ArchitectGuy Israel, the Mideast + Politics


Obama sent Palestinians blocked funds on his way out the door

US sent $221 million to Palestinians in Obama’s last hours
by Matthew Lee and Richard Lardner
January 23, 2017

Officials say the Obama administration in its waning hours defied Republican opposition and quietly released $221 million to the Palestinian Authority that GOP members of Congress had been blocking. A State Department official and several congressional aides said the outgoing administration formally notified Congress it would spend the money Friday morning. The official said former Secretary of State John Kerry had informed some lawmakers of the move shortly before he left the State Department for the last time Thursday. The aides said written notification dated Jan. 20 was sent to Congress just hours before Donald Trump took the oath of office. READ MORE


“Iran backers met more than 30 times with senior Obama admin official”

Former Iranian Official, Pro-Tehran Lobbyist Hosted at Obama White House Dozens of Times
by Adam Kredo
January 13, 2017

Two high-level Iranian government backers, including a former Islamic Republic official and another accused of lobbying on Tehran’s behalf, were hosted at the Obama White House for more than 30 meetings with top officials at key junctures in the former administration’s contested diplomacy with Iran, according to White House visitor logs that provide a window into the former administration’s outreach to leading pro-Iran advocates. Seyed Mousavian, a former Iranian diplomat and head of its national security council, was hosted at the White House at least three times, while Trita Parsi, a pro-Iran advocate long accused of hiding his ties to the Iranian government, met with Obama administration officials some 33 times, according to recently updated visitor logs. READ MORE


Ralph Nader to Keith Ellison: You’re too pro-Israel

Ralph Nader Slams Keith Ellison for ‘Toning Down’ His Stance on Israel
By Madina Toure
January 22, 2017

Former Green Party presidential contender Ralph Nader accused Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison yesterday of changing his stance on Israel to appease political elites as part of his bid to become chairman of the Democratic National Committee—and that he can’t tell if the “real Keith Ellison” or a “transformed, conditioned Keith Ellison” would take over the party if he triumphs in next months internal election. Ellison, an African-American and the first Muslim ever elected to the House, has faced some resistance from more conservative factions in party because of his since-repudiated past association with the Nation of Islam and his occasional criticism of Israel.  READ MORE


Obama’s “F*ck-It” List: Apparently it included Israel.

Obama’s self-revealing final act
by Charles Krauthammer
January 19, 2017

At the 2015 White House correspondents’ dinner, he joked about whether he had a bucket list: “Well, I have something that rhymes with bucket list.”…Turns out, he wasn’t kidding…The other last-minute Obama bombshell occurred four weeks earlier when, for the first time in nearly a half-century, the United States abandoned Israel on a crucial Security Council resolution, allowing the passage of a condemnation that will plague both Israel and its citizens for years to come. After eight years of reassurance, Obama seized the chance — free of political accountability for himself and his potential Democratic successor — to do permanent damage to Israel. (The U.S. has no power to reverse the Security Council resolution.) READ MORE


“I have seriously been told that under Trump, it is very possible that Jews, uppity blacks, and others will be placed in concentration camps!”

Abu Yehuda
What’s up with my American friends
by Vic Rosenthal
January 23, 2017

It’s been almost three years since the day that I left the USA with no plans to return, almost three years since I got on a plane knowing that I no longer owned a home or a car or a business in America. I had already grown estranged from my liberal Jewish community before then, as I found myself becoming more and more politically conservative, and more and more unhappy with its failure to understand what seemed blindingly obvious to me: that the survival of the Jewish people depended on the state of Israel. The liberal institutions – like the Obama Administration, the Democratic Party, NPR, the NY Times and the Reform Movement – that were so important to them were on the wrong side of what was the most important issue of all to meREAD MORE


Dore Gold: “Settlements were a bigger issue to Obama than to the Palestinians”

Senior Israeli Diplomat Dore Gold Says Obama’s Arrogance Hurt Relationship W/Israel
by Jeff Dunetz
January 22, 2017

Now that Obama has been replaced by Donald Trump, those who served in the Israeli government can start to unburden themselves about the anti-Israel Obama administration that left office last week. The first to speak out was Dr. Dore Gold, former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, former Director-General of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and advisor to Prime Ministers Ariel Sharon and Benjamin Netanyahu. On Friday, Israeli Newspaper Makor Rishon (First Source) published an interview with Gold who spoke about the incredible arrogance of Barack Obama, who along with saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, thought he knew more about what Israel and the Palestinians needed than Israel and the Palestinians knew themselves. READ MORE


German government explores need for “centralized speech police”

The “Fake News” Censorship Industry
by Robbie Travers
January 21, 2017

Name a single person or organisation you trust to control your speech. Whom would you trust to control what you can read, or make decisions on what is true and what is false for you? Whom do you trust to police what you think? The German government thinks it knows exactly who should be the arbiter of truth and what articles you should be allowed to post. Itself! After a bill was proposed by German lawmakers, which threatened fines of up to 500,000 euros ($522,000) for publishing “fake news,” Facebook decided to use an organisation called Correctiv, described as a German fact-checking non-profit organisation, to decide whether reported stories are “real” or “fake.” READ MORE


J Street Obit: “An organization vilified by former friends, distanced from the left in Israel and distrusted by many more as a result of the mishandling of its own reputation”

J Street’s dead end
by Gregg Roman
January 22, 2017

[With Obama as President] The fledgling J Street found itself at the top table with veteran Jewish and pro-Israel organizations at the White House, with almost unprecedented access during Obama’s two terms. It wasn’t merely a spectator: J Street saw itself as a vital part of the administration’s strategy and policy on Israel and the peace process. It prided itself on the puppeteer role it played in defending the White House or pushing its policy platform. “We were the blocking-back, clearing space for the quarterback to do what we wanted him to do,” said J Street’s president, Jeremy Ben-Ami, in 2011. READ MORE


#Trump will “lead a divided nation and lacks a popular mandate, just as President Bill Clinton did when he was elected with only a plurality of the popular vote”

The Peaceful Transfer of Power — and Its Enemies
by Charles Lipson
January 22, 2017

We mouth the formulaic words but reflect too little on the political miracle that is the peaceful transfer of power. The enormous authority entrusted to the president shifts from someone who leaves office voluntarily, without a bullet fired, to another who assumes office by oft-repeated constitutional procedures. These powers quietly transfer from one party to another, from one set of policies and preferences to another, and often from one section of the country to another…In our constitutional democracy, the transfer of power will only remain peaceful if it is considered legitimate by nearly all our people and their representatives. Our shared sense of legitimacy has been imperiled in our last three electionsREAD MORE