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The Daily TIP: U.S. Lawmakers Show Bipartisan Support For Iranian Protesters Marching Against Regime

Posted by Tip Staff - January 03, 2018

U.S. Lawmakers Show Bipartisan Support For Iranian Protesters Marching Against Regime
Trump Threatens To Cut Aid To Palestinian Authority Over Ailing Peace Process
German Foreign Minister Under Fire After Comparing Israel to Apartheid South Africa
Israel’s Gal Gadot is Highest-Grossing Actress of 2017


U.S. Lawmakers Show Bipartisan Support For Iranian Protesters Marching Against Regime

A bipartisan array of U.S. lawmakers have thrown their support behind Iranian protesters marching against the regime in the most turbulent unrests in the Islamic Republic since the Green Revolution in 2009.

President Donald Trump said that “The people of Iran are finally acting against the brutal and corrupt Iranian regime,” and that “the people have little food, big inflation and no human rights. The U.S. is watching!”

Vice President Mike Pence echoed the President’s sentiment: “The bold and growing resistance of the Iranian people today gives hope and faith to all who struggle for freedom and against tyranny. We must not and we will not let them down.”

Tens of thousands of Iranians have been marching since Thursday demanding the overthrow of the entire regime. The marches began as a protest against spending money on military expansionism rather than the Iranian economy, and since then other grievances – political freedom, gender persecution, and so on – have been added.

“The world is closely watching how Iranian officials respond to the legitimate calls of Iran’s citizens for reform,” said Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “If the response is violence, repression, and imprisonment, the United States has tools to target human rights abusers.”

Bernie Sanders, Democratic Senator from Vermont, observed that “The government of Iran should respect this right and heed the voices of thousands of Iranians who are demonstrating across the country for better opportunities and a better future.”

Some legislators criticized former President Barack Obama’s delayed response to the 2009 Green Revolution, which resulted in a brutal crackdown. “We must learn our lesson from 2009 and not repeat the same mistake. Millions of Iranians are desperate right now for American leadership to help them turn the tide in Tehran and all throughout Iran,” Rep. Lee Zeldin, a Republican from New York, said.

Democrat Brendan Boyle, a member of the House Foreign Relations Committee, also expressed support for the protesters and criticized the muted response from European governments. Responding to a statement from the UK’s foreign minister, Boris Johnson, he said: “Weak, Weak, Weak…The West should stand clearly and unflinchingly on the side of those who are risking life and limb to protest for freedom.”

Trump Threatens To Cut Aid To Palestinian Authority Over Ailing Peace Process

United States President Donald Trump has threatened to cut off aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA), asking why his country should make “any of these massive future payments” when the Palestinians were “no longer willing to talk peace,” The AP reported on Tuesday.

In a pair of tweets, the President observed that Washington was paying the Palestinian Authority hundreds of millions of dollars a year “for nothing,” complaining that the U.S. received “no appreciation or respect” in return.

“They don’t even want to negotiate a long overdue peace treaty with Israel,” he said. “We have taken Jerusalem, the toughest part of the negotiation, off the table, but Israel, for that, would have had to pay more.”

Trump added: “But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?” The U.S. currently gives the PA over $300 million in annual aid.

PA leader Mahmoud Abbas reacted to the Trump administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to relocate the embassy with fury, questioning Trump’s credibility as a peace broker and calling the decision “a declaration of withdrawal from the role it has played in the peace process.”

Trump’s envoy to the United Nations, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley, foreshadowed Trump’s warning earlier on Tuesday at the U.N. Security Council, when she threatened to cut off funding to the U.N.’s Palestinian refugee agency, UNRWA, if the Palestinians refused to engage in peace negotiations.

“I think the president has basically said that he doesn’t want to give any additional funding until the Palestinians are agreeing to come back to the negotiation table,” Haley said. “We’re trying to move for a peace process but if that doesn’t happen the president is not going to continue to fund that situation.”

The U.S. was the biggest donor to UNRWA in 2016, giving $368,429,712. It is also the largest overall supplier of financial assistance to the Palestinians.

The PA on Wednesday rebuffed the President’s words. “Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the state of Palestine and it is not for sale for gold or billions,” Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh told reporters.

German Foreign Minister Under Fire After Comparing Israel to Apartheid South Africa

Israel has slammed German Foreign Minister, Sigmar Gabriel, for comparing the Jewish State's policies in the disputed West Bank territory to the former apartheid regime in South Africa, after terrorist organization Hamas used the minister’s statement for propaganda purposes, Benjamin Weinthal reported in The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.

Gilad Erdan, Israel’s Public Security Minister, told the newspaper that "The statement that Israel is reminiscent of apartheid South Africa is not only totally false, but it also delegitimizes and demonizes the Jewish state.”

The minister warned that “The line between such delegitimization and antisemitism is very thin” and said that “It is no surprise that Hamas, an antisemitic organization dedicated to the destruction of Israel, happily tweeted the statement. All those interested in promoting peace and opposing hatred in the region must reject such an outrageous comparison."

Gabriel told a group of Muslim immigrants in Berlin in December that he had previously criticized Israel. In a 2012 Facebook post, following his visit to Hebron, he wrote: “I was just in Hebron. There’s a legal vacuum there for Palestinians. This is an apartheid regime, for which there is no justification.”

Israel’s minster for Public Security went on record on Tuesday, after the Gaza-based terrorist organization Hamas used Gabriel’s statement for propaganda purposes. In response to the German minister, Hamas wrote on its official English Twitter on Sunday, "German FM describes the Israeli occupation as an apartheid regime like the one was in South Africa."

Oliver Luksic, a deputy of the Free Democratic party in the Bundestag, said on social media: "The terroristic Hamas now references the German foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel. The German bashing of Israel is intolerable."

When contacted by the newspaper, the German foreign ministry did not walk back Gabriel's criticism of the Jewish State.

Israel’s Gal Gadot is Highest-Grossing Actress of 2017

The numbers are in – Israeli actress Gal Gadot is officially the highest-grossing actress of 2017, amassing $1.4 billion worldwide. She is also the third highest-grossing actor overall, according to Forbes’ latest report.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that 2017 was an action-packed year for the Wonder Woman star. Gadot played the same superhero twice in six months, turning herself into a household name and her character into a rejuvenated symbol of feminism and girl power for today’s audience.

“I feel that I’ve got the opportunity to set a great role model for girls to look up to a strong, active, compassionate, loving, positive woman and I think it’s so important,” Gadot told Entertainment Weekly. “It’s about time that somebody will do that and I’m very privileged and honored to be the one.”

Her breakout role as the Amazonian warrior heroine in Wonder Woman broke box-office records, bringing in $822 million, and making it the highest-grossing live narrative film ever directed by a woman (Patty Jenkins). Justice League, released six months later, wasn’t as well received but raked in another few millions in box-office money.

Rounding out the top three in Forbes’ list of highest earners are fellow action stars Vin Diesel, tallying $1.6 billion, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, at $1.5 billion. The actors co-starred in Fate of the Furious, the eighth installment of Fast and the Furious franchise.

To compile its annual list, Forbes used revenue tracker Box Office Mojo to add up global ticket sales of major actors’ films. Animated movies were not included.

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