Posted tagged ‘Ted Cruz’

Jerusalem, Washington, Working to Abolish ‘Eternal’ Palestinian Refugees’ Status

September 9, 2017

Jerusalem, Washington, Working to Abolish ‘Eternal’ Palestinian Refugees’ Status, The Jewish Press, September 9, 2017

These children, born outside Israel close to 70 years after their grandparents have fled the country, are considered refugees – unlike any other refugee group around the world.

The Palestinians are the only children of refugees—going down several generations—who have “inherited” their refugee status. As a result, they are the only group of 20th century refugees who have not been rehabilitated, but continue their lives as a non-productive, dependant population in UNRWA’s refugee camps.

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

Israel is launching a diplomatic effort, in collaboration with the Trump administration, to change the mandate of UNRWA, the veteran UN agency that deals with the so-called “Palestinian refugees,” Makor Rishon reported on Friday. A senior official at Israel’s Foreign Ministry visited the US a few weeks ago and presented to administration officials for the first time alternative solutions to the refugees issue. On Saturday night, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) will travel to Washington, where she will meet with Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tex), who is working on the similar issues.

The Israeli initiative to change the Palestinians’ 70-year-old refugee status takes advantage of a window of opportunity created by the current administration rigid and often hostile approach to the UN and its agencies.

Two months ago, following several revelations of UNRWA employees who are members of Hamas and have used UNRWA to terror ends, including storing explosives and other weapons in facilities owned by the agency in the Gaza Strip, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested to the US Ambassador to the UN Nicky Hailey the Agency should be dismantled altogether.

Following Netanyahu’s comments, a Foreign Ministry legal team examined the proposal, concluding that since a vote at the UN General Assembly would be required to revoke UNRWA’s mandate, the automatic pro-Arab majority on such issues would guarantee a loss.

But while the agency could not be dismantled, the Foreign Ministry team recommended leveraging pro-Israel American legislators to change the status of the “Palestinian refugees.” The Palestinians are the only children of refugees—going down several generations—who have “inherited” their refugee status. As a result, they are the only group of 20th century refugees who have not been rehabilitated with the Creekside Ranch Treatment, but continue their lives as a non-productive, dependant population in UNRWA’s refugee camps.

“The time has come to cancel the status of Palestinian refugees,” Hotovely said in a statement. “It is inconceivable that seventy years after the establishment of the state of Israel, a child born in a refugee camp receives a refugee card. UNRWA educates the young Palestinian generation to think that their problem has to do with the 1948 borders. It teaches them that they should return to Jaffa, Ramleh and Haifa, and nothing perpetuates the conflict more than this.”

“It is especially unacceptable that the funds donated by our great friend the United States are paying for this education,” Hotovely added.

Reports On Creation Of Muslim Brotherhood Lobby In U.S. To Prevent Trump Administration From Designating The Movement A Terrorist Organization

March 17, 2017

Reports On Creation Of Muslim Brotherhood Lobby In U.S. To Prevent Trump Administration From Designating The Movement A Terrorist Organization, MEMRI, March 16, 2017

(As I understand the Muslim Terrorist Designation Act, passage would impair CAIR and other Islamist organizations in America previously supported by the Obama administration and its “countering violent extremism” program. That would be a good thing. — DM)

Introduction

Following Donald Trump’s election to the U.S. presidency, the issue of designating the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) a terrorist organization resurfaced. During and after his presidential campaign, Trump’s Middle East advisor Walid Phares repeatedly stated that the new president would act for the passage of a bill doing so. For example, following Trump’s September 2016 meeting with Egyptian President ‘Abd Al-Fatah Al-Sisi on the margins of the UN General Assembly, Phares told the Egyptian daily Al-Watan that Trump had promised Al-Sisi that he would promote a bill that is already before Congress that designates the MB a terrorist organization.[1] After the election, Phares reiterated these remarks to the press.[2]

It should be mentioned that in November 2015, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) announced that they had introduced a bill designating the MB a terrorist organization.[3] In January 2017, Cruz tweeted that he and Diaz-Balart had reintroduced the bill on this matter: “Proud to introduce Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act w @MarioDB [Mario Diaz-Balart]. It’s time to call the enemy by its name.”[4]

Ted Cruz’s tweet

In light of this bill, and in light of statements by Trump administration officials about its intent to promote it, the MB began preparations to confront the bill and prevent its passage. Launching a widespread informational media campaign, including the hiring of U.S. lobbying and legal firms, outreach to the press in the U.S., and dissemination of informational content aimed at improving its image in the West, particularly in the U.S., the MB attempted to convey that it is not a terrorist organization, but rather an ideological movement whose methods of operation are peaceful.

On the other hand, the Egyptian regime has been working to persuade the new U.S. administration that the MB is indeed a terrorist organization, as well as an umbrella organization for other terrorist outfits. In addition it was reported that Egyptian intelligence too had hired an American lobbying firm to improve the image of the Egyptian regime in the U.S.[5] Egyptian parliamentary representatives met in January 2017 with U.S. members of Congress to impress upon them the necessity of designating the MB as terrorist. Another visit by an Egyptian parliamentary delegation was scheduled for January but has apparently been postponed to April. Additionally, the Egyptian daily Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’, which is close to the regime, has in recent weeks been criticizing Western media, particularly The New York Times, for providing a platform for the promotion of MB ideas. The Egyptian press in general expressed criticism of the regime for failing to sufficiently counter the MB’s media campaign.

This report will review MB media efforts to counter U.S. legislative and legal moves to designate it a terrorist organization, efforts by the Egyptian regime and official media to prove that it does indeed engage in terrorism, and claims by Egyptian writers that the regime is not doing enough to combat the MB’s campaign in the West.

MB Works To Create U.S. Lobby

In fact, already in November 2016, immediately after Donald Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidential elections, the movement began preparing to counter U.S. moves to designate it terrorist. The Egyptian Institute for Political and Strategic Studies, which belongs to the MB and operates from Turkey under the directorship of Amr Darrag, who served as minister of planning and international cooperation in the administration of former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, published a document by Dr. Badr Shafi’i on November 26 with recommendations for the movement on how to deal with America’s intent to promote a terrorist designation of the MB. The recommendations include: Appointing elements within the movement to supervise these steps and make contact with experts on international relations; contacting politicians, clerics, and countries that could sympathize with the MB in order to improve its image in Congress; establishing a legal-media team and hold ties with members of Congress; hiring a U.S. law firm and public relations teams; and establishing a substantial Islamic lobby in the U.S., while strengthening ties with movements opposing Trump’s policy.[6]

Recommendations published by the Egyptian Institute for Political and Strategic Studies (Eipss-eg.org, November 2016)

In January and March 2017, the institute published two more documents by Shafi’i that also dealt with this issue, in which he reiterated his recommendations.[7]

In addition, in recent months, the Arab press in general, and the Egyptian press in particular, reported on MB efforts to prevent the Trump administration from listing it as a terrorist organization. Thus, for example, MB sources outside of Egypt told the daily Al-Shurouq that the global MB organization was conducting widespread activity to this end. According to these sources, the movement was being assisted by the governments of Turkey, Tunisia, and Morocco, and by the governments of countries where the MB has substantial parliamentary blocs such as Kuwait, Jordan, and Algeria. The sources also disclosed that the movement’s steps, not only in Egypt but in 82 countries around the world, as well as its contacts with members of Congress and senior U.S. writers and civil society organizations, are meant to prevent the decision.[8]

Evidence of these moves could be seen in comments by London-based MB official Mohamed Soudan, who said in late January that MB elements were speaking to American politicians, State Department officials, members of Congress, and academics, in order to explain the nonviolent history of the movement since its establishment in 1928.[9]

In other statements to the media, Soudan said that most of the MB’s contacts in the U.S. were done via a public relations firm, and added: “We will defend our history and the movement’s future with all possible legitimate and legal means.” According to him, the MB will not sit idly by but rather operate on all fronts and conduct meetings with all American parties in order to prevent a U.S. decision designating it a terrorist organization.[10]

On February 5, the Saudi website Elaph reported that the MB had signed a contract with an American lobbying firm, paying it $4.8 million to help it establish ties with Trump administration officials in order to improve its image in U.S. media. According to the report, the contract included organizing meetings with Trump administration officials, submitting documents on Egyptian government mistreatment of the movement and its members, publishing articles in American media, and providing platforms for movement officials in American print and TV media. Elaph added that elements close to the Obama administration had helped the movement sign the contract with this firm, whose officials include figures close to Obama’s election campaign  and to Hillary Clinton. According to Elaph, the firm employs dozens of former White House and State Department staffers who have extensive ties to members of Congress and political and strategic research centers in the U.S.[11]

Furthermore, former MB official Tareq Abu Al-Sa’ad claimed that as part of its efforts to improve its image in the U.S., the movement relies on specific American families who are members of the MB and have close ties to the U.S. administration. He mentioned a family which he said has ties to American officials and research institutes, as well as other MB officials that are expected to contact human rights organizations to help improve its image in Washington.[12]

One example of the MB’s efforts on this front is a New York Times article by Gehad Al-Haddad, a former Egyptian MB spokesman who was arrested in 2013 and is currently incarcerated in Tora Prison in Egypt. Gehad is the son of Essam Al-Haddad, an aide to former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi.[13] In the February 22 article, titled “I Am a Member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Not a Terrorist,” Al-Haddad rejected claims that the MB was a terrorist organization, stating that its ideology stems from the Islamic interpretation based on social justice, equality, and rule of law. He stressed that despite the Egyptian regime’s hostility, the movement always fought for the weak in society and that it believes in democracy and pluralism, adding that during the Mubarak era, it even worked together with democratic movements to prevent him from bequeathing the presidency to his son Gamal. He added that the MB opposes violence and has always operated peacefully, and that violent movements that are said to have grown out of the MB actually left the movement because it could not accept their violent methods.[14] Elements close to the movement said it had chosen Gehad Al-Haddad to pen the article because he had held close ties with U.S. officials during Morsi’s presidency.[15]

Al-Haddad’s New York Times article (New York Times, February 22, 2017)

Another New York Times article on February 20, by Declan Walsh, argued that a terror listing for the MB, which has millions of followers, could have negative consequences, especially for countries where MB-linked parties are in power or are prominent in Parliament, with serious implications for domestic politics, American diplomacy and the broader fight against Islamist extremism.  It stated further that marginalizing this movement could mean discouraging some of its moderate branches that have won wide praise for their democratic engagement, while empowering jihadist groups. Moreover, the proposed designation would reaffirm Trump’s embrace of Egyptian President Al-Sisi, who has faced severe international criticism for Egypt’s dismal human rights record in recent years and its ruthless persecution of the MB.

It should be mentioned that on February 23, Al-Masri Al-Yawm quoted Mohamed Soudan as saying that the MB had managed to convince Congress to not designate it a terrorist organization. The report quoted Soudan as saying that the global MB organization had managed to hold contacts with administration and Congress officials and had used documents to convince them that the MB was not and would never be involved in terrorist attacks, and that it routinely issues condemnations for attacks that take place in most countries of the world.”[16] However, the following day Soudan denied the statements attributed to him by Al-Masri Al-Yawm, and posted an article from the Egyptian daily Al-Misriyyoun on his Facebook page with the comment: “I know nothing of this statement and these comments, and I don’t know where they (Al-Masri Al-Yawm) got this fiction.”[17]

Al-Sisi Regime Responds To MB Media Campaign

The Egyptian regime does not seem to working as intensively to promote the U.S. Congressional bill to designate the MB terrorist as the MB is to prevent such a designation. In January 2017, Mohamed Al-‘Orabi, former Egyptian foreign minister and current member of the Egyptian parliament’s foreign relations committee, and Ahmed Al-Fadaly, head of the Independent Party Current, attended President Trump’s inauguration, and also met with members of Congress and administration officials. They presented President Trump with a memo demanding quick action to designate the MB as terrorist. Al-‘Orabi said during the visit that the Egyptian parliament would soon launch a widespread campaign to advance this issue.[18]

However, besides this visit, and MP statements about their intentions to act on the matter, no actual measures are reported to have been taken to promote the U.S. Congress’s anti-MB bill.

In mid-January 2017, it was reported that a delegation on behalf of the Egyptian parliament’s Foreign Relations Committee would travel to the U.S. later that month to meet with members of Congress and deliver a report on “the MB’s violent and terrorist acts.” Tarek Radwan, a representative of the committee, said that attempts were being made to arrange a meeting between the delegation and Sen. Cruz and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart.[19] The visit, however, apparently never took place. On March 6, it was reported that delegation would visit the U.S. in April.[20]

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, asked by the daily Al-Watan whether he had discussed the designation of the MB as terrorist during his late February 2017 visit to the U.S., responded: “I did not address this matter, but I told [U.S. officials] that it was important to note that the MB provides the philosophical and religious basis for radical ideology, and that we cannot combat terrorism [solely] by designating [organizations] in different ways, since all terrorist organizations are interconnected. Thus, [for example] even if ISIS is eliminated, new groups will continue to spring up as long as the source of radical ideology exists.” Shoukry added that the U.S. officials had grasped his point, that he was following the efforts of several members of Congress on the issue, and that the issue remains controversial.[21]

Egyptian Daily: New York Times Supports Terrorism, Slandered Egypt

In contrast to Egyptian officials, the daily Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’, which is close to Egyptian authorities and intelligence apparatuses, dealt extensively with the issue of designating the MB as terrorist, publishing a number of articles attacking the organization. It also criticized the U.S. media, particularly The New York Times, stating that it was enabling MB terrorism. On February 23, the day after The Times published Gehad Al-Haddad’s op-ed, Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ published an article titled “New York Times Supports MB Terrorism, Publishes Article by Gehad Al-Haddad…”[22] On February 24, it published an article titled “Questionable MB Plot to Slander Egypt in Western Media… Islamist [elements]: Organization Spending Millions of Dollars to Spread Its Poison.”[23]

On March 2, Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ published an article headlined “New Disgrace for New York Times: Paper Refuses to Publish Article Proving MB Terrorism; [Egyptian-American journalist and researcher] Michael Morgan after His Article Was Rejected for Publication…: ‘The Paper Has Become an [MB] Movement Platform and the U.S. Will Pay the Price.”[24]

Another Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’  article, published March 12, stated: “Since the onset of the June 30 [2013] revolution that ousted the MB regime, The New York Times has specialized in improving the MB’s image and slandering Egypt.” It quoted Islamic affairs expert Ahmed ‘Atta as saying that the MB International Organization secretary-general Ibrahim Munir Mustafa had paid global media outlets, chiefly the Times, $50 million to continue its attacks on Donald Trump because of Trump’s anti-MB stance.[25]

Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ February 24 article attacking the New York Times

Egyptian Journalists To Al-Sisi Regime: Be More Decisive In Countering MB Media Campaign

Several Egyptian writers criticized the regime’s inertia in the face of the MB’s media campaign. On February 22, Al-Ahram columnist Ahmed ‘Abd Al-Tawab wrote that the MB’s media campaign shows that the movement fears being designated a terrorist organization. He wrote that it is “Egypt’s responsibility” in this matter, “due to its decades-long experience with MB crimes, to provide the Trump administration with information and historical and current evidence that will help it combat the movement on the legal, political, and cultural levels, in accordance with the human rights [principles] that the MB endangers…”[26]

Al-Ahram writer Muhammad Salmawi also wrote of the need for Egypt to step up its activity vis-à-vis the U.S. on the MB issue. In an article titled “The Voice of the MB – and Our Silence,” Salmawi wrote of his surprise  at Egypt’s feeble reaction to Gehad Al-Haddad’s New York Times article. The MB, he said, realizes that the way to influence American society is through public relations and lobbying firms, and the Egyptian regime needs to do likewise: “Those who follow the American press at this time cannot help but notice the intense campaign to improve the MB’s image and cleanse them of any blood spilled now or in the past in the name of Islam. This campaign has a specific goal – to stop the Trump administration from designating the movement a terrorist organization, thus fulfilling one of [Trump’s] campaign promises. To this end, the campaign twists facts with reckless abandon, made possible by the absence of an opposing viewpoint that could have corrected the erroneous information and responded to [the MB’s] notorious lies. How much longer will we remain silent in light of a campaign that has raised its voice and spread throughout the American media since the onset of the June 30, 2013 revolution?

“Last week I read the article by the former official MB spokesman [Gehad Al-Haddad], penned from his Egyptian prison cell and published by The New York Times. I was surprised that some of the few [Egyptian writers] who addressed this matter settled for pondering how such a message was smuggled out of prison in Egypt… The problem is not how it was leaked, but how we could not deliver a similar message [in Western media]…

“How easy it is to criticize security measures that allow messages to be smuggled out of Egyptian prisons and given to newspaper offices… in New York. How easy it is to step up measures against all the prisoners [as a result]. But the MB continues to be heard in the American press – while our position cannot be found in the international arena…

“First, we must examine how the other side managed to gain such a noticeable presence in Western media – and such an examination is not difficult. The ongoing publication of pro-MB positions in Western media, and [this media’s]  disregard for the Egyptian popular will, stems not from some global plot against us or global sympathy with the mother movement that birthed all the groups that accuse others of heresy – but mostly from [the MB’s] accurate grasp of how to operate vis-à-vis American social institutions, and of the active role played by large PR firms in society – whether in the press, the media, in Congress, or elsewhere…

“The way to actively operate in the U.S. is by arriving at an understanding with these large institutions – whether during a presidential or congressional campaign, or in the fight to influence decision-making circles by means of the press and media, or by means of members of Congress. Such a campaign is undoubtedly costly, but losing is costlier still…”

Salmawi, who is known for his antisemitic views,[27] added: “The Jewish lobby in the U.S. has already understood the power of the PR institutions and the influence they wield over American society on all levels. Using this and other methods, they control the political decision[-makers] in the U.S. The MB and the other international elements that fund them have [also] understood this. Is it not time for us to understand what our enemies already have?!”[28]

* C. Meital is a research fellow at MEMRI; H. Varulkar is Director of Research at MEMRI.

 

[1] Al-Watan (Egypt), September 20, 2016.

[2] Al-Ahram (Egypt), November 11, 2016.

[3] Cruz.senate.gov, November 4, 2015.

[4] Twitter.com/SenTedCruz, January 10, 2017.

[5] Rassd.com, March 5, 2017.

[6] Eipss-eg.org, November 26, 2016.

[7] Eipss-eg.org, January 28, March 3, 2017.

[8] Al-Shurouq (Egypt), February 8, 2017.

[9] Aa.com.tr, January 31, 2017.

[10] Elaph.com, February 5, 2017; Al-Masri Al-Yawm (Egypt), February 23, 2017.

[11] Elaph.com, February 5, 2017. Elements in Egypt affirmed the reports about the MB’s efforts to form a lobby. Gamal Al-Minshawi, an Islamic affairs researcher and former official in Al-Gama’a Al-Islamiyya, told the daily Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ that the MB pays millions of dollars to foreign newspapers and news sites for positive coverage. Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ (Egypt), February 24, 2017.

[12] Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ (Egypt), February 17, 2017.

[13] Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ (Egypt), February 24, 2017. It should be mentioned that in 2007-2012 Al-Haddad was director of the Clinton Foundation’s Climate Initiative in Egypt. Washingtontimes.com , September 18, 2013.

[14] New York Times (U.S.), February 22, 2017.

[15] Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ (Egypt), February 24, 2017. It should be mentioned that after Al-Haddad’s article was published, a website close to the MB reported that Egyptian prison authorities had penalized him by placing him in solitary confinement. Rassd.com, February 27, 2017. MB associates also said that Al-Haddad and other MB prisoners manage to smuggle writings out of prison with the help of their lawyers, but an Egyptian security source said that Al-Haddad did not pen the article himself, and that smuggling such writings out of prison was impossible. Al-Watan (Egypt), February 23, 2017; Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ (Egypt), February 24, 2017.

[16] Al-Masri Al-Yawm (Egypt), February 23, 2017.

[17] Al-Misriyyoun (Egypt), February 24, 2017; Facebook.com/FreedomJusticeFrMohamedSoudan, February 25, 2017.

[18] Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ (Egypt), January 20, 2017; Al-Watan (Egypt), January 22, 2017.

[19] Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ (Egypt), January 12, 2017.

[20] Motamemservice.com, March 6, 2017.

[21] Al-Watan (Egypt), March 10, 2017.            `

[22] Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ (Egypt), February 23, 2017.

[23] Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ (Egypt), February 24, 2017.

[24] Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ (Egypt), March 2, 2017. Michael Morgan is an Egyptian-American researcher at the London Center for Policy Research, who promotes the designation of the MB as a terrorist organization.

[25] Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ (Egypt), March 12, 2017.

[26] Al-Ahram (Egypt), February 22, 2017.

[27] In an article he published in the French-language Egyptian weekly Al-Ahram Hebdo, titled “Look for the Jews,” Salmawi criticized  the French law criminalizing antisemitism and Holocaust denial, stating that it does not forbid denying crimes against humanity but only crimes against six million Jews who “allegedly” suffered a holocaust during World War II. He also wrote that whoever wants to understand the connection between the Monica Lewinsky affair in the U.S., the trial against “French thinker” Roger Garaudy (who was convicted in 1998 of Holocaust denial) and the barring of Holocaust denier David Irving from several countries needs to “look for the Jews.” Al-Ahram Hebdo, Egypt, February 4-10, 1998.

[28] Al-Ahram (Egypt), March 5, 2017.

CAIR: Cruz’s Muslim Brotherhood Bill Not About Terrorism

January 26, 2017

CAIR: Cruz’s Muslim Brotherhood Bill Not About Terrorism, Investigative Project on Terrorism, John Rossomando, January 26, 2017

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz’s bill seeking to classify the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group is discriminatory leaders of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) claimed at a press conference Wednesday.

“We believe it has little to do with national security or terrorism,” CAIR’s spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said.

He sees Cruz’s bill as part of a two-step strategy to designate the Muslim Brotherhood and attack groups and their leaders who “Islamophobes have falsely labeled as linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Hard evidence, however, links CAIR and other American Islamist groups to the Brotherhood.

A phone book introduced at 2008 Holy Land Foundation (HLF) Hamas fundraising trial revealed that CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad and fellow CAIR co-founder Omar Ahmad belonged to the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee. This committee came into existence as part of the Muslim Brotherhood’s plan to support Hamas in America.

U.S. District Judge Jorge Solis noted in a 2009 ruling that the HLF trial evidence provided “at least a prima facie case as to CAIR’s involvement in a conspiracy to support Hamas.”

Awad defended the Muslim Brotherhood at the press conference, saying it has been “part in parcel of the democratic process” that it believes in democracy. Banning it for ideological reasons “is nothing short of shooting ourselves in the foot as the biggest democracy or the strongest democracy in the world,” Awad said.

Cruz’s bill would direct the secretary of state to tell Congress whether the Muslim Brotherhood meets the criteria for designation as a foreign terrorist organization. President Trump reportedly is considering an executive order accomplishing the bill’s objectives.

CAIR also protested Trump’s proposed executive order curtailing immigration and visas from majority Muslim countries such as Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen and Iran. With the exception of Iran, all of these countries have barely functioning central governments and are in the midst of raging civil wars. It also contested President Trump’s order halting the processing of Syrian refugees and ordering the creation of safe zones inside Syria for them.

Awad cast the orders as anti-Muslim and bigoted.

“Never before in our country’s history have we purposely as a matter of policy imposed a ban on immigrants or refugees on the basis of religion or imposed a litmus test on those coming to this nation,” Awad said. “The orders will tarnish our image in the Muslim world, making us seem uncaring and hard-hearted.”

It’s not exactly without precedent. Early 20th century immigration laws barred those belonging to ideological subversives and polygamists from coming to the U.S. Ottoman authorities protested the latter for curtailing Muslim immigration to the United States.

Ted Cruz: No US funding for UN until Israel vote ‘reversed’

December 25, 2016

Ted Cruz: No US funding for UN until Israel vote ‘reversed’, Washington Examiner, Daniel Chaitin, December 24, 2016

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz put the United Nations on notice Saturday evening, issuing his toughest statement yet in response to Friday’s vote to condemn Israeli settlement building.

In a tweet, the Republican lawmaker said he spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Saturday evening to not only wish him a happy Hanukkah, but also to “assure him of strong support in Congress.”

Spoke w/ Israeli PM @netanyahu tonight to wish him Happy Chanukah & assure him of strong support in Congress. No US $ for UN until reversed.

“No US $ for UN until reversed,” he added. That comment suggests that Cruz has made his mind up since Friday, when he said he looked forward to working with Sen. Lindsey Graham and President-elect Trump “to significantly reduce or even eliminate U.S. funding of the United Nations, and also to seriously reconsider financial support for the nations that supported this resolution.”

In a 14-0 vote on Friday, the U.N. Security Council condemned Israel for settlements in areas of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The Obama administration abstained on the measure, marking a significant shift of U.S. policy just weeks before Obama completes his second term in the White House.

Obama ordered the veto of a similar resolution in 2011, but his administration has grown increasingly critical of the settlements in the past year and frustrated with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, which the Obama team sees as partially responsible for the failure of recent Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Friday’s abstention prompted a wave of criticism from Trump, Republicans and even members of the Democratic Party.

“It is extremely frustrating, disappointing and confounding that the administration has failed to veto this resolution,” said incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York. “[I]ts actions will move us further from peace in the Middle East.”

Graham revealed Saturday that he plans to introduce a measure to cut funding to the U.N. unless it repeals the resolution about the Israeli settlements.

GOP lawmaker: ‘Narcissistic’ Cruz just ended his career

July 21, 2016

GOP lawmaker: ‘Narcissistic’ Cruz just ended his career, Fox News via YouTube, July 21, 2016

Ted Cruz Booed as He Tells Republicans: ‘Vote Your Conscience’

July 21, 2016

Ted Cruz Booed After Failing to Endorse Trump: ‘Vote Your Conscience’

Source: Ted Cruz Booed as He Tells Republicans: ‘Vote Your Conscience’

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) gave a stirring address to the Republican National Convention on Wednesday night, but failed to endorse Donald Trump, telling Americans to “vote your conscience.”

Cruz congratulated Donald Trump on winning the party’s nomination, but stopped short of endorsing Trump outright, saying merely that he wanted to see the party’s principles prevailing in November.

He urged voters: “Please: don’t stay home in November.” But then he added: “If you love our country, and love your children as much as I know that you do, vote your conscience.”

“I appreciate the enthusiasm of the New York delegation,” he said, as he was booed.

Prior to that, Cruz had focused on the conservative principles at the core of the party.

He began with a lighthearted metaphor as he spoke in the Quicken Loans Arena, reflecting on the Cleveland Cavaliers’ recent historic victory in the NBA Finals. “LeBron James just led an incredible comeback victory, and I am convinced America is going to come back, too.”

Cruz went on to describe one of the fallen Dallas police officers, Michael Smith, who was killed by a sniper at a Black Lives Matter protest less than two weeks ago. “I have no idea who he voted for in the last election, or what he thought about this one, but his life was a testament to devotion.”

“He protected the very protesters who mocked him because he loved his country and his fellow man.”

Cruz went to to describe the stakes in the upcoming election — namely, that each person could tell their children “that we did our best for our country.”

And the country’s bedrock principle, Cruz said, was simple: “Freedom matters.”

He then drew a clear distinction between the parties: “Of course, Obama and Clinton will also tell you that they care about our country’s future. And I want to believe them. But there is a profound difference in our two visions of our country’s future.”

On terror and trade, on education and employment, on immigration and the Internet, Cruz spelled out stark disagreements between Democrats and Republicans — focusing, interestingly, on Obama and not his would-be successor.

“Freedom means free speech, and not politically correct safe spaces,” Cruz added, nothing that the Bill of Rights applied equally to all, including “gay or straight.”

On abortion, Cruz said: “Freedom means that human life is precious and must be protected.” And he reminded the gathering: “Our party was founded to defeat slavery … Together, we passed the Civil Rights Act, and together we fought to eliminate Jim Crow laws. That’s our collective legacy — although the media will never share it with you.”

And then, Cruz delivered those fateful words: “Vote your conscience.”

The boos and interruptions never ceased after that, with chants of “We want Trump!”

He concluded with a call to unity: “The case we have to make to the American people … is to commit to each of them that we will defend freedom and be faithful to the Constitution.”

But Cruz left the stage having divided the party.

Update: A Cruz supporter told Breitbart News: “I think it was entirely selfish. I think he’s ruined his future. Everybody was right about him. It’s a character thing.”

Another attendee described Cruz’s address as a “slap in the face” and “toying with the convention.”

Reactions were even harsher behind the scenes. Dana Bash of CNN reports that Cruz entered a donor suite at the arena after the speech, and was told, to his face, that he was a “disgrace.” One man was so angry at Cruz that he had to be “physically restrained,” and Heidi Cruz had to be escorted from the convention floor because of heckling by Trump delegates.

Eric Trump tried valiantly to mollify the crowd with a stirring address, albeit one beset by technical difficulties, and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich did his best as well, but almost nothing could overshadow what Cruz had done.

The crucial phrases from Cruz’s address in the prepared version of the text, highlighted in yellow for reporters, were:

We deserve leaders who stand for principle. Unite us all behind shared values. Cast aside anger for love. That is the standard we should expect, from everybody.

And to those listening, please, don’t stay home in November. Stand, and speak, and vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution.

The final address of the evening, by Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana, was solid, but spoke of a “united party” and uniting the nation.

Update #2: Jonathan Swan at The Hill reports that aides to Ted Cruz pleaded with him to endorse his former rival, but the Texas senator refused:

Just hours before Ted Cruz took the stage for his convention speech Wednesday night, senior members of Cruz’s team were still pushing him to endorse Donald Trump.

Cruz never wanted to endorse Trump and is still furious about the personal attacks the GOP presidential nominee made on his family during the primary campaign, sources familiar with the speech preparations told The Hill.

But top aides had concluded he needed to formally endorse Trump at the Republican National Convention.

For Cruz, it was always personal.

[…]

Still, some aides to Cruz, a Republican senator from Texas, were pushing him to endorse Trump for the sake of his own political future.

Cruz has indicated intentions to run for president again in 2020, and he has a team forming behind him to execute that plan. 2020 was the unspoken undertone beneath the drafting Wednesday night’s speech.

Update #3 (Michelle Moons):

Shortly following Cruz’s speech, Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich asked the crowd to consider carefully the implication of Cruz’s words.

“Ted Cruz said you can vote your conscience for anyone that will uphold the Constitution. In this election, there is only one candidate who will uphold the Constitution.”

He continued, “If you want to protect the constitution of the United States, the only possible candidate this fall is the Trump-Pence Republican ticket.”

Update #4: Throughout the broadcast of Pence’s speech, CNN highlighted every area of policy disagreement between the two candidates on the Republican ticket:

For all that, CNN’s political analyst, Gloria Berger, called Pence’s speech “pitch-perfect.”

Update #5: CNN’s Ana Navarro, a former Jeb Bush surrogate who is no fan of Trump, panned Cruz’s speech.

While you should always “vote your conscience,” she said, if you’re invited to dinner, “You don’t eat the food, drink the wine, and then piss on the carpet. It was tacky.”

Update #6: Hillary Clinton has weighed in, tweeting Ted Cruz’s taglin

Update #7: Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey seems visibly shaken as he speaks to CNN’s Dana Bash, telling her that Cruz’s speech was “selfish” and that he had broken his pledge — not to Trump, but to all the candidates.

He adds that America can now see why Cruz has “richly deserved” his bad reputation among colleagues on Capitol Hill.

Update #8: CNN’s Jake Tapper makes the best case for Cruz — without agreeing with it, saying that Cruz does not believe Trump is a conservative, and that he is planning to run again for president as the “conscience” of the party.

Update #9: One of the other highlighted lines in the prepared version of Cruz’s speech was: “And citizens are furious — rightly furious — at a political establishment that cynically breaks its promises and ignores the will of the people.”

Now that Cruz is being accused of having broken his promise to support the party’s nominee, it is a rather ironic line.

Update #10: Trump aide Michael Cohen tells CNN that Cruz’s speech was “political suicide.”

Update #11: Trump tweets that he had seen Cruz’s speech in advance, and allowed him to deliver it anyway:

If true, then Trump — who was seen applauding Cruz in the wings during his address — may have enjoyed watching Cruz self-destruct.

Update #12: Cruz’s speech, as delivered, and checked against delivery by Michelle Moons:

Update #13: Neil Munro has collected different reactions from delegates on the floor of the convention:

“It was the perfect speech and it was completely ruined by the booing.” said Texan Richard Morgan.

Cruz implicitly endorsed Trump, and repeatedly urged voters to vote against Clinton, he said. Some Cruz supporters still aren’t quite ready to accept Trump — partly because of the butter campaign fight — but will be ready to back him as the election draws nearer, he said.

“I think it is right for today — people still don’t want him to well out” to Trump, he said.

The speech, he added, was “very unifying until the delegations started booing.”

But Mark, a delegate from outside Texas, said the speech crystalized widespread suspicion of Cruz’ s motivations and character.

“Cruz does what he does for the real activists, [the non-endorsement] was a betrayal and that’s how it is going to be taken.”

“You just probably saw a political career vaporize before your eyes. “

“He did, in a way,” endorse Trump, said one Oklahoma delegate, who supported Cruz. “I don’t think it will be as big a deal as everybody thinks,” he added.

“I’m disappointed [he did not endorse] — I would have liked to see him do it, but I also understand why he didn’t” because of the hard feelings left after a tough campaign, he said.

“If Trump loses, Cruz is done,” said Ken Henry, from Alaska. “He didn’t say it … he never said ‘I endorse Donald J. Trump.”

“There was consternation on the floor,” said Cynthia Henry, a delegate and committee member from Alaska.

“You’ve just seen a man commit suicide,” said Don, a delegate from Arizona. “This reminds me of George H. Bush saying ‘Read my lips, no new taxes,” and then he goes out [and makes a tax increase deal] with Tip O’Neill.”

Erin Swanson, a Texas delegate, said that the Trump campaign knew the contents of the speech, “they knew it was not a formal endorsement.”

Cruz is an elected U.S. Senator,who represents Texas conservatives, she said. “I never expected Ted to fully endorse … Cruz would lose a lot of credibility [in Texas] if he endorseed Trump,” she said.

“Teump needs to work to unify the party, and he should not have alienated people by interrupting the speech.”

Chris Ford, another Texas delegate, said: “It definitely was not an endorsement … it is not his style,” adding that Trump should not try to bully an elected Texas Senator.

“It doesn’t bother me, “ said Boyd Smith, a California delegate.”We’re allowed out own agency to say what we say.”

“I don’t think there’s a split… people are entitled to express their views.”

Dr. Jasser discusses his testifying before the U.S. Senate & reacting to bombings in Turkey

June 29, 2016

Dr. Jasser discusses his testifying before the U.S. Senate & reacting to bombings in Turkey, Fox News via YouTube

 

Ted Cruz GRILLS Muslim Advocates president who SCRUBBED the FBI lexicon

June 29, 2016

Ted Cruz GRILLS Muslim Advocates president who SCRUBBED the FBI lexicon, The Rebel, June 29, 2016

(But please see, ISIS is a Footnote: The Real Threat is Sharia and Islamic Supremacism. — DM)

Farhana H. Khera, President of Muslim Advocates, is questioned by Ted Cruz June 28 during a congressional committee called, “Willful Blindness: Consequences of Agency Efforts To Deemphasize Radical Islam in Combating Terrorism”

In this video she tries not to answer the question as to why she pressed the Obama administration to expunge all language referring to Islamic Terror from security services such as the FBI’s lexicons.

It has been argued that the refusal to allow the FBI to pursue avenues of investigation based on terms such as “Jihad” or “Ummah” in the language found on surveillance materials directly led to the Boston Marathon bombing being carried out although the FBI were aware of the perpetrators and aware of the ideology they subscribed to.

Also very likely the San Bernardino attacks for the same reason.

Ms. Khera says in this video: “…Regardless of their race, religion or ideology”.

To discriminate on the basis of ideology is not the same as race.

In fact, ideology is what in rational times, societies based on reason would call “motive”.

Ted Cruz to Hold Hearing on Cover-up of Islamic Terror by Obama Administration

June 22, 2016

Ted Cruz to Hold Hearing on Cover-up of Islamic Terror by Obama Administration, Conservative Review, Daniel Horowitz, June 22, 2016

Senate Judiciary Committee member, Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas questions Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 28, 2015, during the committee's hearing on oversight of the Homeland Security Department. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)

Senate Judiciary Committee member, Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.  Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)

It’s been over a week since the largest terror attack on American soil in 15 years, yet nobody in Congress has successfully steered the discussion to the actual source of our perilous security situation. The Obama administration is covering up all connections of the Orlando shooter to known Islamic terrorists with the help of the Muslim Brotherhood advising DHS and the FBI.  Yet, all Republicans and Democrats want to discuss is guns. That is about to change.

Next Tuesday, June 28, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who chairs the Judiciary Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts, will conduct a hearing investigating the willful blindness on the part of the relevant law enforcement agencies to domestic Islamic terror networks.  The subject of the hearing is “Willful Blindness: Consequences of Agency Efforts To Deemphasize Radical Islam in Combating Terrorism.”

Senators on the committee now have an opportunity to expose the Muslim Brotherhood influence within DHS and the FBI, their invidious “Countering Violent Extremism” Agenda, and their hand in covering up counter-terrorism investigations.

Senator Cruz hinted at the agenda he plans to pursue at this hearing in an op-ed for Conservative Review earlier this week:

President Obama’s politically correct reluctance to attribute the terrorist threat we face with radical Islam hobbles our ability to combat it by discouraging counterterrorism agents from taking radical Islam into account when evaluating potential threats. The examples of Fort Hood, Boston, San Bernardino, and Orlando demonstrate the harmful consequences of this administration’s willful blindness.

 

Cruz, Trump, and Ryan: The Unimagined Week

May 7, 2016

Cruz, Trump, and Ryan: The Unimagined Week, Gingrich Productions, Newt Gingrich, May 6, 2016

No one imagined three days ago that a month would disappear from the campaign calendar.

The morning of the Indiana primary virtually everyone assumed there would be a fight for the GOP nomination at least to June 7 when California, New Jersey and several other states vote.

Many thought the contest could go on after June 7 because Trump might still be a few delegates short.

Some hoped there would be a contested convention in July.

Suddenly, Tuesday night, Senator Ted Cruz cut either one or two months out of the calendar.

In a very wise, realistic step he suspended his candidacy. This allows him to avoid a month of negativity. It will serve him well. He leaves the race a much bigger, stronger figure than when he entered. He is plausibly a candidate for the Presidency in 2020 if Trump loses. (Actually, Cruz is so young he is plausibly a candidate for President in 2040). He has the name recognition and financial network to become a future governor of our second biggest state. He would be a superb choice to fill the Scalia role on the Supreme Court. He can now take some time to think long and hard about his future.

The Cruz decision had a big effect on both Trump and Ryan.

First, the Trump team was focused on winning the nomination. They were consumed by delegate hunts, future primaries, and winning a convention with a lot of opposition trying to stop them.

Suddenly the Trump team has had to shift direction, focus, and scale.

Trump himself has to move from an enthusiastic gladiator fighting Republican rivals to a national leader seeking to unify both the party and the country. The shift has been huge and sudden. It will take weeks to complete.

Second, Speaker Ryan represents a serious, policy oriented Washington based approach that is somewhere between skeptical and hostile about the Trump candidacy.

On the morning of the Indiana primary the Washington policy Republicans still had hopes of a contested convention. Most thought that, at a minimum, they had six or seven more weeks to negotiate with Trump as he tried to win the last few delegates.

In some ways the Cruz withdrawal was the worst possible world for Washington policy Republicans.

Suddenly, Trump was unchallengeable. He was the nominee. None of the reconciliation and communication process had occurred.

Furthermore, by winning so early and so decisively, the Washington policy Republicans feared there was a very real chance Trump would now wander off into whatever policy inventions and maneuvers he wanted to.

Speaker Ryan was looking for a maneuver to slow down the Trump consolidation of power and force a negotiated dialogue toward some kind of accommodation between two very different set of policy goals.

Ryan’s Thursday statement that he could not yet endorse Trump was dangerous. It was also in some ways a demonstration of fear and weakness.

Faced with an amazing avalanche of personal victories for Trump, Ryan apparently felt he needed a big enough event to get Trump’s attention.

This is a very dangerous game.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus is correctly trying to develop party unity now that there is a nominee.

Ryan’s statement may have been given a bigger play because of the same day announcement by the two Bush Presidents and Mitt Romney that they would not endorse Trump or attend the convention.

As someone who supported all three for President it was a bit outrageous to have them suddenly wiser and purer than millions of Republican voters. It is fine to have them skip Cleveland which ought to be focused on the future not the past. It is not acceptable to have them desert the party which made them national figures.

Hopefully Ryan and Trump will work through to an accommodation in the next week or so.

Running for president is hard.

Governing is even harder.

This is just one more bump on a road that Trump has triumphantly been on for a year. There will be a lot more bumps and his ability to solve them will determine if he becomes President.

Ryan also faces the challenge of leading a House GOP which could rapidly split into unmanageable factions.

There is a lot at stake.