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December 3, 2016 / 3 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama’

PM Netanyahu Hopes Obama Continues UN Vetoes Till End of Presidency

Sunday, September 25th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Israel’s Channel 2 television news in an interview aired Saturday night that he hopes U.S. President Barack Obama continues to use America’s veto power in the UN Security Council to back Israel until the end of his tenure next January. Netanyahu told the interviewer that he hopes the White House will continue to stand by Israel and that Obama won’t help the Palestinian Authority unilaterally establish a new Arab state.

In response to a question about whether Obama had given Netanyahu his promise not to help establish such a state without Israel’s cooperation, the prime minister replied, “If you’re asking me whether he spoke with me about this, the answer is, ‘no.’ …

“President Obama has previously vetoed anti-Israel resolutions at the United Nations, though, and [he] said in his speech [this past week at the UN] that peace will not be achieved through statements. We can only hope that this will continue to remain the consistent approach of the Americans until the end of his presidency,” Netanyahu said.

Hana Levi Julian

Obama Vetoes Bill Letting 9/11 Families Sue Saudi Arabia

Saturday, September 24th, 2016

President Obama on Friday vetoed the “Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act,” which was passed unanimously by both the House and Senate, helping families of 9/11 victims sue Saudi Arabia. The bill enables the families to sue the Kingdom should it be shown to be legally liable, having supported the attack. Out of the 19 Sept. 11 terrorists, 15 were Saudi nationals.

Obama released a statement Friday, saying he bears “deep sympathy for the families of the victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, who have suffered grievously. I also have a deep appreciation of these families’ desire to pursue justice and am strongly committed to assisting them in their efforts.”

However, the president explained, the 9/11 bill is sure to “invite consequential decisions to be made based upon incomplete information and risk having different courts reaching different conclusions about the culpability of individual foreign governments and their role in terrorist activities directed against the United States — which is neither an effective nor a coordinated way for us to respond to indications that a foreign government might have been behind a terrorist attack.”

Yes, he actually used that as his argument: it’s going to cause a mess in the courts system.

A group named 9/11 Families & Survivors United for Justice Against Terrorism released a statement Friday saying it is “outraged and dismayed” over the president’s veto, arguing that his reasoning is “unconvincing and unsupportable.”

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said she supports the bill. Her spokesman said in a statement that “Clinton continues to support the efforts by Senator Schumer and his colleagues in Congress to secure the ability of 9/11 families and other victims of terror to hold accountable those responsible. She would sign this legislation if it came to her desk.”

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Obama’s veto was “shameful,” adding in a statement: “That President Obama would deny the parents, spouses and children of those we lost on that horrific day the chance to close this painful chapter in their lives is a disgrace.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis) said earlier last week that he believes ” the votes are there for the override.” Sen. Chuck Schumer, (D-NY), who co-sponsored the bill, is on the record as promising to help override a veto.

This is the 12th veto by President Obama in his eight years in the White House, and none of his first 11 have been overturned. His predecessor, President GW Bush, used his veto power 12 times and was overturned four times. Out of President Bill Clinton’s 36 vetoes, two were overridden; President GHW Bush had 29 vetoes (in one term) and lost only one.

JNi.Media

Obama, Netanyahu Exchange Thoughts About Peace at Final Meeting

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu exchanged brief but courteous remarks Tuesday afternoon at their final meeting before Obama leaves office next January.

The two men met at the Palace Hotel in New York City, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly where Obama has already delivered his final address, and where Netanyahu is still expected to speak.

It’s the 17th time the two men have held any conversation since Obama entered office in January 2009, at least a couple less than Obama’s predecessor in the White House had with Israeli leaders during his tenure.

Netanyahu first thanked Obama — as he told media he would — for the $34 billion 10-year U.S. military aid package signed last week with Israel.

Israel will never give up on its attempts to reach a comprehensive peace with its neighbors, he told the American president.

He also said Obama will always be a welcome guest in Israel, and invited him to come and visit after he leaves office.

The U.S. president began his response by saying his thoughts are with former president Shimon Peres, who is still sedated and breathing with the aid of a respirator in the intensive care unit at Chaim Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv following a major stroke last week.

Obama then verified that the bond between Israel and the United States is “unbreakable,” and based on “common values.” The United States wants Israel to be secure, Obama said, especially in times of uncertainty.

He therefore could not resist adding his hope that the possibility of a “Palestinian state alongside Israel” would remain alive: specifically, an Israel “at peace with its neighbors and a Palestinian homeland.”

Obama also said he hopes he will hear more about this from Netanyahu when he delivers his speech from the podium of the UN General Assembly.

Obama’s biggest concern regarding Israel clearly remains the issue of “settlement activity” on any land where the Palestinian Authority has laid claim for its hoped-for state, regardless of its actual status.

Hana Levi Julian

88 Senators Asking Obama to Protect Israel from Hostile UN Resolution

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

Senators Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) and Michael Rounds (R-SD) have led 88 Senators in a letter urging President Obama to veto one-sided UN resolutions on the Israeli-PA conflict. Anticipating that Obama is planning to embark on a post-election peace push using the UN Security Council, the 88 Democratic and Republican senators are telling the president to curb his enthusiasm.

“At this delicate stage the international community should both provide hope to the parties and avoid taking action that would harm the prospects for meaningful progress,” the Senators’ letter cautions, pointing out that “even well-intentioned initiatives at the United Nations risk locking the parties into positions that will make it more difficult to return to the negotiating table and make the compromises necessary for peace.”

The letter reminds Obama of his own UN envoy Susan Rice, who in 2011 told the UNSC: “It is the Israelis’ and Palestinians’ conflict, and even the best-intentioned outsiders cannot resolve it for them.” It also reminds the president of his own speech at the UN General Assembly, back in September 2011, when he said, “Ultimately, it is the Israelis and the Palestinians — not us — who must reach agreement on the issues that divide them.”

“We could not agree more with these statements,” the Senators’ letter concludes. “We urge you to continue longstanding US policy and make it clear that you will veto any one-sided UNSC resolution that may be offered in the coming months.”

Now let’s sit back and watch what President Obama does after Nov. 8.

David Israel

Netanyahu Orders Increased Police at Temple Mount, Reinforces Ban on Lawmakers Ahead of Jewish Holy Days

Sunday, September 18th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a security assessment in Jerusalem prior to leaving for New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly, and ahead of the Jewish holy days in the Hebrew month of Tishrei.

Attending the meeting were Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, Israel Policy Deputy Inspector General Zohar Dvir, Jerusalem District Police Commander Yoram Halevy, the deputy Director of the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet domestic intelligence agency), an IDF representative and personnel from the National Security Council.

The prime minister ordered police to increase forces particularly in the Old City of Jerusalem and around the Temple Mount, underscoring that “determined action be taken against any attempt to violate order there,” according to his media adviser.

Netanyahu also requested that Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein take action to “continue to prevent parliamentarians and ministers from going up to the Temple Mount during this sensitive period,” his spokesperson said in a statement.

In addition, the prime minister “directed that activity be increased against Palestinian incitement on social networks, including expanded action vis-à-vis Facebook and other platforms, with the goal of removing inflammatory content. He also instructed that a response team be established to refute disinformation about Israeli policy on the Temple Mount.”

In addition, Netanyahu received an update on IDF operations and reinforcements along the roads and in the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria.

Barely a few hours prior to the meeting, a terrorist from the Palestinian Authority stabbed and seriously wounded an IDF reservist at a guard post in the Judean city of Efrat, only eight minutes south of Jerusalem. The terrorist had infiltrated the community late Saturday night, and dozens of IDF soldiers, reservists and local security response personnel had spent the entire night searching the city and surrounding fields to track him down.

The attack came on the heels of a series of terrorist stabbings of IDF soldiers and other attacks against Israelis in Judea and Samaria, at least three of which took place in Hebron. In response, the IDF beefed up its forces in the holy city next to Kiryat Arba, but other Jewish communities are still vulnerable.

On Friday afternoon barely an hour before the start of the Sabbath, an Arab couple from the nearby town of Bani Naim carried out a vehicle ramming attack at the Elias Junction entrance to Kiryat Arba on Highway 60, next to the Paz gas station, at the bus stop and hitchhiking post. IDF soldiers stationed at the site shot and killed the male terrorist and wounded the female attacker; but three Israeli teenagers were injured and suffered major trauma as well. All three were treated for their relatively minor physical wounds and the major shock they endured.

Within hours, the IDF surrounded and sealed off Bani Naim, which also was home to the teenage terrorist who climbed in the window of the Kiryat Arba home of 13-year-old Hallel Ariel, z’l, at the start of this summer and stabbed her to death while she slept in her bed.

It’s not known how long the closure will last. But Arab villages have been sealed off before, and when the curfew is lifted, terrorists are free to leave and kill Israelis again, inspired and financially remunerated for their efforts by the government of the Palestinian Authority.

The prime minister is clearly hoping that beefed up police at the Temple Mount and in the Old City will contain, if not entirely eliminate Arab terror attacks while he is meeting with President Barack Obama in New York, and addressing the United Nations General Assembly: a gathering that for the most part could care less these days whether Israelis live or die.

It’s Netanyahu’s unenviable job to remind them of why they should care, if only for their own survival — and Israel’s — and the last thing he wants or needs is trouble at home by Knesset members who take the opportunity while he is away to create “a distraction.”

Hana Levi Julian

US President Obama, Israeli PM Netanyahu to Meet in New York

Sunday, September 18th, 2016

U.S. President Barack Obama is scheduled to meet with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday in New York.

The meeting is set to take place on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, which both men are to address.

The two leaders are expected to discuss the recently signed defense Memorandum of Understanding in which Israel is to receive $3.8 billion per year for a ten-year period, beginning in 2018, including the issues surrounding the agreement — such as intelligence sharing, the joint fight against terrorism and the common goals between the two countries in Syria.

Netanyahu scolded critics who claimed Israel would have received more if he had withheld his pressure over the Iranian nuclear deal last year, and also aimed at critics who condemned the size of the assistance package. In opening remarks at Sunday’s cabinet meeting, the prime minister said “support for Israel in the United States is stronger than ever; it crosses political parties and embraces the length and breadth of the United States and finds expression in this agreement.”

The prime minister added that Israel was never offered more from the Obama administration, not in dollars, nor in special technologies. He slammed “the saddest thing of all, ingratitude to our greatest and best friend, the United States.”

Netanyahu’s contention was confirmed by a senior U.S. official quoted by journalist Barak Ravid, writing for Haaretz. “Obama didn’t say or even hint to Netanyahu that he will get more aid if he comes to the talks now [while the Iran deal was taking shape],” the official told Ravid.

Israeli National Security Council Acting Head Yaakov Nagel also said, as had Netanyahu, that there was no connection between the military assistance total and the dispute between Obama and Netanyahu over the Iran nuclear program deal.

“Is this military aid deal compensation for Israel because of the Iran nuclear deal?” the White House said in a statement. “The answer is no. We started this negotiation long before the Iran deal and even before [Hassan] Rohani was elected president.”

The Reuters news agency quoted White House spokesperson Josh Earnest as saying “the meeting also will be an opportunity to discuss the need for genuine advancement of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the face of deeply troubling trends on the ground.”

Hana Levi Julian

Anti-Israel NGO Al-Haq Making Inroads on Capitol Hill

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

Al-Haq, a Ramallah based NGO established in 1979 has been making friends on Capitol Hill in recent months, establishing a group of 20 Congress members who are on the record in support of the PA against Israeli policies in Judea and Samaria. The list of 20 lawmakers, which Al-Haq boasts on its website, is not made up of anti-Israel Congress members, which is probably the most worrisome part of this story. They are Congress Members who have mostly bought into the seductive message that Israel has lost its way in trying to, justifiably, deal with the wave of Arab youth rioting and violence in areas under its control, and that the US should come up with ways to help the Israelis rediscover their moral compass.

This group of Al-Haq friendly lawmakers is led by the most anti-Israeli Congress Member, Betty McCollum, US Representative for Minnesota’s 4th congressional district. Back in 2006, she got into a huge feud with AIPAC, when her chief of staff said they had been told by an AIPAC representative that the congresswoman was supporting terrorists because she voted against the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006 in committee. The bill was passed overwhelmingly by the House, and AIPAC claimed the Congresswoman was lying about that phone call. McCollum took her story everywhere, including an open letter to AIPAC executive director Howard Kohr in The New York Review of Books—not a hotbed of Zionist fervor. She demanded an apology, AIPAC refused. She told Kohr: “Until I receive a formal, written apology from your organization, I must inform you that AIPAC representatives are not welcome in my offices for meetings with my staff.”

The June 20, 2016 Congress Members’ letter to President Barack Obama, written by Rep McCollum, urged the president “to appoint a Special Envoy for Palestinian Youth to travel to the west Bank, East Jerusalem, and Israel to hear directly from Palestinian youth, human rights and legal experts, NGOs, Palestinian and Israeli officials, including police and military leaders. Such a fact finding mission will provide the Obama Administration with vital information necessary to actively promote human rights, but also establish a framework for the next US administration.”

McCollum’s letter also called on the State Dept. “to elevate the human rights of Palestinian children to a priority status in our bilateral relations with Israel and our ongoing engagement with the Palestinian Authority.”

And, McCollum ended with a threat, “ignoring the trauma being inflicted on millions of Palestinian children undermines our American values and will ensure the perpetuation of a conflict and occupation we all want to see ended peacefully.”

To sum up: 1. Appoint another Goldstone commission; 2. Accumulate a one-sided, anti-Israel body of “evidence,” this time with the backing of the White House; 3. Rinse, repeat.

The ambitious letter to Obama, which is touted on the Al-Haq website, attracted the endorsements of US Reps Eddie Bernice Johnson, Andre Carson, John Conyers, Earl Blumenauer, Donald Beyer, Barbara Lee, Keith Ellison, Hank Johnson, Bobby Rush, Marcy Kaptur, Chellie Pingree, Danny Davis, Peter DeFazio, Raul Grijalva, Sam Farr, Luis Gutierrez, Jim McDermott, Yvette Clarke, and Mark Pocan. Although they are all liberal, and mostly from blue states, these US Reps are not necessarily all enemies of Israel. But they were taken in by the Al-Haq propaganda, as it was sung to them by McCollum.

This fall, Al-Haq is revving up its efforts on the Hill. On Monday morning, October 17, on Capitol Hill (Room TBA), Al-Haq is offering a Capitol Hill Briefing on “Israeli Settlements: Their Impact on Palestinians Living Under Military Occupation.” The briefing will feature speakers from Al-Haq, as well as from Youth Against Settlements and from Al-Shabaka. All three NGOs are heavily funded by European countries and charity organizations.

At the October 17 briefing, the “US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation” will launch its policy paper on “steps that Congress and the Executive Branch can take to make US opposition to Israeli settlements more effective.”

A light breakfast will be served, probably not kosher.

According to NGO Monitor, Al-Haq has been a leader in the anti-Israel “Lawfare” and BDS (boycotts, divestments and sanctions) campaigns. Lawfare is the overall title of the strategy aimed at delegitimizing Israel using legal frameworks. It was adopted at the NGO Forum of the 2001 UN World Conference Against Racism held in Durban, South Africa, as a plan to single out Israel as a “racist” and “apartheid” state; isolate Israel internationally through a BDS campaign; and explicitly advance the political war against Israel. The NGO Forum Declaration called for the “adoption of all measures to ensure [the] enforcement” of international humanitarian law, including “the establishment of a war crimes tribunal to investigate and bring to justice those who may be guilty of war crimes, acts of genocide and ethnic cleansing and the crime of Apartheid . . . perpetrated in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”

These efforts are being led by Al Haq, as well the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), Al Mezan, and Badil, and aided by international NGOs including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, International Federation of Human Rights (France), and the Center for Constitutional Rights (New York). Israeli NGOs Adalah, Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI), and Yesh Din also figure prominently in this scheme. All of these organizations are largely supported by European governments and foundations.

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/anti-israel-ngo-al-haq-making-inroads-on-capitol-hill/2016/09/13/

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