About the author  ⁄ The Endowment for Middle East Truth

On February 7th, EMET held a seminar on Capitol Hill as part of our monthly Capitol Hill Seminar series with Dr. Daniel Pipes of MEF, and Jeff Ballabon. The seminar focused on President Trump’s long awaited “Ultimate Deal” to finally bring peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and whether or not it is likely that the Palestinians will once again walk away from the table, only to be met with a renewed round of violence.

The seminar can be viewed on EMET’s Facebook page.

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There are 235 House Democrats.  Only about one in ten House Members — 25 — are awarded the privilege to sit on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.  Rep. Ilhan Omar cannot be one of those 25 sitting Members.

Committee Members on this key committee must display fairness and objectivity in foreign affairs. They also should be committed to the long-standing U.S. foreign policy of staunchly supporting the state of Israel.

Rep. Omar has shown that she lacks a sense of fairness and objectivity when it comes to Israel.  She has called Israel “evil,” and repeated many anti-Semitic tropes, including her description in recent days that Jews are ugly, “hook nosed” people, and that Members of Congress support Israel only for money. She does not deserve to have a coveted seat on the foreign affairs committee.

SIGN THE PETITION HERE

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THE URGENT NEED TO REMOVE REP. OMAR FROM THE HOUSE FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE

FEBRUARY 12, 2019

The Endowment for Middle East Truth applauds House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House Democratic leadership for their condemnation of Rep. Ilhan Omar’s ugly views about Jews.  We especially wish to single out the comments by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler.  Rep. Nadler’s denunciation of Omar is important as he sits on a committee designed to protect the civil rights of Americans.  We believe he recognized Omar’s anti-Semitic comments constitute a deplorable civil rights violation against all people of the Jewish faith.

However, words alone will not suffice.  Speaker Pelosi and House Foreign Affairs chairman Rep. Eliot L. Engel must immediately remove Rep. Omar from the foreign affairs committee.  This committee is one of the most prestigious and coveted seats in all of the House.

There are 235 House Democrats.  Only about one in ten House Members — 25 — are awarded the privilege to sit on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.  Rep. Omar cannot be one of those 25 sitting Members.

Committee Members on this key committee must display fairness and objectivity in foreign affairs. They also should be committed to the long-standing U.S. foreign policy of staunchly supporting the state of Israel.

Israel came into being when Harry Truman, a great Democratic President, was one of the first world leaders to officially recognize the state of Israel.  Successive American Presidents have pledged their commitment to a free, pluralistic, democratic and safe homeland for the Jewish people.

Through its free elections, the rule of law through its court system and with a free press, Israel protects and all its citizens, including Christians, Arabs, Druze, Bedouin and other minorities. Israel is the only democratic state in all of the Middle East and it needs continued U.S. support.

Rep. Omar has shown that she lacks a sense of fairness and objectivity when it comes to Israel.  She has called Israel “evil,” and repeated many anti-Semitic tropes, including her description in recent days that Jews are ugly, “hook nosed” people, and that Members of Congress support Israel only for money. She does not deserve to have a coveted seat on the foreign affairs committee.

We hope Speaker Pelosi and Rep. Engel will immediately remove Rep. Omar from the committee.

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January 23, 2019

On December 19, 2018, President Donald Trump announced by tweet that he was withdrawing most of the American troops currently in Syria. The President wrote, “We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency.” Trump also promised in a video message on Twitter that “Our boys, our young women, our men, they’re all coming back and they’re coming back now. We won.”

There are about 2200 U.S. soldiers in Syria. 2000 of these troops are in the northeast, where they direct the air and land war against the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), in coordination with the Syrian Defense Forces (SDF). The remaining 200 are at al-Tanf, a crucial base at the Syrian-Iraqi border which blocks Iran from completing its land bridge to Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan. In both areas, the U.S. troops have very rarely been exposed to combat situations. Four Americans were killed on Wednesday in an attack by ISIS in Syria, and six U.S. soldiers have died in combat since 2014.

Since his initial announcement, the President and his aides have somewhat walked back these tweets. Although some U.S. troops have begun to leave, it is unclear exactly how long it will take, and whether the 200 troops in al-Tanf are to be included.

What are the ramifications of a U.S. withdrawal from Syria? And what are the national security interests that favor the U.S. staying the course there? To explore these questions and more, EMET is honored to host Professor Efraim Inbar from Jerusalem for a phone seminar.

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EMET Praises Israel for Deliberately and Aggressively Defending Itself Against an Iranian Attack
(Washington, DC, January 21, 2019) – Today, the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET), praised Israel for carrying out a series of airstrikes against Iranian targets in Syria, and the deliberate and aggressive manner in which it responded to an Iranian attack targeting the Golan Heights yesterday.  On Sunday, Iran’s Al-Quds Force, an arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Forces (IRGC), launched a missile at northern Israel from Syria, in an area near Damascus, approximately 50 kilometers from the Golan.  This is the third time that Iran tried to attack Israel in the past year.  Israel’s Iron Dome intercepted the Iranian missile.On Monday, Israel responded to the attack by striking Iranian targets in Syria, including a military training camp, munition storage sites, and an intelligence site.  Following Israel’s strikes, Iran’s General Aziz Nassirzadeh said its Air Force’s “young generation are impatient and ready for a fight against the Zionist regime to wipe it off the Earth.”

“We have a defined policy: to harm Iranian entrenchment in Syria and to harm anyone who tries to harm us,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.  “We will not ignore such acts of aggression as Iran attempts to entrench itself militarily in Syria and given explicit statements by Iran that it intends to destroy Israel,” the Israeli Prime Minister added on Monday.

Iranian forces are just north of the Golan Heights, and are as far south in Syria as Quinetra.  The Iranian backed proxy, Hezbollah, has 150,000 missiles staring down at Israel.  Iran is essentially working to create an uninterrupted land bridge from Tehran through Baghdad, Damascus, and Beirut to the Mediterranean.

“EMET applauds Israel for responding openly, aggressively, and forcefully against the Iranian entrenchment in Syria near their northern border.  The aggressive actions against the people of Israel by Iranian forces in Syria once more proves that the United States needs to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.  This would show American strength in the region without committing even one boot on the ground, and it would prove to the world that the United States does not abandon its friends and allies to the Iranian menace and its proxies,” Sarah Stern, the founder and president of EMET said.

“When there is daylight between the United States and Israel, that is when the enemies of both countries attack. It is well past time that the United States recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights to protect the national security interests of the U.S., and our one Democratic ally in the Middle East, Israel,” Stern added.

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About the Endowment for Middle East Truth
Founded in 2005, EMET’s mission is to educate policymakers in Washington and the general public about the importance of Israel to the United States in their common struggle against radical Islam. For more information, please visit, http://www.emetonline.org. Follow EMET on Twitter and Facebook.

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EMET Calls on Senate to Pass Pro-Israel Legislation That Was Postponed on a Technicality, Last Night
(Washington, DC, January 9, 2019) – Today, the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) called on the US Senate to pass S. 1, the “Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act.” Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced S. 1 on January 7 along with Senators James Risch (R-ID), Cory Gardner (R-CO), and Mitch McConnell (R-KY). The bill stalled in the Senate on Tuesday when a motion to invoke cloture and vote on final passage failed to gain the required 3/5 majority.  Fifty-six senators from both parties voted in favor of the motion, while 44 Senators voted against it.

S. 1 is a collection of Middle East-related bipartisan bills that had been introduced during the previous Congress, but were never voted on before the end of term. This includes the Ileana Ros-Lehtinen United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act, the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act, and the Combating BDS Act.

The latter section of the bill proved to be the most controversial. The Combating BDS Act would prevent the federal government from preempting state and local government-passed laws that prohibit contracting with individuals or businesses that boycott Israel and Israeli-owed businesses. Opponents of the Act falsely claimed that it infringes upon free speech, even though the text of the bill itself plainly states “Nothing in this title shall be construed to infringe upon any right protected under the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.”

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) stated, “It’s absurd that the first bill during the shutdown is legislation which punishes Americans who exercise their constitutional right to engage in political activity.”  The ACLU also came out against the bill as an infringement on the First Amendment.

Sarah Stern, the founder and president of EMET pushed back, arguing “At a time when anti-Israel hate groups are using economic warfare against the sole Jewish State, it is critical that the US Senate stand with Israel by passing S.1.  Combatting the anti-Semitic BDS movement should not be a controversial issue. This bill does not prevent individuals from participating in their first amendment rights, but simply allows states and local governments to divest from entities that are engaged in discriminatory practices against the State of Israel.”

Many states already enforce anti-discrimination rules when determining eligibility for government contracts, or prohibit boycotts based on race and national origin. The New York Human Rights Law is an example of the latter. There are currently 26 states that have passed anti-BDS laws, often by large bipartisan majorities in the state legislatures.

Some of the senators who voted against the motion to invoke cloture cited the partial shutdown of the government. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) tweeted “We can’t simply proceed with business as usual. Reopening the govt must be our first priority.”

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), the bill’s sponsor, accused Democrats of wanting to avoid a tough vote on Israel when an increasingly large segment of the Democratic party supports the BDS movement. “The shutdown is not the reason Senate Democrats don’t want to move to the Middle East Security Bill,” Rubio tweeted. “A significant [number] of Senate Democrats now support #BDS & Dem leaders want to avoid a floor vote that reveals that.”

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About The Endowment for Middle East Truth
Founded in 2005, EMET’s mission is to educate policymakers in Washington and the general public about the importance of Israel to the United States in their common struggle against radical Islam. For more information, please visit, http://www.emetonline.org. Follow EMET on Twitter and Facebook.

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EMET Expresses its Strong Disappointment with the Decision to Remove U.S. Troops from Syria

(Washington, DC, December 19, 2018) – Today, the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) expressed its strong disappointment with the decision by President Donald Trump to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria.  In a Wednesday, December 19th tweet, the President said, “We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency.”  The White House then confirmed in a statement that the administration has “started returning United States troops home.”  EMET strongly believes this surprising and precipitous withdrawal of all of our troops from Syria endangers U.S. national interests as it is not in line with the American foreign policy principle of standing by our friends, in this case the Syrian Defense Forces (SDF), as well as the State of Israel, and only gives oxygen to our enemies — the Islamic State, the Iranian mullahs, the Assad regime in Syria, Putin’s Russia and Turkey under Erdogan.

There are currently an estimated 2200 U.S. troops in Syria.  These troops are located in northeastern Syria in an area controlled by U.S. allies, the SDF, and at the al-Tanf border crossing with Iraq in southeastern Syria. In both areas, the U.S. troops play only a training and support role and have only very rarely been exposed to combat. Their primary mission is to train, equip and advise our partners on the ground.

The SDF is a strong U.S. ally that controls about 30% of Syria.  It includes both Syrian Kurds and others who live in that region.  Unlike the rest of Syria, civilians in SDF controlled territory have civil, religious, and voting rights.  When the IS was ascendant in Syria and Iraq, the Syrian Kurds – who later became the SDF – were the lone moderate force who successfully opposed the IS. At the behest of the U.S., the Syrian Kurds/SDF fought the IS to liberate Syrian civilians in Raqqa and other areas, despite the fact that there were no Syrian Kurds living in the area.  Thousands of Syrian Kurds/fighters from the SDF were killed or wounded in this fighting.

By removing U.S. troops from these areas in Syria, the U.S. endangers moderate forces in the region and empowers many bad actors.  First, this will likely allow the Islamic State forces to rebound, in a manner similar to what occurred when the U.S. removed troops from Iraq in 2011.  Second, this will encourage Islamist Turkish dictator Erdogan to attack the SDF, as Erdogan has always hated and feared any Kurdish groups.  Third, this will encourage the Assad regime, backed by its allies the Iranians and Russians, to attack the SDF and the al-Tanf pocket.  Fourth, this removal will allow Iran to solidify its ‘Shia crescent’ land bridge from Iran to Lebanon, on which it has transported soldiers and weapons and missiles, and thus endanger U.S. allies such as Israel and Jordan and Saudi Arabia.  Fifth, by removing U.S. troops so suddenly, and without concern for the danger it causes to U.S. allies, the U.S. is likely to be seen as an “unreliable ally” by the rest of the world. And finally, this decision should be examined carefully in light of the fact that Iran, which has gotten progressively more and more entrenched in Syria, has just successfully conducted a medium range ballistic missile test, which, as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said, “is capable of carrying multiple warheads.”

Sarah Stern, founder and President of EMET stated, “We at EMET have often argued that there should be synergy between good foreign policy, national interest, and what is moral and right. Here there is no synergy.  By removing U.S. troops from Syria so precipitously, we are weakening the fight against the Islamic State.  It is more than likely that ISIS will now emerge in another form, or some other re-incarnation.  We are throwing our SDF allies, and other moderate forces, who have shed their blood fighting the Islamic State, to the wolves of Turkey, the Assad regime in Syria, Iran, and Russia. We are encouraging the world to believe that the U.S. is a feckless and inconsistent ally.  This decision will only add to the humanitarian crisis in Syria. And we are allowing Iran to complete its land bridge, thereby endangering other U.S. allies, including our one democratic ally in the region, Israel. And we are leaving Israel, in particular, much more exposed and vulnerable to attack.”

“EMET strongly encourages the President to reconsider his decision soon, before the progress that has been made in the fight against ISIS is damaged, the stability the SDF has created in northeast Syria is destroyed, the enemies of the U.S. are empowered, and the U.S. looks weak abroad,” Stern concluded.

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About The Endowment for Middle East Truth
Founded in 2005, EMET’s mission is to educate policymakers in Washington and the general public about the importance of Israel to the United States in their common struggle against radical Islam. For more information, please visit, http://www.emetonline.org. Follow EMET on Twitter and Facebook.

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EMET Founder and President Sarah Stern on i24News December 18th, 2018 regarding Trump’s peace plan, and encouraging a U.S. recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Please see instructions below to view the video:

  1. Click on this link.
  2. Click on ‘Start Your FREE Trial.’
  3. Create an account by entering your email address and password.
  4. Enter the coupon KEYGUESTS, and click on ‘Activate.’ 
  5. Click on ‘Get Access.’ 
  6. Fast forward to 4:30.

 

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