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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Oh, what a tangled web we weave. When first we practise to deceive!

The Obama administration's effort to deny Prime Minister Netanyahu's charge that Obama was behind the passage of a UN resolution declaring the Western Wall to be 'Palestinian territory' has come apart under the weight of its own lies.

You will recall, if you follow the links above that the Obama administration denied the Netanyahu government's accusations that Obama-Kerry were behind and orchestrating the UN resolution. And if you keep reading below, you will find out that in fact, the Obama administration has been orchestrating this resolution since September, and that John Kerry's little post-election trip to New Zealand (and Antartica) is likely connected to it.

On Wednesday morning, Israel Radio reported on an Egyptian newspaper report that published a summary of a meeting among Kerry, Susan Rice and chief 'Palestinian' negotiator bottle washer Saeb Erekat. That led to this denial from US National Security Council spokesman Ned Price:
To which CAMERA analyst Gidon Shaviv responded.
Price equivocated.
Price never responded to the question.

But in fact, on Tuesday, the State Department's Mark Toner admitted that the meeting did take place. And much more (full transcript here).
QUESTION: Yeah. I mean, tensions have been increasing since the UN vote on Friday. I’m sure you’ve seen all the reports and heard a lot of the words. The Israeli officials are now being quoted as saying that they have evidence that they will lay out to the Trump administration of – in which the U.S., specifically Kerry, had discussions with the Palestinians before the vote, a few weeks before, during a visit to Washington where Saeb Erekat was around, and basically that he pushed them to go to Egypt and to move ahead with this resolution. That’s one of the things.
QUESTION: So the question is: Was the U.S. hiding behind this other group of countries to submit the resolution? Were those discussions ever taken place? Because the Israelis feel that they’ve got evidence that there was meddling by the Americans.
MR TONER: Excuse me. Forgive me. (Coughs.) I picked up a cold over the weekend too, unfortunately, so I apologize.
So you’re right. We’ve obviously seen the same reports, an amalgamation of different allegations that somehow this was U.S.-driven and precooked. What I’ll say – excuse me – (coughs) – is that we reject the notion that the United States was the driving force behind this resolution. That’s just not true. The United States did not draft this resolution, nor did it put it forward. It was drafted and initially introduced, as we all know, by Egypt, in coordination with the Palestinians and others. When it was clear that the Egyptians and the Palestinians would insist on bringing this resolution to a vote and that every other country on the council would, in fact, support it, we made clear to others, including those on the Security Council, that further changes were needed to make the text more balanced. And that’s a standard practice on – with regard to resolutions at the Security Council. So there’s nothing new to this.
Actually, it's not 'standard practice' unless you're looking for an excuse not to veto it. If the United States had planned to veto the resolution - as happened many times in the past - it would not have bothered to pretend to make the text 'more balanced,' because it would not have mattered. And it certainly would not have sent Secretary Kerry gallivanting around the world to work on it. 
You look like you’re pouncing on me, but go ahead.
QUESTION: No, we just —
MR TONER: No, we’ll continue. I can continue, but if you have a – do you have a follow up?
QUESTION: No, no. Let’s just keep going with this.
MR TONER: Okay, sure. And this is a really important point. We also made clear at every conversation – in every conversation – that the President would make the final decision and that he would have to review the final text before making his final decision. So the idea that this was, again, precooked or that we had agreed upon the text weeks in advance is just not accurate. And in fact —
QUESTION: But we know that —
MR TONER: Go ahead. I’m sorry. Go ahead.
QUESTION: No, we know that the U.S. didn’t draft it or put it forward. But was the U.S. in any way coaxing on any – another group of countries to move ahead and go and move ahead with this resolution?
You mean like 'humiliated' Joe Biden leaning on Ukraine to improve the 'optics' and make it 14-0? But Toner didn't bother to explain that.
MR TONER: Well, again, these are – I mean, again, I think it’s important to have the proper context, in that all through the fall there was talk about – and we often got the question here and of course we replied that we’re never going to discuss hypotheticals in terms of what resolutions or what is circulating out there – but of course, there has been for some time in the fall talk about this resolution or that resolution with regard to the Middle East peace and the Israeli-Palestinian issue.
Yes, of course. Because without the need to worry any more about himself or his party, the true Jew-hating Obama was free to come out. 
So of course, in the – of course, in the course of those conversations, we’re always making clear what our parameters are, what our beliefs are, what our – what we need to see or what we – in order to even consider a resolution. That’s part of the give-and-take of the UN.
QUESTION: But surely these countries, before they would move ahead, would want to get the view of an influential member of the Security Council of the UN of who – of what their position would be on this.
MR TONER: Well, again, I think we – of course, as the draft or the text was circulated, we said to those on the Security Council that – what further changes were needed to make the text more balanced. And in fact, we ended up abstaining because we didn’t feel it was balanced enough in the sense of it didn’t hit hard enough on the incitement-to-violence side of the coin.
No. When you abstain and you could have vetoed, that's a vote in favor. Let's call a spade a spade. 
Go ahead. You look perplexed. (Laughter.) Go ahead, Said.
QUESTION: At what stage did you intervene to try and balance? Was it after Egypt said they’d withdraw it?
MR TONER: I think it was once – yeah, I mean, once – I mean, I don’t have a date certain. It was once the Egyptians and Palestinians made it clear that they were going to advance this text or bring this resolution to a vote and that, in fact, it would be supported by other countries.
QUESTION: Does that date predate Mr. Erekat’s visit to the State Department?
MR TONER: I don’t know the date of his visit. But again, I’m not – I’m not exactly – and I’m not necessarily excluding that when he did visit to the State Department that they didn’t discuss possible resolutions or anything like that in terms of draft language. But again, there was no – nothing precooked. There was nothing – this was not some move orchestrated by the United States.
Erekat 'visited' the State Department on December 12 - ten days before the Egyptians presented and withdrew the resolution, and eleven days before Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal and Venezuela - with open support from the UK and behind the scenes support from the US - presented it again. Orchestrated? Bet on it. 
QUESTION: Could you be clear what you just said? I heard a double negative in there. You’re not precluding that they didn’t discuss it. Are you saying they – that when the Palestinians were here —
MR TONER: I don’t have a readout. Yeah, I don’t have a readout of that meeting in front of me. I just – but I said I can imagine that they talked about Middle East peace broadly and efforts to reinvigorate the process. I don’t know that they discussed the possible action at the UN. But of course, as we – as I said in answer to Lesley’s question, that was something that was in the mix for some months now in New York at the UN that there might be some action taken there.
This wouldn't be anywhere near as suspicious had the meeting been publicly disclosed on December 12. But if had, Israel would not have been blindsided.
QUESTION: And what about New Zealand, when the Secretary was there before Antarctica?
Yeah indeed. Let's interrupt for a minute. Here's a New Zealand Herald report from November 13, five days after the US election.
One of the closed-door discussions between United States Secretary of State John Kerry and the New Zealand Government today was a potential resolution by the United Nations Security Council on a two-state solution for the Israel - Palestinian conflict.
After the talks, Foreign Minister Murray McCully even raised the possibility of the US or New Zealand sponsoring a resolution.
"It is a conversation we are engaged in deeply and we've spent some time talking to Secretary Kerry about where the US might go on this.
"It is something that is still in play," McCully told reporters after talks today in Wellington.
New Zealand's two-year term on the Security Council will end in ignominy on Saturday. But then, we should not have been as surprised by their behavior as we were. Our bad.

Back to the State Department. 
QUESTION: And also I believe he had a meeting here with Mr. Shoukry at some point in early December.
MR TONER: Mm-hmm.
QUESTION: Was the resolution discussed at either of those meetings with those diplomats?
MR TONER: Again, I can’t specifically say whether the resolution – but certainly, if a resolution or action at the UN was discussed, it wasn’t discussed in the level of detail where there was some final text. We always reserved the right with any text that was put forward, drafted and put forward, to veto it or to not take action or abstain, which is what we ended up doing.
Like I said - when you have a veto and you don't use it, you're voting in favor. 
QUESTION: But you advised them on how to put together a motion that the United States would feel comfortable abstaining or voting in favor of?
MR TONER: Well, I think what we said is – and this is not just unique to this process, but once a text, a draft text is to the point where it’s going to be put forward to a vote, of course we would provide input on what we believed were – was language that didn’t pass or didn’t allow us to vote for it or —
QUESTION: You see what I’m saying?
QUESTION: You didn’t just say bring whatever motion you like up and we’ll vote however we feel about it. You were encouraging them to bring forward a motion that you would feel comfortable not blocking.
Sounds like game, set and match right here. 
MR TONER: Well, but we have to be really careful in how we’re talking about this because what the allegations —
QUESTION: (Inaudible.)
MR TONER: No, I know and I understand that. But no, no, but I’m saying that some of the allegations out there, frankly, are implying that this was somehow some – as I said, some orchestrated action by the U.S. to pass a resolution that was negative about settlement activity in Israel, and the fact is that that’s just not the case. Of course, we would always provide, when the final text was going up for a vote, our opinion on where the red lines were. But I think that – I think this is all a little bit of a sideshow, to be honest, that this was a resolution that we could not in good conscience veto because it condemns violence, it condemned incitement, it reiterates what has long been the overwhelming consensus international view on settlements, and it calls for the parties to take constructive steps to advance a two-state solution on the ground. There was nothing in there that would prompt us to veto that type of resolution.
Actually, no. The only party it calls on to do anything is Israel
QUESTION: But there was nothing in there —
MR TONER: And in fact —
QUESTION: — because you told them not to put anything in there that would cause you to veto it.
MR TONER: But that – but again, not at all. And I said we did not take the lead in drafting this resolution. That was done by the Egyptians with the Palestinians. But again, in any kind of resolution process, of course there’s moments where – or I mean, it’s not like our views regarding settlements or regarding resolutions with respect to Israel aren’t well-known and well-vetted within the UN community. There’s been many times in the past where we’ve not – or we vetoed resolutions that we found to be biased towards Israel. But that’s another point here is that there’s nothing – the other canard in all of this is that this was somehow breaking with longstanding U.S. tradition in the UN Security Council, when we all know that every administration has vetoed – or rather has abstained or voted for similar resolutions.
Actually, no administration other than the Carter administration has ever called 'settlements' illegal. And no administration has ever called on 'all States'
to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967
That's right. In case you missed it, the Obama administration voted for a resolution that backs BDS.
QUESTION: But it’s true then that you had opportunities to ask them not to bring it forward at all and didn’t take them.
MR TONER: I’m not sure what you’re —
QUESTION: Well, instead of saying why not write the motion this way, you could have said please don’t bring a motion.
MR TONER: Well, again, I think when it was clear to us that they were going to bring it to a vote and that every other council – every other country on the council was going to support that resolution, that draft text —
Since when does a country with veto power have to worry about what 'every other country on the council' is going to do, especially a week before ten of the council's 15 members are about to turn over? Funny that we never hear Russia or China worrying about what 'every other country on the council' is going to do.

But the effort to destroy Israel in the council goes back much further than Kerry's trip to New Zealand in November. Here's Adam Kredo from the Washington Free Beacon.
Jonathan Schanzer, a Middle East expert and vice president for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told the Free Beacon that he spoke with U.S. officials in September who admitted that “a U.N. measure of some shape or form was actively considered,” a charge that runs counter the White House’s official narrative.
“We know that this administration was at a minimum helping to shape a final resolution at the United Nations and had been working on this for months,” Schanzer said.
“This isn’t terribly dissimilar from the administration’s attempts to spin the cash pallets they sent to Iran,” he added, referring to the administration’s efforts to conceal the fact that it sent the Iranian government some $1.7 billion in cash.
“The fact is, the administration has been flagged as being an active participant in this U.N. resolution,” Schanzer said. “Now they wish to try to spin this as inconsequential. This was an attempt by the administration to lead from behind, as they have done countless times in the past and which has failed countless times in the past.”
And if you're having any doubts whether to believe Schanzer or to believe the Obama-Kerry spin, please consider this.
One veteran foreign policy insider and former government official who requested anonymity in order to speak freely described senior Obama administration officials as “lying sacks of shit” who routinely feed the press disinformation.
A senior congressional aide who is working on a package of repercussions aimed at the U.N. told the Free Beacon the administration is scrambling to provide excuses in response to the breakdown in its own narrative regarding the resolution.
“The administration got caught red handed, and now they’re talking out of both sides of their mouth,” said the source, who was not authorized to speak on record. “First they claimed the resolution was simply not objectionable. Now they say it will actually help advance peace. These denials only look more ridiculous with each passing day as new evidence surfaces that the White House was behind this anti-Israel resolution.”
The Obama administration has been caught several times misleading the public about its campaign to discredit Israel, including the funding of an organization that sought to unseat Netanyahu in the country’s last election, according to one congressional adviser who works with Republican and Democratic offices on Middle East issues.
All of which leads this Jew to believe that columnist and lawyer Kurt Schlichter is spot-on with this tweet.

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