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Netanyahu vows to begin annexing West Bank settlements

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Netanyahu vows to begin annexing West Bank settlements

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed on Tuesday to annex the heart of the West Bank if he wins re-election next week, a move that could inflame the Middle East and extinguish any remaining Palestinian hope of establishing a separate state.

Arab leaders angrily condemned Netanyahu’s remarks, and a U.N. spokesman warned the step would be “devastating” to the prospects for a two-state solution.

Netanyahu said he would extend Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley — an area seen as the breadbasket of any Palestinian state — shortly after forming a new government and would move later to annex other Jewish settlements.

Such action would swallow up most of the West Bank territory sought by the Palestinians, leaving them with little more than isolated enclaves.

Netanyahu said it was important to act as President Donald Trump prepares to unveil his Mideast peace plan after the Sept. 17 election.

“This is a historic opportunity, a one-time opportunity, to extend Israeli sovereignty on our settlements in Judea and Samaria, and also on other important regions for our security, for our heritage, and for our future,” Netanyahu said, using the biblical terms for the West Bank.

The prime minister was not clear about the status of the Palestinians on the West Bank.

Over 2.5 million Palestinians live there and in east Jerusalem, in addition to nearly 700,000 Jewish settlers. Israel already has annexed east Jerusalem in a move that is not internationally recognized.

Netanyahu is locked in a tight race, and his announcement, the most detailed vision for the region that he has presented during his decade in power, was the latest in a series of frenetic moves he has made in recent days to try to rally hard-line voters.

The proposal was dismissed by opponents as election theatrics. They have accused Netanyahu of trying to divert attention from a corruption scandal and Israel’s security challenges. Later in the day, he was whisked away from a campaign event in southern Israel after Palestinian militants fired rockets toward the area.

Netanyahu’s plan would hinge on a number of factors, most critically whether Trump would back him. But Trump’s team of Mideast advisers is dominated by supporters of the settlements, and the muted reaction Tuesday from the U.S. indicated there would be little resistance.

U.S. officials said Netanyahu had told them about his proposal ahead of time and that they had not raised any objections because they do not believe it will affect prospects for an eventual peace agreement. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

The Israeli leader spoke as the White House announced the firing of national security adviser John Bolton. Bolton was a strong supporter of Netanyahu’s tough policies against Iran and had visited the Jordan Valley with the Israeli leader in June.

The Palestinians seek the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip — areas captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war — as part of a future independent state.

For Israel, the Jordan Valley is considered a security asset because it provides a buffer zone against potential attacks from the east. Many moderate Israelis believe Israel should retain some element of control in the area under a peace deal.

Palestinians, however, say there can be no independent state without the area, which comprises nearly a quarter of the West Bank. It is home to many Palestinian farms and also is one of the few remaining areas of the territory where the Palestinians have open space to develop.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said all agreements with Israel will be canceled if Netanyahu presses forward.

“We have the right to defend our rights and achieve our goals by all available means, whatever the results, as Netanyahu’s decisions contradict the resolutions of international legitimacy and international law,” he said.

The international community, along with the Palestinians, overwhelmingly considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem illegal.

Netanyahu’s plan would turn Palestinian population centers into enclaves that he said he would seek to link to neighboring Jordan. Unlike Israeli settlers, West Bank Palestinians are not Israeli citizens and do not have the right to vote.

Jordan’s foreign minister, Ayman Safadi, condemned the announcement as “a serious escalation that undermines all peace efforts.”

At the United Nations, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also rejected the proposal. “Such a prospect would be devastating to the potential of reviving negotiations, regional peace and the very essence of a two-state solution,” said U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

Netanyahu’s challengers accused him of playing politics. Yair Lapid, a leader of the Blue and White party, dismissed it as an “an election stunt.” Ehud Barak, a former prime minister who is campaigning to oust Netanyahu, said the prime minister “has no public or moral mandate to determine things so fateful to the state of Israel.”

During the hard-fought campaign, Netanyahu has alleged fraud in Arab voting areas and has been pushing to place cameras in polling stations on election day. He also claimed to have located a previously unknown Iranian nuclear weapons facility, and later this week he flies to Russia for a lightning meeting with President Vladimir Putin.

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Democrats

Eric Early condemns Schiff’s latest impeachment talk

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Eric Early condemns Schiffs latest impeachment talk

LOS ANGELES – September 22 – Eric Early, the leading Republican challenger for California’s Congressional District 28, condemned Adam Schiff’s latest impeachment comments as “baseless” and “pure partisan hackery.”

On CNN’s State of the Union Sunday morning, Schiff, who has spent the past few years unsuccessfully trying to prove collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian agents, hopped on the latest baseless allegations against President Donald Trump as grounds for impeachment.

“Once again, Adam Schiff drove past countless homeless encampments in Los Angeles on this way to the T.V. studio to promote conspiracy theories about our President,” Early said. “His comments are nothing more than an effort to attack the President and rescue Joe Biden’s failing presidential campaign.”

“Voters are getting sick of Schiff’s schtick, which is nothing more than a mix of a man clearly intoxicated by the sound of his own voice and pure partisan hackery,” Early said. “Angelenos deserve better.”

www.EarlyEarly.com

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For 25 years, Eric has fought in the courts to help people stay in their homes and help job creators, businesses and innovators succeed and stay in California while building his own successful law firm. Eric was a candidate in 2018 for California Attorney General against Xavier Becerra, receiving almost one million votes as a first-time candidate.

Eric’s parents immigrated legally to the United States in the 1930s. His father enlisted in the Marine Corps at the age of 17, and was shipped to the Korean War, fought in the First Marine Division at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, and was awarded a Purple Heart. Eric’s parents moved the family to Long Island, and lived in a middle-class neighborhood of Irish, Italian and Jewish families.

Growing up in New York, California was a symbol of the American Dream, a place where people’s imagination, drive, talents and hard work could allow them to live a good life, while enjoying California’s natural beauty and climate. California became Eric’s home in 1986, where he started his own family.

Eric’s career as an attorney did not follow the usual path. He attended New York University’s undergraduate film school, and then held various positions, including producing commercials for Hasbro Toys, directing short children’s films for The Great Space Coaster, working as post-production supervisor on hundreds of animated episodes of The Transformers, G.I. Joe, Jem and the Holograms, My Little Pony, and writing several animated episodes of G.I. Joe and Jem and the Holograms. At one point, he produced trailers for “King of the B-Movies”, Roger Corman.

While working full time to support his family, Eric attended Southwestern Law School’s evening program and after graduation worked at one of the most prominent law firms in the state, where he was a Partner for a decade. Eric was regularly involved in complex litigation matters in California and throughout the country, primarily focusing on business, entertainment, real estate, title and escrow related litigation. In 2010, Eric started his own firm along with several of his colleagues, Early Sullivan Wright Gizer & McRae LLP (“Early Sullivan”). Early Sullivan, which now has 30 attorneys, has been recognized as Boutique Firm of the Year by the California Daily Journal, and has been named as a Best Law Firm by U.S. News for several years running. Eric has been the firm’s Managing Partner since its doors opened, has successfully tried several cases to verdict – one of the results being awarded Defense Verdict of the Year by the Daily Journal, and has overseen countless complex lawsuits in which the firm’s clients have prevailed. During the normal course of his practice, Eric has also handled several cases in which he has represented homeowners whose properties have been victimized by real estate fraud, in which fraudsters try to steal their homes. He has been able to regain control of the properties for his clients.

Among various honors, Eric is the Past President of Southwestern Law School’s Entertainment and IP Alumni Association, was selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America every year since 2017; and has been named a Southern California Super Lawyer every year since 2005.

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Democrats

Sanders heading to Warren’s native state for Comanche event

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Sanders heading to Warrens native state for Comanche event

LAWTON, Okla. (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is focusing on reliably Republican Oklahoma with an appearance before the largest annual gathering of the Comanche Nation in the state where rival Elizabeth Warren was born.

Sanders’ visit may remind some of a sensitive subject for Warren, still criticized after her October release of a DNA test meant to bolster her claim to Native American heritage. That was supposed to rebut President Donald Trump’s mocking of the Massachusetts senator as “Pocahontas,” but only intensified it.

Last month, Warren offered a public apology to Native Americans, trying to show that the issue won’t be a political drag in her White House campaign.

The Comanches, who are holding their 28th annual Nation Fair Powwow, are a Plains Indian tribe of about 17,000 enrolled members, with headquarters just north of Lawton, in southwest Oklahoma. Powwows are important social events for many tribes, and typically feature traditional dance, songs, food, regalia and other customs.

Sanders, a Vermont senator, won Oklahoma’s 2016 Democratic primary over Hillary Clinton. The state votes next year as part of the earlier and expanded “Super Tuesday,” which comes on March 3 and includes neighboring Texas.

University of Oklahoma political science professor Keith Gaddie said Sanders’ powwow visit was unusual because the tribe, which well-known, is not a particularly large Native American nation.

“There’s no reason, in order to win the state, that you’d have to go down to that event,” Gaddie said.

Warren has made her family’s down-home, financial struggles after her father had a heart attack and couldn’t work — forcing her mother to get a minimum wage job — a central theme of her campaign. Sanders and Warren are friends who agree on many policy issues, including the “Medicare for All” universal health insurance plan.

Both also have refused to attack one another, ducking questions about whether they eventually will have to compete for the Democratic Party’s most liberal wing. But a Des Moines Register-CNN-Mediacom poll released Saturday showed Warren outpacing Sanders in Iowa, which launches the 2020 Democratic nominating contest on Feb. 3, and running about even with former Vice President Joe Biden, who had been the crowded field’s front runner.

Sanders planned a rally at the University of Oklahoma before speaking at the powwow.

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Weissert reported from Washington.

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Support term limits: Final push before we send the petition to DC

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Support term limits Final push before we send the petition to DC

Two months ago, we hit 150,000 signatures in our petition to demand term limits on Capitol Hill. Things seem to have slowed since then; falling off the homepage and neglect on my part have stalled signatures to the point they’re at a crawl. My hope was to get 250,000 signatures before sending. Now, it seems the time has come to send what we can get.

This is the last call. The final push. We will give this petition five more days to collect as many more signatures as possible, then we will send it to every member of Congress, Senate, and the White House itself.

Unless… If we’re able to rejuvenate the campaign and get another large burst of signatures, we will ride that wave for longer than five days. Momentum builds more momentum when it comes to signatures, which is why it’s so important that those who support this initiative share it with as many people as possible. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, email, phone, fax – it doesn’t matter how you reach people. Please get this word spread as quickly as possible. The more signatures we’re able to secure, the more likely it is that Congress will take note.

The fight doesn’t end with the petition. Once we send it off to DC, we will continue to promote the concept and push lawmakers to make the hard choice. It doesn’t behoove them to have term limits, but it definitely behooves the people they represent. They have a choice coming in 2020 – support limits to their own power or risk losing all political power at the ballot box. While not everyone is up for election in 2020, the House and a third of the Senate is up. Let’s make sure they know this is an important issue to us.

The only way to slow the rampant corruption and apathy on Capitol Hill is to limit the time in which each of them spends there. This will eliminate perpetual campaigning and compel them to act in the time they’re given. Let’s send this message loudly.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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