web analytics
December 8, 2016 / 8 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘US embassy’

US Demanding Clarification, Gift Drone to Russia May Carry Secret Camera

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

The Obama Administration has asked for clarification regarding the $52,000 drone Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel (Habayit Hayehudi) last week handed over to Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev during a tour of the Volcani Center (Research Staff ‘Down’ $52 K Gift Drone from Israeli Minister to Russian PM).

A senior official in Jerusalem has told Ha’aretz the Americans wanted to know if US made technology was onboard the gifted drone. Apparently, US embassy diplomats have already contacted Israel’s defense, foreign, and agriculture ministries, as well as the prime minister’s deputy national security advisor, after having read about the Agriculture Minister’s generosity in his rare bout with diplomacy.

The Americans believe a sophisticated, US made camera is installed on the Volcani drone, the kind that require a special application for US government permission should said camera be sold to a third-party. Needless to say, in the current political frost between US Democrats and Russian officials, and considering the economic sanctions against Russia, such an application would have ended up in a DC shredder.

So far, according to Ha’aretz, Jerusalem has told Washington the camera was removed from the drone (which was made in Spain). But now the Israeli defense ministry has been wondering just how many local security regulations the generous minister violated. Needless to say, he did not consult the defense apparatus before making his $52,000 gesture of friendship.

It should be noted in Minister Ariel’s defense that his ministry is in the midst of negotiating an $11 billion agricultural cooperation deal, so that from his point of view the drone was a small price to pay considering such enormous stakes.

As we mentioned yesterday, when the representatives from the Russian embassy showed up at the Rishon Lezion Volcani institute, they were handed the drone but not its operating system or remote control. The Volcani scientists insist they’d let go of those when they see the $52,000 increase in their operating budget, thank you very much.

David Israel

The Trumportunity for Israel

Monday, November 14th, 2016

Op·por·tu·ni·ty: a set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something.

Trump·or·tu·ni·ty: A set of circumstances created by the improbable victory of Trump, which makes it possible to further many issues in the US and the world, especially in Israel and the Middle East.

Three Upsets

Just as the world seemed to be progressing towards a post-national, post-family, post-God globalism, three stunning upsets proved that there was a rebellion afoot against those values.

First, Netanyahu won big in the last Israeli election and established a right-wing government, despite serious US intervention and dire predictions of failure. Then, the British people rejected Europeanism and chose Brexit, despite major European pressure and dire predictions of failure. Finally, Trump won while facing a relentless, super-hostile media and dire predictions of failure. These three events were really referendums on the Euro/Obama worldview. Global voters gave a clear response — we want our countries back; we want our values back.

If we are smart and focused, we can make powerful progress in Israel under this new zeitgeist. In particular, the new Trump administration — with its strong ties to Israel, and even to Judea and Samaria, and its repudiation of the Obama worldview — offers three big Trumportunities:

The death of the two-state paradigm

In the Six-Day War, Israel was under threat of total annihilation. And then, providence handed the Jewish heartland back to the Jewish people, and Israel’s enemies fell to the IDF in an incredible victory.

But we blew it. We did not annex the heartland. Instead, in time, we allowed an alternative anti-Israel atmosphere and narrative to metastasize in that land and later globally. Later on, instead of fixing the problem and making Israeli law the law of the land, the Jewish state drank the Palestine Kool-Aid, and entered a process of giving away the land to a terrorist organization dedicated to Israel’s destruction.

This was in spite of the fact that “two-state” was never going to work. There was never a way to split the tiny landmass of Judea and Samaria, rip it away from its rightful residents — the Jewish people — and instead empower the jihadists to fight the rest of Israel from the strategic high ground. Yet this is precisely the formula that Israel’s leadership went for, and which subsequent US administrations have adopted. The two-state solution has been taught ad nauseam as the only solution to the conflict, and has been stuffed down Israel’s throats by every US administration since Jimmy Carter was president.

But change is on the horizon. Recently, the Republican party unanimously voted to drop support for the two-state solution in its national platform; rejected the notion of Israel as an “occupier;” and “specifically recognize[d] that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (“BDS”) is antisemitic in nature and seeks to destroy Israel.”

In a recent Statement from Trump’s Israel Advisory Committee, Jason Dov Greenblatt and David Friedman, wrote: “The US cannot support the creation of a new state where terrorism is financially incentivized, terrorists are celebrated by political parties and government institutions, and the corrupt diversion of foreign aid is rampant.”

With the Trump election, a window is opening to finish the work of the Six-Day War and to further a plan of action to assert Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria and dismantle the PA. The first step towards that aim is clear: If freezing construction in those areas was a concession to President Barack Obama, then now is the time to rectify that sin and build, build, build. Maybe we can even put up a Trump Tower in Kiryat Arba.

Moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem

The first clear test of the Trump administration will be the promised move of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and thereby recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Actually, Trump won’t have to do anything to make that happen. The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 is a US law — passed by the 104th Congress on October 23, 1995 — for the purpose of relocating the Embassy of the United States in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The act also called for Jerusalem to remain an undivided city and for it to be recognized as the capital of the state of Israel. The law was adopted by the Senate (93–5) and the House (374–37). Nevertheless, it has never been implemented, because of opposition from presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama, who have consistently claimed the presidential waiver on national security interests.

All Trump has to do is not sign that waiver and the law — the will of the American people — will be fulfilled. This is a Trumportunity to instantaneously erase the disgrace of Israel’s great ally not recognizing the Jewish right to Jerusalem.

Push back Iran and Jihad

This is what Trump’s Advisory Committee on Israel has written:

“Despite the Iran Nuclear deal in 2015, the US State Department recently designated Iran, yet again, as the leading state sponsor of terrorism  — putting the Middle East particularly, but the whole world at risk by financing, arming and training terrorist groups operating around the world including Hamas, Hezbollah and forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The US must counteract Iran’s ongoing… quest for nuclear weapons.”

Indeed, the Netanyahu, Brexit and Trump victories are signals from us global voters that we are tired of concessions to jihad — and we want it pushed back. In the UK and and the US, people want an end to dangerous unchecked immigration, and here in Israel we must demand of our leaders to strike at the jihadist infrastructure that exists within the borders of our country. The Obama era encouraged Iran and global jihad; the Trump era is an opportunity to push that dark genie back into the bottle.

But jihadist are not only waging war in Iran, Syria and Gaza. They are also on American campuses and in the media. Much of the intellectual force of jihad against Israel actually sits in offices like those of the New York Times and on campuses like Berkeley — places that affect millions with their incessant teaching and broadcasting of the delegitimization of Israel. In response, Trumps advisers on Israel have written: “The Trump administration will ask the Justice Department to investigate coordinated attempts on college campuses to intimidate students who support Israel.”

Indeed, there is now a Trumportunity to counteract anti-Israel sentiment throughout the world as Trump’s election is, in part, a repudiation of “progressive “ ideology, and within that, of course, is anti-Israelism.

Opportunity to work hard

The Trumportunity is by no means a guarantee. The opportunity here is just that, an opportunity. Just as in the Six-Day War, it can be harnessed or squandered. Now is the time for us Israelis to push hard on our leadership to maximize this moment. Now is the time for pro-Israel Americans to hold the Trump administration to its promise to fulfill its pro-Israel mandate and the Republican platform. Now is the time for all of us to get out and push this wagon all the way home. The victories of Netanyahu, Brexit and Trump are a good start, but nothing here is going to happen automatically. Let’s get to work and take hold of the Trumportunity. May God give us strength to succeed.

Yishai Fleisher

PA UN Envoy Threatening to Make Trump’s Life Miserable for Moving Embassy to Jerusalem

Sunday, November 13th, 2016

In a priceless demonstration of the Arabs’ 600-year long failure to appreciate new realities, Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian Authority’s UN Ambassador, on Friday warned President-elect Donald Trump that if he dared move the US embassy to Jerusalem, he and his ilk would “make life miserable” for the United States at the United Nations.

“If people attack us by moving the embassy to Jerusalem, which is a violation of Security Council resolutions, it is a violation of resolution 181 of the UN general assembly that was drafted by the US … it means they are showing belligerency towards us … If they do that nobody should blame us for unleashing all of the weapons that we have in the UN to defend ourselves and we have a lot of weapons in the UN,” Mansour said.

Mansour did demonstrate that he was still living on Planet Earth by conceding that the Security Council would not vote to condemn such a move by the US, because, well, the US is a veto wielding member of the Security Council. But that did not hold the PA rep back from warning the incoming president. “Maybe I can’t have resolutions in the Security Council but I can make their lives miserable everyday with precipitating a veto on my admission as a member state.”

Mansour, who served as the Deputy Permanent Observer of the PLO to the United Nations from 1983 to 1994, succeeded Nasser al-Qudwa as Permanent Observer for Palestine to the UN in 2005. On November 29, 2012, 65 years to the day after the Arabs forever ruined their chance for a legitimate state in the UN Partition vote, the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations was upgraded to “non-Member Observer State.” Now, it appears, Ambassador Mansour made sure no further upgrades may be coming. Especially when he promised Trump he would drag him to the International Criminal Court of Justice in the Hague.

Taking Trump to court — now, that’ll scare him.

Mansour warned that “it is illegal to defy Security Council resolutions that the US is party to it that the unilateral action by Israel annexing East Jerusalem is illegal and it is null and void. If the US administration wants to defy international law they are doing something illegal.”

Trump’s plan to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem sounds radically different coming from his key advisor Jason Greenblatt than from his other key advisor, Walid Phares. The former has spread enthusiastic promises regarding the move before the election, the latter has told the BBC that the move depended on there being a favorable “consensus.”

On Saturday night’s satirical show Back of the Nation, comic Rotem Abuhav said moving the embassy would be a nightmare, seeing as it would permanently clog the already jammed city traffic, making it impossible for Israelis to receive consular services. Abuhav suggested that from now on, instead of taking a trip to see America, she and her family would just take a trip to the US embassy to take the Visa Application ride.

David Israel

For Americans in Israel Who Didn’t Receive an Absentee Ballot…

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

There are increasing reports that numerous American citizens living in Israel have not yet received their absentee ballots for next week’s presidential election.

For those readers who are among this group, and did not receive a ballot from your local Board of Elections, all is not yet lost. One can download and print out a federal write-in absentee ballot that is valid in every state in the U.S., and return it anyway.

The ‘iVote Israel’ organization, a project of the nonprofit organization “Americans for Jerusalem,” has placed drop boxes in 11 towns and cities around Israel, for filled-out ballots that will then be returned, postage-free, to the United States.

Most are located in the center of the country, but one is also located in Be’er Sheva, in southern Israel, and one is also located in Efrat, a town in Judea, close to Jerusalem.

Hana Levi Julian

Obama Unites Congressional Democrats, Republicans, in Overriding Veto Damaging 9/11 Families

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

State Dept. Spokesperson John Kirby was in the middle of his daily press briefing Wednesday when a reporter informed him that the House had just joined the Senate in overriding the presidential veto on a law permitting the families of 9/11 attacks victims to sue Saudi Arabia should it turn out that the Kingdom was involved in carrying out those attacks. The reporter wanted to know if the Obama Administration, as it had warned would happen, had been approached by any foreign government threatening to “pass legislation that could affect the sovereign immunity of the United States and U.S. officials abroad?”

As expected, Kirby admitted he was not aware “that any government has expressed an intention to do so since the President’s veto. Before the President’s veto, though,” he noted, “some of our European friends — who are less likely to have been affected by the intent of the law itself — have expressed concerns about the issue of sovereign immunity surrounding the law. … France being one of them.” But no country like, say, Saudi Arabia, has so far stated its intent to seek anti-American retribution.

Possibly because Saudi Arabia is not interested in alienating the American public even more at this stage of the game, when the Iranians are running roughshod along its borders and the only reliable protection for the Saudis comes from the US.

However, as Kirby pointed out, the new law, now officially on the books, is forcing the US’ European allies “to rethink the whole issue of sovereign immunity. We didn’t make that up. That was communicated to us by other countries.”

Is the State Dept. expecting diplomatic difficulty with Saudi Arabia as a result of the veto? In Kirby’s view, “it goes beyond just Saudi Arabia. It goes to a larger concern that we have had about this idea of sovereign immunity — not just for diplomats but for our troops, for US companies that operate overseas.”

Possibly. What was most poignant about this vote was the fact that Congressional Democrats clamored to support the veto override, signaling to their voters that they are not captives of an irrational White House on this and other issues. Congressman Jerry Nadler, a Manhattan Democrat whose 10th Congressional District actually includes Ground Zero, was adamant in attacking the president’s arguments.

“Despite the overblown rhetoric of some critics of this bill, JASTA (Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act) will not pose a threat to American military personnel or diplomats,” Nadler told the house. Debunking Kirby’s fretting, he added, “They would be absolutely protected if another country passed legislation mirroring this bill because JASTA applies only to governments. To the extent that a foreign government might pass broader legislation that would make American personnel subject to liability, that country would not be reciprocating. It would be engaging in a transparent and unjustifiable act of aggression.”

Nadler also noted that, despite Obama’s exaggerated fears, “the economic, diplomatic, and military strength of the United States makes such action unlikely, and any rogue state inclined to target US interests can already do so. We must not hold justice for the 9/11 families hostage to imagined fears.”

Over at the Senate, Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) cast the only vote in favor of Obama’s veto. No Democrat argued in favor of Obama’s version of reality before the vote. The Senate voted 97-1 Wednesday to override the veto.

The White House was irate, obviously, and spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters aboard Air Force One following the Senate override, “I would venture to say that this is the single most embarrassing thing that the United States Senate has done, possibly, since 1983.”

For speculations as to what act of the Senate Earnest was referring to, check out this website, which tried to figure it out (White House Is Profoundly Wrong About the Most Embarrassing Thing Senate Has Done). We went to Wikipedia (so you won’t have to) and dug up possible embarrassing things Joe may have been thinking about, although, to be fair, most of them were attributed to the president, not the Senate:

On February 24, 1983, a special Congressional commission released a report critical of the practice of Japanese internment during World War II. That sure was embarrassing, but the shameful stuff didn’t happen in 1983, obviously.

On April 18, 1983, the US Embassy was bombed in Beirut, resulting in 63 dead. Then, on October 23, 1983, simultaneous suicide truck-bombings destroyed both the French and the US Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, killing 241 US servicemen, 58 French paratroopers and 6 Lebanese civilians. That was horrifying and embarrassing, especially since at that point President Ronald Reagan decided to cut and run — a point not mentioned often enough in those stories glorifying him as a brave commander-in-chief.

Finally, on October 25, 1983, American troops invaded Grenada, possibly to show the US could still defeat somebody. Yes, that was pretty embarrassing.

Of course, Earnest was not referring to any of the above. He was merely responding to a reporter who had told him that Wednesday’s veto was the most overwhelming since a 1983 95-0 veto override. President Reagan vetoed a land bill that gave a few acres to six retired couples who had paid good money for it only to find out later that, due to a surveying error, it was still government property.

No Saudis were harmed in the commission of that other veto.

JNi.Media

Analysis: Should Israeli Settlers Fear Trump’s Peace Negotiations? [video]

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

Donald Trump’s website mentions only two foreign countries by name: in its Positions section it deals with “Reforming The US-China Trade Relationship To Make America Great Again,” and in its Issues section, which is a series of videos with the candidate spending about a minute speaking forcefully on the issues, the one country that’s mentioned as an “issue” is, you guessed, Israel.

Should Israelis and US Jews be concerned that the Jewish State is so clearly a burning issue for Trump? Not if you believe the opening, where Trump straightens his gaze at the camera and declares, “I love Israel, I’m very pro-Israel.” He hasn’t said it about any other country in quite this total fashion.

But what to Trump is the Israel issue begins and ends with what he considered, back in March, when he shot this video, a challenge to his skills as negotiator. You can be a Trump supporter and still be perplexed by the amount of personal prestige the candidate has invested in being that one American president who finally brought peace to “Israel and the Palestinians.”

“Trump is plainly the best bet for the Jews,” Seth Lipsky wrote in the NY Post Wednesday, citing neoconservative Norman Podhoretz, who berated Hillary for the 2012 rejection by the Democratic convention of restoring both God and Jerusalem to the DNC platform.

True enough, but Trump was booed at his AIPAC appearance last December when he, too, refused to commit to moving the US embassy to Jerusalem.

“Trump’s also the candidate siding with religious Americans whose rights are in jeopardy from the proliferating series of laws and court rulings in which religious persons are being asked to bow to a liberalism hostile to religious law,” Lipsky argued.

But religious Jews are not under attack by the liberal government anywhere in America: unlike in Europe, Jewish rituals are not under attack anywhere, with the possible exception of the Bay area; why even the latest NYC policy on oral suction in circumcision is restricted to educational pamphlets, rather than court orders.

The problem with Trump regarding Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria (and, possibly, eastern Jerusalem) is the candidate’s eagerness to make a difference in the age old Israeli-Arab conflict.

Here is what Trump said on tape in March, which the campaign has chosen to keep up there as one of his key concerns:

“I would love to see a deal be made between Israel and the Palestinians. It’s probably the hardest negotiation there is. Great negotiators have tried and they failed. It’s just so deep seated, the hatred, the level of distrust.

“But I’m going to give it an awfully good shot. I want to remain as neutral as possible, because if you’re not somewhat neutral the other side is never going to do it.

“But just remember, Israel, I love you, we’re gonna’ see if we can get something done, it has to be done for both sides, it cannot continue to be the way it is. Let’s see what we can negotiate, let’s see if it can be done.”

Does the last paragraph strike you as something you might tell your child before taking him for his booster shots? It’ll hurt, for sure, but remember, Daddy loves you very much and when the doctor is done poking you Daddy will buy you an ice cream cone.

There’s no doubt that presumptive Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton is easily as worrisome when it comes to Israel. She is surrounded by anti-Israel advisors, one of whom is a radical Muslim. It is a tough call to make — which Roman emperor will bring more trouble to tiny little Judea: Hillary, who might end up just talking the talk but avoid the actual walk; or Trump, who might just, God forbid, decide to test his skills — and then what would Israel do when the Arabs agree to some of his proposals and a victorious Trump turns to Netanyahu and says, Brother, I got you a great deal, just hand over control of eastern Jerusalem and take the Jews out of the “territories.”

We welcome a civilized discussion of the concerns raised in this article.

David Israel

MK Yehuda Glick is Waiting for America

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

For the first time in the history of Israel, just 119 lawmakers are seated in the 120-member Knesset. American red tape is holding up the works for incoming Likud Knesset member Yehuda Glick, who was born in the United States.

Glick became the next in the Likud to join the Knesset when former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon resigned his post.

But the Temple Mount Heritage Foundation leader has to cancel his U.S. citizenship in order to serve in the Israeli government.

Glick already paid the thousands of dollars involved in revoking his citizenship. He’s also filled out the necessary forms.

The actual processing of all that red tape is now up to the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, however, and thus far the red tape is taking a long time to unravel.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/mk-yehuda-glick-is-waiting-for-america/2016/05/25/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: