President Trump visits western wall in Jerusalem, Israel. May 22, 2017. President Trump in Israel

Posted May 22, 2017 by danmillerinpanama
Categories: Trump at the Western Wall, Trump in Israel

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President Trump visits western wall in Jerusalem, Israel. May 22, 2017. President Trump in IsraelCHANNEL90seconds newscom via YouTube, May 22, 2016

 

Trump: Israel is the homeland of the Jewish people

Posted May 22, 2017 by danmillerinpanama
Categories: Israel - Jewish state, Israel and Iran, Israel and Trump, Israel's enemies, Trump agenda, Trump and Iran, Trump and Israel, Trump in Israel

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Trump: Israel is the homeland of the Jewish people, The Jewish Press, Gary Willig, May 22, 2017

Rivlin and Trump Reuters

Rivlin congratulated Trump on his arrival in Israel and said, “We are happy to see that America is back in the area. America is back again … Israel appreciates America’s leadership and your administration in the action you took in Syria.”

Trump congratulated Rivlin and thanked him for his warm hospitality. “I am honored to be in the great State of Israel, the homeland of the Jewish people. I am awed by the beauty and majesty of this sacred and very holy land.”

“This is an amazing country. What you have done, perhaps, has virtually never been done before. I come to this ancient land to reaffirm the enduring friendship between the United States and the State of Israel, and it will always be enduring,” Trump added.

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US President Donald Trump arrived Monday afternoon at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem and signed the guest book before beginning his working meeting with President Reuven Rivlin.

Rivlin congratulated Trump on his arrival in Israel and said, “We are happy to see that America is back in the area. America is back again … Israel appreciates America’s leadership and your administration in the action you took in Syria.”

“Even during our most difficult times, we have not given up on our dream of living here in peace with our neighbors,” Rivlin added, “Our destiny, Palestinians and Jews, is to live together in this land.”

Trump congratulated Rivlin and thanked him for his warm hospitality. “I am honored to be in the great State of Israel, the homeland of the Jewish people. I am awed by the beauty and majesty of this sacred and very holy land.”

“This is an amazing country. What you have done, perhaps, has virtually never been done before. I come to this ancient land to reaffirm the enduring friendship between the United States and the State of Israel, and it will always be enduring,” Trump added.

Trump addressed threats in the region. “Israel and America face common threats from ISIS and other terrorist groups to countries like Iran, that sponsor terrorism and foment terrible violence.”

He said that Israel and the US would speak with one voice to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

“Most importantly the United States and Israel can declare with one voice that Iran must never be allowed to possess a nuclear weapon — never ever — and must cease its deadly funding, training and equipping of terrorists and militias.”

A Dose of Reality in Riyadh

Posted May 22, 2017 by danmillerinpanama
Categories: Obama and Islam, Obama and Islamic terrorism, Obama and Islamist tyranny, Obama and Islamists, Obama and Israel, Trump agenda, Trump and Iran, Trump and Islam, Trump and Islamists, Trump and Israel, Trump and Middle East, Trump and Saudi Arabia, Trump in Saudi Arabia, Trump on Islamic jihad, Trump on terror funding

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A Dose of Reality in Riyadh, Front Page MagazineBruce Bawer, May 22, 2017

Early on in his speech, Trump addressed his audience as friends and partners; within a few minutes, without pointing a finger, and without abandoning the collegial tone or the complimentary language, made it clear he was lecturing them. He was the boss, the capo di tutti capi, and he was laying down terms. This wasn’t Obama, who naively thought he could change the world with groveling apologies for the West, praise for Islam built on sheer fantasy, and yet another retelling of his own supposedly inspiring personal story – all the while oozing beta-male deference and docility. No; this was a man of power who – never once talking about himself – made expert use of that power, wielding an iron fist in a velvet glove. His message was unmistakable: either set aside this stupid religion (or at least rein it in, and now), join the modern world, and set your people free to dream, hope, create, grow, and prosper. Or else face the consequences. When, at the end, he summed up the assets of the Islamic world, he didn’t even mention Islam: he cited, among other things, its “spirit of enterprise” and ambitious young people. Where Obama had falsely attributed all kinds of past wonders to Islam, Trump imagined an implicitly Islam-free future in which the region could finally enjoy “glorious wonders of science, art, medicine, and commerce to inspire mankind.” 

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On June 4, 2009, Barack Obama went to Cairo and delivered a speech, addressed to the Muslim world, that was full of praise for Islam and apologies on behalf of the West. In the address, entitled “A New Beginning” (“I’ve come here to Cairo,” he explained, “to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world”), he called the university at which he was speaking (which, if it were anywhere in the West, would probably not be able to gain accreditation) “a beacon of Islamic learning”; he blamed tensions between the West and Islam largely on Western “colonialism”; he said “Salaam aleikum” and kept referring to “the Holy Koran”; he asserted, in a ridiculous example of hyperbole, that “Islam has always been part of America’s story”; he served up a big wallop of revised history, giving Islam unmerited praise for centuries-old accomplishments in science, architecture, music, art, and medicine and even holding it up as “a model of tolerance and equality” (at one point, he seemed to imply that in some ways women’s rights are more advanced in the Muslim world than in the U.S.); and, with utter predictability, he quoted the the “Holy Koran” out of context, plucking out that favorite verse of all Western apologists that supposedly teaches “that if one kills an innocent, it is as if it he has killed all of mankind.”

And of course, as always, he talked about himself: a descendant of “generations of Muslims” in Kenya; a man who, in his Indonesian boyhood, daily heard the beautiful Islamic call to prayer; a president who had “known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed.” As someone with such intimate ties to the Religion of Peace, asserted Obama, he saw it as part of his job to “fight against negative stereotypes of Islam.” Yes, he spoke about the need to fight terror, but he was quick to maintain that “Islam is not part of the problem” but rather “an important part of promoting peace.” He defended U.S. ties to Israel and recognized the “reality of the Holocaust,” but quickly pivoted to the “suffering” of Palestinians, the “pain of dislocation” they experienced, and the “daily humiliations” of the “occupation” – preaching, in short, to Israel from a Cairo pulpit. He quoted from the Talmud, but was careful not to call it holy. He implied that the histories of the Jews and Palestinians were equally tragic. And he preached to America too, suggesting that when Americans criticize the “choice” of women – and girls (!) – to wear hijab they were disguising their “hostility” to Islam “behind the pretense of liberalism.” Similarly, instead of thundering against the evil of 9/11, Obama apologized for the supposed excesses of some Americans’ responses to that atrocity, saying with nauseating chagrin that “in some cases it led us to acts contrary to our principles and our ideals.” Oh, and he vowed to close Guantánamo “by early next year.”

This Sunday, almost exactly as far into his presidency as Obama was when he gave his Cairo speech, Donald Trump spoke in Riyadh. For some of us, the very prospect of this appearance had been, to put it mildly, dismaying. Trump won the election, after all, largely because of his tough and bracingly realistic talk about Islam. Now, on his first trip abroad as president, he was going to Saudi Arabia. It was bad enough that this was a trip to a Muslim country. But Saudi Arabia isn’t just any Muslim country. It’s the mother of all Muslim countries. It’s the single most backward of them all. It’s a state sponsor of terrorism. It, and members of its royal family, have bankrolled mosques and madrassas and university departments of Middle Eastern Studies throughout the Western world – places that are nothing more than centers of Islamic propaganda. Most of the 9/11 hijackers, as the whole world knows, were Saudis. And the whole point of Trump’s visit to Riyadh was to celebrate a gigantic sale of U.S. arms to the Saudis on the premise that they represent a major bulwark against an even more dire threat, namely Iran. Nor was Trump just addressing the Saudis: also in attendance were the leaders of most of the other Muslim countries on the planet – in other words, a whole boatload of really nasty customers. It was hard not to conclude that Trump, like Obama, was going to try to brown-nose his way into a “new beginning between the United States and Muslims.”

The opening minutes of Trump’s speech certainly did nothing to dispel this expectation. It was gag-inducing to hear him praise the “magnificent kingdom” of Saudi Arabia, “the splendor of your country,” “the grandeur of this remarkable place,” and so on. It was absurd to hear him talk about working together with the ultra-extremist Saudis to eliminate “extremism.”

But then something happened. Even as he continued to serve up the usual glowing rhetoric about Islam being “one of the world’s great faiths,” and to refer to this and that as being “holy,” he made a couple of exceedingly elegant transitions. First, he began mixing the ethereal praise with realistic businessman-type talk about the value of international partnership. “We are not here to lecture, to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship,” he said. “Instead, we are here to offer partnership” between the West and the Muslim world – a partnership that would bring prosperity to future Muslim generations. But he underscored the fact that in order for such a partnership to work, something would have to change. And it would have to change a lot. The Islamic world, he insisted, had to turn into a place where young Muslims could grow up “innocent of hatred.” And then he spelled out the results of that hatred, presenting first a roll call of some of the “barbaric attacks” on America – 9/11, Boston, San Bernardino, Orlando – and then a list of other places (“Europe, Africa, South America, India, Russia, China, and Australia”) where that hatred has manifested itself.

However delicately he worked his way around to it, it was nothing less than an accusation.

No, he didn’t explicitly charge Muslim leaders with funding terrorism – but he told them, in no uncertain terms, that they needed to cut off funds to terrorists. Nor did he explicitly blame Islam for terror or explicitly call it evil (as much as some of us would have loved to hear him do so) – but he came tantalizingly close to doing so, speaking bluntly about the “vile creed,” the “wicked ideology,” the “craven ideology”, that underlies terror. He did use the word “evil.” And, yes, he spoke of “Islamic” (not “Islamist” or “radical Islamic”) terror. And he made it clear he wasn’t just talking about terrorism – he was talking about Islam itself. He condemned “the oppression of women, the persecution of Jews, and the slaughter of Christians.” He warned: “barbarism will deliver you no glory. Piety to evil will bring you no dignity.”  Yes, “piety to evil.” Even as he continued to make flattering references to Islam, they felt increasingly pro forma, and it became increasingly manifest that he was identifying that religion as the root not just of terror but of all that is primitive and barbaric about that portion of the world in which it is most commonly practiced. In one remarkable passage, he listed a number of wonders of the Arab region of which his listeners should be proud. What was remarkable was that they were all wonders that dated to pre-Islamic times. In short, he was reminding these people that they had a proud history, a proud identity, that predated their prophet and that could, if they wished, help form the foundation of a new, free, forward-looking culture.

Of course, even to express such thoughts, in some Islamic countries, is considered heretical, illegal; but Trump did it in such a masterly way that you could imagine some of these Muslim big shots sitting there trying to figure out whether they should be offended or not.

In fact, it was all quite masterfully done. Early on in his speech, Trump addressed his audience as friends and partners; within a few minutes, without pointing a finger, and without abandoning the collegial tone or the complimentary language, made it clear he was lecturing them. He was the boss, the capo di tutti capi, and he was laying down terms. This wasn’t Obama, who naively thought he could change the world with groveling apologies for the West, praise for Islam built on sheer fantasy, and yet another retelling of his own supposedly inspiring personal story – all the while oozing beta-male deference and docility. No; this was a man of power who – never once talking about himself – made expert use of that power, wielding an iron fist in a velvet glove. His message was unmistakable: either set aside this stupid religion (or at least rein it in, and now), join the modern world, and set your people free to dream, hope, create, grow, and prosper. Or else face the consequences. When, at the end, he summed up the assets of the Islamic world, he didn’t even mention Islam: he cited, among other things, its “spirit of enterprise” and ambitious young people. Where Obama had falsely attributed all kinds of past wonders to Islam, Trump imagined an implicitly Islam-free future in which the region could finally enjoy “glorious wonders of science, art, medicine, and commerce to inspire mankind.”

Yes, it would have been terrific to hear an American president spell out the truth about Islam in a less nuanced, less diplomatic fashion. And it was frankly bizarre to hear Trump, in his closing moments, singling Iran out as uniquely malevolent after having heaped praise on other equally nefarious regimes whose leaders were right there in the room with him. But we critics of Islam have our jobs and Trump has his. Given the occasion and the purpose, this was, even at its worst, an immense improvement over Obama’s Cairo oration, and, at its best, a convincing assertion of authority, a strongly pitched demand for radical transformation, and a perfectly calibrated use of the carrot-and-stick approach.

No, international Islam is almost certainly beyond meaningful reform. But history has shown that it can at least be contained and controlled in ways that give citizens of Muslim-majority countries a certain degree of freedom and that keep to a minimum the scale of violence in the West originating in those countries. (The rampant Islamization of the West, and the concomitant increase in home-grown Islamic terror, are separate questions.) And no, a single speech can’t accomplish much of anything. But Trump’s tough presentation in Riyadh, if followed up by equally tough interactions with our “friends” in that audience, may well get a few things, here and there, moving in welcome directions.

We want peace, not a peace ‘process’

Posted May 22, 2017 by danmillerinpanama
Categories: Israel - Jewish state, Israel and Trump, Israeli history, Israeli security, Palestinians, Palestinians and Jews, Peace process, Trump agenda, Trump and Islamic terrorism, Trump and Israel

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We want peace, not a peace ‘process’, Israel Hayom, Boaz Bismuth, May 22, 2017

After 100 years of conflict, this is what we’ve learned: There is no chance to advance toward peace as long as there is no Arab-Palestinian recognition of Israel as the Jewish state. Sadly, the war against us will continue no matter how much we withdraw. This land was never a separate, sovereign entity for any nation other than the Jewish people. Even Jerusalem only became important religiously and historically thanks to the Jews. These are the fundamental conditions for fruitful negotiations. For once, we would also like to hear the Palestinians declare out loud what they would accept as a final offer, one that would end the conflict and after which they would make no more demands.

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“I love the people of Israel,” you told me in the Oval Office. Seeing as this wasn’t our first interview — I had already gotten to know you rather well during the campaign — I know you were speaking from the heart, rather than trying to curry favor with me.

I know you are sincere when you say you are committed to the security and future of Israel. You believe the United States and Israel are allies that share common values, and that America must not forsake old friends. Your powerful bond with Israel and the Jewish people was not imposed on you by your position. There are even those who say that your affection for Israel is a family affair.

The commitment and affection between Americans and Israelis is mutual. There is a great deal of love in Israel for the U.S. and its people. Throughout your campaign, Mr. President, you had many supporters here in Israel. Less in the media and more on the street — see? I told you the U.S. and Israel have a lot in common.

Here in Israel, no one burns American flags. Not now and not ever. The American flag is almost as popular here as the Israeli flag. For us, both flags symbolize liberty and hope.

Mr. President, you arrive here from Saudi Arabia with a passion to see Israel and its neighbors make peace. We thank you for this genuine desire and wish you, and us, success in this endeavor. But you must know that the last thing we need is another failed peace process. We are tired of futile diplomacy that only leads to more bloodshed, prompting us to adopt a more sober view regarding the prospects of successful negotiations and tempering our faith in peace. We want peace, not a peace process.

The country of the Jewish people

After 100 years of conflict, this is what we’ve learned: There is no chance to advance toward peace as long as there is no Arab-Palestinian recognition of Israel as the Jewish state. Sadly, the war against us will continue no matter how much we withdraw. This land was never a separate, sovereign entity for any nation other than the Jewish people. Even Jerusalem only became important religiously and historically thanks to the Jews. These are the fundamental conditions for fruitful negotiations. For once, we would also like to hear the Palestinians declare out loud what they would accept as a final offer, one that would end the conflict and after which they would make no more demands.

In Riyadh on Sunday, we heard King Salman talk about the need to combat terrorism and warning of the Iranian threat that is jeopardizing the prospects of regional peace. Israel has been saying this for years. In your speech, you, too, sought to distinguish between good and evil. We need this distinction, after years of politically correct ambiguity.

You noted in your speech the need to combat the extremists; you mentioned Iran, al-Qaida, Hezbollah and Hamas. But this axis of evil claims the opposite: that Israel and the U.S. are responsible for terrorism around the world. College campuses across the U.S. are disgracefully portraying Israel as being responsible for terrorism.

But the sad truth is quite the opposite: For over 100 years, we have been subjected to murderous terrorism in various forms, long before the so-called “occupation.” Terrorism in Israel needs to be treated the same as terrorism anywhere else in the world. All terrorism draws on the same source.

There is no Zionism without Zion

Mr. President, you chose to visit during a festive week. Fifty years ago, Israeli soldiers liberated Jerusalem from foreign rule. It has been 1,835 years since Bar-Kokhba’s fighters entered the destroyed city in 132 C.E. They engraved coins with the words “To the freedom of Jerusalem” and commemorated King David, who made it the eternal city. Jerusalem is Zion. There is no Zionism without Zion. This is the place we yearned to return to for 2,000 years. Now that we have returned, nothing can ever cut out the heart of the Jewish people.

Israel welcomes you with blessings, Mr. President. We wish you a successful visit. We bless your arrival with these words: The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace (Psalms 29:11).

Russian paratroops move to Syrian border triangle

Posted May 22, 2017 by josephwouk
Categories: Uncategorized

Source: Russian paratroops move to Syrian border triangle

DEBKAfile Special Report May 21, 2017, 5:07 PM (IDT)

 Military tensions on Syria’s borders with Iraq, Jordan and Syria jumped another notch Monday, May 21, on Day 2 of Donald Trump’s foreign trip, with the arrival of the first Russian ground troops in southern Syria for taking up position opposite US and coalition elite units.

debkafile’s military sources report that, as the US president was preparing to cap his two hectic days in the Saudi capital with a major speech on Islam, before flying to Jerusalem, a Russian contingent of paratroops and special forces arrived at Suweida. It linked up with the Syrian army, Hizballah and other pro-Iranian allies already poised to take on the US, Jordanian, British and Norwegian elite units for control of the strategic 600km long Syrian-Iraqi border and its key crossings.
Our sources that the paratroops were detached for their new mission from the 31s Russian Brigade stationed in Syria, together with Spetsnaz fighters.

They are the first ground troops Moscow has sent to southern Syria, where hitherto Russian operations were limited to infrequent air strikes..

According to Syrian military sources, the Russian troops are only there to train and direct the Syrian army units fighting in this part of Syria. This claim echoed the American contention that its special forces were in the same region, in support of the rebel Syrian Free Army which they had trained in Jordan.
Nonetheless, positioned virtually nose to nose at this moment are American and Russian troops. Both stand behind opposing forces vying for control of Syria’s border with Iraq and the key crossing of Al-Tanf which is located in the Syrian-Iraqi-Jordanian border triangle.

The United States and Trump administration are resolved to keep this prize from falling into the hands of Iran and its Shiite militias to further its scheme for opening up Tehran’s land routes to Syria and the Mediterranean. Moscow, by its new deployment Sunday, signaled that it was equally set on backing the Syrian-Iranian military bid to thwart Washington’s plan.

Saturday, as debkafile reported, the Syrian-pro-Iranian-Hizballah force in southern Syria renewed its advance on the Iraqi border, two days after sustaining heavy casualties from a US air strike on its convoys. Syrian military sources reported they captured the Suweida region and another 60 square kilometers. This brought them closer to the strategic Al-Tanf crossing at the Syrian border intersection with Iraq and Jordan, which is held by US and other special operations units.

The arrival Sunday of Russian ground troops to this hotly-contested region offers an acid test for Donald Trump’s assurance to the Saudi royals and Gulf Arab rulers of his administration’s resolve to rein in Iran’s military charge through the Middle East, along with Hizballah, and relegate to the past their depredations in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.
The success of the US-led military operation to take and hold the Syrian-Iraqi border will give Trump’s policy high kudos. But a battleground defeat at the hands of Russian-Iranian backed Syrian and Hizballah troops would seriously dim the gains of his Middle East trip.

50 Years of ‘Liberated, Not Occupied’ JerusalemThe Jewish Press

Posted May 22, 2017 by joopklepzeiker
Categories: Uncategorized

 Source: 50 Years of ‘Liberated, Not Occupied’ JerusalemThe Jewish Press | Hana Levi Julian | 26 Iyyar 5777 – May 21, 2017 | JewishPress.com
Fireworks at the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem mark the opening of a week of celebrations for the 50-year anniversary of the reunification of the holy city. May 21, 2017

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin formally opened events Sunday night to mark the half-century anniversary of the reunification of the holy city of Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish People.

America’s new Ambassador to Israel, David M. Friedman, was also present for the opening ceremonies.

President Reuven Rivlin speaks at 50 year anniversary of Jerusalem reunification. PM Benjamin Netanyahu, US Ambassador to Israel David M. Friedman, seated below. May 21 2017.
 “We have not occupied,” Netanyahu told those gathered at the foot of the Tower of David in the Old City, “We have liberated. “I say to the world in a calm, clear voice: Jerusalem was and always will be the capital of Israel.”
The Tower of David, alight in blue and white for the 50th anniversary of the reunification of the holy city of Jerusalem. May 21, 2017

The prime minister underlined in his remarks that the Western Wall and the Temple Mount – the holiest sites in the Jewish faith – “will always remain under Israeli sovereignty.”

President Reuven Rivlin also spoke at the ceremony.

“Sometimes I hear them talking about ‘the Jerusalem problem,’” he said. “Jerusalem is not a problem. Jerusalem is the solution.

The Old City of Jerusalem ablaze in the glow of fireworks as a week of celebrations kicks off to mark a half century of reunification of the eternal capital of Israel and the Jewish People.

“There are dreamers of political solutions who are trying to make a complete trial, to cut the city organ by organ, but anyone who talks about Jerusalem as a surgeon speaks about the dissection of the city, is bringing a tragedy upon it and its people, and is returning it to basesness and misery.

“For many years now, they have been trying to undermine the foundations of Jerusalem. They have never stopped. Even now at the UNESCO conference they are trying to rewrite history, to say that ‘we have no connection to the city.’

Blue lights in the sky spell the name “Jerusalem” in Hebrew over the glowing walls of the Old City of Jerusalem below.

“To all those who defy Jerusalem we have one answer: Jerusalem has been burned and broken and smashed and eulogized, but it rose and returned to its sons, opening its gates to thousands of believers of different faiths.”

Major US Jewish Organization Lauds Trump’s ‘Refreshing, Honest’ Speech in Saudi Arabia

Posted May 21, 2017 by danmillerinpanama
Categories: American Jewish Committee, Trump and Islamists, Trump and Israel, Trump in Saudi Arabia

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Major US Jewish Organization Lauds Trump’s ‘Refreshing, Honest’ Speech in Saudi Arabia, Algemeiner, May 21, 2017

President Donald Trump arrives in Saudi Arabia. Photo: White House

A leading American Jewish advocacy organization praised Donald Trump’s speech to Muslim leaders in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, saying the president had demonstrated “refreshing honesty…in describing the Islamist extremist threat that developed in the Middle East years ago.”

“We agree that the fight against Islamist extremism is a battle between the forces of good and decency, on the one hand, and evil and a death cult, on the other, and that victory depends, above all, on what Arab and Muslim nations do to counter and defeat this violent, deadly scourge,” said David Harris, CEO of the American Jewish Committee (AJC), in a statement.

Trump issued an urgent plea to the leaders of more than 50 Muslim countries to join a “coalition of nations who share the aim of stamping out extremism and providing our children a hopeful future that does honor to God.”

Trump pointed out to his hosts that “in sheer numbers, the deadliest toll has been exacted on the innocent people of Arab, Muslim and Middle Eastern nations. They have borne the brunt of the killings and the worst of the destruction in this wave of fanatical violence.”

Trump pointedly included organizations other than ISIS on his list of terrorist organizations.

“The true toll of ISIS, al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, and so many others, must be counted not only in the number of dead. It must also be counted in generations of vanished dreams,” Trump declared.

“He could not have been clearer in his description of Hezbollah and Hamas as the terrorist groups they most assuredly are,” the AJC’s Harris added.