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August 24, 2016 / 20 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘bill’

Bill Letting 9/11 Victims Sue Saudi Arabia Passes Senate

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

The Senate on Tuesday approved by a voice vote the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act allowing families of Sept. 11 victims to sue the Saudi government—disregarding a veto threat by the White House. In his recent visit to the Kingdom, President Obama suffered unprecedented humiliation from Saudi officials, presumably hinting at what would come next should he expose them to a torrent of 9/11 litigation. The Saudis have also threatened to move billions of dollars out of the US economy, so there won’t be any assets to freeze when they lose in court.

Sponsored by Senators John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., the bill recognizes the right of victims’ families to sue in US court for the role that Saudi government personnel played in the 2001 attacks on New York, the Pentagon, and Pennsylvania. Cornyn said that the United States “will combat terrorism with every tool we have available, and that the victims of terrorist attacks in our country should have every means at their disposal to seek justice.”

The Obama administration is yet to declassify and release US intelligence on Saudi involvement in the attacks, despite repeated pleas from victims’ families.

Irish investigative journalists Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan were contacted by an unnamed counter-terrorism official in 2011 and told there are 80,000 9/11-related documents being kept secret by the FBI, which may not all concern the Saudi family, but many suspect that reclassifying them would expose the truth about the conspiracy, namely that it was driven by elements in the Saudi royal family.

Senate Democrats went against the wishes of the Obama administration, which warned the bill could expose Americans overseas to legal risks.

Schumer had no doubt the Senate had the 67 votes needed to override a presidential veto. “We don’t think their arguments stand up,” he told reporters at a news conference after the vote.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., chairman of the Armed Services Committee, warned that the legislation, if passed, would alienate Saudi Arabia and undermine the US’ longstanding relationship with a critical ally in the Middle East. Of course, once said ally starts attacking your civilian population, you may need to re-think the relationship.

New Jersey resident Terry Strada, whose husband, Tom, died in the attacks, was in Washington with her daughter Caitlin to await the vote’s results. She told CNN, “We’ve waited long enough. We’ve waited 15 years. We shouldn’t have to wait any longer. It’s good policy to hold accountable any nation that aids in a terror attack on U.S. soil and that aids in the death of US citizens.”

David Israel

Bill Clinton’s Palestinian State

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

Originally posted to the {Commentary Magazine website}

While campaigning in New Jersey on Friday for his wife, Bill Clinton was interrupted by a pro-Palestinian heckler. “What about Gaza?” the person yelled. What followed was an interesting exchange with the clearly exasperated former president that says more to inform the current attempts by both the Obama administration and the French to revive Middle East peace talks than it does about Hillary Clinton and what she might do if elected in November.

That Clinton would be heckled about the Palestinians is not a surprise. The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is one of the few issues on which Sanders has not pulled Hillary Clinton to the left. She has tried, often without success, to match Sanders’ enthusiasm for massive expansions of government power and expenditures and new entitlements. But on foreign policy, she has attempted to walk a fine line between the Democratic base’s basic isolationism and her own internationalist/interventionist instincts while noting differences with her rival on temperament and experience rather than on substance. But she has not been shy about drawing strong differences with Sanders on Israel and the Palestinians.

Though she was the “designated yeller” at Prime Minister Netanyahu during President Obama’s first term, Clinton has also tried to position herself as a mainstream supporter of Israel and sharply disagreed with Sanders’ belief in U.S. neutrality and his willingness to spread canards about Israel’s attempts to defend itself against Hamas that have at times exceeded even those of the terrorists when it comes to inaccuracy.

So if Sanders’ fans are going to hound Hillary or her chief surrogate on any clear difference between them, it’s as likely to be about her not being as willing to attack the Jewish state as the Vermont socialist. That’s what happened on Friday but what Bill Clinton said in reply to the heckler’s cracks about Clinton’s unwillingness to join Sanders in condemning Israel was significant because it brought up something that is rarely discussed in the mainstream media coverage of the Middle East: Palestinian rejectionism.

While his wife has never stopped whining about the “vast right-wing conspiracy” that she blames for their problems rather than their own misconduct, Bill Clinton’s chief post-presidential complaint has been about how Yasir Arafat robbed him of the Nobel Peace Prize he was counting on. In July 2000, Clinton hosted Arafat and then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak in a summit at Camp David that he hoped would mark the culmination of the Oslo Peace Accords that had been signed on the White House Lawn seven years earlier. In order to secure a final resolution of the conflict, Barak went further than any Israeli leader had ever dreamed of going in terms of concessions to the Palestinians. To the delight of the Clinton administration, he was put on the table a peace offer that gave the Palestinians a state in almost all of the West Bank, a share of Jerusalem, and all of Gaza. That was essentially everything that the Palestinians wanted, the two-state solution on a silver platter with an American president prepared to back up the Israeli leader even though the plan was far ahead of what most Israelis at the time said they were willing to risk.

But instead of grabbing the opportunity with both hands, Arafat said “no.” No matter how much Clinton, who saw his Nobel hopes going down the drain, Arafat wouldn’t budge, claiming that to accept the realization of the Palestinian dream of statehood would be his death sentence. What’s more, after shocking both the Americans and the Israelis with his refusal, Arafat doubled down on the refusal by launching a terrorist war of attrition after he got home. Seizing on the flimsy pretext of outrage about Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount, the Palestinians began a bloody campaign in which the Palestinian Authority police fired on the Israelis they were supposed to be cooperating with, and Hamas and Fatah terror groups competed with each in launching horrifying suicide bomb attacks on Israeli civilians. Before it was over this second intifada would take the lives of over a thousand Israelis as well as thousands of Arabs and destroy a Palestinian economy that had boomed since Oslo.

It’s also important to note that Clinton and Barak didn’t take Arafat’s no as final and kept trying in their last months in office (Clinton was term-limited, and Barak’s political fate was sealed by his failed initiative) to get him to relent. In the Sinai resort of Taba in January 2001, the U.S. and Israel tried to resolve Palestinian complaints about the generous peace terms they’d been offered by sweetening it with further Israeli concessions. Again, Arafat’s answer was no. There would be no Nobel for Clinton and no peace.

So when Bill Clinton says, “I killed myself to give the Palestinians a state,” he’s right. If they had wanted one, they could have had it. But they didn’t. Nor was Arafat’s successor Mahmoud Abbas willing to accept a state in 2008 when Ehud Olmert offered even more generous peace terms at the prodding of George W. Bush. Since then Abbas has refused to negotiate seriously even though the supposedly hard-line Netanyahu has accepted a two-state solution (as he repeated on Thursday) and again offered withdrawal from most of the West Bank during talks sponsored by Secretary of State Kerry.

The back and forth between the former president and the pro-Palestinian heckler about Hillary Clinton’s role during the fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza is interesting. Clinton did her best to restrain Israeli self-defense and brokered a cease-fire with the cooperation, as her husband helpfully pointed out, “the Muslim Brotherhood government of Egypt” during the period when the Obama administration was tilting toward those extremists after they seized power. Yet she has not been prepared, as Sanders has seemed to do, to excuse Hamas’s war crimes in using Gaza as a base for launching rockets at Israeli cities and terror tunnels while using civilians as human shields.

But the really important point to be gleaned from this story is that few in the international community or the press have bothered to ask why Clinton failed to give the Palestinians a state. It was not for lack of trying or, in the case of Barak, an Israeli government not prepared to take risks for peace as he declared his desire to give up settlements and divide Jerusalem. The problem was that the Palestinians were not prepared to recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders were drawn. Making peace on those terms would have meant ending the conflict for all time rather than merely — as Arafat openly boasted — merely collecting concessions in a war of “phases,” that would enable them to resume fighting on more advantageous terms in the future. Even if we accepted the dubious proposition that a blood-soaked terrorist like Arafat wanted peace, the point is that if even a towering figure in Palestinian history such as he didn’t dare sign a deal accepting Israel then how could anyone else?

Bill Clinton was right on Friday when he said Israelis needed to know that the U.S. is concerned about its security in order for peace to be possible. But if Israelis regard pressure from the U.S. to demand even more concessions in the absence of a Palestinian change of heart to be insane, it’s because they remember what happened at Camp David and its aftermath as well as the ultimate results of Ariel Sharon’s unilateral surrender of all of Gaza in 2005: a Hamas terrorist state.

President Obama foolishly ignored this proof of the intentions of the Palestinians and made an already bad situation worse.We don’t know if Bill Clinton’s experience will chasten Hillary Clinton’s desire for her own Peace Prize if she becomes president or if this knowledge will ever find its way into the brain of a President Donald Trump, who also appears to lust after the glory of a deal that would end this conflict. But it should. The next president needs to avoid being fooled by the false arguments of Palestinian apologists into giving Hamas a pass for terror in Gaza. But more than that, they need to understand that the only real obstacle to peace isn’t settlements or Netanyahu but the same Palestinian intransigence that cost Bill Clinton his Nobel Peace Prize.

Jonathan S. Tobin

Bill Clinton: ‘I Killed Myself to Give Palestinians a State’ [video]

Saturday, May 14th, 2016

Campaigning on Friday for his wife, Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton, in Ewing Township, NJ, former president Bill Clinton told his audience “I killed myself to give the Palestinians a state,” Politico reported.

When a person in the audience yelled, “What about Gaza?” Clinton responded, “She and the Muslim Brotherhood president of Egypt stopped the shooting war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.”

“She said neutrality is not an option,” the person in the crowd yelled back, meaning the US would always be on israel’s side.

“Depends on whether you care what happens to the Palestinians, as opposed to the Hamas government and the people with guided missiles,” Clinton said.

“They were human beings in Gaza,” the same audience member said.

“Yes, they were,” Clinton replied. “And Hamas is really smart. When they decide to rocket Israel, they insinuate themselves in the hospitals, in the schools, in the highly populous areas, and they are smart. They said they try to put Israelis in a position of either not defending themselves or killing innocents. They’re good at it. They’re smart. They’ve been doing this a long time.”

The audience responded with cheers to the Clinton comeback.

Then Bill Clinton said, “I killed myself to give the Palestinians a state. I had a deal they turned down that would have given them all of Gaza.”

And then some.

David Israel

Proposed Law Revokes Citizenship from Convicted Terrorists

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Lawmakers are set to vote today (Thursday, Nov. 6) on a new law to revoke Israeli citizenship of a convicted terrorist, anyone who helped him or her, and any of their relatives.

The bill, submitted by Yisrael Beytenu Knesset member Shimon Ohayon, allows but does not require the Interior Minister to make the final decision about who will lose their citizenship.

Those who stand to lose their citizenship will have the right to offer a defense before their rights are revoked.

“The fight against terrorism must be comprehensive and extensive,” Ohayon told journalists.

Benefits of citizenship in Israel include monthly stipends for children’s support from the National Insurance Institute, for instance, as well as other government financial support.

Taking away such benefits, said Ohayon, would be one way to create an alternative to the current situation in which terrorists enjoy the privileges granted to citizens by the State of Israel.

“It is absurd that someone can continue to benefit from the rights of an Israeli citizen while they want to harm or kill us. Nothing gets in their way because they are free to move around anywhere in the country – and this leads Israeli citizens to lose their basic sense of security,” Ohayon observed.

Hana Levi Julian

Proposed Conversion Bill, Change in Local Rabbinate Power Nixed by Netanyahu

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

A bill that would allow any chief rabbi of any city to create his own religious court for conversion has finally stopped at the prime minister’s desk.

The bill would effectively neutralize the authority of the nation’s Chief Rabbinate over the conversion process in Israel.

It is one that has been fought bitterly by observant Jewish parties across the spectrum.

And now the proposed Conversion Bill advanced by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni’s Hatnua party has gotten the axe by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

According to a report Monday by Channel 2 investigative journalist Amit Segal, the prime minister announced that he supports the hareidi position regarding conversions.

Netanyahu made the statement following months of skirmishes behind the scenes and quiet wrangling by both chief rabbis and hareidi political parties as well as members of the more moderate Bayit Yehudi party.

The prime minister allegedly also told heads of coalition factions that he will make sure the bill does not pass if it comes up for a vote, even if it is privately sponsored.

Because Livni’s credibility as a party chief may ride on this issue, however, the issue may be a deal breaker for her presence in the coalition.

Hana Levi Julian

Israel to Recognize Foreign PT, S/L Certification

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

The Knesset passed the first reading of a bill that will formally allow Israel to recognize foreign certifications of physical and speech & language therapists.

Introduced by Likud Beytenu Knesset member Shimon Ohayon, the law is intended to smooth the way for professionals in the field who come to Israel as new immigrants making aliyah with years of experience, but difficulty finding jobs.

The employment situation in Israel is complicated by a language barrier for professionals from abroad.

The issue is further exacerbated by the difficulties encountered in transferring one’s credentials; and the problem sometimes proves insurmountable, depending on the nation of origin, the school, level of education and year of graduation.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Yesh Atid Blocks Israel’s ’No Early Release for Terrorists’ Bill

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

Yesh Atid minister Yaakov Perry appealed a new law preventing the premature release of terrorist inmates from prison on Monday night, effectively blocking the measure.

The bill amends one of the Basic Laws of Israel, formulated in the 1960s, that allows the president to pardon terrorists under certain conditions. It was passed Sunday by the Ministerial Legislative Committee – but the move by the Science and Technology Minister stops the law from going to the Knesset plenum for its first reading.

Instead, it will go to the full Cabinet for a vote on Sunday.

Jailed terrorists — particularly the ones who are serving life sentences for multiple murders of Israeli citizens in terror attacks — are often used as bargaining chips by Arab nations and terror groups in talks with the State of Israel.

IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, kidnapped in a cross-border raid near the Gaza border by three Hamas-affiliated terrorist groups in 2006, was held hostage by Hamas in Gaza. His freedom and safe return was purchased after more than five years only at the cost of releasing more than a thousand Arab terrorist inmates from Israeli prisons — many of whom immediately resumed their activities against the Jewish State.

There are many who believe that if the option of early release for terrorist prisoners — “prisoner swaps” — was not available, terror groups with whom Israel deals would no longer find benefit in kidnapping Israeli hostages, and therefore would cease such activities.

Perry’s move was immediately condemned by lawmakers from the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party, one of the two sponsors of the bill.

Bayit Yehudi MK Ayelet Shaked, who proposed the measure together with MK David Tzur – against the objections of his own Hatnua party’s chairperson, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni – expressed outrage over Perry’s appeal.

“Tonight the truth was revealed that small politics are stronger than the blood of Israeli citizens,” Shaked told media.

“Minister Perry in the past expressed his support for the law, both to me and to my partner MK David Tzur, so his appeal is puzzling… How can the former head of the Shin Bet support releasing murderers?”

Economics Minister and Bayit Yehudi chairperson Naftali Bennett slammed the move, calling it a “mark of disgrace” on the entire Yesh Atid political party.

“Every day that this law is delayed human life is in danger,” Bennett underlined. “We will use all the tools at our disposal, including burying laws proposed by Yesh Atid, until this law is passed.

“I do not have, nor will I have any tolerance and patience for political games at the expense of laws that are essential for the security of Israeli citizens.”

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/yesh-atid-blocks-israels-no-early-release-for-terrorists-bill/2014/05/13/

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