The Telegraph – Brexit Bulletin

Good afternoon.

Theresa May was so confident of a deal being done yesterday on the Irish border question that she had reserved, we reported this morning, several hours of time in the Commons today to sell it to MPs. But her plans were blown off course, with the Government instead having to answer an urgent question about what has been going on. The DUP made clear they would not tolerate Northern Ireland being obliged to seek “continued alignment” with EU standards while the rest of the United Kingdom goes its own way, and the implications of the plan sparked disquiet among Unionists, like Ruth Davidson. Ministers have sought to defuse tensions by making clear any terms agreed would extend across the UK.

Northern Ireland, David Davis told the Commons today, would not be “left behind” in the EU’s single market and customs union after Brexit. This clarification shows, I suggested this morning, that the Government is starting to be more forthcoming on the detail about their Brexit plan. Mrs May said in her Florence speech that “there will be areas where we want to achieve the same goals in the same ways”. The knowledge that these areas would span across the UK has gone some way to mollifying the DUP, with its Westminster leader Nigel Dodds acknowledging the need for “regulatory alignment”. Unionists are jubilant, with Jacob Rees-Mogg inviting the Government to thank the DUP for helping it “stick to its own policy”. That said, Belfast academic Colin Harvey argues that the proposed solution was not going to put the Union under any real threat. The Brexit Secretary avoided Mr Rees-Mogg’s request to say that his “red line” was to free the UK to diverge from EU standards, insisting that “the red line for me is delivering the best Brexit for Britain”.

The DUP may sound more positive about the Government’s way of answering the Irish border question, but it doesn’t mean they are completely satisfied. Christopher Hope reports that DUP insiders feel they are “far away” from agreeing a deal, with Mr Dodds set to meet the chief whip Julian Smith to talk about potential terms. Their leader, Arlene Foster, is not flying to London today, but will do so “when they are close to agreeing something”. If Mrs May can’t agree a deal with the DUP promptly, she will find it hard to present a better offer to the EU when she flies back to Brussels (currently penciled in tomorrow). If she has enough to help her make progress, the Europeans have indicated that they would have time to prepare new guidelines that could mean talks finally progress to phase 2 – trade – later in the month. Jean-Claude Juncker has said he’ll meet Mrs May “this week”, and declared himself “very confident” that both sides will make sufficient progress. The chances of that happening may now rest with the DUP.

via The Telegraph

Palestinian Authority Faces Massive Cut in US Aid as Taylor Force Act Targeting Terror Payments Passes House Vote

The Taylor Force Act passed the US House of Representatives by unanimous consent on Tuesday, confronting the Palestinian Authority with the prospect of a massive cut in US aid for as long as it maintains its policy of paying monthly salaries and other benefits to the families of slain or convicted Palestinian terrorists.

Named in memory of Taylor Force — the former American army officer stabbed to death during a knifing spree by a Palestinian assailant in Tel Aviv in March 2016 — the legislation prevents the transfer of funds “that directly benefit the Palestinian Authority” for a six-year period beginning in 2018 unless the PA verifiably ends its so-called “martyr payments” policy. The Taylor Force Act also requires the PA to repeal any laws enabling or favoring the payments policy, as well investigate terrorist acts for the purpose of “bringing the perpetrators to justice.”

The PA spent $355 million on the payments in 2017. Meanwhile, the US is the PA’s largest international donor, having provided over $700 million in indirect aid to the PA and to the Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA in 2016.

The sponsors of the act in the House gave a fulsome welcome to its passage, one month after the legislation was approved by the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

via Palestinian Authority Faces Massive Cut in US Aid as Taylor Force Act Targeting Terror Payments Passes House Vote

Prince Charles: “Let’s remember Muhammad on Christmas”

s Prince Charles willfully blind? Or evil?

While speaking on the British radio show “Thought for the Day,” the future King of Britain, Prince Charles, said that Christians should be more mindful of Islam and Muhammad during the holidays.

Christians are quite mindful of Muhammad and Islam during the Christmas season. Tis the season of jihad, rivaled only by Ramadan in the spike in Islamic terror attacks. Yes, Prince Charles, Christians remember Muhammad while their churches are burned, their children kidnapped and forcibly converted and their villages burned — all in the cause of Allah.

We remember Muhammad at the Christmas markets that were attacked, the Christmas parties in San Bernardino, the canceled Christmas festivals, and in Berlin, who could forget? We remember Muhammad when we see the concrete barriers, the hole in the NYC skyline, the endless travel lines, the security protocols just to get into a NYC building — oh, yes, we remember Muhammad.

via Prince Charles: “Let’s remember Muhammad on Christmas”

“Don’t do this, or Muslims will kill people.”

And “Palestinian” top dog Mahmoud Abbas “warned of the dangerous consequences such a decision would have to the peace process and to the peace, security and stability of the region and of the world.”

They’re saying, “Don’t do this, or Muslims will kill people.” It’s just the kind of violent intimidation that neither Trump nor any free person should give in to, for doing so will only encourage more of it.

via Saudi King: Moving embassy to Jerusalem “a flagrant provocation of Muslims, all over the world”

It’s official: Trump to recognize Jerusalem, order embassy move

Senior U.S. administration officials said in a briefing with reporters on Tuesday night that President Donald Trump will announced in a speech on Wednesday that he has decided not only to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in honor of Israel’s 70th Independence Day, but has also ordered to start the process of moving the American embassy to Jerusalem.

“The president will say that the United States recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel – it is recognition of the historical reality that Jerusalem has been the center of Jewish faith for thousands of years, and the reality today in which the government ministries, the Supreme Court and the central authorities are all located in the capital of Israel – Jerusalem,” the officials said.

“The second statement [in the speech] will be that the president ordered the State Department to begin the process of moving the embassy from its present location in Tel Aviv to a new location in Jerusalem,” they continued.

It is important to stress, however, that Trump intends to sign the waiver that postpones the embassy move for another six months. “The president will continue to sign the waiver every six months, until the final stages of the moving process,” noted the senior administration officials.

via It’s official: Trump to recognize Jerusalem, order embassy move

France: Muslims In, Jews Out

Suburbs (“banlieues”) — distant from the affluent boulevards and bistros of Paris — form the “other France”. They are the “peripheral France”, (“La France Périphérique”) as the geographer Christophe Guilluy calls them in an important book. They are where “living together” between communities has really been tested.

In the last 20 years, these French suburbs have not only become “concentrations of poverty and social isolation”, but have gone from being some of France’s most densely-populated Jewish areas to “lost territories of the Republic”, according to the great historian Georges Bensoussan, in his book, Les territoires perdus de la République.

These suburbs have become transformed into one of the most visible signs of the Islamization of France.

Anti-Semitism has returned as one of Europe’s worst diseases. France hosts Europe’s largest Jewish community, and Jews have been fleeing the suburbs to either emigrate or move to gentrified districts of the cities, where they feel more protected. What happens to the Jews will have a seismic impact on the entire continent.

via France: Muslims In, Jews Out