OH YES HE DID: Obama’s Last-Minute $221 Million Palestine Payout Frozen by Trump

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Source says State Department has notified Ramallah the funds will not be immediately available, while it examines the transfer.

Avi Issacharoff and AP report: The Trump administration has informed the Palestinian Authority that it is freezing the transfer of $221 million which was quietly authorized by the Obama administration in its final hours on January 20, a senior Palestinian source has told The Times of Israel.

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“Kerry formally notified Congress that State would release the extra $221 million money Friday morning, just hours before President Donald Trump took the oath of office.”

US officials conveyed to PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah on Tuesday that the funds were not expected to be handed over in the immediate future, said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

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“I am deeply disappointed that President Obama defied congressional oversight and released $221 million to the Palestinian territories.”

On Tuesday, the State Department said it was reviewing the last-minute decision by former secretary of state John Kerry to send the funds to the Palestinians despite objections to the transfer by congressional Republicans.

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 “I worked to make sure that no American taxpayer dollars would fund the Palestinian Authority unless very strict conditions were met. While none of these funds will go to the Palestinian Authority because of those conditions, they will go to programs in the Palestinian territories that were still under review by Congress. The Obama Administration’s decision to release these funds was inappropriate.”

–Kay Granger, House Appropriations Committee member, in a statement on Tuesday

The department said it would look at the payment and might make adjustments to ensure it comports with the Trump administration’s priorities. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Benjamin Netanyahu Response to a Video: ‘The Palestinian Leadership Must Stop Encouraging Children to Kill’

“I’ve just watched a video that shook me to the core of my being. In just a few seconds, it shows why our conflict persists.

So here is a short snippet:

“Shoot him! Shoot him! Here he is. Go, go. Shoot him!”

A Palestinian father holds up his 4-year-old son. He pleads with Israeli border police to kill his own child. He shouts, “Shoot this little boy!” His boy.

He pushes his young son forward toward the soldiers and screams, “Kill him! Shoot him!”

The boy pauses. He is scared. Any child would be.

He turns back, looking at his father for guidance.

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With his shirt tightly tucked into his bright red shorts, the boy ambles forward towards the soldiers. One of them extends his hand in friendship. The boy gives him a high-five.

It’s hard to make a four-year-old hate.

Imagine your own child at that age. Think of his smile. Imagine her laugh. Picture the unrestrained joy and innocence that only a child possesses.

Encouraging someone to murder a child – let alone your own child – is probably the most inhumane thing a person can do.palestinian-boy2-1-400x324

What did this child do to deserve this? The answer is: nothing. He is innocent.

He should be in a playground. He should be in the sun, laughing with other children.

Sadly, this father’s crime is not an isolated example. In Gaza, Hamas runs summer camps that teach children to value death over life – suicide kindergarten camps.

The Palestinian Ministry of Education in Ramallah recently organized an event for students to honor terrorists who murdered three civilians.

Two weeks ago, the Palestinian Authority’s official newspaper praised teenage terrorists and wrote that “death as a martyr is the path to excellence and greatness.” That’s a direct quote.

Palestinian and Israeli children deserve better. They deserve to live. They deserve to live in peace.
Children are not cannon fodder. They are the most precious things in the world. They’re the most precious things we have.

I’m sure Palestinian parents, many of them, are as outraged as I am at this video. Read the rest of this entry »


OH YES THEY DID: Black Lives Matter and Pro-Palestinian Artists Team Up in New Video

60 artists and activists posted this artistic video depicting the connection between the Palestinian struggles in Israel, and Black struggles in the U.S.

Source: Haaretz


[VIDEO] Hamas-Loving Canadian Islamist Baffled by Suspension

“For many years,” the article begins, “Hamas was my passion.”

Hussein Hamdani, a Canadian lawyer, described his excitement and nervousness over meeting Hamas founder Ahmed Yassin… 1,098 more words


Amnesty International: Hamas Guilty of War Crimes in Gaza Conflict

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HAIFA, Israel –   reports: A horrific missile attack that killed 11 children in Gaza during last summer’s war between Israel and Hamas, for which Israel was broadly condemned at the time, was actually caused by a Palestinian missile misfiring and killing its own people, Amnesty International charged in a report released Thursday.

“Although Palestinians have claimed that the Israeli military was responsible for the attack, an independent munitions expert, who examined the available evidence on behalf of Amnesty International, concluded that the projectile used in the attack was a Palestinian rocket.”

“In the deadliest incident believed to have been caused by a Palestinian armed group during the conflict, 13 Palestinian civilians – 11 of them children – were killed when a projectile exploded next to a supermarket in the crowded al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza on 28 July 2014, the first day of Eid al-Fitr,” Amnesty’s report said. “The children had been playing in the street and buying crisps and soft drinks in the supermarket at the time of the attack.”

“Palestinian armed groups, including the armed wing of Hamas, repeatedly launched unlawful attacks during the conflict killing and injuring civilians.”

“Although Palestinians have claimed that the Israeli military was responsible for the attack, an independent munitions expert, who examined the available evidence on behalf of Amnesty International, concluded that the projectile used in the attack was a Palestinian rocket.”

“Unlike Hamas, Israel is vigorously investigating its conduct, aiming to draw lessons and minimize civilian harm. Meanwhile, Hamas continues to incite terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians, boast of building new cross-border assault tunnels, and test-fires rockets, in preparation for further violence against Israelis.”

— a spokesperson for Israel’s Embassy in London

The report highlights the fact that the blast could not have been caused by a drone attack or as the result of Israeli shelling. The crater was too shallow, it said, while “its circumference was too wide to have been caused by a tank shell.”

“The Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas, which against the wishes of the U.S. and others, intends to apply for membership of the International Criminal Court, next week, may be liable for this and other war crimes committed by Palestinians during the war if accepting ICC jurisdiction.”

“Palestinian armed groups, including the armed wing of Hamas, repeatedly launched unlawful attacks during the conflict killing and injuring civilians,” said Philip Luther, director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International. “In launching these attacks, they displayed a flagrant disregard for international humanitarian law and for the consequences of their violations on civilians in both Israel and the Gaza Strip.”

Israel’s insistence from the start that the 13 deaths were caused by one of Hamas’ own missiles going astray was generally disregarded as Hamas rushed to accuse Israel. Read the rest of this entry »


The Orwellian Obama Presidency

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Under Mr. Obama, friends are enemies, denial is wisdom, capitulation is victory

Bret Stephens writes: The humiliating denouement to America’s involvement in Yemen came over the weekend, when U.S. Special Forces were forced to evacuate a base from which they had operated against the local branch of al Qaeda. This is the same branch that claimed responsibility for the January attack on Charlie Hebdo and has long been considered to pose the most direct threat to Europe and the United States.

So who should Barack Obama be declaring war on in the Middle East other than the state of Israel?

“He treats Republicans in the Senate as an enemy when it comes to the Iranian nuclear negotiations, while treating the Russian foreign ministry as a diplomatic partner.”

There is an upside-down quality to this president’s world view. His administration is now on better terms with Iran—whose Houthi proxies, with the slogan “God is great, death to America, death to Israel, damn the Jews, power to Islam,” just deposed Yemen’s legitimate president—than it is with Israel. He claims we are winning the war against Islamic State even as the group continues to extend its reach into Libya, Yemen and Nigeria.

“He was prepared to embrace a Muslim Brother as president of Egypt but maintains an arm’s-length relationship with his popular pro-American successor. He has no problem keeping company with Al Sharpton and tagging an American police department as comprehensively racist but is nothing if not adamant that the words ‘Islamic’ and ‘terrorism’ must on no account ever be conjoined.” 

[Read the full text here, at the Wall Street Journal]

He treats Republicans in the Senate as an enemy when it comes to the Iranian nuclear negotiations, while treating the Russian foreign ministry as a diplomatic partner. He favors the moral legitimacy of the United Nations Security Council to that of the U.S. Congress. He is facilitating Bashar Assad’s war on his own people by targeting ISIS so the Syrian dictator can train his fire on our ostensible allies in the Free Syrian Army.

“The deeper that Russian forces advance into Ukraine, the more they violate cease-fires, the weaker the Kiev government becomes, the more insistent he is that his response to Russia is working.”

He was prepared to embrace a Muslim Brother as president of Egypt but maintains an arm’s-length relationship with his popular pro-American successor. He has no problem keeping company with Al Sharpton and tagging an American police department as comprehensively racist but is nothing if not adamant that the words “Islamic” and “terrorism” must on no account ever be conjoined. The deeper that Russian forces advance into Ukraine, the more they violate cease-fires, the weaker the Kiev government becomes, the more insistent he is that his response to Russia is working.

To adapt George Orwell’s motto for Oceania: Under Mr. Obama, friends are enemies, denial is wisdom, capitulation is victory.

The current victim of Mr. Obama’s moral inversions is the recently re-elected Israeli prime minister. Normally a sweeping democratic mandate reflects legitimacy, but not for Mr. Obama. Now we are treated to the astonishing spectacle in which Benjamin Netanyahu has become persona non grata for his comments doubting the current feasibility of a two-state solution. This, while his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas is in the 11th year of his four-year term, without a murmur of protest from the White House. Read the rest of this entry »


David Harsanyi: The Left’s Ugly Israel Freakout

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You know who else came to power by winning an election?

 writes: After years of ginned-up conflict, Barack Obama has finally found a pretext to change the contours of the United States-Israel alliance. Israel’s policies might not be changing, but the administration will “reevaluate” the relationship, anyway.

POLITICO reports that Obama may, among other things, stop shielding Israel from international pressure at the United Nations. So Americans can look forward to joining Sudan or Yemen—feel free to pick any autocratic dump, really—in condemning Jews for living in their historic homeland and relying on democratic institutions rather than a consensus at the United Nation to decide their fate.

“Obama, with no more elections to run, will now use these threats to pressure Israel into compliance on an Iran deal that looks more dangerous every day. That’s not surprising.”

So our morally chaotic foreign policy is coming to a predictable climax. At least on this issue. Obama, with no more elections to run, will now use these threats to pressure Israel into compliance on an Iran deal that looks more dangerous every day. That’s not surprising. What is, though, is how self-proclaimed Zionists have co-opted some of the most absurd justifications for throwing Israel to the wolves.

“What is, though, is how self-proclaimed Zionists have co-opted some of the most absurd justifications for throwing Israel to the wolves.”

These rationalizations come in familiar flavors. There’s the tough-love crowd. The notion here is that Democrats are the ones who truly have Israel’s “long-term” interests at heart. And because of a deep and abiding love for the Jewish State, Democrats are obliged to support policies that will set Israel straight. Without the stern guidance of lefty columnists, how can we expect one of the most technologically advanced market economies in the world to remain a vibrant democracy?

Others argue, and have been arguing for a long time, that the United States has a moral responsibility to distance itself from Israel right now, because the two nations no longer share ideals about freedom and liberalism.

Read the rest of this entry »


Reality Check: There is No Moral Equivalency Between Israel and Hamas

For the New York Post, Charles Schumer writes: Amid the recent troubles between Israel and the Palestinians, many Americans and media commentators are drawing disturbing lines of parallelism between the two societies, asserting a false moral equivalency to the actions of each.

“How did Hamas and too many diverse parts of the mainstream Palestinian community respond to the kidnap and murder of three young Israelis? They cheered.”

In essence, the claim goes like this: “Both sides are fighting each other with similar degrees of violence; both treat each other equally badly; each side is equally to blame for the violence, and they just can’t come together.”

“And is it no wonder, given the vitriolic hatred of Israel that has been preached in textbooks and schools to two generations of Palestinian children.”

That notion that there is a moral equivalency between the defensive and targeted actions that the rule-of-law-based Israel is compelled to take, and the proactive and indiscriminate actions that hate-based organizations like Hamas takes, is completely unfair, unfounded and infuriating to supporters of Israel — with good reason. Read the rest of this entry »


Official United States Position: ‘No Need for Palestine to Recognize Israel’

President Barack Obama with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas

President Barack Obama with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas

State Department spokeswoman says ‘the U.S. believes there is no need for the PA to recognize Israel as a Jewish state’.

Jen-PsakiA career-enhancing diplomatic statement for State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki, whose upward trajectory is catalogued here: “In 2012, Psaki returned to political communications as press secretary for President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. On February 11, 2013, Psaki became spokesperson for the United States Department of State. Her hiring at the Department of State has fueled speculation that she is likely to replace White House Press Secretary Jay Carney when he leaves the White House.

For Israel National NewsElad Benari reports: The United States believes there is no need for the Palestinian Authority to recognize Israel as a Jewish state as part of a peace agreement, State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Saturday.

“…we do not see a need that both sides recognize this position as part of the final agreement.”

— State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki

Psaki, who spoke to the PA-based Arabic-language Al-Quds newspaper, said, “The American position is clear, Israel is a Jewish state. However, we do not see a need that both sides recognize this position as part of the final agreement.”

“the Arab states will never recognize a Jewish state…there is no way.”

 — PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas

Benjamin-Bibi-NetanyahuPrime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been adamant on the PA recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, explaining that the Arabs’ refusal to recognize Israel stands at the heart of the conflict.

The PA has already formally refused to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, stating that “the Arab states will never recognize a Jewish state.” PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas reiterated this position on Friday, when he told young members of his Fatah movement that “there is no way” he would recognize Israel.

Psaki’s comments come ahead of a trip by Abbas to Washington on March 17, where he will meet President Barack Obama as part of the U.S. push to achieve a peace agreement between the sides…Read the rest >>> at Israel National News

And from The Associated Press: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said there is “no way” he will recognize Israel as a Jewish state and accept a Palestinian capital in just a portion of Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, rebuffing what Palestinians fear will be key elements of a U.S. peace proposal.

Abbas’ comments signaled that the gaps between him and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remain wide after seven months of mediation efforts by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Read the rest of this entry »


Poll: Majority of Palestinian Authority Muslims Support Suicide Bombings

An Islamic Jihad militant speaks during a press conference in Gaza City on March 12, 2012, following overnight Israel air strikes on the Gaza Strip in which two Palestinians were killed.    AFP PHOTO/ TOPSHOTS/ MOHAMMED ABED

AFP PHOTO/ TOPSHOTS/ MOHAMMED ABED

A poll recently released by the Pew Research Center flies in the face of Barack Obama’s attitude toward the Palestinian people world and their desire for peace. The poll, which was conducted among 11 different nationalities comprised of large Muslim populations, found that there was unanimity among them in their opposition to suicide bombings-with one exception.

One question asked whether suicide bombings could ever be justified. The possible answers were “Never,” “Rarely,” “Sometimes,” “Often” and “Don’t Know.” Unlike their Muslim brethren, 62% of those from the “Palestinian Territories” (the areas of Palestinian Authority-controlled Judea and Samaria, and the area of Gaza) said suicide bombings were “sometimes” justifiable. The next largest group approving was from Lebanon, with 33% approving. Of those who said the suicide bombings were “often” justifiable, 37% of Palestinians approved. The second highest group was from Senegal, at 11%. Read the rest of this entry »