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January 21, 2017 / 23 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘us state department’

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

Trump’s Orthodox Zionist Ambassador Eager to Serve in ‘Eternal Capital of Israel’

Friday, December 16th, 2016

President-elect Donald J. Trump on Thursday announced that his bankruptcy lawyer of many years David Friedman, an Orthodox Jew who probably feels more at home in Jerusalem than in Tel Aviv, will be his next Ambassador to Israel. Indeed, the Trump transition team made a note of the fact that Friedman’s bar mitzvah 45 years ago was celebrated at the Western Wall. Friedman, for his part, said he looks forward to serving at his new job at “the US embassy in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem.”

A regular contributor to rightwing news website Arutz Sheva, Friedman told his friends there on Friday: “Mr. Trump’s confidence is very flattering. My views on Israel are well-known, and I would advise him in a matter consistent with those views. America’s geo-political interests are best served by a strong and secure Israel with Jerusalem as its undivided capital.”

Which is why it was no surprise that J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami’s response statement said the barely Zionist group was “vehemently opposed to the nomination,” because “as someone who has been a leading American friend of the settlement movement, who lacks any diplomatic or policy credentials, Friedman should be beyond the pale.”

This may have to do with the fact that Friedman in the past compared J Street to the kapos who cooperated with the Nazis during the Holocaust, except he had some sympathy for them and none for Jeremy Ben-Ami. “The kapos faced extraordinary cruelty,” he wrote. “But J Street? They are just smug advocates of Israel’s destruction delivered from the comfort of their secure American sofas — it’s hard to imagine anyone worse.”

The Republican Jewish Coalition, on the other hand, was besides itself with delight, as its executive director Matt Brooks called Friedman’s appointment “a powerful signal to the Jewish community.” It is estimated that only 28% of Jewish voters picked Trump, but four years are a long time for minds to be changed, especially since the designated Ambassador, a fluent Hebrew speaker, has been so unabashed in advocating US-Israel friendship. The Trump transition team’s statement praised Friedman’s love of Israel:

“The two nations have enjoyed a special relationship based on mutual respect and a dedication to freedom and democracy. With Mr. Friedman’s nomination, President-elect Trump expressed his commitment to further enhancing the US-Israel relationship and ensuring there will be extraordinary strategic, technological, military and intelligence cooperation between the two countries.”

How will the gang in Ramallah take the news from Washington? Not well, most likely. We dug up this typical musing by the next Ambassador in an Arutz Sheva column titled “End the two-state narrative.” It probably would make for a heart-warming Shabbat read over at Amona, if they print it out in time:

“Much has changed over the decades since the two-state narrative began. Palestinian leaders have a much harder time lying to their people. Palestinians can witness – through the internet and first hand experience – the advantages of integration into Israeli society and the bankrupt values and barbarism of radical Islam.

“In addition, Saudi Arabia is running out of money, America and Israel are both energy independent and Israel’s neighbors – Jordan and Egypt – are far more concerned about ISIS and Iran than about Judea and Samaria. The world is a different place, diplomatic and security alignments have shifted, and only Mahmoud Abbas, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton are still stuck in the past, clinging to stale ideas that will only continue to fail.

“Radicalized Palestinian terrorists need to be rooted out and eliminated. But the remainder – perhaps the majority – of Palestinians should finally benefit from the hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes paid by the US State Department to Abbas. Fostering a Palestinian middle class is the solution of the 21st century and it has nothing to do with two states.”

That is actually a plan. Which is probably why leftist former Israeli peace negotiator Daniel Levy told the NY Times that in naming Friedman Trump is undercutting the security of Israel and the US, forcing the PA Arabs “to further disenfranchisement and dispossession.”

“If an American ambassador stakes out positions that further embolden an already triumphalist settler elite, then that is likely to cause headaches for American national security interests across the region and even for Israel’s own security establishment,” Levy declared. “Especially an ambassador committed to the ill-advised relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem.”

This means that, come January 20, 2017, the only obstacle to imposing Israeli sovereignty in Area C, if not the entire Judea and Samaria, would be the Netanyahu government that finds itself, for the first time in Israel’s history, to the left of the US Administration regarding the liberated territories.

To cite a certain Arutz Sheva columnist, in his piece titled “US presidents and Israel: Always expect the unexpected,” one must never abandon divine intervention when considering political strategy:

“They say that in Israel, one who believes in miracles is a realist. Looking back some 90 years on the cast of characters who were privileged to hold the most powerful position on the face of the earth, it is nothing less than miraculous that Israel has continued to grow, prosper and flourish. The hand of God is everywhere to be seen in Israel’s development. We should, of course, try to pick the right president, but let’s not forget who’s really running the show. Let’s therefore include prayer, charity and good deeds as an essential part of a pro-Israel strategy.”

JNi.Media

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

Rightwing Watchdog Urging Action on Fake Arab Settlement Susya [video]

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

Israeli legal watchdog Regavim has appealed to its supporters in Israel and abroad to write to Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman to take action against the illegal squatter camp in Susya. The call comes one day after the Israeli Supreme Court has given government a two-day extension on the deadline to deal with the issue through legal means.

There has been immense public pressure on the Netanyahu government by the US State Department, the European Union and dozens of anti-Israel NGOs, to halt the legal process of evicting the illegal Arab squatters who only arrived in Susya over the past few years. The Arabs’ assortment of lean-tos and tents borders on a legal Jewish community that was established by the government in 1986. Should Israel permit this illegal outpost to remain, in Area C of Judea and Samaria which was designated for Jewish settlements, more camps like it will soon dot the landscape everywhere inside the Jewish area of the “disputed territories,” enhancing the Arab side of the dispute.

Regavim released a video call-to-action in which the organization’s International Director Josh Hasten called on supporters to rally around the government as they deliberate on the fate of the squatters’ camp. Explaining the importance of the Susya case, Hasten says the Arab squatters “have set-up shop deliberately on an ancient Jewish town that existed 1,500 years ago — this is a litmus test to see if the government of Israel is willing to uphold the laws of the land.”

Hasten urges viewers to “get involved, let the Prime Minister know that the State of Israel and people of Israel are behind him and we are here to strengthen him in making this decision which is necessary to uphold the laws of the land.”

David Israel

Obama, Liberman Statements Expose Raw Nerves in Jerusalem, DC, over Iran Deal

Saturday, August 6th, 2016

On Thursday, President Barack Obama claimed that Israel’s “military and security community” has realized he was right all along and now supports his nuclear deal with Iran. “The country that was most opposed to the deal,” he told a press conference, “acknowledges this has been a game-changer.”

That same military and security community, currently under new management, reacted swiftly and bitterly, saying that deals have value only when they are based on existing reality, and are entirely without value if the facts on the ground are the opposite of those assumed by the deal.

It then added a harsh reminder, that the 1938 Munich accord, whose “basic assumption, that Nazi Germany could be a partner to any kind of agreement, was wrong,” failed to prevent WW2 and the Holocaust, because world leaders at the time ignored the explicit threats made by Hitler and the rest of the Nazi leadership.

The Israeli response, despite the mention of the Holocaust, was considered by Israeli analysts to be showing restraint. For one thing, it was not delivered personally by Prime Minister Netanyahu, nor by the actual head of the “military and security community,” Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman. The boorish voice in this incident belonged to Obama. As a NY Post editorial put it, “What could President Obama have been thinking?”

Or, as the unsigned Liberman response implied, how can anyone in their right mind trust “the agreement with Iran, which itself explicitly and publicly announces that its goal is to destroy the state of Israel.”

It continued: “A US State Department document published this year states that Iran is the chief state sponsor of terror world-wide. Therefore, the Israeli security establishment, the nation of Israel, and many other nations around the world, understand that agreements like those signed between the world super powers and Iran aren’t helpful. They only damage the uncompromising struggle against nations which support terror.”

Netanyahu’s office issued a much softer response, following Liberman’s office’s statement, saying that despite the difference of opinions over the Iran deal, “Prime Minister Netanyahu still believes that Israel has no greater ally than the United States. As Netanyahu said in his UN speech last year, it’s important that those who were for the agreement and those who were against it cooperate to fulfill three goals; to make sure that Iran doesn’t violate the agreement, to deal with Iran’s regional aggression, and to dismantle Iran’s global terror network. The Prime Ministers expects these goals to become part of shared policies, and that the alliance between the United States and Israel only grow stronger not only with President Obama, but also with his successor.”

JNi.Media

Knesset Forms Committee to Investigate Foreign Political Donations

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

By Tzvi Lev/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – The Knesset on Tuesday approved the establishment of a bipartisan committee tasked with investigating political organizations that are funded with money from foreign governments, such as the V15 organization.

“The United States Senate report proved how dangerous such organizations are to Israeli democracy and the need to close this loophole,” said Likud MK Yoav Kish, who chairs the committee. “I will build a concrete wall against the money from foreign sources whose goal is to buy power.”

Kish was referring to the United States Senate report released in July, which proved that the US State Department has poured vast sums of money into V15. Kish claimed that the funding was done in an attempt to bring down Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

V15 came into public attention as a group dedicated to removing Netanyahu from power, running anti-Netanyahu ads during the 2015 election with the slogan “anyone but Bibi.” However, the group was formed and received Senate funding long before the Israeli government surprisingly dissolved and the 2015 elections were announced.

MK Yoav Kish had drafted a bill that would make accepting such foreign donations illegal, and the Senate report accelerated the process required to ratify the bill into law.

The committee will be staffed by nine coalition and seven opposition MKs.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Analysis: US Critical of Jewish Construction, Mum on Next Door Govt. Construction for Arabs

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

The US State Department on Wednesday released a statement saying it is “deeply concerned by reports today that the Government of Israel has published tenders for 323 units in East Jerusalem settlements. This follows Monday’s announcement of plans for 770 units in the settlement of Gilo.”

The State Dept. added, “We strongly oppose settlement activity, which is corrosive to the cause of peace. These steps by Israeli authorities are the latest examples of what appears to be a steady acceleration of settlement activity that is systematically undermining the prospects for a two- state solution.”

Now, keep in mind that the area in question is eastern Jerusalem, and that these days there are two government supported construction plans in the same area, practically next door to each other: one is the Jewish neighborhood of Gilo, the other, comprised of 600 new units, in Arab Beit Safafa. Same territory, same government, everyone involved being a registered resident of the Israeli capital city of Jerusalem, yet the State Dept. has nothing negative to say about the Beit Safafa expansion plan.

In other words, the US is upset with Israeli construction in eastern Jerusalem when Israeli Jews receive the housing, but it’s fine for Israel to build in the forbidden zone for Israeli Arabs.

In fact, the State Dept. announcement completely ignores the Israeli government’s effort on behalf of Israeli Arabs in Jerusalem, condemning Israel for “denial of Palestinian development that risk entrenching a one-state reality of perpetual occupation and conflict.”

In conclusion, the State Dept. notes, “We remain troubled that Israel continues this pattern of provocative and counterproductive action, which raises serious questions about Israel’s ultimate commitment to a peaceful, negotiated settlement with the Palestinians.” It would have been nice had the US acknowledged that Israel is devoting equal resources to Arabs and Jews in the same area, and that it represents in concrete ways its commitment to peace.

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/analysis-us-critical-of-jewish-construction-mum-on-next-door-govt-construction-for-arabs/2016/07/28/

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