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January 18, 2017 / 20 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Washington DC’

Iran Received ‘Billions’ From Obama Administration in Cash, Gold & Assets

Sunday, January 15th, 2017

The Islamic Republic of Iran has received more than $10 billion in cash, gold bullion and assets from the Obama administration since 2013, according to reports by the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Free Beacon.

The payments were made primarily to keep Iran at the negotiating table, to ensure that American hostages were freed and finally, to secure and keep the July 2015 nuclear deal in place. For most of the time U.S. lawmakers did not know the payments were to be made in cash, and the White House did not return calls from concerned members of Congress.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Bahram Ghasemi was quoted by the Wall Street Journal as saying the amount of $10 billion just “scratches the surface” of the total paid to Tehran over the past several years.

According to the Washington Free Beacon, Ghasemi was quoted in Persian language reports independently translated for the news outlet as saying that figure was actually a “stingy” estimate. Cash, gold and other assets were transferred by Washington DC to Iran’s Central Bank, where they were “spent,” he said.

“After the Geneva conference and the resulting agreement, it was decided that $700 million dollars were to be dispensed per month” by the U.S., according to Ghassemi. “In addition to the cash funds which we received, we [also] received our deliveries in gold, bullion, and other things,” he said, Free Beacon quoted.

What’s important to remember in reading these figures is where this money goes when it’s “spent.” Iran uses these and other resources to fund its regional terrorist operations in the Middle East, and to support the military operation in Syria.

That means the Obama administration was indirectly funding the support of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah – and their attacks on Israel.

Hana Levi Julian

UK to Loan Bust of Winston Churchill After Trump Requests Its Return to White House

Saturday, January 14th, 2017

After an exile of nearly eight years, a bust of Sir Winston Churchill created by artist Sir Jacob Epstein will be returned “on loan” to the White House upon the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump.

The bust was originally presented as a gift to former President George W. Bush in July 2001 by then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and displayed by President Bush in the Oval Office for the length of both of his terms in office, from 2001 to 2009.

But President Barack Obama handed the famous sculpture back to the United Kingdom in 2009, replacing it instead with one of Dr. Martin Luther King.

Although Mr. Obama said at a press conference that he had a second one in his private residence at the White House, the move was seen by outraged British citizens and lawmakers as a “snub to Britain.”

Since that time the Churchill bust has remained at the British Embassy in Washington DC.

Sir Winston Churchill, a Tory politician, served as the prime minister of the United Kingdom during the Holocaust of World War II — from 1940 to 1945 — and again from 1951 to 1955. He led England through the bombing raids by the German war machine, among other difficult moments in history.

Sir Winston had an American mother, and is the only person ever to have been granted an honorary U.S. passport. He passed away in 1965 at the age of 90 on the anniversary of the death of his father, Lord Randolph Churchill, also a Tory politician.

President-elect Trump is said to be a great admirer of the late British prime minister, and has read British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson’s biography of Churchill. During talks at Trump Tower in New York a week ago, Trump advisers Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon asked the British foreign minister on behalf of the president-elect to return the bust.

A spokesperson for British Prime Minister Theresa May responded in a statement quoted by The Sun, “The prime minister is happy to loan the Churchill bust to the White House and will be delighted to view it on display when she visits this spring.”

Hana Levi Julian

Historically Jewish Country Club May Revoke Complimentary Membership for Obama Over UNSC Resolution

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

The elite Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Maryland is seriously considering revoking a complimentary membership it had extended to outgoing President Barack Obama. The club is comprised primarily of Jewish members.

The decision is still up in the air, but doubts abound in reaction to Mr. Obama’s orders last month to the U.S. envoy to abstain during the UN Security Council vote which unanimously passed anti-Israel resolution 2334(2016).

The issue is ironic given the origins of the club, founded in 1913 specifically due to the exclusion of Jews from all other country clubs in the area, thanks to the rampant anti-Semitism that ruled society at the time and their undeniable status as Jews.

That’s not to say that anti-Semitism isn’t still rampant in the United States today, albeit in far more insidious, politically correct and quiet forms.

The outgoing president’s membership at the golfing club would normally have cost a regular member an $80,000 initiation fee in addition to $9,673 in annual dues.

The club is located just a few miles from the home into which the Obama family has chosen to move from the White House, and features “two premiere golf courses,” according to its web site.

A source at the club told the New York Post, “Originally, this was supposed to be a back-door thing to get this done and give him the membership – free of charge – and circumvent the rules. But now, with the UN thing, they are not in position or likely to do it.”

The outgoing president would have officially started at the club after leaving the White House on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2017.

But threats of lawsuits and/or litigation by club members on both sides of the political aisle – Democrats as well as Republicans – for breaching the bylaws in order to make the complimentary offer, have given the club leadership second thoughts about bending the rules to allow him to join.

“Can you imagine how angry I would be, if I had paid $80,000 to have to look at this guy who has done more to damage Israel than any president in American history?” one Washington Jewish NGO official told the NY Post.

“After the UN vote and attack on Israel, I think it probably hurts the club. If there is a club that excludes Jews, he would probably be more comfortable around those folks.”

Hana Levi Julian

Report: US Ambassador To Israel May Work Sans Embassy in Jerusalem

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

A report broadcast Tuesday night by Israel’s Channel 2 television news said U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for the incoming Ambassador to Israel – David Friedman – may begin working out of the American Consulate in Jerusalem, while the official U.S. Embassy remains in Tel Aviv.

But then, what do you call a Consulate when the Ambassador works there, and lives there in residence?

The president-elect pledged during his campaign – and repeated the promise after his election – to move the embassy to the Israeli capital. His senior adviser, Kellyanne Conway also repeated that promise, as did his chosen candidate for Ambassador to Israel, Mr. Friedman.

Last month, the incoming Trump administration also sent an advance team to Jerusalem scout for a feasible site to consider for a future U.S. Embassy.

Palestinian Authority officials, and those heading the Palestine Liberation Organization (but most head both) have repeatedly threatened, however, that any attempt to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would be considered “an act of war.”

Jordan, albeit a signatory to a peace treaty with Israel, has also warned that such a move would “cross a red line.”

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry used most of a speech lasting well over an hour earlier this month to scorch the Israeli government and its prime minister, and sketch out the Obama administration’s “vision for peace” with a six-point plan. Kerry, too, issued dire warnings that moving the embassy to Jerusalem would cause an “explosion of violence across the Middle East.”

It is expected that Jordan will attend the upcoming Paris “peace summit” later this week. At that conference Kerry is to reprise his speech for delegates of 70 nations invited to the French capital to discuss how to resolve the issues between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Neither of the two relevant parties is invited to the summit that is ostensibly being held — by the very same nations who condemned the State of Israel and voted to approve a worldwide boycott against more than half a million Israelis, less than a month ago — to “help them find a pathway to peace.”

Hana Levi Julian

Haim Saban ‘Deeply Disturbed’ by US Abstention at UNSC, and Kerry’s ‘One-Sided Speech’

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

Israeli American Jewish billionaire Haim Saban, has come out and publicly, intensely criticized last month’s American abstention at the United Nations Security Council, along with the “one sided speech” by Secretary of State John Kerry that followed.

Saban is known for being a superdonor to the Democratic Party for decades and founder of the Brooking Institution’s annual Saban Forum, which each year draws the mega stars of international leadership, politics and diplomacy to its panels.

The Egyptian-born Democrat gave more than $12.5 million to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. But this week he warned the Obama administration to veto any further “biased UNSC resolutions that may be introduced” in Paris later this month.

Saban, who owns Univision, has been – if not the highest, then certainly one of the highest – individual donors to the Democratic Party in history, funding construction of the Democratic National Committee headquarters building in Washington DC to the tune of a $7 million personal contribution together with his wife Sheryl. The couple is known for their philanthropy to the Jewish State, and for having established the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution in Washington DC, a public policy organization.

“As a longstanding Democrat who has supported and defended President Obama on his treatment of Israel throughout his presidency, I am deeply disturbed by the Administration’s decision not to veto UN Security Council Resolution 2334 and Secretary Kerry’s subsequent one sided speech. These actions undermine our country’s long-standing support for Israel and harm any long-term prospects for peace, which is in our national interest. Further, I urge the Obama Administration to stay true to our decades old policy by vetoing any additional biased UNSC resolutions that may be introduced at the Paris summit later this month, and refrain from issuing any other policy statements that would only make things worse. “Fostering the conditions for peace, security, and prosperity for both Israelis and Palestinians is a core American interest. In the months and years ahead, it is essential that the US — in its role as the only superpower today — take the necessary steps to maintain its credibility as an intermediary between the parties and work to advance a sustainable two-state solution, in which a Jewish, democratic State of Israel lives in peace and security alongside its neighbors or, until the conditions are ripe for peace, promote a separation between the two peoples.”

Hana Levi Julian

US Senators Cruz, Heller & Rubio Launch Attempt to Force Recognition of Jerusalem as Capital of Israel

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), along with Sens. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), announced this week their formal attempt to force recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The three lawmakers introduced the Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act, legislation that would fulfill America’s commitment to Israel to relocate the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. “Jerusalem is the eternal and undivided capital of Israel,” Sen. Cruz said.

“Unfortunately, the Obama administration’s vendetta against the Jewish state has been so vicious that to even utter this simple truth – let alone the reality that Jerusalem is the appropriate venue for the American embassy in Israel – is shocking in some circles. But it is finally time to cut through the double-speak and broken promises and do what Congress said we should do in 1995: formally move our embassy to the capital of our great ally Israel.

“I am pleased to co-sponsor this legislation with Senator Heller and Senator Rubio, and I look forward to working with the Trump administration to make this happen.” “My support for Israel is unwavering. From my very first days as a United States Senator, I have prioritized the strengthening of the important relationship shared between Israel and the United States. That’s why I’m proud to reintroduce the Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act.

“For years, I’ve advocated for America’s need to reaffirm its support for one of our nation’s strongest allies by recognizing Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel. It honors an important promise America made more than two decades ago but has yet to fulfill. While Administrations come and go, the lasting strength of our partnership with one of our strongest allies in the Middle East continues to endure. My legislation is a testament to that.”

“I’d like to thank Senators Rubio and Cruz for their support for this legislation and look forward to working with the new Administration to turn this bill into law,” said Sen. Heller.

Senator Rubio added, “Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish state of Israel, and that’s where America’s embassy belongs. It’s time for Congress and the President-Elect to eliminate the loophole that has allowed presidents in both parties to ignore U.S. law and delay our embassy’s rightful relocation to Jerusalem for over two decades.”

In 1995, Congress passed “The Jerusalem Embassy and Relocation Act,” which recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel by moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

To date, the promise to move the U.S. Embassy has not yet been fulfilled. The bill withholds certain State Department funds until that relocation is complete.

The reason for this is because it is within the State Department that the actual stumbling block lies, even under an administration friendly to Israel.

Hana Levi Julian

Netanyahu’s Furious Reply After Kerry Scolds Israel in State Dept. Speech

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016

Within a scant few hours after U.S. Secretary of State delivered a blistering attack on the government of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his farewell speech to the State Department, the leader of the Jewish State had a few well-chosen words of his own to say to America’s chief diplomat.

Mr. Netanyahu expressed his “deep disappointment” with a speech that he called “almost as unbalanced as the anti-Israel resolution passed at the UN last week, in a speech ostensibly about peace between Israelis and Palestinians.”

The prime minister said Mr. Kerry paid “lip service” to the unending campaign of terrorism waged by Arabs against Israel “for nearly a century.” He noted the Secretary spent most of his speech instead “blaming Israel for the lack of peace” instead, and pointed out that “hundreds of suicide bombers, thousands — tens of thousands — of rockets, millions of Israelis and bomb shelters are not throwaway lines in a speech; they’re the realities the people of Israel have to endure because of mistaken policies…that at the time won the thunderous applause of the world.”

He added that he is not seeking applause, but rather the security, peace, prosperity and the future of the Jewish State.

With an added edge to his voice, Mr. Netanyahu said, “Israelis do not need to be lectured about the importance of peace by foreign leaders. Israel’s hand has been extended in peace to its neighbors from Day One, from its very first day.

“We pray for peace. We’ve worked for it every day since then, and thousands of Israeli families have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend our country and advance peace. My family has been one of them. There are many, many others.”

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/netanyahus-furious-reply-after-kerry-scolds-israel-in-state-dept-speech/2016/12/28/

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