Monday, December 05, 2016



JEWISH KING JESUS IS COMING AT THE RAPTURE FOR US IN THE CLOUDS-DON'T MISS IT FOR THE WORLD.THE BIBLE TAKEN LITERALLY- WHEN THE PLAIN SENSE MAKES GOOD SENSE-SEEK NO OTHER SENSE-LEST YOU END UP IN NONSENSE.GET SAVED NOW- CALL ON JESUS TODAY.THE ONLY SAVIOR OF THE WHOLE EARTH - NO OTHER. 1 COR 15:23-JESUS THE FIRST FRUITS-CHRISTIANS RAPTURED TO JESUS-FIRST FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT-23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.ROMANS 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.(THE PRE-TRIB RAPTURE)

LUKE 21:28-29
28 And when these things begin to come to pass,(ALL THE PROPHECY SIGNS FROM THE BIBLE) then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption (RAPTURE) draweth nigh.
29 And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree,(ISRAEL) and all the trees;(ALL INDEPENDENT COUNTRIES)
30 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.(ISRAEL LITERALLY BECAME AND INDEPENDENT COUNTRY JUST BEFORE SUMMER IN MAY 14,1948.)

JOEL 2:3,30
3 A fire devoureth (ATOMIC BOMB) before them;(RUSSIAN-ARAB-MUSLIM ARMIES AGAINST ISRAEL) and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.
30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.(ATOMIC BOMB AFFECT)

ZECHARIAH 14:12-13
12 And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet,(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB) and their eyes shall consume away in their holes,(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB) and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB)(BECAUSE NUKES HAVE BEEN USED ON ISRAELS ENEMIES)(GOD PROTECTS ISRAEL AND ALWAYS WILL)
13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.(1/2-3 BILLION DIE IN WW3)(THIS IS AN ATOMIC BOMB EFFECT)

47 And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein.

18 Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD'S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.

1 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven;(FROM ATOMIC BOMBS) and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.

And here are the bounderies of the land that Israel will inherit either through war or peace or God in the future. God says its Israels land and only Israels land. They will have every inch God promised them of this land in the future.
Egypt east of the Nile River, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, The southern part of Turkey and the Western Half of Iraq west of the Euphrates. Gen 13:14-15, Psm 105:9,11, Gen 15:18, Exe 23:31, Num 34:1-12, Josh 1:4.ALL THIS LAND ISRAEL WILL DEFINATELY OWN IN THE FUTURE, ITS ISRAELS NOT ISHMAELS LAND.12 TRIBES INHERIT LAND IN THE FUTURE

Ontario passes motion rejecting Israel boycott movement-Lawmakers describe BDS campaign as thinly-veiled anti-Semitism which threatens and silences Jewish students-By JTA December 4, 2016, 8:41 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

TORONTO — Ontario has become the first Canadian province to reject the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, or BDS, campaign against Israel.Ontario’s legislature on December 1, by a vote of 49 to 5, passed a motion rejecting “the differential treatment of Israel, including the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.” All five opposing votes came from the left-leaning New Democratic Party.The vote came six months after it voted down a proposed bill that called on the province to stop doing business with companies, pension funds, foundations and colleges and universities that support BDS. That measure, which was a proposed law, rather than the largely symbolic motion passed December 1, was defeated by a vote of 39 to 18.Last February, Canada’s House of Commons passed a motion condemning “any and all attempts by Canadian organizations, groups or individuals to promote the BDS movement, both here at home and abroad” by a vote of 229 to 51.Lawmakers speaking for the Ontario motion described BDS as thinly-veiled anti-Semitism that has silenced debate and intimidated Jewish students at universities.“We would not be here supporting the Ku Klux Klan on our campuses, so why are we allowing [the] BDS movement and other anti-Jewish and anti-Israel organizations to have demonstrations and use our campuses, which are taxpayer-funded?” asked the motion’s sponsor, Conservative legislator Gila Martow, who represents a large Jewish constituency.Those opposing the motion argued it silences legitimate dissent.Canadian Jewish organizations were pleased by the motion’s passage, with the Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs calling it a “principled declaration that, just as Ontarians rightly oppose all forms of discrimination… rejects BDS and other bigoted campaigns against Israelis.”

Liberman plays down centrality of Trump’s pledge to move US embassy to Jerusalem-‘We’ve seen this promise in every election,’ defense minister says. ‘It’s very important, but we have other issues’-By Rebecca Shimoni Stoil December 3, 2016, 6:51 am-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

WASHINGTON — Israel’s defense minister on Friday played down the centrality of moving the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, telling a gathering of the Saban Forum here that “It’s very important, but we have other issues.”Several members of the Israeli coalition have hailed the election of Donald Trump as representing the best opportunity of seeing the US relocate its embassy to Jerusalem, and thus signaling recognition of Israeli claims to the city.Whereas outgoing President Barack Obama on Thursday maintained a 20-year US policy of waiving legislation to move the embassy, thereby delaying its relocation for another six months, Trump promised on the campaign trail to “move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem,” and to do so “fairly quickly.”But Liberman on Friday evening downplayed the significance of that pledge. “We’ve seen this promise [from US presidential candidates] in every election,” Liberman noted.“We will wait and we will see, but I think [Trump’s statement] is a strong public commitment,” he said. But he stressed that “what is really crucial for us is to meet with a new administration about all our common policy, not just one issue, not only one point like the American embassy. It’s very important but we have other issues.”Liberman listed “Iran and the Palestinian issue and settlements and Syria” as key topics to discuss with the incoming administration. “We have enough challenges all around Israel,” he added. “I think that it will be a mistake to take the embassy as the focal point. It is crucial to move forward with the whole agenda, and we have many items on our agenda, and the embassy will be one of the points.”Noting a “de facto freeze” in construction at West Bank settlements, Liberman said that “the main reason is not because we really don’t want to build homes in Judea and Samaria or Jerusalem, but because we had disagreements with the American administration.”The key to the future of the settlements lies in “understandings with the United States, not only our desire,” he continued. “We’re not in a vacuum. For the past eight years it was a problem,” he added, describing construction over the pre-1967 lines as a “main source” of tensions between the Netanyahu and Obama administrations.With Israeli politicians poised on Monday to begin the process of legislating the “Amona Bill,” Liberman also said that the legislation should be postponed until Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government can meet with the incoming Trump administration.“My proposal is to wait for the new administration and to create together with the administration a common policy,” Liberman said.Built on private Palestinian land, the Amona outpost has been the subject of 15 years of court deliberations that finally ended in 2014 with a High Court of Justice order that it be demolished by December 25, 2016. Many legislators are seeking a means to outflank the court ruling, or at least to prevent the demolition of other outposts, but such efforts have been repeatedly stymied and have prompted legal objections including from the Israeli attorney general.Most of the focus during the annual confab’s opening session was on Middle East policy in the incoming Trump administration.The defense minister stressed that the international community “must put [Syrian President Bashar] Assad in his place,” and that the United States under Trump must take the initiative.“From our point of view the United States is the biggest power in the world. It’s their responsibility. The time for splendid isolation was maybe a hundred years ago,” he argued, pushing back against statements made in the past by Trump and his supporters suggesting that the US should focus away from some of its international entanglements.“It is impossible to speak about isolation,” Liberman continued, arguing that Trump’s position jibed with his own. “The president-elect speaks about military power, a strong army, a powerful US, and I think the biggest challenge here in the US is ISIS [Islamic State] also.”Liberman stressed that if Trump hopes to reduce the risk posed by Islamic State to America, he must “start in the Middle East.”He argued that the US must reassert its presence in the Syrian conflict as well.“We hope that regarding Syria he will be active, and regarding the solutions, to speak frankly, it is impossible to achieve any solution without active American participation in this process. We need a strong America, we need an American active at least in our region, and I hope we will agree about a common vision regarding the future of the Middle East.”

Netanyahu: Notwithstanding Obama or Trump, Israel does ‘what it wants’ on settlements-PM says he plans to bring up ‘bad’ Iran deal with president-elect, stop Tehran getting the bomb; claims Israel’s press is uniquely critical of him-By Eric Cortellessa and Tamar Pileggi December 4, 2016, 9:03 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

WASHINGTON — Israel’s settlement policy is not governed by the United States and the incoming Trump administration will not change that, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the annual Brookings Institution’s Saban Forum for Middle East Policy on Sunday.In his comments delivered via video link, the prime minister also said he would raise the “bad” Iran nuclear deal with president-elect Donald Trump, and urged continued US intervention in the Middle East. He also appeared to brush off fears of an uptick in anti-Semitism in the US, noting that the fringe trend of anti-Jewish hatred was a feature of all democracies.During the event, Netanyahu was asked whether Trump’s incoming administration will allow Israel to do whatever it wants regarding settlement building in the West Bank.“Well, I think we have been doing what we want,” Netanyahu told host Haim Saban.Right-wing politicians have contended that settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem has nearly ground to a halt under the Obama administration, which forcefully condemns any building over the Green Line.In remarks delivered at the symposium titled “Challenges for the Trump Administration in the Middle East,” Netanyahu said the US should maintain its longstanding position of exerting power in the Middle East, in a departure from Trump, who has spoken of curbing US intervention in Middle East regional affairs.“I believe the US is the indispensable power in the world and in the Middle East, and I believe it must remain so,” he said.Trump has a “clear vision of America’s role,” Netanyahu said, citing recent conversations with him as a candidate and president-elect.Netanyahu in his remarks also reiterated his opposition to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, and said that stance wouldn’t change under a Trump administration.“Israel is committed to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons,” he said. “That has not changed and will not change. As far as President-elect Trump — I look forward to speaking to him about what to do about this bad deal.”“Since the deal was signed, Iran has become a more aggressive power,” he said, accusing Tehran of developing missiles that can reach the United States.“We have to stop Iran’s march to the bomb; its development of long-range missiles; its support for terrorism in the Middle East and throughout the world,” he said.Netanyahu declined to respond to a question on whether military action was on the table to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, saying only: “We’re committed.”In his comments, Netanyahu appeared to downplay fears of a global rise in anti-Semitism — including the surge of hate crimes in the US in the wake of 2016 US presidential election — describing the trend as a fringe phenomenon.“Anti-Semitism has always been there, even in healthy democracies,” he said, expressing confidence in the US ability to combat the bigotry.Turning to the peace process, Netanyahu reiterated his support for a two-state solution, but blamed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for the moribund peace talks.“I haven’t changed my vision for two states for two peoples, it’s the only way we’ll get to peace. The core of the conflict is the Palestinians’ refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state,” Netanyahu charged. “This is what’s always driven the conflict.”The Israeli premier accused Abbas of “refusing” to negotiate despite being prodded by Jerusalem “hundreds” of times. He said he did not understand why “the press doesn’t get” that Israel is willing to negotiate and the Palestinians are the “rejectionists.”Pressed about whether world leaders believe in his resolve to reach peace with the Palestinians is genuine, Netanyahu asserted that “the majority of the world’s governments” understand that Israel “is a force of moderation” and a “beacon of tolerance” in a “dark” Middle East.Netanyahu said that when world leaders routinely ask him about the status of peace talks, he responds: “I’m prepared to stop everything I’m doing right now, and I want you to invite me to your country (to talk peace with the Palestinians)… right away, no preconditions.”But then, those governments send envoys to Ramallah and return empty-handed because Abbas is unwilling to engage in direct talks, he said.In light of Abbas’s attitude, Netanyahu said the best approach to peace building would be a “regional” one. “Going through UN resolutions is not the way to advance peace,” he said.He also dismissed a question about Israel’s increased isolation in the international community, and efforts to boycott Israel over its policies regarding the Palestinians.Netanyahu said he was not worried about the boycott movement, because many countries seek out Israelis technology and proven track record fighting terror. They also know Israel wants peace, he asserted. Automatic voting majorities against Israel in the UN were also starting to change, he said.He stressed that, in the Middle East, only the strong survive. “Nobody makes peace with the weak,” he said. “In the Middle East, the weak don’t survive… The strong and the smart survive.”In his final remarks, Netanyahu derided the notion that Israel’s press is not free, saying it was more free than in any other country worldwide, and that he was attacked by the Israeli media more than any other home leader is attacked by the press in other countries. “There is no country [whose press] attacks its leader more than the Israeli press attacks me,” he said.

PM looking for Amona solution as residents vow resistance-Outpost leaders threaten to ‘block bulldozers with our bodies’; Netanyahu says state will request 30-day extension on demolition deadline-By Raoul Wootliff December 4, 2016, 12:50 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday the state would request a month-long extension on the deadline to evacuate the Amona settlement outpost while working to find a solution, as residents warned they would block the imminent evacuation with their bodies.“We are working around the clock to find a responsible solution that is acceptable to everyone,” Netanyahu said at Sunday’s weekly cabinet meeting, “and I expect all ministers and Knesset members to respect it.”His call came after an Amona resident sent him a letter warning that they would physically block an attempted evacuation.“In the case that heavy machinery arrives to remove us from the mountain, we and our children will block the bulldozers with our bodies,” said the letter sent to Netanyahu on Thursday and released to the public Saturday night. “We are calling on all our supporters to join the struggle.”A meeting between Netanyahu and Jewish Home party leader Naftali Bennet — whose party is pushing to cancel to demolition — ended without resolution on Saturday night, as the two tried to reach a compromise. A Jewish Home source told The Times of Israel that a further meeting — planned for Sunday — would not take place.After over a decade of legal wrangling, the High Court of Justice ruled in 2014 that the Amona outpost, near Ramallah, which was founded in 1996 and is home to some 40 families, was built on privately-owned Palestinian land and ordered it razed by December 25.Netanyahu told ministers the state will petition the High Court of Justice for a 30-day deferral of the deadline for the evacuation in order to properly prepare alternative housing.The issue has galvanized pro-settlement politicians who have sought legislative ways to circumvent the court’s decision. But proposals to grant the state the ability to seize the private land for Amona residents have been met with vociferous opposition from officials and political leaders.The controversial “Regulation Bill” — which would prevent settlements built on private land from being demolished if they were built with state assistance — is due to face its first Knesset reading on Monday but disagreement remains over a clause to retroactively include Amona.Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit has proposed a compromise wherein the residents of Amona would temporarily move into three plots of land nearby that is administered by Israel’s Custodian for Absentees’ Property. They would live there while their new homes are completed in another settlement in the northern West Bank.But Amona residents have dismissed the offer, writing in their letter to the prime minster that it would involve a huge waste of state funds and still force them to leave their homes.“It is simply absurd that the State of Israel is willing to spend fifty million shekels to move Amona’s residents to a nearby hill where they will only be allowed to remain for eight months, after which the government will spend more money on expelling them again,” they wrote.Speaking on Israel Radio Sunday morning, head of the Campaign for Amona Avichai Baron, said the deal was just a delaying tactic and that residents would oppose the move with the same force as they would the complete destruction of the settlement.“We are talking about kicking us out, uprooting us.” he said. “We will stand with our bodies in a passive protest to this deal. We don’t plan to use violent but yes we will prevent it with our bodies.”Currently, Israeli security forces are preparing for the possibility of violent clashes to accompany the outpost’s demolition.Last Monday, some 120 rabbis, who identify with the national religious camp called for “all who are able” to come to Amona and “vigorously protest the destruction of the settlement, with passive resistance and without violence.”That call came a day before dozens of Israeli youths burned tires and blocked a major West Bank highway in protest of the planned demolition.In 2006, over 220 people were injured in clashes with security forces during the destruction of numerous homes in the outpost.To prevent a repeat scenario, Israeli forces — soldiers, border guards, and uniformed and undercover police officers — will likely try to keep as many people away as possible with the area set to be declared a “closed military zone,” in the days running up to the December 25 deadline.Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.

Kerry, in stinging rebuke of settlements, doesn’t rule out UN action-Outgoing US secretary of state excoriates Netanyahu government, slams Naftali Bennett for ‘disturbing’ remarks on two-state solution-By Rebecca Shimoni Stoil December 4, 2016, 9:47 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State John Kerry excoriated the Israeli right, claiming that support for settlement construction stems from a desire to subvert Israeli-Palestinian peace during a speech before the Brookings Institution’s Saban Forum on Sunday afternoon.A visibly subdued Kerry, wearing reading glasses and referring to extensive notes, notably refused to promise to veto any UN resolution intended to establish a Palestinian state, only promising a veto “if it is a biased unfair resolution calculated to delegitimize Israel.”US officials last week indicated that US President Barack Obama had nearly ruled out any major last-ditch effort to put pressure on Israel over stalled peace negotiations with the Palestinians, including at the United Nations.Kerry, who will end his tenure as secretary of state in January, warned the audience that “you can fight about where we are in this process, but I’ll tell you this: There is no status quo. It is getting worse. It is moving in the wrong direction.”In his lengthy address, Kerry accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government of suffering from a lack of leadership, and explicitly cited Education Minister Naftali Bennett’s recent comments lauding the demise of the two-state solution as “profoundly disturbing.”Hours after Netanyahu emphasized in his video address before the forum that settlements are not the cause of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Kerry challenged Netanyahu’s broader claim that failure to recognize Israel as a Jewish state is at the heart of the failure to reach an agreement.Settlements, Kerry said, “are not the cause of this conflict. But…if you have a whole bunch of people who are strategically locating outposts and settlements in an area so that there will not be a contiguous Palestinian state, they are doing it to be an obstacle to peace.”Kerry said that he was certain that settlement construction was intended to serve as just such an obstacle.“I cannot accept the notion that [settlements] don’t affect the peace process, that they aren’t a barrier to the ability to create peace,” Kerry argued. “The left in Israel is telling everyone that it is a barrier to peace and the right, which supports it, is openly telling people that they support it because they don’t want peace. They believe in greater Israel.”Kerry singled out Bennett as one such voice. “Out of the mouths of ministers in the current government have come profoundly disturbing sentiments,” he admonished, citing the minister’s claim that Israel had reached “the end of the two-state solution.”“We have not passed the tipping point but we’re getting there,” Kerry warned.During his video address, Netanyahu was asked whether Donald Trump’s incoming administration will allow Israel to do whatever it wants regarding settlement building in the West Bank.“Well, I think we have been doing what we want,” Netanyahu told host Haim Saban.Right-wing politicians have contended that settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem has nearly ground to a halt under the Obama administration, which forcefully condemns any building over the Green Line.The secretary of state also strongly disavowed proposals voiced by a series of Israeli legislators to first negotiate an agreement with neighboring Arab states, and only then to sit at the table with the Palestinians.“There will be no separate peace between Israel and the Arab world. Let me make that clear to you,” Kerry insisted, saying that his conclusion had been reaffirmed in recent weeks through talks with Arab leaders. “There will be no advance or separate peace in the Arab world without advancing the Palestinian issue. Everybody needs to understand that. That is a hard reality.”Kerry acknowledged that while every American administration in the past four decades has opposed settlement construction, the United States had not managed to effectively use its leverage to get Israel to cease construction.Alongside his critique of what Kerry described as “continued settlement process that narrows the capacity for peace,” the secretary of state also noted that “there has simultaneously been a process of demolition of Palestinian homes.” Kerry cited 11,000 standing demolition orders against Palestinian-constructed buildings in the West Bank, while noting that only one Palestinian building was granted official construction approval in Area C between 2014-2015.Kerry repeated warnings commonly heard over the past four years that if a two-state solution is not achieved, Israel will be untenable as a Jewish and democratic state.“So how does this work?” Kerry probed. “How do you have a one state that is Jewish and democratic and also has provisions in place for Israel’s security?”“What’s your vision of a unitary state?” he continued. “If Palestinians are majority, will there be a Palestinian prime minister of Israel? AP contributed to this report.

At Fatah congress, Rajoub — and Abbas — walk away with big wins-In pulling off conference without a hitch and sidelining rival Dahlan, PA president has good reason to be pleased… for now-By Avi Issacharoff December 4, 2016, 6:03 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

The Palestinian news agencies on Sunday published the first results in the Fatah Central Committee elections for key positions in the political party.Coming in first place was Marwan Barghouti, held in Israeli prison for murder after orchestrating deadly terror attacks during the Second Intifada, followed by Jibril Rajoub, the head of the Palestinian Football Association (PFA). For months, Rajoub has been seen as the most popular personality in Fatah, after Bargouhti, of course, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.Next on the list are Mahmud Eshtawi, Hussein Eshtawi and Muhammed Al-Alul — all of whom are allies of Rajoub.And that is likely to be the most significant outcome of these elections within the framework of the seventh Fatah Congress – Rajoub’s camp is strengthening and he is the leading candidate for the position of general-secretary of the top decision-making Central Committee, which positions him as number two in the party and a possible successor to Abbas.Rajoub’s biggest opponent in these elections, Tawfik Tirawi, was also chosen for the Central Committee, but few of his supporters made it on the list. Only Yasser Arafat’s nephew Nasser al-Kidwa — also considered a possible successor — made the cut, according to reports.Rajoub can’t celebrate, however. The Central Committee, which chooses the general-secretary, will be supplemented by another four members appointed by Abbas, and in light of the enormous power the Palestinian leader wields, they are expected to receive the approval of the Fatah leadership. And then, it seems, Abbas will try to appoint top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat to the position of secretary-general.Nonetheless, even before the results for the Fatah leadership elections came in, and even before the Saturday vote, one victor could be identified: Abbas himself, the leader of the Palestinian Authority and chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization.Although Abbas’s status on the Palestinian street is more troubled than ever, and although surveys in the West Bank attest to a decline in his support, in the battle for Fatah and its leadership, Abbas can declare a big victory. The PA president managed to make the general congress happen, in the shadow of a possible split within Fatah, and despite the stubborn efforts by his opponents, led by former Gaza strongman Mohammad Dahlan, to prevent the event from taking place.Abbas did this while all the moderate Arab states, and especially Egypt, turned their backs on him and threw their support behind reconciliation with Dahlan, who lives in exile in Dubai. Despite these obstacles, Abbas emerges from this conference as an unassailable leader of Fatah, while his rival Dahlan and dozens of Dahlan’s cronies find themselves out of the party ranks, without any signs of a return in the near future.Some 1,400 members of Fatah — from all over the world — who were accompanied by 65 international delegations from 28 different countries, and 350 members of Fatah in the Gaza Strip, took part in the congress with the knowledge and understanding that, above all, they were attending as a display of faith in Abbas. They welcomed a national economic plan – with no new components – that he wanted to pass, they lined up behind his every decision and statement, and they were forced to listen to him address conference attendees for more than three hours.They even adopted his idea of bestowing “honorary membership” in the Central Committee — the senior leadership body of the party which saw some of its most bitter battles centered on its membership — to three Fatah veterans. It was an unprecedented decision, and it is still unclear if it will afford the three the right to vote or not, depending on whom you ask.And still, it is hard to say how this victory for Abbas in Fatah will affect his standing in the general Palestinian public. On the street, it must be said, the Fatah leadership is seen as an anachronistic body with almost no youth representation or new faces. Even Dahlan’s temporary setback does not rule out a possible split in the party or the loss of Fatah legitimacy, especially in the Gaza Strip. In other words, in the long term, it is not clear how much this victory will impact Abbas, especially when the power struggles within Fatah persist.Rajoub vs. Tirawi-At the convention, two central camps emerged: Rajoub’s camp and that of his long-time rival Tawfik Tirawi.The rivalry between the two is hardly surprising. The bad blood began to flow between them sometime in the 1990s when Yasser Arafat appointed Rajoub as head of preventative security in the West Bank and Tarawi as the head of general intelligence.In practice, both of them had the same role and they competed to be close to Arafat. That rivalry led to sometime violent confrontations and even during the Second Intifada, it was one of the reasons for the increase in terror attacks against Israel.At the Fatah Congress, although there were no violent clashes between the two men. Everyone in the room in Ramallah knew that, behind the scenes, battle lines, or hit lists, were being drawn up. Both want to be appointed the secretary-general of the Central Committee, effectively the Fatah number two, and thus a possible successor to the president.There are those who say that the division between the camps revolves around Abbas’s biggest opponent – Dahlan. While Rajoub took a very confrontational line against Dahlan due to old grievances between them, Tirawi and al-Kidwa haven’t forcefully condemned him.Between these two camps there is also a sort of “mini-camp” — that of Marwan Barghouti’s supporters, who apparently didn’t succeed in these elections. His confidants, such as Qadura Fares, were left out of the Central Committee.Meanwhile, Abbas has the option to appoint those four additional members to the Central Committee with no connection to the outcome of the election. He needs the approval of the Central Committee members and the legislative Revolutionary Council, but considering his position in the party he is expected to gain sweeping support for any candidate he puts forward.Abbas wants to see Tayeb Abdel Rahim, currently secretary-general of the Palestinian Authority, appointed to the Central Committee and it seems that after the vote and the results, he will push for the appointment of his spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh and the commander of the general intelligence Majid Faraj, who helped him prepare the convention.But perhaps the biggest news emerging from the seventh congress of Fatah is that in ended without any major news. Fatah remains the same Fatah.

Most Democrats consider Israel ‘a burden’ on US, has too much influence on policy, poll claims-Brookings Institution survey also asserts growing American support for punitive measures against Israel over settlements, and a plurality backing pressure by Obama on Israel at UN-By Times of Israel staff December 3, 2016, 12:37 am

Most Democrats consider Israel to be a burden to the United States, according to the published findings of a poll released by the Brookings Institution on Friday.The survey found a clear majority of Americans (76%) said Israel was “a strategic asset” to the US, its authors said. At the same time, they said, “a majority of Democrats, 55%, say that Israel is also a burden”; among Republicans, 24% consider Israel a burden. Fifty-two percent of Independents do not consider Israel a burden and 41% think it is.The findings were among the results of twin surveys conducted by the think tank’s Shibley Telhami before and after the November 8 presidential elections.Overall, “slightly more than half of Americans (54%) disagree with the concept of Israel being a burden to the US as Israel’s actions in the region generate hostility toward the United States in Arab and Muslim-majority countries whereas 40% of Americans feel this way,” the survey’s authors said.The full questions respondents were asked on these issues ran as follows: “Generally speaking, how much do you agree or disagree with the following statements on the U.S.-Israeli relationship? Israel is an important ally to the United States as it provides essential military and intelligence cooperation and plays a regional role that’s helpful to American interests.” And, “Generally speaking, how much do you agree or disagree with the following statements on the U.S.-Israeli relationship? Israel is a burden to the U.S. as Israel’s actions in the region generate hostility toward the United States in Arab and Muslim-majority countries.”The surveys also showed 55% of Democrats believe Israel has too much influence on American politics and policies, while 54% of Republicans think Israel has the “right level” of influence.The surveys also found that the percentage of Americans supporting sanctions against Israel over its settlement policy grew by 9 percent over the past year and now stands at 46%.Support for punitive measures against Israel over the issue has increased among members of both major parties: 60% of Democrats and 31% of Republicans back economic sanctions and more serious action, compared to 49% and 26% in November 2015.The surveys showed that 46% of Americans would support action by President Barack Obama at the UN designed to pressure Israel over stalled peace negotiations with the Palestinians. Only 27% would oppose such a move, while 25% were neither for or against such a measure.On Thursday US officials said Obama has nearly ruled out any such last-ditch effort, which would have been perceived as constraining Israel’s negotiating hand while strengthening the Palestinians’ argument on the world stage.Meanwhile the gap between Democrats and Republicans continues to widen on the question of American support for a potential UN resolution endorsing Palestinian statehood. Democratic support for such action stands at 51% (up from 39% last year) while Republican opposition has increased to 51% (up from 43% last year). Overall 31% of respondents said the US should oppose such a UN resolution while 34% would support it, and 32% backed abstention.While a majority of Americans (57%) said they would like President-elect Donald Trump to be an impartial mediator between Israel and the Palestinians, 57% also said they believed Trump would lean towards Israel in any negotiations.The polls were conducted between October 5-14 and November 18-23, 2016. They involved 2,570 respondents and had margins of error of 2.5%-3.04%.

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