web analytics
October 22, 2014 / 28 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Congress’

Peres Can’t Leave His Ghetto Mentality

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

President Shimon Peres met with the Congressional Black Caucus in Jerusalem Tuesday and whined about the long-suffering Jews whose only friend on Planet Earth is the United States, may it live another 120 years.

“We’re fortunate to have our special relations with America, we’re alone, isolated and often attacked, and you support us not because of oil but because of values,” Peres said. “When it comes to defending our land, there was no request which President Obama did not accept.

“President Obama and Secretary Kerry are trying to bring peace to this region. Secretary Kerry’s contribution has been incredible,” he said. “This is a small country with a long history and while it is not simple, it can be done.”

Poor, poor Israel, So isolated. So often attacked. Just like in Europe. Just like in Spain, Just like in the Crusades, Just line under the Roman and Greek empires.

Forget Israel under Kings Saul, David and Solomon. Forget the First and Second Holy Temples. They only were footnotes to the suffering Jew, with his wretched hand held out for support from the high and mighty, from the United States of America, from President Barack Obama himself.

Peace, peace, peace, says Peres. Just give us peace. Take our land. Sure, it is where we live and used to live, but the Arabs need another country, and charity begins away from home.

We have the whole Negev to ourselves. Sure, the Bedouin are taking it over, but we still control Be’er Sheva. And it has the country’s largest mall.

And Kerry really is incredible. He has promised us peace, so let’s make the painful concession of giving up our ability to defend ourselves and considering Israel a Jewish state.

After all, with friends like the United States, we don’t care about enemies. Just look how Obama stared down Assad. Look how he outsmarted Iran. Look how he has stabilized Egypt.

If Peres has his way, Israel will always be poor, poor Israel.

Sharansky to Congress: Keep Up Awareness of Political Prisoners

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

Natan Sharansky joined the parents and spouses of political prisoners in asking the U.S. Congress to speak of their loved ones during meetings with foreign officials.

Sharansky, imprisoned by the Soviets for nine years because of his activism on behalf of Soviet Jews, recalled at a hearing Thursday that his jailers told him, “You are in our hands. If you disappear, no one will notice.”

Instead, Sharansky told Congress’ Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission that thousands of activists wrote letters, attended marches and wore bracelets in support of Jewish refuseniks.

Sharansky, who now chairs the Jewish Agency for Israel, said he believes he was finally freed because of these activists, according to a Washington Jewish Week report.

Keeping these prisoners in the news is key, he said, urging members of Congress to speak of specific political and religious prisoners whenever they meet with the leaders of the country in which they are imprisoned.

Sharansky and the other speakers said it was important for U.S. ambassadors to frequently ask about the fate of any political prisoners and hold press conferences whenever they are denied the right to meet with such prisoners.

Commission chairman Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) suggested that those working to free political and religious prisoners use Gal Beckerman’s book, “When They Come for us We’ll be Gone: The Epic Struggle to Save Soviet Jewry,” as a model for activism.

“If you think the Congress and the administration will save you, you are sadly mistaken,” Wolf said, explaining that a groundswell of support worldwide is what is needed.

Beckerman, who also testified during the hearing at the Capitol Visitor’s Center, said the Soviet Jewry movement was successful because it combined “a tribal motivation” to help one’s own people with a general sense of outrage that someone was being imprisoned for their beliefs.

Countries holding political and religious prisoners that were discussed at the hearing include Bahrain, China, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam.

The commission is named for the late Lantos, the only Holocaust survivor elected to Congress, whose hallmark was human rights advocacy.

Bill Would Link Funding for Palestinians to Incitement

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

A bill introduced by the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee would link assistance to the Palestinian Authority to its efforts to stop incitement.

Under the bill presented Wednesday by California Republican Rep. Ed Royce, the president would have to determine that the Palestinian Authority “no longer engages in a pattern of incitement against the United States or Israel; and is engaged in peace preparation activities aimed at promoting peace with the Jewish State of Israel.” The president would have to re-certify compliance every six months.

“As Secretary of State John Kerry engages in negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians, Congress will make it clear to the Palestinian Authority that continuing anti-Israel incitement to violence through PA-controlled media outlets must cease,” Royce said in a statement.

The United States earmarks about $400 million annually for the Palestinian Authority.

House Spending Bill Restores Aid to Israel to $3.1 Billion

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

Funding to Israel was restored to its pre-sequester level of $3.1 billion in the spending bill the U.S. House of Representatives passed on Wednesday. Aid to the Palestinian Authority was conditioned on its not running to the United Nations for recognition.

The $1.1 trillion bill passed Wednesday is the result of a deal brokered last month between Democrats and Republicans who have struggled for months to compromise on spending bills. It restores about half the cuts mandated by the sequestration, the across-the-board 8 percent cuts which by law kicked in last March when Congress failed to agree on a budget.

Also in the bill is $268.7 million in funding for U.S.-Israel cooperative anti-missile programs, not considered assistance because Israel contributes to the programs.

The bill also links the approximately $400 million the Palestinian Authority receives in annual assistance to programs against incitement, and cuts off aid to the Palestinians if the PA take further steps to secure statehood recognition at international bodies.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee praised the passage.

“These funds fully meet America’s commitment in the U.S.-Israel Memorandum of Understanding, helping our democratic ally meet critical defense needs during this period of heightened regional instability,” it said in a statement.

The Senate is due to consider the spending bill later this week.

Rep. Jim Moran, Notorious for Repeated Clashes with Jews, Retires

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

Virginia Democratic Rep. Jim Moran, a longtime congressman from northern Virginia who repeatedly clashed with pro-Israel and Jewish groups, is retiring.

Moran, 68, told media Wednesday that he would not run again in his district, which comprises Arlington, Falls Church and parts of Alexandria and Fairfax County, because it has become strongly Democratic, making his vacant seat safe for the Democratic Party. He was first elected to Congress in 1990.

Moran had repeated clashes with pro-Israel groups and with Jewish members of his Democratic caucus over claims he made in 2003 and 2007 that without Jewish support, the United States would not have launched the war with Iraq.

A blunt speaker who never got the hang of holding his tongue, he got into deeper trouble with his apology in 2003, when he seemed to accuse Jews of controlling who gets elected.

His district includes one of the fastest-growing Jewish populations in the Washington area, and in the 2002 election he solicited a letter from Jewish lawmakers praising his support for Israel.

A year later, after his claim at a town hall meeting that “If it were not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war with Iraq, we would not be doing this,” a number of the Jewish lawmakers who had signed the original letter repudiated him and said they would no longer support his election.

Referring to that repudiation and other calls for him to step down in an interview with a newspaper in which he also apologized for the original offensive remark, he said: “It’s unhealthy for the American political process for any group within our society to be able to decide who should and who shouldn’t represent a constituency.” That occasioned another round of condemnations.

His notoriety was such that in 2008, presidential candidate Barack Obama welcomed Moran’s endorsement, which was routine – and simultaneously reassured the Jewish community that he disagreed with Moran on who was to blame for the Iraq War.

Whenever he was faced with such complaints, Moran would note that one of his daughters had converted to Judaism.

Report: Iran Balks over Centrifuges

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Iran is holding up progress for implementing the interim deal agreed to by world powers in November because of the issue of centrifuges that can be used to purify uranium to level that would make it suitable to make a nuclear weapon.

“This issue (centrifuges) was among the main factors in stopping the previous technical discussions on December 19-21,” a Western diplomat told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

That is exactly why there is a bi-partisan effort in Congress to pass a new bill that would place harsher sanctions on Iran if it reneges on the interim  agreement.

The sponsors of the bill, Democrats as well as Republicans, don’t trust Iran to have suddenly surrendered its nuclear program. President Barack Obama, who has put his weight behind “engaging” Iran diplomatically, has vowed to veto the bill if it is passed.

Iran said it has installed new and advanced centrifuges since the interim deal was reached, an issue that is to be discussed this week in meetings with the P5+1 countries.

“As part of the (November 24) agreement, Iran is permitted to engage in R&D (research and development), but that is tempered by the fact that it is prohibited to install new centrifuges, except as required by wear and tear,” one diplomats was quoted by Reuters as saying.

The interim deal is to be implemented on January 20 if Iran and the world powers can overcome disputes on the wording and meaning of the November agreement.

Reuters quoted an Israeli official as saying, “It was clear from the outset that the Iranians would play games. They did it in the past, and now they’re up to their old tricks again.”

Congressional Budget Deal Includes Funds for Iron Dome

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

Chairmen of the Senate and House of Representatives budget committees have proposed a budget deal that would restore $220 million for two more Iron Dome anti-missile batteries only months after they were said to be victims of budget sequestration.

The proposed deal needs to be approved by houses of Congress before becoming law. The deal also adds $15 million for a US co-production capability for Iron Dome parts.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/congressional-budget-deal-includes-funds-for-iron-dome/2013/12/11/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: