Title: "Jews Destroying the Arab Dream"
I guess subtlety isn't one of the finer points in Arabic, Anti-Semitic cartoons.
1. Clarification to yesterday's posting about the Congressional Bill, HR 3296 "Affordable Health Care for Americans Act" and its taxation for US citizens living outside the USA.
The bill in the House of Representatives was originally slated to include a tax of up to $1900 for US Citizens, yet non-USA residents -- however, due to lobbying efforts, including those from "Democrats Abroad", a provision was included, exempting Americans living abroad from payment of any penalty or additional taxes imposed by the bill. That's the good news.
The bad news is that current bills before the Senate, however, do not include such an exemption. "Democrats Abroad" is working with Senate staff to include in those bills the same or similar language as the exemption for Americans residing abroad passed by the House.
I would advise American Citizens who live abroad from the United States to continue to send emails and faxes as recommended yesterday. Since this is a bi-partisan issue, applicable to ALL US citizens living abroad from the United States, I wholeheartedly suggest you participate in this lobbying effort.
Thanks to Robert Checkoway, the International Vice Chair of Democrats Abroad, Joanne Yaron, Chair of Democrats Abroad-Israel, and the ACA for alerting us all to this crucial lobbying effort.
2. News Updates about the Ft. Hood shooting in Texas. When a person shouts "Allahu Akabar" and shoots at people, there's very little doubt that the shooter believes he is engaged in a holy mission of death. Praising Allah, while taking the lives of innocent people is clearly behavior of a radical Islamist, and I don't know why some are trying to mute the issue.
It didn't come as a surprise to me that ABC reported the following:
- U.S. intelligence agencies were aware months ago that Army Major Nidal Hasan was attempting to make contact with people associated with al Qaeda, two American officials briefed on classified material in the case told ABC News.
- In a blog posting early Monday titled "Nidal Hassan Did the Right Thing," Awlaki calls Hassan a "hero" and a "man of conscience who could not bear living the contradiction of being a Muslim and serving in an army that is fighting against his own people."
According to his site, Awlaki served as an imam in Denver, San Diego and Falls Church, Virginia.
- The Associated Press reported Sunday that Major Hasan attended the Falls Church mosque when Awlaki was there.
- The Telegraph of London reported that Awlaki had made contact with two of the 9/11 hijackers when he was in San Diego.
U.S. intelligence agencies were aware months ago that Army Major Nidal Hasan was attempting to make contact with people associated with al Qaeda, two American officials briefed on classified material in the case told ABC News.
3. News: In a semi-dramatic announcement at the Muqata @ Ramalla, last week, PA President Mahmoud Abbas revealed that he would not be running for re-election. YNET reports that, "While Abbas' declaration was met with crowds pleading with him to reconsider during a Sunday visit to Bethlehem and Hebron, the Palestinian street seems mostly indifferent. "
The more dramatic issue was that the PA might simply declare their "statehood" as fact, making Israel, by default, a foreign occupier of a sovereign state.
Dan Izenberg at the Jerusalem Post writes a legal opinion on what would happen:
It is clear from the provisions of the 1995 Oslo Interim Agreement that the Palestinian Authority would be perpetrating a material breach of the treaty by declaring an independent state.Israel could have declared the entire agreement void within days of the agreement's signing, since Fatah terrorists continued to murder Israelis, with the tacit support of Arafat. In 1996, when the Kotel tunnels were opened, PA policemen opened fire on IDF troops everywhere, and that could also have been reason enough to annul the agreement. Or the intifada in October 2000. Israel simply never misses an opportunity, to miss an opportunity, to declare the agreement null and void due to Palestinian Authority non-compliance.
According to Article 23 of the internationally recognized accord, "neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip pending the outcome of the permanent status negotiations."
Therefore, a unilateral declaration of independence by the PA would constitute a clear and serious violation of the agreement.
According to attorney Allen Baker, a former legal adviser to the Foreign Ministry, on the basis of that breach, Israel could declare the entire agreement void.
4. Links: Are Israelis Rude? Israel has been improving daily over the years -- customer service is now a real concept, even among government offices.
Over at Mom in Israel's blog, a comment war is raging over Israeli behavior; rude, misunderstood, or simply a generalization?
What set it all off was this comment:
"We spent our sabbatical year in Israel in 07-08. It was a fabulous experience. I agree with most of the observations/comments above. For me, the most striking thing was the bad behaviour of the children AND the adults who had obviously been parented in a similar manner. Don’t get me wrong. My children also misbehave, but the difference is that, when they do, I notice, I care and I act. Many Israeli parents do not notice, care or act. They are raising another generation of rude, spoiled children. I had visited Israel 3 times before our sabbatical year and, of course, I noticed and experienced the rude behaviour of both adults and children. However, over the course of the year, this aspect of Israeli culture REALLY began to wear on me. It was embarrassing, as a Jew, to imagine what non-Jewish tourists thought of “us” as Jews. They are not just seeing rude Israelis, they are seeing rude Jews. Many of the Israelis that I spent time with while in Israel were also embarrassed by the behaviour of their fellow Israelis and their children. The difference, in almost every case, was that the people I spent time with – family and friends – had themselves lived in Canada or the US."
See the comment thread...
5. Clarification about yesterday's post on Democrats and how they voted on the resolution rejecting the Goldstone Report. While the resolution was sponsored by Republican Representative, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Florida), special mention should also go to Rep. Howard Berman (Democrat, California) (and/or members of his staff) -- he deserve a lot of credit for drafting the resolution and for rewriting the resolution to address Goldstone's specious response. (Thanks soccerdad)
This blog doesn't go out of its way to target Democrats or Republicans....the driving factor for this blog, is what is best for Israel. While I have a lot of respect and appreciation for the United States, my primary interest lies with Israel.
Liberal Democrats with Hawkish views on Israel are some of my good friends.
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Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד