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Where In The World Is Barack™: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The White House Blog Updates AND West Wing Week.


 

By Jueseppi B.

6905305554_0247d9e2c0_k

 

President’s Schedule – March 28th, 2014

 

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 28th, 2014

 

DAILY GUIDANCE AND SCHEDULE FOR
FRIDAY, MARCH 28th, 2014

 

In the morning, the President will depart Rome, Italy en route Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The President’s departure from the Fiumicino Airport is open press. The President’s arrival at the King Khalid International Airport is pooled press.

 

In the evening, the President arrives to the Rawdat Khuraim and participates in a bilateral meeting with His Majesty Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. There will be travel pool coverage of the President’s arrival and a pool spray at the top of the bilateral meeting.

 

The President will remain overnight in Saudi Arabia.

 

 

Friday, March 28 2014 All Times ET

 

On Friday, the President will travel from Rome, Italy to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. While in Saudi Arabia, the President will participate in a bilateral meeting with His Majesty Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  The President will remain overnight in Saudi Arabia.

 

10:10 AM: The President arrives Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Local Event Time: 5:10 PM ASTKing Khalid International Airport – Riyadh – Saudi Arabia.

 

10:55 AM: The President arrives and is greeted by the Saudi delegation. Local Event Time: 5:55 PM AST, Rawdat Khuraim.

 

11:00 AM: The President participates in an expanded bilateral meeting with His Majesty King Abdullah, Local Event Time: 6:00 PM AST, Rawdat Khuraim.

 

 

Raw: Obama Arrives in Saudi Arabia

 

Published on Mar 28, 2014

Subscribe for more Breaking News:http://smarturl.it/AssociatedPress
President Barack Obama paid a visit to the desert oasis of wary ally King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, hoping to reassure the aging monarch who is nervously watching Washington’s negotiations with Iran and other U.S. policy in the Middle East. (March 28)

 

 

 

Barack Leaving Italy....

Barack Leaving Italy….

Marine helicopters carry President Barack Obama and his delegation for a meeting with Saudi King Abdullah at Rawdat al-Khraim (Desert Camp) near Riyadh

Marine helicopters carry President Barack Obama and his delegation for a meeting with Saudi King Abdullah at Rawdat al-Khraim (Desert Camp) near Riyadh

President Obama is welcomed by Governor of Riyadh Prince Khalid Bandar bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud on arriving in Riyadh

President Obama is welcomed by Governor of Riyadh Prince Khalid Bandar bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud on arriving in Riyadh

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Walking That Barack Swag On "The Red Carpet."

Walking That Barack Swag On “The Red Carpet.”

President Obama meets with Saudi King Abdullah at Rawdat Khuraim

President Obama meets with Saudi King Abdullah at Rawdat Khuraim

THIS is how Saudi King Abdullah at Rawdat Khuraim does it in the desert.

THIS is how Saudi King Abdullah at Rawdat Khuraim does it in the desert.

 

 

FACT SHEET: United States-Saudi Arabia Bilateral Relationship

 

In his meetings with King Abdullah in Riyadh, President Obama reiterated the significance the United States places on its strong relationship with Saudi Arabia, which has endured for over 80 years.  The United States and Saudi Arabia are working together to address a number of critical bilateral and regional issues, including resolving the crisis in Syria, preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, counterterrorism efforts to combat extremism, and supporting negotiations to achieve Middle East peace.

 

Defense Cooperation:  U.S. and Saudi defense forces enjoy outstanding partnerships and regularly participate in joint exercises to advance shared interests in Gulf security.  The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the largest U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customer, with active and open cases valued at approximately $97 billion, as Saudi forces build capabilities across the full spectrum of regional challenges.  The United States and Saudi Arabia currently are enhancing partnerships on critical infrastructure and border security, including on the Interior Ministry’s multi-billion dollar initiative to enhance land and coastal border defenses.

 

Counterterrorism:  Saudi Arabia has been a strong U.S. counterterrorism (CT) partner, particularly on disrupting Al Qaeda (AQ) elements.  We work closely with Saudi authorities on a range of CT issues, including countering terrorist financing (CTF), and the United States and Saudi Arabia work together to help various nations in the region counter shared terrorist threats.

 

Bilateral Trade and Investment:  U.S. exports to Saudi Arabia exceeded $35 billion in 2013, including direct exports of $19 billion (a 76 percent increase since 2009) and roughly $2 billion in service exports (Engineering, Procurement, and Construction; Design; Financial; and Legal).  Indirect exports and other goods and services were valued at an additional $15 billion.  The bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement provides a forum for the United States and Saudi Arabia to explore ways to advance economic relations.  Among other successes, Saudi Arabia has followed up on its commitment to improve its intellectual property rights regime since being removed from the United States Trade Representative’s Special 301 Watch List in 2010.  Continual improvements in its intellectual property rights regime facilitate the Kingdom’s efforts to develop a diversified knowledge economy and improve the investment climate for U.S. businesses.

 

Energy Cooperation:  As U.S. oil and gas production increases, and as Saudi Arabia works to diversify its energy mix and improve energy efficiency, our longstanding bilateral cooperation on energy issues is getting stronger, not just on conventional energy market issues, but also energy efficiency, renewable and other alternative energy sources, and science and technology research.  For example, Saudi Arabia is working with the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory on measuring its solar energy resources.  The Saudis are also working with the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, and others on developing energy efficiency for the Kingdom, including automotive fuel economy standards.  The United States and Saudi Arabia hold an annual Bilateral Energy Dialogue to explore broader energy cooperation, including potential cooperation on advanced geothermal research and other issues relating to alternative energies.

 

Educational Programs:  There are more Saudi students in the United States now than ever before, with approximately 80,000 Saudi students in the United States representing Saudi Arabia’s future political, business, and social leadership.  U.S. education and the American experience help to shape Saudi Arabia’s future workplace and national outlook and will encourage new perspectives on diversity, tolerance, and global affairs.

 

Citizen Exchanges:  The United States and Saudi Arabia have a decades-long history of citizen exchanges.  International Visitor Leadership Programs (IVLP) focus on interfaith dialogue, volunteerism, women’s empowerment, entrepreneurship, and public health issues.  A number of American Fulbright scholars are working with Saudi higher education institutions to develop and strengthen their graduate curricula and offer new academic majors.  Several thousand Saudis have participated in citizen exchange programs over the past several decades.

 

Science and Technology Cooperation:  In keeping with its interest in developing knowledge-based industries, Saudi Arabia has significantly expanded its scientific research and technological development.  Under the U.S.-Saudi Science and Technology Agreement, signed in 2008, the King Abdulaziz City of Science and Technology (KACST) is currently working with NASA on several projects including the Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) and space geodesy and geodynamics research.  KACST also collaborates with numerous U.S. universities and is exploring collaborative programs with the U.S. Geological Survey and the Department of Energy on projects important to both of our countries, including dust storm monitoring, seismic imaging of the Earth’s crust, and solar energy.

 

Environmental Programs:  Saudi Arabia joined the Global Methane Initiative in January 2014, providing a vehicle for enhanced cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reduce emissions of a powerful greenhouse gas.  The Department of Energy, through an MOU signed in 2010, and the EPA are also working to enhance cooperation with the Kingdom on research and application of carbon capture, use, and storage.

 

Health Cooperation Programs:  The United States and Saudi Arabia have been close partners in health cooperation for over three decades.  Currently, a number of U.S. scientists have collaborative National Institutes of Health grants with Saudi partners.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a long history with the Saudi Ministry of Health and Saudi Arabian National Guard Health Affairs; both have hosted CDC experts for one to two year stints and work with the CDC on infectious disease surveillance during the yearly Hajj pilgrimage.  CDC also works closely with Saudi Arabia on a range of issues including smoking cessation, breast cancer awareness, control and prevention of diabetes and heart disease, and epidemiology and surveillance of infectious diseases.

 

 

FRIDAY

  • President Obama participates in a bilateral meeting with King Abdullah of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

 

SATURDAY

  • President Obama meets with employees and family members of the U.S. embassy

 

 

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West Wing Week 03/28/14 or, “The 2014 European Edition”

 

Published on Mar 28, 2014

Welcome to a special, travel edition of the West Wing Week. The President spent this whirlwind week working in Europe, where he attended the third, biennial Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, traveled to Brussels for an EU-US Summit, and then on to Rome, where he met with His High Holiness Pope Francis.

 

 

 

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Statements and Releases - March 28, 2014/March 27, 2014

 

 

Statement by the Press Secretary on the Selection of former Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg as the Next NATO Secretary General

 

We welcome the selection of former Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg as NATO’s next Secretary General, beginning October 1, 2014.  Mr. Stoltenberg is a proven leader with a demonstrated commitment to the transatlantic Alliance.  As Prime Minister, he built Norway’s military capabilities and actively contributed to NATO operations and political dialogue.  We are confident he is the best person to ensure the continued strength and unity of the NATO Alliance.

 

We also are grateful for the service of current NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and will rely on his expertise to bring the Alliance through the NATO Summit in September.  Secretary General Rasmussen has been an exceptional leader at an extraordinary time.  His vision and dedication have strengthened the Alliance’s strategic direction and focus on ways to bolster defense capabilities while reinforcing the commitments and values underpinning it.  From preparing for NATO’s transition in Afghanistan, to seeing us through the intervention in Libya, and – now – to providing strong leadership in the face of Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine, Secretary General Rasmussen has been a steadfast partner and a trusted friend of the United States throughout his tenure.  We know that Mr. Stoltenberg will prove the same.

 

 

FACT SHEET: Climate Action Plan – Strategy to Cut Methane Emissions

 

A Strategy to Cut Methane Emissions

 

 

In June 2013, President Obama gave a speech at Georgetown University where he laid out both the case for action on climate change and the steps his Administration will take to address it. The Climate Action Plan that the President announced includes steps to cut carbon pollution, help prepare the United States for the impacts of climate change that are already on the way, and continue American leadership in international efforts to combat global climate change.

 

In his Climate Action Plan, President Obama directed the Administration to develop a comprehensive, interagency strategy to cut methane emissions. Today, the White House released the Climate Action Plan – Strategy to Cut Methane Emissions. Learn more about the strategy in the fact sheet below, and check out the full Strategy here.

 

 

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Statement by NSC Spokesperson Caitlin Hayden on UN Human Rights Council Vote on Sri Lanka

 

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

 

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

 

 

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Supreme Court Decision in U.S. v. Castleman Will Save Women’s Lives

 

 

This week, the Supreme Court decided a case that will save women’s lives.

 

Back in 1996, Congress made it a crime for anyone convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence to possess a gun. As Vice President Biden has often noted, there is a direct connection between gun violence and domestic violence: when a domestic abuser has a gun, a victim is 12 times more likely to die than when he doesn’t.

 

Some courts, however, have set a high bar for what counts as a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” – which has meant that many domestic abusers have been allowed to keep their guns.

 

But in United States v. Castleman (written by Justice Sotomayor), the Court changed all that. It recognized that domestic violence is a unique kind of crime that doesn’t always fit everyone’s idea of what’s “violent”: often, it can involve pushing, grabbing, shoving, scratching, or hair pulling – and which, over time, can “subject one intimate partner to the other’s control.” The Court also recognized that, in a number of states, these acts are prosecuted as crimes of “offensive touching” – which, before this week, meant some courts didn’t consider them to be domestic violence. But now, according to the Court, that’s enough to subject a convicted domestic abuser to the federal gun ban.

 

This is a landmark opinion. As so many abused women know, what happens to them is a far cry from “offensive touching.” It is terrifying and debilitating, and can rob her of all manner of trust, security, and hope. It can make her – as the Vice President has also said – a prisoner in her own home. But at least now, the law recognizes that those who are convicted of these crimes have no business having a gun.

 

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President Obama: We need “Russia to move back those troops”

 

Published on Mar 28, 2014

In an interview with “CBS Evening News” anchor and managing editor Scott Pelley, President Obama spoke about the steps Russia must take to reduce tensions over Ukraine.

 

 

 

Statement by the Press Secretary on Ukraine

The United States welcomes the preliminary agreement between the Government of Ukraine and International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff on a loan program of $14-18 billion.  This represents a powerful sign of support from the international community for the Ukrainian government, as we help them stabilize and grow their economy, and move their democracy forward.  The agreement is expected to unlock roughly $27 billion in total support from the international community for Ukraine’s people over the next two years, as the country implements historic reforms to address long-standing problems that have undermined Ukraine’s economic strength and prosperity.  It is important now for both the Government of Ukraine and the IMF to move expeditiously and complete the steps necessary to gain approval from the IMF Executive Board.

Together with our allies and partners, President Obama will continue to build international support for the Ukrainian people at this critical time.  The IMF program will be a central component of a package of assistance to support Ukraine as it implements reforms and conducts free and fair elections that will allow all the Ukrainian people to determine the future of their country.  We are working alongside international partners, including the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), to disburse rapid additional assistance to complement the IMF program and ease Ukraine’s economic transition, particularly for the most vulnerable.  As part of this international effort, we are working with Congress to quickly provide a $1 billion loan guarantee and are offering technical and financial assistance to help Ukraine meet its most pressing needs.  We also remain committed to providing the IMF with the resources it needs – in partnership with Congress – to provide strong support to countries like Ukraine as well as reinforcing the Fund’s governance to reflect the global economy.

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Where In The World Is Barack Hussein Obama? The Presidents Week Ahead: The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, The Vatican & The Pope And Saudi Arabia.


 

By Jueseppi B.

6905305554_0247d9e2c0_k

 

 

The President Travels to The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, The Vatican And Saudi Arabia.

 

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 22nd, 2014

 

DAILY GUIDANCE AND SCHEDULE FOR
FRIDAY, MARCH 22nd, 2014

 

White House Schedule

 

On Sunday, the President will depart Washington en route The Netherlands. The President’s departure from the South Lawn is open press.

 

8:50 PM: THE PRESIDENT departs the White House, The South Lawn.

 

9:05 PM: THE PRESIDENT departs Joint Base Andrews, Virginia Gate, Joint Base Andrews, for The  Netherlands.

 

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Schedule for the Week of March 24th – March 28th,2014

 

On Monday, the President will arrive in The Netherlands. In the morning, the President will tour the Rijksmuseum and hold a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Rutte of The Netherlands. In the afternoon the President will participate in a bilateral meeting with President Xi Jinping of China at the United States Ambassador’s residence before arriving at the World Forum to participate in the Nuclear Security Summit.  In the evening, the President will attend a G-7 leaders meeting on Ukraine at Catshuis, the official residence of the Prime Minister. Afterwards, he will join His Majesty King Willem-Alexander for dinner at the Royal Palace. The President will remain overnight in The Netherlands.

 

On Tuesday, the President will visit the World Forum to participate in the Nuclear Security Summit. Afterwards, the President will hold a bilateral press conference with Prime Minister Rutte.  In the evening, the President will participate in a bilateral meeting with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates, at the United States Ambassador’s residence, and a trilateral meeting with President Park Geun-Hye of the Republic of Korea and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan.  He will then meet with employees and family members of the U.S. Embassy to The Netherlands. The President will then travel to Brussels, Belgium where he will remain overnight.

 

On Wednesday, the President will visit Flanders Field Cemetery with Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo of Belgium and His Majesty King, Philippe. In the afternoon, he will participate in the EU-U.S. Summit at the Council of the European Union. Afterwards, the President will meet with employees and family members of the U.S. Tri-Mission to Belgium, EU, and NATO before meeting with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. In the evening, the President will deliver remarks at The Centre for Fine Arts (BOZAR) and then travel to Rome, Italy where he will remain overnight.

 

On Thursday, the President will visit the Vatican where he will meet with His Holiness Pope Francis followed by a meeting with Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin. Afterwards, the President will participate in a bilateral meeting with President Giorgio Napolitano of Italy at the Quirinal Palace. Later, the President will participate in a bilateral meeting and joint press conference with Prime Minister Matteo Renzi of Italy at Villa Madama. In the evening, the President will tour the Colosseum and meet with employees and families of the U.S. Tri-Mission to Italy, The Holy See, and the UN Agencies in Rome.

 

On Friday, the President will travel from Rome, Italy to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. While in Saudi Arabia, the President will participate in a bilateral meeting with His Majesty Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  The President will remain overnight in Saudi Arabia.

 

whitehouse

 

 

Ben Rhodes on the President’s Travel to The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, The Vatican and Saudi Arabia.

 

Press Briefing

March 22, 2014 | 52:31 | Public Domain

Ben Rhodes give The Presidents schedule for his trip to The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, the Vatican and Saudi Arabia. White House Press Briefings are conducted most weekdays from the James S. Brady Press Briefing Roomin the West Wing.

 

 

Ben Rhodes briefing the White House Press Corps on President Obama's upcoming trip to The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, the Vatican and Saudi Arabia.

Ben Rhodes briefing the White House Press Corps on President Obama’s upcoming trip to The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, the Vatican and Saudi Arabia.

Good to see Ambasaddor Rice laughing, she is a good woman and a great government employee.

Good to see Ambasaddor Rice laughing, she is a good woman and a great government employee.

Ambassador Susan Rice explaining the Presidents trip to The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, the Vatican and Saudi Arabia...to the White House Corp. YES they need things explained to them.

Ambassador Susan Rice explaining the Presidents trip to The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, the Vatican and Saudi Arabia…to the White House Corp. YES they need things explained to them.

 

 

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President Obama Plans to Visit Pope Francis in March

 

download

 

President Barack Obama will travel to Italy in March to meet with Pope Francis for the first time, the White House announced Tuesday.

 

The March 27 visit to the Vatican comes as part of a European tour during which Obama will also visit the Netherlands, Belgium and Italy.

 

“The president looks forward to discussing with Pope Francis their shared commitment to fighting poverty and growing inequality,” said a White House statement.

 

Before arriving in Vatican City, Obama will spend two days in the Netherlands participating in the Nuclear Security Summit, hosted by the Dutch government. Those gathered will discuss security processes for nuclear materials, the statement said.

 

Obama will then travel to Brussels for a meeting with presidents of the European Council and the European Commission, and will also hold meetings with Belgian government officials and with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

 

While in Italy, Obama will also meet with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano and Prime Minister Enrico Letta.

 

Obama and first lady Michelle Obama visited the Vatican in 2009 to meet with Pope Francis’ predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI.

 

 

time-pope-francis

 

President Barack Obama meets with Pope Francis on Thursday, departing for an overseas swing on Sunday evening—with an added starter in talks at other stops—figuring out how to punish Russia for invading Ukraine, since economic sanctions haven’t done much so far. The Sunday New York Times featured a front page story on Obama’s work with black Roman Catholic groups in Chicago in the 1980s.

 

It will be the first time Obama meets with the current pope. In July, 2009, Obama and First Lady Michelle (who wore a mantilla—a black lace head covering) visited with Pope Benedict XVI. (Former Obama advisor David Axelrod, now back in Chicago, was also part of the group.)

 

Discussing the upcoming audience with the pope at the Vatican, White House Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes used a phrase during  Friday briefing—“income inequality”—that is a term embraced by Obama, the White House and Democrats to pressure Republicans to raise the minimum wage and approve other Obama proposals to help low-and-middle income earners.

 

Be aware of that when you read Rhodes’ comments in the next paragraphs about Obama’s meeting with the pope.

 

Rhodes said on Friday, Obama “will begin his day with an audience with Pope Francis. He has long looked forward to meeting Pope Francis. He has very much admired the leadership he has provided in his first year as Pope, his commitment to address issues like income inequality, and his leadership of the church more broadly. So that will be an important time for the President to have some personal interaction with the Pope and to hear about the very ambitious agenda that he has launched in his first year.”

 

Obama in the next week will travel to the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, the Vatican and Saudi Arabia.

 

The New York Times story is headlined, “The Catholic Roots of Obama’s Activism: He Found His Voice in a Chicago Parish. Now He’ll Speak With the Pope,” and reported by Jason Horowitz who quotes, among others, Andrew Lyke, the director of the Chicago Archdiocese’s Office for Black Catholics.

 

Excerpt: “Mr. Obama’s old friends in the priesthood pray that Francis will discover a president freed from concerns about re-election and willing to rededicate himself to the vulnerable.

 

“…But the Vatican — aware that Mr. Obama has far more to gain from the encounter than the pope does, and wary of being used for American political consumption — warns that this will hardly be like the 1982 meeting at which President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II agreed to fight Communism in Eastern Europe.”

 

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The Presidents Week Ahead: Presidential Trips To The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, The Vatican And Saudi Arabia.


 

By Jueseppi B.

ontheroadwithbarack

 

 

Statement by the Press Secretary on the President’s Travel to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in March 2014

As part of regular consultations between our two countries, President Obama will travel to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in March 2014 to meet with His Majesty King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud.  The President looks forward to discussing with King Abdullah the enduring and strategic ties between the United States and Saudi Arabia as well as ongoing cooperation to advance a range of common interests related to Gulf and regional security, peace in the Middle East, countering violent extremism, and other issues of prosperity and security.  The President will travel to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia following his travel to the Netherlands, Belgium, and Italy.

 

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 22nd, 2014

 

DAILY GUIDANCE AND SCHEDULE FOR
FRIDAY, MARCH 22nd, 2014

 

White House Schedule

 

On Sunday, the President will depart Washington en route The Netherlands. The President’s departure from the South Lawn is open press.

 

8:50 PM: THE PRESIDENT departs the White House, The South Lawn.

 

9:05 PM: THE PRESIDENT departs Joint Base Andrews, Virginia Gate, Joint Base Andrews, for The  Netherlands.

 

 

POTUS & VPOTUS dash through 1600 Penn in "workout gear"....I LOVE these guys.

POTUS & VPOTUS dash through 1600 Penn in “workout gear”….I LOVE these guys.

 

 

Schedule for the Week of March 24th – March 28th,2014

 

On Monday, the President will arrive in The Netherlands. In the morning, the President will tour the Rijksmuseum and hold a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Rutte of The Netherlands. In the afternoon the President will participate in a bilateral meeting with President Xi Jinping of China at the United States Ambassador’s residence before arriving at the World Forum to participate in the Nuclear Security Summit.  In the evening, the President will attend a G-7 leaders meeting on Ukraine at Catshuis, the official residence of the Prime Minister. Afterwards, he will join His Majesty King Willem-Alexander for dinner at the Royal Palace. The President will remain overnight in The Netherlands.

 

On Tuesday, the President will visit the World Forum to participate in the Nuclear Security Summit. Afterwards, the President will hold a bilateral press conference with Prime Minister Rutte.  In the evening, the President will participate in a bilateral meeting with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates, at the United States Ambassador’s residence, and a trilateral meeting with President Park Geun-Hye of the Republic of Korea and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan.  He will then meet with employees and family members of the U.S. Embassy to The Netherlands. The President will then travel to Brussels, Belgium where he will remain overnight.

 

On Wednesday, the President will visit Flanders Field Cemetery with Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo of Belgium and His Majesty King, Philippe. In the afternoon, he will participate in the EU-U.S. Summit at the Council of the European Union. Afterwards, the President will meet with employees and family members of the U.S. Tri-Mission to Belgium, EU, and NATO before meeting with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. In the evening, the President will deliver remarks at The Centre for Fine Arts (BOZAR) and then travel to Rome, Italy where he will remain overnight.

 

On Thursday, the President will visit the Vatican where he will meet with His Holiness Pope Francis followed by a meeting with Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin. Afterwards, the President will participate in a bilateral meeting with President Giorgio Napolitano of Italy at the Quirinal Palace. Later, the President will participate in a bilateral meeting and joint press conference with Prime Minister Matteo Renzi of Italy at Villa Madama. In the evening, the President will tour the Colosseum and meet with employees and families of the U.S. Tri-Mission to Italy, The Holy See, and the UN Agencies in Rome.

 

On Friday, the President will travel from Rome, Italy to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. While in Saudi Arabia, the President will participate in a bilateral meeting with His Majesty Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  The President will remain overnight in Saudi Arabia.

 

 

whitehouse

 

Ben Rhodes on the President’s Travel to The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, The Vatican and Saudi Arabia.

 

Press Briefing

March 22, 2014 | 52:31 | Public Domain

Ben Rhodes give The Presidents schedule for his trip to The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, the Vatican and Saudi Arabia. White House Press Briefings are conducted most weekdays from the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room in the West Wing.

 

 

Ben Rhodes briefing the White House Press Corps on President Obama's upcoming trip to The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, the Vatican and Saudi Arabia.

Ben Rhodes briefing the White House Press Corps on President Obama’s upcoming trip to The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, the Vatican and Saudi Arabia.

Ambassador Susan Rice explaining the Presidents trip to The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, the Vatican and Saudi Arabia...to the White House Corp. YES they need things explained to them.

Ambassador Susan Rice explaining the Presidents trip to The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, the Vatican and Saudi Arabia…to the White House Corp. YES they need things explained to them.

Good to see Ambasaddor Rice laughing, she is a good woman and a great government employee.

Good to see Ambasaddor Rice laughing, she is a good woman and a great government employee.

 

 

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President Obama Plans to Visit Pope Francis in March

 

download

 

President Barack Obama will travel to Italy in March to meet with Pope Francis for the first time, the White House announced Tuesday.

 

The March 27 visit to the Vatican comes as part of a European tour during which Obama will also visit the Netherlands, Belgium and Italy.

 

“The president looks forward to discussing with Pope Francis their shared commitment to fighting poverty and growing inequality,” said a White House statement.

 

Before arriving in Vatican City, Obama will spend two days in the Netherlands participating in the Nuclear Security Summit, hosted by the Dutch government. Those gathered will discuss security processes for nuclear materials, the statement said.

 

Obama will then travel to Brussels for a meeting with presidents of the European Council and the European Commission, and will also hold meetings with Belgian government officials and with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

 

While in Italy, Obama will also meet with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano and Prime Minister Enrico Letta.

 

Obama and first lady Michelle Obama visited the Vatican in 2009 to meet with Pope Francis’ predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI.

 

 

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Barack After Dark™: Saturday At 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue


 

By Jueseppi B.

barackhouse

 

 

White House Schedule – December 8th, 2013

 

President Obama Guidance & Schedule, December 8th, 2013

 

On Sunday, the President and the First Lady will host the Kennedy Center Honorees Reception in the East Room. The President will deliver remarks. The President’s remarks are pooled press. Later, the President and the First Lady will attend the Kennedy Center Honors at the Kennedy Center. There will be travel pool coverage.

 

Sunday, December 8 2013 All Times ET

 

5:15 PM: THE PRESIDENT delivers remarks at the Kennedy Center Honors Reception, East Room.

 

7:30 PM: THE PRESIDENT and FIRST LADY attend the Kennedy Center Honors, Kennedy Center.

 

 

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Megan Slack
Megan Slack

December 07, 2013
06:00 AM EST

 

In this week’s address, President Obama says that before Congress leaves for vacation, they should extend unemployment benefits for 1.3 million hardworking Americans who will lose this lifeline at the end of the year.

 

 

 

VIDEO MENSAJE DE LA CASA BLANCA: Debemos Extender el Seguro de Desempleo

December 07, 2013 | 2:50 |Public Domain

 

En el mensaje de esta semana, el Secretario de Trabajo Tom Pérez discutió porque es importante que el Congreso actúe para extender el seguro de desempleo, que es de vital importancia para los estadounidenses que siguen buscando trabajo. El seguro de desempleo ofrece asistencia temporal a aquellos que realmente lo necesitan para que no caigan a la pobreza.

 

 

 

 

 

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President Obama Speaks at the Saban Forum

December 07, 2013 | 47:19 |Public Domain

 

President Obama participates in the 10th Annual Saban Forum.

 

 

 

10th Anniversary Saban Forum Power Shifts: U.S.-Israel Relations in a Dynamic Middle East

 

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On December 6-8, the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings is hosting its 10th annual Saban Forum, titled “Power Shifts: U.S.-Israel Relations in a Dynamic Middle East.” This year’s event features remarks by U.S. President Barack Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, all of which are being webcast.

 

The 2013 Forum is examining the political changes taking place across the Middle East, including the resumption of the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks; the ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran; and the deepening Syrian civil war and resulting humanitarian crisis. Forum speakers and participants discuss the implications of these events on U.S. interests in the region, U.S.-Israel relations and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

 

Over the past 10 years, the Forum has served as a venue for unparalleled dialogue on U.S.-Israel relations between American and Israeli officials, business executives, policymakers and thought leaders from across the political and social spectrum. As a result, the Saban Forum has become a seminal event, generating creative new ideas to address the issues confronting the United States and Israel in the Middle East.

 

The Saban Forum has hosted many distinguished leaders, including President William J. Clinton, President George W. Bush, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, HM King Abdullah of Jordan, President Shimon Peres, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, former British Prime Minister and Middle East Envoy Tony Blair, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice and Henry Kissinger.

 

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The Origin Of The Palestine-Israel Conflict:


 

By Jueseppi B.

title

 

 

The Origin of the Palestine-Israel Conflict

 

By Jews for Justice in the Middle East
Published in Berkeley, CA, 2001

 

Jews for Justice has made this excellent resource available to people around the world. We have converted their booklet to a more easily copied format. Download it!

 

As the periodic bloodshed continues in the Middle East, the search for an equitable solution must come to grips with the root cause of the conflict. The conventional wisdom is that, even if both sides are at fault, the Palestinians are irrational “terrorists” who have no point of view worth listening to. Our position, however, is that the Palestinians have a real grievance: their homeland for over a thousand years was taken, without their consent and mostly by force, during the creation of the state of Israel. And all subsequent crimes — on both sides — inevitably follow from this original injustice.

 

Contents:
Introduction
Early History of the Region
The British Mandate Period: 1920-1948
The UN Partition of Palestine
Statehood and Expulsion – 1948
The 1967 War and Israeli Occupation of the
West Bank and Gaza[1973 War
(Known in Israel as
the Yom Kippur War
- Addendum by If Americans Knew]
The History of Terrorism in the Region
Jewish Criticism of Zionism
Zionism and the Holocaust
General Considerations
Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel
Intifada 2000 And The “Peace Process”
Views Of The Future
Conclusion I For Jewish Readers
Conclusion II

 

This paper outlines the history of Palestine to show how this process occurred and what a moral solution to the region’s problems should consist of. If you care about the people of the Middle East, Jewish and Arab, you owe it to yourself to read this account of the other side of the historical record.

 

Introduction

The standard Zionist position is that they showed up in Palestine in the late 19th century to reclaim their ancestral homeland. Jews bought land and started building up the Jewish community there. They were met with increasingly violent opposition from the Palestinian Arabs, presumably stemming from the Arabs’ inherent anti-Semitism. The Zionists were then forced to defend themselves and, in one form or another, this same situation continues up to today.

 

The problem with this explanation is that it is simply not true, as the documentary evidence in this booklet will show. What really happened was that the Zionist movement, from the beginning, looked forward to a practically complete dispossession of the indigenous Arab population so that Israel could be a wholly Jewish state, or as much as was possible. Land bought by the Jewish National Fund was held in the name of the Jewish people and could never be sold or even leased back to Arabs (a situation which continues to the present).

 

The Arab community, as it became increasingly aware of the Zionists’ intentions, strenuously opposed further Jewish immigration and land buying because it posed a real and imminent danger to the very existence of Arab society in Palestine. Because of this opposition, the entire Zionist project never could have been realized without the military backing of the British. The vast majority of the population of Palestine, by the way, had been Arabic since the seventh century A.D. (Over 1200 years)

 

In short, Zionism was based on a faulty, colonialist world view that the rights of the indigenous inhabitants didn’t matter. The Arabs’ opposition to Zionism wasn’t based on anti-Semitism but rather on a totally reasonable fear of the dispossession of their people.

 

One further point: being Jewish ourselves, the position we present here is critical of Zionism but is in no way anti-Semitic. We do not believe that the Jews acted worse than any other group might have acted in their situation. The Zionists (who were a distinct minority of the Jewish people until after WWII) had an understandable desire to establish a place where Jews could be masters of their own fate, given the bleak history of Jewish oppression. Especially as the danger to European Jewry crystalized in the late 1930’s and after, the actions of the Zionists were propelled by real desperation.

 

But so were the actions of the Arabs. The mythic “land without people for a people without land” was already home to 700,000 Palestinians in 1919. This is the root of the problem, as we shall see.

 

Early History of the Region

Before the Hebrews first migrated there around 1800 B.C., the land of Canaan was occupied by Canaanites.

“Between 3000 and 1100 B.C., Canaanite civilization covered what is today Israel, the West Bank, Lebanon and much of Syria and Jordan…Those who remained in the Jerusalem hills after the Romans expelled the Jews [in the second century A.D.] were a potpourri: farmers and vineyard growers, pagans and converts to Christianity, descendants of the Arabs, Persians, Samaritans, Greeks and old Canaanite tribes.”Marcia Kunstel and Joseph Albright, “Their Promised Land.”

 

 

The present-day Palestinians’ ancestral heritage

“But all these [different peoples who had come to Canaan] were additions, sprigs grafted onto the parent tree…And that parent tree was Canaanite…[The Arab invaders of the 7th century A.D.] made Moslem converts of the natives, settled down as residents, and intermarried with them, with the result that all are now so completely Arabized that we cannot tell where the Canaanites leave off and the Arabs begin.”Illene Beatty, “Arab and Jew in the Land of Canaan.”

 

 

The Jewish kingdoms were only one of many periods in ancient Palestine

“The extended kingdoms of David and Solomon, on which the Zionists base their territorial demands, endured for only about 73 years…Then it fell apart…[Even] if we allow independence to the entire life of the ancient Jewish kingdoms, from David’s conquest of Canaan in 1000 B.C. to the wiping out of Judah in 586 B.C., we arrive at [only] a 414 year Jewish rule.” Illene Beatty, “Arab and Jew in the Land of Canaan.”

 

 

More on Canaanite civilization

“Recent archeological digs have provided evidence that Jerusalem was a big and fortified city already in 1800 BCE…Findings show that the sophisticated water system heretofor attributed to the conquering Israelites pre-dated them by eight centuries and was even more sophisticated than imagined…Dr. Ronny Reich, who directed the excavation along with Eli Shuikrun, said the entire system was built as a single complex by Canaanites in the Middle Bronze Period, around 1800 BCE.” The Jewish Bulletin, July 31st, 1998.

 

 

How long has Palestine been a specifically Arab country?

“Palestine became a predominately Arab and Islamic country by the end of the seventh century. Almost immediately thereafter its boundaries and its characteristics — including its name in Arabic, Filastin — became known to the entire Islamic world, as much for its fertility and beauty as for its religious significance…In 1516, Palestine became a province of the Ottoman Empire, but this made it no less fertile, no less Arab or Islamic…Sixty percent of the population was in agriculture; the balance was divided between townspeople and a relatively small nomadic group. All these people believed themselves to belong in a land called Palestine, despite their feelings that they were also members of a large Arab nation…Despite the steady arrival in Palestine of Jewish colonists after 1882, it is important to realize that not until the few weeks immediately preceding the establishment of Israel in the spring of 1948 was there ever anything other than a huge Arab majority. For example, the Jewish population in 1931 was 174,606 against a total of 1,033,314.” Edward Said, “The Question of Palestine.”

 

 

How did land ownership traditionally work in Palestine and when did it change?

“[The Ottoman Land Code of 1858] required the registration in the name of individual owners of agricultural land, most of which had never previously been registered and which had formerly been treated according to traditional forms of land tenure, in the hill areas of Palestine generally masha’a, or communal usufruct. The new law meant that for the first time a peasant could be deprived not of title to his land, which he had rarely held before, but rather of the right to live on it, cultivate it and pass it on to his heirs, which had formerly been inalienable…Under the provisions of the 1858 law, communal rights of tenure were often ignored…Instead, members of the upper classes, adept at manipulating or circumventing the legal process, registered large areas of land as theirs…The fellahin [peasants] naturally considered the land to be theirs, and often discovered that they had ceased to be the legal owners only when the land was sold to Jewish settlers by an absentee landlord…Not only was the land being purchased; its Arab cultivators were being dispossessed and replaced by foreigners who had overt political objectives in Palestine.” Rashid Khalidi, “Blaming The Victims,” ed. Said and Hitchens

 

 

Was Arab opposition to the arrival of Zionists based on inherent anti-Semitism or a real sense of danger to their community?

“The aim of the [Jewish National] Fund was ‘to redeem the land of Palestine as the inalienable possession of the Jewish people.’…As early as 1891, Zionist leader Ahad Ha’am wrote that the Arabs “understood very well what we were doing and what we were aiming at’…[Theodore Herzl, the founder of Zionism, stated] ‘We shall try to spirit the penniless [Arab] population across the border by procuring employment for it in transit countries, while denying it employment in our own country… Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly’…At various locations in northern Palestine Arab farmers refused to move from land the Fund purchased from absentee owners, and the Turkish authorities, at the Fund’s request, evicted them…The indigenous Jews of Palestine also reacted negatively to Zionism. They did not see the need for a Jewish state in Palestine and did not want to exacerbate relations with the Arabs.” John Quigley, “Palestine and Israel: A Challenge to Justice.”

 

 

Inherent anti-Semitism? — continued

“Before the 20th century, most Jews in Palestine belonged to old Yishuv, or community, that had settled more for religious than for political reasons. There was little if any conflict between them and the Arab population. Tensions began after the first Zionist settlers arrived in the 1880’s…when [they] purchased land from absentee Arab owners, leading to dispossession of the peasants who had cultivated it.” Don Peretz, “The Arab-Israeli Dispute.”

 

 

Inherent anti-Semitism? — continued

“[During the Middle Ages,] North Africa and the Arab Middle East became places of refuge and a haven for the persecuted Jews of Spain and elsewhere…In the Holy Land…they lived together in [relative] harmony, a harmony only disrupted when the Zionists began to claim that Palestine was the ‘rightful’ possession of the ‘Jewish people’ to the exclusion of its Moslem and Christian inhabitants.” Sami Hadawi, “Bitter Harvest.”

 

 

Jews attitude towards Arabs when reaching Palestine.

“Serfs they (the Jews) were in the lands of the Diaspora, and suddenly they find themselves in freedom [in Palestine]; and this change has awakened in them an inclination to despotism. They treat the Arabs with hostility and cruelty, deprive them of their rights, offend them without cause, and even boast of these deeds; and nobody among us opposes this despicable and dangerous inclination.” Zionist writer Ahad Ha’am, quoted in Sami Hadawi, “Bitter Harvest.”

 

 

Proposals for Arab-Jewish Cooperation

“An article by Yitzhak Epstein, published in Hashiloah in 1907…called for a new Zionist policy towards the Arabs after 30 years of settlement activity…Like Ahad-Ha’am in 1891, Epstein claims that no good land is vacant, so Jewish settlement meant Arab dispossession…Epstein’s solution to the problem, so that a new “Jewish question” may be avoided, is the creation of a bi-national, non-exclusive program of settlement and development. Purchasing land should not involve the dispossession of poor sharecroppers. It should mean creating a joint farming community, where the Arabs will enjoy modern technology. Schools, hospitals and libraries should be non-exclusivist and education bilingual…The vision of non-exclusivist, peaceful cooperation to replace the practice of dispossession found few takers. Epstein was maligned and scorned for his faint heartedness.” Israeli author, Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi, “Original Sins.”

 

 

Was Palestine the only, or even preferred, destination of Jews facing persecution when the Zionist movement started?

“The pogroms forced many Jews to leave Russia. Societies known as ‘Lovers of Zion,’ which were forerunners of the Zionist organization, convinced some of the frightened emigrants to go to Palestine. There, they argued, Jews would rebuild the ancient Jewish ‘Kingdom of David and Solomon,’ Most Russian Jews ignored their appeal and fled to Europe and the United States. By 1900, almost a million Jews had settled in the United States alone.” “Our Roots Are Still Alive” by The People Press Palestine Book Project.

 

To read  The Origin of the Palestine-Israel Conflict in ti’s entirety click on the link.

 

 

The British Mandate Period
1920-1948

 

 

The UN Partition of Palestine

 

 

Statehood and Expulsion
1948

 

 

The 1967 War and the Israeli Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza

 

Addendum by If Americans Knew:
1973 War (Known in Israel as the Yom Kippur War)

 

 

The History of Terrorism in the Region

 

 

Jewish Criticism of Zionism

 

 

Zionism and the Holocaust

 

 

General Considerations

Israel has sought peace with its Arab neighbor states but has steadfastly refused to negotiate with Palestinians directly, until the last few years. Why?

 

 

From the 1970s until the 1999 Israeli High Court decision forbidding torture during interrogation (theoretically), hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were subjected to inhuman treatment in Israeli prisons.

 

 

Jewish Fundamentalism In Israel

 

 

Intifada 2000 and the “Peace Process”

 

 

Views Of The Future

 

 

Sources for further research on Palestine and Israel

 

These short quotes do not, of course, prove the assertions made here. The historical evidence, however, is overwhelming and is available in fully documented form in the books cited. Particularly useful sources are:

 

  1. Palestine and Israel: A Challenge to Justice by John Quigley, professor of law at Ohio State University. Duke University Press, 1990.

 

  1. The Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel & The Palestinians by Noam Chomsky, professor at MIT and “arguably the most important intellectual alive” (NY Times). South End Press, 1983.

 

  1. Original Sins: Reflections on the History of Zionism and Israel by Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi. An honest history of Zionism by a noted Israeli scholar who teaches at Haifa University. Olive Branch Press, 1993.

 

  1. Bitter Harvest by Sami Hadawi. A very complete look at the documentary evidence of the creation of the state of Israel, by a Palestinian Christian who lived through that period. Caravan Books 1979.

 

For articles from the alternative and Israeli press, please see ZNet at http://www.lbbs.org and http://www.commondreams.org/viewsarchive.htm.

 

A wealth of information on Palestine/Israel is to be found at http://www.geocities.com:0080/CapitolHill/Senate/7891.

 

Another very useful resource is the Jewish Voice for Peace. To join their mailing list, e-mail shlensky@socrates.Berkeley.edu.

 

Also, the American Educational Trust, publisher of Washington Report on Middle East Affairs(a great magazine) has a large selection of books available. Write for their free catalog to AET, PO Box 53062, Washington, DC 20009.

 

This booklet can also be found on the web at http://www.cactus48.com

 

Conclusion I
For Jewish Readers

 

As we have seen, the root cause of the Palestine-Israel conflict is clear. During the 1948 war, 750,000 Palestinians fled in terror or were actively expelled from their ancestral homeland and turned into refugees. The state of Israel then refused to allow them to return and either destroyed their villages entirely or expropriated their land, orchards, houses, businesses and personal possessions for the use of the Jewish population. This was the birth of the state of Israel.

 

We know it is hard to accept emotionally, but in this case the Jewish people are in the wrong.We took most of Palestine by force from the Arabs and blamed the victims for resisting their dispossession. If you run into someone’s car, for whatever reason, simple justice demands that you repair it. Our moral obligation to the Palestinian people is no less clear. It is time for all Jewish people of good conscience to make whatever amends are possible to the Palestinians in order to live up to the best part of the Jewish tradition — its ethical and moral basis.

 

Any criticism of Israel is traditionally seen by American Jews as harmful to the Jewish people, even if the criticism is true. But “my people, right or wrong, my people” is no different than “my country, right or wrong, my country”. Once we start down the slippery slope where the ends justify the means we have left behind any claim to morality. Along with millions of other American Jews unaffiliated with the major U.S. Jewish organizations, we are outraged at the Israeli government’s ongoing oppression of the Palestinians and feel that it has been the ruination of the high moral standing of the Jewish people.

 

The Israeli government could solve the Palestine/Israel crisis tomorrow. It actually would be in the best interests of its citizens to do so because random acts of terrorism against Israelis would cease if Palestinian demands for a viable, independent state were accepted and compensation for Arab losses made.

 

Here in America, we Jews are thoroughly assimilated into the mainstream of society and hold positions of power and influence in every field of endeavor. We do not need to be in a defensive mood anymore. We can afford to change out attitude from “is it good the the Jews?” to “Is it good?” At the very least, American Jews need to categorically state that we cannot condone Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian land, and the intentional murder and crippling of Palestinian protestors armed only with rocks, as documented in reports by the UN Security Council, the UN Human Rights Commission, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Israeli groups like B’Tselem, etc.

 

According to a survey commissioned by the five largest American Jewish organizations, but suppressed by them afterwards, 20% of American Jews support Palestinian demands and 35% say that Jerusalem should be shared. This, in the face of a near-total blackout of the Palestinian position in our press, is very impressive. Join this growing segment of American Jews by contacting Not In My Name, at http://www.nimn.org, a group that is spearheading a coalition of Jewish groups to protest the Israeli occupation.

 

Israel’s long-term interests can best be served by supporting Israeli peace groups, like Gush Shalom (www.gush.shalom.org), not the Israeli government and its brutal repression, which just leads to endless violence. Israeli peace groups rightfully criticize their government and we should too, since they claim to act in our name. American groups like the Jewish Peace Lobby, Jewish Voice For Peace and the Middle East Children’s Alliance also deserve your support. Don’t compromise yout ethics in blind support of bad politics—work for a just soultion instead.

 

Please write for more free copies of this booklet to the address on the back page and ask your Jewish friends to consider the information presented here. For everyone’s sake. Peace.

 

Important Note: at the end of the next section, Conclusion II, there is a list of Jewish organizations in America and Israel, and links to their websites, which are informative and interesting. We encourage to explore them with an open mind.

 

 

Conclusion II

 

We hope that this look at the historical record concerning the root cause of the Middle East conflict will give second thoughts to all who have previously supported Israel’s actions.

 

The persecution of the Jews for centuries in Europe was the worst of many stains on the European record, and the Zionists’ desire for a place of sanctuary is certainly understandable. Like all other colonial enterprises, however, Zionism was based on the total disregard of the rights of indigenous inhabitants. As such, it is morally indefensible. And, as previously stated, all subsequent crimes — and there have been many on both sides — inevitably follow from this original injustice to the Palestinians.

 

Given the damage that has been done to the Palestinian people, Israel’s obligation is to make whatever amends possible. Among these should be assisting the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state in the entire West Bank and Gaza with its capital in East Jerusalem. Israel should not object to this state and, in addition, should help with its foundation via generous reparations. Besides being the right thing to do, this would stop the sporadic acts of violence against Israel, as the Palestinians’ legitimate desire for their own state would be realized. Moreover, all laws that discriminate against non-Jews living in Israel should be repealed.

 

Given the history outlined in this paper, we conclude that the Palestinians have gotten “the short end of the stick” and that justice demands that wrongs should be righted. Full and complete justice would entail allowing any Palestinian to return to Israel if they wished but, practically speaking, we understand that this is a recipe for even more bloodshed. Therefore, recognizing that reality, we join Gush Shalom and other Israeli peace groups in calling for a negotiated, modified right of return with the bulk of Palestinian refugees being settled in a Palestinian state, financed by generous reparations from both Israel and the international community.

 

As U.S. citizens, we have a special obligation to see that justice is done in this matter. U.S. financial aid to Israel has been, and continues to be, enormous; and our diplomatic support is the crucial factor allowing Israel’s continued occupation of Arab territories. We strongly recommend that you contact your elected representatives in Washington and urge them to insist that, as a preconditon of continued support, Israel must abide by the consensus of world opinion and withdraw to its 1967 borders, as demanded in numerous UN votes.

 

American Jews in particular have a special responsibility to acknowledge the Palestinian point of view in order to help move the debate forward. As Chomsky writes in his Peace in the Middle East?, “In the American Jewish community, there is little willingness to face the fact that the Palestinian Arabs have suffered a monstrous historical injustice, whatever one may think of the competing claims. Until this is recognized, discussion of the Middle East crisis cannot even begin.”

 

In the long run, only by admitting their culpability and making amends can Israelis live with their neighbors in peace. Only then can the centuries-old Jewish tradition of being a people of high moral character be restored. And only in this way can real security, peace and justice come to this ancient land.

 

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Thank you for taking the time to read

 

“The Origin of the Palestine-Israel Conflict”

 

Compiled, Edited, and Published by
Jews for Justice in The Middle East

 

 

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