Tag Archives: congress

A friend of Israel doesn’t boycott

Is your Senator / Congressman a friend of Israel?

Boycotting Israel has been for decades – and still is – high on the agenda of the enemies of Israel.

Refuse to finance the occupation – Boycott Israel
“Refuse to finance the occupation – Boycott Israel” – a Swedish poster calls for a boycott of Israel

Since Israel was established in 1948, the Arab League implemented a broad boycott of Israel,* prohibiting direct trade between Israel and the Arab nations, prohibiting doing business with companies that do business with Israel, and blacklisting firms that trade with other companies that do business with Israel.

The Arab League is no friend of Israel.

 

United Nations General Assembly hall
United Nations General Assembly hall

Year after year, Arab delegations to the United Nations walk out upon the Israeli ambassador delivering Israel’s message to the General Assembly.

These Arab states are not friends of Israel.

 

Boycott, Divest, Sanction demonstration against Israel
Boycott, Divest, Sanction demonstration against Israel

In 2005, Palestinian organizations launched the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in an attempt to exert pressure on Israel to end the “Israeli occupation and colonization of Palestinian land,” and to pressure Israel to “respect the right of return of Palestinian refugees to Israel.”

Palestinians are not friends of Israel.

 

In January 2007, the South African Food and Allied Workers’ Union (FAWU) called on national supermarket chains to stop importing avocado from Israel, ultimately leading to the banning of all imports from the Jewish state. Katishi Masemola, secretary general of FAWU said, “We haven’t made the call to impose sanctions against Israel yet, but we are moving there. It’s just a matter of months.”

The FAWU is not a friend of Israel.

 

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of Turkey
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of Turkey

In February 2015, Turkey pulled out of the Munich security conference, announcing it will not attend because Israeli officials were invited.

Turkey is no friend of Israel.

 

Durban University
Durban University

In February 2015, Israel boycott activists in the Student Representative Council and Progressive Youth Alliance at South Africa’s Durban University of Technology called for their school to expel its Jewish students, especially those who do not support the Palestinian struggle.

These students are no friend of Israel.

 

To this day, at least 32 nations around the world do not recognize the existence of Israel. These countries include Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei, Chad, Comoros, Cuba, Djibouti, Guinea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Morocco, Niger, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

These countries are no friend of Israel.

 

In mid-January 2015, the United States Speaker of the House of Representatives invited the Prime Minister of Israel to address Congress about Iran’s nuclear program. The Prime Minister accepted the invitation and delivered remarks to a joint session of Congress on March 3rd 2015.

Natanyahu's speech to Congress, March 2015

A number of Senators and Congressmen boycotted the speech, some claiming to be upset that the Speaker may have violated protocol or blindsided the Administration with the invitation. They took their anger out on the Prime Minister with this boycott. 

Others made the claim that this speech would somehow help the Prime Minister in his reelection campaign – in spite of the fact that the arguments regarding Iran’s nuclear program that he was expected to reiterate in the speech  are ones on which there is national unity in Israel, with all major Israeli opposition parties in agreement on. To avoid ‘interfering in Israeli elections,’ however, these US Senators and Congressmen boycotted the speech.

Playing into the hands of Israel’s enemies with this boycott, can you honestly call the following Senators and Congressmen (who went on to boycott Israel’s Prime Minister) a ‘friend of Israel?’

Vice President Joe Biden (Democrat)

Sen. Al Franken (Democrat, Minn.)
Sen. Martin Heinrich (Democrat, N.M.)
Sen. Tim Kaine (Democrat, VA)
Sen. Patrick Leahy (Democrat, VT)
Sen. Bernie Sanders (Independent, VT)
Sen. Brian Schatz (Democrat, Hawaii)
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Democrat, Mass.)
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (Democrat, R.I.)

Rep. Karen Bass (Democrat, Calif.)
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (Democrat, Ore.)
Rep. Corrine Brown (Democrat, Fla.)
Rep. G.K. Butterfield (Democrat, N.C.)
Rep. Lois Capps (Democrat, Calif.)
Rep. André Carson (Democrat, Ind.)
Rep. Joaquin Castro (Democrat, Texas)
Rep. Katherine Clark (Democrat, Mass.)
Rep. Lacy Clay (Democrat, Mo.)
Rep. James Clyburn (Democrat, S.C.)
Rep. Steve Cohen (Democrat, Tenn.)
Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (Democrat, New Jersey)
Rep. John Conyers (Democrat, Michigan)
Rep. Danny K. Davis (Democrat, Ill.)
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (Democrat, Conn.)
Rep. Peter DeFazio (Democrat, Ore.)
Rep. Diana DeGette (Democrat, Colo.)
Rep. Lloyd Doggett (Democrat, Texas)
Rep. Donna Edwards (Democrat, MD.)
Rep. Keith Ellison (Democrat, Minn.)
Rep. Chaka Fattah (Democrat, Pennsylvania)
Rep. Martha Fudge (Democrat, Ohio)
Rep. Raúl Grijalva (Democrat, Ariz.)
Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (Democrat, Ill.)
Rep. Denny Heck (Democrat, Washington)
Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (Democrat, Texas)
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (Democrat, Texas)
Rep. Walter Jones (Republican, N.C.)
Rep. Marcy Kaptur (Democrat, Ohio)
Rep. Rick Larsen (Democrat, Wash.)
Rep. Barbara Lee (Democrat, Calif)
Rep. John Lewis (Democrat, Ga.)
Rep. Dave Loebsack (Democrat, Iowa)
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (Democrat, Calif.)
Rep. Betty McCollum (Democrat, Minn.)
Rep. Jim McDermott (Democrat, Wash.)
Rep. Jim McGovern (Democrat, Mass.)
Rep. Jerry McNerney (Democrat, Calif.)
Rep. Gregory Meeks (Democrat, N.Y.)
Rep. Gwen Moore (Democrat, Wisconsin)
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (Democrat, D.C.)
Rep. Beto O’Rourke (Democrat, Texas)
Rep. Chellie Pingree (Democrat, Maine)
Rep. David E. Price (Democrat, N.C.)
Rep. Cedric Richmond (Democrat, La.)
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (Democrat, Ill.)
Rep. Bennie Thompson (Democrat, Miss.)
Rep. Mike Thompson (Democrat, California)
Rep. John Yarmouth (Democrat, Ky.)

Total: 58
56 Democrats
1 Republican
1 Independent
1 Vice President (President of the Senate)
8 Senators
49 Members of the House of Representatives

Bad deal? Netanyahu’s not alone!

Who else agrees with Netanyahu that the emerging nuclear deal with Iran is a bad deal?

Netanyahu’s address to a joint session of Congress on March 3, 2015 laid bare dramatic gaps between his Israeli government and the Obama administration regarding Iran.

Netanyahu’s message to Congress was that a deal, in its current formation, would constitute a historic mistake.

The policy disagreement has resulted in what experts say is the greatest chasm between Washington and Jerusalem in decades.

Natanyahu's speech to Congress, March 2015

After Netanyahu’s address on March 3, 2015, publication A ran an article by Mr. A, the editor-in-chief of its English website titled “President Obama, listen to Netanyahu on Iran.”

Faisal J. AbbasMr. A wrote: “…one must admit, Bibi [referencing Netanyahu by his nick name] did get it right, at least when it came to dealing with Iran.”

“The Israeli PM managed to hit the nail right on the head when he said that Middle Eastern countries are collapsing and that “terror organizations, mostly backed by Iran, are filling in the vacuum” wrote Mr. A.

“In just a few words, Mr. Netanyahu managed to accurately summarize a clear and present danger, not just to Israel (which obviously is his concern), but to other U.S. allies in the region”.

“What is absurd, however, is that despite this being perhaps the only thing that brings together [these two peoples*] (as it threatens them all), the only stakeholder that seems not to realize the danger of the situation is President Obama, who is now infamous for being the latest pen-pal of the Supreme Leader of the World’s biggest terrorist regime: Ayatollah Ali Khamenei [referring to the supreme leader of Iran] (although, the latter never seems to write back!)” wrote Mr. A


Netanyahu's address to Congress, March 3, 2015
Netanyahu’s address to Congress, March 3, 2015.

In a separate article published one day prior to Netanyahu’s speech in publication B that was reported on by MEMRI (the Middle East Media Research Institute), columnist Mr. B supported Netanyahu’s decision to speak at the US Congress against a nuclear deal with Iran.

“I will conclude by saying the following: Since Obama is the godfather of the prefabricated revolutions in the Arab world, and since he is the ally of political Islam, [which is] the caring mother of [all] the terrorist organizations, and since he is working to sign an agreement with Iran that will come at the expense of the US’s longtime allies in the Gulf…” said Mr. B, “I am very glad of Netanyahu’s firm stance and [his decision] to speak against the nuclear agreement at the American Congress despite the Obama administration’s anger and fury”. Mr. B went on to conclude, “I believe that Netanyahu’s conduct will serve our interests, the people of the Gulf, much more than the foolish behavior of one of the worst American presidents.” 


Publication A is the Saudi Al Arabiya and Mr. A is Faisal J. Abbas, the Editor-in-Chief of its English website.

Publication B is the Saudi daily Al-Jazirah and Mr. B is its columnist Dr. Ahmad Al-Faraj.

Newspapers in Saudi Arabia are subsidized and regulated by the government. The “Basic Law” of the kingdom states that the media’s role is to educate and inspire national unity, consequently most popular grievances go unreported in Saudi Arabia. As of 2013, BBC news reports that criticism of the government and royal family and the questioning of Islamic tenets “are not generally tolerated. Self-censorship is pervasive.” As of 2014, Freedom House rates the kingdom’s press and internet “Not Free”.

Thus, you may correctly infer that the above ‘opinions’ are fully supported by the Saudi Arabia’s government.

*[these two peoples] was originally referred to by Mr. A as “Arabs and Israelis”.

We’ve averted the fiscal cliff – or have we?

Passed by the Senate at a 2 am vote on January 1, 2013; passed by the house at an 11 pm vote that same night; signed into law by the President on January 2, 2013, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 is perceived as a deal struck by congress at the eleventh hour that largely eliminated the Fiscal Cliff.

Has this legislation really averted the Fiscal Cliff?

The Fiscal Cliff is the sharp decline in the budget deficit that could have occurred beginning in 2013 due to increased taxes and reduced spending as required by previously enacted laws.

But the deal to avert the Fiscal Cliff doesn’t achieve any of that. Instead, it…

A) Does not reduce the Federal Government’s budget deficit

B) Does not avoid increased taxes

C) Does not reduce spending

A) The Fiscal Cliff deal does not reduce the budget deficit.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates the legislation to avert the Fiscal Cliff will reduce revenues and increase spending, overall adding nearly $4.0 trillion to the Government deficits over the next 10 years.

B) The Fiscal Cliff deal does not avoid increased taxes.

As a result of the deal, the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan Washington research group, estimates that taxes on 77.1% of U.S. households are going up in 2013.

Among the households facing higher taxes, the average increase in taxes would be $1,635, the Tax Policy Center said.

  1. The two-year old 2% cut to payroll taxes is being allowed to expire. The payroll tax, which was reduced to 4.2% in 2011 and 2012, returns to 6.2% in 2013. This is expected to take about $120 billion out of the economy, which should have a negative impact of about 0.7% on GDP growth.
  2. Marginal income and capital gains tax rates are increased for those with annual income over $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for couples. The top income rate is going up from 35% to 39.6%. The top capital gains rate increases from 15% to 20%.
  3. A phase-out of tax deductions and credits for incomes over $250,000 for individuals and $300,000 for couples is reinstated.
  4. Estate taxes are set at 40% of the value above $5,250,000, indexed for inflation, up from 35% of the value over $5,120,000.
  5. A 2.3% tax on gross sales of medical devices (such as heart valves and hip replacement parts – a tax firms making equipment must pay even if they have no profit at all.
  6. A new 3.8% surtax on investment income (possibly including profits from the sale of a home) for individuals making more than $200,000 a year or couples with $250,000 or more.
  7. An increase of Medicare tax on wages above $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples.  The current 2.9% Medicare payroll tax will be increased to a total of 3.8%.
  8. A raise in the threshold for allowed Itemized Medical Deductions from 7.5% of adjusted gross income to 10%, burdening those with the largest medical expenses by limiting how much of these costs they can deduct on their taxes.

C) The Fiscal Cliff deal does not reduce Government spending.

The budget sequestration created by the Budget Control Act of 2011 (the directed automatic across-the-board cuts totaling $110 billion per year for 10 years beginning on January 2, 2013, split evenly ($55 billion each) between defense and non-defense discretionary spending) is delayed by two months.

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 does include, however, over $67 billion in tax breaks for ‘renewable energy’, Hollywood, multinational corporations, Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands rum industry, NASCAR, plug-in electric scooters and others.