Read More About:

Share This Post

Newt Gingrich: We Are At War with Radical Islamism
http://www.c-span.org/video/?c4529407/newt-gingrich-war-radical-islamism

The smug establishment still doesn’t get what’s happening

By Pete Hoekstra

The Washington Times, June 27, 2016

How can someone possibly succeed in politics by telling grass-roots America that he understands their anxieties and intends to do something about them? The Beltway crowd has for years conditioned the country to expect lofty platitudes followed by failure and inaction.

When the presumptive Republican nominee for president speaks, large constituencies hear a straightforward message. Then official Washington — in all of its contempt for voters — anatomizes and reads between the lines until they have grossly distorted his words.

For example, Mr. Trump’s policy of “America First” says that he will place U.S. interests at the top of the agenda when he negotiates with his contemporaries on the world stage. The D.C. establishment runs to the history books and find similarities with the isolationists of the 1930s. So, Mr. Trump must be an isolationist, right?

Wrong. Mr. Trump is telling hardworking Americans that he will fight for their jobs and prosperity in trade deals and other international agreements. He appreciates their frustration with political figures who appear more concerned about accommodating multinational grievances than the future of their own countrymen.

For years, free-trade deals have been anything but free. They are complex documents that run thousands of pages long and pick winners and losers. The U.S. citizenry believes that they are too often the losers. They feel that they are the patsies in global economic affairs that require the United States to open its markets to foreign competitors while foreign markets remain largely sealed.

As a businessman, Mr. Trump recognizes that everyone involved must benefit under such accords. Americans become excited by the prospect of a leader who will actually represent their concerns and needs.

He talks about building a wall at the border with Mexico, which enrages the D.C. aristocracy. It’s impractical, cruel and outrageous, they say. Meanwhile, they have only blown hot air about fixing immigration for 20 years and have allowed the problem to fester into nearly uncontrollable proportions.

The grass-roots intuitively know that a nation governed by laws cannot exist with an open southern border where illegal workers, drug runners and terrorists walk across with relative ease. They know that a nation of laws must enforce all of its laws without prejudice if it is to survive.

Mr. Trump talks about the troubles associated with radical Islam, including Muslim immigration. They witness the massacres in Paris, Brussels and now Orlando. They see nearly unregulated European borders and the mass sexual assaults in Cologne on New Year’s Eve. Americans sense that something is wrong, and that their leaders don’t confront it. America is looking like Europe.

Immigration is a very sensitive and delicate topic in the United States because it requires balancing core American humanitarian concerns with very real existential dangers. Mr. Trump has clearly touched a nerve with voters.

Americans don’t hate Muslims. They recognize that they have nothing to fear from much of the Muslim community. Neither are they blind. They’ve seen the beheadings and the genocide of religious minorities in the Middle East and Africa, as well as the savagery in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Paris, Brussels, London, San Bernardino and Fort Hood.

The current commander in chief responds by refusing to acknowledge that Islam plays any role in the threat from Islamic terror. The White House has prohibited talk of radical jihad, even going so far as to edit official transcripts and recordings. It has instead become “workplace violence” and “man-caused disasters.” Orlando is “terror” and “hate,” but not jihadi or Islamic terror. “What exactly would using this label accomplish?” he asks.
Americans know that the approach isn’t honest and it’s not working. Orlando proves it, again.

Mr. Trump will, at a minimum, engender a discussion about the most pressing national security matter of our time. Orlando makes it more urgent.

Sometimes he stumbles into areas he shouldn’t, as with his criticism of a judge presiding over a lawsuit against Trump University.

Mr. Trump speaks bluntly and often abrasively when he addresses the issues, but he hears the grass-roots when they say they are sick and tired of political correctness and the inability to accomplish anything.

Congress can’t even pass a budget. Does anyone honestly believe that Washington’s continued “kick the can down the road” approach will return the republic to greatness anytime soon?

The smug culture of polite talk and ineffectiveness has not solved many of the problems that plague the United States.

The voters have concluded that an honest broker and aggressive personality might finally get something done in Washington. President Obama and the left built the foundation for the Trump campaign by their intolerance.

By trashing every Republican as an intolerant, racist warmonger, they removed all opportunity for a thoughtful discussion on national security. Does anyone doubt that Hillary Clinton would not have deployed the same attacks if any of the other candidates had won the nomination?

The political establishment should not feign so much indignation over the rise of Donald Trump, especially when it created the conditions necessary for his success.

Pete Hoekstra is a former chairman of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee.

Fan Club: https://www.facebook.com/schmice
Twitter: @israelcomment
Israel Commentary Blog: Subscribe at: www.israel-commentary.org

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About:

Share This Post

Hillary Clinton statements vs. Testimony of James Comey

www.israel-commentary.org

 FBI Chief Jim Comey’s Clinton Standard

He shows how she broke the law and then rationalizes his own unconscionable failure to indict  “Lyin’ Hillary”

For our money, the most revealing words in FBI Director James Comey’s statement Tuesday explaining his decision not to recommend prosecuting Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified information were these: “This is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions.”

So there it is in the political raw: One standard exists for a Democratic candidate for President and another for the hoi polloi. We’re not sure if Mr. Comey, the erstwhile Eliot Ness, intended to be so obvious, but what a depressing moment this is for the American rule of law. No wonder so many voters think Washington is rigged for the powerful.

***
Mr. Comey spent nearly all of his media appearance laying out the multiple ways in which Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email server for official State Department business had violated official policy and jeopardized America’s secrets. Yet at the end he declined to recommend prosecution because her behavior was merely “extremely careless” rather than “grossly negligent” as the law requires. This is a rhetorical distinction without a difference that deserves to be mocked.

Mr. Comey’s facts grossly—if we may use that word—belie his conclusion. Of the 30,000 work-related emails Mrs. Clinton turned over to State, 110 contained classified information at the time they were sent or received. Eight email chains contained information judged to be Top Secret. The FBI also found three emails containing classified information among emails that Mrs. Clinton had deleted (rather than turned over to State)—but which the FBI was able to find through forensic analysis.
The FBI chief’s statement also had the effect of exposing the many lies Mrs. Clinton has told about her emails.

• Mrs. Clinton claimed she “did not email any classified material” over her private email. Mr. Comey refuted this with precise numbers.

• She said her private server was permitted under State policy. Mr. Comey said “none of these e-mails should have been on any kind of unclassified system.”

• She said the emails she sent or received weren’t “marked” classified. Mr. Comey said that, marked or not, “participants who know or should know that the subject matter is classified are still obligated to protect it.”

• Mrs. Clinton said she used personal email merely for the “convenience” of using one device. Mr. Comey revealed that she had “used numerous mobile devices to view and send email on that personal domain” as well as numerous servers.

• Mrs. Clinton claimed she turned over all work-related email to State. Mr. Comey said the FBI found “several thousand” work-related emails that were not turned over. He also dropped the astonishing news that Mrs. Clinton’s lawyers hadn’t even read her emails when deciding what to turn in. They relied on “header information” and search terms, and then “cleaned their devices in such a way as to preclude complete forensic recovery.”

• Mrs. Clinton claimed her email was stored in a safe and secure manner, and not hacked. Mr. Comey said “hostile actors” had accessed the private account of “people with whom Secretary Clinton was in regular contact from her personal account.” Her personal email was known about and “readily apparent.”

He said she “used her personal email extensively while outside the United States, including sending and receiving work-related emails in the territory of sophisticated adversaries.” Therefore, he added, “it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal email account.”

Despite this list of indictable particulars, Mr. Comey concluded that none of it warrants a criminal prosecution. His justification is that her behavior didn’t meet the standard of “clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information; or vast quantities of materials exposed in such a way as to support an inference of intentional misconduct; or indications of disloyalty to the United States; or efforts to obstruct justice.”

Yet the recent State Department Inspector General report disclosed emails showing that Mrs. Clinton and her staff were warned by State officials that her private email was vulnerable to hackers. She willfully and intentionally ignored those warnings. Mr. Comey knows that many federal employees have been prosecuted for mishandling classified information despite no evidence of ill intent. They were prosecuted merely for recklessly handling secrets. (See Michael Mukasey nearby.)

By a reasonable person’s standards, Mrs. Clinton’s decision to use a private server, to give her aides access to it, to email classified information on it, to fail to secure it, and to use it in hostile territory was grossly negligent. We can’t wait for the next minion prosecuted for mishandling secrets to invoke the “extremely careless” defense.

***
Mr. Comey justified what he called his “unusual statement” in the name of political “transparency.” But by declaring that no prosecutor should indict Mrs. Clinton, he also hurt the cause of political accountability. The decision to indict or not rests with prosecutors, not the FBI, as Mr. Comey noted. But now prosecutors can merely point to Mr. Comey’s public statement to justify taking no action. He could have passed on his evidence quietly, but instead he acted like a prosecutor while denying that he is one.

It is true that prosecutors must consider the context when deciding whether to press charges. But we wonder if Mr. Comey and the FBI would have shown the same forbearance had the target of their probe been someone less prominent or loved by the Washington establishment. Mr. Comey’s bosom friend, Patrick Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor he named to pursue Scooter Libby, showed no such restraint.

Most distressing is what this episode augurs for another Clinton Administration. Mrs. Clinton deliberately sought to evade the Federal Records Act, recklessly flouted laws on handling classified information, spent a year lying about it, and will now have escaped accountability. This will confirm the Clinton family habit, learned so painfully in the 1990s, that they can get away with anything if they deny it long enough and are protected by a friendly media and political class.

The rule of law requires its neutral application. We almost wish Mr. Comey had avoided his self-justifying, have-it-both-ways statement and said bluntly that he couldn’t indict Mrs. Clinton because the country must be spared a Donald Trump Presidency. It would have been more honest and less corrosive to democracy than his Clinton Standard.

Fan Club: https://www.facebook.com/schmice
Twitter: @israelcomment
Israel Commentary Blog: Subscribe at: www.israel-commentary.org

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About:

Share This Post

www.israel-commentary.org

 

July 5, 2016

Dear Mr.Trump,

Please do yourself and the whole country a huge favor and nominate Newt Gingrich to be your running mate. There is no one even close to him in knowledge, brains, political experience and know-how with speaking and debating ability, presence, confidence. He will destroy anyone the Democrats use against him, especially both Clintons.

He will enhance your ticket immeasurably and bring all the above to your side and add to your own expertise and give you the knowledge and background to deal with any political or international problem that will come your way.

No one else comes close and to nominate some regional person for election purposes is nonsense. You must look at the bigger picture and nominate a nationally known respected person that has been on the political scene for years with a demonstrated wealth of knowledge, experience, good judgment and an American patriot.

Jerome S. Kaufman, Editor/Publisher
www.israel-commentary.org

Fan Club: https://www.facebook.com/schmice
Twitter: @israelcomment
Israel Commentary Blog: Subscribe at: www.israel-commentary.org

 

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About:

Share This Post

www.israel-commentary.org

An interview of Elliott Abrams by Algemeiner
JUNE 23, 2016

Elliot Abrams, former deputy national security adviser to president George W. Bush, currently Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Despite claims by Barack Obama that his support for Israel has been greater than that of all presidents throughout American history, a possible White House decision that would undermine Israel’s qualitative military edge (QME) — highlights his hypocrisy, a prominent foreign policy expert told The Algemeiner on Thursday.

Elliott Abrams — senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, and former national security adviser to President George W. Bush — was reacting to reports that Obama is seeking to stop subsidizing Israel’s defense sector.

More specifically, according to a column by Eli Lake in Bloomberg View on Wednesday, the president wants to remove the “offshore procurement” provision that has been unique to Israel’s aid package. Israel, Lake wrote, “is not only the greatest beneficiary of US defense assistance, but also the only one allowed to spend a portion of that assistance on weapons and equipment from its own industry. Everyone else has to buy American.” Israeli and American officials say, according to Lake, that “Obama would like to phase out the agreement that allows Israel to spend 26 percent of US annual aid at home” — something that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been objecting to as a renewal of the package is being discussed.

“In one respect this is surprising,” Lake said. “Obama and his supporters like to tout US military aid to Israel as an act of the president’s unprecedented generosity. The US has given Israel nearly $24 billion under Obama, more than any other US president. At the same time, Obama’s insistence on ending the US subsidy for Israeli defense items reflects a growing unease among many US defense companies that America’s cold war client state is now a competitor in the international arms market.”

Abrams told The Algemeiner that he doesn’t see much irony in Obama’s reported reversal in policy, because his claims of unwavering support for Israel “have always been baseless.”

“While military-military and intelligence relationships with Israel are very good, they are also largely invisible. The political relationship, which is entirely visible and critical for Israel’s security, is awful,” he said.

Furthermore, he said, “We know from recent comments by [former US Defense Secretary] Leon Panetta that Obama has never been a supporter of maintaining Israel’s QME. This is another fact that undermines the claim that he’s so great for Israel’s security. It should be obvious that undermining Israel’s defense sector undermines its security.”

Abrams also said that Israel is not the only country affected in this way by the current administration in Washington. In fact, he said, most US allies — including the Gulf states, Japan, Korea, Australia and Poland — “feel less safe today than they did when Obama entered office.”

Where Obama’s attitude towards the Jewish state is concerned, Abrams said, “The record of his seven years is one of constant battles with the government of Israel. He has a lack of sympathy and a willingness to blame Israel for the stall in peace talks, when we know full well it is [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas who has refused to talk.” Furthermore, he added, Obama’s “successful fight to legitimize a nuclear weapons program for Iran — delayed a decade,” greatly endangers Israel.

“That is not a record of support for Israel’s security,” he said.

Fan Club: https://www.facebook.com/schmice
Twitter: @israelcomment
Israel Commentary Blog: Subscribe at: www.israel-commentary.org

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About:

Share This Post

www.israel-commentary.org

The Real Reason for Brexit

By Ilan Berman

U.S. News & World Report

June 27, 2016

Last week’s vote by England to formally leave the European Union has touched off nothing short of a political earthquake, both in Europe and in the United States. In the aftermath of Thursday’s referendum, which saw a slim majority (52 percent) of Britons vote in favor of “Brexit,” there has been no shortage of recriminations from the chattering classes on both sides of the Atlantic, which have been quick to label Britons as both xenophobic and foolish for their choice.

None of that is true. Rather, Brexit reflects a different sort of calculus on the part of British voters.

Ahead of Thursday’s referendum, commentators and financial institutions alike had warned of potentially catastrophic consequences should Britain leave the EU, ranging from domestic hardship to regional economic turmoil to a break-up of the United Kingdom itself. Many of those adverse trends have in fact begun to materialize. In the immediate aftermath of the referendum, the value of the British Pound plunged by some 11 percent. (It has since rebounded slightly.)

Global markets have lost more than $2 trillion in value on post-Brexit investor jitters. And, Scotland, which leans heavily in favor of the European Union, and which overwhelmingly opposed disengagement from it, has revived a national conversation about independence and the possibility of separate accession to the EU.

But it would be incorrect to say that British voters did not adequately understand these risks ahead of time, or that they simply ignored them. Rather, a more accurate reading of the situation is that, notwithstanding these warnings, Thursday’s electoral outcome was the product of decades of pent-up frustration among Britons with their place in an increasingly unaccountable and unrepresentative community of nations.

In the four decades since they voted to join the fledgling European Union in 1975, the English have slowly but surely seen their sovereignty and prosperity eroded by European mandate. The transformation has been more far-reaching than most outside observers appreciate. Through the EU, as much as 60 percent of England’s national laws (on issues such as health care and immigration) are currently created outside the country by unelected political elites located in Brussels who cannot simply be replaced via the ballot box.

Those rules have had a marked effect on the country’s economic welfare. A recent study by the London-based CIVITAS think tank estimated that the costs to England of EU regulations averages about 20 billion pounds ($27 billion) a year, and that Europe-wide restrictions on employment, energy and banking exact a further toll on Britain’s overall economic health.

All of which might be palatable if Europe was a zone of prosperity and stability. But it is not. Over the past decade, European economic growth has remained basically flat, while Greece’s debt crisis has in recent years threatened to touch off a contagion among the community’s interlinked economies. Moreover, the EU is now weathering its most significant socio-political challenge in decades, as millions of migrants flood into the Eurozone from the Middle East and North Africa, straining social safety nets and inter-communal relations in the process.

Through it all, European elites have done little to reform and reinvigorate their ailing union. Rather, they have simply muddled on, complacent in the belief that the bloc represents the only real political option for its 28 member states.

But, as Britain has now showed us, it is not. Thursday’s vote is all the more striking because it reflects a knowing willingness by Britons to countenance significant economic hardship and political ostracism in order to reclaim a measure of their sovereignty.

Four decades ago, Margaret Thatcher – then leader of England’s conservative opposition – famously noted that the key to economic and political freedom was “to have the state as servant and not as master.” European elites, increasingly complacent in their unaccountable bureaucracy and ever-expanding welfare state, appear to have forgotten this lesson. The British have just reminded them of it.

II And, Donald Trump, four decades later, echoes Margaret Thatcher, disses the “Chattering Classes” and uncontrolled Welfare State and reminds us of another great statesman, Abraham Lincoln in his timeless Gettysburg address:

II And, Donald Trump, four decades later, echoes Margaret Thatcher, “Four score and seven years ago”—referring to the start of the American Revolution in 1776—Lincoln examined the founding principles of the United States as stated in the Declaration of Independence. Lincoln also memorialized the sacrifices of those who gave their lives at Gettysburg and extolled virtues for the listeners (and the nation) to ensure the survival of America’s representative democracy: that “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” 

Jerome S. Kaufman, Editor Israel Commentary

Fan Club: https://www.facebook.com/schmice
Twitter: @israelcomment
Israel Commentary Blog: Subscribe at: www.israel-commentary.org

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About: ,

Share This Post

Published on Jun 18, 2016
Most of the millions of overwhelmingly male migrants who have come to Europe in the past two years are not refugees fleeing war zones. Douglas Murray discusses the total failure of Germany and other countries to integrate the migrants, and what the consequences will be.

www.israel-commentary.org

June 24, 2016

Simon Shuster, TIME

In a stunning victory for the anti-establishment forces that have upended mainstream politics across the Western world, British voters chose on Thursday to pull their country out of the European Union, sending global markets into a tailspin and encouraging anti-E.U. forces across the continent to push for their own referenda on whether to break away.

“The E.U. is failing, the E.U. is dying,” declared the leader of the U.K. Independence Party, Nigel Farage, one of the leaders of the campaign for the British exit, or Brexit, from the union formed from the ruins of Europe after World War II. “It’s a victory against big business…against big politics,” he told reporters early on Friday morning, as the results showed 52% of the votes had been cast in favor of leaving and 48% against.

That margin of victory – amounting to around 1.3 million votes – did not simply repudiate the British government’s calls for openness and unity with Europe. It also offered a blueprint for how ballot-box insurgencies across the West could, in the course of a single campaign, shatter the legitimacy of the ruling elites.

This formula is a familiar one, drawing fuel from a potent mix of xenophobia and angst over the loss of sovereignty and national identity. In the last couple of years, it has been deployed with explosive effects across Europe — and looks set to define the race for the U.S. presidency.

Donald Trump, the Republican presidential candidate, just happened to arrive in the U.K. to open a golf resort as the final results were announced, and wasted no time in linking them to his own insurgent campaign. British voters had “taken their country back,” he said, echoing a slogan that has helped him win over the base, if not always the old guard, of the Republican Party.

“In a sense, the result of this referendum is a victory for Trumpism the world over,” says Tony Travers, a noted political scientist in London and adviser to the British parliament. “It definitely has the same roots.” Trump supporters, much like backers of Brexit, tend to feel that traditional parties have ignored their concerns over migration and economic inequality for too long. Their response has been a wide-ranging revolt against the status quo that has opened the political arena to a variety of upstart candidates for the first time in a generation or more.

In France, Denmark, Sweden, Austria and the Netherlands, among other E.U. members, right wing and Eurosceptic parties have made enormous gains in popularity, especially after more than a million asylum seekers poured into Europe last year from across the Middle East and North Africa. Many of these parties have reacted to the U.K. referendum by urging their countries to follow suit. “Now it’s our turn,” the far-right leader of the Dutch Party for Freedom, Geert Wilders, told a local radio station on Friday.

For populists like Trump and Wilders, who have both referred to Islam as a threat to national security, the U.K. referendum has shown how hard it is for established parties to contain public resentments over mass migration and a perceived loss of national control. In the end, the most convincing argument for British voters to stay in the E.U. was, “better the devil you know than the devil you don’t,” says Simon Hix, a professor of political science at the London School of Economics.

It didn’t work. Weighed against the prideful nativism that fueled the opposing camp, such appeals proved ineffective in convincing a majority of British voters to stick with the devil they knew. Now, the British government will need to renegotiate its trade and political relationship with the European Union over a number of years, amending or repealing many of the laws and regulations that bind its state institutions with those of other members states.

It will be a gargantuan effort that Prime Minister David Cameron, for one,will not be involved in. He said Friday he would not lead the country beyond September, as the voters had rejected his pleas for the U.K. to stay in the E.U. “I do not think it would be right for me to be the captain that steers our country to its next destination,” Cameron said.

That destination looked so uncertain to financial markets on Friday that the British pound lost about 12% of its value against the dollar in the course of six hours, marking the steepest plunge on record. The Bank of England, the country’s central bank, tried to reassure the markets that it would “take all necessary steps” to maintain financial stability. But stock markets around the world still went into free-fall, with Europe’s main indexes losing 8% in morning trading.

As these economic realities began to set in, some supporters of the Brexit had second thoughts about their decision. “I have a heavy heart this morning,” says Chris Morris, a 69-year-old cab driver in London. “It won’t affect me too much. I’m old. I got no debts. But I do worry for my daughters who have mortgages to pay,” he says. The referendum, however, cannot be taken back. “So we just have to wait and see what happens,” Moriss says. “It’s in the lap of the gods now.”

Fan Club: https://www.facebook.com/schmice
Twitter: @israelcomment
Israel Commentary Blog: Subscribe at: www.israel-commentary.org

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About:

Share This Post

The reason that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s response to the Orlando massacre was met with an unprecedented response on social media for a statement made by a politician was his “tone of voice,” wrote a prominent columnist in the Financial Times on Monday.

Sam Leith, author of You Talkin’ to Me?: Rhetoric from Aristotle to Obama, said this in answer to the question he himself posed: “How do you, as a politician, a public speaker or the spokesperson for an organization, respond to tragedy?”

What one is reaching for, he wrote in “The Art of Persuasion,” is “[d]ignity, restraint, a suspension of hostilities… but what a tiger to ride: to be dignified and restrained in a climate of grief; to be bipartisan and gracious in a climate of rage. Naturally, orators seek to channel strong crowd emotions. Here, they are seeking in some sense to calm them down.”

Netanyahu’s statement was similar in content – he placed blame on radical Islam – it “went down differently.”

“It is not what you say, it is how you say it,” concluded Leith.

 

Watch Netanyahu’s full statement below:

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About: ,

Share This Post

Paul Ryan’s Treason

By Daniel Greenfield

June 22, 2016

In an awkward interview with the Huffington Post, House Speaker Paul Ryan threatened to sue Donald Trump if he were to ban Muslim immigration or build a border wall with Mexico. Considering the current track record of suing Obama over abuses of power, this is little more than a confession of impotence.

And yet it’s deeply troubling that a top Republican is willing to go to such lengths to fight for Muslim migration or for that matter illegal immigration in general.

Paul Ryan insists that he will continue to “speak up in defense of our principles, in defense of not just our party’s principles, but our country’s principles”, but it’s telling that these principles seem to involve illegal immigration and Muslim migration.

Since when are either of these representative of our party’s principles or our country’s principles?

And yet they are indeed core principles for Paul Ryan.

Paul Ryan had complained that a Muslim ban was, “not reflective of our principles not just as a party but as a country.” Like Obama, Ryan speaks of “our principles” without actually referencing specifics. While a constitutional conservative, speaks in terms of the Constitution, Ryan uses the “values” language of the left which references no laws, only general sentiments attributed to no specific law or document.

Though Paul Ryan claims that he wants to maintain the traditional separation of powers, and quotes the exact basis for it, he seems reluctant to do so when he claims that a Muslim ban would be wrong. Ryan knows quite well that his opposition to a Muslim migration ban is not based on the law. Like his support for illegal alien amnesty, it is based on the values construct of the left and not on the Constitution.

Paul Ryan was a longtime supporter of illegal alien amnesty. Back when amnesty was still being disguised as “immigration reform”, Ryan was a key player in pushing it forward. Ryan was so notorious for his support for illegal alien amnesty that he had to promise not to move forward on it under Obama in order to gain enough support to become Speaker. And yet despite this Ryan continues to sound amnesty notes.

Like most of the left, Paul Ryan describes illegal aliens as “undocumented immigrants.” Last year, he once again endorsed some measure of legalization for illegal aliens. Even now his website’s top 5 issues includes a call for “immigration reform” which remains a euphemism for illegal alien amnesty.

As is typical of stealth amnesty bids, up front are a raft of security measures and at the very back is a plan for more guest workers and finally a call to “give people a chance to get right with the law”.

That is yet another amnesty euphemism.

Paul Ryan’s amnesty pledge expires when Obama leaves office. That means that, if we take his website at its word, he would like to push amnesty measures under the next administration. A few years ago he was anticipating a move on “immigration reform” in 2017. And so it is not surprising that he remains less than fond of any calls to crack down on illegal immigration.

While Paul Ryan has currently been fairly quiet about amnesty, there was a time when he was one of the more vocal national legislators throwing out amnesty talking points about a “broken immigration system” and “de facto amnesty”. Ryan was certainly not the only prominent Republican to climb on board the amnesty express, but he remained aboard it long after it was leaving the station.

Despite the general shift in the GOP, there is no sign that Ryan has abandoned it. Instead he views Obama’s divisive tone as having poisoned the wall on amnesty. He’s still the same politician who complained two years ago, “People say, ‘amnesty!’ No, it’s taking a problem that’s intractable, that’s been around forever, and trying to fix it in a way that as best guarantees as you can that we’re not going to be in the same [situation] ten years from now.”

Trump’s victory has made it quite clear that Ryan’s view of amnesty, once mainstream in the GOP, is now on the outs. If Trump were to win a national election, then the country would have ratified a rejection of amnesty. The thing that Ryan once fought so hard for, turning illegal aliens into guest workers, was thoroughly rejected by Republican voters.

But there is no sign that Ryan is willing to give up or give in. And that is the problem.

Paul Ryan insists that a ban on Muslim migration would be wrong because, “Muslims are our partners.” That would come as news to all the Americans killed at home and abroad by “our partners” from Saudi Arabia to Muslim refugees and terrorists operating in the United States. And yet even after the latest Muslim terrorist attack in Orlando, Paul Ryan shows no sign of being willing to reconsider his position.

And that’s not surprising.

Paul Ryan doesn’t represent any kind of national Republican consensus. Instead he is a vocal and effective spokesman for the point of view of his backers and sponsors. That is why Ryan not only supports illegal alien amnesty, but also backs “sentencing reform”, a euphemism for freeing criminals.

Despite the anti-establishment election, Paul Ryan continues to represent a particular strain of elitist establishment politics which is concerned with the advocacy of very specific and specifically destructive policies without regard to their consequences, whether it involves criminals, illegal aliens or Muslim terrorists. These principles are often put forward as conservative, but in fact they are a particular species of libertarianism that has very little regard for national interests and none for their victims.

Ryan’s support for illegal immigration and Muslim migration is treasonous. And yet the deeper treason is his treason to the ordinary Republicans whose views and interests he simply does not seem to care about. This is a problem that did not begin with this election and is not likely to end with it.

And yet it is a problem that must be confronted.

The GOP came dangerously close to endorsing amnesty because special interest agendas mattered more than national interests and community interests. And we are not out of the woods yet.

Paul Ryan represents everything wrong with allowing a handful of special interests to set the agenda for the GOP. The agenda has been repudiated at the polls, but it will take far more work to repudiate it in the GOP.

(The worst part is that Donald Trump has to put up with this kind of treasonous un-American behavior in his attempt to  elicit the help of the Republican Party in the election. At the same time,  many misguided Republicans are trying, with all their might, to lose the election to Hillary Clinton who in fact represents their own Left-Wing agenda and they believe is the safer choice for them to retain their ill-begotten offices and political perks.  To their mind, Donald Trump, in his attempt  to turn this awful political system around,  might very well eliminate to the benefit of the nation and the American people. These politicians might even find themselves looking for a real job outside the public trough.

It is past time for Reince Priebus, National Head of the Republican Party to rein Ryan in line publicly and work to reverse his title of  Speaker of the House — A job that Ryan so cleverly obtained and with which he will continue to perform his destructive mischief. You may remember, he was the Republican? that immediately, upon assuming the title, gave Obama his entire gargantuan eighth and final budget. That deal set spending until the end of October of this year and beyond that will continue to cripple our military while paying for the outrageous bankrupting entitlement programs promoted by the irresponsible Left)

jsk

Subscribe to Israel Commentary: www.israel-commentary.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/schmice

Twitter: @israelcomment

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

 

Subscribe to Israel Commentary: www.israel-commentary.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/schmice

Twitter: @israelcomment

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About:

Share This Post

By the irrefutable Judge Andrew P. Napolitano

The Washington Times

June 2, 2016

Late last week, the inspector general of the State Department completed a year-long investigation into the use by Hillary Clinton of a private email server for all of her official government email as secretary of state. The investigation was launched when information technology officials at the State Department under Secretary of State John Kerry learned that Clinton paid an aide to migrate her public and secret State Department email streams away from their secured government venues and onto her own, non-secure server, which was stored in her home.

The migration of the secret email stream most likely constituted the crime of espionage — the failure to secure and preserve the secrecy of confidential, secret or top-secret materials.

The inspector general interviewed Clinton’s three immediate predecessors — Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice — and their former aides about their email practices. He learned that none of them used emails as extensively as Clinton, none used a private server and, though Powell and Rice occasionally replied to government emails using private accounts, none used a private account when dealing with state secrets.

Clinton and her former aides declined to cooperate with the inspector general, notwithstanding her oft-stated claim that she “can’t wait” to meet with officials and clear the air about her emails.

The inspector general’s report is damning to Clinton. It refutes every defense she has offered to the allegation that she mishandled state secrets. It revealed an email that hadn’t been publicly made known showing Clinton’s state of mind. And it paints a picture of a self-isolated secretary of state stubbornly refusing to comply with federal law for venal reasons; she simply did not want to be held accountable for her official behavior.

The report rejects Clinton’s argument that her use of a private server “was allowed.” The report makes clear that it was not allowed, nor did she seek permission to use it. She did not inform the FBI, which had tutored her on the lawful handling of state secrets, and she did not inform her own State Department IT folks.

The report also makes clear that had she sought permission to use her own server as the instrument through which all of her email traffic passed, such a request would have been flatly denied.

In addition, the report rejects her argument — already debunked by the director of the FBI — that the FBI is merely conducting a security review of the State Department’s email storage and usage policies rather than a criminal investigation of her. The FBI does not conduct security reviews. The inspector general does. This report is the result of that review, and Clinton flunked it, as it reveals that she refused to comply with the same State Department storage and transparency regulations she was enforcing against others.

Here is what is new publicly: When her private server was down and her BlackBerry immobilized for days at a time, she refused to use a government-issued BlackBerry because of her fear of the Freedom of Information Act. She preferred to go dark, or back to the 19th-century technology of having documents read aloud to her.

This report continues the cascade of legal misery that has befallen her in the past eight months. The State Department she once headed has rejected all of her arguments. Two federal judges have ordered her aides to testify about a conspiracy in her office to evade federal laws. She now awaits an interrogation by impatient FBI agents, which will take place soon after the New Jersey and California primaries next week. Her legal status can only be described as grave or worse than grave.

We know that Clinton’s own camp finally recognizes just how dangerous this email controversy has become for her. Over the Memorial Day weekend, John Podesta, the chairman of Clinton’s campaign, sent an email to her most important donors. In it, he recognizes the need to arm the donors with talking points to address Clinton’s rapidly deteriorating support with Democratic primary voters.

The Podesta email suggests attempting to minimize Clinton’s use of her private server by comparing it to Powell’s occasional use of his personal email account. This is a risky and faulty comparison. None of Powell’s emails from his private account — only two or three dozen — contained matters that were confidential, secret or top-secret.

Clinton diverted all of her email traffic to her private server — some 66,000 emails, about 2,200 of which contained state secrets. Moreover, Powell never used his own server, nor is he presently seeking to become the chief federal law enforcement officer in the land.

The inspector general who wrote the report was nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate in 2013, after Clinton left office. He did a commendable job — one so thorough and enlightening that it has highlighted the important role that inspectors general play in government today.

Today every department in the executive branch has, by law, an inspector general in place who has the authority to investigate the department — keeping officials’ feet to the fire by exposing failure to comply with federal law.

If you are curious as to why the inspector general of the State Department during Clinton’s years as secretary did not discover all of Clinton’s lawbreaking while she was doing it, the answer will alarm but probably not surprise you.

There was no inspector general at the State Department during Clinton’s tenure as secretary — a state of affairs unique in modern history; and she knew that. How much more knowledge of her manipulations will the Justice Department tolerate before enforcing the law?

(You can bet that Obama will attempt to cover all Clinton’s  tracks and elicit the assistance of his hand-picked Head of the Justice Department, United States Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, to again aid him in yet another  invasion of American law in order to further his destructive political agenda) jsk

Andrew P. Napolitano, a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey is a contributor to the Washington Times. He is the author of seven books on the United States Constitution.

Fan Club: https://www.facebook.com/schmice
Twitter: @israelcomment
Israel Commentary Blog: Subscribe at: www.israel-commentary.org

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About: ,

Share This Post

www.israel-commentary.org

State Department sets new single-day record for Syrian refugee approvals

By Stephen Dinan

The Washington Times
May 24, 2016

The State Department admitted 80 Syrian refugees on Tuesday and 225 on Monday, setting a new single-day record as President Obama surges to try to meet his target of 10,000 approvals this year — sparking renewed fears among security experts who say corners are being cut to meet a political goal.

Officials insisted they’re moving faster because they’re getting better at screening, and say they’re still running all the traps on applicants.

But the new spike in numbers is stunning, with more people accepted on Monday alone than were approved in the entire months of January or February.

“The Obama administration is on full throttle to admit as many people as possible before the time clock runs out on them,” said Jessica Vaughan, policy studies director at the Center for Immigration Studies.

“This is the classic scenario when political expediency trumps prudence, and someone slips through who shouldn’t have, and tragedy ensues.”

Powerless to stop the civil war in Syria, Mr. Obama has instead offered the U.S. as a safe haven for those fleeing the conflict, promising to accept 10,000 refugees between Oct. 1 and Sept. 30. As of Tuesday evening, he’d approved 2,540 — an average of about 10 applications a day.

To meet the 10,000 goal, that pace will have to spike to nearly 60 approvals a day.

From February to April, the administration deployed extra staff to Jordan, where some 12,000 applicants referred by the U.N. were interviewed. Interviews of Syrians were also being held in Lebanon and Iraq, and both USCIS and the State Department said everything is going according to plan, with enough interviews completed that they can bring in 7,000 more refugees by the end of September.

“Increases in processing capacity have improved our capacity to meet the 10,000 target for Syrian refugee admissions for this fiscal year. As such, we expect Syrian refugee arrivals to the U.S. to increase steadily throughout the fiscal year,” a State Department official said.

The department says refugees undergo the most checks of anyone applying to enter the U.S., and Syrians are getting as much scrutiny as possible.

But pressure to speed up the process is growing. Last week Senate Democrats, led by Sen. Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, fired off a letter saying other countries are approving refugees at a quicker pace, and demanding the administration catch up.

“Refugees are victims, not perpetrators, of terrorism,” the Democrats wrote in their letter. That’s not always the case, however, as two men who arrived as part of the refugee program were charged with terrorism-related offenses in January.

One of those, Aws Mohammed Younis Al-Jayab, an Iraqi-born man, was living in Syria when he was admitted as a refugee in 2012. The State Department counts him against its Iraqi refugee program, not against the Syrian refugee program.

The Obama administration has repeatedly cited the Iraqi program as evidence that it can safely admit refugees from Syria. But security experts say the U.S., by dint of the long war in Iraq, has access to government databases, and a presence on the ground, to assist in checking out would-be refugees’ stories.

No such access exists in Syria, where the U.S. considers the current regime an enemy and much of the country is occupied by the very terrorist forces from Islamic State that the U.S. is fighting.

Critics say the Obama administration has been too heavily focused on Muslim refugees, while hundreds of thousands of Christians are left behind.

The latest statistics show only a dozen Christian refugees from Syria have been accepted so far — a rate of less than half of one percent. The overwhelming majority — more than 97 percent — are Sunni Muslims.

Congressional Republicans have called for a slower approach to admitting refugees, but have been powerless to stop Mr. Obama. Democrats filibustered a proposal to require the chiefs of Homeland Security, intelligence and the FBI to sign off on every refugee’s application.

The House will take another step Wednesday, as the Judiciary Committee votes on legislation requiring USCIS to check the social media profiles of all applicants seeking visas from suspect countries.

States have also tried to block Mr. Obama, renouncing agreements to work with the administration to resettle refugees within their borders. Texas even sued to try to bar resettlement, but a federal court rejected the lawsuit, saying the state didn’t have standing.
Subscribe to Israel Commentary: www.israel-commentary.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/schmice
Twitter: @israelcomment

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About:

Share This Post

 

John Bolton obliterates President Obama’s response to terrorism

This is an act of war on the United States not just an act of hate!

Sunday brought the latest terrorist attack in America, the largest mass shooting in U.S. history, with all its attendant tragedy. Words cannot adequately describe the horror that engulfed the scene of this massacre, caused by one Omar Mir Seddique Mateen.

Beyond the human cost, however, also lies the tragedy that Barack Obama, speaking even as it became clear that the murderer was a radical Islamic terrorist, is still unable or unwilling to draw the appropriate conclusions. The president’s remarks omitted any linkages between the cold-blooded murders, the terrorist’s ideology, and the broader international threat that motivated the Orlando killer and perhaps others yet unknown.

We will, in the coming days, doubtless hear that the terrorist was a lone wolf, that he did not belong to any known terrorist organization, that there are no wider threats. In particular, those who are blind to the terrorist threat will downplay even the incontrovertible fact that Mateen pledged loyalty to ISIS as he committed his murders.

Two critical conclusions follow immediately from Sunday’s tragic reality, one with immediate implications for our domestic safety, and one for conducting the broader international war against terrorism.

The United States must urgently discard the fiction that we pay no price for not pursuing international terrorists vigorously and relentlessly.

First, the number of true “lone wolf” terrorists is infinitesimal. The implications of that phrase, namely that terrorism is not a widespread and still-growing phenomenon, are profoundly impairing our ability to protect innocent civilians. Terrorists like Mateen are not “one offs” who emerge randomly, unexpectedly and inexplicably, perhaps victims of mental disorders. The evidence is now indisputable that we are confronting a far larger threat, albeit not one organized conveniently for our understanding. This threat is unmistakably ideological, as Sunday’s Orlando attack and the apparently thwarted attack in Santa Monica demonstrate.

We simply must start acknowledging that terrorists — whether ISIS, Al Qaeda, or others — are not structured like governments or corporations. They are not staffed with desk-bound bureaucrats in grey suits, arranged pursuant to a complex, hierarchical organization chart. They do not send memoranda to each other through a complex clearance process, with copies distributed far and wide.

Nor do they function like spy networks and subversive political movements of days gone by. They do not carry party identification cards. They do not communicate through dead drops, brush passes, invisible ink and microdots. This is not an age where FBI agents have the capacity to infiltrate the “cells” that do not exist or shadow the agents who are running the actual terrorists.

Instead, it is not just the West that has mastered digital communications and Internet social networks. The terrorists are just as good at it, for their purposes better than we are at understanding their techniques and their success. Actors like Mateen are not rigorously following a critical path chart in ISIS headquarters. Instead, it is precisely the disconnected, unpredictable timing of the terrorist attacks, not necessarily staged in advance, that adds to their devastating effect.

Second, the United States must urgently discard the fiction that we pay no price for not pursuing international terrorists vigorously and relentlessly. President Obama’s strategy against terrorist bases of operation, when it is evident at all, has been lackadaisical and offhanded. There is a clear rationale to this casualness. Obama manifestly believes that, as bad as terrorist attacks are, American “overreaction” is worse. In his view, the use of U.S. forces risks increasing the problem rather than reducing it, making us much a part of the problem as the terrorist threat itself.

This is, of course, utter nonsense. We are obviously defending ourselves from attack, not initiating it. And it is palpably our failure to defend ourselves that provides incentives for the terrorist to strike even harder. Here is where Obama’s failure to pursue the campaign against ISIS in Syria and Iraq is so damaging. A slow, casual offensive against ISIS gives the terrorists time and opportunity to encourage strikes like the one we have just seen.

There is a cost — and a very human cost — to allowing ISIS any respite from the full force of U.S. and allied military power. It is not cost-free to slow roll the anti-ISIS campaign, not in the Middle East, not in North Africa, and most certainly not in the United States.

While the foreign political and military complexities of obliterating ISIS are real enough, presidential resolve and determination can overcome much. Obama’s resolve and determination are AWOL.

I have long argued that the central issue of the 2016 elections should be national security.

The Orlando massacre has tragically underlined that point. President Obama may not be able to acknowledge the grim reality endangering us, but the rest of us must do so. Fortunately, we will pick a new president this November, and that choice must, at all costs, be someone who does not share Obama’s failings. The winning presidential candidate will be the one whose anti-terrorism policies are the most distinguishable from Obama’s.

John Bolton was U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations from 2005 through 2006. He is currently a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a Fox News contributor

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About: ,

Share This Post

www.israel-commentary.org

Redacted from an article By MATTHEW CONTINETTI

COMMENTARY MAY 16, 2016

In December 1981, “The Education of David Stockman” appeared in the Atlantic Monthly. It was a profile of the California congressman whom President Reagan had named director of the Office of Management and Budget the year before. For the story, written by liberal journalist William Grieder, Stockman spoke freely and contemptuously about his boss’s policies and decisions. This was a bad choice.

The unwritten rule is that aides should keep their mouths shut as long as the president who hired them remains in office. The political community was shocked at Stockman’s flouting of convention. Reagan was mad, too. Stockman said later that after the article was published, he was “taken to the woodshed by the president.” His clout faded. He left the White House in 1985.

I thought of Stockman the other day as I read “The Aspiring Novelist Who Became Obama’s Foreign-Policy Guru” in the New York Times Magazine. Another young and influential White House aide, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes, had granted extensive access to a journalist who may not have had his best interests in mind. And as Rhodes described his job as President Obama’s long-serving amanuensis (one who is employed to take dictation or to copy manuscript). he, like Stockman, could not hide the disdain and contempt in his voice.

What distinguishes Rhodes is that the object of his derision is not the president, but the very media that the article credits him with manipulating so skillfully. This, too, was a bad choice: Ben Rhodes violated the media’s preposterous sense of independence and incorruptibility. And he did it in the pages of America’s most important newspaper, in an article built largely around the idea that the administration used the press to repeatedly and egregiously mislead the public about the purpose and details of the nuclear deal with Iran.

“Rhodes’s innovative campaign to sell the Iran deal,” writes author David Samuels, “is likely to be a model for how future administrations explain foreign policy to Congress and the public.” Considering the revelations in Samuels’s piece, “explain” might not be the right word.

“Dissemble” is more accurate. The basic outlines of the deal with Iran, Samuels notes, had been agreed to long before the 2013 election of President Hassan Rouhani, whom Rhodes portrayed as a “moderate” and a catalyst for talks. Another example, not mentioned by Samuels, is the administration’s promise of “anytime, anywhere” inspections of Iranian nuclear facilities, which John Kerry disavowed and which was exposed as false as soon as the ink on the agreement was dry. In each case, Rhodes drew on his master’s degree in creative writing to, as Samuels puts it, construct “overarching plot lines with heroes and villains, their conflicts and motivations supported by flurries of carefully chosen adjectives, quotations, and leaks from named and unnamed senior officials.”

His strategy relied on the inexperience and credulity of the Washington press corps. “All these newspapers used to have foreign bureaus,” Rhodes told Samuels. “Now they don’t. They call us to explain to them what’s happening in Moscow and Cairo. Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”

Typically, the media lauds journalists who enjoy access and powerful sources, but Samuels reverses that equation by showing Rhodes’s contempt for his marks.
Ignorant and naive journalists friendly to the White House were just one part of Rhodes’s operation. “We created an echo chamber,” he told Samuels. “They were saying things that validated what we had given them to say.” Opposition to the president was dismissed as lunatic or malevolent. “In the absence of rational discourse, we are going to discourse the [expletive] out of this,” Rhodes said. “We had test drives to know who was going to carry our message effectively, and how to use outside groups like Ploughshares, the Iran Project, and whomever else.”

It is not Rhodes but Samuels who identifies the only two reporters mentioned by name in the 10,000-word article. “For those in need of more traditional-seeming forms of validation,” Samuels writes, “handpicked Beltway insiders like Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic and Laura Rozen of Al-Monitor helped retail the administration’s narrative.” Needless to say, Goldberg and Rozen object strenuously to this characterization. Goldberg calls it “defamatory.” Rozen, sounding like Rush Limbaugh, calls it “a drive-by shooting.” But anyone who has read their work knows that Goldberg is the president’s go-to writer for friendly interviews on foreign policy, and that Rozen probably thinks the nuke deal was too tough on Iran.

… Samuels forces us to consider just how corrupt and pliable and loyal to President Obama much of the media is. Samuels violated the bro code of the D.C. fraternity, and so he finds himself attacked as a partisan, a warmonger, a neocon.

Ben Rhodes broke the rule that says an aide cannot talk candidly about the administration for which he works. And David Samuels broke the rule that proscribes journalists from telling the truth about the professional community in which they work. His article is an education indeed.

Subscribe to Israel Commentary: www.israel-commentary.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/schmice
Twitter: @israelcomment

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About: ,

Share This Post

(www.israel-commentary.org)

Israeli PM Netanyahu addresses the Knesset in honor of Jerusalem Day – June 2016:

(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Advisor)

Since our very beginning as a people, our existence was tied to Jerusalem, and the awareness of this privilege is the cornerstone of our national
experience and our Zionist faith. The 49th anniversary of the reunification of Israel’s capital (1967) finds Jerusalem in a clear trend of development, prosperity and accomplishments that inspire pride.

There are many issues and challenges that we must address, and we are and will continue to do so. However, one thing is clear: Jerusalem, the beating heart of our nation, our united capital, is advancing by leaps and bounds. We see this in the construction, the cranes, the roads, the institutions located here, in the factories. I refer to software factories, because out of Zion shall come forth software and it is. It is coming forth in completely new and unexpected places, for example in the automotive industry, as a global player, and so on and so forth.

Numerous crowns have been placed on Jerusalem’s head, from Biblical times through the present day. There is a reason it creates a unifying experience between generations. We, the adults, remember the Jerusalem that was divided until the Six Day War. We remember what was on the other side, when Israel did not have security control beyond the barbed wire fences, in the minefields, the no-man’s land.

The younger people here were born into a different era. They visit the battlegrounds, especially Ammunition Hill. They read about the heroism of our fighters who fought the most justified of defensive wars and achieved a glorious victory. They hear the stories of divided Jerusalem, which for 19 years was the front line and a frontier town. That is what it was.

Older Jerusalemites, children like me, remember them firing, always firing from east to west. We did not fire eastward. The enemy was literally a stone’s throw from us, and that is what happens when we do not have security control in the field. Of course, we do not want to return to that reality. I do not think that there is room for any apologetics. We do not need to make excuses for our being in Jerusalem.

Since our very beginning as a people, our existence was tied to Jerusalem, and the awareness of this privilege is the cornerstone of our national experience and our Zionist faith. Moreover, the vast majority of the public understands that only democratic Israel can safeguard Jerusalem’s existence as an open city, one that has freedom for all religions. Freedom of religion is conditional on tolerance and tolerance only exists if there is genuine
willingness to respect the holy places of the other side and the sanctity of religion first and foremost.

Unfortunately, this does not happen in our region nowadays. The Middle East is rife with extremism and under sway to a dangerous atmosphere – who will expel whom, who will banish whom, who will destroy whom, who will destroy the cultural treasures of the other side. Of course, influenced by these trends, we have, over the past year, witnessed incidents of incitement and extremism in relation to the Temple Mount. Claims were made against us that we allegedly sought to harm the al-Aqsa Mosque, something which was not and will never be true.

This old lie has been revived. It was applied to my grandfather’s generation several short years after he immigrated to Israel in 1920. The same lie has been revived, and this severe incitement is of course also at the core of the current wave of terror, which has led to the injury of innocent people.

Apparently this lie has legs because it has travelled as far as the UN headquarters at UNESCO. The organization charged by the UN to preserve the world’s heritage recently determined that the Temple Mount has no connection to the Jewish people. We have no connection with the Temple Mount. This claim is so absurd and so outrageous that I cannot get over it. Not only is it ridiculous, but this absurdity and this lie are making the rounds the world over – we have no connection with the Temple Mount.

Our forefathers visited the Temple Mount 3,800 years ago. The two temples of the Jewish people stood on the Temple Mount for one thousand years. King
David built his palace in the City of David adjacent to the Temple Mount and made Jerusalem our capital 3,000 years ago, and ever since, the Jewish people have prayed in the direction of the Temple Mount and its image has decorated their homes – and we have no connection with the Temple Mount. The
Jews’ ongoing affinity with the Temple Mount is a basic fact of history that only ignorant people, either by force or willingly, deny.

I must say here: These distortions of history are only reserved for the Jews. Does anyone claim that the pyramids in Giza have no connection to the Egyptians? That the Acropolis in Athens has no connection to the Greeks? That the Coliseum in Rome has no connection to the Italians? It is ridiculous to try and sever the connection between the Temple Mount and the Jewish people.

Of course, the truth is the complete opposite. We, the people of Israel, have a primal claim on Jerusalem. Our roots here are deeper than any other peoples, and the same is true about the Temple Mount. Jerusalem was ours and it will be ours.

I believe that the Six Day War made it clear to our enemies that we are here to stay. The same spirit of the liberators of Jerusalem beats in our hearts. Over the past year, we have stood firm against bloodthirsty terrorists. We took determined action against them – in any place, at any time, without limits. We can see that we succeeded in sharply reducing the number of terrorist attacks. I cannot say that we have “yet come to the resting place or to the heritage”. We are doing everything we can to ensure that quiet will prevail in the capital and anywhere else in Israel. However, with regard to the capital, I wish to say – and especially with regard to the
Temple Mount before Ramadan begins – that we made efforts, and I would say massive efforts, during Passover so that this spark would not be reignited.

The incitement and provocations concerning the Temple Mount played an important role in igniting the phenomenon of the individual terrorists, as we call them, seven months ago – and their numbers have gradually decreased. We spoke with neighboring Arab countries; we spoke with various publics; we spoke with the media; our representatives appeared in the Arab-language media; and we told the truth, the truth I am telling you now, regarding our intention to preserve the status quo. We succeeded in reducing the tension and in preventing its reoccurrence during Passover. Now Ramadan is about to begin and we are making that same effort, I hope with the full cooperation of all the members of Knesset and of all our neighbors.

Clearly, the violence will not overcome us and it will not weaken our hold on Jerusalem. Jerusalem is a mixed city. There is a complex web of relations between Jews and non-Jews here, and of course there is tension between the populations. By the way, this characterizes other mixed cities around the world, almost all of them.

However, coexistence continues even if it is occasionally undermined. I believe that most of the residents of East Jerusalem want quiet, and I think we should not allow anyone to ignite a conflagration, to inflame the extremists. When they tried to do so, we acted decisively. If they try doing it again, we will act similarly in the future.

In the meanwhile, Mr. Mayor, we are contributing a measure of security, in full cooperation with each other under your leadership, but with the full support of the Government, and I believe also of the majority of members of Knesset – a measure of security and also of beauty.

Herzl visited Jerusalem 118 years ago (1898), and he found a  neglected city (under the jurisdiction of the Ottoman Empire).  He wrote that it was
filled with nests of filth that had to be removed. However, despite this, he emphasized, “Even in its current state of destruction, it is still a beautiful city and it could, if we come here, be one of the most beautiful cities in the world again.”

I think that Herzl would appreciate that he was right in this prediction as well, because the act of building Jerusalem, its establishment, rehabilitation and development have made it into such a city, one of the most beautiful cities in the world, certainly the most beautiful city for our people and for our children. It is the largest of Israel’s cities and a vibrant metropolis. It has been resurrected and it is flourishing.

The best way to describe Jerusalem is as an extremely old city, as it is thousands of years old, but one that is renewing its adolescence, and it still has a great many steps before all its problems can be resolved. However, I believe that something new is developing here. There are new energies here, and we are not only rehabilitating its spectacular ruins, we are advancing capabilities for innovation and opportunities that we never dreamed would be found in this city just years ago.

Several weeks ago, we placed a cornerstone nearby for the new location of the National Library. The Jerusalem of the spirit marches hand-in-hand with the Jerusalem of daily life – on the streets, in the markets, in the shopping centers, in the hi-tech factories. The road to Jerusalem is changing, with added lanes and train tracks.

This week, the first part of the new Moza Bridge was connected, and the second part will open soon as well. Every Jerusalemite and anyone who has travelled up to Jerusalem welcomes this wonderful change. The dangerous curve near Moza is in the past.

We are entering the jubilee year of the unification of Jerusalem. We still have a great many plans up our sleeves and many initiatives to advance the capital from end to end. We will continue to ensure that Jerusalem, our united capital, will be open and prosperous, with its face to the future, to co-existence and to peace.

“Judah will exist forever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation…” “For he has strengthened the bars of your gates, and blessed your children
in your midst.”

 
IMRA – Independent Media Review and Analysis

Website: www.imra.org.il

Subscribe to Israel Commentary: www.israel-commentary.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/schmice
Twitter: @israelcomment

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About:

Share This Post

Why Israel Should Not Adopt Unilateral Initiatives

By Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror, June 1, 2016

Publisher: The Begin–Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (BESA) Bar Ilan University, Israel

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 343,

June 1, 2016,

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The moribund state of the peace process has prompted the suggestion of two opposing unilateral “solutions”: either Israeli withdrawal from, or the annexation of, parts of the West Bank. Neither would be wise policy. A partial withdrawal would likely increase, rather than decrease, Palestinian terrorism, as Palestinians would be motivated to push harder for total Israeli withdrawal. Annexation would inflame passions against Israel among the Palestinians, and engender opposition to Israel abroad, where it would be taken as bad faith in Israel’s commitment to peace diplomacy.

With respect to the Palestinians, the current situation can be described as stagnation clouded by terrorism: In 2002 it was Palestinian suicide bombers, and in 2016 they introduced terrorism at knife-point.

The surge in violence is not necessarily linked to the peace process, or lack thereof. Hamas arch-terrorist Yihye Ayyash, for example, wreaked havoc even as Israeli leaders Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres were engaged in intense negotiations with then-Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Back then, a media establishment sympathetic to the Oslo Accords minced its words, calling the victims of terrorism “victims of peace.” But it was terrorism, plain and simple.

Over time, we have learned that even when terrorism appears to have ebbed, the quiet reflects not so much a diminishment of Palestinian terrorism as the ability of the Israeli military and the Shin Bet security agency to thwart it.

With little optimism for the future of the peace process, it is hardly surprising that many in Israel are distressed. The prolonged stagnation, compounded by the inability to present any viable alternative that would lead to comprehensive change, has bred suggestions meant to promote various worldviews, all under the guise of “partial steps seeking to meet current challenges.”

An in-depth study of these suggestions reveals, however, that they do not solve the problems at hand. They use false arguments to promote unilateral initiatives that will not only fail to help but can cause great harm.

In one corner, there are those who argue that although a two-state solution cannot be brokered at this time, it is in Israel’s interest to take steps toward that goal, even without the agreement of the other side. These advocates are willing to pay a hefty price up front for meager results that they hope will eventually work in favor of the creation of an independent Palestinian state. To that end, they favor the unilateral withdrawal of Israeli residents from Area C of the West Bank (a portion of territory categorized under the Oslo Accords as under full Israeli control), while allowing that the IDF will retain freedom of operations in this area.

This move is a roll of the dice that could tear Israeli society apart. Its proponents are prepared to take that risk in exchange for no real achievements on the international stage or among the Palestinians, who are sure to keep fighting what remains of the “occupation.” Terrorism will only worsen, as it has after every Israeli concession — but this time, without the benefit of an agreed-upon border. The concession would be the result of a unilateral Israeli withdrawal to a line that has no international legitimacy.

Some advocates of military withdrawal promote it as a means of gaining approval abroad, but experience suggests that this is a false hope. In 2005, proponents of disengagement from the Gaza Strip predicted that that unilateral move would win Israel precious points in the international community. As it turned out, that credit expired after a few months.

On the other side of the political spectrum, there are those who advocate annexation of Area C — the imposition, in other words, of Israeli sovereignty over a portion of the West Bank without defining the broader Israeli-Palestinian endgame.

The annexation idea suffers from the same weaknesses as the withdrawal idea, possibly to an even greater extent. Should Israel attempt to annex Area C, the international community would punish her mercilessly. Some parties are likely to push for statements, perhaps even sanctions, harsher than anything yet seen, possibly including official boycotts of Israel.

The global community will never accept Israel’s explanations of why such a move was necessary or justified. Everyone will claim that the change in the area’s legal status was intended to accomplish only one thing: to torpedo any chance of real peace negotiations with the Palestinians.

This would be a difficult charge to counter. The unilateral imposition of Israeli sovereignty over Area C would certainly prompt the Palestinians to slam the door on any further talks. The measure would therefore amount to a de facto declaration of a binational state.

Practically speaking, a change in sovereignty would do little to serve Israel’s interests. Nor would it benefit Israelis living in Judea and Samaria, whose primary need is security. The Shin Bet, for example, finds it easier to operate in an area under military control than under Knesset control.

When standing on the edge of a cliff, it is wiser to keep still than it is to step forward. This is always sound advice, and it is doubly so in the chaotic Middle East. It is obvious that the differences between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are so significant that any negotiations held at this time are doomed to fail. Moreover, this is not the time to embark on useless experiments or risky unilateral initiatives, either in the hope of preparing the ground for an eventual Palestinian state or in the hope of thwarting it. It is wiser to defer action than to take unilateral steps that threaten to make a bad situation worse.

Israel should focus instead on improving the lives of the Palestinians, as well as on how to navigate the situation the day after the departure of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, as he has no heir apparent.

Simultaneously, it is imperative to determine the motives for the current wave of Palestinian terrorism and find ways to stop it. Israel also has to take action to counter the hostility leveled at it from around the globe. Some of this hostility is fueled by the claim that Israel’s expressed support for a peace process is mere lip service, especially when Israel undermines future negotiations by approving settlement expansion.

There are no simple solutions to these complex problems, but any steps taken must adhere to one vital principle: that a wide public consensus is more important than the details of any individual proposal. This is critical, if Israel is to maintain and bolster its internal resilience ahead of future threats. The greatest danger in implementing a proposal that discounts legitimate objections expressed by the public is that it would create a deep rift in society. Nothing is more important than ensuring that Israel is strong enough to weather the challenges ahead.

Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror is the Anne and Greg Rosshandler Senior Fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies. He was a former National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister, Military Secretary to the Defense Minister, and Director of the Research Division in Military Intelligence.

II The Major General’s Missing Discussion

By Jerome S. Kaufman

In his insightful discussion Maj. Gen. Amidror elects not to make the obvious argument. Israel has been there, done that. Unilateral Israeli release of territory has resulted in only unmitigated disaster. It began of course, with Shimon Peres deceitful re-vitalization of a totally defeated Yasir Arafat allowing him to return from Tunisian isolation. This was later followed by the Oslo Accords that naively ceded territory within Israel to a fictitious Palestinian Authority that was given the false aura of undeserved statehood.

Most recently in their unconscionable, irrational donations of territory, the political and military disaster strategist, Ehud Barak, snuck away in the middle of the night, abandoned our Maronite Lebanese Christian allies and relinquished the Southern Lebanese Security Zone. The terror organization Hezbollah immediately moved right in, slaughtered our Maronite allies and took over control of a large portion of Lebanon and has amassed tens of thousands of missiles on Israel’s Northern border. Only the disintegration of Syria and the birth of ISIS, “The Islamic State” has delayed their use against Israel.

The next major disaster was, of course, that of former military great hero, Ariel Sharon, who, for reasons that still remain beyond any rational explanation destroyed the thriving Israeli community of Gush Katif on the Northern Gaza Mediterranean coast in the process of relinquishing the Gaza Strip. Hamas, the infamous terrorist group dedicated only to Israel’s destruction, immediately moved in, completely took over all of Gaza and has been raining terror upon Israel ever since — with no end in sight

What then is the obvious conclusion that Israeli leadership choses to ignore and to not trumpet emphatically and irrevocably to the world – Giving up Israeli territory in any area to the Arabs only results in another center of greater terrorism on Israel’s immediate borders and shrinks the postage stamp sized country to even more indefensible borders. Furthermore, the creation of an arbitrary, completely unsustainable, unjustified Palestinian State, would only herald in the final episode of Israel’s demise and the final destruction of the Jewish people as its enemies have wanted since the beginning of time.

Unfortunately, the Jews themselves and their awful leadership have been their enemies’s most dedicated enablers.

What then will be the final fate of the Jews? We will have only to fall back upon the Haredim’s perennial expectation — The Coming of the Messiach.

And, in all due respect, I would not hold my breath.

Jerome S. Kaufman, Editor/Publisher

Israel Commentary www.israel-commentary.org

Subscribe to Israel Commentary: www.israel-commentary.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/schmice
Twitter: @israelcomment

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About:

Share This Post

See previous Israel Commentary article right on target with this egomaniac seeking attention for himself and his minor publication, which I happen to like.

Jerome S. Kaufman

Relative to Wm. Kristol, effete intellectual snob, “Establishment” Republicans Hell-Bent on Self-Destruction at:

“Establishment” Republicans Hell-Bent on Self-Destruction oppose the Will of the People and their only possible Salvation — Donald Trump

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments