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DougMacG
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« Reply #2200 on: May 04, 2016, 10:45:17 AM »

Walter Russell Mead points out that larger failures and threats in the Middle East make the Palestinean issue smaller:  http://www.the-american-interest.com/2016/05/02/the-arab-implosion-continues/

In related news, NATO upgrades ties with Israel.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-05-04/nato-upgrades-ties-with-israel-amid-mounting-regional-threats?
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ccp
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« Reply #2201 on: May 04, 2016, 10:52:45 AM »

That is good.  Israel will be kicked out once Trump defunds Nato........ cry
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2202 on: May 04, 2016, 10:12:42 PM »

Israel's Palestinian Dilemmas
by Efraim Inbar
BESA Center Perspectives
May 3, 2016
http://www.meforum.org/5989/israel-palestinian-dilemma
 
 

Israelis have gradually come to accept that the Palestinians are neither interested in real peace nor capable of establishing a viable state.

Ever since the Palestinian terrorist wave began in September 2000, the Israeli body politic increasingly has resigned itself to the probability that there is no partner on the Palestinian side with which to reach a historic compromise with the Jewish national (Zionist) movement. The hopes for peace that were generated by the Oslo process in 1993 have been replaced by the stark realization that violent conflict will not end soon.

Moreover, the hostile messages about Israel purveyed in the Palestinian Authority (PA) educational system and official media leave little doubt about the rabid anti-Semitism prevalent in Palestinian society, which ensures that conflict with the Jews will continue. And thus, the central premise of the Oslo process seems exceedingly improbable. The premise was that partition of the Land of Israel and the establishment of a Palestinian political entity (what is known as the two-state paradigm) would bring peace and stability. Alas, this paradigm has been deeply discredited.

Palestinian demands for control of the Temple Mount and the 'right of return' are insurmountable obstacles.

Aside from and beyond the assessment that the PA has no intention of accepting a Jewish state in any borders, the fact remains that the two sides remain far apart on most of the concrete issues to be resolved. Palestinian demands for control of the Temple Mount and the so-called "right of return," for example, are insurmountable obstacles. Any pragmatic impulse that might otherwise have emerged in Palestinian politics is consistently countered by Hamas, whose growing influence reflects the Islamist tide that is surging across the wider region.

To make matters worse, the assumption that the Palestinians are capable of establishing a state within the parameters of a two-state paradigm has not been validated. The PA was unable to get rid of multiple militias and lost Gaza to Hamas, mirroring the inability of other Arab societies in the region to sustain statist structures.

Protracted ethno-religious conflicts end only when at least one of the sides becomes war-weary.

Finally, protracted ethno-religious conflicts end only when at least one of the sides becomes war-weary, and runs out of energy for sustaining the conflict. That is not true of either Israeli or Palestinian society.

As a result of these trends, Israel essentially, if not formally, has given up on conflict resolution in the short run, and instead effectively has adopted a strategy of patient conflict management. But such a strategy brings policy dilemmas of its own.

The first dilemma is whether or not to admit that Israel no longer believes that negotiations can lead to a durable agreement in the near term.

Truth has its virtues, but much of the world does not want to hear this particular truth and is still committed to an unworkable formula. There is, in any case, something to be said for acceding to the wishes of the international community by continuing to participate in negotiations. Doing so signals that Israel is ready to make concessions, which maintains the domestic social cohesion necessary for protracted conflict (management) while projecting a positive image abroad.

Participating in fruitless talks affirms Israel's readiness to compromise and maintains domestic cohesion, but discourages fresh thinking.

On the other hand, negotiations toward the doubtful "two-state solution" keep a fictitious formula alive and prevent fresh thinking about alternative solutions from emerging. Moreover, the "peace process" requires moderation, which entails swallowing Palestinian provocations and restraining punitive action.

A second dilemma is related to the "carrot and stick" approach toward the Palestinians. In the absence of meaningful negotiations, Israel, particularly Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has advocated the promotion of "economic peace" as a part of conflict management, on the assumption that Israel has nothing to gain from hungry neighbors. This is why Israel does not oppose international financial support for the PA, despite the corruption and inefficiency of the latter. Jerusalem also provides water and electricity to the PA, and to Hamas-ruled Gaza, so that Israel's Palestinian neighbors do not dive into total desperation.
 
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has long argued that only "rapid economic growth" can provide "a stake for peace for the ordinary Palestinians."
But the carrot mitigates the impact of the stick. The Palestinians, it must be recalled, wage war on Israel. Exacting pain from opposing societies is what war is all about, and pain can have a moderating effect on collective behavior. Egypt, for example, decided to change course with regard to Israel because it grew reluctant to pay the costs of maintaining the conflict.

Since the Palestinians have chosen to pursue their goals by causing Israel continued pain – rather than by accepting generous peace deals offered by Ehud Barak (2000) and Ehud Olmert (2007) – Israel has every right to punish them, in the hope that a bit of pain might influence their future choices in a productive direction. But by adopting an "economic peace" approach, Israel creates disincentives to Palestinian moderation, and signals its desperation at the prospect of changing Palestinian behavior.

The Palestinian Authority survives largely because of Israel's security measures and economic backing.

A third dilemma implicit in the conflict management approach is what to do about the hostile PA, which survives largely because of Israel's security measures and economic backing. The collapse of the PA is one possible outcome of a succession struggle after Mahmoud Abbas leaves the political arena.

Whether or not the collapse of the PA is desirable is debatable. On the one hand, the PA propagates vicious hatred toward Israel in its educational system, conducts an ongoing campaign of international delegitimization against Israel, and denies Jewish links to the Land of Israel and to Jerusalem in particular. It glorifies terrorists and allows them to be role models in its schools. It deliberately reinforces the hostility that fuels the conflict, preventing the emergence of a more pragmatic Palestinian leadership.

On the other hand, the PA conveniently relieves Israel of the burden of responsibility for more than one million Palestinians living in the West Bank. PA security forces help combat Hamas influence in the West Bank (although far less than the PA is given credit for). The functioning of the PA, however imperfect, also keeps the Palestinian issue off the top of the international agenda – something that is very much in Israel's interests. A descent into chaos resulting from the total collapse of the PA would invite international intervention.

An additional question for Israel to consider relates to the appropriate level of diplomatic activism on the Palestinian issue. Many advocate Israeli diplomatic initiatives in order to prevent unfavorable plans from being placed on the agenda by global actors. The nature of such initiatives is usually unclear, but activism is part of the Israeli Zionist ethos and "taking initiative" appeals to the impatient Israeli temperament.

Israel's leaders are correct in opting for a conflict management approach to relations with the Palestinians.

On the other hand, a patient wait-and-see approach allows others to make mistakes and gives Israel the latitude to wait on a more favorable environment. In fact, this was the approach favored by David Ben-Gurion. He believed in buying time to build a stronger state and in hanging on until opponents yield their radical goals.

Each of these dilemmas leads to a policy gamble. The short-term existential security imperatives of a small state further complicate Israel's choices. Even if Israel's leaders are correct in opting for a conflict management approach for the moment, they are in an unenviable position.

Efraim Inbar, a professor of political studies at Bar-Ilan University, is the director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies and a Shillman-Ginsburg fellow at the Middle East Forum.
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ccp
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« Reply #2203 on: May 05, 2016, 11:13:26 PM »

And as long as most wealthy Jews give to their beloved Democrat Party we will continue from now on to be taken for granted.  Obama proved that.  Get the dough then screw us over.  As a Jew I simply cannot separate myself from Israel.  Apparently many other Jews don't feel the same way.

"Among secular Jews - the core of the Democratic Party's Jewish voting bloc - caring about Israel ranked fifth as "an essential Jewish trait" (43 percent) - right before "having a good sense of humour" (42 percent)."

"As the US support for Israel was waning, so too was support for Israel among American Jews."

At first I thought this from AlJazeera so what.  The author seems more from the right though then the left.  OTOH some on the right are not "friends" of Israel.  Then again are not many Jewish Democrats.  They love Obama don't they?

 http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2016/05/jewish-votes-matter-election-160503085918136.html
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2204 on: May 11, 2016, 12:20:46 PM »

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/OUR-WORLD-Time-for-a-new-Israeli-diplomatic-initiative-453560
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2205 on: May 13, 2016, 08:04:32 AM »

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Column-One-The-fruits-of-subversion-453875


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ccp
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« Reply #2206 on: May 17, 2016, 02:00:22 PM »

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/The-disintegration-of-Israeli-society-454222
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2207 on: May 29, 2016, 01:06:48 PM »

Long article,seems significant:

http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/203309/bogie-yaalon-next-ariel-sharon?utm_source=tabletmagazinelist&utm_campaign=933450958d-Sunday_May_29_20165_27_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c308bf8edb-933450958d-207194629
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ccp
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« Reply #2208 on: May 31, 2016, 06:54:56 PM »

Even liberal Jews side with arabs in Palestine more then Israel.   As said they are no longer Jews .  They are crats:

http://observer.com/2016/05/theres-no-room-left-for-a-pro-israel-democrat/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2209 on: June 01, 2016, 01:58:45 PM »

https://www.facebook.com/StandWithUs/videos/10153733666297689/
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G M
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« Reply #2210 on: June 01, 2016, 02:02:27 PM »


Partners in peace!
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2211 on: June 05, 2016, 10:30:04 PM »

http://www.themideastbeast.com/israel-place-gorillas-near-gaza-hopes-intl-community-will-care-rocket-attacks/
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ccp
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« Reply #2212 on: June 14, 2016, 01:32:37 PM »

Well this seems good:

election year or not:

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2016/06/14/40-billion-aid-to-Israel-is-largest-ever-to-any-country-says-Susan-Rice/5461465914964/
« Last Edit: June 14, 2016, 11:45:27 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
ccp
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« Reply #2213 on: June 16, 2016, 05:06:31 PM »

I have to admit what in the world does he need a $1600 haircut for?  I could take him to my barber and get it done for $15 bucks.  I mean give me a break.  I thought Clinton's $400 job was a lot.
What kind of con artist can get away with charging Washington DC lawyer/Plastic surgeon rates for a hair cut?:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/israeli-leader-spent-1-600-hairdresser-york-trip-152323349.html
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2214 on: June 17, 2016, 09:52:15 AM »

Backstage at Turkey's Shotgun Wedding with Israel
by Burak Bekdil
The Gatestone Institute
June 14, 2016
http://www.meforum.org/6072/turkey-israel-shotgun-wedding
 
 
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The Grand Synagogue of Edirne in northwest Turkey hosted its first wedding ceremony in 41 years on May 29.

There is every indication that Turkey and Israel are not far away from normalizing their troubled diplomatic relations.

According to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, for instance, the former allies are "one or two meetings" away from normalization.
If, however, Ankara and Jerusalem finally shake hands after six years of cold war, it will be because Turkey feels increasingly isolated internationally, not because it feels any genuine friendship for the Jewish nation.

In all probability, the "peace" between Turkey and Israel will look like the definition of peace in Ambrose Bierce's The Devil's Dictionary: "In international affairs, a period of cheating between two periods of fighting" -- despite the backdrop for peace looking incredibly (but mischievously) convenient.
If Ankara and Jerusalem finally shake hands, it will be because Turkey feels isolated internationally.

On May 29, a Jewish wedding ceremony was held in a historical synagogue in the northwestern province of Edirne for the first time in 41 years. A few months before that, in December, the Jewish year 5776 went down in history possibly as the first time in which a public Hanukkah candle-lighting ceremony was held in Muslim Turkey in a state-sponsored event. All that is nice -- but can be misleading.

There are two major problems that will probably block a genuine normalization. One is Hamas, and the other is the seemingly irreversible anti-Semitism which most Turks devour.

In a powerful article from this month, Jonathan Schanzer forcefully reminded the world that although Saleh Arouri, a senior Hamas military leader, was expelled from his safe base in Istanbul, "... many other senior Hamas officials remain there. And their ejection from Turkey appears to be at the heart of Israel's demands as rapprochement talks near completion."

Schanzer says that there are ten Hamas figures currently believed to be enjoying refuge in Turkey, and he names half a dozen or so Hamas militants there, including Mahmoud Attoun, who was found guilty of the kidnapping and murder of a 29-year-old Israeli. Also enjoying safe haven in Turkey are three members of the Izzedine al-Qassam brigades. Schanzer adds that "there are a handful more that can be easily identified in the Arabic and Turkish press, and nearly all of them maintain profiles on Facebook and Twitter, where they regularly post updates on their lives in Turkey."
 
Turkish President (then Prime Minister) Recep Tayyip Erdogan (right) meeting with Hamas leaders Khaled Mashaal (center) and Ismail Haniyeh in June 2013.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has claimed more than once that Hamas is not a terrorist group but a legitimate political party. He has held innumerable meetings with senior Hamas officials including Khaled Mashaal, head of its political bureau. In addition, Erdogan came up with the idea that Zionism should be declared a "crime against humanity."

Anti-Semitism, as mentioned, is the other problem. Erdogan deliberately spread anti-Semitic sentiments to an already xenophobic society until he decided to go (relatively) silent when he recently realized that Turkey's cold war with Israel was not sustainable. This does not mean that his or Turkish society's views regarding Jews have changed.

Earlier this year, for instance, one of Erdogan's chief advisors appeared in pro-government media to attack political rivals as "raising soldiers for the Jews." This sentiment is not confined to government big guns.

The first Jewish wedding at Edirne synagogue after 41 years was, no doubt, a merry event, both for the Turkish Jewish couple and politically, but it failed to mask the ugly side of the coin. Unlike a normal Turkish wedding (or, say, a Jewish wedding in the U.S.), unusually tight security measures were taken in the neighborhood around the synagogue, including the closure of roads leading to the synagogue and security searches of the wedding guests. The guests had to go through a metal detector at the door of the synagogue. Road closures and a metal detector for a wedding?!

There was more. Turks happily expressed their feelings in social media to "celebrate" the Jewish wedding. "One of my biggest dreams is to kill a Jew," wrote one Twitter user. "[Hitler] did not do it in vain," wrote another. The Hitler series went on with "He was a great man," "Where are you Hitler?" and "We are all Hitler."

This is the backstage scene in the country where a Jewish couple happily married at a synagogue for the first time in 41 years -- the same country supposedly to "normalize" its ties with Israel.

Burak Bekdil is an Ankara-based columnist for the Turkish newspaper Hürriyet Daily News and a fellow at the Middle East Forum.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2215 on: June 18, 2016, 01:37:13 PM »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_Fw3HD3N_I

I have not gone through the cited sources at the end of this clip yet, but it they bear it out, this is quite interesting.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2216 on: June 20, 2016, 04:49:38 PM »


The Orlando jihad mass murderer was anything but a “lone wolf.”

June 20, 2016
Robert Spencer

Noor Salman, the wife of Omar Mateen, the Orlando gay nightclub jihad mass murderer, has gone missing, and with good reason: she explodes the idea that Mateen was a “lone wolf” terrorist. She should be arrested – but now she is gone.

Salman witnessed him selling his house to his brother-in-law for $10 – a clear indication that the couple knew jihad was in the offing. She has admitted to law enforcement authorities that she and her husband had recently been “scouting Downtown Disney and Pulse [the nightclub where the jihad massacre took place] for attacks.” Mateen texted her during his massacre, asking if she had seen the news; she responded that she loved him.

As authorities deliberated over whether or not to arrest her, Salman herself showed more dispatch. Last Wednesday, the killer’s father, Seddique Mir Mateen, told reporters that Salman was “no longer here.”

No one seems to have asked Seddique Mateen himself where she has gone, but he probably knows. There are, after all, numerous indications that he may not be as upset about his son’s jihad massacre as he has claimed: he is an open supporter of the Taliban, and the morning after the murders, he posted online a video in which he claims that he was “not aware what motivated” Omar to “go into a gay club and kill 50 people,” but then he adds: “God will punish those involved in homosexuality,” as it is “not an issue that humans should deal with.”

Despite Seddique Mateen’s professed puzzlement over his son’s actions and denial that Omar had been “radicalized,” is it really any wonder that a man who grew up in a household in which the Taliban were held up as positive role models would turn out to be a jihad terrorist? Omar Mateen is known to have cheered at school when al-Qaeda flew planes into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001; is it likely that his father, a supporter of al-Qaeda’s allies and collaborators the Taliban, rebuked him for doing so?

While not revealing where Noor Salman is, the family issued a statement saying: “Noor is completely innocent and [was] unaware of the attacks.” It added the claim that she is unable to comprehend “cause and effect.” The mainstream media, always anxious to exonerate Islam from responsibility for the crimes done in its name and in accord with its teachings, even dragged out Salman’s middle school teacher to say: “Noor had difficulty with retention, she had difficulty with conceptualizing, understanding, all challenges to her. She tried hard. She was very sweet.”

All that may be so, but Noor Salman is an adult now, and her difficulty in middle school is irrelevant to whether or not she aided her husband in preparing for his jihad massacre. She should have been arrested, and the whole family needs to be investigated. Former Department of Homeland Security official Philip Haney responded trenchantly to common media claims that Mateen was “self-radicalized”: “As though nobody knew anything – that’s completely preposterous. If you know anything about the Islamic worldview, family and community is ultimately central to everything they do. The concept of operating alone is anathema to the Islamic worldview. They just don’t do it. So, self-radicalization – what does that even mean any more? Nobody is self-anything in this world we live in.”

Yet the feds let Noor Salman slip through their fingers – and whatever Muslim community in which she is hiding now isn’t calling the police to alert them of her whereabouts. Was the FBI too complacent in its politically correct dogma that Muslims in America all hold to a benign, peaceful form of the faith, and that any Muslim in the U.S. who becomes a jihad murderer must have been “radicalized on the Internet,” to be too concerned about the possibility that Omar Mateen’s family was complicit in his attack? How long will it be before Seddique Mateen and the rest of the family absconds, as did Noor Salman?

The Orlando jihad massacre was eminently preventable: the FBI questioned Omar Mateen but deemed him unworthy of close scrutiny, even after a gun shop owner reported him; agents didn’t even bother to visit the shop. This was after Mateen bragged to coworkers about jihad ties, but the FBI called off investigation, dismissing the coworkers as “Islamophobic,” and after Mateen threatened to kill a sheriff and his family, and the FBI dismissed the threat. Now they have let Noor Salman slip through their fingers. Would it have been “Islamophobic” to arrest her? And how many more Americans have to die before the politically correct fantasies that hamstring law enforcement today are discarded?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2217 on: June 21, 2016, 12:26:11 PM »

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Explaining-the-Israeli-Left-457308
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G M
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« Reply #2218 on: June 21, 2016, 02:05:45 PM »


Funny how the left in various nations is actively trying to commit national suicide by various means.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2219 on: June 29, 2016, 12:36:52 PM »

https://www.clarionproject.org/news/hamas-thanks-turkey-after-israel-reconciliation-deal
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2220 on: June 30, 2016, 03:13:43 PM »

http://www.frontpagemag.com/point/263363/muslim-mom-murderer-13-year-old-jewish-girl-my-son-daniel-greenfield#.V3U7Wa_vPz0.facebook
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2221 on: July 01, 2016, 10:04:00 PM »

As always with Glick, very interesting!

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/COLUMN-ONE-Israels-diplomatic-spring-459221
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2222 on: July 11, 2016, 11:07:27 AM »

http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/207251/the-end-of-aipacs-israel-monopoly?utm_source=tabletmagazinelist&utm_campaign=22373608fc-July_11_20167_11_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c308bf8edb-22373608fc-207194629
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2223 on: July 20, 2016, 01:17:19 PM »

Is Israel More Accepted in the Middle East?
A briefing by Efraim Inbar
July 20, 2016
http://www.meforum.org/6122/is-israel-more-accepted-in-middle-east
 
Efraim Inbar, director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University and a Shillman/Ginsburg Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum, briefed the Middle East Forum in a conference call on June 30, 2016.
 
Summary account by Marilyn Stern, Middle East Forum Board of Governors

The Israeli-Turkish renewal of diplomatic relations reflects Jerusalem's growing regional strength. While the agreement stipulates the provision of humanitarian Turkish aid to Gaza via the Ashdod port, the naval blockade of Hamas remains intact despite Ankara's longstanding insistence on its removal.
The agreement also provides for the supply of Israeli gas to Turkey, thus strengthening Ankara as an energy bridge to Europe while reducing its energy dependence on Moscow and Tehran. Jerusalem must nevertheless strive to avoid excessive dependence on Ankara, should it choose to build a pipeline to Turkey via Cyprus.

The courtship of the Jewish state by an Islamist regime with wide-ranging regional ambitions is a direct corollary of the current geopolitical reality, which makes collaboration with Israel a necessity.
 
Islamist-led Turkey's courtship of Israel reflects Jerusalem's growing regional strength.

Given the Saudi-Turkish failure to topple the Assad regime, Iran's regional surge in the wake of the nuclear deal, Egypt's jihadist predicament in the Sinai Peninsula, and the Obama administration's Middle Eastern retreat, Israel is increasingly seen as the foremost, perhaps only bulwark against Tehran's hegemonic ambitions, and a key ally in the regional anti-jihadist struggle. Hence the reported support of some Arab states for Israel's first-ever election to chairmanship of a permanent UN committee, and hence the $1 billion-plus annual purchases of Israeli goods by the Gulf states.

Israel's greater regional acceptability notwithstanding, one should not hold too high hopes for further gains. Strategic environments by their nature are susceptible to vicissitudes, while deeply ingrained anti-Jewish stereotypes and perceptions among Middle Easterners will take generations to change. Hence Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's current predicament is unlikely to lead to the restoration of the intimate Turkish-Israeli political and military collaboration of the 1990s, just as the Saudi-Israeli collaboration will likely remain covert for quite some time given the desert kingdom's Wahhabi source of legitimacy.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2224 on: July 29, 2016, 12:23:17 PM »

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Column-one-Time-to-walk-away-from-US-aid-462677
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2225 on: July 30, 2016, 09:36:09 AM »

More Democrat Anti-Israel Efforts by Major Clinton Supporter
July 29, 2016 By Stephen Frank Leave a Comment

    The DNC hacked emails shows the Party was willing to smear Bernie Sanders with the “crime” of being born Jewish.  Obama used your tax dollars to try to defeat Netanyahu for the leadership of Israel.  He spent time early in his administration denouncing Bush and apologizing to terrorist for opposing them.  The Democrat Party hates Israel.  Now we have another example.

    Illinois Congresswoman Tammy Ducksworth, who used her speech before the Democrat convention to denounce Donald Trump as dangerous, herself decided to put their safety and security of Israel at risk.

    “Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D., Ill.), a House Armed Services Committee member and Hillary Clinton ally, told observers that U.S. funding for Israel’s missile defense systems is not the “best solution.”

    Duckworth’s criticism of longstanding U.S. funding for Israeli security needs drew criticism from pro-Israel congressional advocates who have sought for years to ensure the Jewish state can defend against attacks by rogue terror groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas.”

    Who do Democrats hate Israel?  Because it is a free State.  Why does the American Jewish’s community continue to support those that want to do it harm?  Crazy.  (full disclosure, I am Jewish).
    Photo Courtesy of Rusty Stewart, Flickr

    Photo Courtesy of Rusty Stewart, Flickr

Clinton Ally, Lawmaker Rejects U.S. Funding for Israeli Security Needs

Duckworth opposes helping Israel protect against terrorism

BY: Adam Kredo, Washington Free Beacon,  7/28/16

PHILADELPHIA—A Democratic lawmaker scheduled to address the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Thursday evening has come out against U.S. funding for critical Israeli security needs, sparking criticism about her commitment to joint U.S.-Israeli efforts to fight terrorists.

Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D., Ill.), a House Armed Services Committee member and Hillary Clinton ally, told observers that U.S. funding for Israel’s missile defense systems is not the “best solution.”

Duckworth’s criticism of longstanding U.S. funding for Israeli security needs drew criticism from pro-Israel congressional advocates who have sought for years to ensure the Jewish state can defend against attacks by rogue terror groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas.

The comments come as criticism of Israel has emerged as a centerpiece of the Democratic convention. One lawmaker compared Jewish Israeli settlers to “termites” earlier this week, and protesters on the streets of Philadelphia have burned the Israeli flag.

“Oftentimes the best path to a security is peace,” Duckworth said at an event sponsored by J Street, a Middle East advocacy group known for its criticism of Israel. “Sometimes the best solution is not more weapons; sometimes the best solution is actually entering negotiations and find a way to work together in peace.”

Duckworth’s comments have been interpreted as a shot at a bipartisan effort to ensure that Israel receives full funding from the United States for its security needs. The pro-Israel effort is being spearheaded by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) and Mark Kirk (R., Ill,), whom Duckworth is seeking to unseat in November. At least 35 senators from both parties have lent their support to the effort.

“These joint U.S.-Israel programs continue to yield critical defense capabilities that protect Israel from missile and rocket threats from as near as the Gaza Strip and Lebanon to as far as Iran,” the senators wrote in a letter to the chair and vice chair of the Senate subcommittee on defense appropriations, which was also backed by Sens. David Vitter (R., La.), David Perdue (R., Ga.), Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.), and Tim Kaine (D., Va.), who was selected as Clinton’s vice presidential running mate.

“As you know, investments over the years in U.S.-Israeli missile defense programs have saved the lives of countless civilians from indiscriminate rocket and missile attacks,” the letter states.

Kirk told the Free Beacon that Duckworth’s stance is not supported by the majority of Congress.

“This administration repeatedly ignored Iran’s illegal missile launches and threats against Israel in order to protect the flawed Iran nuclear deal,” Kirk said. “The bipartisan majority of the United States Senate agrees with the American people in favor of Israel missile defense to protect innocent people against terrorist rocket and missile attacks.”

Kevin Artl, a spokesman for the Kirk campaign, told the Washington Free Beacon that Duckworth is embracing fringe policies in order to ingratiate herself with the most liberal wing of the Democratic Party.

“Another reckless and irresponsible foreign policy position by Duckworth who is clearly kowtowing to her top financial contributors at the J Street PAC,” Artl said. “What is becoming abundantly clear is that Duckworth’s national security views are being driven by those who fill her campaign coffers.”

Duckworth has been a vocal supporter of the Iran nuclear agreement, which paved the way for Tehran to access billions of dollars in once-frozen assets.

One top official with a prominent pro-Israel organization described Duckworth’s position as dangerous to Israel’s security and the Democratic Party’s support for Israel.

“Hezbollah has 150,000 rockets and missiles pointed at Israeli civilians and Duckworth is trying to prevent the Israelis from being able to defend themselves against these weapons,” said the source. “This position is so fringe it’s even to the left of President Obama, who regardless of his differences with the Israeli government, has always been clear that the United States must always ensure that the Israelis have what they need to defend themselves.”

Update 9:33 p.m.: Following publication, a Duckworth spokesman told the Free Beacon, “Congresswoman Duckworth did not criticize the Senate letter. As the only member of the Illinois Congressional Delegation on the Armed Services Committee, she has been a strong advocate for Israel’s security and self defense. The Congresswoman has consistently supported military aid for Israel, including voting to provide hundreds of millions of dollars for missile defense programs like Iron Dome
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« Reply #2226 on: July 30, 2016, 04:44:18 PM »

" Why does the American Jewish’s community continue to support those that want to do it harm? "

How many times and for how many years have I tried to dissect this question?

Liberal American Jews are now Liberal Democrats.  Being Jewish is no longer as much a source of pride as is being a Democrat.

Beholden to the Democrat Party trumps (no pun intended) everything else.

Republicans are the new Nazis.
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« Reply #2227 on: August 04, 2016, 07:45:15 PM »


https://www.facebook.com/571014393049698/videos/637020223115781/
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« Reply #2228 on: August 04, 2016, 08:50:56 PM »

I hit on the link and it says this FB page not available.

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« Reply #2229 on: August 04, 2016, 08:55:47 PM »

http://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/israel-world-vision-manager-in-gaza-funneled-money-to-hamas/
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« Reply #2230 on: August 05, 2016, 06:32:54 PM »

http://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-bitterly-rejects-obamas-claim-it-now-backs-iran-nuclear-deal/
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« Reply #2231 on: August 15, 2016, 03:44:10 PM »

UN Special Envoy Calls for Gaza Aid Cutoff While Hamas in Power
by IPT News  •  Aug 15, 2016 at 3:09 pm
http://www.investigativeproject.org/5579/un-special-envoy-calls-for-gaza-aid-cutoff-while
 
A special envoy to the United Nations (UN) wants international humanitarian organizations to cease assistance transfers to Gaza, "as long as Hamas is in control."

Recent reports detail how Hamas is diverting millions of dollars intended for Gaza's civilians in order to rebuild the organization's terrorist capabilities.

"The enemy of the people of Gaza is Hamas, not Israel. Hamas has hijacked the coastal strip and rules over its people with an iron fist," UN Special Envoy Laurie Cardoza-Moore said Thursday. "For decades, the leadership of Hamas has robbed its people of aid money...The time has come to halt all aid money into the Gaza Strip as long as Hamas is in control."

Cardoza-Moore's strong message comes shortly after Gaza-based UN employee was indicted for laundering charitable donations to improve Hamas' naval capabilities. Earlier this month, Israel's Shin Bet domestic security service reported that Hamas funnelled tens of millions of dollars from World Vision, a U.S.-based international charity.

The terrorist group reportedly siphoned 60 percent of the charity's resources in Gaza to reconstruct Hamas' tunnel network and military installations, in addition to purchasing weapons intended to kill Israelis. This translated to roughly $7.2 million each year.  The money was intended to help in civilian reconstruction efforts for Gaza's population, including building greenhouses, enhancing agricultural projects, helping fishermen, and promoting mental and physical health initiatives.

Instead "these [funds] were all used as a pipeline to transfer money to Hamas," Shin Bet said.

Hamas terrorists also falsely listed their children as injured to collect money intended to help children in Gaza who were actually wounded.

"If the international community wants to help the impoverished people of Gaza, they must work to free them from Hamas...It is unacceptable that hundreds of millions of dollars are likely being directly transferred to the coffers of an international terrorist organization in the name of Christianity and humanity. No church or humanitarian organization should send a single cent to Gaza as long as it is run by a band of murderous terrorist bandits," said Cardoza-Moore.
Since the end of the summer 2014 war between Israel and Hamas, several reports emerged documenting how the terrorist group prioritizes killing Israelis over serving its population. The latest investigations uncover important details on how Hamas exploits legitimate charitable organizations globally to finance its terrorist capabilities at the expense of needy civilians and societal development.

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« Reply #2232 on: August 27, 2016, 01:41:33 PM »

 
FROM THE DESK OF
Michael Sachs
NORTHEAST REGIONAL DIRECTOR


As summer draws to a close, I want to be sure you’ve seen recent stories that highlight America’s alliance with Israel, expanding relations between Israel and other nations, and Iran’s continuing malign behavior.

Beginning on Aug. 15, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) joined the U.S. Air Force for a three-week military exercise held at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. This year marks the second consecutive year of the Jewish state’s participation in the realistic aerial combat exercise. Israeli pilots flew alongside counterparts from several other nations, including two countries—the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan—with which Israel does not have official diplomatic relations.
And once again, as our nation struggles to deal with a natural disaster, Israel is proving itself to be a stalwart ally. IsraAid, Israel’s international aid organization, is sending volunteers to help communities in Louisiana ravaged by recent flooding.

On the diplomatic front, the Turkish parliament approved the June 2016 reconciliation deal on Aug. 20. Only three days later, Turkey’s foreign minister announced that Israel and Turkey are set to exchange ambassadors, officially ending the six-year rift in relations between the two countries.

Also, on Aug. 22, Israeli Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold made a groundbreaking visit to Guinea, a Muslim-majority African country that has recently resumed diplomatic relations with the Jewish state after a 49-year break.

On the medical front, in an Aug. 22 paper, Israeli and European researchers shared their discovery of how melanoma (skin cancer) cells spread to other parts of the body, which may one day improve diagnosis and treatment.

While there is much to celebrate, AIPAC is closely tracking Iran’s continued activities. On Aug. 23, four Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) ships harassed an American destroyer sailing through the Strait of Hormuz, a vital international waterway. Also this week, the former leader of the IRGC reportedly said a new Iranian military unit has been formed to fight in Arab countries in the region, with the eradication of Israel as its main objective. And, on Aug. 21, Iran revealed its new, advanced missile defense system designed to intercept cruise and ballistic missiles, drones and aircraft.

In short, while we celebrate the Jewish state’s ongoing achievements, Israel continues to face a complex array of threats. I hope that your summer has been restful, and I look forward to partnering with you this fall to further strengthen, protect and promote the U.S.-Israel relationship.


Sincerely,
Michael Sachs
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« Reply #2233 on: August 30, 2016, 08:29:41 AM »

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Our-world-The-end-of-Mahmoud-Abbas-466366
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« Reply #2234 on: August 31, 2016, 09:33:44 AM »

Israel and the Alliance of the Imperiled
by Ethan Seletsky
The Jewish Advocate
August 26, 2016
http://www.meforum.org/6224/israel-alliance-of-the-imperiled
 
 

Israel, despite constant existential threats and its history as a terror target, has kept its people relatively safe, earning a 2015 Global Terrorism Index impact rank of 24th. This rank is not only better than most Middle Eastern countries, but also is better than the likes of China, Russia and India.

Israel, through decades of thought and investment in counterterrorism, maintains security by reducing its areas of vulnerability and proactively targeting terrorist infrastructure and operatives. Israel has not suffered a major attack on its airports since the 1972 shooting at Ben Gurion Airport. Israel uses checkpoints and physical barriers in order to limit vulnerability and the activities of terrorists. Targeted strikes aggressively pursue those that seek to spill innocent blood.
 
The Israeli company Cyberark won Best Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) Protection at the SC Awards Europe 2014.

The private sector contributes as much as the government to the strength and innovation of Israeli counterterrorism. Israeli companies areactively involved in creating technologies designed to increase security for individuals and nations.

These include a GPS based mobile security network aimed at increasing response times to terrorist attacks, medical emergencies, and other time-sensitive emergencies; software that can suppress background noise to seek out speech related to terrorist activities; and a programthat can seek out and identify those showing signs of online radicalization.

As neighboring nations face the increasingly rabid Islamic State, the security tactics and expertise of Israel are extremely valuable international commodities. Israel, in turn, could gain a large amount of international favor and begrudging cooperation from nations that have historically been enemies to the Jewish state by acting as a teacher and security expert.

There are precedents for this. Israeli officials regularly host American security officials and law enforcement officers in order to teach counterterrorism and security tactics. This helps to cement the relationship between these two allied democracies and provides insight into the pressures and realities faced by Israel. According to David C. Friedman of the Anti-Defamation League, officers who return from these visits "understand Israel and its security needs in ways a lot of audiences don't."

Israel has already used military aid as a tool for foreign relations, particularly in Africa and Latin America. This allowed Israel to build relationships outside of the hostile Middle East.

Israel is now poised to make new allies in the region to unify against the common enemy of Islamic fundamentalism. Israeli intelligence, technology, and expertise have already proven themselves in the war against Islamic extremism. Egypt and Israel combat Islamic State affiliates in the Sinai Peninsula. Israel is already working with Jordan against Levantine Islamic State threats.

It is one thing to be secure against one's rivals; it is quite another to be something they need.

As a result, relations between the three nations have improved, in what has been described as a "unity of the threatened."

The Saudis and the Turks, who have seen a dramatic increase in Islamic State attacks, are in prime position to join this alliance of the imperiled. In the wake of Iran, which stands upon the threshold of nuclear capabilities, this alliance of the imperiled is all the more vital for the future of peace in the Middle East.
This is an opportunity for Israel to rebuke its critics and demonstrate its ability to cooperate and seek out peace. It is one thing to be secure against one's rivals; it is quite another to be something they need.
...
Of course, some nations will decline this opportunity. The French have stubbornly refused to utilize Israeli technology in the past for fear of negative publicity. As terror threats proliferate in the years to come, however, the price of such obstinacy will be far too high.

Ethan Seletsky is a research intern at the Middle East Forum.
 
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« Reply #2235 on: September 01, 2016, 10:10:43 AM »

http://carolineglick.com/obamas-money-and-israels-sovereignty/
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« Reply #2236 on: September 11, 2016, 02:01:27 PM »

http://www.meforum.org/6269/israel-win-lose-solution
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« Reply #2237 on: September 16, 2016, 09:58:15 PM »

http://www.newsweek.com/tel-aviv-diary-obama-exacts-cold-revenge-netanyahu-499392
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« Reply #2238 on: September 20, 2016, 07:37:02 PM »

How Some Muslim Nations are Forging a Real Peace with Israel
by Abigail R. Esman
Special to IPT News
September 20, 2016
http://www.investigativeproject.org/5653/how-some-muslim-nations-are-forging-a-real-peace
 
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« Reply #2239 on: September 28, 2016, 01:41:10 PM »

Obama's November Surprise
by Gregg Roman
The Hill
September 26, 2016
http://www.meforum.org/6305/obama-november-surprise-for-israel
 
 
President Obama is contemplating a surprise move to permit anti-Israel action by the UN Security Council during his final months in office.

There is growing speculation that President Obama will spring a diplomatic surprise on Israel during the interregnum between the U.S. presidential election on Nov. 8 and his departure from office in January.

Some say the surprise will be a speech laying down parameters for a final settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute or some type of formal censure of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, but the scenario generating most discussion is a decision to support, or perhaps not to veto, a UN Security Council resolution recognizing a Palestinian state.

This would be a bombshell. Washington's long-stated policy is that a Palestinian state should be established only through an agreement negotiated directly between the two sides. In practice, this would require that Palestinian leaders agreed to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and concede the so-called "right of return" for refugees of the 1948 war and their descendants to areas within Israel's borders, a prospect which would mean the demographic destruction of Israel.

Past administrations understood the folly of recognizing Palestinian statehood before a peace settlement.

For decades, Palestinian leaders have made it clear they won't do this: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas doesn't mince words, telling a gathering of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo in November 2014, "We will never recognize the Jewishness of the state of Israel." Efforts to win recognition of Palestinian statehood by foreign governments and multilateral institutions are designed to skirt this precondition for statehood.

Any state that comes into existence without Palestinian leaders formally recognizing Israel will be a brutal, unstable train wreck, with areas under its jurisdiction likely to remain a hotbed of terrorism. On top of whatever existing factors are producing the endemic corruption and autocracy of the Abbas regime (not to mention the Hamas regime in Gaza), unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state will vindicate radicals who have been saying all along that there's no need to compromise.

On the other hand, official Palestinian acknowledgement once and for all that Israel is not just here to stay, but has a right to stay, would deprive Palestinian leaders of time-honored tools for manipulating their constituents – appealing to and inflaming their baser anti-Jewish prejudices, promising them salvation if they'll only shut up 'til the Zionists are defeated, and so forth. Instead, they will have to do things like govern well and create jobs to win public support.
 
Palestinian incitement to violence starts early. Above, the second grade Palestinian textbook Our Beautiful Language depicts Israelis uprooting trees from Palestinian land.

Previous American administrations have understood that recognizing Palestinian statehood before Abbas and company allow Palestinian society to undergo this transformation would be the height of irresponsibility. This is why American veto power has consistently blocked efforts to unilaterally establish a Palestinian state by way of the UN Security Council.

Notwithstanding his apparent pro-Palestinian sympathies and affiliations prior to running for the Senate and later the White House, President Obama initially maintained this policy. The expressed threat of an American veto foiled Abbas' 2011 bid to win UN member-state status for "Palestine." He settled for recognition of non-member-state status by the General Assembly in 2012.

As moves by the PA to bring the issue of statehood to the UN picked up steam last year, however, it appeared to walk back this commitment. While U.S officials privately maintained there was "no change," Obama and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power refused – despite the urging of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid – to state publicly that the U.S. would use its veto to stop a resolution recognizing Palestinian statehood.

The conventional wisdom was that Obama's refusal to make such a public declaration was intended to exert pressure on Netanyahu to tone down his opposition to the Iran nuclear deal, and later to punish him for it or hold it out to secure concessions. As his presidency enters its final months, it's clear something even more nefarious is at work.

Congress must use the tools at its disposal to make a reckless policy reversal by Obama as difficult as possible.

President Obama's failure to clarify his administration's position has greatly damaged prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace. Even if it is Obama's intention to veto any resolution on Palestinian statehood that comes up at the UN, his refusal to publicly state this – or, put differently, his determination to go on the record for the history books not saying it – has fueled perceptions among Palestinians and European governments facing pressures of their own that American will is softening.

It is imperative that Congress use the tools at its disposal to make this unwise path as difficult as possible for the Obama administration.

Ultimately, a one-sided UN declaration such as this serves only to postpone by a long shot the day when Palestinian leaders accept Israel as it is – the homeland of the Jewish people – and allow their subjects to enjoy the lasting peace and prosperity they and their neighbors deserve.

Gregg Roman is director of the Middle East Forum.
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« Reply #2240 on: October 01, 2016, 02:51:42 PM »

President Obama is rumored to be considering a major reversal of decades-long U.S. policy toward Israel by supporting a UN Security Council resolution that unilaterally recognizes a Palestinian state before a peace agreement is negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians. Congress must act to counter this bold and reckless move that endangers Israel's security and America's strategic interests.

There is much at stake: Israel is a free and democratic ally in a hostile region that has been repeatedly attacked by its neighbors. Before it occupied the West Bank, Gaza, and Golan Heights in 1967, these territories were used as a base of war and terrorism against the Jewish state. Offers to create a Palestinian state in Gaza and most of the West Bank that would allow for a safe and secure Israel have been repaid by intifada after intifada.

Others have argued persuasively that any Palestinian state established in the absence of a peace agreement with Israel will become a virtually ungovernable hotbed of terrorism sure to threaten not just Israel, but also the region and the world. The events in Gaza in the past decade strongly support this position. Ordinary Palestinians will also suffer, forced to endure rule by the same Islamic fanatics and brutal, corrupt autocrats who have destroyed their economy.
Any Palestinian state established absent a peace agreement with Israel will be a hotbed of terrorism.

A White House decision to support unilateral Palestinian statehood would unquestionably be contrary to the will of Congress: 88 senators recently signed a letter opposing such an action, while 388 members of the House have signed a similar letter supporting a veto of all "one-sided" UN resolutions concerning the Israel/Palestine issue.

And these numbers understate congressional opposition: several senators refused to sign the letter because they thought it was insufficiently strong.

Furthermore, a White House reversal on unilateral Palestinian statehood would also be contrary to the stated policies of both the Democratic and Republican presidential nominees.

To dissuade a determined White House from this course of action, Congress will have to do more than write letters. Here are some of the legislative options that could throw significant roadblocks in its path.

Congress should make clear it will sanction a unilaterally declared Palestinian state.

First, Congress should make clear its intention to sanction any unilaterally-declared Palestinian state and its new leaders, blocking their access to U.S. banking and markets, similar to sanctions on the Iranian regime. Loss of access to the U.S. financial system would be extremely costly to any Palestinian regime.
Second, Congress should make clear its intention to immediately and completely cut hundreds of millions of dollars in annual U.S. direct aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the event that President Mahmoud Abbas succeeds in his bid to win Palestinian statehood recognition at the UN.

Congress reduced this aid by 22 percent last year in retaliation for the PA's continuing terrorism incitement. It would be a significant blow to a new state to cut all such aid.
 
PA President Mahmoud Abbas meets with relatives of Palestinian "martyrs" against Israel in a photo published by the official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 2, 2016.

Third, Congress should mandate that any newly-created Palestinian state be designated a state sponsor of terrorism. This designation would include restrictions on U.S. foreign assistance; a ban on defense exports and sales; and various other restrictions. The Palestinian Authority (PA) currently uses a shell-game to pay the families of terrorists, something Congress is currently working to stop. Other PA ties to various terrorist activities go back decades.
Finally, Congress should review and update decades-old federal laws prohibiting U.S. funding of any UN organization that "accords the Palestine Liberation Organization the same standing as member states" to ensure that they apply and cannot be skirted if Abbas wins Security Council recognition of Palestinian statehood.

Now would be a good time for Congress to stop shirking its duty to shape foreign policy.

Congress should use its power boldly to exert influence over this vital issue. Large majorities in Congress opposed the Iran nuclear deal and had both the facts and public opinion on their side. But due to the peculiarities of the law and the politics of the situation, they were outmaneuvered. Congress should work to ensure this situation is not repeated.

Though knowledgeable and trusted congressional leaders like Senators Arthur Vandenberg and Henry "Scoop" Jackson once led coalitions in Congress that held great influence in foreign affairs, there is a bipartisan belief that Congress has shirked its duty to shape foreign policy in recent decades. Now would be a good time to start taking it back.

Clifford Smith is director of the Middle East Forum's Washington Project.
 
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« Reply #2241 on: October 01, 2016, 08:48:12 PM »

Rachel unavailable for comment.


President Obama is rumored to be considering a major reversal of decades-long U.S. policy toward Israel by supporting a UN Security Council resolution that unilaterally recognizes a Palestinian state before a peace agreement is negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians. Congress must act to counter this bold and reckless move that endangers Israel's security and America's strategic interests.

There is much at stake: Israel is a free and democratic ally in a hostile region that has been repeatedly attacked by its neighbors. Before it occupied the West Bank, Gaza, and Golan Heights in 1967, these territories were used as a base of war and terrorism against the Jewish state. Offers to create a Palestinian state in Gaza and most of the West Bank that would allow for a safe and secure Israel have been repaid by intifada after intifada.

Others have argued persuasively that any Palestinian state established in the absence of a peace agreement with Israel will become a virtually ungovernable hotbed of terrorism sure to threaten not just Israel, but also the region and the world. The events in Gaza in the past decade strongly support this position. Ordinary Palestinians will also suffer, forced to endure rule by the same Islamic fanatics and brutal, corrupt autocrats who have destroyed their economy.
Any Palestinian state established absent a peace agreement with Israel will be a hotbed of terrorism.

A White House decision to support unilateral Palestinian statehood would unquestionably be contrary to the will of Congress: 88 senators recently signed a letter opposing such an action, while 388 members of the House have signed a similar letter supporting a veto of all "one-sided" UN resolutions concerning the Israel/Palestine issue.

And these numbers understate congressional opposition: several senators refused to sign the letter because they thought it was insufficiently strong.

Furthermore, a White House reversal on unilateral Palestinian statehood would also be contrary to the stated policies of both the Democratic and Republican presidential nominees.

To dissuade a determined White House from this course of action, Congress will have to do more than write letters. Here are some of the legislative options that could throw significant roadblocks in its path.

Congress should make clear it will sanction a unilaterally declared Palestinian state.

First, Congress should make clear its intention to sanction any unilaterally-declared Palestinian state and its new leaders, blocking their access to U.S. banking and markets, similar to sanctions on the Iranian regime. Loss of access to the U.S. financial system would be extremely costly to any Palestinian regime.
Second, Congress should make clear its intention to immediately and completely cut hundreds of millions of dollars in annual U.S. direct aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the event that President Mahmoud Abbas succeeds in his bid to win Palestinian statehood recognition at the UN.

Congress reduced this aid by 22 percent last year in retaliation for the PA's continuing terrorism incitement. It would be a significant blow to a new state to cut all such aid.
 
PA President Mahmoud Abbas meets with relatives of Palestinian "martyrs" against Israel in a photo published by the official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 2, 2016.

Third, Congress should mandate that any newly-created Palestinian state be designated a state sponsor of terrorism. This designation would include restrictions on U.S. foreign assistance; a ban on defense exports and sales; and various other restrictions. The Palestinian Authority (PA) currently uses a shell-game to pay the families of terrorists, something Congress is currently working to stop. Other PA ties to various terrorist activities go back decades.
Finally, Congress should review and update decades-old federal laws prohibiting U.S. funding of any UN organization that "accords the Palestine Liberation Organization the same standing as member states" to ensure that they apply and cannot be skirted if Abbas wins Security Council recognition of Palestinian statehood.

Now would be a good time for Congress to stop shirking its duty to shape foreign policy.

Congress should use its power boldly to exert influence over this vital issue. Large majorities in Congress opposed the Iran nuclear deal and had both the facts and public opinion on their side. But due to the peculiarities of the law and the politics of the situation, they were outmaneuvered. Congress should work to ensure this situation is not repeated.

Though knowledgeable and trusted congressional leaders like Senators Arthur Vandenberg and Henry "Scoop" Jackson once led coalitions in Congress that held great influence in foreign affairs, there is a bipartisan belief that Congress has shirked its duty to shape foreign policy in recent decades. Now would be a good time to start taking it back.

Clifford Smith is director of the Middle East Forum's Washington Project.
 
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« Reply #2242 on: November 14, 2016, 12:40:07 PM »

Hamas Funding Sources Drying Up
by Yaakov Lappin
Special to IPT News
November 14, 2016
http://www.investigativeproject.org/5699/hamas-funding-sources-drying-up

 
 Hamas in Gaza is facing an acute financial crisis as its overseas cash sources dry up. This is forcing the Islamist regime and its armed terrorist wing, the Izzadin Al-Qassam Brigades, to resort to increasingly desperate measures, such as using international aid organizations to funnel cash away from Gazan civilians.

Hamas's dire financial situation has multiple causes. Egypt has effectively blocked off many smuggling tunnels linking Gaza to Sinai, which previously were used to transfer money into Gaza from Hamas donors.

Additionally, Hamas finds itself without a clear international backer these days. Not only is Egypt under the rule of President Sisi decidedly hostile, but relations between Hamas are Iran are unstable, rising and falling periodically due to disagreement over conflict raging in Syria.

Iran provides Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad with military support through its own generals, and thousands of assistance fighters from its Lebanese terror proxy Hizballah. Palestinians generally oppose the Assad regime.

Nevertheless, Iran sometimes does try to smuggle money to Hamas, but this source of funding is unreliable.

Qatar's financial aid to Gaza has, since the 2014 Israel-Hamas war, and is limited to civilian reconstruction programs. Here, too, Hamas has gotten involved, seized apartment buildings to use as financial assets.

Israel's Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman told the Israeli Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee late last month that sources of outside funding for Hamas are drying up.  Recent revelations by Israel's domestic intelligence agency, the Shin Bet, confirm this situation.

In August, the Shin Bet revealed that Hamas had been targeting international aid organization operating in Gaza, rerouting money intended for humanitarian assistance towards preparations for war with Israel.  For example, Hamas stole 60 percent of the annual budget of the World Vision international air organization, stealing 7.2 million dollars a year from it, according to the Shin Bet. Money intended to feed and help Gazan children instead went towards purchasing weapons, building bases, and digging attack tunnels.  The theft went as far as taking thousands of food packages intended for Gazan civilians and sending them to armed members of Hamas territorial battalions, according to the Shin Bet investigation.

World Vision responded by firing 120 Gaza employees.

Also in August, Israel charged an engineer from Gaza with exploiting his position in the United Nations Development Program, which rebuilds damaged residential buildings, for rerouting 300 tons of construction material to help build a Hamas naval terrorist base.

On Nov. 1, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) exposed a Hamas plan to smuggle money to its operatives in Israeli prisons, and to its West Bank terror cells, by forcing Palestinians who have travel papers allowing them into Israel to act as cash smugglers.  Two Hamas operatives targeted Gazan civilians at a border crossing on their way to Israel for business or medical treatment, said the IDF's Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai.

In July, the Shin Bet arrested two Gazans with tens of thousands of dollars hidden in their shoes. They were under Hamas orders to transfer the cash to operatives in the West Bank to fund terrorist attacks. Hamas intelligence agents had been approaching Gazan civilians systematically for money smuggling purposes, Shin Bet said.

Hamas's financial situation is part of a larger ticking bomb that is the Gazan economy. "The whole of the Gaza Strip is in economic-civilian distress," Liberman told Knesset.

Noting that 95 percent of Gaza's civilian economic funding come from the international community, Liberman said Israel faced a structural tension between its wish to improve the living conditions of ordinary Gazans and the attempts by Hamas to exploit Israel's humanitarian steps. Hamas has stolen construction material, injected into Gaza by Israel for civilian reconstruction, to build itself up militarily, Liberman said.

According to Liberman, as part of its bid to keep money from the international community pouring into Gaza's economy, Hamas also refuses to resolve crises. For example, it did not take link up Gaza's purification plant, paid for by the World Bank (and costing $100 million), to the electric grid, despite the fact that Israel approved a unique electrical supply to it, Liberman added.

Meanwhile, more than 90 percent of Gaza's water is unfit for consumption, and it will take at least two years for the international community to set up desalination plants on Gaza's coastline. A water crisis will likely strike Gaza long before that, Liberman said. Israel is formulating a water crisis response policy.
The warning signs from Gaza's economic situation continue to mount, driven by Hamas's insistence of using the enclave as a fortress of jihadist hostility towards Israel and ignoring its peoples' basic needs.

Hamas's 26,000 armed members, and 40,000 government employees receive their salaries, and the regime is building up its armed forces despite the cash shortages. Ordinary Gazans, on the other hand, are on their own.

Yaakov Lappin is a military and strategic affairs correspondent. He also conducts research and analysis for defense think tanks, and is
the Israel correspondent for IHS Jane's Defense Weekly. His book, The Virtual Caliphate, explores the online jihadist presence.
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« Reply #2243 on: November 14, 2016, 02:49:37 PM »

In his eulogy recently for Israeli statesman Shimon Peres, President Obama spoke of the “unfinished business” of Israeli-Palestinian peace. Now he or Donald Trump have an opportunity to advance the cause—by backing legislation to stop the flow of U.S. tax dollars to Palestinian terrorists.

Since the 1990s, as the U.S. and other countries have sent billions of dollars in aid to the Palestinians, Palestinian leaders have paid hundreds of millions of dollars in rewards to those who carry out bombings, stabbings and other attacks in Israel. These payments, codified in Palestinian law, are an official incentive program for murder that in any other context would be recognized as state sponsorship of terror. But the U.S. and other Western states have looked the other way while continuing to send aid, giving Palestinian leaders no incentive to stop.

Senators Lindsey Graham,Dan Coats and Roy Blunt have introduced a bill to end U.S. economic aid unless Palestinian leaders stop rewarding terrorists. It’s called the Taylor Force Act, after the 28-year-old U.S. Army veteran stabbed to death in March by a Palestinian in the Israeli city of Jaffa. Other American victims of recent Palestinian terrorism include 13-year-old Hallel Yaffa Ariel and 18-year-old Ezra Schwartz.

“They will never achieve peace when you pay one of your young men to kill someone like Taylor Force. That’s inconsistent and it needs to stop,” Mr. Graham (R., S.C.) says. “We’re not going to invest in a group of people that have laws like this. It’s just not a good investment.” The same Palestinian laws guarantee civil-service employment to terrorists upon their release from prison—the bloodier their crime, the cushier their post.“If you’re in jail for five to six years, you come out with the civilian rank of department head or lieutenant in their security forces, you get to choose. If you’re in jail 25 to 30 years, you become a deputy minister or a major general,” Mr. Graham adds.

Mr. Coats (R., Ind.) notes that Congress tried to stop subsidizing terror payments in 2014, but Palestinian leaders dodged that law with a “shell game” that passed payments through the Palestine Liberation Organization, which technically isn’t a recipient of U.S. aid. When lawmakers raised this with the State Department they got only a “tepid” response, says Mr. Coats. One State Department report praised the payments as “an effort to reintegrate” released prisoners into society.

The truth is these payments are blood-soaked gifts from a Palestinian leadership still devoted more to destroying Israel than to building a Palestinian state. This has always been the chief impediment to peace. Mr. Obama is unlikely to act in his final days, but the Trump Administration and new Congress could send a powerful message by passing the Taylor Force Act. 
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2244 on: November 14, 2016, 09:47:25 PM »

http://mosaicmagazine.com/essay/2016/11/everybody-loves-israel/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2245 on: November 22, 2016, 10:30:08 AM »

This case looks to be coming up front and center.  Here it looks like Glick is breaking down the legal issues in a way not likely to be covered elsewhere:

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Our-world-Amona-and-the-rule-of-law-473272
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2246 on: December 02, 2016, 10:44:00 AM »

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Column-one-Israels-constitutional-identity-crisis-474225
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