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Obama’s Dubious Mosque Choice

Redacted from an article by Steven Emerson

Executive Director Investigative Project.Org

February 5, 2016

Barack Obama visited the Islamic Society of Baltimore (ISB), his first visit to a U.S. mosque since becoming president.

ISB leaders have amassed a record of support for radical Islamic causes over the years, including endorsing the Chechen jihad and Palestinian suicide bombings. Its former imam was active in a charity later linked to terror financing including Hamas, the Taliban, and for providing “hundreds of thousands of dollars” to Osama bin Laden.

It’s safe to assume the White House vetted the ISB and found it an acceptable venue for a presidential appearance despite this history. And that is not surprising. The Obama administration has repeatedly embraced contact with the Muslim Brotherhood, repeatedly meeting with its officials during and after the Arab Spring while ignoring secular democracy advocates. It praised the early tenure of Brotherhood member Mohamed Morsi when he briefly served as Egypt’s president. The administration also helped a Brotherhood delegation skip routine screening by U.S. Customs and Border Protection upon landing in America.

And, as we reported in December, a White House meeting also aimed at standing by the Muslim-American community featured representatives of Islamist groups, including some with consistent records of opposing U.S. law enforcement counter-terrorism efforts.

Islamic Society of Baltimore (ISB) officials have worked closely with one of those groups, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). In 2014, two ISB officials joined with CAIR in a news conference blasting Israeli military actions in Gaza. The conflict, known as Operation Protective Edge, started when Hamas operatives kidnapped and murdered three Israeli teens and continued its incessant campaign of firing rockets with the hope of killing Israeli civilians. Those rockets were fired from densely populated areas, including near schools and houses of worship.

But Hamas’ murders and ongoing efforts to carry out more were never mentioned by the CAIR and ISB officials. Instead, they blamed Israel when raids aimed at rocket launchers and other Hamas targets inadvertently killed and injured civilians. ISB President Muhammad Jameel recklessly invoked “genocide in the name of self-defense” and said that, “as an American I am ashamed to stand here.”

Far from genocide, which is the systematic elimination of a people, and from an indiscriminate attack, Israel campaign against Hamas “went to extraordinary lengths” to minimize civilian casualties, said Gen. Martin Dempsey, then-chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. Israel dropped leaflets and called residents of buildings targeted for bombing in hopes the residents would heed the warnings and seek safer locations. After the conflict ended, Dempsey sent a team of senior officers to learn from Israeli military leaders to study the tactics in Gaza to minimize civilian casualties. “In this kind of conflict, where you are held to a standard that your enemy is not held to, you’re going to be criticized for civilian casualties,” he said.

Another ISB official, resident scholar Yaseen Shaikh, sermonized against homosexuality as a mental disorder and “something which we despise.” The talk is dated May 2013, just weeks before he joined the ISB. The Quran says “harm them” to those who engage in homosexuality, he said. “What does this mean? If it was not an aberrant act, if this was not a despised act, why would Allah … say, ‘Harm them’? Allah then says, ‘[Several Arabic words],’ ‘If they repent and they reform and they transform themselves and change, then let them be.” More recently, a resident scholar described homosexuality as a threat to societal health, in stark contrast to the president’s views on the issue.

Another page on the ISB’s archived “Official English Site” links to a feature on the “Jihad in Chechnya” on the Azzam Publications website. Azzam publications was an al Qaida-tied website that was “one of the most well-known supporters of jihad, or holy war, on the internet.” The site is replete with material promoting jihad and martyrdom operations and includes a photo and link to a biography of Osama bin Laden’s mentor, Abdullah Azzam.

A page from ISB’s archived website links to the homepage of Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yusuf Qaradawi. Qaradawi has issued fatwas or religious rulings in support of terrorism and described suicide operations as “heroic martyrdom operations.” In a 2004 fatwa, Qaradawi called abducting and killing Americans in Iraq is “a [religious] duty.”

At a 1995 conference held by the Muslim Arab Youth Association (MAYA) in Toledo, Ohio, Qaradawi called for the “conquest” of Europe and America through Dawa, or proselytizing. “We will conquer Europe, we will conquer America! Not through sword but through Dawa,” he said.

During an appearance on Fox News Monday, American-Islamic Forum for Democracy President, Zuhdi Jasser said he was insulted by the president’s choice of the ISB. It continues an administration policy of working with Islamist groups and ignoring Muslims like him who stand against theocracy. “It’s disgraceful that this is one of the mosques – or the mosque – that he’s picked to be the first visit,” he said.

For an event that is expected to focus on tolerance, diversity and inclusion, Obama made a puzzling choice in the ISB. Its leaders sympathize with terrorists, hate homosexuals and treat women as less than equal.

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Families are no longer fooled by ‘hope and change’ happy talk

By Stephen Moore

The Washington Times

January 11, 2016

The stock market closed down for 2015 reversing one of the few positive accomplishments under the Barack Obama presidency. This has been a pretty prosperous time for the top two percent. For most Americans though — not so much.

A new report from Sentier Research based on Census data finds that median household income of $56,700 at the end of 2015 stood exactly where it was adjusted for inflation at the end of 2007.

That’s eight years of virtually zero income gain. And President Obama and his Washington political pundits wonder why voters are in such a cranky mood.

Last week the Joint Economic Committee of Congress (JEC)  issued a report on the Obama recovery loaded with even more dismal news. On almost every measure examined, the 2009-15 recovery since the recovery ended in June of 2009 has been the meekest in more than 50 years.

Start with the broadest measure of economic progress: growth in output. The chart below compares the Obama growth pace with that of the average recovery coming out of the last eight recessions and with the Reagan recovery and over the same number of months (77). Democrats used to disparage the Reagan expansion as nothing special, yet the growth rate over the first 25 quarters under Reagan was 34 percent versus 14.3 percent under Obama.

How much does this matter? If we had grown at an average pace, GDP in 2015 would have been about $1.8 trillion higher. Under the Reagan recovery growth would have been $2.7 trillion higher.

It is certainly true that every recession is different in cause and consequences, so the JEC dug deeper into the numbers. It examined GDP growth on a per-capita basis. The Reagan recovery was abnormally strong in part because it happened when millions of baby boomers swept into the work force adding to growth. But even on a per-capita basis, real GDP has grown only 9.0 percent versus 18.8 percent for the average recovery. That is the lowest of any post-1960 recovery.

Next the JEC (Joint Economic Committee of Congress) measured job market trends. Again we see a failing record. Yes, official unemployment of just over 5 percent today is very low. But that’s the biggest lie in America — right up there with “we’re from the government and we’re here to help.”

The distortion is due to the fact that 94 million people in America over the age of 16 aren’t in the labor force. If job growth had been the same as the average recovery we would have at least 5 million more Americans working — which is nearly the size of the workforce in Pennsylvania.

Amazingly, if we had had a Reagan-paced job recovery we would today have at least 12 million more Americans working. Job creators are still on strike and it’s a result of EPA rules, Obamacare, tax hikes, and other assaults against business.

When fewer people are working and wages are stagnant, incomes don’t grow. That’s the real sorry story of the Obama era. If the Obama recovery had been just average, in other words a C grade, JEC calculates that “after-tax per person income would be $3,339 (2009$) per year higher,” families can no longer be fooled with happy talk about “hope and change.” They feel the tough times.

The JEC’s dreary conclusion tells the whole story of the era of Obamanomics: “On economic growth the Obama recovery ranks dead last.”

One other statistic that stands out on the Obama record as we begin his last year in office. The debt is up to $16.5 trillion and by the he leaves office our indebtedness will be almost double where it was when he entered the Oval Office. Just the interest payments alone cost half a trillion dollars a year. This is the Obama legacy and if liberals want to take ownership of this bleak record — it’s all theirs.

• Stephen Moore is an economic consultant with Freedom Works and a Fox News contributor.

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I Europe and the U.S. bow and scrape to ascendant Iran.

By DANIEL HENNINGER

Wall Street Journal  Jan. 27, 2016

Some wonder how history will treat Barack Obama’s presidency. That depends on who writes the histories.

Secretary of State John Kerry’s account will fist-pump the Iran nuclear deal as the central foreign-policy event of the Obama presidency, a triumph for Western diplomacy.

But news photographs in recent weeks are producing a different history. These photos document the abject humiliation of the West by Iran. Americans who plan to vote in their presidential election should look hard at these photos, because the West’s direction after this will turn on the decisions they make. (Photos are shown in the Wall Street Journal article)

Recent obvious embarrassing humbling of the West occurred  in Rome’s Capitoline Museums, a repository of art dating to Western antiquity. Out of what the government of Italy called “respect” for the sensibilities of visiting Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, the museum placed large white boxes over several nude sculptures, including a Venus created in the second century B.C. Then, because Mr. Rouhani will not attend a meal that serves alcohol to anyone, the nominally Italian government of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi declined to serve wine.

They did so for the same reason that beggars grub change in front of Rome’s churches. Freed by the Obama nuclear deal with Iran, Italy’s tin-cup businesses signed about a dozen deals with Mr. Rouhani this week, totaling $18 billion.

The bowing and scraping to Mr. Rouhani continues this week as France and Germany sign more deals. This is not economic re-normalization. Rather than reform its weak, politically unstable economies, Europe is content to make itself a dependency of the aborning Iranian empire.

The second photo of Western submission (shown in Wall Street Journal article) depicts what appears to be a glee-filled meeting between the president of Iran and the leader of the world’s Catholics, Pope Francis, who gave Mr. Rouhani 40 minutes of his time. The Vatican argues this is realpolitik by a pope trying to protect Christians in the Middle East by inducing Iran to play an “important role” in the peace process. 

Set aside the “role” Iran has played in the death of a quarter-million Syrians and the refugees now destabilizing Europe. One still may ask: Why the Pope’s  public and jolly photo-ops with this person?

The U.S. State Department’s religious-freedom report says in 2014 Iran executed at least 24 individuals for the crime of moharebeh (enmity against God). And surely that understates the total killed.

The persecuted in Iran include Bahais, Sunni Muslims, Christians (notably evangelicals), Jews, Yarsanis and even Shia groups.

Mr. Rouhani is grinning in this photo because he knows these people can’t move Iran’s culture out of the 16th century.

The third photograph is of 10 sailors from the U.S. Navy who are kneeling in rows, hands on their heads, on the deck of an Iranian boat.

The Obama administration hasn’t provided an explanation for how this “deviation” and capture by Iran in the Persian Gulf happened.

Instead of outrage over Iran’s treatment of the sailors, Sec. Kerry praised the Iranians’ “cooperation and quick response.”

Cooperation? Iran humiliated the sailors by making them kneel in the style of an Islamic State execution ceremony and then humiliated the U.S. by releasing that photo.

Meeting in a congratulatory ceremony with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps members who took the sailors, Iranian supremo Ayatollah Khamenei said, “This event should be considered God’s work.”

One is tempted to tip one’s hat to the Khamenei-Rouhani strategy team. Iran took the West’s measure with its nuclear brinkmanship and the West bent.

Some may say the Italians are the Italians, the pope has his reasons, and Barack Obama and John Kerry are just finishing their apology tour. But that understates the long series of political compromises and cultural surrenders that have brought the U.S. and Europe to this point.

Italy’s repudiation of its own heritage to accommodate Iran’s president is a significant symbolic event. The Capitoline’s Venus isn’t just a naked lady carved out of marble. Just as the naked man and woman in Masaccio’s “Expulsion from the Garden of Eden,” painted in 1423 at the dawn of the Renaissance, are hardly figure studies.

In her recently published book arguing a relationship between the Western artistic legacy and democratic evolution, “David’s Sling,” Victoria Gardner Coates says these works “are not isolated aesthetic objects; part of their value as historical evidence derives from their role in the public life of the communities that produced them.”

Unless that public life is forgotten. Western schools may no longer teach the Battle of Thermopylae, but one may assume Hassan Rouhani knows the details of Persia’s historic loss to brave Greece in 480 B.C. as if it were yesterday.

Putting a white box over a Venus to placate a Rouhani is a loss in the Persians’ return trip to the West.

II  Iran flies unarmed drone over US warship to take ‘precise’ photos as part of an ongoing naval drill in the Persian Gulf, state TV reported.

By Nasser Karimi and Jon Gambrell

Associated Press in Palm Beach Post, Jan 28, 2016
A US navy commander called the drone’s flight ‘abnormal and unprofessional’

The US navy confirmed an Iranian drone flew near the French carrier Charles De Gaulle and “directly over” the American carrier USS Harry Truman on 12 January, while the vessels were in international waters in the Persian Gulf.

Commander Kevin Stephens, a spokesman for the US navy’s 5th fleet, said the navy did not fire on the drone because it was unarmed and posed “no danger to the ship” as the carrier was not conducting flight operations. Commander Stephens called the drone’s flight “abnormal and unprofessional”. He added that the US navy was “not in a position to verify the authenticity of the video as there are countless examples of similar footage to be found on the internet.”

Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, the commander of the Islamic Republic’s navy, called the drone flight “a sign of bravery”. He told state TV it “allowed our men to get so close to the warship and shoot such a beautiful and accurate footage of the combat units of the foreign forces”.
The reported drone surveillance comes after Iran’s navy began naval drills over a 1.16-million-square-mile area, including parts of the Strait of Hormuz, the Gulf of Oman and the Indian Ocean. Iran said on Wednesday its navy warned a US warship to leave an area of the naval drill – the US navy later denied its operations were affected by the drill.
Tensions remain high after a series of naval incidents between Iran and the US in the greater Persian Gulf, including test rocket fire by Iran near US warships and its brief capture of American sailors who drifted into its territorial waters.

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26 January 2016

Mr. President,

First, I would like to congratulate Uruguay for becoming a member of the Security Council, and for a successful month as Security Council president. This is no easy task, and you have performed it well.

Mr. Secretary General,

Mr. President,

As we begin this new year with a new Security Council, please allow me to take this opportunity to congratulate the new members. On behalf of the state of Israel, I wish you much success.

The challenges facing this new Council are vast and complex. The international community looks to this room, to this Council to confront the new and unprecedented threats to global order and stability. The lives and future of millions of people are at stake in this confrontation with the forces of anarchy and instability.

Nowhere is this more true than in the region I come from. Whether it is the crisis of failed states, the rise of radical terror groups, the Middle East is ground zero in the battle for the triumph of the civilized world.

As a small nation located in the heart of the Middle East, Israel is on the front lines. When Israelis, when my people, look around them, they see the brutal civil war in Syria, and ISIS in the Golan Heights and on the border with Egypt. They see Hezbollah strengthening its position to the north, and Hamas turning Gaza into a staging grounds of terror.

Hamas does not hide its intention to prepare for the next round of conflict, and continues to build up its terror infrastructure – above ground and below. Its officials boast of rocket factories operating day and night. They are upgrading their arsenal with longer range missiles. Hamas is also rebuilding its network of terror tunnels. These tunnels are an underground
expressway of terror, leading straight into the heart of Israeli towns and cities. Israeli security forces only recently uncovered Hamas terror cells, which were planning to commit a wave of shootings, kidnappings, and suicide bombings.

Even as Hamas plans attacks against Israeli citizens, and despite the constant threat of rocket attacks, Israel is taking steps to improve the well-being of the people in Gaza. In the past year alone, we have invested millions of dollars to triple the capacity of the Gaza crossing, allowing a thousand trucks filled with building material and goods to enter the Gaza Strip every day.

However, as we all know, Hamas shamefully seizes supplies intended to help the people of Gaza, in order to rebuild its terror infrastructure.

Let’s all of us face reality. The greatest opponent of the well-being of the people of Gaza is Hamas.

Mr. President,

While Israelis live under the shadow of threat from Hamas in the south, they also see the dark cloud of Hezbollah in the North. This terror group is committed to the destruction of Israel, and grows stronger and more
sophisticated every day. As we speak, Hezbollah has over one hundred thousand rockets ready to be fired at Israeli cities. Hezbollah also has long-range missiles that can target any place in Israel, and has obtained advanced strategic weapons systems.

Hezbollah’s actions demonstrate their disregard for human life. Hezbollah has embedded most of its military infrastructure in the villages of south Lebanon, storing weapons in private homes and stationing missiles next to kindergartens.

Take, for example, the village of Muhaybib in South Lebanon. It is a small town in South Lebanon. In this small town, Hezbollah has nine arms storage sites, five rocket-launching sites, four infantry positions, three underground tunnels three antitank positions, and a command post in the center of the village. Twenty five military sites in a town with only ninety houses.

Take another village. In the larger village of Shaqra with a population of about four thousand people the IDF has identified four hundred military sites. Hezbollah has transformed these villages into terror outposts.

This is the true face of Hezbollah – a brutal organization which deliberately targets Israeli civilians, and uses Lebanese civilians as human shields. This is the definition of a double war crime.

Israel has repeatedly warned this Council about the threat of Hezbollah, and called for action. Let me say it clearly, once again: Hezbollah is preparing for another round of fighting. Hezbollah must be disarmed, and the government of Lebanon must fully abide by its international commitments, and fully implement Security Council Resolution 1701.

Make no mistake. Israel has the means to defend itself. We will take all necessary measures to protect our people.

Mr. President,

The link between the threat of Hamas and the danger of Hezbollah is the Islamic Republic of Iran. Wherever there is terror, there is Iran. Iran is the primary destabilizing factor in the Middle East, funding instability and chaos throughout the region.

Iran also has a proven track record of defying this Council’s resolutions. When it comes to Iran, the challenge for the Council at this critical time is to be vigilant and to be brave. Vigilant – to monitor all of Iran’s actions, and brave – to respond forcefully to each and every violation.

Mr. President,

For Israel, there is no greater challenge than the challenge of peace. The road to peace is long and difficult but Israel is committed to make every effort. Every difficult journey begins with a single step.

Sitting down and talking is the first step to peace, but the Palestinians refuse to come to the table. What does Israel want? Simple. We want peace with security. That is the only peace that will last. And the Palestinians? They demand concessions without negotiations. They want to be rewarded for their unilateral actions. Rewarding the Palestinian Authority will only push the Palestinians further from the negotiating table.

Prime Minister Netanyahu had called on President Abbas and the Palestinian Authority to resume negotiations, but they continue to refuse. Sadly, when the PA leadership is not negotiating, it is inciting.

Recently, after another brutal attack against Israelis, Jibril Rajoub, Deputy Secretary of the Fatah Central Committee, declared, and I quote, “Whoever carried out individual acts of heroism, we in the Fatah movement bless and encourage them. We consider them heroes and a crown on the head of every Palestinian.” Unquote.

Who are these “heroes”? They are the Palestinian who stabs a young woman walking down the street, and who runs over an old man with a car. These are their heroes.

Instead of working to improve the lives of the Palestinians, the PA encourages terror by providing stipends for terrorists and their families. The more horrific the attack, the higher the reward. The payments can be up to three thousand five hundred dollars per month. This in a place where the average salary is just over six hundred dollars. Numerous terrorists have admitted to committing heinous acts of terror in order to qualify for a lifetime stipend “awarded” only to those who spent at least five years in Israeli prison.

For the Palestinians terror pays and it is their leadership that rewards the taking of innocent life with dollars and cents. Even toys are used as tools to poison children’s minds and inflame their hearts. Israel recently stopped a shipment of thousands of dolls dressed as terrorists, with stones in hand, destined for children in the West Bank. The ‘educational purpose’ of these
terror dolls is clear- to serve as role models for young Palestinians.

Such incitement is at the root of the wave of terror Israel is facing.

The challenge for this Council is to ask the difficult questions: Why does the Palestinian Authority refuse to condemn acts of terror against Israelis? Why do they refuse to sit down to negotiate? Most importantly, what do the Palestinians really want?

If you believe that the answer is peace. Call on them to condemn terror attacks. Demand that they stop incitement. Stop giving them incentives to avoid a real dialogue. And insist that they return to the negotiating table.

Mr. President,

The greatest challenge facing the world today is the plague of international terrorism and violent extremism. From Paris to Jakarta, and from the Sinai to San Bernardino, the peace and security of the civilized world is under threat. Every day, the cruel hand of terrorism strikes somewhere in the world, killing more innocents, destroying more families, and undermining more communities.

As this new Council assumes the grave responsibility for maintaining global peace and security, it must present a united front against terror. In this spirit, the Council adopted Resolution 2249 in the aftermath of the terror attacks in Paris.

The resolution declares, and I quote: “Any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable regardless of their motivations, whenever and by whomsoever committed.” I repeat, “whenever and by whomsoever committed”

Yet, the international community has made one, only one exception. There is one place in the world that this absolute ban on terrorism can be ignored. Once again, the State of Israel is singled out, and treated differently from all other nations in the world.

During the past four months, Israelis have been stabbed in their homes, shot at in the streets, and run over by terrorists using cars as weapons. Over the course of this wave of violence, thirty people have been killed, and hundreds have been injured.

During this period of time, the Council has adopted twelve resolutions, twelve, against terrorism, and condemned terrorist attacks in France, Sinai, Lebanon, Mali, Tunisia, Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Somalia, and Sudan.

Not once were the lives of Israelis murdered by terrorists recognized by this Council. No condemnation, no expression of solidarity, not even a statement of concern. The facts don’t lie. The Security Council has been hypocritical when it comes to Israel.

I would like to take a moment to tell you about one of the many Israeli victims whom this Council has not seen fit to even mention. Daphna Meir was a 38 year old Israeli woman murdered by a Palestinian terrorist. Let me tell you a little about the kind of person Dafna was.

She was a dedicated mother of six children; including two brothers aged four and six that she and her husband adopted. Dafna was a nurse in Soroka hospital in Beer Sheva where she treated Jewish and Arab patients. A few days before the horrific attack, Dafna composed a prayer asking god to give her strength to help people. Let me read a few words to you:

“May it be Your Will to grant me the ability to give medications to Your people and to the members of other nations who are in the devoted care of your faithful messengers who continue their holy work day and night”

Last week, a terrorist attacked Dafna with a knife at the entrance to her home. In order to protect her children inside, Dafna heroically fought the terrorist until he fled. Tragically, Dafna Meir died of the knife wounds, in front of the children she fought to protect.

The Council’s decision to ignore the murder of Dafna Meir, and the other Israeli victims of terror is no simple oversight. It is the direct result of allowing cynical political considerations by some to take priority over the lives of people.

The challenge for this Council is to chart a new course. No more business as usual when it comes to terror against Israelis. The fear is the same fear; the pain is the same pain. The response must be the same response. Terror is terror is terror.

Mr. President,

If we wish to succeed in these immense challenges, we must stop the hypocrisy, and stop the double standards. This Council must condemn Palestinian incitement against Israelis. These words of incitement lead directly to bloodshed, and the death of innocent people. We must take a firm stand against all acts of cruelty and terror, without asking where they took place, or who the victims are.

Mr. President,

This is a challenging and critical year for the Council, for the region, and for Israel. The terrorists seek to undermine our values, and to dictate how we live our lives. These extremists stand against everything we believe in, but if we stand together, they will fail. For the future of the region, and the future of the free world, we must join together to defeat the forces of evil and intolerance.

Thank you Mr. President.
________________________________________
IMRA – Independent Media Review and Analysis

(Very nice. How is it that I find this plea pathetic? The UN Security Council is a farce. They don’t give a damn about Israel and never have and are now doing somersaults negotiating new business deals,  making money with their own arch enemy — Obama’s soul mate,  nuclear-armed Iran, an Iran dedicated to destroying all of Western civilization!

But, business is business and F— the Jews and F— their own countries.

Why is it I think only of one word to deal with Israel’s eternal enemies — “carpet bombing” and I  would start with Hamas in Gaza and move over the same day to greet Hizbollah in Lebanon in the same manner.

I think the Security Council might take note of that? They might also worry a little bit over who the formally bleeding heart Israeli Jews,  will take out next?) jsk

 

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Does Islamic company selling ‘Sharia-compliant mortgages’ control Asbury Park NJ boardwalk?
Redacted from article by Tommy De Seno

FoxNews.com

January 13, 2016

 

With ISIS committing acts of terror on 4 continents, and President Obama importing refugees from their home territory, now is a bad time to offer interest-free Sharia Law mortgages in America, but that’s exactly what one company is doing.

The beach town of Asbury Park, New Jersey has undergone a slow-grinding re-development for the better part of 30 years. Bereft of money in 2007, the city sold millions of dollars worth of storied boardwalk buildings including Convention Hall to a private company — Madison Marquette. Madison Marquette also owns concert venues near the boardwalk like the famed Stone Pony. They are positioned in expensive retail properties across America in California, Ohio, Washington, D.C., Florida and more.
What few know is that Madison Marquette is owned by an Islamic company rooted in the Middle East; a company whose other subsidiary specializes in “Sharia Law Compliance” and lures Sharia-following Muslims to 23 states with interest-free home mortgages.

The parent company is Capital Guidance Corporation, whose managing director Amer Hammour is also CEO of Madison Marquette. Hammour was born in Syria and educated in Lebanon, France and the U.S.

Another wholly-owned subsidiary named Guidance Financial Group, run by Mohamad Hammour with help from Amer Hammour, was formed to enter the burgeoning “Islamic Financial Market.” Capital Guidance states its “main vehicle” for doing business in the U.S. is Madison Marquette, and controls $5 billion in assets.

For the uninitiated, Sharia is a set of Islamic laws dating back to the 7th century, still used in whole or in part in Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen. Sharia contains the notoriously brutal social and penal rules that Al Qaeda, ISIS, Boko Haram and other terrorists wish to impose on the West, including America.

Under Sharia, women are chattel of men, and if convicted of adultery are stoned to death, can be punished if raped, suffer “honor killings” and “female genital mutilation.” Homosexuality is punishable by death by stoning or dropping them from great heights. Stealing is punished by having a hand chopped off  while apostasy and blasphemy will get you beheaded.

Sharia also has strict business rules rooted in religious texts like the Koran and Hadith. For instance, it is prohibited to charge or pay interest, which they call “riba”. Sharia compliance is so complex that barely 100 Islamic scholars are recognized to opine on it, and they have set up a profitable cottage industry as “Sharia compliance advisors,” including in America. Guidance Financial is a world leader in this area.

Other dictates are that the right to practice and preach Islam wasn’t good enough. Muslims must break the “grandeur and domination” of non-believers in the West, as dominance gives a psychological advantage. He then cited the Koran, thusly:

Here, killing is to continue until the unbelievers pay Jizyah [a Muslim tax on non-Muslims], after they are humbled or overpowered. If the purpose of killing was only to acquire permission and freedom of preaching Islam, it would have said “until they allow for preaching Islam.” But the obligation of Jizyah and along with it the mention of their subordination is a clear proof that the purpose is to smash their grandeur, so that the veils of the domination should be raised and people get a chance to think over the blessings of Islam.

Usmani made two other points consequential to the West. First, he said if Muslims do not posses the capability of “Jihad with Power” then agreements can be maintained “until power is attained.” Second, he opined that imperialism by conquering other lands was a legitimate goal of Islam.

Adding it all up, Sheik Usmani said Muslims should come here, obtain power then launch jihad by killing us. After they destroy our culture (grandeur), they will spare those who agree to pay a tax and submit to Islam. The survivors will have the status of a dhimmi. (second class citizens)

No wonder Dow Jones ended their relationship. Capital Guidance has not. Usmani is still on Guidance Financial’s website as chair of their Sharia board and Usmani lists the same affiliation on his website.

Of course for Usmani’s idea of attack to work in America, he would first need to settle Muslims here who are devoutly committed to Sharia. 

Be introduced to another Guidance Financial project – Guidance Residential – which gives interest free Sharia-compliant mortgages to buy homes in 23 states, including New Jersey. They are luring people who wish to follow Sharia and already closed 8,000 loans around the country. Who is chair of the Shariah Board for Guidance Residential? The same Sheik Usmani who advised Muslims to lay in wait and kill us. Guidance Residential held training seminars for Imams in Berkeley California to school them in Sharia, using videos of Sheik Usmani.

President Obama sent Governor Chris Christie a letter telling him some of the 10,000 Syrian refugees he’s bringing to America will be in New Jersey. Syrians culturally grew up with Islamic Law written into their Constitution (1973 and 2012 versions), and codified a form of Sharia into a statute on marriage, divorce, inheritance, and custody.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson admitted terrorists may try to exploit Obama’s refugee settlement program.

Won’t Sharia compliant mortgages attract them if they do?

Not all Muslims follow Sharia, but all Islamic terrorists claim to. Filtering the good from the bad is hard, so Sharia mortgage applications should be a red flag.

We are all looking for possibilities of terrorists in America and 9/11 was a failure to connect the dots.

Our mantra now is, “If you see something, say something.” So here is what needs to be said:

Asbury Park is a very diverse city where no one stands out. If terrorists are looking for a place to lay in wait to commit jihad, as Sheik Usmani suggested they do, Asbury Park is now magnetized to attract them.

A cozy set-up, indeed.

Are terrorists already here? An ISIS terrorist supporter was arrested in Asbury Park in 2015.

What reliance shall we place on “screening” for terrorists? The San Bernardino killer was screened but laid in wait. Jihadists have the advantage when hiding in a group as big as 10,000, as it only took 19 men to conduct the 9/11 attack, 8 in Paris, 2 in Boston and 1 at Fort Hood.

Discovering those laying in wait is hard and Sharia adherence may present the only clue the FBI and CIA can follow. They should.

With ISIS now committing a Christian genocide, complete with beheadings and crucifixions, even of children, this is no time to countenance an immigration policy that enables terrorists to infiltrate our country by gaming our screening process just so politicians can feel good about themselves. Let’s not attract them with interest free mortgages, either.

Tommy De Seno contributes to ricochet.com and is the editor of www.JustifiedRight.com. An attorney and proud Catholic, he hails from Asbury Park, N.J.

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State of the presidency: Obama repeats himself

By Charles Krauthammer

Palm Beach Post

January 16, 2016
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s Tuesday night address to Congress was less about the state of the union than the state of the presidency. And the state of this presidency is spent.

The signs of intellectual exhaustion were everywhere. Consider just three. After taking credit for success in Syria, raising American stature abroad and prevailing against the Islamic State — one claim more surreal than the next — Mr. Obama was forced to repair to his most well-worn talking point: “If you doubt America’s commitment — or mine — to see that justice is done, just ask Osama bin Laden.”

Really? Five years later, that’s all you’ve got?

Indeed, it is. What else can Mr. Obama say? Talk about Crimea? Cite Yemen, Libya, Iraq, the South China Sea, the return of the Taliban?

“Surveys show our standing around the world is higher than when I was elected to this office,” Mr. Obama boasted. Surveys, mind you. As if superpower influence is a Miss Universe contest. As if the world doesn’t see our allies adrift, our enemies on the march and our sailors kneeling, hands behind their heads, in front of armed Iranians, then forced to apologize on camera. (And our secretary of state expressing appreciation to Iran after their subsequent release.)

On the domestic side, Mr. Obama’s agenda was fairly short, in keeping with his lame-duck status. It was still startling when he worked up a passion for a great “new moonshot”: curing cancer.

Is there a more hackneyed national-greatness cliche than the idea that if we can walk on the moon … ? Or a more hackneyed facsimile of vision than being “the nation that cures cancer”? Do Mr. Obama’s speechwriters not know that it was Richard Nixon who first declared a war on cancer — in 1971?

But to see just how bare is the cupboard of ideas of the nation’s most vaunted liberal visionary, we had to wait for the stunning anachronism that was the speech finale. It was designed for inspiration and uplift. And for some liberal observers, it actually worked. They were thrilled by the soaring tones as Mr. Obama called for, yes, a new politics — a post-partisan spirit of mutual understanding, rational discourse and respect for one’s opponents.

Why, it was hope and change all over again. You’d have thought we were back in 2008 with Mr. Obama’s moving, stirring promise of a new and higher politics that had young people swooning in the aisles and a TV anchor thrilling up the leg — and gave Mr. Obama the White House.

Or even further back to 2004, when Mr. Obama electrified the nation with his Democratic convention speech: “There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America.”

Tuesday night, Mr. Obama did an undisguised, almost phrase-for-phrase reprise of that old promise. Earnestly, he urged us to “see ourselves not, first and foremost, as black or white, or Asian or Latino, not as gay or straight, immigrant or native born, not as Democrats or Republicans, but as Americans first.”

On cue, various commentators were moved by this sermon summoning our better angels. Good grief. I can understand falling for this 12 years ago. But now? A cheap self-quotation, a rhetorical mulligan, from a man who had two presidential terms to act on that transformative vision and instead gave us the most divisive, partisan, tendentious presidency since Nixon.

Rational discourse and respect for one’s opponents? This is a man who campaigned up and down the country throughout 2011 and 2012 saying that he cares about posterity, Republicans only about power.

The man who accused opponents of his Iran treaty of “making common cause” with Iranians “chanting death to America.”

The man who, after Paul Ryan proposed a courageous, controversial entitlement reform, gave a presidential address — with Mr. Ryan, invited by the White House, seated in the first row — calling his ideas un-American.

In a final touch of irony, Mr. Obama included in his wistful rediscovery of a more elevated politics an expression of reverence for, of all things, how “our founders distributed power between … branches of government.” This after years of repeatedly usurping Congress’ legislative power with unilateral executive orders and regulations on everything from criminal justice to climate change to immigration (already halted by the courts).

There is wisdom to the 22nd Amendment. After two terms, presidents are spent. Nothing shows it like a State of the Union valedictory repeating the hollow promises of the yesteryear candidate — as if the intervening presidency had never occurred.

Charles Krauthammer is a syndicated columnist for The Washington Post (letters@charleskrauthammer.com).

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By RORY JONES

Wall Street Journal
Jan. 14, 2016

Growing tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran have raised hopes in Israel that officials can build closer ties with the Gulf monarchies based on their shared animosity toward Tehran.

Led by Dore Gold, director-general of the foreign ministry, Israel has stepped up efforts to mend and improve ties in the region—all in a bid to counter Iranian influence and the threat of Islamic extremism.

A long-standing hawkish ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Mr. Gold said Israel and Sunni Arab states face a shared threat in Iran.

“Clearly there’s been a convergence of interests between Israel and many Sunni Arab states given the fact that they both face identical challenges in the region,” Mr. Gold told The Wall Street Journal.

The recent torching of the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Tehran—and diplomatic fallout between the Persian nation and Arab Gulf states—have underlined how common ground appears to be growing.

Iran’s nuclear deal with the U.S. and other foreign powers in July helped spur Israeli efforts to further develop back-channel relations with Arab states, Israeli officials say.

Mr. Netanyahu fought the deal for fear it would encourage Iran to further support military proxies in Yemen and Syria, a concern shared by Sunni Arab states such as Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies.

“What we have seen in the past six months is an intensification of the relationship [with Sunni Arab states],” a senior Israeli official said. “Israel is on the same side.”

Israel opened a diplomatic office at the United Arab Emirates (UAE) nternational Renewable Agency last year.
Now in the wake of the diplomatic standoff in recent weeks between Iran and Saudi Arabia, some Israeli lawmakers are calling for a public entente with Sunni Arab states.

“We have the same understanding of the region,” Tzipi Livni, a senior member of the opposition in the Israeli parliament and a former foreign minister, said in an interview. “This is the basis for an alliance.”

Even with geopolitical events nudging Israel and Arab countries closer together, there is still much that divides them. Gulf Arab states have lobbied the international community for Palestinian self-determination; repeatedly condemned Israeli military campaigns in the occupied territories; and don’t publicly recognize Israel’s right to exist.

The Gulf’s monarchies, sensitive to how resentment of Israel has been used to stoke extremism at home, would be loath to disclose closer ties with Israel.

The result: Israel still doesn’t have formal diplomatic ties with Gulf states, although Israeli officials acknowledge secret meetings have taken place in recent years.

Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. have recently dismissed speculation of the establishment of more formal diplomatic relations with Israel.

Mr. Gold is spearheading much of the focus on building better diplomatic, commercial and intelligence ties, Israeli officials and Western diplomats said. Mr. Netanyahu appointed him in May and Mr. Gold met publicly​last year in Washington with a former Saudi official.

Mr. Gold traveled to Abu Dhabi last year and was central in the opening in November of Israel’s diplomatic office at the International Renewable Energy Agency in the United Arab Emirates. The office is the first Israeli diplomatic presence in the Sunni state, where Israeli intelligence operatives allegedly conducted the assassination in 2010 of a senior figure from militant and political group Hamas. An official in Dubai called for the arrest of the head of Israel’s intelligence service and the U.K., Ireland and Australia expelled Israeli diplomats after alleging Israel used forged passports from the three countries for the operation. ​

Israeli government officials are reluctant to talk about specific examples of diplomatic, intelligence or commercial cooperation with Sunni Arab states, where the public still opposes Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and military blockade of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

U.S.-led peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians fell apart in 2014 and Palestinians have launched attacks against Israelis in recent months.

A public alliance with the Saudi-led Arab states is unlikely before a peace deal is agreed with the Palestinians, or at the very least, negotiations toward an agreement resume, officials say. “But this realignment is happening,” the Israeli official added. “Despite the situation that the Palestinian peace process has frozen.”

Israeli ties with Egypt have been improving after a deterioration under Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, who came to power in elections in 2012. This month, Egypt’s ambassador to Israel returned to Tel Aviv after a three-year hiatus.

Mr. Morsi had recalled his top diplomat from Israel to protest an Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip. But Mr. Morsi was ousted by then-military chief Abdel Fattah Al Sisi in 2013, and Egypt and Israel have increased intelligence sharing to combat Islamic State in Sinai, Israeli officials say.

“What we have with the Sunni countries is based on two common interests,” said Yaakov Amidror, a former national-security adviser to Mr. Netanyahu and an analyst at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies. “They don’t like the Iranians. They are afraid of Islamism.”

Israel also is in talks with Turkey to resume diplomatic relations after five years of back-and-forth recriminations over the Gaza flotilla incident in 2010. Nine Turkish citizens and one Turkish-American were killed when Israeli commandos raided a Turkish ship carrying activists trying to break Israel’s economic blockade of Gaza.

Write to Rory Jones at rory.jones@wsj.com

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I Obama’s Legacy: Trump and Bernie

By DANIEL HENNINGER

The Wall Street Journal

Jan. 13, 2016
There is Barack Obama’s State of the Union and then there is the state of the union anyone else can see.

The new year began with an underground nuclear-bomb test in North Korea, the worst first week for the Dow since 1897, and Iran forcing 10 U.S. sailors to their knees.

But the man delivering the State of the Union is “optimistic” because “unconditional love” will win.

Let’s get just one SotU venting out of the way before considering what Mr. Obama has wrought for his country and its politics as he turns into his final year.
It is beyond any conceivable pale that Mr. Obama would fail at least to note the 14 Americans gunned down in San Bernardino by committed Islamic terrorists, even as he stood there lecturing the country, at least three times, about not turning against others’ religion. In the past, he said, we have “turned toward God.” Ugh.

In fact, seven years of the Obama presidency have left the United States with a historically weak economy and a degraded national politics. The causal legacy of those two realities are— Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.

Mr. Obama said in his speech that the economy is producing jobs, which is true, and that it is “peddling fiction” to say the U.S. economy “is in decline.” Really?

The U.S. economy’s average annual growth rate since World War II has been about 3%. In Mr. Obama’s seven years it has been about 2%. Some 65% of people think the U.S. is on the wrong track. You can discover a lot about the wrong track in that missing 1% of economic growth, Mr. Obama’s “new normal.”

The president is correct that the economy is creating jobs, but an alternative view would be that he has proven it is not possible to kill an economy with a GDP of $16 trillion.

Here’s what the new normal looks like. The gold standard of new job creation is business starts. Indeed, Mr. Obama said his new online tools “give an entrepreneur everything he or she needs to start a business in a single day.” Perhaps not everything.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of business establishments less than one year old rose steadily from 550,000 in 1997, peaked at about 650,000 in 2006, and then has gone straight down. The Kauffman Foundation’s 2015 entrepreneurship report puts startups in 2012 at just over 400,000.

The Brookings Institution in a 2014 report noted that since 2008 businesses closing annually have exceeded startups for the first time. Their yearly analysis dates to 1978.

That relative decline has a price. More businesses being born than dying is where real jobs come from, not the government tooth fairy. This data is a portrait of an economy losing its innate dynamism. That’s the real cause of “anger” in the U.S. electorate.

We’re supposed to believe that long-term “structural” factors are causing these shifts. Maybe. And if you want to wail about income disparity, go ahead. But if so, it is the president’s job to get impediments out of the way. Instead, this presidency has created them.

For example, Kauffman’s report also notes that the rate of entrepreneurship among people age 20-34—who hire employees like themselves, new breadwinners—began dropping fast in 2011. The president said Tuesday that ObamaCare would help new-business formation. It is doing the opposite. Millennials, assumed to be the Obama base, have entered adulthood to endure a decade of slow growth.

The leaders of Communist China lie awake at night worrying about creating 10 million new jobs every year to prevent a revolution. The elected leader of the U.S. lies awake every night thinking about jobs making . . . windmills and solar panels.

And we’ve got a revolution.

People wonder what accounts for the rise of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. Maybe the better question is how the Obama years could not have produced a Trump and Sanders.

Both the Republican and, to a lesser extent, Democratic parties have elements now who want to pull down the temple. But for all the politicized agitation, both these movements, in power, would produce stasis—no change at all.

Donald Trump would preside over a divided government or, as he has promised and un-promised, a trade war with China.

Hillary or Bernie will enlarge the Obama economic regime. Either outcome guarantees four more years of at best 2% economic growth. That means more of the above. That means 18-year-olds voting for the first time this year will face historically weak job opportunities through 2020 at least.

Under any of these three, an Americanized European social-welfare state will evolve because Washington—and this will include many “conservatives”—will answer still-rising popular anger with new income redistributions.

And for years afterward, Barack Obama will stroll off the 18th green, smiling. Mission, finally, accomplished.

 

II The Deadly (and deliberate) Dereliction of Duty at the Top

By Wesley Pruden

The Washington Times

December 21, 2015

Franklin D. Roosevelt told a frightened nation on the eve of World War II that “we have nothing to fear but fear itself,” and it was a message everyone understood. Fear paralyzes even the strong. The United States had a war to win, and paralysis doesn’t win wars.

Now we are engaged in another great struggle (to steal language from another wartime president,) testing whether this nation, or any nation conceived and dedicated to liberty and freedom as this one is, can survive and endure. Barack Obama, alas, is neither a FDR nor an Abraham Lincoln. (but, a Manchurian Candidate) jsk

President Obama is mortally afraid of offending Muslims, radical or otherwise, whom he imagines are the key to making America safe. He’s heard that pretty evening music from the mosque. He finally recognizes the painful truth that domestic and sometimes homegrown terrorism is more than “workplace violence,” but wants to put American safety in the hands of Islamic “partners” of dubious reliability.

Fear drives Republicans, too. When duty calls, earplugs can be a comfortable answer. Paul Ryan, the new speaker of the House, backed by a comfortable Republican majority, is mortally afraid of Barack Obama. He executed a monumental cave on the new budget of bloat, waste and extravagance that would make a Democratic spendthrift lose his breakfast, lunch and dinner. He expects, in connivance with the Democratic minority, to get the House to approve it on Friday. Mr. Ryan, with a grin as broad as the Capitol rotunda, looks in the photographs as if he had just won the lottery.

Many Republicans caved with him, showing no shame, and now owe John Boehner an apology. The Republicans in the House threw out Mr. Boehner for caves like this. He did it on nearly every issue crucial to the Republicans keeping their word to the people who sent them to Washington, and Mr. Ryan seems determined to protect the losing streak. We can expect the Republican tough talk to resume next year when the elections approach, voter anger subsides, the Republican candidates return with their begging bowls.
Americans traditionally expect more from presidents, and with this president they’re resisting, as good citizens, the temptation to wonder whose side this guy is on. Mr. Obama can’t bring himself to consider that the enemy, now clearly establishing itself within the borders (porous as they are), won’t be deterred by good wishes, good faith and good speeches. Mr. Obama’s strategy is to disarm everyone, take it easy on evil, and set an example of peace in our time that will transform enemies into docile friends.

Mr. Obama is an intelligent man, but he’s addicted to theory over experience, which makes him a slow learner in a time and place where indifference and delay can be lethal. His national security strategy has the usual bureaucratic slipperiness, “Countering Violent Extremism,” and the nation continues to pay a high price for it on the installment plan. We just paid the latest installment in San Bernardino.

“Countering Violent Extremism,” or CVE, as its fans call it, insists that radical Islamic terrorism has nothing to do with Islam or the ideology that reviles the United States and dares anyone to do anything about it.

CVE was introduced in Mr. Obama’s first term, and he loves it even if no one else does. The authentic threat to national security is not from terrorists, so the theory goes, but from provocation of Muslims by Americans who understand that radical Islam is at war with America. The only way to deal with terrorism is to find “partners” in the Muslim communities, even those who may be influenced by the Muslim Brotherhood, recognized as evil by certain governments in the Middle East — Egypt, for example — even if the White House has deliberately blinded itself to reality.

Mr. Obama’s latest expedition into the fantasyland where fools rule is to avoid bombing the propaganda centers identified by U.S. intelligence as the source of the effective Islamic State recruiting. To do that would “invade the privacy” of ISIS recruiters.

One recruit influenced by ISIS propaganda was the late Tashfeen Malik, the San Bernardino killer whose endorsement of jihad and her disdain for America was all over the Internet’s social media. But U.S. immigration agents were forbidden to read such revealing rants because guidance from “Countering Violent Extremism” forbids it.

Now that the facts about the program have slipped out, anyway, the White House is trying to sell the stammer and splutter that the instructions were only “guidance.” But it was “guidance” that Jeh Johnson, the secretary of Homeland Security, declined to countermand even when his agents pleaded with him to do it. The president didn’t want to hurt the feelings of Islamic radicals. Confronting the enemy can be so fatiguing. (and, so counter-productive as far as his goals are concerned) jsk

• Wesley Pruden is editor-in-chief emeritus of The Times.

(Too bad these articles, these revelations, these epiphanies are  SEVEN YEARS TOO LATE.)  jsk

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By Patrick Goodenough

The Jewish Press, Dec. 11, 2016
(CNSNews.com) – No U.S. president should pressure Israel to surrender land to which God gave it the title deed, Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said Thursday, distinguishing himself from others in the field by declaring his opposition to the “two-state solution.”

“And that includes Judea and Samaria,” Huckabee added, using the biblical names for the area now known as the West Bank, where the Palestinians want to have an independent state.

The former Arkansas governor was addressing a forum hosted by the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) in Washington, which featured speeches from all 14 GOP candidates in the 2016 race for the White House.

Huckabee took aim at the “two-state solution,” supported by many Democrats and Republicans, making it clear he did not.

“I realize that for the past several years there has been both on the Democratic and the Republican side the notion that we would be able to achieve Middle East peace by something called the two-state solution,” he said.

“I consider it no solution whatsoever. There cannot be two states holding for the same piece of real estate – especially when one of those states does not believe the other one even has a right to exist, much less exist peacefully,” Huckabee said.

He also criticized the administration for responding to violence in Israel by calling on “both sides” to exercise restraint.

“I don’t want to hear a secretary of state or a president give a lecture to Israel, in the midst of them defending themselves against unwarranted, provocative rocket attacks, and somehow say ‘both sides’ need to settle down.”

He recalled being in Jerusalem last August, at a time “when Hamas was firing rockets out of Gaza aiming specifically, intentionally for civilian targets.”

“Any my blood boiled because I was there when [Secretary of State] John Kerry gave a press conference at which he called for ‘both sides’ to tamp down the violence.”

Huckabee said he wanted to ask Kerry to come and see what he was seeing – “What I’m seeing is this: Hamas is putting children and unarmed women in front of their weaponry. The Israelis are putting their weaponry in front of their children and their women, trying to protect them.”

“There is not an equivalency here,” he said. “This is not about ‘both sides’ trying somehow to calm down. This is about one side trying to murder innocent people and another side trying to protect their families, as they have a God-given right to do.”

Huckabee, an ordained Southern Baptist minister, did not shy away from speaking about Israel’s significance in the light of the Bible.

“I do not believe that it is possible for anybody to look at the remarkable, stunning history, not only of ancient Israel but of the modern nation of Israel, and somehow believe that that could be without the providence and the hand of almighty God,” he said. “There is simply no other explanation.”

Huckabee noted that he has traveled to Israel “dozens and dozens of times” since his first visit in 1973, building a relationship that long predated his career in politics.

Earlier this week GOP frontrunner Donald Trump told the Associated Press that his success as president in achieving a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians would depend “a lot” on “whether or not Israel’s willing to sacrifice certain things.”

In his address, Huckabee – without mentioning Trump by name – took issue with what he said were “head-scratching” things said by some people – “even Republican candidates for president.”

“I most certainly don’t want to hear anybody say that the Israelis just need to give up some things and then they can have peace. I want to remind you that it is Israel that has consistently and repeatedly given up, given up, given up and given up and gotten nothing in return.”

In his address to the RJC forum, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) also challenged Trump’s remarks.

“Some in our own party actually call for more sacrifice from the Israeli people,” he said. “They are dead wrong and don’t understand the enduring bond between Israel and America.”

When Trump was on the platform he was asked to elaborate on the comment, and described a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians as “perhaps the hardest deal in history to put together.”

“I don’t know that Israel has the commitment to make it and I don’t know the other side has the commitment to make it,” he said.

Trump then acknowledged that “Israel has given a lot, but hasn’t been given a lot of credit for what they’ve given,” suggesting that that might be because “the public relations for Israel hasn’t been so great.”

 

(That may be the first time Trump made an understatement. He could easily have said “through the years, Israel’s public relations performance has been lousy. Of course, the Israelis only had history, the Bible, the truth and the American people on their side.”)  jsk
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NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, PALM BEACH POST

Thursday, January 9, 2016

If you’re going to engage in a foreign policy capitulation, might as well do it when everyone is getting tanked and otherwise occupied. Say, New Year’s Eve.

Here’s the story. In October, Iran test-fires a nuclear-capable ballistic missile in brazen violation of Security Council resolutions prohibiting such launches. President Obama does nothing. One month later, Iran does it again. The administration makes a few gestures at the UN. Then nothing. Then finally, on Dec. 30, the White House announces a few sanctions.

They are weak, aimed mostly at individuals and designed essentially for show. Amazingly, even that proves too much. By 10 p.m. that night, the administration caves. The White House sends out an email saying that sanctions are off — and the Iranian president orders the military to expedite the missile program.

Is there any red line left? First, the Syrian chemical weapons. Then the administration insistence that there would be no nuclear deal unless Iran accounted for its past nuclear activities. (It didn’t.) And unless Iran permitted inspection of its Parchin nuclear testing facility. (It was allowed self-inspection and declared itself clean.) And now, illegal ballistic missiles.

The premise of the nuclear deal was that it would constrain Iranian actions. It’s had precisely the opposite effect. It has deterred us from offering even the mildest pushback to any Iranian violations lest Iran walk away and leave Obama legacy-less.

Just two weeks ago, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards conducted live-fire exercises near the Strait of Hormuz. It gave nearby U.S. vessels exactly 23 seconds of warning. One rocket was launched 1,500 yards from the USS Harry S. Truman.

Obama’s response? None.

The Gulf Arabs — rich, weak and, since FDR, dependent on America for security — are bewildered. They’re still reeling from the nuclear deal, which Obama declared would be unaffected by Iranian misbehavior elsewhere. The result was to assure Tehran that it would pay no price for its aggression in Syria and Yemen, subversion in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, and support for terrorism.

Obama seems not to understand that disconnecting the nuclear issue gave the mullahs license to hunt in the region.

(Here is where the great Krauthammer and I disagree. Obama knows exactly what he is doing and has been advising our enemies exactly what to do against us since the day he took office) jsk

This is even scarier because it is delusional. If anything, Obama’s openhanded appeasement has encouraged Iran’s regional adventurism and intense anti-Americanism.

For the Saudis, however, it’s not just blundering but betrayal. From the very beginning, they’ve seen Obama tilting toward Tehran as he fancies himself Nixon in China, turning Iran into a strategic partner in managing the Middle East.

The Saudis, sensing abandonment, are near panic. Hence the reckless execution of the firebrand Shiite insurrectionist, Sheikh Nimr Baqr al-Nimr, that has brought the region to a boil. Iranians torched the Saudi Embassy. The Saudis led other Sunni states in breaking relations with Tehran.

The Saudis feel surrounded, and it’s not paranoia. To their north, Iran dominates a Shiite crescent stretching from Iraq, Syria and Lebanon to the Mediterranean. To the Saudi south, Iran has been arming Yemen’s Houthi rebels since at least 2009.

The danger is rising. For years, Iran has been supporting anti-regime agitation among Saudi Arabia’s minority Shiites. The Persian Gulf is Iran’s ultimate prize. The fall of the House of Saud would make Iran the undisputed regional hegemon and an emerging global power.

For the United States, that would be the greatest geopolitical setback since China fell to communism in 1949. Yet Obama seems oblivious. Worse, he appears inert in the face of the three great challenges to the post-Cold War American order.

Iran is only the most glaring. China is challenging the status quo in the South China Sea, just last week landing its first aircraft on an artificial island hundreds of miles beyond the Chinese coast. We deny China’s claim and declare these to be international waters, yet last month we meekly apologized when a B-52 overflew one of the islands. We said it was inadvertent.

The world sees and takes note. As it does our response to the other great U.S. adversary — Russia. What’s happened to Obama’s vaunted “isolation” of Russia for its annexation of Crimea and assault on the post-Cold War European settlement? Gone. Evaporated. Kerry plays lapdog to Sergei Lavrov. Obama meets openly with Vladimir Putin in Turkey, then in Paris. And is now practically begging him to join our side in Syria.

There is no price for defying Pax Americana — not even trivial sanctions on Iranian missile-enablers. Our enemies know it. Our allies see it — and sense they’re on their own, and may not survive.

II  America’s Year of Living Dangerously

In 2016, rogue states will take a hammer to the soft plaster of Obama’s resolve.

By BRET STEPHENS
Jan. 4, 2016
Two thousand sixteen will be the year of America living dangerously. Barack Obama will devote his last full year in office to shaping a liberal legacy, irrespective of real-world results. America’s enemies will see his last year as an opportunity to take what they can, while they can. America’s allies, or former allies, will do what they must.

And then Hillary Clinton will likely become president. Whether the Republican Party chooses to remain intact remains to be seen.

For aficionados of political delusion, it must have been fun to watch Mr. Obama rattle off his list of foreign-policy accomplishments at his year-end press conference last month. There was the Paris climate deal, the Iran nuclear deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, the opening to Cuba—“steady, persistent work,” the president said, that was “paying off for the American people in big, tangible ways.”

Tangible means perceptible by touch. But Obama’s  Paris climate accord is voluntary and unenforceable; the Pacific trade deal is unratified and unpopular, especially among Democrats; the opening to Cuba is “tangible” only if you enjoy taking your beach holiday in a dictatorship that, as my colleague Mary O’Grady has noted, made some 8,000 political arrests in 2015—that is, after it normalized relations with the U.S.

As for the nuclear agreement, it amounts, predictably, to another American hostage in the hands of Tehran. Iran conducted two ballistic-missile tests in the wake of the deal, both in violation of a legally binding U.N. Security Council resolution. When the administration murmured its intention to impose modest sanctions in response, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned that the sanctions would violate the deal and ordered his defense ministry to accelerate its missile program.

“The White House on Wednesday morning sent a notification to Congress that the Treasury Department would announce at 10:30 a.m. new sanctions on nearly a dozen companies and individuals” linked to the Iranian missile program, the Journal’s Jay Solomon reported last week. “The White House sent a second email to congressional offices at 11:12 a.m. stating the sanctions announcement had been ‘delayed for a few hours.’ ”

As of this writing, the sanctions still haven’t been imposed. Forty-two minutes sets a Guinness record in diplomatic self-abasement.

In the week of the sanctions capitulation the Iranian navy test-fired unguided rockets within 1,500 yards of the aircraft carrier USS Truman as it was transiting the Strait of Hormuz. Riyadh executed a radical Shiite cleric and put an end to John Kerry’s fantasies of diplomatic settlement for Syria after it severed diplomatic ties with Tehran. China landed a plane on an artificial island built illegally in the South China Sea in an area claimed by Vietnam.

Each of these acts is an expression of contempt for Mr. Obama. Contempt is the father of lawlessness and the grandfather of violence. What happens when the next Iranian live-fire exercise lands a shell within 1,000 yards of a U.S. ship? Or 500?

Expect 2016 to be rich in such incidents and worse—the inevitable result of Mr. Obama’s deliberate abandonment of Pax Americana as the organizing principle in international relations. Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other allies will freelance foreign policies in ways over which we have little say, even as we are embroiled in the consequences.

Moscow, Beijing and Tehran will continue to take hammers to the soft plaster of U.S. resolve as they seek regional dominance. The nuclear deal will become a dead letter even as Mr. Obama insists on fulfilling our end of the bargain. China will continue to build islands while buying us off in the paper currency of climate agreements and other liberal hobbyhorses. Russia will seek to test and humiliate NATO.

And there will be mass-casualty terror attacks on the scale of Paris. If you’re reading this column on a major metropolitan commuter network, look up from your paper.

The U.S. has lived through dangerous years before—1968 and 1980 come to mind. Hindsight is often the great redeemer, but both years ended with the American people making sober political choices in the face of a deteriorating international position.

Will that happen again in 2016? Not if either of the two current presidential front-runners wins the office. Not if we think that the central metrics of foreign policy are the size of our carbon footprint or the height of our wall with Mexico. Not if the bipartisan tilt toward economic protectionism and quasi-isolationism becomes the new national dogma. Not if we suppose that turning our back on the world’s great convulsions (or bombing them till they glow) is the best way of escaping them.

In 1947 Democrat Harry Truman and Republican Arthur Vandenberg saved the Western world when they agreed that American prosperity at home depended on the security of our friends abroad. In 2016 we’ll learn if that saving consensus still holds. Buckle up.

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‘Netanyahu at War’: An engaging but deeply flawed documentary

Initial excerpts from an article By Lisa Goldman

Italicized commentary by Jerome S. Kaufman

Internet page  +972

January 5, 2016

“Netanyahu at War,” a PBS Frontline documentary about Benjamin Netanyahu’s rise to power and the background to his now infamous, ongoing feud with Barack Obama, opens with the controversy surrounding the Israeli prime minister’s address to Congress last March 3, 2015  (see it in full below) which one of the Israeli prime minister’s former advisors frames as a Churchillian attempt to warn the world about the dangers of a nuclear deal with Iran. “Netanyahu,” says former advisor Eyal Arad, “has a messianic notion of himself as someone called to save the Jewish people.”…

 

( … And also the American people and the people of the  Free world. Subsequent history has proven Netanyahu completely correct in his evaluation and the predictions made in his speech. The Iranian Mullahs are literally spitting in the face of the world  at this very moment,  flagrantly testing missiles and continuing the production of centrifuges and nuclear fissionable material, without interference. Obama and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),  supposed surveillance group, are doing exactly nothing to contain them – quite the opposite. There is no question Iran will shortly have complete nuclear capability, not unlike North Korea. The only difference is that the Iran mullahs are dedicated to destroying Israel, the US,  Western civilization and its Arab rivals and has thousands of brain-washed people willing and able to commit suicide in the process. Think: Twin Towers Nuclear — World-wide suicide.

 

But it’s not just the obvious spin that undermines the credibility of this elegantly produced Frontline blurb attempting to destroy Benjamin Netanyahu and defend the obscene destructive policies of Obama, it is also the dubious political analysis that is left unchallenged.) LG & jsk

 

PBS Frontline gives us hand picked personal insights into the hostile Obama-Netanyahu relationship from no less than 10 name-brand experts, besides Eyal Arad — most of whom that have been hostile to Israel their entire careers): Ari Shavit, , Far Left Haaretz correspondent Chemi Shalev, Ronen Bergman, Sandy Berger, David Baker, Aaron David Miller, Likud parliamentarian Tzachi Hanegbi, New York Times‘ White House correspondent Peter Baker, Dennis Ross and David Axelrod (Obama’s Chief of Staff until he assumed running Obama’s re-election campaign). Most of their comments were totally predictable. They  “described Netanyahu’s meddling in U.S. foreign policy as “audacious” and “unprecedented.”

 

(But, how was Obama’s meddling into Israel’s affairs described when he regularly ordered Israel to stop building in Judea, Samaria, Gaza and the Golan, retreat to the pre-1967 Auschwitz borders, recognize and support a Palestinian State, limited the amount of military support to Israel. Was that also described as “audacious and unprecedented  meddling?”

 

Netanyahu is called a right wing extremist, difficult and uncooperative in helping Obama dismantle Israel due to Obama’s own lifelong animus toward Israel and his support of Islam in numerous speeches supporting the Arabs). No rather Netanyahu should help Obama destroy Israel and the US so that he is not a “right wing extremist.” 

 

PBS Frontline chosen “Expert” Sandy Berger says the speech was a “direct attack” on Obama’s foreign policy legacy – which it was and should have been.  Chemi Shalev (Haaretz “expert”) observed that Netanyahu was “ready to undermine Israel’s relations with the U.S. in order to fight off the Iranian challenge.”

 

(Incidentally, Sandy Berger was the former Clinton Administration National Security Advisor, who said he made a “mistake” and was just “sloppy” when an FBI investigation revealed that he had stolen Top Secret memos and documents from the National Archives relating to his mentors’ involvement in  al-Qaida attacks on America during the 1990s and in the year 2000. Archive security people notified the FBI when they discovered documents missing, and saw Berger stuffing papers into his pants, socks, and a leather briefcase. (Berger was thus the perfect observer from whom anti-Israel, anti-Netanyahu PBS Frontline could obtain “reliable” information)

 

Over the next third of the documentary we learn about Netanyahu’s background. His illustrious combat career as an officer in the elite Sayeret Matkal commando unit and his involvement in the mission to release the hostages during the 1972 Sabena Airline hijacking. The years are noted that he spent in the United States — first in high school, and then as an Israeli diplomat when he built his strong relations with leaders in the Jewish community. Then, on to his return to Israel in the late 1980s and his rise to leadership in the Likud party during the Oslo period, leading up to Rabin’s assassination in 1995.

 

What is most shocking about the supposed documentary is the way Arab multiple wars were glossed over  and their continuous attacks upon Israel, killing innocent civilians. At its very re-birth, five fully prepared and waiting armies attacked Israel in its War of Independence in May, 1948 with only one goal – to kill the Jewish State immediately. Only through G-d’s miracle and with a few thousand barely alive survivors from the Nazi Holocaust to defend it, was Israel able to survive the onslaught. 

 

II A condensed list Israel/Arabs wars from Wikipedia  follows:

 

Israeli war of independence (November 1947 – July 1949) – Started as 6 months of virtual war between Israeli citizens and Arab militias immediately attacking them at the end of the British Mandate of Palestine. It quickly turned into a genuine war after the declaration of independence of Israel with the intervention of regular Arab armies.

 

 

At its conclusion, a set of agreements were signed between Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, called the 1949 Armistice Agreements, which established armistice lines between Israel and its neighbors, also known as the Green Line. (This was an Armistice Line and not presented as any form of permanency since, to the Arabs, the only permanency ever acceptable has always been Israel’s destruction)
Reprisal operations (1950s – 1960s) – Military operations carried out by the Israel Defense Forces during the 1950s and 1960s. These actions were in response to constant fedayeen incursions during which Arab guerrillas infiltrated from Syria, Egypt, and Jordan into Israel to carry out attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers.
Suez Crisis (October 1956) – A military attack on Egypt by Britain, France, and Israel, beginning on 29 October 1956, with the intention to occupy the Sinai Peninsula and to take over the Suez Canal. The attack followed Egypt’s decision of July 26, 1956 to nationalize the Suez Canal after the withdrawal of an offer by Britain and the United States to fund the building of the Aswan Dam. Although the combined invasion of the Sinai was successful, the US under Eisenhower and USSR forced the three nations to retreat.  Israel did manage to re-open the blockaded Straits of Tiran and quiet its southern border.
Six-Day War (June 1967) – Fought between Israel and Arab neighbors Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. The nations of Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Algeria, and others also contributed troops and arms to the Arab forces which were massed on Israel’s borders with again only one plan in mind – Israel’s destruction.

 

 

Following Israel’s G-d given amazing victory in this war over these far larger armies with superior equipment, the territory held by Israel expanded significantly. It now included the West Bank with East Jerusalem from Jordan (which had no rights to that land in the first place. It had never been Jordan. They were, in fact, the “occupiers” who seized it during Israel’s War of Independence in 1948), the  Golan Heights from Syria and the Sinai and Gaza from Egypt.
War of Attrition (1967–1970) – A limited war fought between the Israeli military and forces of the Egypt, the USSR, Jordan, Syria, and the Palestine Liberation Organization from 1967 to 1970. It was initiated by the Egyptians as a way of trying to recapture the Sinai from the Israelis who had been in control of the territory since the 1967 Six-Day War. The hostilities ended with a ceasefire signed between the countries in 1970 with frontiers remaining in the same place as when the war began.
Yom Kippur War (October 1973) – Fought from October 6 to October 26, 1973 by a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria trying to  recapture part of the territories which they lost to the Israelis in the Six-Day War. The war began with a surprise joint attack by Egypt and Syria on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. Egypt and Syria crossed the cease-fire lines into the Sinai and Golan Heights.  In a relatively short time Arab forces were defeated by Israel with no significant territorial changes.
Palestinian insurgency in South Lebanon (1971-1982) – PLO relocated to South Lebanon from Jordan and staged attacks on the Israeli Galilee and as a base for international operations. In 1978, Israel Defense Forces launched Operation Litani – the first Israeli large-scale invasion of Lebanon to expel PLO forces from the territory. Continuing ground and rocket attacks, and Israeli retaliations eventually escalated into the 1982 War.
1982 Lebanon War (1982)Began in 6 June 1982, when the Israel Defense Forces invaded southern Lebanon to expel the PLO from the territory. The Government of Israel ordered the invasion as a response to the assassination attempt against Israel’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, Shlomo Argov, by the Abu Nidal Organization and due to the constant terror attacks on northern Israel made by the Palestinian guerrilla organizations residing in Lebanon. The war resulted in the expulsion of the PLO from Lebanon and created an Israeli Security Zone in southern Lebanon.
South Lebanon conflict (1982–2000)Nearly 20 years of warfare between the Israel Defense Forces and its Lebanese Christian proxy militias assisting against Lebanese Muslim guerrillas, led by Iranian-backed Hezbollah, within the Israeli/Christian “Security Zone” within South Lebanon.
First Intifada (1987–1993) – First large-scale Palestinian uprising against Israel in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Second Intifada (2000–2005) – Second Palestinian uprising, a period of intensified violence, which began in late September 2000.
2006 Lebanon War (summer 2006) – Began as a military operation in response to the abduction of two Israeli reserve soldiers by the Hezbollah. The operation gradually became a wider confrontation. The principal participants were Hezbollah terrorists and paramilitary forces and the Israeli military. The war resulted in the pacification of southern Lebanon and in the great weakening of Hezbollah, which suffered serious casualties but managed to survive the Israeli onslaught).
Gaza War (December 2008 – January 2009) – Three-week armed conflict between Israel and Hamas during the winter of 2008–2009. In an escalation of the ongoing Israeli–Palestinian conflict, Israel responded to  rocket fire from the Gaza Strip with military force in an action titled “Operation Cast Lead”.
Operation Pillar of Defense (November 2012) – Military offensive on the Gaza Strip.
Operation Protective Edge (July-August 2014) – Military offensive on the Gaza Strip as a response to the collapse of American-sponsored peace talks, attempts by rival Palestinian factions to form a coalition government, the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers, the subsequent kidnapping and murder of a Palestinian teenager and increased rocket attacks on Israel by Hamas militants.

 

 

PBS Frontline barely touched upon all of the above in their supposed “documentary”. The fact that Israel had been fighting every hour of every day since the Jews returned to their G-d given land sacrificing thousands of their young people just to exist, never surfaces in the “documentary.” The fact that there are now 21 Arab nations with about 390 million people is not enough for them. They  had to invent yet another people — the Palestinians to live in an invented nation — Palestine — that had never existed in previous  world history.

 

 

The sole purpose of this invention was as simply as a ploy to try and get rid of Israel and the Jews. Now, unfortunately, the invention has developed a very real existence of its own. And … the uninformed viewer of this diabolical fairy tale will come away believing only that the Jews came out of Europe and stole Arab land. No one seems to know or care that this beautifully developed and marketed propaganda was invented out of thin air.

 

 

Jerome S. Kaufman

 

Publisher/Editor Israel Commentary

 

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By: Rabbi Berel Wein

The Jewish Press

In attempting to be currently relevant against the backdrop of the long view of history and human events, one risks becoming totally irrelevant.

Reading and listening to the media, bloggers, and the convention planners among us, one would believe the fate of the Jewish people and the state of Israel, not to mention the salvation of Torah Judaism and the general welfare of humankind, is dependent on empowering women rabbis or excluding them, destroying or preserving an illegally built synagogue building, and giving pat answers to very complex and complicated personal and family problems and issues.

All these issues have an importance in their own right but none of them, in the long run, are relevant to Jewish survival in a general sense.

Women rabbis have been around for decades in the non-Orthodox synagogue world. Has their presence strengthened any of those faltering and failing groups?

Is there any evidence whatsoever that women rabbis strengthened Jewish commitment among the unaffiliated?

Is there any reason, except for the empowerment of a few diehard women, to think this issue should be at the forefront of Jewish life and rabbinic savants?

It is completely irrelevant to the current situation of Jews and Judaism in the world.

It will not convince the unfortunately alienated Jew to become more Jewishly committed and it will certainly not resonate with the vast majority of Orthodox Jews.

So why pursue something that is so unnecessarily divisive and essentially useless?

Europe declared it was going to label Israeli products grown, produced, or manufactured east of the “green line” as being from occupied territory. This is Europe’s contribution to achieving peace in the Middle East.

The response of the Muslim extremists, whom Israel has to deal with on a daily basis, to this gesture of European solidarity was the horrendous massacre of innocents in Paris.

The labeling issue now appears as it really is – absurd, useless, and completely irrelevant to the realities of the Middle East and the Muslim world.

By now it should be evident even to the most obtuse Israel-basher that the problem is not “settlements” but rather a militant Islam that refuses the right of others to exist in the Middle East – and now, for that matter even in Europe and the U.S.

Of course Europe, its media and academia, has a long history of dwelling on the irrelevant. It is trapped in its own tangled web of moral equivalency where good is evil and evil is good.

Orwell’s 1984 is Europe 2015. Anti-Semitism knows no logical boundaries or sensible argument or debate.

And make no mistake, today’s anti-Israel rhetoric, demonstrations, and actions are motivated by anti-Semitism. This curse has haunted Europe for millennia and it is still thriving there today.

Labeling products is completely irrelevant to the future of Israel and of Europe. But Muslim migration and Muslim extremism and terrorism are the stuff of Europe’s future. Europe should stop whistling past the graveyard.

The current tense situation in Israel – and Jerusalem is still far safer than New York, Chicago, or Paris – again points out the irrelevance of two-state solutions.

Without a change in the Palestinian mindset, which disavows Israel’s right to exist, all the diplomatic efforts at peace are doomed to failure.

All the proposals for bridging the gap are completely irrelevant to the realities of the situation.

President Obama himself realized this to be the situation when he stated that no real progress can be expected during the remainder of his term in office.

There is a begrudging admittance in that statement – inferred but certainly not explicit – that not everything is the fault of Benjamin Netanyahu’s obstinacy.

Of course, the Israeli left, which itself is rapidly becoming more and more irrelevant in much of Israeli society, will never admit its errors or basically change its tune and policies.

But the result of becoming irrelevant is that eventually people stop listening to you. Irrelevance only breeds continuing and more intensified irrelevance.

Thus we will have to wait to see what future events will occur that may alter the present situation and give us an opportunity to truly bridge the gaps and create a more stable and even peaceful Middle East.

 

Rabbi Berel Wein is an internationally acclaimed scholar, lecturer, and writer whose audiotapes on Torah and other Jewish subjects have garnered a wide following, as have his books, which include a four-volume series on Jewish history. He made aliyah to Israel in 1997 following a very successful rabbinical career in the US.

II  Israel Will Prevail (G-d willing)

By Former MK Moshe Feiglin

The Jewish Press, Nov 27, 2015

I slightly envy the French. One mass murder on their soil (what we in Israel euphemistically call an “attack”) and it is clear to everyone there that the French are in a war. They have been there before.

When the Oslo Accords fell upon us, crowded buses and busy restaurants began to explode in Israel. Carnage on a Parisian scale became completely routine here. But the prime minister, Shimon Peres, insisted that the victims were ‘sacrifices for peace’.  (a la Barack Obama)

Here in Israel, we still insist on not integrating the simple French realization that we are in a war. The ‘peace industry’ established by Peres and his friends has been alive and kicking since Oslo and will not allow the facts to confuse it.

Despite all that, it is better to be Israeli than French. Because just like the Americans after 9/11, the French beating on the war drums today cannot really identify the enemy. They cannot fight him and they cannot defeat him.

Modern day nation-states need to fight against other states. Otherwise, they have no return address, for modern nation-states are based on nationalism and territory. An enemy that is not nationalist and is not territorial is outside the realm of their experience. He may see them, but they don’t see him.

Just as the Americans after 9/11 conquered Iraq and ultimately lost the battle (in other words, they elected a president called Hussein, fled Iraq and left an extremist, much more determined Islamic regime in its wake, signed a surrender accord with the nuclear Ayatollahs and are now surrendering their hegemony in the Middle East to Putin) will also lose.

Just like the Americans after 9/11, Europe’s citizens are about to see countless bombers taking off and landing. But they will lose.

So why is it better to be Israeli? After all, we also bomb empty lots just to satisfy public opinion. We also bribe our enemy with about 10% of our annual budget (more than 1 trillion shekels since Oslo – more than all the natural gas discoveries) in order to keep the number of murdered Israelis below a level that would endanger the peace industry.

What is the difference between Israel and Europe?

“With you, I can manage,” said an Arab MK to me once in a personal conversation (after I explained to him that I am not willing to surrender even one millimeter of the Land of Israel).

The Jewish Nation has foundations that run far deeper than nationalism or territory; foundations that the Arabs understand, and the Europeans – much less. These foundations are profound and enduring. Islam and the Christian ‘enlightenment’ collapsing before it cannot hold a candle to it.

Islam will bow its head before a modern, Jewish liberty state – a state connected to its identity and the secret of its eternity.

I do not know who and what will be in the US or Europe in another fifty years. I do not know how the Middle East will look.

But Israel? We will be here. (Baruch Hashem – Please G-d)

 

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By Jerome S. Kaufman

Israel Commentary December 31, 2015

Former Editorial Page editor of the Palm Beach Post, Randy Schultz just made a most odious comparison based, of course, upon his own Left-wing agenda. He opined that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump have a lot in common.

The first of his many mistakes and lack of knowledge of Israeli politics or the real issue of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict was exposed when Schultz declared Netanyahu was trying to get votes for his Labor Party. The Labor Party has always been anathema to Netanyahu’s Party, which is Likud, Mr. Schultz.

As to the essence of the conflict Mr. Schultz, the Temple Mount, the land, the desire for an impossible Palestinian nation or anything else as mundane or real as that, is not the problem. The problem is that the Arabs don’t want Israel to exist at all. And, if you ever develop any real knowledge of foreign affairs you will understand that a huge number of Muslims, call them the Militant ones, if you like, don’t want the US to exist either.

Beyond that basic fact, Schultz obviously doesn’t  know anything at all about Netanyahu or his illustrious family of Israeli patriots and brilliant people. His Dad, Benzion, was an Israeli Professor of History at Cornell University. He served as an editor of the Hebrew Encyclopedia and became Dean of Sciences at the Technion.

He died April 30, 2012, in his Jerusalem home, age 102. He and his wife Tzila had three sons:

Yonatan (1946–76), Yonatan “Yoni” Netanyahu (March 13, 1946 – July 4, 1976), was the commander of the elite Israeli army commando unit Sayeret Matkal. He was the only Israeli soldier killed in action during Operation Entebbe in Uganda that rescued,  from the heart of Africa,  94 Israeli hostages and 8 Air France crew members

Benjamin, (b. 1949), Israeli Prime Minister (1996–99, 2009–present) has a long and impressive history of political success and may become Israel’s longest serving Prime Minister.

Iddo (b. 1952), the third brother, is an Israeli physician, author and playwright.

Donald Trump’s own  record does not  compare in these areas, but, certainly not to malign Mr. Trump. I happen to agree with many of the statements he makes regularly.  “Make our country great again.” I have never heard anything like that from Barack Obama or his heir apparent, Hillary Clinton

The odious comparison Schultz made was that Trump and Netanyahu had a lot in common concerning bigotry. Schultz used Trump’s position that, all Muslims should be temporarily barred from entering the United States until some rationale approach can be made to what is finally correctly called, Islamic Terrorism. This well-defined monster has already  struck multiple times in the United States. But, the Left with people like Schultz prefer to sweep these facts under the rug as “workplace violence” or social unrest due to “income inequality” or “insults to Muslim dignity”, etc.

Netanyahu, Schultz claims is also a bigot because he, at the last election  encouraged his voter base, consisting of dedicated Israelis to come out and vote for him because he believed the Israeli Left-wing had encouraged the Palestinian Arabs to come out in force, which they are certainly allowed to do in Israel, and vote for his opposition.

If this is bigotry then every political candidate that  has ever sought election has become a bigot in some way. This is the game in politics – to get out your voter base.

Comparing this effort with barring a people from entering the US temporarily is not in the same ball park.

Evidently, Schultz has chosen to forget that his hero, Barack Obama has pulled out every bigotry, demagoguery trick in the book  to get his base out to vote and Hillary Clinton is trying to follow closely in his footsteps.

The Obama/Clinton playbook shrieks  their own policies of bigotry, hatred, encouraging violence against the police, destruction of personal property,  class and race warfare without fear of their loyal Left calling it a form of bigotry, which of course, it is.

Obama/Clinton and the Democratic Party warn:

— Look out  elderly you will end up in the government breadlines because the Republicans are going to take away your Medicare, your food stamps, raise your taxes and take away your homesteads.

— They tell the student electorate Democrats will be forgiving all the debts these irresponsible students have accumulated on their numerous credit cards without any concern about ever repaying their government loans . This travesty is promoted via the bigotry of hating anyone else that has a job and is earning a living.

— To add more hypocrisy, Democrats claim bigotry by Supreme Court Justice Scalia when he makes the obvious statement that many of these college kids got there through phony social engineering programs like Affirmative Action.

Furthermore, many of these  kids should never have been in College to begin with or at least, attend a college more commensurate with their record, their testing and their proven abilities

Thomas Sowell, world renown African American academic, came out full throttle for Justice Scalia, recently writing a scathing widely published article titled,  Attacking the Truth (Scalia) and of course, Sowell is now himself being attacked as a bigot.

Let us not forget, the only job, where Obama was truly successful — community organizer, was getting people to vote by every illegal means possible.

And certainly, Schultz  doesn’t know anything about the history of the Jerusalem Temple Mount but rather employs the Left’s usual dodge of moral equivalency between contesting factions rather than applying the actual facts of the dispute.

The Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism, which regards it as the place where God’s divine presence is manifested more than any other place. According to the Hebrew Bible, both Jewish First and Second Temples stood at the Temple Mount. Solomon’s Temple identification with the area is universally acknowledged.

According to Jewish tradition and scripture, the first Temple was built by King Solomon, the son of King David in 957 BCE and destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BCE. The second was constructed under the auspices of Zerubbabel in 516 BCE and destroyed by the Roman Empire in 70 CE creating the centuries-old Diaspora (Forced dispersal)  of the Jews all over the world.

The Arab claim to the Mount dates over 1600 years later than the construction of King Solomon’s Temple and before that going back to King David’s Temple in Jerusalem apx. 1000 BCE.

Among Sunni Muslims, the Mount is widely considered the third holiest site in Islam. It is revered as the Noble Sanctuary, the location of Muhammad’s journey to Jerusalem. (By the way, this Arab Jerusalem claim is not stated in the Bible nor the Koran but was contrived  much later, as are so many other Arab claims, by historical revisionism expedient to their political purposes of the moment)

The actual Muslim conquest of Jerusalem occurred in 637 CE and the Dome of the Rock was deliberately built upon top of the remains of the ancient Hebrew Temple. It was completed in 692 CE, (about 1700 years after  Hebrew King David original construction, 1000 BCE!)

The present dispute dates directly to the stupidity of the Israeli one-eyed general, Moshe Dayan, a dedicated secularist who could not care less about the religious significance of the ancient remains nor did he care that the Muslim structure had been deliberately built over it in their own fantasized dogma.

As a result, Dayan summarily returned Temple Mount authority to the astonished eyes of the Arabs immediately following his victory. The Arabs were fully expecting the Israelis, in their glorious 1967 Six Day War victory, would destroy the Muslim overbuild  and return the Temple Mount to the rightful owners of its original 1000 BCE creation.

Finally, Schultz criticizes Netanyahu’s appointment of Tzipi Hotovely, a loyal supporter and Israeli patriot, to be his Foreign Minister. This criticism is the height of hypocrisy, especially in light of the appointments  that Obama has made as the most far left President in American history

See: http://www.westernjournalism.com/category/news/ by Steve Baldwin,

“His selections strongly confirm these appointees hail from the crowd who regard their pedigree as the 60’s activists who cheered on the Vietcong, while American boys were slaughtered in the jungles of Vietnam. They hate America, or more precisely, they hate America’s heritage; American institutions, and the American Constitution.

Just a few of these below – past and present – are among the many listed in the link:

Cass Sunstein, Eric Holder, Susan Rice, Valerie Jarrett, Samantha Power, David Axelrod, Carol Browner – the list is endless.

Finally, Yes, Netanyahu lobbied the Congress to stop the Iran Nuclear Agreement which is at the heart of the total Obama foreign policy failure and is what began the dismemberment of all the crucial alliances we once had in the Middle East.

Objective, politically uninvolved foreign policy experts rue the day that Netanyahu’s advice was not followed. Instead,  the Senate allowed Obama to gloss over Netanyahu’s very real objections and, as a result, put the world into this present state of awful anxiety and despair.

And may G-d help us.

 

Jerome S. Kaufman is the publisher/editor of Israel Commentary

www.israel-commentary.org.

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Mele Kalik-Baracka        (I think “Mele Kalik” is some kind of Hawaiian greeting?)

President Obama jets to a Hawaiian holiday, while the world unravels.

By Karl Rove

Wall Street Journal, Dec. 24, 2015

Before leaving for his annual Hawaiian Christmas vacation, President Obama found an odd way to wish Americans “Mele Kalikimaka!” In an interview with National Public Radio, he discussed Islamic State, also known as ISIS. While admitting that “they can hurt our people and our families,” the president once again played down the terrorist threat.

“It is also important for us to keep things in perspective,” Mr. Obama told NPR’s Steve Inskeep. “This is not an organization that can destroy the United States. This is a not a huge industrial power that can pose great risks to us institutionally or in a systematic way.”

Furthermore, he said, “the strength of the United States and its allies are not threatened.” He then compared Islamic State to al Qaeda, which he said “was able to carry out one spectacular attack,” but “at no point was there ever a sense that in fact it could do catastrophic damage to us.”

Mr. Obama should try telling the families of the nearly 3,000 people killed on 9/11, and the Americans who saw two great buildings topple, that al Qaeda’s attacks that day were not “catastrophic.”

Not only was the statement tone-deaf, the president’s description of Islamic State reveals his terribly shortsighted vision. This is something you might expect from a man who, just last year, referred to ISIS as the “jayvee team,” and who, the day before the Paris massacres, said the group was “contained.”

ISIS has already destabilized the Middle East, drawing Iraq deeper into Iran’s orbit and giving Russia an opening to return to the region from which it was ejected in 1973. Because of the threat posed by Islamic State, the U.S. is no longer actively pressing for the ouster of the Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. Instead, America is seeking to cooperate with Russia. Neither is in the long-term interest of the U.S. and the West.

Islamic State’s actions have already resulted in a flow of more than a million refugees to Europe, straining relations among the continent’s governments and fueling the growth of right-wing populist political parties. Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, has exploited this, having begun long ago to foster closer relations with European right-wing parties like France’s National Front. That’s because Mr. Putin is playing chess, working to bring about NATO’s demise and restore a buffer of subservient European puppet states, while Mr. Obama is playing checkers, apparently content to keep things patched together until he leaves office.

At the same time, ISIS is creating a zone of instability from the Strait of Gibraltar to Central Asia. This could result in the creation of radical Islamic terror states along the southern Mediterranean and the overthrow of the Western-oriented Egyptian regime, both of which would directly harm U.S. interests.

This same volatility could threaten Israel; undermine our Saudi, Jordanian, and Gulf state allies; and help return the Taliban to power in Afghanistan. It could topple the government of nuclear-armed Pakistan. Radicalization could destabilize the peaceful, largely Western-oriented Muslim nation of Indonesia. The Obama administration seems clueless about ISIS’ catastrophic potential and has no long-term strategy to bend events to America’s benefit.

President Harry Truman, by contrast, thought decades ahead. The haberdasher from Missouri reformed the government to meet new challenges after World War II and created international structures that helped contain America’s adversaries and win the Cold War. Mr. Obama’s vision is limited to the coming months, to the next quarter, to the end of his term. Whenever events undermine his view of the world, he has the habit of retreating to an alternate reality. Mr. Obama is a man with an uncommonly rigid, anti-empirical mind.

We’ve seen this manifest itself in areas other than foreign policy—for example, in his refusal to address the entitlement and debt crises.

Because of an aging population, the trust funds for Social Security and the hospital portion of Medicare will both run out of money within 20 years. The nation’s public debt, equal to 41% of GDP in 2008, now stands at 74%. Yet Mr. Obama is acting as if we’re in the middle part of the last century, with plenty of time before disaster hits. He is not bothered by inconvenient truths. Don’t worry, be happy.

For a man who thinks he’s always the smartest person in the room, Mr. Obama has shown himself remarkably astigmatic about our national interests, always behind the curve. Because of his lack of vision, the mop-up operation his successor will face is unlike any in living memory.

 

Mr. Rove helped organize the political-action committee American Crossroads and is the author of “The Triumph of William McKinley: Why the Election of 1896 Still Matters” (Simon & Schuster, 2015).

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I By Caroline Glick
The Jerusalem Post – Israel News

The foundations of American Jewish life are under assault today in ways that were unimaginable a generation ago. Academia is ground zero of the onslaught. The protest movements on campuses are first and foremost anti-Jewish movements.

For the past decade or so, Jewish communal leaders and activists have focused on just one aspect of this anti-Jewish campaign. Jewish leaders have devoted themselves to helping Jewish students combat the direct anti-Semitism inherent to the anti-Israel student movements.

Despite the substantial funds that have been devoted to fighting anti-Israel forces on campuses, they have not been diminished. To the contrary, with each passing year they have grown more powerful and menacing. Consider a sampling of the anti-Jewish incidents that took place over the past two weeks. Two weeks ago, Daniel Bernstein, a Jewish student at University of California Santa Cruz and a member of the university’s student government was ordered not to vote on a resolution calling for the university to divest from four companies which do business with Israel.

Bernstein represents UCSC’s Stevenson College at the university student government. He is also vice president of his college’s Jewish Student Union. Ahead of the anti-Israel vote, Bernstein received a message from a member of his college’s student council ordering him to abstain from the vote on Israel divestment. The student council, Bernstein was informed, had determined that he was motivated by “a Jewish agenda,” and therefore couldn’t be trusted to view the resolution fairly.

In the same message, Bernstein’s correspondent gave him a friendly “heads up” that his fellow students are considering removing him from office because he is a Jew supported by the Jewish community.

To his credit, Bernstein ignored his orders. He voted to oppose the anti-Israel resolution.

Following the incident Bernstein published a statement decrying the anti-Jewish discrimination and hatred now rampant on his campus. Among other things, he wrote, “I wish that [my] being subjected to anti-Semitism was a shocking new occurrence. But the truth is that I’m not shocked. I’m not shocked because this hatred and ignorance has followed me everywhere.

I’m not shocked because Jewish students have been targeted with this vile racism all over the [University of California] UC system for years, and especially since BDS (Boycott Divestment and Sanctions against Israel) became a major issue of discussion. Anti-Semitism … has … become an inseparable part of campus politics right here at UC Santa Cruz and across the UC system.”

Then there is the growing movement of professional associations that boycott Israel:

Last week the National Women’s Studies Association passed a resolution to join the BDS movement. The resolution, written in turgid, incomprehensible prose, proclaimed that the only state in the Middle East that provides full and equal rights to women is so evil that it must be singled out and boycotted, sanctioned and divested from.

Whereas Bernstein was personally targeted, and the NWSA criminalizes Israel, at CUNY, on November 12, a group of protesters targeted the Jewish community as a whole. That day, as part of a national “million student march,” where students demanded free tuition, anti-Jewish students at CUNY rallied at Hunter college and introduced a new demand: the expulsion of all Israel supporters from campus. Congregating in the center of the campus, some 50 students chanted in unison, “Zionists out of CUNY!” Aside from an anodyne statement in favor of “freedom of expression,” CUNY administrators had nothing to say about the affair.

For their part, Hunter’s administrators issued a statement “condemning the anti-Semitic comments,” made by the rally participants. But no disciplinary measures were taken against any of them. Speaking to the Algemeiner, StandWithUs’s northeast regional director Shahar Azani said that the Hunter incident “is another example of the hijacking of various social causes by the anti-Israel movement.” In making this claim, Azani was merely repeating the position taken by Jewish communal leaders and activists involved in the fight to defend Jews and Israel on university campuses. Unfortunately, this position is incorrect.

According to the prevailing wisdom guiding Jewish communal responses to the onslaught against Jewish students on campuses, the anti-Israel and anti-Jewish movements are distinct from the wider anti-liberal forces now disrupting campus life throughout the US. As Jewish leaders see things, there is no inherent connection between the protesters embracing victimhood and demanding constraints on freedom of expression, inquiry and assembly (and free tuition), and those who seek to drive Jews out of the public sphere on college campuses.

In other words, they believe that Zionists can be cry bullies too. But they can’t. The cry bully movement, which demands that universities constrain freedom to cater to victim groups, is necessarily hostile to Jews. This is the reason that at the same time that “victims” from blacks to transgenders are coddled and caressed, Jews have emerged as the only group that is not protected. Indeed, the BDS movement requires universities to discriminate against Jewish students.

The inherent conflict between the tenets of the “progressive” movement and Jewish rights is exposed in a guide to racial “micro aggressions” published earlier this year by the University of California. Students and faculty must avoid committing these “micro agressions” if they want to stay on the right side of campus authorities and the law. The UC defines “micro agressions” as, “brief, subtle verbal or non-verbal exchanges that send denigrating messages to the recipient because of his or her group membership (such as race, gender, age or socio-economic status).”

Transgressors can expect to be accused of engendering a “hostile learning environment,” an act that can get you expelled, fired and subjected to criminal probes.

As law professor Eugene Voloch reported in The Washington Post last June, among other things, the list of offenses includes embracing merit as a means of advancing in society! A statement along the lines of “I believe the most qualified person should get the job” can destroy a person’s academic career.

So too, statements rejecting race as a significant factor in judging a person’s competence are now deemed racist. For instance statements to the effect of, “There is only one race, the human race,” “America is a melting pot” or “I don’t believe in race” can land a student or instructor in hot water.

In a column last week, Dennis Prager noted that the list castigates as racism all the pillars of liberal society in America. The list, he wrote, shows that “the American university is now closer to fascism than to traditional liberty.”
Prager is right, of course. But the fascist takeover of American academia will not affect all Americans equally. Jews are the greatest victims of this state of affairs.

For the better part of the past hundred years, the upward mobility of American Jewry has been directly correlated with America’s embrace of meritocratic values. The more Americans have looked past race and ethnicity and judged people by their talents, characters and professional competence, the higher Jews have risen.

Conversely, where qualities other than competence, talent and professionalism have determined social and professional status, Jews have suffered. They have faced discrimination and their opportunities to advance have been limited.

Academia is but a small component of American society. But to earn a place in America’s middle, upper-middle and upper classes, you need at least an undergraduate degree. Moreover, university graduates go on to populate and head the state and federal governing bureaucracies, the business world, the entertainment sector and every other major area of human endeavor in American society.

Academia’s simultaneous rejection of core liberal principles and legitimization of anti-Semitic forces is not a coincidence. Jews are a constant reminder that human agency – rather than race and other group identities – has everything to do with a person’s ability to excel in academics and beyond. For fascist principles to hold, Jews must be demonized and hated.

The intrinsic link between anti-Semitism and fascism and their simultaneous embrace by a key American institution means that the equal rights and freedoms of Jews are far more threatened in America today than most Jewish leaders and activists have realized. The Jewish community’s failure to date to successfully defeat the anti-Semitic forces on campuses owes at least in part to its failure to recognize or contend with the dual nature of the problem.

 

 

II  Now What? Maybe you remember the following lament?

When the Nazis came for the communists,

I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn’t a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

 
“First they came…” – The origins of this poem first have been traced to a speech given by Niemöller on January 6, 1946, to the representatives of the Confessing Church in Frankfurt.

 

Friedrich Gustav Emil Martin Niemöller (14 January 1892 – 6 March 1984) was a Protestant pastor and social activist.

 

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