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December 7, 2016 / 7 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘president’

The President And The UN

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s comments, within hours of the announcement by the Palestinian Authority that it is moving forward with a plan to submit a proposed UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements, subtly underscored the concern some have that President Obama, in his last several weeks in office, may not continue to protect Israel at the world body.

PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki told the Voice of Palestine that “[We will] begin to submit a resolution condemning settlements to the UN Security Council in the coming days.” In 2011 the U.S. vetoed a Security Council resolution condemning settlements but a high ranking member of the PLO Executive Committee told The Jerusalem Post that the Palestinians expect the administration to abstain this time around: “We have ongoing contacts with the U.S. administration about the forthcoming UNSC resolution and our assessment is that the U.S. will abstain from taking a position.”

Mr. Netanyahu followed with: “I expect that in the twilight of President Obama’s tenure he will stand by what he said in 2011, that the way to achieve peace does not run through Security Council resolutions but rather direct negotiations with the Palestinians, which has been the U.S. position for years.”

He went on to quote from President Obama’s speech to the UN General Assembly in 2011: “Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the United Nations –if it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now…. [I]t is the Israelis and the Palestinians who must live side by side. Ultimately it is the Israelis and the Palestinians –not us – who must reach agreement on the issues that divide them: on borders, on security, on refugees and Jerusalem.”

Further roiling the waters is concern that the Palestinian resolution might not be limited to settlements but also call for a full withdrawal to the 1967 lines, recognition of a Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital, and a prescribed timetable.

For months the Obama administration has not revealed the president’s thinking, or, indeed, whether he has even come to any conclusions about how the U.S. will react to a Palestinian resolution containing all or some of the possible elements.

Secretary of State John Kerry’s somewhat incongruous comments at the Saban Forum in Washington last week did little to clarify matters. Thus, he said Israel is , “heading to a place of danger…by virtue of th[e] continued settlement process” which is leading to “an erosion” of the chances for Israeli-Palestinian peace.

However, he also said, “I’m not here to say that settlements are the reason for the conflict…. But I also cannot accept the notion that they are not a barrier to peace” because the Palestinians and the Arab world deem the settlements illegitimate.

But if, as Mr. Kerry said, the settlements are not the cause of the conflict, it is hard to understand what he would have Israel do to resolve it.

In any event, Mr. Kerry expressed the Obama administration’s frustration that it has little leverage over Israel’s settlement policy despite vast amounts of U.S. military and economic aid to Israel: “We issue a warning today when we see a settlement going up – nothing happens.”

He also went on to say the administration would veto all UN Security Council resolutions that are “biased, unfair, and illegitimate.” Not only does this leave too much to interpretation, Mr. Kerry also went out of his way to note that international frustration with Israel’s settlement expansion was such that several countries will be proposing resolutions to the Security Council.

So things are still up in the air. Yet there is reason to believe President Obama will not want to see Israel boxed in. For one thing, as noted, Israel reacts negatively to any attempt at pressure. So, assuming the president is truly interested in a two-state solution – leaving aside the particulars – any pressure would likely backfire.

In addition, Mr. Obama has to know a resolution embodying the Palestinian wish list would render it extremely unlikely, if not impossible, that the Palestinians might ever negotiate in good faith. In addition, once President-elect Trump takes office he would undoubtedly seek to undo any U.S. action taken at the eleventh hour in order to pursue, with hands untied, his own policies.

Analytically, everything points to President Obama continuing his eight-year policy of vetoing anti-Israel measures at the Security Council. At the same time, though, the potency of the pique factor is the great unknown.

Editorial Board

Report: President Trump to Expose ‘Indefensible’ Iran Deal Documents

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

Future senior Trump administration officials are discussing which unseen documents about the 2015 Iran nuclear deal they will make public after the inauguration, The Daily Beast reported Monday. The report cites chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Corker, possibly President Trump’s pick for secretary of state, who said, “My guess is that they will be very forthcoming. […] They’ll be more than desirous in ensuring that’s the case.”

The report also cites Congressman Peter Roskam (R-Il), who said, “The American people know the Iran deal is bad. I can tell you it’s even worse than most people think. The Obama Administration has long known its position is indefensible, so they’ve chosen to hide unclassified documents from the public.”

In March 2015, Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark) sent a letter, signed by 46 out of 53 Republicans in the Senate then, to Iran’s leaders, stating that any deal between Obama and the Iranian leadership would amount to only an “executive agreement” that could be undone by Congress or a future president. “The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time,” Cotton warned.

In November 2016, Cotton told Bloomberg, “In January, a President Trump and a Republican Congress will begin a new policy of resolve toward Iran’s ayatollahs.” Of course, by now the US has eliminated the sanctions against Iran, paid the Islamic Republic in cash to settle claims regarding an arms sale to the Shah, and unfroze billions in Iranian bank holdings. As Bloomberg put it, “at this point, a clear statement from the US that it was abandoning the nuclear agreement would only affect Iran’s obligations, such as international monitoring of its nuclear program and temporary limits on its centrifuge production and stockpile of nuclear fuel.”

In July 2016 the Obama Administration, following a law mandating a congressional review of the nuclear deal, used a clever trick in order to conceal unclassified documents by submitting them together with a single classified item – making the publicizing of any of this information illegal. Republican staffers are itching to make these unclassified documents public as soon as there’s a new sheriff in town.

According to The Daily Beast, one such document, “Elements of Iran’s R&D Plan,” is based on the “safeguards confidential plan [between] Iran and the IAEA,” describing how Iran’s research and development on its nuclear program, including on its centrifuges, could progress over time, despite the deal.

According to multiple US media reports, the documents the Trump team are weighing for publication come in three groups. The first group includes 17 unclassified annexes, appendices, and related agreements handed to Congress in July 2015 under the the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, a.k.a. Corker-Cardin. These feature letters from Kerry assuring US business institutionsthey could trade and deal with Iran, which may indicate the deal was never sustainable but for those US urgings; and information regarding the precise restrictions on Iran’s centrifuge development, which Iran has reportedly violated several times.

The second group includes documents describing the transfer of $1.7 billion cash to Iran, the release of 21 Iranian operatives, the Iranians’ leveraging of American hostages, and the lifting of international sanctions stemming from Iran’s ballistic missile development, which were described in August by the Wall Street Journal. The State Department denied much of the above, warning that revealing the identity of banks involved in the cash transfer would hinder future deals.

The third group are documents from the Joint Commission overseeing the implementation of the deal, which secretly permit Iran to violate its terms. The very existence of these exemptions proves the deal – from its inception – depended on the US turning a blind eye on its violations.

David Israel

President Rivlin Asking Jewish, Muslim Faith Leaders to Heal Muezzin Rift

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday morning hosted a meeting of Jewish and Muslim leaders in Israel, in an effort to resolve the debate surrounding the proposed bill prohibiting muezzin calls from 11 PM to 7 AM.

“In our lives together there are issues which are very close to the hearts of many of the residents of this country,” the president told his guests, noting that “Jerusalem has always brought together the various voices, the Jewish prayers with the Muezzin’s call to prayer along with the Church bells.”

“I am the son of a man who translated the Quran and observed the Jewish commandments, and I recognize the need to tread a fine line,” President Rivlin said. As such, he endeavored “to sit and speak with you in order to see if there is a way to tread this line even when there are conflicts. I thought that perhaps such a meeting could have an impact on the whole public, and that it would be a shame that a law should be born which touches on the issue of freedom of faith of a specific group among us. Perhaps the voices heard today can be used to pave the way.”

Rabbi Aryeh Stern, the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, told the meeting: “I see the need for a joint call for dialogue, which should be issued by the highest Jewish and Muslim religious leadership in the country – and which in turn will possibly pull the rug from under the need for such a bill to be passed. I think it should be a joint call, which on the one hand will stop the legislation itself and on the hand will deal with the places where the volume of the muezzin is an issue.”

President of the Islamic Sharia Court Sheikh Abdel al-Hakim Samara stressed that “through an agreement and discussion we can reach solutions wherever the loudspeakers are a problem. Once the law goes through without us attempting to resolve the issue through dialogue, it causes us to feel that our freedoms are vulnerable. Solutions can be achieved even without the threat of the law looming over our heads. We all agree there is a need to lower the volume in problematic areas and we will act to ensure this, regardless of the law.”

Rabbi Yosef Yashar, Chief Rabbi of Acre, shared his experience of coexistence in his mixed city, saying, “I want to tell you the story of Acre – a city where Arabs and Jews live together as a fact. For years now we have been doing fieldwork in terms of dialogue. This way has proven itself. It is s not without problems, but we are talking.”

“Can I say that it is easy? It is not easy,” he continued. “Can I say that there is no hatred? There is hatred. But we’re talking. We are in contact. I do not make them Zionists or Jews and nor does the opposite happen. The dialogue has proven itself. We, too, have experienced acts of provocation in increasing the volume in defiance, but we have talked, we realized the problems and solved them. The problem can be overcome with dialogue and I invite everyone to come and see how it happens on the ground. Dialogue is stronger than legislation. We still have a lot of problems that revolve around coexistence but they will not be resolved with legislation.”

Sheikh Mohammed Ciooan, Head of the Imam’s organization which represents around 400 Imams, told the participants, “Human dignity should guide us. We’ll watch over each other. We are connected to each other, we have no other choice and I hope we can reach an agreement through talks, without such laws. We have already made a public request to lower the volume in all the communities involved. It will be difficult for us to accept and deal with such a law. We have one destiny and one future. We will continue to act to correct this, through our communities, we will bring engineers that will check everything and we will issue a call to all worshipers to work for consideration and decrease the volume anywhere that constitutes a problem.”

David Israel

President Donald Trump: A Jewish Perspective

Monday, November 28th, 2016

For the record, I am ecstatic that President Elect Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton, that corrupt power-crazed chameleon who wears as many duplicitous faces as she does ill-fitting pant-suits. It was heart-breaking to see American society erode under Obama for eight grueling years, as he rammed legalized gay marriage upon an unwilling populace, and continued with his ever-pressing “rainbow” crusade to allow transsexuals into the ladies’ room-or men’s room. In her quest for power, the unprincipled Hillary would have surely pandered to every degeneracy, and the American Republic would have turned into Sodom. It is good to see the downfall of arrogant and corrupt people.

I confess that it is more than good. It is a JOY to see deranged liberals losing their minds over the results of a lawful election. Furthermore, the media was shamed and exposed for their biases, as Hillary’s litany of crimes were exposed. As so many others out there, I was sick of reading about Clinton’s negligent behavior as Secretary of State which cost American lives, the criminal enterprises of the “Clinton Foundation”, and a slew of other scandals. Throw in her general vindictiveness and the fact that Hillary Clinton is an enemy of the Jewish people and the State of Israel, and one needn’t wonder why it was a pleasure to see the American public flex their collective might and say NO MORE to this menace. For a further look at Hillary Clinton, check out my article, “President Hillary Clinton: Definition of a Nightmare”. )

Trump’s victory offers America a legitimate opportunity to right a sinking ship, and turn back the clock on Obama’s eight-year program of Bolshevism. If nothing else, Trump’s victory means that Hillary Clinton isn’t president, which means that Islam won’t triple its numbers and continue to grow as a fifth column. Nevertheless, it is not a mere example of addition by subtraction. With his genuine talents, and patented brand of chutzpah, I believe that Donald Trump can accomplish great things for America.

But I am less ecstatic by the extremes of Jewish expression on both ends of the spectrum, which as I see it, have no place in a Torah perspective. On the one hand, we have the cookie-cutter Jewish liberals worldwide, who have swallowed the leftist Kool-Aid and deem Donald Trump and his associates as Jew haters, bigots, etc. In the absence of any evidence they readily resort to the standard slurs of the left: vitriol and defamation. The Bnai Brith’s Anti-Defamation League comes to mind, with their recent witch-hunt against Steve Bannon, which they have since had to backtrack on. The ADL is blind to Obama’s anti-Semitism and his dark associations both past and present, but they saw fit to slander a man who supports Israel and exposes Islamic barbarism.

Those who were once accused of drinking blood (and still are in the Arab countries), would well remember the sin of false accusations. No honest individual denies that there are numerous white racists in the United states, but I would venture to say that they are fewer in number than the black Ku Klux Klan of the BLM movement, which has a wider base of support from the lib populace, media, academia and politicians, than any white racist ever could. The ADL should give equal attention to black supremacy. Naturally, if they did so they would be something else, and not an impotent arm of the equally clueless liberal Bnai Brith.

As we have seen all too often, liberalism is a world-wide pandemic, and the infected rarely recover. Look at the maniacs screeching over President Elect Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton. Bedlam unleashed in the streets. “Safe zones” on college campuses for the intellectually limited who want to curl up in a fetal position because Hillary didn’t win. People who equate law and order with racism. And these are the non-violent ones. The savages who resort to violence represent the darker side of this story, the veritable lynch mobs attacking people for voting Trump.

The Jewish liberal will always contribute to this infection, since in the absence of Torah, one will invariably worship some version of Baal. Today’s paganism is liberal thought, so contrary to the notion of free will and the intellect. As far as the elections go, even if one doesn’t like Trump, he is better than the corrupt Hillary. One may find Trump coarse and brazen, but what of the Clintonian perversions which are so apparent?

The charges of racism from the liberal federations, the Bnai Brith’s Anti-Defamation League, and the self-loathing American Jewish rags is as predictable as the morning sun. They tar innocent people while tolerating genuine anti-Semites who comprise the inner circle of Obama and of Hillary. Blood libels are the lefts tool. And when a Jew hurls a blood libel against Jew or gentile, it is an ironic perversity.

The Left are supremely intolerant of dissent. In response to an alternative viewpoint, they hurl invective. We see this all the time in Israel, most recently, when Zionist Union Opposition leader, Isaac Herzog referred to “settlers” as viruses. If a politician or pundit on the right used such inflammatory language, the Shabak would pay him a night-time visit. The eternal double standard.

Viruses? This is the language a contemporary Israeli leftist politician uses to describe so many noble Jews who choose to live in the liberated areas of our biblical Homeland to strengthen Jewish sovereignty. The demonization and subsequent dehumanization of fellow Jews who act as a buffer from the terrorists in our heartland is a vulgarity that will go unpunished since Herzog is a leader of the elitist untouchable Left. As an aside, it should be noted that the only virus in this situation is one who would use the term to tar other Jews for the crime  of living in their own land.

The demonization of Donald Trump and his advisors by Jews is a grotesque mischaracterization, and yet it is to be expected, since Jewish liberals mirror their non-Jewish counterparts. All too often, liberal Jews choose misguided universalism to assuage guilt and self-loathing. But the repercussions of such a distorted viewpoint are exposed on a grand stage when Jewish groups make public pronouncements which have no basis in truth.

The Folly of the Right

As a religious Jew living in Israel, I have no expectations of any President when it comes to Israel. After all, when Israeli PM’s speak of “peace talks” and peace partners, what can one expect of any president, even a decent man?

The reaction of many right-wing Jews in America and abroad is equally unJewish. The distorted and silly association of Trump as a messiah of sorts. For some this takes the form of misguided expectations and a delusional desire to read prophetic import into his election. This is the path of the guru and the self-styled mystic. For others, they seek out supposed proofs to show that Trump’s ascension has some cosmic implications.

Both extremes are foreign to Jewish thought. The desire to demonize Trump, and the desire to deify him. Nuance and context. From a Jewish perspective, Donald Trump is infinitely better than the nightmarish alternative. But less us not make more of it than we should. He will be much better for America. His mandate includes a promise to secure the border, fix the US economy, and deal with Muslim terror. While we certainly don’t know G-d’s ways on this matter, surely caution and discretion when making broad predictions is not the Torah way.

The ADL represents one extreme, and they are a caricature of sorts. One expects of them what one expects from Haaretz. An unJewish anti-Torah perspective which mimics western liberalism. But the religious Jew and the proud self-identifying Jew must guard himself. Donald Trump is surely no devil and we should excoriate those leftist Jews who desire to paint him as such. But we should refrain from the irrational messianic inclinations, particularly in relation to Israel’s destiny to see salvation in his presidency. Unlike America, our destiny is spelled out in the Shema. And if we follow the formula, neither the current occupant in the White House nor the future one have any impact on what happens in Eretz Yisroel. They have democracy. We have Divine Intervention.

The left and the right: both groups are clueless, because both have a distorted framework. The former has relativism as their moral compass and so we shouldn’t wonder why the ethics of Sodom express themselves. But the religious Jew who shirks responsible analysis and resorts to populist pandering is also a tragedy. It’s all over Facebook. Good Jews reading into Trump and portraying him as something he is not. He is not the Messiah. From Israel’s perspective, we should expect disappointment from every president, since the perspective of even the most righteous of men, will invariably be different from the ideal image of an authentically Jewish State of Israel.

I wish all the best to President Elect Donald Trump, with the hope that he follows the moral path, directs America onto a path of decency and strength, treats Israel with respect and respects our sovereignty, and thus merits the eternal promise of Abraham. These are reasonable things to hope for. But we should not assume that our lofty expectations will be met.

In the meantime, there is merit in celebrating Hillary Clinton’s defeat. The occasion is certainly worthy of making a l’chaim or two with quality schnapps. In the absence of gallows for Hillary’s documented treason, which the Founding Fathers would have surely deemed appropriate, here’s to the hope that she will soon be fitted with shackles.

Donny Fuchs

Report: Trump Circle Furious over Liberman’s Leftward Pull on Settlements

Friday, November 18th, 2016

President Elect Donald Trump’s associates are enraged over a statement Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman made this week, suggesting Israel must cool its heels over Trump’s election and approach him with modest proposals regarding settlement construction. Speaking to political reporters on Wednesday, Liberman said, “If we receive confirmation of the Bush-Sharon understandings, we should grab it with both hands.”

The Bush-Sharon understandings recognized the need for construction to support the growth of the existing population in Judea and Samaria inside the settlement blocks — but no launching of new settlements.

According to Makor Rishon, Trump’s people were aghast at the very fact that Liberman was shooting his mouth off before meeting, never mind coordinating anything with them. And they were even more upset for the fact that the defense minister chose to “pass Trump on the left,” as one Trump aide put it.

Several key Trump officials have said that the Israelis have not yet digested the window of opportunity the last election has opened, adding that, should Israel ask for it, the new administration would even consider supporting annexing those settlement blocks, never mind building there.

Shomron Regional Council head Yossi Dagan, who supported Trump’s election and is in contact with the transition team, warned that Liberman is “drying out 200 thousand residents who live in areas outside the settlement blocks.”

“The message the defense minister has delivered to the new administration is horrendous, especially since any first year Poli-Sci student knows that the Trump people or on the outs with the Bush line of the Republican party,” Dagan added. “The Bush family didn’t vote for Trump, and contrary to them, the Trump people support a united Jerusalem and construction across Judea and Samaria.”

“This is why the president elect’s people pulled their hair out when they heard what Liberman said,” Dagan noted.

David Israel

Dear Mr. President

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s eponymous blogsite}

Dear Mr. President,

I want you to know that I didn’t vote for you.

Don’t misunderstand me – I didn’t vote for your opponent either, because I strongly opposed her policies and despised her corruption.  And in contrast, your party’s platform matches my views rather closely.  Frankly, I’m thrilled that Republicans continue to control both houses of Congress, and I’m also quite happy with some of the names being floated for senior positions in your upcoming administration.

I also identify very closely with the anti-Obama sentiment that swept you into office.  Specifically when it comes to foreign policy (which, as an American living abroad, I see most clearly), I believe that Barack Obama has single-handedly destroyed America’s influence around the world, and the world is much worse off for it.  Like millions of others who were dismayed by his “lead from behind” diplomacy, I too want to “make America great again.”

And finally, as an Israeli resident of the Judean Hills (they call me a “settler,” whatever that means), I’m grateful for the possibility of an American administration that might finally recognize the truth.  I’m hopeful that you and the officials in your administration will differ from your predecessors and understand that the real “obstacles to peace” are not me and my Jewish neighbors, but rather the religious and political leadership of my Arab neighbors.

Perhaps, therefore, I should have enthusiastically supported you in the election.  But I didn’t.  Instead, for the first time since I turned 18 over three decades ago, I chose to not actualize my right to vote for a realistic candidate.

Although we’ve never met, I think you know exactly why I didn’t vote for you.  It’s the same reason that many others (including some very prominent members of your own party) refused to support you: we were deeply offended and alarmed by your rhetoric, and by your persona.

Interestingly, the reasons that I didn’t support you are closely tied to the reasons I didn’t support Clinton and Obama.  In large part, I opposed them because I don’t buy into the distorted political and intellectual culture they represent.  I reject their distortion of liberal values into demands for willful blindness, their refusal to state the truth that militant Islam is currently the single greatest threat to world security, and their condemning anyone who disagrees with them as immoral.

Like most of your supporters, I’m frustrated that one can’t criticize “Black Lives Matter” without being called a racist, can’t advocate a crackdown on militant Muslims without being called an “Islamaphobe” and can’t object to transgender people using bathrooms that don’t match their anatomy without being called a bigot.  And I’m amused that Hillary Clinton’s supporters continue to speak of a “glass ceiling” that ostensibly prevented her from getting elected.  In reality, her failed candidacy was the ultimate success of the feminist movement: she was judged on the basis of her qualifications, not her gender.  She was subject to plenty of criticism and attacks, but none of her detractors – not even you, Mr. Trump (!!) – ever said anything about her being a woman.

So it seems you calculated that enough people were upset about these things that you could ride those sentiments all the way to the White House.  Apparently, you were right about that.  I’m no strategist; perhaps you were right that your offensive, anti-establishment tone won you many votes.  But it also lost you many, including mine.

You see, I am very against the politically correct definition of racism, hatred and bigotry.  But even more, I am against real racism, hatred and bigotry.  I expect the President of the United States – the leader of what is still the greatest nation on earth – to reflect the values that America stands for.  And the world also needs you to act with caution and responsibility, characteristics you haven’t shown yourself to possess.  You’re about to become the President, so it’s now your obligation to change your words and your actions.

Mr. President, you were elected legitimately and democratically.  Personally, I respect that and therefore, as an American citizen, you are now my President.  I’m excited about what I hope your administration will accomplish, even as I continue to be very worried about what you might do and how you might act.

On January 20, you will become the most powerful person on this planet.  I hope and pray that you will internalize that awesome responsibility, rise to the occasion and surprise us by becoming a great leader.

May God bless you.

Sincerely,

An ex-pat who still loves America

Rabbi Alan Haber

Turkey’s President Invites US President-Elect to Ankara

Sunday, November 13th, 2016

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has invited U.S. President-elect Donald J. Trump to visit Ankara, according to a report in the Hurriyet Daily News.

“I congratulated him on the first night he was elected. He will take over the duty of the presidency on Jan. 20, 2017. We can also meet before this date if possible.

“I said during the phone call that we would be pleased to meet reciprocally as soon as possible. I remarked that we would be pleased if Turkey is one of his first visits abroad. He responded positively,” Erdoğan said.

Trump’s team had a view of Iraq and Syria that was similar to that of Turkey, Erdogan said.

“For instance, the no-fly zone issue is very important. They [Trump’s team] have similar opinions on this issue. This issue is a vital subject for us. Why? We are referring to the area that has been purged of terror.

“But the area which was purged from terror should also be a no-fly zone. When that issue is solved, there is one thing to do: train and equip. We are already involved in training and equipping,” he said.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/turkeys-president-invites-us-president-elect-to-ankara/2016/11/13/

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