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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.

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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.
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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



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Redacted from an article By MATTHEW CONTINETTI


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.

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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


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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

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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



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From an article by: Mark Schulte

The Jewish Press
May 27, 2016

Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders (class of 1959) and my late father, Barney Schulte (class of 1932), both graduated from Brooklyn’s James Madison High School. Press accounts about Sanders and Madison have overlooked the fact that it was a nationally ranked academic and athletic high school between its founding in 1927 and the 1960s.

Four Nobel laureates were Madison graduates: Stanley Cohen (class of 1939, medicine), Robert Solow (class of 1940, economics), Gary Becker (class of 1948, economics), and Martin Perl (class of 1941, physics).

Other distinguished Madison Jewish graduates include Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), former senator Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), Marvin Miller, the first president of Major League Baseball’s players union, singer-songwriter Carole King (born Klein), sports and entertainment entrepreneur Sonny Werblin, and Sandra Feldman, the former head of the American Federation of Teachers.

Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), a graduate of Wingate High School (class of 1958), is a third Brooklynite currently serving in the U.S. Senate alongside Sanders and Schumer.

Madison’s four Nobel laureates matches Manhattan’s Stuyvesant HS for second place among American high schools in producing winners of this prestigious international prize. Ranking first with eight laureates is my alma mater, Bronx High School of Science. Unlike Bronx Science, Stuyvesant, and Brooklyn Tech, which can draw their student bodies from the five boroughs, Madison has always been a neighborhood high school.

As of 2016, the Nobel contingent from New York City public high schools stands at 42 (37 of them Jews). Thirty-one of the laureates won in the three natural-science categories – physics (14), medicine (12) and chemistry (5).

In total, 11 Jewish-American laureates graduated from a Brooklyn public high school. The seven from schools other than Madison are Jerome Karle, Paul Berg, and Arthur Kornberg (Abraham Lincoln HS); Arno Penzias and George Wald (Brooklyn Tech); Isidor Isaac Rabi (Manual Training); and Eric Kandel (Erasmus Hall).

Former New York Times reporter Joseph Berger’s 1993 book The Young Scientists: America’s Future and the Winning of the Westinghouse documents that 11 of the top 15 producers of semifinalists between 1942 and 1990 were New York City public high schools, and three other Brooklyn schools – Midwood, Brooklyn Tech, and Lincoln – ranked in this elite grouping. (For the last 18 years the contest has been sponsored by Intel.)

Like the Kandel family, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneersohn and his wife, Chaya Mushka, escaped from Nazi-occupied and Vichy-controlled France, arriving in Crown Heights in June 1941. The future Seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe also felt immensely grateful to his new homeland, and he used his electrical engineering training to work at the Brooklyn Navy Yard during World War II. (His father-in-law, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, the Sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, had been rescued by the American government from Nazi-occupied Warsaw and arrived in New York City in March 1940.)
Elliot Willensky, in the aptly titled When Brooklyn Was the World: 1920-1957, points out that “327,000 men and women from Brooklyn had fought in [World War II]; 7,000 of them had died in it.” No county in the United States sent more its sons and daughters off to World War II than Kings County (Brooklyn).

A good estimate is that more than 100,000 Jewish Brooklynites – out of a population of approximately 900,000 Jews living in Brooklyn at the time – served our country during the war.

The most famous cigar-smoking Jewish Brooklynite was probably the late Red Auerbach, out of Williamsburg and Eastern District HS, who led the Boston Celtics – as coach, general manager, and president – to an unprecedented 16 National Basketball Association titles. Between 1957 and 1966 he coached them to nine NBA titles in ten seasons (including eight straight), and Red would triumphantly light up a cigar in the closing minutes or seconds of a game when victory was assured.

A high school buddy of Auerbach’s was the late Victor Hershkowitz, who between the early 1940s and the 1960s won 23 national amateur handball championships. Both Auerbach and Hershkowitz were World War II veterans, and Hershkowitz also worked as a New York City firefighter.

Another Jewish Hall of Fame coach from Brooklyn is the late Red Holzman, out of Brownsville, Franklin K. Lane HS, and CCNY, who coached the perennially second-rate New York Knicks to the team’s only NBA championships (in 1970 and 1973).

Bernie Sanders, Vermont’s socialist senator didn’t play basketball for Madison HS, but was a miler and cross-country runner. However, the school’s most famous track star was Marty Glickman, who was supposed to run one of the four legs of the 400-meter relay for the U.S. track team in the 1936 Berlin Olympics final. But Glickman and another Jewish sprinter, Sam Stoller, were removed from the team for the medal round by Avery Brundage, head of the U.S. Olympic Committee and an outright anti-Semite. Just before Glickman died in 2001, the U.S. Olympic Committee apologized to him and to the family of Sam Stoller, who had passed away in 1992.

Glickman was also a star halfback on Madison HS’s football team and at Syracuse University. In 1994 the football field of Erasmus, Madison’s neighborhood arch-rival, was named for Sid Luckman, the Hall of Fame quarterback for the Chicago Bears and Columbia University. Luckman told The New York Times he had “chased [Glickman] all over the field and couldn’t catch” him in the 1934 Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL) championship game.

Neither the great Luckman nor Times sportswriter Ira Berkow mentioned that the only Americans who were faster than Glickman in the mid-1930s were Jesse Owens, who won four gold medals at the 1936 Olympic Games, and Ralph Metcalfe, the silver medalist in the 100-meter dash at the 1932 and 1936 Games. The two African-American sprinters replaced Glickman and Stoller on the victorious relay team for the final round, despite Owens’s protestations to “let Marty and Sam run.”

Additionally, the silver medalist in the 200-meter dash in the 1936 Olympics was Mack Robinson, the older brother of the legendary Jackie Robinson, who shattered Major League Baseball’s apartheid policy with the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field in 1947. Willensky’s When Brooklyn Was the World ends in 1957, when the Dodgers deserted the borough and relocated to Los Angeles.

There has been much press commentary, most of it comically exaggerated, about Bernie Sanders’s prowess as a high school athlete. The candidate preposterously boasted to CNN’s Chris Cuomo in a televised town hall discussion in Iowa in late January: “I was a very good athlete. I was a pretty good basketball player. My elementary school in Brooklyn won the borough championship – hardly worth mentioning, but we did. And, yes, I did take third place in the New York City one-mile race. I was a very good long-distance runner – not a great runner, but I was captain of my cross-country team.”

Those claims deserve a closer look.

First, an article earlier this year in The Washington Post, “The Untold Story of Bernie Sanders, High School Track Star,” noted that the winning time in the one-mile race in which Sanders placed third was a mediocre 4 minutes and 37 seconds.

Second, Marc Bloom, a well-known track writer who ran for Brooklyn’s Sheepshead Bay High School at roughly the same time as Sanders competed for Madison, pointed-out in a 2012 New York Times article that the scholastic record for the 2.5 mile course at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx was held in 1966 by Marty Liquori, a future Olympian, at 12 minutes and 23 seconds, nearly two minutes faster than Sanders’s 14 minutes and 16 seconds on the same course in October 1958.

Thus, an impartial evaluation of Sanders’s track talent is that he was an average athlete who was not good enough to win a college scholarship.

His claim of being a “pretty good basketball player” is even more delusional. Beginning in the early 20th century and extending into the 1980s, New York City produced the world’s greatest basketball players and coaches. The PSAL was founded in 1903, and the city’s first hoops hotspot was the Jewish Lower East Side, which produced Hall of Fame players Nat Holman, Barney Sedran, and Marty Friedman.

Playing for Brooklyn high schools when Sanders was a Madison student in the late 1950s were future Hall of Famers Lenny Wilkens and Connie Hawkins of Boys High School and Billy Cunningham of Erasmus. Thousands of other New York City hoopsters in the late 1950s received college athletic scholarships. The passion for basketball among Jewish teenagers in the 1950s is exemplified by the fact that Sandy Koufax, who went on to become a Hall of Fame pitcher for the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers, starred in basketball as well as baseball for Brooklyn’s Lafayette High.

Sanders is quoted as having disrespectfully dubbed Krinsky “Nat The Nose” in an article last summer in Tablet, an online Jewish magazine. “Straight Outta Brooklyn by Way of Vermont: The Bernie Sanders Story,” by Jas Chana, misspells the coach’s name as “Crinsky” and the author and her editors were apparently unaware of Krinsky’s athletic renown and that his two sons attended Madison and became successful professionals – Rear Admiral Paul Krinsky is the retired superintendent of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and Edward Krinsky captained Harvard’s basketball team in 1954, became a winning high school coach on Long Island, and headed the United States Basketball League..

Sanders has the dubious distinction, shared by a number of other Jewish males who came of age in New York City in the 1950s or 1960s, of having an inflated sense of his intellectual and athletic abilities.

By contrast, Federal Reserve Chairperson Janet Yellen, who graduated from Brooklyn’s Fort Hamilton High School in 1963, resembles the truly accomplished Brooklynites from the World War I, World War II, and Korean War generations. With a Ph.D. in economics from Yale and a husband, George Akerlof, who won the Nobel in economics, Yellen has an infinitely more sophisticated grasp of the world economy than Sanders, the socialist luftmensch who has spent most of his adult life on the government dole as a politician.

Like an old-time Coney Island carnival barker, Sanders travels the country and beguiles many Generation Xers and Millennials with pie-in-the-sky promises of free college tuition and a harsh comeuppance for the nation’s wealthiest one-percenters.

Perhaps Bernie should schedule a one-on-one economics debate, at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, with Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, who grew up in Brownsville and graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1971. Sanders and Blankfein, who swam for his high school team, could donate the proceeds to the PSAL, which would be greatly appreciated by the current generation of scholastic athletes.

Mark Schulte

About the Author: Mark Schulte is a prolific writer whose work has appeared in a number of publications including The Weekly Standard, New York Post, New York Daily News, and The Jewish Press.

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J Street was paid by Obama administration to promote Iran deal

Liberal Jewish group received $576,000 to advocate for Iran nuclear deal, belying its ‘pro-Israel’ pretensions.

By Ari Soffer

J Street received more than half a million dollars to advocate for the Obama administration’s controversial nuclear deal with Iran, it has been revealed.

The liberal Jewish group, which bills itself as “pro-Israel and pro-peace” but which critics say takes solely anti-Israel stances, was paid the money by the White House’s main surrogate organization for selling the deal.

The Ploughshares Fund was named in an explosive New York Times profile of Obama aid Ben Rhodes, in which the President’s chief spin doctor listed the central groups responsible for creating an “echo chamber” in order to promote the deal, even when the White House’s official line didn’t jibe with the facts.

According to Associated Press, the group’s 2015 annual report details several organizations which received substantial funds to peddle the official White House line on the nuclear deal.

Among them was National Public Radio (NPR), which received a $100,000 grant to promote “national security reporting that emphasizes the themes of U.S. nuclear weapons policy and budgets, Iran’s nuclear program, international nuclear security topics and U.S. policy toward nuclear security.”

Other grantees included: The Arms Control Association ($282,500); the Brookings Institution ($225,000); and the Atlantic Council ($182,500), who “received money for Iran-related analysis, briefings and media outreach, and non-Iran nuclear work,” according to AP.

The National Iranian American Council received more than $281,000, while Princeton University received a $70,000 grant to support former Iranian ambassador and nuclear spokesman Seyed Hossein Mousavian’s “analysis, publications and policymaker engagement on the range of elements involved with the negotiated settlement of Iran’s nuclear program.”

But the largest recipient of Obama administration funding was J Street, a group which has been closely cultivated by the current White House and is viewed by many as its mouthpiece in the American Jewish community.

According to The Ploughshares Fund’s annual report, J Street was paid $576,500 to advocate for the deal – something it did ferociously, in spite of the opposition from the majority of the pro-Israel community in the US.

J Street’s dogged support for the Iran deal came despite the fact that the vast majority of Israelis, including those on the left with whom J Street claims to align, were strongly opposed – a fact seized upon by the group’s critics as proof it consistently acts against the State of Israel’s interests.


By Daniel Greenfield

January 7, 2014
There was a reason why J Street’s house congresswoman was picked to head up the Dems. The left hasn’t had as much luck in the Senate, but it’s elevating Anti-Israel congressmen wherever it can.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz is closely affiliated with an Anti-Israel and Pro-Iran group funded by George Soros, a Nazi collaborator who described the Holocaust as the most exciting and happiest time in his life.

Unfortunately Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s voters have yet to get the message that she is Anti-Israel and Anti-Jewish and exists only to serve the interests and agendas of the left. And those of their Islamist allies in Iran.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.) has become a major obstacle to a new bipartisan Iran sanctions measure, according to multiple sources on Capitol Hill and in Florida.

Wasserman Schultz has broken with leading pro-Israel Democrats like New York Senator Chuck Schumer and New Jersey Senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker, privately urging her fellow Democrats to follow the White House’s lead by opposing a bipartisan House resolution backing new sanctions on Iran, according to multiple congressional sources close to the debate.

The Iran resolution fell apart in the final days of 2013 after House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (Md.) withdrew his support for it following a last minute lobbying campaign helmed by Wasserman Schultz, who sources identified as the “key Democrat” leading the anti-sanctions charge.

Wasserman Schultz’s backroom bid to kill the sanctions measure has angered some Democrats on Capitol Hill and in her hometown of South Florida.

“Debbie has been busy at home telling her constituents she is doing all she can to stop Iran, but in reality it appears she is busy behind the scenes working to scuttle bipartisan action to put increased sanctions pressure on Iran,” said one Democrat on Capitol Hill who is closely tracking the Iran debate.

“Every minute she is publicly silent, or working against bipartisan efforts to pressure Iran, is a minute she is siding with the Mullahs over the American people who overwhelmingly want mounting pressure,” said the source, who asked for anonymity.

“She’s being very careful not to say anything publicly while working hard behind the scenes to jam up the legislation,” said a D.C. Jewish community insider involved in the political debate over sanctions.

Like most prominent leftists in Jewish life, Wasserman Schultz is a coward and a backstabber who doesn’t dare tell many of her older Jewish constituents what she really stands for.

In an interview with Jewish Life Television (JLTV), Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz failed to provide a single reason for Jewish voters to support President Barack Obama other than abortion, which she cast as somehow intrinsic to the values of the Jewish community.

This is typical of leftist activists who will cite abortion or gay rights as a Jewish cause because their only real cause is the left.

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II An aspect of the Conservative’s problem with Facebook that was not addressed. (see below)

By Jerome S. Kaufman

I Facebook Political Conclave Called Productive

Redacted from an article By DEEPA SEETHARAMAN

Wall Street Journal, May 18, 2016

Sixteen prominent conservatives met with Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg Wednesday to air concerns about allegations of political bias at the world’s largest social network, in a session several attendees said was a productive start to a dialogue that should continue.

The political and media leaders met with Mr. Zuckerberg, who wore his typical T-shirt, and other Facebook executives for 90 minutes in a conference room on Facebook’s sprawling campus in Menlo Park, Calif. After the late-afternoon meeting, some attendees took a tour of Facebook’s campus and viewed a demonstration of its virtual-reality technology.

Brent Bozell, president of conservative media watchdog the Media Research Center, described it as a “good, first meeting.” He added: “Nothing was going to be conclusively resolved today, but we were assured that Facebook is taking these concerns very seriously.”

“No one is kidding themselves—everyone knows how left-wing Silicon Valley is. It is a world view that is completely contrary to the conservative world view,” Mr. Bozell said. “That said, it doesn’t mean that one can’t find any way to make this work.”

Mr. Bozell and others declined to be more specific about the discussion, saying participants had agreed not to disclose details.

Mr. Zuckerberg acknowledged that many view the social network with suspicion.

“I know many conservatives don’t trust that our platform surfaces content without a political bias,” Mr. Zuckerberg wrote. “I wanted to hear their concerns personally and have an open conversation about how we can build trust. I want to do everything I can to make sure our teams uphold the integrity of our products.”

Mr. Zuckerberg was joined by Facebook’s most prominent conservative executive, Joel Kaplan, a former aide to President George W. Bush who is now Facebook’s head of global public policy.

The meeting thrust Mr. Zuckerberg into the company’s latest attempt at damage control after a report last week that curators of Facebook’s “trending topics” feature suppressed news about conservative events and from conservative sources. Facebook denied bias, but revealed that curators had more oversight over what appears in this feed than it previously disclosed.

In addition to the meeting with Mr. Zuckerberg, the conservative leaders met with Facebook employees who described the “trending topics” feature, which was introduced in January 2014, and explained the role of news curators. Mr. Brooks said Facebook told participants it would adjust the feature’s algorithm to help address the question of bias.

But Facebook employees have contributed roughly three times as much to Democratic candidates as to Republicans during the current election cycle, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of center data. The Journal looked only at contributions of $500 or more.

At stake is Facebook’s reputation as a forum for freewheeling exchange of ideas for its more than 1.6 billion users.

It risks losing credibility among conservatives, who make up about half its users in the U.S., and are active advertisers in this busy election year. Political advertising is expected to reach $11.4 billion this year, with digital ad spending topping $1 billion, according to Borrell Associates. In 2012, digital ad spending was less than $200 million.

Mr. Kaplan is a key part of Facebook’s overture to conservatives, especially given Mr. Zuckerberg’s record of promoting liberal causes. Under Mr. Kaplan, Facebook has tried to build inroads with Republican candidates and added more conservatives to Facebook’s staff, including Kevin Martin, a former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.

II An aspect of the Conservative’s Problem that was not addressed.

By Jerome S. Kaufman

Editor: Israel Commentary

Unfortunately, evidently, from the report  above, one associated subject was not addressed. I am sure some of you have sites on Facebook on which you post articles favorable to conservative views. And, many times, if you are like me, your site has been blocked from all posting for any number of days, depending upon the  whims of Facebook.

Each time this occurs  I have asked Facebook to please tell me exactly what I am doing wrong that makes it block my publication and I have never received a direct explanation. In addition I advise Facebook that  whatever it is that offends them, I would be happy to stop, especially since they are the ones in the driver’s seat.

Having had absolutely no direct response,  I have come to the conclusion that the most likely thing causing the blocking is the conservative-favorable content of the postings.  But, I really have no way of knowing whether this is true or not.

In any case, If you have had similar experiences, please send a short note to Brent Bozell, President of  the Media Research Center, who seems to have a leading role in the discussions with Mr. Zuckerberg. Perhaps Mr Brozell will find your notes of use to him in his future meetings with Mr Zuckerberg. They might even result in a lessening of the harassment many of us are now experiencing.

Mr. Brent Bozell can be contacted at:

Media Research Center
1900 Campus Commons Drive
Suite 600
Reston, VA 20191

Main tel: 571-267-3500
tel: 800-672-1423
fax: 571-375-0099

Jerome S. Kaufman

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Milton Friedman, Israel, And The Socialist Jewish Paradox

By: Saul Jay Singer
The Jewish Press

May 6, 2016

The economic theories of Milton Friedman (1912-2006), “the Father of Economic Freedom,” have had broad national and international impact, including a powerful influence on the economic policies of, among others, Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and Menachem Begin.

Considered by many to be the most important conservative American economist, Friedman became the leader of the so-called Chicago School of Economics, which emphasized the importance of the quantity of money as an instrument of government policy and as a determinant of business cycles and inflation.

Friedman, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics (1976) and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1988), rejected the broadly embraced theories of British economist John Maynard Keynes, who maintained that only through heavy government spending could a nation’s economy prosper. Friedman firmly believed the private sector bears the mantle of responsibility for a flourishing economy and, in that regard, he coined the famous phrase “There is no such thing as a free lunch.” Another of his more famous aphorisms is “A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither.”

Friedman’s parents, Sára Ethel (née Landau) and Jenő Saul, were Jewish immigrants from Beregszász in Carpathian Ruthenia, Hungary, who both worked as dry goods merchants. As a child, Milton had very strong ties to Judaism, studying in a Hebrew school and, in his words, “obeying every Orthodox religious requirement.” After a stint of extreme piety during the years before his bar mitzvah, he lost his faith and ceased Jewish practice, but he still strongly identified as a Jew and took great pride in both Jewish tradition and his Jewish heritage. After his father’s death he faithfully recited Kaddish for the full eleven months, even traveling to neighboring communities to find a minyan. And he was a devout Zionist who strongly identified with Israel and expressed pride in its achievements.

Friedman first became interested in Israel when, at the invitation of the Israeli government, he visited the Jewish state for the first of many times (1962). After his visit to Israel in 1977, when he was awarded an honorary degree by the Hebrew University in Jerusalem shortly after the Likud came to power, a bizarre fabrication was broadly disseminated to the effect that he had come to Israel to serve as Begin’s chief economic adviser and that, as such, he was uniquely responsible for Israel’s roaring inflation. During his final trip to Israel (1990), at the beginning of the opening of the Iron Curtain which led to the massive wave of Jewish immigration from the former Soviet Union, he actively participated in a conference on economic policy by the Israel Center for Social and Economic Progress, which focused on developing suitable absorption policies and the provision of employment and housing to the new olim.

Friedman, who had a special interest in the role of Jews in society, was mystified by the magnetic pull that socialism seemed to have for so many Jewish intellectuals, particularly since socialism had historically been antagonistic to Judaism and because it was capitalism that had enabled Jews to survive the Dark Ages and to thrive and prosper during and after the Enlightenment.

He was particularly disturbed by the obstinacy of Israeli Jews and their leaders, who continued to support and promote the very socialist economic policies that were causing them the greatest harm while rejecting the adoption of free-market reforms which, given Jewish creativity and work ethic, would send Israel’s economy booming. In a 1972 address, he famously presented the essential socialist Jewish paradox this way:

Here are two propositions. Each of them are validated by evidence, yet they are both incompatible one with the other. The first proposition is that “there are few peoples if any in the world who owe so great a debt to free enterprise and competitive capitalism as the Jews.” The second proposition is that “there are few peoples or any in the world who have done so much to undermine the intellectual foundation of capitalism as the Jews.” How do we reconcile these two contradictory propositions?

Friedman believed that while monopolies and oligarchies are injurious to everybody, these systems are particularly ruinous for Jews and for Israel. He argued that though Jews shared the American respect for individual freedom, Israel’s socialist character was not only exacerbating its greatest social and economic problems but also threatening its very future. (As it does every nation – think European Union) Consistent with his general economic and political philosophy, he maintained that for Israel to be successful, it would have to consign socialism’s reliance upon a paternalistic and coercive government to the trash bin of history and, instead, emphasize self-reliance; implement a competitive financial structure; and adopt policies supporting private enterprise and initiative. And he was more than happy to help the Jewish state however he could; as he stated in a May 31, 1977 interview:

Insofar as I can give any assistance [to Israel], I am delighted to, both because of my general desire to see freedom prosper, and also because I have a very strong personal sympathy and interest in Israel. I am Jewish by origin and culture. I share their values and their belief. I share the admiration which many have had for the miracles that have occurred in Israel.

I corresponded with Friedman on this subject in December 1994, arguing at length (though tongue in cheek) that the trend is such that soon the only two countries with true socialist economies will be Israel and the United States – and this was more than 20 years before self-identifying socialist Bernie Sanders earned broad popular support in his run for the American presidency. In the fascinating December 23, 1994 correspondence on his Hoover Institution letterhead exhibited with this column, he responded as follows:

Dear Mr. Singer:The United States today is more than half socialist as judged by (a) government spending as a fraction of national income plus (b) government regulation and controls over private spending. Israel is perhaps 70 or 80 percent socialist in that sense. I do not believe in simply extrapolating the past and, while I too find the observation provocative and troubling, I too am not sure of its validity. The recent election illustrated in the United States a strong public opinion in favor of a smaller and less socialist government. I believe the same popular opinion exists in Israel. In both countries, it may produce a reversal of trend.

The November 1994 midterm elections to which Friedman refers, which occurred during Democratic president Bill Clinton’s first term in office, was known as the “Republican Revolution,” an epic slaughter of the Democratic Party in which Republicans captured majorities in the House of Representatives (winning an additional 54 seats), Senate (additional 8 seats), and governors’ mansions (an additional 10 seats). As our correspondence demonstrates, Friedman was optimistic that the election results constituted a positive harbinger for smaller government and for the growth of the American economy.

Friedman concluded his letter with sharp analysis in response to my discussion of the correlation between economic freedom and democracy:

Finally, the relation between economic freedom and political freedom is complex. I believe that the growth of economic freedom initially tends to promote political freedom, but the growth of political freedom, of what is called democracy, tends in turn to restrict economic freedom.

 (An astounding statement and associated obvious recommendation and conclusion. Let Americans take note at the on-coming election, Nov, 2016, if they are interested in the reversal of  their current economic problems and abject, Obama-induced political decline)  jsk

Friedman maintained high expectations that Israeli socialists would eventually come to their senses, and he frequently wrote to Israel’s economic and political leaders urging them to adopt free market reforms. For example, he famously wrote to congratulate and encourage Benjamin Netanyahu who, as Israel’s finance minister, adopted significant reforms consistent with Friedman’s own thinking. As he quipped, “Fortunately for Israel, the ancient tradition [as opposed to socialism] is strongly renewable.”

(And the Israel economy has sky rocketed ever since and is the envy of the world.) jsk

Saul Jay Singer

About the Author: Saul Jay Singer, a nationally recognized legal ethicist, serves as senior legal ethics counsel with the District of Columbia Bar. He is a collector of extraordinary original Judaica documents and letters, and his column appears in The Jewish Press every other week. Mr. Singer welcomes comments at

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By: Patrick Goodenough

The Jewish Press (CNS News)

May 13th, 2016

A lengthy New York Times Magazine profile of Ben Rhodes, President Obama’s deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, portrays him as a spinmeister contemptuous of the foreign policy establishment who fed credulous journalists a misleading narrative to sell the Iran nuclear deal to the American people.

According to writer David Samuels, Rhodes oversaw a “war room” whose task was to sell the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to Congress ahead of crucial votes last fall that failed to kill the agreement.

“In the spring of last year, legions of arms-control experts began popping up at think tanks and on social media, and then became key sources for hundreds of often-clueless reporters,” Samuels wrote.

“We created an echo chamber,” he quoted Rhodes as admitting. “They were saying things that validated what we had given them to say.”

According to Samuels’s piece, the strategy included the White House’s TheIranDeal Twitter feed. Rhodes used groups like the Ploughshares Fund, which advocates the elimination of nuclear weapons and lobbied for the JCPOA.

“We drove them crazy,” Samuels quotes Rhodes as saying of the opponents of the nuclear deal.

Samuels wrote that Rhodes does not think much of the journalists the war room was using to spread its narrative: “The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns,” Rhodes was quoted as telling him. “They literally know nothing.”

According to the article, the administration put out a deliberately misleading narrative about the way the nuclear negotiations came about, linking them to the rise in 2013 of the “moderate” President Hasan Rouhani at the expense of “hardliners,” ushering in a supposedly new political reality in Iran.

In fact in 2012 State Department director of policy planning Jake Sullivan – a close aide of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – began holding talks with the Iranians in Oman and elsewhere, and he and Deputy Secretary of State William Burns drew up the framework of what would eventually become the JCPOA three months before the election that brought Rouhani to office.

Obama was known by insiders to have wanted to make a deal with Iran from the beginning of his presidency in 2009, but the idea that the rise of “moderates” provided the opportunity was “largely manufactured for the purpose for selling the deal,” Samuels wrote.

Samuels argued that the misleading narrative was useful for the administration.

“By obtaining broad public currency for the thought that there was a significant split in the regime, and that the administration was reaching out to moderate-minded Iranians who wanted peaceful relations with their neighbors and with America, Obama was able to evade what might have otherwise been a divisive but clarifying debate over the actual policy choices that his administration was making,” he wrote.

He characterized the approach as part of a broader strategy – helping the U.S. to extricate itself from existing regional alliances with countries like Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Turkey, with the ultimate goal of U.S. “disengagement from the Middle East.”

It’s an objective, Samuels said, that Rhodes – a determined critic of the Iraq war – views with a sense of “urgency.”

The profile depicts Rhodes as being comfortable in spinning the issue to the American people.

“I mean, I’d prefer a sober, reasoned public debate, after which members of Congress reflect and take a vote,” Samuels quotes Rhodes as telling him. “But that’s impossible.”

Rhodes holds a dim view of the foreign policy establishment, according to Samuels, referring to it contemptuously as “the Blob,” and including in that grouping Hillary Clinton; Obama’s first defense secretary Robert Gates; and “editors and reporters at The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker and elsewhere.”
Samuels also described how Rhodes, on the day of Obama’s last State of the Union address last January, tried unsuccessfully to keep out of the news until after the speech the fact that Iran had detained 10 American sailors in the Persian Gulf.

After predicting that media outlets would start showing “scary pictures of people praying to the supreme leader,” Rhodes quickly decided how the issue would be spun instead: “We’re resolving this, because we have relationships.”

(Secretary of State John Kerry would later tell lawmakers that if it wasn’t for his relationship with his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif the sailors, who were released 14 hours after their capture, likely would have ended up as hostages.)

Leading critics of the Iran nuclear deal reacting on social media to the New York Times Magazine article were scathing – both of Rhodes and his colleagues and of the reporters they used to sell the deal.

“Now [we] know why we worked so hard during Iran debate,” Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) executive director Mark Dubowitz wrote on his Twitter feed. “Had to do own research & analysis. Create own talking points. No Rhodes to write for us.”

“Rhodes brags of lying to the public & creating echo chambers,” tweeted FDD senior fellow Daveed Gartenstein-Ross. “That’s the work of a propaganda minister, not a deputy nat’l security adviser.”

“White House admits it played liberal media, NGOs, & think tanks for fools to sell Iran deal,” said Hudson Institute senior fellow Michael Doran.

“Hi there journalists,” tweeted Omri Ceren of The Israel Project. “Did you take quotes from Ploughshares at suggestion of WH comms? You got played for chumps.”

And at Rhodes and colleagues, he directed this barb: “This is what happens when you put children in charge of US foreign policy.”


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(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Following are Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks at the state memorial ceremony for victims of terror, which was held today (Wednesday, 11 May 2016) at Mt. Herzl in Jerusalem:

“Yesterday, a very moving ceremony took place at the Knesset, during which they sang Chaim Nahman Bialik’s wonderful song Take Me Under Your Wing. In this song, he says: ‘People say there is love in the world. What is love?’ And then onto the stage comes, Ahava [love], the young daughter of Dafna Meir, who was murdered by a miscreant in front of her children as she protected them. And little Ahava provided a response, no less wonderful, to what great love is – a mother’s love which Dafna showered upon her, and saturated her in throughout the few years they spent together. This love will help Ahava throughout her life, and will be missed at the significant moments of her life. The pain is immense.

As a son of a bereaved family, I feel your anguish with every fiber of my body. As a citizen of Israel, I share your grief, and as Prime Minister, I stand by you and commend you for your endurance.

We are fighting a national battle. It has been raging for over 100 years. Throughout our history, each generation has suffered under the hands of murderers, and sadly, each generation knew bereavement and orphanhood, despair and grief. Each generation was charged with withstand the test, and all generations survived.

I have been pondering the word hatred. It is not part of our people’s tradition; it is not one of our characteristics. In the history of Israel, the word has been used to describe hatred toward us for religious, social, economic and national reasons. We do not wave the flag of hatred. We raise the banner of brotherhood and extend our hand in peace to the nations of the world and to our neighbors. ‘Nation shall not lift up sword against nation.’ Who wrote that? Who introduced this idea to humanity if not our prophets? And this ideal continues to guide our generation, but our enemies refuse to accept our presence here. They see each and every one of us, whether in uniform or not, Jews and non-Jews alike, as a target. They attack mothers with children, they attack children, adults, the elderly – like the attack that happened only yesterday. They are bloodthirsty as a result of blind hatred and uninhabited incitement.

The terms are different, but the motives are the same. In the past year we have been calling the attacks lone-wolf terrorism, which is a supposedly a new concept in Israel. But terrorist attacks occur and reoccur, they wash over us in waves, and over time they take on a new form. This year too, we lost beloved people, and each incident is a tragedy that breaks our heart. It breaks the hearts of the families first, but the heart of the nation too. A father and son on their way to the celebratory Shabbat before a wedding ambushed and murdered in a shooting attack; a young women shouting for help in an alley in Jerusalem as her husband tries to fight off the terrorist and is eventually murdered in front of her eyes; and a group of Israelis on a tour in Istanbul who also fell victims to fundamental Islamic terrorism, which has no borders.

But it is on this day that – from the abyss of endless sadness, from the depths of darkness – the powers of life within us are revealed. Our mutual accountability is exhibited at the scenes of the attacks, as people hurry to help those being threatened, often with nothing but their bare hands and at great personal risk.

We continue the mission of those murdered, we continue their legacy. We have discovered the exceptional personalities of each and every one of them: nobility, charity, kindness, spirit, wonderful qualities that influenced those around them. I visit the families, I try to visit them all, and hear about these people after their deaths, and I am always amazed by our people. And for that reason, terrorism will persist.

The prophet Micah said: ‘Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy; though I am fallen, I shall arise.’ That is the message. I have fallen and I have arisen. We arise every time, after the Shiva, the week of mourning, and we stand with them. We are increasing our hold on our land; our determination to overcome those who wish to kill us and to get our own on them is undeniable.

My dear brothers and sisters, this is a difficult day. The wounds reopen. I believe, and the entire nation prays, that you will find the strength to heal the wounds and grow new tissue over them.

You are not alone. The love of the nation and its unity is with you. We find comfort in building of our country and in the glimmers of light left by our loved ones. I send heartfelt wishes for a speedy recovery to all the wounded, and may you know no more sorrow.

May the memory of the victims of terror forever dwell in our hearts.”

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Memories of an American Jewess that made aliyah to Israel over 50 years ago. II Donald Trump already knows about Israel!
Trump added “You have hundreds and I guess thousands of missiles being launched into Israel. Who would put up with that? Who would stand for it?” he added.

The miracle of our return to our homeland and heritage

By Yehudit Tayar

A few days ago, we, the Nation of Israel sobbed in memory of 6 million of our people including more than 1.5 million children who perished in the Holocaust.

Next week we will remember our brave defenders who fell and the victims of terror who were murdered – but we do not only remember them then- not the victims of the hatred that led to the murder of so many millions of our Nation- nor our loved ones who fell defending our heritage and our loved ones who were murdered because we are Jewish.

This is something that we live through our entire lives. And the importance of these memorial days directly before the celebrations of Independence Day is not by chance.

The hatred against us is just as intense now and the continued attempts to annihilate us are as motivated and encouraged now as back then with the added lies and propaganda of the media, the UN and so many other sources.

We are blessed to be here in our Land. We are blessed to be able to defend our heritage and we will never stray from this responsibility not only for us here – but for Jews no matter where they are.

We never imagined that we would have the privilege of bearing witness to the return of the Jewish people to Jerusalem, the eternal capital of Israel. Those dreams seemed to be unreachable, and yet we have returned to the mountains of Jerusalem, to the ancient site of the City of David, to the path of our forefathers from Hevron to Shechem.

Each of us who lived through 1967 and the excitement of the feeling of awe and disbelief that we actually not only survived this war, but actually returned to reclaim our heritage, will never forget those days. Or will we? Is it only some of us who realize the miracle that we received?

When did Jerusalem become real estate? When did our history become negotiable? When did the governments of Israel begin to ignore our historical heritage and reward the murderers of our people who proclaim their intent to destroy our country?

I, for one, will never forget my first visit to Jerusalem on the first Tisha B’Av (ninth of Av, a day of mourning for the Jewish people throughout our history) following the Six Day War. Back then the Western Wall was almost buried with rubbish, the narrow strip allowing us to approach this part of our once glorious Temple was too small to hold the masses pushing to get closer – to touch – to reach – to kiss the stones, and leave perhaps a small note in the cracks.

Even today after so many years and so many blessed visits to Jerusalem my heart is lifted when I travel the path to the Kotel, when I see the return of our people to the City and to the Cave of Machpela in Hevron. For me it is not something to take for granted but, on the contrary to cherish, love and appreciate the miracle that we have been given; the return of our people to these Holy Sites.

I also am unable to forget the so called “Auschweitz Borders” of Israel as Haim Herzog called the pre-1967 borders of Israel. How can the governments of Israel allow themselves to forget? How can these politicians who are so wrapped up in their own ambitions endanger not only these treasures, but indeed our very existence?

We, the simple people who have returned to the ancient homeland of our forefathers have carved out a new history for our Nation. We have returned to the hills and plains of our Land, built thriving communities, raised families and now the fourth generation is continuing to build and reclaim our Land.

The incredible nerve of politicians to collaborate with the enemy, allow dissidents to roam freely throughout our Land, and on the other hand instruct the police to arrest loyal Jewish citizens for even merely planning demonstrations is not only unbelievable – it is unacceptable.

Our enemies openly sell t-shirts in the Moslem market in the Old City of Jerusalem decorated with the PLO flag and in bold print saying, “LIBERATE PALESTINE”. (Palestine to them is the entire State of Israel.)

This, while Jewish property is destroyed, Jewish residents of Yesha (Judea and Samaria (“West Bank by the Goyim -literal and figurative) are banned from their homes and families and are imprisoned.

What happened here? Where is the backbone of our Nation? Where are our people?
The answer is really more simple than is thought – we, the simple Jews, living in the many communities throughout the Biblical Land of Yesha are the answer. We are not afraid of looking back to our history in order to move on to ensure the future of the Jewish people in our Land.

We and our children are the hope for that future and we have the “emunah” – strong belief – in the absolute right of our people to continue to lay claim to our beloved Land. We are determined, no matter what, to fight for this – with the planting of our trees, building of our homes, educating our children in the direction we know must be taken.

We are absolutely determined because we know that governments rise and governments fall – but the Land stays. Those weak politicians along with our enemies may plan to destroy the miracles we received, but our faith is in the eternal promise given to our people by G-d HIMSELF and we know that it is up to us to ensure the fulfillment of this promise.

No matter how many times we are threatened, beaten, arrested, no matter how many one-sided agreements made by the destructive governments of Israel, we must continue to fight on, and in the end we shall continue to live the miracle of our return to our homeland and heritage. We will not forget the miracle we received and will do all we can to protect this gift forever.

Yehudit Tayar is a veteran spokesperson for the Jewish pioneers in Yesha, lives with her husband Ami and family in Bet Horon Shomron

II Donald Trump catches on quickly: Trump: Israel should keep building West Bank settlements

Republican front-runner rejects construction freeze as precursor to peace talks with Palestinians, blasts ‘devastating’ Gaza rocket fire into Israel

From article BY TIMES OF ISRAEL STAFF May 4, 2016, 1:53 am 28

Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, interviewed by the Daily Mail on May 3, 2016.

Trump wins Indiana, closes in on GOP nominationTrump says he will try to broker Israeli-Palestinian peace deal

Israel should keep building settlements in the West Bank, Republican front-runner

Donald Trump said on Tuesday, linking construction to the continued rocket threat that Israel faces from the Gaza Strip and which has seen it drawn into three wars against Hamas-run Gaza in recent years.

In an interview with the British Daily Mail on Tuesday, Trump said there should be no pause in settlement construction, a position at odds with that of the Obama administration …

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I  ‘Never Trump’ ringleader plots GOP surprise

It’s looking more and more like the Republican elites in Washington will have to be talked down off the ledge, now that Donald Trump is the presumptive nominee of the party.

Redacted from an article by Cheryl Chumley

World Net Daily (WND)

March 5, 2016

Donald Trump may have cleared the nomination path of other Republican presidential candidates, but to Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard – and one of the neoconservative movement’s biggest names and loudest voices – the billionaire businessman is still a no-go who ought to be overtaken by a third-party person.

Bill Kristol wrote a letter:

The letter, in part, read:

“TO: Those who think both leading presidential candidates are dishonest and have little chance of leading America forward … If you are one of those rare souls who genuinely believe Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are honorable people – if they are the role models you want for your kids – then this letter is not for you. Instead, this letter is for the majority of Americans who wonder why the nation that put a man on the moon can’t find a healthy leader who can take us forward together. … [M] voicemail is overflowing with party bosses and politicos telling me that ‘although Trump is terrible,’ we ‘have to’ support him, ‘because the only choice is Trump or Hillary.’ This open letter aims simply to ask ‘WHY is that the only choice?’”

In answer to a question about whether Trump could ever win his support, Kristol said: “For me, it’s more a matter of character. I don’t know that you can change your character at age 69, and given the things he’s said even very recently about other people, the way he demeans other people. But I mean, I guess never say never. On the one hand, I’ll say never Trump, and on the other hand, I’ll say never say never and I’ll leave it ambiguous.”

And on CNN, also earlier this week, host Jake Tapper asked Kristol nearly point blank if he’d rather vote for Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton than Trump. And Kristol’s response?

“I’m not with Trump, but I’m not with [Clinton], so I’m looking for an independent candidate. I think there – Ben Sasse, Senator from Nebraska, very bright, young, promising senator has said he can’t support Donald Trump and he doesn’t want to support Hillary Clinton. Let Ben Sasse run, he can take Nikki Haley, the governor of South Carolina, who would not accept being Trump’s vice-presidential candidate. Maybe she would like to run with Sasse, they can argue about which order to have the ticket in. So, I’m saying right here on CNN, Sasse, Haley, Haley, Sasse, they’re both fine with me. No, I would like there to be an independent Republican candidate because I can’t support Trump, and I can’t support Clinton.”

II Response to Kristol

By Jerome S. Kaufman

Spiro Agnew, infamous resigned Vice President under Richard Nixon, coined a phrase that I have never forgotten –  “effete intellectual snobs.” He originated that term for those that opposed the Viet Nam war.

Agnew was a staunch defender of the Vietnam War, so naturally he had to take a swipe at the protesters.

He characterized them as people who “overwhelm themselves with drugs and artificial stimulants.”

He went on to say:

“Education is being redefined at the demand of the uneducated to suit the ideas of the uneducated. The student now goes to college to proclaim rather than to learn. The lessons of the past are ignored and obliterated in a contemporary antagonism known as ‘The Generation Gap.’ A spirit of national masochism prevails, encouraged by an effete core of impudent snobs who characterize themselves as intellectuals.”

Recent “establishment Republicans”  lend a new use to the term “effete intellectual snobs”.

Kristol, of course, qualifies. Then just a couple of days ago, we were treated to Paul Ryan’s  (Republican House leader)  outrageous disloyal politically stupid recent remarks and the comments of other declared establishment Republicans disowning Donald Trump, proudly proclaiming they would not vote for him and would try to find a third candidate.

Ryan too qualifies for Spiro Agnew’s phrase, along with other disenfranchised public figures, desperate defeated politicians and others jealous of Trump’s overwhelming success and fearful of their own little niche in the Republican Party and on the national scene.

Quickly come to mind many of the losers: Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney, John McCain, Ted Cruz, Lindsay Graham, Laura Bush, Presidents Bush 41, 43 choose to remain silent rather the automatic praise presented for the Republican nominee, Chas. Krauthammer, George Will — with no shortage of other effete intellectual snobs.

What exactly are they all doing except presenting their damning spleen, jealousy and supposed defense of a Party that was a complete loser in the last two Presidential elections abjectly failed to stop the relentless march by Obama who deftly engineered American military, economic and  political defeat all over the word.

These people should be ecstatic with the arrival of Donald Trump who has, for the first time in over a decade awakened the American Public and given the Republicans a fighting chance. But, these elitists snobs, offended by Trump’s manners, lack of political correctness, his unimpressed view of the abilities of those opposing him and politicians whose actions have contributed mightily to the demise of the United States are not supportive of Donald Trump.

Never mind all that. These losers are hell bent on snatching defeat from what could be an overwhelming defeat of Hillary Clinton. Hopefully, Donald Trump and American John Q Public are too quick and too smart for them.

Jerome S. Kaufman

Editor/Publisher Israel Commentary

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