If you happen to see the Bill Clinton 5-minute TV ad for Hillary in which he introduces the commercial by saying he wants to share some things we may not know about Hillary’s background, beware. As I was there for most of their presidency and know them better than just about anyone, I offer a few corrections.
Bill says: “In law school, Hillary worked on legal services for the poor.”
The facts are: Hillary’s main extra-curricular activity in law school was helping the Black Panthers, on trial in Connecticut for torturing and killing a federal agent. She went to court every day as part of a law student monitoring committee trying to spot civil rights violations and develop grounds for appeal.
Bill says: ” Hillary spent a year after graduation working on a children’s rights project for poor kids.”
The facts are: Hillary interned with Bob Truehaft , the head of the California Communist Party. She met Bob when he represented the Panthers and traveled all the way to San Francisco to take an internship with him.
Bill says: ” Hillary could have written her own job ticket, but she turned down all the lucrative job offers.”
The facts are: She flunked the DC bar exam; yes, flunked. It is a matter of record, and only passed the Arkansas bar. She had no job offers in Arkansas – none – and only got hired by the University of Arkansas Law School at Fayetteville because Bill was already teaching there. She did not join the prestigious Rose Law Firm until Bill became Arkansas Attorney General and was made a partner only after he was elected Arkansas Governor.
Bill says: “President Carter appointed Hillary to the Legal Services Board of Directors and she became its chairman.”
The facts are: The appointment was in exchange for Bill’s support for Carter in his 1980 primary against Ted Kennedy . Hillary then became chairman in a coup in which she won a majority away from Carter’s choice to be chairman.
Bill says: “She served on the board of the Arkansas Children’s Hospital.”
The facts are: Yes, she did. But her main board activity, not mentioned by Bill, was to sit on the Walmart board of directors for a substantial fee. She was silent about their labor and health care practices.
Bill says: ” Hillary didn’t succeed at getting health care for all Americans in 1994, but she kept working at it and helped to create the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) that provides five million children with health insurance.”
The facts are: Hillary had nothing to do with creating CHIP. It was included in the budget deal between Clinton and Republican Majority Leader Senator Trent Lott. I know; I helped negotiate the deal. The money came half from the budget deal and half from the Attorney Generals’ tobacco settlement. Hillary had nothing to do with either source of funds.
Bill says: ” Hillary was the face of America all over the world.”
The facts are: Her visits were part of a program to get her out of town so that Bill would not appear weak by feeding stories that Hillary was running the White House. Her visits abroad were entirely touristic and symbolic and there was no substantive diplomacy on any of them.
Bill says: ” Hillary was an excellent Senator who kept fighting for children’s and women’s issues.”
The facts are: Other than totally meaningless legislation like changing the names on courthouses and post offices, she has passed only four substantive pieces of legislation. One set up a national park in Puerto Rico. A second provided respite care for family members helping their relatives through Alzheimer’s or other conditions. And two were routine bills to aid 911 victims and responders which were sponsored by the entire NY delegation. Presently she is trying to have the US memorialize the Woodstock fiasco of 40 years ago.
Here is what bothers me more than anything else about Hillary Clinton :
She has done everything possible to weaken the President and our country (that’s you and me!) when it comes to the war on terror.
1. She wants to close GITMO and move the combatants to the USA where they would have access to our legal system.
2. She wants to eliminate the monitoring of suspected Al Qaeda phone calls to/from the USA .
3. She wants to grant constitutional rights to enemy combatants captured on the battlefield.
4. She wants to eliminate the monitoring of money transfers between suspected Al Qaeda cells and supporters in the USA.
5. She wants to eliminate the type of interrogation tactics used by the military & CIA where coercion might be used when questioning known terrorists even though such tactics might save American lives.
One cannot think of a single bill Hillary has introduced or a single comment she has made that would tend to strengthen our country in the War on Terror But, one can think of a lot of comments she has made that weaken our country and make it a more dangerous situation for all of us. Bottom line: She goes hand in hand with the ACLU on far too many issues where common sense is abandoned.
Share this with every democrat you know. Ask them to prove Dick Morris wrong. Think about it – Dick Morris has said all of this openly, thus if he were not truthful he’d be liable for defamation of character! And you better believe Hillary would sue him.
Is America ready for a woman president?
I believe we are— just NOT this one.
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Israel marks 48 years (Jerusalem regained from Jordan in the Six Day War of June 6-12, 1967) since the reunification of Jerusalem, and there is no going back. Despite the incidents of terrorism and violence depicted in the media, Jews and Arabs live and work together in cooperation and unity.
This intermingling, to which I have devoted a chapter in my new book, is first and foremost the result of Jerusalem’s demography. After 19 years of division and 48 years of Israeli unity, Jerusalem Day — which we mark today — is a good opportunity to reveal a number that might surprise many people: Most Jewish and even more Arab residents of Jerusalem have never even experienced the city when it was divided. Some 71 percent of the city’s Jews and 84 percent of its Arabs were born into the reality of one united city.
“Intermingling” is a new term being used in research into the Jewish-Arab conflict in Jerusalem, coined by yours truly a few years ago. Intermingling involves many types of normalcy and cooperation between Jews and Arabs in united Jerusalem — something the media does not tend to cover. It expresses the wisdom of the masses who for years have been telling their leaders that, alongside the violence and terrorism, there are also unity and cooperation that often overcome politics and differences.
This fact has ramifications. The city is united through common infrastructure, which it would be difficult and in many cases impossible, to split apart. Services are provided, at different levels, to all parts of the city: from streets to shared water, electrical, sewerage, and telephone systems. In Jerusalem’s hospitals, Jewish and Arab doctors and nurses work night and day to serve both populations.
Many of the Egged bus drivers, as well as passengers, are Arabs. The Arab population has integrated into the city’s pharmacology and trade sectors. Shopping centers, supermarkets, chain stores, and leisure spots are bustling with Jewish and Arab customers and employees.
A reality of “intermingling” exists in the playgrounds on the border between east and west Jerusalem, too. Arabs visit the Jerusalem Zoo and Ein Yael, and their children attend summer camps at those sites. More Jerusalem Arabs are asking for Israeli identity cards today than in the past, are signing up for Israeli high school matriculation exams, and are volunteering to perform national service and earn academic degrees in Israel.
(In other words, their Arab leaders are stupid but the Arab residents and oftimes citizens of Israel, by choice, are not)
Fewer Jews visit east Jerusalem, but intermingling exists there, too. In recent years, all quarters of the Old City have been crowded with tourists and Jews, and inside the walls there is cooperation in the trade and tourism sectors.
Intermingling like this is a thorn in the side of Palestinian terrorist operatives, who this past year have initiated a second “mini-Intifada” — which we got another taste of on Thursday — and tried unsuccessfully to pull a large Palestinian population into the circle of hatred. It’s not surprising that the attempted attacks on the city’s light rail continue unabated, because the train has become both a symbol of and litmus test for coexistence in the city.
Anyone who talks to the residents of east Jerusalem, rather than the leaders who presume to speak for them, quickly discovers that many of them prefer to remain under Israeli sovereignty rather than becoming part of the Palestinian Authority.
As documented residents, they enjoy a host of financial benefits they would not find under the PA. Many are also unwilling to forgo the advantages of Israeli democracy. In-depth surveys conducted among the population of east Jerusalem in recent years show that most east Jerusalem Arabs would choose Israel over the PA. This is what the polls showed, despite the fact that Israel had made little investment in municipal services and infrastructure in the Arab neighborhoods, and many Jerusalem Arabs feel closer to Israeli Arabs than they do to Arabs in the West Bank.
In contrast to the question of “united or divided,” it’s easier to spot and document the more than a few scraps of normalcy and cooperation on one hand, and separation and alienation on the other. The fact that they exist simultaneously does not invalidate either one. The picture of cooperation and normalization that is not infrequently blotted out by the media was created by a reality of living next door to each other for almost 50 years. This is a new situation. Going back (for any number of reasons) is no longer possible.
Nadav Shragai is an Israeli author and journalist. He worked as a reporter for Israeli newspaper Haaretz starting in 1983 and retired in 2009. Today he continues to write as an author and academic, publishing a number of books on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. In 1995 his book Temple of Dispute about the Temple Mount was published by Keter Publishing House.
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‘Today, our planet faces new challenges, but none pose a greater threat to future generations than climate change,” President Obama wrote in his proclamation for Earth. “As a Nation, we must act before it is too late.”
Secretary of State John Kerry, in an Earth Day op-ed for USA Today, declared that climate change has put America “on a dangerous path—along with the rest of the world.”
Both the president and Mr. Kerry cited rapidly warming global temperatures and ever-more-severe storms caused by climate change as reasons for urgent action.
Given that for the past decade and a half global-temperature increases have been negligible, and that the worsening-storms scenario has been widely debunked, the pronouncements from the Obama administration sound more like scare tactics than fact-based declarations.
At least the United Nations’ then-top climate scientist, Rajendra Pachauri, acknowledged—however inadvertently—the faith-based nature of climate-change rhetoric when he resigned amid scandal in February. In a farewell letter, he said that “the protection of Planet Earth, the survival of all species and sustainability of our ecosystems is more than a mission. It is my religion and my dharma.”
Instead of letting political ideology or climate “religion” guide government policy, we should focus on good science. The facts alone should determine what climate policy options the U.S. considers. That is what the scientific method calls for: inquiry based on measurable evidence. Unfortunately this administration’s climate plans ignore good science and seek only to advance a political agenda.
Climate reports from the U.N.—which the Obama administration consistently embraces—are designed to provide scientific cover for a preordained policy. This is not good science. Christiana Figueres, the official leading the U.N.’s effort to forge a new international climate treaty later this year in Paris, told reporters in February that the real goal is “to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years.” In other words, a central objective of these negotiations is the redistribution of wealth among nations. It is apparent that President Obama shares this vision.
The Obama administration recently submitted its pledge to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The commitment would lock the U.S. into reducing greenhouse-gas emissions more than 25% by 2025 and “economy-wide emission reductions of 80% or more by 2050.” The president’s pledge lacks details about how to achieve such goals without burdening the economy, and it doesn’t quantify the specific climate benefits tied to his pledge.
America will never meet the president’s arbitrary targets without the country being subjected to costly regulations, energy rationing and reduced economic growth. These policies won’t make America stronger. And these measures will have no significant impact on global temperatures. In a hearing last week before the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, of which I am chairman, climate scientist Judith Curry testified that the president’s U.N pledge is estimated to prevent only a 0.03 Celsius temperature rise. That is three-hundredths of one degree.
In June 2014 testimony before my committee, former Assistant Secretary for Energy Charles McConnell noted that the president’s Clean Power Plan—requiring every state to meet federal carbon-emission-reduction targets—would reduce a sea-level increase by less than half the thickness of a dime. Policies like these will only make the government bigger and Americans poorer, with no environmental benefit.
The White House’s Climate Assessment implies that extreme weather is getting worse due to human-caused climate change. The president regularly makes this unsubstantiated claim—most recently in his Earth Day proclamation, citing “more severe weather disasters.”
Even the U.N. doesn’t agree with him on that one: In its 2012 Special Report on Extreme Events, the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says there is “high agreement” among leading experts that long-term trends in weather disasters are not attributable to human-caused climate change. Why do the president and others in his administration keep repeating this untrue claim?
Climate alarmists have failed to explain the lack of global warming over the past 15 years. They simply keep adjusting their malfunctioning climate models to push the supposedly looming disaster further into the future. Following the U.N.’s 2008 report, its claims about the melting of Himalayan glaciers, the decline of crop yields and the effects of sea-level rise were found to be invalid. The InterAcademy Council, a multinational scientific organization, reviewed the report in 2010 and identified “significant shortcomings in each major step of [the U.N.] assessment process.”
The U.N. process is designed to generate alarmist results. Many people don’t realize that the most-publicized documents of the U.N. reports are not written by scientists. In fact, the scientists who work on the underlying science are forced to step aside to allow partisan political representatives to develop the “Summary for Policy Makers.” It is scrubbed to minimize any suggestion of scientific uncertainty and is publicized before the actual science is released. The Summary for Policy Makers is designed to give newspapers and headline writers around the world only one side of the debate.
Yet those who raise valid questions about the very real uncertainties surrounding the understanding of climate change have their motives attacked, reputations savaged and livelihoods threatened. This happens even though challenging prevailing beliefs through open debate and critical thinking is fundamental to the scientific process.
The intellectual dishonesty of senior administration officials who are unwilling to admit when they are wrong is astounding. When assessing climate change, we should focus on good science, not politically correct science.
Mr. Smith, a Republican from Texas, is chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.
II How Can So Many World Leaders Be So Wrong?
Excerpt from an article by Alan Caruba
SUNDAY, MAY 10, 2015
In a recent Daily Caller article, Michael Bastach took note of “25 Years of predicting The Global Warming ‘Tipping Point’.” This is the message that the Earth is warming rapidly and, if we don’t abandon the use of fossil fuels for power, it will arrive to wreak destruction on the human race and all life on the planet.
It is astounding how many past and present world leaders are telling everyone this despite the total lack of any real science, nor any actual warming—the Earth has been in a natural cooling cycle since 1997!
At the heart of the global warming—now called climate change—“crisis” has been the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that has been issuing apocalyptic predictions since its inception in 1988. None of its predictions have come true. How could they, based as they are on the false science of computer models, not that based on observable climate events and trends?
To this day our own government through its meteorological agencies has been caught manipulating the data gathered over the years to conform with the “warming” scenario. The worst has been the Environmental Protection Agency which is engaged in an effort to shut down coal-fired utilities and access to every other energy source on which we depend to power the nation.
Despite this national and international effort, mostly likely based on the liberal ideology that there are too many humans on the plant and dramatic ways must be found to reduce that number. In the past these anti-humanity advocates could depend on famine, disease and wars to kill off millions, but in the modern world that has become less of a threat.
… It doesn’t matter if it is the Pope, the President of the United States, or the UN Secretary General if the assertion that the Earth is warming when it is not or that coal, oil and natural gas must be abandoned to “save the Earth.” Whether from ignorance or a dark hidden agenda, the whole of the global warming/climate change is aimed at harming billions, many of whom need the power that this hoax would deny to everyone.
Following is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to the 5th Global Forum for Combatting Anti-Semitism, this evening (Tuesday, 12 May 2015).
Click here for a YouTube link.
“Thank you. I’ve been called many things, but never ‘Your Honor’. That’s a good honor.
Well, I’m very pleased to welcome you all to Jerusalem. There are senior government ministers here from Germany, from Romania, from Bulgaria, from Canada.
Our own Minister of Diaspora Affairs, Naftali Bennett,
The Mayor of Paris,
The UN Coordinator for the Peace Process,
Religious leaders from across the face, many from the Muslim community. I had an excellent discussion just now with the Imam of Paris.
There are ambassadors here and distinguished guests from so many walks of life, from so many lands, including great actors.
So I’m delighted to see all of you here, even though the subject of our deliberations is not a source of delight.
Seventy years ago, with the end of World War II and the revelation of the horrors of the Holocaust, some believed that humanity would discard one of history’s oldest hatreds – anti-Semitism.
And it’s true that in the years immediately following World War II, blatant expressions of hatred for the Jews appeared to take a respite, at least in the liberal West.
Yet today there is no doubt that we are living in an age of resurgent anti-Semitism.
Jews everywhere are once again being slandered and vilified.
This is taking place in the intolerant parts of the Middle East but it’s also taking place in what otherwise would be expected to be the tolerant parts of the West.
It’s taking place in Beirut, in Damascus, in Tehran. But it’s also taking place, violently so, in Toulouse, in Paris, in Brussels. Because along with vilification come the inevitable violent attacks.
And Jews are now being targeted for being Jews.
Now, Jews have the right to live freely and safely wherever they choose.
And governments everywhere are responsible for guaranteeing this right.
And I want to take this opportunity to praise all the governments that have been witnessing this resurgent anti-Semitism, their commitment to protect the rights of the Jews, the rights of individuals, the rights of their citizens. Their representatives are here, and I praise you for it.
But Jews also have the right to join us here in Israel, and if they make that choice, we will welcome them with open arms.
Now, contemporary anti-Semitism doesn’t just slander, vilify and target the Jewish people. It first and foremost today targets the Jewish state. That’s the nexus, that’s the core, that’s the focus of anti-Semitism.
I want to give you an example of this from today, this morning. I went down to Ben-Gurion airport to welcome home the IDF’s humanitarian mission to Nepal.
The UN filed a report. Actually, this is a good UN report about Israel. It said that of all the countries in the world, and Israel is one of the smallest countries in the world, Israel fielded the second largest rescue and relief team in Nepal. Of all the nations in the earth.
Our people did a magnificent job. They saved lives. They took people out of the rubble. They treated 1,600 wounded people and sick people. They delivered life, several births.
Yet yesterday state television in both Iran and Venezuela accused our humanitarian team of trafficking in babies.
Now, did any of you see an Iranian rescue team in Nepal?
This is the quintessential example of the Big Lie technique.
The aggressor accuses his victim.
And this big lie of anti-Semitism is propagated most enthusiastically by those who trample on the human rights of their own people.
Iran will speak of human rights? I don’t want to talk about Venezuela. I’ll leave that to you. I’m the Foreign Minister, for God’s sake.
They lecture us on human rights, on the rule of law, on safeguarding human decency? They string people in cranes, innocent people in cranes in the squares of Tehran and Iran’s other cities. They send their goons to Lebanon, to Syria, to Yemen, slaughtering people by the thousands. They slaughter Muslims, they target Muslims who do not share their violent creed.
Today, a lot of the extreme anti-Semitism that we see today is coming from old quarters, intolerant quarters, xenophobic ones in parts of Europe, in a peculiar marriage with the militants who seek to overtake the world of Islam, and they have integrated the most extreme anti-Semitism into this murderous theology.
I want to give you an example. First, recognize that their first and greatest number of victims are their fellow Muslims. But they also target us, and I give you the Hamas Charter.
It repeats the ancient libels against the Jews. It openly calls for the murder of Jews wherever they are and for the destruction of their state.
And the same can be said of Hezbollah and for the common patron of both Hezbollah and Hamas, which is of course Iran.
And of course they have competition. The militant Shi’ites have competition from the militant Sunnis of al-Qaida, of ISIS and al-Nusra who echo their murderous creed not only about Israel. You’ve seen the horrors they commit on their fellow slims.
Today’s anti-Semitism, as I said, is not limited to the various sects of militant Islam, nor is it limited just to the xenophobic elements on the fringes of European society. Because today it often wears the mask of so-called progressive thinking in the West.
Some of those who consider themselves champions of tolerance are remarkably intolerant when it comes to Jews and the Jewish state.
The classic anti-Semite portrayed the Jews as the embodiment of all evil in the world.
Modern anti-Semites portray the Jewish state as the embodiment of all evil in the world.
When Hamas and Hezbollah rocketed our cities, thousands and thousands and thousands of rockets, fired directly at our cities – that’s a war crime, hiding behind their civilians – that’s a second war crime – when they committed these dual war crimes, tens of thousands demonstrated on the streets of European capitals, not against Hamas, not against Hezbollah, but against Israel.
Now, thousands are being killed in the brutal conflict in Yemen.
You see any demonstrations in London or Paris?
A quarter of a million people have been savagely butchered in Syria.
You hear any word of academic boycotts on the Assad regime?
And in Iran now under the Rouhani government, executions have gone up, innocent people are taken to death.
You hear any UN resolutions condemning these violations of basic human rights?
And the answer regrettably is no. The demonstrations, the boycotts, the resolutions are all reserved for the Middle East’s one true democracy, in fact it’s the most beleaguered democracy on earth – Israel.
This is a travesty.
You can try to explain it away in many ways and it’s true that the internet has a multiplier effect, but you can have a multiplier effect on many, many lies, on many slanders, and yet this has a global multiplying effect, and there is something fundamentally wrong that this slander is reserved for the one country in the region where the death penalty is not even used against the most gruesome terrorist murderers, the one country that holds human rights sacrosanct, where equality is protected under the law – for women, for Christians, for minorities, for all.
You can ask yourself how is that possible, how could it be that the Jewish state is treated like that. There’s got to be fire if there’s smoke.
How do think the Jews were treated for generations? The things that peoples said about the Jews for generations were believed across so many lands. They believed that we poisoned the wells, that we drank the blood of Christian children, that we were spreading disease deliberately. By the way, these are all repeated as we speak.
You see, how could it be that they believed it? But they did. Not only did they believe it, you say, well, that’s because of ignorance. Yeah, that’s true. Except that some of the most educated people in history believed it – Voltaire, Dostoyevsky, and the list is a lot longer, by the way.
So education and knowledge may be a partial protector against this slander, but there’s something deeper here because these are such patent falsehoods. It is the willingness to submit to slander, the willingness to believe this. This is what creates the ground, and it starts not from the bottom. It starts with the elites. And that’s where it has to be challenged.
And today the treatment of Israel is no different from the treatment of our forbearers. The Jewish state is being treated among the nations the way the Jewish people were treated for generations.
And we’re not perfect, by the way. We have a lot of things that we can improve.
We have a very boisterous and robust democracy. You should come to the Knesset. I invite all of you. What fun. But it is. It’s alive. It’s free. Everything is debated, everything is open, and there is a system of justice, a system of laws and true tolerance. With all the imperfections of any society, we’ve built here a tremendous society. Beleaguered? Yes, but with great success.
And our best allies actually these days are some of our Arab neighbors because they know we face a common threat.
So we see this country. How can it be that this country is slandered like no other country? Well, probably because old habits die hard.
But the sad truth is that some of them don’t die. The sad truth is that no rational examination can justify the obsession with the Jewish state, and this obsession with the Jewish state and the Jewish people has a name.
It’s called anti-Semitism.
I know you understand all this.
I know that the people in this room have learned the painful lessons of 70 years ago.
I appreciate your commitment to fighting anti-Semitism because the battle starts from the top. Anti-Semitism, contrary to what people think, does not just bubble up from below. It percolates also from the top. And that’s why it’s so important that there are leaders here, across lands, across faiths, across professions, from the public and the private domain, who are gearing up to fight this old obsession.
You have learned from history, but regrettably, many around the world have yet to do so.
I want to assure you that we have.
We are no longer a stateless people searching for a safe haven.
We are no longer a powerless people begging others to protect us.
Today we have an independent and sovereign state.
Today we can protect ourselves and defend our freedoms, our lives.
What has changed in the history of the world for the Jewish people is not the hatred of the Jews, but with the founding of the Jewish state, the rediscovery by the Jews of the capacity to defend ourselves against slander and against attack.
Today we can speak up against our vilification – as I am doing right now and as you have been doing, and I know you will continue to do.
Because there is a simple fact – a lie that is left unchallenged and endlessly repeated assumes the cachet of self-evident truth.
Our biggest job – our biggest job – is to go and light a candle of truth.
When I came to the United Nations many years ago to serve as Israel’s ambassador, I met a famous Jewish religious leader, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, and he said to me: You know, you’ll be going into a house where many, many lies will be leveled at Israel and at our people, and he said, ‘Remember that in the darkest halls, if you light one candle, then people will see the light of truth for a very long distance. They’ll see it from afar, and your job’, he said to me, ‘is to light a candle of truth in a dark hall.’ Well, I’ll tell you, we need a lot of candles, a lot of lighters of candles, and that’s how I see you.
Because nowhere is this calumny that is leveled against our people more systematically propagated than in Iran.
The ayatollah regime is conducting as we speak a competition. The competition is an international competition. It parallels our conference, except it’s the very reverse. It’s a competition of Holocaust deniers from around the globe, who can better deny the Holocaust. And while they are denying the Holocaust, they’re planning another genocide against our people.
They openly threaten to annihilate the State of Israel.
Just a few weeks ago, a few days before the Lausanne agreement was signed, an Iranian general said, “The destruction of Israel is non-negotiable.” Openly.
And of course they seek to build nuclear weapons to implement this mad design.
And I have to tell you honestly that the Lausanne framework won’t stop them.
Israel wants to see a peaceful solution, a better deal that will actually block Iran’s path to the bomb.
But I want to be absolutely clear.
The Jewish state will defend itself by itself against any threat.
That’s what we’ve learned from history.
That’s what the Jewish state is all about.
But we’ve also learned something else.
I don’t know if we’ll be able to eradicate the scourge of anti-Semitism. I know we have to fight it. We have learned that if you don’t fight it, if unstopped, these fires of anti-Semitism eventually spread and they consume everyone. That is I think the central lesson of the 20th century, in many ways the central lesson of modern times.
So for the sake of decency, for the sake of our common humanity, for the sake of our common future, we must all continue to stand up and fight anti-Semitism.
The Jewish people and decent people everywhere will salute you for doing just that.
Thank you, thank you for coming to Jerusalem, thank you.” ________________________________________
IMRA – Independent Media Review and Analysis
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1. The Fox News Special Report Panel hosted by Bret Baier who serves as FOX News Channel’s chief political anchor (weeknights 6-7PM/ET). It is far and away the top-rated cable news program in its time slot and consistently one of the top four shows in cable news. The show is based in Washington, DC and frequently features as guest panelists: Chas. Krauthammer, Juan Williams, Mara Liasson, AB Stoddard and George Will.
2. The Wall Street Journal editorial board that represents the newspaper and its editorial page publicly. Every Saturday at 11:00 PM EST, three editorial page writers and host Paul Gigot, editor of the Editorial Page, appear on Fox News Channel’s Journal Editorial Report to discuss current issues with a variety of guests. Bret Stephens, Daniel Henninger, Kimberly Strassel and Jason Riley are the board members who appear most frequently. Toward the end of each show each panel member on Fox is asked his Winner and Loser in the news that week.
At the Wall Street Editorial Board discussion the panelists are asked the same thing only they call them Hits and Misses.
All of the above just charged me to pick my very own hit and miss or winner and loser from the current week’s news items.
My winner without any equivocation is Marine Le Pen, the rapidly ascending French political leader and daughter of arch anti-Semite and irrational, obnoxious, Nazi-like nationalist, Jean-Marie Le Pen. What was her hit or winner?
She told her very own Daddy, in no uncertain terms, to take a hike!
The details of this magnificent gesture were in the Wall Street Journal of May 5, 2015
By Noemie Bisserbe
PARIS—The National Front suspended Jean-Marie Le Pen, the man who put the far-right party on France’s political map, as a member and left open the door to possible expulsion after he repeated comments belittling the Holocaust.
The move Monday deepens the elderly firebrand’s rift with a new generation of National Front members led by his daughter, Marine Le Pen.
She has become one of the country’s most prominent politicians in large part by blaming its economic woes on mainstream parties and the European Union.
On Monday, Ms. Le Pen convened a special committee of party officials to consider disciplinary action against her 86-year-old father after he gave interviews to French media expounding on his positions on the Holocaust and the Nazi occupation of France.
The committee stopped short of immediately ejecting Mr. Le Pen—a step some of Ms. Le Pen’s allies were seeking. Instead, his future membership will be decided at the National Front’s next general assembly, which is expected within three months, a party spokesman said.
Asked on Monday whether he would consider retiring from politics, Mr. Le Pen responded: “You’d have to kill me.”
Ms. Le Pen has long been trying to steer National Front away from the extreme rhetoric her father deployed to fuel the movement’s rise in earlier decades.
Her strategy has helped the party attract new supporters across France—chalking up a string of victories in local elections and positioning Ms. Le Pen as a presidential contender in 2017.
But it has also made it harder for her to avoid publicly clashing with her father, who retains a loyal following among National Front hard-liners.
Last month, Mr. Le Pen repeated comments he made more than 25 years ago, describing Nazi gas chambers as a “detail” of World War II history.
Mr. Le Pen then told far-right publication Rivarol that he never regarded Marshal Philippe Pétain—a French military leader who was convicted of treason after he collaborated with the Germans in occupied France—as a traitor.
The comments left Ms. Le Pen in a political bind as key lieutenants began to demand his dismissal. National Front’s vice president Florian Philippot said the remarks showed Mr. Le Pen’s break with party ranks was “definitive.”
On Sunday, Ms. Le Pen delivered her strongest rebuke of her father yet, accusing him on French television of trying to harm her directly.
“His recent actions are unacceptable. I perceive them as a malicious act against the National Front and me,” Ms. Le Pen said. “I feel like he just can’t bear the fact that the National Front continues to exist without him at its helm.”
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida and aspirant for his party’s presidential nomination, has a very poisonous pill he is seeking to add to Iran legislation this week before the Senate.
No, it’s not his much discussed amendment saying Congress would not lift its sanctions on Iran unless Iran recognized Israel. Rather Rubio just wants the Iran deal to conform to the president’s own description of a nuclear framework agreement. As Rubio said Wednesday, “It requires this final deal be the deal the president says it is.”
On the surface, this seems like small ball. On April 2, the White House released a fact sheet that spelled out Iran’s obligations to modify some of its nuclear facilities and limit its enrichment. The fact sheet said sanctions would be phased out over time as Iran complied with the terms of the framework.
Rubio’s amendment simply quotes that fact sheet verbatim and says the president may not waive or lift any Congressional sanctions until he certifies Iran has met the White House conditions.
“For the life of me, I don’t understand why that would be controversial,” Rubio said Wednesday. “Yet somehow, I was told this would box the White House in.”
But Rubio knows very well why the amendment is controversial. Almost immediately after the White House announced the terms of what it thought was a framework agreement, the Iranians balked. The foreign minister, Javad Zarif, tweeted that the White House fact sheet was spin. The head of Iran’s revolutionary guard corps said international inspectors would never gain access to military sites. And Iran’s supreme leader says all sanctions must be lifted up front when Iran signs an agreement.
In the face of Iran’s new red lines, Obama wobbled. On April 17, Obama said he was instructing his negotiators to “find formulas that get to our main concerns while allowing the other side to make a presentation to their body politic that is more acceptable.”
In the Senate it’s not clear whether Rubio will get a vote on his fact-sheet amendment. On Wednesday Rubio said leaders of his party promised that he would be able to get a fair hearing for his amendments during the floor debate, but that this week he said he was being told there may not be enough time to vote on all the amendments Republicans have offered.
So far, Democrats and a few Republicans have voted down two amendments to the Iran bill. An amendment to treat an Iran deal as a treaty, and thus require an affirmative two-thirds majority to approve it in the Senate, was voted down Tuesday 57 to 39. Another amendment that would require Obama to certify Iran was not supporting acts of terrorism against Americans as a condition for lifting Congressional sanctions was voted down 54 to 45 on Wednesday.
Among the Republicans voting with Democrats on the amendments are Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and co-author of the legislation; Arizona Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Armed Services Committee; and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, an Iran hawk who has hinted he will be running for president.
But Rubio’s fact-sheet amendment is different. It doesn’t challenge the presidential authority to sign an executive agreement. Republicans supported that power when their party controlled the White House. Rubio’s fact-sheet amendment is also germane to the Iran legislation before the Senate. An argument used against other amendments–like Rubio’s one on recognizing Israel–is that it asks Iran to meet conditions not related to the nuclear negotiations.
Rubio’s fact sheet amendment only asks Democrats to vote on whether a final Iran deal should meet the conditions as described by the leader of their own party. If Democrats vote that it should, then Obama may be forced to issue a veto over his own fact sheet as he seeks to make a final agreement more palatable to Iran. If the Democrats vote that it shouldn’t, then they will appear to be conceding the White House either misled the public or bungled the negotiations earlier this month.
An irony here is that Rubio himself has said that the deal outlined in the White House fact sheet was too weak. But bad policy in this case makes for very good politics.
Eli Lake is a Bloomberg View columnist who writes about politics and foreign affairs.
II But today, US Senate Overwhelmingly Passes Bill Giving Congress Oversight of Iran Deal
MAY 7, 2015
The United States Senate rejected a bid to consider the Iran nuclear deal as an international treaty.
JNS.org – The U.S. Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly passed the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, which would give Congress a 30-day period to review a final nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, in a 98-1 vote.
The only senator to vote against the bill was U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who objected on the grounds that the legislation does not require a final nuclear agreement to be submitted as a treaty requiring Senate approval. U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer was absent for the vote.
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(In this era of progressing socially acceptable moral depravity, perhaps it is a good time, to address this topic? It is likely no coincidence that it is presented in the weeks prior to Yom Kippur when the observant Jew stands before his God and begs to be included in the coming year’s roster and he must answer to his sins in the year that just passed.)
Jerome S. Kaufman
LAWS OF FORBIDDEN RELATIONS From the Hebrew Bible (The Five Books of Moses)
Book Three – Vayikra (Leviticus), Parshas Acharei, 18:1
“Do not follow the practices of the land of Egypt where you lived. And do not follow the practices of the land of Cana’an, where I am bringing you (for these two nations are the most depraved of all). Do not (even) follow their customs.”
“You should fulfill My rational laws, and guard My supra-rational commands and (always) their (wisdom, and not secular wisdom).
I am God, your God.
“You should guard My commands and My rational laws which a man should do, and you will live by them (in the next world for) I am God (who is faithful to pay reward).”
“No man (or woman) may come near to any of his (or her) close relatives, to uncover their nakedness (and co-habit with them). I am God (who is faithful to pay reward).”
“You must not uncover the nakedness of your fathers wife or the nakedness of your mother ( if she is not your father’s wife. Since she is your mother, you must not uncover her nakedness.”
“You must not uncover the nakedness of your father’s wife (even after death, since) it is your father’s (wife’s) nakedness.”
“You must not uncover your sister’s nakedness, (whether) she is your father’s daughter or your mother’s daughter, (and regardless of whether) she is born to a woman who may remain in the home or (if she is) born to a woman who must be expelled.”
“You must not uncover the nakedness of the daughter of your son or daughter (who was born from a forbidden relationship), for they are (like) your own nakedness.”
“You must not uncover the nakedness of your father’s (Jewish) wife’s daughter, born to your father (because) she is your sister.” “You must not uncover the nakedness of your father’s sister (because she is the close relative of your father.”
“You must not uncover the nakedness of your mother’s sister, because she is the close relative of your mother.”
“You must not uncover the nakedness of your father’s brother, (namely) you must not come near his wife, (because) she is your aunt.”
“You must not uncover the nakedness of your daughter-in-law. She is your son’s wife so must not uncover her nakedness.”
“You must not uncover the nakedness of your brother’s wife (for she) is your brother’s nakedness.”
“You must not uncover the nakedness of a woman (to whom you are married) and her daughter.”
“You must not take her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter (in marriage) to uncover her nakedness. It is the advice (of the evil inclination since) they are close relatives.”
“You must not take a woman (in marriage) in addition to her sister, to make them rivals by uncovering one’s nakedness in addition to the other’s. (Even if you divorce one sister, you not marry the other one) in her lifetime.”
“You must not come near a woman during the ritual impurity of her menstruation, to uncover her nakedness.”
“You must not lie carnally with your fellowman’s wife, to make yourself impure with her.”
“You must not give any of your offspring (to pagan priests) to pass through between two bonfires, in worship of the pagan deity) Molech. You must not profane the Name of your God. I am God.”
“You must not lie down with a man, as one lies with a woman. This is an abomination”
“You must not cohabit with any animal, to become impure from it. A woman must not stand in front of an animal to cohabit with it. This is depravity.”
“You must not defile yourselves by any of these things, for the nations whom I am sending away from you have defiled themselves with all these things. The land became defiled. I remembered its sin (bringing punishment) upon it, and the land vomited out its inhabitants.”
“But you will observe My supra-rational commands and My rational commands, and you will not do any of these abominations — neither the native, nor the convert who lives among you.”
“The people of the land who preceeded you, did all of these abominations and the land became defiled. Let the land not vomit you out for having defiled it, as it vomited out the nation that preceded you. “
“For if anyone commits any of these abominations, (both) the people (the man and the woman who committed (the act) will be cut off from the midst of their people.”
“(The courts should) enforce My restrictions, not to commit any of the abominable practices that were done before you, and you will not become defiled by them.”
“(If you keep My laws then) I am God your God.”
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I’m always chasing rainbows, watching clouds drifting by / My schemes are just like all my dreams, ending in the sky. The vaudeville song by Harry Carroll and Joseph McCarthy, popularized by Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand, is all too appropriate to this moment, as we consider the implications of a nuclear Iran and the prospect of mushroom clouds over the Middle East.
President Obama has been chasing a rainbow in his negotiations with Iran. He has forsaken decades of pledges to the civilized world from presidents of both parties. He has misled the American people in repeatedly affirming that the U.S. would never allow revolutionary Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, which would guarantee a new arms race. In fact, one has already started. Credible reports suggest Pakistan is ready to ship an atomic package to Saudi Arabia, the Sunni nation that stands opposed to Shiite Iran’s subversion throughout the region.
How far Mr. Obama is prepared to chase the negotiation dream is illustrated by the recent candor of his energy secretary, Ernest Moniz, a nuclear physicist who has been party to the negotiations. In 2013 the president answered questions about Iran’s ability to produce nuclear weapons with these words: “Our assessment continues to be a year or more away, and in fact, actually our estimate is probably more conservative than the estimates of Israeli intelligence services.”
Yet on Monday Mr. Moniz told reporters at Bloomberg a different story: “They are right now spinning. I mean enriching with 9,400 centrifuges out of their roughly 19,000,” he said. “It’s very little time to go forward. That’s two to three months.” How long has the administration held this view? “Oh, quite some time,” Mr. Moniz replied. The Bloomberg report suggests “several years.”
This stunningly casual remark was based on information apparently declassified on April 1. What is Mr. Obama up to? Why was he reassuring in 2013 when he knew it was misleading? Is the declassification intended to create a false sense of urgency?
Compare where we are today with the conditions Mr. Obama laid down two years ago. Referring to Iran’s smiling new president, Hasan Rouhani, Mr. Obama said: “If in fact he is able to present a credible plan that says Iran is pursuing peaceful nuclear energy but we’re not pursuing nuclear weapons, and we are willing to be part of an internationally verified structure so that all other countries in the world know they are not pursuing nuclear weapons, then, in fact, they can improve relations, improve their economy. And we should test that.”
Sure—let’s test it:
• Enrichment: Before the talks began, the Obama administration and U.N. Security Council insisted that Iran stop all uranium enrichment. So did the 2013 framework agreement. Now the deal enshrines Iran’s right to enrich.
• Stockpile: In February, Iran had 10,000 kilograms of enriched uranium, which the deal says will be reduced to 300 kilograms. The remainder is to be exported to Russia and returned to Iran as fuel rods for use in a power plant. But Iran’s deputy foreign minister, Abbas Araghchi, told state media at the end of March that “there is no question of sending the stocks abroad.”
• Centrifuges: Iran has about 19,000 centrifuges, and the U.S. initially called for cutting that to between 500 and 1,500. The agreement now allows 6,104. Not only that, Iran’s foreign minister has said that advanced IR-8 centrifuges, which enrich uranium 20 times faster than the current IR-1 models, will be put into operation as soon as the nuclear deal takes effect—contrary to what the U.S. has asserted.
• Infrastructure: The closure of nuclear sites at Fordow, Natanz and Arak has been an American goal for a decade. Under the deal, the 40-megawatt heavy-water nuclear plant at Arak, which produces plutonium, will remain, albeit with reduced plutonium production. The deal allows the Fordow facility, which is buried in a mountain fortress designed to withstand aerial attack, to be converted into a “peaceful research” center. Iran will be allowed to keep 1,000 centrifuges there. Natanz will remain open as well.
• Missiles: Iran stonewalled on concerns about the military dimensions of its nuclear program. U.S. negotiators dropped demands that Tehran restrict development of intercontinental ballistic missiles that could be used to deliver warheads.
• Duration: Initially the U.S. wanted the deal to last 20 years. Now the key terms sunset in 10 to 15 years. Rather than enabling American disengagement from the Middle East, the framework is likely to necessitate deepening involvement under complex new terms, as former secretaries of state Henry Kissinger and George Shultz wrote in this newspaper earlier this month.
• Enforcement: President Obama promises: “If Iran cheats, the world will know it. If we see something suspicious, we will inspect it.” This is incredibly unrealistic. Over the past year alone, Iran has violated its international agreements at least three times. In November the International Atomic Energy Agency caught Iran operating a new advanced IR-5 centrifuge. Disagreement about inspections under the deal persists. Secretary Moniz has said that inspectors for the International Atomic Energy Agency must be allowed access to any place at any time. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his military say no way.
• Sanctions: The deal gives Iran exactly what it wanted: permanent relief from economic sanctions in exchange for temporary restraints. Mr. Obama talks about being able to “snap back” sanctions. But consider the attitudes of two of the big players in the six-power talks. China’s press refers to “peaceful” Iran as if it were Switzerland. Russia says the deal has freed it to sell S-300 air-defense missiles to Tehran. Assuming that the West discovers a nuclear violation, it will be nearly impossible to reimpose today’s sanctions.
• Good behavior: Meanwhile, Ayatollah Khamenei continues to denounce the U.S. as the Great Satan, making clear that Iran doesn’t expect to normalize relations. His speeches indicate that Iran still sees itself in a holy war with the West.
So here we are at the end of the rainbow, seemingly willing to concede nuclear capacity to Iran, a country we consider a principal threat.No wonder Saudi Arabia and Egypt are insisting on developing equivalent nuclear capabilities. America’s traditional allies have concluded that the U.S. has traded temporary cooperation from Iran for acquiescence to its ultimate hegemony.
The sanctions that brought Iran to the negotiating table took years to put in place. They have impaired Iran’s ability to conduct trade in the global market. The banking freeze in particular has had a crippling effect, since international businesses will not risk being blacklisted by the U.S. and European Union to make a few dollars in Iran. Many of those who have studied the problem believe that if the sanctions were to remain, they would squeeze Tehran and force greater concessions.
President Obama seems to be willfully ignoring Iran’s belligerent behavior and its growing influence over Beirut, Damascus, Baghdad and Yemen’s capital, San’a. Free of sanctions, Iran may become even more assertive.
There are no rainbows ahead, only menacing clouds.
Mr. Zuckerman is chairman and editor in chief of U.S. News & World Report.
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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel has been operating on emergency standing since receiving the first reports of the earthquake that hit Nepal on Saturday, 25 April 2015, providing assistance to Israelis, Nepalese and others.
The Director General has been conducting situation assessments several times a day with Ministry staff and other officials with the goal of providing an immediate and appropriate response to the situation. The Ministry’s Emergency and Crisis Management Center is working with an increased staff around the clock.
The Ministry efforts are directed at providing assistance simultaneously to Israelis, Nepalese and others who were caught up in the disaster:
Israelis: The Ministry, via the embassy in Kathmandu, is aiding Israelis in the stricken area and is in touch with the families of Israeli travelers who have not yet established contact. The Ministry is helping to organize emergency Nepalese humanitarian aid, flights to bring rescue and medical teams to the area, and the establishment of a field hospital.
The Israeli embassy in Kathmandu opened its gates to Israelis seeking shelter. Since Saturday, more than 150 Israelis have been staying in the embassy grounds. The embassy is attempting to locate, rescue and aid other Israelis currently in Nepal. It is not known of any Israelis among the injured (aside from a few with very minor injuries). The first Israeli rescue plane, from the Home Front Command, landed in Kathmandu on Sunday (26 April) and brought back to Israel the first group of Israelis, including newborn babies.
A Magen David Adom plane landed in Nepal, also on Sunday, and delivered a delegation of doctors and paramedics who settled in at the Chabad House. The plane returned to Israel with another group of Israelis.
Two El Al planes – one cargo and one passenger – will depart in the course of the day (Monday, 27 April) for Nepal. These planes will carry a team from the Israeli Ministry of Health and a large delegation of Home Front Command staff – more than two hundred doctors, sanitation engineers, machinery technicians and others – as well as medical equipment (portable monitor, oxygen tanks, medical ventilators, medicines, X-ray machines, resuscitation kit) and engineering equipment. After unloading their cargo, the planes will return to Israel carrying more Israeli travelers.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is expending great effort to hire helicopters in order to rescue those trapped in the area.
The Israel Embassy in Delhi is providing considerable support to the aid and rescue efforts. Staff members from the Ministry in Jerusalem as well as from nearby missions were sent to reinforce the forces in the field – among them the Deputy DG for Asia and the Pacific, the regional administrative officer for Asia, the New Delhi consul, a security officer, two representatives from the Spokesperson’s Bureau and a communications specialist.
The Division for Asia and the Pacific is in contact with more than 500 Nepalese residing in Israel and is responding to their requests.
This morning (27 April) a meeting, chaired by the MFA Deputy Director General who heads Israel’s National Agency for International Cooperation (MASHAV) was held to discuss the second stage of Israeli aid to Nepal, which will focus on long-term assistance.
II Israel’s Phenomenal Relief Effort… And The World’s Reaction?
Monday, April 27, 2015
Israel reacted to the devastating earthquake in Nepal as it usually does when natural disaster strikes – by sending a relief team par excellence to the disaster site. The current team includes an IDF field hospital and approximately 250 rescue and medical staff.
The field hospital includes operating rooms, X-ray equipment and pediatric care to provide emergency medical services to the wounded. Additional members of the relief team are tasked with conducting search-and-rescue missions in collapsed buildings.
This relief effort is just another confirmation of Israel as a “Light Unto the Nations.”
However, the world media, including major press in the U.S., are reacting as they usually do – by ignoring and not reporting on the Israeli effort. And predictably, the usual anti-Israel bigots and racists have come out of the woodwork to react in their typical fashion – by inverting the truth and proclaiming that Israel’s actions are a ruse – a smokescreen and deflection from the horrors of “The Occupation.”
III CNN Reports:Table: Israel sent largest team to Nepal
South Korea 40
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I Israel Alone By Bret Stephens II Now what? By Jerome S. Kaufman
By Bret Stephens
Wall Street Journal
April 22, 2015
They (The Israelis) don’t know how to square Barack Obama’s promises with his policies. They fail to grasp how a president who pledged to work toward the abolition of nuclear weapons is pushing an accord with Tehran that guarantees their proliferation. They are astonished by the nonchalance with which the administration acquiesces in Iran’s regional power plays, or in al Qaeda’s gains in Yemen, or in the Assad regime’s continued use of chemical weapons, or in the battlefield successes of ISIS, or in Russia’s decision to sell advanced missiles to Tehran. They wonder why the president has so much solicitude for Ali Khamenei’s political needs, and so little for Benjamin Netanyahu’s.
In a word, the Israelis haven’t yet figured out that what America is isn’t what America was. They need to start thinking about what comes next.
The most tempting approach is to wait Mr. Obama out and hope for better days with his successor. Israel and the U.S. have gone through bad patches before—under Ford in the 1970s, Reagan in the early ’80s, Bush in the early ’90s, Clinton in the late ’90s. The partnership always survived the officeholders.
So why should it be different this time? Seventy percent of Americans see Israel in a favorable light, according to a February Gallup poll. The presidential candidates from both parties all profess unswerving friendship with the Jewish state, and the Republican candidates actually believe it. Mr. Obama’s foreign policy is broadly unpopular and likely to become more so as the fiascoes continue to roll in.
Yet it’s different this time. For two reasons, mainly.
First, the administration’s Mideast abdications are creating a set of irreversible realities for which there are no ready U.S. answers. Maybe there were things an American president could have done to help rescue Libya in 2011, Syria in 2013, and Yemen last year. That was before it was too late. But what exactly can any president do about the chaos unfolding now?
Shakespeare wrote that there was a tide in the affairs of men “which taken at the flood, leads men on to fortune.” Barack Obama always missed the flood. (on purpose)
Now the president is marching us past the point of no return on a nuclear Iran and thence a nuclear Middle East. When that happens, how many Americans will be eager to have their president intervene in somebody else’s nuclear duel? Americans may love Israel, but partly that’s because not a single U.S. soldier has ever died fighting on its behalf.
In other words, Mr. Obama is bequeathing not just a more dangerous Middle East but also one the next president will want to touch only with a barge pole.That leaves Israel alone to deal as best as it can with a broadening array of threats: thousands more missiles for Hezbollah, paid for by sanctions relief for Tehran; ISIS on the Golan Heights; an Iran safe, thanks to Russian missiles, from any conceivable Israeli strike.
The second reason follows from the first. Previous quarrels between Washington and Jerusalem were mainly about differing Mideast perceptions. Now the main issue is how the U.S. perceives itself.
Beginning with Franklin Roosevelt, every U.S. president took the view that strength abroad and strength at home were mutually reinforcing; that global security made us more prosperous, and that prosperity made us more secure.
Then along came Mr. Obama with his mantra of “nation building at home” and his notion that an activist foreign policy is a threat to the social democracy he seeks to build. Under his administration, domestic and foreign policy have been treated as a zero-sum game: If you want more of the former, do less of the latter. The result is a world of disorder, and an Israel that, for the first time in its history, must seek its security with an America that, say what it will, has nobody’s back but its own.
How does it do this? By recalling what it was able to do for the first 19 years of its existence, another period when the U.S. was an ambivalent and often suspicious friend and Israel was more upstart state than start-up nation.
That was an Israel that was prepared to take strategic gambles because it knew it couldn’t afford to wait on events. It did not consider “international legitimacy” to be a prerequisite for action because it also knew how little such legitimacy was worth. It understood the value of territory and terrain, not least because it had so little of it. It built its deterrent power by constantly taking the military initiative, not constructing defensive wonder-weapons such as Iron Dome. It didn’t mind acting as a foreign policy freelancer, and sometimes even a rogue, as circumstances demanded. “Plucky little Israel” earned the world’s respect and didn’t care, much less beg, for its moral approval.
Perhaps the next American president will rescue Israel from having to learn again what it once knew. Israelis would be wise not to count on it.
Bret Stephens, Deputy editor, editorial page, The Wall Street Journal.
II Now what? By Jerome S. Kaufman
(Once again Bret Stephens puts his finger right on the main problem. Thanks to my most unfavorite previous Israeli General, Ehud Barack, Israel has gotten side tracked inventing and making the “defensive wonder-weapons” Stephens mentions. By coincidence, The Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (BESA) recently put out an excellent detailed booklet, Israel’s Air and Missile Defense During the 2014 Gaza War. It describes the great success of Israel’s nine Iron Dome batteries and the Patriot air defense system. The claim is the Iron Dome System knocked down 9 of 10 rockets aimed at their defended areas. NOT ENOUGH. Surely we all know the huge amount of damage just one rocket could cause, especially if it were nuclear.
There is no question a sophisticated, best possible, defensive system is required. But, somehow the whole defensive project reminds me of the hapless Jew in his cellar in Poland and Russia hiding from the Cossack whose only goal was to steal his meager possessions, kill him and rape his women and children.
Why should the Jew, finally with the great military power it has developed, now take a defensive position and allow its enemies to dictate the rules of engagement? Has the Israeli administration and the IDF really forgotten the age-old concept that a good offense beats a good defense every time. How could they forget that basic idea when the nation’s very existence is at stake? Why don’t they take a lesson, the holier than though US and its allies, exemplified versus Nazi Germany and Japan in WWII?
Was the term, “Excessive Response” ever mentioned or even invented? Of course not. It was only invented now that the Jews have the upper hand and the superior military power. How about wiping out your enemy so that he no longer has any capability or will to launch rockets or anything else against your civilian population — just like the US and Britain did in WW II? They carpet-bombed entire cities into dust and ultimately beyond dust as the Americans demonstrated with their actions vs. the Japanese at Nagasaki and Hiroshima? I never heard the phrase “Excessive Force” used even once at that time or any time since.
Israel, it is time. As Bret Stephens suggests, enough of the “defensive wonder-weapons such as Iron Dome.” How about using instead “a good offense beats a good defense every time.” Once and for as long as possible, annihilate your enemy’s offensive power, destroy his desire for combat and truly protect your civilian population and incidentally, your own nation’s existence?
World opinion? Maybe you remember the direction and dedication of that “world opinion” complicit in the horror of the WW II Holocaust? It was so dedicated 6 million Jews were systematically slaughtered only because they were Jews?
So much for “world opinion” and the usual consistently hypocritical world morality.
Redacted from an in-depth position paper by Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaacov Amidror
April 20, 2015
BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 296
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Only a profound misunderstanding of the nature of the Iranian regime could lead anyone to believe that the proposed P5+1 deal will end or satisfy Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. The U.S. is capable of bringing Iran’s nuclear program to a halt. Unfortunately, the U.S. has simply chosen not to do so. Israel will now have to decide whether to acquiesce in Iran’s nuclear drive or prepare to confront it.
The nuclear framework agreement signed between Iran and world powers, namely the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany, on April 2, was defined by U.S. President Barack Obama as an “historic understanding,” while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defined the deal as “bad.”
Both leaders are right: The deal has radically changed Iran’s position in the global theater in exchange for Iran temporarily slowing down its pursuit of nuclear weapons, and in this respect it is indeed “historic.” However, the agreement affords Iran the status of a regional power and legitimizes it as a nuclear threshold state. It is now up to Iran to decide when to cross this threshold, and in this respect it is a “bad” deal.
The framework deal clearly indicates that the U.S. has come to accept that Iran will one day possess military nuclear capabilities, and that at the end of the supervision period there would be nothing stopping the Islamic Republic from realizing this potential.
The U.S., for its part, has pledged to put in place rigorous inspection practices, which would guarantee the West at least a year to detect any violation of the agreement. Would such an agreement guarantee, to any extent, a change in Iran’s nuclear aspirations? It seems the opposite is true. In the near future, the agreement will only fuel Iran’s desire to realize the potential outlined and legitimized by the deal. The hope that the agreement will somehow breed a positive process in Iran has no hold in reality.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani appears eager for his country to obtain nuclear weapons. In fact, there is no debate within the Iranian leadership on whether or not such capabilities are necessary, only about the best way to go about achieving them. Only a profound misunderstanding of the nature of the Iranian regime could lead anyone to believe that this or any deal will somehow satisfy the ayatollahs’ nuclear ambitions, to the point of becoming a game changer.
Is there really no military alternative that could result in a longer setback to Tehran’s nuclear program, one that could outweigh the delay outlined in the current deal?The argument that any military strike would result in only a short-term setback in Iran’s nuclear endeavors is wrong, because the seemingly professional American calculation on the matter is purely technical.
I believe that Iran, subject to crippling sanctions, would not rush to resuscitate its nuclear program in the event it was destroyed by the U.S. It also stands to reason that Iran’s actual ability to retaliate over such a strike, other than by putting Hezbollah in play, would be limited.
An American strike could buy the West more than just a few years, but its reluctance to assume the risks involved in a military operation is understandable. Regardless, the reality is clear: The U.S. can forcibly bring the Iranian nuclear program to a halt; it simply chooses not to do so.
Furthermore, the agreement stands to have serious geopolitical repercussions. The deal with Iran is likely to lead to a nuclear arms race in the Sunni Middle East, as well as to increased belligerency from Iran and its allies, such as Hezbollah, the Houthis, Syrian President Bashar Assad and Hamas.
In the long run, the deal could potentially compromise what little stability is left in the region, which in turn would lend the Shiite-Sunni struggle new and terrifying dimensions, making an already violent theater even more volatile.
Iran will try to capitalize on the regional superiority the U.S. has afforded it the first chance it gets, knowing American statements suggesting all options are on the table are nothing but hollow rhetoric.
The concept of time is a fundamental bone of contention between the U.S. and Israel and other countries in the region. A decade may seem like a long time for leaders who are elected for a limited period of time, but for leaders with historical perspectives of national security, 10 years is no time at all.
The most viable alternative should have been to continue imposing and aggravating the sanctions, while making it clear to Iran that any nuclear endeavor on its part would be limited by clear, bold, red lines, and if any of them are ever crossed, the U.S. will react forcefully.
Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaacov Amidror is the Greg and Anne Rosshandler Senior Fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, and former national security advisor to the Prime Minister.
(BESA Center is a brilliant Israeli Think Tank and comes out with some great academic papers. But, I don’t much care for their name “Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.”
Anwar Sadat was a clever western educated Egyptian statesman. With the help of Israel’s usual self-defeating demeanor, inexperience and naïveté, Sadat snatched total victory from the Israelis, reversing the Egypt defeat in the 1973 war despite their surprise attack and initial gains.
Israel, in a supreme gesture of stupidity following intimidation by Jimmy Carter, returned the captured Sinai, all its oil wealth, its thriving community, great strategic depth, ideal airspace, a perfect area for continued Israel growth, and matchless military superiority for the vague promise of “peace”. Unfortunately, Sadat’s own gesture toward peace of any kind with the Israelis, cost him his life through his assassination by the Muslim Brotherhood or aligned elements.
The vaunted “peace” has continued only because of Israel’s overwhelming superior military and cultural society. At this much later date Egyptian leader, General al-Sisi and his military fully understand the importance of Israel to Egypt’s very existence. Unfortunately his gestures of mutual accommodation puts his own life very much at risk.
The Sadat name therefore continues to remind me of a very bad deal. Jews seem to be far more comfortable mourning the days when they were slaves in Egypt or slaughtered peasants in Mother Russia and Poland than to maintain positions of genuine, timeless strength. Hopefully, Netanyahu, as a result of his Obama tutorial, will turn this around. But, don’t hold your breath.)
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY of article below:
The Israeli government’s decision to apply to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), despite Washington’s displeasure, is an expression of Israel’s strong interest in increasing its economic engagement in Asia.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in his capacity as minister of finance, signed a letter of application to join the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) on March 31, despite Washington’s displeasure. Fully aware of Washington’s failed attempt to convince its allies not to join the AIIB, the decision to apply demonstrates Israel’s understanding of the rising importance of Asia, especially China, to Israel’s economy.
The new bank is viewed by many as an important indicator of the changing economic and global balance of power, appearing as a threat to the World Bank. The decision to join the AIIB is another phase in Israel’s policy to improve relations with Asia. Additional moves include negotiating free trade agreements with China, Japan and South Korea.
Does the AIIB symbolize a global financial shift towards China? Is it yet another indication of the gradual decline of the United States in Asia and the global arena?
During the 1990s, there were a few failed initiatives to establish new regional economic and political organizations in Asia mainly as a result of Washington’s objections. Malaysia’s prime minister at the time, Dr. Mahathir Muhammad, called for the establishment of a regional organization that would include all Asian nations and exclude the United States. This attempt was blocked by Washington and Tokyo.
After the 1997 Asian financial crisis, Japan initiated another attempt for Asian nations to establish an Asian Monetary Fund (AMF), which would attend to Asian needs in contrast to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), increasingly criticized for its lack of sensitivity to their needs during the 1997-1998 economic crisis.
The AMF initiative was thwarted by Washington because of concern that it might lead to the decline of US power through the IMF and in Asia as well. In the end, Beijing also seemed to back Washington’s opposition based on the worry of the rise of Japanese power in the region.
Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the plans for the AIIB in a speech to the Indonesian parliament in 2013. The bank looks to invest about $100 billion in infrastructure projects in Asia in contrast to the World Bank, which has a global, not regional focus. Another difference between the two banks is the amount that they would invest in Asia. While the WB total work program funding for 2015 in Asia is $172 million, the AIIB intends to invest more than $800 million in Asia in 2015.
The AIIB will boost China’s role in the global economy beyond what is currently reflected in the voting mechanisms of the IMF and World Bank. It will also allow China to enhance its soft power in Asia. The AIIB might, as suggested by Washington, have transparency and technical problems, but the fundamental issue for the Americans is that it challenges its global hegemonic position.
Washington’s allies, mainly in Asia, were faced with a dilemma: to join or follow Washington’s recommendation not to. While the United States is undoubtedly an important ally for many countries, China’s importance as a major trading partner and ally also carries substantial weight.
For example, South Korea found itself in a dilemma, stuck between Washington’s request to abstain from joining the AIIB and to deploy the American Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system. On the other hand, Beijing asked Seoul to join the AIIB and abstain from deploying THAAD. In the end, Seoul decided to join the AIIB and delay its decision on deploying the sophisticated anti-missile system. One possible reason why Seoul decided to join the Chinese led bank could have been to assist infrastructure projects in North Korea which would decrease Pyongyang’s incentive to initiate military provocations.
Besides South Korea, many other US allies decided to join the AIIB in spite of Washington’s objections. These include Britain, France, Germany, and Saudi Arabia. Tokyo and Washington are the two main economic powers that have so far decided not to join the new bank. However, based on Washington’s past record of opposing Asian regional initiatives at the beginning, only to later reverse its decision, it is likely that Washington and even Tokyo will also join in the long run.
The AIIB is another indication of China’s growing economic growth and willingness to challenge American power on the world stage. And although Washington and Beijing do not see eye to eye on political, security, and economic issues, both states are economically interdependent, which could serve to constrain their rivalry over the balance of power in Asia.
The Israeli government’s decision to apply to the AIIB, despite Washington’s reticence, shows that it understands that it cannot afford to be left out of Asia’s economic rise. Once its application is approved, Israel will be able to initiate projects in Asia through the AIIB and assist Israeli companies in the process, thus increasing its relations in Asia.
Dr. Alon Levkowitz, a research associate at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, is an expert on East Asian security, the Korean Peninsula, and Asian international organizations.
BESA Center Perspectives Papers are published through the generosity of the Greg Rosshandler Family. ________________________________________
I had the great privilege of watching Senator Rubio declare himself a candidate for the awesome responsibility of President of United States of America and I loved every minute of it.
He is a great speaker –bright, clean-cut, handsome, a beautiful wife and family and he did remind me of our last member of the Court of King Arthur —John F. Kennedy!
He began by saying, “I have come here to make an announcement as to how I can best serve you.” What a novel idea in the present political climate. I thought it was all about serving the politician and his Party.
His speech was clear, precise, factual, direct, no fumbling around.No tele-prompters or excessive use of notes. He did not read his speech. It came from the heart. Most important I did not see the awful narcissistic mannerisms of the present office holder.
But, what did he say?
1. He is the proud son of immigrants. He is thus a first generation American and from those have come some of our most dedicated, productive and successful political servants. His dad was a bar tender, his mom was a domestic servant. How basic can you get?
He grew up the son of refugees who I am sure kissed the ground of this country the moment they arrived for having the good fortune to finally arrive in this wonderful land. The Jews called it, the Goldina Medina, the Golden Land of Freedom and Opportunity. I am sure the waves of Cubans, Irish, Italians, Poles, Russians, Slavs,and so many others dreamed of it in the same way.
2. He said that unfortunately, the American dream has gone awry over the last 6 plus years. Too many Americans are now beginning to doubt whether that dream is still possible to achieve in the Goldina Medina.Hard working families are now living paycheck to paycheck. Young Americans are not able to start a career or family because they owe thousands of dollars in student loans or have useless degrees that do not lead to jobs.Small business owners and the middle class are made to struggle under onerous taxes, more government regulation and hostile interference.
We have been steered off the course where prosperity is dependent upon our ability to compete on the world stage.Modern jobs require special skills and far different education than those of the past.Our educational system is frozen in old formats that are no longer pertinent. They are ineffective, expensive and inaccessible to those that need it most.
On the world scene our current President likes to lead from behind. How that is supposed to work is beyond explanation. The President never seems to haveunderstood that when America ceases to lead, worldwide chaos is the result.
We are years past any form of isolationism or disregard of the rest of the world. The world has shrunk. Even worse, for another inexplicable reason,the present administration has chosen to favor out enemies and betray our staunch allies. He has deliberately weakened our military, diluted our patriotism and destroyed our ability to contain and defeat our enemies wherever and whenever necessary.
Major changes are essential to our very existence. We must reform our tax costs, reduce the myriad numbers of mindless regulations. We mustcontrol spending and modernize our immigration laws, and repeal and replace the bankruptcy upon us because of an overly ambitious and poorly devised Obamacare.Nancy Pelosi’s recommendation for Congress to sign the law before they read it and figure it out later was the lousiest piece of advice of the century.
If we can correct allthese things and modernize our educational system the American work force will find millions of higher paying jobs. It should also be our goal to return to the times when a high school graduate actually came out knowing something and had the necessary skillsto go right to work and make some badly needed money.
And let us remember that the family, not the government, is the most important institution in this country and all human life deserves the protection of our laws.And, parents, not outsiders with their own agendas,must be allowedto determine the education most appropriate for their children.
Worldwide, America must once more accept the mantle of global leadership. We must abandon this nation’s dangerous concessions to Iran and Obama’s mindlesshostility to Israel.We must no longer remain passive in the face of Chinese and Russian aggression. We must reverse the hollowing out of our military and give our men and women in the military the resources, the care and the gratitude they deserve.
Furthermore we cannot ignore the human rights violations and disregard of democracy in Cuba and so many other countries round the world. Our enemies are testing us in all of the aboveand we are flunking their tests badly.
We must correct all these problems to make our own nation safer and our people more prosperous. There is now a generational choice as to what kind of country we will now be.We no longer can afford the leaders from yesterday taking us back to the solutions of yesterday. Yesterday is over.If we fail our children, theywill be the first generation to inherit a country worse off than the one that was given to their parents!
We must change the decisions we are now making by changing the people who are making them. I find comfort in the ancient biblical command:
Bestrong and courageous. Do not tremble or be dismayed for G-d is with you wherever you go.
Senator Marco Rubio Presidential Announcement Full Speech (C-SPAN)
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B. Saudis side with Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu! Now that’s a first!
The Saudi Military Intervention in Yemen
Col. (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah
Jerusalem Issue Briefs Vol. 15, No. 10 March 31, 2015
Institute for Contemporary Affairs
-The Saudis did not conduct detailed, top-level discussions with the Obama Administration on U.S. support for the operation until a few days before the beginning of the air strikes.
-It appears that the Saudis have little trust in the U.S. administration and suspected that the Obama administration’s Iranian agenda would lead it to stop the Saudi coalition acting against the Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen.
-Moderate Arab countries have come to the conclusion that they must fight for the survival of their regimes and that terrorism identified with the Sunni jihadists is the main factor for instability. Their scorched earth practices offer fertile ground for the incursion of “heretical” Shiite forces from Iran.
It is hard to believe that the Saudi military intervention in Yemen came as a surprise to U.S. intelligence agencies.
Such a critical act, code-named “Operation Storm of Resolve” involved coordination with nine other Arab partners, contacts with Pakistan, and the deployment of Arab air power in Saudi Arabia. It could not have gone unnoticed even by the most negligent officer in the U.S. intelligence agencies whose vigilance of the area is one of their top priorities. Moreover, a week or so before the first Saudi wave of attack, the U.S. Administration chose not only to evacuate its diplomats from Aden but also to withdraw a small contingent of Special Forces deployed in the Al-Anad airbase in the vicinity of Aden.
From different accounts relating to the decision-making process that led to the military intervention, it is known that traditional U.S. allies (such as Turkey and Egypt) began to discuss the military coalition at the beginning of March, following the visit to Saudi Arabia by Turkish President Erdogan who expressed his support for the operation. It was no surprise to hear afterwards that Turkey provided logistical support, verbally attacked Iran and called on Iran and the militant groups to withdraw from Yemen.
On March 4, Saudi King Salman pressed Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to “boost the number of troops in the kingdom,” the Financial Times1 reported.
The coalition was ultimately created on the weekend preceding the Saudi attack at a meeting held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Incredibly, General Lloyd Austin, head of the U.S. Central Command, told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing that the U.S. learned the Saudis were going to attack Yemen only one hour before the operation was launched. In other words: the U.S. was taken by surprise and the Saudis had succeeded in their deception plan.2
The Saudis are exasperated by the Obama Administration’s courtship of Iran — the same Iran that supports their enemies in Lebanon, Syria, Bahrain, Yemen and Iraq, and claims control of four Arab capitals (Beirut, Damascus, Baghdad and Sana’a). Saudi Arabia decided it was time to draw the line between the main two camps fighting over hegemony in the Middle East (the Iran-led axis versus the moderate-Arab camp led by Egypt and Saudi Arabia) and demanded that the U.S. choose sides in the war.
This may explain why the Saudis discussed with the U.S. different options in Yemen but never went into details about their military intentions. It is evident that the Saudis perceived that the U.S. did not approve of such a move after the Americans expressed reservations about such intervention.
This could explain the low-profile U.S. “logistic and intelligence support” given to the operation. As in the “lead-from-behind” 2011 Libyan war strategy, the U.S. chose to stay “under the radar” to avoid openly associating with the operation it had to accept after the fact as a reality. The U.S. administration, taken by surprise, did not react immediately. Only two days later Obama called the Saudi king to express half-hearted U.S. support.
The Saudi coalition also has another dimension: For the first time since 1948 the Arabs have succeeded in creating a military coalition aimed at an Arab state and not linked to the Arab-Israeli conflict. While Arab armies joined the military coalition in the first Gulf War, the coalition was led by the United States and was built around the American and international forces that took part in the campaign against Saddam Hussein. The Arab forces served more as a fig leaf.
Today, moderate Arab countries have come to the conclusion that they must fight for the survival of their regimes and that terrorism identified with Sunni jihadists and the extremist ideology of Salafi Islam is the main factor for instability. Their scorched earth practices offer fertile ground for the incursion of “heretical” Shiite forces from Iran.
Islamic organizations classified by the different regimes as terrorist groups have become the main target of the moderate regimes. This is the concept at the core of the pan-Arab force to be created as an intervention force to back Arab regimes under attack.
Egyptians have pointed to Libya as being the next target for an Arab military intervention, while Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called for Arab military intervention in Gaza (meaning against the Hamas).
B. Saudis side with Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu! Now that’s a first!
Excerpted from Haaretz, Israeli Newspaper
Sunday, April 12, 2015 Nisan 23, 5775
While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress on Tuesday drew cackles from the usual news sites, he garnered support from an unexpected place: Saudi Arabia.
A day after the prime minister declared that the “enemy of my enemy is my enemy,” Faisal J. Abbas of Al-Arabiya, a Saudi-owned news channel, penned an opinion piece Wednesday calling on U.S. President Obama to listen to Netanyahu on Iran.
“It is extremely rare for any reasonable person to ever agree with anything Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says or does,” wrote Abbas. “However, one must admit, Bibi did get it right, at least when it came to dealing with Iran.”
Obama toys with cutting Israel adrift in the Security Council.
By UN Ambassador John Bolton
The Weekly Standard
April 6-13, 2015
Immediately after Israel’s March 17 election, Obama administration officials threatened to allow (or even encourage) the U.N. Security Council to recognize a Palestinian state and confine Israel to its pre-1967 borders. Within days, the president himself joined in, publicly criticizing not just Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with whom Obama has had notoriously bad relations, but sectors of Israeli opinion and even Israel itself.
The administration leaks suggesting that Israel be cut adrift in the Security Council in effect threatened “collective punishment” as a weapon in U.S.-Israel relations. This is especially ironic coming from “progressives” who have repeatedly accused Israel of “collective punishment” by forcefully retaliating against terrorist attacks. But more important, exposing Israel to the tender mercies of its Security Council opponents harms not only Israel’s interests, but America’s in equal measure. Roughly half of Washington’s Security Council vetoes have been cast against draft resolutions contrary to our Middle East interests.
America’s consistent view since Council Resolution 242 concluded the 1967 Arab-Israeli war is that only the parties themselves can structure a lasting peace. Deviating from that formula would be a radical departure by Obama from a bipartisan Middle East policy nearly half a century old.
In fact, Israel’s “1967 borders” are basically only the 1949 cease-fire lines, but its critics shrink from admitting this tedious reality. The indeterminate status of Israel’s borders from its 1948 creation is in fact a powerful argument why only negotiation with relevant Arab parties can ultimately fix the lines with certainty.
That is why Resolution 242’s “land for peace” formula, vague and elastic though it is, was acceptable to everyone in 1967: There were no hard and fast boundaries to fall back on, no longstanding historical precedents. Prior U.N. resolutions from the 1940s, for example, had all been overtaken by events. Only negotiation, if anything, could leave the parties content; externally imposed terms could only sow future conflicts. Hence, Resolution 242 does not call for a return to the prewar boundaries, but instead affirms the right of “every State in the area” to “secure and recognized boundaries.” Ignoring this fundamental reality is fantasy.
So what drives Obama to conjure his Security Council threat? Obviously, deep antipathy for Netanyahu is one reason. Obama didn’t like Netanyahu before Israel’s recent election, and liked him even less after Bibi’s speech to a joint session of Congress. Hoping to motivate lukewarm or indifferent Likud voters to pump up his election-day support, Netanyahu emphasized his opponents’ efforts to turn out anti-Likud Arab voters, and Obama flayed him for it. Obama also opposed Netanyahu’s pre-election criticism of the “two-state solution” and disdained Netanyahu’s efforts to clarify his comments after he won.
So Obama’s list of complaints about Netanyahu is long and getting longer. But if the criticisms were really about Netanyahu’s campaign tactics, threatening to let slip the dogs of political war in the Security Council would hardly be an appropriate response. Obama’s punishment would simply not fit Netanyahu’s crime.
Far more disturbing, Obama’s post-election statements demonstrate something much deeper than just animosity toward Netanyahu. Obama said that “Israeli democracy has been premised on everybody in the country being treated equally and fairly. If that is lost, then I think that not only does it give ammunition to folks who don’t believe in a Jewish state, but it also, I think, starts to erode the meaning of democracy in the country.”
With these comments, Obama is criticizing not just Netanyahu, but the very legitimacy of Israel’s democracy, giving an implicit green light to those prepared to act violently against it. Obama’s remarks are substantially more egregious than Secretary of State John Kerry’s 2014 criticism that Israel’s unwillingness to follow the White House lead in the Palestinian negotiations made it understandable if there were another Palestinian intifada or further efforts by the international “boycotts, sanctions, and divestiture” movement against Israel.
Obama is thus going well beyond acting unpresidential or even immature. Whether one takes his or Netanyahu’s side, the administration’s approach is now squarely contrary to America’s larger strategic interests. And the global harm that will be done to common U.S. and Israeli interests through Security Council resolutions if Washington stands aside (or worse, joins in) will extend far beyond the terms of one prime minister and one president.
Consider the inevitable damage merely from the sort of council resolution threatened by Obama’s leakers. Declaring that a Palestinian state exists outside of Israel’s 1967 boundaries would instantly terminate all bilateral Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy on these central issues. What else would there be to talk about? Resolution 242’s basic premise would be upended; rather than enhancing the role of diplomacy between Israel and the relevant Arab parties, a Palestinian statehood resolution would eliminate it.
The reverberations would echo even wider. Already, Obama’s representatives on the U.N. Human Rights Council declined to defend Israel during the HRC’s annual festival of Israel-bashing, another first from our transformative president.
More seriously, Israel’s “occupation” of West Bank lands would immediately render it in violation of the statehood resolution, thus exposing it to international sanctions, including from the Security Council if Obama continued to stand aside. Prosecutions of Israeli officials in the International Criminal Court would instantly have a jurisdictional basis, and those officials would also be exposed to “universal jurisdiction” statutes that have become all the rage with the international left in recent decades. And won’t the White House be surprised when “Palestine” gains admission to the entire U.N. system, triggering a statutorily required cut-off of U.S. contributions to each agency that admits the new state!
No end of mischief will flow from even one undisciplined Security Council resolution, let alone whatever else Obama is prepared to allow. Obama’s criticisms, with the implied charge of racism not far beneath their surface, have once again brought Israel’s very legitimacy into question. We are all too close to resurrecting the U.N.’s 1975 “Zionism is racism” resolution. Daniel Patrick Moynihan would not recognize Obama as a president from the Democratic party.
Obama needs reminding that petulance is for teenagers, not presidents. U.S. interests extend beyond personalities and temporary frustrations. As in many other policy areas, Obama’s “l’état, c’est moi” approach is laying foundations for enormous problems both today and long after he leaves office. If anyone wants a convincing argument why national security must be at the very center of America’s 2016 presidential contest, Obama has surely supplied it.
John R. Bolton, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in 2005-06.
II Video Senator Lindsay Graham addressing the US Senate, calling our Barack Obama