Archive for the ‘United Nations’ category

Bravo to Ambassador Haley, for Blocking UN Ploy on ‘Palestine’

February 12, 2017

Bravo to Ambassador Haley, for Blocking UN Ploy on ‘Palestine’, PJ Media,  Claudia Rosett, February 11, 2017

(Please see also, US blocks former Palestinian prime minister from senior UN role in Libya ‘out of support for Israel’.  Thought experiment: what would the reactions, noted in the article linked in the preceding sentence, have been if a “right-wing” former Israeli cabinet minister had been named to the post?– DM)

nikkiUnited Nations, New York, USA, 27 January, 2017 – Nikki R. Haley, new United States Permanent Representative to the UN Presents Credentials to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres today at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. (Photo by Luiz Rampelotto/EuropaNewswire) (Sipa via AP Images)

Haley’s statement is important not only for its broad message — that President Trump’s administration will steer by his pledges of support to Israel — but also for calling out Guterres on his not-so-subtle attempt to abet the UN’s long push to confer by increments on the Palestinian Authority a legitimacy it has not earned.

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On Thursday United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres sent the Security Council a letter nominating as the new head of the UN’s mission to Libya a former prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, Salam Fayyad —  who was described in the letter as “Salam Fayyad (Palestine).”

America’s new ambassador, Nikki Haley, said no. Having thus blocked Fayyad’s appointment, Haley then put out a statement explaining why:

For too long the UN has been unfairly biased in favor of the Palestinian Authority to the detriment of our allies in Israel. The United States does not currently recognize a Palestinian state or support the signal this appointment would send within the United Nations, however, we encourage the two sides to come together directly on a solution. Going forward the United States will act, not just talk, in support of our allies.

Haley’s statement is important not only for its broad message — that President Trump’s administration will steer by his pledges of support to Israel — but also for calling out Guterres on his not-so-subtle attempt to abet the UN’s long push to confer by increments on the Palestinian Authority a legitimacy it has not earned.

The UN spokesman’s office responded by Haley’s objection by sending out a statement that:

The proposal for Salam Fayyad to serve as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Libya was solely based on Mr. Fayyad’s recognized personal qualities and his competence for that position.

United Nations staff serve strictly in their personal capacity. They do not represent any government or country.

This UN claim is disingenuous in the extreme, as the UN spokesman’s office itself then underscored, in the rest of the same statement quoted just above, by saying:

The Secretary-General reiterates his pledge to recruit qualified individuals, respecting regional diversity, and notes that, among others no Israeli and no Palestinian have served in a post of high responsibility at the United Nations. This is a situation that the Secretary-General feels should be corrected, always based on personal merit and competencies of potential candidates for specific posts.

In other words, Secretary-General Guterres, while disavowing any interest in the origins or potential loyalties of any candidate for a UN post, is simultaneously claiming a special interest in appointing — specifically — Israelis and Palestinians. And — lo and behold — Guterres just happens to have kicked off this erstwhile neutral campaign by nominating to a high-level post not an Israeli, but a Palestinian.

On a related note, to which Haley and her colleagues in the Trump administration might want to pay serious attention, there’s some news broken by Inner-City Press and further reported by veteran UN reporter Benny Avni, writing in the New York Sun (sources that often provide a lot more insight into the UN than you’re likely to find in, say, the New York Times; with further disclosure that the New York Sun has published many of my own articles on the UN). According to both Inner-City Press and the Sun, it appears that an influential voice behind Guterres’s nomination of Fayyad was that of the UN’s undersecretary general for political affairs, Jeffrey Feltman.

Feltman is an American, a former U.S. diplomat, who was appointed to his UN post in mid-2012, during President Obama’s first term in office. The UN fiction, as in the case of Fayyad’s nomination, is that such appointments have nothing to do with where a person comes from. That’s malarkey. Behind the scenes, a U.S. administration has plenty of say in such appointments.

In Feltman’s case, the longer he remains at the UN, the more opportunity he will have to try to inveigle more ground for Obama’s pro-Palestinian/anti-Israel policies, while undermining Trump’s agenda for decent treatment of Israel. According to Inner-City Press, Feltman has plenty of incentive to stay on at the UN “until July 4 so that his UN pension vests.” I have no direct confirmation of this situation, and Inner-City attributes its information to unnamed sources. But at the very least, Haley and her team should be in a position to find out what’s going on with Feltman’s continued presence as the UN’s senior official for political affairs, and do something about it. The UN’s chronic efforts to undermine Israel and confer undeserved legitimacy on the Palestinians are quite bad enough, without being driven by qualifying dates for UN pension packages.

For the U.S. to pressure the UN to replace Feltman immediately would be an excellent move. If Guterres — with his paradoxical prerequisites for UN staff —  still wants to place not only Palestinians but Israelis in high-level UN posts, surely to replace Feltman he could find an Israeli nominee who would be entirely acceptable to the U.S., not least on grounds of his or her personal qualities and competence.

PA threatens to cut US ties, turn to UN if US embassy moves to Jerusalem

January 24, 2017

PA threatens to cut US ties, turn to UN if US embassy moves to Jerusalem, Jihad Watch

Appeasement of jihadists and jihadist states does not work. It strengthens their resolve against the House of War and weakens democratic interests and those of human rights.

History and hard archeological evidence proves Israel’s full right to its land. History also reveals Israel’s need to defend itself against obliteration by jihadist thugs and the necessity of ignoring and rejecting the global voices that strengthen jihadists against it.

As much as every Westerner wants peace, jihadists do not. It’s time that the West stops appeasing jihadists while hoping for peace in return. The Arab Muslim states that surround Israel have repeatedly tried to destroy Israel militarily. Nor is the jihad imperative limited to Israel. “First the Saturday people, then the Sunday people” is an accurate description of jihadist ambitions. Thus the news that Nasser al-Kidwa, a Fatah central committee member, has threatened to downgrade US ties if America moves its embassy to Jerusalem, should come as no surprise. America can, in fact, expect more conflict with jihad entities now that Obama’s policy of appeasement has ended. But appeasement leads only to full surrender.

President Mahmoud Abbas, added that the Palestinian leadership should also declare, in the event that US President Donald Trump follows through with his campaign promise to move the embassy, that the US is no longer a broker in the Middle East peace process and turn to the UN.

us-embassy-israel

“Fatah official: Palestinian leadership should downgrade US ties if embassy moved”, by Adam Rasgon, Jerusalem Post, January 23, 2017:

The Palestinian leadership should downgrade its diplomatic ties with the United States if the American embassy is relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a top Fatah official said on Monday.

“If that [the relocation of the embassy] takes place, the Palestinian side would have to sever its ties with the official staff of the illegal US Embassy in Jerusalem. In addition to that, there is the issue of the Palestinian political representative’s office in Washington; it would also be necessary to close [it],” Nasser al-Kidwa, a Fatah central committee member, told Al-Quds, a Palestinian daily newspaper, clarifying that the relocation the of the US Embassy would leave the Palestinians with “no other choice.”

The Palestinian leadership and the US have had a close relationship since the establishment of the PA in the early 1990s, to which the US has sent hundreds of millions of dollars in aid.

Kidwa, who is considered a contender to succeed PA President Mahmoud Abbas, added that the Palestinian leadership should also declare, in the event that US President Donald Trump follows through with his campaign promise to move the embassy, that the US is no longer a broker in the Middle East peace process and turn to the UN.

“It would be necessary for the Palestinian side to make clear that it no longer officially considers the United States an interlocutor and that it cannot cooperate with it directly or through the Quartet,” Kidwa stated, adding that it would also be imperative “to go to the Security Council to raise a complaint against the United States of America.”

In every round of bilateral negotiations, including the most recent talks mediated by former secretary of state John Kerry, the US has been the primary peace broker between the Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams.

The Palestinian leadership launched a campaign two weeks ago to mobilize the international community against the relocation of the US Embassy to Jerusalem.

Abbas sent a letter to Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin, UK Prime Minister Theresa May and many other world leaders, warning that moving the embassy would have “destructive” consequences for the region’s stability and the two-state solution.

Abbas also met with King Abdullah in Jordan on Sunday to discuss the possible relocation of the American embassy.

According to Wafa, the official PA news site, Abbas said that he and Abdullah agreed to take a series of coordinated steps if the US relocates its embassy…

Has the Time Come for Amexit From the UN?

January 24, 2017

Has the Time Come for Amexit From the UN? AlgemeinerKenneth L Marcus, January 23, 2017

(The UN is rotten to the core. But what effect would a UN Security Council resolution have on America and her allies if America were no longer a member of the UN, hence of the Security Council and hence unable to veto the resolution? — DM)

unhrc1The United Nations Human Rights Council, in the Palace of Nations (Geneva). Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Governor Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador-nominee, recently observed, “The United States is the indispensable voice of freedom. It is time that we once again find that voice.” When we do find that voice, we may need to find a better venue in which it should be heard.

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As British Prime Minister Theresa May plans a Brexit from the EU, Americans may soon ask what kind of exit we want from another international institution.

In our case, the organization is not the European Union, but the United Nations. Earlier this month, Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) introduced a bill to block taxpayer dollars from going to the UN. These senators, like many Americans, are incensed by a recent anti-Israel resolution adopted by the world body. But the US’ problems with the UN run deeper than one bad resolution. They are endemic to the institution. At some point, our elected leaders will ask whether the time has come not just to defund, but also to depart — and then replace the UN with something better.

That point may come sooner rather than later.

Today — Monday, January 23 — journalist Edwin Black is launching a national conversation about United Nations reform. At a major noon-time event in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill, I will be pleased to join Black, US Representative Trent Franks and other concerned leaders in the launch of a new project called “The Covenant of Democratic Nations” (CDN). The event coincides with the first full workday of a new presidential administration. Additional events are planned for New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berlin, London, Ottawa and many other cities.

More of a conversation than an institution or a treaty, the CDN asks us to consider whether the time has arrived to fundamentally rethink our involvement with international institutions.

The United Nations was established seven decades ago, in the aftermath of the Nazi horrors, to free the world from the scourge of war, to promote social progress, to encourage treaty compliance and, in the language of the United Nations Charter, “to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small.”

Yet, in the ensuing years, this corrupt, ineffective and biased body has failed at all of these goals  — but none more sadly than its pursuit of fundamental human rights.

In retrospect, the UN’s basic problems were probably unavoidable from the start, given that the institution is by design primarily a congress of undemocratic, corrupt and ineffective nations. Consider that the 2017 elected membership of the UN Human Rights Council includes Burundi, China, Cuba, Iraq, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and the United Arab Emirates.

In its one-sided obsession with Israel, the United Nations has largely disregarded serious human rights violations the world over. The UN, founded with such high hopes, has responded year after year with silence and indifference to persecution, torture and violence. It has done little to nothing to respond to global brutalities and genocides. From the Cambodian genocide to the bloodbath in Syria, the United Nations has proven peculiarly unfit to the task for which it was founded.

The problem with the United Nations is not just its abject failure to accomplish its mission, but also its affirmative wrongdoing. It has condemned one single state in resolution upon resolution. That state is democratic Israel. And through it all, tyrants throughout the rest of the world continue to go ignored.

To paraphrase Hillel Neuer, the UN has become the forum at which those who condone rape lament the rights of Palestinian women; the occupiers of Tibet bemoan the disputed territories West of the Jordan River; the bombers of Yemen castigate the treatment of Gaza; and the murderers of Muslims in Syria claim to care about Muslims in little Israel.

The UN’s failings were on display last month with passage of Security Council Resolution 2334, just as those failings were previously on display when the UN passed the infamous 1975 resolution equating Zionism with racism. As then-US Ambassador to the UN Daniel Patrick Moynihan said at the time, “If there were no General Assembly, this could never have happened.”

Even the UN’s boldest critics agree that the UN does some important work. The question is whether other institutions could do it better. In Black’s vision, the CDN will review all of the United Nations’ treaties and actions. Some could be repealed, others continued and still others strengthened. The result could be a long-overdue rethinking of international law.

This doesn’t need to happen all at once. In England, Prime Minister May has chosen a “hard Brexit.” When it comes to the UN, we may have other options, and we may be well-advised to put strong new institutions in place before we withdraw from the old ones. The key however is that we should permit ourselves to think boldly and not feel imprisoned by the international status quo.

Governor Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador-nominee, recently observed, “The United States is the indispensable voice of freedom. It is time that we once again find that voice.” When we do find that voice, we may need to find a better venue in which it should be heard.

The United Nations Gets KRAUTHAMMERED: Trump Should ‘Turn It Into Condos

December 28, 2016

The United Nations Gets KRAUTHAMMERED: Trump Should ‘Turn It Into Condos, Fox News via Buzzfeed via YouTube, December 27, 2016

Obama sits while the UN moves toward a boycott of Israel

December 22, 2016

Obama sits while the UN moves toward a boycott of Israel, Washington Examiner, Anne Bayefsky, December 21, 2016

obamasitsonhandsWith Obama’s U.N. diplomats sitting on their hands while the funding scheme is being hotly debated, American taxpayers can expect to find themselves funding BDS in the very near future, with American businesses caught in the crosshairs. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

[Obama] prefers to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with human rights authorities on the Human Rights Council like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, China and Cuba. He is prepared to spend American taxpayer dollars to create a blacklist of companies doing business with the democratic state of Israel instead of the world’s most horrific regimes. A presidency spent courting moral relativism, forsaking U.S. allies, and indulging U.S. adversaries is about to reach its lowest point yet.

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U.S. companies are in for a shock as President Obama takes aim once again at Israel in the final month of his presidency. In the coming days, he is expected to direct his team at the United Nations to vote for U.S. funding of “BDS,” the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign aimed at financially ruining Israel and smearing the companies with which it does business.

The vote concerns the U.N. budget that is currently being negotiated and scheduled to be finalized this week. One of the line items provides funding for the implementation of a Human Rights Council resolution adopted in March. The resolution calls for the creation of a blacklist of companies around the world doing any business, directly or indirectly, connected to Israeli settlements. In effect, it launches a U.N.-sponsored BDS movement. Since the General Assembly holds the purse strings for the Human Rights Council’s operations, the time has come to allocate the money to pay for it.

With Obama’s U.N. diplomats sitting on their hands while the funding scheme is being hotly debated, American taxpayers can expect to find themselves funding BDS in the very near future, with American businesses caught in the crosshairs.

Israeli settlements consist of Jews living peaceful, productive lives on disputed territory whose ownership, by existing agreement, is to be determined through negotiations. This Jewish presence on Arab-claimed territory is offensive to a deeply anti-Semitic enemy that seeks to guarantee that land swapped in an eventual deal to create a Palestinian state will be Jew-free.

In the context of a Palestinian policy of ethnic cleansing, these Jewish farms, enterprises and schools are an “obstacle to peace,” to use the preferred verbiage of the United Nations and the Obama administration. The fact that Jews have repeatedly been moved in advance of a negotiated end to hostilities by their own government for the sake of peace, only to have those hopes dashed time and again, is simply dismissed.

The real obstacle to ending the Arab-Israeli conflict should be obvious after seven decades of non-stop war and terror since the minute of Israel’s creation. Arab rejectionists, on both the battlefield and diplomatic turf, consider all of Israel to be occupied territory and an illegal settlement from 1948 on. Rolling back the clock to the 1967 war is one stop on the way.

Those facts, however, will not intrude on Obama’s BDS calculus. He is an avid supporter of the Human Rights Council, one of the most extreme anti-Israel bodies at the United Nations. Joining the council was one of his first foreign policy initiatives. After serving two consecutive three-year terms starting in 2009, the rules required a one-year hiatus. Hence, the U.S. has not been a council member in 2016.

But attempting to rule from the grave, a week before the U.S. elections, Obama sought and obtained another three-year term to commence Jan. 1, 2017. As a council fan, he has no intention of objecting to funding it.

On the contrary, U.N. budget documents published Dec. 13 indicate that “new requirements” to implement council resolutions and decisions taken over the past year almost double the original $23 million it was allowed to spend for this purpose in the 2016-2017 biennium. Evidently, council devotees took for granted an Obama administration carte blanche.

On Dec. 15, the General Assembly budget committee (the “Fifth Committee”) met to approve the funds for the Human Rights Council, including the funds to create the Council’s blacklist — aka BDS “database.” U.N. documentation indicates that the cost is $138,700 “to pay for one staff member to create the database over a period of 8 months and present a report” to the Human Rights Council in March 2017. In other words, authorization is being backdated to pay for an operation already underway.

To put this in perspective, the council resolution on “Realizing the equal enjoyment of the right to education by every girl” needs $82,800. “Effects of terrorism on the enjoyment of all human rights” needs $74,700. And a blacklist of companies with ties to Israel needs $138,700.

At the Dec. 15 meeting, the Israeli U.N. representative on the Fifth Committee pleaded with “member states to reject the funding request.” But Obama’s U.N. diplomat — who was present and spoke on an unrelated issue — said nothing. The Palestinian representative floated procedural objections, claiming it was a done deal. Precedent, though, is not on his side.

In 2007, when the U.N. allotted money to fund a second iteration of the racist “anti-racism” Durban conference, the Bush administration stood rock solid on a matter of principle. The U.S. called for the vote in the General Assembly’s Fifth Committee and unequivocally voted against. When it lost, it voted against the entire U.N. biennial budget.

Obama is not that man. He prefers to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with human rights authorities on the Human Rights Council like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, China and Cuba. He is prepared to spend American taxpayer dollars to create a blacklist of companies doing business with the democratic state of Israel instead of the world’s most horrific regimes. A presidency spent courting moral relativism, forsaking U.S. allies, and indulging U.S. adversaries is about to reach its lowest point yet.

UN Committee to Vote on Blacklist Against Israel-Linked Companies

December 10, 2016

UN Committee to Vote on Blacklist Against Israel-Linked Companies, The Jewish PressHana Levi Julian, December 10, 2016

Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, speaks at the Conference for Fighting Anti-Semitism, at the Begin Center in Jerusalem, on January 31, 2016. Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90 *** Local Caption *** ??? ???? ????? ????? ???? ??? ????????? ??????? ???? ????

Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, speaks at the Conference for Fighting Anti-Semitism, at the Begin Center in Jerusalem, on January 31, 2016. Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90

A budget and administration committee within the United Nations is set to vote next week on a blacklist against firms with ties to Israel.

The UN “Fifth Committee” is scheduled to vote on funding for the blacklist, which names Israeli and international firms with offices located in post-1967 areas of Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights.

The black list was initiated this past March in a resolution approved in 32-0 vote (15 abstentions) by member states at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. According to a report published Friday in Haaretz, the resolution required UN ‘human rights officials’ to create a database of “all business enterprises” that have enabled or profited from the growth of Israeli settlements.

Proposed and sponsored by the Palestinian Authority and the Arab nations, it includes a condemnation of ‘settlements’ and a call for companies not to work with Israeli communities in post-1967 areas.

The blacklist, to be updated annually, is expected to become a useful tool for activists in the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement, according to Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon.

Israel’s mission to the UN will publicly oppose the list, Danon said. The envoy added that he intends to organize a task force comprised of international pro-Israel organizations and other partners to fight the move.

“We will not be silent in the face of this shameful initiative,” said Danon. “The UN’s intent to mark Jewish businesses and international companies with ties to Israel, so that they can boycott them, reminds us of dark times in history.

“The Human Rights Council has already become notorious as an anti-Semitic and anti-Israel entity.

“But it’s unacceptable for the UN itself to continue to support this despicable decision,” Danon added.

Moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem

November 30, 2016

Moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, Israel National News, Dr. Max Singer, November 30, 2016

(Please see also, Jimmy Carter wants UN to impose a Palestinian state by fiat, with US recognition. — DM)

The US State Department, which has always opposed moving the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, understands very well that any peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians will leave at least western Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and part of sovereign Israel. So why will the State Department nevertheless advise President-Elect Donald Trump not to fulfill his promise to move the embassy?

Moving the embassy to Israel’s actual capital would provoke Arab anger at the US and lead to protests that might turn violent. The foreign policy establishment wishes to prevent this result and protect America’s status as an “honest broker.” It therefore continues to insist that because Jerusalem’s ultimate status can only be determined by agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, and that it would be wrong for the US to “prejudge” the outcome by acting on the truth that Israel’s capital is Jerusalem.

This is a perfect example of the kind of politically-correct establishment pettifogging that Trump campaigned against. Moving the embassy to Jerusalem is a low-cost action that he could take as soon as he is inaugurated, and one of the easiest and quickest changes in policy that he could implement. The new US consulate in Jerusalem was built with security features that would be needed for an embassy, so the move could be started almost immediately, without any prejudice to the Palestinian claim to eastern Jerusalem.

The State Department’s insistence on the diplomatic fiction that none of Jerusalem is part of Israel helps preserve the Palestinian hope that, someday, Israel will be forced to give up its capital and will be destroyed as the independent, democratic Jewish state.

That Palestinian hope is the main obstacle to peace. The Palestinians can only make peace when their community – and perhaps the Arab world of which it is a part – comes to understand that international pressure will never force Israel to acquiesce in its own destruction. One of the best ways the US can demonstrate that it will never consent to the Palestinian destruction of Israel is for Washington to stop ignoring blatant Palestinian lies that work against peace.

There is another way that an American truth-telling strategy could encourage peace.  Palestinian leadership now tells its people – and most of them believe – that compromise with Israel would be immoral because Israel is a colonial invader that stole Palestinian land by force. By that argument, Israel has no moral claim to any of the land, and any concession to it would be dishonorable.

But Israel is descended from Jewish kingdoms that ruled parts of the land for centuries in ancient times. It too has a traditional base for moral claims to the territory (in addition to legal claims from the League of Nations mandate). If the Palestinians recognized this truth, they would see that compromise between the two groups, each of which has valid claims to the land, could be an honorable way to end the dispute and not a cowardly yielding to force.

To undermine this moral basis for compromise with Israel, Palestinian leadership flatly denies any ancient Jewish connection to the land. They claim, for example, that there never was a Jewish temple on the Temple Mount from which Jesus could have chased the money-changers. Yet their own history belies this claim. In 1929, the Supreme Moslem Council in Jerusalem, in its guide to the Mount, wrote: “[The Temple Mount’s] identity with the site of Solomon’s Temple is beyond dispute.”

The US may not be able to induce the Palestinian Authority to stop inciting its constituents and teaching its children to hate Israel. But there are ways in which the US can expose and eventually defeat Palestinian lies that work against peace; ways that do not require getting agreement from anyone.

Exploring these new approaches would constitute a striking change in diplomatic direction. There are many examples of the West rejecting truth on behalf of the Palestinians and their Arab supporters. For example, some Western countries went along with the recent denial by UNESCO of any ancient Jewish connection to the land of Israel. The US politely ignores the Palestinian lie that there was never a Jewish temple on the Temple Mount.

If the US consistently tells the truth about the ancient Jewish presence in Palestine, and publicly refuses to swallow the Palestinians’ false and anti-peace denials of history, the Palestinian leadership will not for long be able to keep the truth from their people, or at least from the large educated class.

The US has followed a policy of avoiding truths that are painful or embarrassing to the Arabs for at least 50 years. It hasn’t worked. Maybe it is time to try the strategy of telling the truth. Moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, in accordance with the long-standing congressional position, would be a good way for President Trump to make a start on a truth-telling strategy – as well as to fulfill a campaign promise.