Christian Coalition

 

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s priorities are not geared toward helping his people, but on maintaining his grip on power, privilege, and finagling foreign aid.

The PA’s increased payments to terrorists and their families to $403 million a year, from $347 million last year are a stark incentive to violence and murder. Some apprehended attackers confessed to committing terrorist acts so as to clock enough prison time “to financially set their families for life,” said Eric Mandel, Middle East Political and Information Network director. Why bother with a PhD or vocational training when all you need is a kitchen knife and a few innocent bystanders?

With this “salary” increase, the PA is in effect swelling the ranks of its already bloated bureaucracy by hiring more terrorists—dead or alive, said Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman Avi Dichter.  

As the Trump administration considers slashing aid to the PA and UNRWA, the PLO propaganda machine has swung into effect, with official Saeb Erekat warning the reduced aid will mean children starving in refugee camps. Yet Abbas shrugs off and ignores the massacre and starvation of Palestinian refugees in war-torn Syria and elsewhere because he can’t blame Israel, said journalist Khaled Abu Toameh. As hospitals and homes in Gaza run out of fuel, electricity and medicine, Abbas just bought a luxurious new $50 million presidential plane.  

Hamas rulers’ record is no better. While publically blaming its citizens’ suffering on Israel, Hamas was caught on video stealing electricity from a transmission line intended for Gaza’s hospitals, schools and residents suffering from multiple power outages, according to COGAT (Coordinator of Government activities in the Territories).

 But it’s not just about stealing aid, fuel and electricity. Recently the PA, Hamas and Islamic Jihad rejected an invitation to an international conference in Washington, D.C., to help resolve the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. 

Both the PA and Hamas violate Palestinians’ human rights. The nonprofit Human Rights Watch cites violations of freedom of assembly and expression, media censorship; detention of political opponents and critics; arbitrary arrests, torture and forced confessions of prisoners, and the mock executions of civilians.  

Hamas’s disdain for its people’s safety has been ongoing for years, as leaders deliberately expose their people to danger to milk political propaganda against Israel. One Hamas radio broadcast appealed to Palestinian women to offer themselves as human shields between Israeli soldiers and armed Palestinian gunmen hiding in a Gaza mosque. Two of the 50 women who responded were killed by Israeli forces. The PA also has used civilians as human shields, and requisitioned residents’ homes for arms smuggling, rocket launches, and munitions factories, according to Wikipedia. They blame Israel for any civilian deaths that result. 

This "death-seeking" culture where women, children and the elderly volunteer as human shields was proudly trumpeted in a TV broadcast by Hamas MP Fathi Hammad, translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute. "The Palestinian people have developed its [methods] of death and death-seeking," Hammad boasted. "For the Palestinian people, death has become an industry at which women excel, and so do all the people living on this land. The elderly excel at this, and so do the mujahideen (Muslim guerrillas) and the children. This is why they have formed human shields of the women, the children, the elderly, and the mujahideen, in order to challenge the Zionist bombing machine. It is as if they were saying to the Zionist enemy: 'We desire death like you desire life.’” 

Is it of no concern to Europe and other nations who claim they want to stop the suffering of the Palestinians that their leaders “desire death” but not life for their own people? Is it not astounding that those leaders who extol and encourage death, and urge their people to embrace death, openly acknowledge that Israel values and celebrates life—not only for its own people, but for the world? These Palestinian leaders do not fight in the trenches alongside the women, children and elderly they muster as human shields. 

Perhaps a new, more enlightened Palestinian leadership could play a crucial role in preparing their people for statehood at this critical juncture. As new possibilities for Middle East peace dawn that recognize Israel’s sovereignty, right to exist, and values that enhance life, the Palestinians require leaders who are willing to step out of a 7th-century mentality and devote themselves to helping and prospering their people.

 

 

"He is risen!"

Matthew 28

1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:
4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
7 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.
8 And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.
9 And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.
10 Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.
11 Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done.
12 And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers,
13 Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept.
14 And if this come to the governor's ears, we will persuade him, and secure you.
15 So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.
16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

One of the most memorable moments of any tour to Israel is standing on the Mount of Olives and looking across the valley at the Eastern Gate of the Temple Mount. One can’t help but imagine the magnificent Temple of King Herod standing there, or Jesus walking through the Eastern Gate as He most assuredly did and, according to scripture, will most likely do again.

But, any casual observer will notice that the Eastern Gate has been sealed shut! Almost 500 years ago, when the Turks conquered Jerusalem under the leadership of Suleiman the Magnificent, he commanded that the city's ancient walls be rebuilt, and in the midst of this rebuilding project he decided to put an end to Jewish Messianic hopes by ordering the Eastern Gate sealed. He also put a Muslim cemetery in front of the Gate, believing that no Jewish holy man would defile himself by walking through a Muslim cemetery.

This biblical, historical, and future significance of the Temple Mount makes it the most hotly contested piece of real estate in the entire world. An example of the extreme sensitivity over ownership of the site is that Jews and Christians are not allowed to pray on the Temple Mount which is under strict Muslim control. Jewish prayer is held below the Temple Mount facing the remains of the western retaining wall.

Jesus had this same breathtaking view when, during His triumphal entry, as he rode a donkey from the Mount of Olives, He wept over Jerusalem. Despite the crowds shouting Hosanna and hailing Him as King, His heart was in agony for Jerusalem.

He understood the significance of Jerusalem, and what awaited Him there. He also knew of the coming destruction of Jerusalem and prophesied that no stone would be left that was not thrown down. Archeological excavations of the southern area around the Temple Mount have exposed stones that were thrown from the walls of the Temple just as Jesus had predicted. They have also uncovered the southern steps that ascended to the Temple Mount; stairs Jesus most likely walked on.

After his triumphal entry to Jerusalem, Jesus cleansed the Temple, reasoned with the religious leaders, and later retreated back over the Mount of Olives to Bethany, where He remained for two days until Passover. It was in a large upper room in an affluent part of Jerusalem that Jesus ate the Passover meal with His disciples and predicted His impending death. Tour groups can visit an upstairs room in the probable vicinity of the real upper room which is a nice place to visualize the Passover story.

From the upper room, the biblical account tells us that Jesus retreated back to the Mount of Olives which was His custom. The Mount of Olives was named as such because it was covered by a large olive grove, and Gethsemane, the place where Jesus went to pray, meant “olive press.” In today’s garden of Gethsemane, housing the Church of all Nations, one can see olive trees that are almost 1,000 years old and may in fact have roots from the time of Jesus.

Jesus prayed in Gethsemane three times under increasing pressure, reminiscent of the incremental weight of an olive press extracting oil from olives. It was also there He was betrayed by Judas, arrested, and taken to the High Priest.

The story continues in the house of Caiaphas, the High Priest, which was back in that same affluent neighborhood in Jerusalem. Today, tourists can view in that vicinity archeological remains of a very nice home with cisterns dug underneath indicating the affluence of its owner. It also has a prison cell dug into the bedrock below. Whether this is the place where Jesus was held overnight is not known but the visitor is able to see how He may have spent that night in a pitch black cavern.

The next morning Jesus was taken to Pontius Pilate and we have the story of His conviction, scourging and His agonizing walk to Golgotha where He was crucified. The most likely site of Golgotha is today under the Church of the Holy Sepulcher which is a crusader building encompassing several older chapels built over a different sites, such as Golgotha and the tomb of Jesus. Because the original sites are many feet below ground level, and all the visitor is able to see is an ornate Orthodox or Catholic altar with perhaps a small view of stone below ground, it is not a popular site for Protestants.

The other site preferred by most Protestant groups is a lovely garden, conducive to prayer and worship, at the foot of a stone hill physically resembling a skull, just as the gospel writers described Golgotha. In the side of that hill is a hewn tomb like the one Jesus would have been buried in. The door to the tomb carries the good news that “He is Risen!”

To relive the final days of Jesus on a visit to Jerusalem makes the story come alive! Most importantly, we find that the tomb is empty. We do not go to Jerusalem to find Jesus, because He is wherever hearts have welcomed Him. But, a trip to Jerusalem does help us appreciate His final days and the authenticity of the biblical account.

Susan Michael is the US Director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem and leads tours to Israel www.icejusa.org/tours. This article is the third in a series to introduce Israel and various biblical sites of interest to the Christian reader.

 

Danger comes in many forms and it’s what we fail to see or detect that can harm us the most.  I’m not talking about terrorism but rather about silver-tongued deception.

Some are attempting to capitalize on the division that exists in America today between blacks, whites, and others.  Hatred and violence are fomented by evil design to stir up political unrest. If enough seeds of discord are scattered and take root, minority voters become easy prey for the liberal, leftist agenda.  We must take note of those who are sowing such seeds and carefully warn others not to be deceived.

Louis Farrakhan, known as the leader of the Nation of Islam (NOI), is one such figure.  Formed in 1930 for the purpose of targeting African Americans in what was a majority Caucasian society, the NOI is hard at work today under Farrakhan’s leadership stirring up hatred against whites and Jews. Clothed in a form of religion, the organization has great appeal to its target audience.

Farrakhan emerged in 1977 as a masterful orator. He became widely recognized for his outspoken vitriol against white society and his extremist views are unchanged today.  Often he refers to whites as the devil and blacks as the chosen race of Allah refuting that the Jews are God’s chosen people. While his fiery speeches draw many followers, his messages are not meant to unify but rather divide.

Farrakhan’s hatred is not limited to whites.  He also rails against Jews and against Israel. Recently he delivered a speech at his annual Saviors’ Day 2018 Address which was peppered with anti-Semitic statements. He blames the Jews for whatever comes out of Hollywood and claims Israel is an imperialist country wreaking havoc on the Palestinians.  Of course he has no facts to support his slanderous claims yet his message hits a home run with his audiences. Referring to the relationship between Israel and the Palestinians as a master–slave type of relationship, he masterfully takes command of his audience enticing them to buy into his false narrative.  By making this correlation, his audience responds in sympathetic and predictable fashion.

Louis Farrakhan is a snake in the grass and he has friends and associates in high places. He’s been seen with members of Congress and reportedly with the deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Furthermore, he is no stranger to former President Barak Obama or the Congressional Black Caucus. Practiced in the art of persuasive double-speak and confusion, Farrakhan is a dangerous man not in and of himself but because he has influence.   

Fox news reported on “links with seven members of the Congressional Black Caucus” and Tamika Mallory, co-president of the Women’s March. The seven members were named, and several have since condemned Farrakhan’s vile racist and bigoted views but some of the same members who denounced Farrakhan’s bigotry also praised him as a person.  Any elected official who would associate with a man who calls Jews “satanic” and publicly praises Hitler as a “very great man” should be forced to resign from office.

While everyone should denounce such incendiary acrimony coming from Farrakhan and the NOI, there are others like him living in Israel’s neighborhood. They can be just as outrageously deceitful, turning truth into a lie and a lie into a truth, and show a face that speaks of a separatist attitude challenging everyone they consider enemies. 

 

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s priorities are not geared toward helping his people, but on maintaining his grip on power, privilege, and finagling foreign aid.

The PA’s increased payments to terrorists and their families to $403 million a year, from $347 million last year are a stark incentive to violence and murder. Some apprehended attackers confessed to committing terrorist acts so as to clock enough prison time “to financially set their families for life,” said Eric Mandel, Middle East Political and Information Network director. Why bother with a PhD or vocational training when all you need is a kitchen knife and a few innocent bystanders?

With this “salary” increase, the PA is in effect swelling the ranks of its already bloated bureaucracy by hiring more terrorists—dead or alive, said Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman Avi Dichter. 

As the Trump administration considers slashing aid to the PA and UNRWA, the PLO propaganda machine has swung into effect, with official Saeb Erekat warning the reduced aid will mean children starving in refugee camps. Yet Abbas shrugs off and ignores the massacre and starvation of Palestinian refugees in war-torn Syria and elsewhere because he can’t blame Israel, said journalist Khaled Abu Toameh. As hospitals and homes in Gaza run out of fuel, electricity and medicine, Abbas just bought a luxurious new $50 million presidential plane.

Hamas rulers’ record is no better. While publically blaming its citizens’ suffering on Israel, Hamas was caught on video stealing electricity from a transmission line intended for Gaza’s hospitals, schools and residents suffering from multiple power outages, according to COGAT (Coordinator of Government activities in the Territories).

But it’s not just about stealing aid, fuel and electricity. Recently the PA, Hamas and Islamic Jihad rejected an invitation to an international conference in Washington, D.C., to help resolve the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. 

Both the PA and Hamas violate Palestinians’ human rights. The nonprofit Human Rights Watch cites violations of freedom of assembly and expression, media censorship; detention of political opponents and critics; arbitrary arrests, torture and forced confessions of prisoners, and the mock executions of civilians. 

Hamas’s disdain for its people’s safety has been ongoing for years, as leaders deliberately expose their people to danger to milk political propaganda against Israel. One Hamas radio broadcast appealed to Palestinian women to offer themselves as human shields between Israeli soldiers and armed Palestinian gunmen hiding in a Gaza mosque. Two of the 50 women who responded were killed by Israeli forces. The PA also has used civilians as human shields, and requisitioned residents’ homes for arms smuggling, rocket launches, and munitions factories, according to Wikipedia. They blame Israel for any civilian deaths that result. 

This "death-seeking" culture where women, children and the elderly volunteer as human shields was proudly trumpeted in a TV broadcast by Hamas MP Fathi Hammad, translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute. "The Palestinian people have developed its [methods] of death and death-seeking," Hammad boasted. "For the Palestinian people, death has become an industry at which women excel, and so do all the people living on this land. The elderly excel at this, and so do the mujahideen (Muslim guerrillas) and the children. This is why they have formed human shields of the women, the children, the elderly, and the mujahideen, in order to challenge the Zionist bombing machine. It is as if they were saying to the Zionist enemy: 'We desire death like you desire life.’” 

Is it of no concern to Europe and other nations who claim they want to stop the suffering of the Palestinians that their leaders “desire death” but not life for their own people? Is it not astounding that those leaders who extol and encourage death, and urge their people to embrace death, openly acknowledge that Israel values and celebrates life—not only for its own people, but for the world? These Palestinian leaders do not fight in the trenches alongside the women, children and elderly they muster as human shields. 

Perhaps a new, more enlightened Palestinian leadership could play a crucial role in preparing their people for statehood at this critical juncture. As new possibilities for Middle East peace dawn that recognize Israel’s sovereignty, right to exist, and values that enhance life, the Palestinians require leaders who are willing to step out of a 7th-century mentality and devote themselves to helping and prospering their people.

 


 

 

U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and President Donald Trump’s assurances that he will not impose terms on the parties are well-received by Israel. However, though Israel doubtless understands that Trump is carefully  assessing approaches to an “ultimate deal” in a volatile negotiating context, his pressure on Prime Minister Netanyahu to “hold back on settlements for a little bit” could be questioned as interventionism. 

For example, researcher Nadav Shragai blames EU and U.S. pressure for the recent freeze on previously approved construction in Givat haMatos, which would protect Jerusalem’s strategic southern flank from division by Palestinians intent on linking Bethlehem and Beit Safafa. The dearth of apartments in Jerusalem is also causing the flight of its Jewish occupants.

Nations that value their sovereignty should apply the standard equitably—and not challenge Israel’s sovereignty. Israel is the only U.N. member state denied its U.N. Charter-guaranteed right of “sovereign equality.” Other state actors also meddle in Israel’s affairs and try to dictate policies. But interventionists—benign or not—should first consider their own history.

Modern Israel’s challenges have remarkable parallels to 19th-century America. Before addressing claims that Israel “occupies” Palestinian land, or disputing Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem or the Golan, we must attribute the U.S. annexations of West Florida (1810); Oregon County (1818); Texas (1845) and Hawaii (1893) in part to the grit, patriotism and perseverance of American settlers –similar in some ways, to Israelis in Judea and Samaria.

Editor John O’Sullivan first mentioned the idea of “Manifest Destiny” in an 1845 article on annexing Texas. O’Sullivan protested European meddling in American affairs as “thwarting our policy, hampering our power, limiting our greatness, and checking the fulfillment of our manifest destiny to overspread the continent.”

More practically, concerns over defense, demography, and economic / political stability or advantage drove U.S.annexations. Of Texas’ annexation, BBC’s Alistair Cooke said the Mexicans “protested for years over their undeniable legal claim to their own country.” Ultimately, Mexico was “forced” to sign a peace treaty surrendering not just Texas, but lands that became California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah—“what was then one half of Mexico.” Of America’s $15 million payment, Cooke comments: “There can’t have been in modern history any harsher price to pay for one country’s daring to object to its illegal settlement by foreigners.”

Likewise, in Hawaii a small, elite group of foreign residents and businessmen, mostly U.S. citizens, supported by American troops, overthrew the queen in 1893, according to The Congressional Record. The group’s goal was U.S. annexation; Hawaii—and Pearl Harbor—were considered vital for the defense of the U.S. West Coast. Hawaii was annexed in 1898. President Clinton and the U.S. Congress apologized 100 years later. 

Europe’s “scramble for Africa” in 1884-1885 was no less self-serving. Great Britain, France, Germany, Belgium and Portugal convened to “safeguard commercial interests,” and carved up the continent, giving no say to native Africans, according to Oxford Reference. By 1900, Europe claimed nearly 90 percent of Africa.

Now these interventionist escapades happened long ago, and have been swept neatly under the rug of history. There’s no intent to assign blame, but rather to provide a historical perspective. Before you judge an Indian, wrote poetess Mary Lathrap, “walk a mile in his moccasins.”

Following a defensive war, Israel annexed East Jerusalem in 1967, and the Golan Heights in 1981 after years of Syrian artillery pounding northern Israel disrupting lives and destroying property. The heights provide a buffer against military threats from Syria or Iranian proxies, namely Hezbollah, and is a key source of water.

International law expert Alan Baker said the term “Palestinian territories” has no legal or political basis. There has never been a Palestinian state, and no international agreement defines the territories as Palestinian; therefore, they never belonged to Palestinians. No foreign sovereign power possesses the West Bank—which legally means it can’t be “occupied.” Even the Palestinians agreed in the Oslo Accords that the West Bank is considered “disputed territory.” Are the settlement freezes an attempt to appease the Palestinians, who have rejected US mediation, and sit across the table planning Israel’s destruction?

Even if one disagrees with Israel’s actions, those who support Israel should accept its democratically elected government’s decisions. Israel’s government answers to its own electorate and taxpayers—who rightfully serve as squeaky wheels. 

America and Israel share not only friendship, but a history of seeking to establish secure borders. In America’s case, these initiatives were primarily based on economic and political advantage and, of course, defense. For Israel today, they are a matter of survival.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently accused leftist Jewish billionaire George Soros of funding anti-government campaigns challenging Israel’s deportation of tens of thousands of illegal African infiltrators. 

Soros denied it. But he also denied grants to anti-Israel groups such as J Street and Adala—until DCLeaks posted several of his Open Society Foundations (OSF) documents online. The leaks revealed Soros’ plan to keep “a low public profile” on his Middle East investments to avoid investigation by “pro-Israel entities.” 

But the leaks unveiled a bigger picture: His support of radical U.S. groups whose aim is to “influence American public opinion and government leaders on Middle East policy, and reduce support for Israel,” said Washington Times reporter Eli Lake. It includes pressuring Europe and America to “hold Israel accountable to its obligations under international law.”

President Donald Trump’s evenhanded support of the Jewish state may be a key reason Soros chose to blast him at an international venue in Davos, Switzerland. Soros was upbeat when Obama came to power, but he can’t control Trump, whom he denounced in Davos as “a danger to the world." OSF is funding more institutions in the US to assure a Democratic victory in November, he said.

Soros’ meddling in Israel’s affairs is channeled through his web of Arab and Israeli politicized “human rights” NGOS that serve to implement his larger strategy. These agencies delegitimize Israel, deny its sovereignty, and wage political and legal warfare and BDS, according to the NGO Monitor. Others (Mossawa, Mada al Carmel, and I’lam) criticize Israeli media for their coverage of the Nakba (an Arabic term meaning catastrophe or disaster used to describe the rebirth of Israel).

Soros bankrolls Israeli political opposition groups such as Yesh Din, Breaking the Silence, Molad and B’Tselem. Two Soros grantees—B’Tselem and Al Mezan—also get “substantial funding” from UNICEF, which, in concert with its affiliated NGOs, is spearheading a campaign to blacklist the IDF as a “grave” violator of children’s rights, the NGO Monitor said. This is not surprising, since the leftist agenda has long touted global disarmament, with the UN’s one world government holding supreme military control, according to the Jan. 10, 1963 Congressional Record.

Soros’ globalist agenda puts Israel’s African infiltrators into a broader perspective. Mass migration and open borders have been mainstays of the Left for decades. With globalism’s spread, open-borders advocates snowballed, with “hundreds of leftist organizations and tens of thousands of grassroots activists, backed by hundreds of millions of dollars from big, tax-exempt leftwing foundations,” said William Hawkins and Erin Anderson. Enter the radically politicized NGO—which has taken a more central role in the context of porous borders and ebbing loyalties to the nation-state.

Under the guise of a human rights veneer, radical NGOs use politically correct doublespeak, with the goal of making over society in their leftist image, Hawkins and Anderson said.

Citizens’ pushback against the surge of refugees, immigrants and illegal aliens prompted the NGOs to develop a “countering strategy”—regimented legal and political tactics to “target, discredit and attack” whoever questions refugee resettlement, especially Muslim refugees, reporter James Simpson said.

There’s a method to globalist madness, Simpson said: “The Left’s goal is to build a permanent progressive majority ruling class. The open borders agenda is the perfect vehicle.” In America, that means “millions of needy poor become ‘bought and paid for Democrat voters’ once citizenship is obtained.” Simpson traces refugee resettlement to the U.N. plan to redistribute “not just wealth—but population and land.” 

Globalists attack countries like Israel because Israel values its Jewish identity, sovereignty and borders—and knows its own defense forces are vital to its survival. 

A recent altercation in France signals what the future could hold for countries that welcome open borders:

“Hundreds of Africans and Asians armed with knives and iron rods fought running street battles in the northern port city of Calais on February 1, less than two weeks after French President Emmanuel Macron visited the area and pledged to crack down on illegal immigration. The clashes plunged Calais--emblematic of Europe’s failure to control mass migration — into a war zone and reinforced the perception that French authorities have lost control of the country’s security situation.”

Netanyahu is well aware of the threat. “Israel was the first country in the world to physically block entry of infiltrators,” he said. “Without building the fence we would easily have reached at least 100,000 a year— meaning … within a decade—the state would stop being the Jewish state.”  And this is the crux of most of the tension in the Middle East - Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.

 

 

 

Christian Coalition of America commends Senator Lindsey Graham, R-SC and former Representative Trent Franks, R-AZ for sponsoring this important commonsense legislation, the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” which passed in the House of Representatives on October 3, 2017 by a margin 237-189.

 

Senator Graham’s Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, S.2311 “amends the federal criminal code to make it a crime for any person to perform or attempt to perform an abortion if the probable post-fertilization age of the fetus is 20 weeks or more.  A violator is subject to criminal penalties – a fine, up to five years in prison, or both.  The bill provides exceptions for an abortion: (1) that is necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman, or (2) when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. A physician who performs or attempts to perform an abortion under an exception must comply with specified requirements. A woman who undergoes a prohibited abortion may not be prosecuted for violating or conspiring to violate the provisions of this bill.”

 

Roberta Combs, President and CEO, said: “Christian Coalition of America, with millions of supporters, strongly supports Senator Lindsey Graham’s “Pain-Capable Unborn Protection Act, S. 2311.” It is almost beyond comprehension that the United States of America is one of only 7 nations  - including North Korea and China -   amongst 198 nations in the world which allows late term abortions.”

 

Senator Joni Ernst, R-IA said:  “At five months, we know that babies can yawn, make faces, wiggle their ten fingers and ten toes, and feel pain. At just five months gestation, Micah Pickering from Newton, Iowa proved that a baby this small is so full of life.”

ACTION:  CALL YOUR SENATORS AND YOUR CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVE AT THE UNITED STATES CAPITOL BUILDING AT 202-225-3121 TO URGE THEM TO SUPPORT SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM’S “PAIN-CAPABLE UNBORN PROTECTION ACT,” S. 2311.

 

 

Today, the Senate is considering the nomination of Mr. Powell, who brings with him degrees from Princeton and Georgetown, and a record of high achievement in both the public and private sectors. Since his nomination to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in 2011, which received strong, bipartisan support, he has served as a steady voice and a thoughtful leader. I very much look forward to supporting his confirmation as Chairman.’

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding Senate consideration of three more of the president’s nominees:

“We have a long list of legislative priorities to tackle in the coming weeks. But legislation is not the only bipartisan business that the Senate needs to handle. Yesterday afternoon, I filed cloture on three nominees to fill important positions in the administration: Alex Azar, to serve as Secretary of Health and Human Services; Sam Brownback to serve as Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom; And Jerome Powell to serve as Chairman of the Federal Reserve.

“Today, the Senate is considering the nomination of Mr. Powell, who brings with him degrees from Princeton and Georgetown, and a record of high achievement in both the public and private sectors. Since his nomination to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in 2011, which received strong, bipartisan support, he has served as a steady voice and a thoughtful leader. I very much look forward to supporting his confirmation as Chairman.”

U.S. President Donald Trump recently tweeted a clear, long overdue message to Mahmoud Abbas; in effect: you can’t have it both ways.

Offended by Trump’s December speech, which clearly left Jerusalem’s final boundaries to be negotiated by both sides, Abbas overreacted with trademark false accusations, and a huffy rebuttal of the U.S. role as peace broker.

Like the proverbial farmer sawing off a tree limb but forgetting he’s sitting on it, Abbas overlooked the billions in U.S. aid funneled to the PA since the mid-’90s, which last year alone totaled more than $730 million in all sectors—economic and humanitarian, security and justice, and UNRWA. Abbas’s tantrum backfired. It’s payback time.

Trump recently tweeted: “We pay the Palestinians hundreds of millions of dollars a year and get no appreciation or respect. They don’t even want to negotiate a long overdue peace treaty with Israel. So why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?”

It’s about time America balanced these books.

The PA has long misappropriated U.S. and European aid to support jailed terrorists and their families at more than half its annual budget—$300 million annually, and more than $1 billion in the last four years. Convicted terrorists even got a 13 percent raise last year (their families gained 4 percent), according to Palestinian Media Watch. Though safeguards have attached to U.S. aid, some observers cite that evidence indicates that the attempted controls did not significantly alter this practice, according to Jim Zanotti, for the Congressional Research Service.

But that’s not all. PA leaders also siphon off foreign assistance for personal enrichment for themselves, family members and cronies at the expense of the Palestinian people.

The intent of development assistance is to “help the Palestinians build the physical and social infrastructure to enable the emergence of a sustainable, prosperous society. But few seriously questioned how much money is sent and how it is used,” Deputy Foreign Minister Tsipi Hotovely told The Wall Street Journal.

Aid from Europe has also been misappropriated. The Times of London quoted an EU report on the “loss” of development assistance due to “bribes and misuse of aid” amounting to €2 billion ($2,405,421,820) to the West Bank and Gaza Strip from 2008 to 2012.

The Palestinian Authority’s abject trail of corruption began upon its inception in 1994, as money and aid for the Palestinian people were funneled to the Fatah budget, said Sawsan Ramahi for Al-Monitor. “Money meant for the establishment of a state quickly turned into balances in Swiss bank accounts, personal projects in neighboring countries and partnerships.”

It surprised no one that the Panama Papers exposé of tax evasion and money laundering by international elites included leading Palestinian Authority figures, Adnan Abu Amer reported for Al Monitor. Just one example: Abbas’s son Tareq secretly owns, in partnership with the PA, a holding company in the British Virgin Islands worth more than $1 million. In addition to money laundering and tax evasion, there also has been theft of public money, bribes, transfer of government land to officials for private use and more, he said.

“The Panama Papers confirm that the PA is a nongovernmental entity,” Palestinian author Adel Samara said. Its model more closely resembles the infrastructure and clientelism of the Sicilian Mafia, which built its crime empire on illegal profits using bribes, extortion, threats, violence and murder—and perpetrated its ranks by recruiting young boys and turning them into “soldiers” who did the dirty work and were lowest and least paid on the food chain.

“Corruption in the PA … gives the Palestinian ruling elite a strategic tool to control the popular bases … maintain the status quo, dominate political and economic assets, and implement its political agenda without facing any effective opposition,” Amer said.

The Trump administration and the U.S. Congress—which recently passed the Taylor Force Act—are taking a good hard look at U.S. support for the PA and UNRWA. The president understands that perpetuating previous failed U.S. policies could be catastrophic, especially with Abbas at the helm.