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His proposed authorization for use of military force might do lasting damage to the separation of powers.

(Which is exactly what he has in mind!)

By MICHAEL B. MUKASEY And DAVID B. RIVKIN JR.

The Wall Street Journal
Feb. 20, 2015

President Obama last week sent to Congress a draft resolution regarding an authorization for use of military force, or AUMF, against the terrorist group Islamic State. Although presidents have constitutional power to defend American national-security interests, seeking an AUMF is both constitutional and sound. The measure enables Congress to show its support for military efforts and encourages public approval of them. From the nation’s founding, dozens of AUMFs have been enacted. The 2001 resolution authorizing war against al Qaeda and its affiliates and the 2002 authorization of the Iraq war are only the most recent.

AUMFs also have legal significance. They buttress the president’s powers and, consistent with Supreme Court precedent, provide legal support when such aspects of war-fighting as electronic surveillance, detention of enemy combatants and use of deadly force against American nationals who have joined the enemy are challenged in court.

One can argue whether Congress’s constitutional power to declare war serves principally to distinguish formally among enemies, friends and neutrals, or has broader effect. However, AUMFs have become particularly important in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks, as federal courts have involved themselves to an unprecedented degree in scrutinizing such activities. The relevant judicial decisions often cite the existence of an AUMF.

Despite the benefits of traditional AUMFs, President Obama’s proposal is fundamentally flawed. Attempting to obtain political cover for his strategy to fight Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, he has asked Congress to ban “enduring offensive ground operations” and to terminate the authorization after three years.

Congress cannot restrain the president’s core constitutional authority to wage war, even when congressionally imposed restrictions are minor—as was true with 2001 legislation that purported to limit the president’s authority to place U.S. armed forces under the command of foreign officers as part of U.N. peacekeeping missions. Congress did not bar the president from placing U.S. troops under foreign command, but merely required that certain procedures be followed in such cases. Even so, the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel correctly concluded that “it is unconstitutional for Congress to place conditions, whether substantive or procedural, on the president’s exercise of his constitutional authority as Commander-in-Chief.”

Every president from Richard Nixon on has maintained that the 1973 War Powers Resolution, requiring that the president notify Congress within 60 days of committing U.S. troops abroad, is unconstitutional. Yet each president also has—voluntarily—complied with it. Except President Obama, who directed U.S. military intervention in Libya and claimed that the 1973 law did not apply because the effort was too limited to be called a “war.” Yet now the Obama AUMF purports to impose major constraints on the president’s commander-in-chief authority—both his own, and his successors’.

The Founders were careful to vest responsibility for waging war in a unitary executive, rather than in a multimember legislature. They made the decision based on their historical knowledge that the unity of command is the prerequisite for military success, and on their own experience during the Revolutionary War—which had been managed by committees of the Continental Congress. James Wilson, among the most learned lawyers of the Founding generation, reasoned that, with a unitary executive “[w]e secure vigor. We well know what numerous executives are. We know there is neither vigor, decision nor responsibility in them.”

The Founders also trusted in the power of political accountability, which is why they decisively rejected an executive branch composed of a president and executive council in favor of the unitary executive branch we now enjoy. In Federalist No. 70, Alexander Hamilton observed that political accountability can exist only if the president cannot shift responsibility for his actions onto others: “It often becomes impossible, amid mutual accusations, to determine on whom the blame of punishment of pernicious measures, ought really to fall.” The public, he concluded, would be “left in suspense about the real author” of bad policy.

If Congress were to limit President Obama’s commander-in-chief power by banning what his resolution calls “enduring offensive combat operations”—whatever that means—Congress would effectively operate as an executive council to Mr. Obama, allowing him to evade accountability for his halfhearted prosecution of war against ISIS. It is bad enough that legislation to tie a president’s hands is being proposed by a president. That it is proposed by this president, who has been so willing to exceed his constitutional authority in domestic affairs—by rewriting immigration laws, anti-narcotics laws, ObamaCare and so on—underscores the administration’s cynicism and its disdain for the Constitution.

If Congress buys into this presidential plan it will set a dangerous precedent that might do lasting damage to the separation of powers. With the two political branches seemingly in accord on joint responsibility for waging war, the federal courts might bless this arrangement, handicapping future presidents.

In recent years, congressional Democrats have been content to accommodate President Obama, whether he chose to enlarge the president’s constitutional prerogatives or diminish them. Congressional Republicans, having chosen to litigate against President Obama when he invaded Congress’s lawmaking authority by rewriting ObamaCare, should display the same principled determination to uphold the president’s constitutional prerogatives. No AUMF is better than one that is constitutionally flawed.

Mr. Mukasey served as U.S. attorney general (2007-09) and as a U.S. district judge for the Southern District of New York (1988-2006). Mr. Rivkin is a constitutional litigator and served in the Justice Department and White House Counsel’s Office in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations.

(Let us hope that the Congress has enough good sense to understand that this is just another Obama power grab. In this case the power grab has a very specific intent – Obama wants to re-enforce or diminish his powers to wage war as he choses against ISIS – the most diabolical, destructive, anti-Christian, Anti-Israel, anti-Western civilization we may have ever seen. And, what Obama wants to do against them is exactly what he has done for the last couple of years — virtually nothing. He apparently wants to give ISIS free reign to do as much damage as possible to the free world and enlarge their power to the point that they have, in fact, regained their ambition of an Islamic world-wide Caliphate demanding and enforcing  world submission to the most awful aspects of Sharia Law. 

And … What Congress’s “good sense” will decide remains very much to be seen) jsk

PS If you happen to think the above is an absurd estimation of Barack Obama and his foreign policy, you might like to see the video of Rudy Guiliani giving  his recent views on Mr. Obama and his presidency. 

Raging Rudy Giuliani Destroys Obama’s Policies on Islamism and Iran

http://israel-commentary.org/?p=10872

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The Dangerous Lie That ‘Bush Lied’

http://israel-commentary.org/?p=10779

Some journalists still peddle this canard as if it were fact. This is defamatory and could end up hurting the country.

By LAURENCE H. SILBERMAN
The Wall Street Journal, Feb. 9, 2015

In recent weeks, I have heard former Associated Press reporter Ron Fournier on Fox News twice asserting, quite offhandedly, that President George W. Bush “lied us into war in Iraq.”

I found this shocking. I took a leave of absence from the bench in 2004-05 to serve as co-chairman of the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction—a bipartisan body, sometimes referred to as the Robb-Silberman Commission. It was directed in 2004 to evaluate the intelligence community’s determination that Saddam Hussein possessed WMD—I am, therefore, keenly aware of both the intelligence provided to President Bush and his reliance on that intelligence as his primary casus belli. It is astonishing to see the “Bush lied” allegation evolve from antiwar slogan to journalistic fact.

The intelligence community’s 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) stated, in a formal presentation to President Bush and to Congress, its view that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction—a belief in which the NIE said it held a 90% level of confidence. That is about as certain as the intelligence community gets on any subject.

Recall that the head of the intelligence community, Central Intelligence Agency Director George Tenet, famously told the president that the proposition that Iraq possessed WMD was “a slam dunk.” Our WMD commission carefully examined the interrelationships between the Bush administration and the intelligence community and found no indication that anyone in the administration sought to pressure the intelligence community into its findings. As our commission reported, presidential daily briefs from the CIA dating back to the Clinton administration were, if anything, more alarmist about Iraq’s WMD than the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate.

Saddam had manifested sharp hostility toward America, including firing at U.S. planes patrolling the no-fly zone set up by the armistice agreement ending the first Iraq war. Saddam had also attempted to assassinate former President George H.W. Bush —a car-bombing plot was foiled—during Mr. Bush’s visit to Kuwait in 1993. But President George W. Bush based his decision to go to war on information about Saddam’s WMD. Accordingly, when Secretary of State Colin Powell formally presented the U.S. case to the United Nations, Mr. Powell relied entirely on that aspect of the threat from Iraq.

Our WMD commission ultimately determined that the intelligence community was “dead wrong” about Saddam’s weapons. But as I recall, no one in Washington political circles offered significant disagreement with the intelligence community before the invasion. The National Intelligence Estimate was persuasive—to the president, to Congress and to the media.

Granted, there were those who disagreed with waging war against Saddam even if he did possess WMD. Some in Congress joined Brent Scowcroft, a retired Air Force lieutenant general and former national security adviser, in publicly doubting the wisdom of invading Iraq. It is worth noting, however, that when Saddam was captured and interrogated, he told his interrogators that he had intended to seek revenge on Kuwait for its cooperation with the U.S. by invading again at a propitious time. This leads me to speculate that if the Bush administration had not gone to war in 2003 and Saddam had remained in power, the U.S. might have felt compelled to do so once Iraq again invaded Kuwait.

In any event, it is one thing to assert, then or now, that the Iraq war was ill-advised. It is quite another to make the horrendous charge that President Bush lied to or deceived the American people about the threat from Saddam.

I recently wrote to Ron Fournier protesting his accusation. His response, in an email, was to reiterate that “an objective reading of the events leads to only one conclusion: the administration . . . misinterpreted, distorted and in some cases lied about intelligence.” Although Mr. Fournier referred to “evidence” supporting his view, he did not cite any—and I do not believe there is any.

He did say correctly that “intelligence is never dispositive; it requires analysis and judgment, with the final call and responsibility resting with the president.” It is thus certainly possible to criticize President Bush for having believed what the CIA told him, although it seems to me that any president would have credited such confident assertions by the intelligence community. But to accuse the president of lying us into war must be seen as not only false, but as dangerously defamatory.

The charge is dangerous because it can take on the air of historical fact—with potentially dire consequences. I am reminded of a similarly baseless accusation that helped the Nazis come to power in Germany: that the German army had not really lost World War I, that the soldiers instead had been “stabbed in the back” by politicians.

Sometime in the future, perhaps long after most of us are gone, an American president may need to rely publicly on intelligence reports to support military action. It would be tragic if, at such a critical moment, the president’s credibility were undermined by memories of a false charge peddled by the likes of Ron Fournier.

 

Mr. Silberman, a senior federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, was co-chairman of the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction.

 

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I  Barack Obama, Empire Builder — But, Not Ours

Redacted from an article by Victor Davis Hanson

National Review Online

(A brilliant, terrifying summation of the world scene thanks to the diabolical maneuvers of Barack Hussein Obama)

Not since the 1930s and early 1940s have we seen so many malevolent empires on the rise.

Empires can rise and fall quickly. After World War I, the Austro-Hungarian, German, Ottoman, and Russian Empires abruptly collapsed amid military defeat, rising nationalism, and revolution.

Yet on the eve of World War II four new empires suddenly grew out the wreckage of old Europe and Asia. A weak Italy under Fascist Benito Mussolini in just a few years grabbed much of East and North Africa, as well as the Dalmatian coast. Hitler’s so-called “Third Empire” carved off Austria and strips of Eastern Europe — and planned to go to war for more. The Soviet Union absorbed the Baltic states and southern Finland. Japan declared first Manchuria, and then Southeast Asia, part of its new “Co-Prosperity Sphere.”

But by the war’s end in 1945, the Japanese and Italian empires had collapsed. So did the Third Reich — and soon the British Empire as well. The Soviet implosion in 1991 was expected by very few.
We are now in an equally turbulent age of rising empires — mostly due to a new American indifference and passivity. Or, to put it more exactly, President Obama believes that his own legacy rests with avoiding all confrontations overseas, withdrawing as many troops as he can, and cutting the defense budget as much as Congress will allow so as to use the funds to address supposed inequality at home. If chaos results abroad, he can either blame his predecessor, George W. Bush, or assume that his successor will have to deal with what he wrought — or both. Obama is running out the clock of his presidency on the premise of Après moi, le déluge.

The Iranian theocracy fancies itself the reincarnation of the ancient Persian Empire of Cyrus and Xerxes. A soon-to-be nuclear Iran, through its operatives, now controls portions of Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and, soon, Yemen — and dreams of overturning the Sunni sheikhdoms in the Gulf. If you assert that administration talking points come right out of Tehran — as Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey recently did — Obama will characterize such objections not as principled differences, but as cynical attempts to please “donors” — a veiled reference to rich Jews whose money, Obama apparently believes, distorts policy. I think the administration’s policy toward the new Iranian Empire is something like, “They probably won’t get the bomb until 2017.”

Russian president Vladimir Putin has added parts of Ukraine to his earlier land conquests in Georgia and Crimea. He dreams of updating 19th-century Czarist Russia. Putin’s next target will probably be half of Estonia, a NATO country, whose implosion would render the postwar alliance null and void. Putin is dangerous not just because he runs an autocratic nuclear state and has dreams of restoring 19th-century imperial Russia under Orthodoxy and a new czardom, but also because he has developed a perverse delight in gratuitously humiliating Barack Obama, by exposing his sermonizing platitudes as both hypocritical and impotent.

Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan dreams of reviving the Ottoman Empire. He flexes Turkey’s new muscles in both the Arab and the Mediterranean worlds, as he slowly strangles Turkish democracy. Erdogan’s foreign policy is based on a pathological hatred of Israel and claims of a special multicultural relationship with Barack Obama. Erdogan certainly rejects the secularized vision of the founder of the modern Turkish state, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, and he seems to wish to see pro-Western Arab dictatorships replaced by more revolutionary Islamist governments that will look to Turkey for spiritual guidance.

The new terrorist Islamic State has grandiose schemes of recreating the medieval pan-Arab caliphate. After carving off much of Syria and Iraq for their new theocracy, the jihadists plan to topple the rich Gulf sheikhdoms and grab the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. The Islamic State grew out of two laxities. First, no Western power tried to organize a non-Islamist alternative to the bloody pro-Iranian, pro-Hezbollah Syrian dictatorship of Bashar Assad, which was on the verge of falling during the Arab Spring four years ago; instead, Western nations may well have ended up arming and abetting ISIS thugs. Second, for the price of a cheap 2012 reelection talking point, the U.S. fled from Iraq in 2011, after enormous sacrifices in blood and treasure had achieved, in the words of Barack Obama, a relatively stable and secure Iraq that might have been, in the words of Joe Biden, the administration’s greatest achievement. Supporters of Obama claim the Iraq War created ISIS; in fact, the disintegration of Syria and the abrupt U.S. withdrawal from Iraq did.

China has terrified almost all of its Westernized neighbors — Australia, Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, and Taiwan. It is trying to recreate its own version of the imperial Japanese Co-Prosperity Sphere through cash, mercantilism, threats, and the overstepping of borders. Its defense build-up and new aggressive foreign policy reflect a hunch that America’s old Pacific and Asian allies are no longer securely beneath the American defensive umbrella, that they recognize their vulnerability, and that Chinese money and threats are more relevant than U.S. platitudes and indifference.

There are several common denominators to the grandiose visions of these five would-be empires. All are anti-democratic. They are certainly anti-American. They are bullies who pick fights only with entities deemed smaller and weaker than themselves. And they have all been empowered by the recessional of the lead-from-behind United States from the world stage. In other words, they believe their aggrandizement is either ignored by an Obama administration that feels deterring them is too costly and unpopular, or tactically condoned as the inherent right of countries to adjudicate politics in their own spheres of influence, without an intrusive American global cop sticking its post-colonial, imperialist nose where it has no business.

There used to be a dominant American-led West that sought to encourage abroad constitutional government, market capitalism, and human rights. The so-called New World Order that followed the Cold War was backed by U.S. economic muscle, an overpowering military, and advocacy for freedom. America showed a fierce loyalty to its longtime friends in Europe and the Middle East and no tolerance for outlaws like Manuel Noriega, Slobodan Milosevic, Saddam Hussein, the Taliban, and the Iranian theocracy. It had a special concern for the proverbial small and vulnerable countries and peoples such as Israel, the Kurds, Taiwan, and Greece. Now, Iran, Russia, Turkey, the Islamic State, and China have taken note that this is no longer the case.

Obama is abetting five new empires that believe their reactionary autocracy, anti-Americanism, and growing military power should earn them greater material rewards and global influence. To paraphrase the Roman historian Tacitus, where Obama has helped to create chaos, he calls it peace.

We are witnessing empire-building unlike anything seen since the 1930s and early 1940s. What is different this time around is not just the older themes of American isolationism, indifference, and appeasement, but also a new, bizarre twist. The Obama administration feels almost as if these rising suzerainties have a more legitimate right to carve out regional empires than the United States has to stop them.

— NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of The Savior Generals.

II  Pursuing A Legacy At Israel’s Expense?

By: Editorial Board, The Jewish Press
Published: February 4th, 2015

From the outset, it was difficult to understand the confrontation between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu over the latter’s accepting, without prior consultation with the White House, an invitation from House Speaker John Boehner to speak to Congress on the Iranian nuclear crisis.

After all, contrary to an early inaccurate report, later corrected, from The New York Times, Mr. Netanyahu accepted the invitation only after the administration had been informed of it. And Mr. Netanyahu had to know the negative fallout would be intense, not only because he was vulnerable to the charge of having publicly disrespected the president but also, given the sharp disagreement he and House Republicans have had with the president on the issue, he could also easily be portrayed as seeking to undermine the president’s policy on Iran, even as negotiations were being pursued.

Last week we cautioned that the always tense relationship between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu should not be allowed to obscure the real issue here – namely, what kind of deal would emerge from the talks.

Developments since then have only served to underscore that warning while shedding some light on Mr. Netanyahu’s decision to address Congress even at the risk of further alienating the president.

Israeli Army Radio reported on Tuesday that Israeli officials had been told in recent days that the United States and Iran were closing in on an agreement that would lift the current economic sanctions regime and require certain monitoring mechanisms. But it would also permit Iran to retain a significantly large number of centrifuges – close to the number Iran insisted it had to keep and nowhere near what the U.S. had originally sought. Iran will also obligate itself to rein in terrorism and unrest in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria.

For a president bent on burnishing his legacy, the purported agreement raises the possibility that the Middle East will be considerably quieter than it is now (except perhaps on the Israeli-Palestinian front) during his final two years in office, even if the lull will eventually prove illusory, since even Mr. Obama cannot really believe Iran will honor its commitments.

It is also noteworthy that several days ago the Obama administration hotly denied an Israeli television report that the U.S. had agreed to 80 percent of Iran’s demands, characterizing it as “complete nonsense.”

Yet the apparent level of U.S. concessions strongly points in the opposite direction, and would certainly explain why the White House would kick up such a fuss about an Israeli prime minister going before Congress and challenging, by implication, the president and his negotiating positions.

It also explains why Mr. Netanyahu was willing to risk a serious break with the president and why he would consider that risk not only warranted, but an Israeli national security imperative.

Last November, the Wall Street Journal reported that President Obama secretly wrote to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, purportedly – “according to people briefed on the correspondence” – linking Iran’s cooperation in fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria with a comprehensive agreement on Iran’s future nuclear program.

When questioned about this, Secretary of State John Kerry refused to confirm or deny the existence of the letter though he insisted that “No conversation, no agreement, no exchange, nothing has created any deal or agreement with respect to any of the events that are at stake in the Middle East…. There is no linkage whatsoever of the nuclear discussions with any other issue. And I want to make that absolutely clear. The nuclear negotiations are on heir own. They’re standing separate from anything else. And no discussion has ever taken place bout linking one thing to another.”

Be that as it may, Iran has somehow gone from a supplicant seeking to end crippling economic sanctions and forestall possible military action to a full negotiating partner able to extract concessions from the U.S.

Plainly, the Iranians have something President Obama desperately wants, apparently even at the expense of permitting Iran to eventually emerge as a nuclear military power.

So what is in play here is a clash between Benjamin Netanyahu’s concern for Israel’s future and Barack Obama’s quest for a legacy of peace, even one of fleeting duration.

We hope Mr. Netanyahu succeeds in rousing Congress, which is, after all, a co-equal branch of government with the presidency. This is hardly a time for Israeli sacrifices on the altar of Mr. Obama’s vainglory.

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SAVE OUR INTERNET FREEDOM. CONTACT YOUR CONGRESSMAN. VOTE IS ON FEB. 26!

http://israel-commentary.org/?p=10823

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is circulating a petition calling for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to scrap its proposed takeover of the Internet, a plan it will vote on Feb. 26.

Feb  09, 2015
By Nick Sanchez

“An unregulated Internet has been the single greatest catalyst in history for individual liberty and free markets on the planet. It has created the greatest revolution since Henry Ford invented the Model T,” Paul said in a Monday email sponsored by the petitioning organization, Protect Internet Freedom.

“Let’s get this straight — technology has progressed because it has been driven by a free and open Internet — not because of DC bureaucrats. This latest attempt to regulate the web threatens to interrupt that positive innovation, set the market back, and kill jobs.”

Paul has long decried the FCC’s attempts to impose so-called “net neutrality” by regulating the business of Internet service providers (ISPs) like Comcast and AT&T.

The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that the FCC’s previous attempt to create net neutrality was thwarted by a federal judge in 2010. If passed, the new plan will also be challenged in court by ISPs.

“A barrage of litigation which could well wind up in the Supreme Court is sure to follow,” Peter Karanjia, a former deputy general counsel at the FCC, told The Journal.

In its previous attempt, the FCC’s rule making relied on Congress’ 1996 overhaul of the Communications Act of 1934, whereas the current plan relies on the agency’s Title II authority for its legal underpinnings.

The new plan would classify the Internet as a public utility like railroads or water, however FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said he won’t enact strict provisions like price controls.

“These attempts to regulate the Internet are a direct attack on the freedom of information and an innovative market. The government needs to stay out of the way,” Paul wrote Monday in response.

The Great Internet Power Grab

By L. GORDON CROVITZ

The Wall Street Journal, Feb. 8, 2015

Last week Washington abandoned open innovation when the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission yielded to President Obama ’s demands and moved to regulate the freewheeling Internet under the same laws that applied to the Ma Bell monopoly. Unless these reactionary regulations are stopped, they spell the end of the permissionless innovation that built today’s Internet.

Until now, anyone could launch new websites, apps and mobile devices without having to lobby a regulator for permission. That was thanks to a Clinton-era bipartisan consensus that the Internet shouldn’t be treated as a public utility. Congress and the White House under both parties kept the FCC from applying the hoary regulations that micromanaged the phone system, which would have frozen innovation online.

Last week’s announcement from FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler rejects 20 years of open innovation by submitting the Internet to Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. Once Mr. Wheeler and the commission’s Democratic majority vote this month to apply Title II, the regulations will give them staggering control. Any Internet “charges” and “practices” that the bureaucrats find “unjust or unreasonable is declared to be unlawful.”

This is an open invitation to entrenched companies challenged by new technologies. The Internet has been a source of creative destruction, upending industries from music, movies and newspapers to retail, travel and banking. History teaches that companies threatened by competition will hire as many lawyers as necessary to get regulators to protect them.

Under Title II, regulators will have the power to invalidate many Internet practices that deliver enormous value to consumers. Today, Amazon has a deal with Sprint enabling Kindle’s rapid downloads of e-books, which competing e-book sellers could claim was “unjust.” The WhatsApp messaging system acquired by Facebook lets people text for free, which traditional mobile phone companies might well consider “unreasonable.” Netflix will regret lobbying for Title II if its competitors object to its special deals that enable its smooth delivery of bandwidth-intensive video.

Under Title II, almost all Web operations will be subject to bureaucratic control. In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court warned that if the FCC treated the Internet as a telecommunications service, it “would subject to mandatory common carrier regulation all information service providers that use telecommunications as an input to provide information service to the public”—in other words, almost all websites and apps would be subject to regulation.

This means the FCC will be able to decide the “reasonableness” of many websites and services: Regulators could micromanage Google search results on the ground that the company uses “telecommunications” to link to other sites. The FCC could oversee news publishers that link to other news sites or have online advertisements connecting to advertiser websites. Social media such as Facebook and Twitter involve telecommunication services, as do email services from Google and Yahoo .

In anticipation of Title II, BlackBerry is already lobbying the FCC to force Netflix and Apple to offer apps for its phones, which have a small market share.

Mr. Wheeler has promised to “forbear” from some regulations, but once regulators get power, they use it. And if there is any forbearance, there will be litigation from companies seeking to burden their competitors with regulation.

President Obama claims that Title II would boost broadband, but the opposite is true. Today, Google Fiber is the main threat to the phone and cable broadband duopoly. Under Title II, cable and telecom lawyers will be able to press the FCC to declare Google’s business model “unjust or unreasonable.” They can object to Google serving only certain areas. They can say it’s unfair that Google can charge consumers less because it benefits from advertising.

The FCC claims that it is supporting “net neutrality,” but Title II was not designed to keep the Internet free of content discrimination. It actually enforces non-neutrality and fast lanes so long as bureaucrats deem them “reasonable.”

It likely will take the courts into the next presidency to litigate the enormity of this FCC power grab, but the sooner we return to the national consensus against heavy regulation, the better. The culture of American innovation and the freedom of the Internet hang in the balance.

PS Louis Gordon Crovitz is an American media executive and advisor to media and technology companies. He is a former publisher of The Wall Street Journal who also served as executive vice-president of Dow Jones and launched the company’s Consumer Media Group. Crovitz is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Chicago. He received a law degree as a Rhodes Scholar from Wadham College of Oxford University and later a law degree from Yale Law School.

Excerpted from: Why Download Europe’s Lousy Broadband Policy?

Treating the Internet like a utility has been tried, with deleterious effects on innovation and costs.

By RICK BOUCHER And FRED CAMPBELL
Wall Street Journal, Feb. 11, 2015

Europe has been experimenting with heavy-handed Internet regulation since 2002, and the results are a warning of what the U.S. can expect.

That is the conclusion of a new study by our organization, the Internet Innovation Alliance, a coalition of businesses and nonprofits. Over the past two decades, the U.S. has benefited from a bipartisan, light-touch broadband regulatory regime that has spurred more capital investment, more competition and—perhaps most important—more broadband capacity than in the European Union, which has a larger population and similar economy.

Consider capital investment, without which broadband networks do not exist and cannot be modernized. Fixed-broadband operators in the U.S. invested $137 billion in 2011 and 2012, more than four times Europe’s $31 billion over the same time period. U.S. mobile operators, at $55 billion, invested twice as much as their European counterparts’ $29 billion. Even when the comparison is made as a percentage of industry revenue, the U.S. investment advantage persists.

Europe’s “wholesale-access” regulatory regime, under which fixed operators must make their networks available to competitors at a regulated price, was ostensibly designed to promote competition. Yet in Europe, powerful incumbent carriers hold 65% of the local telephone market, while in the U.S. 59% of the local telephone market is served by new competitors. More than 90% of U.S. households can choose from among 10 or more providers.

The study’s analysis of mobile networks also illustrates how the U.S. offers greater access than Europe to the highest-speed, so-called LTE networks. In 2012 only 30% of European households had access to LTE, while 79% of American households did.

So where does this leave us? Net-neutrality proponents assume that the impact of common-carrier regulations will be minimal and that the U.S. will maintain its technology lead forever, but the European regulatory example suggests that such an outcome is far from certain. It is more likely that imposing regulations crafted for last century’s monopoly telephone service will have a crippling and chilling effect on broadband investment. Investment drives innovation: As the Internet Innovation Alliance study demonstrates, Europe has fallen badly behind the U.S.

Mr. Boucher, a former Democratic congressman from Virginia, is a partner at Sidley Austin LLP and honorary chairman of the Internet Innovation Alliance. Mr. Campbell, formerly chief of the Federal Communications Commission’s Wireless Bureau, is the author of the study discussed in this op-ed.

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II  Zionist Org. of America – Commentary on impending  Netanyahu address

III   Obama – The Anti-Israel President – video with David Horowitz

From: David Horowitz

I Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today (Tuesday, 10 February 2015), issued the following statement:

http://israel-commentary.org/?p=10802

“First, on behalf of the people of Israel, I wish to send condolences to President Obama, the American people and the family of Kayla Mueller. We stand with you.

Israel’s survival is not a partisan issue, not in Israel nor in the United States.

This doesn’t mean that from time to time Israeli governments have not had serious disagreements with American administrations over the best way to achieve the security of Israel.

Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, declared Israel’s independence in the face of strong opposition from US Secretary of State George Marshall. Likewise, Prime Minister Eshkol’s decisions at the start of the Six Day War, Prime Minister Begin’s decision regarding the nuclear reactor in Iraq, and Prime Minister Sharon’s decisions to press ahead with Operation Defensive Shield; these were all strongly opposed at the time by American administrations.

Disagreements over Israel’s security have occurred between prime ministers in Israel from the left and from the right and American presidents from both parties.

None of these disagreements led to a rupture in the relationship between Israel and the United States.

In fact, over time, our relationship grew stronger.

But we do have today a profound disagreement with the United States administration and the rest of the P5+1 over the offer that has been made to Iran.

This offer would enable Iran to threaten Israel’s survival.

This is a regime, Iran, that is openly committed to Israel’s destruction. It would be able, under this deal, to break out to a nuclear weapon in a short time, and within a few years, to have the industrial capability to produce many nuclear bombs for the goal of our destruction.

This is not a personal disagreement between President Obama and me. I deeply appreciate all that he has done for Israel in many fields. Equally, I know that the President appreciates my responsibility, my foremost responsibility, to protect and defend the security of Israel.

I am going to the United States not because I seek a confrontation with the President, but because I must fulfill my obligation to speak up on a matter that affects the very survival of my country.

I intend to speak about this issue before the March 24th deadline and I intend to speak in the US Congress because Congress might have an important role on a nuclear deal with Iran.

Thank you.”

II  Op-Ed: Netanyahu Must Absolutely Make that Speech

By Morton Klein and Daniel Mandel
February 6, 2015

Last week, 10 Senate Democrats who had persistently expressed concern over President Barack Obama’s concessionary policy to Iran over its nuclear weapons program, announced via a letter to the President that they would desist from seeking to pass new legislation to reimpose sanctions in the event of a failure in nuclear talks. Under reportedly enormous pressure from the White House, the senators said that they would await the March 24 deadline for a negotiated framework for an agreement with Tehran, despite their doubts that any such agreement would be forthcoming.

This delay is a serious mistake, because one of the few things that might induce Tehran to agree to terminating its nuclear weapons program would be the certainty of renewed tough sanctions if it didn’t. Now such pressure is absent and the chances of Iran agreeing correspondingly reduced.

But this is only the latest blow to diplomatic efforts to prevent Iran becoming a nuclear threshold power. The fact is that President Obama has a six year record of indulging and conceding to Iran, without having achieved anything to prevent it becoming a nuclear power, which he’s repeatedly and publicly proclaimed he would do “everything, everything” to prevent.

Obama has a disturbing record on Iran sanctions. For over a year after entering office, he prohibited a Congressional vote on new sanctions. Moreover, the 2010 UN Security Council sanctions regime he eventually supported included huge exemptions for numerous countries, like China, which has huge contracts in Iran’s energy sector developing oil refineries, and Russia, which supplies S-300 surface-to-air missiles to Iran.

In 2011, Obama sought to torpedo or weaken new and stronger Congressional sanctions on Iran, even after these had been softened at his request, leading Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), then Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to publicly and angrily criticize the Administration.

In 2013, Obama quietly lifted financial pressure on Tehran, stopping the blacklisting of entities and individuals assisting Iran’s evasion of international sanctions. He also damagingly publicized Israeli preparations to deal militarily with Iran, including Israeli use of Azerbaijan airfields.

Then came the biggest subversion of the cause of keeping Iran nuclear weapon-free: the Geneva Interim Agreement with Iran, which gave Tehran vital sanctions relief totaling some $20 billion (not the $6-7 billion originally conceded by the Administration) while permitting Iran to retain intact all the essential elements of its nuclear weapons program:

Continued construction of its Arak plutonium plant

Continued uranium enrichment to 5% (which, with 19,000 centrifuges, can enable swift enrichment to weapons-grade level, allowing Iran to become a break-out nuclear state in a matter of months)

Continued research and massive upgrading of centrifuges, enabling Iran to achieve a nuclear breakout in a mere two months

Continued nuclear research at military installations like Parchin, which remain off-limits to inspectors
Continued intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) programs, whose only purpose is carrying nuclear warheads and which, according to U.S. intelligence, will enable Iran to strike the U.S. itself by 2015

Iranian aggression is also met with silence. Tehran’s Syrian ally, Bashar Assad, continues to murder and maim across Syria in a conflict that has already claimed 200,000 lives. Iran continues funding of the radical Islamic terror group, Hezbollah, which helps keep Assad in power. Iranian-supported rebels have just toppled Yemen’s pro-American government. Iran has increasing hold in large swathes of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen. Silence.

So, too, with Iranian threats to the U.S. and Israel. Statements continue to be made by Khamenei and other senior Iranian figures, publicly calling for destruction of U.S., the “Great Satan,” — like the Iranian Defense Ministry recently declaring that “the Iranian nation still sees the U.S. as the No. 1 enemy.”

Iran has been quietly expanding its reach in Latin America, courtesy of friendly regimes. Silence.

Instead, Obama fights proposed sanctions, which will only be imposed if there’s no nuclear deal, and is outraged that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepts an invitation to address the Congress on the subject, a record which even led Senator Menendez to declare, “the more I hear from the Administration … the more it sounds like talking points that come straight out of Tehran.

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Video:   Newt Gingrich reveals Radical Islam in the US

I  Militant Muslims run the White House

http://israel-commentary.org/?p=10746

By  Jan Willem van der Hoeven, Director
International Christian Zionist Center

3 February 2015

IS THIS A MUSLIM PRESIDENT?

Is it not incredibly ironic that President Barack Obama who was voted into office by – among others – a large majority of women voters, many of them feminists, may become a threat to the very liberties they have fought for because of his love for the world of ISLAM.

Nowhere in this sad world today are women as discriminated against by their leaders and governments as where they are still under the rule of ISLAM. Is it not strange and astonishing, then, how those liberal outlets and spokespersons in the United States most committed to the liberties and equality of women have been so pro an ISLAMIC-oriented President? What is the reason for this ISLAMIC love affair conducted by President Obama before our very eyes, not only refusing to personally call the many massacres and terrorism inspired by jihadi ISLAM, but even forbidding his administration officials from doing so?

We know Barack Hussein Obama was brought up as a Muslim in Indonesia and that in times of being interviewed even as president – especially during interviews with Muslims – has referred to himself as still being a Muslim.

His main, most influential and ever-present advisor, Valerie Jarrett, was born in Iran and apparently, like her boss, loves the ISLAMIC world, so much so she even opposed him going after Osama bin Laden, and fortunately was later overruled by Hillary Clinton and Robert Gates.

We know that among many in African American circles there are strong sympathies and flirtations with ISLAM, as seen with Louis Farrakhan and his mainly black Nation of ISLAM. Thus not only America’s more leftist leaning women, but many African Americans voted for this Muslim oriented president.

These trends came together in the Trinity Church in Chicago under the tutelage of Jeremy Wright, where for 20 years Obama chose to attend with his family. This pastor who was not only a revolutionary anti-American but also a Farrakhan sympathizer, so much so that Muslim- oriented people felt welcome in his congregation. No wonder, then, that Barack Hussein Obama felt he fit so well in the midst of this congregation. If anything, this shows that in the Trinity Church Obama chose to attend, the difference between what constituted being a Christian or Muslim was virtually nonexistent.

Which would all serve to explain why today’s Muslim (?) US President, named by some the most anti-Christian president in American history, seems more at ease with black or Muslim advisors and Muslim leaders like Erdogan and Morsi – to name just a few – than with those Americans who still base their values upon the Judeo-Christian foundation that made America unique and special!

Is it then any wonder that the majority of today’s American representatives, both in the Senate as well as in the US Congress, led today by John Boehner, want to invite and hear what the Prime Minister of Israel has to say concerning this vital matter of national security both for Israel and the United States rather than just blindly trust their Islam oriented President?

 II  Did you know that we now have a Muslim government?

America needs to wake up……or it will be your head that goes next

Its a shock to see the extent of this.

When you read this you will understand why Obama refuses to say the words “radical Islam .”..

I didn’t originate this, but it checked out with Google and Snopes … There are accompanying links corroborating each Muslim identity shown below.

John Brennan, current head of the CIA converted to Islam while stationed in Saudi Arabia .

http://www.wnd.com/2013/02/shock-claim-obama-picks-muslim-for-cia-chief/

Obama’s top advisor, Valerie Jarrett, is a Muslim who was born in Iran where her parents still live .

http://www.teaparty.org/valerie-jarrett-obamas-heinrich-himmler-sites-american-patriots-finger-trigger-35412/

Hillary Clinton’s top advisor, Huma Abedin is a Muslim, whose mother and brother are involved in the now outlawed Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

http://godfatherpolitics.com/5866/hillary-clintons-connection-muslim-brotherhood/

Assistant Secretary for Policy Development for Homeland Security, Arif Aikhan, is a Muslim .

http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/dhs.asp

Homeland Security Advisor, Mohammed Elibiary, is a Muslim .

http://unitedwithisrael.org/homeland-security-advisor-quits-after-inevitable-return-of-caliphate-tweet/

Obama advisor and founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, Salam al-Marayati, is a Muslim

http://www.mpac.org/about/staff-board/salam-al-marayati.php

Obama’s Sharia Czar, Imam Mohamed Magid , of the Islamic Society of North America is a Muslim .

http://www.isna.net/mohamed-magid.html

Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships, Eboo Patel, is a Muslim .

http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=2565

And last but not least, our closet Muslim himself, Barack Hussein Obama. He was raised as a Muslim .

http://downtrend.com/jrc410/a-look-inside-the-regime-advisers-of-our-first-islamic-president/

http://constitutionclub.ning.com/forum/topics/obama-s-temper-tantrum

https://www.facebook.com/ingrahamangle/posts/10152733927044726

http://www.loadmastervideos.com/forums/forums/viewtopic.php?p=23232&sid=5874b3f5ce1273a14118ba92554c6ef8

It’s questionable if Obama ever officially took the oath of office when he was sworn in. He didn’t repeat the oath properly to defend our nation and our Constitution. Later the Democrats claimed he was given the oath again in private?

CIA director John Brennan took his oath on a copy of the Constitution, not a Bible.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/03/08/john-brennan-takes-oath-on-draft-constitution-without-the-bill-of-rights/

Congressman, Keith Ellison took his oath on a copy of the Qur’an.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/ellison.asp

Congresswoman Michele Bachman was vilified and almost tarred and feathered by Democrats when she voiced her concern about Muslims taking over our government.

Considering all these appointments, it would explain why Obama and his minions are systematically destroying our nation, supporting radical Muslim groups worldwide, opening our southern border, and turning a blind eye to the genocide being perpetrated on Christians all over Africa and the Middle East.

The more damage Obama does , the more arrogant he’s become!

Our nation and our government has been infiltrated by people who want to destroy us. It can only get worse!

Please pass this along. Most people still have no idea.

(PS  In deference to some legitimate complaints, I added the word “Militant” in the front of the Muslim title)  jsk

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From the Torah portion of the week

The Second Book of Moses (The Hebrew Bible), Shemos (Exodus)

Parsha (Chapter) Yisro (The Midianite, The Father-in-law of Moses)

GOD  CHOOSES  THE JEWISH  PEOPLE  AS  HIS  OWN

http://israel-commentary.org/?p=10764

19.3   Moshe ascended to God (on the second day of the month, early in the morning). God called to him from the mountain, saying, “You should say the following to the house of Yaacov (i.e. the women) and tell the same thing in a more explicit manner, stressing the punishment and fine details) to the sons of Israel (i.e. the men):

4   ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I gathered you together in a short period of time, and I protected you through the angel of God, as if you were carried on eagles’ wings, and brought you to My service.

5  Now, if you listen to Me and keep My covenant (through observing Torah), you will be a precious treasure to me among all the peoples, for the whole earth is mine and  the other nations are like nothing to Me.

6  You shall be to Me a kingdom of ministers and a holy nation

“These are the words that you shall speak to the children of Israel, (no more and no less).” |

7  Moshe returned and summoned the elders of Israel and placed before them all these words that God had commanded him.

8  All the people replied in unison and said, “Everything that God has said we shall do!

(On the third day) Moshe (ascended the mountain once again and) conveyed the words of the people back to God

9  God said to Moshe, “Look!  I  am going to come (down) to you in a fog (within its deepest part) order that the people hear when I speak to you, and they will also believe in you (and the prophets will follow you) forever.”

Moshe returned to relay God’s words and, on the fourth day, he ascended to relay the people’s reply to God (that they did not wish merely to overhear God speaking to Moshe, but they wanted to hear God directly).

20:1      THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

God spoke all the Ten Commandments in one single utterance. He then went back and spoke each one individually.

The Jewish people responded  “Yes” to the positive commands and “No” to the prohibitions

2  “I am God, the God of everyone of you. Who took you out of the land of Egypt out of the house of bondage”

3  “You shall not possess an idol of other deities (so long as I exist).

4  “You shall not make to yourself a sculptured image or any picture of that which is in the heavens above, which is on earth below, or which is in the water beneath the earth.”

5  “You shall not bow down nor worship them, for I, God, your God, am a God Who is zealous to enact punishment visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the sons, upon the third and the fourth generation of those who continue in their fathers’ ways to hate Me.”

6  “But I act kindly to those who love those who keep My commandments for two thousand generations.”

7  “You shall not take the name of God, your God, in vain, for God will not absolve anyone who takes His name in vain.”

8  “Remember the Sabbath day to sanctify it.”

9   “Six days may you work and perform all”

10  “But the seventh day is a Sabbath to God, your God. You shall perform no labor, nor your son, your daughter, your manservant, your maidservant, your beast, nor your convert who is within your gates.”

11  For in six days God made the heaven, the earth and the sea and all that is within them — and he rested on the seventh day and sanctified it by not bringing the manna to fall on Friday.

12. “Honor your father and your mother, in order that your days will be lengthened on the land that God, your God, is giving you.

 13   “You shall not murder.”

“You shaft not commit adultery.”

“You shall not steal people  ( i.e. kidnap).”

“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”

14  “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife,  his manservant,  his maidservant, his ox, his donkey, or whatever belongs to your neighbor.”

15  All the people could see the sounds (which God spoke), the torches, the sound of the shofar and  the smoking mountain. The people saw and they trembled.

16  They said to Moshe, “You speak to us, and we will listen, but do not let God speak to us lest we die!”

17  Moshe said to the people, “Fear not for God has come in order to promote your reputation throughout the world and in order that having seen His awe, you will know there is no other than Him, so you will not sin.”

18  The people remained a long way off. Moshe drew near first through  the darkness then through  the clouds and deeper still to the fog where God was.

 

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By Naftali Bennett

http://youtu.be/n1oFOEY_6lM

Is Annexation a Near Term Option?

http://israel-commentary.org/?p=10749

By Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis). 5 February 2015

On February 3, 2015, Bayit Yehudit (Israeli political party)  distributed a short video describing Naftali Bennett’s plan to annex Area C, the area where Jewish communities are located, while leaving the remainder as a Palestinian autonomy with Israel making great efforts to facilitate improved conditions in the autonomy. Palestinians in Area C would each have the choice of full Israeli citizenship or permanent resident status.

Minister Bennett’s Facebook page introduced the video with the line “Give us 20 mandates”

The end of the video has the line ”Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria today”.

The clip didn’t get much media attention or discussion.

And Bayit Yehudi  itself doesn’t seem to have initiated any follow up (at least as of now).

I hope it does. Because annexation deserves serious consideration. And not just for some far off time.

First a technical note:

Ordinance Law and Administration, 1948
… 11B The law, jurisdiction and administration of the State shall apply to any area of the Land of Israel that the Government sets in an order. That’s right. All it takes is a vote of the Cabinet.

Why later?

1. We are in the process of shifting exports to markets that don’t mix business with politics. The longer we wait the less significant sanctions against Israel for annexing Area C will be.

2. The world will be more accepting if Israel can cite a “casus belli” for the move so we should wait for the Palestinians to do something that justifies annexation.
3. It is always better when facing a problem to kick the can down the road.

Why now?
1. The move now will not spur a war involving our neighbors. They are all involved in other pressing matters.

2. The outcome of the nuclear talks with Iran are being driven by considerations having absolutely nothing to do with Israeli-Palestinian matters.

3. Iran today doesn’t yet have nukes to threaten to use against us for the move.

4. Current oil prices are such that if they do respond for some unforeseen reason to the move its impact on the world will be marginal.

5. The Palestinian leadership is currently fractured with an exhausted street that could very well welcome the relief the program would provide.

6. While the Palestinian presence in Area C today is minuscule, the Palestinian leadership and their supporters around the world are focusing development efforts in Area C with the goal of increasing the number of Palestinian residents to the point that Israel would be deterred from annexing the area.

There are certainly other matters to consider as well.

The important thing is that the concept be considered. Not as something for implementing a decade from now but instead after the upcoming elections.

(I daresay that its basically a debate between the kick the can down-the-road frightened herd and those prepared to  face the obvious unpopular necessity of annexation that should have been completed immediately after the Six Day War in  1967) jsk

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70% of Jewish Israelis do not trust Obama to safeguard their nation’s vital interests in negotiations with the Palestinians.

http://israel-commentary.org/?p=10699

II Obama Approval Rating Dives In Israel (see below)

I  Netanyahu demands injunction against U.S.-linked group trying to swing Israeli election

Sunday, February 1, 2015

By AARON KLEIN

World Net Daily Exclusive

EILAT, Israel – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud Party hit back Sunday at a U.S.-linked organization staffed with former Obama campaigners now working to defeat Netanyahu in an upcoming general election. Victory 2015, or V15, attracted U.S. media attention after it hired 270 Strategies, a consulting firm whose senior leadership is comprised mostly of former top staffers for President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.

During a press conference Sunday, the Likud Party officially accused V15 and other related nonprofits of being supported “through millions of dollars funneled from Europe, the U.S. and the New Israel Fund and international factors interested in bringing down Prime Minister Netanyahu” who think “that all means are appropriate.”

The Likud further called for Israel’s Central Elections Committee to outlaw V15′s activities to “ensure the integrity of the election.” The party today will be filing an official complaint with the Committee seeking an injunction against V15, Likud sources said.

Reacting to the developments, Uri Wollman, V15′s spokesman, told WND his organization will not stop its campaign to ensure a center-left coalition forms the next government in Israel. Wollman accused Netanyahu and the Likud of “fabricating” a relationship between V15 and the Obama administration. “We have no relation to any U.S. political party, the White House or the State Department,” Wollman told WND.

Confirming the official Likud complaint, the contents of which were shared with WND, Wollman conceded the V15 effort against Netanyahu is funded primarily by three private philanthropists, two of whom are American:

S. Daniel Abraham, the billionaire founder of the Slim Fast food line. Abraham is a major donor to the Democratic Party and the Clinton Foundation (And, as pathologically dead Left as it is possible to be)

Daniel Lubetzky, a social entrepreneur whose OneVoice Movement is partnered with V15

Alon Kastiel, a Tel Aviv-based businessman and owner of multiple local venues, including bars, clubs and hotels.

WND previously visited V15′s Tel Aviv headquarters and interviewed the group’s founder, Nimrod Dweck, who explained the ultimate goal of his campaign was to ensure “center and left parties will form the next coalition.”

V15′s headquarters is actually the offices of a U.S.-U.K. group calling itself OneVoice. OneVoice bills itself as an “international grassroots movement that amplifies the voice of mainstream Israelis and Palestinians.” It has a clearly leftist tone.

OneVoice is reportedly sponsored by scores of nonprofits and received two grants in the past year from the U.S. State Department. The US State Department is also listed as a partner of OneVoice on the group’s website. (Huh?  Since when is the US State Department authorized to go into partnership with political organizations?)

OneVoice development and grants officer Christina Taler told the Washington Free Beacon that “no government funding” has gone toward the V15 voter mobilization effort. V15′s complete takeover of OneVoice’s Tel Aviv offices, however, may raise some questions not only about the grant usage, but also about the State Department’s current partnership with OneVoice.

Indeed, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has called for an investigation into the State Department’s ties to OneVoice and the group’s anti-Netanyahu effort.

Aside from the State Department, OneVoice is also openly partnered with Google, the U.K. Labour Party and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. For its anti-Netanyahu campaign, OneVoice and V15 recently hired 270 Strategies, whose founder is ex-Obama campaign staffer Jeremy Bird. Bird served as a data analyst and a deputy director for Obama’s 2008 campaign and was the national field director for the president’s massive re-election machine.

Dweck told WND that Bird’s organizing skills are central to designing the evolving V15 battle plan. “Israelis don’t know how to run field (operations) as Americans [do], and that was the major contribution of Jeremy’s team,” he said. Bird has provided “very professional help about how to organize, manage people, how to go door-to-door, how to talk to people on the street,” Dweck said.

270 Strategies’ team of 45 staffers includes 16 members who worked directly for Obama’s campaigns. Most of the former Obama staffers hold senior posts at the firm. Others worked for the Democratic Party, the Democratic National Committee or grassroots groups involved in progressive efforts, including a group to enroll Americans in Obamacare.

The involvement of Bird’s team has ignited reports in some conservative media outlets that Obama or his surrogate are attempting to influence the Israeli elections. Dweck dismissed those claims as “bullsh-t.” “It’s a matter of finding the right professionals,” he continued. “And if I need to pick the best professional in the world for the job, [Bird] knows what he is doing. 270 [Strategies] is a great company.” Besides the initial work to organize the group’s efforts, Dweck said he and V15 continue to consult with Bird and his firm on a regular basis.

The conservative blogosphere is largely focusing on the involvement of Bird in the V15 campaign.

A closer look at Bird’s consulting firm as well as its working relationship with the Israeli groups finds he is just one of scores of former senior Obama election campaign staffers now working on the anti-Netanyahu effort.

II  Obama Approval Rating Dives In Israel

By Karl Vick @karl_vick Feb. 7, 2014

WORLD ISRAEL

Less than a year after President Obama left Israel to the sound of loud cheering after he assured Israelis in Hebrew that they “are not alone,” a new poll has found that 70% of Jewish Israelis do not trust Obama to safeguard their nation’s vital interests in negotiations with the Palestinians.

The latest in a string of recent polls demonstrating a precipitous fall in the confidence Obama appeared to have restored during his three-day visit last March. On Jan. 26, a Times of Israel poll found only one in five Israelis trust Obama to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, as he has vowed to do. The same survey reported just one in three Israelis has a favorable opinion of Obama. Last May, in the afterglow of his state visit, 61 percent in a Pew poll expressed “confidence” in Obama.

What’s happened since? The answer is: two negotiations, and a lot of tart exchanges.

The first negotiation was with Iran: In November, the United States and five other world powers made an temporary pact with Iran over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decried as a “a historic mistake.” Some prominent Israelis were less critical about the pact, which merely froze for six months a nuclear program that Israel wants to see dismantled, but Netanyahu’s ministers echoed his rhetoric, casting Obama as a sucker for an Iranian charm offensive.

The other negotiation was the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians that Secretary of State John Kerry has relentlessly pursued. The talks, intended to last for nine months, showed so little progress around the half-way point that Kerry has begun assembling a “framework” that would justify an extension. The effort pushed the most contentious elements of any deal into public view as politicians were forced to float possible compromises.

It also made Kerry an object of increasing resentment. Last month Netanyahu’s Defense Minister, Moshe “Bugie” Ya’alon, was forced to apologize publicly after the State Department objected to his referring to Kerry as “obsessive and messianic.” Then Israeli officials lambasted Kerry for warning Feb. 1 of the downside for Israel if the talks fail, including “talk of boycotts.” The reference was to an incipient international movement aimed at pressuring Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian territories using the kind of economic pressure brought to bear on South Africa when it enforced apartheid.

But Netanyahu’s government seized on the warning as a threat. Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz said Kerry’s remarks were “hurtful..unfair…intolerable” and amounted to asking Israel to negotiate “with a gun to its head.” Netanyahu said “attempts to impose a boycott on the state of Israel are immoral and unjust.” The State Department read Netanyahu’s statement as a conflation of Kerry with the hazard he was flagging, and issued a statement of its own admonishing “all parties to accurately portray his record and statements.” On Monday night National Security Advisor Susan Rice joined in, posting on Twitter: “Personal attacks in Israel directed at Sec Kerry totally unfounded and unacceptable.”

But in Israel, at least, the damage was done. Friday’s Israel Hayom daily carried yet another poll, this one showing only 21% of Israeli Jews thought Kerry was speaking out of “concern for Israel.” Sixty percent, the survey said, took his warning as a threat.

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http://israel-commentary.org/?p=10669

FORTUNE AND EQUALITY

By the brilliant Rabbi Berl Wein

Jerusalem, Israel

One of the more popular and populist social and electoral issues here in Israel and in the rest of the Western world as well, is rectifying the seeming inequality of the distribution of wealth. The upper five percent of the population, in terms of wealth worldwide, control close to eighty percent of the wealth of the societies that they inhabit.

In order to correct this seemingly unfair imbalance, government programs are introduced and legislative laws are passed to redistribute wealth – taking from the wealthy by substantially increasing their tax burden and giving to the less wealthy in the form of government subsidies and welfare programs. This is, in effect, a glorified Robin Hood philosophy that has always proved popular and even heroic.

In those countries and societies where this utopian scheme was actually tried and enforced, the net result seems to have been that the wealthy became poor and the poor remained poor. The Soviet Union, which for seventy-five years destroyed the pre-existing wealthy class, only succeeded in creating a new class of bureaucrats and apparatchniks and an economy that bred universal poverty, social dysfunction and eventually collapsed under the weight of its own misguided policies.

Here in Israel, the socialist founders of the state also addressed the problem of income inequality with enormous taxation and controls over various forms of private enterprise. This was the legacy of the Marxist mindset that was part of the belief system of the Eastern European Zionist founders of the state.

Only over the last few decades has this situation changed, with many more Israelis prospering. Now more than ever before in the history of the country, there is a larger and growing wealthy class. Nevertheless, there is undoubtedly a great gap between the wealthy and the less wealthy. And this gap is trumpeted, by all of the parties, as being an important electoral issue that needs determined correction and government action.

The Torah takes a more realistic and measured view of the human situation involved here. We are assured that there will always be a substantial number of people – if not even the vast majority of the population – that will be less wealthy than the rich people of the society. All human beings are created equal but they never are equal in talent, wealth, opportunity and accomplishment. That is simply a fact of human life.

The Talmud, in its usual pithy and accurate way, teaches us that success in raising children, achieving longevity of life and becoming wealthy in material terms are all dependent upon good fortune. Seemingly perfect parents and warm and loving households can also produce children that are rebellious and even monstrous.

One can rigorously follow the best of health, diet and exercise regimens and still not be guaranteed a long life. And one can work hard, be smart and intelligent, have great deal of knowledge and energy and still be a very poor wage earner. Apparently the Talmud takes for granted that income inequality will always be a part of human life. It encourages and demands that the wealthy constantly help the poor but it offers no magic bullet that will make everyone equally wealthy.

There exists an imaginary poverty line that is drawn by statisticians in every society. There will always be a substantial portion of the population that finds itself below that poverty line. The issue is how high that poverty line is drawn on the graph of wealth and income. There is no question that the poor in Israel today are much wealthier than the poor in Israel were a half-century ago. Yet we are constantly reminded of how many in Israel find themselves in the group that is below the poverty line.

I wish that there were no poor people in Israel or anywhere else in the world, but that is a hopeless wish. Those of us who find ourselves fortunate to have means and wealth are obligated to help our fellow citizens who need our help. But destroying the wealthy class, taxing them inordinately and attempting to redistribute wealth and income, only weakens the society and its economy.

We should not remain passive in the face of the economic and social troubles that confront so many of our neighbors here in Israel and throughout the world. It is interesting to note that people are more resistant to paying taxes to a government than they are to contributing towards charitable causes and helping other human beings.

As with everything in life there must be a balance between private wealth, government welfare, taxation policies and voluntary charitable behavior. Populist slogans rarely if ever contribute to achieving this most necessary balance. Lincoln famously once said: “The Lord must love the poor. He created so many of them”. We should attempt to diminish the numbers of the poor but at the same time realize that certain facts in the human condition and in general society are not given to easy and popular theoretical solution.

Shabbat shalom

Berel Wein

Rabbi Berel Wein is the founder and director of the Destiny Foundation. For over 20 years, he has been identified with the popularization of Jewish history through lectures, more than 1000 audiotapes, books, seminars, educational tours and, most recently documentary films. Rabbi Wein has authored five Jewish history books ― including Faith and Fate, the story of the Jews in the Twentieth Century ― all of which have received popular and critical acclaim. His newest book is The Oral Law of Sinai, an illustrated history of the Mishnah logic, legend & truth. Rabbi Wein, a member of the Illinois Bar Association, is the recipient of the Educator of the Year Award from the Covenant Foundation. Most recently, Rabbi Wein received the Torah Prize Award from Machon Harav Frank in Jerusalem for his achievements in teaching Torah and spreading Judaism around the world. Rabbi Wein lives and teaches in Jerusalem. Visit his site at http://www.rabbiwein.com

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Immigration and Islam: Europe’s Crisis of Faith

France and the rest of Western Europe have never honestly confronted the issues raised by Muslim immigration

http://israel-commentary.org/?p=10660

Redacted from article:
By CHRISTOPHER CALDWELL
The Wall street Journal
Jan. 16,17, 2015

The terrorist assault on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on Jan. 7 may have been organized by al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen. But the attack, along with another at a Paris kosher market days later, was carried out by French Muslims descended from recent waves of North African and West African immigration. Well before the attacks, which left 17 dead, the French were discussing the possibility that tensions with the country’s own Muslim community were leading France toward some kind of armed confrontation.

Consider Éric Zemmour, a slashing television debater and a gifted polemicist. His history of the collapse of France’s postwar political order, “Le suicide français,” was No. 1 on the best-seller lists for several weeks this fall. “Today, our elites think it’s France that needs to change to suit Islam, and not the other way around,” Mr. Zemmour said on a late-night talk show in October, “and I think that with this system, we’re headed toward civil war.”

France’s problem has elements of a military threat, a religious conflict and a violent civil-rights movement. It is not unique. Every country of Western Europe has a version. For a half-century, millions of immigrants from North and sub-Saharan Africa have arrived, lured by work, welfare, marriage and a refuge from war. There are about 20 million Muslims in Europe, with some 5 million of them in France, according to the demographer Michèle Tribalat. That amounts to roughly 8% of the population of France, compared with about 5% of both the U.K. and Germany.

Europeans drew the wrong lessons from the American civil-rights movement. In the U.S., there was race and there was immigration. They were separate matters that could (at least until recently) be disentangled by people of good faith. In Europe, the two problems have long been inseparable. Voters who worried about immigration were widely accused of racism, or later of “Islamophobia.”

In France, antiracism set itself squarely against freedom of speech. The passage of the 1990 Gayssot Law, which punished denial of the Holocaust, was a watershed. Activist lobbies sought to expand such protections by limiting discussion of a variety of historical events—the slave trade, colonialism, foreign genocides. This was backed up by institutional muscle. In the 1980s, President François Mitterrand’s Socialist party created a nongovernmental organization called SOS Racisme to rally minority voters and to hound those who worked against their interests.

Older bodies such as the communist-inspired Movement against Racism and for Friendship Among the Peoples made a specialty of threatening (and sometimes carrying out) lawsuits against European intellectuals for the slightest trespasses against political correctness: (Sound familiar?) the late Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci for her post-9/11 lament “The Rage and the Pride,” the philosopher Alain Finkielkraut for doubting that the 2005 riots in France’s suburban ghettos were due to unemployment, the Russia scholar Hélène Carrère d’Encausse for speculating about the role of polygamy in the problems of West African immigrants.

Speech codes have done little to facilitate entry into the workforce for immigrants and their children or to reduce crime. But they have intimidated European voting publics, insulated politicians from criticism and turned certain crucial matters into taboos. Immigrant and ethnic issues have become tightly bound to the issue of building the multinational European Union, which has removed vast areas of policy from voter accountability. “Anti-European” sentiments continue to rise.

So impressed were the Europeans with their own generosity that they failed to notice that the population of second- and third-generation immigrants was growing bigger, stronger, more unified and less inclined to take moral instruction. This is partly a demographic problem. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, Western Europe has had some of the lowest birthrates of any civilization on record. Without immigration, Europe’s population would fall by a hundred million by midcentury, according to U.N. estimates.

In a world that prized “identity,” Muslim immigrants were aristocrats. Those who became radicalized developed the most monstrous kind of self-regard. A chilling moment in the most recent terrorist drama came when the TV network RTL phoned the kosher supermarket where the Malian-French hostage-taker, Amedy Coulibaly, was holding his victims at gunpoint. He refused to talk but hung up the phone carelessly.

The Muslim community is not to be confused with the terrorists it produces. But left to its own, it probably lacks the means, the inclination and the courage to stand up to the faction, however small, that supports terrorism. In 1995, there were riots among French Muslims after the arrest of Khalid Kelkal of Lyon, who had planted several bombs—in a train station, near a Jewish school, on a high-speed rail track. In 2012, when Mohamed Merah of Toulouse was killed by police after having gunned down soldiers, a rabbi and three Jewish elementary-school children, his brother professed himself “proud,” and his father threatened to file a wrongful-death suit against the government.

And when Charlie Hebdo printed a memorial cover that had a picture of its controversial cartoon character “Muhammad” on it, it was as if the attacks had never happened: Muslim community spokesmen, even moderate ones, issued dire warnings about the insult to them and their coreligionists. To many Muslims in France and the rest of Europe, the new drawings were evidence not that the terrorists had failed to kill a magazine but that the French had failed to heed a warning.

It may seem harsh to criticize the French in their time of grief, but they are responding today with tools that have failed them in previous crises. They reflexively look at their own supposed bigotry as always, somehow, the ultimate cause of Islamist terrorism, and they limit their efforts to making minority communities feel more at home.

On religion: Mr. Hollande has insisted that the attacks have “nothing to do with Islam.” At the same time, Prime Minister Manuel Valls speaks of “moderate Islam” and rails against “conservatism and obscurantism”— as if the violence had everything to do with Islam, and even with religious devotion in general. (Huh?)

• On spying: Some in the French government blame intelligence failures, since the secret services tracked the Charlie Hebdo killers Said and Chérif Kouachi until last summer. But government officials boast of about their principled unwillingness to legislate a “Patriot Act a la française”—even as they draw daily on intelligence gathered by the U.S.

In France, it is the Front National, a party with antecedents on the far right, that has been the big beneficiary. In the last national election, for seats in the European Parliament, the FN, led by Marine Le Pen (daughter of the party’s founder, Jean-Marie Le Pen), topped the polls. But the ruling Socialists froze the Front National out of the recent national ceremonies of mourning, limiting participation in the Paris rally to those parties it deemed “republican.” This risks damaging the cause of republicanism more than the cause of Le Pen and her followers.

France, like Europe more broadly, has been careless for decades. It has not recognized that free countries are for peoples strong enough to defend them. A willingness to join hands and to march in solidarity is a good first response to the awful events of early January. It will not be enough.

Mr. Caldwell is a senior editor at the Weekly Standard and the author of “Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam and the West.”

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http://israel-commentary.org/?p=10552

(Redacted from an in-depth must-read article in COMMENTARY February 2015)

The Existential Necessity of Zionism After the Paris Carnage

A COMMENTARY Editorial
By the Editors of COMMENTARY

The jihadist siege of a kosher grocery store in eastern Paris on January 9 was not the beginning of a new threat to French Jews and the Jews of Europe. Rather, it was the culmination of a decade of crisis. And it will not be the end.

The new era of deadly anti-Semitism in France began with the January 2006 murder of 23-year-old Ilan Halimi. Shortly after a Shabbat meal with his mother, he was lured to a Paris slum, where he was ambushed by a gang. They held him captive for 24 days, during which time he was beaten, stabbed, burned with acid, mutilated, lit on fire, and tortured to death. Halimi’s murderers were African and North African Muslim immigrants with ties to Islamic extremists. They called themselves the Gang of Barbarians. And they chose Halimi because he was a Jew.

France’s 5 million Muslims account for 10 to 12 percent of the country’s total population. It is the largest Muslim population in Europe; it is also the most problematic. Several factors contribute to this reality.

The first is radical Islam. Since the late-20th century, a Saudi-funded, anti-Semitic strain of Islamist radicalism has spread to all corners of the Muslim world. Many of France’s recent Muslim immigrants from North Africa have brought their Islamist and jihadist sympathies to Europe. Indeed, a 2013 poll found that a startling 27 percent of French Muslims younger than 24 support ISIS.

Second, nationalism is a foundational aspect of French life. Old nationalist allegiances have made it hard for well-meaning Muslim immigrants to integrate into society, as they have no direct ties to Metropolitan France. They live largely among themselves in banlieues, whose customs and norms closely resemble those of the inhabitants’ countries of origin—not those of their new home.

The doctrine of multiculturalism, the idée fixe of postwar Europe, has a strange relationship with French nationalism: Though it would seem nationalism’s ideological opposite, multiculturalism offers rosy-cheeked cover to France’s deep unwillingness to allow anyone without centuries-old roots to become “French.” And it allows some in France to entertain the belief that Jews, too, can never be French.

France is also home to Europe’s largest Jewish population. For decades after World War II, French Jewry thrived both as a vibrant community of co-religionists and as integral members of French society. While European anti-Semitism was far from extinguished, France seemed a living example of successful Jewish life in Europe after the Holocaust. Today, the Jewish population of France stands at approximately 478,000—the world’s second-largest population of Diaspora Jews (after America’s).

But France’s Jews are outnumbered by its Muslims 10 to 1. The unspeakable murder of Halimi in 2006 heralded a sharp turn back to Europe’s most notorious hatred, at the hands of its newest population. There have been thousands—thousands—of attacks on French Jews and Jewish sites in the years since Halimi was killed.

Muslim attacks on French Jews increased more significantly still in the summer of 2014, during and after Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza. On July 13, dozens of North African immigrants stormed Paris’s Don Isaac Abravanel synagogue, chanting “Allahu Akbar” and “Death to the Jews.” The mob, wielding knives, clubs, and axes, tried for hours to get through the barricaded door to some 200 congregants on the other side. Police and representatives of France’s Jewish Community Protection Service eventually dispersed the attackers. In July and August, there were a total of eight attempts to destroy or burn various synagogues in Paris. And in Sarcelles, mobs set fire to Jewish-owned business. All told, anti-Semitic incidents in France shot up an estimated 90 percent in 2014.

From the Halimi murder to the attacks in January, the official French response has been one of sympathy for the victim and denial of the nature of the victimizer. On the afternoon of January 9, at the close of a week in which gunmen who claimed to be avenging the prophet Muhammad killed 17 French citizens, President François Hollande stood in front of television cameras and announced that the terrorists had “nothing to do with the Muslim religion.(Huh!)

The ineffectual response of Hollande and his predecessors to the Muslim problem in their midst has sent many French into the arms of the National Front (FN). This far-right party, founded in 1972 and led today by Marine Le Pen, scored its biggest victory ever in municipal elections in March 2014. Le Pen is an outspoken opponent of Muslim immigration, but the FN is ultra-nationalist in every respect, and neither the party nor its supporters can be considered friends of the Jews. Far from it. Le Pen, daughter of FN founder and unabashed anti-Semite Jean-Marie Le Pen, supports a ban on the wearing of yarmulkes in public. Working-class French are increasingly drawn to both the far right and far left, both of which have a propensity to lay blame on the Jew.

Caught between the deadly reality of radical Islam and the potential manifestation of a neo-fascist revival, what are French Jews to do? For ever greater numbers, the answer lies in Israel. Last year, a record-high 7,000 French Jews immigrated to the Jewish state—more than double the year before. The Jewish Agency, which oversees immigration of Jews to Israel, now estimates that some 15,000 French Jews will make aliyah in 2015.

II. Theodor Herzl

In 1894, the Viennese journalist Theodor Herzl was on the scene in Paris to cover the official public degradation of Alfred Dreyfus, a French officer who had been convicted of spying for Germany and sentenced to life on Devil’s Island.

Jews should “not delude ourselves,” Herzl wrote in his diary. The cause “is a lost one.” The cause of which he spoke was the effort to secure equal rights to life and liberty for Jews as a minority population living among non-Jews. For Herzl, the Dreyfus case marked the conclusion to years of rumination about the existential condition of his people.

Eighteen months later, Herzl published The Jewish State. This pamphlet, which changed the world in 23,000 words, is startling even today, not because of the power of its rhetoric but because of its unprecedented practicality. It does not advance uniquely powerful or memorably polemical arguments against anti-Semitism: “I do not wish to take up the cudgels for the Jews in this pamphlet,” Herzl wrote. “It would be useless. Everything rational and everything sentimental that can possibly be said in their defense has been said already. If one’s hearers are incapable of comprehending them, one is a preacher in a desert.

III. Vladimir Jabotinsky

Although he is now considered the founding father of the ideological right in Israel, the revisionist leader Vladimir Jabotinsky was dedicated to a pragmatic, not a religious or historic, need for a Jewish national home in Palestine. He called it “humanitarian Zionism.” As the anti-Jewish storm clouds over Europe gathered strength once again, Jabotinsky aimed for a simple goal: the rescue of as many Jews as possible. Jabotinsky, the most literate and literary of the early Zionist leaders, grew to disdain the arguments about what a “good” Israel ought to look like—thus, he dismissively called the project of other Zionist leaders an “amusement park for Hebrew culture.” What Israel needed was not to become but to be.

The pervasiveness of anti-Semitism throughout the world continued proving the need after the state of Israel became a reality. Arab countries either expelled their Jews or made it impossible for them to survive without leaving. This resulted in an immediate refugee crisis: 850,000 Jews fled the Arab world in the years following Israel’s independence. Nearly 600,000 settled in Israel. The Jewish state’s absorption of those refugees was unprecedented; the immigrants nearly doubled Israel’s nascent population. Such a thing was only possible because of practical Zionism—the organizations and the banks and the bureaucratic systems originally envisioned in The Jewish State.

The influx from Arab lands was not the only astounding wave of immigration. Soviet Jews, desperate for relief from institutionalized totalitarian hatred in the 1970s, found a crucial ally in U.S. Senator Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson and Representative Charles Vanik, who successfully moved legislation restricting U.S. trade with countries, such as the Soviet Union, that did not permit oppressed minorities to emigrate. Jews began, slowly, to find their way to the other side of the Iron Curtain. The trickle became a flood with the Gorbachev government’s liberalization and finally the collapse of the USSR in 1991.

Today, there are 1.2 million Jews from the former Soviet Union in Israel, the third-largest Russian-speaking Diaspora after the United States and Germany. The Jewish Agency is now led by Natan Sharansky, who spent nine years in the Gulag for the crime of wanting to live as a Jew. And it is the Jewish Agency that will be there to aid the Jews of Europe over the coming years.

IV. Zionism and Conditional Zionism

Zionism was not a utopian vision. It was a program, and remains a program—the means by which Jewry can and will survive into its fourth millennium. It is about providing Jews with a safe haven in the world and allowing them to exercise rights they have been denied almost everywhere on earth where they have been governed by others—save the astonishing exception of the United States. It is about letting Jews be. That is one of the many reasons Israel was established as a democratic state, and one that respects minority rights.

(And what is the alternative to Zionism for “Conditional” Jews who reject Israel by hiding behind unrealistic criticism that expects Israel and its citizens to be perfect?.)jsk

The conditional Zionists have a way of mistaking a lull in the waves for a permanent low tide. Consider this sentence Peter Beinart (a self hating deluded, to my mind, Jewish author) jsk wrote only three years ago: “For the most part, young American Jews don’t experience their campuses as hostile or anti-Semitic.” In fact, crude anti-Zionism is ruthlessly enforced both among the faculty and the student body across American higher education.

V. Dangerous (No, Ridiculous) Complacency

The conditions in France reveal the dangerous complacency of conditional Zionism. Israel was not established as a messianic project or a secular haven. It is not a socialist workers’ paradise. It is not a capitalist-imperialist outpost. It is, instead, a country, now 66 years of age, freer than most, fairer to minorities than most, in which 6.2 million Jews now live.

Alas, the promise Theodore Herzl offered at the conclusion of The Jewish State was dreadfully naive: “The Jews, once settled in their own State, would probably have no more enemies,” he wrote. In two months, Jews will gather for the Passover seder and sing: “In every generation they rise up against us to destroy us.” Anti-Semitism is a disease for which there is likely no cure.

The existential necessity of Zionism after Paris is not only a fact. It is a charge for the future.

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By Ambassador Yoram Ettinger

http://israel-commentary.org/?p=10587

Published in the Israeli daily newspaper “Israel Hayom”
January 16, 2015

(And … Previewed by the audience at our synagogue delighted to have Ambassador Ettinger as our honored guest speaker, just the day before, Shabbat, January 17, 2015!)

The lecture:

In 539 BCE, Babylonian King Belshazzar ignored the writing on the wall – as interpreted by the Prophet Daniel – and was, therefore, annihilated by the Persians (Book of Daniel, Chapter 5).

In 2015, Western civilizations must read the writing on the wall, desist from ambiguity, denial and political correctness and embrace clarity, realism and political incorrectness, in order to survive and overcome the clear and present lethal threat of the Islamic takeover, which gathers momentum via demographic, political and terroristic means.

While medical ambiguity, and the failure to diagnose lethal disease, cause personal misfortune, policy-making ambiguity and denial could trigger national and international calamities.

History proves that Western ambiguity and the refusal to identify enemies – due to ignorance, gullibility, oversimplification, appeasement, delusion and wishful thinking – have taken root, yielding major strategic setbacks and painful economic and human loss.  When it comes to reading the writing on the wall, Western eyesight has been far from 20:20, dominated by modern day Belshazzars, ignoring modern day Prophet Daniels.

For example, during the 1930s, the writing was on the wall in glaring letters: Germany abrogated the Treaty of Versailles, which called for German disarmament, reparations and territorial concessions; German military spending skyrocketed, military conscription was reintroduced and the Rhineland was remilitarized; Germany withdrew from the League of Nations and annexed Austria. 

Still, on September 30, 1938, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain signed the Munich Pact, declaring “Peace for our time.” He refused to recognize Hitler’s strategic, global, supremacist goal, assuming that Hitler’s appetite could be satisfied with a tactical, limited gain in Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland, thus signing a “peace accord” which triggered the “war of all wars.”

Hitler’s master plan was highlighted in 1925-26 by the two volumes of the supremacist, anti-Jewish Mein Kampf (My Struggle), which is currently a best seller in the Muslim world, particularly in Iran and the Palestinian Authority.

During 1977-79, President Carter did not read the writing on the wall, supporting Ayatollah Khomeini’s battle against the Shah of Iran, who was in fact the US Policeman of the Persian Gulf.  Overwhelmed by denial and wishful-thinking, and heavily influenced by the US foreign policy establishment, Carter ignored the litany of sermons delivered by Khomeini, which exposed the Iranian cleric as an enemy of Western civilization and civil liberties. He despised the US and aligned himself with the enemies of the US, while protected by a Palestinian-PLO praetorian guard.

Thus, the US betrayal of the Shah eliminated a most effective and loyal strategic partner of the US, gave rise to the most lethal, conventional and non-conventional threat to vital US interests in the Persian Gulf, the Middle East and beyond and generated a robust tailwind to Islamic terrorism. 
 
In 1990, on the eve of Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, the US stated that an Iraq-Kuwait military clash would be an intra-Arab, rather than a US, concern.  The Bush/Baker Administration assumed that “the enemy of my enemy (Iran) is my friend (Iraq),” supplying Saddam with dual-use sensitive systems, providing him with $5bn loan guarantees and concluding a US-Iraq intelligence sharing agreement. The 1990 policy of denial triggered a conventional conflict, a $1.25 trillion cost to the US taxpayer, 4,500 US military fatalities, a surge of anti-US Islamic terrorism and a dramatic destabilization of the Persian Gulf.

Since the conclusion of the 1993 Oslo Accord, Western democracies have refrained from reading the writing on the Palestinian (Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas) wall: hate education in grades K-12; unprecedented terrorism; systematic non-compliance with agreements; naming squares, streets and tournaments after terrorists; monthly allowances for families of terrorists; responding to Israeli retreats with intensified terror.

In 2011, Western democracies denied the eruption of an Arab Tsunami, welcoming the violence on the Arab Street as an Arab Spring, transitioning the Arabs toward democracy. The Obama Administration embraced the Muslim Brotherhood (while turning a cold shoulder toward General Al-Sisi), refusing to recognize its well-documented intra-Arab terrorism, the offshoot of its motto: “Allah is our objective; the Qur’an is the Constitution; the Prophet is our leader; Jihad is our way; death for the sake of Allah is our wish.”

The 2015 failure to carefully read the Iranian writing on the wall could produce a nuclear conflict at a mega-trillion dollar cost to the US taxpayer, an unprecedented level of fatalities, a tidal wave of Islamic terrorism throughout the globe, including in the USA, decimation of the pro-US Arab regimes in the Persian Gulf and Jordan, an unprecedented disruption of the supply of Persian Gulf oil, further radicalization of the anti-US regime in Venezuela with ripple effects in Latin America, including Mexico, and additional tectonic eruptions of insanity throughout the globe.

At stake is not only freedom of expression and the safety of European Jewry, but the survival of Western democracies.

Solidarity demonstrations and eloquent speeches will not spare Western democracies the wrath of Islamic terrorism and domination, unless accompanied by clarity, realism and the willingness to take military, legislative and political action in order to thwart the writing on the walls of the mosques: submission of humanity to the Prophet Muhammad; submission of the Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh and Jewish Kuffar (“infidel”) to Muslims and to Sharia’ laws; Jihad – holy war on behalf of Islam – is the duty of Muslims; Waqf – Muslim land – is ordained by Allah; Dar al Salaam (the residence of the believers) must take over Dar al Harb (the residence of the Kuffar); and Islam-sanctioned Taqiyyah (dissimulation, deception and concealment of inconvenient data) aimed at shielding Islam and “believers” from “disbelievers.”

That was pretty much the excellent lecture Ambassador Ettinger gave at our synagogue. Then the usual question and answer question began and someone in the audience was brash enough to start some fireworks. The questioner contended that perhaps there was some other writing on the wall that the Ambassador failed to point out.

He stated that the writing on the wall had been placed there by the current President of the United States and that the President was, in fact, not some bungling, uninformed, ineffective, uninvolved, uninterested leader but knew exactly what he was doing and was a deliberate destroyer of the United States of America!

The dedicated Democrats and uninformed Left in the audience exploded, shouted down the questioner and he was unable to present the evidence for his claim. Obama’s writings are indeed on the wall spelled out very clearly in his book, Dreams from my Father, Random House 1995. It was later determined that the book was written, with Obama’s blessings, by domestic terrorist. revolutionary William Ayers.

This whole discussion by Dinesh D’Souza appears in the Israel Commentary article,

http://israel-commentary.org/?p=4

That article exposes Obama’s father, Obama Sr., as an anti-Colonialist – the dominant idea in the third world of the 20th Century. The simple core of this idea was that the world is divided into two – the colonizers or oppressors and the colonized or victims. The colonizers used to be Europe, Britain, France and now it is America according to this line of thought.

Furthermore, the rich got rich only by looting the colonized and even when they left, powerful economic forces remained in a position of exploitation. Banks, insurance and pharmaceutical companies, oil companies and anyone else that happens to make money are simply now the economic wing of colonialism still into exploitation. And, who to Barack Obama, Jr. is the lead elephant and current exploiter? Why we are, of course.

This writing on the wall was what the synagogue questioner was trying to advise Ambassador Ettinger, that he had missed. But, of course, Ettinger is way too smart to have missed it or to present it and thus immediately alienate the Left wing members of the congregation.

But even politically correct speaker, Ettinger had just declared, “The Obama Administration embraced the Muslim Brotherhood (while turning a cold shoulder toward General Al-Sisi), refusing to recognize its well-documented intra-Arab terrorism, the offshoot of its motto: “Allah is our objective; the Qur’an is the Constitution; the Prophet is our leader; Jihad is our way; death for the sake of Allah is our wish.”

By fortuitous serendipidy, another list of facts was submitted to me just last night further supporting the concept that Americans and of course, the American media, have totally missed the writing on the wall proudly displayed by Obama in his book, Dreams from my Father. Here is the list.

Please read it below and my case rests.

“President Obama: It Was You”

This is why you did not go to France to march in the anti-Islamist Freedom Parade.

It was you who told an Islamic dinner – “I am one of you.”

It was you who on ABC News referenced – “My Muslim faith.”

It was you who gave $100 million in U.S. taxpayer funds to re-build foreign mosques.

It was you who wrote that in the event of a conflict -”I will stand with the Muslims.”

It was you who assured the Egyptian Foreign Minister that – “I am a Muslim.”

It was you who bowed in submission before the Saudi King.

It was you who sat for 20 years in a Liberation Theology Church condemning Christianity and professing Marxism.

It was you who exempted Muslims from penalties under Obamacare that the rest of us have to pay.

It was you who purposefully omitted – “endowed by our Creator” – from your recitation of The Declaration Of Independence.

It was you who mocked the Bible and Jesus Christ’s Sermon On The Mount while repeatedly referring to the ‘HOLY’ Quran.

It was you who traveled the Islamic world denigrating the United States Of America.

It was you who instantly threw the support of your administration behind the building of the Ground Zero Victory mosque overlooking the hallowed crater of the World Trade Center.

It was you who refused to attend the National Prayer Breakfast, but hastened to host an Islamic prayer breakfast at the White House.

It was you who ordered both Georgetown Univ. and Notre Dame to shroud all vestiges of Jesus Christ BEFORE you would agree to go there to speak, but in contrast, you have NEVER requested that the mosques you have visited adjust their decor.

It was you who appointed anti-Christian fanatics to your Czar Corps.

It was you who appointed rabid Islamists to Homeland Security.

It was you who said that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration “foremost mission” was an outreach to Muslim communities.” (And, in some bizarre personal fantasy bragged about the Muslim contribution to the Space program! Huh?)

It was you who as an Illinois Senator were the ONLY individual who would speak in favor of infanticide.

It was you who were the first President not to give a Christmas Greeting from the White House, and went so far as to hang photos of Chairman Mao on the White House tree.

It was you who curtailed the military tribunals of all Islamic terrorists.

It was you who refused to condemn the Ft. Hood killer as an Islamic terrorist.

It is you who has refused to speak-out concerning the horrific executions of women throughout the Muslim culture, but yet, have submitted Arizona to the UN for investigation of hypothetical human-rights abuses.

It was you who when queried in India refused to acknowledge the true extent of radical global Jihadists, and instead profusely praised Islam in a country that is 82% Hindu and the victim of numerous Islamic terrorists assaults.

It was you who funneled $900 Million in U.S. taxpayer dollars to Hamas.

It was you who ordered the US Postal Service to honor the MUSLIM holiday with a new commemorative stamp.

It was you who directed our UK Embassy to conduct outreach to help “empower” the British Muslim community.

It was you who embraced the fanatical Muslim Brotherhood in your quest to overthrow the Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak. (As per Ambassador Ettinger)

It was you who funded mandatory Arabic language and culture studies in Grammar schools across our country.

It is you who follows the Muslim custom of not wearing any form of jewelry during Ramadan.

It is you who departs for Hawaii over the Christmas season so as to avoid past criticism for NOT participating in seasonal White House religious events.

It was you who was un-characteristically quick to join the chorus of the Muslim Brotherhood to depose Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, formerly America’s strongest ally in North Africa; but, remain muted in your non-response to the Brotherhood led slaughter of Egyptian Christians.

It was you who appointed as your chief adviser, Valerie Jarrett, who is a member of the Muslim Sisterhood, an off-shoot of the Muslim Brotherhood

Needless to say, this is only the tip of the iceberg of Obama’s perfidy against the United States of America. We have not even begun to list his lethal weakening of the US Armed Forces, Navy, coal industry, alienate our oldest and most reliable friends in the world, done everything he can to block the Canadian Keystone Pipe line, Uses the Environmental Protection Agency and his buddy Eric Holder in the Justice Dept to enhance and enforce his awful destructive polices, etc etc. The list is endless.

In fact, one would need the Great Wall of China, Mr. Ambassador Ettinger, to write down all the evidence proving Barack Obama a dedicated enemy of the United States of America. But, I have run out of paper and reader patience.

Have a good day.

Jerome S. Kaufman, Editor/Publisher Israel Commentary

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Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi

http://israel-commentary.org/?p=10547

(A good friend of mine, conversant in Arabic, was kind enough to send me a summary, in English, of President el-Sissi’s speech, It is posted below and reads about what I have been told from other sourses. It is a bombshell, especially compared with what other Arab leaders have been willling to say. Kudos to Pres el-Sissi who has, without question, put his own life in danger.) jsk

By ISI LIEBLER

    January 12, 2015

    The ill winds that have been gathering over Europe descended with a tornado last week in Paris with the barbaric Charlie Hebdo massacre, followed by the horrific terror attack at a kosher supermarket – a total of 17 dead in three days. But alas, the horrors will in all likelihood soon recede and life will continue as usual until the next attack.

    Let me say at the outset that, while obviously condemning the murders and unequivocally defending freedom of expression, I do not associate myself with the “Je suis Charlie” movement. In condemning these barbaric acts, we are not obliged to identify with the racism and vulgarity of the victims. Charlie Hebdo was obscenely offensive to Christians and Muslims and promoted vulgar anti-Semitic satire. On the other hand, some Mormons were presumably outraged by the satirical musical “The Book of Mormon” but that did not grant them license to embark on a killing spree of the producers.

    Western governments have yet to internalize the reality that what happened in Paris was not merely another instance of “terrorism” but a classic manifestation of the “clash of civilizations.”

    Aside from murderous attacks primarily directed against Jews in Europe over recent months, there have been ongoing massacres and atrocities committed by Islamic terrorists throughout the world. To name a few: the butchering of 2,000 Nigerians this week in the wake of the Boko Haram enslavement of 300 schoolgirls; the murder of 130 schoolchildren in Peshawar, Pakistan by the Taliban; the barbaric videos broadcast of hostages being decapitated; ongoing mass murder in Syria and Iraq; oppression of women; and gruesome persecution, expulsion and murder of Christians in the Middle East.

    Today, as the global impact of Islamic fundamentalism with increasing manifestations of brutal terrorism grows exponentially, Western leaders lack the courage even to identify the enemy. It has ominous parallels to the struggle with Nazism. Then as now, Western governments initially sought to avoid conflict by appeasing the barbarians – which only served to embolden them.

    This originates in 9/11 when U.S. President George W. Bush, in his call for concerted military action against global Islamic terrorism, sought to placate his Arab allies by describing Islam as a “religion of peace.” This absurd mantra was repeatedly chanted whenever Islamic terror was mentioned and has become an overused term of the political lexicon.

    But it was President Barack Obama and his administration that, despite the dramatic mushrooming of Islamic terrorism, must be held accountable for systematically denying its existence, even avoiding the term “Islamic terrorism.”

    The same obstinate refusal to face reality and an effort to appease their increasingly radicalized Muslim communities motivated all European governments – in particular the French – to repeatedly state, despite all evidence to the contrary, that these acts of terrorism were unrelated to Islamic radicalism and were the actions of “lone wolves” or demented individuals.

    Even now, when the massacres were accompanied by calls of “Allahu akbar” and “We are avenging the Prophet Muhammad,” French President François Hollande refused to use the word “Islam,” merely referring to “obscurantist” forces. However, in stark contrast to Obama, Hollande at least condemned the kosher supermarket attack as a “dreadful anti-Semitic attack.”

    Throughout the world, jihadist mullahs and preachers promote hatred and extremism. In European cities, second-generation homegrown Muslims and converts are indoctrinated to endorse and in some cases participate in jihad and the murder of infidels. Those who convert are not necessarily from the underprivileged, but “ideologues,” many of whom belong to comfortable middle class families and are university graduates.

    But worse has been the unspoken acquiescence of most governments and the media, preventing any meaningful discussion of the threat from Islamic extremism. Apart from downplaying and often even denying the overriding Islamic element in acts of terror, governments and media have disgracefully branded as “Islamophobic” any serious effort to discuss and analyze the problem, even promoting “hate speech” legislation to stifle any such public discussion. The 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference has attempted to make blasphemy (i.e., criticism of Islam) a crime in international law.

    They have been further emboldened by the failure to immediately prosecute Islamic extremists who threaten violence against those who express criticism or dishonor Islam. What is truly ironic is that many of those on the Left who normally endorse the crudest outbursts against Christianity and Judaism, are the first to accuse any critics of Islam of Islamophobia and they display far greater concern for the sensitivities of Muslims.

    In many instances, Obama and European leaders have apologized and even groveled every time some crude outburst against Islam was expressed by individuals, many of whom were of marginal importance.

    Of course not all Muslims are terrorists. But the number of radicals is dramatically increasing and like al-Qaida in the previous decade, Islamic State is providing them with a sense of empowerment and imbuing them with a willingness to die in pursuit of their objectives. The Paris massacres exemplify what we can expect from the thousands of well-trained indigenous battle-hardened assassins imbued with a fanaticism to sacrifice their lives to promote Islam and terrorize infidels, especially Jews, after returning from Middle East conflict zones.

    While local Muslim leaders and heads of Islamic states condemned the massacres, it is chilling to witness the extent that popular public opinion, especially in the Arab world, supports terrorism. We should remind ourselves that it originated with the Iranian ayatollah’s fatwa to murder novelist Salman Rushdie, which was overwhelmingly endorsed in the Islamic world.

    Even if only 20 percent of the Muslims are considered pro-jihadist – and there are in all probability more than that – this would represent two or three hundred million potential terrorists. To persist in denying the existence of such a huge Islamic terrorist presence is utterly delusional.

    Above all, this undermines the moderate Islamic forces striving to stem or isolate this poisonous fanaticism that has arisen from within. Yet the Obama administration has mollycoddled the Muslim Brotherhood (a more nuanced but nevertheless direct extension of the terrorist network) and condemned the leader of the largest Muslim Middle Eastern country, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.

    Ironically, in a historic and critical New Year address, largely ignored by the mainstream press, Sissi publicly expressed what Obama and Western leaders have been denying. He stated explicitly that jihadism and terrorism were linked to “the corpus of texts and ideas that we have sacralized over the centuries.” He warned that this was “antagonizing the entire world,” that “this umma is being torn, it is being destroyed … by our own hands,” and that “we are in need of a religious revolution.”

    Clearly, now that all parties engaged are no longer committed to democracy, this is a time to review our multicultural policies. Western governments must cease their groveling, impose draconian measures against Islamic extremists and intensify pressure on Muslim communities to purge themselves of these elements.

    Issues of civil liberties must be considered secondary when the safety of innocent civilians is at stake. If that requires special surveillance and interrogation of suspect Muslims, so be it. It is common sense, not bigotry, to racially profile and concentrate on those from whose midst 99 percent of terrorist outbreaks originate.

    It will require intensified penetration of mosques and Islamic community centers to identify and deal with those mullahs and fanatics promoting jihadism, including the Saudi financed Wahhabi outlets in the immigrant ghettoes. It will necessitate a rigorous monitoring of Muslim schools and Internet outlets to eradicate and prosecute the extremists who are transforming youngsters into beheaders.

    Failure to act will intensify the prevailing massive swing toward parties opposed to immigration and parties of the far Right like the National Front in France, whose leader, Marine Le Pen, is now the frontrunner in presidential polls.

    Jews have reassumed the role of the canary in the mine and are the first to be targeted, but the world would face the same threat if Jews did not exist. Israel has been at the frontlines confronting Islamic extremism but has received scant support. Indeed, until recently Western governments ignored the carnage in Syria, Iraq and other countries, preferring to concentrate on condemning Israeli housing construction in the Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem and regarding Israel as the major lubricant to Islamic extremism. French support of the PA application to the U.N. Security Council on December 30, obviously designed to curry favor with local Muslims, did not deter terrorists from committing their massacres in Paris a week later.

    For Jews, the writing has been on the wall for a long time. The virulence of the anti-Semitic hatred closing in on Jews in Europe (and elsewhere) is horrifying. Robert Wistrich, the world’s leading scholar on anti-Semitism, says that anti-Semitism in France is now in “an advanced stage of disease” that cannot be reversed. There were a series of anti-Semitic murders in France and Belgium preceding the Paris massacre but they failed to raise the same level of outrage as the Charlie Hebdo murders. There were no popular campaigns saying “Je suis Juif.” Indeed there seemed to be greater concern about “Islamophobia” than the targeted Jewish victims.

    Europe is today facing a crisis as serious as the confrontation with Nazism. If Western leaders continue behaving like Chamberlain and fail to stand up to this global threat, it could usher in a new Dark Age in which the Judeo-Christian culture is subsumed by primitive barbarism. The writing is on the wall.

    For Jews, the Zionist vision (The gathering of Jews into their own state of great power and dignity) has once again been tragically vindicated. If we must die with out boots on, so be it but our Hashem will protect us – of that there is no doubt)

    (Italicized notes by Jerome S. Kaufman)

    The relevant excerpt from Sisi’s speech follows (translation by Michele Antaki):

    “I am referring here to the religious clerics. We have to think hard about what we are facing—and I have, in fact, addressed this topic a couple of times before. It’s inconceivable that the thinking that we hold most sacred should cause the entire umma [Islamic world] to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world. Impossible!

    That thinking—I am not saying “religion” but “thinking”—that corpus of texts and ideas that we have sacralized over the centuries, to the point that departing from them has become almost impossible, is antagonizing the entire world. It’s antagonizing the entire world!

    Is it possible that 1.6 billion people [Muslims] should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants—that is 7 billion—so that they themselves may live? Impossible!

    I am saying these words here at Al Azhar, before this assembly of scholars and ulema—Allah Almighty be witness to your truth on Judgment Day concerning that which I’m talking about now.

    All this that I am telling you, you cannot feel it if you remain trapped within this mindset. You need to step outside of yourselves to be able to observe it and reflect on it from a more enlightened perspective.

    I say and repeat again that we are in need of a religious revolution. You, imams, are responsible before Allah. The entire world, I say it again, the entire world is waiting for your next move… because this umma is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost—and it is being lost by our own hands.”

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    Isi Leibler’s website can be viewed at www.wordfromjerusalem.com.

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video – Dinesh D’Souza on the Islamic Terrorism in Paris

Islamic ideology driving terrorists to kill, Egypt’s president tells clerics

Redacted from an article by:
Rowan Scarborough
The Washington Times
January 13, 2015

The ruler of Egypt is alone among major world leaders in his willingness to go before an audience of senior Muslim clerics and tell them that parts of Islamic ideology are indeed driving terrorists to kill worldwide.

Just days before al Qaeda-linked terrorists unleashed a wave of murder in Paris, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi gave a blunt talk that some observers hope will be the beginning of a campaign within Islam to reform its preachings and exile its extremists.

Mr. el-Sissi’s message is at odds with President Obama’s view that Islam the religion has nothing to do with Muslim extremists.

On Dec. 28, Mr. el-Sissi, a former chief of the armed forces who ousted the elected Islamist president in 2013, went to Cairo’s Al-Azhar University, a leading intellectual center of Sunni Muslim thought. He stood before clerics and scholars and asserted that years of Islamic writings and sermons had created an ideology that justifies waves of violence. Now, he said, the imams have a duty to stop it.

“You must emerge from it and look from outside, in order to get closer to a truly enlightened ideology,” he said in a speech televised to the Egyptian people. “You must oppose it with resolve. Let me say it again: We need to revolutionize our religion.”

Analysts cannot recall any other world leader taking such a bold public step since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks by al Qaeda, which, like other organizations that want to unleash violence around the world, bases its doctrine on Sunni Muslim ideology.

When the smoke had cleared in Paris, French President Francois Hollande in effect broke with Mr. el-Sissi’s Dec. 28 message. He told citizens, “Those who carried out these attacks, the terrorists, the madmen, these fanatics have nothing to do with the Muslim religion.”
(The poor French – led by another Obama)

At the same university and same audience makeup in 2009, Mr. Obama said, “Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism. It is an important part of promoting peace.”

When the Islamic State, also known as ISIL, killed American Peter Kassig by beheading, Mr. Obama chose to refer to him by his Muslim name, apparently believing he freely became a Muslim after the violent group took him captive.

“ISIL’s actions represent no faith, least of all the Muslim faith, which Abdul-Rahman adopted as his own,” the president said.

Some analysts say Egypt’s Mr. el-Sissi, while not a model for democratic rule, should be applauded for his willingness to officially link parts of his religion’s ideology to violence.

U.S. political conservatives point out that there are clerics who preach violence. There are mosques used to raise terrorist money, recruit fighters and plan attacks. All are components of Islam, fringe or otherwise, they say.

“Western leaders often appear to be the great apologists for Islam,” said Soeren Kern, an analyst with the Gatestone Institute who writes on the “Islamization of France.” “How many times have I heard recently that the Islamic State has nothing to do with Islam, or Islam is a religion of peace, or that jihadists are not true Muslims. Until the West gets over the political correctness, Islam is going to run roughshod over Western values of democracy and free speech.”

One frequent criticism from U.S. conservatives is that there is still no sustained public campaign by moderate Muslim leaders to condemn and root out extremists – 14 years after al Qaeda’s attacks on America.

“Sissi said something profound and, I think, correct,” said Douglas Feith, the Pentagon’s top policy official under President George W. Bush. “The great question is whether he’ll be heeded.

Mr. el-Sissi’s pointed speech has received much more attention in the American conservative press than it has in the main liberal media, which are sensitive to charges of “Islamophobia.”

“We must take a long, hard look at the situation we are in,” Mr. el-Sissi said, according to a translation by the Middle East Media Research Institute. “It is inconceivable that the ideology we sanctify should make our entire nation a source of concern, danger, killing, and destruction all over the world. It is inconceivable that this ideology – I am referring not to ‘religion,’ but to ‘ideology’ – the body of ideas and texts that we have sanctified in the course of centuries, to the point that challenging them has become very difficult.”

At one point, he spoke directly to Ahmed Muhammad Ahmed el-Tayeb, the grand sheik of Al-Azhar University and its revered mosque.

“Honorable Imam,” he said, “you bear responsibility before Allah. The world in its entirety awaits your words, because the Islamic nation is being torn apart, destroyed, and is heading to perdition. We ourselves are bringing it to perdition.”

Zuhdi Jasser is a Syrian-American internist and nuclear cardiologist who has emerged in the U.S. as a major voice for countering Islamic extremism.

What Dr. Jasser said Muslim leaders are needed to declare a separation between mosque and state, in the place of Islamic states such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. “When I hear a Muslim leader say that, then I will take a second look that they’re real about it,” he said. “But until then, what’s happening is these radicals are coming back to bite these oligarchs in the rear end.”

Mr. Obama’s June 2009 appearance at Egypt’s Al-Azhar University was part of his travels to majority Muslim nations. In Cairo, he portrayed Muslims as victims of colonialism, then the Cold War, then modern Western societies.

He compared women’s struggles in the male-dominated Muslim culture to a lack of rights today for American women. He said, “The struggle for women’s equality continues in many aspects of American life, and in countries around the world.”

He praised Islam’s history.

“And throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality,” he said. “And I consider it part of my responsibility as president of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear. So let there be no doubt. Islam is a part of America.”

The president did urge the clerics to shun violence.

“The sooner the extremists are isolated and unwelcome in Muslim communities, the sooner we will all be safer,” he said. “Among some Muslims, there’s a disturbing tendency to measure one’s own faith by the rejection of somebody else’s faith.”

In 2013, Mr. Obama appeared at the National Defense University at Fort McNair in Washington to outline his strategy for combating terrorists.

He said he wanted Congress to repeal the law that in 2001 authorized war against al Qaeda and allied groups.

“Our systematic effort to dismantle terrorist organizations must continue,” he said. “But this war, like all wars, must end. That’s what history advises. That’s what our democracy demands.”

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