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Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed

Klein-Aaron

Obama Wants New Round Of Land-For-Peace Talks

Now that he has secured his second term, President Obama has told the Palestinians he will press Israel into a new round of land-for-peace negotiations, a top Palestinian Authority negotiator told this column.

The negotiator said top members of the Obama administration told the Palestinians the U.S. president will renew talks aimed at creating a Palestinian state across the Green Line – meaning, in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and, notably, eastern Jerusalem.

The negotiator further revealed that Obama wants to rehash what is known as the Clinton parameters for Jerusalem. That formula, pushed by Bill Clinton during the Camp David talks in 2000, called for Jewish areas of Jerusalem to remain Israeli while the Palestinians will get sovereignty over neighborhoods that are largely Arab.

Clinton Pleads Ignorance On Gunrunning In Benghazi

During the Senate hearing on Benghazi last week, outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claimed she did not know whether the U.S. special mission attacked on Sept. 11 was involved in gunrunning.

The remarks were perhaps the most important and telling of the entire hearing since they address a possible motive behind the jihadist attacks. Yet Clinton’s answers were largely unreported by U.S. news media.

The exchange on the subject took place with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky). Paul asked Clinton: “Is the U. S. involved with any procuring of weapons, transfer of weapons, buying, selling, anyhow transferring weapons to Turkey out of Libya?

“To Turkey?” Clinton asked. “I will have to take that question for the record. Nobody has ever raised that with me.”

Continued Paul: “It’s been in news reports that ships have been leaving from Libya and that may have weapons, and what I’d like to know is the annex that was close by, were they involved with procuring, buying, selling, obtaining weapons, and were any of these weapons being transferred to other countries, any countries, Turkey included?”

Clinton replied, “Well, senator, you’ll have to direct that question to the agency that ran the annex. I will see what information is available.”

“You’re saying you don’t know?” asked Paul.

“I do not know,” Clinton said. “I don’t have any information on that.”

That section of the exchange with Paul was almost entirely ignored by media, which instead focused on the Republican senator’s earlier statement that if he were president he would have relieved Clinton of her post.

This journalist has filed numerous reports quoting Middle East security officials who describe the mission in Benghazi as a meeting place to coordinate aid for the rebel-led insurgencies in the Middle East.

In September, this reporter broke the story that the slain U.S. ambassador, Christopher Stevens, played a central role in recruiting jihadists to fight Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria, according to Egyptian security officials.

In November, Middle Eastern security sources further described both the U.S. mission and nearby CIA annex in Benghazi as the main intelligence and planning center for U.S. aid to the rebels that was being coordinated with Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar.

Many rebel fighters are openly members of terrorist organizations, including Al Qaeda.

Federal Government Partners With Questionable Group

A Muslim Brotherhood-linked organization has partnered with the U.S. Department of Education and the State Department to facilitate an online program aiming to connect all U.S. schools with classrooms abroad by 2016.

Vartan Gregorian, a board member of the organization, the Qatar Foundation International, was appointed in 2009 to President Obama’s White House Fellowships Commission.

This reporter previously exposed that Gregorian served as a point man in granting $49.2 million in startup capital to an education-reform project founded by former Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers and chaired by Obama.

Documentation shows Gregorian was central in Ayers’s recruitment of Obama to serve as the first chairman of the project, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge – a job in which Obama worked closely on a regular basis with Ayers. Obama later said his job at the project qualified him to run for public office.

The Qatar Foundation International, or QFI, in 2011 partnered with the Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education to facilitate matchmaking between classrooms in the U.S. and international schools through something called the “Connect All Schools” project.

QFI, funded by the Qatari government, explains on its website that the initiative was founded in response to Obama’s call in his June 2009 speech to the Arab world in Cairo, Egypt, to “create a new online network, so a young person in Kansas can communicate instantly with a young person in Cairo.”

QFI claims more than 100 U.S. schools and organizations have already connected on the interactive website. The stated goal of the initiative is to “connect every school in the U.S. with the world by 2016.”

QFI, based in Washington, D.C., is the U.S. branch of the Qatar Foundation, founded in 1995 by Qatar’s ruling emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. Thani is still the group’s vice-chairman, while one of his three wives, Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, chairs the organization’s board. Thani also launched Al Jazeera in 1996 and served as the television network’s chairman.

The Qatar foundation is also close to the Muslim Brotherhood. In January 2012, it launched the Research Center for Islamic Legislation and Ethics under the guidance of Tariq Ramadan, who serves as the center’s director. Ramadan is the grandson of the notorious founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hassan al Banna. Ramadan was banned from the U.S. until 2010 when the Obama administration issued him a visa to give a lecture at a New York school.

QFI, meanwhile, named several institutions after Yusuf al-Qaradawi, one of the top leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood. Many regard Qaradawi as the de facto spiritual leader of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. The foundation also instituted the Sheikh Yusuf Al Qaradawi Scholarships and in 2009 established a research center named the Qaradawi Center for Islamic Moderation and Renewal.

Qaradawi has personally attended scores of foundation events, including conferences at which he served as a keynote speaker. Qaradawi achieved star status because of his regular sermons and interviews on Al Jazeera.

According to the Investigative Project on Terrorism, Qardawi openly permitted the killing of American troops in Iraq and praised the “heroic deeds” of “Hamas, Jihad, Al-Aqsa Brigades and others.”

About the Author: Aaron Klein is a New York Times bestselling author and senior reporter for WND.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York's 970 AM Radio on Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern. His website is KleinOnline.com.


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