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October 9, 2015 / 26 Tishri, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘Ed Royce’

Bibi on Iran Deal: ‘We Aren’t Partners at the Table, We Are a Meal on the Menu’ [VIDEO]

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu learned that U.S. Secretary of State will be making a trip to the Middle East to sell the Iran deal, but is skipping Israel.

Kerry will be visiting Egypt and Qatar and other Gulf State representatives, but won’t stop in the Jewish State, which until recently was considered America’s closest ally in the Middle East.

The Prime Minister’s response to the snub was, “Really, Kerry has no reason to come here.”

Expanding upon that response, Netanyahu said of the Iran deal, “This deal has nothing to do with us. We are not influenced by this deal at all. We aren’t partners at the table, we are a meal on the menu.”

These comments were made to reporters on Tuesday, July 28, during a return flight to Israel from Cyprus, as reported by Israel Hayom.

It isn’t only America’s erstwhile BFF Israel that is expressing dismay at the nuclear deal concluded by the U.S., along with its other P5+1 partners, and Iran. Appearing before the House Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday, Kerry and other deal cheerleaders were grilled on the likelihood of Iran honoring the commitments under the deal.

“Iran has cheated on every agreement they’ve signed,” Rep. Ed Royce (R), chairman of the committee said. Royc continued, asking whether Iran “has earned the right to be trusted.”

Kerry responded that “nothing in this deal is built on trust. Nothing.”


On Wednesday, during the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the Iran deal, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK) queried Kerry and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz about the so-called “side agreements” between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Commission, responsible for inspecting Iranian nuclear sites.

Cotton badgered Kerry as to why the contents of the side agreements cannot be made known to the American people, despite the Iranians knowing the content of the agreements. Cotton wanted Kerry to answer why this agreement was classified and kept from the American public.

Kerry’s response was, “because we respect the process of the IAEA and we don’t have their authorization to reveal what is a confidential agreement.” Respect for another party can be admirable. However, according to Cotton: “But U.S. law requires any deal, between  any party, not just the United States, be submitted to Congress before the 60 day clock begins to tick.”

Watch the video of Sen. Cotton questioning Secretary of State Kerry who admits he has not read the text of the side agreements.


US Defunding Effort Moves to Formal House Resolution

Friday, June 13th, 2014

On Thursday, June 12, the spreading Congressional sentiment on defunding the Palestinian Authority escalated to a formal resolution in the House of Representatives. Some fifteen cosponsors, led by Representatives Trent Franks (R-AZ) and Michelle Bachmann (R-MN), have officially presented their resolution to defund the PA based on two violations of American law: the unity with Hamas and the recently-publicized program of monthly salaries paid to Palestinian terrorists in Israeli prisons via the PA’s Ministry of Prisoners.

The resolution framers call for a “sense of the House” that all funding be stopped unless the PA takes verified actions “dissolving the unity government with Hamas,” regardless of any technocratic appearances, as well as “repealing the Law of the Prisoners and abolishing the Ministry of Prisoners … relating to compensation and recognition of convicted terrorists.”

Prior to today’s action, various preliminary resolutions were floated and announced from the floor of the House, such as an April 3, 2014 effort advanced by Ted Poe (R-TX), but those were never put to a vote. By entering the formal resolution, House procedures will automatically number it and refer it to the House Foreign Affairs Committee for a possible vote.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee is controlled by Chairman Ed Royce (D-CA) and its ranking member Eliot Engel (D-NY), both of whom have publicly warned the PA about a funding stoppage. If the new resolution survives the Foreign Affairs Committee, it then goes to the full House for an up or down vote.

According to Congressional analysts, the new “sense of the House” resolution is not only a policy document, it is “a messaging instrument to the Obama Administration and House appropriators.” Key among those appropriators is Nita Lowey, the ranking Democrat from Westchester County, NY.

Lowey sits on both the full Appropriations Committee and the key subcommittee governing State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs. Foreign assistance begins and dies in this subcommittee. The Republican side of the aisle, including subcommittee chairwoman Kay Granger from Dallas, has been lining up staunchly against continued funding, citing the known legal obligations.

For Lowey, the question is whether she will break with the Obama Administration, which has signaled willingness to continue funding the new Hamas-infused Palestinian Authority. In some House quarters, the pending funding for the PA is referred to as the “Lowey Appropriation” with many staffers and members conceding she “is in the driver’s seat,” as one Appropriation Committee staffer phrased it.

Appropriation Committee staffers confirm the law is clear cut. One Lowey staffer readily pointed to the Consolidated Appropriations Act, Section 7020, Subsection F, entitled Prohibition to Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organization, which unambiguously declares: None of the funds appropriated … may be obligated or expended for assistance to Hamas or any entity effectively controlled by Hamas, any power-sharing government of which Hamas is a member, or that results from an agreement with Hamas and over which Hamas exercises undue influence.

The Lowey source explained, “The law is clear-cut, but what makes it complex is there are also important considerations. Are we subjecting ourselves to more danger? For example, is there a particular security assistance program? Should we stop that? Or, is it smarter to keep some of those of those programs going?”

On June 2, after the PA unification ceremony finished in Ramallah, Lowey issued this short warning: “I am deeply disappointed with the announcement today of a Palestinian government that includes the terrorist organization Hamas. As long as Hamas rejects the Quartet principles and the existence of the State of Israel, United States funding for this unity government is in jeopardy.”

Lowey sources explained that the White House now controls the current year’s appropriation, which is transferred in tranches. There is little possibility that will be stopped, they say. It is the new 2014-2015 appropriation that is under review. Even if the defunding move is successful in the House, a similar measure must pass in the Senate. The Congressional deadline for any decision is October 1, 2014, House sources say.

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.

Kerry Plays ‘Blame Game’ to Urge Congress to Go Soft on Sanctions

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned Congress on Tuesday that new sanctions against Iran would be “gratuitous” and could harm any agreement with Iran as well as relations with world powers in the P5+1 group.

Speaking to the House Foreign Affairs Committee before leaving for another trip to Israel and the Palestinian Authority and then to the Far East, Kerry was not able to promise Congressmen that a final agreement with Iran would prohibit it form enriching uranium,

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif warned earlier this week that if Congress legislates new sanctions the it would render null and void the recent interim deal with the P5+1, made up of permanent U.N. Security Council members  United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom, and France, plus Germany.

Kerry argued that the lifting of some sanctions is only a drop in the bucket compared to sanctions that remain, but California Republican Rep. Ed Royce said, “We have bargained away our fundamental position.”

Pressure on EU to Label Hezbollah Terrorists after Bulgaria Bombing

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Following the bus bombing that killed five Israeli tourists in Bulgaria last summer, the government of Bulgaria engaged in an extensive investigtation to determine how the terrorist attack took place in their country.

On July 18, 2012, as Israeli tourists vacationing in Bulgaria began to board their tour bus in the Black Sea city of Burgas on the way back to their hotel, an explosion ripped through the bus, killing 5 Israelis plus the Bulgarian bus driver, and injuring 32 other Israelis.

The results are in, and Bulgaria has officially concluded that Hezbollah was behind the bombing.

Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov spoke with reporters on Tuesday, February 5, after his country’s national security council met to discuss the investigation, which revealed that three people were involved in the attack, two of whom had legitimate passports, one from Australia and one from Canada.

“There is data showing the financing and connection between Hezbollah and the two suspects,” Tsvetanov said.  He also revealed that based on the evidence they have reviewed, there is “a well-grounded assumption that the two persons whose real identity has been determined belonged to the military wing of Hezbollah.”

Initial reports, based on CCTV video footage, suggested that the attack was by a long-haired Caucasian Western suicide bomber who was dressed in beach shorts and carrying a fake Michigan driver’s license.  The Bulgarian report concluded that the explosion was instead caused by a “sophisticated” bomb that was detonated by remote control. It is unclear why the bomb was activated before all the tourists boarded the bus, but there is speculation that was either a malfunction or occurred as the result of the transmitting device being jostled.

Israel, the United States and other countries are cautiously optimistic that, with the independent report produced by the Bulgarians, the European Union will finally designate Hezbollah as a terrorist enterprise.  The U.S. placed Hezbollah on its official Foreign Terrorist Organization list in the 1990s.

In order for the EU to follow suit, there needs to be a unanimous vote by all EU nation members.  If that happens, the EU would then be able to freeze Hezbollah assets in Europe, and it could also issue travel bans on Hezbollah members.

Iran, the financial, political and military sponsor of Hezbollah, denied responsibility for the attack, and instead blamed Israel for carrying out the terrorist bombing.

Top leadership of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee issued statements today, February 5, calling on the EU to officially list Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

Rep. Ed Royce, chairman, and Eliot Engel (NY-16), the committee’s top Democrat, both issued statements.

Engel said, “The targetting of innocents cannot be tolerated by any European Union state and must be condemned forcefully and unanimously by all member nations.

“The time is now for the EU to designate Hezbollah a terrorist organization and punish these murderers.”

Cong. Royce, a California Republican, was even more pointed.  Calling the EU’s reluctance to make the designation “incomprehensible,” he said

“Recent Hezbollah plots have been uncovered in Thailand, India, Cyprus, Georgia, Kenya, and elsewhere.   Now that Hezbollah has been found responsible for an attack on a European Union member nation, the E.U. must designate it as a terrorist organization.  Failure to do so will only give these killers the opportunity to further organize, recruit, raise funds, and carry out additional terrorist attacks across the continent.

In one of his first statements as secretary of state, John Kerry added the voice of the U.S. administration in calling on the EU to respond appropriately to Bulgaria’s confirmation of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization with global reach.

“We strongly urge other governments around the world – and particularly our partners in Europe – to take immediate action to crack down on Hizbollah,” Kerry said in a statement. “We need to send an unequivocal message to this terrorist group that it can no longer engage in despicable actions with impunity.”

John O. Brennan, who has been named by President Barack Obama to head the Central Intelligence Agency and who is currently the president’s chief counter-terrorism adviser, said Bulgaria’s investigation had exposed Hezbollah as “a terrorist group that is willing to recklessly attack innocent men, women, and children, and that poses a real and growing threat not only to Europe, but to the rest of the world.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/pressure-on-eu-to-label-hezbollah-terrorists-after-bulgaria-bombing/2013/02/06/

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