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May 24, 2016 / 16 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘State Dept.’

Israeli Arab MK Ahmed Tibi Hosted at White House, State Dept. [video]

Monday, February 8th, 2016

Israel Joint Arab List MK Ahmed Tibi was hosted for meetings over the past several days in Washington DC by officials at the White House and State Department.

Tibi met with U.S. President Barak Obama’s chief adviser to the Middle East, Robert Malley, and other senior officials at the White House.

The Israeli Arab lawmaker met with U.S. Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations Frank Lowenstein, and Christopher Henzel, director of the Office of Israel and Palestinian Affairs, at the State Department as well.

“Simultaneously with our struggle within Israel, the Knesset and outside it, it is necessary to spread the word regarding the Arab public’s situation and distress to the international community, including the United States,” Tibi told journalists at a news conference.

He spoke about the “institutionalized discrimination against Arab citizens in all walks of life, including the demolition of homes, the lack of employment and racist legislation.

“Once again I found a lack of knowledge on our social and political situation, and this requires all of us to increase our efforts in the important international forum,” Tibi said.

“There is not a single member of the current Israeli government, including [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu, who publicly supports the vision of the two states and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state; whereas all the Palestinian ministers support that vision,” he added.

It is especially important for readers to understand exactly who MK Tibi is, and which “struggle” he refers to when he appears in the White House and the State Department to lobby for “his people.”

Tibi — who is currently Deputy Speaker of the Knesset and paid generously with Israeli taxpayer money – was seen at a September 2011 Palestinian Authority event carried on PA TV openly praising Arab terrorists with the symbol of the late PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat (the black-and-white keffiyeh) around his neck. The footage is provided and his remarks are translated by the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) monitoring organization.

“Nothing is more exalted than those whom Israel dubs ‘terrorists-shahids,’” he said. In local Arab culture, the word – which literally translates as “martyrs” – is used to refer to those who die while trying to murder Israelis. “In the history and struggles of nations, the shahid is the ultimate glory,” Tibi told his audience at that time. “There is no value more August than the Shahada (the act of dying for Allah.) The shahid is the trailblazer, drawing with his blood the path to freedom and liberation. The shahid is the symbol of the homeland.”

While Tibi has been visiting with U.S. officials his party colleagues in Israel were visiting with the families of Arabs who were killed while carrying out terror attacks against Israelis.

This past weekend, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu requested Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit weigh the possibility of taking legal steps against Israeli Arab MKs Hanin Zoabi, Jamal Zahalka and Basel Ghattas of the Joint Arab List in connection with their visit last Tuesday to the families of several Arab terrorists.

Hana Levi Julian

Millions of Jews Inciting Muslims by Praying for Rebuilding Holy Temple

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

This is a blog post by Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

From the Muslim point of view, millions of Jews are inciting Mohammed’s followers by praying every day that the Holy Temple be rebuilt.

Arab media have made it a daily ritual, almost a prayer, to charge that the Israeli government and Jews visiting the Temple Mount are really plotting to rebuild the destroyed Temple.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has taken a tough stand against Jews who even try to utter a prayer on the Temple Mount, which boils the blood of Muslims who respond with violence, which nevertheless their clerics preach from Temple Mount mosques.

Perhaps the Obama administration is not aware of it, but millions of Jews, including those from the Conservative stream of Judaism, pray every day for rebuilding the Temple.

Arab media occasionally refer to the prayers as proof of the “plot” to destroy the Al Aqsa mosque by archaeological excavations that supposedly are carried out in order to weaken the mosque’s foundations and cause the mosque to collapse, if radical Islamic sacrilege don’t beat them to the punch and bring down the house on themselves

The next step, according to the Arab paranoia, is a construction crew entering and building the Third Temple.

Neither the Palestinian Authority nor Jordan, which is the formal “custodian” of the Temple Mount, has stated that worldwide Jewish prayers are incitement, but it may be just a matter of time.

American-Israeli journalist Maayan Jaffe wrote this week for JNS:

[Is] the current Palestinian uprising is solely political?

Not so, says Adnan Abu Amer, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at the National University for Open Education. From his perspective, some worrying trends indicate, ‘we are regressing into a religious war….

‘We are seeing a politicization of religious values – people using religion for political purposes. This is dangerous.’

She also quoted Ofer Zalzberg, senior analyst with the Middle East Program of the International Crisis Group, as noting that “one-fifth of the Likud membership is national religious” and that Jews following “a Messianic, Temple-focused Judaism” believe they are fighting a “holy war.”

Zalzberg stated, “On both sides, eschatological beliefs are being misunderstood, abused and misused” and express concerns about the links between religious and violence.”

He told Jaffe:

What is the link between religion and violence? One is about things that because of your religious beliefs you want or even need them and therefore you would fight for them, use violence, to secure them….

The other is that you have needs or goals that are in fact not driven by religion, but for different reasons, religious leaders use religious discourse to grant them legitimacy. This is part of the dynamics we are seeing in the current escalation of the conflict.

Now that the Israeli government has more or less crushed the idea of Jews praying on the Temple Mount, radical Islamic leaders, whose existence is dependent on violence, may have to turn to universal Jewish prayer to drive their followers into a frenzy.

The traditional Jewish  prayers in the morning service are preceded by reciting Biblical and Talmudic passages about sacrifices, and conclude with the prayer that may it be God’s will that “the Temple should be built speedily in our days.”

If that is not enough to rankle radical Muslims, Jews recite three times a day in the silent “Amidah” prayer:

Return in mercy to Jerusalem Your city and dwell therein as You have promised; speedily establish therein the throne of David Your servant, and rebuild it, soon in our days, as an everlasting edifice. Blessed are You L-rd, who rebuilds Jerusalem…..

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Was Your Congressman One of 32 Who Called for Closing PLO Office in US?

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has praised Congressmen for demanding what the State Dept. rejected.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, running for the Republican party nomination for president, signed up 31 other Congressmen, as reported here last week, to write a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry demanding that the Obama Defense Minister close the PLO offices in Washington.

The Congressmen argued:

The United States government has an obligation to publicly denounce the PLO’s actions and should immediately revoke its waiver.

Allowing the PLO to maintain an office in Washington, D.C. provides no benefit to the United States or the peace process. Closing the PLO office in Washington, D.C. would send a clear statement that the kind of incitement to violence perpetrated by the PLO and its leaders will not be tolerated.

The State Dept. rejected the demand. The ZOA came to the Congressmen’s defense because “Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority (PA) has never fulfilled its obligations under the Oslo Accords to outlaw terrorist groups, extradite terrorists, confiscate illegal weaponry and end the incitement to hatred and murder in the PA-controlled, media, mosques, schools and youth camps that fuels the conflict.”

The ZOA added:

The PA even gives pensions to families of Jew-killing terrorists. And the larger the number of Jews murdered-the larger the pension. President Obama and Secretary Kerry say nothing about any of these PA terrorist actions. The PA should be placed on the US list of terrorist entities, and should not have an office in our Capital.

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein added, “Put quite simply, the PLO does not merit the diplomatic immunity and the status that comes with it. President Obama gave Abbas’ PA this upgrade despite the fact that the PA has not altered its behavior, even while receiving annually hundreds of millions of dollars in US tax-payer funded aid.

Below are the names of the Congressmen, all of them Republicans, who signed the letter:

Ted Cruz  and Randy Weber from Texas; Mark Meadows, North Carolina; Ilan Ros-Lehtinen,  Ron DeSantis, Jeff Miller, Carlos Curbelo, Ted Yoho, Bill Posey, Mario Diaz-Balart, and Curt Clawson from Florida;

Jeff Duncan, South Carolina; Doug Lamborn, Colorado; Scott DesJarlais, Tennessee;  Scott Perry, Pennsylvania; Jody Hice, Georgia;

Tim Huelskamp, Kansas; Lee Zeldin, New York, Gary Palmer, Alabama; John Fleming, Louisiana, Jim Jordan, Ohio; Morgan Griffith and David Brat from Virginia;

Matt Salmon, Paul A. Gosar and David Schweikert, Arizona; Stevan Pearce, New Mexico; Scott Garrett, New Jersey; and

Ken Calvert, Marlin Stutzman from California and David B. McKinley and Alex Mooney from West Virginia.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Kerry Winked at Oman’s Human Rights Record for Backing Iran Deal

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015

John Kerry’s top advisers were so anxious to pacify Oman for backing the Iran nuclear deal that they blocked a report that would have put Oman dangerously close to being sanctioned for human rights violations, Reuters reported.

The news agency’s exclusive report stated that the unusual intervention by the Secretary of State’s top echelon “suggests the Obama administration placed diplomatic priorities over human rights to pacify an important Middle East partner.”

U.S. diplomats in its Middle East bureau and in a department whose objective is to fight human trafficking advised that Oman’s ranking on forced labor and trafficking in humans should be lowered by one level, which would have left it one notch above the category that would have placed the oil-rich ally on the list of countries that can be sanctioned.

Kerry’s staff simply delayed publishing the scheduled June date for publishing the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report in order to soothe Oman’s anger over the planned demotion, Reuters said.

The report was eventually published in July, but Oman’s ranking magically was left unchanged, an apparent gift for its supporting President Barack Obama’s efforts to strike a deal with Iran on its nuclear development, regardless of a nasty human rights record.

The State Dept, did not directly respond to Reuters when the issue was raised.

Oman used its importance to the United States as a lever to protest the scheduled downgrade in its human rights record, Reuters quoted Mark Lagon, the TIP office’s ambassador-at-large from 2007 to 2009 and now president of Freedom House, as saying, “I’m not aware of a case where something like this has happened before.”

If Oman had been dropped one level to “Tier 3,” it would have shared the embarrassing distinction of being on par with North Korea when it comes to trafficking in humans.

The news agency added:

A Reuters investigation published on Aug. 3 revealed a high degree of ‘grade inflation’ in this year’s rankings.

An unprecedented number of diplomatically sensitive countries such as Malaysia, China, Cuba, Uzbekistan and Mexico wound up with ratings higher than recommended by the State Department’s own human rights experts.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Jerusalem Challenges US with Building Freeze on Arabs as Well as Jews

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

A Jerusalem municipal committee has temporarily frozen all building construction permits in eastern Jerusalem, not only for Jews but also for Arabs, Army Radio reported Monday afternoon.

The office of the Prime Minister insists that it had nothing to do with the Jerusalem City Building and Planning Committee’s decision to freeze construction.

The halt in construction comes just before Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is to visit President Barack Obama to try to mend fences. It also comes shortly after the Obama administration denounced a near-final bureaucratic advancement in plans for building 900 new residential units in the Hareidi Ramat Shlomo neighborhood, adjacent to the Arab Shuafat area.

A source in the municipality said the decision to freeze all building construction permits was made so there will be no question of discrimination.

The freeze puts Washington in a bit of a bind.  

It frequently has opposed building for Jews in eastern Jerusalem, a tacit approval of discrimination in favor of Arabs. This time, any criticism from the White House or the State Dept. would have to explicitly state that its policy discriminates in favors of Arabs.

Eastern, southern and northern Jerusalem, unlike Judea and Samaria, are not ruled by the military and instead have full legal status as any other city in Israel. The  United States and virtually the rest of the world continue to define half the capital as “occupied,” even though more than 250,000 Jews live in areas that were restored to Israel in the Six-Dar in 1967, including the Kotel.

The decision was made during a discussion on the approval of the units for the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood. The same apartments were approved in an earlier bureaucratic five years ago on the same day Vice President Joe Biden step foot in Israel for a visit.

The timing infuriated Biden, and the project has caused consternation in Washington every time another step is approved.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Obama Ordered Kerry and Samantha Power to Snub Netanyahu at UN

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

President Barack Obama instructed U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power to be absent from the U.N. General Assembly during Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech Thursday night.

Powers’ absence was reported by The Daily Caller, based on a source who informed former U.S. diplomat and Fox News contributor Richard Grenell of the snub.

MSNBC reported on Kerry’s absence.

The United States was represented at the speech by Daniel Shapiro, its Ambassador to Israel, and David Pressman and Richard Erdman, the U.S. Alternate Representatives to the United Nations.

The audience at the General Assembly interrupted Netanyahu’s speech several times with applause, but the U.S. delegates kept their hands in their laps. One of the ovations followed the Prime Minister’s charged that the nuclear deal with Iran already has resulted in more terror and that it will bring war, not peace.

A State Dept. official told Breitbart News:

Ambassador Power and Secretary Kerry were unable to attend Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech before the General Assembly because they were called into a meeting with President Obama, which they participated in via video teleconference.

Both officials were in New York for General Assembly meetings.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

US Says It Doesn’t Even Know How Many Americans Live in West Bank

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

President Barack Obama’s State Dept. experts on the Middle East have once again proven how much they don’t know.
One would think that the experts at Foggy Bottom are aware of how many Americans live in Judea and Samaria, or what the administration likes to call the “occupied territories.”

As reported here earlier this week, a British professor disclosed in a new book, to be published later this year, what almost every American in Israel knows – that there are disproportional number of Americans living in Judea and Samaria.

There are approximately 60,000 former American “settlers,” according to Oxford University Prof. Sara Yael Hirschhorn.

On Monday, Palestinian Authority propagandist Sayeed Erikat, who covers the State Dept. for the Al-Quds newspaper, asked deputy spokesman Mark Toner if he was aware that “there are 60,000 American Jewish settlers in the West Bank.”

Toner replied:

Sixty thousand? I don’t.

Erikat said, for Toner’s information, there are indeed so many Americans running around there, and he used his podium to ask how the United States government, which considers all settlers to be illegal and even illegitimate, can tolerate Americans living in what they call Judea and Samaria..

“Do you have any leverage with these American citizens?” Erikat asked.

Toner answered:

We, through our embassy, offer support for American citizens throughout the world. But what – we’re very clear on our policy on this issue.

Erikat suggested what could be the next hammer hold the Obama administration can exercise on Israel. If the United States opposes settlements, why should it offer services to Americans whom they consider to be illegal?

He asked:

Should the United States or would the United States have some sort of a program – an incentive program – to sort of encourage settlers to perhaps dismantle these settlements?

Toner didn’t answer directly, and Erikat let him get away with stating “that’s really a question for the Israeli Government to look at.”

Hirschhorn’s study pointed out that the Americans in Judea and Samaria by and large educated academics. She did not describe them as Wild West cowboys.

But Erikat gave Toner an “education” about the “true” identity of many of those Americans, to wit:

Many elements among these settlers are extremists. They carry guns, they enforce their own sort of rules and regulations on roads and hamlets and so on – Palestinian hamlets. Do you have any kind of program, perhaps, to rehabilitate these settlers, bring them back somehow, as opposed to the settlements?

Toner, reflecting State Dept. knowledge, so to speak, actually patronized Erikat instead of contradicting him outright, which he couldn’t do because his experts only know what they want to imagine.
Toner said:

We’ve also spoken about the uptick in violence, in extremist violence in Israel. And in fact, the government and the prime minister have also spoken about some of the recent attacks that we view as abhorrent. And we call on, frankly, all sides to stop this kind of violence.

There is no indication that the attacks were carried out by Americans, In fact, it still is open to question whether Jews or an Arab gang carried out the most infamous attack – the firebombing of an Arab home in which an 18-month-old baby and his father were killed.

So far, the Obama administration has not suggested how to “rehabilitate” settlers, of whom I am one.

I didn’t know I need rehabilitation.

By the way, I do not carry a gun. I might get arrested for defending myself.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/us-says-it-doesnt-even-know-how-many-americans-live-in-west-bank/2015/09/01/

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