How the United States Should Help Protect Jordan from the Chaos Next Door

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The Washington Institute


By David Schenker:
RECOMMENDATIONS ON SECURITY

Encourage More Jordanian-Israeli Cooperation: One good news story of 2016 was the signing of a $10-billion, 15-year deal for Israel to provide Jordan with natural gas. Less publicized, but more important, has been the excellent ongoing strategic cooperation between Jordan and Israel. King Abdullah and the government of Israel are committed to military cooperation and intelligence sharing, which greatly benefit both states and Washington. Given the strong bilateral coordination, Washington’s assistance may not be required. Nevertheless, the Trump administration could direct the Defense Department to explore ways of enhancing the already deep relationship, including — but not limited to — permitting and encouraging more transfers of Israeli excess defense articles (EDA) to Jordan….

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Message from NORPAC Regarding Congressman Keith Ellison

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NORPAC urges you to reach out to DNC Electors (see list on bottom) to NOT elect Rep. Keith Ellison for DNC Chairman:

As the Democratic National Committee (DNC) looks to choose a new leader for their platform at the end of this week, it is imperative that the Democratic Party elects a Chair who will continue the Party Tradition to maintain a strong US-Israel relationship.

Previously we have voiced our concern about the DNC Chair candidacy of Congressman Keith Ellison. Ellison has proven himself to have a different agenda than the rest of his party when it comes to supporting Israel. From his controversial connection to Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam, his support of the biased and anti-Israel Goldstone Report, his support of the “Gaza 54” letter, his efforts to unseat a fellow incumbent Democrat who was supportive of Israel, and other incidents, we believe Rep. Ellison is the wrong choice to lead the Democratic Party.

We ask you to please reach out to DNC electors about this nomination, and to urge their support of a candidate who embodies the essence of the Democratic Party, which has historically stood firmly by our ally Israel. Below you can find the contact details of the electors and their respective states.

Action Item

Sample email:
Dear [Title & Last Name],

I want to thank you for your leadership as a voting member for the DNC Chairperson. As an American who supports a strong US-Israel relationship and a long-term supporter of the Democratic Party, I believe we need leadership from someone who will continue our Party’s proud legacy of support.

Congressman Ellison has perhaps the worst voting record on US-Israel relations in Congress. Just this year, he discussed adding language to the Democratic platform that would polarize America’s relationship with Israel by unfairly demonizing its treatment of the Palestinians.

The Democratic Party needs a strong candidate, now more than ever, who embodies the values that the majority of the party and Americans share. Electing Rep. Keith Ellison would send the wrong message. I urge you to consider instead a candidate who will unify the party, bring in Independents, and continue our strong tradition of maintaining a robust US-Israel bond.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

If you live in New York address your email to one or more of the following New York DNC members:

Mr. Stuart Applebaum, sapplebaum@rwdsu.org
Hon. Byron Brown, chair@nydems.org
Hon. Vivian Cook, cookv@assembly.state.ny.us
Ms. Jennifer Cunningham, jcunningham@skdknick.com
Ms. Maria Cuomo Cole, cuomocole@gmail.com
Dr. Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, barcar720@aol.com
Ms. Emily Giske, egiske54@hotmail.com
Hon. Jay Jacobs, jay@camptlc.com
Ms. Sarah Kovner, sskovner@gmail.com
Mr. Marv McMoore, marvmcmoore@gmail.com
Mr. Henry Muñoz, III munoz@munoz-co.com
Mr. Gerard Sweeney, gjs2@aol.com
Mr. Robert Zimmerman, zimmrob@aol.com

If you live in New Jersey address your email to one or more of the following New Jersey DNC members:

Mr. Tonio Burgos, tburgos@tonioburgos.com
Mrs. Lizette Delgado Polanco, lizettedelgadopolanco@gmail.com
Mr. John Graham, jgraham@fairviewinsurance.com
Mr. Chris James, Chris@njdems.org
Ms. Marcia Marley, marciam@bluewavenj.org
Mrs. Bernadette McPherson Esq. friendsofbernadette@gmail.com

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Israel and the Palestinians: What are alternatives to a two-state solution?

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BBC


By Colin Shindler: To understand where the concept of sharing or dividing this piece of land comes from, it is important to look at its recent past.

Arab nationalism and Jewish nationalism arose during the same period of history with claims to the same territory. This rationale was the underlying basis for an equitable solution, based on partition and a two-state solution.

In 1921, TransJordan (now the state of Jordan) was formally separated from Palestine (now Israel and the West Bank/Gaza). A UN resolution in 1947 proposed a second partition, this time of the territory west of the river Jordan.

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The Two State Solution: Does Trump’s Indifference Matter?

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National Review

By Jonathan S. Tobin: Those who expected Donald Trump to effect genuine change in Washington still might be waiting for him to take action on some issues, but when it comes to altering existing Middle East policy, the president has not disappointed. With his refusal to specifically endorse a two-state solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, the president has seemingly discarded the idea that has been the bedrock principle of U.S. Middle East diplomacy for the past generation.

When asked about a two-state solution during a joint press conference prior to his first meeting as president with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, Trump replied:

“I’m looking at two-state and one-state. I like the one that both parties like. I’m very happy with the one that both parties like. I can live with either one.”

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J Street’s Dead End

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Middle East Forum


By Gregg Roman: At the end of 2017, the far-left Jewish advocacy group J Street will celebrate its 10th anniversary. At its inception, J Street promised to be the first political movement “to explicitly promote American leadership to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” However, the organization’s pursuit of this goal was an abject and damning failure.

Circumstances couldn’t have been more amenable toward J Street’s lofty goal. Within 14 months of J Street’s inception, Barack Obama swept to power in elections that also left both houses of Congress controlled by Democrats.

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Why U.S. Embassy Move to Jerusalem Is So Fraught: QuickTake Q&A

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Bloomberg

By Jonathan Ferziger: What’s the capital of Israel? Israelis say it’s Jerusalem, and indeed the prime minister’s office is there, as well as the parliament, the highest court and most government ministries. No other country, however, recognizes Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem. It’s considered disputed territory, subject to negotiation with the Palestinians. All the embassies in Israel are in Tel Aviv, 70 kilometers to the west. So Israelis perked up when Donald Trump, during the U.S. presidential campaign, vowed to relocate the American embassy to Jerusalem, a move that would lend legitimacy to their claim to the city. Israelis have heard this promise from presidential candidates before, only to see it broken after the new president took office. Yet the past is an uncertain guide when it comes to predicting what Trump will do.

1. What’s so special about Jerusalem?

Jerusalem is sacred to followers of the three major monotheistic religions. It is home to the Temple Mount, the holiest site in the world for Jews, who come from around the world to pray at the Western Wall, the last remaining supporting wall of the biblical temple. Muslims revere the same plateau as the Noble Sanctuary, where the Al-Aqsa mosque stands as the third-holiest place in Islam, after Mecca and Medina. Not far away in Jerusalem’s Old City is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which Christians revere as the site of Jesus’s tomb. When the United Nations voted in 1947 to divide British-ruled Palestine into separate Arab and Jewish states, it didn’t want either side controlling Jerusalem, due to its religious resonance. Instead, it set aside the city as an international zone to be administered by a UN council of trustees.

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Trump May Turn to Arab Allies for Help With Israeli-Palestinian Relations

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NY Times

    An Israeli settlement in the West Bank

By Peter Baker and Mark Landler: President Trump and his advisers, venturing for the first time into the fraught world of Middle East peacemaking, are developing a strategy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that would enlist Arab nations like Saudi Arabia and Egypt to break years of deadlock.

The emerging approach mirrors the thinking of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, who will visit the United States next week, and would build on his de facto alignment with Sunni Muslim countries in trying to counter the rise of Shiite-led Iran. But Arab officials have warned Mr. Trump and his advisers that if they want cooperation, the United States cannot make life harder for them with provocative pro-Israel moves.

The White House seems to be taking the advice. Mr. Trump delayed his plan to move the United States Embassy to Jerusalem after Arab leaders told him that doing so would cause angry protests among Palestinians, who also claim the city as the capital of a future state. And after meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan last week, Mr. Trump authorized a statement that, for the first time, cautioned Israel against building new West Bank settlements beyond existing lines.

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Iran is Putin’s depreciating asset

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Asia Times

    A mural of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini,

By David P. Goldman: Iran is dying, and no one knows it better than Vladimir Putin, who worked successfully to raise Russia’s fertility rate, unlike Iran’s theocrats, who have failed to persuade Iranians to have children.

Russia’s relationship to the only Shi’ite state of significance is less an alliance than a dalliance, motivated by Moscow’s fear of Sunni radicalism and its desire to establish a strategic beachhead in the Middle East.

But Iran is a depreciating asset whose value will disappear within a 20-year horizon. The question is not whether, but at what price Russia will trade it away.

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5 Big Reasons Israel Is a (Mini) Military Superpower

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The National Interest

    The Merkava Tank

By Robert Farley: The technology that binds all of these other systems together is the Israeli soldier. Since 1948 (and even before) Israel has committed the best of its human capital to the armed forces. The creation of fantastic soldiers, sailors, and airmen doesn’t happen by accident, and doesn’t result simply from the enthusiasm and competence of the recruits. The IDF has developed systems of recruitment, training, and retention that allow it to field some of the most competent, capable soldiers in the world. None of the technologies above work unless they have smart, dedicated, well-trained operators to make them function at their fullest potential.

Since 1948, the state of Israel has fielded a frighteningly effective military machine. Built on a foundation of pre-independence militias, supplied with cast-off World War II weapons, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have enjoyed remarkable success in the field. In the 1960s and 1970s, both because of its unique needs and because of international boycotts, Israel began developing its own military technologies, as well as augmenting the best foreign tech. Today, Israel boasts one of the most technologically advanced military stockpiles in the world, and one of the world’s most effective workforces.

Here are five of the most deadly systems that the Israeli Defense Forces currently employ–the foundation of why Israel is a military power no one wants to mess with.

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On trade and travel, Trump has an opportunity to bolster US-Israel ties

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JTA

    Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu at Google’s Tel Aviv office

By Daniel Shapiro and Scott Lasensky: When President Trump meets Prime Minister Netanyahu next week at the White House, the two are expected to discuss Iran, Syria and Israeli-Palestinian issues, including the Trump campaign promise to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv and what the White House recently called “settlement activity.”

But if Trump would like to generate even closer ties between the two countries and greater prosperity for Americans and Israelis, he should consider a public pledge to move faster toward renewing the U.S. Free Trade Agreement with Israel and helping Israelis qualify for visa-free travel to the United States.

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