Showing posts with label State Department. Show all posts
Showing posts with label State Department. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

State Department Blocks Transfer of Funds to Palestinian Authority - CBN News Tzippe Barrow

US State Department, Courtesy Wikipedia
US State Department, Courtesy Wikipedia
State Department Blocks Transfer of Funds to Palestinian Authority
CBN News Tzippe Barrow

JERUSALEM, Israel – In a stunning reversal, the U.S. State Department froze $221 million designated by former President Barack Obama to the Palestinian Authority on his last full day in office. The funds had previously been budgeted to the Palestinian Authority but blocked by Congress. Obama released the funds just hours before Trump was sworn-in as president.
Officials at the State Department decided to freeze the transfer until the appointment of former Secretary of State John Kerry's replacement. Trump's nomination, Exxon CEO Ray Tillerson, generated some controversy because of his business dealings with countries considered human rights violators and concern that he might show favoritism to his Russian contacts.
On Monday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee endorsed his nomination, albeit split along party lines, paving the way for confirmation by the full Senate.
The 11-10 vote came after Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and John McCain, R-Ariz., decided to back the former Exxon Mobil Corp. chairman's nomination. During the confirmation hearings, Rubio was reportedly the most vocal of the three senators.
Representatives Ed Royce, R-Calif., who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Kay Granger, R-Texas, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, blocked the funding packages in 2015 and 2016 in response to the P.A.'s efforts to join international organizations.
Granger said she'd "worked to make sure that no American taxpayer dollars would fund the Palestinian Authority unless very strict conditions were met," israel national news  reported on its website, Arutz Sheva.
"While none of these funds will go the Palestinian Authority because of those conditions, they will go to programs in the Palestinian territories that were still under review by Congress," Granger said, adding "The Obama administration's decision to release these funds was inappropriate."

Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Obama Administration’s Most Covert War By Caroline Glick - BREAKING ISRAEL NEWS

The Obama Administration’s Most Covert War

Over the past several weeks, we have learned that the Obama administration believes it is at war with Israel. The war is not a shooting war, but a political war. Its goal is to bring the government to its knees to the point where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu loses power or begs Obama and his advisers to shepherd Israel through a “peace process” in which Israel will renounce its rights to Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.
One component of this war is espionage. Last month The Wall Street Journal reported that Israel is a top target for American espionage.
The other component of the administration’s war against Israel is political subversion. Over the past week, the administration has campaigned against the NGO bill sponsored by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked. If the bill, which was approved by the government, becomes law, it will require political NGOs that are principally financed by foreign governments to identify as foreign agents in their official communications and interactions.
Last week, State Department spokesman James Kirby lambasted the bill at an official briefing. Among other things, Kirby rejected Shaked’s claim that her bill is less restrictive than the US’s own Foreign Agents Registration Act. Kirby offered no substantiation of his claim.
Earlier this week, US Ambassador Dan Shapiro met with Shaked. Following their meeting, the US Embassy published two statements attacking the NGO law. In one of them, the embassy sought to substantiate Kirby’s claim regarding FARA. By the embassy’s telling, FARA relates only to agents whose action are directly guided by foreign governments, while Shaked’s NGO bill relates to entities that receive financing from foreign governments whether or not their actions are directed by the government financiers.
The embassy’s claim is deeply misleading.
As attorney Lorri Lowenthal Marcus explained this week in The Jewish Press, in practice, the burden of proof that US entities are not directed by foreign governments that fund them falls on the entities, not on the US government. In her words, the US law “uses ambiguous words and tests which are far more likely to lead to over-broad applications and chilling of speech than does the straightforward Israeli proposal’s standard.”
Moreover, whereas Shaked’s proposed NGO law would fine entities that fail to abide by reporting restrictions, under FARA, US entities that fail to abide by the restrictions of the law can face both fines and up to five years in prison.
The duplicitous nature of the administration’s assault on Shaked’s bill is all the more obvious when we consider how senior US officials view these politicized organizations.
Currently, the State Department is slowly fulfilling a federal court order to publish the emails Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton sent from her private email server during her tenure as secretary of state. Over the past several weeks, the department has published a number of emails regarding Israel that reveal the depth of hostility Clinton’s closest advisers harbored toward Israel.
Last week, one such email demonstrated that Clinton’s senior anti-Israel advisers viewed radical Israeli-registered NGOs as agents for the administration to use in order to carry out covert anti-Israel policies.
The email in question is a letter Clinton received in December 2011 from retired ambassador Thomas Pickering. Clinton asked her chief of staff to print out his letter.
Pickering’s illustrious career reached its peak during Bill Clinton’s administration. Clinton’s husband appointed Pickering, a former ambassador to Israel, to serve as undersecretary of state for policy planning, the third-most senior position at the State Department.
Pickering retired in 2001, at the end of the Clinton years. Since retiring, he has enjoyed the status of elder statesman among the American foreign policy elite. He has also been a loyal supporter and lobbyist for Iran, and a signatory on numerous plans to stick it to Israel.
In his letter to Clinton, Pickering recommended using leftist NGOs – including Peace Now, which he mentioned by name – to destabilize the political situation on the ground in Israel.
Pickering set out a plan, which in his view would force Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to ask the Americans to initiate a new diplomatic process with the Palestinians.
Pickering’s plan involved organizing a protest movement of Palestinian and Israeli women to “bring continuing pressure to change minds at the top.”
On the Palestinian side, Pickering said, “there might be peaceful demonstrations against all aspects of the occupation on the Palestinian sides – roadblocks, land confiscations, new settlement activity, around military government installations and perhaps in Area C, which they do not control.”
These actions Pickering wrote, “could create the kind of action which no army can easily use force to deal with…. With all and only women demonstrating peacefully under the eyes of the world, the chances are much less force will be used against them, since that action has its own consequences.”
In other words, Pickering sought to organize provocations of IDF units “under the eyes of the world,” in which IDF soldiers would be portrayed as being mean to Palestinian women. These women for their part would provoke them to be mean by interfering with military operations or disrupting the lives of Israeli citizens in Judea and Samaria.
Pickering made no bones about the covert nature of this US anti-Israel subversion. He warned Clinton, “Most of all the United States, in my view, cannot be seen to have stimulated encouraged or be the power behind it for reasons you will understand better than anyone.
“I believe third parties and a number of NGOs on both sides would help.”
That is, Clinton’s confidante, the elder statesman who organized a lobby on behalf of Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, called for the secretary of state to use radical Israeli NGOs as US agents to carry out a covert US operation against an allied government.
A notable aspect of Pickering’s plan is his underlying assumption that the US-organized demonstrations would be filmed and used against Israel in the court of public opinion.
For the past several years, the US government has funded B’Tselem’s video project.
According to NGO Monitor, in 2014 the US paid some $68,000 for the project which provides video cameras and photographic training to Palestinians. The goal is for them to film IDF soldiers and Israeli civilians in fraught situations and call their morality and legitimacy into question.
It was his recognition that cameras are the new weapon of Israel’s enemies that caused Gilad Ach, a 32-year-old master’s student at Tel Aviv University, to form his own NGO – Ad Kan. Ad Kan’s goal is to penetrate radical Israeli NGOs to expose their problematic activities.
In a bit of bad timing for the administration, last Thursday, the same day Kirby launched the administration’s public assault against Shaked’s NGO bill, and just before Pickering’s email to Clinton was published, Uvda, Channel 2’s investigative news magazine, broadcast a report revealing some of the findings that Ach and his colleagues have uncovered in Ad Kan’s three-year operation.
Over the past three years, Ad Kan employees have seeded themselves inside radical Israeli NGOs and surreptitiously filmed their operations.
The footage broadcast last week on Uvda showed senior “human rights” operatives for B’Tselem and Ta’ayush, Nasser Nawajah and Ezra Nawi, plotting to bring about the arrest, torture and murder of a Palestinian by the Palestinian Authority’s US-trained and -funded security services.
The Palestinian in question was, as far as they were concerned, marked for torture and murder because he was hoping to sell his land to Jews in the South Hebron Hills around the Israeli community of Sussiya.
One of the strangest aspects of the Uvda report was the radical Left’s response to it. By and large, leftist groups refused to condemn what Nawi and Nawajah were doing. B’Tselem, which is supposed to fight for Palestinian human rights, said that it is legitimate to turn Palestinians who wish to sell their property to Jews over to the PA, despite the fact that the PA’s penalty for such actions is death.
Beyond what their refusal to condemn solicitation of murder and torture says about their commitment to Palestinian human rights, the radical Left’s silence reveals just how key Nawi and Nawajah are to their operations.
In a word, Nawajah and Nawi are superstars of the radical Left in Israel and throughout the Western world. Last July, Nawajeh published an op-ed in The New York Times. In it, he accused Israel of denying the property rights of Palestinians in the exact area where he and Nawi plotted the murder of a Palestinian who sought to exercise his property rights by selling his land to Israelis.
As Liel Liebowitz reported in the Tablet online magazine, in 2007, after Nawi was arrested at a violent protest against the IDF, 20,000 people, including the who’s who of the radical Left in Israel and in the US, signed a petition demanding his immediate release.
Leading members of the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment movement in the US, including Jewish Voices for Peace, have financed Nawi’s activities.
Pickering recommended using NGOs to organize protests. Ad Kan exposed how this is done.
On Monday, Channel 2 broadcast Ad Kan surveillance footage showing a Breaking the Silence employee paying Nawi and his Ta’ayush colleague Guy Botavia for organizing a demonstration against IDF soldiers. Botavia serves as the head of Ta’ayush’s video project.
In the same report, Ta’ayush activists are filmed paying Palestinians in cash for participating in the demonstration, in which they threw rocks at IDF soldiers.
In a conversation this week with The Jerusalem Post, Ach claimed that without the NGOs, the Palestinians would not be demonstrating. “I asked one of the Palestinians if he would be rioting if the NGO wasn’t paying him. He said no.
“I asked him what he does when he isn’t rioting.
He said he’s a construction worker in Modi’in Illit, [an Israeli settlement beyond the 1949 armistice lines]. That is, five days a week, Israelis pay him to build settlements, and the rest of the week, other Israelis pay him to throw rocks on soldiers.
“This guy only works for Israelis – either to build or destroy,” Ach wryly noted.
One of the common claims the far Left has made in response to the Uvda report is that if the report is all Ad Kan managed to learn in three years of planting moles in these groups, then clearly there is nothing to expose.
But Ach explains, what Ad Kan has revealed to date is merely the tip of the iceberg.
And so, as the Obama administration ratchets up its political war against Israel in its final year in office, we can expect to learn that like the administration itself, the NGOs the administration is so concerned about protecting have and will stop at nothing to achieve their goal of demonizing Israel and destroying its good name in the Western world.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Where Are All the Christian Refugees From Syria? - JEFF WALTON/CHRISTIAN NEWSWIRE CHARISMA NEWS

Refugees cross through Iraq.

Refugees cross through Iraq. (Reuters)

Where Are All the Christian Refugees From Syria?

Join us on our podcast each weekday for an interesting story, well told, from Charisma News. Listen at

Christians and other religious minorities in Syria have been targeted for death, sexual slavery, displacement, cultural eradication and forced conversion by ISIS.
Many of these persecuted Christians hope to escape to the United States. They have been largely excluded, with the State Department's Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration admitting to officials at The Barnabas Fund, a Christian relief agency, "There is no way that Christians will be supported because of their religious affiliation."
According to data from the State Department's Refugee Processing Center for Fiscal Year 2015, resettled Syrian refugees were 97 percent Muslim. The Hudson Institute's Nina Shea, in a November 2 article in National Review, showed that in the past five years 53 out of 2,003 Syrian refugees accepted by the United States have been Christians (about 2.5 percent of the total). But about 10 percent of Syrians are Christians.
IRD Religious Liberty Director Faith McDonnell commented:
"The U.S. government's response has been woefully inadequate—neither helping these minorities defend themselves and stay, nor providing them asylum to leave.
"Christians cannot go to U.N.-run refugee camps because there they face the same persecution and terror from which they fled. If they are not in the refugee camps, they are not included in the application process for asylum. The State Department knows this, but continues to allow the office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees to select refugees for asylum with no regard to the endangered religious minorities.
"The blame is not just with the U.N. and the administration. U.S. organizations who resettle refuges are also to blame. This includes Christian groups that resist any focus on Christian victims of ISIS, and oppose actions by Congress to welcome not just economic migrants but also Christians and other religious minorities victimized by ISIS.
"Other religious minorities—such as Jews, Yazidis, Mandaeans, Shia Shabaks and Turkmen—are also being targeted, and largely left out of refugee resettlement. Shea notes that only one Yazidi was resettled in the U.S. in the past five years of Syria's civil war, even though thousands of Yazidi girls are taken as sex slaves by ISIS."
McDonnell's full article can be found on The Stream.
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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Meet Avraham the Jewish Shepherd ✡ "His Father's Sheep in Bethlehem"

David would travel back and forth from Saul's presence to tend his father's sheep in Bethlehem.

I SAMUEL (17:15)

וְדָוִד הֹלֵךְ וָשָׁב מֵעַל שָׁאוּל לִרְעוֹת אֶת צֹאן אָבִיו בֵּית לָחֶם

שמאול יז:טו

v'-da-vid ho-laykh va-shav may-al sha-ul li-r'-ot et tzon a-veev bayt la-khem

Today's Israel Inspiration

It is no coincidence that so many of our Biblical heroes were shepherds, for this humble trade provided an abundance of time for quiet reflection, leading to an intimate relationship with the Lord. Today in the hills of the Land of Israel, a modern-day shepherd, Avraham Herzlich, has opened his grazing land for visitors to explore and learn about this Biblical way of life. His new interactive Shepherd's Tent attracted many visitors last year from around the world, but the tent was destroyed by severe winter weather. He now looks to rebuild and expand the site to facilitate a flow of expected groups and tours this coming year. You can take part in this building project and have your name in the Visitor's Center! There are many opportunities for everyone to be included, from sponsoring a wooden bench or picnic table, to "adopting" goats, and much more. With special gift options and progress reports, you'll be proud of your connection to the Holy Land.

Sneak Peak of the Shepherd's Tent

The life of Avraham the modern Jewish shepherd is a lesson for all in maintaining faith despite hardship. He lost his daughter in a terror attack, and suffered the thievery of his entire flock of sheep by Arabs, yet Avraham continues to rebuild and stand firm in his love of the Land of Israel.

U.S. Veiled Threat to Israel

The US is mulling a drastic change to its approach to the two-state solution, and not in favor of Israel, a top US State Department official confirmed.

Blessing for the Home

A meaningful verse from the Book of Kings is interwoven throughout this gorgeous print, in a form of art called micro-calligraphy. Just in time for Mother's Day, shower the one you love with this beautiful work of art from the Holy Land.

Today's Israel Photo

Today's beautiful photo by Yehoshua Halevi shows a herd of sheep at Nachal Prat, a refreshing stream of water that flows along part of the Judean desert.

Thank You

Please help us continue to spread the beauty and significance of the Land of Israel!

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Sunday, February 1, 2015

US Taxpayers Funding Anti-Netanyahu Campaign?

US Taxpayers Funding Anti-Netanyahu Campaign?

Two U.S. lawmakers have sent a letter to the State Department, asking whether President Barack Obama has "launched a political campaign" against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and whether American taxpayers are helping to fund the campaign.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas and Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y. sent a letter this week asking the State Department to explain whether a non-profit group called One Voice, supported by U.S. tax dollars, is working with a campaign called Operation Victory 2015 (V15) to influence Israel's elections, to be held March 17.

The lawmakers called taxpayer funding for such a purpose "completely unacceptable."

"State Department grants should never be given to entities working to overthrow strong allies like Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu," Zeldin said Thursday. "Today, I join with Sen. Ted Cruz in calling for a U.S. Department of State investigation into this important matter."

In an article earlier this week, the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz highlighted the work of Jeremy Bird, a political strategist who helped organize a door-to-door effort for the Obama campaign against Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary in South Carolina. The effort was very successful, and it helped to break open a dead even race between the two candidates, eventually leading to Obama's nomination and election.

This year, Bird brought a team of consultants to Israel to help organize Israeli political groups opposed to Netanyahu.

The 2014 version of anti-Netanyahu campaign is not without precedent.

The eagerness among former President Bill Clinton's staff to defeat Netanyahu in his first term was so strong that top Clinton operatives James Carville, Bob Shrum and pollster Stanley Greenberg camped out in Israel to help Labor Party candidate Ehud Barak to a come-from-behind victory over Netanyahu in 1999.

This year's activity comes amid charges by Democrats that Republican House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, is playing politics by inviting Netanyahu to address Congress before the elections to report on the danger to Israel and the West from Iran's nuclear weapons program.

On the Republican side, Cruz and Zeldin want to know how much money the U.S. government has given to groups working in the Israeli elections, including One Voice and Peace Works Network Foundation, who approved the funding, how much oversight and accounting is involved, and whether non-profit groups such as One Voice are violating terms of their tax exempt status.

"Of course private American citizens are free to engage in political activities according to their inclinations," their letter stated. "But given the overtly partisan nature of this particular case, we are deeply concerned by the relationship that also exists between One Voice and the Department of State."

Lost in the din of the political battle another question looms: as the diplomats spend years negotiating with Iran, how close are the mullahs to acquiring nuclear weapons and what are the consequences for Israelis, Americans and the people living in the Middle East tinderbox if they do?

Thursday, May 22, 2014

John Kerry Gives Up on Peace in Israel

John Kerry Gives Up on Peace in Israel

“For the Lord your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory.” (Deuteronomy 20:4)
John Kerry Gives Up on Peace
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry boards his Air Force jet for a flight to Paris, France, after a day trip to Israel and a meeting in Jerusalem with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on September 15, 2013. (Photo: US State Department)
The Obama administration has given up when it comes to peace in the Middle East. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed in a briefing on Wednesday that the United States is no longer planning on presenting new initiatives for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
According to Psaki, Secretary of State John Kerry has turned his attention to more pressing matters in the international arena.
“It remains in the hands of the parties to take – make the choice necessary if they want to resume discussions. Obviously, there’s a great deal going on in the world, and Secretary Kerry is focused on everything from Ukraine to South Sudan, all the issues we talk about in here every day,” Psaki said.
While the US is no longer planning on brokering peace agreements, Psaki stressed that it was “Still engaged with the parties” and that “at this stage we’re in, we’re clearly in a hiatus from the talks. Nothing has changed from that.”
The last round of peace talks took a downward spiral when Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas demanded more concessions from Israel without returning any guarantee of engaging in future peace talks with Israel.
Negotiations completely collapsed several weeks ago when Israel suspended all talks with the PA in response to a surprise announcement of a Hamas-Fatah unity agreement. The new agreement will make Hamas, a Gaza-based terrorist organization, part of a new, unified Palestinian government.
Israel stated that it would never negotiate with any Palestinian government in which Hamas, who vows armed and violent resistance against Israel, is a part of.
US envoy for the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations Martin Indyk is stepping down from his post and dissolving his negotiating team in light of the recent “failure” of peace talks, Maariv reported.
Kerry has appeared optimistic about kick-starting a new round of peace talks, meeting recently with Abbas in London in “informal” discussions to discuss terms. However, the secretary has admitted it is now time to take a “pause” from talks. Kerry told Israel and the PA that the road to peace now lies in their hands.
The Obama administration, realizing the failure of peace talks, has ordered Kerry and the State Department to refocus its efforts on other international matters. According to a report last week in The New York Times, President Barack Obama is stepping away from the peace process in order “to let the failure of the talks since in for both parties, and see if that causes them to reconsider.”
An anonymous official in the Obama administration told the newspaper that the president blames Israel for the failure of peace talks, citing new construction in Judea and Samaria as the main reason.
The report noted that Obama instructed Kerry and his team to turn their attention on the crisis in Ukraine, nuclear negotiations with Iran, and long-term American strategic shift to Asia.

Love For His People Editor's Note: YEAH!!! You can't divide the land the Lord God of Israel gave to the Jews. So quit trying once and for all!!!

Steve Martin
Love For His People, Inc.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Israel is the Only Country in the Middle East where an American Flag is Not Burned

Israel is the Only Country in the Middle East where an American Flag is Not Burned

While news came that Russia was suspended from the G8, and tensions continue to rise between America & Russia, the United States Department continues to expect an apology from Israel’s Defense Minister.  Last week, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said “It isn’t a favor America is doing, it’s in their interest. They get quality intelligence and technology.” As Ya’alon rightly noted, Obama’s America has developed an image in the world of “feebleness.”
Ya’alon last earned the ire of the State Department a month ago when he said “the American security plan that was presented to us is not worth the paper it was written on. It contains neither security nor peace. Only our continued presence in Judea and Samaria and the Jordan River will guarantee that Ben Gurion Airport and (the northern city of) Netanya do not become targets for missiles from every direction.” He continued that Secretary of State John Kerry “operates based upon an unfathomable obsession and a messianic feeling.”
And while Israel’s most senior, and most popular cabinet member speaks the truth, American State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that “We still have remaining concerns about Ya’alon’s pattern of behavior,” adding, “I think we clearly expressed our displeasure by his offensive comments and an apology would be a natural next step.”
Why would the State Department ask a foreign ally to apologize for telling the truth? Barack Obama said that the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu was a “political coward” whose policies pose a greater threat to Israel’s existence than Iran’s nuclear program because he does not know what is in the country’s best interests.
The Deputy Defense Minister of Israel, Danny Danon has vowed to quit the government if Palestinian terrorists are released as part of this “peace plan.” As Danon says ”the Palestinians took advantage, and not for the first time, of our desire for peace and naiveté, to trick us. They pretended to negotiate, and we released vile murderers.”  Danon said Kerry’s plan is “dangerous and detached from reality.”
As CEO of a leading PR Agency, I wonder if the State Department reads the newspapers.  Don’t they read how America’s enemies continually act against America? Why pressure Israel, America’s closest ally?
Israel is a country surrounded by Arab nations devoted to doing all they can to harm the West. When Israel’s senior most defense officials speak out they do so  in a desire to protect the only Jewish State. Terrorists have declared war on Israel – as well as America.
Israel is the only country in the Middle East where an American flag is not burned.
During times such as these, when American interests are at a low place worldwide, the Obama/Kerry team needs to simply leave Israel alone. Israel understands what Israel needs better than Barack Obama and John Kerry.

About the Author

Ronn_TorossianRonn Torossian is one of America’s most prolific public relations experts. He is founder of 5WPR, one of the largest independent PR firms in the world, and works for leading companies in a number of different industries. Torossian is an expert on crisis communications, and regularly appears on The Today Show, Fox News, CNBC and other leading news outlets. Ronn Torossian is the best-selling author of “For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations,” a best-selling book on the PR industry. He is a featured op-ed columnist for The Huffington Post, Newsmax, Israel National News, Wired Magazine and others. Ronn is the recipient of multiple awards, including PR Executive of the Year, and is a past semi-finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young. Follow him on Twitter @rtorossian5wpr.