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July 25, 2016 / 19 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘status’

GOP Senators Set to Punish the Palestinians and the UN

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Republican U.S. senators introduced the first efforts to penalize the Palestinians and the United Nations should the body affirm enhanced Palestinian status.

The amendment language, first reported on the Americans for Peace Now website, was introduced by Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wy.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and James Inhofe (R-Okla.).

“The first shot has been fired in the much-anticipated Congressional battle to punish the Palestinians for seeking to upgrade their status at the UN – and to also punish any UN agencies and any countries that support them,” writes APN blogger Lara Friedman.

Language proposed this week as an amendment to S. 3254, the National Defense Authorization Act would punish both the PA and the UN for a unilateral recognition of a Palestinian “observer state.”

The PLO is set to submit its bid for non-member observer state status today, Thursday.

Friedman reports that the GOP amendment seeks to compel the president to cut U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority by 50% if the PA “seeks at any time after November 25, 2012, at the United Nations General Assembly or any other United Nations entity status different than the status it held on November 25, 2012” – with the cuts continuing “until permanent status issues between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are fully resolved.”

Next, the same amendment will compel the President to cut by 50% U.S. “appropriated contributions to any United Nations entity” that upgrades the Palestinians’ status after November 25, 2012, and those cuts as well will continue “until permanent status issues between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are fully resolved.”

Finally, to complete the package, the amendment compels the president to cut by 20% U.S. assistance to any country that after November 25, 2012 votes to grant the Palestinians full membership in the UN, or votes to grant them non-member state status, or votes to otherwise “alter” the status of the Palestinians at the UN “that interferes with the resolution of permanent status issues between Israel and the Palestinian Authority,” and those cuts will continue until the country in question “votes at the United Nations to revert the status of the Palestinian mission back to the status it held on November 25, 2012.”

According to Friedman, the amendment permits the President to waive this one category of cuts (but not the others) for national security reasons.

Could be a meaningful step towards balancing the budget…

According to JTA, a separate amendment to the same bill introduced by Barrasso, Lee, Inhofe and Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) would cut off all funding should the Palestinians succeed in their bid to change the PLO’s status.

U.S. law institutes total cuts to Palestinians and the United Nations in the case of full Palestinian U.N. membership, but so far has had no provisions to penalize an upgrade to observer status.

As of Thursday morning, the PLO is still a non-member observer entity, but this will most likely be changed later in the day.

JTA content was used in this report.

Jewish Press Staff

The Palestinians: We’re in No Hurry to Sue Israel at the Hague

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

The Palestinians today are trying to play down Israel’s fear that, as soon as they are accepted as an observer state at the UN this week, they would start submitting lawsuits against Israel at the international criminal court at the Hague. But, according to Israel’s Channel 2 News, they have warned that going to the Hague would remain an option.

The PA’s UN Ambassador Riyad Mansour reiterated that, despite repeated pleas from Israel and the U.S., the Palestinians have every intention this week of carrying out their initiative to request from the 193-member general assembly to upgrade the Palestinian Authority’s status from “observer entity” to “observer state.”

The current draft of the proposal to be submitted by the Palestinian at the UN on Thursday, “the UN will decide whether to award Palestine the status of an observer state at the United Nations, without infringing on any accompanying rights regarding the Authority’s role as the representative of the Palestinian nation based on previous, relevant decisions.” The proposal further clarifies that it is intended “to enhance the right of the Palestinian nation to self determination as a Palestinian state in the territories that were occupied in 1967.”

Jerusalem and Washington continue to argue that the Palestinian move is wrong, but both have already acceded to their anticipated defeat at the general assembly. The French announcement yesterday that they would vote in favor of the upgrading, was followed by announcements from Denmark, Norway, Spain and Switzerland, all supporting President Abbas, as will Great Britain. Italy and Australia are expected to abstain. The U.S., Canada, Guatemala and Micronesia—never forget Micronesia—will reject the proposal.

Germany’s position is not yet clear. Now, that’s a relief.

The truly troublesome part of the proposal is not so much the new status, which still stops short of real statehood, but with the fact that the full assembly will embrace its depiction of the urgent need to renew the negotiations as part of the peace process in the Middle East, to reach a resolution of the essential issues – the refugees, the status of Jerusalem, the settlements, the borders, security and water.

Channel 2 commented that at this stage in the draft, prisoner release is not one of those essential issues.

Mahmoud Abbas has arrived in New York and the game is on. Israel’s immediate response to his move will likely be to freeze the taxes Israel collects on behalf of the PA and to take from that money the $200 million plus the PA owes the Israeli electric company.

It’s a start.

Yori Yanover

Americans for Peace Now Backs Palestinian UN Bid

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Americans for Peace Now called on President Obama to support the Palestinians’ bid to upgrade their status in the United Nations to non-member observer state.

The stance by the left-wing group issued in a statement Tuesday places it at odds with the pro-Israel community. The statement by the group’s president and CEO, Debra DeLee, was issued two days ahead of the anticipated vote in the UN General Assembly on the Palestinians’ application for enhanced status.

“In the wake of the latest Gaza War, we believe the international community, led by the Obama administration, must take urgent action to restore faith in a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” DeLee wrote.

A number of major Jewish groups, including the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League and B’nai B’rith International, oppose the bid and are lobbying against it among UN member nations.

Some leading lawmakers in Congress have threatened to cut assistance to the Palestinian Authority should its affiliated Palestine Liberation Organization press ahead with the bid.

J Street, also a left-wing pro-Israel group, released a position paper that did not tsupport the bid but pledged to oppose any effort to penalize the Palestinians for making it.

DeLee called on “all nations, including the United States and Israel,” to endorse the Palestinians’ request and adds that the two countries “should likewise refrain from and reject punitive measures against the Palestinians in the wake of this initiative, including efforts by Israel or any other party to exploit this initiative as a pretext for actions that further erode the possibility of peace.”

APN’s Israeli sister group, Peace Now, expressed similar support for the bid in a letter to Israel’s foreign minister, Avigdor Liberman.

The PLO was rebuffed last year in its bid to have the UN Security Council recognize Palestine as a state; the United States successfully lobbied against the move, threatening to use its veto.

There is no such veto in the General Assembly, where the Palestinians have an assured majority. Observer state status does not carry with it the privileges of full membership; observers must still apply to become members of UN constituent groups. The PLO is currently a non-member observer entity.

JTA

US Warned Europeans against Supporting Palestinian Statehood

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

The United States reportedly warned European governments in a memorandum not to support a Palestinian bid for increased status at the United Nations.

The memorandum, which was exposed by the Guardian, called giving the Palestinians enhanced non-member state status “extremely counterproductive” and threatened “significant negative consequences” for the Palestinian Authority, including financial sanctions.

The memorandum, sent by U.S. officials to representatives of European governments at the United Nations General Assembly last week in New York, said that Palestinian statehood “can only be achieved via direct negotiations with the Israelis.” It called on the European governments to block Palestinian attempts to be recognized as a non-member state.

It also asked each government where it stands on the issue and said the U.S. was interested in knowing whether the European governments had been approached by Palestinian representatives.

The Palestinians reportedly will wait until after November’s presidential elections in America to make their bid for the new status in the General Assembly, where the United States does not have veto power. They will, however, press for a vote by the end of the year and expect the issue to pass by a “comfortable majority,” according to the Guardian.

JTA

‘Did You Add Salt to a Wound?’

Friday, September 28th, 2012

Just days ago on Yom Kipper, The Day of Judgment, Jews gathered as one in shuls, shteibels and temples and desperately and profusely promised Hashem that we would reform our ways and improve our behaviors and actions towards Him, our Father and Creator, as well as towards our fellow man, who, being made in His image, is deserving of our respect and compassion, and of being treated as an equal, no matter their social or financial status, age or gender.

Our prayers were saturated with sincerity, our pleas- passionate and pure. This time, we would amend our not so pleasant ways. Nothing motivates the determination to improve oneself than the fear of Divine Retribution. The knowledge that teshuvah – repentance and remorse and regret for less than stellar behaviors, attitudes and activities – can postpone, even cancel a stern, life-altering judgment is the best fuel to ignite an unwavering commitment to change.

And many of us are making a conscientious effort to keep our promise to be kinder, more ethical and more tolerant, both as Jews and human beings. But within weeks, ingrained bad habits will free themselves from the restraints we so self-righteously encased them in, and reclaim their turf in our flawed personalities.

So how do we prevent that regression? How do we fortify our resolve to self-tikkun in a way that will help ensure that on the final Day of Judgment in the Heavenly Court, our neshama will be headed “north” not “south?”

It is generally accepted that one of the questions people will be asked on That Day will revolve around business ethics. We will be asked if we were honest in our financial dealings with others.

Perhaps one question that we should expect to be asked of us is, “Did you rub salt into a wound?”

“Rubbing salt into a wound” is an expression that has come to mean adding tzaar – emotional hurt – to someone who already is in great pain and distress. It actually is based on a practice centuries ago when slaves, captured enemies or prisoners of war were lashed either as punishment or as a way of making them talk. Many were further tormented by having salt rubbed into their open, bleeding wounds, causing excruciating pain on top of the pain they were experiencing from the whipping.

(Baby-boomers no doubt remember all too clearly the intense pain that would have us howling and jumping out of our skin when iodine was dabbed onto a skinned knee or cut or scrape to prevent infection. The cure was worse than the sickness. Only much later did soothing, antibiotic ointments become available.)

Of all the “bad” behaviors we indulge in, whether through misguided “kindness” or deliberate maliciousness, enhancing the pain, grief or hopelessness of someone who is hurting mentally, emotionally or spiritually is especially harmful to the recipient – it is like rubbing salt in an open wound.

When I say,” kindness,” it is because there were times when salt was rubbed into an open wound to prevent infection and promote healing. Nonetheless, the resultant agony was just as horrific as when it was done out of pure cruelty.

So many people are what I call the “walking wounded.” Young and old, wealthy or poor, married or single; pillars of their community or barely visible in the crowd, no one is spared from torment, loss, loneliness, fear, self-doubt or the inevitable emotional battering and trauma that comes from being a breathing, sentient human being.

Mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, children, teachers, rebbeim, acquaintances, friends, bosses, colleagues, even strangers like a bus driver or store clerk can deliberately or inadvertently, via “good” intentions, salt a wound.

This is clearly evident in the story of Penina and Chana, who became the mother of Shmuel Hanavi. In Shmuel 1 chapter I, verse 7, we are told that a man, Ephraim, had two wives, Penina who had many children, and Chana, who was infertile. Penina would torment Chana about being childless, but the Midrash says she did so out of kindness, to spur Chana to daven with more kavanah, and garner Hashem’s sympathy – but all it did was make Chana feel worse, so she did not even want to eat.

Cheryl Kupfer

The Four Most Common Financial Mistakes

Monday, September 24th, 2012

As a financial adviser I notice that certain money mistakes are very commonplace. Are you making these kinds of errors that can destroy a fortune?

Instead of learning from your own mistakes, try learning from other people’s mistakes. Below is a list of some of the most common mistakes in financial planning:

1. Putting off buying life or health insurance. Even if you are still young and you belong to the mindset of “it will never happen to me,” the truth is that you never know. Accidents, terror attacks, and sudden illnesses are all in the hands of the One Above, and although no one should ever go through life in a constant state of fear and worry, it’s important to be prepared for any eventuality. Think of your insurance policy as “risk management.”

2. Passing up tax breaks. When considering whether to buy or sell an investment, don’t only look at the figures. Find out what this means in terms of tax. How will the dividends/interest be taxed? Does the investment have any kind of tax deferral or tax-free status? While tax status shouldn’t be your sole concern in purchasing investments, make sure to keep tax liabilities in mind.

3. Buying or holding stocks for the wrong reasons. Are you holding onto a stock out of sentimental reasons, because you inherited it from a loved one? Are you thinking of buying a stock simply because you enjoy the company’s products? Don’t base your decisions on emotions. Do your homework, and only buy the stocks that make the most financial sense for you. If you are not sure how to work this out, consult with a financial planner.

4. Not taking enough risk. Some people are very cautious by nature, and they would prefer to invest their money with the least risk of loss. Although this might sound prudent because it minimizes the chance of loss, the other side of the equation means that your gains will be limited. Of course, the appropriate level of risk for you depends very much on your personal situation, so speak to your financial adviser about what is appropriate for you.

Keeping these four points in mind should help you avoid some of the most common money mistakes. Don’t make these mistakes, and if you do, visit a qualified Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) for help in fixing them.

Doug Goldstein, CFP®

ZOA Loses Tax Exemption Status, Will Apply for Reinstatement

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

The Zionist Organization of America has lost its 501(c)3 tax exemption status, due to failure to file tax returns for the last three years.

In an interview with JTA, ZOA president Morton Klein confirmed the loss, and stated that his organization has hired a tax attorney to help them bring their files up to date and apply for reinstatement of their status.

According to Klein, the error in filing was due to the failure of a ZOA-funded school in Ashkelon to provide correct information in time, as well as a misunderstanding on the part of the ZOA as to the amount of time it had left to file for an extension.

Malkah Fleisher

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/zoa-loses-tax-exemption-status-will-apply-for-reinstatement/2012/09/12/

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