouraging readers to keep the issue alive at the open government website.

Meanwhile, Fox News has launched a new forum asking the public, "What would you write Obama?"

It asks readers to share funny messages they would send to the president's blackberry and how Obama might reply. Fox News will feature the top five conversations next week.

One person named Dave posted the following:

In less than 24 hours after the launch of the application, the eligibility issue has been raised at least 60 times.

  • "Hi, Barry, this is your teleprompter speaking. Display your birth certificate. No, no, you doofus – the original one, from Kenya!"
  • "Why are you afraid of providing your authentic birth certificate? We can."
  • "Bad news, man. They finally found your real birth certificate. We have a crisis on our hands. Call me ASAP. - Rahm"
************************************************************************************************Russia assembling rival to NATO
Organization to utilize 'rapid deployment' force of thousands

Posted: June 05, 2009
12:00 am Eastern

© 2009 WorldNetDaily

Editor's Note: The following report is excerpted from Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin, the premium online newsletter published by the founder of WND. Subscriptions are $99 a year or, for monthly trials, just $9.95 per month for credit card users, and provide instant access for the complete reports.

Entrance to Kremlin

A new Russian security strategy includes an intense rivalry with Washington, the possible use of military force as the nation competes for energy resources in the Middle East, Barents Sea, the Arctic, Caspian Sea and Central Asia, and the assembly of a coalition that it hopes will rival NATO, according to a report in Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin.

While Russia intends to develop relations with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, it will only do so if the alliance takes into account Russia's "legitimate interests in its military-political planning."

************************************************************************************************* - Understand Your World
« United States President Barack Obama continues his controversial support of homosexuals through his most recent proclamation.
(Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. President Proclaims Month of Homosexual Pride

June 5, 2009 | From

U.S. President Barack Obama has proclaimed June “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month” to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Inn riots, which marked the beginning of the lgbt rights movement in America.

************************************************************************************************* - Understand Your World
« Demonstrators in Brussels demand action to combat the economic crisis and rising unemployment, May 15.
(Dominique Faget/AFP/Getty Images)

Europe: Unemployment Still Rising Fast

June 5, 2009 | From

Unemployment reached 9.2 percent in April within the 16-nation eurozone, according to the European Union statistics office. This figure will probably rise much higher, which could lead to increased social unrest across Europe.

Fourteen million people in the eurozone are unemployed. That’s more than the population of Ireland and Austria combined. For the EU as a whole, unemployment rose to 8.6 percent in April, up from 8.4 percent in March.