Friday, February 17, 2017

Trump, Netanyahu Seek Common Ground - P. David Hornik




by P. David Hornik


Iran emerges as a central uniting issue.




At Wednesday’s White House press conference for President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, both leaders clearly had a lot on their minds—in addition to the matters at hand.

For Trump it was, of course, the Flynn imbroglio. For Netanyahu there were two things. One involves unfortunate, inane investigations to which he’s being subjected in Israel, which could lead to an indictment. One investigation concerns alleged illicit receipt of gifts—cigars and champagne; the other concerns talks he held with a newspaper publisher—which mentioned possible shady deals that were never, however, acted upon.

In addition, Netanyahu is under heavy pressure from the right wing of his coalition—to renounce the two-state solution, to build settlements. At the press conference Netanyahu, in particular, sounded flustered and awkward at times, glancing for succor at his script, speaking without his usual assurance and aplomb.

On substance the two leaders’ words, too, raised problems at times.

The Palestinian issue appears, unfortunately, to have returned to center stage. It’s unfortunate because it remains an issue no more amenable to a solution that at any time in the past.

“The United States,” Trump told the reporters, “will encourage a peace, and really a great peace deal.” He also said, “I think the Palestinians have to get rid of some of that hate they’re taught from a very young age. They have to acknowledge Israel. They have to do that.”

The problem is that the Palestinians have “had to” do those things—stop hating; acknowledge the legitimacy of a Jewish political entity—since the Palestinian issue first arose almost a century ago.

They have “had to,” but are no closer to doing so today than they were in the 1920s; meanwhile the remedy for an entire generation raised in hate—a reality that Netanyahu, in his flustered way, tried to emphasize—is no closer to being found by any of the putative wizards in the West.

Indeed, neither the president nor the prime minister mentioned Gaza—where a leader who is radical even by Hamas standards has taken the helm; as usual, it was not explained how a solution could be found when the Palestinians west of the Jordan are themselves divided into two mutually antagonistic entities. Trump and Netanyahu’s words about a “regional deal” on the Palestinian issue, involving Arab states along with Israel, likewise fail to take into account intractable Palestinian reality.

Instead, Trump engaged in vague talk of “two states” and “one state,” not explaining what a “one-state solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian issue would be—Israel granting citizenship to at least two million mostly intensely hostile Arabs?—while Netanyahu, desperate to avoid the term “two states,” reiterated his insistence on Israeli security control and Palestinian recognition of Israel, but mainly appeared terrified of riling his right-wing critics at home.

On a matter vastly more important than the Palestinian issue, Trump’s words—“My administration has already imposed new sanctions on Iran, and I will do more to prevent Iran from ever developing—I mean ever—a nuclear weapon”—were more encouraging to Israeli ears.

The words appeared to jibe with a report that the Trump administration is working to create a “NATO-like mutual defense pact” of moderate Arab states that would “share intelligence with Israel and the US to counter the rising threat of Iran.”

Israel’s role, according to an unnamed diplomat, “would likely be intelligence sharing, not training or boots on the ground. They’d provide intelligence and targets. That’s what the Israelis are good at.”

In other words, what sounds like a sophisticated plan—taking regional realities into account—to form a bulwark against Iranian expansionism that threatens to engulf the region in war.

It can be hoped that, in their hours-long powwow after the press conference, the U.S. president and Israeli prime minister focused much more on the Iranian issue, which is incomparably more urgent and can be resolved with determined action, than on the Palestinian issue, which is relatively minor and cannot—for now—be resolved.

If Trump, nonetheless, has delusions of grandeur on the Palestinian issue, expect Netanyahu to play along with his policy. It will be a relatively small price to pay for dealing with the Iranian menace.

P. David Hornik is a freelance writer and translator living in Beersheva and author of the book Choosing Life in Israel. His memoir, Destination Israel: Coming of Age and Finding Peace in the Middle East, is forthcoming from Liberty Island later this year.

Source: http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/265819/trump-netanyahu-seek-common-ground-p-david-hornik

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GOP Missing the Real Elephant in the Room - Brian C. Joondeph




by Brian C. Joondeph

Is it really a “subissue” that American intelligence are spying on and attempting to undermine a lawfully elected president and his administration?

Taking a walk on the wild side, I happened upon MSNBC’s "Morning Joe" during my morning drive. Not my first choice in news, but my other favorite radio stations were on commercial break. Senator Bob Corker was being interviewed over the Michael Flynn resignation.

Senator Corker asserted, “The base issue is getting to the bottom of what the Russian interference was and what the relationship was with associates of the Trump effort.” The proverbial “elephant in the room” as the senator described it.

He also wondered if the White House would have the ability to, “stabilize itself.” He went further talking about “the American people counting on us to do big things this year.” He did briefly mention intelligence leaks, as a “subissue that needs to be dealt with” using his words. But then reiterated that Russian involvement was the “big issue.”

Where to start?

How about President Obama’s admonition to Donald Trump last October, when Mrs. Clinton was on her way to a landslide electoral victory and Mr. Trump was headed back to reality TV. Trump claimed that the election was rigged against him. Obama advised Trump, "Stop whining and go try to make his case to get votes." Which he did. Going further, Mr. Obama added that there was, "no serious person" who would suggest it was possible to rig American elections. I presume this statement included the Russians.

Yet to Senator Corker, there is still concern that Russia “hacked” the election. Despite the U.S. intelligence community finding that the Russians, “were not involved in vote tallying.” Did the Russians try to meddle, influence, propagandize? Sure. What’s new about that?

Senator Corker, and I’m sure many of his colleagues such as senators McCain and Graham, believe the big elephant in the room of General Flynn’s resignation is the Russians. The reality is that the Russians are a sideshow, a distraction from the true elephant in the room -- intelligence agencies spying on American citizens.

The New York Times' big headline this week is, “Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence.” How can they know that? The article begins with, “phone records and intercepted calls” between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence agencies. The campaign officials being U.S. citizens, not to be spied on by the CIA or NSA without cause and warrants.

How could the NY Times have this information? Is the Times tapping phones? Doubtful. Instead it appears that U.S. intelligence agencies are listening in on phone calls and other communications of American citizens. And then passing on the information to friendly news agencies.

How’s that for an “elephant in the room,” Senator Corker? Are we now a police state? Speaking of the Russians, this was the modus operandi in the old USSR, and may still be the case in the new and improved Russian Federation.

Is it really a “subissue” that American intelligence are spying on and attempting to undermine a lawfully elected president and his administration? That’s not an elephant in the room. It’s a mammoth!

The other elephant is that the American people are counting on the Congress -- including Senator Corker -- to “do big things this year.” We have actually been counting on that for several years since electing Republican majorities in both the House and Senate, without any return on our efforts. Where is the ObamaCare repeal and replace? Tax relief? Immigration control? The issues that elected Donald Trump and GOP majorities in Congress. Rather than “big things” from Congress, we seem to only get “big talk”.

Perhaps the #NeverTrumpers in the GOP are secretly delighted with apparent White House chaos. Maybe that’s why they choose not to see the evidence of a shadow government operating in the bowels of the murky intelligence world, seeking to undermine the president and his administration. The same intelligence community which leaked a bogus dossier on Trump prepared by a former British intelligence operative.

The Republicans don’t need to be investigating Trump, his people, or the Russians. Trump and much of his team are from the business world, a world that includes Russia, China, and other not-so-U.S.-friendly regimes. Instead they should be investigating which agencies are spying on Americans, under whose orders, and why. And who is leaking such classified information to newspapers?

When the GOP establishment willfully ignores this, all they are doing is encouraging more elephants. And they will be among those crushed in the stampede. Appeasement, as history has taught us, doesn’t work. If the deep state can undermine President Trump, its next target will be Congress. This is a real potential powder keg. The GOP, as the majority party in Congress, had better be careful else they will light the fuse, intentionally or not. And America will lose.


Brian C Joondeph, MD, MPS, a Denver based physician and writer. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Source: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2017/02/gop_missing_the_real_elephant_in_the_room.html

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The End of Palestine - Daniel Greenfield




by Daniel Greenfield


Israel has the opportunity to reclaim its nation.



Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam

Palestine is many things. A Roman name and a Cold War lie. Mostly it’s a justification for killing Jews.

Palestine was an old Saudi-Soviet scam which invented a fake nationality for the Arab clans who had invaded and colonized Israel. This big lie transformed the leftist and Islamist terrorists run by them into the liberators of an imaginary nation. Suddenly the efforts of the Muslim bloc and the Soviet bloc to destroy the Jewish State became an undertaking of sympathetically murderous underdogs.

But the Palestine lie is past its sell by date.

What we think of as “Palestinian” terrorism was a low-level conflict pursued by the Arab Socialist states in between their invasions of Israel. After several lost wars, the terrorism was all that remained. Egypt, Syria and the USSR threw in the towel on actually destroying Israel with tanks and jets, but funding terrorism was cheap and low-risk. And the rewards were disproportionate to the cost.

For less than the price of a single jet fighter, Islamic terrorists could strike deep inside Israel while isolating the Jewish State internationally with demands for “negotiations” and “statehood.”

After the Cold War ended, Russia was low on cash and the PLO’s Muslim sugar daddies were tired of paying for Arafat’s wife’s shoe collection and his keffiyah dry cleaning bills.

The terror group was on its last legs. “Palestine” was a dying delusion that didn’t have much of a future.

That’s when Bill Clinton and the flailing left-wing Israeli Labor Party which, unlike its British counterpart, had failed to adapt to the new economic boom, decided to rescue Arafat and create ”Palestine”.

The resulting terrorist disaster killed thousands, scarred two generations of Israelis, isolated the country and allowed Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and other major cities to come under fire for the first time since the major wars. No matter how often Israeli concessions were met with Islamic terrorism, nothing seemed able to shake loose the two-state solution monkey on Israel’s back. Destroying Israel, instantaneously or incrementally, had always been a small price to pay for maintaining the international order.

The same economic forces that were transforming the world after the Cold War had salvaged “Palestine”. Arafat had lost his sponsors in Moscow, but his new sugar daddy’s name was “Globalism”.

The Cold War had been the focus of international affairs. What replaced it was the conviction that a new world tied together by international commerce, the internet and international law would be born.

The demands of a clan in Hebron used to be able to hijack the attention of the world because the scope of the clash between Capitalism and Communism could globalize any local conflict. Globalization was just as insistent on taking local conflicts and making them the world’s business through its insistence that every place was connected. The terrorist blowing up an Israeli pizzeria affected stock prices in New York, the expansion prospects of a company in China and the risk of another terrorist attack in Paris. And interconnectedness, from airplane hijacking to plugging into the international’s left alliance of global protest movements, had become the  best weapon of Islamic terrorists.

But now globalization is dying. And its death may just take “Palestine” with it.
A new generation of leaders is rising who are actively hostile to globalization. Trump and Brexit were the most vocal rebukes to transnationalism. But polls suggest that they will not be the only ones. The US and the UK, once the vanguards of the international order, now have governments that are competitively seeking national advantages rather than relying on the ordered rules of the transnational safety net.

These governments will not just toss aside their commitment to a Palestinian state. Not when the Saudis, Qataris and countless other rich and powerful Muslim countries bring it up at every session.

But they will be less committed to it.

45% of Americans support the creation of a PLO state. 42% are opposed. That's a near split. These historical numbers have to be viewed within the context of the larger changes sweeping the country.

The transnationalists actively believed that it was their job to solve the problems of other countries. Nationalists are concerned with how the problems of other countries directly impinge on them without resorting to the mystical interconnectedness of everything, from climate change to global justice, that is at the core of the transnational worldview.

More intense competition by Western nations may make it easier for Islamic agendas to gain influence through the old game of divide and conquer. Nations facing terrorism will still find that the economic influence of Islamic oil power will rally the Western trading partners of Islam against them.

But without the transnational order, such efforts will often amount to little more than lip service.

Nationalist governments will find Israel’s struggle against the Islamic invaders inconvenient because it threatens their business interests, but they will also be less willing to rubber stamp the terror agenda the way that transnationalist governments were willing to do. The elimination of the transnational safety net will also cause nationalist governments to look harder at consequences and results.

Endlessly pouring fortunes into a Palestinian state that will never exist just to keep Muslim oil tyrants happy is not unimaginable behavior even for a nationalist government. Japan has been doing just that.

But it will be a less popular approach for countries that don’t suffer from Japan’s energy insecurity.

Transnationalists are ideologically incapable of viewing a problem as unsolvable. Their faith in human progress through international law made it impossible for them to give up on the two-state solution.

Nationalist governments have a colder and harder view of human nature. They will not endlessly pour efforts and resources into a diplomatic black hole. They will eventually take “No” for an answer.

This won’t mean instantaneous smooth sailing for Israel. It will however mean that the exit is there.

For two decades, pledging allegiance to the two-state solution and its intent to create a deadly Islamic terror state inside Israel has been the price demanded of the Jewish State for its participation in the international community. That price will not immediately vanish. But it will become easier to negotiate.

The real change will be on the “Palestinian” side where a terrorist kleptoracy feeds off human misery in its mansions downwind of Ramallah. That terror state, conceived insincerely by the enemies of the West during the Cold War and sincerely brought into being by Western transnationalists after the Cold War ended, is a creature of that transnational order.

The “Palestinian Authority”, a shell company of the PLO which is a shell company of the Fatah terrorists, has no economy worth speaking of. It has foreign aid. Its diplomatic achievements are achieved for it by the transnational network of foreign diplomats, the UN, the media and assorted international NGOs. During the last round of “negotiations”, Secretary of State John Kerry even attempted to do the negotiating on behalf of the Palestinian Authority in the talks with Israel.

Take away the transnational order and the Palestinian Authority will need a new sugar daddy. The Saudis are better at promising money than actually delivering it. Russia may decide to take on the job. But it isn’t about to put in the money and resources that the PA has grown used to receiving from us.

Without significant American support, the Palestinian Authority will perish. And the farce will end.

It won’t happen overnight. But Israel now has the ability to make it happen if it is willing to take the risk of transforming a corrosive status quo into a conflict that will be more explosive in the short term, but more manageable in the long term.

Prime Minister Netanyahu, in stark contrast to rivals on the left like Peres and on the right like Sharon, is not a gambler. The peace process was a big gamble. As was the withdrawal from Lebanon and the expulsion from Gaza. These gambles failed and left behind scars and enduring crises.

Unlike the prime ministers before and after him, Netanyahu has made no big moves. Instead he serves as a sensible steward of a rising economy and a growing nation. He has stayed in office for so long because Israelis know that he won’t do anything crazy. That sensible stewardship, which infuriated Obama who accused him of refusing to take risks, has made him one of the longest serving leaders in Israeli history.

Netanyahu is also a former commando who participated in the rescue of a hijacked airplane. He doesn’t believe in taking foolish risks until he has his shot all lined up. But the time is coming when not taking a risk will be a bigger risk than taking a risk. Eventually he will have to roll the dice.

The new nationalist wave may not hold. The transnational order may return. Or the new wave may prove darker and more unpredictable. It’s even possible that something else may take its place.

The status quo, a weak Islamist-Socialist terror state in Ramallah supported by the United States, a rising Muslim Brotherhood terror state in Gaza backed by Qatar and Turkey, and an Israel using technological brilliance to manage the threat from both, is already unstable. It may collapse in a matter of years.

The PLO has inflicted a great deal of diplomatic damage on Israel and Hamas has terrorized its major cities. Together they form an existential threat that Israel has allowed to grow under the guise of managing it. The next few years may leave Israel with a deadlier and less predictable struggle.

“Palestine” is dying. Israel didn’t kill it. The fall of the transnational order did. The question is what will take its place. As the nationalist wave sweeps the West, Israel has the opportunity to reclaim its nation.

Daniel Greenfield

Source: http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/265820/end-palestine-daniel-greenfield

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Why a Palestinian state would be bad for America - Atty. Stephen M. Flatow




by Atty. Stephen M. Flatow

America doesn't need another anti-US belligerent state.

We all know why the creation of a Palestinian state would be dangerous for Israel— the indefensible borders, the vulnerable airports, the lack of water sources.

But let’s consider why a Palestinian state would be dangerous for America.

Turmoil and instability:  The Palestinians have a long record of fomenting regional instability. They provoked an armed conflict with King Hussein of Jordan. They instigated a civil war in Lebanon. It’s only a matter of time before a Palestinian state would stir up turmoil and mayhem throughout the region. That kind of chaos, in such a sensitive region of the world, is the last thing the U.S. needs.

Proxy for rogues:   The Palestinians have always allied themselves with the most extreme and aggressive regimes in the world: in the old days, it was the Soviet Union; today, it’s North Korea and Iran. “Palestine” would quickly invite Iranian “volunteers” and North Korean missiles. It would become a proxy-state for the world’s worst rogue regimes. How would an Iranian port in Gaza be good for America?

Against American values:   We can already see from the Palestinian Authority’s practices over the past 23 years what kind of state it would have. Islam will be the state religion. Elections will be held rarely, if ever. Critics of the regime will be suppressed. Labor unions will be harassed. Prisoners will be tortured. Christians will be intimidated. Women will be second-class citizens. The Islamist and authoritarian values embodied by the Palestinian state will be the exact opposite of the democratic and pluralistic values that we Americans cherish.

Enmity towards America:  A Palestinian state would be an actively anti-American state in word and deed. How do we know? Just look at what the Palestinian Authority has been teaching its people, and especially its children, for the past two decades. The PA’s media and schools portray the United States as racist, colonial, and war-mongering. They accuse the U.S. of carrying out the 9/11 attacks, spreading disease and immorality, and conspiring against Islam.

A Palestinian state will promote hatred of America, vote against the U.S. in international forums, and align itself with radical Third World regimes. The world already has plenty of America-hating countries. Why do we need yet another?

One of the more remarkable things about the PA’s behavior has been its habit of taking $500-million from the U.S. every year and then turning around and naming streets, parks, schools, and sports competitions after terrorists who have murdered Americans. Some of them are even named after the notorious Dalal Mughrabi, a terrorist who murdered the niece of a U.S. senator. If this is how the PA acts now, when it desperately needs U.S. support for its statehood campaign, just imagine how it will act when it has a sovereign state and no longer needs American assistance.

Undermining America’s ally:  Israel has always been America’s closest friend and most reliable ally. As a matter of principle, and as a matter of strategic wisdom, the United States should always stand by its friends. To set up a Palestinian state along Israel’s borders would pose a grave danger to our ally. It would also undermine the confidence of all of America’s allies, and call into doubt the value of America’s promises.

—Dragging the U.S. into overseas conflicts:  Israel has never asked the United States to defend it militarily. The Israelis fight their own battles. But if a weakened, shrunken Israel is in danger of being overrun by a Palestinian-Iranian-North Korean onslaught, there will be tremendous pressure on the United States to take military action rather than see its closest ally destroyed. Thus the U.S. could find itself dragged into an overseas conflict that was entirely preventable.

In every conceivable respect, a Palestinian state would be bad for America—bad for American values, bad for American interests, and bad for America’s allies.


Atty. Stephen M. Flatow, a New Jersey attorney, is vice president of the Religious Zionists of America and the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered by Palestinian terrorists in 1995 on a study trip to Israel when the bus she was on exploded on her way to the beach in Gush Katif. When Alisa succumbed to fatal head wounds at Soroka Medical Center, the family donated her organs to save the lives of others.

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/20173

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A George Soros-Led Mutiny - Shari Goodman




by Shari Goodman

He has openly stated that he sees himself as a messianic figure that fancies himself as some kind of god while making his fortune betting on the collapse of national economies and currencies.

The Oxford Dictionary defines mutiny as "an open rebellion against the proper authorities." It is synonymous with "revolt and riot." For the last few decades George Soros and his Open Society Institute have organized and financed a seditious movement to destroy our Constitutional Republic and monetary system. Their mission appears to be to replace it with a One World borderless government under the jurisdiction of the United Nations.

Soros, a native of Hungary, made his multibillion-dollar fortune by manipulating currencies. Devoid of a moral conscience, he dumped 10 billion sterling, which broke the Bank of England and led to a British financial crisis. It forced the devaluation of their currency while gaining for himself a billion dollar profit. Through his trading activities in Malaysia, he brought down that nation's currency and in Thailand he is viewed as an "economic war criminal." He has openly stated that he sees himself as a messianic figure that fancies himself as some kind of god while making his fortune betting on the collapse of national economies and currencies. 

Employing the Cloward-Piven Strategy of forcing political change through orchestrated crisis, Soros seeks to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands and grievances; thus, pushing society into crisis and economic collapse. Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven were two radical socialist Columbia University professors inspired by Saul Alinsky's revolutionary blended concepts of bringing down a U.S. government.

Similar to Alinsky, Cloward and Piven encouraged demonstrations, protests, and riots as a means to generate public attention and wreck institutional havoc. Their goal was to force the collapse of their target. 

Likewise, Soros appears to be using their concepts by employing the following steps to achieve his goal.

Step One: Form a shadow government using humanitarian aid as cover.

Step Two: Control the airwaves. Feed propaganda into existing radio and TV outlets and move public opinion.

Step Three: Destabilize the state, weaken the government and build anti-government hostility in the country. Exploit an economic crisis or take advantage of an existing crisis -- pressure from the top and the bottom. This will allow you to weaken the government and build anti-government public sentiment.
Step Four: Sow unrest. Protests. Violence. Hate.

Step Five: Provoke an election crisis. You wait for an election and during the election, you cry voter fraud.

Step Six: Take power. You stage massive demonstrations, civil disobedience, sit-ins, general strikes, and you encourage activism. You promote voter fraud and tell followers what to do through your radio and television stations. Incitement and violence are conducted at this stage. 

Step Seven: Outlast your opponent. 

Currently Soros is actively working behind the scenes to collapse the United States and all seven steps are now in play. His hedge fund, Soros Fund Management, is betting on the collapse of Capitalism. They are moving their assets to gold and to the emerging economies. While openly professing that he favors an "orderly decline of the dollar" he has given away billions to 187 organizations dedicated to destroying the United States from within. These organizations favor open borders, amnesty, Muslim immigration, Marxism and Socialism. The ACLU, Southern Poverty Law Center, Media Matters, and La Raza are just a few of the organizations he employs in his war effort.

Soros gave millions to the organizers of the Women's March against President Trump and he is behind the lawfare currently used against President Trump's Executive Order for a temporary ban on immigration from seven countries known to be hotbeds of terrorism. Instead of focusing his efforts on securing American lives, Soros is the financier of what the Left have dubbed as a "resistance movement." Resistance movements are common in Third World tyrannical regimes but are unheard of in a democratic Constitutional Republic. In effect, they are resisting the will of the people who democratically elected President Trump. They are forming their own shadow government with the financial backing of George Soros and the leadership of Obama (who took the unusual step of staying in D.C. and has his own mass organization, OFA, Organizing for Action) and Hillary Clinton. Tim Kaine, a step away from becoming our Vice President, brazenly encouraged lawlessness when he publicly called for violence against President Trump supporters.

Thus, at the beginning of the 21st century we find ourselves on the brink of a violent second civil war where universities are no longer bastions of free speech, Trump supporters are routinely accosted, lawfare is now a weapon used against President Trump's policies, and economic boycotts against the Trump brand are now promoted. Although President Trump won the electoral college, our normal historical transition of power continues to be denied to him by a George Soros-led mutiny of obstruction and destruction. 

Many Americans are fed up and are asking why the Seditious Conspiracy law, which was first enacted during the Civil War, is no longer applied. It was first used by our federal government to criminalize plots to levy war against the United States by Confederate sympathizers, and it successfully ended their acts of aggression and riots. Though this law is still in existence it is rarely used, but as the threat to our democracy increases from a lawless segment of our population and from an organized seditious plot to overthrow our form of government, many are seeking its application. 

Andrew McCarthy in a recent National Review column suggested the notion of invoking the Seditious Conspiracy law for the rioters in Berkeley; however, I would go one step further. Hiding behind each rioter is the face of George Soros, the man whose billions have aided and abetted the overthrow of the United States as we know it. Justice demands a federal investigation and the welfare of our Republic depends on it.

Shari Goodman is an educator, activist, and journalist. Her commentaries have appeared in American Thinker, World Net Daily, Canada Free Press, Israel Today, and other publications. She is a red dot residing in the blue state of California.

Source: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2017/02/a_george_sorosled_mutiny.html

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The Arab-Israel Conflict: Back to the Future - Shoshana Bryen




by Shoshana Bryen

What is commonly called the "Palestinian-Israeli conflict" is, in fact, the "Arab-Israel conflict."

  • What is commonly called the "Palestinian-Israeli conflict" is, in fact, the "Arab-Israel conflict."
  • Jordan illegally annexed the West Bank in 1950, and from that time Palestinian nationalism has been deadly for the Kingdom.
  • "I call on the Palestinian people to elect new leaders, leaders not compromised by terror... to build a practicing democracy, based on tolerance and liberty. If the Palestinian people actively pursue these goals, America and the world will actively support their efforts.... A Palestinian state will never be created by terror -- it will be built through reform. And reform must be more than cosmetic change, or veiled attempts to preserve the status quo." — President George W. Bush, 2002.
  • "There's no way a deal can be made if they're not ready to acknowledge a very, very great and important country." — President Donald J. Trump, 2017.
  • The burden, then, is on the Arab states and the Palestinians.
The optics, certainly, were fine. It was good to see an American president and an Israeli prime minister standing together on the podium with what appeared to be genuine good will. Most important, and promising for the future, perhaps, was how they dealt with the "two state solution" mantra. There was, for the first time in years, nuance in both the American and the Israeli position toward what has become a slogan without meaning.


U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu address a press conference at the White House, February 15, 2017. (Image source: White House video screenshot)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated the possibility of two states with caveats he noted:
  • Palestinian acceptance of the legitimacy of Jewish sovereignty, echoing the words of the UN Partition Plan for Palestine for "a Jewish state."
  • Israeli security control from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River. "Israel must retain the overriding security control over the entire area west of the Jordan River. Because... otherwise we'll get another radical Islamic terrorist state in the Palestinian areas exploding the peace, exploding the Middle East."
President Donald Trump deferred, as befits someone who won't live with the consequences of actions taken 6,000 miles away:
"I like the (solution) that both parties like... I can live with either one. I thought for a while that two states looked like it may be the easier of the two. To be honest, if Bibi and the Palestinians, if Israel and the Palestinians are happy, I'm happy with the one they like the best."
Between them, it was clear that the door has been opened to other possibilities. There were references to meetings (present and possibly future) with Sunni Arab states that are increasingly willing to be seen in Israel's company.

It should be noted here that Qatar's representative in Gaza said last week that he had "excellent relations" with a number of Israeli officials. He told the Times of Israel that the Palestinian Authority (PA) was "standing in the way of solutions to the power shortages and other problems" in Gaza. "I am in contact with senior Israeli officials and agencies and the relationship is great," said Muhammad al-Amadi.

It is still true that Qatar funds a variety of jihadist movements and has been Hamas's primary funder. But the U.S. Treasury Department praised Qatar for moves to deny jihadists access to funds, and Qatar's patronage may decline further with the secret-ballot election of Iranian ally Yahye Sinwar to head the organization in Gaza. Trading Qatar for Iran in Gaza is not a plus for Israel, but it may benefit Israel's Gulf State relations.

Saudi relations with Israel are an open secret -- they use third parties to import Israeli high-tech and water technology. Israel has had a diplomatic mission in Abu Dhabi since 2015. Through similar cutouts, Israel has sold defense equipment to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Relations with Egypt, particularly on security, are close and growing. Israel's relations with Jordan have been key to Hashemite monarchy's survival -- and the monarch knows it.

None of this should be taken as a sign that Israel is anyone's long-term friend or partner, but the opening for conversation other than "two states" is there. Where might that conversation go?

Back, perhaps, to the future.

What is commonly called the "Palestinian-Israeli conflict" is, in fact, the "Arab-Israel conflict." The Arab states rejected Israel's independence in 1948 and made war against it multiple times. UN Resolution 242 was designed to provide Israel with the security and legitimacy it had been denied by its accepting Israel's control of territory beyond the 1949 Armistice Line until the Arabs came forward. Demonstrable Arab acceptance of UN Resolution 242 would pave the way for the "secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force" to which Israel is entitled.

It would also pave the way for a return to the 1993 Oslo Accords, which made no mention of statehood for the Palestinians, but which envisioned a "permanent settlement based on Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338."

Jordan illegally annexed the West Bank in 1950, and from that time Palestinian nationalism has been deadly for the Kingdom. The 1970 Black September uprising against King Hussein caused thousands of casualties and resulted in the PLO being expelled from Jordan to Lebanon. King Hussein renounced Jordan's illegal claim to the West Bank in 1988, paving the way for the Jordan-Israel peace treaty, but also trying to withdraw Jordan from a mess of its own creation. Continuing low-level violence in Jordan is the result. Without further discussion between the Palestinians and King Abdullah II, Palestinian nationalism continues to threaten an important American ally.

A settlement based on UN Resolution 242 could include a Palestinian relationship with both Israel and Jordan that is more than autonomy and less than statehood, with economic and social integration across the Jordan River.

As an adjunct, it is useful to remember that American support for the Palestinian experiment was not full-fledged support for statehood without conditions -- until the Obama administration. It was President Clinton who signed the "something less than statehood" Oslo Accords, and President George W. Bush in his 2002 Rose Garden speech on Palestinian nationalism said:
I call on the Palestinian people to elect new leaders, leaders not compromised by terror... to build a practicing democracy, based on tolerance and liberty. If the Palestinian people actively pursue these goals, America and the world will actively support their efforts.
And when the Palestinian people have new leaders, new institutions and new security arrangements with their neighbors, the United States of America will support the creation of a Palestinian state whose borders and certain aspects of its sovereignty will be provisional until resolved as part of a final settlement in the Middle East.
A Palestinian state will never be created by terror -- it will be built through reform. And reform must be more than cosmetic change, or veiled attempts to preserve the status quo.
This turns full circle to President Trump's statement on the podium with Prime Minister Netanyahu:
"The Palestinians have to get rid of some of that hate that they're taught from a very young age. They're taught tremendous hate. I've seen what they're taught. And you can talk about flexibility there too, but it starts at a very young age and it starts in the schoolroom. And they have to acknowledge Israel -- they're going to have to do that. There's no way a deal can be made if they're not ready to acknowledge a very, very great and important country."
The burden, then, is on the Arab states and the Palestinians to meet obligations dating as far back as 1948 and proceeding through 1967 and 1993. When they arrive in the 21st century, a "solution" will be found for Israel, the Palestinians, and Jordan and even, perhaps, the unhappy residents of Gaza.
But not until then.
Shoshana Bryen is Senior Director of the Jewish Policy Center.
Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/9953/arab-israel-conflict

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Pawns Of the Left - Walter Williams




by Walter Williams


The black community cannot afford to go along with the war on police.




Ordinary black people cannot afford to go along with the liberal agenda that calls for undermining police authority. That agenda makes for more black crime victims. Let's look at what works and what doesn't work.

In 1990, New York City adopted the practice in which its police officers might stop and question a pedestrian. If there was suspicion, they would frisk the person for weapons and other contraband. This practice, well within the law, is known as a Terry stop. After two decades of this proactive police program, New York City's homicides fell from over 2,200 per year to about 300. Blacks were the major beneficiaries of proactive policing. According to Manhattan Institute scholar Heather Mac Donald — author of "The War on Cops" — seeing as black males are the majority of New York City's homicide victims, more than 10,000 blacks are alive today who would not be had it not been for proactive policing.

The American Civil Liberties Union and other leftist groups brought suit against proactive policing. A U.S. District Court judge ruled that New York City's "stop and frisk" policy violated the 14th Amendment's promise of equal protection because black and Hispanic people were subject to stops and searches at a higher rate than whites. But the higher rate was justified. Mac Donald points out that while blacks are 23 percent of New York City's population, they are responsible for 75 percent of shootings and 70 percent of robberies. Whites are 34 percent of the population of New York City. They are responsible for less than 2 percent of shootings and 4 percent of robberies. If you're trying to prevent shootings and robberies, whom are you going to focus most attention on, blacks or whites?

In 2015, 986 people were shot and killed by police. Of that number, 495 were white (50 percent), and 258 were black (26 percent). Liberals portray shootings by police as racist attacks on blacks. To solve this problem, they want police departments to hire more black police officers. It turns out that the U.S. Justice Department has found that black police officers in San Francisco and Philadelphia are likelier than whites to shoot and use force against black suspects. That finding is consistent with a study of 2,699 fatal police killings between 2013 and 2015, conducted by John R. Lott Jr. and Carlisle E. Moody of the Crime Prevention Research Center, showing that the odds of a black suspect's being killed by a black police officer were consistently greater than the odds of a black suspect's being killed by a white officer. And little is said about cops killed. Mac Donald reports that in 2013, 42 percent of cop killers were black.

Academic liberals and civil rights spokespeople make the claim that the disproportionate number of blacks in prison is a result of racism. They ignore the fact that black criminal activity is many multiples of that of other racial groups. They argue that differential imprisonment of blacks is a result of the racist war on drugs. Mac Donald says that state prisons contain 88 percent of the nation's prison population. Just 4 percent of state prisoners are incarcerated for drug possession. She argues that if drug offenders were removed from the nation's prisons, the black incarceration rate would go down from about 37.6 percent to 37.4 percent. The vast majority of blacks in prison are there because of violent crime — and mostly against black people.

That brings us to the most tragic aspect of black crime. The primary victims are law-abiding black people who must conduct their lives in fear. Some parents serve their children meals on the floor and sometimes put them to sleep in bathtubs so as to avoid stray bullets. The average American does not live this way and would not tolerate it. And that includes the white liberals who support and make excuses for criminals. Plain decency mandates that we come to the aid of millions of law-abiding people under siege. For their part, black people should stop being pawns for white liberals and support the police who are trying to protect them.

Walter Williams

Source: http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/265810/pawns-left-walter-williams

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US spies reportedly keeping intelligence from Trump - FoxNews.com




by FoxNews.com

Sensitive intelligence reportedly is being withheld from President Trump by U.S. intelligence officials because they are concerned that the information could be compromised.





Sensitive intelligence reportedly is being withheld from President Trump by U.S. intelligence officials because they are concerned that the information could be compromised.

The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that in some cases officials opted not to show the president how they collected the information. The paper, citing both former and current officials, said the decision to hold back information underscores the mistrust between the Executive Branch and spies. 

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, said he has heard about these concerns in the past.

“I’ve talked with people in the intelligence community that do have concerns about the White House, about the president, and I think those concerns take a number of forms,” he said, according to the paper. “What the intelligence community considers their most sacred obligation is to protect the very best intelligence and to protect the people that are producing it.”

VIDEO: NUNES ON INTELLIGENCE LEAKS:  NO DOUBT  A CRIME WAS COMMITTED

The situation could be more nuanced. 

A government official told Fox News that Trump has in fact been receiving what’s known as the President’s Daily Brief, noting that it does not routinely include raw data or discussion of sources and methods. 

Fox News has learned that former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn wanted to pull together overnight intelligence reporting, including raw data, for the president to review, and this may explain the reported roadblocks.

The Journal report points out that, historically, intelligence officials have held back information about how spies gather information, but in those cases, the information was not held back due to concerns over the president’s trustworthiness.

In January, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., took on Trump over his criticism of the intelligence service.

"Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you," Schumer told MSNBC. “So even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he’s being really dumb to do this.” 

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence denied the accusation late Wednesday that intelligence officials were withholding information from Trump.

"Any suggestion that the U.S. intelligence community is withholding information and not providing the best possible intelligence to the president and his national security team is not true."

The Week magazine published an article Tuesday about how America’s spies "took down Michael Flynn." 

Damon Linker, a senior correspondent, wrote, “These leaks are an enormous problem. And in a less polarized context, they would be recognized immediately for what they clearly are: an effort to manipulate public opinion for the sake of achieving a desired political outcome. It's weaponized spin.”

Flynn's ouster was a blow to a White House struggling to find its footing in Trump's first weeks in office.

The questions about Russia only deepened late Tuesday when The New York Times reported that U.S. agencies had intercepted phone calls last year between Russian intelligence officials and members of Trump's 2016 campaign team.

Current and former U.S. officials who spoke to the Times anonymously said they found no evidence that the Trump campaign was working with the Russians on hacking or other efforts to influence the election.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, told Fox News on Wednesday that he had sent a letter to the Justice Department's inspector general urging it to investigate the leaks that led to Flynn's removal.

Flynn maintained for weeks that he had not discussed U.S. sanctions in his conversations with Russia's ambassador. He later conceded that the topic may have come up.

Still, reports that there is a divide between Trump and his spies is concerning.

A White House official told The Journal that there is no information “that leads us to believe that this is an accurate account of what is actually happening.”

The Week linked to a report in Bloomberg that said, “Normally intercepts of U.S. officials and citizens are some of the most tightly held government secrets. This is for good reason. Selectively disclosing details of private conversations monitored by the FBI or NSA gives the permanent state the power to destroy reputations from the cloak of anonymity. This is what police states do.”

Fox News' Catherine Herridge and The Associated Press contributed to this report.


FoxNews.com

Source: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/02/15/us-spies-reportedly-keeping-intelligence-from-trump.html

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Palestinian Assault on Freedoms - Khaled Abu Toameh




by Khaled Abu Toameh

By failing -- or, more accurately, refusing -- to hold the PA accountable for its crackdown on public freedoms, American and European taxpayers actively contribute to the emergence of another Arab dictatorship in the Middle East.

  • The Palestinians seem to be marching towards establishing a regime that is remarkably reminiscent of the despotic and corrupt Arab and Islamic governments.
  • Palestinian professor Abdel Sattar Qassem, who teaches political science at An-Najah University in Nablus, is facing trial for "extending his tongue" against PA President Mahmoud Abbas and other senior PA officials.
  • Many Palestinians used to say that their dream is that one day they would have a free media and democracy like their neighbors in Israel. But thanks to the apathy of the international community, Palestinians have come to learn that if and when they ever have their own state, its role model will not be Israel or any Western democracy, but the regimes of repression that control the Arab and Muslim world.
A novelist, a journalist and a university professor walk into a bar. Sounds like a joke, but it stops being funny when these three figures are the latest victims of the Palestinian Authority's (PA) crackdown on public freedoms, above all, freedom of expression.

The crackdown is yet more proof of the violent intolerance that the Western-funded PA has long shown its critics.

It is also a sad reminder that more than two decades after the foundation of the PA, Palestinians are as far from democracy as ever. In fact, the Palestinians seem to be marching in the opposite direction -- towards establishing a regime that is remarkably reminiscent of the despotic and corrupt Arab and Islamic governments.

PA officials like to boast that Palestinians living under their rule in the West Bank enjoy a great deal of freedom of expression, especially compared to the situation under Hamas in the Gaza Strip. However, a good look at the actions of the PA and its various security branches shows that they are not much different than those enforced by Hamas.

Sometimes it even seems as if the PA and Hamas are competing to see which one of them can most successfully silence critics and cracks down on journalists. This is the sad reality in which Palestinians living under the rule of these two parties have found themselves.

While it is understandable why an extremist Islamic movement like Hamas would seek to muzzle its critics, there is no reason why a PA government funded by Americans and Europeans should not be held accountable for persecuting dissidents and throwing objectors into prison.

By failing -- or, more accurately, refusing -- to hold the PA accountable for its crackdown on public freedoms, American and European taxpayers actively contribute to the emergence of another Arab dictatorship in the Middle East.

Hundreds of Western-funded non-governmental organizations (NGOs), operating in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip, pay scant attention to the real problems facing Palestinians as a result of the actions of their PA and Hamas governments. The same applies to Western mainstream media and human rights organizations and advocates.

This willful neglect by the West encourages the Palestinian leaders in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to continue repressing their own people. There are times, however, when the international community pays attention to the plight of Palestinians: when the complaints concern Israel.

The PA government bans a Palestinian novel and confiscates copies from bookstores. Where is the outcry? There is none to be heard from the international community - because Israel was not behind the incident.

This is what happened last week when the PA Prosecutor-General issued an order banning the novel "Crime in Ramallah" by the author Abbad Yahya under the pretext that it contained "indecent texts and terms that threaten morality and public decency, which could affect the public, in particular minors."

Yahya said he was summoned for questioning and his editor, Fuad Al-Aklik, was detained for 24 hours. PA policemen raided several bookshops in a number of Palestinian cities and confiscated all copies. The author, who is on a visit to Qatar, has since received multiple death threats and is afraid to return home.

The decision to ban the novel prompted 99 Palestinian writers, academics and researchers to sign a petition criticizing the PA authorities and calling for rescinding the ban. The petition called on the PA to cancel its punitive measures, which "cause harm to the Palestinians and their struggle for freedom from oppression, dictatorship and censorship." The petition warned that the ban was a "grave breach of freedom of expression and creativity" and creates a situation where authors are forced to practice self-censorship.

The petition signed by the prominent Palestinians does not seem to have left an impression on the PA leadership in Ramallah.

Undeterred, PA security forces arrested journalist Sami Al-Sai, from the city of Tulkarem in the northern West Bank, for allegedly posting critical comments on Facebook. The PA has accused Al-Sai, who works as a correspondent for a private television station, of "fomenting sectarian strife."

This is an accusation that is often leveled against journalists or authors who dare to criticize the PA leadership. A PA court has ordered Al-Sai remanded into custody for 15 days. Protests by some Palestinian journalists against the arrest of their colleague have thus far fallen on deaf ears.

Meanwhile, Palestinian professor Abdel Sattar Qassem, who teaches political science at An-Najah University in the West Bank city of Nablus, is facing trial for "extending his tongue" against PA President Mahmoud Abbas and other senior PA officials. He is also charged with spreading "fake news" and "fomenting sectarian strife." The decision to prosecute Qassem came following a TV interview where he strongly criticized Abbas and commanders of the PA security forces. Qassem has long been a vocal critic of the PA leadership and as a result he has been arrested on a number of occasions; shots have been fired at his home.


Professor Abdul Sattar Qassem (left) is facing trial for "extending his tongue" against Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (right) and other senior PA officials.

These three cases are only the tip of an iceberg of oppression. It is very difficult to distinguish between Mahmoud Abbas's government and the Arab and Islamic dictatorships, where human rights violations and assaults on public freedoms are the established norm. In his despotic behavior, Abbas has also shown himself to be rather akin to his clampdown-prone predecessor, Yasser Arafat.

Dr. Khalil Assaf, member of the Palestinian Public Freedoms Committee in the West Bank, accused the PA of systematic assaults on public freedoms and human rights.

He noted, for example, that refusing to issue or renew passports was one the measures taken by the PA to punish its opponents. He also accused the PA of "inventing" a law that authorizes its governors to order the detention without trial of any Palestinian. He pointed out that although the Palestinian High Court had ruled that this law was illegal, the PA governors continue to use it to detain Palestinians.

"Palestinians are being detained for days without being brought before a judge and houses are being searched without warrants," Dr. Assaf complained. "Detainees are often prevented from contacting their families to inform them of their incarceration." He also noted that Palestinians are sometimes denied driving licenses or jobs because of their political activities. Palestinians are also being detained or summoned for interrogation because of their posts on Facebook, he added.

Many Palestinians used to say that their dream is that one day they would have a free media and democracy like their neighbors in Israel. But thanks to the apathy of the international community, the Palestinians have come to learn that if and when they ever have their own state, its role model will not be Israel or any Western democracy, but the regimes of repression that control the Arab and Muslim world.
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Khaled Abu Toameh, an award-winning journalist, is based in Jerusalem.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/9950/palestinians-freedoms

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