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Monday, February 29, 2016

Emergency Committee for Israel: 'Why is Donald Trump always kissing up to dictators?'

The Emergency Committee for Israel has released its first online advertisement in a while. It's directed at Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Here's the press release:
Today the Emergency Committee for Israel released "Trump Loves Dictators," a 30-second ad highlighting Donald Trump's disturbing affection for anti-American dictators. The ad will appear online and on television in primary states this week.

In recent months, Trump has praised or apologized for Saddam Hussein, Bashar Assad, Vladimir Putin, and Benito Mussolini, and previously he praised the Chinese government for carrying out the Tiananmen Square massacre.

William Kristol, Chairman of the Emergency Committee for Israel, said: "If you're pro-Israel, you shouldn't be pro-Trump. Apologists for dictators aren't reliable friends of the Jewish state."

Let's go to the videotape.


If you follow me on Twitter, you know already that I'm not very keen on Donald Trump....

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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Trump still hasn't 'refudiated' this endorsement

Shavua Tov, a good week to everyone.

It's been two days since Linda Sarsour endorsed Donald Trump, and he still hasn't 'refudiated' the endorsement as Sarah Palin might put it.

Who is Linda Sarsour? Here's Robert Spencer.
Linda Sarsour is an energetic purveyor of the “Islamophobia” myth, and has hysterically claimed that “Muslim kids” are being “executed” in the United States. She was instrumental in prevailing upon de Blasio to end legal and necessary surveillance in Muslim communities in New York. She is also a frequent visitor to the Obama White House, and has claimed that the jihad underwear bomber was a CIA agent — part of what she claims is a U.S. war against Islam. She is a practiced exploiter of the “hate” smear against foes of jihad terror and Islamic supremacism, and has never apologized for using the Islamic honor murder of Shaima Alawadi to spread lies about the prevalence of hate crimes against Muslims in America. She is also an enthusiastic supporter of the “Palestinian” jihad against Israel. Given the general support for that jihad among Leftists, and the hard-Left tilt of the de Blasio regime in New York, it is not surprising that her hate-filled endeavors are taxpayer funded. But it is scandalous nonetheless: a grim sign of the times.
That would explain her disdain for Rubio and Cruz, wouldn't it?

And Trump's failure to repudiate her endorsement has to make you wonder whether he's really as pro-Israel as he says he is.

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Friday, February 26, 2016

Kerry won't commit to US veto of Iran-Russia arms deal

Under the terms of the Iranian nuclear sellout, the United Nations Security Council must approve the sale of certain conventional weapons to Iran. Since the United States has a veto in the Security Council, this means that the United States can veto such sales.

It was recently announced that Iran intends to purchase the latest Sukhoi-30 warplanes from Russia. Those warplanes would need to be approved by the Security Council under the terms of the nuclear sellout. But under questioning before the House Foreign Affairs Committee by Representative Brad Sherman (D-Ca) on Thursday, Secretary of State Kerry refused to commit to the United States vetoing the sale.

This is from an email I received from Omri Ceren of The Israel Project.
The context is the recent Iranian announcement that they intend to purchase Sukhoi-30 warplanes from Russia. According to UNSCR 2231 that sale has to go through the Security Council, which means the U.S. can veto it. The relevant language says weapons sales to Iran need to be approved by the UNSC "in advance on a case-by-case basis" if the weapons fall under the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms. The section even explicitly specifies "combat aircraft" [a].
At today's HFAC briefing Rep. Sherman asked Sec. Kerry whether the U.S. intends to veto the sale. Kerry refused to commit to a veto:
SHERMAN: ... under the UN Security Council Resolution 2231, Russia can't sell fighter planes to Iran unless the Security Council specifically approves that. I'll ask you, will we use our veto to prevent fighter planes from being sold to Iran from Russia?
KERRY: Well, I don't think you have to use a veto. I think it's a matter of a committee. There's a committee and it's in approval in the committee, but we would not approve it.
SHERMAN: And would we use our veto if necessary to prevent the sale?
KERRY: To the best of my knowledge, Congressman, I don't, I haven't looked at the specifics of the transaction, etc. In principle, we are very concerned about the transfer of weapons and so, you know, we would approach it with great skepticism. But I haven't seen the specific transfer or what the request is. We have a committee that will analyze this thoroughly before anything happens and the committee signs off on it, I assure you. We'll stay in touch with you.
It's not obvious why the Secretary hadn't been briefed about "the specifics of the transaction." The Sukhois took up a week of press inquiries about Iran. Nonetheless his answer is part of a pattern - now several weeks old - of administration officials refusing to commit to vetoing the warplane sale.
The sale first broke across U.S. wires on Feb 10. Reuters quoted Iranian DM Hossein Dehghan revealing "we have even decided on the number of Sukhoi-30 fighter jets" to buy and the AP had him elaborating "we told them that we need to be involved in the production" of the warplanes [b][c]. Michael Singh - Washington Institute Managing Director - quickly tweeted "For the next five years, US or other P5 member could block this per UNSC Res 2231" [d].
Over the next week the administration went from: denying it could veto to not knowing if it could veto to refusing to answer if it would veto. For the first few days the administration flat out denied that it had the ability to block weapons sales. All of that was off the record. Then reporters started asking questions publicly at briefings, and State's position shifted: for two consecutive days - Feb 16 and 17 - State Department spokesman Toner told journalists the administration wasn't sure if the U.S. could veto [e][f]. Then on Feb 18, more than a week after the news first broke, the State Department acknowledged the sale is illegal and falls under UNSCR 2231 [g]. Subsequent coverage that day indicated the Obama administration did indeed have the authority to block the sale [h].
But it was still not clear if the White House would actually use its veto authority, and it's still not clear after today's hearing, with Kerry expressing ignorance of the details of the sale.
Some skeptics are now suggesting that the administration is trying to sandbag Congress on the Sukhoi sale. The move would be repeat of what happened throughout the two years of nuclear negotiations: administration officials would routinely brush off questions about specific concessions by declaring that the entire package was made up of moving parts that all had to fit together, so nothing was final until everything was final.
Then when all the details were finalized, the entire package was presented to Congress as a fait accompli: lawmakers were told that the deal couldn't be reopened and that rejecting it would lead to war.
If that modus operandi sounds familiar, it should - it's the foreign policy equivalent of how Obamacare was railroaded through Congress. And somehow there are people out there who still think that this administration is pro-Israel.... 

[a] http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/RES/2231(2015)
[b] http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4764457,00.html
[c] http://mobile.nytimes.com/aponline/2016/02/10/world/middleeast/ap-ml-iran-russia.html
[d] https://twitter.com/MichaelSinghDC/status/697469439814602752
[e] http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2016/02/252539.htm#IRAN
[f] http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2016/02/252582.htm#IRAN
[g] http://bigstory.ap.org/article/9f8c84e9e573471481e7d737f8b15d73/us-russian-fighter-jet-sale-iran-would-violate-arms-ban
[h] http://freebeacon.com/national-security/obama-admin-could-halt-new-iran-russia-weapons-deals/

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Leader of self-proclaimed 'most pro-Israel administration evah' backs BDS (in Judea and Samaria)

President Hussein Obama signed into law today a bill that includes extensive provisions targeting the boycott, divest, sanction (BDS) movement that seeks to destroy trade with Israel. However, in a signing statement (of the type to which he objected during the Bush administration and vowed that his administration would never issue), Obama objected to language that referred to 'Israeli controlled territory' and announced that his administration would not enforce the law against companies and countries that boycott the 'settlements.'
“I have directed my administration to strongly oppose boycotts, divestment campaigns, and sanctions targeting the State of Israel,” Obama said in a signing statement. “As long as I am president, we will continue to do so. Certain provisions of this act, by conflating Israel and ‘Israeli-controlled territories,’ are contrary to longstanding bipartisan United States policy, including with regard to the treatment of settlements.”
Obama further said in the statement that “consistent with longstanding constitutional practice” the administration would negotiate with other countries under the law “in a manner that does not interfere with my constitutional authority to conduct diplomacy,” language used in signing statements to signal that a president will not apply a part of a law that does not comport with US foreign policy.
The BDS portion of the law, backed by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, was authored by Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill. and Rep. Juan Vargas, D-Calif.
There are multiple bills under consideration in Congress and in over 20 state legislatures targeting BDS. Many of the state bills mandate the divestment of state funds, including pensions, from entities that boycott Israel and a number of those bills extend protection to the settlements. Illinois and South Carolina have passed into law in recent months anti-BDS bills that include protection for settlements.
The Florida legislature this week passed a law that includes settlement protections, and it awaits signing by Governor Rick Scott. A similar bill was introduced this week in the Ohio legislature.
'Most pro-Israel administration evah'? Hardly. 

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Anyone else remember this place?

There were periods in the mid and late 80's that I ordered in from there four nights a week (to the office - Mrs. Carl never liked the stuff).

More here.

(Came up because of a discussion of the Chinese New Year on my firm's Yammer board).

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

It came to this: Netanyahu had to ask Berlusconi for help with Obama

In case you missed it, Haaretz reported on Tuesday that the US National Security Administration intercepted a 2010 phone call between Prime Minister Netanyahu and then-Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in which Netanyahu asked Berlusconi for help in repairing his relations with the self-declared 'most pro-Israel administration evah.'
During their conversation, Netanyahu claimed he needed Berlusconi's help due to an "absence of direct contact" between himself and President Barack Obama.

The document leaked to the WikiLeaks website is a brief summary of Netanyahu and Berlusconi's communications that was published by the NSA for internal usage by the American intelligence community and the White House. According to the document, the call was intercepted as part of U.S. monitoring of Berlusconi's office, and not through a wiretap on Israeli lines.

The conversation between Netanyahu and Berlusconi took place four days after a crisis erupted during Vice President Joe Biden's visit to Israel on March 9 due to Israel's decision to green light 1,600 new housing units in East Jerusalem's Ramat Shlomo neighborhood, which is beyond the 1967 Green Line.

The NSA report said "Israel has reached out to Europe, including Italy, for help in smoothing out the current rift in its relations with the United States."

The call took place on an open international line, so it is likely Netanyahu knew the conversation would be intercepted by U.S. intelligence services. It is even possible Netanyahu used the conversation with Berlusconi to try to reach out to America.
I don't know which is more troubling here - the fact that Netanyahu even had to reach out to Berlusconi in the first place or the fact that the United States, which continues to hold Jonathan Pollard after he spent 30 years in jail for 'spying' on Israel's behalf, was spying on Israel in the first place.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Old friend introduces bill to bar State of California from doing business with companies that boycott Israel

How many of you remember Travis Allen? Travis won that election in District 72 in California, and has now used his position to strike a blow at the boycott, divest, sanction (BDS) movement, which is strong on many California college campuses.
Travis Allen, of Huntington Beach in southern California’s Orange County, introduced the bill – called the California- Israel Protection Act – to “require the State of California to divest from companies that boycott Israel.”

Allen said in a statement that the US and Israel “have historically stood together as allies due to our unique bond founded on shared values, a bilateral trade relationship, and our unwavering commitment to freedom and democracy.

Any company that is intentionally inflicting economic harm upon California’s trading partners weaken our ability to conduct business and harm the vital economic interests of our state. Further, boycotts of countries often derive from ethnic, religious, racial, or nationality discrimination, which directly contradicts the values of California citizens.”

The bill would also penalize companies boycotting products made in the settlements, east Jerusalem or the Golan Heights, since it would prohibit California from investing in any company that is “engaging in actions that are politically motivated and are intended to penalize, inflict economic harm on, or otherwise limit commercial relations with the State of Israel or companies based in the State of Israel or in territories controlled by the State of Israel.”

Allen said it is “unconscionable for our state to do business with companies that play politics and boycott our critical allies. California has developed long-standing social, political, and economic partnerships with the State of Israel that should not be cast aside by politicians.”

According to Allen, in 2014 California exported over $2.3 billion in goods to Israel, making Israel the state’s 18th largest export destination and its largest market in the Middle East.

South Carolina became the first US state to pass a similar bill in June, and this was followed by a bill approved by the Illinois legislature in July.
Here's hoping Travis comes back to visit us again soon. 

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Monday, February 22, 2016

Exposed: Terror cell planned to assassinate Netanyahu

Last night, Israelis found out that the Prime Minister who is an expert on terrorism was the target of a terror plot himself.
According to the report, the plot was made public with the Attorney General’s indictment last month of two of the terrorists, including the head of the cell, a 25-year-old from Kfar Yassuf in the West Bank who had rented an apartment in the Abu Dis neighborhood of east Jerusalem.
Ahmed Azzam was in the advanced stages of establishing Hamas infrastructure in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, with funding and direction from Hamas in Gaza, the indictment said. To this end, he had purchased chemical materials and rented the apartment in east Jerusalem, where he set up an explosives lab. Also, according to the indictment, Azzam recruited the terrorist who was tasked with transporting the bombs beyond the Green Line.
It was this terrorist, Hazam Sanduka — nicknamed “the mechanic” for his intimate knowledge of cars — who had determined that Netanyahu would be the main target.
The 22-year-old resident of east Jerusalem and a student of Arabic at Abu Dis University was recruited in November by Azzam, who was looking for a Jerusalem resident to aid in the preparation of terrorist attacks.
To me, the following is the most incredible part of the story. Sanduka is interviewed. Look where Sanduka was employed:
Interrogator: Did you plan where to carry out terror attacks?
Sanduka: After discussing with Azzam the possibility of kidnappings, suicide attacks or bombings, I began to think about the most suitable place to carry them out. Since I worked for a security company in Jerusalem, I thought the most appropriate places were the Malha shopping mall, the Jerusalem [sports] Arena and the Great Synagogue, because many people frequent those places, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Interrogator: What was your job at the security company?
Sanduka: My job was to conduct security checks at the Arena and the Great Synagogue… After purchasing the (chemicals) in Abu Gosh, I drove to Jaffa to check out whether I was being followed and if there was a good place there for a terror attack… I saw that there was, at the Jaffa Port and on the beach, where many restaurants are located, so it is filled with people.
Can someone please tell me what a 22-year old terrorist - or anyone who is studying Arabic at Abu Dis (an Arab neighborhood near Mount Scopus) - is going working in 'security' in the Jewish populated parts of Jerusalem? Huh?

By the way, the cell was sponsored by Hamas, and not by ISIS as previously thought. 

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IDF releases new app to warn of 'security incidents'

The IDF's Home Front command has released a new app to warn of 'security incidents.' The app is available for Android and iPhones, is free, but is only visible in Israel.
The application, detailed in a call with reporters Monday, was developed by a staff of some 15 people in the Home Front Command, which oversees civilian preparedness. It was launched this month on Android and Apple devices.
Called “Home Front Command,” the application aims to improve on several civilian-developed counterparts that alert Israelis to the warning sirens that blare ahead of incoming missiles. Those applications gained popularity during the 2014 war in Gaza, but alert users to every siren across the country.
The IDF’s alternative will track users based on their GPS location, and alert them only to threats in their immediate area. It will cover a range of emergencies — from earthquakes to terror attacks to incoming rockets. In addition to warning users of the threat, the application will provide instructions on how to respond. It will be available in four languages — Hebrew, English, Arabic and Russian — though it will not be available for download outside Israel.
In addition to the sirens spread throughout the country, the Home Front Command sends text message warnings to Israelis’ phones and broadcasts them on the TV and radio. Lt. Col. Shlomi Maman, the Home Front Command’s alert branch commander, said the army wants to localize warnings as much as possible — even by neighborhood — so as to avoid needlessly worrying civilians.
“We view a warning that reaches a citizen who didn’t need to receive it just like someone who needed to receive [a warning] and did not,” Maman said in the briefing. “This project is to make it more selective.”
I wonder how Israelis will feel about the IDF knowing their location all times (theoretically). Hmmm.

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It's come to this: Moronic Leftist MK thinks Jews first came to Israel from Egypt

Someone must have tipped Stav Shaffir off as to how boorish this tweet was, because it's no longer in her Twitter feed. Fortunately, Channel 10's Akiva Novick (who knows his bible) caught it and posted it to Facebook for posterity with a plea for more bible education in Israeli schools. For the Hebrew-impaired, the Labor party MK's tweet says the following:
"Our history began from Jerusalem" said [Education Minister Naftali] Bennett this morning. Forgive the pettiness, but the Education Minister should know that according to the Torah, we came here from Egypt. 

I guess Shaffir's 'education' excluded the book of Genesis....

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Sunday, February 21, 2016

'Pro-Israel' Hillary Clinton teaming up with pro-Iranian group for fundraiser... at Twitter exec's home

In case you missed it, over the weekend, Twitter suspended the account of prominent conservative Robert Stacy McCain. This marks the second time in recent weeks that Twitter has suspended the account of a prominent conservative in addition to several other cases of prominent conservatives having their blue verification buttons removed.

Also over the weekend, Washington Free Beacon's Adam Kredo reported that Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is teaming up with a pro-Iranian group for a fundraiser at the home of a Twitter executive.
Clinton is scheduled to travel to Silicon Valley this weekend for three fundraisers with wealthy tech moguls, many of which have expressed skepticism about the candidate.
Clinton will participate in a Menlo Park fundraiser on Sunday hosted by Twitter executive Omid Kordestani and his wife Gisel Hiscock, as well as National Iranian American Council (NIAC) board member Lily Sarafan and Noosheen Hashemi, who serves on the board of the pro-Iran advocacy group Ploughshares, a major funder of pro-Iran efforts.
NIAC, an advocacy group formed by Iranian-Americans to work against the pro-Israel community, has long been accused of lobbying on Iran’s behalf against sanctions and other measures that could harm the Islamic Republic’s interest.
Ploughshares, which partners with NIAC, is joining the White House in efforts to pressure the Jewish community and others to back the recently implemented Iran nuclear agreement, the Free Beacon reported.
The organization has also spent millions to influence coverage of Iran and protect the Obama administration’s diplomatic relations with Iran.
NIAC has emerged a key pro-Iran player in the United States, working with the White House and liberal groups to spin the deal as a positive for U.S. national security.
The group is currently leading the charge to block recent counter-terrorism legislation that would require individuals who have travelled to Iran to obtain a visa before entering the United States.
Congress passed the legislation in response to recent disclosures exposing flaws in the U.S. visa waiver program, which eases travel to the U.S. with 38 partner countries.
Lawmakers said the legislation is meant to ensure that individuals with potential ties to terrorism will be detected before entering the United States.
The White House has threatened to waive these new anti-terror provisions pertaining to Iran in order to preserve diplomatic relations with the country. Secretary of State John Kerry wrote to Iranian leaders in January promising to block the new law.
NIAC is now spearheading an advocacy campaign aimed at petitioning lawmakers to reverse the counter-terror law.
This is what Hillary refers to as being 'tough' on Iran. Anyone still foolish enough to think she's pro-Israel? What could go wrong?

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#BDS_Epic_Fail: Former 'white shoes' law firm withdraws Harvard Law School funding due to BDS

Shavua tov, a good week to everyone.

Back in the 60's and 70's, New York law firms were split into 'Jewish law firms' where Jews could be accepted and predominated, and 'white shoes law firms,' which for the most part did not accept Jews. By the time I came out of law school in the mid-'80's, the world was changing (my first law firm was one that was known as a 'white shoes' law firm and I had offers from others) although there were still vestiges of the old regime.

Milbank Tweed (known as Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCoy when I was in law school) was a 'white shoes' law firm 50 years ago. No more. Last week, Milbank withdrew $250,000 in student funding from Harvard Law School because students used some of the money to fund a program promoting the anti-Semitic BDS movement.
For the uninitiated, the “Milbank Tweed Student Conference Fund” (or Milbank Fund, named after the multinational law firm that endowed it), was established in 2012 to support the activities of student-run organizations at Harvard Law School. The Dean of Students office allocates the funds through an open application process. As part of the arrangement, Milbank Fund recipients are required to recognize the contribution by ensuring that all promotional materials for Milbank-funded programming include at least one reference indicating Milbank as a headlining sponsor.
At the start of this semester, HLS announced, without explanation, the sudden termination of the Milbank Fund. We are writing today so that the record may reflect that the termination of the Milbank Fund is, in fact, completely our fault.

In our defense, we couldn’t have possibly foreseen how our actions would come to affect the rest of the campus community. On the eve of our first-ever Milbank-sponsored speaker event, titled “The Palestine Exception to Free Speech: A Movement Under Attack”, the only thing we were really concerned about was what type of food to order for our fellow classmates. Like many others, we are an organization that recognizes the value of quality food as a major key to the success of any lunch talk.
So we ordered pizza—about $500 worth. We made sure to get a little something for everyone, because inclusivity! We got some margheritas for the traditional, buffalo chicken for the carnivorous, and of course, some formaggio for our colleagues with a more refined palate. The pizza was delicious, and for that, we must take a moment to sincerely thank Milbank for its generous contributions.
Even though we had only used Milbank’s money for the pizza (our speakers, two civil rights attorneys and an undergraduate student, graciously offered their time at no additional cost to the school), we held up our end of the deal by including, in all promotional e-mails and at the bottom of the event’s official Facebook page, some iteration of the following sentence: “This event is brought to you by the generous support of Milbank LLP.”
Ironically enough, a very similar sequence of events would unfold at Harvard Law School in the aftermath of our event. The very next day, the Dean of Students office—citing a flood of angry phone calls and emails received from Milbank executives and other off-campus parties over the previous 24 hours—asked an organizer of the event to disassociate from Milbank in all past and future Justice for Palestine programming.[1] As a start, the organizer was asked to immediately remove the reference to Milbank’s “generous support” from JFP’s Facebook event page.
After acknowledging that they recognized the irony in asking a student to retroactively edit the description for an event that was about free speech and its exceptions, the Dean of Students administrators proceeded to make it very clear that our cooperation would be greatly appreciated. Even though the event had already passed, it was evident that the administration was feeling tremendous pressure to do something, anything, to appease Milbank.
In exchange for a written guarantee that JFP’s future funding (be it from Milbank or any other source) would not be adversely affected, we agreed to remove the sentence from the Facebook event page. Though that guarantee was promised to us, we never got it.
Turns out, that’s because our request was directly incompatible with what Milbank was demanding. Administrators would later reveal that Milbank had gone so far as to demand that JFP’s Milbank funding be rescinded completely. According to Dean Minow, this was not a demand her administration could honor, so Milbank decided to pull out all of its annual $250,000 in student activity funding as a result of her administration’s “principled stance” in support of our right to speak openly and honestly about Palestine.
 Boo. Hoo.

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Friday, February 19, 2016

Saudi Arabia cuts off assistance to Lebanese Armed Forces

In a move that was likely spurred by Lebanese support for Iranian activity in Syria, Saudi Arabia has cut off some $4 billion in support for the Lebanese Armed Forces.
The surprise announcement, carried by the state-run Saudi Press Agency, comes as deeply divided Lebanon struggles to handle the fallout from neighboring Syria's raging civil war. The Lebanese government declined to immediately comment on the Saudi decision.
One deal involves Saudi Arabia paying $3 billion to buy French arms for the Lebanese military. The other involves a $1 billion support deal for the Lebanese police.
Saudi Arabia said it halted the deals because of recent Lebanese positions "which are not in line with the brotherly relations between the two countries." It did not elaborate.
However, it comes after Lebanese Foreign Minister Gibran Bassil declined to support resolutions against Iran during two meetings of Arab and Muslim foreign ministers.
Bassil is the president of the right-wing Christian Free Patriotic Movement, which is one of the strongest allies of the Iran-backed militant Hezbollah group in Lebanon.
Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia long has been suspicious of the predominantly Shiite Iran, which supports Hezbollah and Syria's embattled President Bashar Assad. Relations took a turn for the worse at the start of the year, when Saudi Arabia executed a prominent Shiite cleric and protesters stormed Saudi diplomatic posts in Iran. That in turn prompted Riyadh to cut diplomatic relations with Tehran.
The Lebanese army is generally seen as a unifying force in the country, and draws its ranks from all of Lebanon's sects. However, it's widely viewed as being much weaker than Hezbollah.
That almost makes this sound like a foolish move - the last thing the Saudis want to do is strengthen Hezbullah. On the other hand, the Lebanese Armed Forces are full of Shiite Hezbullah members

Shabbat Shalom everyone.

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And then there's this gem from Hillary's emails

Four and a half years ago, I reported that Hezbullah had set up operations in Cuba.
Hezbullah, which already has operations in Paraguay, Brazil, Venezuela and Mexico (the article doesn't say Mexico, but I've reported that in the past) is setting up operations in Cuba to serve as a base for an attack on Israeli interests in Latin America to avenge the death of master terrorist Imad Mughniyah. The report in YNet is based upon an article in Italy's Corriere della Sera.
According to the report, three Hezbollah members have already arrived in Cuba with the purpose of establishing a terrorist cell there. The cell is to include 23 operatives, hand-picked by Talal Hamia, a senior member tasked with heading the covert operation.

The operation, titled "The Caribbean Case," was reportedly allocated a budget of $1.5 million. The Cuba base is to be initially used for logistics purposes, including intelligence collection, networking and document forgery.
Four days after I wrote that post, Hillary Clinton confidante Sid Blumenthal (who was not a US government employee) sent Hillary an email informing her that the Mossad has confirmed the existence of a Hezbullah base in Cuba.
The dispatch read:
During the week of September 5, 2011 extremely sensitive sources reported in confidence that the Israeli Intelligence and Security Service (Mossad) has informed the leadership of the Israeli Government that Hezbollah is establishing an operational base in Cuba, designed to support terrorist attacks throughout Latin America.
The confidential intelligence report from Blumenthal to Clinton continued:
These sources believe that Hezbollah supporters have been instructed to also begin casing facilities associated with the United States and the United Kingdom, including diplomatic missions, major banks, and businesses in the region. These individuals believe that the Hezbollah military commanders in Lebanon and Syria view these U.S. and U.K. entities as contingency targets to be attacked in the event of U.S. and British military intervention in either Syria or Iran, at some point in the future.
The real question here is what the Obama administration did about Hezbullah establishing bases in Latin America. The answer: Absolutely nothing. 

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Obama could stop Iranian weapons purchases... but he won't

Under the atrocious nuclear agreement with Iran, President Hussein Obama has the legal authority to stop Iran from purchasing all those Russian weapons. But, reports Adam Kredo, he won't.
“We’re aware of ongoing discussions between Russia and Iran regarding possible purchases of military equipment,” a State Department official who was not authorized to speak on record told the Free Beacon in response to inquiries. “If we have concerns about specific transactions, we’ll express those concerns through the appropriate channels, whether bilaterally with Russia or at the U.N. if ‎any specific transaction violates any U.N. Security Council resolutions.”
However, critics of the administration’s outreach to Iran expressed skepticism. They maintain that the White House is turning a blind eye to Iranian violations of the nuclear accord in order to preserve diplomatic ties with the Islamic Republic.
“The U.N. resolution to endorse the flawed Iran nuclear deal actually gives the United States and other members of the Security Council the power to review and legally block arms sales by Russia or other actors to Iran,” Sen. Mark Kirk (R., Ill.), a critic of the nuclear accord, told the Free Beacon. “But as Russia and Iran further escalate their use of indiscriminate military force in the Middle East, the administration appears wholly unwilling to use this power.”
According to the terms of the U.N. resolution governing the nuclear agreement, the U.S. and other Security Council members are provided with the power to approve “in advance on a case-by-case basis” most conventional arms sales to Iran.
The statute specifically applies to the “supply, sale, or transfer” to Iran of many conventional arms, including “battle tanks, armored combat vehicles, large-caliber artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles, or missile systems,” according to the resolution.
Iran is reportedly seeking to purchase from Russia a new cadre of advanced Russian-made warplanes and other arms.
The provision requires the Security Council to individually approve the sale of these weapons for the next five years. Any member of the council has the right to veto a measure, meaning that the United States “could effectively block such a sale,” according to Michael Singh, a former White House national security official who worked on the Iran portfolio.
“It appears that the Obama administration has the authority to block any sale of fighter aircraft to Iran,” said Singh, managing director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “In pressing for the approval of the nuclear deal by Congress, the administration discussed these arms restrictions (and related missile restrictions) as de facto bans, there will certainly be an expectation that they would use that authority.”
“Critics of the deal insisted that the Obama administration would be too intimidated to ever use those mechanisms because then Iran would walk away from the deal,” the source said. “This arms sale suggests the critics were right and that the deal supporters bamboozled Congress.”
After Kredo's piece was published, the Obama administration tried to sound a more forceful note.
Update 4:10 p.m.: Following publication, officials familiar with the situation said they expect the administration to be more forceful in raising concerns about these sales, particularly the transfer of advanced war jets.
What could go wrong?

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'Palestinian Authority' appointed Imam gives television tips on how to beat your wife

What's most amazing about this is not that it happened, but the reaction of the naive westerners to a glimpse of true Islamic behavior.

Hassan Al-Laham is the top Muslim spiritual leader for Gaza appointed by the 'moderate' 'Palestinian Authority.' (No, this guy isn't even appointed by Hamas, even though he's in Gaza). Official 'moderate' 'Palestinian Authority' television carried this lesson by him informing husbands how to beat their wives... and get away with it.

Let's go to the videotape.

This video, which Fox News calls 'shocking' (Hat Tip: Memeorandum), is actually more than three years old (where was the media for the last three years?). Shocking? Hardly. Certainly not to anyone at all familiar with Islam.

But there's much more to this interview than the short clip you just saw.
Explaining that divorce must be a last resort in Islam, Al-Laham laid out the four steps that should come first.

"Allah said: Warn them [the wives], and separate from them, and hit them, and bring an arbitrator from his family and an arbitrator from her family," he said.
Al-Laham, whose title makes him the top spiritual leader appointed by the Palestinian Authority, then went into detail about how a husband should hit a wife.
"Not hitting that will bring the police, and break her hand and cause bleeding, or hitting that makes the face ugly," he said.
The hitting should "be like a joke," even reinforcing "the love and friendship" between the couple, he said.
I don't know about you but I can tell you that if God Forbid I hit my wife, it would not reinforce the love and friendship between us. And my guess is that most Muslim women would tell you - if they felt safe talking about it - that being beaten by their husbands does not reinforce love and friendship.

So why is the West so shocked by this? Because Muslims get a free pass from the Western media. They're considered so 'exotic' and 'cool' that they can do no wrong.

The world needs to wake up to this misogynistic cult.

Here's another example. Let's go to the videotape.

Okay, that one was staged. But it was staged to make a point. Abuse of girls and women happens all too much in the Arab Muslim world. It's time to stop giving them a pass on it.

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Thursday, February 18, 2016

10 years on, France doesn't get it

Sunday marked ten years since the murder of Ilan Halimi. That's Halimi in the square with the purplish pink around it. It's from a Muslim dating site. It was eventually taken down. Halimi was brutally murdered by a gang of Muslims, all but one of whom have been let go ten years later. On Sunday, there were a number of very small ceremonies in Paris marking Halimi's murder. They were only attended by Jews.
The small crowd and its Jewish focus illustrate the wide disconnect between how the Halimi case is understood within and outside of France’s Jewish community – and what that might mean for the French Jewish future.

For France’s Jews, it remains an intimately tragic affair, marking arguably the most savage and sadistic anti-Semitic crime in France since World War II. For many citizens of French or European Christian origins, it is indeed a despicable violent crime, but not one fuelled by anti-Semitism. For me this is a form of blindness, of denial – but also a mark of the failure of France's government and Jewish community to establish violent anti-Semitism as a central concern for the whole of society.


Guershon N'duwa, president of the FJN, the Black-Jewish Federation of France, a constituent member of the French Jewish umbrella body CRIF, has organized the ceremony for Ilan Halimi for the past ten years, but he will not organize an eleventh. "The French government has always minimized the case of Ilan Halimi, and even now, has still not woken up to establish the link with the attacks of the past few years," says N'duwa, "and there is a definite link, a hatred of Jews.”

He continued: "But while Jewish community leaders have reached upwards, if you like, to French political parties on the right and left, they have not reached out to the non-Jewish public. So in spite of grandiose statements by politicians about fighting anti-Semitism, many French people still believe that Ilan's horrific death was a specifically Jewish affair, with few emotional links to the overall French nation, and not even necessarily a case of anti-Semitism. In reality, the intense emotional reaction by Jews here became a line that separated them from other French people, who reacted with intellectual disgust, but little more."

Both the Jewish community and the French government have been unable to engage the wider French public with the need to see, recognize and confront violent anti-Semitism and incitement against the community. This has diminished the number of French people who see anti-Semitic violence as a problem for all of France, not only its Jews and the government and security elite. For many, World War II had ended long ago, so it was easier to believe that this was a simple indecent but random tragedy committed by sociopaths.


The anniversary event’s low turnout was also an indication of intra-Jewish politics that have weakened the community’s resonance to speak as a united voice on this issue. In fact there were five other competing Halimi commemoration ceremonies around Paris this year, somewhat atomizing the effect of fewer and more robustly attended events. There were no Halimi family members present at Sunday’s Boulevard Voltaire gathering either, though his sisters reportedly attended one of the other ceremonies.

"This has become a very politicized affair and I am unhappy enough about that not to do it again," says N'duwa, who comes from a Protestant family in Congo-Brazzaville, Africa. He converted to Judaism years ago in France and has also lived in Israel. 


Youssouf Fofana, who organized his kidnapping for ransom, will be in prison for years, in theory for life.  Most of the others involved, including the woman used as bait, and the building superintendent who gave them the basement room and apartment in which Halimi was tortured in exchange for 1500 euros (which he never saw), have already been released.  
Ten years after Halimi's murder, I still wonder why Jews remain in France. Neither they nor their non-Jewish neighbors understand what's going on in their country.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Angela Merkel says it's not the time for a 'two-state solution'

Even German Chancellor Angela Merkel gets it: This is not the time for a 'two-state solution.'
Merkel, who in the past has insisted that the “two-state solution” is the best way to end the conflict, appeared to signal at Tuesday’s Government-to-Government meeting that she would turn down the pressure on Israel to push for a diplomatic process with the Palestinian Authority (PA).

"Now is not the time for a significant step forward [in the two-state solution]," she said during a joint press conference with Netanyahu in Berlin, according to i24news.

Nevertheless, Merkel stressed that while substantial progress can't be achieved at this time, "it is possible to make improvements in specific fields," and promised Germany's help in doing so, particularly in the economic area.

Merkel’s remarks echo recent statements by officials in the United States, who admitted that President Barack Obama recognizes that reaching a two-state solution before he leaves office is unlikely.

Similar expressions have been sounded in Israel as well, where opposition chairman Yitzhak Herzog has also admitted that the “two-state solution” is not feasible at this time and has offered his own, alternative plan for peace.
With Syria falling apart a few miles away and Lebanon under the control of the Iranian proxy Hezbullah, is the world finally starting to get it?

We can only hope and pray. 

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Breaking: 5 dead, 10 injured in car bomb attack in Ankara - UPDATED

Five people have been killed and 10 injured in a car bomb attack in Ankara.

The explosion took place near a Turkish military dormitory.

More to follow.


There are now 28 dead and 61 wounded. But no one in Turkey knows that. The Turkish government, which is blaming the Kurdish PKK, has placed a ban on publication.

I'd say it's far more likely the Russians, and that Erdogan has learned well from his Best Friend Forever Obama, who wishes he could ban publication of his politically inexpedient moves.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

#ThanksObama... for making America's former allies into our allies

It's not just Israel that doesn't trust Barack Hussein Obama. And in one of the best examples of countries having interests rather than friends, a group of previously irreconcilable American allies has joined together look out for their own interests in the waning days of the Age of Obama. Bret Stephens reports.
I’ve spent the better part of a week talking to senior officials, journalists, intellectuals and politicians from across Israel’s political spectrum. None of it was on the record, but the consistent theme is that, while the Jewish state still needs the U.S., especially in the form of military aid, it also needs to diversify its strategic partnerships. This may yet turn out to be the historic achievement of Benjamin Netanyahu’s long reign as prime minister.
On Sunday, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon publicly shook hands with former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki al-Faisal at the Munich Security Conference. In January, Israeli cabinet member Yuval Steinitz made a trip to Abu Dhabi, where Israel is opening an office at a renewable-energy association. Turkey is patching up ties with Israel. In June, Jerusalem and Riyadh went public with the strategic talks between them. In March, Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi told the Washington Post that he speaks to Mr. Netanyahu “a lot.”

This de facto Sunni-Jewish alliance amounts to what might be called the coalition of the disenchanted; states that have lost faith in America’s promises. Israel is also reinventing its ties to the aspiring Startup Nations, countries that want to develop their own innovation cultures.
In October, Israel hosted Indian President Pranab Mukherjee for a three-day state visit; New Delhi, once a paragon of the nonaligned movement that didn’t have diplomatic ties to Israel for four decades, is about to spend $3 billion on Israeli arms. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is personally close to Mr. Netanyahu, sees Israel as a model for economic reinvention. Chinese investment in Israel hit $2.7 billion last year, up from $70 million in 2010. In 2014, Israel’s exports to the Far East for the first time exceeded those to the U.S.
Then there is Europe—at least the part of it that is starting to grasp that it can’t purchase its security in the coin of Israeli insecurity. Greece’s left-wing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras used to lead anti-Israel protests. But Greece needs Israeli gas, so he urges cooperation on terrorism and calls Jerusalem Israel’s “historic capital.” In the U.K., Prime Minister David Cameron’s government is moving to prevent local councils from passing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) measures against Israel.
All this amounts to another Obama administration prediction proved wrong. “You see for Israel there’s an increasing delegitimization campaign that has been building up,” Mr. Kerry warned grimly in 2014. “There are talks of boycotts and other kinds of things. Today’s status quo absolutely, to a certainty, I promise you 100%, cannot be maintained.”
Except when the likely alternatives to the lousy status quo are worse.
Maybe we need to say #ThanksObama after all.  Just not the way he expected. Heh.

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When an Arab Israeli is proud to be Israeli

At the Nazareth Restaurant and Deli in Columbus, Ohio, owner Hany Baransi is proud to be Israeli.
Hany Baransi has been serving authentic hummus and falafel in his central Ohio eatery for 27 years, proudly giving diners a taste of his Israeli Christian Arab heritage between bites of rich Mediterranean fare.
A sign bearing an Arabic greeting—“Ahlan Wa Sahalan”— hangs prominently near the glass doors of his Nazareth Restaurant & Deli in Columbus, through which passersby can also spot an Israeli flag. Baransi says he has always been outspoken about his Israeli identity, and so when his restaurant was attacked on Thursday evening by a machete-wielding man, he believed it was no coincidence.
No, it was no coincidence. Nor was the attacker's name: Mohamed.
The assailant, identified by police as 30-year-old Mohamed Barry, “came in and asked where I was from,” Baransi told The Tower. While Baransi was at home nursing a headache at the time, one of his employees– a young waitress– told Barry that the owner is from Israel. The man left after he determined that Baransi wasn’t at the restaurant, only to return around 30 minutes later with a machete and start hacking people.
“He came to each table and just started hitting them,” Karen Bass, who was in the restaurant at the time, told WBNS. “There were tables and chairs overturned, there was a man on the floor bleeding, there was blood on the floor.”
Fortunately, no one was killed and Barry was caught by police after he tried to hack them too.

So is the Middle East coming to Columbus? The local police chief doesn't think so but Baransi has a different opinion.
“Is it a random attack? Yes, but it wasn’t a random attack like you’re walking in the street and there are 10 shops and you pick one,” he said. “It was a random attack [insofar] that I was one of the Israelis [picked] between all of the Israelis that are around here. It was a terrorist attack.”
“I am a very outspoken Israeli, and I have an Israeli flag in my restaurant,” added Baransi, who moved to the United States from Haifa in 1983 and said he tries to visit Israel as often as he can. “When people [from the Arab community] ask me where I am from, I tell them I am Israeli, I am an Israeli Christian Arab, it’s not like I am Palestinian, and then they start arguing and fighting with me.”
“You know, we are Israelis, used to this in our lives, people attacking us and wanting to kill us,” he observed. “But Americans — I have young ladies, 19, 20-years-old, they probably never heard people yelling and screaming. It was a huge experience for them. And some of them are very devastated. All of us communicate on a daily basis, and some of us, a couple of people, are still having a really hard time.”
He said that he is only willing to reopen his restaurant once his staff assures him that they are ready. “Even though I am hurting financially badly, if this time is needed for the well-being of my employees, I am okay with that,” he stressed. “God will provide for us.”
 First they come for the Saturday people and then they come for the Sunday people? Bet on it.

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Monday, February 15, 2016

Bashar al-Assad's strange definition of a cease fire

If there's anyone out there who still wonders why Israel has never been able to reach a 'peace agreement' with the Assad's, please consider Bashar al-Assad's definition of a cease fire.
"Regarding a ceasefire, a halt to operations, if it happened, it doesn't mean that each party will stop using weapons," Assad said in Damascus in televised comments.
"A ceasefire means in the first place halting the terrorists from strengthening their positions. Movement of weapons, equipment or terrorists, or fortification of positions, will not be allowed," he said.
Oh, of course. Why would I think otherwise? Silly me.... 

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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Please keep giving to the 'Palestinians'

Shavua tov, a good week to everyone.

Please make sure to tell the world to keep giving money to the 'Palestinians.'

Hat Tip: Ray Levesque.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

#ThanksObama Iran-financed Hamas produces 'music video' about yearning to roast Jewish flesh

Yes, it's come to this.

Here's a highly professional Hamas 'music video,' undoubtedly paid for with Iranian funds released from international sanctions thanks to the Obama administration, that expresses the terror group's yearning to roast Jewish flesh.

Hamas prays: 'Oh Martyrdom-seeker, make them cry. Make the fire engulf them. Turn them into body parts, roast them, bringing joy to the hearts of the steadfast people.'

Let's go to the videotape.

#ThanksObama for financing this music video we just could not have done without.

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Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Rubio promises 'reset' of US-Israel relations

Republican Presidential candidate Marco Rubio has promised a 'reset' of US-Israel relations if he is elected President of the United States.
"I believe my election or the election of someone like me, in and by itself will help reset that relationship in the eyes of the world,” Rubio said, the Jewish Insider's Jacob Kornbluh reported.
According to the Florida senator, the Obama administration deliberately created distance between the U.S. and Israel in an effort to improve the U.S. standing and its perception in the Muslim world.
"It's been a disaster," he added. 
The Republican candidate said the Obama administration damaged the relationship with Israel by briefly suspending military sales during the last Gaza war, and by making an implied threat that the U.S. won't use its veto power in the UN Security Council against a possible resolution recognizing a Palestinian state. 
Rubio also slammed Obama for treating Iran's supreme leader with "more respect" than Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, due to Israel's opposition to the Iran nuclear deal. 
Sounds right to me.

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Marco Rubio (and Ted Cruz) got Barack Obama right, so why won't anyone else say so?

I have now watched the video of Chris Christie 'destroying' Marco Rubio on Saturday night, and I have to tell you that the people commenting on it have missed the boat. If you haven't seen it yet, the video is embedded here.

Andrew McCarthy points out that Rubio has got Obama pegged: Barack Obama has spent seven years destroying the United States of America and its alliances.
Yet Rubio also had an important point: Christie’s premise is dead wrong. Obama has not steered the Titanic into an iceberg because he is an unprepared, untested amateur. He has done it quite deliberately, at times masterfully, because Obama believes in the policies that constitute the iceberg. He is a movement leftist with a transformational agenda and an Alinskyite’s understanding of the extortionate uses of power. Authoritarian rule, government-controlled health care, open borders, runaway spending, Islamist sympathies, crony-capitalist green energy – these are not initiatives Obama stumbled into because he was unprepared. Obama has studiously taken the country where he wants it to go. And he has rolled over the old experienced hands to do it – so much for amateur hour. 
Obama is not the bumpkin of Christie’s portrayal. But Christie is not so much wrong in this regard as calculated. Progressive-lite types like Christie want Obama’s failed presidency to be seen as the consequence of lack of experience rather than as policy-driven because they often cooperate with Obama Democrats and sympathize with a number of their policy preferences.
Christie couldn’t get enough of Obama after “Super Storm Sandy” – regardless of how much it undermined Mitt Romney. At best, Christie has been ambivalent in his opposition to Obamacare – carefully navigating between his instinctive support of it and the intense opposition of more conservative voters whom he knew he’d be courting in the 2016 GOP primaries. And while Christie is trying to appeal to conservatives as the adult in the room willing to speak hard truths about entitlements and debt spending, his record as governor is: Talk a good game but do essentially nothing about our basket-case state’s structural problems. That is a big part of why, as Rubio pointed out, Christie’s tenure has featured multiple credit downgrades. 
The Christies of the Republican party insist that the country is in disastrous shape because Obama was not up to the job. In truth, Obama used Democratic congressional control when he had it to push through Obamacare and Dodd-Frank; ever since, having taken the measure of feckless GOP opposition, he has skillfully (albeit illegally) exploited executive power to pursue progressive objectives. Obama has been plenty up to the job as he intended the job to be done.
This reality is not helpful to a Christie, who wants to be seen as a pragmatic problem-solver willing to “cross the aisle.” The logic of Christie’s championing of bipartisan cooperation “to get things done” has necessarily meant working in furtherance of Obama’s agenda (and, in New Jersey, working closely with Democrats – which is how you get multiple credit downgrades). No one courting the Republican base can afford to be seen as complicit in Obama’s program. So, for Christie, if Obama is to be portrayed as a failure, it’s got to be because Obama wasn’t prepared to be president, not because of policies Republicans have supported.
Rush Limbaugh wonders why only Rubio and Ted Cruz are willing to acknowledge that Obama's behavior has been a deliberate attempt to destroy the United States. 
And I think... This is what I was talking about earlier when I say, "I think some of these professional media analysts..." God bless them and they do hard work, and many of them, they're just fine people. But I don't know that they have the ability to see these debates the way people watching the debates on TV see them. Meaning: I don't know how big a faux pas this was for Rubio.  Clearly it was not a positive; clearly it was not his best. But I don't think it ruined his chances and wiped him out like some in the media opined.
Let's get to the audio sound bites.  I want to start with this.  It's the fastest way to get into this.  Because this is important, folks.  This is really, really important.  There are only two people that I'm aware of that are making a consistent point of this. Rubio, actually, is atop of this.  Rubio and Cruz are the only two in the entire Republican field. Carly Fiorina may have said something like this occasionally.  With Rubio, it's a theme.  With Cruz, it's close to a theme.  And the real question is: Why do the other Republicans in the field disagree?  
Why do they not say it themselves, that Obama is doing what he's doing on purpose and by design?  That is a brilliantly conceived and flawlessly executed plan to transform America into something it was not founded to be.  This is something crucially important to Republican voters.  To people inside the Beltway, it's kind of a chuckle.  "There they go again, those right wingers!"  To people inside the Beltway, to the elites, to the establishment, Obama's just the latest Democrat to come along. 
He's no different than any other Democrat. "It's just the Democrat Party, and they have a president."  They don't see the country in crisis in any way.  Not because of the economy, not because of immigration, not because of foreign policy.  In no way are we in a crisis.  And, as such, they don't see what Obama's doing as anything except maybe a young, inexperienced -- this is Christie's point -- incompetent boob.  Well, that's not who Obama is.  Rubio's opponents are using it to disqualify him.  "See! Obama doesn't know what he's doing, and Rubio's the same kind of guy, just a few short years in the Senate running for president. We can't afford it. "Meanwhile, the governors! We're the guys. We're the tough guys. We've had to make tough decisions," blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.  The governors will not admit who Obama is.  The governors will not admit it, and Trump does not agree that Obama is purposely doing this.  Trump thinks he's a blithering incompetent.  This is crucially important.
He's one of two people saying it.  Now, folks, you go out and talk to actual Republican primary voters.  You go out, outside of Washington, outside New York, go out to where these primaries and caucuses are being held, and you will find that this is exactly what has propelled Republicans to the polls in droves in 2010 and 2014.  It's not the belief, it's not the theory, it is the knowledge that Obama's doing this on purpose, and there isn't and hasn't been any push-back.  And Republican voters are livid.  Obama has said he's doing it on purpose.  He has said his purpose is to transform the nation.  Everybody knows that Obama is an Alinskyite. 

The real question is -- and I was talking about this over the weekend with my good buddy, Andrew McCarthy.  The real question is, why are these other guys not saying it?  Why does Chris Christie make fun of it?  Why does Donald Trump pooh-pooh it?  Well, Trump I have to leave out of this, out of this theory.  But Trump also, just for the record, said he thinks Obama's an incompetent boob, doesn't know what he's doing.  Christie's point is Obama's incompetent, he doesn't know what he's doing because he's inexperienced just like Rubio doesn't know what he's doing 'cause he's experienced. It's Barack Obama 2 in that Rubio would be inexperienced senator, elected president, we don't want to do that again. 
Rubio's point, no, no, no, no, no.  Obama's not incompetent.  He's not inexperienced.  He's doing exactly what he wants to do.  And none of these Republican moderates will go there.  You want to know why?  You want to know why?  You want to know why they cannot agree that Obama's doing this on purpose?  Very simple.  They cannot agree that Obama's doing it on purpose.  They do not dare say that Obama's doing it on purpose because they have all worked with Barack Obama, in one way or another, every one of these governors, many of them, and even a lot of Republicans in the House and Senate have worked with Obama to advance certain elements of the agenda. 
I think the real important question here to ask and answer is why won't anybody but Rubio and Cruz say it?  Because that's essentially, if you had to encapsulate what the Republican primary is, it's about that.  Like they keep harping on, Christie -- or it might have been Trump, I don't know who it was -- jumped on Rubio, maybe it was a moderator in the post-debate analysis.  Why does he keep campaigning against Obama?  Obama's not on the ballot. Obama's seven years old. Obama's in his last year. Why does he keep running against Obama? 
Because Hillary and Bernie Sanders want to continue what Obama has started, and it is the transformation of America.  The Republican base is fully aware of it.  The Republican primary voters have been begging the Republican Party to stop this since 2010, since 2009 when Obama took office.  
See, the post-debate analysts who are either on sight or in studios, television studio, I really -- this is not a criticism of them.  I don't want anybody to get the wrong idea.  I think when you start making fun of Rubio for repeating that Obama's doing it on purpose, you don't understand how important that is to the Republican base, which is what this primary is all about.  It's fundamental.  And by the same token, defining conservatism, being able to, is fundamental.  It's what this is all about.  And if you can't do it, if your definition of conservatism is ignorant or wrong, I guarantee you you're gonna pay for it when it comes time to vote.
I think Rush got it right. The only candidates for whom the American citizens in Israel will come out to vote are Rubio and Cruz. We all get that they are the only two candidates that will try to undo what Obama has wrought. And one of the things Obama has wrought is trying to set Israel on a path toward destruction (God Forbid).
Here's hoping that New Hampshire voters don't listen to the media tomorrow. 

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Monday, February 08, 2016

Obama's got Israel's back - again

Remember President Hussein Obama promising Israel additional military aid to ensure that we can cope with a nuclear Iran? In Haaretz on Sunday, Barak Ravid reported that Prime Minister Netanyahu told his cabinet on Sunday that if the Obama administration doesn't properly help Israel, he'll wait for the next administration.
"It's not yet clear that we will come to an agreement," Netanyahu told the cabinet members in the course of a diplomatic-security briefing by acting national security adviser Jacob Nagel, who also heads the Israeli team negotiating memorandum with the Americans. "[We] need to see if [we] can achieve a result that will address Israel's security needs or perhaps we will not manage to come to an agreement with this administration and will need to come to an agreement with the next administration."

Last Thursday, an American delegation led by Yael Lempert, the Special Assistant to the president and Senior Director for the Levant, Israel and Egypt at the National Security Council in the White House, who arrived in Israel to hold a third round of negotiations on the matter. Over the past three days, the American team held discussions with a team of counterparts from the national security staff in the Prime Minister's Office and from the Defense Ministry, the Israel Defense Forces and the Foreign Ministry. The main topic of discussion in the talks was the size of the aid that the United States would provide Israel and the conditions on its use.

Netanyahu's remarks at the cabinet meeting raise the possibility that the round of talks in Jerusalem will not achieve substantial progress. Just two weeks ago, in the course of his visit to the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where the prime minister met with American Vice President Joe Biden, and where the two discussed the matter, the prime minister sounded much more optimistic.  In an interview on stage with American journalist Fareed Zakaria, Netanyahu noted that he believed Israel and the United States would manage to wrap up negotiations in a positive manner on a new security memorandum of understanding in the coming months that would outline the size of American assistance to the IDF for the coming decade. 

The current security memorandum of understanding signed ten years ago between the two countries is due to expire at the end of 2018. As a result of the understanding, the United States has provided $30 billion over a decade in security assistance to Israel. In the course of meetings between Netanyahu and Obama at the White House in November, the two announced the opening of new negotiations on the memorandum for the coming decade.

At the beginning of the negotiations a few months ago, senior figures in the defense establishment expressed the position that Israel is in need of a $5 billion annual increase to the amount of American assistance. Netanyahu himself has told the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee of the Knesset that he is interested in coming to agreement with Obama on the sum of "$4 billion plus."

In the course of his last visit to the United States and in interviews with the American media since then, Netanyahu has stressed that Israel needs a substantial increase in American security assistance in light of the nuclear agreement that Iran reached with the major world powers. Iran will be receiving $100 billion as a result of the lifting of sanctions and can use these funds to acquire quantities of weapons and provide advanced weaponry to Israel's enemies – Hezbollah, Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Netanyahu noted.

At the same time, Netanyahu has made it clear in recent months both in public and in private conversations with the Americans that the Sunni Arab countries are acquiring large quantities of advanced weaponry from the United States and France to protect themselves from Iran, but the weapons could in the future be turned against Israel. In such a reality, he has argued, an increase in American assistance is necessary to maintain the IDF's qualitative advantage in the region.

Senior officials in the defense establishment are expressing serious concern over the prospect that it will not be possible to reach an agreement with the Obama administration on the size of security assistance, resulting in a deferral of the subject until a new president takes office in January 2017. Under such circumstances, there would be less than a year remaining to come to a new security agreement before the current one expires. That would present a very complicated situation since any new president would need half a year at least to study the subject.
DEBKA, which I don't like to sole source, but will because of the Haaretz background, reports on some of the specifics of what's missing.
US President Barack Obama has retracted on his pledge of an extra defense package to compensate Israel for the damage caused its security by the nuclear deal concluded with Iran last year. This flat refusal, reported here by debkafile’s Washington sources, confronted Israeli officials when they met last week with heads of the National Security Council at the White House. 

Asked to define its new requirements, Israel asked the administration for an additional $1.9 billion, which would have upped the total to $5 billion per annum for the next five years. The officials explained that Israel’s defense bill had been inflated substantially by the new perils looming from the current Middle East wars, and the windfall Iran had gained from the lifting of sanctions for its advanced ballistic missiles programs and for enhancing its allies' aggressive capacity, especially that of Hizballah.
Israel is now beset additionally by adverse Russian military operations in southern Syria and looming ISIS threats on multiple fronts, at a time that the Arab states are stuffing their armories with advanced weapons from Russia and China.
The US officials explained that, because of cutbacks in US defense spending, it would not be possible to add a single dollar to Israel’s regular $3.1 billion appropriation. After notifying Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon of this refusal, the Israeli delegation was advised to reduce its application to $900 million. This too was refused.
The standing $3.1 billion annual US assistance program for Israel expires at the end of 2016. The negotiations taking place currently were to have covered its extension for ten years. That too is in doubt.
The Obama administration reacted angrily to Prime Minister Netanyahu's statement, and said that Israel will not get a better deal from the next President. Of course, that depends who the next President is.


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Oh my... Somali bomber was meant to be on Turkish Air flight

A Somali suicide bomber who was sucked out a hole in a Daallo Airlines flight from Mogadishu to Dijbouti last Tuesday was actually meant to be on a Turkish Air flight to Turkey along with 73 other passengers.
The 74 passengers aboard the flight were originally checked in with Turkish Airlines, which flies to Somalia three times per week, Mohamed Ibrahim Yasin Olad, Daallo Airlines chief told Al Jazeera on Sunday.
"They were not our passengers. Turkish Airlines cancelled its flight from Mogadishu that morning because their incoming flight from Djibouti could not come to Mogadishu because of what they said was strong wind," Olad said.
"They requested we carry the passengers on their behalf to Djibouti where they would continue their journey on a Turkish Airlines flight," Olad added.
And the Turks? They're trying to disown the whole story.
"Turkish Airlines have not been in contact with us since the incident happened. You can say they are trying to distance themselves from the incident." Olad said.
Turkish Airlines suspended its flights to Somalia on Tuesday.
Al Jazeera contacted Turkish Airlines for comment but so far did not get a response.

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Religious expression or feminist trolling

Good morning (or afternoon). I'm back in Israel.

The picture above was on the front page of this morning's Jerusalem Post print edition (Hat Tip: Leah P).

What does each of the five women in the picture have in common aside from the fact that they all belong to Women of the Wall?

The caption says that they are 'teaching' women to put on Tefillin. There's one small problem: Not a single one of them has the Tefillin on correctly.

While I can't really see where the arm Tefillin are, the head Tefillin are supposed to go "in the place where an infant's head beats" according to the Talmud. That means that they should be in the center of the head with the front line of the Tefillin ending at the hairline.

Now look at the picture again.

From Left to Right, women 1, 2 and 5 all have their Tefillin on their foreheads (which was how the Karaite sect wore them). Women 3 and 4 have them off to one side. Yes, of course, it's the Left side.


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