The U.S. Ambassador to Georgia is contradicting official Obama Administration policy. Is he working on orders from his superiors? In “Uproar in Georgia over U.S. Ambassador’s Pro-Palestinian Maneuvering” in the American Thinker, January 9, Pamela Geller explains why the Republic of Georgia is abuzz with this question:
Republic of Georgia is in an uproar. Prime Minister Bidzina
Ivanishvili has issued a statement about the explosive revelations I
broke in the American Thinker in December:
that the U.S. ambassador to Georgia, Richard Norland, whispered in his
ear to vote in favor of the U.N. resolution declaring a “Palestinian”
state, which is diametrically opposed to official U.S. policy.
But why should anyone be surprised? People actually seem taken aback by the nomination of the virulently Jew-hating Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense, when actually everything in Obama’s foreign policy points to this very tendency. If Obama had appointed John Bolton, or anyone else pro-Israel, that would have been a shock. But the kapos are wringing their hands over Hagel? Really? Obama’s anti-Israel stance has been fiercely consistent, as I exposed in my 2009 true-life political thriller, The Post-American Presidency.
The revelations about Ivanishvili and Norland that I reported were based on statements made by Gabriel M. Mirilashvili, a noted Georgian businessman and owner of a corporation. Just before the November 29 United Nations vote granting non-member-state observer status to “Palestine,” Mirilashvili, who is the vice president of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, as well as head of the World Congress of Georgian Jews, had a meeting with Ivanishvili. Mirilashvili stated that when he had urged Ivanishvili to oppose the Palestinian statehood resolution, Ivanishvili told him that Norland had recommended that Georgia vote in favor of the resolution.
Sources in both countries inform me that in Israel as well as in Georgia, politicians and ordinary people alike were shocked by the revelation that an American ambassador, an Obama appointee, would be quietly directing a nation to vote against what is actually official U.S. policy — which either makes him a renegade or shows Obama and Clinton to be two-faced liars and hypocrites who oppose a Palestinian state publicly while supporting it and working for it privately. After my article was published, high-ranking government officials in Georgia’s Ministry of Defense were removed from their posts. There are rumors that the deputy defense minister is going to be removed as well.
Gabriel Mirilashvili, apparently feeling under pressure, wrote a letter to the editor of the Israeli internet portal izrus.co.il, which had reprinted part of my article, saying that he did not know me and had not spoken to me about his meeting with Bidzina Ivanishvili.
But this was not the point. I never claimed that I spoke directly with Mirilashvili. In my article, I wrote only that “this information comes from Gabriel M. Mirilashvili.” And so it was predictable that Mirilashvili’s attempt at deflection didn’t calm the controversy in
Georgia. Prime Minister Ivanishvili ultimately had to make a statement himself. In it, he confirmed that he had indeed met with Gabriel Mirilashvili and that they had spoken about politics.
A Georgian journalist then asked the prime minister about his conversation with Ambassador Norland; Ivanishvili responded curtly that that conversation was part of “a process that is not for talk — about who, what, and to whom was said.” Notably, he did not say that the now-notorious conversation had not taken place at all.
That’s as close to a confirmation as you’re going to get from a politically careful and savvy prime minister.