Reports claim Trump to address US Embassy move to Jerusalem

Various media reports claim President Trump to address embassy move; Pence: President Trump is actively considering when and how to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Nov. 30, 2017.

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Media reports and White House officials reported that President Trump is to announce the Unites States’ official recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, as well as address moving the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

The reports claim President Trump is actively seeking ways to not sign a second waiver on the Jerusalem Embassy Act, a law passed in 1995 to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The law can be bypassed if waived by the President every six months.

The reports follow recent developments, including a speech given by US Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday during the “Israel’s Mission to the United Nations” event, celebrating the 70 years since the United Nations Partition Plan, a vote to establish an independent, Jewish state. Pence stated “And while for the past 20 years, Congress and successive administrations have expressed a willingness to move our embassy… President Trump is actively considering when and how to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.”

He also addressed the peace process, stating “As the President has made clear, our administration is also committed to finally bringing peace to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” confirming the United States unwavering support for Israel, and that “[We] will never compromise the safety and security of the Jewish State of Israel.”

Press Secretary for the White House, Sarah Sanders, when asked if the reports were true Wednesday responded, “This is a premature report. We have nothing to announce.”

In January of this year, President Trump signed a waiver to the Jerusalem Embassy Act, the White House stating at the time “While President Donald J. Trump signed the waiver under the Jerusalem Embassy Act and delayed moving the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, no one should consider this step to be in any way a retreat from the President’s strong support for Israel and for the United States-Israel alliance. President Trump made this decision to maximize the chances of successfully negotiating a deal between Israel and the Palestinians, fulfilling his solemn obligation to defend America’s national security interests. But, as he has repeatedly stated his intention to move the embassy, the question is not if that move happens, but only when.”

 

 

Photo: Trump & Netanyahu in NYC, 2016

 

Kerry: Israel, Saudi Arabia & Egypt pushed USA to bomb Iran

Kerry reports that Israel, S. Arabia and Egypt all pushed USA to bomb Iran ahead of nuclear deal; Countries called on Obama to bomb Iran as “that is the only thing they understand and that is the only way you will stop them having a nuclear weapon,” Nov. 29, 2017.

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Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry claimed that Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt pushed the Obama Administration to bomb Iran ahead of the 2015 nuclear deal.

Speaking at a the Ignatius Forum in Washington Tuesday, Kerry spoke at length on the nuclear deal, defending it and additionally claiming that both Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt pushed the United States to bomb Iran. Kerry, who met with Prime Minister Netanyahu, former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, all leaders calling for military action on Iran’s nuclear program.

Kerry stated, “Every leader I met with in the region including Mubarak, personally, to my face, said ‘You have to bomb Iran, that is the only thing they understand and that is the only way you will stop them having a nuclear weapon.” He them claimed “I guarantee you, once you bomb the country, you have surely given them a good reason to want to have a weapon.” He specifically mentioned that “Prime Minister Netanyahu was urging President Obama to bomb Iran.”

Two years into the nuclear agreement, Iran continues to violate UN Security Council resolutions and the nuclear deal, building up its ballistic missile program. Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), however, claimed that Iran is fulfilling its obligations under the nuclear deal, stating last month that “The IAEA can state that such nuclear-related commitments are being implemented. I requested that Iran fully implement the nuclear-related commitments… Regarding the activities by our inspectors, they are discharging their responsibility without problem.”

Iran claims its nuclear and missile programs are for defense and scientific purposes only.

 

Photo: Kerry at Chatham House, London, 2017

Netanyahu to meet with 10 African leaders in Nairobi Tuesday

PM en route to Kenya to attend inauguration of President Kenyatta; Netanyahu scheduled to meet with 10 African leaders in one day, Nov. 28, 2017.

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Prime Minister Netanyahu left for Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday morning for his third diplomatic visit to Africa in the past year and a half.

Netanyahu will attend the inauguration of President Uhuru Kenyatta and is scheduled to meet with leaders from 10 African states in one day’s time.

Before leaving Tuesday morning, Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed the press stating “I am now leaving for my third visit to Africa within a year-and-a-half. I will meet with newly re-elected Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and with ten African officials. Our intention is to deepen ties with Africa by also forging links with countries that we do not have diplomatic relations with. Legations from four African countries have opened in Israel in the past two years, and I hope that by the end of the year I will be able to announce the opening of a new Israeli embassy in an African country, and the hand is still extended.”

Netanyahu first visited Africa as prime minister in July of 2016, visiting Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda. His delegation included 80 businessmen and women and diplomats who met with heads of state and African officials. The prime minister met with a total of seven heads of state during a summit of the Africa Union, reporting following “Both during this visit and afterwards, we are receiving calls from other countries, some of which we do not have relations with, that they want to enhance relations. That is to say, there is a certain process here that is advancing toward the enhancement and normalization of our ties with African countries.”

The prime minister then met with 15 African leaders during the United Nations General Assembly in 2016, including the presidents of Benin, Central Africa Republic, Ivory Coast, Rwanda, Tonga and Uganda, as well as the Prime Minister of Sot and of Swaziland and with officials from Burundi, Cameroon, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya and Sudan.

In June of this year, Prime Minister Netanyahu traveled to Liberia, making history as the first non-Africa leader to be invited to attend and address the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS). He signed numerous agreements and held meetings with several African leaders.

 

Photo: Netanyahu in Uganda, PM Facebook, 2016.

Russian airstrikes in Syria Sunday killed 53 civilians

Russian strikes on Islamic State stronghold Deir Az Zor hit residential building, killing 53 civilians; Strikes following Russian, Iranian and Turkish claim that new political process to begin given military success, Nov. 27, 2017.

Airstrike_in_Bidama,_west_of_Idlib

 

The Russian military carried out airstrikes in Syria Sunday morning killing 53 civilians according to initial reports.

The airstrike targeted Deir Az Zor, one of the Islamic State’s last strongholds in Syria. According to Arab media and human rights organization reports, the strikes hit a residential building, killing 53 civilians, 21 of which were children.

A reported 25 were killed in shelling between Syrian army and opposition forces in Hougta outside of Damascus on Sunday, reports claiming a total of over 80 civilian deaths on Sunday alone.

The Russian military continues its efforts in support of Assad’s regime, the strikes following multiple meetings between Russian, Turkish and Iranian officials, as well as a meeting between President Putin and President Assad in Sochi last Tuesday.

Russia, Iran and Turkey reported the start of a political process for resolving the Syrian conflict, claiming military success in fighting “terrorists”. The leaders claimed the new political process would include “broad intra-Syrian dialogue involving representatives of all segments of Syrian society” and that “Iran, Russia and Turkey would have а positive effect on the overall situation in the region, and reduce the risk of ethnic and sectarian divide.”

They claim that “Iran, Russia and Turkey would have а positive effect on the overall situation in the region, and reduce the risk of ethnic and sectarian divide.”

The tripartite summit leaders called on the international community to “support the process of de-escalation and stabilization in Syria… by sending additional aid to the Syrian people, facilitating the humanitarian mine action, preserving historical heritage, and restoring basic infrastructure assets, including social and economic facilities.”

 

Photo: Airstrikes in Syria, 2017.

Israel’s security cabinet to meet on Iranian threat in Syria, Lebanon

Cabinet to meet Monday to address Iranian forces in de-escalation zone; Arab media reports Netanyahu offered Assad demilitarization deal in Golan Heights, reportedly related to Putin-Assad meeting last Tuesday; PM Hariri: Lebanon will not accept Iran/Hezbollah positions which target security and stability of neighboring countries, Nov. 26, 2017.

Netanyahu at Sunday cabinet meeting (Eli Mandelbaum)

Israel’s Security Cabinet will hold a meeting on the threat Iran and Hezbollah poses on Israel’s borders in Syria and Lebanon Monday morning.

Recent reports in Israeli and Arab media claim that Prime Minister Netanyahu informed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that Israel would not intervene in Syria if Iran’s forces were removed in the de-escalation zones, up to 40 kilometers from Israel’s borders. Assad reportedly relayed the information to Putin during their unannounced meeting in Russia last week.

Putin announced following his meeting Tuesday with Assad that he would inform several heads of states in the region, including Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, as well as the United States, on significant developments from their meeting.

Lebanon’s Prime Minister, Saad Hariri, also denounced “Iran-backed Hezbollah” positions that “affect our Arab brothers or target the security and stability of their countries.” Hariri’s office released the statement over the weekend after Hariri reversed his resignation as prime minister and returned to Lebanon last week.

Following a summit on Syria hosted by Putin in Russia with the presidents of Turkey and Iran this weekend, the leaders declared the end of its military efforts in Syria and beginning of a “political solution” for Syria. The presidents confirmed they would continue with their “coordinated efforts to ensure that the progress in reduction of violence is irreversible,” and that their efforts would assist “restoring unity of the country” and “achieving а political solution of the crisis through an inclusive, free, fair and transparent Syrian-led and Syrian-owned process.”

It claimed its ceasefire agreements and recent de-escalation zones have been a success in combatting to the end of “terrorist organizations as designated by the UNSC [United Nations Security Council].”

Israel has made clear that the de-escalation zones do not meet its security requirements and places the Jewish State under threat, security and political officials clarifying that Israel will continue to act in order to defend itself against Iran, Hezbollah and Islamic extremists groups in the region.

Be sure to watch Amir’s recent update from Israel’s border with Syria.

 

Photo: PM Netanyahu, 2015