Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu boarded a plane for Washington Sunday morning, telling reporters on the tarmac that he would deliver a speech to the US Congress — even though it has proved contentious on both sides of the Atlantic — out of a “deep and genuine concern” for Israel’s security.
During Netanyahu’s controversial 48-hour visit he will address a joint session of Congress in a bid to garner last-minute support for a halt to an emerging deal with Iran over its nuclear program. The move has infuriated the White House and some Democratic lawmakers.
Israel believes Iran and world powers are likely to reach a deal that eases international sanctions on Tehran without applying sufficiently stringent safeguards to stop it developing nuclear weapons.
“I’m going to Washington on a fateful, even historic, mission,” Netanyahu told reporters shortly before his plane took off. He said he would “do everything” to protect Israel.
Netanyahu will also address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee on Monday before heading to Capitol Hill the following day, after which he will fly home.
Netanyahu’s trip comes just four weeks before a March 31 deadline for a political framework on the nuclear issue, with negotiators intending to pin down the final technical details by June 30.
It also comes two weeks before a March 17 general election in Israel where Netanyahu is hoping to be re-elected for a third consecutive term in office. Critics have accused him of seeking to sway voters with a show of determination against Obama.
“It is time to tell the truth - the Jews of Europe have been abandoned. The security afforded Jews in most of those countries is a joke. And they [the Jews] aren’t even permitted to arm and protect themselves.”
That according to Foreign Ministry officials following a terrorist shooting outside a Copenhagen synagogue in which an unarmed volunteer Jewish guard, Dan Ozen, was killed.
Senior Israeli officials spoke of an almost criminal approach to Europe’s treatment of Jewish communities that want only to protect themselves.
“The Europeans refuse to recognize the fact that Islamic terrorism is anti-Semitic because they want to remain politically correct and not upset the Muslim community in Europe,” said one Foreign Ministry official. “Without a proper diagnosis, there can be no treatment.”
In Israel, there is fear that the recent string of attacks is just the beginning. As far as Jerusalem is concerned, there is a clear and worrying pattern whereby the Islamists first attack European values such as freedom of speech (see the recent shooting at Charlie Hebdo), and immediately after take aim at the Jews.
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman stated that these recent attacks “prove what we have been saying for years, that Israel and the Jews absorb these attacks first because we are the frontline in the war against terrorists that are ultimately targeting the entire free world.”
Lieberman insisted that Western nations “must not be satisfied with strong announcements and mass rallies against terror, but must shake loose of political correctness and launch an all-out war against Islamic terrorism and its roots.”
It’s not yet clear quite how an Egyptian court’s decision Saturday to define Hamas, in its entirety, as a terror group will play out. Hitherto, only the organization’s military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, was defined as such, but the new ruling widens the definition to include the political branch. Does this mean that from here on out Egypt will completely ban Hamas, cutting all ties to the group including those involving Cairo’s own intelligence agencies?
What can be said with a high degree of certainty, especially in light of the almost hysterical response to the ruling in the Gaza Strip, is that on a symbolic level this is Cairo’s declaration of war on Hamas. Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi is proving that there is only one leader in the Middle East who can be compared to Winston Churchill, and he sits in Cairo.
With Sissi, it’s not just talk. It’s action too. He has, memorably, now made a series of speeches calling for a revolution in Islamic thought, to shift the emphasis away from violence and to create a more humane Islam. He has declared war upon radical Islam wherever it may be — not only upon the Islamic State and its affiliates, who have attacked Egyptians in Libya and Egypt proper, but on the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliates as well.
Many months ago, the president set out on a wide-scale military operation in the Sinai Peninsula that his associates have assessed will last two to three years. During this period, he has said, Egypt will pay a price, perhaps a heavy one, but there is no choice and no escape from carrying it out.
When IS operatives in Libya abducted Coptic Egyptians and executed them, Sissi again did not hesitate: He sent Egyptian air force jets to bomb dozens of IS targets on Libyan soil.
The Egyptian leader’s talk-and-action approach has created a great deal of anxiety in Gaza; near panic, in fact.
Hamas spokesmen have held demonstrations in the Strip against the court’s decision, called for more, and have directly criticized Egypt and Sissi. Mushir al-Masri, a Hamas leader in Gaza, said at one such rally that the ruling means Egypt is now “joining the ranks of the enemy…Whoever makes such decisions is serving the enemy freely.”
It is not for nothing that one of Hamas’s Gaza leaders, Mahmoud al-Zahar, has warned against an Egyptian military strike in Gaza. Such action, unthinkable before el-Sissi came to power, simply cannot be ruled out in light of the president’s decisive policies against what Egypt now fully defines as a terrorist organization.
Janet Yellen is very alarmed that some members of Congress want to conduct a comprehensive audit of the Federal Reserve for the first time since it was created. If the Fed is doing everything correctly, why should Yellen be alarmed? What does she have to hide? During testimony before Congress on Tuesday, she made “central bank independence” sound like it was the holy grail. Even though every other government function is debated politically in this country, Yellen insists that what the Federal Reserve does is “too important” to be influenced by the American people. Does any other government agency ever dare to make that claim? But of course the Federal Reserve is not a government agency. It is a private banking cartel that has far more power over our money and our economy than anyone else does. And later on in this article I am going to share with you dozens of reasons why Congress should shut it down.
The immense power wielded by the Federal Reserve is clearly demonstrated whenever Janet Yellen speaks publicly. On Tuesday, her comments about interest rates sent stocks to brand new record highs…
But Yellen was also unusually defensive on Tuesday. The “Audit the Fed” bill that is being sponsored by Rand Paul (among others) has her really freaked out. The following comes from the Hill…
Appearing before the Senate Banking Committee, Yellen was on the defensive, as Republicans questioned how the Fed conducts monetary policy and Democrats put forward ideas for getting tougher on Wall Street.
In the midst of all of it, Yellen generally argued the Fed was designed as an independent entity for a reason — and it would be best not to change it.
“Central bank independence in conducting monetary policy is considered a best practice for central banks around the world,” she said. “Academic studies, I think, establish beyond the shadow of a doubt that independent central banks perform better.”
In fact, she went so far as to mention the “Audit the Fed” bill by name…
A GOP-controlled Congress has given the bill its best chances yet of passage, and that renewed interest led Yellen to deliver her most spirited opposition yet.
“I want to be completely clear,” she said. “I strongly oppose Audit the Fed.”
Yellen argued the audit measure would allow politicians to second-guess the Fed’s decisions, which, in turn, would weaken the central bank. And the ultimate victim of that process, she said, would be the U.S. economy.
So what is she so concerned about?
We are all accountable to someone.
What is so wrong about the Federal Reserve being accountable to Congress?
Why can’t we find out what is really going on inside the Fed?
Obviously this is a very, very touchy subject over at the Fed.
It is quite clear that they do not want the rest of us to be able to see what they are really up to.
And the truth is that if the American people really did know how the Federal Reserve works and what it has been doing behind closed doors, most Americans would want it shut down tomorrow.
At the end of the day, the reality of the matter is that we don’t even need a Federal Reserve. I really like how David Stockman made this point the other day…
The Federal Reserve has been around for just over a hundred years, and it has done an absolutely abysmal job for the American people.
I want to share with you some facts and figures that I have shared before, but they bear repeating. Please share this list of 100 reasons why the Federal Reserve should be shut down with everyone that you know…
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Gary thanks. I actually tried to post that article from another link and couldnt get it to post. Very telling
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