Hariri Speech Reveals Bad Arabic; Adam Ereli Possible Ambassador to Syria

Everyone is talking about the Saad Hariri speech to the Lebanese parliament – see it here on YouTube. Very funny. He is not very literate in Arabic.

Ambassador Joseph Adam Ereli may be the next US representative in Damascus according to As-Safir. The list of officials who have been mentioned in the press as possible ambassadors grows ever longer. We will wait and see….

Ambassador Adam Ereli presenting a set of books to Isa Cultural Center Director Mr. Khaldoon Abahsain and National Library Director Dr. Mansoor Sarhan

Ambassador Adam Ereli presenting a set of books to Isa Cultural Center Director Mr. Khaldoon Abahsain and National Library Director Dr. Mansoor Sarhan

Ereli on YouTube talking about his London job overseeing the Office of Regional Media Outreach. (At 4 minutes he talks about Arab-Israeli conflict)

Here is  a press conference Ereli gave about Syria in 2005 in response to President Assad’s Damascus University speech.

Ambassador Adam J. Ereli arrived in Baghdad 31 May 2008 to serve as the Public Affairs Counselor at the United States Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq from 2008 to 2009.

Quote:

From 2007 to 2008 he has served as Ambassador to Bahrain. He will return to the post when his tour in Iraq is completed in 2009.

Prior to his appointment as Ambassador to Bahrain, Ereli was Senior Advisor to the Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy for Overseas Communications, based in London. There he oversaw regional communications hubs in Brussels and Dubai, and the Arab Media Outreach Center in London.

J. Adam Ereli, according to his U.S. Department of State biography, “became Deputy Spokesman of the Department of State in August 2003. In this capacity, he oversees the Office of Press Relations, Office of Regional Media Outreach, the Foreign Press Centers and the Press Office at USAID. Previously, Mr. Ereli served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Doha, Qatar, from 2000 to 2003.

“He joined the Foreign Service in 1989 and has served abroad as a Junior Officer in Cairo, Egypt, Program Officer in Damascus, Syria, Cultural Affairs Officer in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and Public Affairs Officer in Sanaa, Yemen. In Washington, Mr. Ereli served as Director of the Office of Press and Public Affairs in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs and as Director of the Office of Press Relations in the Bureau of Public Affairs. Mr. Ereli’s awards include a Meritorious Honor Award, a Meritorious Step Increase, and three Superior Honor Awards.

“Mr. Ereli earned a B.A. in History from Yale University in 1982 and an M.A. in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in 1989. Before entering the Foreign Service, he worked as a journalist and human rights activist in Paris, France. He speaks French and Arabic. He is married to Marina Pastuhov Ereli.” [1]

The Angry Arab on Ereli – funny, even if mean….

Why the Road to Peace May Run Through Damascus
Mohamad Bazzi, Adjunct Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies
December 18, 2009
The National

Is peace possible between Syria and Israel? That question has taken on new urgency after the Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered to negotiate with the Syrian president Bashar Assad “anytime, anywhere”–and Mr Assad rebuffed the approach.

He is correct in assuming that a meeting with Mr Netanyahu at the moment would be nothing more than a photo-op. But that should not discourage the administration of the US president Barack Obama from pushing for renewed Syrian-Israeli negotiations…..

Comments (25)


1. Alex said:

Dear Obama administration,

Thank you for your latest wonderful gift, Mr. Ereli … it reminds us of your other natural choice for a Syria envoy, Mr. Feltman.

We understand that Syria is a complicated country and it is perhaps difficult for you to evaluate the different factors that can contribute to a successful choice for the post of US ambassador to Syria.

If you want your ambassador to be liked by the Syrian people, go for a pleasant person who is genuinely friendly. Someone who is not so obviously pro Israel.

Mr. Erili reminds me of Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Dennis Ross

His ability to speak Arabic (with great difficulty) is not going to undo his ability to state clearly (at 3:30 of clip below): “We can explain why we are PRO ISRAEL, we are certainly not going to deny or back away from that”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2MllCR1NLo

And it would have been nice if he was honest and consistent. Here he is saying the opposite; “It is not true. The US is not biased in favor of Israel.”

Fred Hoff should be the next American ambassador to Damascus.

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December 21st, 2009, 1:50 pm

 

2. RE: Ereli's Arabic said:

Adam Ereli’s statement in Arabic to commemorate Bahrain’s 38th National Day last week:

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December 21st, 2009, 4:51 pm

 

3. jad said:

I Second Alex sincere thanks for the ‘gift’ by this disfunctional US administration. I still don’t see any of the freaking ‘CHANGE’ Obama promised his millions of supporters that he will deliver, this administration is nothing but a bad movie set.
Weren’t we talking about our own Syrian system dysfunctional in the decision making process and criticizing it for the unclarity the other day?
The positive thing I see in the Syrian administration is that time after time it keeps showing more maturity, more understanding and more commitment to what it promises than any regime, system, administration and puppet in this region, and regardless of all the negative domestic issues I keep rant about I have to admit that the Syrians are doing the best they could do under all this terrible circumstances.

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December 21st, 2009, 5:26 pm

 

4. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

When I was in kinder-garden, we the children didn’t have a say about
who is going to be our kinder-garden nanny.
But the Syrian kinder-garden wants to decide.

I wish our Syrian neighbors would be as enthusiastic about electing
their own leadership, as they are about electing the US ambassador to
Damascus.
.

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December 21st, 2009, 8:56 pm

 

5. jad said:

very original speech by Ereli! He sounds very genuine reading this difficult meaningful greeting word by word. 🙂

I think Prince missed the whole lesson of diplomatic rules in the kindergarten since an embassodor to be appointed in any country, the country where he will be apointed to should accept him first.
Hopefully Prince will graduate from the kindergarten soon, he’s been there for a very long time now, study harder kiddo!

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December 21st, 2009, 9:19 pm

 

6. qunfuz said:

good letter, Alex.

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December 22nd, 2009, 12:34 am

 

7. norman said:

Springtime for Syria
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri walks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during a visit to Damascus on the weekend. The leaders agreed to seek ways to improve relations between their two countries. Sana/Reuters
The road to Damascus is a busy place as the one-time pariah state comes in from the cold
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Article Comments Patrick Martin

Damascus — From Tuesday’s Globe and Mail
Published on Monday, Dec. 21, 2009 8:18PM EST

Long considered an international pariah for its friendship with Iran, its support of radical organizations and its poor human-rights record, it appears that Syria under Bashar al-Assad is being brought in from the cold.

In recent weeks, the King of Saudi Arabia, the President of France and the prime ministers of Turkey and Spain all have beaten a path to Mr. al-Assad’s door – this after half a decade of pointedly ostracizing him.

“It was nonsense to try to isolate Syria,” says the new French ambassador to Damascus, Eric Chevallier. “It was not feasible, and ended up being counterproductive.”

These countries now argue that Syria is integral to resolving several of the region’s conflicts – civil strife in Lebanon and Iraq, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its own confrontation with Israel.

It’s not that Syria can be the peacemaker in all these cases, but it can be the troublemaker, unless it’s encouraged otherwise.

Each visitor to Damascus brings its own encouragement: the prospect of substantial foreign investment from Saudi Arabia; open borders with Turkey; the signing of a long-delayed association agreement with the European Union.

The EU agreement was initialled by both sides in 2004, but was put on hold amid accusations of Syrian responsibility for the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri. Syria, once eager to have the agreement, now coolly says it will “study all the details” before deciding if it will sign, a good indication of how confident the al-Assad regime feels these days.

Of all the overtures, Damascus is especially pleased about the one from Turkey.

Ten years ago, Turkish troops massed on the border as Ankara sought to end Syrian support for Kurdish rebels. As of last month, however, Syrians and Turks can now cross the border without a visa.

“Turkey changed,” explained Sami Moubayed, editor of Forward Magazine, a Syrian English-language monthly. “They are opening to the Arab world in general and to us in particular.”

Mr. Moubayed, who participated in behind-the-scenes talks with members of the Obama foreign-policy team last year in the United States, added: “We now can say we have more allies in the region than just Iran.”

Even previously frosty Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki came to call on Mr. al-Assad in August, ostensibly restoring long-lost relations between the two countries. A day later, however, the first of a series of massive bombings in Baghdad took place. Iraq recalled its ambassador, prompting Syria to do the same.

Since then Iraq has returned to accusing Syria of giving safe haven to insurgents and doing nothing about their attacks on Baghdad – first the bombings in August, then a similar episode in October, and another again last week. In each case Iraqi ministries were targeted and scores of people killed.

Syrians dismiss the idea that their government had anything to do with them.

“First they [Iraqis] send us 1.2 million refugees, then they expect us to be their policeman,” said an exasperated Samir al-Taqi, director of Syria’s Orient Center for International Studies.

Dr. al-Taqi says Baghdad should look closer to home for the culprits. “There are forces in Iraq that want to see it turned into a weak federal state,” he said. “Syria has no interest in that. We don’t want another Lebanon on our border.”

While Iraq and the United States continue to point a finger of responsibility at Syria as a haven for Iraqi refugees, there are few in the international community who share the concern, at least not to the point that it hampers their new relations with Damascus.

For the moment, the United States is the most conspicuous exception to the trend to opening new ties. But even President Barack Obama says he wants to normalize relations with Syria and will name an ambassador to Damascus very soon. In July, the Obama administration took the first step, ending some of the sanctions it had imposed in 2003.

One of the chief complaints about Syria has been its alleged responsibility for the Hariri assassination. Syria now seems to have dodged that bullet. The United Nations inquiry into the matter continues – a Canadian prosecutor, Daniel Bellemare, is heading it up – but in the words of a Western diplomat, the case has been “back-burnered.”

“Had Syria anything to do with the assassination, it would have surfaced by now,” Mr. Moubayed says. “Saudi Arabia and France would not have mended fences with Syria” if they still thought Damascus was behind the killing. (The two countries were among Mr. Hariri’s greatest supporters.) This past weekend, even Mr. Hariri’s son, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, proclaimed a new relationship with Damascus after two days of meetings in the Syrian capital, including three sessions with Mr. al-Assad.

The United States continues to believe Syria is not doing enough to prevent insurgents entering Iraq from Syria. In the absence of tighter controls, U.S. forces have carried out several cross-border raids into Syria.

A raid last fall that reportedly killed eight civilians, however, prompted the al-Assad regime to take action. It announced the closing of the American international school in Damascus and gave U.S. teachers 48 hours to leave town, according to parents of some of the students.

“It was a pretty reprehensible way to retaliate,” one diplomat said. “But people got the point.”

The arrival of a new U.S. ambassador is expected to help restart peace negotiations between Syria and Israel. Indirect talks, facilitated by Turkey, broke off last December after Israel launched its attack on Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Syria recently said it was willing to resume negotiations, but only if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signals his acceptance of the UN formula of “land for peace” agreed to by his predecessors. To Mr. al-Assad, that means the return of the Golan Heights, captured by Israel during the 1967 war.

Mr. Netanyahu has declined to do so, stating that the return of the Golan Heights to Syria should be a subject for negotiation.

It appears that when it comes to Syria’s confrontation with Israel, Damascus is seen by the outside world less and less as the implacable party. That’s likely because Israel’s assault on Gaza, its reluctance to fully freeze settlement growth in the West Bank, and even its attack on Lebanon in 2006 have made it easier for some countries to warm up to Syria.

Commenting on the international red carpet that has been rolled out for Damascus, one Western diplomat said it was hoped that Syria also had learned a lesson. “We want Syria to stop playing with the bad guys and start playing with the good guys,” he said.

This isn’t the attitude of a lot of Syrians, however. Hearing of this remark, an influential Syrian businessman leaned over and said softly: “Playing with the good guys never got us anywhere.”

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December 22nd, 2009, 3:32 am

 

8. Alex said:

Dear Emir

There you go again! … you love to teach the Syrians what to say and do, but your country Israel is not constrained by these same suggestions you are giving us.

Let me remind you that for the past decade Israel’s friends not only expected (and got) an American ambassador to their liking, but they also had veto power over any high level American official dealing with the Middle East. Chuck Hagel, John Kerry, Daniel Kurtzer, and even Aaron David Miller did not make it to the Obama administration even though their names were circulating for a while. Israel’s friends in Washington did not approve.

So what was your point again about Syrians not being allowed to complain when the United States sends them an Ambassador who is proud that he is Pro Israel and will continue to be so? … you know, Israel is Syria’s enemy, Israel occupies Syrian lands, and the proposed Ambassador is openly pro Syria’s enemy.

Countries … “exchange ambassadors” … they do not exchange nannies and children.

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December 22nd, 2009, 5:32 am

 

9. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

ALEX,

The fuss you and Tribal make over the ambassador, makes my head, ache.
No. Countries do not choose the ambassadors to be sent to them.

Believe me, I really don’t know who is the American ambassador to Israel.
It’s so so unimportant; anyway, significant decisions are being taken
in higher levels.
The “ambassador” thing is a 18th century remnant, when it sometimes
took months to send and receive letters and instructions from far away governments.
Today you have Tweeter, Skype, Emails and telephones to do that in
a fraction of a second.
So the ambassador’s function is reduced to issuing visas, and attending galas. Give me a break.

And give this Ereli person a little credit. He’s doing his most to learn
Arabic, for Christ sake… at least he deserves some minimal respect.
I cannot recall any US ambassador to Israel who spoke Hebrew.
.

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December 22nd, 2009, 6:06 am

 

10. jad said:

‘No. Countries do not choose the ambassadors to be sent to them’

Prince, shut up and learn!

“Every state of sovereign has the right, if it thinks fit, to refuse to receive a particular person as an ambassador, or even to receive any ambassador at all. It is therefore customary to ascertain beforehand whether the person designated for an embassy is favorably regarded, and will be well received. There have been instances not every remote of unfavourable answers or refusal to receive given individuals.”

http://www.1902encyclopedia.com/A/AMB/ambassador.html

Vatican vetoes Barack Obama’s nominees for US ambassador

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/apr/14/vatican-vetoes-obama-nominees-abortion

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December 22nd, 2009, 6:36 am

 

11. Shai said:

Ambassadors Daniel Kurtzer and Martin Indyk both speak Hebrew. I’m sure Israel would be complaining if Egypt sent it a pro-Hezbollah ambassador.

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December 22nd, 2009, 9:45 am

 

12. Steve said:

The majalla have just published a special edition on Bashar Assad, with 3 or 4 interesting articles.

http://www.majalla.com/en/

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December 22nd, 2009, 9:58 am

 

13. Michel said:

To add to Mr. Amir’s education, an approved ambassador is called in the trade a “persona grata”. A rejected ambassador is called “persona non grata”.
It all goes back to ancient days when all diplomatic personel spoke Latin…

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December 22nd, 2009, 10:06 am

 

14. offended said:

Did I just hear somebody saying that Twitter today makes up for the old fashioned traditions of exchanging ambassadors?

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December 22nd, 2009, 1:35 pm

 

15. norman said:

Alex, Jad ,

Syria , i believe , never received an American ambassador who eventually did not fall in love with Syria and the Syrian Arabs , having a pro Israel ambassador in Syria will carry more weight in Israel and the US so Syria should use it’s charm on him ,his recommendation can go a long way ,

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December 22nd, 2009, 1:37 pm

 

16. Shai said:

Norman,

Interesting point.

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December 22nd, 2009, 1:41 pm

 

17. offended said:

Norman,

I beg to differ. You’re assuming that the candidate ambassador has ‘misconceptions’ about Syria and that his posting and his staying there will help to dispel them.

That could be true in some cases. But not if the said diplomat is a genuine racist, bigoted, indoctrinated islamophobe or a staunch Zionist individual. IMHO, nothing could change that.

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December 22nd, 2009, 2:00 pm

 

18. norman said:

Offended,
you might be right , but i hope i am right , after all , it is what we want should be working for

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December 22nd, 2009, 2:59 pm

 

19. Observer said:

I believe that the void left by the US debacle in Iraq is now being filled further by state and non state actors.
Syria has re emerged as a key player in any regional stability project. The region is moving beyond the sunset of US influence.

First: Egypt has become irrelevant and is now doing only one policy: the inheritance policy and doing the bidding of its master Israel for this and this purpose only.

Second: KSA has effectively allowed Lebanon to go back into the Syrian orbit full tilt. They also have major challenges with the Gulf countries that do not like the fiscal and monetary policy of Saudi Arabia forcing them to remain attached to the US dollar in their transactions. The single currency issue has faltered on where the central bank of the Gulf would be located Riad or in a neutral place in the Gulf. This division will continue to benefit the US on the short term but will not prevent Iran and Turkey from making further inroads. The adventure in Yemen has proven once again that the armed forces of the kingdome are not up to par having difficulty coming to terms with a local movement.

Third: Iraq is moving towards significant independent oil policy that will weaken Saudi Arabia further. Although they accuse Syria of fomenting trouble, the cry wold story is old and does not resonate. If Maliki is ousted, then Syria will have further say across the border and if Sadr is more powerful, Iran will also have more say. I expect that the Iraqis will ask for full US withdrawal and will purchase weapons so as not to have any US advisors. The Kurds appear to be losing as the Iraqis Syrians, Iranians and Turks have concluded that further autonomy is not warranted.

Fourth: As Syria gains in importance, the temptation to hit it as a substitute for hitting Iran grows. I believe that Israel is planning on a strike in Iran and is bargaining with the US to have an anti missile shield to make it a possibility not a certainty.

I believe the following post on Lebanon is worth putting up as well

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/KL23Ak02.html

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December 22nd, 2009, 4:24 pm

 

20. Henry said:

The “Lebanonization” of Iraq
Tony Badran
NOW Lebanon
December 22, 2009

Smoke billow following a blast close to the Justice Ministry in central Baghdad on October 25, 2009. (AFP/Sabah Arar)
Over the past few weeks, several important statements have come out of Iraq – both from Iraqi officials and top US commanders – regarding the recent bomb attacks in the country and their perpetrators. These statements paint a telling picture of the geopolitical situation in Iraq, which lies at the heart of Washington’s interests in the Gulf.

Nuri al-Maliki has pointed the finger at Syria for the attacks, and conventional wisdom suggests that the Iraqi prime minister has been alone in doing so, largely for electoral reasons. In fact, Maliki’s views are shared by many of his colleagues. For instance, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari recently told journalists at the Manama Dialogue that “[i]ntelligence confirms that Saddamist Baathists are working from Syrian soil and enjoy the support of [the Syrian] intelligence services.”

Similarly, Defense Minister Abdul Qader al-Ubeidi noted during a parliamentary hearing that there were “clear indications pointing to [involvement of] the Baath and Al-Qaeda, and to outside parties that financed [the operation].” The identity of these “outside parties” was made explicit by Major General Jihad al-Jaberi, the director of Iraq’s counter-explosives unit. Al-Jaberi claimed that the perpetrators – whom he identified as Baathists in cooperation with Al-Qaeda – received logistical support from Syria and financial support from Saudi Arabia. He noted that they used “standard ordnance that came from abroad… This requires money and very large support from Syria or Saudi Arabia.”

The details of the logistical support provided by Syria were further noted by Interior Minister Jawad Bolani. He told parliament that a suicide bomber who attacked the Foreign Ministry last August made a call to Syria before detonating his load, a detail revealed through his recovered SIM card.

More damning were the statements of Major General Hussein Kamal, the Interior Ministry’s chief of intelligence and investigations. He claimed that Iraqi officials had suspicions that the August 19 and October 25 bombings were planned at a secret meeting held between Al-Qaeda in Iraq members and Iraqi Baathists in the Syrian city of Zabadani. The meeting – implicitly organized under the auspices of the Syrian regime – was to chart out a new strategy to target the Maliki government. This was also reflected in Zebari’s comment on how “talking about these groups as mere volunteers is inaccurate, for they are experts with political objectives.”

So, the political background and nature of the attacks are well understood across the Iraqi government. Adding credibility to this reading were the remarkable statements by the top US commander in Iraq, General Ray Odierno. Not only did Odierno identify the political purpose of the attacks, linking them to the parliamentary elections early next year; not only did he acknowledge that there was “movement of fighters or explosives coming from Syria”; he also stated that over the last year or so, Al-Qaeda and what he termed “some of the Sunni rejectionist groups” had “started to work together [and to] coalesce at the local level,” so that the difference between them was often a question of “semantics.” Al-Qaeda and Baathists are “both involved,” Odierno noted; “they are coordinating at the local level.”

The commander of US Central Command, General David Petraeus, added to Odierno’s remarks in an interview with the Al-Arabiya satellite channel a few days ago. For the first time, Petraeus stated that Saddam Hussein’s former henchman, Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri, was “living freely in Syria.” He also pointed to the campaign that Duri and Muhammad Younis Ahmad, another Baathist figure (and a protégé of the Syrians) who is wanted by Baghdad, were launching under Syrian auspices. “They are now allowed to openly call for the toppling of the government of Iraq,” Petraeus observed.

These powerful statements by Iraqi and US officials ought to force us to reconfigure our entire thinking about so-called “non-state actors” and their behavior in Iraq, as well as on how to approach counterinsurgency there. Clearly, those killing Iraqis are doing so in conjunction with, and under the patronage of, outside states working to shape political outcomes through violence. In other words, this violence is mainly regime-driven.

Iraq has become a playing field for regional rivalries, and the Iraqis are the ones today paying the heaviest price. Iran has spent years expanding its powers in Iraq, disapproves of Maliki’s independence, and seeks to cut him down to size. Syria is striving to use its clients to carve out a political role for itself on the Iraqi scene. And Saudi Arabia, eager to contain Iran on its doorsteps in Iraq and Yemen, and fearing the consolidation of a Shia-dominated order in Iraq, has found parallel interests with Syria.

As the United States, through its ongoing withdrawal, creates the perception of a growing vacuum, regional states are stepping in to grab a piece of the Iraqi pie. The lack of public attention paid in the US to the statements quoted earlier, and their implications, affirms how far Iraq has dropped in the American national consciousness. This can only be to the detriment of America’s interests and to those of its Iraqi ally.

Tony Badran is a research fellow with the Center for Terrorism Research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

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December 22nd, 2009, 4:48 pm

 

21. Akbar Palace said:

Intersting Ha’aretz article about another Israeli proposed plan for a border between Israel and Palestine. This one is supposed to be from Olmert’s administration, and apparently, the Palestinians (PA) did not respond…

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1135699.html

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December 22nd, 2009, 5:34 pm

 

22. Alex said:

Norman,

That transformation took place already … He used to work at US embassy in Damascus.

Still, few years later he spoke like one of the many generic Bush administration Likud implants:

http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/L/Joshua.M.Landis-1/syriablog/2005/11/us-press-briefing-in-response-to-asad.htm

I have no doubt today he will be able to act more neutral, just like Mr. Feltman was able to smile and shake hands with President Assad. But why does the Obama administration have to send an Ambassador to the country who just few years ago proved he is a total failure in understanding (read how he reacted to Bashar’s speech in the link above)

What’s wrong with Fred Hoff?! … he is not up to Likud’s high standards of arrogance and ability to misread Syria in a reliable manner? Do they have to send us someone who speaks, acts, and reacts like a Netanyahu?

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December 22nd, 2009, 7:15 pm

 

23. Akbar Palace said:

The Barack Hussein Obama Likud Connection Revealed

What’s wrong with Fred Hoff?! … he is not up to Likud’s high standards of arrogance and ability to misread Syria in a reliable manner? Do they have to send us someone who speaks, acts, and reacts like a Netanyahu?

Hi Alex,

You mean now that Bush is gone you’re still not satisfied? Barack Obama and his adimistration are now “Likudniks”? You prefer Fred Hoff? Who is he?

BTW, how long does a US administration have to wait for the “optimum” Syrian president to come along?

Just as a suggestion, I would worry more about your own people than whomever the US government tends to employ. These positions usually change every few years anyway. Maybe you’ll get lucky and another Warren Christopher or James Baker will come to Damascus (as if that may matter).

Anyway, Hof seems OK to me, so here are a few excerpts from Fred Hof that you may have missed:

If Nasrallah and his closest associates come to a violent end in the current crisis you will not find me among the mourners.

I cannot dispute Israel’s right to defend itself.Like most reasonable people I believe that Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000 was total.I believe that the Shebaa Farms claim was invented to justify Hezbollah’s arms and give Syria an opportunity to continue its failed policy of trying to pressure
Israel on the Golan Heights through Lebanon.

I think I understand the politics that obliged Israel to respond in the manner it did.

http://www.fmep.org/analysis/analysis/transcript-american-perspectives-on-hezbollah

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December 22nd, 2009, 8:18 pm

 

24. Alex said:

Akbar,

I have no problem with the fact Fred Hof does not have identical views to Syria’s views… I am not hoping for an “optimum” choice.

He is a reasonable and relatively neutral character who did not do anything to make him an enemy of Israel. His name was circulating for a while for the job … he has been visiting Damascus lately as a US envoy.

Yet … it seems he is not “optimum” for Likud and their AIPAC lobby in the US.

Here is his latest .. download the report and read it

http://www.usip.org/resources/mapping-peace-between-syria-and-israel

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December 22nd, 2009, 10:58 pm

 

25. Akbar Palace said:

Yet … it seems he is not “optimum” for Likud and their AIPAC lobby in the US.

Alex,

I saw the article you linked to. So tell us, how did you reach the this conclusion?

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December 23rd, 2009, 1:41 pm

 

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