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The Middle East


The Middle East is a region in western Asia and north-eastern Africa. The term was created by British military strategists in the 19th century, and definitions of the Middle East vary; it is not simply a geographical term, but also a political one, connoting that it separates Europe ("the West") from the Far East.

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12/6/2017, 4:20 pm Link to this post PM Miz Robbie
 
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Re: The Middle East


Trump Recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital and Orders U.S. Embassy to Move

By MARK LANDLER DEC. 6, 2017


WASHINGTON — President Trump on Wednesday formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, reversing nearly seven decades of American foreign policy and setting in motion a plan to move the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to the fiercely contested Holy City.

“Today we finally acknowledge the obvious: that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital,” Mr. Trump said from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House. “This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do. It’s something that has to be done.”

The president cast his decision as a break with decades of failed policy on Jerusalem, which the United States, along with virtually every other nation in the world, has declined to recognize as the capital since Israel’s founding in 1948. That policy, he said, brought us “no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.”

“It would be folly to assume that repeating the exact same formula would now produce a different or better result,” Mr. Trump declared.

Recognizing Jerusalem, he added, was “a long overdue step to advance the peace process.”

Mr. Trump’s remarks were the most closely scrutinized of his presidency on the Middle East, where he has vowed to broker the “ultimate deal” between Israelis and Palestinians but has yet to find a breakthrough to end the conflict. He said he remained committed to brokering an agreement “that is a great deal for the Israelis and a great deal for the Palestinians.”

The president said the decision to recognize Jerusalem should not be construed as the United States taking a position on whether, or how, the city might ultimately be shared. But he offered little solace to the Palestinians, making no mention of their long-held hopes for East Jerusalem to be the capital of a Palestinian state.

Instead, Mr. Trump emphasized the domestic political dimension of the decision. He noted that he had promised to move the embassy during the 2016 presidential campaign, and added, “While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering.”

*****

Mr. Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem isolates the United States on one of the world’s most sensitive diplomatic issues. It has drawn a storm of criticism from Arab and European leaders, which swelled on Tuesday night after the White House confirmed Mr. Trump’s plans.

Pope Francis and the Chinese foreign ministry joined the chorus of voices warning that the move could unleash a wave of violence across the region. At a meeting in Brussels, Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson was sternly reproached by European allies.

Standing next to Mr. Tillerson, the European Union’s top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, made clear that Europe saw the president’s decision as a threat to peace in the Middle East.

“We believe that any action that would undermine these efforts must absolutely be avoided,” she said. “A way must be found through negotiations to resolve the status of Jerusalem as a future capital of both states.”

*****

In addition to declining to take a position on the ultimate shape of Jerusalem, Mr. Trump called for the status quo on a disputed area of the Old City, known as the Temple Mount to Jews and the Noble Sanctuary to Muslims, which has been a flash point for tensions.

Mr. Kushner and Jason D. Greenblatt, the president’s special envoy, have been working for months to prepare for a negotiation between Israelis and Palestinians. Though they have little to show for the effort publicly, they say they have made progress behind the scenes.

Those efforts, Middle East experts said, would be jeopardized by Wednesday’s announcement. But Mr. Kushner and Mr. Greenblatt, the president’s special envoy, supported the president’s move, officials said.

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Robbie
12/6/2017, 4:32 pm Link to this post PM Miz Robbie
 
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Re: The Middle East


Random thoughts about Trump's announcement in no particular order:

*If there's anything Jews should understand, it's the desire of a people for a homeland.

*Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, is a bully.

*Trump seems determine to create chaos throughout the world. Is it to divert attention from his own troubles?

*Chances of another Middle Eastern war have just increased.

*If Israel swallows up the West Bank, the choice will be either to make Palestinians citizens or to have an apartheid state. Palestinian Arabs are having children at a greater rate than Israeli Jews. If they are citizens, they will outnumber Jews and Israel will no longer be a Jewish state.

*And on and on and on... Does Trump really need to make the most provocative move possible in every situation?

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Robbie
12/6/2017, 4:39 pm Link to this post PM Miz Robbie
 
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Jared Kushner By Day: Mideast Peace. Kushner Companies By Night: Donating to a West Bank Settlement.


"As Jared Kushner leads the U.S. government’s effort to develop an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, the Kushner Companies Charitable Foundation is funding a hardline Israeli settlement in the West Bank.

The charitable fund made a donation of at least $18,000 at the “Master Builders” level to American Friends of Bet El Yeshiva Center, according to a donor book distributed at the group’s annual gala Sunday evening.

The Kushner family has given money in past years to the group, which funds construction of the Bet El settlement outside the Palestinian city Ramallah, as Haaretz first reported. But this appears to be the first time they’ve done so while Kushner, whose title is senior adviser to the president, is the lead administration official brokering a peace plan.

Advocates of a two-state solution said the donation was troubling given Kushner’s role.

“Under normal circumstances you would expect someone who has a background of activism related to Israel to be working very hard to take a step back from that to show that he can be a credible mediator. Not only is that not the case, it’s the opposite,” said Lara Friedman, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace.

Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which eat away at any future Palestinian state, are one of the main obstacles to a two-state solution. Bet El, which was built on private Palestinian land seized by the Israeli military in the 1970s, is considered one of the most politically radical settlements. President Donald Trump has changed U.S. policy by saying he does not believe a two-state solution is a necessary part of a peace deal. In a move expected to exacerbate tensions, Trump will reportedly declare Jerusalem Israel’s capital today.

The donation to Bet El came from a charitable fund “solely controlled” by Charles Kushner, Jared’s father, according to Kushner Companies spokeswoman Chris Taylor. Kushner’s White House spokesman declined to comment.

Kushner stepped down from his job as CEO of Kushner Companies earlier this year but still has significant financial interests in the family empire, which mainly consists of real estate.

The mood of the 1,300 attendees at the Bet El dinner, held at a midtown Manhattan Marriott Sunday, was celebratory. “2017 is a year of construction starts for Bet El Institutions,” said a glossy book distributed at each table. “Facing a new policy of zero condemnations from the US State Department, Bet El is not wasting a minute.”

The former president of the Bet El group, David Friedman, is now the Trump administration’s ambassador to Israel."

]Read more here.

I understand that Congress passed legislation back in the 90s to recognize Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel. I think that's it. That doesn't mean that what Trump did was the right thing. Seems to me that he's intent on having the entire planet pissed off at us after the Germans took him to task today.
12/7/2017, 12:31 am Link to this post PM CooterBrown44
 
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The Middle East


quote:

CooterBrown44 wrote:

... after the Germans took him to task today.



I saw ]that

But back to the mid-East. A long article but worth the read

‘Jerusalem Is Not the Explosive Device—It’s the Detonator’
President Trump’s announcement on the status of the holy city could spark a crisis across the Middle East.

EMMA GREEN

Even before reports suggested President Trump will declare that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and eventually move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, officials were predicting that the announcement would create chaos. By predetermining the final status of Jerusalem, Trump’s announcement would derail any hope for an Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and spark violent protests across the Middle East.

Foreign leaders from across the Arab world have been warning the Trump administration of the potential for violence....

]SOURCE
12/7/2017, 12:36 pm Link to this post PM shiftless2
 
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Re: The Middle East


This shouldn't come as a surprise, it is something he campaigned on.

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The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. – John Adams
12/7/2017, 2:23 pm Link to this post PM AZKC
 
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Re: The Middle East


The surprise is Trump keeping a promise.
12/7/2017, 3:39 pm Link to this post PM shiftless2
 
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Palestinians recognize Texas as part of Mexico


Palestinians recognize Texas as part of Mexico

JERUSALEM – In response to US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, the Palestinian National Authority has announced that it will recognize Texas as a state of Mexico since it was violently annexed by the United States in the 1840s.

“The territory north and east of the Rio Grande is very important to the Mexican people,” explained a PNA spokesperson. “Before American settlers showed up and implemented slavery, Mexico oversaw this land. Then, President Polk sent his armies to invade the rest of these Mexican territories, and force the country to give up California, New Mexico, most of Arizona, Nevada, and Utah, and parts of Wyoming and Colorado. We may soon recognize these states as part of Mexico too.”

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says that this is a new approach to Mexican-US relations, and hopes it will help ease the tension between the two countries over security and immigration.

“We understand that the Mexican state of Texas is a sacred place for many large-buckled Americans, but they can rest assured that a two-state solution or a wall was not feasible,” explained Abbas.

“Besides, most people in Texas speak Spanish.”

The Palestinian consulate in Mexico City will soon be moved to Houston to formally recognize the seized territory as part of Mexico.

At press time, President Trump hopes that his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital will offer a new path for Middle East violence.

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12/8/2017, 3:11 pm Link to this post PM Bellelettres
 
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Re: Palestinians recognize Texas as part of Mexico


quote:

Bellelettres Quoted:

Palestinians recognize Texas as part of Mexico




Hahaha! Perfect!

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Robbie
12/8/2017, 3:35 pm Link to this post PM Miz Robbie
 
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Re: The Middle East


*shaking head*

There is definitely a certain kind of logic to it.

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12/9/2017, 4:02 am Link to this post PM JustLis
 
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Re: The Middle East


U.S., Britain and France Strike Syria Over Suspected Chemical Weapons Attack

By HELENE COOPER, THOMAS GIBBONS-NEFF and BEN HUBBARD APRIL 13, 2018


WASHINGTON — The United States and European allies launched airstrikes on Friday night against Syrian research, storage and military targets as President Trump sought to punish President Bashar al-Assad for a suspected chemical attack near Damascus last weekend that killed more than 40 people.

Britain and France joined the United States in the strikes in a coordinated operation that was intended to show Western resolve in the face of what the leaders of the three nations called persistent violations of international law. Mr. Trump characterized it as the beginning of a sustained effort to force Mr. Assad to stop using banned weapons, but only ordered a limited, one-night operation that hit three targets.

“These are not the actions of a man,” Mr. Trump said of last weekend’s attack in a televised address from the White House Diplomatic Room. “They are crimes of a monster instead.”

Shortly after the attack, the Syrian presidency posted on Twitter, “Honorable souls cannot be humiliated.”

The strikes risked pulling the United States deeper into the complex, multisided war in Syria and raised the possibility of confrontation with Russia and Iran, both of which were supporting Mr. Assad with military forces. Within 90 minutes, the Russian ambassador to the United States warned of “consequences” for the allied attacks.

While Mr. Trump vowed as recently as last week to pull American troops out of Syria, he said he would remain committed to the goal of preventing further chemical attacks.

“We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents,” he said.

But Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who had urged caution in White House deliberations leading up to the strike, told reporters on Friday night that there were no more attacks planned unless Mr. Assad again uses gas on his own people.

“We confined it to the chemical weapons-type targets,” Mr. Mattis said. “We were not out to expand this; we were very precise and proportionate. But at the same time, it was a heavy strike.”

The assault was twice the size and hit two more targets than a strike that Mr. Trump ordered last year against a Syrian military airfield. Launched from warplanes and naval destroyers, the burst of missiles and bombs struck Syria shortly after 4 a.m. local time on Saturday.

They hit three of Mr. Assad’s chemical weapons facilities: a scientific research center in greater Damascus that was used in the production of weapons, and two chemical weapons facilities west of Homs, one of which was used for the production of the nerve agent sarin and the other was part of a military command post, said Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

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Robbie
4/14/2018, 1:34 am Link to this post PM Miz Robbie
 
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Re: The Middle East


Good morning. I arose about two hours ago ago. And turned my. Short wave radio on as i settled down on the veranda to enjoy my coffee and pastry as i watched the sun rise over the Julian Alps. And what was i greeted with? None other than BBC reports of the airstrike undertaken by the U.S. in cooperation with the UK and France.

I will confess to having mixed emotions. On one hand my first thought was “Damnit, here we go again”. The U.S enbroiling itself in yet another hopeless, morass where it is virtually impossible to understand who is fighting whom. And where it is somewhat debatable that the U.S. even belongs.

On the other hand the behaviour of al-Assad and the Syrian government crosses every boundry of civility. And something must be done. The questions become by whom, and bt what means. And the thought of Donald Trump and his gang that cannot shoot straight assuming the leadership role in any international conflict is downright frightening. In any event the news tended to spoil muy pastry and coffee.



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4/14/2018, 2:23 am Link to this post PM GoHawk
 
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Re: The Middle East


I was watching MSNBC last night. Chris Hayes' program was finishing around 8:55 when the Breaking News scroll came on to say Trump was speaking at 9:00. He signed off two minutes early to give Rachel Maddow a couple of minutes to introduce what was coming.

Once Trump finished, they came back to Rachel Maddow. She seemed to struggle with what she wanted to say next -- and then asked for a moment of personal privilege. Uh oh.... And then she spent several minutes talking about how OTHER countries will take this action into account, given that with all of the domestic scandal pressure he's under, how much of this is genuine concern for stopping the Syrian chemical strikes and how much of this is Trump's personal fury over the raiding of his lawyer's office and Mueller moving in.

I found it interesting that Trump talked about this being the beginning of a "sustained" attack until Assad stops gassing his people, while Mattis came out an hour later and clearly INSISTED that this was a one-time attack -- and it was over.

Further reporting from all kinds of folks on MSNBC said that John Bolton had come roaring into his new job Monday, insisting that the bombing of Syria should be "ruinous." His word. "Ruinous." There were also reports that Trump had called for widespread bombings all over Syria, and that Mattis had TWICE this week said NO to Trump's plans. That's why it took until Friday to get to a strike -- Trump people insisting on far more than was proportionate.

"A Proportionate Response." One of my very favorite West Wing episodes that I always showed my AP Government students, because it shows the many roles of the president and the difficult decisions he faces. The situation was taken from "The American President," the forerunner to "West Wing." I've gotta pull those DVDs out and watch them again.

Anyway, insiders are saying it was another example of who was in Trump's ear last -- and this time it was Mattis. What if it's Bolton next time? Can those at the top of the military refuse an order? I know they can if it's unlawful. But what if it's just wrong and will put American troops' lives in jeopardy?

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Lis

Just one voice.... Singing in the darkness....
4/14/2018, 2:30 pm Link to this post PM JustLis
 
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Re: The Middle East


So, a bit ago on MSNBC, Major General Somebody said al-Assad has really won the fight against the Syrian resistance and it's "game, set, match" (as the Major General said) to al-Assad, with Russia's and Iran's help. His win includes killing nearly a half-million of his own people and displacing close to a million more.

Meanwhile, Trump got one news cycle with the various investigations taking a back seat to the Syrian attack.

And now, evidently, Russia is winning the propaganda war with its trolls and bots out in full force on social media, dismissing the US/British/French attack as ineffective. We, of course, have no staff with which to respond giving our own version of events.

Rah.

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Robbie
4/14/2018, 3:39 pm Link to this post PM Miz Robbie
 
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Re: The Middle East


#winning

Definitely tired.

Way tired.

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Lis

Just one voice.... Singing in the darkness....
4/14/2018, 3:47 pm Link to this post PM JustLis
 
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The anguish of Alex Jones


Is this a silver lining?

‘They have broken Trump’: Alex Jones and the Trump Internet’s furious response to the Syria strike

by Abby Ohlheiser
April 14

“I haven’t had Trump call me in six months,” Alex Jones said, his voice particularly hoarse. He was streaming live from the Infowars studio Friday night, because President Trump had just announced a strike on Syria. If Trump did decide to call Jones that night, he’d find that his longtime admirer was furious. “I will tell Trump that you really betrayed your family and your name, and everything you stood for with this horse manure.”

“They have broken Trump,” Jones said. To Trump he said, “If you ever call me again I’m going to tell you I’m ashamed of you.”

With a Trump White House, Jones becomes a media headline regularly, like a next-generation Pat Robertson. Infowars has promoted conspiracy theories about teenage survivors of a school shooting, and implied that the deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville last year was a false flag designed to undermine Trump’s agenda.

As the live stream continued, Jones went into an extended, often vulgar and sometimes difficult to follow monologue in which he tried to convey just how upset he was by Trump’s decision to authorize strikes against Syria. “I just feel like I just had my best girlfriend break up with me,” Jones said. “He was doing good and that’s what makes it so bad,” Jones added, after trying to compose himself. “If he’d been a piece of crap from the beginning it wouldn’t be so bad.” At this point, Jones appears to be openly crying.

“We made so many sacrifices, and now he’s crapping all over us. It makes me sick.”
“I shouldn’t even be live right now,” he said, before unleashing another sentence of expletives. After a couple of calmer (for Jones) sentences, Jones started to yell again: “F— Trump!”

On Friday night and Saturday morning, Mike Cernovich, an influential personality on the pro-Trump Internet who has since rebranded himself as not explicitly pro-Trump, wrote tweets promoting a conspiracy theory that the chemical attacks in Syria were staged, and also what was read among Trump supporters as a pretty direct attack on Trump:

At least I won’t feel bad when he gets impeached.
— Mike Cernovich 🇺🇸 (@Cernovich) April 14, 2018

But while multiple powerful figures in the Trump Internet were, at least temporarily, turning on the president, the response was not universal. In Cernovich’s mentions, several #MAGA accounts pledged to unfollow him in response.

“Awful lot of concern trolls out tonight,” one top comment on the board’s main thread about Trump’s announcement read. “Trust in Trump, he’s not steered us wrong yet.”

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4/15/2018, 7:53 am Link to this post PM Bellelettres
 
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Re: The Middle East


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4/15/2018, 7:55 am Link to this post PM shiftless2
 


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