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Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed

   President Obama extracted a guarantee from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that on the ground Jewish construction in most of the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem will be frozen for months to come, according to a senior Palestinian Authority negotiator.
 
   Last November, under intense U.S. pressure, Netanyahu agreed to a temporary halt to new Jewish construction in the West Bank. The prime minister claimed at the time he would not extend the freeze beyond its 10-month deadline, which is set to expire in September.
 
   Following his White House meeting with Obama Tuesday, Netanyahu sidestepped questions about whether he was prepared to extend the West Bank construction moratorium beyond the September deadline. In Israel, Netanyahu stated he did not agree to a new settlement freeze.
 
   However, the PA negotiator and other PA officials claimed to this column they were satisfied with the Obama administration’s explanation that the U.S. extracted from Netanyahu a concession that he would not allow any new construction in both the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem besides the main “settlement” blocks – meaning the towns of Ariel, Maale Adumim and Gush Etzion.
 
   While Netanyahu openly pledged a 10-month freeze to West Bank Jewish construction, he has claimed he will not agree to a similar moratorium in eastern Jerusalem.
 
   On the ground, however, there have been almost no new building projects in eastern Jerusalem for more than four months.
 

   Staff members of the Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee reportedly have been instructed by Netanyahu’s office to halt their work.

 

***
 
   The Obama administration facilitated the planned opening in Syria of major technology firms such as Google and Microsoft, an official from Syria’s foreign ministry told this column.
 
   Syria is in a military alliance with Iran, hosts the leaders of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist groups and is accused of fueling the insurgency against U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
 
   As part of its diplomatic overtures to Syria, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s top technology adviser, Alec Ross, and Jared Cohen, a member of Clinton’s policy planning staff, led a delegation last month of top technology companies to Syria.
 
   Senior executives of five big U.S. technology companies – Microsoft Corp., Dell Inc., Cisco Systems Inc., VeriSign and Symantec Corp. – participated in the trade mission amid expectations Syria’s population is set to grow massively in the next seven years. The companies say they want to tap into the country’s youth market to promote more open lines of communication to the outside world.
 
   Although Google was not part of the State Department delegation, the Syrian foreign ministry official claimed the Internet giant is planning to open a headquarters in Syria, as is Microsoft.
 
   Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
 
   A spokesman for Google told this column: “The U.S. Treasury Department recently decided to allow the export of Internet communications software and services to Iran and other sanctioned nations where freedom of expression is limited. … We’ll be exploring how we might provide our communications products to them, though we don’t have any specific plans to announce at this time.”
 
   The Google spokesperson was referring to waivers by the Obama administration in March to allow U.S. technology companies to bypass sanctions and export chat and social-media software to Iran, Sudan and Cuba.
 

   The Syrian government official, meanwhile, claimed the technology companies were responding to diplomatic and economic overtures by the Obama administration to lure Syria from the Iranian axis.

 

***
 
   This reporter’s recently released NY Times bestselling book touts evidence showing President Barack Obama was a member of a socialist political party whose aim was to move Democrats far leftward to ultimately form a new political party, one that had fully embraced a socialist agenda.
 
   The book, “The Manchurian President: Barack Obama’s Ties to Communists, Socialists and Other Anti-American Extremists,”also documents how key leaders of the socialist New Party helped to craft recent White House legislation, including Obama’s “stimulus” bill.
 
   Last week, a poll conducted by Democracy Corps, the firm of James Carville and Stan Greenberg, showed 55 percent of likely voters find “socialist” an accurate label for Obama.
 
   “The Manchurian President” presents newspaper evidence showing Obama was listed in 1996 as a member of the socialist New Party, which sought to ultimately mold the Democratic party into a socialist organization.
 
   Previously, it was documented that while running for the Illinois state Senate in 1996 as a Democrat, Obama actively sought and received the endorsement of the New Party. Among New Party members was linguist and radical activist Noam Chomsky.
 
   Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign responded to the allegations concerning his involvement with the New Party, denying the politician was ever a member of the party.
 
   “The Manchurian President” reports on copies of the New Party News, the party’s official newspaper, which show Obama posing with New Party leaders, list him as a New Party member and include quotes from him.
 
   The newspaper lists other politicians it endorsed who were not members but specifies Obama as a New Party member.
 
   In an exclusive e-mail interview with this reporter, Marxist activist Carl Davidson, a New Party founder, recounted Obama’s participation with his organization.
 
   “A subcommittee met with [Obama] to interview him to see if his stand on the living wage and similar reforms was the same as ours,” recalled Davidson.
 
   “We determined that our views on these overlapped, and we could endorse his campaign in the Democratic Party,” Davidson wrote in the e-mail.
 
   Davidson wrote that he personally handled some of the New Party member databases and attending most of the party’s meetings.
 
   Davidson remembers Obama attending one New Party meeting to thank attendees for voting for him.
 
   Becoming a New Party member requires some effort on behalf of the politician. Candidates must be approved by the party’s political committee and, once approved, must sign a contract mandating they will have a “visible and active relationship” with the party.
 
   Asked whether Obama signed the New Party contract, Davidson replied there was “no need for him to do so.”
 
   “At the end of our session with him, we simply affirmed there was no need to do so, because on all the key points, the stand of his campaign and the NewParty reform planks were practically the same,” Davidson wrote.
 

   Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief and senior reporter for Internet giant WorldNetDaily.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York’s 770-WABC Radio, the largest talk radio station in the U.S., every Sunday between 2-4 p.m.

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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