Abbas meets with Hamas leadership in Qatar

Meeting centered on ending rivalry and reformation of unity government ahead of elections to be held sometime in 2017

Hamas and Fatah officials in Gaza (AFP)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met with both Hamas political chief Khaled Mashaal and Hamas Gaza political head Ismail Haniyeh in Qatar Sunday. The meeting centered mainly on Palestinian elections and on ending the “over decade of hostility and political rivalry” between Fatah and Hamas

The Palestinian Authority reported that reconciliation “is the main pathway to protecting the Palestinian national project” as well as the means to “counter Israel’s government plots aimed at destroying the two-state option.” PA President Mahmoud Abbas stated following their meeting “We must achieve Palestinian national reconciliation, and remove the causes of division through the formation of a national unity government and elections must be held.”

At the beginning of the month, the Palestinian Authority suspended Palestinian municipal elections until 2017. The Palestinian Authority made the decision to not only postpone municipal elections, but also limit the elections to the West Bank after numerous polls showed Hamas winning the elections. The decision to limit the elections to West Bank residents only took place one day after the elections were postponed. Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah stated that the decision was made as “a commitment to the general interest of the people.”

The delay was rejected by Hamas spokesman for the terrorist organization, Sami Abu Zuhri, stating on the decision “Hamas rejects the court’s decision that divides the Palestinian people and will consult with other factions on how to confront it.”

The Palestinians have not held elections in over a decade, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas deciding earlier this year to hold elections and allow both Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to vote on the same day.

In June of 2015, the Palestinian unity government between Fatah and Hamas resigned following reports that Hamas was in indirect talks with Israel following Operation Protective Edge. The unity government was formed in April 2014, cutting then US-mediated peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians in its last of four stages.

Republican Senators call on Obama to cut ties with UNESCO

Following two resolutions passed denying Jewish & Christian ties to Jerusalem and Temple Mount, Republican Senators submit letter to Obama Administration urging “administration to join Israel in suspending ties to UNESCO”

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Republican Senators have sent a letter to the Obama Administration calling on President Obama to cut ties with the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) as the organization continues its anti-Israel agenda.

The letter comes after numerous attempts by Republican leadership to divest support and cooperation with UNESCO after the organization passed two resolutions, one of which was ratified last week, which deny Jewish and Christian ties to Jerusalem, specifically the Temple Mount. The resolutions refer to the Temple Mount only by its Muslim name, and claims the most important and holiest location for Jews is only holy to Muslims.

The letter sent to the Obama Administration was written by Senators David Perdue, Johnny Isakson, Mark Kirk and Marco Rubio and submitted on Thursday. It reads:

“Recent UNESCO resolutions that deny Jewish and Christian ties to holy sites in Jerusalem not only reinforces the necessity of withholding American funding from this counterproductive UN organization, but also call into question future U.S. membership in UNESCO

Given that U.S. law already forbids American taxpayer money going to UNESCO, we urge your administration to join Israel in suspending ties to UNESCO.

In 1984, the U.S. severed ties with UNESCO due to disparities between American foreign policy goals and UNESCO’s agenda. Because UNESCO continues to deviate from its founding mission and adopt one-sided, anti-Israel resolutions, it is time for the U.S. to stand with Israel and suspend our ties with UNESCO.”

Israel recalled its ambassador to UNESCO on Wednesday after UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee passed a second resolution in two weeks time denying Jewish history and ties to the Temple Mount. A reported 10 states of 21 voted in favor to adopting the “Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls” resolution, with 8 abstaining and two opposing.

Prime Minister Netanyahu responded harshly to UNESCO, stating “It is UNESCO that deserves condemnation not only for its present blindness but for its past blindness as well. That scandalous decision, the scandal that they decided upon two weeks ago, to the effect that the Jewish People have no connection to the Temple Mount, or to Jerusalem at all, is contradicted by the Bible and the entire historical record.”

 

Netanyahu on UNESCO: This absurdity will end as Israel’s strength grows and expands

Prime Minister speaks to university students, addresses UNESCO resolution passed Wednesday

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Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed UNESCO’s second anti-Israel resolution passed in a two week period of time. He spoke of UNESCO’s “blindness” while it attempts to change history- “history which is contradicted by the Bible and the entire historical record”.

Netanyahu’s full speech:

Today, the UNESCO Heritage Committee passed a decision which caused disappointment among the Palestinians and several Arab countries. It was supposed to be passed unanimously, by consensus, because the UNESCO Secretary General said that if it was not passed unanimously, then the decision would not be implemented. I would like to thank the leaders of Tanzania and Croatia for demanding a vote. I spoke with them and I very much appreciate their willingness to take a stand there. Because it reached a vote, it will not be implemented, because it was not unanimous.

Eleven out of the 21 countries that are members of the Heritage Committee, as they call it, did not support the vote. For Israel, this is a significant result because one year ago, with a membership that was much more comfortable for us, we received a result that was not as good. Countries such as Germany, Japan, India and Colombia left and all kinds of other countries, which are familiar to you entered: Lebanon, more Arab countries, Angola, Zimbabwe, etc., etc., and with a membership that was not as good we came out with a better result. This advances what I have been telling you, and what I told the UN, is happening, that Israel’s bilateral relations will also – in the end – be reflected in international forums even though this will take time. It takes time and a little help from above. I said that it would take ten years, in my mind less than ten years, to break the automatic majority in UN institutions, especially of the bloc of African countries, 54 countries. The decisive majority will go from opposing Israel to supporting Israel. This process is happening and it is also expressed in today’s vote. The change that is taking place is finding expression here. I would like to thank the personnel at the Foreign Ministry, the National Security Council and our UNESCO embassy, who assisted me in my talks with the various leaders.

Of course, we are trying to change the reality but, even so, the fact that even if this decision will not be implemented, it was raised at UNESCO. This absurdity that we, pay attention, Israel in the Middle East, that it is we who are violating the rights of the various religions, that it is we who are not safeguarding the holy places. Is it possible to conceive of anything more absurd? We are not safeguarding? We are the only ones who are scrupulously, carefully and zealously safeguarding. Who would do so if not us? We all know that is happening here in the Middle East as radical Islam blows up mosques, blows up churches, blows up historic sites, slaughters Yazidis, slaughters Muslims who do not agree with them, slaughters Christians, slaughters whoever it can. Who is deserving of condemnation? Certainly not Israel. Israel deserves all possible praise on this issue, as a beacon of light and progress, tolerance and rights.

It is UNESCO that deserves condemnation not only for its present blindness but for its past blindness as well. That scandalous decision, the scandal that they decided upon two weeks ago, to the effect that the Jewish People have no connection to the Temple Mount, or to Jerusalem at all, is contradicted by the Bible and the entire historical record. Did you know that Titus was a Zionist propagandist? On the Arch they are carrying, 2,000 years ago, after they destroyed the Temple, it was not a mosque. Islam had not yet been founded; that would take several hundred good years. They are carrying the seven-branched menorah, that you know. And the member states of UNESCO also know it.

But this distortion, that plasters over the whole notion of historical truth, of history in general, this distortion was covered over by another historical find that was made public today by the Israel Antiquities Authority. This was a document or receipt that was sent over 2,700 years ago from Na’arah, near Jerusalem, and it says in ancient Hebrew, and this is the critical word, but you can see it in Hebrew ‘From the king’s maidservant, from Na’arat, jars of wine, to Jerusalem’. Here is a letter from the past to UNESCO. It is written Yerushalima. It explains – in Hebrew – our connection to Jerusalem and the centrality of Jerusalem. A servant of the king, certainly a King of Judah. It is from over 2,700 years ago – Jerusalem. In neither Arabic, Aramaic, Greek nor Latin – in Hebrew.

And indeed this absurdity in the theater of the absurd continues, even if with reduced force. Therefore, I have decided to summon home for consultations our Ambassador to UNESCO and we will decide what to do, what our future steps will be vis-à-vis this organization. But it must be understood that in the end, and it will take time, this absurdity that hurts not only historical truth and present truth, but also – in my view – hurts the UN itself, this absurdity will end as Israel’s strength grows and expands.”

UNESCO passes second resolution ignoring Jewish ties to Jerusalem

PM recalls ambassador to UNESCO after resolution passes Wednesday; PA praises resolution, claims resolutions “preserve the status quo of historical holy sites”

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UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee voted in a second resolution Wednesday that cuts Jewish and Christian ties to Jerusalem, specifically the Temple Mount.

A reported 10 states of 21 voted in favor to adopting the “Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls” resolution, with 8 abstaining and two opposing. The vote was held by secret ballot as requested by both Tanzania and Croatia. Burkina Faso, Croatia, Finland, Peru, Poland, Portugal, South Korea and Zimbabwe abstained.

Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed the second anti-Israel resolution passed by UNESCO this month while speaking to university students in Herzelia, confirming that Israel has recalled its ambassador to UNESCO, Carmel Shama-HaCohen. He stated “I have decided to summon home for consultations our Ambassador to UNESCO and we will decide what to do, what our future steps will be vis-à-vis this organization. But it must be understood that in the end, and it will take time, this absurdity that hurts not only historical truth and present truth, but also – in my view – hurts the UN itself, this absurdity will end as Israel’s strength grows and expands.”

Shama-HaCohen stated on their recall “This is a necessary step. The motive is the need to rethink and reevaluate our relations with UNESCO given the persistent persecution of Israel and the Jewish people… The Palestinians and the Arab states were sure the resolution would be adopted by consensus [rather than by a secret ballot], but their request was denied and only Islamic states, as well as Cuba and Vietnam, stood by their side,” referring to Palestinian and Jordanian lobbying efforts in world organizations and institutions, mainly the United Nations.

The Palestinian Authority praised the resolution, Secretary-General of the Palestinian Liberation Organization and leading PA negotiator Saeb Erekat claiming that such resolutions “preserve the status quo of historical holy sites”. He stated that “The State of Palestine, in full cooperation with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, through diplomatic channels, has been doing everything possible in order to preserve the status quo of the historical holy sites. Israel’s illegal attempts to change the identity of occupied east Jerusalem, including its Christian and Muslim traditions, have been ongoing since its occupation of the city in 1967…Through an orchestrated campaign, Israel has been using archeological claims and distortion of facts as a way to legitimize the annexation of occupied east Jerusalem.”

 

 

Russia unveils ‘Satan 2’ intercontinental ballistic missile

Photos of nuclear capable missile released Wednesday; Missile an “assured and effective nuclear deterrent for Russia’s strategic forces”

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Russia released footage of its newly developed “Satan 2”, a RS-28 Sarmat intercontinental missile, the creation of the missile to provide an “assured and effective nuclear deterrent for Russia’s strategic forces”.

The images of the Sarmat warhead were made public by Russia’s Makeyev Rocket Design Bureay and included the following description “In accordance with the Decree of the Russian Government ‘On the State Defense Order for 2010 and the planning period 2012-2013’, the Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau was instructed to start design and development work on the Sarmat. In June 2011, the Russian Ministry of Defense signed a state contract for the Sarmat’s development. The prospective strategic missile system is being developed in order to create an assured and effective nuclear deterrent for Russia’s strategic forces.”

Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov boasted on the warhead’s capabilities, reportedly stating that “Satan 2” can destroy targets “flying across both North and South Poles”. Russian media outlet Sputnik described the rocket’s capabilities as “capable of wiping out parts of the earth the size of Texas or France.”

The weapon has been developed in coordination between Russia’s military and the Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau and will reportedly go into service in 2018. It reportedly has a range of close to 7,000 miles and can travel up to four kilometers per second. It is the successor of the R-36M Voyevoda which has capabilities of carrying 16 nuclear warheads.