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Roll Call Smears Jewish Groups That Called for Omar’s Removal From House Committee

Roll Call Smears Jewish Groups That Called for Omar’s Removal From House Committee

By: Adam Kredo
The Washington Free Beacon
March 6, 2019

Roll Call is facing backlash after one of its reporters attempted to discredit a recent effort by a group of leading Jewish and pro-Israel organizations to see Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee following a series of anti-Semitic statements that drew widespread condemnation.

To read the full article, click here: https://freebeacon.com/issues/roll-call-smears-jewish-groups-that-called-for-omars-removal-from-house-committee/ 

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EMET’s Statement on the Sense of Congress Resolution Condemning Anti-Semitism

EMET’s Statement on the Sense of Congress Resolution Condemning Anti-Semitism

The Sense of Congress Resolution condemning anti-Semitism is a hollow exercise and is far from sufficient. It is wholly insufficient because Representative Omar has demonstrated over and over again that she is comfortable issuing vile anti-Semitic attacks on a Jewish minority who once thought America was a safe place to live.

The time is gone for “feel good” resolutions that vaguely oppose anti-Semitism.  Who would oppose a resolution criticizing anti-Semitism or any other sort of racism?

House Democrats should do the right thing. They should censure Rep. Omar and immediately remove her from the House Foreign Affairs Committee where she sits. This would send an unmistakable message that Democratic leaders and its rank will not tolerate anti-Semitism in the House of Representatives and that Rep. Omar must be held accountable.

Speaker Pelosi, Holocaust survivors are still alive in the United States who remember the horror of that ugly time. Their children also lived their parent’s agony and persecution as they grew up in the shadow of the Holocaust.

They and all Jews who felt they were safe in America are now nervous again.  They are hearing the repetition of the worst anti-Semitic stereotypes from another loud political leader.

They are simply astonished that today there is an anti-Semite prospering in the halls of Congress who operates freely without any sanction.  And they are worried as they see others outside the Congress cheer on Rep. Omar for her despicable attacks on Jewish Americans.

Speaker Pelosi and the Democratic majority owe it to the Jewish community to take concrete action. We are depending on your good sense and your intolerance for the scourge of anti-Semitism to do the right thing.

Ms. Omar was appropriately rebuked by Speaker Pelosi on February 11 which prompted her to send out a perfunctory apology.  However, within weeks, she again invoked another ugly classic anti-Semitic canard, invoking the widely discredited position that Jewish Members of Congress demonstrate “dual loyalty” between the United States and Israel.

What is even more troubling is the fact that on February 23, Ms. Omar addressed a fundraising event for Islamic Relief USA.  Islamic Relief is a “charity” with documented operational ties to terrorist organizations. Years ago, UAE and Israel designated Islamic Relief as a terrorist organization.

Ms. Omar’s support for terrorists is nothing new.  In 2016, while a state representative from Minnesota, she wrote a letter to a judge asking for leniency for nine Minnesota men who made plans to join ISIS, including the purchase of fake passports to travel to Syria. This is ISIS, who considers the United States the ultimate enemy. This is ISIS, which engaged in the most barbaric acts of brutality, such as burning people alive in cages, chopping off their heads, and killing thousands of Christians, Yazidis and even other Muslims, not as extreme as themselves.

A person with these sorts of inclinations should never be allowed to sit on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. This is a Committee where Ms. Omar will have access to highly classified and sensitive documents.

By allowing her to remain on this Committee, our national security interests and those of our one democratic ally in the region, Israel, might well be severely compromised.

Rep. Omar should be promptly censured and immediately removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Anything short of that simply rings hollow.

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Pelosi under pressure from Republicans, Jewish groups to drop Ilhan Omar from House Foreign Affairs

Pelosi under pressure from Republicans, Jewish groups to drop Ilhan Omar from House Foreign Affairs

Minnesota Democrat involved in another anti-Semitism flap

– The Washington Times – Monday, March 4, 2019

Republicans and Jewish groups ramped up their calls Monday for Democrats to remove Rep. Ilhan Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee in response to the latest anti-Semitism uproar involving the first-term congresswoman.

Read the full article at: https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/mar/4/pelosi-under-pressure-republicans-jewish-groups-dr/

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12 pro-Israel groups call on Pelosi, Engel to remove Omar from House Committee

12 pro-Israel groups call on Pelosi, Engel to remove Omar from House Committee

They also sounded the alarm ahead of Rep. Ilhan Omar’s scheduled appearance at Islamic Relief USA, “whose parent organization and chapters have documented ties to terrorist organizations.”

By: JNS.org
March 4, 2019

Twelve pro-Israel groups delivered a letter on Monday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), urging for the removal of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) from the committee amid the Minnesota congresswoman’s latest anti-Semitic remarks.  “Speaker Pelosi, you demonstrated wisdom and leadership in rebuking Rep. Omar on February 11 following her use of anti-Semitic stereotypes, and Chairman Engel, your reaction to the classic anti-Semitic trope of the charge of ‘dual loyalty’ about American Jews, that Rep. Omar uttered this weekend at a Washington establishment, was highly appropriate, and we applaud you both for that,” they said.

Read the complete article here: https://www.jns.org/11-pro-israel-groups-call-on-pelosi-engel-to-remove-omar-from-house-committee/?

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House Dems will take floor action to confront Omar’s latest Israel comments

House Dems will take floor action to confront Omar’s latest Israel comments

The freshman Democrat is clashing with senior lawmakers who view her remarks as anti-Semitic.

Authored by: Sarah Ferris; John Bresnahan and Heather Caygle 

Published by: Politico

Updated 

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and top Democrats will take floor action Wednesday in response to controversial remarks by Rep. Ilhan Omar about Israel, the second such rebuke of the freshman Democrat from party leaders in recent weeks.  Pelosi and other senior Democrats are drafting a resolution to address the controversy, which ballooned over the weekend following a public clash between Omar and senior Jewish lawmakers.

Read the complete article here: https://www.politico.com/story/2019/03/04/omar-israel-house-democrats-1201881

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Exclusive: Leading Jewish Groups Demand Anti-Semitic Omar Be Removed From Foreign Affairs Committee

Exclusive: Leading Jewish Groups Demand Anti-Semitic Omar Be Removed From Foreign Affairs Committee

Jewish groups slam Omar’s anti-Semitic language, ties to groups advocating terrorism

By: Adam Kredo
The Washington Free Beacon

A group of leading Jewish organizations petitioned the House of Representative’s top Democrats on Monday, demanding that Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) be removed from her position on the powerful Foreign Affairs Committee in light of her numerous anti-Semitic remarks and ties to groups that advocate terrorism against Jewish people, according to a copy of a letter exclusively obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

 

Entire article is available here: https://freebeacon.com/national-security/exclusive-leading-jewish-groups-demand-anti-semitic-omar-be-removed-from-foreign-affairs-committee/

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Iran Is Obviously Violating the JCPOA

Recently, the CIA Director, Gina Haspel, and the Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, made news by testifying before Congress regarding Iran.

During the hearing, Haspel stated that Iran, “at the moment, technically they’re in compliance” with the deal. Coats said, “We do not believe Iran is currently undertaking the key activities we judge necessary to produce a nuclear device.”

I would love to know their evidence for these assertions.

For one thing, we already know of many Iranian violations (or likely violations) of the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA). The Iranians have produced excess heavy water, illegally, at least twice, which they sold for profit. The Iranians have exceeded the limits on advanced centrifuge research and development, by assembling more than a half dozen IR-8 rotor assemblies and operating 13-15 IR-6 centrifuges in a single cascade. (Luckily, their efforts have largely been a failure.) Iran is likely violating Section T of the deal, which explicitly bans Iran from “activities which could contribute to the development of a nuclear explosive device,” such as using computer models that simulate a nuclear bomb, or designing multi-point, explosive detonation systems. German intelligence has reported that in 2015 and 2016, when the U.S. was still part of the JCPOA, Iran attempted more than one hundred times to obtain illicit nuclear technology, which may be in violation of the deal. In 2015, Tehran violated the deal by refusing to fully cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) investigating the Possible Military Dimensions of the nuclear program. (In 2018, Israel exposed much of what the Iranians had been hiding from the IAEA.)

Most recently, as an Iranian official admitted, Iran did not dismantle the core of the plutonium reactor at Arak, as required by the deal. He even bragged about tricking the international inspectors and the West with photoshopped pictures from the Arak plutonium reactor’s core.

For another, the IAEA inspectors — and the West itself — are severely limited in their ability to monitor Iranian compliance with the deal. This is because Iran has barred any outside inspectors from inspecting military sites in Iran. As an Iranian official said rather dramatically, “Iran’s military sites are off limits. All information about these sites are classified. Iran will never allow such visits. Don’t pay attention to such remarks that are only a dream.” Other Iranian leaders have echoed these statements.

This Iranian refusal to allow international inspections of its’ military sites is itself a violation of the Iran deal. The relevant language of the JCPOA states (see Annex I, Q Access, pg. 23):

“Requests for access pursuant to provisions of this JCPOA will be made in good faith, with due observance of the sovereign rights of Iran, and kept to the minimum necessary to effectively implement the verification responsibilities under this JCPOA. In line with normal international safeguards practice, such requests will not be aimed at interfering with Iranian military or other national security activities, but will be exclusively for resolving concerns regarding fulfilment of the JCPOA commitments and Iran’s other non-proliferation and safeguards obligations. The following procedures are for the purpose of JCPOA implementation between the E3/EU+3 and Iran and are without prejudice to the safeguards agreement and the Additional Protocol thereto. In implementing this procedure as well as other transparency measures, the IAEA will be requested to take every precaution to protect commercial, technological and industrial secrets as well as other confidential information coming to its knowledge.”

This language does not by itself create an exemption for military sites.

Immediately after this paragraph, the process of IAEA inspections is detailed in the JCPOA. In summary, for undeclared nuclear facilities, including military sites, the IAEA is granted access, although the process may be lengthy — as long as 69 days — if the Iranians dispute the need. Once again, there is no language carving out an exception for military sites.

Unfortunately, rather than expose the Iranians, the IAEA has instead provided cover to Iran by simply refusing to ask for inspections of any military sites. However, this does not make the Iranian ban on international inspections of military sites any less of a violation of the JCPOA.

Many of these violations, including exceeding the limits on advanced centrifuges and violating section T, would also seem to be “key activities” that are “necessary to produce a nuclear device.”

So is the Iranian testing of ballistic missiles (although it is not a violation of the JCPOA or of UN Resolution 2231). Robert Satloff, the executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, has written:

“The ballistic-missile program is particularly problematic. Given that the Iranians are exploiting a loophole that the Obama administration permitted in the relevant UN Security Council resolution to plow ahead with developing missiles potentially capable of delivering nuclear weapons, it is wholly false for advocates of the deal to argue that the JCPOA has halted, frozen, or suspended Iran’s nuclear-weapons program. Such a program has three main parts—development, weaponization, and delivery—and ballistic missiles are an integral part of that. In other words, critical aspects of the program are moving ahead, deal or no deal.”

If ballistic missile testing is an “integral part” of Iran’s nuclear weapons program, then it would presumably also be a “key activity” that is “necessary to produce a nuclear weapon.”

Of course, the CIA Director and the DNI have access to classified information that the rest of us don’t. But it is hard to believe that this classified information contradicts all of the open source information mentioned above. And it is important to remember that the CIA and U.S. intelligence has been wrong before, whether it be in Iraq, in North Korea, in India, or in Iran itself.

U.S. intelligence needs to reevaluate their findings regarding Iran and its nuclear weapons program. The simple fact of the matter is that Iran is violating the JCPOA, and it is also “currently undertaking the key activities … necessary to produce a nuclear device.”

Adam Turner is the General Counsel and Legislative Affairs Director for the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET).

Originally Published at: https://www.newsmax.com/adamturner/gina-haspel-dan-coats-iran-jcpoa/2019/02/14/id/902775/

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Phone Seminar: “The Syrian Withdrawal and the Rapidly Shifting Sands in the Middle East”

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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Press Release: EMET Calls on Senate to Pass Pro-Israel Legislation That Was Postponed on a Technicality, Last Night

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

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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