Israel Says, "Jump"... US Asks, "How High?"
U.S. to ‘review assistance’ to Egypt...
WASHINGTON -- The United States will review its assistance to Egypt in the wake of police violence against protesters.
"We will be reviewing our assistance posture based on events that take place in the coming days," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Friday, on the fourth day of protests in Egypt.
Egypt's $1.3 billion in annual aid -- most of it in defense assistance -- is rooted in its 1979 peace treaty with Israel. Gibbs repeated calls to Egyptian authorities to end the violent crackdown and open up channels of information.
Gibbs would not directly answer a reporter at the briefing who asked whether President Obama "stands by" Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
"This will be solved by the Egyptian people," he said, & that, "Obama had not spoken with Mubarak." as of January 28, 2011.
FIRST REPORT: By Ron Kampeas · January 28, 2011
'U.S.: Egypt of ‘deep concern’
WASHINGTON -- Events in Egypt are of "deep concern," the Obama administration said, and its government should show restraint.
"Events unfolding in Egypt are of deep concern," P.J. Crowley, the state department spokesman, said Friday through the Twitter social network. "Fundamental rights must be respected, violence avoided and open communications allowed."
Video posted on the Internet has depicted indiscriminate Egyptian police violence against protesters, and authorities have shut down much Internet access.
Late Friday, Egypt called its military in to quell riots -- a rare occurrence in a country with a vast police force. Reports said two people were killed Friday.
In a statement she read live on Friday, Hillary Rodham Clinton, the U.S. secretary of state, urged Egypt's government to "engage immediately" with its people on political, economic and social reforms, and called on it to restrain its security forces.
"We support the universal human rights of the Egyptian people, including the right to freedom of speech, of association, and of assembly," she said. "We urge the Egyptian authorities to allow peaceful protests and to reverse the unprecedented steps it has taken to cut off communications."
Politico reported that the Obama administration called for a rare Saturday meeting of its "principals," high-ranking officials of the relevant agencies, to discuss Egypt.
It was the fourth day of clashes in Egypt, and riots have erupted in Jordan and Yemen as well. There have been protests in Lebanon and the Palestinian areas, and Syria has reportedly limited Internet access. The clashes erupted after similar protests led to the downfall of the Tunisian dictatorship.
IMMEDIATE UPDATE: (JTA) January 28, 2011
Rep. Nita Lowey: "Egypt must reman an ally"....
WASHINGTON -- A top Jewish congresswoman and appropriator said Egypt's turmoil should be resolved "peacefully" and with Egypt as a strong U.S. ally.
The statement from Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) late Friday evening, after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak appeared for the first time on TV since pro-democracy protests began Jan. 25, emphasized Egypt's central role in keeping the region stable through its peace treaty with Israel.
"Ever since the historic Camp David peace accords more than 30 years ago, Egypt and the United States have been partners in seeking a just resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," said Lowey, the ranking member of the foreign operations subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee.
Lowey said Egypt should "move toward a more open society respecting individual freedom of expression and human rights. All parties must refrain from violence and the Egyptian government must restore access to the internet and social media."
She concluded: "It is in the interest of the United States and regional stability that this period of turmoil and uncertainty be resolved peacefully and that Egypt remain a strong ally."
In his TV appearance, Mubarak said he sacked his government, but warned protesters that his priority was to keep the peace.
"I will not be lax or tolerant, I will take all the steps to maintain the safety and security of all Egyptians," Mubarak said in remarks translated by Al-Jazeera English.
President Obama spoke in Washington after Mubarak's Cairo appearance, and called on him to "turn this moment of volatility into a moment of promises."
Obama, who had just concluded a 30-minute phone call with the Egyptian leader, praised Mubarak, saying he "pledged a better democracy and greater economic opportunity."
He urged him to follow through with "a path of political change that leads to a future of greater freedom, of greater opportunity and justice for the Egyptian people."
Obama's encouragement and Lowey's statement suggested that the $1.3 billion in annual U.S. assistance to Egypt was not at risk, although the White House had said earlier in the day it would review the assistance.
LATEST: By Ron Kampeas · January 28, 2011
House leaders urge Obama to veto U.N. Security Council resolution
January 28, 2011
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- U.S. House of Representatives leaders urged President Obama to veto a proposed U.N. Security Council resolution that slams Israel on settlements and urges a return to direct Israeli-Palestinian talks.
"We are deeply concerned about the Palestinian leadership’s decision to reject the difficult but vital responsibility of making peace with Israel through direct negotiations, and instead to advocate for anti-Israel measures by the United Nations Security Council and other international forums," says the letter sent Thursday.
The letter was initiated by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), the chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and signed by Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the majority leader, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), the minority leader, and Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), the ranking Democrat on Ros-Lehtinen's committee, as well as the lead congressmen on its Middle East subcommittee.
"We respectfully request that the Administration continue and increase pressure on the Palestinian leadership to return, immediately and unconditionally, to direct negotiations with Israel," the letter says, "continue and increase pressure on the Palestinian leadership to cease pursuing anti-Israel measures in international forums; declare that Palestinian failure to take these steps would have significant negative consequences for United States policy towards the Palestinians; and pledge in response to this letter to veto any U.N. Security Council resolution that criticizes Israel regarding final status issues."
The resolution in question, reportedly drafted by the Palestinian delegation, does not address final status issues and urges a return to direct talks.
The Obama administration has said it opposes the resolution but has not said it will veto it. The Anti-Defamation League on Friday urged the administration to make public its intention to veto the resolution.
Republican Jews: Paul ‘misguided’ on aid
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The Republican Jewish Coalition rejected a proposal by Sen. Rand Paul to end foreign aid, including aid to Israel, as "misguided."
"We share Senator Paul's commitment to restraining the growth of federal spending, but we reject his misguided proposal to end U.S. assistance to our ally, Israel," the RJC said in a statement. "We are heartened to know that, with very few exceptions, congressional Republicans understand and appreciate the importance of this alliance to America's national security. And we are confident that few - if any - of Senator Paul's Republican colleagues will cosponsor a plan that reneges on an agreement with a critical ally."
Paul, a Republican newly elected in Kentucky, was on CNN Wednesday outlining where he would cut the $500 billion in government spending he says is critical to sustaining the U.S. economy. His focus was on the departments of energy, education and housing.
Interviewer Wolf Blitzer then asked about foreign assistance, asking if he wanted to end "all foreign aid."
Paul said yes, and Blitzer asked him about aid to Israel. "Well, I think what you have to do is you have to look," Paul said. "When you send foreign aid, you actually [send] quite a bit to Israel's enemies. Islamic nations around Israel get quite a bit of foreign aid, too.
"You have to ask yourself, are we funding an arms race on both sides? I have a lot of sympathy and respect for Israel as a democratic nation, as a, you know, a fountain of peace and a fountain of democracy within the Middle East."
Blitzer pressed, "End all foreign aid including the foreign aid to Israel as well. Is that right?" he asked.
Paul answered, "Yes."
Democrats, including Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), the ranking member of the foreign operations subcommittee of the appropriations committee, immediately pounced on Paul's proposal.
"It is shocking that Senator Paul wants our nation to renege on our commitment to a vital ally, which is necessary to assure Israel’s continued qualitative military advantage in a dangerous region," she said in a statement calling on Republicans to make clear if Sen. Paul is speaking on the party's behalf.
Major resignations at U.S. charity funding Israeli emergency services
NEW YORK (JTA) -- The five-member executive committee of the American Friends of Magen David Adom resigned in a dispute over oversight issues.
The resignation, first reported in the New York Jewish Week, resulted from a dispute between the Israeli emergency medical group and its American supporters, which was demanding greater financial oversight.
“We tried to negotiate a new cooperation agreement with them, but we had a difficult time because of their senior leadership,” Lewis Krinsky, former national chairman of the American Friends of Magen David Adom, said of the Israeli group. “They were making demands that in the opinion of the executive committee would compromise our ability to act as an independent organization.”
The dispute between Magen David Adom, essentially the Israeli version of the American Red Cross, and its American supporters has been going on for some time. In March, the Israelis threatened to cancel AFMDA's contract as MDA's exclusive representative in the United States. An investigative series in the Israeli daily Yisrael Hayom alleged misuse of MDA funds. AMFDA raises between $20 and $30 million annually for the Israeli charity.
I never took this bloke seriously, as he was a 'Troofers God'... but... the above makes me wonder! Jim Traficant talks about Jewish control of America... Immediately quizzed whether an 'anti-semite' by FOX interviewer!
(JTA - THE ''JEWISH & ISRAELI NEWS NETWORK'')
In: News, Middle East
Tags: Washington, Senate, Israel, Obama, Funding, Aid, FOX, JTA, Jewish, News, Network, Egypt, Senate, Control, US, America, President, Intriguing
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