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January 24, 2017 / 26 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘deal’

Obama Cynically Appoints Man Who Peddled Iran Deal To Holocaust Memorial Council

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

{Originally posted to the author’s blogsite, The Lid}

There is a Hebrew expression “l’dor vador” which means from generation to generation. Today Obama decided to stick it to the Jews one more time before he leaves office by changing the phrase to  “from Holocaust to Holocaust” and appointing Ben Rhodes the man who admittedly lied to sell through the Iran deal putting the Jewish State in danger of a nuclear attack from Iran.

President Obama on Tuesday appointed deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council, part of a slew of appointments given to high-profile staff and supporters in the final days of his presidency.

Rhodes, whose mother is Jewish, played a key role in shaping Obama’s foreign policy during his eight years in the White House.

He also came under fire from some U.S. Jewish groups for his role in selling the Iran nuclear deal and the administration’s decision to allow a resolution condemning Israeli settlement activity to pass the U.N. Security Council

This past Mother’s Day, The New York Times Magazine published a 10,000 word profile of Obama’s foreign policy adviser, Ben Rhodes. Among the startling revelations in the piece were that he plays the ventriloquist to the puppet mainstream media reporters (including Jeff Goldberg), and the he led the administration’s efforts to misrepresent the truth in order “to sell” the “Iran deal.”

Ben Rhodes sold through a deal where Iran is not closing a single nuclear facility, not one centrifuge is dismantled, some of Iran’s enriched uranium stockpile  gets “converted” but all of it stays in the country. Their entire Iranian nuclear infrastructure remained intact, they got to continue it’s nuclear research, their ballistic missile program continued, the sanctions come off as Iran complies and while there are provisions for them to snap back, any such action needs to be approved through the U.N. Security Council and a possible Russian veto, There are no provisions forcing Iran to stop funding terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah, and to help in that cause over $100 billion dollars of frozen funds got freed up (along with $1.7 billion Obama paid as ransom for hostages held by Iran.

If Iran holds to the deal, at best the agreement will prevent an Iranian bomb from being launched toward Israel for ten (now nine) years while Teheran continues to refine the technology it needs to make the leap. But in reality “who knows?” After all the inspections are almost meaningless.  At most locations the UN Inspectors have to make an appointment far enough in advance that if Iran has plenty of time to “clean up” the facility.

But at Parchin, where Iran is working on detonation systems for nuclear weapons things are a bit different, Iran gets to do its own inspections. Just like he did with the Justice Department and Fast & Furious, or the State Department with Benghazi, Obama thinks having Iran inspect the facility by itself (under the watchful eyes of UN TV Cameras) is an example of a strong inspections regime.

But someone had to sell the Iran deal to the American people. And it was Ben Rhodes who by his own admission lied to get this deal through. A deal that allows Iran to keep developing nuclear weapons. And when they have those weapons, Iran will use them against the Jewish nation.  After all, they promised they will. Iran is willing to sacrifice millions of its people to kill millions of people. Mutually Assured Destruction will not work with a nuclear Iran, the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei practices the Hojjatieh’s interpretation of Shiism. This type of Islam has a very messianic and apocalyptic view of the world. It predicts a period of universal chaos  before the return of the Mahdi (the 12th imam, also known as the hidden imam, a Muslim version of the Messiah). They believe the best way to bring about the Imam is a world-wide conflagration

Therefore at best Iran won’t attack Israel with nuclear weapons for another nine years. And by leading the misinformation campaign, Ben Rhodes will be remembered as one of the people who brought it about.  Since Israel is the “little Satan” but the U.S. is the ‘big Satan,’ Iran may be intent of attacking the U.S. also.

There is one bright side. If Iran is forced to wait nine more years before they attack Israel with nuclear weapons, Ben Rhodes’ five year term on the Holocaust Memorial Council will be over.

Jeff Dunetz

It Took 6 Years: Israel, PA, Sign Politics-Free Water Deal

Monday, January 16th, 2017

Coordinator of Government Activity in the (liberated) Territories Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai the PA Minister of Civil Affairs Hussein al-Sheikh on Sunday signed the renewal of the Joint Water Committee, as part of the Oslo Accords. The JWC will be entrusted with overhauling the decrepit water infrastructure in the PA, which has been neglected, like many other issues, under the PLO-dominated government.

According to the agreement, the JWC will discuss providing more water to the PA and the Gaza Strip faster, using existing resources and drilling for new ones. The committee will also deal with environmental issues, water tariffs, and water for agricultural use. The new agreement also calls for installing new water and sewage pipes in the PA.

The revived committee will coordinate and supervise water reservoir usage, ahead of the summer months.

The COGAT statement said, “The signing of this water agreement proves that it’s possible to reach understandings and agreements when we discuss issues substantively, bilaterally, clean of extraneous issues of natural resources and additional infrastructures that affect the entire population. Over the past year and half, we’ve signed four agreements: electricity, water, mail and 3G cellular infrastructure, which is intended to improve the quality of life for all the populations in the region.”

David Israel

As Trump Confirms Kushner Will Broker Israel-PA Deal, Don’t Take Jared for Granted

Monday, January 16th, 2017

Speaking to the Times of London in his first UK interview as president-elect, published Monday, Donald Trump confirmed that he intends to appoint son-in-law Jared Kushner to broker a Middle East peace deal. Trump also urged Britain to veto any new anti-Israel UN Security Council resolution, and had nothing but harsh criticism regarding President Obama’s handling of the Iran nuclear deal.

The new appointment is very much in the familiar Trump style of management, whereby he sets up competition between top executives he appoints to parallel positions. In the case of brokering a peace deal, Trump has previously announced the appointment of his loyal attorney Jason Greenblatt, who was his adviser on Israel during the campaign, to negotiate a Middle East peace as Trump’s special adviser on international agreements.

This should be interesting to watch: two competing peace deals between Jerusalem and Ramallah. Or perhaps one Trump envoy will take Gaza. There’s no doubt the president-elect continues to do the unexpected and remains unpredictable. The question is, do Israelis have anything to worry about in son-in-law Jared Kushner?

The grandson of Holocaust survivors, Kushner was raised in a wealthy Orthodox Jewish family in New Jersey that made its fortune in real estate, and graduated with honors from the Frisch School, a coed yeshiva high school, in 1999.

One of the formative events in Jared’s life was the fall of his father, Charles Kushner, who in 1985 founded Kushner Companies. In 2005, US Attorney Chris Christie made his career on the back of Jared’s father, getting him convicted of illegal campaign contributions, tax evasion, and witness tampering, and landing him in federal prison. Christie thumped his chest victoriously and pushed for a three-year sentence for Charles Kushner, humiliating him publicly by exposing how he had hired a prostitute to seduce his brother-in-law on tape in retaliation against his sister, who was a witness for the prosecution. Christie announced then: “It shows that no matter how rich and powerful you are in this state you will be prosecuted and punished for crimes you commit.”

It was the Kushner case that helped make Christie governor of NJ in 2009. Jared Kushner, who was an intern for Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau at the time of the trial, later described Christie’s abusive handling of his father’s case as the reason why he changed his career course.

In 2016, Jared Kushner’s intervention with the Trump transition team was widely believed to be the reason why Gov. Christie was dropped from the president-elect’s roster, having served the campaign loyally for much of 2016.

So Jared Kushner is a man who knows how to keep a grudge, and knows the secret of revenge being best served ice cold. It should serve as a stern warning to both Israelis and Arabs as he embarks on yet another US administration’s attempt to broker a long lasting peace deal in the Middle East: don’t underestimate him, don’t mess with him, don’t take him for granted. The man is extremely bright, unbelievably ambitious, and has a very long memory.

Netanyahu’s circle seemed elated last November, when a victorious Donald Trump told the NY Times he was mulling making Jared Kushner his envoy to the peace negotiations. Ambassador Ron Dermer said, “There’s no question that he feels a strong commitment to Israel’s security and Israel’s future.” But the Times pointed out that Kushner is not on a first name basis with the business and political elite in Israel – his only friend in Israel is Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat. Kushner was a child when he met Benjamin Netanyahu when the latter visited Charles Kushner at his NJ home. Trump told the Times that his son-in-law “knows the region, knows the people, knows the players.” But that might be an exaggeration.

Kushner was a valuable asset to Trump in making the connections for him with Netanyahu and Dermer, as well as Sheldon Adelson and other right-leaning, influential American Jews. His start point is probably more favorable to Israel than any of his predecessors in the thankless job of trying to broker peace between Israelis and Arabs. But that’s no guarantee. If, for instance, PM Netanyahu tries his usual yes-but-not-now approach to the two-state solution, he might not get far with Kushner. The PA, by the way, are besides themselves with anxiety over the emphatically pro-Israeli new White House. Which could mean they’d be willing to give up more to Trump than to say, the ever-beseeching John Kerry. Such a change in attitude might, paradoxically, give them a leg up with Kushner.

Indeed, while recent polls have shown that a majority of the PA and Gaza Arabs have given up on the two-state solution, many Arab pundits, such as Ramzy Baroud, suggest there never was a real Arab consensus in support of partition. The new trend for both rank and file and intellectuals on the Arab side is to embrace the one-state approach, just make sure it won’t be Jewish.

This might be a rougher ride than the Israeli right imagined.


Deal Busted with Border Guard Caught Shooting Rioter on CNN [video]

Friday, January 13th, 2017

A plea deal was scrapped Thursday between the state prosecution and a Border Guard policeman who allegedly shot and killed an Arab rioter on “Nakba (catastrophe) Day,” also known as Israeli declaration of independence day, May 15, 2014, at the Bitunia (Beitunia) check post near Ramallah in Samaria, Israeli media reported.

The deal, which had the accused admit to negligent homicide instead of the original charge of manslaughter, was rejected at the last minute by the defense.

One of the reasons the case received international attention at the time was the fact that the policeman, Ben Derry, was caught both on a local CCTV camera and by a CNN reporter, who presented the event as a shoot-to-kill incident. As the trial later revealed, a live round had been present in the soldier’s weapon, which was supposed to be loaded only with rubber bullets, for crowd control.

According to Attorney Zion Amir, who spoke to Ha’aretz, the prosecution, after having reached a plea agreement with his client, tried to sneak a fast one on him. “Today I receive the draft indictment with the plea arrangement,” Amir said, “and there – in the deal, not the indictment, there’s an item saying we agree that the [Israeli] force was never in any danger. That’s why I got angry.”

Speaking on the phone to Ha’aretz, the attorney stated he had told the prosecutors that the meaning of such an item, that a riot in which a mob of young Arabs are hurdling stones at an Israeli security force does not place the force in danger, would “expose Israel to attacks by the European Union, the UN, and the UN Security Council.”

Amir added that in the post-Sgt. Azaria era, he expected the prosecution to avoid dealing with a security event on the merit of its technical aspects only, but take into account the context.

Amir was also astonished to find out that his confidential discussion with the prosecutors was leaked to the media while he was still in the lobby on his way out.

David Israel

How To Deal With Behaviorally Challenged Children

Monday, January 9th, 2017

Is a red bull
Charging through the mind’s fields
Inciting actions you may soon


The poem above, written by contemporary children’s poet John Foster, is a great metaphor for the way that anger can impact our lives and our children’s lives. Anger can propel us into actions that ultimately hurt us and those around us. To that end, I have asked Dr. Ross Greene, a pioneer of working with behaviorally challenged children to speak to our community next November.

You see it all the time – a child kicking and screaming in the grocery store, a toddler throwing his toy in the sandbox, or a kindergartener stomping up and down the stairs of his school.

Every child occasionally has a meltdown regardless of his or her age or natural disposition. While the roots of these tantrums might differ, they often affect the whole family. The way you respond to the meltdowns can influence their future recurrence and their long-lasting effects. Children throw fits in an attempt to gain control of their environment. If that fit works, they continue to have meltdowns because it is a method by which they can assert power over their parents. Below, I have outlined some ways to deal with “normal” meltdowns.



For children who are preschool age, meltdowns will generally occur around food, clothing, and toys. In the supermarket, children will want to buy certain foods, at home, they will want to wear certain socks or shirts, and in the park or at friends’ homes, they will want to play with only one toy. When your child’s decision is inconvenient and impossible, you will not be able to meet these wants. That’s where the problem arises. If your daughter starts throwing a fit in the supermarket, here are some suggestions to curb that behavior:

            Stick to your guns. If you originally said “no” to buying chocolate chip cookies and then threw them in your cart when your daughter started screaming, you are teaching her that if she screams she gets what she wants. Instead, if you say “no,” stick to it. Expect to feel embarrassed in the supermarket for a few trips, but eventually your daughter will learn that screaming gets her nowhere.

            Avoid triggers. If you know that your daughter always melts down when you go through the snack aisle, don’t go through the snack aisle. If you need something from that section, consider going to the supermarket when your daughter is not with you.

            Sleep and food. Children will often lose control over their emotions if they are tired or hungry. Perhaps, switch the time you take your daughter to the supermarket or be sure to feed her a snack before you leave the house. This can reduce the occurrences of tantrums.


School Age

Elementary school children may occasionally throw tantrums when sitting down to do their homework. This will often occur if your child is inundated by work or exhausted from lack of sleep. These fits can involve your child slamming textbooks closed or breaking pencils in frustration. On the other hand, your child could simply break down in tears because she feels she will never complete the assignment. Occasional fits involving homework are normal, but if they are occurring on a weekly basis, consider taking the following steps:

            Establish a routine. Set aside a regular time and place where your daughter can do her homework. This will ensure that she feels in control and will give her more confidence when approaching her homework tasks.

            Sleep, sleep, sleep. For preschoolers and elementary school children, sleep in an essential part of the puzzle. Children who are rested are better able to handle obstacles with poise.

            Testing. If you notice a discrepancy between your child’s potential and her performance, consider getting an academic evaluation. There might be something larger, such as a learning disability, at work.


More Than Meltdowns

There are many instances in which the meltdowns are not normal. In fact, I have devoted a lot of time to studying and treating Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), an increasingly common disorder today. Children with ODD stand out from other children who are occasionally cranky or argumentative and there may be more than regular temper tantrums going on.

Explosive children or those with ODD are easily frustrated, demanding, and inflexible. When things don’t go their way, they react with violence or rage. Their siblings are afraid of them. Their parents are constantly walking on eggshells, terrified of the next outburst. They have barely any friends. And they can erupt in temper tantrums, kicking, screaming, sudden outbursts, and verbal or physical aggression, usually in response to relatively benign situations.

How can you respond to oppositional behavior? Dr. Greene suggests Plan B. Plan B allows you to respond to the defiant behavior in a systematic way in order to stay calm and help calm your child. Below are the steps that I often teach parents in order to work with their own children with ODD:


Step 1: Empathy Step 2: Define Problem Step 3: Invite Solutions
Gather information about the problem so that you can better understand what your child is going through. Try to approach the problem from your child’s perspective. Verbalize the problem out loud so that your child hears your empathy and understanding. Begin with something such as, “Your concern is…” or “You are frustrated about…” Now that the problem has been empathized with and verbalized, brainstorm realistic and mutually satisfactory solutions with your child.


Another approach, proposed by the American Academy of Children and Adolescent Psychiatry, involves cognitive problem solving skills training. This approach is similar to Dr. Greene’s Plan B in that it reduces inappropriate behaviors by teaching the child positive ways of responding to stressful situations. The Academy argues that because children with ODD often only know of negative ways of interpreting and responding to real-life situations, they do not have the skills to respond positively. Therefore, cognitive problem-solving skills training teaches them how to see situations and respond appropriately.

In some situations in which cognitive problem solving skills training is not successful, the AACAP suggests medication to alleviate extreme symptoms of ODD.

Need some more suggestions? There are some great resources out there – books and workshops! And of course, Dr. Greene will be coming to Brooklyn next November. You can benefit from his expertise then!

Rifka Schonfeld

IDF Prosecutors Working On Sentencing Deal for Sgt. Elor Azaria

Saturday, January 7th, 2017

IDF military prosecutors are reportedly planning a sentencing deal to be offered to the family of Sgt. Elor Azaria in exchange for abandoning an appeal of his conviction on a charge of manslaughter.

The case has dragged on for months in the public eye, creating a media circus that has torn Israeli society apart.

Azaria was convicted by a military tribunal Wednesday in a trial that sent numerous citizens in the country into a frenzy of outrage against the panel of judges and IDF top brass, prompting officials to upgrade security around the judges.

The combat medic shot and killed an Arab terrorist who was already injured and lying on the ground after he stabbed an Israeli soldier in Hebron. Abdel Fattah el-Sharif and a second terrorist had carried out an attack against a group of Israeli soldiers who were deployed in the Judean city in March 2016. The second attacker was shot and killed immediately. But el-Sharif was lying injured on the ground when Azaria walked over to him, after a soldier in his unit was taken with stab wounds to a hospital. Azaria shot el-Sharif in the head at point-blank range.

He faces sentencing in February on a conviction that currently could bring him up to 20 years in prison, and has deeply divided Israeli society.

Israeli lawmakers from both sides of the political spectrum have called for a pardon, and Azaria’s attorneys have said they will appeal the conviction.

If they instead opt to accept a deal, Azaria will serve a far shorter prison term, but according to a report on Israel’s Channel 2 television news, he will definitely do some jail time.

It’s not clear whether or not he would be eligible to apply for a pardon under such circumstances.

Hana Levi Julian

Why Moving The U.S. Embassy To Jerusalem Is A Big Deal: An Interview with Keep Jerusalem founder Chaim Silberstein

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

Talk to any Zionist these days about the upcoming Trump presidency and chances are the conversation will quickly turn to the hoped-for relocation of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

It is similarly likely that many do not know that the transfer of the embassy is actually rooted in United States law. The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 stipulates that Jerusalem “should remain an undivided city” and “should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel.”

The law further states that the above should occur no later than May 31, 1999 – but adds the famous “presidential waiver” clause allowing the president to suspend the law’s implementation for six months “if he determines and reports to Congress in advance that such suspension is necessary to protect the national security interests of the United States.”

All three presidents since then – Clinton, Bush, and Obama – have availed themselves of this privilege, and the embassy has remained in Tel Aviv.

This situation may very well change when Donald Trump becomes president. Expectations are high not necessarily because of his campaign promise to move the embassy – the same promise was made by previous presidents when they ran for office – but due to his selection of David Friedman as his ambassador to Israel. Friedman says he looks forward to fulfilling his new job “from the U.S. embassy in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem.”

The KeepJerusalem-Im Eshkachech organization (www.keepjerusalem.org) has been working on behalf of Jerusalem for over a decade. Chaim Silberstein is its founder and president. He and I write a bimonthly column on Jerusalem for The Jewish Press, and I recently took the opportunity to ask him his thoughts on what the relocation of the embassy would portend for Israel and the region.

Hillel Fendel: U.S. presidents have been promising for 20 years to move the embassy to Jerusalem, yet it has never happened. What are we lacking?

Chaim Silberstein: For one thing, this status quo, according to which the American government does not recognize Jerusalem as our capital, leads to U.S. condemnations every time Israel announces building projects in neighborhoods such as Gilo or Pisgat Ze’ev. So that’s one reason why we need this change.

On a broader level, however, American recognition of Jerusalem as our capital would inspire other countries to move their embassies to Yerushalayim, leading to its broad international recognition as Israel’s capital.

Are we not jumping the gun? How about first just getting the U.S. to recognize western Jerusalem as part of sovereign Israel, and then we can talk about eastern Jerusalem later.

You’re right that the U.S. does not yet recognize western Jerusalem. But the fact is that the Jerusalem Embassy Act calls for recognition of all of Jerusalem – both west and east – as our capital. The law calls for Jerusalem to “remain an undivided city,” and that this undivided city be “recognized as the capital of the State of Israel.” This is our goal, nothing less.

Ambassador-designate David Friedman is famously in favor of moving the embassy. Do you think it will actually happen in the coming months?

The six-month presidential waiver that President Obama most recently signed was on Dec. 1, meaning the implementation of the law is suspended until June 1. It is my fervent hope that President-elect Trump will not renew the waiver, and the law will then take effect.

Keep in mind that the Embassy Act provides for financial penalties if the embassy is not moved: the withholding of at least 50 percent of funds appropriated to the State Department specifically for “Acquisition and Maintenance of Buildings Abroad.”

Interestingly, the date of June 1 is very close to the actual date of the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem during the Six-Day War. We hope that, as a result of strong advocacy and diplomatic work, for the first time in nearly twenty years a U.S. president will not sign the waiver and the embassy will be moved to Yerushalayim. In anticipation and in honor of this, we at KeepJerusalem are hoping and planning to hold a special commemoration and celebration.

Do you see the PA taking any concrete action against Israel if the embassy is moved? 

Some violence can likely be expected at first, but let’s not forget that this is an American move, not an Israeli one. We certainly wouldn’t expect that the PA would frontally attack U.S. interests. On the other hand, they will definitely exert pressure – politically, diplomatically, even taking up arms – to have the relocation canceled.

Will moving the embassy to Jerusalem have a positive effect on American Jewry?

I don’t think most of American Jewry is really aware of what’s going on with the official status of Jerusalem. I’m also not convinced that the move will happen in one fell swoop. It will probably happen in stages – first moving some offices to the consulate in Talpiyot, Jerusalem, then finding a building large enough to house more of the offices, and so on. The embassy in Tel Aviv has some 400 employees, while the building in Talpiyot has only a few dozen.

Having said that, though, I think that U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital will have a gradual and important influence on American Jewry. It will lead the Israeli government to facilitate significant construction of more affordable housing, and more middle-class American Jews will then be able to afford to buy here, either for investment or for actual aliyah. All in all, the Jewish population of the city will receive a large boost from this move.

But moving the embassy alone will not guarantee the future of Jerusalem; there are imminent threats facing Jerusalem demographically, security-wise, and in other ways. More steps are necessary. By the time Trump takes office, KeepJerusalem plans to complete a comprehensive position paper, outlining the steps we believe the Israeli government must take to ensure that Jerusalem is maintained as a united city under Israeli sovereignty.

In sum, the combination of the relocation of the U.S, embassy to Jerusalem and Israel’s implementation of a concrete development plan for the future is the optimal way of securing Yerushalayim as Israel’s united and eternal capital.

Hillel Fendel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/why-moving-the-u-s-embassy-to-jerusalem-is-a-big-deal-an-interview-with-keep-jerusalem-founder-chaim-silberstein/2017/01/04/

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