Major Events that coincided with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s trip to Israel
January 2007 - Rice visits Tel Aviv/Jerusalem, 1/13-15; Ramallah, 1/14; Egypt 1/15; Saudi Arabia 1/15-16; Kuwait 1/16-17; Germany 1/17-18, and Great Britain 1/18-19.
• President Bush declares major FEMA disasters due to severe winter storms in Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas from 1/13-19.
February 2007 - Rice visits Tel Aviv/Jerusalem, 2/17-20; Ramallah, 2/18.
• There was no FEMA disaster or apparent political crisis that corresponded to this trip.
March 2007 - Rice visits Tel Aviv/Jerusalem, 3/25-27; Ramallah, 3/25.
• President Bush declares major FEMA disasters for severe storms and tornados in New Mexico from Mar. 23-24.
May 2007 - Rice visits Egypt from May 1-4.
• The Quartet meets with the Arab countries about the Arab Initiative.
• President Bush declares major FEMA disasters for severe storms, tornadoes and flooding for Kansas, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Missouri and Nebraska from May 4-19.
August 2007 - Rice visits Tel Aviv/Jerusalem, 8/1-2; Ramallah, 8/2/07.
On Wednesday, Aug. 1, Secretary of State Rice, in a visit to Jerusalem, began laying the groundwork for a Mideast peace conference — hoping to push Israelis and Palestinians closer to renewing talks. Rice met with Ehud Olmert, Tzipi Livni, Shimon Peres and Ehud Barak.
• On Wednesday, the day the United States' Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison announced he was making a trip to Israel to work on peace efforts, a major bridge tragically collapsed in his (Minnesota) congressional district. The bridge's construction was completed in 1967. The area it fell in is called the "west bank" of the University of Minnesota campus. President Bush mentioned the collapse in a Rose Garden event. The story became the top news story of the day in the US and around the world.
September 2007 - Rice visits Tel Aviv/Jerusalem, 9/19-20; Ramallah, 9/20.
• There was no FEMA disaster or apparent political crisis that corresponded to this trip. However, the sub-prime mortgage disaster and the health of the US stock market was the top news.
October 2007 - Rice visits Tel Aviv/Jerusalem, 10/14-18; Ramallah, 10/15-17. Rice leaves Jerusalem on 10/18.
• A consortium of banks backed by the US government announce plans for a $100 billion “superfund” to buy and unwind Structured Investment Vehicles (SIVs), a complicated financial instrument bundling different forms of debt, including debt from subprime mortgages, into tradable securities.
• Santa Ana winds begin on 10/19 in Southern California; they become hurricane-force winds on 10/20 through 10/22.
• The Southern California wildfires burned 518,066 acres, destroyed 3,097 structures, and damaged 509 structures.
• President Bush declared a major FEMA disaster from Southern California's fires on 10/21 and toured the area on Thursday, 10/25.
November 2007 - Rice leaves for Turkey and Israel, 11/1-2/. She arrives in Tel Aviv/Jerusalem, 11/3; Jerusalem, 11/4-5, Ramallah, 11/5. Leaves Jerusalem on 11/5.
• As Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was on her way to Israel and in Israel to discuss the future of their land there was a major political crisis for the Bush Administration in Pakistan, a sixth major non-FEMA weather event Hurricane Noel plowed into the Northeast US, record crude oil-prices and the euro hit a new high against the dollar.
Bush, Olmert, and Rice's Quartet Activities and FEMA Events in 2007
There were five major FEMA disaster events and/or clusters of events that coincided with President Bush and/or Rice preparing for a meeting with Olmert, meeting with Olmert in Washington, or during Rice's Quartet meetings.
Those occurred during or shortly after …
• Meetings of the Quartet at the State Department • At the time the Bush Administration announced it was giving $59 million to the Palestinians • The announcement of Olmert's visit to Washington and the meeting of the Quartet in Berlin • Olmert's actual meeting at the White House • Olmert evicting Jews from their homes in Hebron and stating it was a time for a Palestinian state and a peace deal due to Bush Administration pressure.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was preparing on Feb. 1 to host the Quartet at the State Department in Washington, D.C. The meetings convened on Feb. 2 to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
• As the Quartet was meeting on the future of Israel's land in Washington, D.C., the state of Florida was beginning the "same-day" clean-up from the second-deadliest series of tornadoes in state history.
• President Bush declared a major FEMA disaster from the effects of severe storms and tornadoes during the period of Feb. 1-2, 2007.
• President Bush gave Palestinian President Abbas $59 million. That was followed by Secretary of State Rice's extensive activity in Washington, D.C., regarding the land of Israel — and resultant meetings in Jerusalem between Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
• The Financial Times reported that Israeli and Palestinian leaders met on Sunday, Apr. 15 — after agreeing, under U.S. prodding, to hold biweekly meetings; but aides said key issues remained off the agenda, which focused on economic ties and security concerns in the occupied territories.
• President Bush declared major FEMA disasters for New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Vermont and Kentucky for the Apr. 15-16 storms and flooding.
• Flooding, hail, tornadoes, and severe thunderstorms across numerous states (CT, DE, GA, LA, ME, MD, MA, MS, NH, NJ, NY, NC, PA, RI, SC, TX, VT, VA) in mid-April, including 3 "killer" tornadoes. Over $1.5 billion in damages/costs
• The White House announced on May 29 that Olmert was to visit the White House on June 19.
• The Quartet met in Berlin on May 30. The Quartet principals agreed to meet in the region in June with the Israelis and Palestinians to review progress and discuss the way forward. The Quartet also agreed to meet in the region with members of the Arab League to follow up on the Arab Peace Initiative and efforts to advance the regional track.
• Rice and the White House continued preparing for the June 18-19 meetings.
• President Bush declared major FEMA disasters for Nebraska's severe storms and flooding of May 28-June 2; North Dakota's severe storms and flooding of June 2-18; and Oklahoma's severe storms, flooding and tornadoes of June 10–July 25.
Olmert arrived in Washington on Sunday, June 17.
• In preparation for White House talks with President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, Olmert met with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley on June 18 to develop a joint strategy aimed at strengthening Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
• Olmert visited President Bush at the White House on June 19.
• President Bush declared major FEMA disasters for Texas' severe storms, tornadoes and flooding of June 16-18; and New York's severe storms and flooding of June 19.
• Under White House pressure, Olmert forced Jews out of homes in Hebron and declared that now is the time for a Palestinian state (Aug. 7-8).
• President Bush declared a major FEMA disaster for New York due to severe storms, flooding and tornadoes on Aug. 8.
• Worldwide financial contagion begins due to the US subprime housing crisis. With lending markets drying up around the world, central banks coordinate to inject liquidity into credit markets for the first time since 9/11 on August 10.
November - December 2007
Largest flood in Washington State's history followed by the largest ice storm and power outage in Oklahoma's history
Monday, Nov. 26: President George W. Bush hosted Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the White House in preparation for the Annapolis Conference.
That night, he welcomed 49 nations to the U.S. State Department in town for the Annapolis Conference. He said, "Achieving this goal requires neighbors committed to peace between Israel and a new Palestinian state — and I'm encouraged by the presence of so many here."
Tuesday, Nov. 27: President Bush opened the Annapolis Conference, saying, "We appreciate you joining us in what I believe is an historic opportunity to encourage the expansion of freedom and peace in the Holy Land."
Wednesday, Nov. 28: President Bush invited Olmert and Abbas to the White House for joint meetings and a closing statement with the world press in attendance. He said, "And one thing I've assured both gentlemen is that the United States will be actively engaged in the process, that we will use our power to help you as you come up with the necessary decisions to lay out a Palestinian state that will live side by side in peace with Israel."
In the next 10 days, the United States experienced the largest flood in the state of Washington’s history, hurricane-force winds up to 127 mph in Oregon, I-5 between Seattle and Portland was closed for five days, and a massive ice storm hit America’s heartland — causing chaos, a travel gridlock and over 1 million homes and businesses to lose their power. Also, the largest ice storm in Oklahoma history produced the largest power outage in that state's history.
President Bush declared major FEMA disasters for Washington, Oregon, Oklahoma and Kansas — and did the same for Missouri, Iowa and Illinois.
These were two separate, back-to-back, $1 billion-plus disasters bringing the 2007 total to four billion-dollar disasters that coincided with U.S. pressure on Israel to divide her land.