It’s Still Up In The Air

AFSI offers a hearty Congratulations to David Friedman, newly confirmed U.S. Ambassador to Israel!
Earlier today, the Senate voted 52-46 on a procedural motion to invoke cloture, allowing for a final vote to be taken, and ensuring Friedman’s nomination.

As reported, only two Democratic senators, Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), voted in favor of Friedman’s nomination in the full Senate vote. Leading Senators Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), the senior Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, both voted against Friedman.
Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, congratulated Friedman following the vote: “Congratulations to David Friedman! Looking forward to working closely with you to make the US-Israel alliance stronger than ever.”.
Friedman, an ardent supporter of Israel, will most likely live in his residence in Jerusalem even though the U.S. embassy is currently in Tel Aviv. Of course, we are hoping that both he and the U.S. Embassy will be together in Yerushalayim.

It’s Still Up In The Air
Elliott Abrams, Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies, wrote the following on the Council on Foreign Relations website yesterday:
Trump policy is just taking shape and we do not know what forms of pressure were or will be put on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. But what we do know for sure is would be a mistake to give the PA and PLO concessions in return for nothing and then hope for the best. It would be a mistake to reward Abbas merely for returning to negotiations he should never have left and that are not a favor to the United States or to Israel. As Trump policy develops, let’s hope it treats the Palestinians as political actors (not objects of charity) with the power to make consequential decisions. And wrong decisions should have consequences, as should correct ones.
However, it was also reported yesterday that Trump’s envoy Jason Greenblatt requested that Israel make concessions in advance, by ceasing construction outside of the “settlement blocs”:
And, that Israel rejected the request (demand?):

Times of Israel: Israel said to reject US demand for building freeze in isolated settlements

Finally today, there are denials from Israel that Trump ever demanded that Israel limit construction:

Arutz Sheva: ‘Trump never demanded Israel limit settlement construction’

Which brings us to being no closer to understanding what was requested, demanded, agreed to, rejected, or denied.

What we do understand (and we hope Trump does too) is that Israeli concessions to enable negotiations have been tried before and are fruitless and ridiculous as well as dangerous. If one side does not even recognize the other side’s right to exist, there is no reason for concessions, and of course, there is no reason for negotiations.

The Latest Terror Attack in London – What It’s Really About

Daniel Greenfield sums it up:
Islamic terrorists aren’t trying to defeat your values. They’re trying to defeat you. Allahu Akbar isn’t a debate, It’s the conviction that Islam will win because Allah is stronger than your God. And Muslims will prove the point and disprove your religion by killing you.
Islamic terrorists don’t operate like 19th century anarchists intellectually. Even if they borrow strategic and tactical ideas from them. 
They really are trying to kill you. And no you can’t defeat them by asserting your values. Nice as they may be. You either beat them or they beat you. This isn’t a war of ideas. The only way they win arguments is with corpses. 


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