Trump resets US relations with Israel, seeking broader alliance against Islamist Iran, terror and more...
Transcript And Analysis: Trump And Netanyahu Hold Joint Press Conference
President Trump is hosting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House on Wednesday. The two held a joint press conference amid differing messages emanating from the Trump administration about its stance on the two-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. NPR journalists with expertise in politics, national security and the Middle East have annotated a transcript of their remarks.
The partnership between our two countries, built on our shared values, has advanced the cause of human freedom, dignity and peace. These are the building blocks of democracy. The state of Israel is a symbol to the world of resilience in the face of oppression. I can think of no other state that's gone through what they've gone, and of survival in the face of genocide. We will never forget what the Jewish people have endured.
Your perseverance in the face of hostility, your open democracy in the face of violence, and your success in the face of tall odds is truly inspirational. The security challenges faced by Israel are enormous, including the threat of Iran's nuclear ambitions, which I've talked a lot about. One of the worst deals I've ever seen is the Iran deal.
My administration has already imposed new sanctions on Iran, and I will do more to prevent Iran from ever developing — I mean ever — a nuclear weapon. Our security assistance to Israel is currently at an all-time high, ensuring that Israel has the ability to defend itself from threats, of which there are unfortunately many.
Both of our countries will continue and grow. We have a long history of cooperation in the fight against terrorism and the fight against those who do not value human life. America and Israel are two nations that cherish the value of all human life.
This is one more reason why we reject unfair and one-sided actions against Israel at the United Nations, which has treated Israel in my opinion very, very unfairly, or other international forums, as well as boycotts that target Israel.
President Trump, thank you for the truly warm hospitality. You and Melania have shown me, my wife Sara, our entire delegation. I deeply value your friendship. To me, to the state Israel, it was so clearly evident in the words you just spoke, Israel has no better ally than the United States. And I want to assure you, the United States has no better ally than Israel.
Our alliance has been remarkably strong, but under your leadership, I'm confident it will get even stronger. I look forward to working with you to dramatically upgrade our alliance in every field, in security and technology and cyber and trade and so many others, and I certainly welcome your forthright call to ensure that Israel is treated fairly in international forums and that the slander and boycotts of Israel are resisted mightily by the power and moral position of the United States of America.
As you have said, our lives are based on a deep bond of common values and common interest. And increasingly, those values and interests are under attack by one malevolent force, radical Islamic terror. Mr. President, you've shown great clarity and courage in confronting this challenge head on. You call for confronting Iran's terrorist regime, preventing Iran from realizing this terrible deal into a nuclear arsenal, and you have said that the United States is committed to preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons. You call for the defeat of ISIS.
Under your leadership, I believe we can reverse the rising tide of radical Islam, and in this great task, as in so many others, Israel stands with you and I stand with you. Mr. President, in rolling back militant Islam, we can seize an historic opportunity because for the first time in my lifetime and for the first time in the life of my country, Arab countries in the region do not see Israel as an enemy, but increasingly as an ally.
Read more (along with NPR's leftist analysis).
DEBKAfile reports: Trump reacted positively to Netanyahu’s proposal to broaden the Israeli-Palestinian peace process to a regional effort as a “very important” new idea “on a broader canvas” which he believed could succeed. Netanyahu said that the regional fears of Iran also presented an opportunity for cooperation against the Islamic State and radical Islamic terror.
These sentiments reflected agreement in principle between Trump and Netanyahu to seek an Israeli peace accord with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf emirates as the lead-in to negotiations for an accord with the Palestinians. Egypt, Jordan and Turkey with whom Israel already has normal relations would jump in later. This deal fits in with the US plan reported more than once on these pages for a regional peace between the Sunni Arab nations and the Jewish State.
Some of the spadework may have been performed by CIA Director Mike Pompeo who paid a secret visit to Ramallah Wednesday morning for talks with Mahmoud Abbas, after trips to Ankara and Riyadh, following which Turkey upgraded its diplomatic mission in Israel
This plan was the fulcrum for the president to push back against the two-state solution advocated by the Obama administration as the cure for the conflict. It remains to be seen if this plan takes on life outside the White House and in the region’s capitals.
Trump realistically called on Israel to “hold back settlements,” show flexibility and make compromises for a peace deal. He urged the Palestinians to “get rid of hate starting in the schoolroom.” Whatever the Israelis and Palestinians agree to in direct talks - one state or two – “I will accept,” he said, adding, “I believe we will have a deal that is better than many Israelis think.”
The World Affairs Council of Orange County (sponsored by Indian-American Dr. S. Mohanty) invited Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy to discuss the "Need for the Muslim Reform Movement (MRM)."
In the lead up, some W.A.C members requested to have Salam al-Marayati of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) challenge MRM with a countervailing opinion- their own "reform" proposition. MRM considers MPAC an Islamist legacy group with an interest in resisting reform and squelching MRM's challenging message of of secular Islam.
The debate event was held last Wednesday, 25 January at the Fairmont Hotel in Newport Beach, California.
Main presentations to audience (Part 1 of 2)
Part 2: Presenters answer audience question and conduct head-to-head debate
Dr. Zuhdi Jasser sums up 1st debate on Muslim reform with MPAC's Mr. al-Marayati
Lela Gilbert, an adjunct fellow at the Hudson Institute residing in Jerusalem, contributes to the Jerusalem Post, Weekly Standard Online, National Review Online, and other publications. We recorded this interview with her in Southern California in the summer of 2016 in advance of the U.S. presidential election.
According to studies by the Pew Research Center, Newsweek, and the Economist, Christians are the world’s most widely persecuted religious group.
Many Americans do not understand that Christians today are victims in many parts of the world. Even many Western Christians, who worship and pray without fear of violent repercussions, are unaware that so many followers of Christ live under governments and among people who are often openly hostile to their faith. They think martyrdom became a rarity long ago.
Persecuted soundly refutes these assumptions. This book offers a glimpse at the modern-day life of Christians worldwide, recounting the ongoing attacks that rarely make international headlines.
As Western Christians pray for the future of Christ’s church, it is vital that they understand a large part of the world’s Christian believers live in danger. Persecuted gives documented accounts of the persecution of Christians in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and former Soviet nations. It contains vivid stories of men and women who suffer abuse because of their faith in Jesus Christ, and tells of their perseverance and courage..
"Persecuted" is far more than a thorough and moving study of this global pattern of violence—it is a cry for freedom and a call to action.
In an exclusive interview with Muslim journalist Khaled abu Toameh (at Gatestone Institute), the prominent Christian figure, Samir Qumsieh (who founded the private Nativity TV Station in Bet Sahour) accuses the Obama Administration of failing to combat ISIS and radical Islam. Qumsieh says he is convinced that President-elect Trump will "terminate" ISIS. Qumsieh discloses that a "Muslim mafia" has been stealing Christian-owned lands in the Bethlehem area.
"I fear the day will come when our churches will become museums. It is my nightmare." — Samir Qumsieh.
We recorded this interview in May through the assistance of Pastor Roger and Diane Cochran of Calvary Chapel in Long Beach, California. Pastor Roger was awaiting surgery to replace his heart-valve- and boasted pride that it was developed in Israel. Shortly after we recorded his testimony of support for Israel, he collapsed with ventricular fibrilation. We called an ambulance whose technicians saved his life, got him an expedited valve replacement, which enabled him to live an additional one-third year. We dedicate this story to the memory of Zionistic Christian Pastor Roger Cochran. May his memory be an inspiration for all.
Democracy Broadcasting subsists on your generous support. We need to replace our video editing computer, which was disabled by cyberattack. Please contribute for what we've given the world over these past 10-years, and for what you'll enable us to continue. May you be blessed with a safe 2017!
Representatives of Reiyukai Buddhist movement from Japan visited L.A. National Cemetery on Veterans Day. We spoke with them about what their society teaches of the Empire of Japan's march to control Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Oceanians. We asked visiting Reiyukai leader, Ms. Yoko Takahashi, if they feel any blame for the deaths of the Americans buried here. We asked Toshiro Obama, VP of Reiyukai America, what they were taught about why Japan bombed Pearl Harbor.
Late in the video you can see visiting Australian businessman, Heath Williamson, responding to whether Australia needed "liberating" by the Japanese.
Their thoughts on video are consistent with Karmago's expression on a Reddit thread on how Pearl Harbor is perceived Japanese society (2014):
I guess I'm one of the few Japanese on Reddit. I lived in Tokyo for almost 10 years and attended high school there. From what I remember, the subject of WWII was taught something along the lines of this:
External pressures placed upon Japan by the US such as the formation of the ABCD line (American, British, Chinese, Dutch) as well as the trade and resource embargoes that the US imposed on Japan were seen as acts of aggression. This led Japanese military leaders to believe that there was no other option but to launch a preemptive strike on the US. The details of the war itself is just briefly glossed over, but there is a significant amount of emphasis placed on the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and how nuclear weapons are horrible and should never be used again. The unit ended with the moral of the story being that the military leaders made a mistake and that their mistake cost the lives and suffering of millions of people, and that everyone should live peacefully and all that.