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Jerusalem expert slams Pence for treating his city like an ‘end-of-days Biblical theme park’

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Daniel Seidemann, an Israeli attorney who founded the Jerusalem-based NGO Terrestrial Jerusalem, is slamming Vice President Mike Pence for treating his city like an “end-of-days Biblical theme park.”

Writing on Twitter, Seidemann points out that Pence did not visit with any members of Jerusalem’s Christian community during his trip to the Middle East this week — and it’s primarily because those leaders are Palestinians. This is especially ironic, Seidemann writes, because Pence is widely known for being a devout Christian.

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“The most uber-Christian national leader the US has ever known can’t get meetings with Holy Land Christians of ANY denomination,” he says. “He did not visit…
one Christian site [or] one Muslim site. He saw nothing of Palestinian Jerusalem.”

Seidemann — whose NGO tracks property transactions and developments in Jerusalem to assess their impacts on a future peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians —
then went on to tie Pence’s avoidance of meeting Palestinian Christians with the evangelical Christian belief that it is necessary for Israelis to completely retake the city of Jerusalem before Jesus Christ returns to herald the end of the world.

“The Jerusalem that Pence visited does not exist, but rather an ‘end-of-days’ Biblical theme park version of the city,” he explains. “The pageant Jerusalem and the world witnessed during the Pence visit was a meeting between a prominent leader of the ‘end-of-days’ evangelical cult and its Israeli sister settler cult — cults that now dominate the governance of their respective countries. That’s not Jerusalem.”

Read the whole tweet storm below.

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Sondland is in ‘tremendous trouble’ no matter how he tries to change his testimony tomorrow: NYT columnist

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On Tuesday, in the wake of testimony from several witnesses in the impeachment hearing that broadly implicated EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland in improper backchannel foreign policy, New York Times columnist Wajahat Ali suggested that Sondland is in "tremendous trouble" — and that no testimony he could give tomorrow will get him out of this mess:

No. He will be trying to save himself. The perjury plus multiple stellar witnesses paint a damning portrait. He's in tremendous trouble. https://t.co/CxN5w0EErb

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Even the Republican witnesses make Donald Trump look like a depraved criminal

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The second half of Tuesday's hearing offered something new in the Donald Trump impeachment inquiry: Witnesses called by the Republican minority on the House Intelligence Committee. It's understandable why Republicans would want these two men.

One of them was Tim Morrison, a former National Security Council aide who is among the few people directly exposed to Trump's famous phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky who claims to believe there was nothing wrong with it. The other was Kurt Volker, a former special envoy to Ukraine, who appears to have been a major actor in Trump's extortion scheme in that country. Indeed, Volker was deemed one of the "three amigos" — along with Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Trump donor/EU ambassador Gordon Sondland — who Trump entrusted with Ukrainian relations as he exerted increasing pressure on the country's leaders to give into his extortion scheme.

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Impeachment: Trump’s ‘hearsay’ defense just crashed and burned

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In the panoply of contradictory and incoherent defenses of Donald Trump, a favorite of Republicans has been to harp on the claim that witnesses to Trump's extortion scheme against Ukraine were all "second-hand" or "third-hand." This has always been confounding, as the official summary readout of the famous phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shows Trump clearly conditioning military aid and U.S. support on Zelensky giving a public boost to Trump's conspiracy theories about former Vice President Joe Biden and other Democratic leaders. The witnesses so far have simply affirmed what the written record demonstrates amply.

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