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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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(Washington, DC, December 18, 2018) – Today, the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) praised U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) for introducing a resolution encouraging the United States to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

The Golan Heights is an area of approximately 500 square miles that was captured by Israel in its defensive war of 1967, and was successfully retained in its defensive war of 1973 from attacking Syrian forces.  It has served as the demarcation line between the chaotic, feuding forces of radical Islam and the liberal, Western-oriented State of Israel.  The Golan creates the definitive dividing line between authoritarian rule and a vibrant, thriving democracy.  Since 1974, when a Separation of Forces Agreement was negotiated between Israel and Syria, the Golan Heights has remained relatively peaceful, until now.

Because of the seven-year brutal Syrian civil war, the Islamic Republic of Iran has taken advantage of the chaos of the situation, and Iranian-backed forces – including the IRGC and Hezbollah – have penetrated as far south as the Syrian town of Quneitra, making this region a potential line of confrontation.  Iran has attacked Israel from Syria this past year both in February and May, and is determined to build a land bridge stretching from Teheran all the way to the Mediterranean Sea.

American recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights creates an important roadblock in the land bridge that Iran is determined to make. The Golan affords Israel a unique topographical vantage point, providing critical defensive and intelligence strategy to Israel and the United States. And it affords the population of Israel a unique defensive shield, to protect itself from attacks by Iran and its proxies.

The Israeli government voted to extend Israeli civil law to the Golan Heights in 1981.  Furthermore, President Gerald Ford offered Israel assurances in 1975 that a peace agreement with Syria “must be predicated on Israel remaining on the Golan Heights,” and Secretary of State James Baker, in 1991, reaffirmed that the U.S. stands behind these assurances.  More recently, the United States, for the first time ever, voted against the annual United Nations General Assembly resolution condemning Israel’s “occupation” of the Golan Heights.

EMET has diligently been working on educating congressional offices on the critical need for the United States to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. EMET has also worked on a letter with Rep. Doug Lamborn’s (R-CO) office, calling for such recognition.  The letter will be sent to Secretary of State Pompeo.

“I applaud U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz and Tom Cotton for taking the bold and very necessary step to introduce a resolution encouraging the United States to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, at this critical time,” Sarah Stern, the founder and president of EMET said.

“Israel’s presence on the border of the Golan offers the United States valuable eyes and ears into Iranian troops and its terrorist proxies in Syria. The Golan has been a force of stability in the region for 45 years and offers a protective shield for all of us in the West. Many of the same forces that hate Israel also vehemently despise the United States.  As long as the Golan Heights is perceived as being ‘in play’ as part of the ‘occupied territories,’ the illusion that it might someday be captured by Syrian or Iranian forces is perpetuated.  The simplest way to put an end to this dangerous illusion and to Iran’s voracious appetite is for the United States to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. That would send a strong, clear, unequivocal message to America’s foes in the region without putting a single boot on the ground,” 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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The Endowment for Middle East Truth invites you to a Phone Seminar:

Jews Make the Best Demons: ‘Palestine’ and the Jewish Question

Wednesday, December 19th, 2018
12:00pm – 1:00p.m. (Eastern Time)
Call-In Number (712) 432-0075
Participant Code: 397784   

Featured guest speaker:  Eric Rozenman

 

Shortly before murdering 11 Jews at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh on October 27, the accused killer posted online that “Jews are the spawn of Satan” and derided the United States as “Z.O.G.”—Zionist-occupied government.

A few days after the mass murder, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan reinforced his high-profile antisemitism—bigotry some members of Congress and members-elect have difficulty rejecting—by again denouncing “Satanic Jews” and “devilish Zionists.”

On October 22, New English Review Press published Eric Rozenman’s new book, Jews Make the Best Demons: “Palestine” and the Jewish Question. In it Rozenman, now at the Washington, D.C.-based Jewish Policy Center and former editor of B’nai B’rith’s International Jewish Monthly and of the Washington Jewish Week, spotlights how anti-Zionism has become the gateway drug for resurgent antisemitism. He also demonstrates the way Palestinian terrorism provided the template for today’s widespread Islamist terrorism—from hijacking airliners to free jailed terrorists in the 1970s to weaponizing airliners as on Sept. 11, 2001.

And, in a development too little reported, Rozenman shows how the medieval anti-Jewish blood libel, in the original and in modern disguise, animates the fabricated yet widely-believed “Palestinian narrative.” Together, these trends have reopened the pre-1945 “Jewish question,” as in, “what shall we do about the Jews?”

“It turns out Herzl was wrong,” Rozenman writes. “The renewed Jewish state would not end antisemitism directed against ‘the wandering Jews.’ Rather, it would provide a new and sometimes more attractive target. And in anti-Zionism’s demonizing of the Jewish collective, it has revived and relegitimized hatred of the Jew as individual.”

Jews Make the Best Demons also suggests a course of action—insisting, as boldly as necessary, on objective truth, truth disdained by the “post-modern, intersectionalist” far-Left, ignored by the revived, anti-democratic far-Right.

Join EMET’s conference call with Rozenman at noon on Wednesday, 12/19.

Submit a Question

About Eric Rozenman

Eric Rozenman is communications consultant for the Washington, D.C.-based Jewish Policy Center, which he joined in 2016. From 2002 to 2016, Rozenman worked as Washington director of CAMERA, the 65,000-member, Boston-based Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America. Among other things, CAMERA’s Washington office monitored news and communications media including The Washington Post, Washington Times, USA Today, Baltimore Sun, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Politico, Roll Call and The Hilland worked with members of Congress and their staffs on public broadcasting issues regarding National Public Radio and the Public Broadcasting Service (television).

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By Mark Sokolow

Photo: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File

President Trump signed the Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act (ATCA) on October 3, 2018, to restore rights of U.S. terror victims over the PLO and Palestinian Authority. The Presi- dent did the right thing when he signed it. But now the State Department is asking Congress to delay the law the President signed. The Administration should put a stop to this madness.

Congress passed the Anti-Terrorism Act in 1992 to give U.S. citizens the right to bring civil cases against terrorists who attack them overseas. Every prior Republican Administration since 1991 has supported the Anti-Terrorism Act as serving vital national security interests, in- cluding in lawsuits against the PLO and PA. Up until 2015 the PLO and PA were repeatedly held liable for terror attacks against Americans, and they paid off hundreds of millions of dollars of judgments in favor of US families.

In Sokolow v. PLO, some 40 U.S. citizens sued the PLO and the PA for orchestrating and executing terror attacks in Israel, causing deaths and catastrophic injuries. In 2015, a jury found the PLO and PA liable, awarding a judgment of $655M. But in 2016 the Second Circuit re- versed, holding that the law of personal jurisdiction allowed these terrorists to avoid accountabil- ity in the U.S. courts.

Congress passed the ATCA in response. Senator Grassley introduced the ATCA to reit- erate “Congress’s original intent that terrorist groups and their supporters be brought to justice in U.S. Courts, regardless of where the attacks occurred.” The ATCA was supported by the pro- Israel community from AIPAC to ZOA. Congress followed regular order with hearings in both Chambers. The bill was vetted by the DNI and other Administration officials before being passed unanimously in both Chambers as a stand alone bill. It was signed by the President after due consideration. It says that if the PLO or PA accept U.S. foreign assistance, they are deemed to consent to jurisdiction in civil Anti-Terrorism Act cases. The law takes effect January 31.

The ATCA restored the status quo for anti-terror cases against the PLO and PA. It is one of dozens of laws conditioning US assistance to the PA on compliance with anti-terror promises, including the Taylor Force Act.

The State Department currently oversees more than a dozen programs that benefit the PA, including training, construction, and provision of equipment. The PA relies on these programs for its own security. The State Department is arguing that the PA will cut off all these programs and existing ties with the US if Congress does not delay the law.

Congress should do no such thing. Congress made a simple policy decision. If the PA wants American assistance, it has to do so on the understanding that it will be held accountable for terror attacks that took American lives and caused severe injuries.

State Department officials are arguing that the PA will make a “rational” economic deci- sion to stop taking U.S. assistance if it will cost the PA money in the form of judgments in favor of terror victims. That is simplistic thinking, as the PA makes many decisions for political rea- sons rather than economic reasons—like paying hundreds of millions of dollars to reward terror- ists for murdering civilians instead of stopping that outrageous policy, which would free up hun- dreds of millions of dollars withheld from the PA under the Taylor Force Act. Of course, if the PA values avoiding its just debts for murdering Americans more than it values its security assis- tance from the United States, perhaps that means something important for U.S. policy.

Just as the President signed the Taylor Force Act, which is costing the PA hundreds of millions of dollars every single year, the Administration should stand firm with US victims of Palestinian terror and support the ATCA, which the President signed two months ago. The State Department should stop undermining the clear message sent by President Trump when he signed the ATCA.

Mark Sokolow is the lead plaintiff in Sokolow v. PLO, in which the PLO and PA were found liable for orchestrating and executing terror attacks in Israel that killed Americans. Mark, a lawyer and native New Yorker, survived the bombing of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, and then a suicide terror attack four months later in Jerusalem, Israel.

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Photo: AP Photo / Adel Hana

November 26, 2018

Featuring Prof. Efraim Inbar

On November 11th, Hamas terrorists killed IDF Lieutenant-Colonel M in southern Gaza Strip during a covert Israeli operation, marking the first death of an Israeli officer since Operation Protection Edge in 2014. Starting the very next day, during a period of only 24 hours, terrorists in the Gaza Strip launched more than 460 rockets into Southern Israel, and approximately 100 of them were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system. While the majority of rockets fell into open territory, others fell into Sderot, Ashkelon, and other Gaza border communities, resulting in the death of a 48-year-old Palestinian man, and more than 50 people injured. The IDF, in response, struck more than 160 terror targets in the Gaza Strip, including tunnels created by Hamas to use to infiltrate and carry out attacks in Israel, and four military compounds.

Thereafter, Israel agreed to an Egyptian mediated ceasefire with Hamas.

Why did Israel accept a “cease-fire,” rather than finish the job of taking out Hamas targets? How long can we expect the “cease-fire” to actually last? And does the recent flare-up in Gaza impact President Trump’s Middle East peace plan? Professor Inbar tackles these questions.

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On November 4, 2018, “thousands of Iranians poured into the streets of Tehran on Sunday to burn American flags and mock President Trump with cardboard effigies and caricatures.” They also shouted “Death to America.”

Much of the U.S. press reporting on these protests also linked them to the same day’s snap-back of American sanctions on the oil, shipping, insurance, and banking sectors in Iran.

These sanctions were reinstituted after President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), noting the poor terms of the deal, and its funding of Iranian terror and aggression. One article specifically emphasized that “rancor is especially strong this time following Trump’s decision in May to withdraw from world powers’ 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and reimpose sanctions on Tehran.”

The idea that the Iranian regime’s “rancor” towards the U.S. has been on an upsurge since the U.S. left the JCPOA is laughable. Nothing has really changed.

Every year, Iran holds protests on November 4 to commemorate the 1979 seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran by Iranian supporters of the Islamist regime. (This was a violation of international law, and an act of war, by the way). Each year, the protestors scream “Death to America,” burn the American flag, and mock the U.S. President. This is not specific to American presidents who are hostile to Iran; the Iranians did this under President Obama too. Even when Obama was reaching out to the Iranian leadership, and negotiating the Iran deal with them, the anti-American protests on November 4 still occurred, and featured booths where Iranians could throw their shoes, or darts, at Obama, and hang him in effigy.

And this is just one of two days each year Iranian leaders have set up to castigate the U.S. They also “celebrate” “Death to America” on the anniversary of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.

The Iranian regime also doesn’t limit itself to verbal attacks on the U.S.

Over the decades it has used its proxies to attack and to kill Americans, from Hezbollah in the 1980’s to the Iraqi rebels in the 2000’s. Hundreds of U.S. citizens have been killed and wounded. In 2011, Iranian agents plotted a bombing of Cafe Milano, an upscale Georgetown restaurant, to assassinate the Saudi ambassador. Had this bombing been successful, countless other Americans would also have been killed or wounded.

Furthermore, Iran, which for 40 years has been the leading state sponsor of world terrorism, has disseminated hate and plotted terror attacks against Israeli and European targets as well.

The Iranian regime does these things not because the U.S., Israel, and the West, under any one leader, have done anything in particular to antagonize Tehran.

The Iranian regime does these things because they hate the U.S., Israel, and the West. They hate them for what the Iranian mullahs believe is the immoral state of Western culture, and because of their fear that the West wants to spread its immorality to Iran and the rest of the Muslim world. They hate them because these nations are not comprised of Shia Muslims, and allow freedom of worship and freedom of speech. They hate them because these nations do not discriminate against, or murder, homosexuals. They hate them because these nations use democratic systems of government, rather than allow God — as interpreted by Shia Islamist theocrats — to govern over them.

Even some Western Europeans, which have gone out of their way to maintain good relations with Iran, are finally figuring this out.

Since May, when the U.S. left the JCPOA, the Western European nations have worked feverishly to save the JCPOA and provide economic benefits to the Iranian regime. With the Iranian economy in shambles because of the U.S. reinstitution of sanctions, Iran desperately needs these benefits. Yet, at the same time that Iranian President Rouhani was touring Europe to drum up support, the Iranian government was plotting terror attacks on European soil. In June, an Iranian diplomat plotted with some Iranian expiates to bomb the National Council of Resistance of Iran (MEK) rally near Paris. The MEK is an Iranian opposition group that the Iranian regime despises. Luckily, this terror attack was thwarted; thousands of innocent civilians attended the rally, including several prominent Americans, and hundreds might have killed or wounded. More recently, Tehran planned to assassinate three Iranians believed to be members of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz (ASMLA) who live in Denmark. The ASMLA is an Arab separatist insurgent group that advocates for an Arab state in the Khuzestan Province in Iran. Once again, this terror attack was disrupted without casualties.

Unfortunately, not all Western Europeans can be expected to hang tough against the Iranian regime. Many would rather live in a world of make believe, than acknowledge an uncomfortable truth. There is no appeasing the Iranian regime crocodile.

Originally published: https://www.newsmax.com/adamturner/iran-sanctions-terrorism/2018/11/28/id/892341/

Photo: New World Order News

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EMET Strongly Condemns Iran’s Latest Eliminationist Rhetoric Towards Israel
(Washington, DC, November 27, 2018) – Today, the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) strongly condemned Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, the supposed “moderate” in the Iranian government, for his eliminationist and false rhetoric towards Israel.  On Saturday, at an Islamic Unity Conference, Rouhani called Israel “a cancerous tumor” and a “fake regime” created by Western countries in order to advance their interests in the Middle East.  The use of this type of language is, unfortunately, a common occurrence in Iran. 
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Today, on this Giving Tuesday, EMET needs your help more than ever.

Last month a vile anti-Semite murdered 11 worshippers in a Pittsburgh synagogue in the deadliest attack ever on Jews in the United States.  This is only the latest, and most brutal, of a rising number of anti-Semitic incidents throughout the U.S., especially on college campuses, where Jewish students – or pro-Israel students – are often under siege.

On Capitol Hill, EMET is working harder than ever to protect Jewish students on campus, the State of Israel, and the United States. In addition to our legislative success, EMET continues to fight the battle of ideas by hosting our monthly Capitol Hill seminars and phone seminars, featuring worldwide experts and policymakers.

During the past year, EMET has held more than 280 meetings on Capitol Hill, hosted 13 Capitol Hill Seminars, and 7 phone seminars.

But EMET cannot continue our critical work alone.  We need you to help us fight anti-Semitism on campuses, curb the biases of Middle East Studies Centers, educate the Congress about the Golan Heights, and help American victims of Palestinian to get the justice they so sorely deserve.  And we need you to help us convey the emet – the truth – about Israel’s proud struggle to survive, and thrive, in the volatile Middle East.

We ask you to please contribute as much as you can comfortably afford on this Giving Tuesday.  With your support, we can continue to make a difference.

Click HERE to donate to EMET 

**If you are making purchases on Amazon, #StartWithaSmile, and Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price to Endowment for Middle East Truth. Bookmark the link 
smile.amazon.com/ch/20-4329740  and support EMET every time you shop.

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