Hearing people in America refer to Israel’s “occupation of Palestine,” strikes more than just a nerve, it’s spreading incorrect information. As a Jewish American woman who has been involved in American national politics, while my husband ran for United States Congress in New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District, I came across many people including a disturbingly large population of liberal Jewish Americans who seem to be lacking tremendous knowledge of Israeli History and their beliefs are formulated based on what popular media tells them. United States and Israel have one of the strongest military to military alliances in the world. It’s important for American Jews to understand the West Bank dispute and to stop perpetrating false history that can lead to Israel’s destruction.
Let’s break it down. The Israeli/Palestinian conflict may be difficult to solve but if you know the history, it’s rather simple to understand. Israel wants to exist as a Jewish state and live in peace. Palestinians want them dead.
FULFILLING A PROMISE: President Trump kept his promise by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and opening the U.S. Embassy there.
On December 6, 2017, President Trump kept his promise, announcing that the United States would begin recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and officially open our Embassy there.
Congress urged the President to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel with the bipartisan 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act – a call unanimously reaffirmed by the Senate in 2017.
After decades of past Presidents committing to move the Embassy to Jerusalem on the campaign trail, only to renege on those promises while in office, President Trump has fulfilled his promise to support one of America’s strongest allies.
More than two decades of waivers delaying the Embassy move brought us no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.
President Trump has made clear that old challenges demand new approaches, and that he will keep his word to the American people.
On May 14, 2018, the United States officially opened our Embassy in Jerusalem, Israel, 70 years to the day that President Truman recognized Israel as an independent country, making the United States the first nation to do so.
President Trump has recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and advanced peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
Announcing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is simply a recognition of reality.
Israel is a sovereign nation and, like every other sovereign nation, has the right to choose its own capital. Yet for 70 years we neglected to extend this basic courtesy to Israel that we extend to other countries.
Jerusalem is the seat of the modern Israeli government. It is the home of the Israeli Parliament and the Israeli Supreme Court. It is the location of the official residence of the Prime Minister and President, as well as the headquarters of many government ministries.
STRIVING FOR PEACE: The Trump Administration continues to work to achieve a comprehensive peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
The Trump Administration remains committed to achieving a lasting and comprehensive peace agreement.
Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is a necessary condition for peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
President Trump has been clear that his recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel does not mean the United States has taken a position on final status negotiations.
The Trump Administration believes that such decisions should be worked between Israelis and Palestinians.
The Trump Administration supports the status quo at Jerusalem’s holy sites.
FULFILLING PROMISES QUICKLY AND EFFICIENTLY: After announcing the United States’ recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, President Trump quickly and efficiently opened the Embassy in Israel at a low cost to taxpayers.
President Trump opened the Embassy in Jerusalem in just six months, compared to the seven to ten years expected to build an entirely new and secure permanent embassy.
Initial modifications allowing the Embassy to open on May 14, 2018, cost just $400,000.
United States diplomatic staff in Israel has worked around the clock to ensure the Embassy was ready to open by May 14, 2018.
The Trump Administration has begun updating all Federal Government maps to reflect Jerusalem’s status as Israel’s capital under American policy.
To celebrate the opening of the United States’ new Embassy in Jerusalem, the Trump Administration sent a high-level delegation, led by Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan and including Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, Senior Advisor Jared Kushner, Senior Advisor Ivanka Trump, and Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt
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This Historic Move by President Donald J. Trump will work towards Bringing peace in the Middle East. It may not seem like it right now, but this is what GOD would want us to do. Israel Has Sovereignty, and those who oppose it will have to live with it.
Jews, Christians, Muslims Pray in this land at the same place.
Statement on the American Embassy in Israel – White House
While President Donald J. Trump signed the waiver under the Jerusalem Embassy Act and delayed moving the U.S. 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.
Presidential Memorandum for the Secretary of State
Presidential Determination No. 2017-07
MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF STATE
SUBJECT: Suspension of Limitations under the Jerusalem Embassy Act
Pursuant to the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, including section 7(a) of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 (Public Law 104-45) (the “Act”), I hereby determine that it is necessary, in order to protect the national security interests of the United States, to suspend for a period of 6 months the limitations set forth in sections 3(b) and 7(b) of the Act.
You are authorized and directed to transmit this determination, accompanied by a report in accordance with section 7(a) of the Act, to the Congress and to publish this determination in the Federal Register.
The suspension set forth in this determination shall take effect after you transmit this determination and the required accompanying report to the Congress.
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“Last week, headlines in CNN, Al-Jazeera and The Guardian said that Hamas now accepts a Palestinian state along the 1967 lines. The New York Times headline called this “moderation”.
The intimation is that Hamas now accepts the State of Israel.
Great news, right?
Well, except for one small detail: this is a complete distortion of the truth. The new Hamas document says Israel has no right to exist. It says every inch of our land belongs to the Palestinians. It says there is no acceptable solution other than to remove Israel.
So why does Hamas say there is a consensus for a smaller Palestinian state now?
In order to destroy Israel later. They want to use their state to destroy our state.
Is moving from calling for genocide of all Jews to calling just for the annihilation of Israel really progress or moderation?
Only if you have no standards whatsoever!
It’s bad enough Hamas lies to the world.
We don’t also have to lie to ourselves.
Hamas murders women and children. They have launched thousands of missile attacks at our homes. It brainwashes Palestinian kids in suicide kindergarten camps.
So, where does this hate-filled document belong? In the trash.”
In a bid to improve its flagging international standing, the Palestinian terror group Hamas unveiled Monday a new policy document that presents softened language on Israel while still calling for its destruction.
The document accepts the idea of a Palestinian state in territories captured by Israel in the Six-Day War of 1967 but dismisses the establishment of the State of Israel as “illegal,” asserting a Palestinian claim to the entire land of Israel, and a so-called right of return for all descendants of refugees.
Israel dismissed the new document as an attempt to “fool the world.”
The five-page program, a result of four years of internal deliberations, was presented at a news conference in Doha, Qatar, by Khaled Mashaal, the outgoing Hamas leader in exile. The group has said Mashaal’s replacement is to be named later this month, after the completion of secret leadership elections.
“Hamas rejects any alternative to the full and complete liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea,” the document states. “However, without compromising its rejection of the Zionist entity and without relinquishing any Palestinian rights, Hamas considers the establishment of a fully sovereign and independent Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as its capital along the lines of the 4th of June 1967, with the return of the refugees and the displaced to their homes from which they were expelled, to be a formula of national consensus.”
“We wanted to present a document that truly reflects Hamas’s ideology and consensus and to present it to our supporters… and the international community,” Mashaal said.
The document declares “the Balfour Declaration, the British Mandate Document, the UN Palestine Partition Resolution, and whatever resolutions and measures that derive from them or are similar to them” to be “null and void.”
The paper, unlike the group’s founding charter, which is rife with anti-Semitic language, also says Hamas’s struggle is not against Jews per se but against Israel as an occupier.
“Hamas affirms that its conflict is with the Zionist project not with the Jews because of their religion,” it says. “Hamas does not wage a struggle against the Jews because they are Jewish but wages a struggle against the Zionists who occupy Palestine. Yet, it is the Zionists who constantly identify Judaism and the Jews with their own colonial project and illegal entity.”
The document adds, “Hamas is of the view that the Jewish problem, anti-Semitism and the persecution of the Jews are phenomena fundamentally linked to European history and not to the history of the Arabs and the Muslims or to their heritage.”
Hamas officials said the document, which reserves the right to wage “resistance and jihad for the liberation of Palestine,” in no way amounts to recognition of Israel.
The group, which controls the Gaza Strip, remains deeply divided from Fatah, the more moderate party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, based in the West Bank.
Hours before Hamas presented the new document, Israel preempted it to say that while the group may be seeking to put on a friendlier face, it still practices genocidal policies.
“When Hamas stops building tunnels and spends its resources on civilian infrastructure and ceases educating toward killing Israelis — that will be true change. But that hasn’t happened,” a statement issued by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said.
“Hamas is attempting to fool the world, but it will not succeed,” David Keyes, a spokesperson for Netanyahu, told The Times of Israel.
“Daily, Hamas leaders call for genocide of all Jews and the destruction of Israel,” he added. “They dig terror tunnels and have launched thousands upon thousands of missiles at Israeli civilians. Schools and mosques run by Hamas teach children that Jews are apes and pigs. This is the real Hamas.”
The new platform, which was posted online in English, was presented at a time of escalating tensions between Hamas and Fatah. Hamas drove out forces loyal to Abbas in its 2007 takeover of Gaza, a year after defeating Fatah in Palestinian parliament elections. Reconciliation efforts have failed.
In recent weeks, Abbas has threatened to exert financial pressure, including cutting wage payments and aid to Gaza, as a way of forcing Hamas to cede ground. Leaders of the group have vowed they will not budge.
The war of words with Hamas was seen as an attempt by Abbas to position himself as a leader of all Palestinians ahead of his first meeting with US President Donald Trump at the White House on Wednesday. The president has said he would try to broker Israeli-Palestinian negotiations on a peace deal, despite repeated failures over the past two decades.
In the past, Hamas has sharply criticized Abbas’s political program, which rests on setting up a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, lands Israel captured in the 1967 Six Day War.
In its 1987 founding charter, Hamas called for setting up an Islamic state in historic Palestine, or the territory between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River, which also includes Israel.
With the new manifesto, Hamas also rebrands itself as an Islamic national movement, rather than as a branch of the pan-Arab Muslim Brotherhood, which has been outlawed by Egypt. It’s not clear if the changes will be enough to improve relations with Egypt, which along with Israel has been enforcing a crippling border blockade against the Gaza Strip, officially in order to prevent the smuggling of weapons. Hamas has also been shunned by the West, which has set recognition of Israel and renunciation of violence as a condition for ties.
Mashaal is to step down as Hamas leader later this month. Two possible contenders for the No. 1 spot are Moussa Abu Marzouk, a former Hamas leader, and Ismail Haniyeh, a former top Hamas official in Gaza.
The Mashaal announcement was initially scheduled for 7 p.m. (1600 GMT) Monday, but was delayed after a Doha hotel withdrew consent at the last minute to host the Hamas news conference. Hamas scrambled to find a new venue.
Associated Press reporter Fares Akram, the agency’s Gaza correspondent, said on Twitter that the Intercontinental Hotel canceled the event for fear of US Treasury Department sanctions.
The press conference was also broadcast live in the Gaza Strip.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.
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