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January 20, 2017 / 22 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘United States’

Passenger Ejected From Jet Blue Flight After Harassing Ivanka Trump and Children

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

Holiday “cheer” is vastly overrated when it comes to travel and dealing with loony travelers.

A passenger was thrown off a flight Thursday after deciding he could verbally abuse Ivanka Trump while she was seated with her small children in the coach section of a Jet Blue flight out of JFK International Airport during boarding, prior to departure.

According to TMZ, the wife of an “out of control” passenger on the flight tweeted an hour before the plane took off, “Ivanka and Jared at JFK T5, flying commercial. My husband chasing them down to harass them.”

That was some understatement.

The man did indeed hunt down the president-elect’s daughter and her family. He found Ivanka and her children already seated and began screaming at the eldest daughter of U.S. President-elect Donald J. Trump, “Your father is ruining the country!”

He then continued ranting, “Why is she on our flight!? She should be flying private.”

It apparently didn’t concern this man that he was holding his own child in his arms while screaming at others, according to an unidentified passenger who spoke with TMZ. The eyewitness told the website that Ivanka ignored her attacker and tried to distract her children with some crayons.

Fortunately, she and her husband, Jared Kushner, didn’t have to deal with this abuse on her own: according to the site, a number of her cousins were also in coach.

The attacker, meanwhile, was “escorted” off the flight by JetBlue personnel, screaming that he was being kicked off the “expressing his opinion.”

Hana Levi Julian

Trump: Anti-Israel UN Resolution ‘Extremely Unfair to All Israelis, Should Be Vetoed’

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

U.S. President-elect Donald J. Trump urged outgoing President Barack Obama to veto a draft anti-Israel resolution circulated Thursday at the UN Security Council. The resolution calls for an immediate end to Jewish construction on any land desired by the Palestinian Authority for its hoped-for state.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed concern months ago that such a resolution would be circulated at the UNSCH in the final days before Obama leaves office — and that Obama might withhold America’s veto this time around as a parting shot at Israel over the issue. The prime minister posted a video statement on social media Thursday, appealing to the U.S.

But Obama was cautious: a U.S. administration official said after the release of a statement by incoming President-elect Trump, “We have no comment at this time.”

Hours after Israel’s prime minister had raised the alarm, Trump issued a statement on social media, posting on Twitter and Facebook, bluntly saying that America should use its veto to kill the initiative.

“The resolution being considered at the United Nations Security Council regarding Israel should be vetoed,” said Trump in a statement issued to media.

“As the United States has long maintained, peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians will only come through direct negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians will only come through direct negotiations between the parties, and not through the imposition of terms by the United Nations.

“This puts Israel in a very poor negotiating position and is extremely unfair to all Israelis,” he added.

Netanyahu launched a Twitter campaign as soon as the resolution came out, urging the U.S. to veto the proposal.

Hana Levi Julian

Netanyahu to Obama: Veto Anti-Israel UNSC Resolution Thursday

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday night twitted: “The US should veto the anti-Israel resolution at the UN Security Council on Thursday.” The vote has been the focal point of the Israeli PM’s thinking and anxiety since the Nov. 8 elections in the US, guiding his moves and statements, especially concerning the crisis he’s faced at home regarding the approaching eviction date for the Amona community in Samaria.

As of Wednesday night, the UNSC resolution draft text says Israel’s establishment of Jewish towns and villages in the liberated areas of Judea and Samaria bears “no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law.” It suggests that the fact that there are Jews living in those areas “dangerously imperiling the viability of the two-state solution,” because, naturally, while Arabs can live freely alongside Jews in 1949-borders Israel, having Jews anywhere inside the envisioned Palestinian state would be unthinkable.

The text decrees that freezing the Jewish settlement enterprise is “essential for salvaging the two-state solution,” calling for “affirmative steps to be taken immediately to reverse the negative trends on the ground (See Israe’s Supreme Court ruling on the expulsion of the Jews of Amona).”

According to Al Jazeera, UN diplomats see Thursday’s vote as the final chance for council action on getting the Jews out of the liberated territories before President-elect Donald Trump takes over from President Barack Obama on January 20. Hence the Netanyahu twit, advising the US to veto, as it has done over the past eight years under the same president.

Last July, the UN and its diplomatic partners, the so-called Middle East Quartet – comprising the UN, Russia, the United States and the European Union – submitted a report that essentially calls for the strictest implementation of the Oslo accords, spelling an eventual end to the Jewish presence in the 1967 liberated territories. The Diplomatic Quartet’s recommendations, which are the basis for Thursday’s vote were:

1. Both sides should work to de-escalate tensions by exercising restraint and refraining from provocative actions and rhetoric.

2. The Palestinian Authority should act decisively and take all steps within its capacity to cease incitement to violence and strengthen ongoing efforts to combat terrorism, including by clearly condemning all acts of terrorism.

With that lip service to the need to curb daily, ongoing Arab violence, the document gets to the real meat of the recommendations, namely, eliminating Israel’s right to rule over Area C:

3. Israel should cease the policy of settlement construction and expansion, designating land for exclusive Israeli use, and denying Palestinian development.

4. Israel should implement positive and significant policy shifts, including transferring powers and responsibilities in Area C, consistent with the transition to greater Palestinian civil authority contemplated by prior agreements. Progress in the areas of housing, water, energy, communications, agriculture, and natural resources, along with significantly easing Palestinian movement restrictions, can be made while respecting Israel’s legitimate security needs.

And, having stated the essence of their demands, the Quarter returned to empty recommendations:

5. The Palestinian leadership should continue their efforts to strengthen institutions, improve governance, and develop a sustainable economy. Israel should take all necessary steps to enable this process, in line with the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee recommendations.

6. All sides must continue to respect the ceasefire in Gaza, and the illicit arms buildup and militant activities must be terminated.

The Thursday UNSC vote is the moment of truth between Obama and Netanyahu. A US abstention would not suffice in this case. The US has to actually vote against the resolution in order to kill it. A US vote in favor would give the resolution a powerful – albeit symbolic – stand. In reality, Netanyahu can defy it and, at least for the next four years under President Trump, suffer no real consequences. But once the resolution is on the books, it would take a unanimous vote of the five senior members to remove it – and that would be a rare thing indeed.

David Israel

IDF Officials: Hezbollah Took American APCs From Lebanese Army

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

Senior IDF officials have informed the United States that the Hezbollah terrorist organization is using American armored personnel carriers while fighting in Syria.

Photographs of the APCs, supplied by the U.S. to the Lebanese Army, were seen posted to the internet while being paraded by Hezbollah guerrilla fighters in Syria.

Israeli military officials say it is clear that the APCs were taken from the Lebanese armed forces.

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

Report: Whole Arab Villages in Judea and Samaria Stand Empty as Residents Flee to US

Saturday, December 17th, 2016

Media reports about the Arab struggle to retrieve the lands of Amona has been presented by politicians and the media as part of an Arab tradition of loyalty to their land.

Indeed, one of the Arab claimants against the Amona community has been quoted as saying, “If your child dies, you can make another one in his place, but land that you sold cannot be replaced.”

And yet, a report in Friday’s Makor Rishon suggests reality on the ground in Judea and Samaria reflects a somewhat different set of values. Local Arabs may not be willing to sell their land, but many of them don’t live on said land either, preferring instead to emigrate to the US.

According to reporter Assaf Gibor, Route 60, which runs from Afula, on Israel’s side of the “green line” through Jenin, near Shechem, through Ofra and outside Ramallah to Jerusalem and then through Gush Etzion, past Hebron all the way to Be’er Sheva, features ghost villages on either side of the highway. The Jewish settlers of Ofra and Amona have been wondering what has happened to neighboring Arab villages such as Silwad, three miles from the main road and about 8 miles north-east of Ramallah. A visitor happening inside the village can see numerous, luxurious villas, that are deserted.

Gibor, who describes those empty homes as “white elephants,” met in Silwad a man in his 79s named Salah, who sat with him over a cup of coffee and revealed that he’s been living in Puerto Rico for 52 years. Having left in 1964, before the Israeli liberation of 1967, Salah got his BA in Puerto Rico and MA in Tennessee, and now he is retired and living off his rental property on the island. His children were born in the US, one is a lawyer, the other a pharmacist, both Harvard graduates. Sadly, they’ve only visited the old country once – but both speak Arabic.

Hamza Awada, 21, who lives with his parents in Arizona, met Gibor in Dir Dibwan, not far from Silwad. He is visiting to conclude a two-year wife search. It’s an arranged marriage, and after the wedding the happy couple will move to America. Hamza has lived in New York City and in Arizona, as well as in Jordan. “Life here in the village is quaint, but it’s not for me.”

Hamza describes himself as a Palestinian, not as an American, and he likes the sense of community in the village his parents had left in their youth. He’d even like to come back some day, maybe. But “life here is difficult,” he says. “It’s hard to find work, make a living and earn enough to support the lifestyle I’m used to abroad.” He plans to maintain the same ties to the old place his parents have kept: visit every few years. He speaks Arabic with his parents at home, but at school and elsewhere outside the home it’s all English.

According to Gibor, between 80 and 90 percent of Dir Dibwan’s residents have an American citizenship. One local resident, Muhammad Manasra, who splits his life between the village and California, estimates the population in the two neighboring villages at 16,000, most of them living abroad.

One of the most common methods used to obtain a US Visa is marrying an American citizen.

In many cases, Arab wives who discover the US lifestyle after having grown up in poverty in Judea and Samaria, refuse to go back. “My brother married a woman from the nearby village of Beitin,” Manasra relates. “There are many Palestinian-Americans there, too. He brought her to the US, arranged for a visa, and the minute she landed there her eyes opened, like she discovered a new world. He would work and she moseyed through the malls and spend money. They had two children, and when the elder was five, my brother wanted his wife and both children to go back to the village so the children learn Arabic and become familiar with Palestinian culture. His wife refused. It ended very badly. They divorced and today both live in the US separately. My brother’s house is sealed,” he says and points at the deserted villa.

Arab immigration from Judea and Samaria has been going on for decades. Official Palestinian Authority figures suggest there are three million Arabs living there. In reality, the figures are lighter by at least one million, according to many experts. Since 1997, Israel is no longer operating the census there, and the PA count does not abide by international norms, whereby a person who has been absent for a year or more from his country is no longer counted. Demographers Yaakov Feitelson and Yoram Ettinger suggest the figure of 1.8 million Arabs in Judea and Samaria, as opposed to the PA claim of 2.9 million.

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

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/palestinian-authority-says-us-cut-off-aid-to-ramallah-in-2016/2016/12/14/

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