U.S. again excludes Israel from counterterrorism meeting (WORLD TRIBUNE) WASHINGTON 07/12/12)
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WASHINGTON — The United States has allowed the exclusion of
Israel from a Western-sponsored counter-insurgency forum for the
second time in two months.
Officials acknowledged that Israel, deemed a leading expert, has
excluded from a major Western CI meeting. They
cited the Global Counterterrorism Forum, which took place in Spain on
and which included many countries in the Middle East.
“A number of our close partners with considerable experience counting
and — countering and preventing terrorism are not included among the
GCTF’s founding members,” State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell
said on July 10. “We’ve discussed the GCTF and ways to involve Israel
and its activities on a number of occasions, and we’re committed to
making this happen.”
Ventrell’s response, given a day after the question of Israel’s
exclusion was submitted to the State Department, matched nearly
verbatim that given on June 8 after Israel was banned from the
forum’s meeting in Turkey. At the time, officials attributed Israel’s
exclusion to Turkish objections.
During the latest CI forum, Undersecretary for Civilian Security,
Democracy, and Human Rights addressed the forum in a speech
entitled “Victims of Terrorism.” Israel was not included in the
countries that have sustained attacks deemed terror. Ventrell said he
couldn’t explain the omission.
U.S. analysts agreed that Israel’s exclusion from the 29-member CI
was intentional. They said the administration of President Barack
adopted the position of Turkey to exclude Israel from all gatherings
which Ankara plays a major role.
“What we’re seeing is a trend of Israel being left out of the global
discussion on terrorism, while Israel was extremely helpful during the
beginning stages of this conversation,” Jonathan Schanzer, vice
for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said. “The
administration is downplaying the struggle that Israel has been
Congress has pressed the State Department to include Israel in the CI
forum, in which Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also failed to
the Jewish state in Istanbul in June. Congressional sources said the
Department has responded to appeals by House and Senate members that
Washington could not expand the forum to include Israel.
“Though this is not a major issue, it is one more sign of the
administration’s attitude toward the Israelis,” Jonathan Tobin, senior
editor of Commentary Magazine, said. “Should the president be re-
get the ‘flexibility’ that he has said he would then have to act on
affairs, Israel should expect a lot more of this sort of thing if not
worse.” (Copyright © 2012 East West Services, Inc. 07/12/12)
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