This article originally appeared in JNS.org. To read the original article, click this link.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) introduced legislation on Thursday to impose sanctions on Palestinian officials who reward terrorists.
The End Palestinian Terror Salaries Act would, within 90 days of being enacted, impose financial penalties on Palestinian officials who financially reward Palestinian terrorists and their families.
Subscribe to The JNS Daily Syndicate by email and never miss our top stories“Palestinian terrorists have wounded or killed more than a dozen Israelis over the last few months, including 45-year old American-Israeli Ari Fuld,” said Cruz. “The Palestinian government continues to provide hundreds of millions of dollars each year rewarding such terrorists and their families, providing an incentive for ever more violence.”
Fuld was stabbed to death in September by an Arab teenager in the West Bank. Despite being severely wounded, he got up and ran after the attacker, shooting him as other Israelis shopping in the area drew arms and rushed to the scene.
Fuld was soon pronounced dead at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem after doctors unsuccessfully tried to resuscitate him.
The terrorist was transported to a hospital and is currently behind bars. His family is scheduled to receive a monthly stipend of $392 from the Palestinian Authority over the next few years.
“It’s past time for Congress to impose direct costs on the Palestinian officials who manage the programs that provide these rewards,” said Cruz.
In March, U.S. President Donald Trump signed the Taylor Force Act, which defunds most U.S. assistance to the P.A. for its “Martyrs Fund.”
Then in October, he signed the Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act, which will eliminate remaining U.S. funding for the P.A. next month.
“Eliminating such aid, which totaled $61 million this year even as other assistance was being cut, would deal a blow to Palestinian-Israeli security cooperation that both sides value,” reported the Associated Press. “The law would also require the Jerusalem offices of the U.S. Agency for International Development to close.”
It is unknown if Cruz’s bill will pass as a stand-alone measure or be inserted into spending legislation that must be passed by the end of the week. Cruz’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Companion piece to the Taylor Force Act
Several pro-Israel groups have already come out in support of the senator’s measure.
“We deeply applaud Senator Ted Cruz for his continuous courage in introducing this bill,” EMET founder and president Sarah Stern told JNS. “The Palestinian Authority, even after the passage of the Taylor Force Act, has continued to brazenly reward Palestinian terrorists or the families of the Palestinian ‘martyrs,’ who are the murderers of American and Israeli citizens, demonstrating the upmost of contempt to the will of the American people, our elected officials and the American taxpayer who end up paying these salaries.”
“The Palestinian leadership’s immoral ‘Pay for Slay’ must be stopped,” StandWithUs CEO Roz Rothstein told JNS. “For too long, the Palestinian Authority has been using American taxpayer dollars to reward terrorists for maiming and murdering U.S. and Israeli citizens. These incentives for violence and the P.A.’s constant promotion of hate are major obstacles to peace.”
“The National Council of Young Israel strongly supports the legislation,” its president, Farley Weiss, told JNS. “We helped start the issue in Congress 20 years ago with Congressman Matt Salmon to bring to justice Palestinian Arab terrorists who murdered Americans. Senator Cruz held a hearing in the Senate on this issue.”
“It is outrageous that the Palestinian Authority receives aid while using 7 percent of its budget to give financial backing to terrorists and their families including those who murder Americans,” he added. “They even name squares after such vile murderers and promote the mass murderers as heroes on their television shows and in their schools.”
Zionist Organization of America president Mort Klein told JNS, “The Taylor Force Act was only the first step in the U.S. government’s attempt to stop at least some payments to Palestinian Arab terrorists.”
“The reaction of the [Palestinian] Authority has not been appropriate, so ZOA strongly endorses the imposition of sanctions on individuals within the P.A. who authorize such payments,” he continued. “Sen. Cruz has taken a very important step in keeping this issue alive. The sponsors of Palestinian terror should know that the U.S. congress will not rest until the actual payments are stopped to Palestinian terrorists and their families.”
Daniel Mariaschin, CEO and executive vice president of B’nai B’rith, echoed other groups in support of the legislation, noting its ties with the Taylor Force Act.
“This is a companion piece to the Taylor Force Act, which we have supported. If you’re going to predicate U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority on ending its support for terror, you should sanction officials who incentivize, excuse or reward it.”
However, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee has not taken a position on the proposed legislation: “While we have not yet had an opportunity to review this newly introduced legislation, we strongly supported the Taylor Force Act, and we appreciate ongoing efforts to end this abhorrent practice,” spokesperson Marshall Wittmann told JNS.
The Jerusalem Post covered the awarding of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley with the "Excellence in Diplomacy" award by B'nai B'rith International. To read the original article, click this link.
B'nai B’rith International recognized US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley’s “longstanding public service and stalwart defense of Israel at the United Nations” by presenting their award for “Excellence in Diplomacy” to her on Tuesday afternoon, according to a statement released by the organization.
B’nai B’rith International President Charles O. Kaufman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin presented the award to Haley at a private event at the United States Mission to the United Nations in New York.
“Nikki Haley has assured her place in the history of American diplomacy by her forthright support for fair treatment for Israel at the UN, and by calling out the severe abuses of the UN system, which accounts for the bias against it,” said Mariaschin, “She’s certainly deserving of our ‘Excellence in Diplomacy Award.’”
The 175-year-old American-based advocacy group championing Israel, human and senior rights, a staunch supporter and promoter of global Jewry, hails Haley’s tenure as being filled with numerous notable accolades that have helped to strengthen Israel’s position at the UN.
Earlier in June, Haley spearheaded the US move to leave the UN Human Rights Council - citing its biased treatment of Israel and its failure to address serious abuses throughout the world.
B’nai B’rith also praised Haley’s involvement in the US decision to suspend funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees, calling it “a heavily politicized body that routinely demonizes Israel and helps perpetuate Middle East hostilities,” as well as her efforts in defending the US move to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and garnering UN General Assembly support to condemn the attacks on Israel by Hamas.
“Ambassador Haley was a valuable voice at the UN speaking truth to power,” B’nai B’rith’s Kaufman commented. “We will miss her passionate defense of human rights around the world and courage in standing up against institutional anti-Israel bias.”
Haley surprised the world in early October by resigning from her post. She is scheduled to leave at the end of the year, US President Donald Trump told the press. State Department spokesman Heather Nauert has been appointed as Haley’s successor.
“I just think it’s very important for government officials to understand when it’s time to step aside,” Haley said, explaining her decision to leave the job on a high note. “It has been an honor of a lifetime.”
Haley focused her two-year tenure at the UN combating hostility toward the Jewish state and was praised by its leaders for her strength and leadership in the face of the widespread anti-Israel bias there.
Her resignation stunned top administration officials – including chief of staff, John Kelly, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton – as well as her staff in New York, who first learned of her decision on the morning of the announcement.
The former South Carolina governor was involved in crafting the administration’s upcoming plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace and advocating for aid cuts to Palestinian groups, including the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.
Haley spoke at the UN’s monthly meeting on the Middle East on Tuesday. Throughout her two years as ambassador, she attempted to divert the conversation to other regional issues such as Iran and Syria.
Tuesday’s monthly meeting was her last before she leaves office at the end of December. Haley took the opportunity to speak about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Trump Peace plan and the UN’s “biased obsession” with Israel.
YNet News covered the Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies 2018 conference, which was co-sponsored by B'nai B'rith International. To read the original article, click this link.
Israel must approach the Gulf States, including Saudi Arabia, with caution even if they share mutual goals, a former high-ranking Israeli army official stressed at the opening of a conference in Jerusalem titled “New Realities in the Eastern Mediterranean.”
Maj. Gen. (res.) Yair Golan, who until recently served as the Israel Defense Forces’ deputy chief of staff, said that while the thaw in relations with Sunni nations was encouraging, Israel should not let its guard down.
“We should be very, very careful concerning the Gulf States,” Golan asserted. “Yes, we can find common interests but we should remember all the time that we really rely on a completely different set of values. We should not over-emphasize these relationships although anything we can do to improve them is very important.”
Golan noted that Israel has three main objectives that relate to the Syrian front: namely, to keep the border as calm as possible; to block the transfer of sophisticated weaponry to Iranian proxy Hezbollah; and to curb Tehran’s influence as much as possible.
“(Limiting Iranian hegemony in Syria) is a big issue for Israel, but we cannot accomplish this alone; we need the help of the United States and Russia,” he emphasized, adding that the Jewish state should also seek to establish a permanent presence in the Golan Heights.
Other speakers at the conference—which featured Israeli, Turkish, Greek and American officials and geopolitical experts and was hosted by the Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies and B’nai B’rith International—likewise focused on ongoing regional conflicts.
“The biggest change on the ground that’s taken place in the last four years in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq is the shift in the balance of power with regard to the Iranian presence, a process whereby the Iranians have entered each country and created a kind of political military framework of their own as a way to advance power,” Dr. Jonathan Spyer, a Fellow at the Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies, told The Media Line. “The other interventions into Syria and Iraq are maybe temporary, but this Iranian project is intended to be permanent.”
Dr. Spyer also contends that the Assad regime has emerged as the clear victor in the bloody Syrian war, though the country remains fragmented and its future uncertain.
According to other experts present, Egypt, the traditional leader of the Arab world, also faces many security challenges.
“(President Abdel al-Fattah al-Sisi) cares about security domestically and in the region, which includes fighting the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic State and other terror groups,” Dr. Haim Koren, a former Israeli envoy to Egypt, related to The Media Line. “The other issue which concerns Cairo is Iran, so there is a new situation in which there is an unwritten alliance between Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Emirates.”
Meanwhile, a Turkish politician argues that while many view Tehran as the primary destabilizing force in the Middle East, Iranian representatives should nevertheless be included in regional security talks moving forward.
“From a Turkish perspective, Syria is the most important security threat in the region,” Unal Cevikoz, a Turkish opposition parliamentarian and former envoy to Britain, affirmed.
Cevikoz, the Deputy Chairman of the Republican People’s Party, concedes that Turkey is increasingly authoritarian in nature and suggests that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan could take advantage of ongoing territorial disputes with Greece in Cyprus to foment unrest.
“An unresolved Cyprus problem unfortunately creates a potential challenge for security in the Eastern Mediterranean because it can easily be transformed into an issue to create imbalance in the region,” he warned.
CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin's Opening Remarks to JISS (Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies) Conference - December 11, 2018
B'nai B'rith International CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin delivered the below remarks on December 11, 2018 at the 2018 Jerusalem Institution for Strategic Studies conference, held at the Konrad Adenauer Conference Center in Mishkenot Shaananim, Jerusalem.
B’nai B’rith is pleased to join with JISS in co-sponsoring this important conference. And we are especially pleased to have with us our good friends from the American Hellenic community, AHEPA and the American Hellenic Institute.
As they say, “Timing is everything.” At this moment in time, there is an urgency about addressing the chaos that is roiling the Eastern Mediterranean, the ramifications of which are being felt way beyond this region.
From the point at which we are meeting today, looking North, South, East and West, there is good reason to be deeply concerned. Civil wars, proxy wars, ethnic rivalries, religiously-inspired terrorism, naval build-ups, big and medium-power on-they-ground involvement, and contentiousness even among allies as to how to act and react, fill out a lengthy list of flash points that command our daily attention.
Where, exactly, do you begin to address this multiplicity of challenges?
This conference will allow us to hear not only analysis, but the opportunity, as well to explore options for addressing these current crises.
For us, gathered here today, there is a context — or should I say contexts — to our discussions. The exploration and exploitation of natural gas reserves has served as a springboard for cooperation and collaboration for Israel, Greece and Cyprus, now being joined at various points by Egypt and Jordan. Indeed, next week in Beersheva, the fifth tripartite summit will bring together the prime ministers of Israel and Greece, and the President of Cyprus, for talks in a wide range of issues.
Add to that, trade, tourism, and cooperation on innovation initiatives and you see a real time transformation of the region. The growing interest of the Trump Administration in these developments has added tremendous weight to their importance.
And, with regard to the United States, the Russia factor, the Iran factor, and the ISIS and Al-Qaeda factor, all contribute to the complexity of challenges to Washington.
Other relationships impact the security situation, as well: the role or non-role of NATO, issues affecting U.S. relationships in the Gulf, even debates within the United States and its two political parties over involvement in crises abroad, and the always present Greek-Turkish situation involving two American allies, are additional ingredients in this geopolitical mixing bowl that bring us together today.
One final note, about B’nai B’rith’s historic interest in this region. This year, our organization is celebrating its 175th anniversary, making it the oldest of the international Jewish organizations. Depending on the point in that long span of history, we were among the most active Jewish organizations in the Ottoman Empire, in places like Greece and elsewhere in the Balkans, in Egypt (even in Sudan at one point), Lebanon, and Syria. In pre-State Israel, our first branch was established in Jerusalem in 1888. Indeed, the first secretary of that branch was Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, the father of the modern Hebrew language.
Finally, we are fortunate that our JISS colleagues, in addition to their own highly respected expertise, have brought together an array of experts and analysts from the worlds of academia, diplomacy and the military, to assess the problems and prospects of the threats and challenges before us.
A special thank you to Efraim Inbar, Eran Lerman, and David Weinberg, and to my colleague Alan Schneider, who heads B’nai B’rith World Center in Jerusalem, for their special efforts to bring us today’s program.
WATCH CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin Here:
U.S. President Donald Trump nominated State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert on Friday as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, replacing Nikki Haley, who is stepping down at the end of the year.
Bloomberg News first reported this development on Thursday night.
Nauert, a former Fox News personality, was considered the frontrunner after former U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell withdrew from consideration. Also touted were U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchinson, U.S. Ambassador to Canada Kelly Craft, former U.S. Senate candidate John James of Michigan and U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell.
Regarding Nauert’s replacement as the U.S. State Department’s top spokesperson, a department spokesperson told JNS, “We have no personnel announcements.”
Nauert is expected to face a tough Senate confirmation due to her lack of foreign policy experience even though she served as Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, the fourth-highest ranking position in the State Department.
For the pro-Israel community, Nauert will replace Haley, who received strong praise for her support of the Jewish State at the U.N., which has long been accused of anti-Israel bias. In one of her final acts as ambassador, Haley criticized the international body for failing to pass a U.S.-sponsored resolution condemning Hamas by a required two-thirds majority.
As Foggy Bottom’s top spokesperson, Nauert helped further the administration’s pro-Israel platform.
She denounced the last month’s rocket attacks into Israel from Hamas in Gaza. “We condemn in the strongest terms the rocket, missile and mortar attacks that are taking place from Gaza into Israel,” she said. “We call for the sustained halt of those attacks. We stand with Israel as Israel defends itself against these attacks. It is simply unacceptable to target civilians.”
At the time, Nauert told JNS that the barrage makes the Trump’s highly-anticipated proposed peace plan between Israel and the Palestinians “more urgent.”
“When you see [rocket attacks], that’s the case for peace right there,” she said.
Nauert has also emphasized Israel’s right to defend itself, as exemplified in August when Hamas launched rockets from Gaza into Israel.
“It’s a very concerning situation that has taken place in Gaza,” she said. “We condemn the launching of missile attacks into Israel and call for an end to the destructive violence.”
Moreover, she suggested last week that the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, allegedly by Saudi Arabia, will not affect U.S. efforts to have the kingdom, which is allegedly behind the murder, be part of forging a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.
“Ms. Nauert has stood by the State of Israel in her previous positions, and I have no doubt that the cooperation between our two countries will continue to strengthen as ambassador to the U.N.,” said Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon. “In the past two years, we have worked closely with Ambassador Nikki Haley to change the hostile spirit in the U.N., which has led to unprecedented achievements. Ambassador Haley will always be a true friend of the State of Israel.”
Pro-Israel groups welcomed the announcement.
“We welcome the appointment of Heather Nauert to the U.N. post,” B’nai B’rith International CEO Daniel Mariaschin told JNS. “We hope she will continue in the path of Ambassador Nikki Haley as a strong supporter of Israel, calling out the bias against it within the U.N. system, and pointing to Iran as a major source of global instability.”
“The Jewish Policy Center welcomes the appointment of Heather Nauert as US Ambassador to the United Nations, believing it will continue the strong pro-American and pro-Israel policies pursued by the Trump administration under Amb. Nikki Haley,” Shoshana Bryen, senior director of the Jewish Policy Center, told JNS.
“Nauert, in her role in the State Department, has been an articulate and passionate spokesperson for democracy, liberty, freedom and self-defense,” added Bryen. “America’s allies and adversaries – and everyone in between – will know exactly where the United States stands.”
“Following on the heels of Nikki Haley, Heather Nauert has some very big shoes to fill,” Sarah Stern, president of the Endowment for Middle East Truth, told JNS. “Although some criticize the fact that she lacks a hefty diplomatic resume, the same was said of Ambassador Nikki Haley before she assumed the post.”
“What we need are some fresh, young people who are willing to think outside of the box,” she added. “I am also delighted that Ms. Nauert had added the D-Day reference about our relationship with Germany, indicating that our relationship with other nations in the world will not be based on a sugar-coated, revisionist history, but will be based on reality, and as Ronald Reagan used to say, ‘peace through strength,’ and not through appeasement.”
To read the original article on JNS.org, click this link.
The Jewish Broadcasting Service covered the announcement by B'nai B'rith World Center-Jerusalem that it would be awarding its Jewish Rescuers Citation to 18 individuals posthumously. Watch the video below.
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