Last week, in his speech at the AIPAC policy conference, said President Juan Orlando Hernández of Honduras that he would open a commercial office in Jerusalem – but not an embassy.
U.S. President Donald Trump listens to a question as he speaks to reporters at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., March 29, 2019. (photo credit: REUTERS/JOSHUA ROBERTS)
WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump decided to stop programs of foreign aid for three states in the Northern Triangle – Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, who are known to have a strong relationships with Israel.
Trump is cutting off nearly $500 million to put pressure on the three governments to stop their citizens from trying to cross the Mexican border into the US. However, it could also jeopardize the Israeli efforts to convince Honduras to move its embassy to Jerusalem.
Last week, in his speech at the AIPAC Policy Conference, President Juan Orlando Hernández of Honduras said that he would open a commercial office in Jerusalem – but not an embassy.
Just three months ago, things were moving in a positive direction. A trilateral meeting between Hernández, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was followed by an announcement from the government of Honduras, saying it opened a dialogue with Netanyahu to explore the possibility of opening an embassy in Jerusalem.
After the trilateral meeting, Israeli media outlets indicated that Netanyahu was trying to mediate a deal between Honduras and United States to secure the continuing of foreign aid to the country in exchange for opening a Honduran embassy in Jerusalem.
The Israel Embassy in Washington, as well Netanyahu’s office did not respond for a comment request from The Jerusalem Post on that matter. Another country that would face a cut in foreign aid is Guatemala – the only country that followed the US and moved the embassy to Jerusalem.
Dennis Ross, former special assistant to former US president Barack Obama and a distinguished fellow at The Washington Institute, told the Post that he thinks the issue has less to do with Israel and more to do with an American interest.
“I find hard to understand,” Ross said. “The foreign aid is necessary to create better conditions in those countries so there’s less of a need for people to feel they have no choice but to leave. From an American standpoint, I don’t see the logic of it. I think it actually will add to the problem. It won’t relieve the problem.”
When asked about Trump’s administration approach to cut foreign aid in other parts of the world as well, Ross said: “Part of the problem is they have this image that somehow it’s a huge amount of money. It’s a very minimal part of our budget. And to the extent to which you can contribute to stability and reduce the potential for conflicts – conflicts that could suck us in – that would cost, as we see, dramatically more. You can’t even compare the difference between what we spend on foreign assistance versus what it costs us per day when we actually have troops on the ground someplace. I think the foreign assistance is a low cost investment in trying to reduce conflicts and instability.”
A surge of asylum-seekers from these three countries have sought to enter the United States across the southern border in recent days. On Friday, Trump accused the nations of having “set up” migrant caravans and sent them north. He said, there is a “very good likelihood” he would close the border this week if Mexico did not stop immigrants from reaching the United States. Frequent crossers of the border, including workers and students, are worried about the disruption to their lives that the president’s threatened shutdown could cause.
New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called Trump’s order a “reckless announcement” and urged Democrats and Republicans alike to reject it.
Trump told reporters, at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on Friday, that the United States was paying the three countries “tremendous amounts of money,” but was not receiving anything in return.
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Menachem Begin in December 1942 wearing the Polish Army uniform of Gen. Anders’ forces with his wife Aliza and David Yutan; (back row) Moshe Stein and Israel Epstein
(photo credit: JABOTINSKY ARCHIVES)
During the inauguration of a memorial to the victims of the Siege of Leningrad in Jerusalem’s Sacher Park on January 24, 2020, before the climax of Holocaust remembrance events at which Russian President Vladimir Putin was given a central platform, we were stunned to hear a rendition of The Blue Kerchief (Siniy
Giant figures are seen during the 87th carnival parade of Aalst February 15, 2015
The annual carnival in Aalst, Belgium, is expected to take place on Sunday with even more antisemitic elements than in previous years.
Aalst’s organizers have sold hundreds of “rabbi kits” for revelers to dress as hassidic Jews in the carnival’s parade. The kit includes oversized noses, sidelocks (peyot) and black hats. The organizers plan to bring back floats similar to the one displayed in 2019 featuring oversized dolls of Jews, with rats on their shoulders, holding banknotes.
Pope Francis waves as he arrives at the Basilica of Saint Nicholas in the southern Italian coastal city of Bari, Italy February 23, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Remo Casilli.
Pope Francis on Sunday warned against “inequitable solutions” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying they would only be a prelude to new crises, in an apparent reference to US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace proposal.
Francis made his comments in the southern Italian port city of Bari, where he traveled to conclude a meeting of bishops from all countries in the Mediterranean basin.
Palestinians walk past a shop selling fruits in Ramallah, Feb. 20, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Mohamad Torokman.
Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have reached an agreement to end a five-month long trade dispute, officials said on Thursday.
The dispute, which opened a new front in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, began in September when the PA announced a boycott of Israel calves. The PA exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank under interim peace deals.
Antisemitic caricatures on display at the annual carnival in Aalst, Belgium. Photo: Raphael Ahren via Twitter.
Disturbing images emerged on Sunday of the annual carnival at Aalst, Belgium, showing an astounding number of antisemitic themes, costumes, displays and statements.
Israeli journalist Raphael Ahren documented people dressed as caricatures of Orthodox Jews, a fake “wailing wall” attacking critics of the parade, blatantly antisemitic characters and puppets wearing traditional Jewish clothes and sporting huge noses.
Feb 02, 2020 0The remarks from the US official came in wake of the Palestinian decision to reject the administration’s peace plan. US PRESIDENT Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrive to...
The stench of anti-Semitism always hovers over Switzerland’s Lake Geneva when the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is meeting there. The foul emanations reached a new nadir last week with UNHRC’s publication of a “database” of companies doing business in the disputed territories in Israel.
Following the publication of the list, Bruno Stagno Ugarte, deputy director for advocacy of NGO Human Rights Watch, stated, “The long-awaited release of the U.N. settlement business database should put all companies on notice: To do business with illegal settlements [sic] is to aid in the commission of war crimes.”
One of the many things that annoys me about politicians is how sure they are of themselves. Everything is black and white. Every idea is good or bad. Take globalism, for example. You either love it or hate it. It works or it doesn’t.
Another thing that annoys me is how so much of a politician’s life revolves around power: Do everything you can to get it, and everything you can to keep it.
Why am I ranting? Because, while our politicians have been consumed with power and the media with the fights over power, a threat to our nation has been virtually ignored.
Blue and White Party leaders Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid are establishing their diplomatic credentials in the immediate run-up to Israel’s March 2 election with an insult to a U.S. administration that has arguably provided Israel with more diplomatic gains than any previous administration.
The Times of Israel reported that at a campaign stop in front of English-speaking Israelis, Gantz accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “of neglecting bipartisan ties in favor of exclusive support from U.S. President Donald Trump’s Republican Party,” under the headline “Gantz pledges to mend ties with U.S. Democrats if elected.”
Bipartisanship was in short supply at the State of the Union address earlier this month—with one notable exception.
Nancy Pelosi had been looking dyspeptic, shuffling the papers she would later rip to shreds, when President Donald Trump reminded his audience that “the United States is leading a 59-nation diplomatic coalition against the socialist dictator of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro.”
Suddenly, the House Speaker applauded. Trump then introduced “the true and legitimate president of Venezuela: Juan Guaidó.”
The law professor Alan Dershowitz has thrown a legal hand-grenade into America’s political civil war by claiming to have evidence that former President Barack Obama “personally asked” the FBI to investigate someone “on behalf” of Obama’s “close ally,” billionaire financier George Soros.
He made his cryptic remark in an interview defending U.S. President Donald Trump against claims he interfered in the prosecution of his former adviser, Roger Stone.