Beltway Insider: Obama/Israel Clash; Berlin Suspect Killed; Russian Plane Crash; Inauguration; George Michael

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President Obama, in possibly the last interaction with longtime ally Israel, abstained from casting the United Nations veto vote and allowed the passage of the resolution that calls for Israel and Palestine to preserve the two-state solution.

Per Gallup, President Obama's job approval, over the past week, remained consistent at 56% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President increased by one percentage point to 41%.

Obama, Israel Clash Over United Nations Vote

President Obama, in an effort to force Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Palestinian government to work together and effectively enact the two-state solution proposed and accepted by the United Nations, instructed the United State Ambassador to abstain from a vote proposed by four member nations.

"First of all, this is consistent with longstanding bipartisan U.S. policy as it relates to settlements, as it relates to our opposition to Israeli settlements, as it relates to our opposition to, and condemnation of, incitement and violence and terrorism, and, above all, about our affirmative support for a two-state solution," said Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor For Strategic Communications. 

The U.N. resolution called for Israel to cease building settlements along the territorial boundaries of what will eventually be recognized as a legitimate sovereign nation state boundary. The motivation behind the United States has everything to do with the belief that forcing the two-state solution to become more than words is the only way to strengthen Israel security.

Israel is, and remains, the strategic and long-time ally of the United State in the region. The recent military assistance package, $38 Billion over the next decade, is the largest financial commitment the United States has ever made with the Israeli government.

"Despite what has at times been very strident Israeli government criticism of U.S. policies that President Obama has always made Israel and its security sacrosanct in his approach to these issues.  In fact, we've always said that our pursuit of a two-state solution is guided in part by our belief that that is the only way to preserve and strengthen Israel's security in the long run, and to achieve the goal that we share with the Israeli people of having a state of Israel that is both Jewish and democratic in nature," Rhodes said.

The State of Palestine, which since 2012 has been officially recognized by the United nation as a non-member observer state, and whose nation-state boundaries are drawn from lands and territories within and around what is known as Israel.

The United Nations, the recognized governing body for assisting in intergovernmental challenges and resolutions, effectively the highest governing body of which every member nation submits and recognizes as the authority and agrees to adhere to procedure, precedents, and resolutions.  

The United Nations 15-member Security Council voted 14, with one vote abstaining, to adopted the resolution in which Israeli must cease building Israeli settlements on Palestinian territory.

The two-state solution can no longer be in word only.

ISIS Strikes Germany; Terror Suspect Killed in Italy

The manhunt for Berlin Christmas Market terror attack ended in Italy when a routine traffic stop ended with a confirmed Islamic State solider shooting one police officer before he was shot and killed.

Anis Amri, born in Tunsia migrated to Europe in 2011 and landed in Italy escaping on a raft. His freedom was short lived, as life for the immigrants is increasingly difficult facing everything from language barriers to discrimination. Petty crimes landed him in jail where he participated in other crimes. Soon he was radicalized as an Islamic Fighter. He remained devoted to the discipleship of the terrorist manifesto.

As a lone wolf, the Berlin Market was his choice of target. Investigators believe Amir hijacked the truck from Lukasz Robert Urban, a Polish long haul, lorry, truck driver who picked up the load in Poland and driven the cargo to Berlin.

In a window of two hours, it is suspected Amri hijacked the vehicle, not by plan but by chance, and according from CCTV footage in the week since the attack circled the Christmas Market at least once before making the turn.

Urban, the original driver is noted for saving many lives as German officials believe he grabbed the steering wheel, changing the charging direction, to prevent the attack. He was shot point-blank in the cab of the truck.

German official moved quickly to arrest a profiled suspect who had been acting erratically. After the first 24 hours, it was believed they had the wrong man. It was then a Euro-Wide manhunt was issued.

Positive identification of the second person in the cab of the truck identified Anis Amri, a Tunisian born immigrant. With a government document in hand officials concentrated on check points.

The German officials move to interrogate a possible suspect had cost them precious time. In the world of ISIS, the possibility of potential hand-offs or succession attacks is very real, and as the need to uncover the possibility of additional targets, plans or intended targets is critical and of vital importance.

On December 23 four days after the Berlin attack, police in Milan are on routine patrol. A suspicious man, possibly because of the time, at 3:00am, under the cover of darkness, the potential of moving organized groups or individuals into safe houses is very real.

On this night in Milan, two police officers stopped a man and asked him for identification. He calmly answered and began rummaging through his backpack and pulled a weapon. He shot the first officer and from all accounts attempts to run. The second officer and Amir engage in an exchange of gunfire. The suspect, still unknown, is killed.

At 10:00am, the following day Christmas Eve, the Italian Minister Marco Minniti holds a press conference announcing Italian police have shot and killed the Berlin Market Terrorist.

Germans are so convinced of the bravery and courage of the original driver, Lukasz Robert Urban, they have initiated a petition to award him the Bundesverdienstkreuz, a medal of bravery in the highest order.

Twelve died in the attack and 56 were injured.

Also     Beltway Insider: Obama Evaluates His Admin; Aleppo; EgyptAir Terror; Jordan; Holiday High Alerts; Road Rage

Russian Tu-154 Crashes; No Survivors

No survivors have been found from Flight number RA85572, the Russian Tu-154, that crashed four miles off the coast of the black sea after a refueling stop in Sochi en route to the Khmeimim Air Base in Syria.

All 92 passengers on board the military plane are confirmed dead. As it is Monday, in Russia, the search has been active for more than one day.

Personal effects of the passengers have washed up on the shore according to media reports. Sections of the plane and some bodies have also been recovered. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

Russian officials have stepped back from an earlier assessment of the cause of the crash of flight RA - #85572 that "collapsed and fell out of the sky" early Sunday morning in the Black Sea, near the resort city of Sochi.

After an initial statement indicating terrorism had been ruled out as a possibility for the crash that killed all 92, the Russian news agency TASS, has re-issued a statement indicating it had not ruled out terrorism as a cause for the crash.

A catastrophic mid-air breakup would result in the widespread debris field that has been reported. Terrorism and technical failure only essentially the scenarios that result in a mid-air breakup and debris field.

The plane main fuselage has been found submerged about 50meters deep in the Black Sea. Report are calling the crash an "air accident" in which the Tu-154 "collapsed" and "fell from the sky."

The plane originated in Moscow and stopped to refuel in Sochi, the home of the 2012 Olympic Winter games, and the location where Putin amassed a large contingent of military tanks and personal to invade the Ukraine's Crimean peninsula.

The TU-154 carried soliders, musicians from the Alexandrov Red Army Chorus Ensemble who along with nine media representatives, six additional passengers including Russian philanthropist Yelizaveta P. Glinka, also a member of the Russian Presidential Council on Human Rights and Civil Society, and eight crew members and were flying into the Khmeimim air base in Syria' Latakia province to entertain the troops in a program similar to the U.S.O.

Admitting terrorism may be a cause, so soon after the murder of Turkey's Russia Ambassador, Andrei Karlov, 62, at the opening of photography exhibition in the capital city of Ankara, Turkey by a Syrian rebel supporter who shouted "Remember Aleppo" and other phrases bringing attention to the support Russian has provided to Bashar al Assad as he strong armed the citizens of Aleppo  would cause Russian President Vladimir Putin to admit that his nation is as vulnerable to terrorism as others who readily admit terrorism is the world's number one security problem.

More so it would also prove to Putin his attempts at olive branch loyalty to the Islamic State is mute. The Islamic State is loyal only to themselves. They'll use you and kill you when they are done. Russia and nothing Putin can offer ISIS nothing of any importance, even Donald Trump.

The Islamic State has not claimed responsibility for the crash.

Trump Inauguration Thin on Participation

The historic and deeply contested inauguration of Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States is struggling for support among high ranking party leaders with only one former President, Jimmy Carter, accepting the invitation to attend.

President elect Trump, whose win is highly contested and attributed to Russian President Vladimir Putin's interference in the electoral process, has maintained his Twitter rant while he assembles a transition team.

All five past presidents from Jimmy Carter, 92, (D-GA) who served one term from 1976 – 1980, were invited with only Carter, whom everyone recognizes as the kindest of the elite club. George H.W, Bush, the 41st President also 92, is experiencing health problems and has sent his regrets.

President George Walker Bush, the 43rd President, has not announced his decision. Former President Bill Clinton, the 42nd President has also not announced his decision. With the deep animosity between the elected president and his wife, former Secretary of State, and Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary R. Clinton, who Trump allegedly stole the election win from, the attendance is unlikely.

Sitting President Barack Obama, the 44th President, has also not responded publicly as to whether he will attend the January 21st inauguration.

President elect trump has been muscling talent from his republican constituency. After contacting the owner of the famed Rockettes the Radio City Dance troupe were expected to attend until the Union Rep made it clear it is a personal choice and not a professional engagement.

Released talent for the President elect big day are the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and 16 year-old America's Got Talent contestant Jackie Evancho who will sing the "Star Spangled Banner."

Trump is planning to attend three Inaugural Balls.

George Michael Dead at 53

George Michael, the English born pop star, died on Christmas Day at his home in Goring England. No cause of death has been disclosed.

George Michael, rose to stardom in the 1980's as one half of the boy band, WHAM!, with a former friends Andrew Ridgely. After a string of 80's bubblegum pop, which won them legions of fans around the world, the two broke up.

Michael was often discontented with the falseness and superficial of the entertainment industry and after a long battle with his label SONY in which he was been sidelined from releasing any new music for nearly six years.

The now solo artist released Listen Without prejudice Vol 1, his second sojourn as a solo artist, and the album skyrocketed to stratospheric status and certified Platinum in thirteen nations including the United States and the U.K.

His personal life again began to plague him as he tried to live according to the life the star maker machine would sustain and his homosexuality would cause what he felt was an implosion. The lie drove him to poor choices and bad decisions. He was arrested for lewd behavior allegedly exposing himself in a Beverly hills bathroom.

After George Michael admitted his sexual orientation there was no falling out or other imagined catastrophic failure within his legion of fans and his music remained solid.

He had a dependency on cannabis and prescription drugs and in the last years of his life was often believed to be under the influence. He remained a strong supporter of charities and benefits often releasing new music without costs and asking fans to donate to charities in lieu of payment.

Police were called to his home, on Christmas Day, where he was found unresponsive.

For more information on President Barack Obama: www.whitehouse.gov

Sources: Whitehouse.gov, Wikipedia.com,

 

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