Tuesday, April 16, 2019

From Ian:

The False Palestinian "Nakba" Narrative
The failed Palestinian Arab attempt to destroy the State of Israel at birth, and the attendant flight of some 600,000 Palestinian Arabs, has come to be known internationally as the "Nakba," the catastrophe, with its accompanying false implication of hapless victimhood.

Ironically, this was the opposite of the original meaning of the term when it was first used by Syrian historian Constantin Zureiq in his 1948 pamphlet The Meaning of the Disaster (Ma'na al-Nakba).

Zureiq wrote: "When the battle broke out, our public diplomacy began to speak of our imaginary victories, to put the Arab public to sleep and talk of the ability to overcome and win easily - until the Nakba happened.... We must admit our mistakes...and recognize the extent of our responsibility for the disaster that is our lot."

In his 1956 book Facts on the Question of Palestine, Hajj Amin Husseini, the leader of the Palestinian Arabs from the early 1920s to 1948, avoided the term "Nakba," which was widely associated at the time with a self-inflicted Palestinian Arab disaster - either through land sales to Zionists, failure to put up a fight, or the issuing of instructions to the people to leave.

"Nakba" is not a fact. It is a manipulative term designed to service the Palestinian propaganda campaign against Israel by imposing a false sense of guilt or culpability for the creation of the refugee problem. The flight of the Palestinian Arabs was the direct result of a failed "war of extermination" (in the words of the Arab League's secretary-general).

As Israeli Ambassador to the UN Abba Eban said on Nov. 17, 1958: "The Arab refugee problem was caused by a war of aggression, launched by the Arab States against Israel in 1947 and 1948. Let there be no mistake. If there had been no war against Israel...there would be no problem of Arab refugees today. Once you determine the responsibility for that war, you have determined the responsibility for the refugee problem."

PMW: Olmert offered Abbas more than 100% of West Bank, says PA leader
As Israel, the PA and the international community await the publication of the American peace plan, it is clear, based on PA leader Mahmoud Abbas' behavior in previous peace talks, that nothing the United States can offer will be enough for the PA leader.

PLO chief negotiator Saeb Erekat who was present at the negotiations between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Abbas in 2008, recently told PA TV how generous Olmert's offer was on all final status issues. In fact, Olmert literally accepted all of the PA's publicly expressed demands, and even offered Abbas more than the full area of the West Bank and Gaza, and yet Abbas still rejected the offer.

Erekat explained that the area of the West Bank and Gaza Strip before they came under Israeli control in 1967was 6,235 sq. km. Olmert offered Abbas even more land than that, a total of 6,260 sq. km. At the negotiations, Erekat encouraged Abbas to accept the offer, saying that he could tell Palestinians: "I got more than the 1967 territories." And still Abbas rejected the offer.

Regarding Israel's capital Jerusalem, Olmert was likewise very generous. According to Erekat, Olmert offered: "What's Arab is Arab, and what's Jewish is Jewish." This would have kept the Temple Mount - Judaism's holiest site - under Palestinian rule with far-reaching implications for Jews and Judaism. The PA has said many times they would never allow Jews access to the Temple Mount since they consider Jews' presence on any area of the Temple Mount a desecration of the nearby Al-Aqsa Mosque. Yet Olmert still offered to give this to the Palestinians for peace - and even this wasn't enough for Abbas.

On the topic of refugees, Olmert was also forthcoming. He offered to have 150,000 refugees absorbed into the state of Israel over a period of 10 years. And still Abbas rejected it.

How the Israeli Left Has Undermined Faith in the Rule of Law
In the months leading up to Israel’s recent elections, the country’s attorney general announced that he would seek indictments against Benjamin Netanyahu on multiple charges of corruption. Nonetheless, Netanyahu’s Likud party gained seats in the Knesset, ensuring that he will retain the premiership. Evelyn Gordon points to a survey, conducted in February, that may explain why the corruption charges haven’t damaged Netanyahu at the ballot box:

Fully 65 percent of Likud voters and 75 percent of ḥaredi voters think law-enforcement agencies are simply trying to oust Netanyahu. On one level, this is shocking. But on another, it’s not shocking at all because the Israeli left has spent decades successfully subverting the concept of “the rule of law” for its own political benefit.

For instance, Israel’s Supreme Court repeatedly overturns government policies not because they violate any law but because the justices deem them “unreasonable.” . . . Moreover, in almost every Western democracy, the executive and legislative branches choose Supreme Court justices; only in Israel do sitting justices have veto power over the choice of their successors. Yet the left has branded every attempt to align Israel’s judicial appointments system with this Western norm as “contrary to the rule of law,” and has thereby successfully staved off change. . . .

[In addition], there’s the unequal application of laws, as epitomized by a pre-election [Supreme Court] ruling that disqualified a Jewish Knesset candidate but nixed the disqualification of an Arab party, Balad. . . .

So here’s how your average rightist voter understands the rule of law today: [as] a trick for ensuring that the left can continue imposing its views no matter how many elections it loses. That trick has successfully thwarted all legislative efforts at reform. But the price is that many rightists now distrust and despise “the rule of law” to such an extent that they dismiss pending indictments against a prime minister as just another attempt by the legal establishment to subvert democracy.

Trump defends and protects Israel from International Criminal Court
In what can be seen as an incredible show of support for Israel, the U.S. administration has included the Jewish state in its efforts to block the International Criminal Court at The Hague from investigating war-crimes allegations.

In a statement attributed to Trump, the White House said: “Since the creation of the ICC, the United States has consistently declined to join the court because of its broad, unaccountable prosecutorial powers; the threat it poses to American national sovereignty; and other deficiencies that render it illegitimate. Any attempt to target American, Israeli or allied personnel for prosecution will be met with a swift and vigorous response.”

While some have decried the administration’s response to be an expression of what they perceive as American exceptionalism, U.S. President Donald Trump views it as the opposite – unfair, exceptional focus on democracies. And so does Israel, which is consistently singled out and unfairly held to a higher standard in the international arena.

In response to the ICC investigation into alleged war crimes by U.S. forces and allies in Afghanistan, last week the United States revoked ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s entry visa. National Security Advisor John Bolton has now threatened ICC judges with sanctions if they charge any American who served in Afghanistan with war crimes. The United States under Trump has made it clear that no international court, especially those led by human-rights violators, would threaten it or its military personnel. And, thanks to Trump, the United States has also made clear that Israel sits safely under American protection.

Professor Eugene Kontorovich, director of international law at the Jerusalem-based Kohelet Policy Forum, testified on the ICC in Congress and advised senior American and Israeli officials on the court and its jurisdiction.

“President Trump has taken an extraordinary step in defense of Israel, promising to impose sanctions such as travel bans on ICC officials if they pursue their biased investigation of Israel,” Kontorovich said.

He added that when the ICC “threw out its long-pending investigation into crimes committed by U.S. and other forces in Afghanistan, the Trump administration’s hardball approach to fighting prosecutions of U.S. soldiers by the Hague-based ICC was totally vindicated.”

“Now,” Kontorovich said, “the U.S. is promising to also impose sanctions on the court if it proceeds with an investigation into Israel about settlements in the West Bank. Israel, like the U.S., did not join the court’s treaty. This is an extraordinary show of support from America and may help deter a biased and unjust investigation.”
ICC, Israel, US: Now what? - analysis
Another reason the ICC was perceived as going after the US and Israel was to show it was not only interested in Africa.

In addition, it had so few convictions in its almost 17 years of existence, that opening preliminary probes was one of the only ways it could score points to show it was doing something.

The toppling of al-Bashir last week may help solve this problem and give the ICC a much needed victory.

It is not clear yet whether the Sudanese dictator will be extradited to the ICC. But it does seem that if he is not, it will be because Sudan itself brings him to trial.

If so, the narrative regarding the highest profile war criminal – who has scoffed at the ICC and visited several member states without consequence, including Jordan – would finally turn from an embarrassment to a big win.

The ICC could argue, true or not, that part of his fall and his eventual trial came from the pressure it has kept on him, defining him as a war criminal for years.

Maybe a victory with al-Bashir would give the ICC more of a basis to say it has racked up more wins, and that its four years of probing Israel have gotten Israel to act more aggressively in prosecuting its own – in one case even convincing Jerusalem to hold off demolishing the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar that the government views as illegal.

The ICC can then say it has achieved its goals of deterring crimes and that achieving this goal is more important than whether it always seeks to bring someone to trial.

On the flip side, the ICC may gamble that Israel is a weaker link than the US and that it can go after Israel with less diplomatic bruising.

Although all of the recent developments mean that the picture is still mixed, Israel definitely is in a much stronger position in its standoff with the ICC than it was a week ago.
Abbas spokesman: If Jerusalem is off the table, Trump is off the table
There can be no peace plan without a Palestinian capital in east Jerusalem, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, the spokesman to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, told a group of Israeli journalists who visited Ramallah on Tuesday.

“As long as Jerusalem is off the table, then Trump is off the table as well,” Abu Rudeineh said.

He spoke at an event hosted by the Geneva Initiative.

Palestinians have presumed that Jerusalem is not part of the peace plan Trump intends to rollout later this spring, because of the US decision to relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to west Jerusalem last year.

No one, he said, knows what the final plan is. "But what we have seen from this plan is not acceptable at all. The issue of Jerusalem, the issue of settlements is not on the table. Unless these issues are on the table, we will never accept the [plan],” he said.
PA FM: 'Abbas ready to meet Netanyahu with no preconditions'
Mahmoud Abbas, the head of the Palestinian Authority, is prepared to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with no preconditions, PA Foreign Minister Riad Al-Malki said in an interview with the Russian news agency Sputnik.

"We are ready to talk with Israelis without any conditions," Al-Malki said.

There would, however, be one condition. The invitation to meet would have to come from Russian President Vladimir Putin, "the one who will create the best conditions for a meeting to take place and for a meeting to be successful," according to Al-Malki.

"We have reiterated our readiness and our willingness to President Putin that any time that he believes there is readiness on the Israeli side we will be more than ready to come and sit and have talks with Netanyahu," Al-Malki said to Sputnik.

In reference to the peace plan being developed by the USA, Al-Malki stated that "we reject any proposal to resolve the conflict which doesn't include recognition of the independence of a Palestinian state."
PM secures majority of recommendations to form government
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu secured the recommendations from a majority of the seats in the Knesset on Tuesday, with 65 seats, following the recommendation by the Union of Right-Wing Parties and Kulanu.

President Reuven Rivlin is meeting with all of the parties before choosing who will be selected to form the government.

During the meeting, Labor chairman Avi Gabbay and Meretz chairwoman Tamar Zandberg recommended that Rivlin present Blue and White head Benny Gantz with the task of forming the next government.

The final decision on who will form the government will occur Wednesday evening, after the official elections results are received, when Rivlin invites the chosen prime minister to the President's Residence.
Different election, same old bias: Media takes aim at Netanyahu (yet again)
As pundits and pollsters reiterated all last week: another re-election, another case of media bias against Benjamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu, 69, won his fourth consecutive and fifth overall term on April 9 that, pending him forming another right-wing coalition, will make him the longest serving prime minister in Israel’s history, surpassing its founding father and first premier, David Ben-Gurion.

Noah Pollak, executive director of the Emergency Committee for Israel, told JNS that the press viewed Netanyahu’s platform incorrectly.

“Almost all media coverage of Netanyahu and the election makes the same mistake, presenting his victory as another triumph of the political right,” he said. “But in reality, Netanyahu is more of a centrist than a right-winger. It’s why Gantz’s policy positions were so similar to Netanyahu’s, why there are restive factions to Netanyahu’s right, and it’s the reason he keeps getting re-elected—because he represents the large center/center-right consensus of Israeli society.”

Hence, continued Pollak, “liberal reporters are too ideologically blinded to see this; plus, they are eager to present Israel as a far-right country deserving of liberal contempt. The result is they keep being surprised by Netanyahu’s popularity and they keep misinterpreting his electoral victories.”
Non-Orthodox movements left out of Trump’s meeting with Jewish leaders
The leaders of three of the four major Jewish religious streams were not invited to a White House briefing on issues “impacting the community,” nor was the Jewish community’s leading civil rights advocacy group.

Officials of three Orthodox umbrella groups — Orthodox Union, Agudath Israel, and America Friends of Lubavitch (Chabad) — confirmed their leaders had been invited to the meeting, which is to take place Tuesday.

Officials of the Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist movements, meantime, said the movements were not invited. A Washington D.C.-area Conservative rabbi, Stuart Weinblatt, was invited.

A request to the White House for comment went unanswered by press time. The more liberal streams have clashed with the White House on a range of policies, including immigration and President Donald Trump’s rhetoric, seen as fueling bias. The Orthodox movements have been more welcoming of White House policies, particularly relating to Israel, including Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.

Previous administrations engaged consistently with the broad range of the religious streams, although there were at times tensions between administrations and individual advocacy groups.

“It’s clear the Trump White House invited a subset of the Jewish community and intentionally excluded others,” Halie Soifer, the director of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, said in an email. “As with everything this president does, this meeting appears to be defined by narrow political calculation as opposed to genuine outreach to the Jewish community.”

Threatening video prompted Israel to cancel Bahrain trip – report
An Israeli delegation that canceled its participation in a business conference in Bahrain this week was reportedly motivated by a Shia terrorist group releasing a video showing a simulated drone attack blowing up the Israeli participants.

The video, uploaded to social media by the Saraya Waad Allah Militia, showed an armed drone targeting the hotel the delegation may have intended to stay at, as well as the conference center where the Global Entrepreneurship Congress is being held April 15-18.

The detailed video complete with captions in Arabic and Hebrew showed an El Al plane arriving at Bahrain’s international airport at 8 a.m. on April 14. The delegation’s motorcade is then followed in the air by a drone to the Meridien Hotel, with the subtitle stating, “Location where the delegation is staying.”

The video ends with a drone exploding at the entrance to the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Center with the date and time of April 16 14:00 AM (sic) and the message “the final warning” on the screen.
Shi'ite Militia Threatens Terror Attack against Israeli Delegation to Bahrain Conference
Waad Allah Brigades, a Shiite Bahraini militia posted a video on social media threatening the Israeli delegation that was set to attend a business conference in Manama, Bahrain. The animated video, which contains captions in both Arabic and Hebrew, details a plan for a drone attack on the Israeli delegation's hotel. The Israeli delegation, which was meant to include Israeli Minister of Economy Eli Cohen and other senior officials, canceled its plans to attend the conference due to threats of terrorism.

Lebanese Academic: Syrian Government to Establish Multi-National Force to Liberate Golan Heights
Sheikh Sadek Al-Nabousli, a Lebanese political science lecturer, said in a March 28, 2019 interview on Al-Jadeed/New TV (Lebanon) that the Syrian regime is in favor of and has an opportunity to establish a resistance force in order to "liberate" the Golan Heights from Israel. Al-Naboulsi said that a resistance in the Golan could consist of non-Syrian factions such as Hizbullah, the Iraqi PMU, and even Afghan forces. He explained that the Syrian government can allow these forces, which have already been fighting against ISIS in Syria, to get to the Golan. He said that there will be operations in the Golan very soon and that everybody will hear about it.

Firefighters quickly extinguish blaze at Al-Aqsa Mosque — Waqf official
A small fire broke out at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem late Monday, but firefighters quickly extinguished it, a Waqf official said Tuesday.

Bassem Abu Labda did not say foul play was suspected in the blaze, which was overshadowed by a massive fire that gutted France’s Notre Dame Cathedral at around the same time Monday.

He blamed children playing around for setting the fire, which damaged a mobile wooden guard booth on the rooftop of a prayer room in the southeastern part of the compound.

Waqf firefighters completely put it out within seven minutes, he said.

The fire did not cause any damage to permanent structures in the Al-Aqsa, Abu Labda said.

“We only lost a mobile guard booth that guards would sit in when it rains,” he said. “We did not lose anything important.”
Honest Reporting: Newsweek’s False Notre Dame Fire/Al Aqsa Mosque Link
In a tasteless example of misleading clickbait, Newsweek published this headline, comparing a small and quickly extinguished fire near the Al Aqsa mosque to yesterday’s blaze at Notre Dame.

Complete with video of the blaze consuming Notre Dame cathedral, this article inspired dramatic reactions on social media, as readers had no idea of the truth, which you can find in today’s Jerusalem Post:

“The Fire broke out in the guard’s room outside the roof of the Marwani Prayer Hall,” according to the Wafa news agency. The fire was quickly put out by the Waqf with no injuries or interior damage reported.

This is what Newsweek saw fit to compare to the destructive inferno at Notre Dame?

No only was the fire a small one that caused no damage to people or property, but it was not even in the Al Aqsa Mosque. The fire was actually in the the Marwani Mosque which the Waqf (the Jordanian body that administers the site) constructed in 1996 by illegally bulldozing a protected archaeological site beneath the Temple Mount. Archaeologists believe the bulldozed soil to have been filled with ancient Jewish artifacts dating back as far as 3,000 years.
Revered as kings, reviled as beggars: Notre Dame’s Jewish connection
Notre Dame Cathedral, which was severely damaged in a fire on Monday, is a symbol of France, of Paris, and of course of Christianity.

But the church is also tied to Jewish history. As elsewhere in Europe, Jews in France suffered repeated persecution throughout the Middle Ages.

The Jewish people were both revered as the progenitors of the Christian faith and reviled as blind schemers who betrayed Jesus and fell from God’s grace.

Notre Dame’s structure depicts these conflicting attitudes toward the Jewish population in centuries past. Following is a look at the cathedral’s sometimes unhappy connections to Judaism.
The messiah’s bubbe

The cathedral’s most famous part is its West Facade, with its two great bell towers. Below these are three large portals, each adorned with carved figures from Christian lore. The right-side portal depicts the Jewish parents of the Virgin Mary, Anne and Joachim.

Several scenes are portrayed, including Anne and Joachim’s marriage; the rejection of the couple’s offering by the High Priest of the Temple, due to Anne’s barrenness (a bima and a Torah scroll can be seen behind him); Joachim’s visitation by an angel who tells him Anne will have a daughter; and Anne’s birth.

Jews are depicted in the carvings as wearing pointed hats, as this was royally mandated dress code for Jews in the 13th century, around the time the artwork was created — as a way to distinguish them from the Christian population.
Well, that didn't take long.
The world is collectively mourning the devastation of Notre Dame Cathedral. The iconic cathedral, known for its beauty, splendor and marvelous engineering was devastated earlier today by a huge fire.

There is some speculation that the fire was started by contractors renovating the historic structure, but a full investigation will be undertaken.

The lack of information hasn't stopped the usual suspects over at the Twitter cesspool of antisemitism from blaming the the Jews, er, Zionists for the fire.

There is truly no limit to the depths the Jew-haters of the world will sink to.
Fires sparked in south by balloon-borne incendiaries from Gaza
Two small fires were started in southern Israel by balloons carrying incendiary devices from the Gaza Strip on Monday, the local fire department said.

The blazes were quickly extinguished by firefighters.

The arson attacks came amid a period of relative calm along the Gaza border, but also as terror groups in the Strip threatened to renew their violent activities on the security fence if Israel does not abide by an unofficial ceasefire agreement brokered by Egypt last month.

One of the fires was located in a grassy area outside Kibbutz Be’eri, east of Gaza. The other was outside the nearby community of Shokeda.

Once the fires were extinguished, investigators inspected the scenes to determine what caused the blazes.

“The investigation found that the fires were caused by balloons,” the department said.
JCPA: The Palestinian Authority’s New Prime Minister, Muhammed Shtayyeh
On April 13, 2019, Dr. Muhammad Shtayyeh announced the formation of his new Palestinian Authority government. The announcement followed earlier reports he was going to ask President Mahmoud Abbas to give him an extension to complete his task of government formation.

Why did he want an extension, and why did he go ahead and announce the government?

The reason for the extension was that he wanted to meet the challenge of defining the government as a broad, Palestinian “PLO government” as pre-announced. He also wanted to include personalities from the diaspora who had been invited to Ramallah.

However, the leading factions of the PLO – the Democratic Front and the Popular Front – are allied with Hamas, and they refused to participate. The Fatah faction in the West Bank rejected the “outsiders.” They wanted all of the portfolios to be kept in local Fatah’s hands – except for a few, such as Riad Malki, a PFLP associate.

For this reason, Shtayyeh’s administration is not a “PLO government” as pre-designed, but only “just” a government. In practical terms, compared to the former government of Rami Hamdallah, it is no longer a broad-based government that includes Gaza, but a West Bank government that does not even have any real participation from Jerusalem.

MEMRI: Saudi Press Attacks Hamas For Suppressing Gaza Civil Protest: Hamas Members Have Become 'The Gazans' Hangmen,' And Capitalize On Gazans' Blood
Hamas's violent repression of the social and economic protests against it, that broke out on March 14, 2019 across the Gaza Strip, has been harshly criticized both in Palestinian society and outside of it;[1] criticism was particularly harsh in the Gulf countries and Saudi Arabia. The Saudi press featured op-eds and columns justifying the protests and accusing Hamas of terrorism, oppression, and unbridled lust for power and control. The articles stated that Hamas had turned the Gaza Strip into a huge prison for its residents, that Hamas members had become the hangmen of the Gaza people, and that Hamas is in the same camp as terror movements and as the enemies of Saudi Arabia, among them the Muslim Brotherhood, Iran, Qatar, Hizbullah, and the Taliban. Several writers even called on the Arab countries to work to expel Hamas from Gaza and to restore Palestinian Authority (PA) control in the Gaza Strip; there were also those who argued that Hamas was more dangerous than Israel for Gaza residents.

Criticism of Hamas was also disseminated on social media; for example, Saudi journalist Azzah Al-Subaie responded to a news item on Hamas's violent dispersion of a demonstration by tweeting, "Hamas promises the public Paradise in the world to come – while its leaders prefer the Paradise of this world" – a reference to Hamas's corruption.

The following are translated excepts of articles in the Saudi press criticizing Hamas:

Columnist in Saudi Daily Al-Madina: Hamas Members Have Become Gazans' Hangmen; The Arab Countries Must Expel Them From Gaza

In his March 26, 2019 column in the Saudi daily Al-Madina, Sultan Al-'Anqari criticized Hamas following its suppression of the popular protests in the Gaza Strip, and added that it was using terrorism and repression against its residents and that its rule was no different from that of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Adding that Hamas was motivated by lust for money, and was closing its eyes to the destruction its patron Qatar was wreaking on Arab countries, he also called on the Arab countries to expel Hamas from Gaza and to punish its members, and also to punish Qatar that supports it.
Palestinians Develop Tiny 3D-Print Knife To Stab Israeli 3D-Printed Heart (satire)
In what scientists are calling the second major scientific breakthrough from the region in as many days, researchers at Bir Zeit University have produced a weapon with the specific characteristics to neutralize a Tel Aviv University medical development announced yesterday.

TAU scientists announced yesterday its researchers had created a heart the size of a cherry, made of human cells that can contract, and that can be formed using a 3D printer. In response, Palestinian scientists rushed to develop their own 3D-printed counter to the heart, and produced a 3D-printed knife of the size and shape that can stab the Israeli heart. Experts called the Palestinian creation a technological marvel.

“The adaptive qualities of the Palestinian resistance movement keep increasing,” observed Dr. Tulsi Scabbard, Professor of Biophysics at New York University. “In the past one might have expected a Palestinian response to Israeli innovation to take some time, and to occur only after the Israeli innovation had been in practical use. In this case, however, the Palestinian adaptation occurred more or less immediately following the announcement of the Israeli innovation, which will not really be ready for clinical use for years.”

“It’s evidence of a step up in Palestinian abilities,” agreed analyst Raoul Panim. “I’m sure we’re on the cusp of Palestinians developing something that will actually benefit humanity for once.”
US Cracks Down on Lebanese Currency Exchange for Ties to Hezbollah, Columbian Cartels
The United States sanctioned on Thursday a Lebanese currency exchange and its owner for processing transactions for the terrorist group Hezbollah and for money-laundering on behalf of Colombian drug cartels.

The targeting of Chams Exchange and Kassem Chams comes as the United States seeks to stop Hezbollah in Lebanon.

“We are laser-focused on what’s going on in Lebanon,” said US Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. “We will continue to have a heavy focus on any entity or organization that is moving money on behalf of Hezbollah.”

“We are urging Lebanese authorities to take action to strengthen their supervision measures and undertake public aggressive enforcement action to root out this kind of money laundering,” she added.
Pompeo Slams Lawmakers Pushing to Choke Off Iran’s Nuclear Work, Oil Trade as ‘Grandstanding’
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo offered a harsh rebuke of hardline Republican members of Congress who he accused of "grandstanding" on the issue of Iran as they seek to push the State Department to end a series of sanctions waivers packages that have permitted Iran to engage in sensitive nuclear work and continue its lucrative oil trade.

Pompeo has found himself under increasing pressure in recent weeks to end these waivers, which the Washington Free Beacon has reported are the source of much animosity on Capitol Hill among Iran hawks who feel the State Department is failing to enforce President Donald Trump's "maximum pressure" campaign on Tehran.

The battle has pit Iran hawks on Capitol Hill and their allies within the administration firmly against the State Department, which has not yet committed to rolling back the oil and nuclear waivers.

The behind-the-scenes fight spilled into public view for the first time last week, when Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) engaged in a testy back and forth with Pompeo over the waivers during a public hearing.

Since then, Republican leaders in both the House and Senate have sent formal letters to the State Department demanding the waivers be nixed when they come up for renewal in May.

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