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September 1, 2014 / 6 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘State Department’

Political Financial Interference: The IRS Scrutiny of Charities in Judea and Samaria

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

If you are an American, there is nothing illegal about contributing money, as a donation to a charitable cause, to a project abroad.

But in the eyes of an American administration, funding educational, social welfare, recreational sports or other such projects in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria is a pain, a political pain and not an illegal pain.

So what do they do?

From the Wall Street Journal:

Why the special scrutiny for pro-Israel groups? A New York Times article in July 2010 provided a clue: Tax-exempt groups were donating to West Bank settlers, and State Department officials wanted the settlers out. “As the American government seeks to end the four-decade Jewish settlement enterprise and foster a Palestinian state in the West Bank,” the Times wrote, “the American Treasury helps sustain the settlements through tax breaks on donations to support them.”

Did the T-men take their political cues from such stories, or did Administration officials give them orders? Either explanation would be a violation of public trust.

This would also suggest a pattern: Washington officials sent a message for tougher scrutiny of certain 501(c) groups, and the IRS coincidentally adjusted its enforcement regime…There’s still much we don’t know about the scandal of politicized tax enforcement.

Will someone sue the government?

The Israeli Man’s Burden

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

New York Times bureau chiefs in Jerusalem are expected to set new standards for malicious bias and during his time there, Ethan Bronner was no exception.

A bureau chief anywhere else in the world may be expected to explore the life and color of the city. But in Jerusalem, a New York Times scribe fills the same spot as the bitter goth kid working on the high school paper who is forced to review musicals put on by cheerleaders. What comes out the other end may have a distant resemblance to journalism, but is mostly just gallons of congealed bile.

Ethan Bronner, who has moved up the New York Times totem pole from attacking Israel to attacking America, still visits the old country on occasion and still pens spiteful little pieces about how dumb and shallow the cheerleaders are. The latest Bronner missive sees him attending a wedding and grumbling at how happy everyone seems to be.

At a “raucous wedding”, Bronner finds that few people are interested in discussing “the Palestinians or the Arab world on their borders.” Instead, “everyone was celebrating.” And why wouldn’t they be celebrating? It is a wedding. And people at weddings generally don’t talk about the people trying to kill them. Average weddings in the United States don’t involve detailed discussions of terrorism, even when New York Times reporters are in attendance.

But Bronner’s thesis is the same as the one put forward by John Kerry. “People in Israel aren’t waking up every day and wondering if tomorrow there will be peace because there is a sense of security and a sense of accomplishment and of prosperity,” Kerry complained. Israelis are having too many weddings and not suffering enough. The limited autonomy achieved in daily life what the peace process was supposed to.

It’s not just about the physical suffering of terrorism. What bothers Bronner is that Israelis aren’t conscious of the grievances of their enemies. They don’t carry the burden of guilt that comes from knowing that their border controls prevent Hamas from getting the weapons with which they could inflict more death and suffering on Israelis.

The peace process is a myth because its end result was never meant to be peace. Instead it was meant to achieve exactly what it did achieve in the 90s. A state of terror. A way of life that would make every Israeli conscious of the terrorists and their demands all the time. That’s not just their plan for Israel. It’s their dream for the entire free world. A world liberated from its freedoms.

The left does not set out to solve social problems, but to induce a state of permanent crisis in order to impose a permanent state of insecurity and guilt on the populace. Its solutions always make problems worse because the left views violence as not the problem, but a symptom of the true problem, which is the oppression of the violent by their victims.

The negotiations and concessions were not supposed to bring peace. They were supposed to make Israelis suffer. And through this ritualistic suffering, the descendants of Holocaust survivors would finally understand their burden of guilt to the descendants of the conquerors who had repressed them and ruled over their land for centuries.

Terrorism is meant to destroy morale. To break down the sense of stability and order on which every system depends and replace it with uncertainty. And that uncertainty makes people doubt their own rights and more easily accept the arguments of their enemies. Like violent interrogations, the process of terror breaks down the morale of the prisoner and makes him more willing to concede the premises of his captor until he finally learns to love Big Brother. Until the victim of terrorism becomes a supporter of terrorism recognizing that he is the one who is guilty, not the terrorists.

The peace process was working when Israelis were dying. And the bar was being moved further down. It stopped working when Israelis stopped dying.

Supporters of the terrorist cause, whether at the New York Times or the State Department, don’t want to see happy Israelis. They want to see frightened Israelis, sobbing Israelis, confused Israelis and hysterical Israelis. They will even settle for angry Israelis. But the last thing they want to see is Israelis who seem indifferent to the torture being inflicted on them.

State Dept. Fights Suit by Americans Claiming US Funds PA Terror

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

The U.S. State Dept. has filed a motion to dismiss the claims of a group of Americans who allege American aid money to the Palestinian Authority funds terrorism.

The Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act requires the State Department to certify that none of the money is used for terror.

“It is estimated that since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, the State Department, via USAID, has given over $4 billion to Palestinians, according to the Israel Law Center (Shurat HaDin). The sum includes U.S. funding to UNRWA, the United Nations body that operates in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

The lawsuit, filed by 24 Americans living in Israel last November in the U.S. District Court for Washington, contends that the State Department has ignored Congressional safeguards and transparency requirements which govern financial assistance to the PA.

The Jewish Press and other media have frequently reported that the Palestinian Authority pays fat salaries to its suicide bomb masterminds serving time in Israeli jails, spends money to build monuments to glorify suicide bombers and funds its media to disseminate incitement to terror against Jews. Millions of dollars also are transferred to Hamas, which the State Dept. itself classifies as an illegal terrorist organization.

The attorneys for the U.S. government, who have asked the court not to allow the case to continue, claim that the plaintiffs lack standing to bring this civil action and that the case raises “political questions.”

Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, one of the attorneys for the plaintiffs and director of the Israel Law Center explained in a statement Tuesday that the issue is the lack of transparency on the part the officials at Foggy Bottom in Washington.

“Rather than defend the government’s foreign aid policy on its merits and provide proof that it truly knows where taxpayer money to the PA is going, the government’s lawyers are trying to dismiss the lawsuit on legal technicalities,” she said. ”They are saying that it is pure speculation that Americans can be injured by terrorism in Israel and that the issue of funding is a foreign policy power reserved to the U.S. President and cannot be reviewed by the courts.”

Darshan-Leitner added emphasized that the lawsuit does not challenge the Executive Branch’s right to conduct foreign policy but simply want transparency.

“U.S. funds are being utilized by the Palestinians for terrorism which threatens Americans, and the plaintiffs will be responding to this motion and asking that the case be allowed to go forward,” Darshan-Leitner stressed.

The Department of Justice has declined to comment on the case when asked to do buy the Washington Free Beacon.

US-Backed Syrian Rebel Coalition Collapses

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

Syrian rebel fighters have refused to accept a Syrian-born and naturalized American citizen as their show prime minister, destroying an American effort to put into place an organizational structure to help channeling aid to rebels in the war against Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Texas resident and IT executive Ghassan Hitto narrowly won last week’s election as “prime minister” amid warnings by rebels that they do not hold enough territory in Syria to warrant an interim government.

Hitto was backed not only by Western governments but also by organizations outside of Syria, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, making him even more suspicious to opponents.

Syrian National Coalition president Mouaz al-Khatib wrote on his Facebook page Sunday, “I am keeping my promise today and announcing my resignation from the National Coalition so that I can work with freedom that is not available inside the official institutions.”

He blamed Western powers for failing to give enough material support to the rebels while trying to punish them into dialogue with Assad, whose army and secret service have murdered tens of thousands of men, women and children in the two-year-old rebellion.

Secretary of State John Kerry steadfastly continued U.S. foreign policy of living in its own world and insisted that the resignation only proves that there is in Syria “an opposition that is bigger than one person and that opposition will continue.”

Kerry, in case anyone forgets, visited Damascus often when he was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and struck up a dialogue with Assad, who in turn was termed a “reformer” by Kerry’s predecessor Hillary Clinton two weeks after the beginning of the revolt against him.

CNN Asking Laura Bush to Endorse Honors for Arab Murderer (Video)

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

CNN’s Erin Burnett interviewed former first lady Laura Bush about the Women’s Initiative program Bush heads with her husband, former president George W. Bush, on Monday, March 11.  During the interview, Burnett threw a question out to Bush that was so shocking, had Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck asked an analogous question, there might actually have been rioting in the streets.

Burnett seemed to be strongly implying to Bush that Americans should reward and honor someone who bravely protested their own mistreatment even if that person (repeatedly) cheered the brutal murders of Americans and Israelis.  To withhold an Arab’s reward on the basis of terrorism-glorification is merely American chauvinism, was Burnett’s suggestion.

The CNN host appeared to be trying to get Bush to see that if the U.S. wants to see Egypt and other countries in the Middle East prosper, we cannot hold their heroes to western ethical standards.

Bush was a guest on “OutFront,” Burnett’s CNN show.  “Designed to showcase Erin’s unique style – casual, smart, and confident,” is how CNN describes the show.  Two out of three ain’t bad.

The Women’s Initiative Fellowship Project is a part of the George W. Bush Institute.  The WIF project helps women in the Middle East develop the necessary skills to become effective leaders and build a stronger civil society. The Fellows study leadership skills, exchange expertise, and learn to advocate for social stability.  On Friday, March 8, International Women’s Day, Bush celebrated the graduation of WIFP’s first class of 14 Egyptian Fellows, and welcomed the incoming 19 Fellows of the 2013 class.

It was ostensibly to talk about this initiative that Burnett invited Bush to appear on “OutFront.”

Just prior to the terrorism glorification exchange, Burnett asked Bush why her husband, George W. Bush, is a partner in the initiative.

Mrs. Bush explained that he, like “all Americans, if we want peace in the world, and to have peace in our own country, we have to help other countries,” and she said that, “we look at countries where women are marginalized and we nearly always see a failing country.”

“It’s important, when you look around the world, to make sure that men and women can help their countries prosper in every way,” is how Bush expressed her own view.  Without skipping a beat, Burnett grabbed the ball with a point she apparently thought would be supported by what Mrs. Bush had just said. Burnett said,

There’s an Egyptian woman, Samira Ibrahim, and she’s done a lot of things, some courageous things, she’s also been criticized for sending tweets that are anti-Semitic, anti-American, does the U.S. need to accept that? When you want to make change, you have to support people who do that, financially, in terms of awards, in terms of all these things – because it pays off in the end? Is that a trade-off we have to make?

Laura Bush, gave a startled “No, I don’t think so,” and went on to discuss how important it is for Americans to support women in every way they can, and how easy it is for WIFP to recruit American women who are eager to be mentors to the Egyptian Fellows because American women are interested in women from all over the world and want to support them.

Samira Ibrahim was criticized – legitimately – as reported here at The Jewish Press, for sending a series of terrorism-glorification tweets within the last year, including ones expressing: joy that 5 Israelis were murdered by Hezbollah terrorists in Bulgaria; hope that more Americans will burn every year on 9/11; and support for an observation that Adolf Hitler accurately noted that at the root of all evil you can find the hand of a Jew.

When enough people made noise about the hatred Ibrahim had expressed, the State Department ultimately called off – temporarily it wrote  – having First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry honor her at an event, also on International Women’s Day, to receive the Secretary of State’s Women of Courage Award.

The award presentation was withheld so that the state department could investigate Ibrahim’s claims that her twitter account had been hacked and she was not responsible for any of the hate-filled tweets.  The state department cautiously but publicly supported that version of events.

Ibrahim later tweeted that she refused to back down to the “Zionist lobby” and apologize for her tweets, even though the state department was trying to get her to do so.  Presumably that will end the expenditure of additional American taxpayers funds to exonerate Ibrahim. And despite the best efforts of CNN’s Burnett to recruit Laura Bash to the “Save Samira” campaign, it is unlikely Ibrahim will ever receive any courage awards from the U.S. government.

BREAKING NEWS: First Lady, Kerry WON’T Honor Hater of U.S., Jews and Jewish State

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

BREAKING NEWS: JUST AS THIS STORY WAS ABOUT TO BE PUBLISHED, THE JEWISH PRESS LEARNED THAT IBRAHIM WILL NOT RECEIVE THE AWARD AT THE CEREMONY, PENDING FURTHER REVIEW OF HER ALLEGED ANTI-SEMITIC AND ANTI-AMERICAN PUBLIC STATEMENTS.  SEE UPDATE AT BOTTOM OF ARTICLE.

This Friday, March 9, is International Women’s Day. First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry will mark that day by honoring ten women with the Secretary of State Women of Courage Award.  Very nice.  Except one of those women, Samira Ibrahim, hates the U.S., Jews and the Jewish State and she is delighted when Israelis and Americans are killed.  Not so nice.

Ibrahim is being honored for doing some very brave things.  She took a serious risk when she joined the protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square in 2011 against the Mubarak regime.

Ibrahim was detained by police and was one of 17 women subjected to a horrifically degrading – both conceptually and in practice – “virginity test,” the goal of which was to humiliate her  and to prove that only “bad” women protest.  The official reason given was to protect Egyptian military from charges of rape by these women. Ibrahim also claimed to have been tortured and sexually abused while in the prison.

Rather than suffer in silence, as so many victims do, Ibrahim filed a lawsuit against the Egyptian government.  “I will not give up my rights as a woman or a human being,” she said at the time.

As a result of Ibrahim’s legal efforts, the Egyptian government banned those tests.  Good for her!  But based on public utterances Ibraham made, she not only does not care about justice for those different from herself, she actually applauds the death, torture and murder of others – if they are Jews or Americans.

In different statements, over the period of many months, the most recent in September, Ibrahim praised the 9/11/12 murder of four Americans, exulted at the death of 5 Israelis, quoted Hitler in Jews having a hand in all bad things, and said a Saudi official was worse than a “dirty Jew.”

Once these statements saw the light of day, originally in a story in The Weekly Standard, Ibrahim and U.S. officials have offered various excuses.  One of her excuses, which her U.S. government backers picked up, is that her Twitter account was hacked and she didn’t write any of the bad things on her account.  That doesn’t seem likely as the tweets – which were commented on at the time – remained in her feed without any public protest by her until the Standard story came out.

Charlize Theron, an Academy award winning actress and former super-model, wrote admiringly of Ibrahim in a Time Magazine special on “The World’s 100 Most Influential People” last spring.

When I first heard Samira’s story, it moved me. Not simply because of the abhorrent injustice she experienced but also because of her bravery to speak the truth and to face those who would tell her to stay quiet. It takes a strong person to stand up for what is right in the face of ostracism and public scrutiny. Samira represents the model of how to stand up to fear, and the impact she has made reaches far beyond Egypt. It takes just one woman to speak out, and thousands of others around the world will listen and feel inspired to act.

Theron is a United Nations Messenger of Peace, focusing on eliminating violence against women, according to Time.   But not all women, apparently.  Because Ibrahim, whom Theron wrote so admiringly about, actually rejoiced when one women was blown to bits this summer.  That woman, Kochava Shriki, was one of the five Israeli tourists murdered by Hezbollah terrorists in Burgas, Bulgaria.  Just as she was leaving on her trip to Bulgaria, Shriki learned that she was pregnant for the first time.

When Shriki and four other Israelis were murdered, Ibrahim tweeted, “explosion on a bus carrying Israelis in Burgas airport in Bulgaria on the Black Sea. Today is a very sweet day with a lot of very sweet news.”

But it isn’t just the Jews Ibrahim hates.  When the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya burned and U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed, Ibrahim tweeted: “Today is the anniversary of 9/11. May every year come with America burning.”

Friendly Reminder: Foreign Aid to the PA Funds Terror

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

The role of money in perpetuating vile terrorism never seems to get enough attention.

On Monday in Washington, Victoria Nuland, the spokesperson for the United States Department of State, articulated in the clearest way where the U.S. administration stands on delivering gifts to the Mahmoud Abbas regime, the one that is in control of sections of the entity called by many the State of Palestine. She was addressing a daily press briefing:

[W]e think it’s very, very important that they remain effective in supporting the needs of the Palestinian people… So we’re continuing to work through this. I would simply say that the Secretary [of State, meaning John Kerry, in his second week in office] feels extremely strongly that it is time now to get this support to the Palestinian Authority.” Ms Nuland was speaking about the U.S. giving funds to the P.A., the body which officially renamed itself “the State of Palestine” a few weeks ago.

She had spoken about the value of handing money to the Abbas regime just a few days earlier as well – on the previous Friday, February 8 in that day’s press briefing:

We are working with Congress to ensure U.S. support for the Palestinians, including $495.7 million in F.Y. 2012 assistance that was notified in April 2012 and $200 million in F.Y. 2013 direct budget support that was notified last week. Our view remains that our assistance to the Palestinian people is an essential part of the U.S. commitment to a negotiated two-state solution for Palestinians and Israelis, promoting a comprehensive peace in the Middle East. It is in the interest not only of the Palestinians, but of Israel and the United States as well, to ensure these efforts continue as they help to build a more democratic, stable and secure region. We’re not well placed to speak about what’s good for the USA or for the Palestinians, though we don’t lack opinions. We also refrain from criticizing the government of our own country in relation to its sending money to Mahmoud Abbas and his cronies. (Ask us and we’ll explain why.)

The point of raising here, again, this issue of money being handed over to the Palestinian Arabs in their various configurations is to remind decent people of what is done with it in reality. It’s a murky and very disturbing picture. The facts are out there, but you might be surprised at how little they are known, and how little attention the politicians pay to them.

It’s a matter that has been on our minds for years. Look for instance at what we wrote in October 2006:

Don’t be offended. But if you’re a European who cares about what’s being done with the taxes you pay to your government, the Palestinians are playing you for a fool. Not just you alone, but also your government, your politicians and your public-sector watchdogs. There are some startling revelations there that, in most cases, are even truer now, though now the evidence is easier to see – for those who want to see it.

Thanks to our friends at Palestinian Media Watch and Love of the Land for alerting us to a revealing video clip from official PA Television that aired last March. The on-camera presenter is interviewing a released Palestinian Arab former-prisoner who is proud to talk openly about the acts of terrorism he executed. He’s open about this because he has money on his mind. Here’s the transcript (the P.A. television video clip itself can be seen here):

Host: “With us is Iyad Abu Khaizaran. Good evening.” [Iyad Abu Khaizaran was a member of Islamic Jihad when he was sentenced to a life term plus 25 years in 1991 for the murder by stabbing of a 76 year old Jewish man, Shlomo Yahya, in the Tel Aviv suburbs. He walked free in the Shalit Transaction in 2011, and recently married.] Iyad Abu Khaizaran: “Since the day we were released from prison, we have been given [only] half a salary… We killed Jews. I personally killed Jews. I killed settlers and I injured soldiers. My house was destroyed. I have 11 bullets in my body. I served 22 years in Israeli prisons.” Host: “Did you, like the other [prisoners], receive salaries in the prisons?” Abu Khaizaran: “Yes. Since around the year 2000, [the salaries] became organized.” Host: “In other words, from 2000, did all the organizations, without exception, whether it was Fatah or Hamas, supporters of Abbas or not supporters of Abbas, receive salaries or not? Tell the truth openly.” Abu Khaizaran:Yes, yes they did.” He feels those salaries were too small to start with. He complained bitterly to a pro-terrorism website last year:

“His salary from the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority, he said, doesn’t even cover the taxes levied on his family land in Tubas.” He demonstrates that money is a significant dimension to the kill-elderly-Jews experience. More people should listen to him.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/this-ongoing-war/friendly-reminder-foreign-aid-to-the-pa-funds-terror/2013/02/14/

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