Monday, May 22, 2017

From Ian:

Netanyahu ahead of Trump visit: Israel didn’t occupy Jerusalem, we liberated it
Israel “didn’t occupy Jerusalem fifty years ago, it liberated it,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on the eve of US President Donald Trump’s historic two-day visit to Israel.
“I want to the tell the world in a loud and clear voice: Jerusalem has always been and always will be the capital of Israel,” Netanyahu said at a celebratory event marking the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Israel’s capital city after the Six Day War.
“The Temple Mount and the Western Wall will always remain under Israeli sovereignty,” the prime minister added.
Netanyahu’s words were seen as a direct message to Trump, following Israel’s disappointment that the president appears to have no plans to announce the relocation of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem during his two-day trip.
Instead, the subject of Jerusalem has become a divisive issue between Israel and the US, ahead of a visit designed to showcase the close ties between the steadfast allies.
Trump is the first US president to arrive in Israel so quickly after his inauguration, and he will be the first sitting president to visit the Western Wall.
JPost Editorial: Trump in Jerusalem
Never before in human history has Jerusalem been so full of life and free. Unshackled from oppressive Jordanian and Ottoman rule, Jews, Muslims, Christians and other faiths have access to the holy sites. Wandering the streets of downtown Jerusalem one is struck by the incredible diversity. Jews and non-Jews, locals and tourists rub shoulders. A Babel of languages can be heard. Sufi Muslims live with hassidic Jews; Greek Orthodox priests are neighbors to religious Zionist rabbis; religious zealots of all stripes walk the same streets as avowed secularists.
Israel, the Middle East’s only democracy, makes all this possible while offering economic possibilities undreamed of in any neighboring Arab country. Women of all religions are free and literate; higher education is open to all regardless of faith, race or gender; the best medicine in the world provided by doctors, technicians and nurses of all backgrounds is accessible to all.
Jerusalem, the capital of the Jewish state, is united as it has never been before in human history. This fact is obvious to anyone with the integrity to acknowledge it.
Is everything perfect? Of course not. Law enforcement, municipal services, the number of classroom in relation to students and other parameters are not equal in Jerusalem’s Jewish and Arab neighborhoods. But judging from the situation in other countries in the region, where the regular flow of clean water and electricity is the exception, equality is greater in Israel’s capital and the chances for further improvement are better in a unified Jerusalem than in a split Jerusalem.
Moving the US Embassy to Israel’s capital would be a symbolic recognition of Jerusalem’s miraculous transformation over the past 50 years. Perhaps during his visit, when he sees firsthand the real Jerusalem, Trump will follow through on his campaign promise, which would be a reflection not only of his own admiration for Israel but also of the reality on the ground and in the streets and neighborhoods of the capital.
PMW: As Trump meets Abbas in Bethlehem, the PA names squares after murderers
In the weeks leading up to his meeting tomorrow with US President Trump, PA Chairman Abbas has done his best to convince Trump and the world that the PA desires peace with Israel.
But words are one thing, and actions are another. While Abbas has been talking about peace, the PA has named two squares after terrorist murderers, behind Trump's back:
The Karim Younes Square in Jenin
The Maher Younes Square in Tulkarem
Karim and Maher Younes are two Israeli Arab cousins who kidnapped and murdered Israeli soldier Avraham Bromberg in 1980. They are each serving a 40-year sentence for this crime.
In this way Abbas' deception continues. Regardless of Trump's visit, the PA carries on its policy of honoring terrorist murderers by naming streets, squares, and schools after them.
While Abbas assures Trump in Bethlehem that there is a genuine Palestinian desire for peace, Palestinians in Jenin and Tulkarem will gather in squares newly named after terrorist murderers.
The naming of the square in Jenin was held under the auspices of District Governor of Jenin Ibrahim Ramadan, the Fatah Movement, and the Jenin Municipality. At the ceremony, greetings from Abbas and the PA leadership expressing "honor and pride" were conveyed to the imprisoned terrorists and murderers:

David Horovitz: Trump at the Western Wall, a carefully calibrated act of respect
Whatever ensues in the turbulent presidency of Donald Trump, he made history for the revived Jewish nation on Monday afternoon when he stood alone at the Western Wall, black kippah on his head, swaying a little, perhaps praying a little.
Fifty years after Israel captured the Old City of Jerusalem, and after several previous presidents had visited before or after holding office, Trump became the first serving president to walk in reverence to the wall.
He stood for long seconds at the Jews’ holiest place of prayer, part of the retaining walls of the Second Temple, while the stills photographers snapped. Then he reached into his jacket pocket to retrieve a note, which he placed deep into a crack between the stones.
Simultaneously, at the other side of the dividing barrier that Israel’s religious authorities maintain at the site, his wife Melania stood with Trump’s daughter Ivanka, who converted to Judaism to marry Jared Kushner.
In turn, Melania and Ivanka also stood in silent prayer. Out of sight of each other, the president and his wife placed their right hands on the stones; his daughter, her left.
The US planners had made plain that this was a private visit, as was the president’s previous stop — a visit to the nearby Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Trump: Israel is the homeland of the Jewish people
President Trump touched down in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Monday for the second leg of his first foreign trip as president, saying "we love Israel" and calling for a renewed partnership in the fight against terrorism.
"On my first trip overseas as president, I have come to this sacred and ancient land to reaffirm the unbreakable bond between the United States and the State of Israel," Trump said.
Israel has built one of the world's great civilizations, Trump said, calling it determined and prosperous.
"Now, let us work together to build a future where the nations of the region are at peace and all of our children can grow and grow up strong and grow up free from terrorism and violence," he said. "During my travels in recent days, I have found new reasons for hope."
Trump touted "historic agreements" during his visit in Saudi Arabia to help battle terrorism.
"We have before us a rare opportunity to bring security and stability and peace to this region and to its people, defeating terrorism and creating a future of harmony, prosperity and peace, but we can only get there working together," he said. "There is no other way… We love Israel, we respect Israel and I send your people the warmest greetings from your friend and ally, all of the people in the United States of America. We are with you."
Trump Lands in Israel, Says ‘Iran Can Never Be Allowed to Possess a Nuclear Weapon’
US President Donald Trump and his entourage arrived in Israel on Monday morning on the second leg of a foreign tour that began in Saudi Arabia on Friday.
Trump departed immediately for the holy sites in the Old City of Jerusalem, with stops at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre – believed to be the burial place of Jesus – and the Western Wall.
Speaking at the residence of Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Trump addressed the growing threat to the region posed by Iran.
“Most importantly, the United States and Israel can declare with one voice that Iran can never be allowed to possess a nuclear weapon, not ever, ever, and must cease its training and funding of terror groups and militias, and must cease immediately,” Trump said.
This is a “deep consensus in the world, including in the Muslim world,” Trump added.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier welcomed Trump on the tarmac at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv. “Hello, my friend,” Trump told Netanyahu, as they shook hands. “Welcome, my good friend,” Netanyahu responded.
Netanyahu noted that Trump had flown directly to Israel from the Saudi capital, Riyadh. “I hope that one day an Israeli prime minister will be able to fly from Tel Aviv to Riyadh,” Netanyahu said.
Will Trump visit Bethlehem's Church of Nativity?
Trump is scheduled to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem, currently set to be held at Bethlehem's reception palace.
Other reports have said First Lady Melania Trump and the president's daughter Ivanka may travel to the church without him.
Sources involved in the planning told The Jerusalem Post that there is a great deal of frustration among organizers, including American diplomats, over the visit's planning. The sources said inexperienced White House staff members are ignoring official Palestinian protocol, which requires foreign dignitaries to visit the Church of Nativity, choosing instead to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem.
Scores of Palestinian prisoners serving sentences in Israel for terror related crimes are currently holding a hunger strike, bent on improving their prison conditions.
Meanwhile on Sunday, MK Anat Berko (Likud) said she saw the reported move as highlighting the president's support for Israel.
"I think he's for us," she said. "He isn't even going to the Church of the Nativity because of the security prisoners."
In Jerusalem, Trump blasts Iran as 'state sponsor of terrorism'
US President Donald Trump said on Monday that Iran must immediately stop its financial and military support for "terrorists and militas" and he reiterated that it never be permitted to possess atomic arms.
"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, and it must cease immediately," Trump said in public remarks at a meeting in Jerusalem with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.
The United States brands Iran a "state sponsor of terrorism." It says Tehran's support for Syrian President Bashar Assad in Syria's civil war, Houthi rebels in Yemen's civil war and the Hezbollah Shi'ite political party and militia in Lebanon have helped destabilize the Middle East.
Trump flew to Israel from Riyadh earlier in the day, on the second leg of his first overseas trip since entering office in January.
Five Things To Watch For During Trump’s Israel Trip
On Monday, President Donald Trump will arrive here in Israel for a jam-packed 24-hour visit that will include meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, as well as visits to Jerusalem’s Western Wall, the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and the Israel Museum.
Here are five major things to look out for during Trump’s trip:
1 – Will Trump keep his campaign pledge and move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel’s capital, Jerusalem?
U.S. law requires the relocation of the embassy to Jerusalem. However, President Obama signed successive waivers delaying the move. The current waiver expires on June 1.
2 – Will Trump make policy declarations regarding the status of Jerusalem?
It is not lost on observers that Trump will be in Jerusalem on Jerusalem Day, a national holiday here that marks Israel’s reunification of Jerusalem after the 1967 Six Day War and the establishment of Israeli sovereignty over the eastern sections of the city, which include the Old City, Western Wall and Temple Mount.
3 – Will Trump announce the launch of new, U.S.-brokered Israeli-Palestinian negotiations?
There are currently no plans for Trump to host a joint summit with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.
Instead, the focus will be on whether Trump plans to announce the relaunch of Israeli-Palestinian talks aimed at creating a Palestinian state despite the Palestinian Authority’s history of rejecting each previous Israeli offer of a state and in recent years refusing to even come to the bargaining table. These offers were made at Camp David in 2000, Taba in 2001, the Annapolis Conference in 2007 and again in 2008. In each of these cases, the PA refused generous Israeli statehood proposals and bolted negotiations without counteroffers.
4 – Will Trump express support for a plan beyond the so-called two-state solution?
Ever since the 1991 Madrid Conference and the largely failed 1993 Oslo Accords that legitimized arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat as a peace partner, the U.S. and international community have upheld the “two state solution” as the only framework for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. That “solution” calls for the creation of a Palestinian state with borders to be negotiated, but it is generally understood that such a state would encompass the Gaza Strip, major swaths of the West Bank and a foothold in eastern Jerusalem.
5 – Will Trump call on Sunni Arab countries to prod the Palestinians into talks and make a deal that would create peaceful relations between Israel and the countries of the larger Mideast and Persian Gulf?
The tectonic plates have shifted in this region following eight years of the Obama administration’s failed Mideast policies, especially the U.S.-led nuclear deal with Iran. Sunni Arab countries like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have reportedly been working behind the scenes with Israel to tackle the Iran threat, and relations between Israel and Sunni Arab countries have grown warmer as a result.
'We can wait for the embassy a few months'
On the occasion of Jerusalem Day, Arutz Sheva spoke with MK Oren Hazan (Likud) today about President Trump's visit and its implications for Jerusalem and the awaited embassy move.
"Fifty years later - is the Temple Mount truly in our hands? Is Jerusalem really united? Yes, we are happy that we returned here, to our teeny land, to our home, after 2,000 years of exile, and hopes and dreams - and finally fifty years ago we succeeded in receiving also our eternal capital, there are those today who are doing everything they can to get rid of it.
"So I call here upon PM Netanyahu to announce from every venue and declare that Jerusalem is united, the land of Israel belongs to the people of Israel and not Ishmael; the era of the two-state vision has passed. There is only one state, from the Jordan to the Sea, from Hermon until Eilat, it is the State of the Jews in the Land of Israel, whose eternal capital is Jerusalem."
Placing the cornerstone for the US Embassy in Jerusalem
The international Betar Movement, together with dozens of its members from Israel and abroad, on Sunday night held a ceremony placing the cornerstone of the US Embassy in Jerusalem's Allenby Square, in the hope that the new Embassy building will be constructed at the site.
Betar Chairman Neriya Meir said, "We are aware of the diplomatic difficulties, and we understand that the first step is always the most difficult to take."
"We are here today to help take the first step, and we call on the US to build the Embassy in Jerusalem without concern for the difficulties.
"Moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem is equivalent to the US recognizing the Jewish nation's right to its capital of Jerusalem. There is no greater statement of this fact than moving the US Embassy in the fiftieth year since Jerusalem's liberation."
Trump Can Break the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse
While the "land for peace" formula -- pressuring Israel to hand over land to those it has defeated for the promise of peace to come -- pleased Arab governments and career diplomats at the State Department, it was a disaster on the ground. Each new concession was seen by Palestinian leaders as signaling an Israeli weakness ripe for exploitation, stoking their fantasies of ultimate victory and thus prolonging the misery of the Palestinian people and everyone involved.
History shows that wars end definitively only when one side has no more hope at all of success, as happened in Germany and Japan after World War II. The Palestinians still have not given up their fantasy of a Palestinian state "from the river to the sea."
The best way for Washington to advance a peace process is by convincing the Palestinian leaders of Israel's insurmountable strength. "After the leadership recognizes this reality, the Palestinian population at large will follow, as will eventually other Arab and Muslim states, leading to a resolution of the conflict," explains Middle East Forum President Daniel Pipes, the driving intellectual force behind the newly-created Israel Victory Congressional Caucus.
How to Solve the Palestinian Problem …and bring peace to the Middle East.
In 1990, there were half as many Palestinians as Kuwaitis in Kuwait. Two years later there were almost none.
With the support of the international community, some 700,000 Kuwaitis expelled hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their country. If they had not done it, basic arithmetic shows that the Palestinians would have outnumbered Kuwaitis in Kuwait in a generation.
The Palestinians of Kuwait were kidnapped, tortured and killed. "Kill a Palestinian and Go to Heaven,” became the slogan. When Kuwait was “liberated”, tanks and armored vehicles were sent into the Hawally suburb of Kuwait City known as Little Palestine. Half the buildings were knocked down by bulldozers. Some detained Palestinians were buried in mass graves. The vast majority, including those who had been born in Kuwait, were deported or forced to flee a land they had lived in for a generation.
The violent ethnic cleansing of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians went mostly unremarked. While the Kuwaitis were ethnically cleansing their Palestinians, they continued to fund Palestinian terror against Israel and condemn Israel for violating the human rights of those they were deporting.
And the world shrugged.
President George H.W. Bush defended Kuwait’s actions. “I think we're expecting a little much if we're asking the people in Kuwait to take kindly to those that had spied on their countrymen that were left there,” he said. This was in the same press conference in which he condemned Israeli “settlements.”
White House Official Says ‘Fundamental Change’ in Palestinian Authority Needed to Advance Peace Process
A senior White House official has said that US President Donald Trump’s bid for a final peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) can “happen only after certain things change” in terms of the Palestinian leadership’s approach to incitement and terrorism.
Trump arrives in Israel tomorrow on an eagerly-anticipated two-day visit that has been clouded by controversy over the last week concerning his administration’s position on Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem. On Tuesday, Rabbi Marvin Hier – the founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles who participated in Trump’s inauguration – told The Algemeiner that National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster had committed an “unnecessary blunder” by refusing to say whether he regarded the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City as Israeli territory.
But Sebastian Gorka, a deputy adviser to Trump, indicated in an interview with Fox News that the president had registered Israel’s broader anxieties over dealing with the PA – particularly over its payments to terrorists and their families, described by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as “the first test of peace” in a recent interview. “Confront terrorism, stop rewarding terrorism, stop paying it terrorists,” Netanyahu said.
“There has to be a fundamental change if we are going to have peace in a deal brokered by this administration,” Gorka said. “It’s not going to be another piece of paper, it’s not going be a nice summit somewhere. If this happens it’s going to happen for real, because we have the world’s best dealmaker, but it has to happen only after certain things change with regard…to terrorism, payment of terrorist families, and other key issues.”
Trump warns Abbas: No preconditions on negotiations
In his meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas last month, U.S. President Donald Trump made it clear that Washington would support an initiative to normalize relations between Israel and the Persian Gulf states regardless of whether a solution to the Palestinian issue is found, if Ramallah sets preconditions for negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis.
A senior Palestinian official confirmed the details of the clarification to Israel Hayom. He said Ramallah had serious concerns Trump could push for a regional peace initiative between Israel and the Gulf states before a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is reached.
According to the official, Abbas has asked Jordan's King Abdullah and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi for their help in thwarting such an initiative if it arises before a resolution to the conflict is found.
Netanyahu: I will discuss ‘ways to advance peace’ with Trump
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said Israel was welcoming US President Donald Trump “with open arms,” adding that he will “discuss ways to advance peace” with the US leader during his Israel visit on Monday-Tuesday.
“Mr. President, we look forward to your visit. The citizens of Israel will receive you with open arms,” Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting.
“I will discuss with President Trump ways to strengthen even further the primary and strongest alliance with the US. We will strengthen security ties, which are strengthening daily, and we will also discuss ways to advance peace,” he said.
Netanyahu also noted the significance of Trump’s first presidential overseas trip including a visit to “Jerusalem, the capital of Israel.”
‘How can it hurt?’ Why Israel says it’s not worried by Trump’s huge Saudi arms deal
On the occasion of his first trip abroad, US President Donald Trump signed an approximately $110 billion weapons deal with Saudi Arabia on Saturday, which according to the White House is the largest in American history.
The full extent of the deal is still somewhat difficult to determine, as the specifics have yet to be released. However, the US State Department said it will include advanced air defense systems, ships, helicopters, intelligence-gathering aircraft, tanks, artillery and cybersecurity systems.
“This package of defense equipment and services supports the long-term security of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region in the face of Iranian threats,” a White House official said.
It will also bolster the kingdom’s “ability to contribute to counter-terrorism operations across the region, reducing the burden on the US military to conduct those operations,” the official added.
Ex-CIA Director: Trump leak may have come from 2 nations - Israel & Jordan
The classified intelligence information which US President Donald Trump recently leaked to Russia may have come from two countries, former CIA and NSA Director Michael Hayden said on Monday.
Discussing Trump’s Israel visit with CNN against the backdrop of the leak, Hayden said “the fact of the meeting [with Russia] was problematic” but the bigger problem was that Trump “divulged someone else’s information…it was not our’s in the first place.”
0Reportedly Trump divulged intelligence the US had received regarding an ISIS plot to blow up airliners using explosives concealed in laptop computers.
With dueling reports that the information came from either Israel or Jordan, Hayden noted it had come from “a foreign service or services,” highlighting the possibility that has been much less discussed, that the information was a product of multiple nations.
Ex-Arab League chief: Only settlement freeze can thaw ties with Israel
Without genuine and serious peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians, and a freeze on settlement construction, Arab states will not consider thawing their relations with Israel, a former head of the Arab League said.
Amr Moussa, who stepped down as secretary general of the powerful Sunni Arab alliance in 2011, rejected Israeli predictions that the Arab world could open up to Jerusalem without concrete movement toward a final peace deal. He spoke to The Times of Israel on Saturday, on the eve of a visit to Israel by US President Donald Trump, who has vowed to bring the unenthusiastic sides back to the negotiating table after a three-year hiatus.
The current Israeli government and US administration have expressed support for a regional approach to peace between Israel and the Arab states — one that would not necessarily be contingent on reaching a final status Israeli-Palestinian deal. That would fly in the face of the Arab Peace Initiative, which conditions Arab-Israeli normalization on Palestinian statehood.
“A peace deal, or rapprochement, that jumps over the Palestinian question will be directly and violently opposed by Arab public opinion,” Moussa said on the sidelines of a World Economic Forum conference on the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea. “I don’t think any Arab government would be safe just ignoring the Palestinian question and forging peace with Israel.”
Daniel Pipes: Could a Palestinian state be acceptable...eventually?
Martin Sherman, executive director of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies, has devoted a new column, “Why Palestinian Statehood Obviates Israeli Victory,” to hashing out his and my differences over something we fundamentally agree on, the goal of Israel victory.
This is the idea that the “peace process” has turned into a “war process” and that the solution to the Palestinian-Israeli confrontation lies not in more painful concessions by Israel but, to the contrary, by Israel imposing its will on its enemy and crushing the Palestinian dream to eliminate the Jewish state. Washington should encourage its Israeli ally in this.
Ironically, losing is the best thing that could happen to the Palestinians, for it liberates from a destructive obsession and allows them to begin on constructing their own polity, economy, society, and culture.
To advance this idea, the Middle East Forum, the organization I head, has worked with members of the U.S. House of Representatives to launch a Congressional Israel Victory Caucus (CIVC) to lobby the president. Sherman hails CIVC as “an initiative of critical importance with genuine paradigmatic game-changing potential.”
Goodwill gestures to Palestinians came at Trump’s request, says PMO
The Prime Minister’s Office said on Sunday that a raft of goodwill gestures to the Palestinians approved by the cabinet on Sunday came in response to a request from US President Donald Trump.
Ministers earlier Sunday okayed a series of measures, presented by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which include increasing building permits for Palestinians living in Area C of the West Bank, the part of the West Bank under full Israeli control, opening the Allenby Bridge crossing between the West Bank and Jordan 24 hours a day, and the development of some West Bank industrial zones.
Trump, who is set to arrive in Israel on Monday, asked for Israel to make the concessions to the Palestinians as confidence-building measures, the PMO said late Sunday.
“This is a gesture for President Trump’s visit, which does not harm Israel’s interests,” a diplomatic source said, “and the steps are all in he economic-civil sphere. There are no security measures or easing of security.”
The package is meant to help Trump’s bid to jump-start peace talks with the Palestinians, moribund since US-brokered negotiations fell apart in 2014. However, the Palestinians have repeatedly indicated they seek an Israeli freeze on settlement building before coming to the table.
Abbas confidante Goodwill measures ‘meaningless’
The economic goodwill measures Israel announced on Sunday are “meaningless,” Ahmad Majdalani, a confidant of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, said on Monday.
“This is an attempt to beautify and market the occupation,” Majdalani told The Jerusalem Post. “We need to end the occupation and realize the two-state solution – these minimal measures do not do that.”
The Israeli cabinet announced on Sunday that it approved the 24-hour operation of the Allenby Border Crossing through the end of September, the development of the Tarkumiya industrial zone and building permits for homes in Area C.
Majdalani added that the Israeli government’s decision to undertake goodwill measures is not novel.
Humanitarian aid to the PA is embezzled for personal gain
As President Trump is about to make monumental decisions concerning the continuity of aid to the Palestinian Authority, all eyes should be trained on one overriding issue: Graft. One need look no further than the Abbas family fortune, acquired during his tenure as president of the Palestinian Authority nearly 12 years ago. Since then, Abbas' family now monopolizes PA trade, particularly with foreign countries as his children engaged in alleged money-laundering. The fortune was cemented by Abbas' two sons, who unabashedly peddle influence to win major contracts in the "West Bank" or serve as middlemen in foreign deals, particularly with the United States.
Ironically, the main threat to Abbas comes from a rival who has also used his senior position in the PA to amass incredible wealth. Mohammed Dahlan spent his years as PA security chief to dominate commercial activity in the Gaza Strip until he fled the Hamas takeover in 2007. Dahlan later moved to the "West Bank" and established centers of influence everywhere from Abu Dhabi to Montenegro.
When Abbas and Dahlan traded charges of corruption of embezzlement it provided both Palestinians as well as foreigners with a glimpse of how the PA has worked since its establishment in 1994. Foreign aid, particularly from the European Union and United States, was routinely pocketed by everyone from PA leaders to mid-level civil servants. Transparency and accountability were virtually non-existent. Criticism of PA practices was met with arrest and brutality by security forces in the "West Bank".
The result was the creation of a super rich Palestinian elite and a largely underdeveloped "West Bank". The elite built exclusive neighborhoods around Ramallah while leaving thousands of shoddily constructed apartments without services for the rest of the Palestinian Arabs.
Self defense is not only permissible, it is sacred
A 37 year-old Jordanian man started stabbing an Israeli police officer this past Sunday, May 14, in Jerusalem and was shot dead in the act by the police officer.
How did Jordan react to this terror incident? By condemning the Israeli policeman’s commission of a “heinous crime” of self-defense against the stabber (!).
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu retorted:
"It is outrageous to hear the Jordanian government's speaker support the terror attack which occurred today in Jerusalem's Old City.
"The security video clearly shows a Jordanian tourist stabbing an Israeli policeman with a knife.
"It's time Jordan stopped playing both sides of the game. Just like Israel condemns terror attacks in Jordan, Jordan must condemn terror attacks in Israel. Terror is terror.”
Police: Palestinian attacks border cops near Jerusalem, is shot dead
Border Police officers shot dead a Palestinian man as he attempted to stab them at a guard post in the Palestinian town of Abu Dis, east of Jerusalem, police said Monday.
No officers were reported injured, a police spokesperson said.
The alleged attack outside Jerusalem occurred as US President Donald Trump was in the capital for an official state visit with security significantly ramped up in and near the city.
The name of the Palestinian man has yet to be released, but he was identified as a resident of the West Bank city of Bethlehem.
Police recovered the knife used in the attack. It was a cheap stainless steel blade that appeared to have bent out of shape
Some 11,000 police and security forces are taking part in the operation to secure Trump’s visit. On Tuesday, he is slated to travel to Bethlehem.
Archterrorist's daughter proud of her father
The daughter of senior Hamas terrorist Abdullah Barghouti, who is currently serving time in an Israeli prison and is participating in a mass hunger strike, on Saturday sent a letter to her father on Facebook, in which she expressed support for her father, who was convicted of murdering 66 Israelis and wounding hundreds more.
Barghouti served as the senior commander of Hamas’s Al-Qassam Brigades in Judea and Samaria during the second intifada, and was responsible for the suicide bombing at the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem, the double suicide bombing attack on the Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall in Jerusalem, as well as attacks in Rishon Lezion and Tel Aviv.
Tala Abdullah al-Barghouti wrote the following to her father:
“A letter that may not reach its destination. Father, today I graduated. If you only knew how much time I spent looking for you among those present. I saw all the fathers laughing, but did not hear your laughter, as if I had never seen you laugh. All the fathers hugged their daughters, except for me, whose longing for you and the heartache over your absence overwhelmed me. But I am strong, steadfast in your way, father.”
“You have given this people an honor that amounts to the number of years to which you were sentenced - 67 life sentences. I promise you that I will complete the path successfully, father, and I promise you that I will keep this place empty in any happy event in my life, and that it will be filled with love and longing for you,” wrote the daughter.
Report: 111 sentenced to death under Hamas rule
The "Palestinian Center for Human Rights" (PCHR) expressed "concern" over the Hamas military court's decision to execute three people suspected of involvement in the murder of Hamas leader Mazen Faqha.
Two of the suspects will be hanged, and the third was condemned to death by firing squad.
The sentences, decided upon after only four meetings of the court, will be carried out this week and cannot be appealed.
In a Sunday notice, the PCHR claimed Hamas' military court disregarded the requirement for a fair judgement, and relied only on the Palestinian Liberation Organization's revolutionary criminal law. This law, they claimed, is not legal and negates the Palestinian Authority's basic international obligations.
According to the PCHR, Gazan courts have issued 23 death sentences. 15 of those have been for new cases, and the rest involved approval of previously decided death sentences.
Nuclear Experts: Trump Keeping Nuclear Deal But Confronting Iranian Aggression
The Trump administration’s emerging strategy for confronting Iranian threats appears to be upholding the nuclear deal while sanctioning Iran’s non-nuclear behavior, two experts on the agreement wrote Wednesday in The Wall Street Journal.
Mark Dubowitz, the executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and David Albright, a former weapons inspector and president of the Institute for Science and International Security, noted that even as President Donald Trump waived United States sanctions against Iranian crude oil exports, his administration slapped new sanctions against the regime. Dubowitz and Albright characterized the strategy the “waive-and-slap approach.”
Until the Trump administration develops a comprehensive plan for confronting nuclear and non-nuclear Iranian threats, it is better not to “make drastic and premature decisions that could incite a diplomatic backlash,” they said.
Signing the waiver doesn’t constitute a reversal of Trump’s critique of the nuclear deal, but marks a cautious approach as the administration conducts a review of its policies vis-à-vis Iran.
Iran says it will continue missiles tests ‘if necessary’
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Monday that Iran does not need the permission of the United States to conduct missile tests, which would continue “if technically necessary.”
“Our missiles are for our defense and for peace, they are not offensive. Know that while there is a technical need to conduct missile tests, we will do so and we will ask the permission of no one,” Rouhani told reporters in Tehran, following renewed criticism from US President Donald Trump.
The Islamic Republic has continued to test-fire ballistic missiles, including with explicit threats to attack Israel, since the Iran nuclear deal was clinched in 2015. The missile launches have been condemned by the Trump administration and Israel.
Upon his arrival to Israel on Monday from Iran’s rival Saudi Arabia, Trump vowed that the Islamic Republic would never obtain nuclear weapons.

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