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Politics As war rages on, Democrats decry US arms sales to Israel

14:51  18 may  2021
14:51  18 may  2021 Source:   washingtonexaminer.com

Unholy Alliance? What's Uniting Greece, Israel, Cyprus and the UAE? | Opinion

  Unholy Alliance? What's Uniting Greece, Israel, Cyprus and the UAE? | Opinion Europe is increasingly being enmeshed in Middle Eastern rivalries and geopolitical strife. Harun Karčić is a journalist and political analyst based in Sarajevo covering foreign influences in the Balkans. He tweets @HarunKarcic.The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.

SALE SENDS WRONG MESSAGE: Democrats in Congress say they were blindsided by the Biden administration’s approval earlier this month of the sale of $735 million in satellite-guided bombs to Israel, arguing the timing couldn’t be worse as Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza trade fire and the casualty count mounts.

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At least 212 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli airstrikes since May 10, including 61 children and 36 women, according to the Associated Press. On the Israeli side, 10 people, including a 5-year-old boy, have been killed in the Hamas rocket attacks.

As Israel faces Hamas rocket attacks, these are its most virulent critics in Congress

  As Israel faces Hamas rocket attacks, these are its most virulent critics in Congress With much of Congress on Israel's side as it wages a defensive war against the terrorist group Hamas, a swath of House lawmakers is expressing hostility to the Jewish State. © Provided by Washington Examiner Most of those who have consistently cast Israel-critical votes in recent years are Democrats, and they're increasingly causing headaches for their party's leadership. They're also complicating dynamics for President Joe Biden as Hamas fires thousands of rockets into Israel and the country responds with deadly strikes in Gaza.

“I have serious concerns about the timing of this weapons sale, the message it will send to Israel and the world about the urgency of a cease fire, and the open questions about the legality of Israel’s military strikes that have killed civilians in Gaza,” said Texas Democrat Rep. Joaquin Castro in a statement. “The United States government must not exacerbate this horrific violence.”

“It would be appalling for the Biden administration to go through with $735 million in precision-guided weaponry to Netanyahu without any strings attached in the wake of escalating violence and attacks on civilians,” said Minnesota’s Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Democrat who sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “If this goes through, this will be seen as a green light for continued escalation and will undercut any attempts at brokering a ceasefire,” she said in a statement, in which she also accused the U.S of backing “crimes against humanity.”

Israeli cabinet approves cease-fire with Hamas amid 2nd week of violence

  Israeli cabinet approves cease-fire with Hamas amid 2nd week of violence Israeli cabinet approves cease-fire with Hamas amid 2nd week of violence The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a statement Thursday evening stating that the Political Security Cabinet accepted a recommendation for a "bilateral cease-fire without any conditions.

'PALESTINIAN LIVES MATTER': OMAR CHARGES BIDEN WITH BACKING ISRAELI 'CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY' IN GAZA

BIDEN BACKS CEASEFIRE: In a carefully worded statement issued after President Joe Biden spoke by phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the president expressed support for a ceasefire while avoiding any criticism of Israel’s actions.

“The President expressed his support for a ceasefire,” the statement said. “He encouraged Israel to make every effort to ensure the protection of innocent civilians.”

Israel continues to state publicly that it had “crystal clear” intelligence that Hamas was operating out of a 12-story building in Gaza that was leveled by an Israeli airstrike Saturday and that it has shared the evidence with the U.S. The building also housed the offices of the Associated Press and Al Jazeera, who, like the building's other occupants, were given an hour’s warning to evacuate before the bombs hit. There were no reported casualties.

Opinion: Jared Kushner's Middle East fantasy explodes

  Opinion: Jared Kushner's Middle East fantasy explodes Peter Bergen writes that President Donald Trump's shadow secretary of state, Jared Kushner, had a sole diplomatic achievement, grandiosely termed the "Abraham Accords." Now we can see how badly Trump and Kushner misunderstood the nature of the conflict.Two months ago, Kushner took to the pages of The Wall Street Journal to congratulate himself on the supposed "geopolitical earthquake" that was engendered by the Abraham Accords, while dismissing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as "nothing more than a real-estate dispute.

But neither the White House nor the State Department would confirm the conclusion of the Israeli intelligence that Hamas was using the journalists as “human shields.”

“Any intelligence is being handled through intelligence channels,” said press secretary Jen Psaki. “I don't have a further readout or confirmation of any of those details from here.”

Speaking to reporters in Denmark, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he had not seen the intelligence either. “Shortly after the strike, we did request additional details regarding the justification for it. I wouldn't want to weigh in on intelligence matters in this forum. It's not my place,” Blinken said, adding, “I have not seen any information provided.”

NETANYAHU ORDERS ISRAELI FORCES ‘TO CONTINUE TO STRIKE’ AND THANKS BIDEN FOR ‘SERIOUS BACKING’

Good Tuesday morning and welcome to Jamie McIntyre’s Daily on Defense, written and compiled by Washington Examiner National Security Senior Writer Jamie McIntyre (@jamiejmcintyre) and edited by Victor I. Nava. Email here with tips, suggestions, calendar items, and anything else. Sign up or read current and back issues at DailyonDefense.com. If signing up doesn’t work, shoot us an email and we’ll add you to our list. And be sure to follow us on Twitter: @dailyondefense.

Israel Opposition Leader Yair Lapid Accuses Netanyahu of Jeopardizing Relationship With U.S.

  Israel Opposition Leader Yair Lapid Accuses Netanyahu of Jeopardizing Relationship With U.S. "After 11 days of this operation, every Israeli citizen will ask themselves: What did the government really want to achieve with this military operation? What is its policy and strategic long-term aim concerning Hamas in Gaza?" Lapid wrote.The U.S. has called for Israel to end the fighting and agree to a cease-fire. Netanyahu has refused the requests, and appears determined to inflict maximum damage against Hamas in a war that could save his political career, the Associated Press reported.

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HAPPENING TODAY: The Senate Armed Services Committee takes up the nomination of Gen. Paul LaCamera to be commander of U.S. and South Korean forces at 9:30 a.m.

On the House side, Zalmay Khalilzad, the special representative on Afghanistan reconciliation, testifies at 10 a.m. before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on “The U.S.-Afghanistan relationship following the military withdrawal.”

And former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will take part in what’s billed as “a discussion of Biden’s national security failures,” in a webinar hosted at 1 p.m. by Center for Security Policy.

UFOs BACK ON THE RADAR: Sunday night’s report on 60 Minutes on UFOs, now dubbed UAPs for “unidentified aerial phenomena,” has stirred quite a bit of interest ahead of next month’s deadline for an intelligence report that’s supposed to reveal what is known about the mystery sightings.

“The declassified report on UFOs scheduled to be handed over next month was mandated thanks to the $2.3 trillion bill that former President Donald Trump signed into law in December, which contained a ‘committee comment’ from the Senate Intelligence Committee, calling upon the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Pentagon to provide what they know,” reports the Washington Examiner’s Jerry Dunleavy.

Progressives see 'historic' moment to shift US relations with Israel

  Progressives see 'historic' moment to shift US relations with Israel Progressive Democrats are pushing forward efforts to dramatically shift the U.S. relationship with Israel, as the dust settles from a cease-fire that ended 11 days of devastating war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Emboldened by firebrand lawmakers and an agenda centered around social justice for Palestinians, calls for conditioning military aid to Israel and criticisms of its actions have moved from the fringe of the Democratic Party to the floor of the House and Senate. But Israel advocacy groups in the U.S.

“Last year, videos from the Navy were released through the Freedom of Information Act that showed UFOs moving at incredible speeds and performing impressive aerial maneuvers. One of the videos was shot in November 2004, featuring the so-called Nimitz encounter, while the other two were shot in January 2015,” Dunleavy reports. “The videos were made public and published in part through efforts by To The Stars Academy, which was founded by Tom DeLonge, a founder and vocalist for the rock band Blink-182.”

The Pentagon announced in August the creation of an Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force led by the Navy under the "cognizance" of the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security.

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The Rundown

Washington Examiner: Netanyahu orders Israeli forces ‘to continue to strike’ and thanks Biden for ‘serious backing’

Washington Examiner: Hamas: Israel ‘will have to submit’

Washington Examiner: Washington blocking draft UN Security Council statement ignoring Hamas rockets

Washington Examiner: 'Palestinian lives matter': Omar charges Biden with backing Israeli 'crimes against humanity' in Gaza

Washington Examiner: Trump counternarcotics program keeps $7.5B from traffickers

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Washington Examiner: Capitol Police defend press release saying Sicknick died of injuries from riot

Washington Examiner: 'There’s something out there that was better than our airplane': UFO mystery makes it to 60 Minutes

The practical and political implications of Democrats pressuring Israel

  The practical and political implications of Democrats pressuring Israel The Democrats’ latest actions on Israel — and their failure to stand up to Hamas and to Iran — carry negative consequences not just for Israel, but also for the Democratic Party’s political viability with Jewish voters. While Jewish voters comprise a small sect of the overall electorate and tend to vote Democratic, small shifts toward the GOP among Jewish voters in key states that Democrats lost in 2020 - like Florida, which has a relatively high Jewish population - likely damaged Democrats in 2020, and will continue to do so in future elections.

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Calendar

TUESDAY | MAY 18

9 a.m. — Intelligence National Security Alliance virtual discussion with Margaret Augustine, CIA procurement executive.https://www.insaonline.org/event/coffee-conversation

9:30 a.m. G-50 Dirksen — Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the nomination of Gen. Paul LaCamera to be commander of the United Nations Command/Combined Forces Command/U.S. Forces Korea. http://www.armed-services.senate.gov

10 a.m. 2172 Rayburn — House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing: “The U.S.-Afghanistan Relationship Following the Military Withdrawal,” with Special Representative on Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad; and Karen Freeman, acting assistant administrator for Asia in the U.S. Agency for International Development. http://foreignaffairs.house.gov

Car-free San Francisco streets: Residents debate reopening

  Car-free San Francisco streets: Residents debate reopening SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — For Vanessa Gregson, the four-lane highway that borders the beach along San Francisco's Pacific Ocean is now an automobile-free sanctuary where she can blissfully ride her bicycle and enjoy the quiet. “You hear the beach. You hear the waves,” said Gregson. “You feel like you’re in nature, and you’re in San Francisco.” Like cities from Paris to New York that shut roads to motorists when the coronavirus hit, environmentally friendly San Francisco closed miles of streets to automobiles so people could exercise and socialize safely.

10 a.m. 216 Hart — Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee hearing on the National Guard and Reserve, with Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau; Lt. Gen. Jody Daniels, chief of the Army Reserve; Vice Adm. John Mustin, chief of the Navy Reserve; and Lt. Gen. David Bellon, commander of the Marine Forces Reserve. http://appropriations.senate.gov

10 a.m. — House Appropriations Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on "Air Force Quality of Life and Installations Update,” with Joanne Bass, chief master sergeant of the Air Force; Brig. Gen. William Kale, Air Force director of civil engineers; and Roger Towberman, chief master sergeant of the Space Force. http://appropriations.house.gov Livestream at https://youtu.be/bi8cAPCXHtA

10 a.m. — Brookings Institution virtual discussion: “The Marine Corps and the future of warfare,” with Gen. David Berger, commandant, U.S. Marine Corps; and Michael O’Hanlon, senior fellow and director of research, foreign policy, The Brookings Institution. https://www.brookings.edu/events

10 a.m. — Washington Post Live virtual discussion on the national security threats posed by artificial intelligence, the immigration crisis at the border and the future of the Republican Party, with former Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas; and Karen Tumulty, Washington Post opinions columnist. https://www.washingtonpost.com/washington-post-live

10 a.m. — Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association TechNet Augusta Virtual Solution Series conference, with Maj. Gen. Neil Hersey, commanding general of the Army Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon; and Lt. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, commanding general of the Army Cyber Command; Ronald Pontius, deputy to the commanding general of the Army Cyber Command; Manuel Hermosilla, executive director of the U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. TENTH Fleet; Jeffrey Jones, vice director of command, control, communications and computers/cyber and deputy CIO of the Joint Staff, J6; and Brig. Gen. Bradley Pyburn, deputy commander of the Sixteenth Air Force. https://events.afcea.org/Augusta20/public/enter.aspx

10:30 a.m. — Mitchell Institute releases research report, “Building an Agile Force: The Imperative for Speed and Adaptation in the U.S. Aerospace Industrial Base,” with retired Lt. Gen. Dave Deptula, dean of the Mitchell Institute; author Heather Penney; and DARPA Strategic Technology Office's Tim Grayson. https://www.mitchellaerospacepower.org/aerospace-nation

11:45 a.m. — Gen. Richard Clarke, commanding general of U.S. Special Operations Command, delivers keynote address to the National Defense Industrial Association virtual 2021 Special Operations Forces Industry Conference. https://www.sofic.org/

1 p.m. — Center for Security Policy webinar: “In-Depth Discussion of Biden’s National Security Failures,” with former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. https://centerforsecuritypolicy.org/events/mike-pompeo

1 p.m. — Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association virtual discussion, with Air Force Col. Jeffrey Phillips, commander of the 67th Cyber Wing. https://www.alamoafcea.org/event/luncheon

2:30 p.m. 222 Russell — Senate Armed Services Cybersecurity Subcommittee hearing on "Cybersecurity of the Defense Industrial Base,” with Rear Adm. William Chase, deputy principal cyber adviser to the defense secretary and director of the Protecting Critical Technology Task Force; and Jesse Salazar, deputy assistant defense secretary for industrial policy. http://www.armed-services.senate.gov

4 p.m. 2118 Rayburn — House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee and Readiness Subcommittee joint hearing on "Posture and Readiness of the Mobility Enterprise,” with Gen. Stephen Lyons, commander of the U.S. Transportation Command; Lucinda Lessley, deputy administrator of the U.S. Maritime Administration; and Kevin Tokarski, associate administrator for strategic airlift at the U.S. Maritime Administration http://www.armedservices.house.gov

WEDNESDAY | MAY 19

10 a.m. 2172 Rayburn — House Foreign Affairs Committee markup of H.R.922, the "Crimea Annexation Non-Recognition Act"; H.R.2785, the "Energy Resource Governance Initiative Act of 2021"; Legislation to repeal the 1991 Authorization for the Use of Military Force against Iraq Resolution; Legislation to repeal the 1957 Middle East Use of Force Authorization. http://foreignaffairs.house.gov

10:30 a.m. — House Energy and Commerce Energy Subcommittee hearing: “The FY2022 DOE Budget,” with Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. http://energycommerce.house.gov

11 a.m. — President Joe Biden delivers commencement address at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy’s class of 2021 graduation ceremony New London, Conn. https://player.vimeo.com/video/542198025

11 a.m. 2118 Rayburn — House Armed Services Committee hearing on "Recommendations of the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service,” with Joseph Heck, chairman of the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service; Mark Gearan, vice chairman for national and public service for the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service; and Steve Barney, commissioner of the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service. http://www.armedservices.house.gov

12 p.m. — Washington Space Business Roundtable webinar: “How Cutting the Cost and Time to Deploy Spacecraft May Revolutionize Military Space Planning,” with Air Force Col. Robert Bongiovi, director of U.S. Space Force. https://www.wsbr.org/events

2 p.m. — American Security Project virtual discussion, “Military Base Resilience in Tampa Bay,” with retired Vice Adm. Lee Gunn, former Navy inspector general; and retired Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Stephen Cheney, ASP president https://www.americansecurityproject.org/event

2:30 p.m. — Center for Strategic and International Studies press briefing to discuss South Korean president Moon Jae-in’s summit with President Joe Biden, with Victor Cha, senior vice president and Korea chair; Michael Green, senior vice president for Asia and Japan chair; Jane Nakano, senior fellow, Energy Security and Climate Change Program; and Sue Mi Terry, senior fellow, Korea chair. https://www.csis.org/events/press-briefing

3 p.m. — House Administration Committee hearing on "Reforming the Capitol Police and Improving Accountability for the Capitol Police Board." https://cha.house.gov Livestream at https://youtu.be/PEvLlCV4K9c

3 p.m. 192 Dirksen — Senate Appropriations Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on "Military Infrastructure and Climate Resilience,” with Richard Kidd, deputy assistant Defense secretary for environment and energy resilience; and Jack Surash, senior official performing the duties of assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy, and environment http://appropriations.senate.gov

4:30 p.m. 232-A Russell — Senate Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee hearing on the atomic defense activities and programs in review of the Defense Authorization Request for FY2022 and future years defense program, with Adm. James Caldwell, deputy administrator for National Nuclear Security Administration's Office of Naval Reactors; William White, acting assistant Energy secretary for environmental management; and Charles Verdon, acting administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration http://www.armed-services.senate.gov

4:40 p.m. — National Defense Industrial Association virtual 2021 Special Operations Forces Industry Conference, with Katie Arrington, chief information security officer for acquisition and sustainment in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition. https://www.sofic.org

THURSDAY | MAY 20

1 p.m. — Center for a New American Security releases new report: “More than Half the Battle: Information and Command in a New American Way of War," with author Chris Dougherty. https://www.cnas.org/events/cnas-report-rollout

4 p.m. — Politics and Prose Bookstore virtual book discussion on "The Hardest Place: The American Military Adrift in Afghanistan's Pech Valley,” with author Wesley Morgan; and Martha Raddatz, chief global affairs correspondent at ABC News. https://www.politics-prose.com/event/book

FRIDAY | MAY 21

10 a.m. — Center for Strategic and International Studies webinar: “The Role of Integrated Air and Missile Defense for Strategic Deterrence,” Lt. Gen. Daniel Karbler, commander of U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command. https://www.csis.org/events

12 p.m. — Hudson Institute webinar, “Ukraine's Latest Security Crisis,” with Assistant NATO Secretary General for Intelligence and Security David Cattler; Assistant NATO Secretary General for Public Diplomacy Baiba Braze; Luke Coffey, director of the Heritage Foundation's Center for Foreign Policy; and Peter Rough, senior fellow at Hudson https://www.hudson.org/events

SATURDAY | MAY 22

10 a.m. — Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin delivers the commencement address at the U.S. Military Academy’s class of 2021 graduation ceremony at West Point, New York. Live stream at https://www.youtube.com/channel

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“You know, there's a stigma on Capitol Hill. I mean, some of my colleagues are very interested in this topic and some kinda, you know, giggle when you bring it up … I want us to take it seriously … Maybe it has a very simple answer. Maybe it doesn't.”

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, on the impending release of an unclassified report on UFO sightings by U.S. military pilots.

Tags: National Security, Daily on Defense

Original Author: Jamie McIntyre

Original Location: As war rages on, Democrats decry US arms sales to Israel

Car-free San Francisco streets: Residents debate reopening .
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — For Vanessa Gregson, the four-lane highway that borders the beach along San Francisco's Pacific Ocean is now an automobile-free sanctuary where she can blissfully ride her bicycle and enjoy the quiet. “You hear the beach. You hear the waves,” said Gregson. “You feel like you’re in nature, and you’re in San Francisco.” Like cities from Paris to New York that shut roads to motorists when the coronavirus hit, environmentally friendly San Francisco closed miles of streets to automobiles so people could exercise and socialize safely.

usr: 6
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