Archive for January 6, 2018

Canada: PM Trudeau meeting with former Taliban captive raising questions

January 6, 2018

Canada: PM Trudeau meeting with former Taliban captive raising questions, Jihad Watch

Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau’s “meeting with returned captive Joshua Boyle and his family was questionable when first revealed last month.”

Every day like clockwork, even when he’s on vacation, the Prime Minister’s Office kicks out Justin Trudeau’s itinerary.” December 18th was no different. The “itinerary listed Trudeau’s attendance at the new chief justice’s swearing-in ceremony and a chat with Quebec civic politicians,” but Trudeau did a little more than that. He went for a meeting with freed hostage Joshua Boyle and his family. Boyle and his wife were kidnapped by a Taliban-linked group and held captive in Afghanistan for years. Their children were born in captivity.

Boyle is said to have requested a meeting with Trudeau, and enough information was on the table for Trudeau to decline such a meeting. He at least knew that Boyle was:

A guy roaming dangerous territory [Taliban] with pregnant wife in tow; a guy once married to the jihad-supporting sister of Omar Khadr; a father who named his deceased daughter Martyr

None of this stopped Trudeau, but why would it, considering his record? Trudeau visited a gender-segregated mosque with terror connections; he paid out 10.5 million dollars of taxpayer money to jihadist Omar Khadr for being too roughly treated at Gitmo; and Islamic State jihadists are welcomed into Canada by Trudeau. He bumbled out a whimsical justification to this welcome in Parliament under pressing questions by Opposition leader Andrew Scheer:

“But we also have methods of de-emphasizing or de-programming people who want to harm our society, and those are some things we have to move forward on.”

Yet the Trudeau government has not even been “tracking interventions” with returning Islamic State fighters.

Trudeau was also recently found to have violated four sections of Canada’s Conflict of Interest Act over visits to the Aga Khan’s residence. It was uncovered in the Ethics Commissioner’s report:

Not only did Mr. Trudeau and his family vacation at the Aga Khan’s residence last Christmas, the Trudeaus travelled to the private island for another Christmas holiday in 2014. It also said Mr. Trudeau’s wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, took a separate vacation there in March, 2016.

Back to the Trudeau meeting with Boyle: it is being described by many, including in the headline below, as “lousy judgement,” which seems to be a pattern with Canada’s Prime Minister — as well as dubious ethics — but along with this, he has a pattern of eyebrow-raising sympathies toward jihadists.

It looks much worse now, as Boyle faces 15 charges, include eight counts of assault, two counts of unlawful confinement and one count of misleading police for alleged crimes that occurred almost immediately upon his return to Canada in October.

 

“EDITORIAL: Trudeau’s Boyle meeting showed lousy judgment,” by Lyle Aspinall, Toronto Sun, January 3, 2018:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Dec. 19 meeting with returned captive Joshua Boyle and his family was questionable when first revealed last month.

Boyle’s past associations, pronouncements and his stated reasons for taking his pregnant wife to a Taliban-controlled war zone in Afghanistan – on a backpacking trip – should have raised concern.

It looks much worse now, as Boyle faces 15 charges, include eight counts of assault, two counts of unlawful confinement and one count of misleading police for alleged crimes that occurred almost immediately upon his return to Canada in October, though none have been proven in court.

While the Liberal government is usually eager to promote their celebrity PM, news of the Boyle meeting came via the family’s Twitter  account. The Prime Minister’s Office confirmed it happened, but refused comment citing privacy reasons…..

The added fact he’s the ex-husband of Omar Khadr’s sister Zaynab, part of Canada’s most notorious terror family, also disturbed Canadians.

Given such reasonable apprehensions, was this really someone who should have been granted a private audience with the PM? Of course not. It displayed astonishingly lousy judgment.

Making matters worse, Trudeau’s meeting with Boyle likely took place while his police investigation was underway.

Did the PMO know this? They won’t say and declined comment because of the ongoing criminal trial.

But as Senator Vern White, a former Ottawa Police Chief, told the Sun, there is only one system where names under investigation are logged so if Trudeau’s security detail ran his name it should have come up.

This seems to suggest they either didn’t run a check on a man for whom many questions still linger or they did run it and the PM met with him anyway.

It’s hard to say which is worse.

What can be said without any doubt is the Boyle family meeting was just the latest in a series of decisions by our PM that profoundly call his judgment into question.

Cartoons and Video of the Day

January 6, 2018

Via LatmaTV

 

H/t Power Line

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Justice Dept. Re-Opens Clinton “Crime Cartel” Investigation | John Cardillo

January 6, 2018

Justice Dept. Re-Opens Clinton “Crime Cartel” Investigation | John Cardillo, Rebel Media via YouTube, January 6, 2018

(Please see also, Byron York: What the Trump dossier criminal referral means. — DM)

Byron York: What the Trump dossier criminal referral means

January 6, 2018

Byron York: What the Trump dossier criminal referral means, Washington ExaminerByron York, January 6, 2018

[T]here has been much speculation that the FBI used information from the uncorroborated dossier to seek court permission to spy on Americans in the Trump-Russia investigation. That would be a big deal, and it is an issue House and Senate Republicans are determined to sort out.

“I don’t take lightly making a referral for criminal investigation,” Grassley said in a statement Friday. “But, as I would with any credible evidence of a crime unearthed in the course of our investigations, I feel obliged to pass that information along to the Justice Department for appropriate review. Everyone needs to follow the law and be truthful in their interactions with the FBI.”

“Maybe there is some innocent explanation for the inconsistencies we have seen,” Grassley continued, “but it seems unlikely.”

*****************************

There’s been a lot of confusion about the decision by Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley and crime subcommittee chairman Lindsey Graham to refer Christopher Steele, author of the Trump dossier, to the Justice Department for a possible criminal investigation.

The two senators sent a brief letter Thursday to deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein and FBI director Christopher Wray. The letter, which was unclassified and released to the public Friday, was a cover letter for what Grassley and Graham called a “classified memorandum related to certain communications between Christopher Steele and multiple U.S. news outlets regarding the so-called ‘Trump dossier’ that Mr. Steele compiled on behalf of Fusion GPS for the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee and also provided to the FBI.”

Grassley and Graham said that, on the basis of the classified information laid out in the memo, “we are respectfully referring Mr. Steele to you for investigation of 18 U.S.C. 1001, for statements the committee has reason to believe Mr. Steele made regarding his distribution of information contained in the dossier.” (18 U.S.C. 1001 is the same federal false statements law that special counsel Robert Mueller has used to charge Michael Flynn and George Papadopoulos in the Trump-Russia investigation.)

That’s all Grassley and Graham said, or at least all they said that was released to the public. The classified memo, of course, was not released at all.

It was all very confusing. What did the letter mean? Were Grassley and Graham alleging that Steele lied to the Senate Judiciary Committee? To some other congressional committee? To other investigators? If so, to whom?

The move met with skepticism in a number of circles. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, called it an “effort to deflect attention” from the Trump-Russia probe. A former prosecutor called it “nonsense” in an interview with the Washington Post. A law professor speculated that it was “baseless.”

At the same time, few outside the committee seemed to understand what the letter meant. So, here is what appears to be going on:

Steele has not talked to any of the three congressional committees investigating the Trump-Russia affair – the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Senate Intelligence Committee, or the House Intelligence Committee. Steele did not make false statements to them because he has not made any statements to them.

Steele has, reportedly, talked to Mueller’s prosecutors, but it seems highly unlikely Grassley and Graham are suggesting Steele lied to Mueller because it is highly unlikely – actually, beyond highly unlikely – that the Mueller office would have shared any of Steele’s answers with the Senate Judiciary Committee. So, what were Grassley and Graham referring to in their letter? What are the “statements the committee has reason to believe Mr. Steele made” that Grassley and Graham believe might be false?

The answer is that Steele talked – and talked a lot – to the FBI. Remember that when he began to compile the dossier in the summer of 2016, Steele reportedly concluded the sensational information he had picked up – allegations of election collusion and Trump sexual escapades in Russia – was so important that he had to take it to the FBI. Steele told the left-leaning magazine Mother Jones that he first took the material to the FBI “near the start of July.”

That began a series of communications between Steele and the bureau in which Steele made certain representations to the FBI about his work. It is a crime to make false statements to the FBI – doesn’t have to be under oath, doesn’t have to be in a formal interview or interrogation setting, it’s simply a criminal act to knowingly make a false statement to the FBI.

As a result of their talks, Steele and the FBI reached a tentative agreement whereby the FBI would pay Steele to continue the anti-Trump work.

All the while, Steele was also working for the opposition research firm Fusion GPS – his dossier was the result of a Fusion anti-Trump project funded by the Clinton campaign. As part of that, Steele briefed reporters on what he had found. In a London court case, Steele’s lawyers said that in September 2016, Fusion GPS directed Steele to brief reporters from the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, the New Yorker, Yahoo News, and, later, Mother Jones. Steele did each briefing individually.

One serious question is whether Steele told the FBI that he was telling reporters the same information – those explosive allegations about Trump and Trump associates – that he was bringing to bureau investigators. If the FBI knew that, would they have agreed to an arrangement to make Steele a paid FBI operative investigating the Trump-Russia affair? That would have been a most unorthodox arrangement, with Steele disseminating his allegations to the FBI and the press simultaneously.

That is not exactly how the FBI operates. So now the question is: When Steele was discussing working for the FBI, did he fully inform the FBI of what his work for the Clinton campaign involved, in particular his briefing the press on the findings he would be reporting to the FBI? To use Grassley’s and Graham’s words, were the “statements the committee has reason to believe Mr. Steele made regarding his distribution of information contained in the dossier” accurate?

One way to find that out is to compare what Steele told the London court with what Steele told the FBI. Some of the London court testimony is public. As for what Steele told the FBI, the Senate Judiciary Committee has examined a lot of dossier-related material from the FBI under an agreement that allows the committee to view materials the bureau has originally produced to the House Intelligence Committee.

It appears that Grassley and Graham are pursuing inconsistencies between what Steele told the FBI and what Steele told the London court. If they conflict, which is true? If what Steele told the FBI was untrue, that’s a problem.

Ultimately, the Steele-FBI deal fell through, for reasons that have never been publicly disclosed.

But there has been much speculation that the FBI used information from the uncorroborated dossier to seek court permission to spy on Americans in the Trump-Russia investigation. That would be a big deal, and it is an issue House and Senate Republicans are determined to sort out.

“I don’t take lightly making a referral for criminal investigation,” Grassley said in a statement Friday. “But, as I would with any credible evidence of a crime unearthed in the course of our investigations, I feel obliged to pass that information along to the Justice Department for appropriate review. Everyone needs to follow the law and be truthful in their interactions with the FBI.”

“Maybe there is some innocent explanation for the inconsistencies we have seen,” Grassley continued, “but it seems unlikely.”

If You Hate America, Why Not Go Back to Your Country?

January 6, 2018

If You Hate America, Why Not Go Back to Your Country?, Gatestone InstituteMajid Rafizadeh, January 6, 2018

No matter what the Islamists’ current status or situation, they would lash out at the US, the West and Americans. Meanwhile, American taxpayers were providing hundreds of thousands of dollars to them in scholarships, free accommodation, and often even a monthly stipend. By comparison, many American students struggle to pay their own tuition and housing; many graduate with debt.

Some believed that the US was simply supposed to do these favors for them for free of charge. Others argued that this was an opportunity to take advantage of America, and should be done for the sake of furthering Islamic political and religious views.

The US has been funding the lives of these extremists as they endanger our country and the lives of all Americans, and spread hatred towards America, Christianity, Judaism and the West. Is this how American taxpayers want their hard-earned contributions to be used?

When I first arrived in America, I would ask every extremist and fundamentalist Muslim I met: “How has your life been since you came to the United States?”

It was clear that their living standards were much better than back home. I knew well the lands they had come from, their economic standards and restrictions, their lifestyle, the social, and the religious, economic and political landscapes of the region.

They were surely about to say how much their lives had improved, and how grateful they were to be in a new, less restricted environment. Instead, they expressed anger and even hatred of their new country and its culture. What they could not put into words, was clearly written across their faces: revulsion and disgust.

It seemed they were comfortable disclosing their true feelings in Farsi or Arabic about the US, Americans, the West, Christians, and Jews. As we had all come from, grown up in, and worked in the same region, many of them mistakenly assumed that we both shared the same hate-filled views. Once they discovered that was not the situation, some even tried to reshape my views: as I was new to the country, I probably did not yet understand.

Everything in this country, they patiently explained, was kufr: blasphemy, filthy, infidel. They went on harshly to criticize American culture and the Western lifestyle. Their list of complaints was unending: how men and women dress, how people interact, how people work and celebrate life, go to parties, date, marry, dance, drink — there did not seem one aspect of American life that did not enrage them.

A wealthy Islamist imam, who explained that he was poor in his prior country and had accumulated all of his wealth after coming to the US by expanding existing mosques and attracting people and donations, ironically bashed the US for not allowing Islamist imams to grow financially. He could not explain why. It was just another hypocritical tool, used as an excuse to hate America and brainwash followers to hate America. Despite the fact that he had gone from poverty to riches beyond anything he could have dreamed, he was quite angry at his new country.

More intriguingly, this attitude was apparent among both academics and non-academics. No matter what the Islamists’ current status or situation, they would lash out at the US, the West and Americans. Meanwhile, American taxpayers were providing hundreds of thousands of dollars to them in scholarships, free accommodation, and often even a monthly stipend. By comparison, many American students struggle to pay their own tuition and housing; many graduate with debt.

When asked what they thought of the free education that they were receiving at the best universities in the world, which ensured their success in life, a sense of entitlement would appear. Some believed that the US was simply supposed to do these favors for them for free of charge. Others argued that this was an opportunity to take advantage of America, and should be done for the sake of furthering Islamic political and religious views.

When asked for details about their home country from where they immigrated or fled, surprisingly, they had nothing bad to say. Everything in their home country was heaven-like. They beautified and worshiped their authoritarian and Islamist regimes.

Finally, I asked the question that burned in my mind: Why, if they hated the US so much, did they not they go back to their beloved home country? What if all their expenses were covered, such as plane tickets to their native land?

Instead of the earlier lengthy explanations, the general response was evasive. Some even remained perfectly silent or refused to answer.

The question itself had unmasked me. In their eyes, just by asking this question, I had revealed myself as an outsider. In that moment, I joined the crowd of multitudes of human beings that they hate and refuse to tolerate.

Even if one puts their Islamist agenda aside, their extreme ungratefulness seemed jolting. The United States had given them a home, a green card, citizenship, free scholarships, salaries, unlimited opportunities, and freedoms they had never known: freedom of speech, of the press, and of assembly.

Here they were enjoying equality under the law, security, and so many other benefits that would be considered extreme luxuries or unheard of in their previous homelands — everything they had been deprived of in their earlier home. No other country would have provided them with half of this. So why did they demonstrate and ratchet up anti-American, anti-Western, anti-Christian, anti-Semitic sentiments, while at the same time rejecting the idea of returning to their original country? How could they enjoy all of these benefits America offered them, and yet, at the same time, yearn for its destruction? There do not seem to be such anti-American sentiments expressed by other immigrants from non-Islamist countries, or from Christians or Jews who fled from Islamist states in the same region.

(Image sources: Welcome to USA sign – Craig Nagy/Wikimedia Commons; Islamist protester – Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

It is now time to reconsider whom we are freely providing money and resources to — including those Islamists who have already been in the United States for generations. It is the time to reconsider whom we are allowing to enter this country, and providing with free shelter, scholarships, cash, freedom of speech, and all the rights that come with the constitution. The US has been funding the lives of these extremists as they endanger our country and the lives of all Americans, and spread hatred towards America, Christianity, Judaism and the West.

Is this how American taxpayers want their hard-earned contributions to be used?

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, is a business strategist and advisor, Harvard-educated scholar, political scientist, board member of Harvard International Review, and president of the International American Council on the Middle East. He is the author of “Peaceful Reformation in Iran’s Islam“. 

Act 2 of Trump clampdown on Iran: Re-imposing sanctions lifted under nuclear accord

January 6, 2018

Act 2 of Trump clampdown on Iran: Re-imposing sanctions lifted under nuclear accord, DEBKAfile, January 6, 2018

On the heels of the first protests to hit the Iranian regime, Washington will turn the screw by negating financial benefits afforded by the nuclear deal.  To this end, President Donald Trump will use the deadlines he faces as of next week for certifying the Iranian nuclear deal and approving sanctions waivers. This intent was indicated by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in an AP interview Friday, Jan. 5.

Since the president had demanded that the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran be either “fixed or cancelled,” Tillerson said the administration was working with lawmakers on legislation for making it more acceptable to the president. Last October, Trump reluctantly waived sanctions for another three months. However, since sanctions relief was not incorporated in the nuclear deal, which Iran signed with six world nations three years ago, the US may set them aside without being accused of non-compliance. The US may therefore certify the framework while emptying it of the economic benefits the Obama administration granted, which funneled hundreds of billions of dollars to the Iranian treasury.

This is what Tillerson meant by “fixing” rather than “cancelling” the nuclear accord. He is charged with reformulating the deal, while upholding the Trump policy for countering Iran’s regional aggression and continuing support for anti-regime protests. These steps are components of the drawn-out, staged war of attrition the Trump administration has begun orchestrating against the revolutionary Shiite regime in Tehran for the year of 2018.

The following steps are already in the pipeline, DEBKAfile reports:

  1. President Trump may refrain this time from signing on to the sanction waivers, but may re-certify Iran’s compliance with the accord.
  2. The US Treasury Department has meanwhile announced new sanctions targeting banks, financial entities and officials – whether involved in Iran’s missile program or propping up the Revolutionary Guard Corps and its actions to suppress popular dissent.
  3. Washington will likewise target entities in the Middle East and beyond that serve Tehran and receive Iranian financial assistance and weapons. Examples are Lebanon, Hizballah, the Iraqi Shiite militias under Iranian command, Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and others.
  4. A broad US strategy is now in place for halting or slashing American aid programs to entities and governments which refuse to cooperate with the administration’s policy objectives.
  5. Donald Trump’s original plan was to work closely with the Europeans on his drive against Iran. Since the European governments have not only opted out of cooperation but are flatly opposed to US support for the Iranian protesters, Washington is forging ahead on its own, without reference to any European capital.
    Trump has thus scrapped one of the basic principles which gave birth to the nuclear accord, close cooperation between the US, Russia and the leading European powers.
  6. The breakup of this transatlantic partnership confronts Russia’s Vladimir Putin with a dilemma. Lining up with Europe on Iran would place Moscow on a collision course with the Trump administration. That Moscow knows exactly what is at stake was evident in the remarks made by Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov on Jan. 4, in response to Washington’s call for a UN Security Council to discuss repression in Iran: “We warn the US against attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran.” He also cautioned Washington against being “tempted to use the moment to raise new issues with regard to the JCPOA (the 2015 nuclear accord.)

Trump kicks America’s Palestinian habit

January 6, 2018

Source: Our World: Trump kicks America’s Palestinian habit – Opinion – Jerusalem Post

BY CAROLINE B. GLICK
 JANUARY 4, 2018 21:17
The US is UNRWA’s largest funder. In 2016, it transferred more than $368m. to UNRWA.
Our World: Trump kicks America’s Palestinian habit

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas extends his hand to US President Donald Trump at the Presidential Palace in the West Bank city of Bethlehem May 23, 2017.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

It is no coincidence that Hamas is escalating its rocket attacks on Israel as the Iranian regime confronts the most significant domestic challenge it has ever faced.

As IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot said this week, Iranian assistance to Hamas is steadily rising. Last August, Hamas acknowledged that Iran is its greatest military and financial backer. In 2017, Iran transferred $70 million to the terrorist group.

Eisenkot said that in 2018, Iran intends to transfer $100m. to Hamas.

If Iran is Hamas’s greatest state sponsor, UNRWA is its partner. UNRWA is headquartered in Gaza. It is the UN’s single largest agency. It has more than 11,500 employees in Gaza alone. UNRWA’s annual budget is in excess of $1.2 billion. Several hundred million each year is spent in Gaza.

The US is UNRWA’s largest funder. In 2016, it transferred more than $368m. to UNRWA.

For the past decade, the Center for Near East Policy Research has copiously documented how UNRWA in Gaza is not an independent actor. Rather it is an integral part of Hamas’s regime in Gaza.

UNRWA underwrites the jihadist regime by paying for its school system and its healthcare system, among other things. Since 1999, UNRWA employees have repeatedly and overwhelmingly elected Hamas members to lead their unions.

In every major missile campaign Hamas has carried out against Israel since the group seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, UNRWA facilities have played key roles in its terrorist offensives. Missiles, rockets and mortars have been stored in and fired from UNRWA schools and clinics.

UNRWA teachers and students have served as human shields for Hamas missile launches against Israel.

UNRWA ambulances have been used to ferry weapons, including mortars, and terrorists.

UNRWA officials have served as Hamas mouthpieces in their propaganda war against Israel.

In the UNRWA school curriculum, the overwhelming message in nearly every class, and nearly every textbook, is that students should seek martyrdom in jihad against Israel. They should strive to destroy the Jewish state.

Hamas’s youth group, which provides children’s military training and jihadist indoctrination, gathers at UNRWA schools.

Despite repeated demands by the US Congress, and the passage of US laws requiring UNRWA to bar Hamas members from working for the agency, UNRWA administrators have insisted for more than a decade that they have no way to conduct such screening. Yet rather than cut off US funding for the agency, successive US administrations have increased funding for UNRWA every year.

Given all of this, Hamas is comfortable using Iran’s $100m. to build attack tunnels and missile launchers, because it trusts that the US and other UNRWA donor countries will continue to underwrite its regime through UNRWA.

If the US cuts off its assistance, then at least some of Iran’s money will have to be diverted to teachers’ salaries.

Hamas’s recently escalating rocket attacks on Israel may be happening because Iran wishes to deflect international attention away from its plan to brutally suppress the anti-regime protesters at home.

So the more Hamas is financially squeezed by the US and other UNRWA funders, the more likely any Hamas-Iran war plans being advanced now will be placed on the back burner.

So whether or not Haley realized it, her statement on cutting off US funding to Hamas strengthened the anti-regime protesters against the regime.

Those protesters, of course are demanding that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his henchmen stop raiding Iran’s treasury to finance Hezbollah, Hamas and Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria.

Haley’s comments, as well as President Donald Trump’s follow-on threat to end US funding of the PA, were more than a blow to Hamas. They marked end of the past 25 years of US-Palestinian relations.

For the past generation, the bipartisan position of all US administrations has been that the US must support the Palestinians unconditionally. The Obama administration did not differ from George W. Bush’s administration on that score. The main difference between the Obama and Bush administrations was Obama’s hostility toward Israel, not his knee-jerk support for the Palestinians.

The Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations provided the Palestinians unstinting and unconditional support, despite the fact that the Palestinians never abided by any of their expectations. They never embraced the cause of peace. Indeed, the supposedly moderate ruling Fatah faction that controls the PLO and the Palestinian Authority, and has accepted billions of dollars in US aid since 1994, doesn’t even recognize Israel’s right to exist. Fatah remains deeply involved in committing terrorism.

And the Fatah-controlled PA has sponsored, incited, financed and rewarded terrorists and terrorism since it was established under US sponsorship in 1994.

When the Palestinians last voted for their governmental representatives in 2006, they flummoxed Bush and his secretary of state Condoleezza Rice by electing Hamas to run their affairs. Rather than accept that the Palestinians were uninterested in peace and cut them off, Rice and Bush chose to pretend their vote just meant they didn’t like Fatah corruption.

A year later, after US-trained and -armed Fatah security forces cut and ran when Hamas gunmen opened fire on them in Gaza, the US didn’t cut off its support for Fatah’s security forces. The US massively expanded that support.

As for Hamas-controlled Gaza, Rice responded to Gaza’s transformation into the Palestinian equivalent of Taliban-controlled Afghanistan by immediately raising US financial support for UNRWA by $40m. and pretending that the money would not benefit Hamas.

After that, both the Bush and Obama administrations touted UNRWA as an independent counterforce to Hamas, despite the fact that their protestations were demonstrably false and indeed, entirely absurd.

In this context, Abbas and his deputies had every reason to believe they could initiate anti-American resolutions at the UN in response to Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and face no consequences. It made sense as well for them to boycott administration officials in retaliation for Trump’s Jerusalem policy and assume that the US would continue to finance them.

The Trump administration’s threat to cut off funding to UNRWA and the PA does not point to a new US policy toward the Palestinians. It simply makes clear that unlike all of its predecessors, Trump’s support for the Palestinians is not unconditional.

As Trump, Haley and other senior officials have made clear, they are still trying to put together their policy for the Palestinians. And this is where Israel needs to come into the picture.

IT IS important to recall that the US’s unconditional support for the Palestinians across three administrations was the result not of a US decision, but an Israeli one. It was Israel under the Rabin-Peres government, not the US under then-president Bill Clinton, that decided to recognize the PA in 1993 and give Yasser Arafat and his deputies control of Gaza and the Palestinian towns and cities in Judea and Samaria. If Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres hadn’t decided to abandon the then-ongoing US peace talks that excluded the PLO in favor of Norwegian talks with the PLO, the US would probably not have embraced the PLO.

Now that the Trump administration is abandoning its predecessors’ policy, the time has come for Israel to offer it an alternative. This week, the government and the governing Likud party took two steps toward doing just that.

On Sunday, the Likud central committee passed a resolution unanimously that called for Israel to apply its law to the Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria. Although the resolution was declarative, and does not obligate Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, it points toward the policy that either this government or its successor will likely adopt.

In both the 2013 and 2015 elections, facing the hostile Obama administration, Netanyahu refused to run on any platform other than his personal credibility. With the Likud resolution, and with a Trump administration interested in considering alternatives to the failed policies of its predecessors, Netanyahu can be expected (and should be urged) to pledge to implement his party’s policy if reelected.

On Monday, the Knesset passed an amendment to the Basic Law: Jerusalem. The amended law protects Israel’s sovereignty over the territory now within Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries while permitting the government to take some of that territory out of the municipal boundaries. The idea is that some Arab villages now within the city limits will be given their own local councils.

Today, for political reasons, Arab residents of Jerusalem refuse to vote in municipal elections. Consequently, they have effectively disenfranchised themselves. By providing them with separate local councils while ensuring that they will remain governed by Israel’s liberal legal code, the Knesset provided a model for future governance of the Palestinian population centers in Judea and Samaria.

In response to Haley’s and Trump’s threats to cut off funding to the PA and UNRWA, Rice’s Israeli counterpart, former foreign minister Tzipi Livni, wrote on Twitter that the government should lobby Trump to maintain funding. In her words, “A responsible and serious government would sit quietly and discretely with the US president and explain the Israeli interest.”

Livni maintained that interest remains what it was when she backed Rice’s decision to expand US funding to Hamas-controlled UNRWA and the feckless US-trained Fatah security forces.

Luckily, like the Trump administration, Israel’s government today recognizes that repeating the failures of its predecessors makes no sense.

The Likud’s resolution on Judea and Samaria and the Knesset’s amendment to the Basic Law: Jerusalem represent the beginning of a new Israeli policy toward the Palestinians.

If the Trump administration follows Israel’s lead, as the Clinton administration followed its lead in 1993, then the new era in US policy toward the Palestinians won’t be limited to ending US unconditional support for the PLO and through UNRWA, Hamas.

A new US policy will involve providing the Palestinians the means to govern themselves while enjoying the protections of Israeli law. It will involve ending US support for Palestinian sponsorship and finance of terrorism. It will involve securing Israel’s borders, security and national rights. And of course it will involve kicking Iran out of Gaza and out of the Levant more generally.

http://www.CarolineGlick.com