Biden-Bennett-Ida: 72 hours like no other – William Koenig
The following is a summary and an update of the events that happened after our Friday, August 27 weekly news report was delivered pertaining to the Biden-Bennett meeting at the White House before the meeting, Friday and then after.
Hurricane Ida tied for the fifth strongest hurricane ever to hit the mainland U.S. And that all happened within slightly more than 72 hours from its beginning Thursday at 11 a.m. EDT.
In about 24 hours, Ida jumped from a Category 1 to a Category 4 storm and came ashore with winds at 150 mph and with gusts up to 172 mph (Category 5 begins at 157 mph).
Moreover, August 29 was the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, a storm which developed within hours of the completion of the eviction of 9500 Jews from their homes in Israel on August 23, 2005.
Not only Louisiana was hit very hard by Hurricane Ida but also New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York, which experienced record rains and flooding from the remnants of Ida on Wednesday afternoon and evening.
Link to articles and photographs on the first 72 hours: https://www.watch.org/eye-to-eye/biden-bennett-and-ida-william-koenig
Chronology – 72 hours
· Biden-Bennett’s meeting scheduled for Thursday, August 26 at 11:30 a.m. EDT. Rescheduled to next day
· Advisory #1 on Tropical Depression 9, Thursday, August 26 at 11:00 a.m. EDT
· Tropical Storm Ida formed Thursday, August 26 at 5:00 p.m. EDT
· Biden and Bennett met Friday, August 27 at 11:30 a.m. EDT
· Ida strengthened into a hurricane Friday, August 27 at 1:15 p.m. EDT
· Ida came ashore as a category 4 hurricane at 150 mph at Port Fourchon oil hub, Sunday, August 29 at 11:55 a.m. CDT
· Ida came ashore on August 29, the 16th anniversary of Katrina in the same general area.
· Ida tied for the fifth strongest hurricane to ever hit the mainland U.S.
· Ida is among one of fastest intensifying storms in more than 150 years of hurricane records.
· AccuWeather: “The winds were extremely strong and sustained at 150 miles per hour for a long period of time. Gusts that entered the 170s, maybe low 180s in different places. This wreaked havoc on infrastructure, and that includes the electrical grid.”
· Houma Today: Extensive damage to Port Fourchon, the major oil hub that is a docking site for multi-million-dollar ships that supply and support about 90% of the Gulf's platforms and rigs, which produce about 15% of the nation’s crude oil and 5% of its natural gas.
· AccuWeather expert: Total damage and economic loss from Hurricane Ida will fall between $70 billion and $80 billion.
· Power outages could last for a week or longer and will result in a near complete shutdown of New Orleans and surrounding cities and towns.
More Records – September 1
· ABC-NY: Between Philadelphia and the Tri-State area, the remnants of Hurricane Ida have unleashed flash flooding, tornado watches and warnings and historic amounts of rain in an unprecedented evening of severe weather.
· ABC-NY: Central Park observed 3.15 inches of rain in one hour from 8:51 pm to 9:51 p.m. That would make it the wettest hour in New York City record keeping, dating back to 1870.
· NEW YORK (WABC): It's a night unlike any other in the history of New York area weather. The National Weather Service Office serving New York City said Wednesday evening this was the first time that office had ever had to issue a flash flood emergency, on a night in which Manhattan's Central Park saw the most amount of rain ever to fall in a single hour.
· “The torrential rain from Tropical Rainstorm Ida on Wednesday night resulted in the most significant flash-flooding disaster in New York City history,” AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Jonathan Porter said.
· AccuWeather Founder and CEO, Dr. Joel N. Myers, said he increased his preliminary estimate of total damage and economic loss from Ida due the extreme impacts across the Northeast. He raised the estimate to $95 billion from a previous estimate of $70 billion to $80 billion.
Biden’s Israel Land Pressure and Bennett Actions
Israel’s Bennett Presses Biden Over Iran Nuclear Deal – August 27, 2021
New prime minister wants President Biden to back off effort to revive 2015 pact that was scuttled by Trump administration
WASHINGTON—Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met President Biden at the White House for the first time since taking office and pressed the U.S. to back off reviving the Iranian nuclear accord while invoking the long ties between the nations and the persistent threat of terrorism.
“These very days illustrate what the world would look like if a radical Islamic regime acquired a nuclear weapon—that marriage would be a nuclear nightmare for the entire world,” Mr. Bennett said, sitting next to Mr. Biden a day after the attack in Kabul that took the lives of 13 U.S. service members and dozens of Afghans.
While Mr. Biden made clear Friday he intends to continue to pursue a deal with Iran, he said there are other options if diplomacy fails, without elaborating. Mr. Bennett said he presented an alternative plan to contain Israel’s adversary.
Bennett’s government won’t approve massive home construction in the West Bank per agreement with Biden – August 29, 2021
Army Radio also reported that Bennett and Biden had agreed during their meeting not to emphasize their disagreements regarding construction in West Bank settlements. The Biden administration will reportedly not pressure Israel on the matter, while Bennett’s government won’t approve massive construction.
“Both sides are determined not to define the relationship on this issue,” the outlet quoted an unnamed diplomatic source as saying.
We must not let Biden divide Jerusalem - Opinion - August 29, 2021
Amid the coronavirus resurgence and mounting tensions with Hamas in Gaza, an important and highly resonant issue has been largely overlooked of late: the future of Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital.
Demonstrating remarkable diplomatic naivete, the Biden administration has been pushing both publicly and privately to open a US consulate in Jerusalem aimed at serving the Palestinians.
Such a move, if allowed to take place, would not only be a slap in the face to Israel, but it would serve to encourage greater extremism by stoking misguided Palestinian hopes of obtaining a foothold in the city.
On May 25, when US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Ramallah, he informed Palestinian Chairman Mahmoud Abbas of the decision to reopen an American consulate in Jerusalem that would handle Palestinian matters.
As Nir Barkat, the former mayor of Jerusalem, said recently, “The act of establishing a Palestinian consulate in Jerusalem means recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine. The administration’s consent on this matter is disastrous. I intend to aggressively fight this dangerous decision.”
US State Department reiterates commitment to two-state solution – August. 31, 2021
Asked for comment on Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s recent remarks against the establishment of a Palestinian state, a US State Department official tells The Times of Israel, “We believe that a negotiated two-state solution is the only viable path to achieving a lasting resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
The official adds: “We have a frank and ongoing discussion with the Israeli government on the importance of a pragmatic approach on Palestinian issues in working toward that goal in tangible ways.”
Former US ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro rejoins State Department to assist with Iran – August 31, 2021
Obama’s former U.S. ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro has joined the State Department's Iran team as a senior adviser, a senior State Department official tells Axios.
Shapiro went through a security clearance process and started working last week as a “part-time senior adviser” to U.S. envoy for Iran Rob Malley, a senior State Department official told Axios.
State Department officials say Shapiro will spend half of his time in Washington and half in Israel, where he'll work out of the U.S. embassy.
One of his main missions will be to engage in discussions with the Israeli prime minister’s office, foreign ministry and ministry of defense to enhance coordination and allow a more intimate dialogue about Iran.
Israel opposes U.S. plan to reopen Jerusalem consulate as 'destabilizing' - Sept 1, 2021 Ynet News
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said on Wednesday that a U.S. plan to reopen its consulate in Jerusalem that has traditionally been a base for diplomatic outreach to Palestinians is a "bad idea" and could destabilize Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's new government.
"We think this is a bad idea and told the U.S. as much," he said. "The consulate has been there for 130 years and reopening it after it was closed sends the wrong message."
State Dept Expands Iran Team Days After Israel Asked Biden to Abandon Nuke Talks - September 2, 2021
The Biden administration is expanding the team dedicated to renegotiating the Iran deal, just days after Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett urged the United States to back out of negotiations, the Washington Free Beacon has learned.
Dan Shapiro, the Obama administration's ambassador to Israel, is now working as an adviser on the Iran portfolio, the State Department confirmed to the Free Beacon. Shapiro is "the first of what we plan to be a small group of part-time advisers" who will work to solidify a new nuclear deal, the official said. The move demonstrates the administration's commitment to push forward with talks as Iran demands full-scale sanctions relief.
Shapiro's hiring signals the administration has no intention of heeding Israel's warnings. Senior Biden administration officials told Bennett during his first U.S. visit that they will not back down from efforts to negotiate a return to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, according to a U.S. official familiar with the meetings.
"Certain requests were made regarding a return to the Iran deal during the recent visit by the Israeli prime minister, but the current administration has tunnel vision on this," the official told the Free Beacon.
Chinese-run port opens in Haifa, new port also in works in Ashdod - September 2, 2021
Israel opened a Chinese-operated shipping port in Haifa geared to increase competition and the country’s status as a trading nexus.
The 5.5 billion shekel ($1.7 billion) Bay Port at Haifa is being operated by Shanghai International Port Group and has the ability to accept larger cargo ships, reported Reuters.
A whopping 99 percent of goods enter and leave Israel by sea, it wrote, adding that expanded relations with Gulf states are opening new trade opportunities.
“We can leverage this opportunity not just for local prosperity, but for realizing opportunities and making a real contribution to our neighbors in the Middle East,” said Israeli Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli, according to the report.
Bennett's voters face Bennett's diplomacy – September 3
Demolition orders like the one for Arugot Farm's vineyard are just one way the Bennett-Lapid government is engaging in a diplomatic process towards establishing a hostile Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.
The four farmers of Arugot Farm, located on the eastern side of the Gush Etzion settlement bloc, were tense on Monday morning. They had just gotten word that the next day, 100 soldiers were set to storm their farm and uproot their vineyard. They planted their vineyard six years ago in memory of Ezra Schwartz, a Jewish American youth who was murdered in a terror attack in 2015.
For the full commentary Caroline Glick