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January 20, 2017 / 22 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘European Union’

EU Warns Trump Not to Move US Embassy To Jerusalem From Tel Aviv

Monday, January 16th, 2017

The European Union expressed opposition on Monday to any plan by U.S. President-elect Donald Trump to move the American Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

EU foreign ministers warned in a statement that such a move could escalate tensions with the Arab world if it were to take place.

“It is very important for us all to refrain from unilateral actions, especially those that can have serious consequences in large sectors of public opinion in large parts of the world,” EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said to reporters following talks in Brussels.

“We hope there can be reflection on consequences of any move that is taken.”

Hana Levi Julian

Jewish Group Screens ‘Jerusalem Eternal Capital of Israel’ on UNESCO’s Paris Headquarters

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

The French branch of the organization Israel Is Forever on Tuesday announced it had decided to take strong action “on behalf of many French Jews and Israeli Francophones,” to show their dissatisfaction with the upcoming international conference on the Middle East to be held in Paris January 15, whose only goal is to harm Israel.

According to IIF France, its members proposed on Tuesday evening to project the image of the Western Wall with the text “Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the State of Israel” on many facades of the UNESCO building in Paris, as well as on the building fronts of the “disinformation” news agency AFP, and on the Arc de Triomphe.

IIF France argued that France’s voted at Unesco and the UN, along with its initiative for an international conference Sunday, January 15, can only promote terrorism against Israel. They suggested that last Sunday’s terrorist truck ramming attack in Jerusalem was further proof for the notion that the more the PA Arabs sense that the international community is anti-Israel, the more inclined they are to resort to terrorism.

They also issued “An open letter to the President of the French Republic,” which “draws attention to France’s harmful role vis-à-vis the island of stability and democracy in the Middle East.” The letter condemned a policy that undermines prospects for peace and expresses its solidarity with the State and people of Israel.

An Open Letter to Monsieur François Hollande, Elysee Palace, Paris.

Mister President,

You took the initiative to convene an international conference in Paris to impose on the State of Israel a solution of dismemberment.

It was under your mandate that the vote was taken by the National Assembly recognizing “Palestine,” the vote at UNESCO denying any connection between Jerusalem and the Jewish people, the vote at the World Health Organization on Israeli health policy, the marking of Israeli products, and the iniquitous vote at the UN to try to make “Judenrein” the Biblical Lands of Judea and Samaria.

All that was missing was an international conference in Paris in the absence and against the will of the State of Israel.

At a time when the Middle East is on fire and mired in blood, Syria is in ruins, Iraq is resonating with permanent explosions, Libya is in the hands of Muslim terrorists, Iran is preparing its nuclear future thanks to the agreements you have signed, Turkey lives under a dictatorial regime, the Kurds still have no recognized independent territory, refugees number by the millions, civilian and military victims are in the hundreds of thousands – your crucial problem remains support for an unlikely terrorist Arab state.

Indeed, in this context, it is urgent to weaken the only island of stability and the only democracy in this region –the Jewish state – in Europe and in this European Union, no problem! Britain slammed the door of Europe; Greece crumbles under the weight of financial constraints; Italy is in danger for its banking institutions; millions of “migrants” sweep over the old continent; Crimea is annexed by Russia and the fighting takes place in Ukraine.

But the urgency lies in the action against the State of Israel! Your only problem and your ambition remain the push to share the capital of Israel and the Jewish people, to force them to withdraw from their historical lands of Judea and Samaria. Yours is a tenacity that touches on obsession!

Not wishing to make more trouble, but this policy smacks of Dreyfus and the yellow star.

You should know, Mr. President, that when you leave the Elysee, the Jewish people will be jubilant. Indeed, we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the victory of the IDF which brought about the liberation of Judea and Samaria and the reunification of Israel’s eternal and indivisible capital: Jerusalem.

Jacques KUPFER

President, Israel Is Forever

JNi.Media

European Parliament President Martin Schultz to Receive 2016 Medal of Tolerance

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament and Andrei Konchalovsky, a Russian film director, producer and screenwriter are both to be awarded the 2016 European Medal of Tolerance this month by the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR).

The ECTR is an international organization comprised of former world leaders and other senior public figures that fights against racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia. The Board of the ECTR is headed by Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of the UK.

Dr. Moshe Kantor, President of the ECTR, said that the medal is being awarded to Schulz in recognition of his commitment to the preservation of the memory of the Shoah and the exceptional leadership in the struggle against the rising wave of ultra-nationalism and hatred in Europe.

“The number of hate-motivated crimes and incidents is rising around Europe. Political extremism both inspires and profits from these acts. At this worrying time it is important to send a clear message that political courage and moral leadership is vital for our societies,” Dr. Kantor said. “Martin Schulz, the outgoing President of the European Parliament, is a man who throughout his political career has taken an uncompromised stand against xenophobia, intolerance and political extremism in Europe.”

“A strong and unified Europe is the greatest barrier against hatred and extremism and even during some very difficult years, economically and politically, President Schulz has remained a voice of reason, sanity and unity.”

The European Medal of Tolerance in the area of culture will be granted to Andrei Konchalovsky, a Russian film director, producer and screenwriter, perhaps best known for his latest movie, the Holocaust drama “Paradise”. In 2016 this movie won the Silver Lion at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival. In December 2016 it was shortlisted in the nine films to be considered for the 89th OSCAR Academy Award.

“The Medal goes also to Andrei Konchalovsky because of his lifelong achievements in the area of remembrance of human tragedies”, emphasized Kantor. “Extremists are using and manipulating the past to serve their own agenda, and it is an important role of people in the arts and culture to stand against extremism and provide those of us who did not experience the past with teachable moments for the present and the future which Andrei has done.”

The award ceremony is planned for later this month.

Hana Levi Julian

Catholic Patriarchs Bewail Torment, Disappearance, of Mid-East Christians

Thursday, December 29th, 2016

The Middle East’s Catholic patriarchs have issued Christmas messages lamenting the suffering of the region’s Christians from severe persecution, according to CNS, the official news organ of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan called attention to “our beloved brothers and sisters of Syria and Iraq […] deprived of the Christmas joy, having endured the horrible consequences of war, violence, and all kind of persecutions,” noting that “they suffered “all this hardship” because of their Christian faith.”

The patriarch added that Christians were “uprooted from their lands and driven out unjustly from their homes by barbarian terrorists, in Mosul and the Plain of Nineveh, Iraq,” referring to the exodus of some 100,000 Christians – including at least 60,000 Syriac Catholics – when the region was overtaken by Islamic State militants in 2014.

“How would they welcome Christmas, but in tears and anxiety for their future!” the patriarch wrote.

Cardinal Bechara Rai, patriarch of Maronite Catholics, speaking from Bkerke, the patriarchate north of Beirut, appealed to the international community to work to end terrorism “that is killing and displacing families and depriving them of their rights and dignities.”

Melkite Catholic Patriarch Gregoire III Laham stressed that “today in the Middle East, the cradle of Christianity, the Christian presence is threatened […] by wars that have given rise to this terrifying exodus, especially of Christians.”

Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako wrote from Baghdad, that “amidst the concerns and worries of Iraqis, Syrians, and people of the Middle East, in which children and civilians are victims of a harsh war, millions of persons are displaced from their homes, driven out of their lands and are living in tragic conditions, after the destruction of their towns’ infrastructure.”

The genocide of Christian minorities in Iraq, Syria and Libya by the Islamic groups, including ISIS climaxed following the collapse of parts of Northern Iraq in June 2014. According to US diplomats, the region’s “Christians have borne a heavy burden given their small numbers.”

In February, 2016, the EU recognized in a unanimous vote the persecution of Christians by ISIS as genocide. The US Congress followed suit in March 2016, also declaring, in a unanimous vote, these atrocities as genocide. In April 2016 the British Parliament voted unanimously to denounce the same actions as genocide.

A similar motion failed in Canada when it was opposed by the majority of PM Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party.

JNi.Media

Netanyahu to Obama: Veto Anti-Israel UNSC Resolution Thursday

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday night twitted: “The US should veto the anti-Israel resolution at the UN Security Council on Thursday.” The vote has been the focal point of the Israeli PM’s thinking and anxiety since the Nov. 8 elections in the US, guiding his moves and statements, especially concerning the crisis he’s faced at home regarding the approaching eviction date for the Amona community in Samaria.

As of Wednesday night, the UNSC resolution draft text says Israel’s establishment of Jewish towns and villages in the liberated areas of Judea and Samaria bears “no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law.” It suggests that the fact that there are Jews living in those areas “dangerously imperiling the viability of the two-state solution,” because, naturally, while Arabs can live freely alongside Jews in 1949-borders Israel, having Jews anywhere inside the envisioned Palestinian state would be unthinkable.

The text decrees that freezing the Jewish settlement enterprise is “essential for salvaging the two-state solution,” calling for “affirmative steps to be taken immediately to reverse the negative trends on the ground (See Israe’s Supreme Court ruling on the expulsion of the Jews of Amona).”

According to Al Jazeera, UN diplomats see Thursday’s vote as the final chance for council action on getting the Jews out of the liberated territories before President-elect Donald Trump takes over from President Barack Obama on January 20. Hence the Netanyahu twit, advising the US to veto, as it has done over the past eight years under the same president.

Last July, the UN and its diplomatic partners, the so-called Middle East Quartet – comprising the UN, Russia, the United States and the European Union – submitted a report that essentially calls for the strictest implementation of the Oslo accords, spelling an eventual end to the Jewish presence in the 1967 liberated territories. The Diplomatic Quartet’s recommendations, which are the basis for Thursday’s vote were:

1. Both sides should work to de-escalate tensions by exercising restraint and refraining from provocative actions and rhetoric.

2. The Palestinian Authority should act decisively and take all steps within its capacity to cease incitement to violence and strengthen ongoing efforts to combat terrorism, including by clearly condemning all acts of terrorism.

With that lip service to the need to curb daily, ongoing Arab violence, the document gets to the real meat of the recommendations, namely, eliminating Israel’s right to rule over Area C:

3. Israel should cease the policy of settlement construction and expansion, designating land for exclusive Israeli use, and denying Palestinian development.

4. Israel should implement positive and significant policy shifts, including transferring powers and responsibilities in Area C, consistent with the transition to greater Palestinian civil authority contemplated by prior agreements. Progress in the areas of housing, water, energy, communications, agriculture, and natural resources, along with significantly easing Palestinian movement restrictions, can be made while respecting Israel’s legitimate security needs.

And, having stated the essence of their demands, the Quarter returned to empty recommendations:

5. The Palestinian leadership should continue their efforts to strengthen institutions, improve governance, and develop a sustainable economy. Israel should take all necessary steps to enable this process, in line with the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee recommendations.

6. All sides must continue to respect the ceasefire in Gaza, and the illicit arms buildup and militant activities must be terminated.

The Thursday UNSC vote is the moment of truth between Obama and Netanyahu. A US abstention would not suffice in this case. The US has to actually vote against the resolution in order to kill it. A US vote in favor would give the resolution a powerful – albeit symbolic – stand. In reality, Netanyahu can defy it and, at least for the next four years under President Trump, suffer no real consequences. But once the resolution is on the books, it would take a unanimous vote of the five senior members to remove it – and that would be a rare thing indeed.

David Israel

ISIS Claims Responsibility for Berlin Truck Terror Attack at Christmas Market

Monday, December 19th, 2016

The Islamic State terrorist organization has claimed responsibility for the truck-ramming attack on a crowded Christmas market in west Berlin on Monday evening.

The heavy truck with a Polish license plate rammed into crowds of shoppers at 40 miles per hour, tearing through stalls filled with food and drink and holiday gifts for sale. The attack was horrifyingly similar in style to the terrorist attack in the southern French city of Nice this past July.

At least nine people were killed, with conflicting reports on the number of injured at the outdoor market near the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church at Breitscheidplatz Square.

Police labeled the incident a terrorist attack, European media reported. The driver of the truck was arrested after trying to flee. A passenger who had been in the cab of the truck died on the ground at the scene. Berlin police said they believe the truck drove 50 to 80 meters (54 to 87 yards) through the market before coming to a stop.

Berlin police also are urging locals to stay home tonight, as is German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who — setting the example — says she is “mourning the dead.”

The Polish firm which lets out the truck reports it has not been able to contact the original driver, a Polish national, since 4 pm Monday, just a few hours before the attack.

The attack took place one hour after the assassination of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov, 62, by an off-duty Turkish police officer.

The killer pumped at least five bullets into the diplomat while yelling, ‘Allahu Akbar!’ (God is Great, in Arabic), and ‘Don’t forget Aleppo!’ Unconfirmed reports said the assassin was a member of the diplomat’s own security detail in Ankara.

Last month the U.S. State Department issued a warning to Americans in Europe, of a “heightened risk of terrorist attacks throughout Europe, particularly during the holiday season.

“U.S. citizens should exercise caution at holiday festivals, events, and outdoor markets,” the alert read.

“Credible information indicates the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS, ISIL or Da’esh), Al-Qaeda, and their affiliates continue to plan terrorist attacks in Europe, with a focus on the upcoming holiday season and associated events,” it continued.

“U.S. citizens should also be alert to the possibility that extremist sympathizers or self-radicalized extremists may conduct attacks during this period with little or no warning. Terrorists may employ a wide variety of tactics, using both conventional and non-conventional weapons and targeting both official and private interests.

Americans were warned to “exercise vigilance when attending large holiday events, visiting tourist sites, using public transportation, and frequenting places of worship, restaurants, hotels, etc. Be aware of immediate surroundings and avoid large crowds, when possible.”

Hana Levi Julian

Palestinian Authority Received $357 Million From US State Dept in 2016

Saturday, December 17th, 2016

A report last week that the Palestinian Authority received no funding at all in 2016 from the United States has been proven untrue in an expose by the Times of Israel.

According to the report, the Ramallah government has received more funding this year from the U.S. State Department than from any other foreign source.

As a matter of fact, a State Department official provided information to the news outlet on Thursday that proves the United States gave the Palestinian Authority more than $357 million in financial aid in 2016. Add to that another $355,177,827 contributed by the United States in 2016 to UNRWA – the United Nations Relief and Works Agency – which included an allocation of $95 million solely for Gaza and the PA-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria.

UNRWA is the agency dedicated solely to helping “Palestinian refugees” in Lebanon, Jordan and Syria – the only refugees in the world to be defined from one generation to the next, now going into the fifth generation, and numbering past five million, rather than having be accepted and absorbed by their “Arab brethren.”

PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah had told the official Voice of Palestine radio station on December 8 that his government had not received any funds from the United States in 2016, calling it a “financial siege” on the Palestinian Authority.

“We hope that this aid money will be paid,” he said, the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) translated from a clip of the program.

But it turns out Hamdallah was playing semantics, with a reference to the difference between fiscal year approval and transfer of payment, which the U.S. government disburses via the USAID agency in the form of project funding in a one-year delay, which Hamdallah knows perfectly well. “Projects” can include anything like bills for education funding – utility bills for schools, for example – hospitals, direct payments to contractors who build or repair infrastructure… anything other than salaries for terrorist inmates sitting in Israeli jails.

The monies for 2016 were approved actually in 2015. The monies for 2017 – according to Hamdallah, $263 million, were approved by Congress in 2016. Somehow he has gotten the figure wrong, however: according to the figures from the State Department, $261 million was approved by Congress. TOI was unable to reach Hamdallah’s office for comment on the difference in the numbers.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/palestinian-authority-received-357-million-from-us-state-dept-in-2016/2016/12/17/

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