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December 10, 2016 / 10 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘washington’

Sustaining Israel’s Friends On Capitol Hill: NORPAC’s Mission – and Missions – in Washington

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

To answer your first question: No, NORPAC is not affiliated with AIPAC, but you can certainly be forgiven for the confusion. Both organizations are passionate about their advocacy for the State of Israel and both feature the letters P-A-C in their organization’s name. However, despite the similarities, only NORPAC is a political action committee which means that only NORPAC is allowed to fundraise and donate money to U.S. senators and members of congress that share the organization’s belief in a strong and enduring relationship between the USA and Israel (AIPAC is a registered lobbying group, which cannot donate money, and the P-A-C stands for public affairs committee). This distinction is important, explains Dr. Ben Chouake, the president of NORPAC. “The advocacy we do and that AIPAC does is extremely important, but it is also important to help people get elected who are strong on your issues and fundraising is one way to help make that happen.”

NORPAC’s strategy to maintain the historically vital connection between Israel and America is therefore two-pronged. The organization’s flagship program is their annual mission to Washington, a one-day whirlwind of on-the-hill advocacy, but NORPAC also proudly hosts an increasing number of fundraising events for politicians from around the country throughout the course of the year.

Chouake assumed the position of national president in 2000, and over the course of his tenure, the organization has grown from a small New Jersey-centric program that sent 20-30 people to Washington D.C. on its annual mission and hosted one or two fundraisers a year, to a prominent voice for Israel which sends over 1,000 people from all over the tri-state area on the annual mission and hosts 40 or more fundraisers every year. Of course, Chouake doesn’t do it all on his own, and he’s the first to let you know.

“I’m a good cheerleader,” Chouake says, “but the key is to have a great team to cheerlead for.” With only one full-time employee, the indefatigable Avi Schranz, working for the organization, NORPAC relies on the tireless efforts of a small army of volunteers to meet their increasingly ambitious annual goals.

As NORPAC has grown, new thriving chapters have sprung up further and further away from the original chapter in Englewood, NJ. David Steinberg, a highly respected member of the Kew Gardens Hills community, is the president of the Brooklyn-Queens chapter of NORPAC. Steinberg also serves as a mission chair along with Richie Schlussel and Dr. Laurie Baumel. Together the mission chairs organize every aspect of the mission to Washington. The logistics are incredibly complex but important to get right, as consistency in message is vital to a successful mission to Washington.

“You don’t get a thousand Jews walking into Capitol Hill at one time who are all accidentally saying the same thing,” says Steinberg, “everything that happens on the mission requires an incredible degree of planning and discipline.”

Over the course of their one-day mission this year on May 18, the NORPAC volunteers met with 98 senators and over 340 members of the House of Representatives. In some cases, the meetings were hosted by senior members of the congressmember’s staff, but often the congressman or congresswoman themselves sat down with the NORPAC volunteers.

Jeff Schreiber, the logistics chair of the NORPAC mission to Washington, explains how NORPAC’s size provides exactly the type of flexibility that allows for such a successful and unique day of advocacy. “When AIPAC sends 15,000 people to Washington,” says Schreiber, “there is only so much they can do with a group that large. With our 1,000 to 1,300 volunteers we are able to send small groups all around the Hill and we are able to hold all of these incredible face-to-face meetings in the span of one day.”

Yehuda Raskin

US State Dept Questions Israel’s Desire to Reach ‘2-State Solution’

Wednesday, July 6th, 2016

The U.S. State Department is questioning whether Israel really wants to make peace with the Palestinian Authority, and whether the Netanyahu government really supports the “two-state solution.”

State Department spokesperson John Kirby told reporters at a briefing Tuesday that Washington is “deeply concerned” over Israel’s decision to approve a tender for 42 housing units in Kiryat Arba and construction of 800 new housing units in Jerusalem and Ma’ale Adumim.

“If it’s true, this report would be the latest step in what seems to be the systematic process of land seizures, settlement expansions and legalization of outposts that is fundamentally undermining the prospects for a two-state solution,” Kirby told reporters.

“This action risks entrenching a one-state reality and raises serious questions about Israel’s intentions.”

The approvals came in response to two deadly terrorist attacks perpetrated against Israelis within a 24-hour period last week. A 13-year-old girl was stabbed to death by a Palestinian Authority Arab who climbed in her bedroom window last Thursday morning. The killer stabbed young Halle Yaffa Ariel, hy’d dozens of times, her blood spraying all over her room, after he scaled the security fence around Kiryat Arba.

The next day Arab terrorists opened fire at Rabbi Miki Mark, the administrator of the Otniel yeshiva as he drove near the community on Route 60 with his wife and children just a few hours before the Sabbath. The rabbi died instantly as he lost control of the vehicle and the car flipped over; his wife Chava was critically injured. Two of his ten children were also wounded.

Hallel Ariel, hy’d, was an American citizen. So is Chava Mark. But although the State Department issued the standard condemnation of violence perpetrated against U.S. citizens, there was complete silence from the White House.

Israel’s security cabinet met Saturday night to determine a response to the escalation in deadly attacks. By Sunday morning the government ministers were presented with a list of measures that were gauged to signal Israel’s determination not to buckle under the violence, including more boots on the ground in the Hebron area.

The Quartet for Mideast Peace issued a report on Friday (July 1) blaming Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria — even routine building connected with the natural growth in any community, within the municipal boundaries of existing towns — for the violence.

On Tuesday, it seemed the U.S. was joining that bandwagon and adding more fuel to the fire, blaming the approval of badly-needed housing units in existing communities for the Palestinian Authority’s unwillingness to join direct final status talks — and the unprovoked bloodbaths by Arab terrorists against innocent Israeli civilians.

Kirby added the U.S. would continue to “look for leaders in the region to do what they need to do … to demonstrate leadership to take down the violence, reduce tensions.”

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli Ambassador Sends Washington Bigwigs Settlements Gift Products

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015

(JNi.media) Israel’s ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer sent senior Washington officials a series of Christmas gifts with a message which the media described as “provocative.” In a letter that came with the gift packages, Dermer wrote: “This holiday season, I decided to send a gift that would also help combat the latest effort by Israel’s enemies to destroy the one and only Jewish state. That effort is called the BDS movement — the movement to boycott, divest and sanction Israel. The main forces behind this movement are fanatics who actively seek to eliminate Israel. Unfortunately, they are occasionally joined by fools who believe that in promoting BDS, they are advancing peace between Israelis and Palestinians.”

The ambassador continues in this vein for several paragraphs, finally concluding: “In response to this effort to cast a beacon of freedom, tolerance and decency as a pariah state, I have decided this holiday season to send you products that were made in Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights. I hope you will enjoy them.

“May you and your family enjoy a New Year of faith and happiness.”

In response to a New York Times inquiry, the White House refused to say whether President Barack Obama also received one of the gift packages. The Israeli Embassy in Washington declined to provide information on the identity of the recipients.

“The U.S. government has never defended or supported Israeli settlements and activity associated with them and, by extension, does not pursue policies or activities that would legitimize them,” Ned Price, a spokesman for the White House National Security Council, said in an email.

He probably didn’t get one of those settlements gifts.

JNi.Media

ISIS Video Promises Massacre in Washington DC

Monday, November 16th, 2015

ISIS (Da’esh) vowed in a new video released Monday to strike the United States in an attack on Washington DC similar to Friday’s massacre in Paris.

The video is entitled “And Fight All Polytheists,” and was released by a “Wilayat Kirkuk” (State of Kirkuk) ISIS cell featuring jihadists speaking in Arabic.

The translations below are provided courtesy of The Daily Mail.

“We say to the states that take part in the Crusader campaign that, by God, you will have a day God willing, like France’s and by God, as we struck France in the center of its abode in Paris, then we swear that we will strike America at its center in Washington.”

The featured narrator, “Al Gharib the Algerian,” promised more attacks in Europe as well.

“I say to the European countries that we are coming, coming with booby traps and explosives, coming with explosive belts and [gun] silencers and you will be unable to stop us because today we are much stronger than before.”

Hana Levi Julian

Cabinet Minister Calls U.S. Government ‘Hostile’

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

Gilad says the State Dept. believes lies to draw false conclusions, but he does not expect an apology because the Obama administration is “hostile” to Israel.

The off-and-on irritable relationship between the United States and Israel is back into the “testy” category with frowns from Washington that Israel uses excessive violence to quell rioters and terrorists and a Cabinet minister’s labeling Washington as “hostile.”

Public Security Minister and Likud hawk Gilad Erdan, speaking on Army Radio Thursday morning, accused the State Dept. of being “misled by lies.”

He said he expects the Obama administration to “clarify” its statements,” but then added:

I don’t expect anything from the spokesmen at the State Department. The State Department has traditionally been hostile to the State of Israel.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has talked himself into trouble again. The JewishPress.com reported here earlier this week that he told Harvard University students that there has been a rapid growth of settlements and followed by noting “frustration” among Arabs.

As reported here this morning, Kerry’s spokesman John Kirby tried to roll back the remark but only make things worse by referring to “excessive violence.”

Errand’s response is bound to be raised at today’s daily press briefing at the State Dept., whose spokesmen have found it very difficult lately to answer questions by journalists who have finally realized that something is rotten in the Washington as well as in the Palestinian Authority

But Erdan’s use of the word “hostile” may have been out of order.

“Ignorant” would Netanyahu more appropriative.

As for excessive force, does anyone remember Ferguson?

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Politically Correct: US Condemns ‘Tragic Stabbings in Jerusalem’

Sunday, October 4th, 2015

The U.S. State Dept. once again has condemned the murders of Jews by Jerusalem and Palestinian Authority Arabs without using the politically incorrect word “terror.”

A statement from Washington declared:

The United States strongly condemns all acts of violence, including the ‎tragic stabbing in the Old City of Jerusalem today that left two victims dead and two injured.

We call for all perpetrators of violence to be swiftly brought to justice.

We are very concerned about mounting tensions in the West Bank and Jerusalem, including the Haram al Sharif/Temple Mount, and call on all sides to take affirmative steps to restore calm and avoid escalating the situation.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

US Promises to Protect Israel if Iran Attacks

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

An Obama administration official told Israeli diplomatic journalists Monday that the United States will protect Israel if Iran attacks it.

He also promised that the United States will not sell the F-35 advanced warplane to any other Middle East country besides Israel.

The briefing served the Obama administration’s current priority to make sure that Congress does not reject the nuclear deal with Iran by a veto-proof majority. President Barack Obama has no chance of winning majority support in the Senate, and Illinois Republican Rep. Peter Roskam declared on Monday that a majority of House members have pledged to back a resolution of disapproval of the nuclear deal

In the briefing with Israeli journalists, a defense official said that the government’s commitment to Israel’s security is “something US defense officials live on a daily basis.”

He also asserted that Iran’s continued declaration to annihilate Israel “doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t sign a deal that decreases the likelihood they will be a nuclear state.”

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has argued that ObamaDeal actually paves the way for Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon. If that is the case, the Obama administration in effect is creating an existential threat to Israel and then proposing a solution that makes Israel dependent on Washington.

Similarly, the promise not to sell F-35 warplanes to other countries n the region, most notably Egypt and Saudi Arabia which have expressed interest in buying the plane, eventually could be used as a tool to force concession from Israel. For example, President Barack Obama, or his successor, could warn Israel that if does not surrender to the Palestinian Authority, Washington will sell the F-35 to Egypt.

 

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/us-promises-to-protect-iran-if-iran-attacks/2015/08/04/

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