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Joint Statement by Trump Israel Advisory Committee

The Times of Israel reports that U.S. voters in Israel polled as the U.S. election nears now favor Trump over Clinton by 49 to 44 per cent of those responding.

One reason may be this Joint Statement from Jason Dov Greenblatt and David Friedman co-chairs of the Israel Advisory Committee. It presents a solid program of support for Israel in contrast to what we have posted on Obama’s lame duck strategy of seeking the UN Security to sanction Israel for building towns in Judea and Samaria and other initiatives to eviscerate Israel’s eternal capital of Jerusalem.

Note what the Greenblatt Friedman Statement offers in the way of constructive commitments to support America’s only democratic ally in the troubled Middle East. Then ask yourself what Hillary Clinton has put out in the way of something as substantive as this sealing the US commitment for the Jewish nation.

Note what the statement contains:

· The unbreakable bond between the United States and Israel is based upon shared values of democracy, freedom of speech, respect for minorities, cherishing life, and the opportunity for all citizens to pursue their dreams.

· Israel is the state of the Jewish people, who have lived in that land for 3,500 years. The State of Israel was founded with courage and determination by great men and women against enormous odds and is an inspiration to people everywhere who value freedom and human dignity.

· Israel is a staunch ally of the U.S. and a key partner in the global war against Islamic jihadism. Military cooperation and coordination between Israel and the U.S. must continue to grow.

· The American people value our close friendship and alliance with Israel — culturally, religiously, and politically. While other nations have required U.S. troops to defend them, Israelis have always defended their own country by themselves and only ask for military equipment assistance and diplomatic support to do so. The U.S. does not need to nation-build in Israel or send troops to defend Israel.

· The Memorandum of Understanding signed by the American and Israeli Governments is a good first step, but there is much more to be done. A Trump Administration will ensure that Israel receives maximum military, strategic and tactical cooperation from the United States, and the MOU will not limit the support that we give. Further, Congress will not be limited to give support greater than that provided by the MOU if it chooses to do so. Israel and the United States benefit tremendously from what each country brings to the table — the relationship is a two way street.

· The U.S. should veto any United Nations votes that unfairly single out Israel and will work in international institutions and forums, including in our relations with the European Union, to oppose efforts to delegitimize Israel, impose discriminatory double standards against Israel, or to impose special labeling requirements on Israeli products or boycotts on Israeli goods.

· The U.S. should cut off funds for the UN Human Rights Council, a body dominated by countries presently run by dictatorships that seems solely devoted to slandering the Jewish State. UNESCO’s attempt to disconnect the State of Israel from Jerusalem is a one-sided attempt to ignore Israel’s 3,000-year bond to its capital city, and is further evidence of the enormous anti-Israel bias of the United Nations.

· The U.S. should view the effort to boycott, divest from, and sanction (BDS) Israel as inherently anti-Semitic and take strong measures, both diplomatic and legislative, to thwart actions that are intended to limit commercial relations with Israel, or persons or entities doing business in Israeli areas, in a discriminatory manner. The BDS movement is just another attempt by the Palestinians to avoid having to commit to a peaceful co-existence with Israel. The false notion that Israel is an occupier should be rejected.

· The Trump administration will ask the Justice Department to investigate coordinated attempts on college campuses to intimidate students who support Israel.

· A two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians appears impossible as long as the Palestinians are unwilling to renounce violence against Israel or recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. Additionally, the Palestinians are divided between PA rule in the West Bank and Hamas rule in Gaza so there is not a united Palestinian people who could control a second state. Hamas is a US-designated terrorist organization that actively seeks Israel’s destruction. We will seek to assist the Israelis and the Palestinians in reaching a comprehensive and lasting peace, to be freely and fairly negotiated between those living in the region.

· The Palestinian leadership, including the PA, has undermined any chance for peace with Israel by raising generations of Palestinian children on an educational program of hatred of Israel and Jews. The larger Palestinian society is regularly taught such hatred on Palestinian television, in the Palestinian press, in entertainment media, and in political and religious communications. The two major Palestinian political parties — Hamas and Fatah — regularly promote anti-Semitism and jihad.

· The U.S. cannot support the creation of a new state where terrorism is financially incentivized, terrorists are celebrated by political parties and government institutions, and the corrupt diversion of foreign aid is rampant. The U.S. should not support the creation of a state that forbids the presence of Christian or Jewish citizens, or that discriminates against people on the basis of religion.

· The U.S. should support direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians without preconditions, and will oppose all Palestinian, European and other efforts to bypass direct negotiations between parties in favor of an imposed settlement. Any solutions imposed on Israel by outside parties including by the United Nations Security Council, should be opposed. We support Israel’s right and obligation to defend itself against terror attacks upon its people and against alternative forms of warfare being waged upon it legally, economically, culturally, and otherwise.

· Israel’s maintenance of defensible borders that preserve peace and promote stability in the region is a necessity. Pressure should not be put on Israel to withdraw to borders that make attacks and conflict more likely.

· The U.S. will recognize Jerusalem as the eternal and indivisible capital of the Jewish state and Mr. Trump’s Administration will move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.

· Despite the Iran Nuclear deal in 2015, the U.S. State Department recently designated Iran, yet again, as the leading state sponsor of terrorism — putting the Middle East particularly, but the whole world at risk by financing, arming, and training terrorist groups operating around the world including Hamas, Hezbollah, and forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The U.S. must counteract Iran’s ongoing violations of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action regarding Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons and their noncompliance with past and present sanctions, as well as the agreements they signed, and implement tough, new sanctions when needed to protect the world and Iran’s neighbors from its continuing nuclear and non-nuclear threats.

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY): My Position on the Iran Deal

Three days ago, New York Democrat Senator Charles E. Schumer ended his silence on his position regarding the President’s promotion of the Iran nuclear pact under the JCPOA announced on July 14th  and uanaimously endorsed by the UN Security Council on  July 22nd.  Congress has held hearings that have highlighted both Administration arguments for the pact’s adoption ,as well as, arguments and evidence of its serious deficiencies.  We commend this Medium publication of  Senator  Schumer’s statement:

He has thoughtfully responded to the swirl of issues surrounding the Iran nuclear pact that the President and his negotiating team incorrectly suggest represents is the best alternative to their contention the only other option being war.

Schumer goes through the nuclear and non-nuclear issues, questions the fundamental assumption that the leadership of theocratic totalitarian Iran could change and decease from active funding and support of state sponsored terrorism via proxies in the region and globally. While granting a measure of commendation for President Obama’s and Secretary Kerry’s efforts to pursue diplomacy with world powers to reign in Iran’s objective of industrial nuclearization of weapons and development of weapons that might be used in a conventional military strike on Iran’s infrastructure, he suggests that the answers he has secured through his due diligence lead him to one conclusion; he will vote yes to a Congressional resolution rejecting the JCPOA in mid-September after Congress reconvenes.

But more than that he suggests that there is a better way by maintaining sanctions along with those of our allies and bringing Iran back to the table to negotiate better terms, perhaps relying on Congress as the proverbial “bad cop” to cut off appeasement of incessant concession demands of the Supreme Leader and hard line IRGC commanders who control the country’s economy and what passes for its parliament, the majlis.

Here are his conclusions:

But if one feels that Iranian leaders will not moderate and their unstated but very real goal is to get relief from the onerous sanctions, while still retaining their nuclear ambitions and their ability to increase belligerent activities in the Middle East and elsewhere, then one should conclude that it would be better not to approve this agreement.

Admittedly, no one can tell with certainty which way Iran will go. It is true that Iran has a large number of people who want their government to decrease its isolation from the world and focus on economic advancement at home. But it is also true that this desire has been evident in Iran for thirty-five years, yet the Iranian leaders have held a tight and undiminished grip on Iran, successfully maintaining their brutal, theocratic dictatorship with little threat. Who’s to say this dictatorship will not prevail for another ten, twenty, or thirty years?

To me, the very real risk that Iran will not moderate and will, instead, use the agreement to pursue its nefarious goals is too great.

Therefore, I will vote to disapprove the agreement, not because I believe war is a viable or desirable option, nor to challenge the path of diplomacy. It is because I believe Iran will not change, and under this agreement it will be able to achieve its dual goals of eliminating sanctions while ultimately retaining its nuclear and non-nuclear power. Better to keep U.S. sanctions in place, strengthen them, enforce secondary sanctions on other nations, and pursue the hard-trodden path of diplomacy once more, difficult as it may be.

For all of these reasons, I believe the vote to disapprove is the right one.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.