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Resources updated between Monday, July 16, 2012 and Sunday, July 22, 2012

July 20, 2012

July 19, 2012

Does Obama Actually Care About Israel's Struggle to Survive?

Countering Terror Against Israelis and the Obama Administration Article

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

This article by Anne Bayefsky originally appeared on Fox News.

In light of the slew of deceptive accusations thrown at presidential candidate Mitt Romney for outsourcing, it is time to ask "will the real outsourcer-in-chief please stand up?" From the moment he took office, the calling card of President Obama's foreign policy has been the outsourcing of American national security and values, most often to the United Nations. Though the strategy usually goes by the anodyne moniker of "engagement," it has debilitated America's interactions with enemies and allies alike.

First and foremost, the responsibility to protect Americans from the dire Iranian threat has been outsourced. While the world's most dangerous regime has moved inexorably towards the acquisition of the world's most dangerous weapon, Americans have been told to sit tight and wait for another Security Council resolution. After repeated lectures about the "robust" nature of Security Council sanctions on Iran, it is now painfully obvious that those scrawny resolutions failed.

And yet Secretary Clinton lectured from Jerusalem on Monday: "Iran's leaders still have the opportunity to make the right decision. The choice is ultimately Iran's... [I]t appears that Iran has yet to make a strategic decision to address the international community's concerns and fulfill their obligations under the IAEA and the UN Security Council." Of course, Iran has made a strategic decision: to acquire nuclear weapons. Dangling UN paraphernalia in front of it will make no difference whatsoever.

The Syrian regime is another beneficiary of President Obama's penchant for outsourcing, this time to UN Special Envoy Kofi Annan. Annan is somewhat of an odd choice, since his skills in the area of stopping mass murder date back to his time as head of UN peacekeeping operations during both the Rwanda and Srebrenica genocides. In that capacity, Annan advised UN "peacekeepers" to stand down, flee before the oncoming killing machine, or contribute to the catastrophe via UN "safe" havens.

The Obama administration agreed to more outsourcing of nuclear non-proliferation efforts at the May 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). The president agreed to hold and facilitate a 2012 international conference pushed by Islamic states as a means to shift the focus away from NPT law breakers and onto Israel. Steps are being taken now to push off the travesty until after the November elections.

Outsourcing anti-terrorism endeavors is the central feature of the President's "Global Counterterrorism Forum," which Team Obama launched in September 2011. Secretary Clinton has called the Forum "an international counterterrorism network that is as nimble and adaptive as our adversaries..." Daniel Benjamin, head of the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, describes it as "a place where the world's best experts, the most experienced countries could come together and share insights on these issues."

Actually, with Team Obama's approval, Israel has been excluded from the Forum because of objections from Turkey; eleven "key Muslim majority countries" are members because they "are on the front lines in the struggle against terrorism;" the co-chair of the "rule of law working group" is the Muslim Brotherhood's Egypt; and the Forum has created a "global center of excellence for combating violent extremism" in the United Arab Emirates.

Defining and protecting American values has been outsourced to the UN Human Rights Council, the UN's top human rights body. President Obama decided to jump on board the Council soon after taking office and has committed to running for a second term in fall elections. Joining the Obama crew in identifying and applying human rights standards are fellow Council members and human rights experts Saudi Arabia, China, Cuba and Russia.

Since the United States joined the Human Rights Council, the number of the Council's "free" countries, on Freedom House's calculus, has gone down. The State Department's make-believe "reform" campaign of 2011 failed to change the Council's permanent agenda of ten items, including one for Israel and one for the other 192 countries. Forty percent of all Council condemnations of specific states are about Israel alone.

Israel was sufficiently disgusted by this sham of a human rights body that it left its observer seat empty at the past session, which ended on July 6. On the final day one more malicious Council fact-finding mission on Israel was appointed, while Obama's Ambassador to the Council Eileen Donahoe happily tweeted: "Celebrating with my terrific team at the end of an extraordinary session. Just singing: Today was a good day." Standards outsourced and principles abandoned.

Outsourcing conventional arms control to a new international "implementation support unit" is on the table at current arms trade treaty talks taking place this month in New York with the support of the President. Administration officials claim that the would-be treaty relates only to international trade and would never affect gun ownership or use in this country. Except that the preparatory draft going into the negotiations says: "Each State Party shall take the necessary legislative and administrative measures, to adapt, as necessary, national laws and regulations to implement the obligations of this Treaty."

So the next time the president shouts "outsourcer" in a crowded theater, show him the door.

This article by Anne Bayefsky originally appeared on PJ Media.

The terrorist attack against Israeli civilians in Bulgaria, the flurry of drive-by visits from members of the Obama administration to Israel in the past few days, and the President's failure to visit the Jewish state throughout his tenure, should prompt a consideration of the extent to which Mr. Obama really understands Israel's life-and-death struggles.

Particularly telling is the recent roll out of the President's signature global anti-terrorism institution, the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF). The GCTF was announced by Secretary Clinton last September, but in June and July it held its first "ministerial level plenary" and "High Level Conference on Victims of Terrorism." Successive announcements from state department officials from Clinton on down have described the GCTF as a "major initiative," "an international counterterrorism network as nimble and adaptive as our adversaries," "a global venue to identify essential priorities," and a "platform for senior counterterrorism policymakers and experts from around the world to devise solutions for addressing key counterterrorism challenges.

And yet, the Obama administration selected Turkey as its co-chair and then agreed to Turkey's request to veto Israel's participation.

The founding members of the GCTF include the EU and virtually all other members of the "Western European and Others" (WEOG) regional group of the United Nations which the Obama administration has long claimed ought to include Israel along with eleven Muslim-majority nations. According to Ambassador Daniel Benjamin, the State Department Coordinator for Counterterrorism, the "key" Muslim states were included because they "are on the front lines in the struggle against terrorism." A criterion that should have put Israel at the top of his list, let alone outside the tent.

Even more disconcerting are the priorities and solutions that the front-line GCTF players have identified. The United Arab Emirates has been charged with creating one of the main "deliverables," namely, an International Center of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism. In the words of a state department Fact Sheet of June 7, 2012, the UAE Center "will focus on training, research, and dialogue and collaboration, to counter violent extremism in all of its forms and manifestations."

No wonder Ambassador Benjamin declared at the Forum's September launch that the Obama initiative would not "go through the same old rather sterile debates of what constitutes terrorism." Every one of the "key" Muslim nations in the GCTF is a party to an international treaty called the Convention of the Organization of the Islamic Conference on Combating International Terrorism. That treaty exempts from "terrorist crimes" "armed struggle against foreign occupation, aggression, colonialism, and hegemony, aimed at liberation and self-determination." Consequently, terrorism against Israelis, or Americans accused of being in the wrong places, will not be appearing on the Center's agenda.

On the contrary, what the UAE means by terrorism in "all its forms and manifestations" was unequivocally spelled out by its UN representatives Ali Alshemail. Speaking at the General Assembly on October 6, 2010, he said: "We emphasize that elimination of the danger of terrorism requires us to address all forms and manifestations of terrorism without exception, including the state terrorism which violates the right of peoples to self-determination...[W]e support...a clear definition of terrorism and to differentiate it from the legitimate struggle of people under foreign occupation." In short, Israeli civilians are fair game.

Furthermore, instead of the GCTF modifying the views of its Muslim members, the spillover effect appears to be operating in the opposite direction. At its September 2011 launch all members of the GCTF including the Obama administration adopted the so-called Cairo Declaration on Counterterrorism and Rule of Law. Published by the State Department itself, the declaration states: "Noting the importance of relevant regional and international instruments." The relevant regional instruments include the OIC terrorism treaty and its exception clauses.

Moreover, Secretary Clinton gave the UAE's counter-terrorism center a vote of confidence at the GCTF meeting on June 7, 2012 in Istanbul, Turkey. She said: "[T]he UAE took an important step when it announced it would host the first-ever international center developed to combat extremism and develop those best practices that will do so. I am pleased to announce that the United States will support this effort with both funding and expertise..."

Particularly disturbing, has been the repeated omission of Israel and Israeli cities in lists of terrorist victims prepared by Obama administration officials connected to the Forum. Here's Clinton at the September 22, 2011 launch in New York: "From London to Lahore, from Madrid to Mumbai, from Kabul to Kampala, it's innocent civilians who have been targeted." Here's Attorney General Eric Holder at the Inaugural Meeting of the GCTF "Criminal Justice/Rule of Law Working Group" on November 3, 2011 in Washington: "All around the world from New York to London; from Lahore to Madrid; from Mumbai to Abuja we have seen the devastating effects and costs of terrorism." At the GCTF meeting in June 2012 Clinton's statement mentions terrorism in only Mali, Somalia, Yemen, Nigeria, the Maghreb, Turkey and "lone-wolf killings" in Europe.

The confusion of the Obama team on the subject of terrorism was also in evidence at the most recent GCTF meeting in July. At that conference, Maria Otero, Obama's Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights highlighted the work of the non-governmental organization "Sisters Against Violent Extremism" (SAVE). This is an NGO which Secretary Clinton also singled out at the "Special Operations Command Gala" on May 23, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. The work of Sisters Against Extremism in the Israeli-Palestinian context is spotlighted in a video which features two grieving women, Israeli Robi Damelin and Palestinian Siham Abu Awwad.

The SAVE video states that Abu Awwad's "brother was killed by an Israeli settler." Robi states her son was killed by a Palestinan sniper when serving in the IDF, and she gives this explanation: "He didn't kill David because he was David. He killed David because he was a symbol of an occupying army." More specifically, Robi's son was killed while he worked as an IDF officer at a checkpoint, a constraint which exists for the purpose of preventing terrorism. During the attack by a member of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade which killed her son, the terrorist also killed six other Israeli soldiers and three civilians. According to films featuring the death of Siham's brother Youssef, he was "killed by an IDF soldier while trying to cross a check point."

The moral relativism and twisted perceptions of terrorism that the GCTF will perpetuate, rather than solve, is perhaps simply illustrated by the Obama administration's choice of a co-chair of the GCTF rule of law working group. The co-chairs are the United States and Egypt. So today, the Muslim Brotherhood is working with the Obama administration on "good practices for effective counterterrorism practice." While Israel is denied entry.

As Israelis grieve still more acts of terrorism, it is disheartening that the President of the United States is quick to speechify and less ready to take the necessary steps to forever delegitimize terrorists and their enablers.

July 17, 2012

July 16, 2012

The continued inability of Kofi Annan to achieve anything in war torn Syria makes him the clown prince of international diplomacy

Kofi Annan's diplomatic failures doom Syria's rebels Article