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October 24, 2016 / 22 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Republicans’

Three Republicans Introduce Bill to Cut Funds to PA over Pay to Terrorist Murderers

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

Taylor Force, 28, was a former US Army Officer and a student at Vanderbilt University, who was stabbed to death by an Arab from the Palestinian Authority in Jaffa, Israel last March 8. On Wednesday, Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Dan Coats (R-In), and Roy Blunt (R-Ms) introduced the Taylor Force Act, aimed at cutting funding for the Palestinian Authority if it continues to incite and reward acts of terrorism.

The new bill

• Requires the Secretary of State to certify to Congress the Palestinian Authority is taking credible steps to end acts of violence against United States and Israeli citizens that are perpetrated by individuals under its jurisdictional control, such as the attack on Taylor Force;

• Calls on the Palestinian Authority to publicly condemn such acts of violence and is taking steps to investigate and cooperate in investigations bringing perpetrators to justice; and

• Terminates payments for acts of terrorism against United States and Israeli citizens to any individual who has been imprisoned after being convicted of terrorist acts, to any individual who died committing a terrorist act, or to family members of such individuals.

Speaking at a press conference Wednesday, Sen. Graham said, “To pursue peace, you have to reject killing. … This bill is not a result of animosity towards the Palestinian people. It’s pushback against state-sponsored terrorism.”

“This legislation shines a light on a very real problem,” Graham said, asking, “Why is the Palestinian Authority paying young Palestinians to commit acts of terror against innocent Americans like Taylor Force or Israelis? The Palestinians need to decide – do they condemn these horrible acts or do they reward them? You can’t be a partner in peace when you are paying people to commit terrorist acts. The choice the Palestinians make will determine the type of relationship they have with the United States in the years to come.”

Senator Coats said, “To provide American taxpayer dollars to the Palestinian Authority so that it can treat terrorists as heroes or glorious martyrs is morally unacceptable. Our hope is that applying this budgetary pressure will end this immoral program of rewarding and encouraging terrorists.”

Senator Blunt said, “Israel is one of our closest allies and a stalwart of democracy in the Middle East. It would be absolutely unconscionable to allow U.S. taxpayer dollars to be used by the Palestinian Authority to reward convicted terrorists for acts of violence against Israel. I urge all of my colleagues to back this effort to hold the Palestinian Authority accountable.”

Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) voiced his opinion about the proposed legislation: “I’ve repeatedly demanded that President Abbas and the Palestinian Authority work to prevent Palestinian terrorist attacks and end all government-sponsored incitement of violence. It’s unacceptable that our taxpayer dollars are still being used by the Palestinian Authority to pay terrorists who have Israeli and American blood on their hands, and to brainwash young Palestinians with hatred for the Jewish people. The U.S. should condition assistance to the Palestinian Authority on it stopping these despicable practices.”

Senator Mark Kirk (R-Illinois) said, “The United States should hold Palestinian leadership fully accountable for continuing to incite violence against Israeli and American citizens and provide financial support to terrorists and their families. This is a no-brainer that’s critical to encouraging the emergence of a credible partner for peace with Israel, a fellow democracy and our closest ally in the Middle East, yet this Administration refuses to do it.”

Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) said, “This bill stands for a simple principle: U.S. taxpayer dollars should never be used to fund terror against our own citizens or our ally Israel. The American people and the Israelis believe in helping the Palestinians build a better and more prosperous society. But that better society will never be possible if Palestinian leaders continue to funnel cash to terrorists and their families. The Obama administration and future administrations should hold Palestinian leadership accountable on this issue and tell them that as long as they continue to fund terror, they should not expect another dollar of U.S. economic assistance.”

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said, “Earlier this year, Texas native Taylor Force was stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist in Tel Aviv. Taylor’s murder is a grim reminder that the scourge of radical Islamic terrorism targets Americans and Israelis, Christians and Jews, indiscriminately. Our unshakable alliance with Israel will remain our strength as we face this threat together. The legislation introduced today will put the Palestinian Authority on notice that American taxpayers will not continue to fund them unless they take concrete steps to end the abhorrent practice of rewarding terrorists and their families. I’m proud to stand with Senators Graham and Coats as well as my other colleagues in solidarity against not only the terrorists attacking our citizens, but also all who fund and enable them.”

The Republican Jewish Coalition released a statement saying, “The American people would be appalled to learn their tax dollars have been subsidizing terrorist attacks on Israel – all the more so because Americans have frequently been the victims of these attacks, and their murderers are the ones benefiting from these U.S. subsidies. By conditioning future U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority on 1) the PA taking credible steps to suppress terrorism in the areas under its control, and 2) the PA ending payments to incarcerated terrorists and the families of dead terrorists, the Taylor Force Act would end this affront to American values.

“The RJC thanks Senator Graham for leading the charge to end this gross abuse of taxpayer dollars. This shouldn’t be a partisan issue, and we urge all Senators – Republicans, Democrats and Independents, to back this important legislation.”


Obama Unites Congressional Democrats, Republicans, in Overriding Veto Damaging 9/11 Families

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

State Dept. Spokesperson John Kirby was in the middle of his daily press briefing Wednesday when a reporter informed him that the House had just joined the Senate in overriding the presidential veto on a law permitting the families of 9/11 attacks victims to sue Saudi Arabia should it turn out that the Kingdom was involved in carrying out those attacks. The reporter wanted to know if the Obama Administration, as it had warned would happen, had been approached by any foreign government threatening to “pass legislation that could affect the sovereign immunity of the United States and U.S. officials abroad?”

As expected, Kirby admitted he was not aware “that any government has expressed an intention to do so since the President’s veto. Before the President’s veto, though,” he noted, “some of our European friends — who are less likely to have been affected by the intent of the law itself — have expressed concerns about the issue of sovereign immunity surrounding the law. … France being one of them.” But no country like, say, Saudi Arabia, has so far stated its intent to seek anti-American retribution.

Possibly because Saudi Arabia is not interested in alienating the American public even more at this stage of the game, when the Iranians are running roughshod along its borders and the only reliable protection for the Saudis comes from the US.

However, as Kirby pointed out, the new law, now officially on the books, is forcing the US’ European allies “to rethink the whole issue of sovereign immunity. We didn’t make that up. That was communicated to us by other countries.”

Is the State Dept. expecting diplomatic difficulty with Saudi Arabia as a result of the veto? In Kirby’s view, “it goes beyond just Saudi Arabia. It goes to a larger concern that we have had about this idea of sovereign immunity — not just for diplomats but for our troops, for US companies that operate overseas.”

Possibly. What was most poignant about this vote was the fact that Congressional Democrats clamored to support the veto override, signaling to their voters that they are not captives of an irrational White House on this and other issues. Congressman Jerry Nadler, a Manhattan Democrat whose 10th Congressional District actually includes Ground Zero, was adamant in attacking the president’s arguments.

“Despite the overblown rhetoric of some critics of this bill, JASTA (Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act) will not pose a threat to American military personnel or diplomats,” Nadler told the house. Debunking Kirby’s fretting, he added, “They would be absolutely protected if another country passed legislation mirroring this bill because JASTA applies only to governments. To the extent that a foreign government might pass broader legislation that would make American personnel subject to liability, that country would not be reciprocating. It would be engaging in a transparent and unjustifiable act of aggression.”

Nadler also noted that, despite Obama’s exaggerated fears, “the economic, diplomatic, and military strength of the United States makes such action unlikely, and any rogue state inclined to target US interests can already do so. We must not hold justice for the 9/11 families hostage to imagined fears.”

Over at the Senate, Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) cast the only vote in favor of Obama’s veto. No Democrat argued in favor of Obama’s version of reality before the vote. The Senate voted 97-1 Wednesday to override the veto.

The White House was irate, obviously, and spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters aboard Air Force One following the Senate override, “I would venture to say that this is the single most embarrassing thing that the United States Senate has done, possibly, since 1983.”

For speculations as to what act of the Senate Earnest was referring to, check out this website, which tried to figure it out (White House Is Profoundly Wrong About the Most Embarrassing Thing Senate Has Done). We went to Wikipedia (so you won’t have to) and dug up possible embarrassing things Joe may have been thinking about, although, to be fair, most of them were attributed to the president, not the Senate:

On February 24, 1983, a special Congressional commission released a report critical of the practice of Japanese internment during World War II. That sure was embarrassing, but the shameful stuff didn’t happen in 1983, obviously.

On April 18, 1983, the US Embassy was bombed in Beirut, resulting in 63 dead. Then, on October 23, 1983, simultaneous suicide truck-bombings destroyed both the French and the US Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, killing 241 US servicemen, 58 French paratroopers and 6 Lebanese civilians. That was horrifying and embarrassing, especially since at that point President Ronald Reagan decided to cut and run — a point not mentioned often enough in those stories glorifying him as a brave commander-in-chief.

Finally, on October 25, 1983, American troops invaded Grenada, possibly to show the US could still defeat somebody. Yes, that was pretty embarrassing.

Of course, Earnest was not referring to any of the above. He was merely responding to a reporter who had told him that Wednesday’s veto was the most overwhelming since a 1983 95-0 veto override. President Reagan vetoed a land bill that gave a few acres to six retired couples who had paid good money for it only to find out later that, due to a surveying error, it was still government property.

No Saudis were harmed in the commission of that other veto.


Bloomberg: ‘Let’s Elect A Sane, Competent Person’

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, himself a maverick Independent politician and a three-term mayor, urged delegates at the 2016 Democratic National Convention on Wednesday night to join him in voting for a “sane, competent person with international experience” — Hillary Clinton.

The founder of the Bloomberg media enterprise is an ex-Democrat, an ex-Republican, and a mega-businessman who accepted a salary of $1 per year for the 12 years he served as mayor of the Big Apple. Bloomberg is also a generous philanthropist, particularly to Jewish causes in Israel. He is the central donor behind the construction of the emergency medical response center at the entrance to Jerusalem.

A savvy multi-billionaire, Bloomberg knows Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, and on Wednesday night he told DNC delegates he had decided to speak at the convention because the situation was so serious.

“When I enter the voting booth each time, I look at the candidate, not the party label,” he said. “There are times when I disagree with Hillary Clinton. But let me tell you, whatever our disagreements may be, I’ve come here to say: We must put them aside for the good of our country. And we must unite around the candidate who can defeat a dangerous demagogue.”

Bloomberg bluntly warned that Trump would mismanage the country as he has his business affairs. “I’m a New Yorker, and New Yorkers know a con when we see one,” he said. “Trump has left behind a well-documented record of bankruptcies, thousands of lawsuits, angry stockholders and contractors who feel cheated. “Trump says he wants to run the nation like he’s run his business. God help us.

“The richest thing about Donald Trump is his hypocrisy,” he added. “Trump’s business plan is a disaster in the making. He would make it harder for small businesses to compete, do great damage to our economy, threaten the retirement savings of millions of Americans, lead to greater debt and more unemployment, erode our influence around the world and make our communities less safe.”

Hana Levi Julian

Shiloh Musings: Bush Republicans- Sore Losers!

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

In American democracy, like baseball, tennis and football, there’s no such thing as a tie. There’s one winner and winner takes all. True democrats, small “d,”  are supposed to accept their losses, and when it comes to a Presidential nomination, support the winner, even if he/she is the candidate least favored. The majority wins. That’s what democracy is all about.

At this point in the American Republican political calendar, it doesn’t really matter which of the wannabes you supported, a loyal Republican leader, like those in the Bush Clan, have a responsibility to accept that their candidate lost, and Donald Trump won the nomination to be the official Republican Presidential nominee.

I have no doubt that the Bush Machine is supporting, in one way or another…, the Republican minority that is undermining/sabotaging Trump’s democratically chosen candidacy.

Convention drama: Trump campaign stops rules rebellion
Cleveland (CNN)Open discord and revolt broke out on the floor of the Republican National Convention Monday as GOP officials crushed an attempt to change party rules, a maneuver that could have embarrassed presumptive nominee Donald Trump.
In a highly unusual show of disunity and anger on the floor of a modern party convention, a group of states tried to force a state-by-state roll call vote on the rules of the convention. The rebellion apparently caught Trump’s campaign team by surprise, and his lieutenants were seen frantically whipping votes on the floor to squelch the effort amid scenes of deepening disarray.

Without powerful backing, the anti-Trump Republicans would have accepted their loss and either played ball fairly for Trump, or quietly wiped their tears and started working on 2020. This does not look good for Republican democracy, not at all.

It’s clear that these sore losers would rather hand the Presidency over to Hillary Clinton and the Democrats than support Trump. Remember that no Republican got close to Trump in the primaries. It’s a sorry state for the Republicans to be so un-American, so antidemocratic, so disloyal to their own party, so selfish and so disregarding the wishes of the voters.

Batya Medad

Republicans Officially Embrace New Blockbuster Pro-Israel Plank [video]

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

Last night the JewishPress.com brought the news that a GOP subcommittee drafted and endorsed a pro-Israel plank that includes every single item on every (truly) pro-Israel wish list, thanks to the hard work of a few lawmakers such as South Caroline State Rep. Alan Clemmons and several pro-Israel organizations, including the Iron Dome Alliance.

But this morning brings more huge news: the full committee endorsed the pro-Israel plank with no changes. And the passage of that adamantly pro-Israel plank was met with a standing ovation by those in the room.

The Republican party ain’t what it used to be, or at least it doesn’t match the anti-Israel party portrait which so many people have tried to peddle.

And what of the Democrats? Jeff Ballabon, chairman of the Iron Dome Alliance, told the JewishPress.com that his coalition has made it very clear that they “would still love for Democrats to accept the same language and will attempt to persuade delegates in light of today’s success but ha[s] little optimism that it would be accepted.”

He said the coalition didn’t want this (strongly pro-Israel) policy to be tied only to one party, “this should be America’s policy,” but the enthusiasm with which the important language was met and embraced by the Republican platform committee speaks volumes.

While rumors have been swirling that the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC has been trying to stop the truly pro-Israel plank from getting out of the station, if they engaged in that effort, it failed.

And if AIPAC did not work to defeat this non-Two State language, it’s a whole new AIPAC world in which Israel is now in control of the best resolution of the various conflicts besieging the Jewish State, rather than bowing its head to dictates from the U.S. It also signals a change in the lobby’s stance regarding the disputed territories, which it has never strongly embraced.

Here is the language of the new Republican Party Platform on Israel:


And here’s the video of Rep. Alan Clemmons speaking to the GOP subcommittee, introducing the pro-Israel plank:

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Shiloh Musings: Republicans Shooting Themselves in The Foot!

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

In their foolish and completely antidemocratic way, the Republican machine/establishment is going against the will of their people to try to sabotage Donald Trump. Contrary to all predictions from the experts before and early in the campaign, the outsider Donald Trump had no real problem defeating all of the establishment wannabes to win the Republican Presidential nomination.

I’ve written before, and I’m not the only one to say this, that by sabotaging Trump and going contrary to the wishes of potential Republican voters, not only will they be handing the US Presidency to the Democrats, but they are destroying the Republican Party.

One of the principles of American democracy is “winner takes all.” In the United States, unlike Israel, there is no real status to the loser, the “Opposition Leader.” He/she is “history,” has no government role, because even if the loser had been a top senator or congressman, he/she would have resigned to run for the presidency. In Israel the Opposition Leader is the head of the largest party not in the ruling coalition, meaning that he/she is an MK-has a parliamentary seat and all the power, committee appointments and privileges that entails.

By trying to push in a “third party” Republican to run against Trump and the Democrats, they will certainly not only lose the elections, destroy the Republican Party,  and cause major cynicism in those who had once believed in the party’s principles. And they would actually strengthen Trump as a national leader, proving that his antiestablishment ways are truly legitimate.

And back to the image of shooting themselves in the foot. It would be like hitting a major artery and causing fatal blood loss. I doubt they can recover from such an act. They only way to rehabilitate the party is to fully support Trump.

Batya Medad

Shiloh Musings: Republicans More Pro-Israel than Democrats

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

My gut feeling about the antipathy and unreliability of the American Democrats towards the State of Israel is shown in the numbers in this article:

The US may offer Israel the ‘largest single pledge’ of military assistance in US history
Republican Lindsey Graham and Democrat Chris Coons were behind the letter, which was signed by 51 Republican and 32 Democratic senators*.
Republican presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz was one of the signatories, while Sanders was not.

And besides those numbers, don’t forget that POTUS wannabe Bernie Sanders has not shown support for the bill.

I have no doubt that the timing of the bill is connected to the campaign, but the important thing to remember is that the two Democratic frontrunners are extremely problematic when it comes to Israel. It is beyond ambivalence or neutrality. Hillary Clinton has a long history of anti-Israel policies and statements. She also has some gevaltik pro-Israel (or good faker) speechwriters, so listening to Hillary talk, you’d think she’s the epitome of pro-Israel, but it’s an act. As the late President Ronald Reagan was known to say, “I don’t know how someone not an actor can be President.” (Sorry for the paraphrasing, but I haven’t found the exact quotation online.)

And radical Leftist Bernie Sanders has shown and stated much more sympathy and understanding for the Arabs, even the Gazan terrorists, than for Israel and Israelis.

Just because they mantra over and over that they love Israel and are pro-Israel means nothing. It’s just words! Think of abusers who claim “love” as they beat and punish their victims!

One thing, no doubt, is that the Republican frontrunners will be better for Israel than the Democrats, especially since the Bush Machine does not control them. I am very relieved that the grassroot Republican voters defeated the Bush Machine in the early primaries.

*{author’s emphasis}

Batya Medad

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