Pictures From The Opening Of The U.S. Embassy In Jerusalem Today

This are two pictures from Israel today as America opens its Embassy in Jerusalem.

In December 2017, The Washington Post reminded us:

Ten days before he was assassinated in Tel Aviv, Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin gave a speech in Washington about the city of Jerusalem.

“Jerusalem is the heart of the Jewish people and a deep source of our pride,” Rabin said at an event recognizing the 3,000th year of the city’s existence.

“We differ in our opinions, left and right,” he said as the speech concluded. “We disagree on the means and the objective. In Israel, we all agree on one issue: the wholeness of Jerusalem, the continuation of its existence as capital of the State of Israel. There are no two Jerusalems. There is only one Jerusalem. For us, Jerusalem is not subject to compromise, and there is no peace without Jerusalem.”

That speech was given Oct. 25, 1995. On Nov. 4, a far-right student fatally shot him.

The evening before his speech, the Congress of the United States passed a law echoing Rabin’s assertions about the city. Spurred by the desire to act before Rabin’s visit, the House and Senate passed a bill called the “Jerusalem Embassy Act,” which formally recognized the city as the country’s capital and called for the U.S. Embassy in Israel to be moved there from Tel Aviv by 1999. Support for the bill was overwhelming. It passed the Senate by a 93 to 5 vote, with four Republicans and one Democrat voting no. It passed the House 374 to 37, with 153 Democrats joining most of the new Republican majority that had swept into power in 1994.  (the underline is mine)

So why wasn’t it done? The article explains:

The bill was not signed into law by then-President  Bill Clinton. Clinton had made an early effort to craft a new peace agreement in the Middle East, forging the Oslo accords between Israel and Palestinians, signed in 1993 and September 1995. (Rabin’s support for the accords was apparently one of the things that motivated his assassin.) The Embassy Act, Clinton said in a statement, “could hinder the peace process. I will not let this happen and will use the legislation’s waiver authority to avoid damage to the peace process.”

That waiver authority was a critical escape valve for Clinton and his successors. Initially, the legislation introduced by then-Kansas senator Bob Dole (R) mandated that groundbreaking on a new embassy in Jerusalem begin in 1996. To quell concerns from Clinton allies on the Hill, Dole added a provision that allowed the president to postpone implementation of the move for six months if “such suspension is necessary to protect the national security interests of the United States.”

Every President since Clinton has taken advantage of that waiver to avoid moving the Embassy. Why? Because up until now America has been almost totally dependent on Arab countries in the Middle East for our energy supply. Now that we are on the road to energy independence, we are free to make decisions on the basis of what is right rather than how much oil we need.

Thank you, President Trump, for having the courage to move the Embassy.

They Used To Call This Treason

Yesterday John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line about recent statements made by former Secretary of State John Kerry to Hussein Agha, a close associate of PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

The article quotes the Jerusalem Post:

Maariv reported that former US secretary of state John Kerry met in London with a close associate of PA President Mahmoud Abbas, Hussein Agha, for a long and open conversation about a variety of topics. Agha apparently reported details of the conversation to senior PA officials in Ramallah. A senior PA official confirmed to Maariv that the meeting took place.
***
During the conversation, according to the report, Kerry asked Agha to convey a message to Abbas and ask him to “hold on and be strong.” Tell him, he told Agha, “that he should stay strong in his spirit and play for time, that he will not break and will not yield to President [Donald] Trump’s demands.”

…According to Kerry, Trump will not remain in office for a long time. It was reported that Kerry said that within a year there was a good chance that Trump would not be in the White House.

…He surprised his interlocutor by saying he was seriously considering running for president in 2020. When asked about his advanced age, he said he was not much older than Trump and would not have an age problem.

…In a report on the conversation, Agha said that Kerry appears to be “crazy about things,” very energetic, and someone who is yearning to help realize the dream of peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

As a country we have not enforced the Logan Act; however, this does seem a bit over the top.

Wikipedia definesThe Logan Act as follows:

“The Logan Act is a United States federal law that forbids unauthorized citizens from negotiating with foreign governments. It was passed in 1799 and last amended in 1994. Violation of the Logan Act is a felony, punishable under federal law with imprisonment of up to three years.”

If John Kerry decides to run for President in 2020, he will be competing against Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris. I am not sure there is enough popcorn in the world to watch that.

 

 

A Problem With The Two-State Solution

It would be nice if Israel and a new nation (historically it has never been a nation) of Palestine could live side-by-side. However, that is highly unlikely unless things change drastically.

One problem is what the Palestinians are teaching their children. Below is a picture of Palestinian kindergarten children dressed as suicide bombers. They are being taught that it is noble to die in the act of killing Jews. That might be a problem if you want peace.

Another problem is that the families of terrorists are generously paid for the terrorist acts of family members.

CBN has posted the following information along with a petition to Congress to sign the Taylor Force Act.

In 2016, Taylor Force was murdered in a knife attack while on a Vanderbilt University trip to Tel Aviv, Israel. His attacker was a Palestinian man who was paid with U.S. tax dollars by the Palestinian Authority, a known terrorist organization, to murder Taylor. The terrorist was killed by police—but his family was left with a lifelong lucrative financial reward:

  • Pension for life that is triple the average salary in the West Bank
  • Free tuition for life
  • Free health insurance for life
  • Free clothing allowance for life
  • Free monthly stipend—ALL courtesy of U.S. tax dollars.

This practice of financially incentivized murder is known as #PayToSlay. We must stop it.

Each year, the U.S. government gives $300 million in U.S. taxpayer money to the Palestinian Authority for the promotion of peace in the area—but that’s not how the PA uses it:

  • In 2016, the PA paid $135 million to terrorists jailed in Israel
  • And $183 million to family of terrorists and to incentivize future attacks
  • That adds up to more than $300 million to reward and incentivize acts of murder—in one year alone.

This is the information on the Taylor Force Act as posted at Thomas.gov:

Summary: H.R.1164 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)

Introduced in House (02/16/2017)

Taylor Force Act

This bill prohibits certain assistance under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 from being made available for the West Bank and Gaza unless the Department of State certifies that the Palestinian Authority:

  • is taking steps to end acts of violence against U.S. and Israeli citizens perpetrated by individuals under its jurisdictional control, such as the March 2016 attack that killed former Army officer Taylor Force;
  • is publicly condemning such acts of violence and is investigating, or cooperating in investigations of, such acts; and
  • has terminated payments for acts of terrorism against U.S. and Israeli citizens to any individual who has been convicted and imprisoned for such acts, to any individual who died committing such acts, and to family members of such an individual.

This is what has happened in the Senate:

To put it bluntly, unless the American people make noise, this bill will die in committee in the Senate. It is about time that America stopped funding to families of terrorists who kill Israelis.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Statement Regarding Orlando

Below is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s statement regarding the shooting in Orlando:

In Orlando, a terrorist walks into a nightclub and murders nearly 50 human beings. Sons and daughters, brothers and sisters cut down in cold blood.

They did nothing wrong. They were dancing with friends, they were enjoying music with loved ones.

Why did the terrorist murder them?
Because he was driven by a fanatical hatred.

He targeted the LGBT community because he believed they were evil.

Now, the murderer wasn’t alone.

Regimes and terrorist organizations around the world ruthlessly persecute the LGBT community.

In Syria, ISIS throws gays off rooftops.
In Iran, the regime hangs gays from cranes.

Too many people have remained silent in the face of this awful persecution.

This week’s shooting wasn’t merely an attack on the LGBT community. It was an attack on all of us, on our common values of freedom and diversity and choice.

Radical Islamist terror makes no distinction between shades of infidel.

This week it was gays in Orlando. A few days before that it was Jews in Tel Aviv. Before that it was music fans in Paris; Travelers in Brussels; Yazidis in Iraq; Community workers in San Bernardino; Christians and journalists in Syria.

All of us are targets.

We believe that all people are created in the image of God.

ISIS, by contrast, believes that all people who aren’t just like them deserve to die.

We will not be terrified into submission.
We will fight back. And we will triumph.

Today I ask you to reach out to friends in the LGBT community. Comfort them.
Tell them you stand together, we stand together as one. And that you will always remember the victims.

Tell them they will never be alone, that we are all one family deserving of dignity, deserving of life.

I have no doubt that those who seek to spread hate and fear will be defeated.

Working together we will defeat them even faster.

We need to stand united, resolute in the belief that all people regardless of their sexual orientation, regardless of their race, regardless of their ethnicity, all people deserve respect, deserve dignity.

No Wonder They Are Concerned

When something happens once, you can overlook it. When it happens twice, you begin to wonder. There have been some recent events that would cause me to wonder if I lived in Israel. We all know that most of the Middle Eastern countries have at one time or another threatened to wipe Israel off the map. Lately, that has been limited to one or two countries and a few terrorist organizations. Right now one of the real oddities in the Middle East is the alliances in the Middle East that are being formed in light of the possibility of the Iranian treaty being approved. I never thought I would see Israel and Saudi Arabia or Israel and Egypt cooperating, but it is happening.

Now back to wiping Israel off the map. John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article today about a globe being sold in a discount store in the United Kingdom. Palestine is shown on the globe, but Israel is not. Also, last week on Air France, the maps the passengers looked at during the flight showed Cyprus, Lebanon, the West Bank, Gaza–but no Israel. The Air France maps have been corrected. The company that manufactures the globe is looking into the situation to see if a correction is necessary.

I am reminded of the disappearing people in the picture in the movie “Back to the Future.” If I lived in Israel, I would wonder. I can’t imaging how America would react if someone started selling globes showing Texas as part of Mexico. (I can image how Texas would react, I just can’t imagine how America would react!)

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Speech At The United Nations

Here is the link to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech at the United Nations.

Here are a few highlights:

I come here from Jerusalem to speak on behalf of my people, the people of Israel. I’ve come here to speak about the dangers we face and about the opportunities we see. I’ve come here to expose the brazen lies spoken from this very podium against my country and against the brave soldiers who defend it. Ladies and Gentlemen, The people of Israel pray for peace. But our hopes and the world’s hope for peace are in danger. Because everywhere we look, militant Islam is on the march. It’s not militants. It’s not Islam. It’s militant Islam.

Typically, its first victims are other Muslims, but it spares no one. Christians, Jews, Yazidis, Kurds – no creed, no faith, no ethnic group is beyond its sights. And it’s rapidly spreading in every part of the world. You know the famous American saying: “All politics is local”? For the militant Islamists, “All politics is global.” Because their ultimate goal is to dominate the world. Now, that threat might seem exaggerated to some, since it starts out small, like a cancer that attacks a particular part of the body. But left unchecked, the cancer grows, metastasizing over wider and wider areas.

…In the past, outrageous lies against the Jews were the precursors to the wholesale slaughter of our people. But no more. Today we, the Jewish people, have the power to defend ourselves. We will defend ourselves against our enemies on the battlefield. We will expose their lies against us in the court of public opinion. Israel will continue to stand proud and unbowed. Ladies and Gentlemen, Despite the enormous challenges facing Israel, I believe we have an historic opportunity. After decades of seeing Israel as their enemy, leading states in the Arab world increasingly recognize that together we and they face many of the same dangers: principally this means a nuclear-armed Iran and militant Islamist movements gaining ground in the Sunni world. Our challenge is to transform these common interests to create a productive partnership. One that would build a more secure, peaceful and prosperous Middle East. Together we can strengthen regional security. We can advance projects in water, agriculture, in transportation, in health, in energy, in so many fields. I believe the partnership between us can also help facilitate peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Many have long assumed that an Israeli-Palestinian peace can help facilitate a broader rapprochement between Israel and the Arab World.

But these days I think it may work the other way around: Namely that a broader rapprochement between Israel and the Arab world may help facilitate an Israeli-Palestinian peace. And therefore, to achieve that peace, we must look not only to Jerusalem and Ramallah, but also to Cairo, to Amman, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh and elsewhere. I believe peace can be realized with the active involvement of Arab countries, those that are willing to provide political, material and other indispensable support. I’m ready to make a historic compromise, not because Israel is occupying a foreign land.
The people of Israel are not occupiers in the Land of Israel.
History, archeology and common sense all make clear that we have had a singular attachment to this land for over 3,000 years. I want peace because I want to create a better future for my people. But it must be a genuine peace, one that is anchored in mutual recognition and enduring security arrangements, rock solid security arrangements on the ground.

Because you see, Israel’s withdrawals from Lebanon and Gaza created two militant Islamic enclaves on our borders from which tens of thousands of rockets have been fired at Israel. These sobering experiences heighten Israel’s security concerns regarding potential territorial concessions in the future. Those security concerns are even greater today. Just look around you. The Middle East is in chaos. States are disintegrating. Militant Islamists are filling the void. Israel cannot have territories from which it withdraws taken over by Islamic militants yet again, as happened in Gaza and Lebanon. That would place the likes of ISIS within mortar range – a few miles – of 80% of our population. Think about that. The distance between the 1967 lines and the suburbs of Tel Aviv is like the distance between the UN building here and Times Square. Israel’s a tiny country.

Thank God for a leader who tells the truth.

Israel Under Attack And Fighting Back

Late last night The Jerusalem Post reported that Tel Aviv and Jerusalem were under rocket attack from Gaza. Jerusalem has opened its public bomb shelters. The Iron Dome has been effective in stopping many of the rockets, but the attacks on Tel Aviv and Jerusalem represent an increase in the Gazan rockets’ range.

The article reports:

Iron Dome intercepted 23 rockets, shooting down rockets over Ashdod, Ashkelon and Gaza border communities.

The army began calling up the 40,000 reserve soldiers the cabinet approved for Operation Protective Edge, launched the previous night to stop the rocket fire from Gaza. IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz asked for the 40,000 soldiers in order to replace conscripted forces in the West Bank, thereby enabling their deployment to the Gaza border.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon brought the request to the cabinet, and the ministers approved it. By Tuesday afternoon, the IDF had begun issuing reserve notices.

Following high-level security deliberations on Tuesday morning, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu decided to expand the military operation in the Gaza Strip, including beginning preparations for a ground offensive. No time limit was put on the operation, but senior political officials said it could be “for a long time.”

The objective, according to the officials, is to return quiet to the South, but the equation that “quiet would be met with quiet” was no longer the operative principle.

Hamas became part of the Palestinian government recently. What is happening now is one result of that partnership. The truly disturbing fact in what is currently happening in Israel is that Hamas has obtained better rockets with a longer range. Peace in the Middle East will not be possible until the rockets stop flying. It is a credit to Israel that Gaza has not been totally destroyed–Israel’s first response has been to use the Iron Dome to protect itself rather than to obliterate the country launching the rockets. I don’t know how much longer we can expect Israel to be patient–if America were under rocket attack from another country, I don’t think that country would last long.

 

 

There Are No Good Guys In The Syrian Civil War

Reuters reported today that Israel notified the United States after it carried out two air strikes in Syria–not before.

The article reports:

Israeli jets bombed Syria on Sunday for the second time in 48 hours. Israel does not confirm such missions explicitly – a policy it says is intended to avoid provoking reprisals. But an Israeli official acknowledged that the strikes were carried out by its forces.

“It would not be unusual for them to take aggressive steps when there was some chance that some sophisticated weapons system would fall into the hands of people like Hezbollah,” the U.S. intelligence official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Israel is much closer to the war in Syria than America and has a much more vital interest. Bashar al-Assad is aligned with Hezbollah, a terrorist organization sponsored by Iran which frequently fires rockets at Israel from various locations. It is suspected that the rockets Israel stopped might eventually wind up in Lebanon aimed at Israel.

The article further reports:

Rather than an attempt to tip the scales against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Israel’s action is seen more as part of its own conflict with Iran, which it fears is sending missiles to Hezbollah in Lebanon through Syria. Those missiles might hit Tel Aviv if Israel makes good on threats to attack Tehran’s nuclear program.

Another Western intelligence source told Reuters the latest attack, like the previous one, was directed against stores of Fateh-110 missiles in transit from Iran to Hezbollah.

Israel has made it clear that it will take action to prevent Iran from going nuclear. It is in the interest of Israel to make sure that if it attacks Iran the allies of Iran that surround Israel have a few rockets as possible.

The war in Syria is a civil war, but it is also a war between terrorists. Hezbollah supports Bashar al-Assad, a Shiite, and many of the rebels have ties to Al Qaeda, which tends Sunni (the majority population of Saudi Arabia). The problem with the war is that if America gets involved, both sides will unite and turn against the ‘infidels.’ At the present time the Obama Administration is said to be negotiating with some of the ‘moderate’ rebels, but there are some serious questions as to how much power the moderates have with the rebels. If America chooses to arm the rebels, we could be shipping arms to Syria that will be used against American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan in the very near future. Our best bet is to do anything we can to get innocent civilians out of Syria and let the terrorists fight it out among themselves. Israel has more of a reason to get involved because Hezbollah is already sending rockets against her, and because Israel will be directly involved regardless of who wins. It is in Israel’s best interests to limit the number of rockets going from Iran to Syria so as to limit the number of rockets that will be coming in their direction when both sides stop fighting each other.

This attack on the rockets heading for Syria could be seen as a backdoor attack on Iran or as a warning to Iran. I suspect there will be retaliation against Israel and further action by Israel. By making it public that America was not notified until after the attack, it is quite possible that Hezbollah terrorist cells in America will not be activated in response.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Concept Of Hudna

According to Wikipedia, hudna is an Arabic term meaning a temporary “truce” or “armistice” as well as “calm” or “quiet”, coming from a verbal root meaning “calm”. It is sometimes translated as “cease-fire“. Historically, a hudna has been used by Islamists as a time to re-arm for the next battle. I am afraid that the cease fire that happened between Israel and Hamas last night may fall into the category of a pause for the purpose of re-arming.

Jennifer Griffin posted an article at Fox News last night about the cease fire.

The article points out:

In fact, Hamas spokesmen had leaked to the press that the cease-fire would begin at 9 p.m. local time on Tuesday, but that was before Clinton had landed in Jerusalem. It would take another 24 hours for the deal to be finalized. In the meantime, just hours before the cease-fire was formally announced, a Palestinian placed a bomb on a Tel Aviv bus, injuring more than 24 Israelis. It was the first terror attack in Tel Aviv since 2006. Hamas praised the bombing, but did not take responsibility. Israel did not respond, a break from its usual belief that a strong response to terrorism provides deterrence.

 How do you make peace with people who celebrate a terrorist attack on innocent people?

The article points out two important points:

“The President said that he was committed to seeking additional funding for Iron Dome and other U.S.-Israel missile defense programs,” according to Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Finally, when she shuttled to Ramallah, Clinton did not receive assurances from President Mahmoud Abbas that the Palestinians would no longer go to the U.N. General Assembly and request observer status on November 29 — one way that the Palestinians would get their aspiration to statehood recognized. After all, this issue of Palestinian recognition is the issue that serves as the backdrop to the current escalation of violence.

I suspect we will be hearing much more from the Middle East in the coming days.

How To Successfully Deal With Terrorism

Map israel

Map israel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Of all the countries in the world today, Israel is the one with the most experience in dealing with terrorism. They have learned how to deal with terrorists somewhat successfully (usually the hard way) and have lost many innocent civilians to terrorism over the years. Yesterday was the anniversary of a successful encounter with terrorism.

The Israel Defense Forces Blog posted an article yesterday reminding us that yesterday was the anniversary of the hijacking of Sabena Flight 571 which occurred in 1972. That was forty years ago, and we (and Israel) are still dealing with people who want to destroy western civilization. However, there are some lessons to be learned in how Israel dealt with the hijacking.

A Sabena airlines flight was traveling from Vienna to Tel Aviv. Within minutes of takeoff terrorists had taken over the plane. The plane landed in Tel-Aviv, landing in Lod Airport (now Ben-Gurion Airport).  

The article reports:

A team of 16 elite commandos (Hebrew: Sayeret Matkal) approached the grounded aircraft in white overalls, disguised as airplane technicians. They convinced the terrorists that the aircraft was in desperate need of repairs.

Within ten minutes of boarding the plane, the squad of elite commandos managed to kill the two male terrorists, arrest the two female terrorists, and neutralize the threat to the passengers. Nearly all civilians on board were unharmed, except for three, one of whom later died from her injuries. Among the commandos were Ehud Barak and Benjamin Netanyahu–both of whom eventually became Israeli prime ministers.

Regardless of how you feel about Benjamin Netanyahu, he has definitely played a role in defending and protecting his country from the time he was old enough to do so. The only unfortunate part of this story is that the female terrorists who survived the assault were later released in a prisoner exchange following the 1982 Lebanon War.

It is unfortunate that forty years after this event, we are still dealing with people who have no purpose in live other than to kill or threaten innocent civilians.

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Arab Spring May Lead To A Very Cold Winter

 

The distinctive multiple-arched BYU Jerusalem ...

Image via Wikipedia

Ynet News reported yesterday on a Muslim Brotherhood rally in Cairo’s most prominent mosque Friday. The rally ended with those in attendance vowing to “one day kill all Jews.”

The article reports:

Some 5,000 people joined the rally, called to promote the “battle against Jerusalem’s Judaization.” The event coincided with the anniversary of the United Nations’ partition plan in 1947, which called for the establishment of a Jewish state.  

The article further reports:

Muslim Brotherhood spokesmen, as well as Palestinian guest speakers, made explicit calls for Jihad and for liberating the whole of Palestine. Time and again, a Koran quote vowing that “one day we shall kill all the Jews” was uttered at the site. Meanwhile, businessmen in the crowd were urged to invest funds in Jerusalem in order to prevent the acquisition of land and homes by Jews.

 Throughout the event, Muslim Brotherhood activists chanted: “Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv, judgment day has come.”

I can understand the initial revolt in Egypt. There were a lot of young people who wanted freedom and the opportunity for economic advancement. Unfortunately, I think the so-called Arab Spring has been co-opted and turned into something that will be very ugly and will destabilize the Middle East.

Enhanced by Zemanta