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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Aug 16, 2019 0
Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei speaks following his election victory. Photo: Reuters/Jose Cabezas.
A prominent Guatemalan supporter of Israel who once said, “He who is Israel’s enemy is Guatemala’s enemy,” won the country’s presidential election with 58.5 percent of the vote, results on Monday confirmed.
Conservative candidate Alejandro Giammattei emerged victorious in the vote in the second round of elections on Sunday, beating his rival Sandra Torres, a former first lady.
Aerial view of containers at a loading terminal in the port of Hamburg, Germany August 1, 2018. Photo: REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer.
German exports to Iran fell by nearly half in the first six months of 2019, data showed on Monday, suggesting companies are scaling back business ties with Tehran to avoid trouble with the United States after Washington reimposed sanctions.
Sales to Iran plunged by 48 percent to 678 million euros ($758.8 million) from January through June year-on-year, data from the Federal Statistics Office reviewed by Reutersshowed. Imports from Iran declined by 43 percent to nearly 110 million euros.
The New York Times logo. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
A New York Times editor is in trouble for what the Times calls repeated poor judgment on social media.
The editor, Jonathan Weisman, works in the Times Washington bureau with the title “deputy Washington editor” and is the author of the 2018 book (((Semitism))): Being Jewish in the Age Of Trump.
Canadian Observer to Post: Canada has niche capabilities to help in such a scenario.
“Mighty Waves,” the Navy’s large-scale multinational exercise simulating the aftermath of a major earthquake. (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON’S UNIT)
The five-day, large-scale multinational exercise, with 10 foreign fleets off the Haifa coast simulating the aftermath of a major earthquake, has brought the Israel Navy to “another level” of preparedness.
Dubbed “Mighty Waves,” the drill saw the participation of hundreds of troops on six ships at sea. Five helicopters also took part in the exercise, which focused on the after-effects of a significant 7.5 earthquake that leaves thousands dead and hundreds of thousands homeless.
A food market in Tel Aviv, Israel. Photo: Dr. Avishai Teicher vis Wikimedia Commons.
CTech – Israel has a reputation for being the Startup Nation, but Marcelle Machluf, dean of biotechnology and food engineering at Technion Israel Institute of Technology, predicts that in coming years Israel will be known as the FoodTech Nation.
“Foodtech and biotech are two fields that are climbing to the top of the tech industry,” Machluf told Calcalist in a recent interview. “This push is happening for a reason.
Aug 16, 2019 0A 2018 demonstration against antisemitism in Berlin. Photo: Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch. Another rabbi has been attacked in the streets of Berlin, the German capital, by male assailants who pushed him to...
Mass shootings are nothing new in the United States, but their sudden rise is ballooning into a shocking nationwide epidemic. Many blame a toxic political culture that is accentuating divisions rather than commonalities between Americans, and the ease in which Americans can access guns, including automatic assault rifles.
If Saturday’s horrifying terrorist attack in an El Paso Walmart had taken place in Jerusalem, leaving 22 Israelis dead, the killer would rot in jail knowing his family would be taken care of, paid every month by his government.
What, one has to ask, does Iran’s Islamic regime have to fear from the country’s Christians, Baha’is, Zoroastrians, Sufis, Sunni Muslims, or Jews? Yet its treatment of these minorities is so repressive that it seems not unreasonable to ask if the clerics might be afraid of what they consider challenges to their fantasy of pure Islamic identity.
The fate of Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s 2017 executive order barring state contractors from participating in the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement is in the hands of a federal judge. The order violates First Amendment rights, a lawsuit filed by a former Maryland state legislator claims. wsuit.
This week my family and I have the privilege of celebrating two significant and interrelated milestones. We celebrate the 15th anniversary of our arrival in Israel, taking on citizenship and planting our roots firmly in our historic homeland. And we celebrate (yes, celebrate) the induction into the IDF of our oldest son.
When our youngest son was born in Jerusalem, we knew that he would serve in the army, an obligation and privilege as an Israeli Jew, pretty much as genetic as his actual DNA. But when our oldest son was born in N.J., we didn’t know this would be his destiny.