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Trump’s Pentagon chief: The capital of Israel is Tel Aviv

Friday, January 13, 2017 14:02
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Trump’s Pentagon chief: The capital of Israel is Tel Aviv
Diverging from the signals the president-elect has been sending out, James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis opts to ‘stick with US policy’
Defense Secretary-designate James Mattis answers questions at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
By Eric Cortellessa January 12, 2017, 8:34 pm
WASHINGTON — President-elect Donald Trump’s choice to head the Pentagon said Thursday that the United States should continue treating Tel Aviv as Israel’s capital, breaking with Republican members of Congress and intimations the incoming president could fulfill his campaign pledge to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.
Asked during his confirmation hearing with the Senate Armed Services Committee if he supported the embassy’s relocation, retired Marine Corps general James “Mad Dog” Mattis said, “Right now I stick with the current US policy.”
Facing an hours-long session of questions from senators, he emphasized: “The capital of Israel that I go to, sir, is Tel Aviv, sir, because that’s where all their government people are.” He also noted, however, the determination was not part of his remit as defense secretary nominee.
“I would defer to the nominee of Secretary of State on that, sir,” he said.
The last three successive presidents have maintained that the future status of Jerusalem should be settled in final negotiations between the parties, as both Israelis and Palestinians claim the city as their rightful capital.
But Trump has indicated since his victory in November he will no longer honor that tradition. In December, he nominated his longtime friend and attorney David Friedman, a vocal supporter and donor to West Bank settlements, to be the next US ambassador to Israel
In a statement announcing the selection, Friedman said he expected to carry out his duties in “Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem.”
A Palestinian man looks out at the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem on December 29, 2016. (AFP PHOTO/AHMAD GHARABLI)
Trump also repeatedly promised during the campaign that he would move the embassy. While past presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush also vowed on the trail to do so, neither fulfilled that promise once they assumed the responsibilities of conducting America’s foreign policy.
Mattis’s position further underlines a difference with most Republican on Capitol Hill, who make up the majority in both chambers of Congress.
The Obama administration allowed passage of a United Nations Security Council Resolution last month that condemns settlements as a violation of international law. The textstates that all areas Israel captured in the 1967 war — which includes East Jerusalem and the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, with the Temple Mount and Western Wall, the holiest sites in Judaism — are “occupied Palestinian territory.”
Earlier this month, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R), Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R) and Nevada Sen. Dean Heller (R) proposed the Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act, which urges Trump to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the US embassy there.
Mattis declined to comment on the motion Thursday, telling the senators he needed more information on the particulars of its content.
US president-elect Donald Trump shakes the hand of retired US Marine General James Mattis after naming him Secretary of Defense at Crown Coliseum on December 6, 2016 in Fayetteville, North Carolina. (Sara D. Davis/Getty Images/AFP)
He also diverged from most GOP lawmakers in expressing support for a two-state outcome to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
“If it brings peace to the Middle East,” he said, while also indicating he is willing to hear alternatives despite his skepticism that another resolution to the conflict exists.
“If there’s another solution, I’d be happy to hear what it is,” he said, before later stressing America had a “vital interest” in the two sides reaching a peaceful accommodation to their decades-long dispute.
At a hearing on Wednesday, Trump’s pick for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, also endorsed the two-state solution.
In the past, Mattis has been a critic of the Israeli settlement enterprise, asserting that its continued expansion imperiled Israel’s future as a Jewish, democratic state.
“If I’m in Jerusalem and I put 500 Jewish settlers out here to the east and there’s 10,000 Arab settlers in here, if we draw the border to include them, either it ceases to be a Jewish state or you say the Arabs don’t get to vote — apartheid,” he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in July 2013.
During that same conversation, he also said the United States pays a security price with the rest of the Arab world for its support of Israel.
Mattis, who headed the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) under President Obama from August 2010 to March 2013 (a post that has command authority for all US forces in the Middle East with the exception of Israel), did imply during Thursday’s hearing that his former boss did not always send a comforting message to Israel as an ally.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump meeting at the Trump Tower in New York, September 25, 2016. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)
There was “a sense” in Jerusalem, Mattis said, that the administration has been “indifferent to their security concerns.” Under that assessment, he told committee members, it was “time to build trust” with the Jewish state.
Mattis also addressed the Iran nuclear deal, saying he thought it was an “imperfect” pact, but that the US had an obligation to abide by its terms. “When America gives her word, we have to live up to it and work with our allies,” he said.
During the campaign, Trump sent conflicting messages on the Iran accord, suggesting he would both abrogate the deal and enforce rigorously. Since being elected, his top advisers have indicated he will not withdraw from the deal unilaterally unless Iran violates the agreement.
James “Mad Dog” Mattis
James N. Mattiswas the commander for the U.S. Central Command, is a director at the Center for a New American Security (think tank), and a director at the General Dynamics Corporation.
Note: John R. Allen was a director at the U.S. Central Command, a director at the Center for a New American Security (think tank), and is a fellow at the Brookings Institution (think tank).
Foundation to Promote Open Society was a funder for the Brookings Institution (think tank), and the Aspen Institute (think tank).
George Soroswas the chairman for the Foundation to Promote Open Society.
Richard C. Blumis an honorary trustee at the Brookings Institution (think tank), and married to Senator Dianne Feinstein.
Dianne Feinsteinis married to Richard C. Blum, a U.S. Senate senator, and a member of the Alfalfa Club.
Joseph I. Liebermanwas the president of the Alfalfa Club, is a director at the Center for a New American Security (think tank), a senior counsel for Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman, and an advisory board member for the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs.
David M. Friedmanis a partner at Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman, the U.S. ambassador nominee for Israel, and was Donald Trump’s attorney.
Donald Trump’s attorney was David M. Friedman, the president-elect for the Donald Trump administration, and an executive producer & former star for The Apprentice.
2016 Trump-Pence transition team is the managing transition for the Donald Trump administration.
J. Kenneth Blackwell is a member of the 2016 Trump-Pence transition team, and an advisory board member for the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs.
Celebrity Apprentice is a spin-off of The Apprentice.
Dennis Rodman was a losing contestant on Celebrity Apprentice, met with North Korealeader Kim Jong Un in 2013, and a player for the Chicago Bulls.
Kim Jong Un met with Dennis Rodman in 2013, and is the North Korea leader.
Henry Crown and Company is an investor in the Chicago Bulls.
James S. Crown is the president of Henry Crown and Company, a director at the General Dynamics Corporation, the vice chairman for the Aspen Institute (think tank), and a member of the Commercial Club of Chicago. 
Madeleine K. Albright is a trustee at the Aspen Institute (think tank), and was a director at the Center for a New American Security.
James N. Mattisis a director at the Center for a New American Security (think tank), a director at the General Dynamics Corporation, and was the commander for the U.S. Central Command.
Walter Isaacsonis the president & CEO of the Aspen Institute (think tank), and was the chairman & CEO for CNN.
Wolf Blitzer is an anchor for CNN, and was a correspondent for the Jerusalem Post.   
Lester Crown was a lifetime trustee at the Aspen Institute (think tank), a director at the General Dynamics Corporation, is the chairman for Henry Crown and Company, a member of the Commercial Club of Chicago, and the VP for the Crown Family Foundation.
Commercial Club of Chicago, Members Directory A-Z (Past Research)
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Newton N. Minow is a member of the Commercial Club of Chicago, the president of the Crown Family Foundation, and senior counsel at Sidley Austin LLP.
Crown Family Foundation is a funder for the American Friends of Tel Aviv University, and the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces.
Saban Family Foundation was a funder for the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, the American Israel Education Foundation, and the Brookings Institution (think tank).
American Israel Education Foundation is the charitable arm for AIPAC.
AIPACis the U.S.-based lobby group for Israel.
Wendy Senor Singer was the head of Jerusalem office for AIPAC, and Daniel S. Senor’ssister.
Daniel S. Senoris Wendy Senor Singer’s brother, and married to Campbell Brown.
Campbell Brownis married to Daniel S. Senor, was the anchor for Campbell Brown: No Bias. No Bull, and the anchor for CNN.
Wolf Blitzer is an anchor for CNN, and was a correspondent for the Jerusalem Post.   
Haim Saban is the VP for the Saban Family Foundation, a board member for the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, a benefactor for the Saban Center for Middle East Policy, an honorary trustee at the Brookings Institution (think tank), and was a friend of Shimon Peres.
Saban Center for Middle East Policy is a policy center for the Brookings Institution (think tank).
John R. Allen is a fellow at the Brookings Institution (think tank), was a director at the Center for a New American Security (think tank), a director at the U.S. Central Command.
James N. Mattisis a director at the Center for a New American Security (think tank), a director at the General Dynamics Corporation, and was the commander for the U.S. Central Command.
Shimon Peres was a friend of Haim Saban, and the president of Israel.
Sidley Austin LLP is the lobby firm for Israel.
Michelle Obamawas a lawyer at Sidley Austin LLP.
Barack Obama was an intern at Sidley Austin LLP.
R. Eden Martin is counsel at Sidley Austin LLP, and the president of the Commercial Club of Chicago.
Newton N. Minowis a senior counsel at Sidley Austin LLP, the president of the Crown Family Foundation, and a member of the Commercial Club of Chicago.
Crown Family Foundation is a funder for the American Friends of Tel Aviv University, and the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces.
Cyrus F. Freidheim Jr. is a member of the Commercial Club of Chicago, and an honorary trustee at the Brookings Institution (think tank).        
Cameron F. Kerryis a fellow at the Brookings Institution (think tank), a senior counsel at Sidley Austin LLP, John F. Kerry’sbrother, and was a director at the National Jewish Democratic Council.
Sidley Austin LLP is the lobby firm for Israel.
Michelle Obamawas a lawyer at Sidley Austin LLP.
Barack Obama was an intern at Sidley Austin LLP, and the president for the Barack Obama administration.
John F. Kerry is Cameron F. Kerry’s brother, the secretary at the U.S. Department of State for the Barack Obama administration, and married to Teresa Heinz Kerry.
Teresa Heinz Kerry is married to John F. Kerry, and an honorary trustee at the Brookings Institution (think tank).        
Michael M. Adlerwas the chairman for the National Jewish Democratic Council a fundraiser for the 2012 Barack Obama presidential campaign, is a director for the American Friends of Tel Aviv University, and a board member for the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces.
Crown Family Foundation is a funder for the American Friends of Tel Aviv University, and the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces.
Newton N. Minowis the president of the Crown Family Foundation, a member of the Commercial Club of Chicago, and senior counsel at Sidley Austin LLP.
Sidley Austin LLP is the lobby firm for Israel.
Michelle Obamawas a lawyer at Sidley Austin LLP.
Barack Obama was an intern at Sidley Austin LLP, and the president for the Barack Obama administration.
Lester Crown is the VP for the Crown Family Foundation, the chairman for Henry Crown and Company, a member of the Commercial Club of Chicago, was a lifetime trustee at the Aspen Institute (think tank), and a director at the General Dynamics Corporation.
James N. Mattisis a director at the General Dynamics Corporation, a director at the Center for a New American Security (think tank), and was the commander for the U.S. Central Command.


Source: http://thesteadydrip.blogspot.com/2017/01/trumps-pentagon-chief-capital-of-israel.html

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