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Democrats Turn on Israel

the staff of the Ridgewood blog 

Ridgewood NJ, Recent polls indicate Democrats are becoming more comfortable holding a skeptical view of Israel. A poll by YouGov for the Economist said just a quarter of Democrats see Israel as an ally, compared to 57 percent of Republicans.

One Democratic House candidate has pledged that she will vote against bills that include aid to Israel, denouncing what she saw as the “injustice” of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. Another wrote that “Israel has hypnotized the world” with its “evil doings.”Still another helped write a scathing book on relations between the United States and Israel, while Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a progressive political star expected to win a House seat in New York, condemned the “occupation of Palestine.”

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FEBRUARY 20, 2017 21:5

There is a growing evolution in Cory’s position on Israel which is becoming more aligned with the left wing of the Democratic party.

The hearing for American ambassador-designate to Israel David Friedman at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week was intense. The Democratic senators came after him hard, quoting every controversial thing he’s ever said. Mind you, they couldn’t seem to find one controversial thing he’s ever done. Because no one disputes that David is an upstanding, decent man who has had caused little to no controversy. But they called him out on harsh statements he made about those he felt were not sympathetic to Israel.

But of particular note was how harshly he was treated by my friend, Senator Cory Booker, who told David over and over again that although these were just words, words matter.

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United Nations Security Council Backs Down After Trump Warning

The Celebrity Apprentice

“The resolution being considered at the United Nations Security Council regarding Israel should be vetoed.

“As the United States has long maintained, peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians will only come through direct negotiations between the parties, and not through the imposition of terms by the United Nations.

“This puts Israel in a very poor negotiating position and is extremely unfair to all Israelis.” President Elect Donald Trump


Egypt scuttles UN vote on Israeli settlement after Trump warning

By JOEL GEHRKE (@JOELMENTUM) • 12/22/16 11:07 AM

Egyptian officials scrapped a plan to proceed with a United Nations Security Council vote condemning the construction of Israeli settlements, following pushback from Israeli officials and President-elect Trump.

“Egypt requested the vote’s delay to permit them to conduct an additional meeting of the Arab League’s foreign ministers to work on the resolution’s wording,” Haaretz reported, citing Western diplomats. But the vote might be postponed “indefinitely,” according to the report.

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Arab states are seeking nuclear weapons to counter Iran, Israel warns


Defence minister Moshe Ya’alon says his country is seeing signs of a much-feared nuclear arms race in the Middle East

By Raf Sanchez, Jerusalem

2:01PM GMT 14 Feb 2016

Israel has picked up signs of the beginning of a nuclear arms race in the Middle East as Arab states seek nuclear weapons to counter Iran, the Israeli defence minister has warned.

Moshe Ya’alon said Sunni Arab nations were not reassured by last year’s nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers and were making their own preparations for nuclear weapons.

“We see signs that countries in the Arab world are preparing to acquire nuclear weapons, that they are not willing to sit quietly with Iran on brink of a nuclear or atomic bomb,” Mr Ya’alon said.

The defence minister gave no evidence to back up his claims but Israel closely monitors the military activities of its Arab neighbours.

Israel and the Sunni Gulf countries do not have diplomatic ties but are known to talk through back channels and are united in their opposition to Iran.

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Rep. Scott Garett and 4 other Congressmen Brave Terrorist Violence and Visit Israel


Rep. Scott Garett: “Each trip is an eye-opening and heart confirming experience, from a personal and religious point of view. We have a true love for Israel…Administrations come and go, but when it comes to the house that I serve, it has always been a strong bipartisan experience in support of Israel.”

5 US Congressmen Visit Israel, Braving Terrorist Violence

By JNI Media October 19, 2015 , 2:00 pm

A bipartisan group of five US congressmen spent the last week touring Israel, despite the daily terrorist attacks. Representatives Alan Lowenthal D-CA, Jim Jordan R-OH, Scott Garrett R-NJ, Raoul Labrador R-ID and Mark Meadows R-NC traveled across the country to learn the facts behind the headlines—and to pledge their support for Israel. The fact finding mission was sponsored by Proclaiming Justice to the Nations, a US based Christian organization, and hosted by Yes! Israel.

The congressmen’s jam-packed schedule included briefings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, meetings with fellow legislatures at the Knesset, an IAF helicopter tour, a visit to the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, a discussion of co-existence in meetings with Israelis and Palestinians in Gush Etzion, a visit to the city of Sderot whose civilian population is a frequent target for Hamas rockets, and tours of ancient Shiloh, and Ariel University.

The congressmen also spent time connecting with some 200 ex-pats, at a Sunday Town Hall meeting at the Inbal Jerusalem Hotel. The congressmen shared their impressions from their trip with their Israeli-American audience:


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Israel: Palestinians ‘Brainwashed With Hate’


Israel’s ambassador to the UN claims Palestinian children are being “taught to hate” as violent clashes continue in the West Bank.

Palestinian children are being “brainwashed” with “incitement and hate”, according to an Israeli spokesman.

Danny Danon, Israel’s new ambassador to the United Nations, is urging the Security Council to make a statement against what he described as “the incitement that fuels terror”.

His speech comes amid an increase in violence in the Middle East with eight Israelis killed in Palestinian attacks, mostly stabbings, in the past month.

In the same period, 34 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire. Israel has described 17 of those as attackers, while the rest died in clashes with Israeli troops.

During his speech, Mr Danon held up a piece of card with a diagram of a human body entitled “How to Stab a Jew”, which he claims is “an example of what Palestinian children are being exposed to day in and day out, in school, after school”.

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Iranian official: “Israel should be annihilated”



A senior Iranian official on Tuesday said Israel “should be annihilated,” and that the thawing relations with the West would not translate into a shift in Tehran’s position concerning the Jewish state.

Hussein Sheikholeslam, a foreign affairs adviser to parliament speaker Ali Larijani, told Iranian media that contrary to remarks by British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, “Our positions against the usurper Zionist regime have not changed at all; Israel should be annihilated and this is our ultimate slogan.”

Hammond was in Iran on Monday for the reopening of the UK embassy in Tehran, and said that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had indicated a “more nuanced approach” to Israel’s existence. Hammond said Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s “revolutionary sloganizing” should be distinguished from “what Iran actually does in the conduct of its foreign policy.”

“We’ve got to, as we do with quite a number of countries, distinguish the internal political consumption rhetoric from the reality of the way they conduct their foreign policy,” the Guardian quoted Hammond saying.

Sheikholeslam told a Hamas news outlet earlier this month that Iran has resisted pressure exerted by the P5+1 world powers during the nuclear negotiations to halt its political involvement in Gaza, Syria and Yemen.

“These powers admitted that the reason for their pressure on us is our position on Israel,” he said. “We told them that we reject the existence of any Israeli on this earth.”

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Israel and Saudi Arabia present united front over Iran deal

Switzerland Iran Nuclear Talks

Iran’s enemies unsettled by its deal with the West, but Bashar al-Assad of Syria says it is ‘a great victory’

By Richard Spencer, Middle East Editor and Robert Tait, Jerusalem

8:53PM BST 14 Jul 2015

The nuclear deal with Iran caused fury in Israel and consternation around the region at the likely increase in influence and resources of a newly enriched Iran.

Most telling was the loudest expression of support. “I am happy that the Islamic Republic of Iran has achieved a great victory by reaching an agreement,” President Bashar al-Assad of Syria said in a message to his Iranian opposite number, Hassan Rouhani.

Israel and the Sunni Arab world have set aside old grievances to stand together against the West’s engagement with Iran.

The more strident denunciations came from Israel, which regards Iran as a direct threat. Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister, said the country would not be bound by what he called a “stunning historic mistake”.

“Israel is not bound by this deal with Iran,” he said in a televised address hoursafter the conclusion of the accord. “Iran continues to seek our destruction and we will defend ourselves.”

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Congressmen Garrett Meets With Jewish Home Family’s Centennial Israel Mission


On Thursday, New Jersey Congressman Scott Garrett visited with the travelers who will be taking part in the Jewish Home Family’s Centennial Mission to Israel in October. There are 10 older adults participating on this 10-day mission and each has a “buddy,” who will be his or her roommate and traveling companion. The team has begun monthly meetings focused on preparing for their journey and learning more about Israel and what they are going to see and experience.

“I’ve been able to go to Israel three times in my life,” he told the group. “I’ve gone over as a member of Congress, with AIPAC and others. My trips over there have always been an eye-opening experience for me.”

Staff and residents were chosen to attend the mission after dozens of applications were reviewed. The application included an essay about why they wished to join the momentous mission.

After speaking a bit about his personal experiences in Israel, the Congressman took questions from members—many of whom have never been to Israel before. One asked whether he felt it was a safe time to visit.

“Even in the most troubling times over there we felt completely safe—even safer than we sometimes feel here at home,” the Congressman said.

The Centennial Mission is one of a series of special programs that celebrate and recognize the Jewish Home’s 100 years of service to this community. Jewish Home Family President and CEO, Carol Silver Elliott, says that this is the ideal year to take a mission to Israel. “Taking older adults to Israel is no small thing. It demonstrates our commitment to our elders and to believing that they can still learn, grow and achieve. We say that age is just a number and undertaking a mission like this proves it, demonstrating that you are never too old to have a dream and to have that dream become reality.”

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Iran deal worse than Israel feared, Netanyahu says



Iran deal worse than Israel feared, Netanyahu says

PM warns of ‘Iran-Lausanne-Yemen axis’; Defense minister warns of ‘tragedy for moderate regimes in Middle East and entire Western world’

By Jonathan Beck March 29, 2015, 12:57 pm

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Sunday against the emerging nuclear deal with Iran, as Iranian and Western officials in Lausanne, Switzerland were rushing to reach a framework agreement by an end-of-month deadline.

“After the Beirut-Damascus-Baghdad axis, Iran is maneuvering from the south to take over the entire Middle East,” Netanyahu said at a cabinet meeting, one of the last for his outgoing government. “The Iran-Lausanne-Yemen axis is dangerous for mankind and must be stopped.”

Netanyahu told ministers that he had spoken with Republican leaders in the US Senate and “conveyed our serious concern regarding the arrangement with Iran at the nuclear talks. This agreement confirms all our fears and exceeds them.

“While [world powers] convene to sign this deal, Iran’s proxies in Yemen are conquering large swaths of land in an effort to overtake the Bab al-Mandab straits, so that they can change the balance of power in shipping oil,” he said, referring to recent unrest in Yemen.

Read more: Iran deal worse than Israel feared, Netanyahu says | The Times of Israel