June 16, 2012
Excluding Israel from Counterterrorism ConferenceBy Eileen F. Toplansky
In a letter penned on June 11, 2012, Senators Joseph Lieberman and Mark Kirk wrote to Secretary of State Clinton to "express [their] surprise and disappointment of the absence of ...Israel, from the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF)" which she attended in Istanbul last week.
Established in 2011, the Global Counterterrorism Forum:
The founding members of the GCTF are:
Conspicuously absent is Israel, a country which has been the brunt of terrorism since its inception in 1948 and whose expertise in dealing with terror is unsurpassed.
Equally alarming is the fact that:
Given the unrelenting anti-Israel stance of the United Nations, this close partnership should raise credible suspicion that the GCTF will not serve as a counterterrorism forum by any means. At Anne Bayefsky's website, she explains that after the horrors of World War II:
The United Nations regularly condemns Israel and from1967 to 1989 alone the UN Security Council passed 131 resolutions directly addressing the Arab-Israeli conflict. They are rife with overwhelming bias against Israel and completely ignore the ongoing aggression of Arab countries. Recall also that arch-terrorist Yassir Arafat and Iran's genocidal President Mahmoud Ahmadinajad have been cordially received at the U.N.
According to Peter Collier, Jeane Kirkpatrick, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under President Reagan showed her mettle and commitment to Israel when she charged that the:
Peter Collier, author of Political Woman: The Big Little Life of Jeane Kirkpatrick asserts that Kirkpatrick repeatedly pointed out that:
These entrenched attitudes have become stronger and they are certainly emboldened by the anti-Israel animus of Obama advisors who openly disdain Israel. There is no "passionate indignation" over the treatment of Israel at the U.N. under the Obama presidency. After all Obama ignores the fact that "Turkey opposes calling Hamas a terrorist organization, even though Hamas is included on the State Department's list of terrorist organizations."
According to Globes, "the US blocked Israel's participation in the Global Counterterrorism Forum's first meeting in Istanbul...even though Israel has one of the most extensive experiences in counterterrorism." The reason given was that the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan objected to Israel's presence.
A top US official stated that "the GCTF sought from the outset to bridge old and deep divides in the international community between Western donor nations and Muslim majority nations." One surely hears echoes of Obama's reaching out to the Muslim world to the detriment of the West. The latest information that Obama is secretly involving the jihadist terrorist group The Muslim Brotherhood in direct talks and information sharing is no secret any more.
Thus, it is no great surprise, given the affinity of Obama's desire to downplay Islamist terror that he would "deepen ties with the Muslim world at Israel's expense." Ironically, "Saudi Arabia, long known for spreading the radical Wahhabist ideology to which many terrorists adhere" is a member of the GCTF. Can one posit that the U.S.-Turkey Alliance tossed Israel under the bus?"
According to Sharona Schwartz, of the Blaze, "Israeli Foreign Ministry Spokesman Yigal Palor stated that Israel "never planned to go [to the conference] and it wasn't on the schedule." Palmor would 'not say if any Israeli officials had asked to attend, but pointed out that Israeli and U.S. officials held [their] own counterterrorism dialogue...days before the Istanbul meeting.'" Yet, an unnamed Israeli official blamed Israel's exclusion on Turkey and stated that "[t]he Turks have been behaving with irrational rage when it comes to Israel."
When questioned as to whether Israel requested membership to the Global Counterterrorism Forum and whether the United States, as a co-host of the forum, sought to get Israel involved, the State Department responded with the following:
Answer: Our idea with the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) was to bring together a limited number of traditional donors, front line states, and emerging powers to develop a more robust, yet representative, counterterrorism capacity-building platform. A number of our close partners with considerable experience countering and preventing terrorism are not included among the GCTF's founding members.
We have discussed the GCTF and ways to involve Israel in its activities on a number of occasions, and are committed to making this happen.
Don't hold your breath!
Eileen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.