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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Is It Finally Time For Israel to Squirm?

It seems Israel is in for some criticism from none other than a retired US general, James Logan Jones. Last year at the time of the Annapolis "peace talks", Jones was appointed Special Envoy for Mideast Security.

General Jones is not your average run of the mill retired general (sarcasm intended), apparently some are even saying that Jones has popped up on the Obama short list for vp. Interesting indeed considering Obama just wrapped up his 36 hour stay in Israel/Palestine, spending all of less than two hours of that visit with Abbas in Ramallah, without even a thought of swinging by Gaza.

Just who is retired General James Logan Jones?

General James Logan Jones, Jr. USMC (born December 19, 1943) is the former Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR) (2003-2006) and the Commander of the United States European Command (COMUSEUCOM) (2003-2006); and served as the 32nd Commandant of the Marine Corps (July 1999-January 2003). Jones retired from the United States Marine Corps on February 1, 2007 after 40 years of service.[1]

In 2007, Jones served as Chairman of the Congressional Independent Commission on the Security Forces of Iraq, which investigated the capabilities of the Iraqi police and armed forces. In November 2007, he was appointed by the United States Secretary of State as special envoy for Middle East Security.

He is currently the Chairman of the Atlantic Council of the United States. (more)

Bush trusted him there, let's see what the administration does with this report.

One thing not included in the report for sure since it is recent, is the fact that Israel just sent an IOF soldier straight back to his unit after he was filmed taking point blank aim at the feet of a blindfolded handcuffed Palestinian from just a few feet away. Watch that video HERE (watch closely, the soldier who shoots him is in front of him to the left as he is standing, then he shoots) and read Desert Peace's commentary with the article HERE.

Maybe there's still time to add this latest incident in General Jones.

Israel fears scathing U.S. report on its West Bank policies
By Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff
Tags: Israel, West Bank, IDF

The United States security coordinator for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, retired general James Jones, is preparing an extremely critical report of Israel's policies in the territories and its attitude toward the Palestinian Authority's security services.

A few copies of the report's executive summary (or, according to some sources, a draft of it) have been given to senior Bush Administration officials, and it is reportedly arousing considerable discomfort. In recent weeks, the administration has been debating whether to allow Jones to publish his full report, or whether to tell him to shelve it and make do with the summary, given the approaching end of President George Bush's term.

Jones was appointed by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice following the Annapolis peace conference last November. His assignment was to draft a strategic plan to facilitate stabilization of the security situation, as a necessary accompaniment to Israeli-Palestinian final-status negotiations. In this context, he assessed the PA security forces in the West Bank, whose reform is being overseen by another American general, Keith Dayton. Jones has visited the region several times and met with senior Israeli government officials and army officers.

According to both Israeli and American sources, the envoy's conclusions about Israel are scathing. Israelis who met with Jones on his most recent visit here a few weeks ago, including Israel Defense Forces officers, said their impression was that the report would be "very harsh, and make Israel look very bad."

Jones is apparently critical of Israel on two key issues. One is its fairly broad definition of its security interests in the West Bank under any final-status agreement. The other is its attitude toward the PA security services.

However, the sources said, Jones also had some criticism for Washington: He said its efforts to reform the PA security services fell short and complained that U.S. government agencies are not coordinating their assistance for these forces. In addition, he reportedly concluded that the PA forces are not yet capable of effectively enforcing the law in the West Bank.

The harsh criticisms contained in the executive summary are reportedly upsetting the Bush administration. Some senior U.S. officials are demanding that the full report not be published, so as not to create a storm in advance of the presidential elections in November. Jones, however, is apparently insisting that his full report be published,
just as the report he issued last year on the Iraqi security forces was.

Officials at the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv declined to comment. (source)

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