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January 24, 2017 / 26 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Ramallah’

Trump’s Orthodox Zionist Ambassador Eager to Serve in ‘Eternal Capital of Israel’

Friday, December 16th, 2016

President-elect Donald J. Trump on Thursday announced that his bankruptcy lawyer of many years David Friedman, an Orthodox Jew who probably feels more at home in Jerusalem than in Tel Aviv, will be his next Ambassador to Israel. Indeed, the Trump transition team made a note of the fact that Friedman’s bar mitzvah 45 years ago was celebrated at the Western Wall. Friedman, for his part, said he looks forward to serving at his new job at “the US embassy in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem.”

A regular contributor to rightwing news website Arutz Sheva, Friedman told his friends there on Friday: “Mr. Trump’s confidence is very flattering. My views on Israel are well-known, and I would advise him in a matter consistent with those views. America’s geo-political interests are best served by a strong and secure Israel with Jerusalem as its undivided capital.”

Which is why it was no surprise that J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami’s response statement said the barely Zionist group was “vehemently opposed to the nomination,” because “as someone who has been a leading American friend of the settlement movement, who lacks any diplomatic or policy credentials, Friedman should be beyond the pale.”

This may have to do with the fact that Friedman in the past compared J Street to the kapos who cooperated with the Nazis during the Holocaust, except he had some sympathy for them and none for Jeremy Ben-Ami. “The kapos faced extraordinary cruelty,” he wrote. “But J Street? They are just smug advocates of Israel’s destruction delivered from the comfort of their secure American sofas — it’s hard to imagine anyone worse.”

The Republican Jewish Coalition, on the other hand, was besides itself with delight, as its executive director Matt Brooks called Friedman’s appointment “a powerful signal to the Jewish community.” It is estimated that only 28% of Jewish voters picked Trump, but four years are a long time for minds to be changed, especially since the designated Ambassador, a fluent Hebrew speaker, has been so unabashed in advocating US-Israel friendship. The Trump transition team’s statement praised Friedman’s love of Israel:

“The two nations have enjoyed a special relationship based on mutual respect and a dedication to freedom and democracy. With Mr. Friedman’s nomination, President-elect Trump expressed his commitment to further enhancing the US-Israel relationship and ensuring there will be extraordinary strategic, technological, military and intelligence cooperation between the two countries.”

How will the gang in Ramallah take the news from Washington? Not well, most likely. We dug up this typical musing by the next Ambassador in an Arutz Sheva column titled “End the two-state narrative.” It probably would make for a heart-warming Shabbat read over at Amona, if they print it out in time:

“Much has changed over the decades since the two-state narrative began. Palestinian leaders have a much harder time lying to their people. Palestinians can witness – through the internet and first hand experience – the advantages of integration into Israeli society and the bankrupt values and barbarism of radical Islam.

“In addition, Saudi Arabia is running out of money, America and Israel are both energy independent and Israel’s neighbors – Jordan and Egypt – are far more concerned about ISIS and Iran than about Judea and Samaria. The world is a different place, diplomatic and security alignments have shifted, and only Mahmoud Abbas, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton are still stuck in the past, clinging to stale ideas that will only continue to fail.

“Radicalized Palestinian terrorists need to be rooted out and eliminated. But the remainder – perhaps the majority – of Palestinians should finally benefit from the hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes paid by the US State Department to Abbas. Fostering a Palestinian middle class is the solution of the 21st century and it has nothing to do with two states.”

That is actually a plan. Which is probably why leftist former Israeli peace negotiator Daniel Levy told the NY Times that in naming Friedman Trump is undercutting the security of Israel and the US, forcing the PA Arabs “to further disenfranchisement and dispossession.”

“If an American ambassador stakes out positions that further embolden an already triumphalist settler elite, then that is likely to cause headaches for American national security interests across the region and even for Israel’s own security establishment,” Levy declared. “Especially an ambassador committed to the ill-advised relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem.”

This means that, come January 20, 2017, the only obstacle to imposing Israeli sovereignty in Area C, if not the entire Judea and Samaria, would be the Netanyahu government that finds itself, for the first time in Israel’s history, to the left of the US Administration regarding the liberated territories.

To cite a certain Arutz Sheva columnist, in his piece titled “US presidents and Israel: Always expect the unexpected,” one must never abandon divine intervention when considering political strategy:

“They say that in Israel, one who believes in miracles is a realist. Looking back some 90 years on the cast of characters who were privileged to hold the most powerful position on the face of the earth, it is nothing less than miraculous that Israel has continued to grow, prosper and flourish. The hand of God is everywhere to be seen in Israel’s development. We should, of course, try to pick the right president, but let’s not forget who’s really running the show. Let’s therefore include prayer, charity and good deeds as an essential part of a pro-Israel strategy.”


Palestinian Authority Says US Cut Off Aid to Ramallah in 2016

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

The Palestinian Authority claims it has received no foreign aid whatsoever from the United States this year.

In fact, the PA government says only the European Union, Saudi Arabia and Algeria have made good on their pledges to donate financial aid to Ramallah.

In a December 8th Voice of Palestine radio interview posted on his Facebook page, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said: “2016 is about to end, and no shekel or agora, or dinar or dollar has been paid.” Hamdallah says the United States has completely stopped funding the general budget of the Palestinian Authority, according to information translated by the PA media watchdog, the Palestinian Media Watch. (PMW)

PA government officials have said that in total, foreign aid to the entity this year has dropped by 62 to 70 percent.

The PMW‘s exposure of the PA government’s incitement and misuse of funds greatly assisted U.S. legislators in their efforts to prohibit direct funding of the Palestinian Authority, unless “the PA is acting to counter incitement.”

Earlier this year, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Anne Patterson told a hearing at the House Foreign Affairs Committee, “None of our money goes to this [salaries to prisoners]. It’s not fungible in that respect. Our money goes essentially to pay PA debts to Israel and to other creditors.”

The PA has been able to receive funding because U.S. law also enabled U.S. presidents to waive the funding restrictions of the law if it was in American national interest. For example, this is one of the waivers announced by President Obama:

“MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF STATE SUBJECT: Waiver of Restriction on Providing Funds to the Palestinian Authority”

“By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 7040(b) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2012 (Division I, Public Law 112-74) (the “Act”) as carried forward by the Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013 (Division F, Public Law 113-6) (the “CR”), I hereby certify that it is important to the national security interests of the United States to waive the provisions of section 7040(a) of the Act as carried forward by the CR, in order to provide funds appropriated to carry out chapter 4 of part II of the Foreign Assistance Act, as amended, to the Palestinian Authority. You are directed to transmit this determination to the Congress, with a report pursuant to section 7040(d) of the Act as carried forward by the CR, and to publish this determination in the Federal Register.”

BARACK OBAMA [Website of The White House, July 26, 2013]

However, Congress did not support the routine presidential waivers given the continued PA incitement to hatred and terror that PMW documented. To curb this, Congress eventually made it harder for the president to use the waiver, requiring him to show that the PA is “acting to counter incitement.”

Hana Levi Julian

Drive-by Shooting Attack Near Neve Tzuf

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

An Israeli woman and her two children narrowly escaped death on the Cross-Binyamin Highway early Wednesday evening when their car came under a hail of gunfire while driving between the villages of Abud and Deir Abu Masha’al.

Residents of Neve Tzuf (Halamish), a community east of Shoham, the 27-year-old woman was driving towards home with her 4-year-old daughter and her 18-month-old baby son in the car at the time of the attack.

The vehicle was heading northwest in the direction of Ramallah when she felt the car get hit by what she first believed was a hail of stones.

The driver kept the car moving and called police, who immediately responded. Upon inspection of the vehicle, the officers saw three bullet holes around the area of the motor, and one more bullet hole in the car door.

Miraculously, none of the passengers in the vehicle were physically injured.

Security forces launched a search for the attackers.

Hana Levi Julian

Terror Attack Averted at Qalandia Checkpoint

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

Around 2 PM on Tuesday, a car began speeding towards security personnel manning the Qalandia checkpoint, according to the Israeli Police.

The security guards opened fire at the vehicle, and the car stopped.

A woman got out, armed with a knife, yelling “Allahu Akbar”.

The security guards then overpowered and arrested her.

No one was injured in the attack.

The Qalandia checkpoint protects the entrance to northern Jerusalem, near Ramallah.

Jewish Press News Briefs

CAMERA Reports AFP Journalist Takes Active Role in Fatah Politics

Thursday, December 8th, 2016

In a gross conflict of interest and egregious breach of journalistic ethics, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reporter Nasser Abu Baker, a resident of Judea and Samaria, recently campaigned for a seat on the Fatah Revolutionary Council.

The entity is one of two main governing bodies for the Palestinian Authority’s leading Fatah faction.

AFP‘s Abu Baker participated as a delegate in the Seventh Fatah Congress that concluded this past Sunday, reported the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) in a statement this week.

“My decision to run in the election for the Revolutionary Council stems from my and my colleagues’ desire to awaken the Fatah media, which needs to be awakened so that it would be devoted primarily in favor of the national interest and redirect the compass toward our cause toward Jerusalem and the (right of) return,” Abu Baker told Palestinian Authority media last week.

Abu Baker is chairman of the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate, and also leads a campaign to boycott Israeli journalists, physically endangering their ability to report events in the Palestinian Authority territories.

For more than a decade, Abu Baker (also spelled Abu Bakr) has reported on Israeli-Palestinian Authority affairs for AFP while simultaneously holding senior positions for the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate, the leading force behind the boycott of Israeli journalists, CAMERA reported.

According to Palestinians48.Net, an Israeli-Arab site, the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate called on “all Palestinian officials not to deal or give interviews or statements to Israeli reporters, pointing out that it will follow up on the implementation of this decision, including taking positions against those who violate.”

While serving as deputy chairman of the Syndicate, Abu Baker threatened his fellow PA colleagues: “I call upon all male and female colleagues/journalists to boycott any Palestinian official, regardless of how senior he/she is, who conducts an interview with Israeli journalists and Israeli media. . . We will publish the name of any official who gives an interview to their media from this moment.”

AFP‘s longtime employment of a man who is not only an aggressive anti-Israel boycott advocate but also an aspiring Palestinian Authority politician raised serious concerns at CAMERA’s Israel office.

“The conflict of interest is clear and blatant,” said Tamar Sternthal, CAMERA’s Israel director, who first reported the story about Abu Baker. “By employing a man who aggressively silences Israeli journalists and perspectives, AFP news about Israel is compromised at best, deceptive at worst.”

“Abu Baker says he wants to awaken Fatah media to ‘favor’ what he thinks is the Palestinian ‘national interest’,” Sternthal said. “Is that what he’s doing for AFP as well?”

Hana Levi Julian

Five Dems Enjoy All-Expenses- Paid Junket with PFLP ‘Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’

Friday, November 18th, 2016

Seventy-one House members were invited last May to an all-expenses-paid trip to eastern Jerusalem and Ramallah sponsored by the Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue & Democracy (MIFTAH), but only five accepted: Illinois congressman Luis Gutierrez, Michigan congressman Dan Kildee, Wisconsin congressman Mark Pocan, Pennsylvania congressman Matt Cartwright, and Georgia congressman Hank Johnson, the Weekly Standard reported Thursday. On May 29 the five Democrats met with Shawan Jabarin, a long-time member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

In 2008, the Israeli Supreme Court pointed out that Jabarin is “among the senior activists of the Popular Front terrorist organization.” A June 2007 decision by the Israeli Supreme Court called Jabarin a “Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde” — human rights campaigner by day and PFLP terrorist by night. Jabarin and his NGO Al Haq are leaders in the “lawfare” campaigns against Israel.

Yona Schiffmiller, director of the North America desk at NGO Monitor told the Standard that “MIFTAH is an organization that is engaged in blatantly anti-Semitic rhetoric, that has spoken very romantically and positively about suicide bombings and things of that nature.”

According to NGO Monitor, MIFTAH has published an article that repeated an anti-Semitic blood libel accusing Jews of using Christian blood to bake Passover matzoh; described one of the first female Palestinian suicide bombers as “the beginning of a string of Palestinian women dedicated to sacrificing their lives for the cause,” and is advocating for BDS.

Prof. Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor, said in an email: “There is a fundamental problem when public officials can come to the Middle East and casually meet with some of the most vehemently radical NGOs without doing a basic background check into who they will be meeting with. Members of Congress have a responsibility to their constituents to explain why they went on a free trip funded by an extreme and hateful NGO and ended up meeting with an alleged senior member of an internationally recognized terrorist organization.”


Little Arab Attention as Yasser Arafat Museum Inaugurated

Thursday, November 10th, 2016

The Palestinian Authority on Wednesday inaugurated the Yasser Arafat Museum in a shiny new building in the Muqata compound in Ramallah, marking the 12th anniversary of the late chairman’s death. Arafat’s successor Mahmoud Abbas, Arab League Secretary General Ahmad Abul Ghait and his predecessor Nail Al-Arabi, and former Jordanian Prime Minister Abdel Salam Al-Majali attended the opening ceremony.

Not your A-list by any stretch, and yet Ahmad Suboh, director of the Yasser Arafat Foundation, nevertheless insisted that the attendance by Abul Ghait “is a message that the Palestinian cause is still the first cause of the Arabs and is highly appreciated.”

Construction on the two-story museum began in 2010. It covers an area of 26 acres and cost close to $7 million to build. The museum features photos, looped video, explanatory texts, documents and Arafat’s personal effects, including the Nobel Peace Prize he won following the signing of the Oslo Accords between the Palestine Liberation Organization and Israel in 1993.

The museum depicts Arafat’s role in the rise of “Palestinian” nationalism as a reaction to the arrival of Zionism. However, as Isabel Kershner notes in the NY Times, “the story ends abruptly with his demise, without any conclusion, reflecting his ultimate failure in achieving his goal of Palestinian independence, whether through diplomacy or the gun.”

Nasser al-Kidwa, Mr. Arafat’s nephew and the chairman of the Yasir Arafat Foundation, told the Times “the idea is to have a cultural, educational as well as commemorative institution. We have tried to do it in as accurate a way as possible, without exaggeration or understatement.”

The museum repeated the lie that Arafat was born in Jerusalem, when he was actually born in Cairo, Egypt. Kershner doesn’t correct that error in her report.

And, speaking of understatement, Kershner reports that “Abbas seems to be featured only when unavoidable, like in a picture of the signing of the 1993 Oslo agreement on the White House lawn.” Or, as Kidwa put it, “When he was there, he was there.”


Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/little-arab-attention-as-yasser-arafat-museum-inaugurated/2016/11/10/

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