“In Washington, Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of the liberal Jewish group J Street, said the UNRWA announcement ‘has the potential to harm millions of innocent civilians. This decision will ratchet up the risk of greater destabilization and conflict across the Middle East, undermining the security of Israel and countries throughout the region.’”
US ends funding of UN agency for Palestinian refugees, Associated Press
“Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of J Street, a liberal advocacy group, said Trump’s decision ‘has the potential to harm millions of innocent civilians’ and ‘will ratchet up the risk of greater destabilization and conflict across the Middle East.’”
Trump administration cuts Palestinian aid for second time in a week, Financial Times
“Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of J Street, a Jewish community group that wants a two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians, said the Trump administration’s decision could harm millions of people. ‘This decision will ratchet up the risk of greater destabilisation and conflict across the Middle East, undermining the security of Israel and countries throughout the region,’ Mr Ben-Ami said. It could particularly hurt Jordan, a key US ally in the region, by reducing funding for millions of Palestinian refugees who live there, he said.”
Dovish US Jews warn UNRWA cuts endanger Israel’s security, Times of Israel
“The liberal Middle East advocacy group J Street excoriated the defunding decision, saying it would weaken PA President Mahmoud Abbas and make it more difficult for him enter formalized peace talks. ‘This decision continues the administration’s disturbing pattern of actions that ignore the recommendations of US and Israeli intelligence and military leaders and appear designed to exacerbate suffering among the Palestinian people and marginalize the Palestinian Authority leadership,’ the organization’s president, Jeremy Ben-Ami, said in a statement, adding that it was ‘recklessly endangering the security of Israel and countries across the region.’”
“Dovish US Jewish organizations warned on Friday that President Donald Trump’s decision to nix all funding to the UN’s Palestinian refugee agency could compromise Israel’s security and had the propensity to destabilize the region….“This decision continues the administration’s disturbing pattern of actions that ignore the recommendations of US and Israeli intelligence and military leaders,” Jeremy Ben-Ami, President of the liberal advocacy group J Street, said. It ‘appear[s] designed to exacerbate suffering among the Palestinian people and marginalize the Palestinian Authority leadership,’ he added.”
GOP continues smear campaign, Daily Progress
“The citizens of Virginia’s 5th Congressional District deserve far better than the hypocritical and mendacious tactics employed by the Virginia Republican Party in its bizarre attempts to tie Leslie Cockburn to the racists, white supremacists and neo-Nazis who staged the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville a year ago….Criticism of Israel or its policies does not make one anti-Semitic. It does not even make one anti-Israeli. In fact, Leslie Cockburn has clearly expressed her commitment to protecting Israel’s security, strengthening the U.S.-Israel relationship and advancing a two-state solution to the Palestinian issue. She has won the endorsement of the progressive, pro-Israel organization J Street and the strong support of local Jewish leaders.”
“The Trump administration’s announcement today that it will permanently halt all funding from the United States to the Palestinian refugee agency, UNRWA, has the potential to harm millions of innocent civilians. This decision will ratchet up the risk of greater destabilization and conflict across the Middle East, undermining the security of Israel and countries throughout the region….Today’s decision continues the administration’s disturbing pattern of actions that ignore the recommendations of US and Israeli intelligence and military leaders and appear designed to exacerbate suffering among the Palestinian people and marginalize the Palestinian Authority leadership.’”
“By arresting dissidents internally and detaining perceived critics of Israeli government policies in airports and at border crossings, the Netanyahu government is destroying the fabric of shared Jewish and democratic values that have united Jews around the world and been the basis of the US-Israel relationship. Arresting those who dissent from the government’s policies is not the practice of a healthy democracy. All those who are dedicated to democratic principles — particularly in the Jewish community, both in Israel and around the world — have a responsibility to speak out.”
Ruth Eglash reports, “The United States ended its funding for the U.N. agency supporting Palestinian refugees for political reasons related to the peace process, its commissioner said Monday, but he expressed confidence that a $200 million shortfall would somehow be fixed. Pierre Krähenbühl, commissioner general of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), also rejected U.S. criticism that the organization perpetuated the refugee problem by creating an ever-expanding population of beneficiaries….’We have to set the record straight. It is just false and wrong to describe things in that manner,’ Krähenbühl said by telephone from his office in Amman, Jordan. ‘There is only one thing that perpetuates the situation of refugees, including Palestinian refugees, and that is the extraordinary failure of the international community to bring about a just and fair and inclusive solution to the conflict.’ He added that the UNRWA’s mandate is no different from the broader U.N. refugee agency, which also deals with ‘refugees, their children and their grandchildren.’ The U.S. withdrawal leaves the UNRWA with a $446 million shortfall, Krähenbühl said. The deficit has already been partially filled by the European Union, Japan, India, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, he said, indicating that the agency will survive the U.S. pullback, at least for now.”
Barak Ravid reports, “Around two weeks ago, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu privately conveyed a message to the White House stressing that Israel’s position regarding the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has changed — and that it now supports a complete cut of all U.S. funding to the agency, which gives aid to Palestinian refugees, Israeli officials told me. The officials added Netanyahu communicated with the Trump administration without consulting Israel’s security chiefs.”
A Palestinian State First, Haaretz
The Haaretz editorial board writes, “The chairman of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, this week revealed a small part of the proposal placed in front of him by the envoys of U.S. President Donald Trump. He said that he was asked his opinion of the idea of forming a confederation with Jordan, and replied that he is willing to accept the proposal, on condition that Israel also be part of the confederation….The Palestinian attempt to achieve independence is encountering strong opposition on the part of Israel, which sees a Palestinian state as a security threat, and a danger to the vision of a Greater Israel and to the status of the settlements. As long as Israel adheres to the policy of preventing the idea of a state, the idea of a confederation will have no chance of success, either.”
The head of the Israeli military’s Northern Command issued a clear threat to the Lebanon-based Hezbollah and its Iranian patron on Monday, saying Israel’s next war with the terrorist group would be its last.
Colombia’s President Ivan Duque does not intend to reverse his predecessors decision to recognize a Palestinian state, he said on Monday.
Israeli troops kill Palestinian assailant in West Bank, Associated Press
The Israeli military says troops have killed a knife-wielding Palestinian man who approached an army checkpoint in the West Bank. The military said that the alleged assailant had “a drawn knife in his hand” and soldiers shot and killed the man Monday.
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday told President Reuven Rivlin that his country would now only buy weapons from Israel due to its lack of restrictions, as dozens of demonstrators gathered outside the president’s Jerusalem residence to protest the controversial visit.
Israeli officials pressured the European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini in recent weeks to cancel her meeting with Joint List chairman Ayman Odeh regarding the nation-state law, according to sources involved in arranging the Mogherini-Joint List meeting.
During a chance meeting at the airport on Monday, MK Moti Yogev took the opportunity to encourage a group of Arab Knesset members to emigrate from Israel.
A Hitler Admirer at Yad Vashem, Haaretz
The Haaretz editorial board writes, “In exchange for a mess of pottage – abstaining or supporting Israel in a few UN votes – a controversial leader has won a warm embrace from Israel. In the process, he has also won public absolution for his anti-Semitic remarks.Just a few days after he declared that rape happens wherever there are “beautiful women,” Israel rolled out the red carpet on Sunday for the president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, who is famous for his dubious comments. He is here on an official visit until Wednesday.”
The gatekeepers of Israel’s democracy, Times of Israel
Sebastien Levi writes “[Last week], the head of “Breaking the Silence” was detained by border police for questioning, together with two other people. The official reason: he was in a military zone, which is a ludicrous reason when we know that the settlers are authorized to access such areas. The real background for this is different: it is part of a systematic harassment and incitement against this group and others (BeTselem, New Israel Fund) by the Israeli authorities, that deem them as traitors.”