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February 13, 2016 / 4 Adar I, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Ted Cruz’

Here’s an Easy Way to Find Out if Your Congress Member is Actually Pro-Israel

Friday, February 5th, 2016

Last spring and summer, many pro-Israel Americans were shocked to find out that their own congressional representatives, despite claiming to be pro-Israel, pledged to support the Nuclear Iran Deal.

We know how that went – nearly all Democrats in Congress either readily agreed to abandon their commitment to global – and especially Israel’s – security, or succumbed to enormous pressure and ultimately caved, claiming the Nuclear Iran Deal, while not perfect, was worthy of their support.

Many members of Congress — unable to say with a straight face that the Iran deal was actually “good” — twisted themselves into pretzels trying to justify a position supporting the agreement. Given the high priority assigned to the Iran Deal by President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry as emblematic of their political legacies, the pressure to fall in line on this vote must have been staggering.

But now there is another chance for elected federal officials to demonstrate their pro-Israel bona fides, one with much lower stakes for the administration, although that won’t stop it from lobbying against the proposed measure.

In this case it would be hard to understand how a legislator who claims to be pro-Israel could justify any position other than support for the bill introduced by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), on Monday, Feb. 1. That is, unless one is comfortable with being cast as hostile to Israeli Jews and more favorably disposed to Palestinian Arabs.

PROPOSED BILL TO UNDO THE U.S. ANTI-ISRAEL LABELING LAW

The proposed measure, S.2474, was introduced to override this Administration’s latest stealth anti-Israel move: a promise to start strictly enforcing a nearly 20 year administrative agency regulation — never enforced until now, and with good reason — that bans the use of the word “Israel” to denote the source of origin for products produced in the disputed territories: Judea and Samaria (as those areas are called by those interested in  historical accuracy).

The areas are referred to, and the labeling permitted, as the “West Bank” and “Gaza” by those so hell-bent on enforcing a Two State Solution they are willing to overlook the fact that there is not as yet any state of Palestine, nor is the West Bank any more real a “country of origin” notation for the area in dispute than is Israel.

WHAT THE BILL WOULD DO

Cotton’s bill would amend the underlying statute to incorporate what the 1997 regulation allowed, that is, the designation for “West Bank” and “Gaza,” but it would also permit the designation of “Israel” for items produced in Jewish communities in those areas. What it accomplishes, is throwing out a regulation – something decided upon by administrative agencies, not elected officials – and instead incorporates the myriad regulations into comprehensive, and more balanced, legislation.

The bill was referred on Monday to the Senate Finance Committee.

BUT WHERE ARE THE CO-SPONSORS?

So far, only a pitifully small number of U.S. senators care enough about Israel to attach their names to this legislation which is merely an effort to prevent the U.S. from enforcing a boycott against Israeli goods, and every one who has stood up for Israel so far is a Republican.

As of Thursday, Feb. 4, three co-sponsors have joined on to the bill, in addition to Cotton, who is the original sponsor. Those three are Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO).

People have been claiming for some time that the Democratic party has abandoned Israel. So far, at least with respect to S.2474, that’s true, although it’s also true that not many Republicans have as yet signed on either.

Unless legislators hear from their constituents, they may think this issue is unimportant. Israel certainly does not think so. Neither should pro-Israel Americans.

Iowa Caucus Produces Cruz for GOP But No Clear Winner for Democrats

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

The two presidential candidates for the Democratic party are still not clear about which one of them won this round in the Iowa caucus.

The process in the state is not a simple primary election as in most others, but rather operates as a “gathering of neighbors” around the state. Voters meet to talk about the candidates, take an initial vote, discuss and then vote again.

The state holds 44 elected delegates who will ultimately help determine the nominee at the Democratic National Convention this summer.

Although campaign officials for Hillary Clinton said the former Secretary of State won a slim victory over Bernie Sanders on Monday, his campaign said the results were not settled: there remain questions in several counties.

The Iowa Democratic Party itself said results in the state were the closest in Iowa Democratic caucus history, and no winner has yet been officially declared.

Clinton and Sanders remained in a virtual dead heat overnight according to every media outlet.

A statement from the party leader called it a “historically close” finish but did not declare a winner. Clinton won 699.57 state delegates, Sanders had 695.49, Martin O’Malley had 7.68 and there were an uncommitted number that totaled 0.46, with one Des Moines precinct that had not yet reported in, with a total of 2.28 state delegate equivalents.

By the end of the night, Martin O’Malley decided to suspend his campaign.

Clinton led among women, and Sanders led among men, according to CBS News. First-time caucus attendees supported Sanders over Clinton, 59 percent to 37 percent. He also drew more support among the “under 30″ crowd – 84 percent – and 58 percent in the 30 to 45 age group. Clinton held sway among those in the 45 to 64 age range (58 percent) and the over 65 crowd (69 percent). The “very liberal” Democrats supported Sanders over Clinton, 58 percent to 39 percent.

The Republican caucus came up with a win for Texas Senator Ted Cruz, and at least a stall for billionaire celebrity Donald Trump. Cruz led the candidates with 28 percent of the vote, followed by Trump with 24 percent, and Florida Senator Marco Rubio extremely close behind with 23 percent, still in the top three.

Cruz set a Republican caucus record on Monday night by winning more than 50,000 votes. The senator is clearly preferred over Trump by the GOP rank-and-file party establishment, although it is still too early to tell who will represent the party in November.

That did not stop Cruz from underlining his anti-Washington Insider campaign in a speech at the end of the evening.

“Iowa has sent notice that the Republican nominees for the next president of the United States will not be chosen by the Washington establishment, will not be chosen by the lobbyists,” Cruz said at a victory party at the Iowa state fair in Des Moines. Instead, he said, the candidate will be “chosen by the most incredibly powerful force where all sovereignty resides in our nation, by ‘we the people’ – the American people.”

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.

State Dept Unconcerned PA Recruits and Funds Arabs to Murder Israelis

Thursday, December 24th, 2015

A JewishPress.com article on Dec. 22 reported on a letter signed by nearly three dozen U.S. legislators, urging Secretary of State John Kerry to shutter the PLO offices in Washington, D.C. because the Palestinian Authority recruits and pays terrorists to murder Israelis.

Although the focus of the Congressional letter was on the payments to terrorists by the PA, the discussion in the State Department Daily Press Briefing referred to it as addressing a generalized, and long-recycled “incitement,” as the basis for calling to shut down the PLO office.

The Director of the State Department’s Press Office, Elizabeth Trudeau, who ran yesterday’s briefing, read from a prepared statement that also treated the Congressional letter as simply referring to a generalized issue of incitement.

The fact that the Palestinian Arab leadership pays its citizens monthly salaries to murder Israelis, and that the more heinous the murders, the more the terrorists or their families are paid, was not even deemed worthy of mention either in the official statement or by Trudeau herself. Or, for that matter, by the one reporter who raised the issue.

What follows is the discussion at the State Dept. briefing on Tuesday, Dec. 22, at which the PLO Office Congressional letter was discussed. The exchange was low key and completely ignored the motivation for requesting the PLO office be closed now.  The State Dept.’s pro forma response completely ignored the issue of the Arab leadership treating its own people as mercenaries, enticing, inciting, recruiting and paying them to murder Israelis.

MATT LEE, ASSOCIATED PRESS: And on the other – the other topic is also from the Hill.

MS TRUDEAU: Yeah.

LEE: There are calls from Senator Cruz, among others, for the State Department – for the Administration to close down the PLO office in Washington because of what these lawmakers say is the Palestinian Authority’s continued incitement of violence against Israel. What’s your response to that?

For those who are not regular watchers of the videos of the State Dept. Press Briefings, the significance of Lee mentioning only Cruz’s name as the source of the Congressional letter will not be obvious. Whenever Senator Cruz is mentioned during these briefings, it is usually with an arched eyebrow and a conspiratorial “us against them” kind of exchange between the reporters and the State Dept. spokespeople, with “us” being the normal folks and “them,” i.e. Cruz, as the iconic whacky nut job. The lead signer of the letter is Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina, and there are thirty more, in addition to Cruz.

But what is most significant is that Lee only mentioned the standard trope of “continued incitement of violence” as the purported trigger for the Congressional letter, when the truth is very different.

MS TRUDEAU: Okay. So we are aware of the letter. We’ve received the letter. We’ll respond to that letter, as we do with all of our congressional correspondence. As a former senator, Secretary Kerry very much respects the role of Congress on that and will engage.

And now the Spokeswoman begins to read from her briefing book, the official State Department statement in response to the Congressional letter:

I would note we believe closing the PLO office would be detrimental to our ongoing efforts to calm current tensions between Israelis and Palestinians, advance a two-state solution, and strengthen the U.S.-Palestinian partnership. We believe the PLO is an important partner, and, as the official representative body of the Palestinian people before the international community, the PLO has a role to play in our efforts to advance a two-state solution. Every administration, either Republican or Democrat, has regularly exercised available waiver authorities since 1994 allowing the PLO office to remain open.

Really? How can it be detrimental to “calm current tensions” to punish the very people who are paying their constituents to murder as many Israelis as possible? This is what should have been seized upon by anyone who was awake in that briefing room.

Is it really acceptable for all of those highly-placed journalists to accept at face value an American administration ignoring their so-called “partners” who not only verbally incite violence, but pay the terrorists a salary for the murders they’ve committed? And, more to the point, how is it possible that people placed in positions of the highest authority in this American government can adopt such a position? There is not even an acknowledgement, let alone a condemnation, of paying salaries for the job of murdering Israelis.

Back to Trudeau:

Obviously – and certainly we’ve spoken about it from this podium as well as people much higher than me in the Administration – we remain deeply concerned about ongoing violence in Israel, Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza. We completely reject the notion that there is any justification for violence against innocent civilians. We continue to stress the importance of – to Palestinian leadership of strongly opposing violence in all forms. We’ve said affirmative steps are needed to calm tensions and reduce violence.

Again with the vague references to all the parties engaging in the same level of mischief, the Israelis and the Palestinian Arab leadership. Also note that Jerusalem is considered a separate geographic unit from Israel, as is Gaza and the so-called West bank.

But most importantly, the State Department is calling for “affirmative steps” which it says are “needed to calm tensions and reduce violence.”

Here’s a suggestion being made in the form of a letter signed by elected members of the U.S. Congress that most certainly falls within the category of an affirmative step which the U.S. government can take, something that would send a clear statement to the parties to actually cease the incitement, and it is something that does not require action by a party over which the U.S. has no control. But this suggestion is completely ignored.

Back to Lee, attempting to nail down for himself and other journalists how to characterize the response of the State Department to the Congressional Letter:

LEE: Okay. So if – tell me if I’m wrong then. The response to this letter is going to be: Thank you very much for your letter. No, we —

Matt Lee, Associated Press, at State Dept. Press Briefing Dec. 22, 2015.

Matt Lee, Associated Press, at State Dept. Press Briefing Dec. 22, 2015.

MS TRUDEAU: I can’t get ahead of that. What I’ll say is we will —

LEE: Well, what you just said is you think you would oppose —

MS TRUDEAU: What I’ll say is what our position is, which is we believe the PLO is an important partner in advancing the two-state solution.

Perhaps it is relevant that Trudeau does not even mention peace as part of the goal, just the creation of a Palestinian State.

LEE: Right. So – and you also said that you believe that the office – closing the office would be detrimental to your efforts to calm the situation.

MS TRUDEAU: Exactly.

LEE: So you’re opposed to this?

MS TRUDEAU: So we believe that the PLO has a valid place.

LEE: Right.

MS TRUDEAU: We’d like to see that office – and we’d oppose those efforts, yes.

The money line, finally, although still in the subjunctive mode (we would oppose? No, they will and do oppose), Trudeau ‘fesses up and gives permission for all the reporters to say the government opposes the Congressional effort.

LEEE: Okay. Thank you.

MS TRUDEAU: That’s great.

That’s it. Lee was able to nail down the official response of the State Department to a Congressional effort to take an “affirmative step” to “calm the situation.” That completely insipid response was  based on a characterization of the Congressional letter which completely ignores blatantly terrorist activity by the Palestinian Arab leadership.

It appears, based on this exchange, that the U.S. is not at all serious about promoting peace between Arabs and Israelis. Instead, it is only focused on empowering the Palestinian Arab leadership, no matter that it actively and intensively promotes the murders of Israelis. The sole goal of the State Department with respect to the Arab-Israeli conflict is to create a Palestinian Arab state. The rest is empty window dressing.

US Legislators Press Kerry to Shutter US PLO Office for Funding Terrorism

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015

Some members of the U.S. Congress are pushing Secretary of State John Kerry to close the Washington, D.C. office of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

The reason? The PLO is not only a primary source of incitement for terrorism, including murder, against Israelis, it also is a direct funder of that terrorism.

In the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1987, Congress forbade the PLO from establishing or maintaining an office in the United States. However, each year since 1994, a President has signed a waiver allowing the PLO office in Washington, D.C. to remain open.

At the end of last week Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.-11) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and more than two dozen other legislators called on the State Department to revoke the PLO’s waiver to maintain an office in Washington.

The letter was signed by 32 members of Congress (see the list at the end of this article) who cited the very careful and credible news source Palestinian Media Watch report that “the PLO funds funds terrorism by paying “salaries” to Palestinians who are put in Israeli jails as a way of rewarding and incentivizing terror attacks.”

PMW revealed that the PLO, every year, provides about $150 million to convicted terrorists imprisoned in Israel’s jails or to their families of deceased terrorists. The worse the act of terrorism and the longer the prison term, the more money is “awarded” to each terrorist or terrorist survivor’s family. At least some of that money, by the way, can be traced to American government funds (i.e. U.S. taxpayer money).

The Secretary of State and President Barack Obama have repeatedly lectured the leaders of Israel and the Palestinian Arabs to “end the incitement,” as if the two were equally engaged in that wrongdoing. In addition to the calls from this administration to cease the incitement, both Houses of Congress just this fall unanimously passed resolutions condemning continued Arab incitement. But the legislators were outraged to learn that not only does the Palestinian Arab leadership openly agitate for attacks on Israelis and glorify murderers and attempted murderers of Israelis, but they actually pay the terrorists explicitly for committing that terror.

“Our close ally Israel is enduring another wave of Palestinian terrorism in the form of car-ramming, rock-throwing, and brutal knife attacks,” Sen. Cruz said. “These horrific acts of terrorism are due to the continued incitement and glorification of violence by Palestinian leadership.

“Just last week, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called the recent attacks a ‘justified popular uprising’ following his remarks in September, in which he said, ‘We welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem.’

“It is long past time for the United States to hold the PLO and its leaders accountable for engaging in such rampant incitement, for celebrating the murder of Jews, and for providing payment to Palestinian terrorists jailed in Israel and their families. We must make it clear such actions are blatantly unacceptable and close the PLO office in Washington, D.C.”

“For too long the PLO has not just tolerated acts of terrorism against the Israeli people – but incited others to commit acts of violence in the name of jihad,” Rep. Meadows said. “It goes against everything we stand for as an American people to allow the PLO to retain an office in our nation’s capital, considering its long and well-documented history of encouraging violence and terror against our Israeli allies. It’s time we send a clear signal that the United States does not tolerate extremism and demonstrate our unwavering support for our allies in Israel by revoking this waiver.”

What the legislators seek in their letter is for the U.S. government to recognize that the Palestinian Arab leadership is continuously not only verbally inciting terror, but paying people to commit the most heinous terror possible. And concomitant with that recognition must be an immediate revocation of the PLO’s waiver, and a shuttering of its U.S. office. Failing to make that acknowledgement and take the requested action makes a mockery of the U.S. government’s calls for an end to incitement and its repeated claims to be anxious to bring peace to the region.

US Evangelists Up in Arms over Entry for ‘Muslim-Only’ Refugees

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

U.S. evangelists are up in arms over the disproportionate number of Muslim refugees who have entered the United States.

However, a Bloomberg poll has shown that two-thirds of Americans don’t discriminate between Christian and Muslim refugees and that they don’t want either of them in the country.

The Christian News Service (CNS) claimed that since the Paris massacres last month, “the State Department has admitted 132 Syrian refugees into the United States, and all 132 are Sunni Muslim.”

It added:

No Christian, Druze, Shi’ite, Alawite, or member of any other religious minority in Syria has been admitted over that period, according to data from the State Department Refugee Processing Center.

The Washington Free Beacon reported, shortly after the Paris attacks, that a grand total of five non-Muslims entered the United States since October 1. Three of the five were Catholics, one was Christian and the fifth was an “Orthodox believer.”

“This accounts for just 1.6 percent of all refugees accepted, far below the 10 percent of the population Syrian Christians comprise,” according to the website. CNS reported this week:

A similar trend can be seen over the entire period of the Syrian civil war, which began in mid-March 2011.

Over that time, a total of 2,296 Syrian refugees have been admitted into the U.S. as of Monday. Of those, 2,137 (93 percent) were Sunni Muslims, an additional 60 were described simply as “Muslim,” and 13 were Shia.

Only 53 (2.3 percent) were Christian (including five Orthodox and four Catholics). The remaining religious breakdown was eight Jehovah’s Witness, six Zoroastrians, three atheists, two Baha’i, one Yazidi, seven ‘no religion’ and six ‘other religion.’

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush said in a Town Hall meeting on Tuesday in Iowa that the Obama administration should be more open to admitting Christian refugees from Iraq and Syria because of the persecution they face.

He explained said Christians face rape, slavery and beheading at the hands of the Islamic State (ISIS) and that if they are able to escape, other Muslims persecute them.

President Barack Obama plans to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees and has sharply criticized Republican presidential hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz for saying priority should be given to Christians.

President Obama said:

When I hear folks say that, well maybe we should just admit the Christians but not the Muslims, when I hear political leaders suggesting that there would be a religious test for which a person who’s fleeing from a war-torn country is admitted, when some of the those folks themselves come from families who benefited from protection when they were fleeing political persecution, that’s shameful.

Hillary Clinton also has come out against favoring Christians. She said, “Turning away orphans, applying a religious test, discriminating against Muslims, slamming the door on every Syrian refugee—that is just not who we are.”
Since January, 1,875 Syrians have arrived in the United States, but only 30 (1.6 percent) of them were Christian, compared with 1,833 Muslims (97.8 percent).

Obama Compares First US Pilgrims with Syrian Refugees

Friday, November 27th, 2015

President Barack Obama has connected the dots in his unique way again, this time comparing the 17th century pilgrims on the Mayflower with Syrian refugees.

He used his weekly speech on Wednesday to make another pitch to Americans to embrace 10,000 Syrian refugees, and said:

Nearly four centuries after the Mayflower set sail, the world is still full of pilgrims — men and women who want nothing more than the chance for a safer, better future for themselves and their families. What makes America America is that we offer that chance.

So far, 30 governors have said their states will not cooperate with the federal program, but President Obama is undaunted.

Adopting time-tested legends for political purposes has become one of President Obama’s favorite hobbies, after golf.

His use of the Thanksgiving appeal to compare refugees with pilgrims parallels his constant refrain that Palestinian Authority Arabs are just like the Jews who fled slavery from Egypt to enter the Promised Land.

President Obama’s understanding of the message of Thanksgiving is far different from that of Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz, who stated in his holiday message:

When we think back to that first Thanksgiving in 1621, and all that the Pilgrims endured, only half surviving the first brutal winter, we remember sacrifice upon which this land was built – and the sacrifice that continues to keep us free and safe….

In the struggle for independence, the brave motley group of soldiers defeated the greatest military force in the world. In the battle against slavery, the bloodshed to purge this people from our original sin. In the World Wars, the thousands who fought in the trenches and scaled the cliffs of Normandy to save the American idea…..

We are grateful for all those who have gone before us and for those who continue to serve: for the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines who courageously defend our freedom…..And remembering to give thanks to God:

Below is President Obama’s Thanksgiving sermon.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/obama-compares-first-us-pilgrims-with-syrian-refugees/2015/11/27/

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