Daily TIP

The Daily TIP: Israeli Finance Minister Looks to Improve West Bank Economy as PA Rejects Peace Overtures

Posted by Tip Staff - August 23, 2018

Israeli Finance Minister Looks to Improve West Bank Economy as PA Rejects Peace Overtures
TIP Senior Fellow: Germany and EU Throwing Iran a "Lifeline" by Undercutting Sanctions
Bolton: Israel Justified in Striking Iranian Assets in Syria
A Year after Hurricane Harvey, Israeli Emergency Response Teams are in Texas


Israeli Finance Minister Looks to Improve West Bank Economy as PA Rejects Peace Overtures

Israel's finance minister is eliciting support for a plan to strengthen the West Bank's economy from the United States and European Union even as the Palestinian Authority is opposing such efforts, Bloomberg News reported Wednesday.

During the past three years, Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon has been promoting a plan to build jointly-operated industrial zones, to make travel easier and to enable the PA to collect its own taxes, in an effort to boost the West Bank's economy.

“It isn’t always visible, but the economy makes an important contribution to what’s going on,” Kahlon told Bloomberg ahead of his visit to the U.S. later this month to discuss his plan. “I’m a great believer in political process through economy.’’

Kahlon's plan to improve the Palestinian economy is consistent with the view of the Trump administration, which believes that better economic conditions for Palestinians will make peace more accessible.

Though he has been meeting with PA officials, Azmi Abdel Rahman, a spokesman for the Palestinian Authority Economy Ministry, rejected Kahlon's efforts as unilateral. Rahman insisted that any effort to improve the Palestinian economy should come as part of a comprehensive peace agreement.

A member of the U.S. National Security Council told Bloomberg that the administration would disapprove of PA efforts to undermine the economic well-being of its constituents.

In the past, Kahlon has met with European officials, who have all “expressed a willingness to help,” with his plan.



TIP Senior Fellow: Germany and EU Throwing Iran a "Lifeline" by Undercutting Sanctions

The German government is under fire for efforts to circumvent U.S. sanctions on Iran, after German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said “every day that the Iran [nuclear] agreement lasts,” is making the world safer, Benjamin Weinthal reported for FoxNews.com on Wednesday.

Maas wrote in German business daily Handelsblatt that Germany “will not allow [the U.S.] to go over our heads, and at our expense.” The minister claimed, “It is therefore essential that we strengthen European autonomy by establishing payment channels independent of the US, a European monetary fund and an independent SWIFT [payments] system.”

His comments drew sharp criticism from Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of U.S. human rights organization of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. “Circumventing sanctions on an Iranian regime that is committed in word and deed to destroy Israel for financial gain for German companies makes a mockery of that [Berlin’s] commitment” to implement the lessons of the Holocaust, he said.

Julie Lenarz, a Senior Fellow at The Israel Project, told FoxNews.com: “All governments should make trade ties with Iran contingent upon the Islamic Republic‘s end to its global sponsorship of terror, illicit nuclear ambitions and suppression of basic rights at home.”

Lenarz added: “Europe, and Germany in particular, are throwing the mullah regime — confronted with an economy in free fall, a collapsing currency and rising popular dissent — a much needed lifeline by boycotting the sanctions. It makes them directly complicit in the crimes committed by Iran.”



Bolton: Israel Justified in Striking Iranian Assets in Syria

At a news conference Wednesday, John Bolton, the National Security Advisor of the United States, called Israeli airstrikes against Iranian military assets in Syria "a legitimate act of self-defense," The Jerusalem Post reported.

Bolton also noted that the U.S. under President Donald Trump had twice struck at Syria for its use of proscribed chemical weapons.

Regarding Iran, Bolton said that the U.S. did not seek regime change, but “what we want is massive change in the regime’s behavior.” The assumption held by the Obama administration, that Iran's behavior would change once the nuclear deal was made and behave like a "normal country," Bolton said was proven wrong.

Rather, Bolton said that Iran's economy had been mismanaged for years, and the billions Iran received in sanctions relief “mitigated the effects of this management of the economy, and gave the regime new life. It gave this regime – which has been the central banker of international terrorism since 1979 – new assets that could be used” for all of its destabilizing activities.

He said that reimposition of sanctions on Iran has had a negative effect on Iran, one that is "more significant than we would have predicted." Bolton noted that the demonstrations against the regime don't appear to be coordinated but rather "just regular people saying they are fed up with the government.”

Towards the end of the news conference, Bolton also mentioned that the sanctions appeared to be constraining Iran's destabilizing activities across the Middle East.



A Year after Hurricane Harvey, Israeli Emergency Response Teams are in Texas

Harvey, Irma, Maria, José and Nate will forever be names associated with the catastrophic 2017 Atlantic hurricane season. One year later, millions of people from Texas to the Caribbean still suffer physical and psychological fallout from those disastrous weather events.

At the time, Israelis from IsraAID, Magen David Adom, Dream Doctors, ZAKA, the Israel Trauma Coalition (ITC), the Jewish Agency, and United Hatzalah/Israel Rescue Coalition sent help in various capacities, including cleanup, search-and-rescue and trauma care.

With hurricane season now on the go again, ISRAEL21c looks at two organizations — IsraAID and the ITC – who have stayed in the region to continue healing wounds and preparing residents for the next big storm.

Hurricane Harvey made landfall on August 25, 2017 and wreaked havoc among some 13 million people in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky. Much of the greater Houston area was flooded and tens of thousands of people needed emergency shelter.

Hurricane Harvey made landfall on August 25, 2017 and wreaked havoc among some 13 million people in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky. Much of the greater Houston area was flooded and tens of thousands of people needed emergency shelter.

The Israel Trauma Coalition (ITC) organized a series of resilience training sessions for Houston clinicians, educators and administrators led by Israeli resilience counselors Reuven Rogel and Dalia Sivan.

Niv Rabino, Texas head of mission for IsraAID, has been in Houston since Hurricane Harvey.

In cooperation with Tulane University and other partners, Rabino is going door to door in a 700-household community as a pilot project to assess social vulnerability and create a database of people likely to need extra assistance or education before and after a storm.

(via Israel21c)


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