Archive for the ‘Jerusalem’ category

A whole new ballgame

July 7, 2017

A whole new ballgame, Israel Hayom, Ruthie Blum, July 7, 2017

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman delivered a speech this week that made the ‎unbearably hot and humid weather feel like a breath of fresh air. At the annual Fourth of July ‎celebration, held Monday evening at his official residence in Herzliya, Friedman not only ‎reiterated his personal faith in Judaism and the Jewish people, but stressed America’s ‎‎”unbreakable bond” with the Jewish state.‎

The bond Friedman was referring to had become so fragile during former U.S. President Barack ‎Obama’s two terms in office that it became the punchline of a joke made in 2014 by comedian ‎Jay Leno. Obama, Leno quipped, knows just how unbreakable the U.S.-Israel bond is, “since ‎he’s been trying to break it for years.”‎

It was not only Friedman’s address that was crafted to convey the loud and clear message that ‎the new administration in Washington is going to behave differently — that it is and will continue ‎to be unequivocally and unflinchingly on Israel’s side. The fact that he was the first U.S. ‎ambassador to invite settler leaders to the event, and proudly pose for photographs with them, ‎already spoke volumes.‎

Friedman began by recounting that the first time he hosted a party in Israel was at the Western ‎Wall in Jerusalem, when he was 13. “As the son of a rabbi of modest means, I can assure you that ‎my bar mitzvah party bore absolutely no resemblance to the party that we are attending here ‎tonight,” he said. “But the spirit … is exactly the same. It is the spirit of patriotic Americans ‎committed to increasing the ties and enhancing the relationship between the United States and ‎the State of Israel. That’s what my family stood for 45 years ago, and that’s still who we are ‎today.” ‎

That right off the bat he boasted of his Jewish connection to the Western Wall in the context of ‎U.S.-Israel relations was highly significant. It signaled to those supporters of President Donald ‎Trump who became disillusioned by what appeared to be a backtracking of his vow to move the ‎U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem that this is not a case of yet another administration ‎reneging on its promises in an attempt to appease the Palestinians and impose a peace deal on ‎Israel. It also indicated to Israel’s enemies that America recognizes Israeli sovereignty over its ‎capital city. ‎

Friedman went on to say, “It was just two months ago that I had the honor … to be the master of ‎ceremonies at the very first party ever hosted by the White House to commemorate Israel’s ‎Independence Day, [where] I had the privilege to proclaim, ‘yom haatzmaut sameach l’medinat ‎yisrael’ — ‘Happy Independence Day to the State of Israel.’ Today, it is my great pleasure to return ‎the favor from 6,000 miles away. And so let me proclaim, ‘yom haatzmaut sameach l’artzot ‎habrit,’ ‘Happy Independence Day to the United States.'” ‎

And then he quoted, in Hebrew, a line from Psalm 118 — “This is a day that the Lord has made; ‎let us [be glad and] rejoice in it” — to make a point about Israel’s being “the source of many of the ‎Judeo-Christian values that spawned the American enterprise.” He invoked the famous Puritan Pilgrim John Winthrop, who in 1630 “implored his followers to be faithful to the teachings of ‎the Jewish prophet, Micah, to ‘do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with thy God,'” and told ‎new immigrants to America that if they did so, they would “find that the God of Israel is among ‎us.” ‎

He said that when Winthrop “referred to New England as a ‘city upon a hill with the eyes of all ‎people upon us,” he was also referring to Jerusalem. Indeed, Friedman added, “So much of who ‎we are derives from the teachings of ancient Israel. And, perhaps for that reason, it is no surprise ‎that the United States and Israel have the most special of special relationships.”‎

Here, again, Friedman purposely spoke of Jerusalem, emphasizing that the success and mutual ‎admiration that America and the Jewish state enjoy emanate from “ancient Israel.”‎

‎”We have, of course, common enemies that unite us,” he said — as well as military, trade, culture ‎and cybersecurity cooperation. “But our collective core, what fundamentally unites us, is that we ‎are the two shining cities on a hill, drawn together by a shared history, shared values and … a ‎shared destiny of continued greatness.”‎

This declaration was nothing short of momentous, particularly as it came on the heels of senior ‎Trump adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner’s June 21 meeting in Ramallah with PA President ‎Mahmoud Abbas, whose henchmen described the encounter as “tense.” Apparently, being told ‎by a prominent member of the White House staff that the paying of terrorists’ salaries has got to ‎stop is not what Abbas had expected to hear — despite being yelled at by Trump himself in May ‎for having lied about the rampant incitement in the PA against Jews and Israelis.‎

Friedman’s next allusion to Jerusalem involved noting that he is the “first [U.S.] ambassador to ‎accompany [Trump] in visiting the kotel hamaaravi, the Western Wall.” From here, he segued ‎into his conclusion by talking about how, earlier in the day, he and Israeli Prime Minister ‎Benjamin Netanyahu had toured the aircraft carrier the USS George H.W. Bush off the coast of ‎Haifa. ‎

Peace through strength, he announced (quoting King David’s words in Psalm 29, which he said ‎his father used to recite every Shabbat morning) is “a foundational cornerstone of the Trump ‎administration” and a “guiding principle of the State of Israel.” ‎

Finally, Friedman said that American men and women in uniform, like their Israeli counterparts ‎in the IDF, “hope never to fire a shot,” preferring to keep the world safe through a demonstration ‎of strength and courage. However — he implied — they willingly sacrifice their lives in this ‎mission if left no other choice.‎

While the new U.S. ambassador to Israel wound down his remarks by wishing the United State a ‎happy 241st birthday, the audience revved up its cheering for the start of what Americans call “a ‎whole new ballgame.”‎

Turkish takeover in Jerusalem

June 2, 2017

Turkish takeover in Jerusalem, Israel Hayom, David M. Weinberg, June 2, 2017

(Please see also, Report: Turkey Eclipsing Jordan in Old City, Temple Mount. — DM)

In short, the disintegration of Palestinian secular nationalist organizations and institutions in east Jerusalem, alongside Israeli torpor, has facilitated the rise of Islamist factions and hostile foreign actors.

The enlarged foreign presence in the heart of Israel’s capital touches the deepest chords of the issue of Israeli sovereignty in the eastern part of the city. Koren and Avrahami warn that this presence cannot be easily eliminated. While significant security action and determined diplomatic maneuver are clearly mandated, Israel will have to do more to “recapture” east Jerusalem. It will have to assume full responsibility for the services that east Jerusalem Arab residents need, with major budgetary repercussions.

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The fireworks and fanfare of the Jerusalem liberation jubilee have shoved under the radar a blockbuster expose about the unruly situation in east Jerusalem. Alarm bells should be ringing about the nefarious intensifying involvement of Erdogan’s Turkey and other radical Islamist groups in Jerusalem political and social affairs.

Dr. David Koren and Ben Avrahami are the advisors on east Jerusalem affairs for the Jerusalem Municipality. They lead the municipal team that oversees all of Jerusalem City Hall’s interactions with the Muslim and Christian populations of the city. They are intimately familiar with the thicket of contradictory interests, tensions, and disagreements that inform daily life in earthly Jerusalem.

The two experts have just published a rare, breathtaking and shocking description of political trends in east Jerusalem. Their article, “East Jerusalem Arabs Between Erdogan and Israel,” published in the new, important Hebrew intellectual journal Hashiloach (Vol. 4, May 2017), offers a brief account of the fruits of normalization and Arab east Jerusalemites’ increasing integration into the Israeli scene, But mainly it serves as a wake-up call regarding countervailing toxic trends.

According to Koren and Avrahami there has been very significant erosion in the status of the veteran east Jerusalem mukhtars and the influence of Fatah political infrastructures and Palestinian Authority leaders. Into the vacuum have stepped elements identified with Hamas, with the northern faction of the Islamic Movement in Israel, and with the Muslim Brotherhood in its wider context.

Through a series of civic associations, nonprofits, and grassroots organizations, sometimes at the neighborhood level and sometimes more extensive, they are investing tens of millions of dollars per year in dawa (missionary) activities, mainly charitable enterprises and educational programs to attract the young to Islamic values.

There is a direct line, say the article authors, from civic dawa to radicalization and active enlistment in the armed struggle against Israel. This includes active social networking which glorifies terrorists, martyrs, and prisoners, and explicitly calls for violent resistance to Israel. These networks were also the source for the libel that Al-Aqsa mosque is endangered by the Jews/Zionists, and for dissemination of an incredible volume of disinformation related to Israeli actions on the Temple Mount.

The authors ask for particular attention to the mounting involvement of Erdogan’s Turkey, which is the worldwide Brotherhood’s main patron. Turkey now enjoys unprecedented popularity among the Arab residents of east Jerusalem, the authors write. The Turks’ public support of the Palestinian cause and adoption of the Al-Aqsa issue, and their decision to inject millions of dollars into east Jerusalem, have won them great sympathy and support.

The Turks fund a great part of the dawa activities in the city, with Sheikh Ekrima Sa’id Sabri as the lead Turkish agent. (He is a former grand mufti of Jerusalem appointed by the PA and today the most prominent representative of the Muslim Brotherhood in the city.) The Turkish consulate in Jerusalem, the Turkish government assistance agency, and a string of Turkish organizations that have local branches in Israel or the West Bank, are directly implicated in this subversive activity too. As a result, Turkish flags today fly everywhere in east Jerusalem and prominently on the Temple Mount as well.

The Turks also have injected significant sums to those who do their bidding on the Temple Mount, for various activities such as Quran-recitation groups, transportation of worshipers to and from the mosque, iftar feasts in Ramadan, renovation and cleaning campaigns, and the like. In general, the Islamist forces on the Temple Mount operate, intentionally or not, to Turkey’s benefit and the detriment of Jordan. They may believe that the replacement of the Jordanian presence by a Turkish presence would be a positive and welcome development.

The main loser here is Jordan, which long enjoyed the status of Guardian of the Holy Places and protector of the Arabs of Jerusalem. This also is the context of the PA’s intensive activity in the international arena, and especially at UNESCO, ostensibly intended to protect the Islamic holy places against an Israeli takeover. This tactic allows the PA to convey to its critics that it is the true defender of Al-Aqsa and Jerusalem against the threat of “Judaization,” while at the same time gnawing at Jordan’s historic role as guardian of the Mount and seeking to counteract the emerging Turkish dominance in Temple Mount affairs.

Attention should be devoted also to another mounting force in Jerusalem, the Islamic Liberation Party, or Hizb ut-Tahrir, which has several thousand supporters in the city. This Salafist group, like ISIS, seeks to proclaim a global Islamic caliphate from Al-Aqsa. It has acquired growing influence on college campuses throughout the West Bank, including al-Quds University near Jerusalem. Sheikh Issam Amira of the al-Rahman Mosque in Beit Safafa is the group’s most conspicuous preacher, and he enjoys freedom of activity and speech on the Temple Mount.

While the Liberation Party does not advocate violent jihad, some party members could “advance” from a Salafi mindset to a Salafi-jihadist outlook and join the ranks of ISIS. This may explain, say Koren and Avrahami, the presence of ISIS cells and ISIS operatives in Jerusalem, such as Fadi al-Qunbar, who carried out the terrorist truck-ramming attack in East Talpiot in early 2017, and the ISIS cell that was apprehended in the Shuafat refugee camp several months earlier.

In short, the disintegration of Palestinian secular nationalist organizations and institutions in east Jerusalem, alongside Israeli torpor, has facilitated the rise of Islamist factions and hostile foreign actors.

The enlarged foreign presence in the heart of Israel’s capital touches the deepest chords of the issue of Israeli sovereignty in the eastern part of the city. Koren and Avrahami warn that this presence cannot be easily eliminated. While significant security action and determined diplomatic maneuver are clearly mandated, Israel will have to do more to “recapture” east Jerusalem. It will have to assume full responsibility for the services that east Jerusalem Arab residents need, with major budgetary repercussions.

In a future article, we will look at the remedies for this situation being implemented by Mayor Nir Barkat of Jerusalem (and more still required) in order to increase east Jerusalem Arabs’ sense of belonging to a united Jerusalem. Also to be considered are the complicated proposals coming from the political Left for redistricting of the city into independent boroughs or divesting some Arab neighborhoods to the Palestinian Authority.

Report: Turkey Eclipsing Jordan in Old City, Temple Mount

May 30, 2017

Report: Turkey Eclipsing Jordan in Old City, Temple Mount, The Jewish Press, May 30, 2017

Turkish Flag over the Temple Mount

The Jerusalem municipality’s eastern Jerusalem experts have revealed in recent days that Turkey has been competing with Jordan over influence among Arab residents as well as over control of the Temple Mount, Hashiloach—an Israeli journal for thought and policy, created by the Tikvah Fund—reported last week.

The city’s experts, David Koren and Ben Avrahami, also revealed that Turkey has begun pouring millions of dollars into NGO in eastern Jerusalem, in order to strengthen Ankara’s status among the Arab residents, at the expense of Jordan and Israel. Which explains why more and more Turkish flags are hanging in windows in the eastern part of the city.

The Arab population of Jerusalem numbers approximately 320,000, with another 50,000 residents of Judea and Samaria who are staying in the city illegally or through family reunification. Jerusalem Arabs constitute about 37% of the city’s population and about 20% of the Arab population in Israel. In fact, Jerusalem is the city with the highest Arab population density between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea (excluding Gaza). Ramallah has 280,000 residents, and Nazareth, the largest Arab city in Israel, has only 75,000.

The vast majority of Jerusalem’s Arabs are Muslim – the Christian population is estimated at between 10 and 15 thousand.

“The growing involvement of the Erdogan regime, which is now the main patron of the Muslim Brotherhood worldwide, shows that the Turkish actions in Jerusalem are part of a wider process of creating regional Turkish hegemony at the expense of other players,” wrote the Jerusalem mayor’s advisers on the eastern part of the city, noting that “the biggest loser from the increased Turkish presence is Jordan, which for many years had enjoyed the status of Custodian of the Holy Places and the protector of the residents of eastern Jerusalem. The greatest threat to the Hashemite Kingdom on the Temple Mount comes from Turkey.”

Earlier this month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan slammed Israel for “massacring the Palestinians,” calling on the Turks to visit the Al-Aqsa Mosque and dubbing Israel’s control of Jerusalem “an insult.” He also attacked President Donald Trump’s plans to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, and declared that “all Muslims must defend Jerusalem.”

The experts added that in May 2015, Muslim worshipers expelled the chief Jordanian Kadi from the Temple Mount, while at the same time receiving with great honor the Turkish minister of religious affairs. “In recent years, the Turks have poured considerable sums of money into the Temple Mount for a number of activities: Koran reading groups, transporting worshipers to and from the mosque, Ramadan meals, renovations, and cleaning. As a rule, whether deliberately or not, Muslim groups on the Temple Mount are acting in favor of Turkey and to the detriment of Jordan.

“In their view, replacing the Jordanian presence with Turkish presence would be a positive and welcome step,” Koren and Avrahami wrote.

“Erdogan’s Turkey now enjoys unprecedented popularity among the residents of eastern Jerusalem,” wrote the two wrote. “Turkish flags are often seen hanging from rooftops in the eastern part of the city and even on the Temple Mount, and Turkish culture is being revived, which is reflected in Turkish language courses, Turkish music and Turkish cuisine.”

One hundred years after the last Turkish soldier was chased out of Jerusalem by the invading British Empire, “Turkey’s public support for the Palestinian cause and the Al-Aqsa conflict, and their channeling of millions of dollars into eastern Jerusalem, bear many fruits in the form of sympathy and support,” the experts concluded, adding that the Turks’ “involvement is made possible by their cooperation with Muslim Brotherhood elements in the city, who are often being used as their allies and collaborators.”

The Palestinian Authority is the obstacle to peace

May 16, 2017

The Palestinian Authority is the obstacle to peace, Israel National News, Minister Ofir Akunis, May 16, 2017

(Please see also, White House Clarifies Western Wall Position with JewishPress.com and associated comments. — DM)

President Trump has shown himself to be a true friend of Israel, we continue to see eye-to-eye on many of the current issues I mentioned, as well as the similar values we share.

I believe the President will keep his promise to recognize a united Jerusalem as the only capital of Israel, not just because it is the current reality, but more so because it is RIGHT historically.

I am also looking forward to meeting the new U.S ambassador to Israel, Ambassador Friedman, IN HIS NEW EMBASSY IN JERUSALEM.

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Please allow me to share a small part of my day with you, something that actually took place recently.

As I was going through my daily tasks in my Jerusalem office, I noticed something of concern and I will even say, disturbing. As I was browsing through some international news sources, I couldn’t help but notice the lack of coverage or attempts to link and explain the connection and history of the Jewish people and Jerusalem. It even went to the extreme of completely denying this connection, such as the UNESCO vote, just to name one example.

My friends, I turn to you from Jerusalem with great conviction and say JERUSALEM WAS, JERUSALEM IS, AND WILL FOREVER BE, THE UNDIVIDED CAPITAL OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE, just as it was for the past 3000 years, and just as it is the capital of Israel today. Anything else would be equivalent to erasing our identity, erasing who and what we are as the Jewish people.

My friends, Israel is a country of great beauty, amazing people, a place of bright minds and a positive contribution to the world, not to mention a great breeding ground for the advancement of science, technology and innovation.

Sadly, the situation is quite different in the rest of the Middle East today. I often ask myself, can this be real? Is this the world we live in today? Can this really be happening in our backyard?

As Shimon Peres predicted it the 1990s, it is a whole “new Middle East.”

He was right, but unfortunately in a negative sense of the word “new,” as we can now see that it is a much, much worse Middle East.

What we originally thought was an Arab Spring, has now become a dark and stormy winter.

My friends, the time has come to stand united against evil around the world and in particular the Middle East. Whether it is the Islamic republic of Iran, the Islamic state in Iraq and Syria, the Islamic “state within a state” of Hezbollah in Lebanon, or the Islamic Hamas in Gaza, we must stand united.

Unfortunately, and I say this with great disappointment and sadness, Israel’s repeated attempts to convey such dangers and concerns with previous administrations were not sufficiently heard.

Let me say this once again in a clear manner: the forces of evil in the Middle East are not only a threat to Israel, but a threat to all people who uphold the value of life and democracy.

Israel is proud to stand with the United States of America and all life and freedom loving people.

In the spirit of democracy, Israel looks forward to be welcoming President Trump and his delegation to Israel this month.

President Trump has shown himself to be a true friend of Israel, we continue to see eye-to-eye on many of the current issues I mentioned, as well as the similar values we share.

I believe the President will keep his promise to recognize a united Jerusalem as the only capital of Israel, not just because it is the current reality, but more so because it is RIGHT historically.

I am also looking forward to meeting the new U.S ambassador to Israel, Ambassador Friedman, IN HIS NEW EMBASSY IN JERUSALEM.

My friends, I would like to bring to your attention a growing problem which Israel is facing, the lies and attempts to re-write history.

Most, if not all of these lies come from terror-supporting states, terror backed organizations, BDS organizations, Left wing NGO’s and anti-Israel Student Organizations.

But when we hear these lies about the Jewish People and Israel, what should our response be?

WE MUST TELL THEM THE TRUTH.

I already mentioned one of the lies earlier, and its sole purpose is to make people believe that the Jewish people have no ties to the city of Jerusalem. And by the way, if anyone in the world has any doubt, I suggest they go visit many of our amazing museums where they will find ancient Jewish artifacts. I have yet to hear about any “Palestinian” findings.

Another of the lies that is well spread is that the Palestinians are ruled by Israel.

My friends, the truth of the matter is that the PALESTINIANS RULE THEMSELVES and this is the case for 23 years already. They run their own educational system, healthcare, security, financial, justice and media. All under the Palestinian Authority.

Sadly, almost in every instance, they use their influence to glorify violence and death.

In schools their text books are filled with hatred toward Jews and Israel. Their year-end ceremony includes a kidnapping of Israel soldier or worse.

In their court system they give a death sentence to those who sell their private land to Jews.

Their financial system have budgets for families and individuals who commit terror and to those who murder Israelis.

They use their health systems and facilities to hide and transport weapons and terrorists (most notably in Gaza).

They use their media to incite the youth to violence and publish “how to kill Israelis” videos.

And all of this, with the full support, encouragement and approval and at times even at the direction of the Palestinian Authority.

My friends, are we speaking the same language here? Or maybe I should say, are we on the same page here?

I ask myself, what prevents the Palestinian Authority from engaging Israel without any preconditions and making peace? Well, we all know the answer.

And we all know that Israel, on the other hand, is ready and willing for peace.

But each time we reach out to the other side, the terrorists spill more of our blood, and there is more mourning, more death.

This must stop.

Israel is not the obstacle to peace. Israel continues to extend its hand in the efforts of peace, but the choice to end this war lays with the Palestinians themselves.

People always ask me why am I against the idea of the establishment of a Palestinian state. To that I answer:

1. Jews have always had a connection to the land of Israel since the beginning of our time and before anyone else was walking on this land. Our entire identity and “who we are” evolves around this land and its history. Our nation was born on the hills of Judea and Samaria.

2. Israel need stable and defensible boarders in order to survive in the Middle East; a Palestinian state will place a direct security threat upon all of the citizen of Israel.

3. I want my children to grow up with peaceful neighbors, not generations of children that call for our death and destruction.

My friends, I’m happy to see that the Trump administration says what I’ve been saying all along, the settlements in Judea and Samaria are not the obstacle towards peace!

It is the Palestinians’ leaders who are the obstacle to Peace.

So for as long as I am elected to serve my country, I will ensure that a Palestinian state will not be created.

My friends, before I go I would like to tell you this, ISRAEL IS A LIGHTHOUSE OF DEMOCRACY IN THE MIDDLE EAST. It doesn’t matter if you are a man or woman, black or white, left or right, gay or straight, and there is really no difference if you are Jewish, Christian, or Muslim. We are life loving people, our strength is our freedom and values. All citizens of Israel live together in peace. Now my friends, how many other countries in the Middle East hold and live by these values? Instead of fighting with Israel, they should view Israel as a role model and stop preaching us to make peace.

And for this my friends, I am so proud to call myself an Israeli. Proud of our democracy, economy and our achievements. I’m proud of our advances in science and technology.

My friends, Israel and the United States have always been close allies. I am happy with our current accomplishments but I am even more excited about what we can and will accomplish in the future.

In the coming years, America and Israel must stand shoulder to shoulder in matters relating to the Middle East. We must stand united when they burn our flags. We must stand together when they attack nightclubs and cafes.

ISRAEL HAS NO BETTER FRIEND THAN THE UNITED STATES, AND THE UNITED STATES HAS NO BETTER ALLY THAN ISRAEL.

And so, I look forward to continue working with the United States in making true peace in the Middle East while building stronger connections in the field of science and technology.

Thank you again for the warm welcome and for allowing me to address you all today. I’m sure you will enjoy the rest of the conference. Until next time, shalom and toda raba!

Sent to Arutz Sheva by the MK, this is an excerpt from Minister of Science and Technology Ofir Akunis’s speech to the JPost Conference in New York, May 7, 2017.

Nothing happens in America besides carping about Trump

May 12, 2017

Nothing happens in America besides carping about Trump, Israel National News, Jack Engelhard, May 12, 2017

Yes, it’s time to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and who cares what the Democrats will say. 

Give them something else to carp about. They’re already out of their minds.

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President Trump’s visit to Israel later this month will be a timely getaway from all the feverish heat he’s been taking here in the U.S.A.

He may want to stay in Israel until the Democrats calm down…and whoever thought we’d say that Israel is a much calmer place than America.

But so it is at this moment. Being a Republican, especially being Trump, is not safe when nearly every Democrat in and out of Washington wants to skin you alive. From the moment Trump fired FBI Director James Comey – actually, from the moment Trump won the election – the Democrats have been on the warpath to oust him from office.

They want nothing less than his abdication by whatever means. That’s all they think about. They have no agenda for the rest of America.

Trump is their agenda – period.

Every day they find something else to pin on him and dumping Comey was just another ticket for them…and the howling began and won’t stop.

Throughout the dials, CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, it’s been a cavalcade of rhetorical hysteria.

Trump was acting tyrannical, cried Chris Matthews on MSNBC – the same Matthews who gets a thrill up his leg only when it’s Obama talking and acting.

Unconstitutional, wailed Chuck Todd at NBC. On CNN, Anderson Cooper was plainly crude and rude to Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway.

So it’s been and so it continues and the theme was set when Chuck Schumer raged in the Senate that Comey was getting “too close to home.” That’s why Trump fired him – and what is home to the Democrats? Russia. They are obsessed by Russia, these Democrats, and fixed on a dream that one day they will find the secret door that leads from Putin to Trump.

In fact, even as we speak, three investigations are underway with Russia in mind as intrusive troublemakers – in the Senate, the House and at the FBI.

In addition to that, Schumer wants a Special Prosecutor to prosecute…I mean investigate Trump and Russia and whatever links can be found between the two…even if it takes the next four to eight years. In other words, if you ask what’s going on in America today, the answer is, nothing much – nothing much besides Trump and Russia.

So it goes so long as we have a two party system and the party that loses just won’t quit. Instead of behaving like ladies and gentlemen, they turn into a mob.

In Israel, famous politically for running the country with 34 (yes, 34) political parties, the constant Bibi-bashing in the media pales when compared to the anti-Trump frenzy in the US.

And in Israel, things are getting done. One of those things is getting ready for Trump’s visit. He could not have picked a better time, May 22/23.

That’s around the time when Israel celebrates the reunification of Jerusalem. So here’s his chance to get away from it all and…and make good on a promise.

Yes, it’s time to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and who cares what the Democrats will say.

Give them something else to carp about. They’re already out of their minds.

Erdogan will not “allow Muslim prayers silenced in Jerusalem”

May 8, 2017

Erdogan will not “allow Muslim prayers silenced in Jerusalem”  DEBKAfile, May 8, 2017

(Turkish Dictator President Erdogan and President Trump should have an interesting meeting next week. — DM)

Turkish President Reccep Erdogan talking to the International Forum on Jerusalem in Istanbul Monday, referred to the draft bills before the Knesset, banning amplified overnight calls to prayers from mosque loudspeakers in residential areas. He called the bill “shameful” and declared “we will not allow the silence of prayers form the heavens of Jerusalem.”  Erdogan also said that the discussions about the US moving its embassy to Jerusalem are extremely wrong. “We made the necessary warnings on this issue at the highest level and we are continuing to do so.”

Palestinian Daily ‘Al-Ayyam’ Reports On ‘Abbas’s White House Visit

May 8, 2017

Palestinian Daily ‘Al-Ayyam’ Reports On ‘Abbas’s White House Visit, MEMRI, May 8, 2017

(Consider the source. Abbas will get what he seeks when he teaches pigs to fly. Whoops. Pigs are haram. Please note the absence of any reference to Palestinian incitement of children and others to commit acts of terror and payment of Palestinian “heroes” in Israeli jails — both of which President Trump has insisted cease. Perhaps more important, were the Palestinian Authority to have elections, Hamas would likely win. The excerpts from the article do not mention Hamas– DM)

On May 7, 2017, the Palestinian daily Al-Ayyam published a detailed article on Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud ‘Abbas’s May 3 visit in Washington, titled “The Secrets and Details of President [‘Abbas’s] Visit and Talks in the U.S. Capital.” The article, by the daily’s U.S. correspondent ‘Abd Al-Rauf Arnaut, described ‘Abbas’s meetings with American officials as relaxed, and the hosts’ reception of ‘Abbas and his delegation as warm and respectful.

The article presented lengthy quotes from ‘Abbas himself about his meeting with Trump. According to ‘Abbas, he clarified to Trump that the Arabs oppose terrorism, no matter its type or its source, and that the Palestinians support a two-state solution rather than a two-state solution. He presented the Arab peace initiative as a basis for peace between Israel and the entire Arab world following an Israeli withdrawal from the Palestinian territories, and focused on the need to find a creative solution for the refugee problem based on UN Resolution 194,[1] stressing that otherwise it would not be possible to end the conflict. ‘Abbas also presented Trump with maps showing the history of Palestine from 1937, in order to demonstrate the steady contraction of the territories intended for the Palestinians and the vital need to halt construction in the settlements.

The following are excerpts from the article:[2]

“This wasn’t President ‘Abbas’s first visit to the White House, but it was different in its details from all the previous visits. After Donald Trump won the U.S. presidential election, Arab officials and analysts hurried to say that the Palestinians had become “irrelevant”, but within 100 days [of the election], the relations and the chemistry between the Palestinian and U.S. presidents developed to a point that [proved them to be] shamefully wrong.

“President Trump and his team were unfamiliar to the Palestinians, since, unlike previous [U.S.] presidents, such as George Bush Jr. and Barack Obama, they did not emerge from the American [political] establishment. In contrast to some leaders of Palestinian factions who criticized the new U.S. president based on Israeli statements, President ‘Abbas opted for a quiet diplomacy whose results became evident later, during his visit to the White House, which he has characterized as successful.

“After talking a great deal about the cold shoulder turned to ‘Abbas by the new inhabitant of the White House, and the implications [of this attitude], analysts found themselves faced with a sight that even many Palestinian officials had not imagined they would see. [Thanks to preparatory] measures and arrangements that preceded the meeting at the White House, a new bond was formed that is bound to become [even] clearer during Trump’s visit to Bethlehem on May 23, 2017.

“President ‘Abbas said: “The visit was preceded by several [preparatory measures]. About six weeks ago, after Trump entered the White House, the head of the Palestinian intelligence service, Maj. Gen. Majid Faraj, was invited to Washington for a meeting with his American counterpart, and he indeed came there and met with many U.S. political and military officials. [Gen. Faraj] returned with a lot of information, indicating that a new era had dawned in Washington and that we could expect new developments because there was a new [president] in that country who might present fresh ideas regarding the Palestinian issue. We were very pleased with this [preliminary] meeting.

“In a closed meeting with Arab ambassadors to Washington, [‘Abbas] said: “Immediately after that, shortly after the appointment of Mike Pompeo as Director of the CIA [on January 23, 2017], we were told he would come for a visit [in the PA] and he indeed came to Ramallah and we held lengthy meetings with him. He is an experienced man, for he was a member of Congress, so our cause was not unfamiliar to him, although we may have had to fill him in on some of the details. At the end of the meeting, he said: ‘I will now go [straight] to the airport and [fly to] Washington, for I want to present the minutes of this meeting to President Trump, who has a meeting scheduled tonight with Binyamin Netanyahu.’

“The CIA director was the first [U.S. official] to meet with the [Palestinian] president… and even though certain elements tried to claim that the contacts between the Palestinians and Americans were [confined to] the security level, these contacts continued on the diplomatic level [as well].

“President [‘Abbas] said: ‘The second step came one week later, when President Trump called me. This was the first time he called [me. He] greeted me and then invited me to the White House, saying, ‘I’ve heard all sorts of things about you, but I want to hear more from you, because I want to find a solution to the [Palestinian-Israeli] conflict. He repeated his invitation several times, and then told me that he had a great deal of confidence in several of his aides, including Jason Greenblatt,[3] and that he would soon send [Greenblatt] to us so we could talk with him.’

“The [next] step was [indeed] a meeting between United States Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt and President ‘Abbas in Ramallah. President ‘Abbas said: ‘Greenblatt arrived and I had a lengthy and comprehensive meeting with him, because I assumed he needed to learn the details. I [recounted all the developments] from Oslo until today, step by step, and described the entire Palestinian issue in full. Then I tried to answer all the questions I figured he might have, and when I was done he indeed said, “I have nothing left to ask, this was a useful meeting.”‘

“The [next] step was a meeting between Greenblatt and President [‘Abbas] on the Jordanian shore of the Dead Sea, at the periphery of the Arab League summit. President ‘Abbas said: ‘Greenblatt returned to Washington and then came back to [visit] us during the Arab League summit in Jordan, where he met with many Arab foreign ministers.’

“Concurrently, preparations for the [Trump-‘Abbas] summit were also made during the visit to Washington of a [Palestinian] delegation that included Dr. Saeb Erekat, the head of the Palestinian intelligence service and PLO Executive Committee secretary-general Maj. Gen. Majid Faraj, and Dr. Muhammad Mustafa, President [‘Abbas’s] economic advisor. Preparations were also made at the level of the leaders of Palestine, Jordan and Egypt, all three of whom had been invited to the White House. President ‘Abbas said: “We had been invited [to Washington] and we prepared for the visit, but [even] before this, at the Arab [League] summit which was [dedicated to the issue of] Palestine, Jordan’s King ‘Abdallah II initiated a three-way meeting with Egyptian President ‘Abd Al-Fattah Al-Sisi and myself so we would go to Washington with a single unified message. King [‘Abdallah] and President [Al-Sisi] had been invited [to Washington], but the date of my own visit had not yet been set. So the three of us met and discussed in detail the message we would present to Washington.’ He added: ‘King ‘Abdallah and President Al-Sisi [later] informed us about what had transpired [during their meetings] in Washington. They conveyed the same message, and that helped us a lot. Then it was decided that I would come here, to Washington, and I arrived, held some side meetings and then we went to the White House.'”

The Meeting With Jared Kushner

“Upon President ‘Abbas’s arrival in Washington, more meetings were held between the Palestinians and Americans. Far from the media, a first meeting took place between President ‘Abbas and Trump’s senior advisor and son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Kushner left a very positive impression on ‘Abbas, [who called him] ‘a polite man who wanted to gain a good understanding of the situation [and who] asked very polite questions about all the topics he wished to understand.’ This meeting was held on the eve of the president’s arrival at the White House.

“Up until the meeting at the White House, Palestinian officials differed in their assessments. Some expected a smooth and easy meeting while others were afraid of last-minute surprises.”

The Meeting With Trump

“The meeting went as Palestinian officials hoped it would, and was very positive, as was clearly evident from President [‘Abbas’s] reception at the White House.

“President [‘Abbas] naturally slept that night, after the long flight and because of the time-difference. The next morning he was cheerful as he prepared for his first visit to the White House during the Trump presidency. When he arrived, Trump met him at the door and accompanied him as he went to sign the guestbook. Then the two went into the Oval Office, and there, in the presence of the media, Trump greeted President ‘Abbas and shook his hand multiple times. Then they visited President Roosevelt’s historic office at the White House, where each delivered a statement, before shaking hands once again and turning to the Cabinet Room, where the U.S. cabinet holds its meetings.

“In the Cabinet Room, U.S. State Secretary Rex Tillerson sat to the left of the U.S. President and Vice President Mike Pence sat to his right. Also present at the meeting were U.S. National Security Advisor Gen. McMaster as well as Kushner, Greenblatt, the White House Chief of Staff, and U.S. Consul General [in Jerusalem] Donald Blome. Apart from ‘Abbas, the Palestinians present included Dr. Saeb Erekat, Gen. Majid Faraj, Dr. [Muhammad] Mustafa, Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Abu ‘Amr, ‘Abbas’s advisors Nabil Abu Rudeineh and Majdi Al-Khalidi, and Palestinian ambassador to Washington Husam Zomlot.”

‘Abbas: This Is What Happened At The White House

“As for the details of the visit, ‘Abbas said: ‘After signing the guestbook and delivering our statements to the press, [Trump and I] sat down together and I made every effort to present our wishes and our ideas [to him]. I told him explicitly: We, the united Arab nation, all oppose terror and combat terror, of every type and from every source. [Terror] is alien to us as a nation, alien to our culture, and that is why we stand up against it. Secondly, as for the political situation, we Palestinians believe in the solution of two states, namely Israel, which already exists, and a Palestinian state that we want to establish in the 1967 borders, whose capital is East Jerusalem. I told [Trump], if someone gets it into his head to speak about a one-state [solution, you should know that] we opt for the two-state [solution]. But if someone [nevertheless] mentions the one-state [solution, you should know that] there are two options. [The first option] is a racist discriminatory state, in which there are two regimes, [one for Palestinians and another for Jews], as is the case today in the Palestinian territories. Obviously, we will never agree to this and nobody in the world will agree to it. [The second option] is a binational state. I believe that they [the Israelis] reject this [option] out of hand, and I have [in fact] heard this from [them] on more than one occasion. So we are left with the solution of two states: a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders, and Israel. We want a state in those borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital’…

“‘Abbas then turned to explain the Arab peace initiative, using a one-page document prepared by the Palestinian president’s office, which included the details of the plan and the flags of the Arab countries that had approved it. President [‘Abbas] said: ‘I told Trump: We have the Arab initiative that was adopted at the 2002 Arab [League] summit in Beirut, which, in my opinion, is the most valuable initiative ever achieved for resolving the Palestinian problem. [The plan] is neither long nor complicated. It includes two main clauses.’ President [‘Abbas] explained to President [Trump] that the first clause says that if Israel withdraws from the Palestinian and Arab territories, all the Arab countries will be willing to form [diplomatic] ties with it, and that this initiative has been approved by more than one Arab capital and at many Arab and Muslim summits, for example in Istanbul, Iran and Pakistan…’ President ‘Abbas explained to the U.S. President that the flags on the document represented the countries that have approved the Arab peace initiative and have expressed willingness to recognize Israel if the latter withdraws from the occupied Arab and Palestinian territories.

“[‘Abbas also] explained to Trump that the [Arab] initiative proposed a just and agreed-upon solution to the refugee problem based on [UN Resolution] 194. The problem needs to be solved in a creative way based on the UN resolutions, [he said]. It must be resolved in order to resolve the conflict… We insist on this solution [to the refugee problem] because do not want only a peace treaty between ourselves and Israel, we want to end the conflict between ourselves and the Israelis. If the refugee problem remains unresolved, the conflict will remain as well.’

Historical Map Of Palestine

“President ‘Abbas then presented the U.S. President with a map showing Palestine from 1937 until today, to demonstrate how the Israeli occupation is eating away at the Palestinian territories. He said: ‘The maps explain the Palestinian problem… starting with the map of historical Palestine, through the first partition plan of 1937, the second [partition plan] of 1947, and then 1948. What [territory] is left to us? In the end [we have only] what the Israelis have left the Palestinians [after] building their settlements in the Palestinian territories.’ ‘Abbas said, ‘If construction in the settlements continues… how will we be able to establish a Palestinian state? That is why we oppose the settlements and regard them as illegitimate. This should be the basis for handling them at the [negotiation] table.’

“This explanation took up about 15-20 minutes of the face-to-face meeting between the two presidents. Then the two went to the Cabinet Room, where the American and Palestinian teams joined them. In the Cabinet Room, the Palestinian officials spoke, each about his area [of expertise], and explained the Palestinian position on each issue.

“President ‘Abbas said: ‘To sum up, we felt that the man [Trump] was serious and is eager to find a solution soon. Indeed, we hope that this is the case. I told him that we are prepared to send a delegation to the U.S. immediately in order to start negotiations, as they see fit.’ He added: These are our basic [principles], these are our positions, and we are demanding no more than the [implementation of the] U.N. resolutions. I felt that President Trump is very willing to proceed, and I am very pleased about that. I am not saying that he agreed with me, but at least he listened to me with great interest and in a positive manner. I hope he was convinced [by me], but this takes time, and I think that he should know further details.’

Outstanding Reception

“The observers were unanimous that President ‘Abbas received an unusually [warm] welcome in the White House. The Palestinian flag was prominently displayed in many places, especially in the historic Roosevelt Room, where it was stood behind the U.S. President as he gave his address. Several hours after the meeting, dozens of top U.S. officials and intellectuals in Washington, including the President’s harshest critics and representatives of organizations such as AIPAC, hurried to a large hall in the Mandarin Hotel in order to congratulate President ‘Abbas on the successful meeting. Many made sure to have their photo taken with him. The next day, there was another American surprise, when the White House announced that President Trump had accepted the invitation to visit the Palestinian territories. President ‘Abbas said that he was pleased about this visit and hoped that it would lead to something new.”

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[1] It should be noted that the Palestinians and the Arab states, unlike Israel, hold that this resolution recognizes the refugees’ right to return to their homes and also to receive compensation. It should be noted that the issue of the refugees’ return or compensation was not mentioned in the original Saudi peace initiative, but was added later under pressure from Syria and Lebanon in what became the “Arab peace initiative.” See “The Warped Saudi Initiative” by Itamar Rabinovich, Haaretz (Israel), April 4, 2002. For the article in English, see Haaretz.com, April 7, 2002.

[2] Al-Ayyam (PA), May 7, 2017.

[3] A Jewish-American lawyer who served as executive vice president and chief legal officer to Donald Trump and the Trump Organization, and as advisor on Israel during his presidential campaign. In January 2017 Trump appointed him United States Special Representative for International Negotiations.