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Netanyahu on Tlaib, Omar ban: Israel respects Congress, but won’t tolerate BDS

PM says Israeli envoy to US announced in July the Democratic lawmakers would be allowed to enter country before learning of their itinerary 

18 August 2019, 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday defended Israel’s decision to bar Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar from entering the country and said that the Israeli ambassador to the United States had said they would be allowed in before learning of their itinerary.

Netanyahu last week announced that Omar and Tlaib, freshman Democratic representatives respectively from Minnesota and Michigan who were planning to visit Jerusalem and the West Bank this week, would be banned from Israel under a 2017 law denying entry to supporters of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS).

The move was widely condemned by Jewish groups in the US and Democratic lawmakers, with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (Democrat-Maryland) saying the ban marked a reversal of Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer’s announcement in July that Tlaib and Omar would not be barred.

Netanyahu on Sunday said that while Israel respects all Congress members and has a policy of automatically granting them entrance to the country, it would not welcome those who back boycotts of the Jewish state.

“We respect all members of Congress. Our directive is to facilitate, on a regular and automatic basis, the entry of all members of Congress, Democratic and Republican. Just one week ago, I met with dozens of Democratic members of Congress. Ambassador Dermer enunciated this precise policy,” he said. “There is only one exception and it is the BDS law that obligates us to evaluate the entry of people who support BDS,” Netanyahu told reporters at the airport before travelling to Ukraine.

The prime minister said Dermer’s announcement last month came before Israel received a request from Omar and Tlaib  to visit or were 

aware of their travel plans. He also stressed the ban was not related to the congresswomen’s party affiliation, but was rather a matter of principle.

“When Ambassador Dermer spoke, there was no specific request regarding these visits; neither was there an itinerary or a specific travel plan. As soon as these arrived, we checked it and reached the decision that we did. This was a principled, not a partisan, decision. We respect all political parties in the US equally; however, we also respect ourselves. Whoever comes to impose boycotts on us and to deny the legitimacy of the State of Israel, we will not allow them entry,” he said.

Netanyahu’s comments on Dermer, one of his closest confidantes, came a day after Foreign Minister Israel Katz said the ambassador announced Tlaib and Omar would be allowed into Israel without consulting with the government.

“It was not with the prime minister’s blessing, it was not a decision of the Israeli government… It was not with my blessing. He gave his opinion,” Katz told Channel 12’s “Meet the Press.”

Katz said that, with the visit drawing closer, Netanyahu met with cabinet ministers to discuss the matter and decided to bar the lawmakers.

Katz denied reports that US President Donald Trump had pressured Israel to disallow the two congresswomen from visiting. He also said the decision to bar the two was made before Trump tweeted support of a ban on Thursday.

Announcing the unprecedented decision to turn away the serving US legislators, Netanyahu said Thursday it was plain that Omar and Tlaib intended to use the visit to harm Israel.

“Several days ago, we received [Omar and Tlaib’s] trip itinerary,” Netanyahu said in a statement, “which clarified that they planned a visit whose sole purpose was to support boycotts and deny Israel’s legitimacy. For example, they called their destination ‘Palestine’ and not ‘Israel,’ and unlike all Democratic and Republican members of Congress before them, they did not seek any meeting with any Israeli official, whether government or opposition.”

Hebrew media reports claimed Netanyahu had been heavily pressured by Trump to block the two congresswomen. The announcement that Israel would not allow the pair in came shortly after Trump tweeted that the Jewish state would be showing weakness if it gave them permission to come.

Tlaib then submitted a letter requesting to be allowed in despite the ban, citing her elderly grandmother, and promised not to promote boycotting Israel during her visit. The request was approved by Interior Minister Aryeh Deri on humanitarian grounds, but Tlaib later said she had decided not go under “humiliating terms.”

The Israeli ban on the two congresswoman was criticized by centrist, left-wing, and Arab Israeli lawmakers, and by many prominent US Democratic leaders.

A Friday report in the McClatchy news service said that top Democratic lawmakers in the US House of Representatives had discussed censuring Dermer and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman over the decision to bar Tlaib and Omar. Around a dozen Democrats had begun talks on how to express a “deep lack of confidence and trust” in the two, the report said.

Also Sunday, the US political news site Politico reported that the pro-BDS organization cited by Netanyahu as the reason for barring entry to Israel to Tlaib and Omar has in fact sponsored other authorized trips to Israel for members of Congress.

“The itinerary of the two congresswomen reveals that their sole purpose is to harm Israel and increase incitement against it. In addition, the organization that is funding their trip is Miftah, which is an avid supporter of BDS, and among whose members are those who have expressed support for terrorism against Israel,” Netanyahu said last week.

But according to Politico, in 2016, Democratic Reps. Matt Cartwright (Pennsylvania), Dan Kildee (Michigan), Mark Pocan (Wisconsin), Luis Gutierrez (Illinois), and Hank Johnson (Georgia) all went on a five-day trip to Israel and the West Bank sponsored by the group.

“And on that trip,” noted Politico, “the members of Congress listed their destination as “Palestine – Jerusalem – Ramallah” — not Israel,” similar to Tlaib and Omar’s itineraries.

“Those members of Congress stayed in Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Ramallah. They met with PLO officials and Miftah board members, went to Hebron and met with its mayor, and tried to tour Gaza, but were prevented by the Israeli government,” the report added.

Editorial

Netanyahu on Tlaib, Omar ban: Israel respects Congress, but won’t tolerate BDS

PM says Israeli envoy to US announced in July the Democratic lawmakers would be allowed to enter country before learning of their itinerary

18 August 2019,

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday defended Israel’s decision to bar Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar from entering the country and said that the Israeli ambassador to the United States had said they would be allowed in before learning of their itinerary.

Netanyahu last week announced that Omar and Tlaib, freshman Democratic representatives respectively from Minnesota and Michigan who were planning to visit Jerusalem and the West Bank this week, would be banned from Israel under a 2017 law denying entry to supporters of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS).

The move was widely condemned by Jewish groups in the US and Democratic lawmakers, with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (Democrat-Maryland) saying the ban marked a reversal of Israeli Ambassador Ron …
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National Scene

Illinois Democrat State Lawmaker Simulates Assassination Attempt of President Trump in Political Fundraiser

Cristina Laila August 18, 2019

A political fundraiser for a Democrat state lawmaker in Illinois simulated an assassination attempt of a ‘mock’ Donald Trump.

Attendees to Illinois State Senator Martin Sandoval’s political fundraiser were able to carry out their Trump assassination porn fantasies this week.

Sandoval later ‘apologized’ after outcry from social media users.

Social media users tagged Secret Service to alert them to what they perceived as a threat to President Trump.

“The incident ...
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State Side

Jake Tapper Admits Trump Did Not Call Neo-Nazis ‘Very Fine People’

Trump specifically said, “I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally.”

He used the phrase “very fine people” to refer to non-violent protesters, both left and right, on either side of the question of the removal of a Confederate statue.

In that same press conference, the president also specifically condemned the murder of Heather Heyer, calling it “terrorism” and “murder.”

...
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History Bite

Verna Yu and Lily Kuo in Hong KongSun 18 Aug 2019 18.20 EDT

An estimated 1.7 million people in Hong Kong – a quarter of the population – defied police orders to stage a peaceful march after a rally in a downtown park, after two months of increasingly violent clashes that have prompted severe warnings from Beijing and failed to win concessions from the city’s government.

Huge crowds filled Victoria Park on Sunday afternoon and spilled on to nearby streets, forcing police to block traffic in the area. Torrential rain came down an hour into the rally, turning the park into a sea of umbrellas. At the same time, protesters walked towards Central, the heart of Hong Kong’s business district, and surrounded government headquarters.

Police had turned down a plan for Sunday’s march submitted by the Civil Human Rights Front group and gave permission only for a rally in the park. Those defying the ban risked being charged with unlawful assembly, which can lead to up to five years in prison.

“Stand with Hong Kong! Fight for freedom!” protesters shouted at the rally.

Throughout the afternoon, streets around Victoria Park were so densely packed that the march frequently came to …
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We're on it..

by Byron York | August 15, 2019 

Dean Baquet, the executive editor of the New York Times, said recently that, after the Mueller report, the paper has to shift the focus of its coverage from the Trump-Russia affair to the president’s alleged racism.

“We built our newsroom to cover one story, and we did it truly well,” Baquet said. “Now we have to regroup, and shift resources and emphasis to take on a different story.”

Baquet made the remarks at an employee town hall Monday. A recording was leaked to Slate, which published a transcript Thursday.

In the beginning of the Trump administration, the Times geared up to cover the Russia affair, Baquet explained. “Chapter 1 of the story of Donald Trump, not only for our newsroom but, frankly, for our readers, was: Did Donald Trump have untoward relationships with the Russians, and was there obstruction of justice? That was a really hard story, by the way, let’s not forget that. We set ourselves up to cover that story. I’m going to say it. We won two Pulitzer Prizes covering that story. And I think we covered that story better than anybody else.”

But then came the Mueller report, with special counsel Robert Mueller failing to establish that the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with Russia to fix the 2016 election. “The day Bob Mueller walked off that witness stand, two things happened,” Baquet continued. “Our readers who want Donald Trump to go away suddenly thought, ‘Holy shit, Bob Mueller is not going to do it.’ And Donald Trump got a little emboldened politically, I think. Because, you know, for obvious reasons. And I think that the story changed. A lot of the stuff we’re talking about started to emerge like six or seven weeks ago. We’re a little tiny bit flat-footed. I mean, that’s what happens when a story looks a certain way for two years. Right?”

Baquet used the gentlest terms possible — “the story changed” — but the fact is, the conspiracy-coordination allegation the Times had devoted itself to pursuing turned out to be false. Beyond that, Democrats on Capitol Hill struggled to press an obstruction case against the president. The Trump-Russia hole came up dry.

Now, Baquet continued, “I think that we’ve got to change.” The Times must “write more deeply about the country, race, and other divisions.”

“I mean, the vision for coverage for the next two years is what I talked about earlier: How do we cover a guy who makes these kinds of remarks?” Baquet said. “How do we cover the world’s reaction to him? How do we do that while continuing to cover his policies? How do we cover America, that’s become so divided by Donald Trump?”

The town hall was spurred by angry reaction, both inside and outside the Times, to a headline that many on the Left faulted for being insufficiently anti-Trump. After the El Paso shootings, when the president denounced white supremacy, the Times published a page-one story with the heading, “Trump Urges Unity Vs. Racism.” 

“I think one of the reasons people have such a problem with a headline like this … is because they care so much,” one staffer said to Baquet. “And they depend on the New York Times. They are depending on us to keep kicking down the doors and getting through, because they need that right now. It’s a very scary time.” 

Baquet vowed a transition to a new “vision” for the paper for the next two years. “How do we grapple with all the stuff you all are talking about?” he said to the staffer. “How do we write about race in a thoughtful way, something we haven’t done in a large way in a long time? That, to me, is the vision for coverage. You all are going to have to help us shape that vision. But I think that’s what we’re going to have to do for the rest of the next two years.”

The headline controversy, it appears, was a preview of a new 2019-2020 New York Times. If Baquet follows through, the paper will spend the next two years, which just happens to be the run-up to the 2020 presidential election, building the Trump-is-a-racist narrative. (Baquet added, almost as an afterthought, that the Times will “continu[e] to cover his policies.”)

The employee town hall was not intended to be public. But the Times is a news organization, and no one could be surprised that a recording of it leaked, possibly by Times employees who want to push Baquet in an even more anti-Trump direction. In any event, it’s now public. And the results will play out for the next two years.

QVGOP Think Tank

We know our country is changing

We know our form of government is in question

We know we have detached from the US Constitution

We  know reform is needed

Once we are able to talk with each other again

We must discuss how we, as Americans, define the role of government 

Begin to consider issues with that question in mind.

So begin here…..What do you think of...