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‘I want to lead France, not Europe’: Le Pen demands removal of EU flag for TV interview

https://www.rt.com/news/385329-marine-le-pen-eu-flag/
With France’s presidential election just days away, National Front (FN) candidate Marine Le Pen symbolically demanded the removal of an EU flag from the studio for a TV interview. Earlier she promised a referendum on France’s EU membership if she wins the vote.

Political interviews in France often feature a combination of the national tricolor and the star-sprinkled blue-and-gold Flag of Europe – but not on Tuesday, when Le Pen visited the country’s TF1 channel.

“To agree to take part in this program, Madame Le Pen, you asked us to remove the European flag that should have been behind you,” said interviewer Gilles Bouleau by way of explanation.

“I want to be president of the French Republic, not of the European Commission, given that I believe the EU has done a lot of harm to our country, to our people, on an economic and social level, with the disappearance of borders,” replied Le Pen.

While Le Pen had on previous occasions appeared next to the EU flag, her attitude is not new. One of the 144 promises in her election manifesto is to remove the blue-and-gold flag from government buildings, as well as to ensure that a French flag is always present – a measure that has already been followed by FN-controlled local authorities.

The gesture sparked a debate online.

Fiers de notre , symbole d’unité, de solidarité et d’harmonie entre les peuples d’Europe. Ne le cachons pas. http://bit.ly/2h6mmk9 

“Proud of our flag, symbol of unity, solidarity and harmony between the peoples of Europe. Let’s not hide it,” tweeted the office of the European Commission in France on Wednesday.

“You’ll see, we’ll soon stuff your oligarchic rag in the cupboard,” shot back Florian Philippot, the FN vice-president.

Si si, vous allez voir, on va bientôt ranger au placard votre torchon oligarchique 😉. Vive le drapeau 🇫🇷! https://twitter.com/uefrance/status/854607624813367297 

While the focus on flags in a country beset by economic stagnation and living in a state of emergency due to a threat of terrorism may seem petty, it is indicative of the wider issues that have dominated what appears to be an unusually tight four-way race to make it into the run-off.

Le Pen, who, according to polls conducted in the past week is likely to move onto the second round, has argued that France must quit the euro, and has advocated a referendum on EU membership, similar to the one that led to Brexit last year. She has also argued for stronger border control as a way of limiting the impact of what she has called “twin globalizations” of wage-suppressing economic migration and Islamic terrorism.

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Trump raises stakes on government shutdown, demands border wall funds in spending bill

The White House said Thursday that it wants to see money for President Trump’s border wall included in the spending bill Congress must pass next week — a demand Democrats said sours negotiations and makes a government shutdown more likely.

The demands mark a reversal for the administration, which had been saying it found enough money to build prototypes this year and wouldn’t need a major infusion of cash until next year.

But White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said in an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday that the wall and the money for more immigration agents are priorities.

“We know there are a lot of people on the Hill, especially in the Democratic Party, who don’t like the wall, but they lost the election. And the president should, I think, at least have the opportunity to fund one of his highest priorities in the first funding bill under his administration,” Mr. Mulvaney said.

The White House issued its demand just days after Democrats insisted that the spending bill include billions of dollars to prop up Obamacare. Democratic aides signaled that they wouldn’t accept a bill without the cost-sharing payments intended to keep insurers invested in the health care law.

With Mr. Mulvaney’s demand, both sides now appear to be entrenching.

Following Syrian False Flag Israel Ramps Up Its New “Buffer Zone” Demands

http://www.renegadetribune.com/following-syrian-false-flag-israel-ramps-new-buffer-zone-demands/

 

By Thomas Müller of The New Nationalist

The Israelis quickly are licking their chops and revealing true intentions following the warmongering ramp up against Syria. They lead off with Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) who praised Friday’s air strike as “moral and logical” and said it serves as a warning to Hezbollah and Iranian leadership. He said Israel must show its determination to keep control of the Golan Heights by sending another 100,000 citizens to settle it more efficiently.

The Golan Heights has long been ethnically cleansed, so this is simply moving forward with a more formalized colonization. The Golan has good water supplies. Between 80,000 and 130,000 Syrians fled or were driven from the heights during the 1967 Six-Day War and around 7,000 remained in the Israeli-held territory in six villages. Israel demolished over one hundred Syrian villages and farms in the Golan Heights. After the demolitions, the lands were given to Israeli settlers.

But why stop with the consolidation of the Golan Heights? Per Haaretz, not content with the fiat accompli of Golan, yesterday Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged the US and “international actors” to create yet more “buffer zones” on the border between Syria and Israeli occupied Golan Heights. Of note is that Israel wants to extend the “buffer zone” east along the border with Jordan.

If one peruses the map, you can see there already is a UN DMZ security zone buffer (in purple) extending well into the Syrian lands bordering Israeli occupied Golan Heights. The northern section is quite wide and serves to outflank Lebanon. It is also within short range of Damascus. We will find out in due course just how much additional Syrian war booty Israel is after now. The opening demands seems to be about expanding the “zone” further east. Whose boots will be on the ground?

Incredibly another issue discussed at the meeting, the senior minister said, was Israel’s growing “fear” (note shadow language) that its air force’s freedom of action in Syria is becoming more complicated. Both Syria and Russia have indicated that incursions over Syrian air space are a red line. Tests should come as no surprise.

Haaretz Israeli reader “Ezra” commenting in the we tense spells the situation out succinctly:

We already HAVE a buffer zone with Syria! It’s called the Golan Heights. We’ve bleated on for decades about how strategically important it was to keep that area for just such a reason. Whose fault is it that we then decided to populate this buffer zone with thousands upon thousands of civilians? We did EXACTLY the same thing in the West Bank! We captured it, occupied it and declared it of the utmost strategic importance to keep it as a buffer zone between poor defenseless Tel Aviv and the forces of the evil King of Jordan. We then promptly transferred and spent the next half century pouring 600,000 Israeli civilians into the EXACT same “buffer zone” right up to the banks of the Jordan River! So again I ask. Exactly whose fault is it that we have no buffer zones left?

Meanwhile back in DC, Zionist warmonger Sean Spicer spells out (at 0:40) the goal: “destabilize Syria”.


This article originally appeared on The New Nationalist and was republished here with permission.

Michael Flynn (White Freemason) demands immunity to answer questions on Russia ties

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn is in discussions with the House and Senate intelligence committees on receiving immunity from “unfair prosecution” in exchange for agreeing to be questioned as part of ongoing probes into possible contacts between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia, his attorney said Thursday.

“General Flynn certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it, should the circumstances permit,” said Flynn’s attorney, Robert Kelner.

Kelner said no “reasonable person” with legal counsel would answer questions without assurances that he would not be prosecuted, given calls from some members of Congress that the retired lieutenant general should face criminal charges.

Flynn’s ties to Russia have been scrutinized by the FBI and are under investigation by the House and Senate intelligence committees. Both committees are looking into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election and any ties between Trump associates and the Kremlin.

Since July, the FBI has been conducting a counterintelligence investigation into Russia’s interference in the election and possible coordination with Trump associates.

Kelner released a statement after The Wall Street Journal first reported that Flynn’s negotiations with the committee included discussions of immunity. The lawyer described the talks as ongoing and said he would not comment on the details.

A congressional aide confirmed that discussions with the Senate intelligence committee involved immunity. The aide spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.

House intelligence committee spokesman Jack Langer said Flynn has not offered to testify to the committee in exchange for immunity.

Four other Trump associates have come forward in recent weeks, saying they would talk to the committees. As of Wednesday, the Senate intelligence committee had asked to interview 20 people as part of the probe.

In his statement, Kelner said the political climate in which Flynn is facing “claims of treason and vicious innuendo” is factoring into his negotiations with the committees.

“No reasonable person, who has the benefit of advice from counsel, would submit to questioning in such a highly politicized, witch hunt environment without assurances against unfair prosecution,” Kelner said.

In September, Flynn weighed in on the implications of immunity on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” criticizing Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her associates in the FBI’s investigation into her use of a private email server.

“When you are given immunity, that means that you have probably committed a crime,” Flynn said during the interview.

Flynn was fired from his job as Trump’s first national security adviser after it was disclosed that he misled the vice president about a conversation he had with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. during the transition.

In the weeks after he resigned, Flynn and his business registered with the Justice Department as foreign agents for $530,000 worth of lobbying work that could have benefited the Turkish government.

The lobbying occurred while Flynn was a top Trump campaign adviser. The Turkish businessman who hired Flynn, Ekim Alptekin, has told the AP that Flynn’s firm registered under pressure from the Justice Department.

Russia summons Israeli envoy, demands clarifications on Syria strike

Russia summoned the Israeli Ambassador to Moscow Gary Koren to provide clarifications Friday, less than 24 hours after Israel struck targets in Syria, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a statement explaining the reasoning behind the operation.

Moscow is heavily involved in Syria and strongly supports the regime of President Bashar Assad. Assad’s forces fired missiles at the Israeli jets overnight after the latter struck what Jerusalem said was a weapons convoy destined for the Lebanese Hezbollah terror group.

Israel’s Channel 2 news reported Saturday night that Moscow was particularly concerned because the Israeli strike was close to areas where Russian troops are deployed.

Netanyahu said Israel would continue to target weapon convoys.

“Our policy is very consistent,” he stated in a Hebrew language video released to the press. “When we identify attempts to transfer advanced weapons to Hezbollah — when we have the intel and the operational capability — we act to prevent it. That’s how we’ve acted and how we will continue to act…and everyone needs to take this into account. Everyone.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) during their meeting in Moscow on March 9, 2017. (AFP Photo/Pool/Pavel Golovkin)

Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Moscow on March 9, where they discussed the situation in Syria.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry earlier sent two letters to the UN secretary-general and to the director of the UN Security Council calling the strikes a violation of international law, of UN resolutions and of Syrian sovereignty.

Syria called on the UN to “condemn the blatant Israeli aggression that is considered a violation of international law.”

The Israeli military said its aircraft struck several targets in Syria and were back in Israeli-controlled airspace when several anti-aircraft missiles were launched from Syria toward the jets. One incoming missile was shot down by an Arrow defense battery, while two more landed in Israel, causing neither injury nor damage.

Assad’s army said the Israeli strikes were conducted to support “[Islamic State] terrorist gangs and in a desperate attempt to raise their deteriorating morale and divert attention away from the victories which Syrian Arab Army is making in the face of the terrorist organizations,” the statement read.

It also claimed it had shot down an Israeli warplane and hit a second one, assertions Israel said were false.

The firing of missiles from Syria toward Israeli aircraft is extremely rare, though Israeli military officials reported a shoulder-fired missile a few months ago.

Jordan, which borders both Israel and Syria, said parts of the missiles fell in its rural northern areas, including the Irbid district. The Jordanian military said the debris came from the Israeli interception of missiles fired from Syria. Radwan Otoum, the Irbid governor, told the state news agency Petra that the missile parts caused only minor damage.

Israel has been largely unaffected by the Syrian civil war raging next door, suffering mostly sporadic incidents of spillover fire that Israel has generally dismissed as tactical errors by Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces. Israel has responded to the errant fire with limited reprisals on Syrian positions.

The skies over Syria are now crowded, with Russian and Syrian aircraft backing Assad’s forces and a US-led coalition striking Islamic State and al-Qaeda targets.

Israel is widely believed to have carried out airstrikes on advanced weapons systems in Syria — including Russian-made anti-aircraft missiles and Iranian-made missiles — as well as Hezbollah positions, but it rarely confirms such operations.

US demands UN pull report accusing Israel of apartheid

The United States on Wednesday demanded that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres withdraw a report by a UN body accusing Israel of imposing apartheid on the Palestinians and of racially dominating them.

Guterres distanced himself from the report by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) but US Ambassador Nikki Haley said it should be scrapped altogether.

“The United States is outraged by the report,” said Haley in a statement. “The United Nations secretariat was right to distance itself from this report, but it must go further and withdraw the report altogether.”

Based in Beirut, ESCWA is comprised of 18 Arab countries, according to its website, which lists the state of Palestine as a full member, and works to strengthen cooperation and promote development.

“That such anti-Israel propaganda would come from a body whose membership nearly universally does not recognize Israel is unsurprising,” said Haley.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres shaking hands with new US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley at the United Nations in New York,  January 27, 2017. (AFP/Bryan R. Smith)

Haley has accused the United Nations of being biased against Israel and has vowed as President Donald Trump’s envoy to staunchly defend Israel at the world body.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said “the report as it stands does not reflect the views of the secretary-general” and was done without consultations with the UN secretariat.

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon earlier slammed the commission for releasing the report which accuses Israel of establishing “an apartheid regime that oppresses and dominates the Palestinian people as a whole.”

Danon said the “attempt to smear and falsely label the only true democracy in the Middle East by creating a false analogy is despicable and constitutes a blatant lie.”

Rima Khalaf (YouTube Screen Shot)

“It comes as no surprise that an organization headed by an individual who has called for boycotts against Israel, and compared our democracy to the most terrible regimes of the twentieth century, would publish such a report. We call on the Secretary-General to disassociate the UN from this biased and deceitful report,” he said in reference to ESCWA Executive Secretary Rima Khalaf, a Jordanian national.

Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, speaks to the UN Security Council after it passed an anti-settlement resolution, December 23, 2016 (UN Screenshot)

The report published Wednesday, titled “Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid,” says that “available evidence establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that Israel is guilty of policies and practices that constitute the crime of apartheid as legally defined in instruments of international law.”

The Beirut-based commission slammed Israel’s Law of Return, “conferring on Jews worldwide the right to enter Israel and obtain Israeli citizenship regardless of their countries of origin and whether or not they can show links to Israel-Palestine, while withholding any comparable right from Palestinians, including those with documented ancestral homes in the country,” as a policy of “demographic engineering” meant to uphold Israel’s status as the Jewish state.

The report further accuses Israel of “practices” that have fragmented Palestinians, arguing that it is the “principal method by which Israel imposes an apartheid regime.”

UN Special Rapporteur Richard Falk (photo credit: UN Watch)

“This fragmentation operates to stabilize the Israeli regime of racial domination over the Palestinians and to weaken the will and capacity of the Palestinian people to mount a unified and effective resistance,” the report reads.

The report was compiled by Richard Falk, a Princeton professor emeritus with a long track record of vehemently anti-Israel rhetoric who previously was the UN’s Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Palestine, and by Virginia Tilley, an American political scientist who authored the book “The One-State Solution” in 2005.

Haley described Falk as “a man who has repeatedly made biased and deeply offensive comments about Israel and espoused ridiculous conspiracy theories.”

Entire US Senate (Jews and White Freemasons) demands Trump take action on threats to Jewish centers

WASHINGTON — In a remarkable display of bipartisanship, every single member of the United States Senate signed an open letter to the Trump administration Tuesday demanding that action be taken to address the ongoing surge in anti-Semitic incidents throughout the country.

The letter, which will be sent to the heads of multiple government agencies, including Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director James Comey, warns that if the issue goes ignored, human lives will be endangered.

It came amidst a sixth wave of bomb threats to Jewish community centers across North America, as well as several offices of the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish civil rights group that combats bigotry worldwide.

“These cowardly acts aim to create an atmosphere of fear and disrupt the important programs and services offered by JCCs to everyone in the communities they serve, including in our states,” the 100 senators said in their appeal.

“This is completely unacceptable and un-American,” they added. “We are concerned that the number of incidents is accelerating and failure to address and deter these threats will place innocent people at risk and threaten the financial viability of JCCs, many of which are institutions in their communities.”

At least 14 Jewish sites were targeted Tuesday amid ongoing threats that have caused multiple evacuations and prompted some parents to pull their children out of JCC school programs. Since the trend began in January, more than 100 Jewish institutions experienced bomb threats, and multiple Jewish cemeteries were vandalized.

A man looks at fallen tombstones at the Jewish Mount Carmel Cemetery, February 26, 2017, in Philadelphia. AFP/DOMINICK REUTER)

A man looks at fallen tombstones at the Jewish Mount Carmel Cemetery, February 26, 2017, in Philadelphia. AFP/DOMINICK REUTER)

The events have led many to fear a sustained assault on the American Jewish community.

Drafted by Michigan Sen. Gary Peters (D), Ohio Sen. Rob Portman (R), Florida Sen. Bill Nelson (D) and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R), the letter urged the administration to devote its full resources to confronting the threats and assisting the victims.

“We encourage you to communicate with individual JCCs, the JCC Association of North America, Jewish Day Schools, Synagogues and other Jewish community institutions regarding victim assistance, grant opportunities or other federal assistance that may be available to enhance security measures and improve preparedness,” the text said.

“We also recognize the anti-Semitic sentiment behind this spate of threats and encourage your Departments to continue to inform state and local law enforcement organizations of their obligations under the Hate Crime Statistics Act and other federal laws,” it added.

US President Donald J. Trump delivers his first address to a joint session of Congress from the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington, DC, USA, 28 February 2017. (AFP PHOTO / POOL / JIM LO SCALZO)

US President Donald J. Trump delivers his first address to a joint session of Congress from the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington, DC, USA, 28 February 2017. (AFP PHOTO / POOL / JIM LO SCALZO)

President Donald Trump denounced anti-Semitic attacks in his maiden speech to Congress one week ago, opening that address by saying the phenomenon was a reminder “of our nation’s path toward civil rights and the work that remains.”

“Recent threats targeting Jewish community centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, as well as last week’s shooting in Kansas City, remind us that while we may be a nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms,” he said.

Many of the nation’s most prominent and powerful Jewish organizations immediately came out in support of the letter, including the ADL, the American Jewish Committee, the Jewish Community Center Association of North America, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the Orthodox Union, the Jewish Federations of North America and the Union for Reform Judaism.

“I commend Senators Peters, Portman, Nelson and Rubio for mobilizing such a resounding bipartisan call for action,” said ADL chief Jonathan Greenblatt. “Today the Senate demonstrated a unified moral front against hatred and sent a strong message that in our America a threat against one of us is an attack on all of us.”

Bipartisan group in Congress demands Trump take action on anti-Semitism

WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of House members sent a letter to President Donald Trump on Thursday demanding he take concrete actions to combat the surge in anti-Semitic hate crimes throughout the country.

“A threat to the Jewish community, or any religious community, is a threat to us all,” Florida Rep. Ted Deutch (D) said at a press conference announcing the letter. “When Jewish institutions and schools are targeted, and when terrorist chat rooms on the internet pick up on targeting Jews, we must take action.”

Since January, there have been five waves of bomb threats to Jewish community centers and other institutions nationwide — totaling over 100 incidents, resulting in evacuations of Jewish day schools and parents pulling their kids out of JCC programs.

Other anti-Semitic attacks have also sparked worry in Jewish communities, including swastikas being drawn on numerous schools and other buildings. And in the last week alone, hundreds of Jewish tombstones in Pennsylvania and Missouri were vandalized.

The phenomenon led President Trump to open his first address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night by condemning anti-Semitism and saying the United States “stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms.”

Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. listen as President Donald Trump addresses a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Trump’s remarks came hours after he reportedly told a group of state attorneys general visiting the White House Tuesday that he suspected the bomb threats may have been called in to make “others” look bad. His comment was interpreted to mean the threats weren’t necessarily genuine anti-Semitic incidents, though the White House disputed that characterization.

The letter — signed by all of the House’s Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Anti-Semitism — makes three major requests of the president to counter of anti-Jewish hate crimes.

It asks the Trump administration to ensure the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice has “the necessary resources and information to fully investigate alleged anti-Semitic crimes and ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice.”

The department, the letter adds, should “encourage local law enforcement agencies to accurately and promptly report data,” noting that “some of these local agencies have historically under-reported or failed to report cases to federal counterparts.”

The Congress members also ask the White House to create a mechanism led by the attorney general that can “coordinate inter-agency detection” for responding to anti-Semitic incidents in cooperation with the FBI, the Departments of Homeland Security, Education and State, as well as the director of National Intelligence.

A man looks at fallen tombstones at the Jewish Mount Carmel Cemetery, February 26, 2017, in Philadelphia. AFP/DOMINICK REUTER)

Lastly, the letter asked the president to use his administrative resources to evaluate growing anti-Semitism online, and specifically that which incites violence. Those findings should resolute in a “comprehensive policy response.”

At the press conference Thursday, New York Rep. Eliot Engel (D), who is Jewish, said the recurrent waves of bomb threats to Jewish centers and desecrations of Jewish cemeteries have left him feeling “insecure” as a Jew for the first time in his life.

Standing next to Engel and New Jersey Rep. Chris Smith (R) and New York Rep. Nita Lowey (D), Deutch added that the current trend was one that could not be ignored.

“If there was one bomb threat to a Jewish center in all four of our districts, that would be enough for us all to be standing here,” he said. “But there have been more than 100 bomb threats to Jewish centers, and all around the country.”

ISRAEL’S RIGHT DEMANDS NETANYAHU, TRUMP DISCUSS WEST BANK ANNEXATION

A dozen Likud ministers and MKs and dozens of activists called upon Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Monday to use his meeting with US President Donald Trump Wednesday to achieve support for construction and annexation in Judea and Samaria.

Held under the banner “Netanyahu, the Likud is backing you on the Right,” the ministers and MKs signed a petition calling upon him to maintain the values of Likud.

 

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein attended, as did ministers Gilad Erdan, Yariv Levin, Ze’ev Elkin, Ophir Akunis, Ayoub Kara, and Gila Gamliel, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely, and MKs Yoav Kisch, Yehudah Glick, Nurit Koren, and Amir Ohana.

While each speaker stressed that the event was intended to strengthen Netanyahu, they each issued demands and expectations as to the outcome of the meeting.

“This is a historic time, and if our Likud government does not handle it correctly, we will be crying for generations,” Shomron Regional Council head Yossi Dagan said. “We expect new settlements to be built for the first time in 26 years. We proved we are loyal to the prime minister but we demand that he be loyal to what he has been saying for years. We don’t need American permission to build anywhere, especially in Jerusalem. We expect you to return with good results for Israel and all the settlements.”

Dagan accused Netanyahu of displaying weakness by being silent as Trump backtracked on his support for moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

His fellow settler leader Avi Roeh displayed statistics indicating that construction in Judea and Samaria has fallen significantly over the past eight years.

Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev told the crowd that in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War, this was the year to apply sovereignty to the settlements that make up what she called Greater Jerusalem and to enable a massive amount of people to move to Judea and Samaria.

“Trump understands his mission is to make America great again, and we understand that our mission is to restore our security and that comes from strengthening Judea and Samaria,” she said. “There should be news in the next year of reaching 1 million Jews in Judea and Samaria.”

Edelstein warned that what he called “the Gaza disengagement disaster” happened when the US had a pro-Israel president in George W. Bush.

Minister-without-Portfolio Ayoub Kara advised Netanyahu not to bring up the Palestinian issue when he meets with Trump, “because it is irrelevant.”

“The two-state solution has failed due to Palestinian rejection,” Hotovely said. “We can’t be the Palestinians’ hostage.

We have to do what is right for us.”

Sources close to Netanyahu expressed frustration with the event and its timing.

“It undermines the prime minister and strengthens Bayit Yehudi,” complained coalition chairman David Bitan, who boycotted the event. Pressuring the prime minister doesn’t help anything.”

Israel demands explanation as Ecuador UN envoy compares Zionism to Nazism

An irate Israel this week summoned an Ecuadorean diplomat in Tel Aviv to protest a speech delivered by his country’s envoy to the United Nations that equated Zionism with Nazism.

“We repudiate with all our strength the persecution and genocide that in its time unleashed Nazism against the Hebrew people. But I cannot remember anything more similar in our contemporary history than the eviction, persecution and genocide that today imperialism and Zionism do against the Palestinian people,” Horacio Sevilla Borja said on Thursday.

Sevilla Borja, speaking at a UN session to mark International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, was quoting from a speech by late Cuban president Fidel Castro at the UN in 1979, according to the Argentine Jewish news service Iton Gadol.

Modi Efraim, the Foreign Ministry’s deputy director-general for Latin America, on Sunday summoned the Ecuadorean embassy’s third secretary Enrique Ponce to complain that the speech was filled with historical falsehoods and inaccuracies, “especially the comparison made between the treatment of the Palestinians to the horrors of the Nazi regime.”

Israel also demanded for “clarification” on the incident from Quito, and Ponce promised to report the matter to his office immediately.

Ecuador has been without an ambassador in Israel since it recalled the envoy during the 50-day war with Hamas in Gaza in 2014.

Israel's UN ambassador Danny Danon addresses the Security Council on October 19, 2016. (UN Photo)

Meanwhile, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon wrote a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calling on him to condemn Sevilla Borja’s statement and demanded that he apologize, the mission said in a statement Monday.

“The UN cannot treat such despicable words of hate and pure anti-Semitism as business as usual,” Danon wrote. “It should be made crystal clear to all member-states that such antisemitic behavior will not be tolerated at the UN.”

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