AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT TRUMP’S POLICIES ON JERUSALEM
President Donald Trump’s meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu provided some surprises including a new crisis for the White House.
TWO STATES – ONE STATE
Peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians was the most important topic when President Trump met with Primie Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Both leaders expressed support for Israeli-Palestinian peace and both support a peace initiative that involves Arab partners. While hailing the “unbreakable” bond between the US and Israel, Trump broke with the international consensus that insists on a two-state solution.
“So I’m looking at two state and one state, and I like the one that both parties like. I’m very happy with the one that both parties like. I can live with either one,” he said. “I thought for a while the two-state looked like it may be the easier of the two but, honestly, if Israel and the Palestinians are happy, I’m happy with the one they like the best.”
Netanyahu issued warm words for the US while hammering home his own requirements for peace, “First, the Palestinians must recognize the Jewish state. They have to stop calling for Israel’s destruction”. “Second, in any peace agreement, Israel must retain the overriding security control over the entire area west of the Jordan River.”
The Palestinians were not happy with the outcome between Trump and Netanyahu. Saeb Erekat, the second-ranking official in the PLO, denounced it as an attempt to “bury the two-state solution and eliminate the state of Palestine.” He said, “There’s only one alternative… A single democratic state that guarantees the rights of all: Jews, Muslims and Christians.”
TRUMP’s new policy signaled a retreat from that of former presidents who have pursued peace in Israel for the past two decades. Trump again said he desires to broker “a bigger and better deal” in the region – which he has stated many times over his first weeks in office without giving any hints about what that means. But both leaders indicated they will pursue a diplomatic avenue first proposed by Mr. Netanyahu in 2016. The new avenue includes developing closer ties with Arab Sunni states to help broker a settlement with Palestinians.
But Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan will not support a deal unless Palestinians gain full political rights. By embracing Israel’s new relationship with Sunni states in the region, Trump is setting himself up for diplomatic failure and has raised the specter of increased Palestinian violence.
The Arab League disagrees with President Trump’s statement that either solution is acceptable. Head of the Cairo-based Arab League Ahmed Abul Gheit called for a comprehensive and just peace based on a two-state solution with an independent Palestinian state.” He further stated there was “no Plan B”.
Trump did seek to reign in Mr.?Netanyahu in the area of settlements. Starting with the traditional US-Israel divide on Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Trump left no doubt that he expects to see significant restrictions on expansion of settlements.
Even though Trump appeared to take a harder line on settlements, 972 Magazine reported that Trump is just what Netanyahu needs to annex the West Bank. “In the report released this week, 972 Magazine said that a slip of the tongue from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last month is worthy of attention. In an unprepared response to a Likud Knesset member, Netanyahu said: “What I’m willing to give to the Palestinians is not exactly a state with full authority, but rather a state-minus, which is why the Palestinians don’t agree [to it].” This almost never happens to Netanyahu. He is calculated, in contrast to Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman who once threatened to execute Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and destroy his movement. In his public appearances, Netanyahu’s statements are carefully worded. His mind operates mechanically, and it is for this reason that a slip of the tongue warrants attention. He has given away more than he intended to.”
President Rivlin this week said that Israel should annex the entire West Bank and exercise full sovereignty over the “land of Zion”. “Israel should annex all the occupied land it claims sovereignty over and grant full citizenship to those falling under its extended jurisdiction.
He further said, “I, Rubi Rivlin, believe that Zion is entirely ours. I believe the sovereignty of the State of Israel must be in all the blocs,” the president said, emphasizing that he was referring to the entire West Bank, the Times of Israel quoted him as saying. Earlier this month Israeli lawmakers passed the so-called Regulation Bill which covers Israeli settlements and outposts built on private Palestinian land in Area C of the West Bank. Outposts, which are settler homes not approved by the government, are deemed illegal under Israeli law.
Justice Minister and Jewish Home MK Ayelet Shaked criticized suggestions that Israel should annex the entirety of Judea and Samaria Thursday and argued that such an annexation would mean the end of Israel as a Jewish state, as the state would not be able to be able to handle giving citizenship to approximately 2 million Arabs. In an interview with Radio 101.5FM Shaked said: “I agree with [Zionist Union and Opposition Leader Yitzhak] Herzog that the annexation of Judea and Samaria would lead to an end to the Jewish state.” “I believe that this idea of annexing all of Judea and Samaria is not correct, but I believe that we must annex Area C, where there are 450,000 Jews and 90,000 Arabs.” Shaked added. “The state can certainly handle granting citizenship for another 90,000 Arabs, and Areas A and B should be part of a regional Arab confederation.” She also called for large-scale construction in Jerusalem and Area C, in addition to the extension of Israeli sovereignty over Maaleh Adumim.
This would trigger the need for the UN to end Israeli occupation of Zion by sending in the Gog – Magog coalition to keep the peace.
MK Shaked may be correct about annexing 2 million Arabs along with all of Zion. Not only would there be a huge uprising within the region, but muslims around the world would protest violently in capital cities all over the earth. This would trigger the need for the UN to end Israeli occupation of Zion by sending in the Gog – Magog coalition to keep the peace. As we know from Ezekiel 38 and 39, keeping the peace “Gog style” will include raping women and destroying West Bank homes. Yet, we know Israel will do something to trigger the Gog-Magog conflict which is, itself, the trigger for the Great Tribulation. The scenario of annexing any or all of the West Bank will be such a trigger.
MOVING THE US EMBASSY TO JERUSALEM
In 1995, Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act declaring “the United States Embassy in Israel should be established in Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999.” But presidents since have delayed the move, fearing violence in the Middle East and repercussions against the U.S. This fear became an even greater reality during the Obama administration because of the numbers of jihadists that were allowed to enter the US illegally, or that were imported, and were allowed to continue operating training camps and recruitment centers all over the US. Moving the US embassy to Jerusalem would reinforce Israel’s claim to ownership of the entire capital city. Presidents since 1999 have renewed the waiver to move the US embassy every six months. Obama just signed another waiver in December 2016. The issue will pass across President Trump’s desk again in May 2017.
President Trump said that he is still deciding whether to move the Embassy and suggested he is open to abandoning his controversial campaign promise. “I’m thinking about it. I’m learning the issue and we’ll see what happens,” Trump told the Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom. “It’s not an easy decision. It’s been discussed for so many years. No one wants to make this decision, and I’m thinking about it seriously.”
What might happen if the embassy were moved? “Predictions range from a new war to violent protests to nothing other than diplomatic complaints. Palestinian leaders have suggested they might withdraw their recognition of Israel and shut down the Palestinian Authority, effectively ending any cooperation with Israel. A spokesman for the mainstream Palestinian political party Fatah predicted an embassy move could lead to a third intifada, or popular uprising against Israel. Members of Netanyahu’s cabinet say those threats are bluffs and that nothing would happen that the Israeli police and military couldn’t handle. Some analysts suggest Trump could mitigate the backlash by placing the embassy in mostly Jewish west Jerusalem and enlisting leaders in Jordan, Egypt and the Persian Gulf to make the case that the move wouldn’t prejudice a decision on the status of east Jerusalem in future negotiations.”
Another option that was reported briefly in the press is for President Trump to appease the Palestinians by creating a consulate, mission or embassy in the Palestinian controlled East Jerusalem. This move would have the appearance of a legal issue before YHVH
As was reported in a prior broadcast of Jerusalem Next!, another option that was reported briefly in the press is for President Trump to appease the Palestinians by creating a consulate, mission or embassy in the Palestinian controlled East Jerusalem. This move would have the appearance of a legal issue before YHVH and would likely be a signal that the US has divided Jerusalem before His heavenly court. Rather than bringing peace to the region, it would bring Great Tribulation to the entire earth.
No one expected Israel itself to be among that opposition.
Another reason for President Trump’s retreat from moving the US embassy was reported in Israel Today. “Trump has a lot of opposition to his promise to finally move the American embassy back to Jerusalem. No one expected Israel itself to be among that opposition.”
But that’s precisely what US Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, suggested in an interview with The Global Politico podcast on Monday. According to Corker, Trump was ready to move the embassy the very minute after he was inaugurated. But Israeli ambivalence caused the president to stop and take a step back from his promise. A lot of Israel’s mixed feelings on the issue are seemingly connected to the Jewish state’s burgeoning ties with the Arab world in the wake of the Iran nuclear deal.
Corker explained: “[M]y question at the time is, how does Israel feel about that? They’ve never had a closer relationship with the Arab world. I mean, the Iran deal – to me, it was not the kind of agreement we should have entered into… “But the one plus in the Iran deal is it brought the Arab community close to Israel. And so there’s a real working relationship there right now. More than I think many of the Arab leaders even want their citizens to know. So when you’ve got a situation like that, do you really want to destroy this alliance that is unprecedented and is real?”
Corker believes that both Trump and Israel still want the US embassy moved back to Jerusalem. But Israel was not ready to let Trump strike when the iron was hot, and now the issue will again be pushed off for who knows how long.”
Moshe Feiglin, founder and chairman of the Zehut party, was interviewed the day after the elections — and he predicted that once moving the embassy became a very real possibility, Netanyahu would not be any more enthusiastic or outspoken than past Israeli officials about that prospect.
THE HISTORY OF EMBASSIES IN JERUSALEM
Why is it that there is not a single embassy in Jerusalem today? “The international community decided to not have embassies there for political reasons. They opposed Israel’s control of Jerusalem and insisted that Jerusalem be under international control as was stipulated in the partition resolution of 1947. Since Israel’s government offices were in Tel Aviv until 1951 most countries opened embassies there and stayed there after government ministries moved to Jerusalem.
After 1967 many embassies moved to Jerusalem but after the 1973 war the countries either severed relations with Israel or moved to Tel Aviv in protest. Then when Israel annexed Jerusalem in 1980 the UN Security Council passed resolution 478 which criticized Israel’s declaration of united Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and recommended that all nations remove their embassies from Jerusalem. The last ones to do so were in 2006 in response to Israel’s “aggression” in Lebanon.”
A CRISIS IN THE MIDST
As Netanyahu arrived late Tuesday in Washington, a full-scale crisis was erupting in the White House. Less than a month into the administration, President Trump’s national security adviser, retired Army Gen. Michael Flynn, was forced to resign over his contact with the Russian ambassador during the transition and misrepresentations about those conversations to Vice President Mike Pence.
The crisis is not close to being contained, with new revelations about contact between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, bitter recriminations among White House staff and the prospect of Congressional investigations.
The chaos undoubtedly affected the quality and substance of the meeting as well. Flynn had been a key interlocutor with Netanyahu’s top aides in several rounds of discussions to prepare for the visit, and his absence must have been felt.
And the allegations themselves underscore a potential area of friction. Trump’s determination to develop a closer partnership between the US and Russia, which could help explain Flynn’s apparent reassurance to the Russian ambassador in December when President Obama imposed sanctions on Russia over its interference in the US election, poses a significant challenge to Israeli interests.
Among the strategic beneficiaries of an alliance between the US and Russia would be Syria’s allies, Iran and Hezbollah. Russia’s friends in the Middle East are not Israel’s friends, and Israel will have to navigate a treacherous path to ensure its core interest of preventing a strengthened Iranian/Hezbollah presence in Syria, without clashing with Trump over his Russia friends.”
SPIES NOT SPYING FOR TRUMP, BUT FOR SOMEONE ELSE
“Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you”
“The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that in some cases officials opted not to show the president how it collected the information against Gen. Flynn. The paper, citing both former and current officials, said the decision to hold back information underscores the mistrust between the Executive Branch and spies. “I’ve talked with people in the intelligence community that do have concerns about the White House, about the president, and I think those concerns take a number of forms,” he said, according to the paper. “What the intelligence community considers their most sacred obligation is to protect the very best intelligence and to protect the people that are producing it.” The report points out that, historically, intelligence officials have held back information about how spies gather information, but in those cases, the information was not held back due to concerns over the president’s trustworthiness.”
“The situation could be more nuanced than that. A government official told Fox News that Trump has in fact been receiving what’s known as the President’s Daily Brief, noting that it does not routinely include raw data or discussion of sources and methods. Fox News reported that that former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn wanted to pull together overnight intelligence reporting, including raw data, for the president to review, and this may explain the reported roadblocks.”
In January, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., took on Trump over his criticism of the intelligence service. “Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,” Schumer told MSNBC. “So even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he’s being really dumb to do this.”
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence denied the accusation late Wednesday saying, “Any suggestion that the U.S. intelligence community is withholding information and not providing the best possible intelligence to the president and his national security team is not true.”
Damon Linker, a senior correspondent, wrote, “These leaks are an enormous problem. And in a less polarized context, they would be recognized immediately for what they clearly are: an effort to manipulate public opinion for the sake of achieving a desired political outcome. It’s weaponized spin.”
Trump doesn’t think his reaction is a change in position at all. “He drew a distinction between the release of classified information (the leaks on Flynn and Russia) and the release of personal emails (WikiLeaks and the Democratic National Committee). “In one case, you’re talking about highly classified information,” Trump said. “In the other case, you’re talking about (DNC chairman) John Podesta saying bad things about the boss (Clinton). I will say this: If John Podesta said that about me and he was working for me, I would have fired him so fast your head would have spun. He said terrible things about her. But it wasn’t classified information. But in one case, you’re talking about classified (material).”
Trump has a point about the distinction. But that’s not the whole story. Though the DNC releases weren’t classified, Wikileaks has released classified information previously. That includes 750,000 pages of documents stolen by Chelsea Manning, then known as Bradley Manning. In other words, during the campaign Trump praised an organization that made its name by leaking classified information. Now he’s criticizing leaking. “He went from ‘I love WikiLeaks,’ an organization that publishes leaked classified information, to his current position,” said Barnett Rubin, associate director of the Center on International Cooperation at New York University. “A few months ago, leaks were getting him elected — now they are destroying” his presidency, agreed John Pike, director of globalsecurity.org.”
Candidate Donald Trump was a big fan of leaks, especially when they targeted Hillary Clinton and reports of her deleted emails. “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Trump said last July in Florida. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.” Now in the White House less than a month, President Trump is far less enthusiastic about leaks in general, and those involving Russia in particular. Speaking at the White House on Thursday, Trump blamed illegal leaks for the downfall of national security adviser Michael Flynn over his contacts with Russia: “That was classified information that was given illegally. That’s the real problem,” the president said. “We’re looking at them very, very seriously. I’ve gone to all of the folks in charge of the various agencies and I’ve actually called the Justice Department to look into the leaks. Those are criminal leaks.” “Welcome to Washington.”
Democrats Seem to Consider Snowden’s & Manning’s Leaks Evil & Leaks Under Trump Heroic. “Let’s assume for the moment that the NSA and the CIA for once are actually telling the truth and that the way that they eavesdropped on General Flynn was not by targeting him, but by targeting the Russians with whom he was communicating. What this reveals is something very important, which is, when the Edward Snowden story first broke and the debate around the world was triggered, the U.S. government kept saying over and over, “If you’re an American citizen, we can’t listen in on your calls unless we first get a warrant from the court, and therefore there’s nothing you have to worry about.” Now, that was a very warped sort of thing to say, because that meant that for 95 percent of the world who are called non-Americans, what the government was saying: “Oh, for you, you have no protections. We can listen in on your calls at any time without getting a judge to approve,” which is actually true. And that’s one of the reasons why people all over the world outside of the United States were so horrified to learn of what the NSA was doing. But the broader and more important point is that what the U.S. government was saying was actually completely false. The U.S. government constantly eavesdrops on the telephone calls of American citizens without getting a warrant of any kind, despite what the Constitution requires. And that’s because the law that was enacted in 2008, called the FISA Amendments Act, with President Obama’s approval, with—he was a senator at the time, he voted for it—actually authorizes the U.S. government to listen in on Americans’ calls with no warrant, as long as they’re talking to someone outside of the United States who the government says they’re targeting. And that’s what this episode shows, is they were able to listen in on General Flynn’s calls, if you believe them, with no warrant, because they say that they were targeting someone with whom he was communicating.”
US President Donald Trump has criticized the US intelligence community for allegedly leaking classified information to the media, responding to the latest report on alleged communications between his campaign aides and Russian intelligence agents. Trump tweeted that information is “being illegally given to the failing @nytimes & @washingtonpost by the intelligence community,” wondering whether the NSA and FBI could be behind the leaks.
William Binney, a former highly placed NSA official turned whistleblower, “contended in an exclusive interview this week that the National Security Agency (NSA) is “absolutely” monitoring the phone calls of President Donald Trump. Binney, who was an architect of the NSA’s surveillance program, became a famed whistleblower when he resigned in October 2001 after spending more than 30 years with the NSA.
Asked whether he believes the NSA is tapping Trump, Binney replied: “Absolutely. How did they get the phone call between the president and the president of Australia? Or the one that he made with Mexico? Those are not targeted foreigners.” He further contended the NSA may have been behind a data leak that might have revealed that Michael Flynn, Trump’s national security adviser, allegedly misled Vice President Mike Pence and other Trump administration officials about the contents of his phone calls with Russia’s ambassador to Washington.
Regarding Flynn’s case, Binney stated of the NSA: If they weren’t behind it, they certainly had the data. Now the difference here is that FBI and CIA have direct access inside the NSA databases. So, they may be able to go directly in there and see that material there. And NSA doesn’t monitor that. They don’t even monitor their own people going into databases as we saw from the Edward Snowden case.
“During the interview, Binney charged that the NSA was over-funded and out of control.”
So, they don’t monitor what CIA and FBI do. And there’s no oversight or attempted oversight by any of the committees or even the FISA court. So, any way you look at it, ultimately the NSA is responsible because they are doing the collection on everybody inside the United States. Phone calls. Emails. All of that stuff.”
Will a double standard now being used where Edward Snowden is concerned? Spies within the agencies who leaked information to the press are either every bit as heroic as Snowden or they are every bit treacherous. Snowden’s life may be in danger because President Vladimir Putin of Russia wants to curry favor with President Trump.
“Gen. Michael Flynn, was forced to resign on Monday night as a result of getting caught lying about whether he discussed sanctions in a December telephone call with a Russian diplomat. The only reason the public learned about Flynn’s lie is because someone inside the U.S. government violated the criminal law by leaking the contents of Flynn’s intercepted communications.
In the spectrum of crimes involving the leaking of classified information, publicly revealing the contents of SIGINT — signals intelligence — is one of the most serious felonies. Journalists (and all other nongovernmental citizens) can be prosecuted under federal law for disclosing classified information only under the narrowest circumstances; reflecting how serious SIGINT is considered to be, one of those circumstances includes leaking the contents of intercepted communications, as defined this way by 18 § 798 of the U.S. Code:
Whoever knowingly and willfully communicates … or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person, or publishes … any classified information … obtained by the processes of communication intelligence from the communications of any foreign government … shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.
That Flynn lied about what he said to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak was first revealed by Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, who has built his career on repeating what his CIA sources tell him. In his January 12 column, Ignatius wrote: “According to a senior U.S. government official, Flynn phoned Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak several times on Dec. 29, the day the Obama administration announced the expulsion of 35 Russian officials as well as other measures in retaliation for the hacking.”
That “senior U.S. government official” committed a serious felony by leaking to Ignatius the communication activities of Flynn. Similar and even more extreme crimes were committed by what the Washington Post called “nine current and former officials, who were in senior positions at multiple agencies at the time of the calls,” who told the paper for its February 9 article that “Flynn privately discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with that country’s ambassador to the United States during the month before President Trump took office, contrary to public assertions by Trump officials.” The New York Times, also citing anonymous U.S. officials, provided even more details about the contents of Flynn’s telephone calls.”
“According to an NBC News report, Russian President Vladimir Putin is considering sending former NSA contractor Edward Snowden back to the U.S. as a ploy to “curry favor” with President Donald Trump. The report says a senior U.S. official analyzed highly sensitive Russian intelligence information detailing conversations among Russian officials considering Snowden’s return as a goodwill gesture. A second U.S. source confirmed the intelligence materials were compiled after Trump’s inauguration. Snowden, known for copying and leaking NSA information in 2013 without prior authorization, has been living in Russia after being given refuge by the Russian government, which has been extended to 2020. In an interview with CNN in July 2015, Trump said he would take strong action against Snowden.”
It is probably time for President Trump to fire a bunch of spies!