U.S. Senator Marco Rubio reaches for a water bottle along with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu.
“Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), the chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, called on Congress to impose “severe economic consequences” for the U.N.’s ‘irresponsible’ action. She said the United States should cut the $600 million in annual funding for the Palestinian Authority as well as any funding for U.N. agencies that recognize Palestine as a state.
“And Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) offered an amendment to the defense bill that would cut off the almost $600 million the United States pays in U.N. dues every year.
“And Canada recalled its top diplomats in Israel and the West Bank as well as its U.N. representatives in New York City and Geneva in protest.”
“The chairwoman of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Ileana Ros- Lehtinen (R-Florida), sent a letter – ahead of the annual Al-Qods Day marches in Europe on Saturday – to José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, urging the EU to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. European Hezbollah supporters play a key role in the marches.”
By John Podhoretz
While in Israel, Mitt Romney said something every sane person knows to be true: There is great cultural and political meaning in the fact that Israel has prospered while the Palestinians have festered.
“Culture,” Romney said, “makes all the difference … you notice a dramatic, stark difference in economic vitality.” He didn’t specify what he meant by “culture,” but you can take your pick.
You want a political culture that works to create conditions under which an economy can thrive? Since signing the Oslo Accords with the Palestinians, Israel has spent two decades working to unshackle its economy from its socialist roots, with remarkable results.
The Palestinians? They’ve created what the House Foreign Affairs Committee has called a “chronic kleptocracy,” with foreign aid and investment shamelessly stolen and diverted to the bank accounts of the leaders of the Palestinian Authority and its gangsterish local strongmen. According to Jim Zanotti of the Congressional Research Service, Uncle Sam has given the Palestinians $5 billion since 1994. We might as well have lit a match to most of it. It hasn’t gotten to the people who might’ve used it best; it’s simply served as personal financial lubricant for the folks in power.
You want a healthy social culture? The Middle East Media Research Institute has spent decades detailing the diseased messages emanating from Palestinian TV and textbooks, instructing children in the glories of suicide terrorism against innocent Israelis.
You want a culture where citizens are free to express themselves and so live in the openness necessary to the functioning of a successful economy? Israel has a free press, much of it openly hostile to the parties in power. The Palestinian Authority has arrested and tortured critical journalists, as well as conducted denial-of-service attacks against Web sites reporting on corruption.
And this doesn’t even take into account Hamas, the radical terror group in charge of Gaza. It, too, has lived parasitically, sucking the life out of the Palestinian economy.
In 1993, pre-Oslo, the GDP in the territories was $2.9 billion, according to the World Bank. In 2011, it was something like $10.5 billion — a small increase when you consider population growth. In Israel, the GDP has risen from $66 billion in 1993 to a stunning $243 billion in 2011 — per capita, from $12,500 to $31,000.
One reason Palestinian economic growth has been so disastrously slow is the terror war that Yasser Arafat launched against Israel in 2000 — the “second Intifada.” It shattered Israeli hopes for peaceful concert with a new neighboring country, and led to an economic estrangement that proved horribly costly to Palestinians. Israelis stopped employing Palestinian workers and stopped buying Palestinian goods. Transit and trade between the two became difficult and painful.
And whose fault was it? Israel, which agreed in principle to a deal at Camp David in 2000 granting Palestinians a state with sovereign dominion over nearly 94 percent of the West Bank? No, it was exclusively the doing of Arafat, who served as a reverse George Washington — rejecting nationhood for the violence he understood better.
So Romney said Israel has done better than the areas under Palestinian control because Israeli culture is healthier. That’s not only true, it’s a necessary thing to say — because the refusal to say it and accept it contributes to the continuing immiseration and unfreedom of the Palestinians themselves.
Of course, for saying this, Romney was called a “racist” by Saeb Erakat, the longtime slavering lackey of every Palestinian murderer and thief. Erakat blames “occupation” for Palestinian poverty. But the PA has dominion over almost all of the West Bank and Hamas has control over all of Gaza, so the word “occupation” is all but meaningless — except as shorthand for “Israel still holds Jerusalem.”
Erakat’s nonsense was to be expected. But what of how that repugnant lackey’s words were then shamefully echoed by slavering US media lackeys — of the Obama re-election effort?
Dan Amira in New York magazine spoke for much of the press corps with an item titled “Mitt Romney Insults Whole New International Populace.” He wrote: “After he enraged the British by suggesting that their Olympics might not be as awesome as his Olympics, Romney moved on to Israel, where he appeared to blame Palestinian poverty in part on … the territory’s inferior culture.”
It does have an inferior political culture. Romney spoke the truth. And it wasn’t a gaffe — because anyone who publicizes his remark is helping Romney win the election. Even those who foolishly think they’re hurting him.
“New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed into law new sanctions against Iran that prohibit public contracts with any company or person who invests in Iran’s energy and finance sectors.”
The Governor is an outspoken critic against the Iranian nuclear threat in the United States.
Another point for Mitt.
From The Hill:
Mitt Romney on Sunday declared Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel and said he would seek to move the U.S. embassy there from Tel Aviv as president if the Israeli government ascents.
“A nation has the capacity to choose its own capital city, and…
Former Defense Secretary Rumsfeld: Israel cannot trust Obama. Obama would likely betray Israel.
“Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) joined other senior Senate Democrats in expressing serious concerns about the leak, which detailed a cyberattack intended to hamper Iran’s nuclear program. Some Republicans argue the information was leaked to help President Obama’s reelection campaign.”
Senator John McCain (R-AZ) is seeking an investigative committee on President Obama’s leaks.
Bibi oft compares the Iranian threat of 2012 to 1948 and the Shoah. Is an analogy to 1967 more appropriate? Recent political maneuvers seems to say yes.
“Gelbman is running in the May 29 Republican Primary in Texas’s Sixth Congressional District, which is outside Dallas. He will face off against incumbent Joe Barton, who was first elected in 1984 and has never won reelection with less than 60 percent of the vote, and challenger Joe Chow. After Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly and the television show Inside Edition ran critical reports of Barton receiving a car paid for by taxpayers, Gelbman said he is confident he could beat him. One of his reasons for optimism is that voters in the heavily Evangelical Christian district like his connection to Israel.”
“The award given to controversial journalist Helen Thomas by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has sparked anger not only in Israel, but in the U.S. Congress as well. Two senior congressmen sent Abbas a letter denouncing the award and hinting that such a move may hurt U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority.”
“A new Iran sanctions bill hit a snag in the U.S. Senate yesterday with Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, placing a hold on it.”
“The Obama administration should walk away from the U.N. Human Rights Council, House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) said Thursday after the body adopted a fresh batch of resolutions critical of Israel.”
“The U.S. House of Representatives approved on Monday a bill that would add Israel to the list of countries eligible for non-immigrant investor visas in the United States. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) and approved by a unanimous 371-0 vote, would permit Israeli investors, who develop and direct the operations of a business, to live and work in the U.S., provided that they invest a substantial amount of capital in the country.”