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January 22, 2017 / 24 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Saudi Arabia’

Iran Offers to Arm Lebanese Military (Again)

Saturday, January 7th, 2017

Iran has made a serious offer to arm the Lebanese military, according to numerous reports in Lebanese media, all quoting Alaeddin Boroujerdi, chairman of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of the Iranian Parliament.

Boroujerdi publicly made the offer in a news conference after placing a wreath on the grave of former Hezbollah “Number 2″ terror chief Imad Mughniyeh, assassinated in Damascus in 2008, and that of his son, Jihad, also assassinated more recently.

Mustafa Mugniyeh was appointed by Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah to take command of Hezbollah’s forces on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights in place of his older brother, Jihad, in June 2015.

“Iran’s permanent and firm stance is to stand by the brotherly Lebanese Republic of Lebanon, government and people,” Boroujerdi said. “We therefore reiterate our firm will in the field of arming the Lebanese army.”

The Iranian official added that the issue “has been seriously discussed with [former] Defense Minister Samir Moqbel during his visit to Iran. The matter is at the disposal of the Lebanese government,” he said.

The offer comes on the eve of a visit to Saudi Arabia by Lebanese President Michel Aoun, who reportedly is hoping to convince Riyadh to resume its multi-billion dollar aid package to the Lebanese military.

Saudi Arabia cut its funding to Beirut last February in response to the country’s deepening ties with Iran, the torching of the Saudi Embassy in Tehran and a Saudi Consulate in Iran as well.

The destruction was part of a riot triggered by Saudi Arabia’s execution of an Iranian-backed Shi’ite cleric and activist. Riyadh cut its diplomatic ties with Tehran in January 2016 over the affair.

Aoun is a close ally of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist organization, which is involved in fighting Saudi-backed opposition forces against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

But although Iran has offered arms to Lebanon more than once since 2010, Beirut has been hesitant to accept, according to YaLibnan, due to suspicions about the intentions behind the offers.

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

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.”

JNi.Media

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

Dershowitz: ‘Netanyahu Wisely Enhanced his Ties with Russia’

Monday, December 12th, 2016

“Netanyahu wisely enhanced ties with Russia; the vacuum created by Obama’s administration caused it,” Prof. Alan M. Dershowitz told the Globes Israel Business Conference Monday, at a session titled entitled “Economy, Society, Security – The Great Powers and their Impact on the Middle East.”

Dershowitz also discussed the possibility of renewing the peace process during the administration of president-elect Trump: “Obama pushed away Israel, the Palestinians, Jordanians, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. The only country he got closer to is Iran. It is obvious that during his administration negotiations with the Palestinians cannot go forward, but I believe that during Trump’s administration it certainly could.”

At a Sunday night Q&A session, Dershowitz presented his analysis of geo-political currents, and their influence on Jews everywhere. “The Jewish people thrive at the political center,” he said, “but now we see the extremists getting stronger on both sides, all around the world. The events of the past year are challenging for the Jewish people: Who would have predicted the Brexit a year ago? The radicalization of the left in Britain and the radicalization of the right in Italy, France, Hungary, Greece… and Trump winning the presidency. The world has become less predictable.”

“The last thing Israel needs is an unpredictable, extremist world,” Dershowitz cautioned, adding, “I always support the residing president. I have a hope that in 2020 I will enthusiastically vote for Donald Trump. I hope he will do a great job as president.”

“I don’t believe it will happen, I don’t predict it will happen,” he noted, “but I will do everything in my powers to make him a great president. I am a patriotic American, and as an American I will always support the president. As soon as he was elected, I told my friends on the right that I am there for them and will do my best to help him support the Israeli people and to bring peace.”

David Israel

John Kerry, Straw Men and the Saban Echo Chamber

Monday, December 5th, 2016
  • The Saban Echo Chamber and the Trump Effect
  • Peace with Other Arab Countries
  • Which Arab Countries?
  • Just Plain Insulting
  • Skipping Over the Peace Process
  • Jews, Settlers and Settlements and Obstacles to Peace
  • Kerry’s Straw Man
  • Kerry’s Complicated Solutions and Lack of Imagination
  • Just to Throw one Idea at Kerry
  • Conclusions

Secretary of State John Kerry’s rant at the Saban Forum was fascinating in that it illuminated everything that is wrong with the supporters of the two-state solution “peace” process.

 

The Saban Echo Chamber and the Trump Effect

To begin, Kerry asked the room to raise their hands to indicate their support for the two-state solution, and then to raise their hands if they are against it. Perhaps one or two hands were raised against it.

There’s no better indication that either nearly all the participants of the Saban Forum are out of touch with what Israelis believe and reality itself, thus forming a Saban echo chamber, or the participants are too intimidated to publicly admit to their peers that they don’t support it, just like Americans were publicly afraid to disclose they were voting for Trump.

I got the impression from Jeffrey Goldberg’s tough questions, that Goldberg realizes and acknowledges there’s an incorrectable problem with the two-state solution “peace” process and Kerry’s perception of reality, but Goldberg is unable or unprepared to make that intellectual leap and reach the logical conclusion.

 

Peace with Other Arab Countries

I was honestly baffled at Kerry’s absolute insistence that an Israeli peace with the other Arab countries, including Egypt and Jordan, is predicated on peace with the “Palestinians.”

Kerry insisted that while the Arab countries need Israel’s expertise in areas like agriculture, technology and finance, they refuse to take it because of the “Palestinian” conflict.

First of all, if these Arab countries want to shoot themselves in the head, gei gezunterheit.

Second of all, Jordan takes Israel’s water. Jordan’s parliament just approved a natural gas deal with Israel. And Israelis even manage agricultural farms in Jordan (shhhh) .

Egypt, under the non-fundamentalist Al-Sisi – whom the Obama administration pushed away, is discussing major cooperation projects with Israel, where Israel will assist Egypt in solar energy, agriculture, desalination, and even expanding tourism.

So, when Kerry includes Jordan and Egypt not taking what Israel has to offer, one has to wonder about his disconnect.

 

Which Arab Countries?

But here’s the real question. Which Arab states was John Kerry referring to, and are the real benefits to Israel so earth-shattering?

In this new Middle East, we already quietly get oil from Kurdish controlled Iraq.

Now that Erdogan is close to consolidating his position as Turkish dictator, he is calming down and making deals with Israel, especially over Israel’s natural gas.

Lebanon, for as long as it remains controlled by the Hezbollah terrorist organization and the Islamic regime in Iran, will never make any peace.

Syria, doesn’t exist anymore as a country, and no one is rushing there to eat Hummus in Damascus.

Iraq? Yemen? The Islamic State of Iran (who aren’t even Arabs, and don’t care about “Palestinians”)?

We already have quiet business happening with some of the Gulf states.

That pretty much just leaves Saudi Arabia, and personally, besides overflight permission for El Al, I could pass on them.

 

Just Plain Insulting

John Kerry doesn’t like how Israel turned out. He believes it’s not faithful to the original vision.

“It’s because we want to be able to see this thing develop into the full-blossomed beacon that Israel has the potential of being…”

A nasty word directed at Kerry, is the only proper response I can think to such a condescending and false statement such as that.

There’s nothing more to say on that one.

 

Skipping Over the Peace Process

I found it fascinating how Kerry confused the timeline between Oslo I (1993) and Oslo II (1995).

I found it instructive how Kerry completely avoided discussing and glossed over the only reason that Oslo II was stopped in its tracks – and that was the horrifying terror attacks by our so-called peace partners.

Terror attacks so extreme, that even then Prime Minister Shimon Peres threatened to end any further IDF pullouts if the attacks didn’t end.

Yet, he somehow expects Israel to not learn from history and experiences and what our own eyes see before us.

 

Jews, Settlers and Settlements and Obstacles to Peace

Let’s discuss settlements, that being an area dear to my heart.

Kerry says the vision of the settlers is to control all of Judea and Samaria and to prevent peace and a Palestinian state.

To the first part, I finally congratulate Kerry on finally saying something factually correct.

We “settlers” believe in greater Israel. We believe in applying sovereignty over all of Judea and Samaria.

On the last part, I congratulate Kerry on recognizing the truth, we “settlers” do not want a Palestinian state in the Land of Israel, in any form.

As for his middle part, that’s Kerry’s straw man argument. As the only vision for peace that Kerry will accept or consider is his repeatedly failed two-state solution.

 

Kerry’s Straw Man

Kerry only believes peace is possible on his terms.

He warns that Israel could become a “unitary” state. He claimed there are more Arabs on this side of the Jordan river than Jews.

He pooh-poohs any other idea and concept for peace as leading down the same road.

He then knocks down his straw men.

 

Kerry’s Complicated Solutions and Lack of Imagination

What is most amazing is how he bragged about all the “complicated”, convoluted, ridiculous and impossible to implement solutions he came up that he claims would allow Israel to maintain its security after evacuating strategic territories.

The man is capable of building absurd castles in the skies for implementing his peace process, but when it comes to challenges that applying sovereignty might encounter, Kerry can’t even conceive there might be any solution to the problem.

It’s a religion for him.

 

Just to Throw one Idea at Kerry

Kerry raises the central concern that anyone considering a Sovereignty solution encounters. Long-term demographics.

Naftali Bennett has addressed the problem, Caroline Glick has addressed the problem and even Betzalel Smotrich has addressed the problem.

Yet Kerry acts as if no one advocating Sovereignty has any solution.

Kerry spoke about the Marshall Plan after WW2. Kerry spoke about complicated networks of drones, fences, and cooperation with terrorists on our border with Jordan.

I have a simpler, less expensive, and less convoluted solution for his concerns.

I’ve spoken with a number of Arabs living under the Palestinian Authority regime, and they would love if Israel freed them from under the PA thumb.

But do you know what they want more than that?

A Green Card.

If Kerry really was worried about the demographic problem and the future of Israel, he would find a way to offer a Green Card to every “Palestinian” family who chooses to voluntarily and permanently leave the Land of Israel.

He would get his peace partners in crime, France and the EU to offer the same.

Most of Gaza and the West Bank would likely be empty within a few months time.

Kerry has 6 weeks to implement this idea before Trump takes over and closes the borders.

That’s just one possible solution.

 

Conclusions

Is Kerry really serious about peace? Or does his vision of peace only involve kicking indigenous Jews out of our ancient homeland?

After listening to his rant last night, the answer is self-evident.

JoeSettler

Stunning World, UN Passes 6 Resolutions Confirming Everything Is Israel’s Fault

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

The UN General Assembly on Wednesday adopted six resolutions on “Palestinian and Middle East issues,” ranging from Jerusalem to the United Nations special information program on the question of Palestine. The good news is that Israel still has a smattering of friends at the UN: Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, and the United States (and Israel, of course) voted against; Australia, Cameroon, Honduras, Guatemala, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Tonga, and Vanuatu abstained. The rest, 153 world nations that include places where you plan to spend your vacation this summer or buy your car, condemned Israel as being responsible for most of the ills of the planet, especially the Middle East.

For instance, Haya al-Duraie, representing Kuwait which in 1991 expelled 400,000 Palestinians into the desert, expressed support for international efforts that were laying the foundation for security and stability in the region. “However,” the ambassador warned, “the faltering peace process continues to present a danger to the Middle East.”

There you have it.

The UN press release on the assembly votes, includes a section dealing with the “Situation in the Middle East.” One would expect this section to deal with the 500,000 Syrians who died and millions who were uprooted in the past six years; with the war between Shiites and Sunnis in Iraq; with Iran’s nuclear threat and its region-wide terrorism; with Egypt’s paralyzing poverty; perhaps with the discriminatory policies of Saudi Arabia. Alas, one would be wrong. According to the UN General Assembly, there are two main issues threatening stability and peace in the Middle East: Israel’s “occupation” of Jerusalem and Israel’s refusal to hand over the Golan Heights to the Assad Regime.

On Jerusalem, the draft resolution called for “respect for the historic status quo at the holy places of Jerusalem,” and in the spirit of respect referred to the focal area of contention only by its Arabic name, “Haram al-Sharif.” The Assembly reiterated its determination that any actions taken by Israel, “the occupying Power,” to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem “were illegal and therefore null and void and had no validity whatsoever” – note the double invalidation. It also called on Israel to “immediately cease all such illegal and unilateral measures” and stressed that “a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the question of the City of Jerusalem should take into account the legitimate concerns of both the Palestinian and Israeli sides.”

At least they called it “Jerusalem” and not Al Quds. One point for the home team.

In its resolution on the “Syrian Golan” the Assembly, in the middle of a raging war between the murderous Assad regime that slaughters its own citizens and ISIS and Al Qaeda affiliates who murder everyone else, demanded that “Israel withdraw from all the occupied territory to the line of 4 June 1967 and called on all parties concerned to exert the necessary efforts to ensure the resumption of the peace process.” It should be noted that this example of raging idiocy received only 103 votes in favor, to 6 against (Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, United States), with 56 abstentions.

Pheew…

The Permanent Observer of Palestine – who could become the Palestinian Authority’s UN Envoy, should the Obama Administration pull a fast one (so far so good, though) – said the adoption of the six resolutions by an overwhelming majority of United Nations Member States was “a reflection of the longstanding international consensus in favor of achieving a just, lasting and peaceful solution to the question of Palestine,” and “a clear reaffirmation of the international community’s consensus on the two-State solution.”

He then added that “the despair and hopelessness of the Palestinian people is increasing as the fiftieth year of the illegal Israeli occupation approached.”

See you in fifty years?

The representative of Israel said the resolutions had not only failed to promote dialogue or build trust, they had also created an organizational infrastructure that had abused funding to allow anti-Israel activities to take place under the auspices of the United Nations.

She argued that supporting the resolutions and the inherent bias against Israel would not advance the cause of peace, but instead make peace harder to achieve. The “Special Information Program on the Question of Palestine” offers a misleading narrative of the region and circulates prejudiced materials under the banner of the United Nations, undermining the organization’s integrity and impartiality. It was baffling how the United Nations, which continued to face a severe budgetary deficit, had spent approximately $6.5 million a year on bodies that were dedicated solely to promoting the Palestinian narrative.

Loved the part about the resolutions “undermining the organization’s integrity and impartiality.” Who says Israeli diplomats have no sense of humor?

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/stunning-world-un-passes-6-resolutions-confirming-everything-is-israels-fault/2016/12/01/

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