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Subject: Amazon’s Political Involvement.

Notice to Amazon:

Just this moment I removed my Amazon credit card from my wallet, as much as I truly love using it. But, until you correct all the policies and accusations of the correspondence below, I will no longer do business with you of any kind. Not that this will bother you one bit but, it will make me feel a whole lot better.

Jerome S. Kaufman

PS I also am placing this correspondence on my website, www.israel-commentary.org,  which will contact about 30,000 readers between the webpage, Facebook and Twitter.

The reason for this action reads below:

A Sacramento rabbi has formally requested that Amazon stop selling books or propaganda that support the conspiracy theory that the Holocaust didn’t happen.

According to a report last year, a surprising amount of people either deny the Holocaust or weren’t even aware of what it was. The Anti-Defamation League discovered that half the people in the world have never heard of the Holocaust, and a third of the other half were under the impression that it didn’t even happen, according to US News.

Amazon’s Children’s “Game”?

Amazon has been blasted over a Nazi camp puzzle /AFP

Online retail giant comes under fire over sale of jigsaw puzzle depicting ovens at Dachau crematorium. ‘This is a real slap in the face for concentration camp survivors and relatives of victims,” says German politician.

There is even a subreddit called, “Holocaust Deniers” … 

(Reddit is a social news and entertainment website where registered users submit content in the form of either a link or a text (“self”) post. Other users then vote the submission  “up” or “down”, which is used to rank the post and determine its position on the site’s pages and front page. Content entries are organized by areas of interest called “subreddits”)

… that gathers conspiracy theorists together to deny the Holocaust. Books such as “Did Six Million Really Die? The Truth at Last” by Richard Harwood and “Breaking the Spell: The Holocaust Myth and Reality” by Nicholas Kollerstrom remain ready for purchase on the site.

The American electronic commerce website has already come under fire from the Jewish community for continuing to sell Nazi paraphernalia such as flags and phone cases with swastikas on them. Hamas pendants and flags are also available on the website.

By contrast however, Amazon, has joined other major corporations, such as Walmart and Sears, to ban selling any items with the Confederate flag on them.  (Somehow,  Jews, as usual, don’t count. They  have never been confident or destructive enough to burn buildings, perpetrate  flagrant, blatant acts of theft, attack and beat innocent civilians, kill police officers and organize other outrageous illegal protests — all, in this sad era, under the benign gaze and active participation of Obama’s previous Attorney General, Eric Holder and Obama’s own right hand point man, Al Sharpton.)

Unfortunately, to just stop using a credit card will not do a damn thing unless hundreds or thousands of others also send that message  and make Amazon understand that:  

“To deny the Holocaust is another mask of blatant anti-Semitism,” says Rabbi Mendy Cohen, whose great grandfather was burned alive in a synagogue with 500 other Jews.

Yours truly,

Jerome S. Kaufman

Editor/Publisher Israel Commentary,  (www.israel-commentary.org)

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PM Netanyahu’s Statement at his Meeting with Netherlands Foreign Minister Bert Koenders

(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

July 14, 2015

“I will refer later to the details of the agreement, but before that, I would like to say here and now – when you are willing to make an agreement at any cost, this is the result.

Far-reaching concessions have been made in all areas that were supposed to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons capability. In addition, Iran will receive hundreds of billions of dollars with which it can fuel its terror machine and its expansion and aggression throughout the Middle East and across the globe.

One cannot prevent an agreement when the negotiators are willing to make more and more concessions to those who, even during the talks, keep chanting: ‘Death to America.’

We knew very well that the desire to sign an agreement was stronger than anything, and therefore we did not commit to preventing an agreement.

We did commit to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, and this commitment still stands.

I say to all the leaders in Israel, it is time to put petty politics aside and unite behind this most fateful issue to the future and security of the State of Israel.”

II  Israel’s channel two reports, “US negotiators have reportedly given in to an Iranian demand that military inspections be “prearranged”, that is to say that inspections would only be carried out following approval by the Iranian regime.” In other words the U.S. has agreed that Iran will have time to “clean up” any site before inspectors arrive. This is only slightly better than no inspections.

Between now and any announcement details will be leaked so we will see if the above is true, or what other U.S. capitulations were made to seal a deal.

Congress will now have 60 days to review the agreement, and lawmakers will be specifically looking for how the Obama administration managed to overcome the final issues that held up a deal over the last two weeks: anytime/anywhere inspections including access to military sites, the IAEA’s concerns over the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program, and the Iranian/Russian demand that the United Nations arms embargo against Tehran be lifted.

Based on how negotiations have progressed since mid-March – Iranian intransigence followed by repeated American collapses on nearly every core issue – it’s unlikely that Congress will like what it finds. Mitch McConnell predicted this morning on Fox News Sunday that the deal will be “a very hard sell in Congress.”

II  Speaker Boehner was on Face The Nation Sunday. He said:

No deal is better than a bad deal. And from everything that’s leaked from these negotiations, the administration’s backed away from almost all of the guidelines that they set up for themselves. And, I don’t want to see a bad deal. And so if, in fact, there’s no agreement, the sanctions are going to go back in place. And at some point, the Iranian regime, they’re going to have to change their behavior. Abandon their efforts to get a nuclear weapon, and stop being the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world.”

A congressional resolution of disapproval would carry all of the symbolism of a failed resolution of approval, but it would also prohibit the President from lifting some sanctions. The real question however is whether or not McConnell and Boehner can rouse a 2/3 majority to override a veto. If the deal is as lousy as it seems will Democrats go with what is best for the future of America or continue to kiss the presidential posterior (lets face it the President is still the most powerful force in the Democratic party).

III  The Iranian Reading of the Deal is the polar opposite of what Kerry and Obama are telling the Congress and the American people.

Iran’s Fars News has released what it says is terms of the deal, but remember Fars is a tool of the Iranian Govt. so it may not be totally accurate although their reports about the Framework deal in April were pretty spot on:

“In case the opposite side shows political will and the final agreement is signed, the text of the agreement will include the following points,” the source said.

“According to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, all sanctions against Iran are terminated and Iran will no more be recognized as a sanctioned nation,” the source said, and added, “The JCPA only envisages a set of temporary restrictions that will be removed after a limited and logical period of time, as stated earlier by the Iranian Supreme Leader.”

“All economic, financial and banking sanctions against Iran will be terminated for good on day one after the endorsement of the deal, again as the Iranian Supreme Leader has demanded.”

“Iran will no more be under any arms embargo, and according to a UN Security Council resolution that will be issued on the day when the deal is signed by the seven states, all arms embargoes against Iran will be terminated, while its annex keeps some temporary restrictions on Iran for a limited period,” the source disclosed.

He said the JCPA is, in fact, a collection of multiple agreements that all fall within the redlines specified by the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, and includes a set of temporary and limited measures that will remain valid for different periods of time.

“The upcoming UN Security Council resolution – that will call all the previous five resolutions against Iran null and void – will be the last resolution to be issued on Iran’s nuclear program and withdraws Iran’s nuclear dossier from under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter. This last resolution will remain valid and will be implemented for a specifically limited period of time and will then automatically end at the end of this period,” the source added.

“This is the first time that a nation subject to Chapter 7 of the UN Charter has managed to end its case and stop being subject to this chapter through active diplomacy,” he concluded.

IV  PM Netanyahu Meets with Opposition Chairman MK Isaac Herzog
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this evening (Tuesday, 14 July 2015), in his Jerusalem office, met with opposition chairman MK Isaac Herzog and updated him on the briefings that were given at the Security Cabinet regarding the security significance of the nuclear agreement with Iran.

MK Herzog reiterated his afternoon remarks and said that this is a bad agreement. He added that he would do his utmost on behalf of the security of the State of Israel in the new situation that has been created.

________________________________________
IMRA – Independent Media Review and Analysis

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By SOHRAB AHMARI

Editorial Page Writer, The Wall Street Journal.

July 10, 2015

On Thursday, Western diplomats in Vienna missed another deadline in the years-long Iranian nuclear negotiations. The latest snag is Iran’s demand for immediate sanctions relief and the lifting of a United Nations arms embargo. The next day in Tehran, the regime issued other demands—namely, that the U.S. and Israel cease to exist.

Thousands of regime supporters on Friday marked Quds Day, an annual hate festival established in 1979 by Ayatollah Khomeini. (Quds is the Arabic name for Jerusalem.). Braving a stifling heat wave, the Quds Day celebrants burned the American flag and displayed a caricature of what appeared to be King Salman of Saudi Arabia—a U.S. ally and detested Middle East rival—with his head morphing into a Star of David, topped by a Stars and Stripes yarmulke. All accompanied by the holiday tradition of chanting “Death to America!”

Quds Day is fun for the whole family. As one father told the semiofficial Fars News Agency in a video interview, “Our children who are less than a year old are tomorrow’s soldiers against Israel.” The infant son he held in his arms was dressed in camouflage gear, with a Yasser Arafat-style kaffiyeh around his neck.

Regime leaders joined in the festivities. The government’s representatives included the reputedly moderate President Hasan Rouhani, not-so-moderate former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani, his brother Sadeq, the head of the judiciary, and Gen. Ahmad Reza Pourdastan, commander of the Iranian army’s ground forces.

Mr. Rouhani said in a Persian-language statement on his website: “With unity, resistance, jihad and sacrifice, the Muslims, including the Palestinian people, will reach their lofty goals.” He didn’t specify those goals, but the “Death to America!” and “Death to Israel!” banners held up by marchers around him, seen in photographs published by regime media outlets, drove home the point. Mr. Rouhani went on to blame “the Zionist regime and the Global Arrogance”—a favorite regime nickname for Washington—for “bankrolling the strife” roiling the Muslim world.

Tehran’s Kayhan newspaper also weighed in. Iran’s 1979 revolution, the newspaper wrote in an English-language editorial, “busted the myth of the holocaust which the Zionists and their godfathers allege happened in Europe during World War II.” The editorial predicted that the U.S., “which currently terrorizes humanity as the sole superpower, will one fine day cease to be visible on the map of the world.”

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei appoints Kayhan’s editor in chief, and the newspaper is widely seen as the leader’s main mouthpiece. The leader’s top military aide, Maj. Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi, echoed the paper. According to an English-language Fars News report, Gen. Safavi told Quds Day attendees: “Muslims unity and continuation of armed jihad (struggle) and the Islamic resistance of the Palestinian nation constitute the only strategy for saving and liberating the Holy Quds.”

Since 2013 the Obama administration has permitted the Iranians to enrich uranium in defiance of six U.N. Security Council resolutions. Washington has backed away from the requirement that Tehran come clean about the military dimensions of its program before a deal can be signed. Seeking anytime, anywhere inspections has given way to trying to obtain “managed access.” Since Secretary of State John Kerry and his fellow negotiators seem to be having so much trouble getting concessions from Iran on large matters, maybe it would be better to start small: See if the regime would agree to knock off the calls to destroy the U.S. and Israel.

Sohrab Ahmari is an editorial page writer for the Wall Street Journal Europe, based in London.  He joined the Journal in New York as an assistant books editor after serving as a Robert L. Bartley fellow in 2012. Prior to joining the Journal, he earned a law degree from Northeastern University and was a nonresident fellow at the Henry Jackson Society. Mr. Ahmari is co-editor of “Arab Spring Dreams,” an anthology of essays by young dissidents in the Middle East (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).

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(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,  at the Knesset, issued the following statement:

“The report on Operation Protective Edge (Israel’s retaliation against Hamas,  in Gaza, attempting to eliminate the thousands of rockets deliberately fired under the cover of residential areas by Hamas into Israeli population centers) issued by the commission appointed by the UN Human Rights Council is biased.

The commission that wrote this report was appointed by a council that calls itself the ‘Human Rights Council.’ In effect, it does everything but look after human rights. This is a body that condemns Israel more than Iran, Syria and North Korea combined.

It first appointed to head the commission, a man who was caught inciting against the State of Israel and who also took money from the Palestinians. It first began to investigate events in the region from the day after – the day after – the kidnapping of the three youths, who were murdered. It is on this basis that one needs to consider its findings, conclusions and recommendations.

Israel is defending itself and is doing so in accordance with international law. We are not the only ones who say this. Last week we issued a detailed, professional report that evaluated our actions, in accordance with international law, against terrorists that fire at civilians and hide behind civilians.

Israel does not commit war crimes. Israel is defending itself from a murderous terrorist organization that calls for its destruction and which has perpetrated many war crimes. Any country that wants to live would have acted this way. But the commission expects a country, the citizens of which have been attacked by thousands of missiles, to sit idly by.

We will not sit, and have not sat, idly by. We will continue to take strong and determined action against all those who try to attack us and our citizens, and we will do so in accordance with international law.”

“Israel is a democracy committed to the rule of law. Time and again it is forced to defend itself against Palestinian terrorists who commit a double war crime: They deliberately target civilians while deliberately hiding behind Palestinian civilians. The Palestinians civilians they use as human shields include children, and they deliberately target our civilians while deliberately putting their civilians in harm’s way.

The United Nations Human Rights Council has a singular obsession with Israel. It has passed more resolutions against Israel than against Syria, North Korea and Iran combined. In fact, it has passed more resolutions against Israel that against all the countries of the world combined.

So, Israel treats this report as flawed and biased, and it urges all fair-minded observers to do the same. Such fair-minded observers recently investigated Israel’s conduct in the Gaza campaign. They include senior generals from the United States and NATO countries. They found that not only did Israel uphold the highest standards of international law, in the laws of armed conflict, they said that Israel exceeded the highest standards.

II  USA:  Take note of the new Israel Policy concerning it’s priceless natural gas resources.

The Cabinet, at its weekly meeting today (Sunday, 28 June 2015), approved transferring to itself the Economy Minister’s authority under Article 52 of the 1988 Restrictive Trade Practices Act, regarding actions necessary to increase the quantity of natural gas produced at the Tamar field and to quickly develop the Leviathan, Krish, Tanin and other natural gas fields.

Following is an excerpt from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks at the start of the Cabinet meeting:

“Last week, the Cabinet unanimously approved the expedited development and expansion of the natural gas fields that have been discovered off Israel’s coast. I am determined to advance a realistic solution that will bring gas to the Israeli economy. I will not capitulate to populist proposals that will leave the gas deep underground. We have already seen enough countries that succumbed to these pressures and the gas has remained in the ground. This cannot be allowed to happen here.

The outline that has been formulated breaks up the monopoly. In the coming decades it will put hundreds of billions of shekels into education, culture, health and many other things for the benefit of all Israeli citizens. After years of discussions, the time has come to decide so that the gas will emerge from the ground and reach the Israeli economy and the citizens of Israel.”

________________________________________
IMRA – Independent Media Review and Analysis

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Iran Deal Worst in United States History

Charles Krauthammer
July 6, 2015

The devil is not in the details. It’s in the entire conception of the Iran deal, animated by President Obama’s fantastical belief that he, uniquely, could achieve détente with a fanatical Islamist regime whose foundational purpose is to cleanse the Middle East of the poisonous corruption of American power and influence.

In pursuit of his desire to make the Islamic Republic into an accepted, normalized “successful regional power,” Obama decided to take over the nuclear negotiations. At the time, Tehran was reeling – its rial plunging, inflation skyrocketing, the economy contracting – under a regime of international sanctions painstakingly constructed over a decade.

Then, instead of welcoming Congress’ attempt to tighten sanctions to increase the pressure on the mullahs, Obama began the negotiations by loosening sanctions, injecting billions into Iran’s economy (which began growing in 2014), and conceding an Iranian right to enrich uranium.

It’s been downhill ever since. Desperate for a legacy deal, Obama has played the supplicant, abandoning every red line his administration had declared essential to any acceptable deal.

Inspections. They were to be anywhere, anytime, unimpeded. Now? Total cave. Unfettered access has become “managed access.” Inspectors will have to negotiate and receive Iranian approval for inspections. Which allows them denial and/or crucial delay for concealing clandestine activities
.
To give a flavor of the degree of our capitulation, the administration played Iran’s lawyer on this one, explaining that, after all, “the United States of America wouldn’t allow anybody to get into every military site, so that’s not appropriate.”

Apart from the absurdity of morally equating America with the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism, if we were going to parrot the Iranian position, why wait 19 months to do so – after repeatedly insisting on free access as essential to any inspection regime?

Coming clean on past nuclear activity. The interim agreement that governed the last 19 months of negotiation required Iran to do exactly that. Tehran has offered nothing. The administration had insisted that this accounting was essential. How can you verify illegal advances in Iran’s nuclear program if you have no baseline?

After continually demanding access to their scientists, plans, and weaponization facilities, Secretary of State John Kerry two weeks ago airily dismissed the need, saying he is focused on the future, “not fixated” on the past. And that we have “absolute knowledge” of the Iranian program anyway – a whopper that his staffers had to spend days walking back.

Not to worry, we are told. The accounting will be done after the final deal is signed. (Shades of Nancy Pelosi and Obamacare) Which is ridiculous. If the Iranians haven’t budged on disclosing previous work under the current sanctions regime, by what logic will they comply after sanctions are lifted?

Sanctions relief. This was to be gradual and staged as the International Atomic Energy Agency certified Iranian compliance over time. Now we’re going to be releasing up to $150 billion as an upfront signing bonus. That’s 25 times the annual budget of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Enough to fuel a generation of intensified Iranian aggression from Yemen to Lebanon to Bahrain.

Yet three months ago, Obama expressed nonchalance about immediate sanctions relief. It’s not the issue, he said. The real issue is “snapback” sanctions to be reimposed if Iran is found in violation.

Good grief. Iran won’t be found in violation. The inspection regime is laughable and the bureaucratic procedures endless. Moreover, does anyone imagine that Russia and China will reimpose sanctions? Or that the myriad European businesses preparing to join the Iranian gold rush the day the deal is signed will simply turn around and go home?

Nonnuclear-related sanctions. The administration insisted that the nuclear talks would not affect separate sanctions imposed because of Iranian aggression and terrorism. That was then. The administration is now leaking that everything will be lifted.

Taken together, the catalog of capitulations is breathtaking: spot inspections, disclosure of previous nuclear activity, gradual sanctions relief, retention of nonnuclear sanctions.

What’s left? A surrender document of the kind offered by defeated nations suing for peace. Consider: The strongest military and economic power on Earth, backed by the five other major powers, armed with what had been a crushing sanctions regime, is about to sign the worst international agreement in American diplomatic history.

How did it come to this? With every concession, Obama and Kerry made it clear that they were desperate for a deal.

And they will get it. Obama will get his “legacy.” Kerry will get his Nobel. And Iran will get the bomb.

II Salt in the wound addendum:  As to UN (inspections) – Ha, Ha!

Tehran, July 9, IRNA – Head of the IRGC’s Public Relations Office Brigadier General Ramazan Sharif said on Thursday that the Iranian officials along with IRGC would never allow access to the country’s military sites by IAEA inspectors.

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‘It’s Never Anyone’s Turn to Be President’

By Claire Kozak, Editor in Chief

Brearley Prep School Newspaper

Manhattan, New York

From THE SCRAPBOOK

The Weekly Standard

JUL 6, 2015, VOL. 20, NO. 41 •

The Scrapbook’s faith in the younger generation has just spiked upwards. A reader emails us an editorial from the Zephyr, student paper of the Brearley School, the very liberal prep school on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. A tip of The Scrapbook’s homburg to author and editor in chief Claire Kozak for the cogently argued and gracefully written piece, which we reproduce here:

Claire Kozak:

I am, without question, a feminist. I have attended an all-girls school for nearly ten years, and I have had the remarkable opportunity to grow up in an environment that is dedicated to educating and empowering women.

However, Hillary Clinton’s popularity seems to be based on her identity as a woman. Since she announced her candidacy in a video where she claimed to be the voice of the “everyday American,” she has answered very few questions on substantial issues. She’s spoken about a small number of key issues including campaign reform and immigration—topics where her opinion will be popular among the Democratic community.

But mainly, her selling point is speaking for the American people. This might be a noble cause, but it is a campaign strategy that doesn’t tell us much about her plans. And yet, she continues an unusually smooth and silent glide towards the White House. In early February, President Obama’s former campaign manager Jim Messina voiced the phrase that many have now made their own, “It’s Hillary’s Turn.”

This phrase has a complicated history. In past years, it has actually referred to the political tradition of the vice president or vice presidential candidate becoming the party’s nominee. However, the phrase has been appropriated by many of Hillary’s fans to signify her rightful claim to the oval office because it’s time for a woman president.

But the fact is, it’s never anyone’s turn to be president. The presidency is one of the most complex and demanding positions in the world, and when someone is chosen to lead the United States of America, it should be because they are the most qualified person for the job. Gender, race, socio-economic status, or religion should not factor into a presidential election.

Margaret Thatcher did not become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom because of her gender. She earned the votes of the British people with the clarity of her positions. She made it very clear what her policies were, and she won that office three times.

Benazir Bhutto did not serve two terms as the Prime Minister of Pakistan because she was a woman—she led her country because voters thought she was the most equipped person to do so at
the time.

Golda Meir was elected as the fourth Prime Minister of Israel because of her politics and previous experience as the Minister of International Affairs. All of these women leaders were highly qualified and clear in their positions.

If anyone “deserves” to be president, it should be because of his or her policies, promises, plans for the country, and political record. It shouldn’t be because the government needs to diversify. Feminism and gender equality are relevant and highly important issues, without a doubt.

And when we do elect a female president, it should be because she is the most qualified person for the job, because she has won the hearts and minds of the American people with her promises and positions on national and international issues.

As of now, Mrs. Clinton has barely campaigned. She has steered clear of major issues like America’s war on terror or her plans for the conflict in the Middle East, focusing instead on the feel-good notion of representing Americans. She has spoken only on issues of little substance, and has avoided controversial and personal topics that need to be addressed.

So, Mrs. Clinton, start answering questions. Start telling us your policies, instead of making general statements about how you want to be the voice of the American people. Show us why you are the most qualified person for the job. Once you can do that, you might get my vote. But you need to earn it, first.

 

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(Every time I see that word “entitlements” it occurs to me that I never heard that word while I was growing up or well into my adult years. We were always taught you were given the right to “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”  How and when this new order of business came about, I don’t know — but it is not working out so well. Greece here we come)  jsk 

Greece Will Close Banks to Stem Flood of Withdrawals

Redacted from article by LANDON THOMAS Jr. and NIKI KITSANTONIS

JUNE 28, 2015

ATHENS — Greece will keep its banks and stock market closed on Monday and place restrictions on the withdrawal and transfer of money, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said in a televised address on Sunday night, as Athens tries to avert a financial collapse.

The government’s decision to close banks temporarily and impose other so-called capital controls came hours after the European Central Bank said it would not expand an emergency loan program that has been propping up Greek banks in recent weeks while the government was trying to reach a new debt deal with international creditors.

Mr. Tsipras said on Sunday night that the European Central Bank’s decision was an attempt to “blackmail’’ Greece. (Huh? I had the impression the Greeks did that to themselves?)

The debt negotiations broke down over the weekend after Mr. Tsipras said he would let the Greek people decide whether to accept the creditors’ latest offer. That referendum vote is to be held next Sunday, after the current bailout program will have expired.

People lined up Saturday at an Athens bank. Eurozone finance ministers met in Brussels, trying to salvage a Greek bailout plan.Greek Debt Crisis Intensifies as Extension Request Is Denied. By closing banks and imposing other controls on the movement of money, Greece is taking steps similar to those by Cyprus in 2013 to avoid a bank collapse.

But in that case, the Cypriot government acted in concert with other European governments as part of a new bailout program. In Greece, the emergency banking measures were be a result of a breakdown in talks with other eurozone countries. The breakdown has intensified pressure on cash-poor banks as jittery Greeks withdraw their savings.

There is still a chance that Greece and its creditors — the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the other eurozone countries — can come to terms before its current bailout program expires on Tuesday. On Sunday, the European Commission and I.M.F. issued statements indicating the door to further discussions might still be ajar.

And in Washington, the White House issued a statement saying that President Obama and the Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany had spoken by phone Sunday. “The two leaders agreed that it was critically important to make every effort to return to a path that will allow Greece to resume reforms and growth within the eurozone,’’ the White House statement said.

But the European Central Bank, for its part, declined on Sunday to raise the limit on its emergency funding for Greek banks — a level currently said by banking officials and analysts to be around 89 billion euros, or about $100 billion — even though businesses and consumers have withdrawn billions of euros in recent weeks.

That rate of withdrawals appeared to increase over the weekend, as long lines formed at A.T.M.s around the country, threatening a bank run that the Greek government could try to avoid by imposing capital controls. But at the same time, the European Central Bank did not cut off support entirely, giving the Greek government some extra flexibility in the coming days.

Before negotiations broke off on Saturday between Athens and its creditors, the Tsipras government had been hoping to reach terms that would free up a €7.2 billion allotment of bailout money that the country needs to meet its short-term debt obligations.

Because European officials said on Saturday that Greece’s €240 billion bailout program would not be extended, the big question had been whether the central bank’s president, Mario Draghi, would continue financing the country’s depleted banks.

Guidelines of the European Central Bank dictate that it can keep supporting troubled banks as long as there is a possibility that the country in question will come to terms with its creditors on a bailout — as was the case with Cyprus.

If Athens and its creditors do not resume talks before Tuesday, the promise of European support for Greece may no longer be on the table. But the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union and a key broker in the debt talks, seemed on Sunday to reach out to the Greek people, unexpectedly publishing the offer made to Greece before Mr. Tsipras ended the negotiations and announced a national referendum.
Addressing their financial problems in their usual manner:  In January 2015 Greek voters choose an anti-austerity party. Alexis Tsipras becomes prime minister.

May 2015:  Greece quells fears of an imminent default, authorizing a big loan payment to the I.M.F.

June 2015:  Greece defers a series of debt payments until the end of the month.

A publication was presented  to show the lengths to which the creditors, including the I.M.F. and the European Central Bank, had gone to satisfy Athens’s demands for a deal that avoided hurting ordinary Greeks, said one European Union official with direct knowledge of the decision to publish the offer. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the institutions had not ruled out a resumption of talks with Mr. Tsipras on the sensitive issue of extending the bailout.

Andrew Higgins and James Kanter contributed reporting from Brussels.

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Mark Twain, Eretz Yisrael, And The Jews

By: Saul Jay Singer

The Jewish Press

June 19th, 2015

Albert Bigelow Paine (1861-1937), a respected member of the Pulitzer Prize Committee, was himself a prolific writer of novels, stories, children’s books, travel volumes and, perhaps most famously, a definitive three-volume biography on Twain (1906).

As Twain’s literary executor, he was singularly responsible for controlling both the publication of Twain’s posthumous works and protecting his public image and reputation. As an interesting side note, the title of his novel The Great White Way  (1901) came into general use as the name for Broadway and New York’s theatrical district.

Twain was already a famous author and American icon when he undertook a journey from the United States to Europe and the Middle East and published his accounts of his travels as the semi-autobiographical and partly fictional The Innocents Abroad (1869), which was the best-selling of his works during his lifetime and, even to date, remains one of the best-selling travel books of all time.

He was among the first notables in the nineteenth century to travel to Eretz Yisrael and provide a description of the Holy Land and its people, and his descriptions provide a bleak picture of a desolate and miserable land only eighty years before the rebirth of the state of Israel.

Twain: “We traversed some miles of desolate country, a silent, mournful expanse; a desolation is here that not even imagination can grace with the pomp of life and action. We never saw a human being on the whole route. The further we went, the more repulsive and dreary the landscape became. No landscape exists that is more tiresome to the eye than that which bounds the approaches to Jerusalem…. At last, away in the middle of the day, ancient bite of wall and crumbling arches began to line the way – Jerusalem!

Perched on its eternal hills, white and domed and solid, massed together and hooped with high gray walls, the venerable city gleamed in the sun. We dismounted and looked across the wide intervening valley for an hour or more; and noted those prominent features of the city that pictures make familiar to all men from their school days till their death….

The appearance of the city is peculiar. It is as knobby with countless little domes as a prison door is with bolt heads. The streets are roughly and badly paved with stone, and are tolerably crooked…. The population of Jerusalem is composed of Moslems, Jews, Greeks, Latins, Armenians, Syrians, Copts, Abyssinians, Greek Catholics, and a handful of Protestants. It seems to me that all the races and colors and tongues of the earth must be represented among the fourteen thousand souls that dwell in Jerusalem.

Rags, wretchedness, poverty and dirt, those signs and symbols that indicate the presence of Moslem rule more surely than the crescent-flag itself, abound. Lepers, cripples, the blind, and the idiotic, assail you on every hand. To see the numbers of maimed, malformed and diseased humanity that throng the holy places and obstruct the gates, one might suppose that the ancient days had come again, and that the angel of the Lord was expected to descend at any moment to stir the waters of Bethesda. Jerusalem is mournful, and dreary, and lifeless. I would not desire to live here. It is a hopeless, dreary, heartbroken land…. Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes.”

Twain observed that not a solitary village could be found throughout the Jezreel Valley for 30 miles in either direction; that the desolation in the Galilee was beyond description; that Bethlehem is “untenanted by any living creature,” and describes the Kotel as that portion of the ancient wall of Solomon’s Temple which is called the Jew’s Place of Wailing, and “where the Hebrews assemble every Friday to kiss the venerated stones and weep over the fallen greatness of Zion; any one can see a part of the unquestioned and undisputed Temple of Solomon.”

Twain’s book, “Innocents Abroad” remains particularly important to Zionists because it proves that the Palestine visited by Twain was nothing but a colonial Ottoman Empire backwater whose few wretched residents lacked any sense of national identity or attachment to the land. Many properly cite “Innocents” as evidence that the Arab presence in Eretz Yisrael was so inconsequential before the arrival of the Zionist pioneers as to defeat any modern Arab claim to the land.

After the Civil War, when a majority of Americans held negative stereotypical opinions of the Jewish people, Twain defended them. In Stirring Times in Austria, published by Harper’s Magazine (March 1898), he wrote that although no Jew had even arguably participated in the Austrian riots, the one constant was the uniformity of the animosity of the Austrian people against the Jews: “In all cases the Jew had to roast, no matter which side he was on.” An American Jewish lawyer wrote to him asking why the Jews have always been “the butt of baseless, vicious animosities” even though “for centuries there has been no more quiet, undisturbing, and well-behaving citizen, as a class, than that same Jew.”

In “Concerning the Jews”  (Harper’s, September 1989), an original copy of which is displayed with this column, Twain penned his well-considered answer, in which he begins with the observation that the Jew, a well-behaved citizen, “is not a loafer, he is not a sot; in the statistics of crime his presence is conspicuously rare, in all countries” and comments on the beauty of the Jewish home and how honestly and charitably the Jews conduct their affairs.

He argues that, in light of the outstanding moral character and monumental intellectual achievement of the Jewish people and their contributions to society, it cannot be mere ignorance and fanaticism that fuels anti-Semitism, but that the “hostility to the Jew comes from the average Christian’s inability to compete successfully with the average Jew in business.”

In an intriguing conclusion, Twain suggests that the Jews can improve their situation by organizing politically and by acting together to enact a Jewish agenda, and he cites with approval “Dr. Herzl,” who “wishes to gather the Jews of the world together in Palestine, with a government of their own.” However, the most significant passage in Concerning the Jews is the author’s oft-quoted conclusion, which never fails to move me to tears:

If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one per cent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of star-dust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way. Properly the Jew ought hardly to be heard of; but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk.

His contributions to the world’s list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also away out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a marvelous fight in this world, in all the ages; and has done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be vain of himself, and be excused for it. The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed, and made a vast noise, and they are gone; other peoples have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished.

The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?

Indeed, words to be treasured for all time.

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.

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If He Only Had a Heart

Redacted from an editorial by John Podhoretz

COMMENTARY

JULY/AUGUST 2015

I DON’T KNOW that I’ve ever read a book quite as eye opening as  Michael Oren’s “Ally”— the best selling historian’s stunning new memoir of his four years as Israel’s ambassador to the United States.

For what Oren has written is an account of serving as a diplomat during a Cold War — the Cold War the Obama administration launched against Israel upon coming into office. It turns out that as bad as things looked between the Obamans and the Israelis from the outside, was even worse on the inside.

The sheer unfriendliness of the administration is startlingly present on nearly every one of his memoirs 374 pages of text and runs far deeper than the problematic relationship between the President and Oren’s boss, Benjamin Netanyahu.

Oren’s first meeting at the State Department with then Deputy Secretary Jim Steinberg sets the tone: “He was a dedicated angler renowned for tying flies in his spare time. Fittingly, Steinberg’s attitude toward the Jewish state called to mind the old Israeli adage, “He loves us like a fisherman loves fish.”

Oren is later verbally abused and irrationally so, by another State Department official, Tom Nides, when Palestinian efforts to seek recognition of UN statehood threaten to trigger long-standing legislation passed by Congress to shut down Palestinian diplomatic and economic relations with the United States.

“You don’t want the f-king UN to collapse because of your f-king conflict with the Palestinians and you don’t want the f-king Palestinian Authority to fall apart either,” Nides rages at Oren.

Even the administration’s gestures of affection or acts of support were often loaded. Oren uses the Hebrew word for hug, “chibbuk” to describe cynical efforts to “keep us close” and thus restrain Israeli freedom of action: “American contributions to the IDF’s missile defense, for example, diminished Israel’s case for striking Iranian nuclear plants preemptively, and generated more time for talks.”

His dealings with the elite media are likewise unpleasant. “We called the New York Times editorial-page editor, Andrew Rosenthal, after the paper published an op-ed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in which Abbas claimed the Arabs startlingly had accepted the UN Partition Plan of 1947.”

The conversation went thus:

Rosenthal: “When I write for the Times, fact checkers examine every word I write.”

Oren:  “Did anybody check that Abbas has his facts exactly backward?”

Rosenthal: “That’s your opinion”

Oren: “I’m an historian, Andy, and there are opinions and there are facts. That the Arabs rejected partition and the Jews  accepted it is an irrefutable fact.”

Rosenthal: “In your view.”

Oren: “Tell me, on June 6, 1944, did Allied forces land or did they not land on Normandy Beach?”

Rosenthal replied:  “Some might say so.”   (!)

There are elements of “Ally” I found discomfiting — especially Oren’s frequent protestations about how much certain politicians and media types with whom he developed friendly personal relations care about Israel when they display no such case or concern in their public words or actions.

(And I seriously doubt that the actor/director Ben Afleck has “a statesman’s knowledge of the Middle East which he studied in college.”)

Still, “Ally” makes it nerve-jangingly clear just how difficult  a job it has been for anyone to serve as a guardian of the “special relationship” between Israel and the United States with a President and a team who are either by default or by ideology effectively hostile toward the Jewish state itself or the very idea of a Jewish state.

Oren’s recount shows he himself fell for the Obama Romance in 2008. But this was before he understood the deep and profound coldness within Barack Obama — a “chill” that distanced him from traditional American allies —not only Israel — whose ambassadors complained to him of the administration’s unprecedented aloofness.

‘Obama’s problem is not a tin ear,’ one of my European colleagues lamented, ‘it’s a tin heart.”‘

But it is not his tin heart that has led Obama to engage in this Cold War with Israel. It is his tin pot ideology.

John Podhoretz, Editor of COMMENTARY

(Excuse me, but what is the big surprise with all these supposed political “experts”?

Dinesh D’Sousa (http://israel-commentary.org/?p=4) told the world exactly who Obama is almost four years ago in his book, “The Roots of Obama’s Rage”, October 4, 2011.

Obama is simply fulfilling the anti-Colonialist, anti-American, anti-British, anti-French, anti-Israel, anti-West “Dreams” of his father.  He told us as much in his own book —  believed to have been written for him by his anarchist friend, Wm.  Ayers.    

And, Obama is doing a helluva a job destroying us!  Tragically,  the victims of this helluva  job  have yet to fully awaken to their own peril  and yet to fully  address  the obvious  direction and motivation of their mortal enemy!)  

Jerome S. Kaufman

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How Bill and Hillary escape punishment decade and decade.

By Joseph Farah, Editor

World Net Daily, June 2015

When we think of crime families, Vito and Michael Corleone come to mind. Yes, they killed people — mostly other gangsters and mob leaders. They were wealthy and powerful and dangerous to those who crossed them, but, they were make-believe characters.

Let me tell about a real-life crime family more wealthy, more powerful and more dangerous — not only to those who cross them, but to the very fabric of our nation and its precious remaining liberty and rule of law.

Meet the Clinton crime family.

I have more than 20 years of experience with Bill and Hillary Clinton. I was numbered at the very top of their enemies list in the 1990s media people. They didn’t  mind hurting their enemies and they used the power of the state to do it. They are only too willing to let their friends and supporters pay for their crimes  as top fundraiser, Peter Paul, can attest after serving more than a decade behind bars for campaign finance violations coordinated by Hillary.

They used the Internal  Revenue Service to go after their enemies, their critics and even ex-lovers who posed a threat. They bullied, harassed, intimidated, and, though no-one likes to talk about it in polite  company, there is indeed a trail of  inexplicable death  that has followed in their wake.

The famous “Clinton Body Count” even persuaded Monica Lewinsky not to make trouble for the”family.”

It’s not surprising that a few of their old adversaries have “seen the light” and decided the Clintons really weren’t that bad after all — concluding cooperation and even praise was better for their careers than the alternative.

After Hillary’s 2008 electoral debacle with Obama’s victory, some of us thought they would be satisfied to wreak havoc on America through bad policies and bad ideas.

We thought perhaps they would content themselves at getting richer at the public trough and through the illegal use of their foundation.” Maybe their time was over?

But just like two bad pennies, they’re back.

The corruption we read about in Peter Schweizer’s book “Clinton Cash” is nothing new for the Clintons. Its been going on since their Arkansas days. It’s what Whitewater is  all about. It’s what the Rose Law Firm was all about.

When they entered the White House in 1993, they took a little of Arkansas with them, tarnishing the hallowed presidential quarters forever — insulting Marine guards, humiliating FBI and Secret Service agents, fooling around with interns and abusing the power the American people mistakenly gave them for eight years.

They survived impeachment, thanks to the gutless Republican Senate under the leadership of Trent Lott. One can only imagine who among the Republican leadership got an offer they couldn’t refuse.

They courted foreign money throughout their “co-presidency” and got plenty of it after they left office.

Scandals surrounded them all through the Clinton administration and ever since. But, somehow, they never really paid a significant price. They had too many friends in high places government, in politics, with the high and mighty who helped engineer their rise and, most of all, within the media who found in them something that reminded them of the days of days of Camelot. (So much for the trustworthiness of the media).

Now the Clintons are getting  ready for their third term in the White House — and they will not be denied (G-d forbid). Already consumed in scandal once again, they count on fooling the people yet again. After all, it is their turn.

So let me just state clearly what they represent for those who still, more than two decades later, haven’t figured it out:

The Clintons are a crime family that somehow achieved immunity from prosecution more than 20 years ago — and, until recently, even immunity from criticism from the so-called “mainstream media.”

The Clintons know it. That’s why they have continued to flaunt the law and operate by their own set of rules and often send other people to prison, and perhaps worse, for their own crimes!

 

Joseph Farah is founder, editor and CEO of World Net Daily and is a syndicated columnist for Creators News Service. He is the other of 13 books including his classic, Taking America Back.

Read the complete expose’ of the Clinton Crime Family in Whistleblower Magazine June, 2015

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CB4QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fsuperstore.wnd.com%2FWhistleblower-Magazine&ei=9MqGVZyvFsuiyATs2qPIBQ&usg=AFQjCNFb7PXX-PltWM-4fmMmiiq35a8Qug&sig2=WPZDlNG0JCXl6Gm9YKYFWA&bvm=bv.96339352,d.aWw

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“Surrounded by my family, friends and supporters, I announce my candidacy for President of the United States at the Freedom Tower in Miami.

Yesterday is over as are those candidates preaching the same old tired messages and unsuccessful solutions.

II Rubio and the National-Security-concerned Republicans

Redaced from and article by Dorothy Rabinowitz

The Wall Street Journal, June 19, 2015

(See other videos on YouTube:)

1. Last month, in a major policy address at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City, Marco detailed the Rubio Doctrine, which consists of three pillars:

2. American Strength
Protection of the American economy in a globalized world
Moral clarity of America’s core values

Travel: Already, Marco has visited the key early states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada. Our teams on the ground in each state are busy with activity and growing every day.

II Rubio and the National-Security-concerned Republicans

Redaced from and article by Dorothy Rabinowitz

The Wall Street Journal, June 19, 2015

Marco Rubio, whose grasp of foreign affairs is both conspicuous and deep, emerged as a contender to be reckoned with. Not only does he address these issues with a comprehensiveness unequaled by any other candidate except Lindsey Graham—as Sen. Graham might say “that goes for you too, Hillary”—Sen. Rubio does so with unfailing eloquence.

It is unlikely that any journalist will be moved to report that a thrill runs up his leg when he listens to Marco Rubio. The senator’s public addresses have nothing of the soaring oratory Barack Obama delivered to the electorate and a swooning press. He speaks with a steady, unselfconscious authority, which is quite enough. Mr. Rubio is notably lacking in the kind of uneasy tentativeness that has characterized Jeb Bush’s public performances, though this may disappear—it was little in evidence in Mr. Bush’s campaign-opening speech Monday.

Candidate Rubio has, and it is no small advantage, a gift for language found frequently in people who have been voracious readers from childhood on. Like many children with his history, he also imbibed the sense of American exceptionalism at an early age and it has not gone away nor is it likely to do so.

There is no love of country quite as deep or conscious as that of the first-generation American. Mr. Rubio is the child of immigrants, Cubans in this case, who tutored him, as other immigrant parents have done with their children, in the unparalleled blessings of America. “You only have to have parents, family who come from other places, to know what we have here, this civilization without equal in history,” he says. All his life he has viewed the fortune that caused him to be born here—an American—as a gift without price, and it shows. He is one of the few politicians who can refer to the American dream, that exhausted rhetorical crutch, without inducing cringes.

In the course of his campaign rollout two months earlier than Mrs. Clinton’s, Mr. Rubio too addressed the dangers of leadership and ideas based on the values of yesterday. Only in his view those dangers were the obstruction of economic progress, the stifling of America’s ability to compete—and not least the failure to remember the importance of U.S. leadership in the world.

“And so they appease our enemies, they betray our allies, they weaken our military,” he says of the current administration. A dramatically different set of charges against yesterday’s thinking—and one with which virtually all Republican candidates would agree—than the compendium of victims suffering under the heels of Republicans and millionaires and billionaires that Mrs. Clinton cited on Roosevelt Island.

III Weekly Standard Straw Pole, June 22, 2015

In our latest straw poll, Scott Walker continues to hold the first place position he’s had in all four of our surveys. Marco Rubio is now a clear second, and is one of only two candidates to have moved up consistently from poll to poll. The other is Carly Fiorina, who is now sixth in first place votes, but third (!) when you total first, second and third place showings. All the other candidates have more or less bounced around inconclusively, as you can see below. So the bottom line is: Walker remains strong, Rubio continues to move up, and Fiorina is surging.

William Kristol, Editor

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Resisting the Longest Hatred

The few must stand against the trend toward anti-Semitism

By Clifford D. May

The Washington Times

June 1, 2015

Robert S. Wistrich, who died suddenly last week, was considered the foremost scholar of anti-Semitism, which he called “the longest hatred,” one that appears to be metastasizing in the current era.

Writing about Nazi anti-Semitism ruffles no feathers within academia and other elite circles. Mr. Wistrich, however, had been warning that “anti-Semitism has undergone a process of growing ‘Islamization,’ linked to the terrorist holy war against Jews and other non-Muslims with its truly lethal consequences.” This “new” anti-Semitism,” he added, targets Israel, the only state with a Jewish majority: “the collective Jew.”

“New” is a relative term: It was 40 years ago that the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution condemning Zionism, a charged word that actually implies nothing more than support for the right of the Jewish people, like other peoples, to self-determination in part of their ancestral homeland — territories that for centuries had been ruled by foreign empires. Within these lands there has never been a Palestinian nation-state, but a majority of Israelis would help establish such a polity — if Palestinian leaders would only commit to peaceful coexistence with their neighbors across an agreed-upon border.

While most Muslims do not support terrorism, Mr. Wistrich noted, “levels of anti-Semitism among Muslims clearly remain the highest in the world,” and Islamists — most succinctly defined as those committed to the imperative of Muslim dominance over all others — “are the spearhead of current anti-Semitism.”

Aided and abetted by anti-Semites of the radical left (who view Israel as an outpost of American empire) they have created what Mr. Wistrich called a “culture of hatred” that is “sufficiently radical in tone and content to constitute a new warrant for genocide.”

Such ethno-religious antipathy takes many forms. Three examples: Last week, Greek officials demanded that the Star of David be removed from a new Holocaust museum in a Greek city where some 1,500 Jews were murdered by Nazis. Though Israeli hospitals have opened their doors to casualties of the civil war in Syria, the U.N. has just labeled Israel the world’s top violator of “health rights.” And last month Mohammad Neza Naghdi, commander of Iran’s Basij paramilitary force, said, “The destruction of Israel is non-negotiable.”

Another manifestation of anti-Semitism is the so-called “boycott, divest and sanction” (BDS) campaign. Though it aims to damage Israel economically, it has so far made little progress. More perniciously perhaps, it means to demonize and delegitimize Israel, particularly in the eyes of young people on college campuses — an investment in the future of Jew-hatred.

BDS propagandists are patently Orwellian. Hamas fires missiles at Israeli villages and digs tunnels under Israeli farms to facilitate hostage-taking and mass murder; they call that “resistance.” Israelis attempt to defend themselves; they call that “genocide.”

Close to 20 percent of Israel’s citizens are Arab and Muslim. They enjoy freedom of worship and speech, cast votes, hold seats in the Knesset and sit on the Supreme Court. Nevertheless, BDS advocates slander Israel as “apartheid.” Some, utilizing a tactic Mr. Wistrich termed “Holocaust inversion,” call Israelis Nazis.

BDS advocates shed no tears for victims of jihadi head-choppers, for young girls enslaved by “mujahideen,” or young men hanged for “sodomy” under strict readings of Islamic law. All that pales next to Israel’s refusal to make additional concessions to Palestinian leaders who rule out compromise.

“The real aim of BDS is to bring down the state of Israel,” California State University professor As’ad AbuKhalil has said. “There should not be any equivocation on the subject. Justice and freedom for the Palestinians are incompatible with the existence of the state of Israel.” Pro-BDS author John Spritzler has written: “I think the BDS movement will gain strength from forthrightly explaining why Israel has no right to exist.”

Despite such threats, boycott, divest and sanction has faced few serious challenges — until now. Rep. Peter Roskam, an Illinois Republican, Sen. Ben Cardin, a Maryland Democrat, Sen. Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican, and Rep. Juan Vargas, a California Democrat, have authored bipartisan measures — amendments to the major trade act currently being considered by Congress — that would discourage America’s trading partners from discriminating against Israelis.

At the same time, Illinois is poised to become the first state in the nation to defend Israelis against economic warfare. Last week, an anti-BDS bill supported by newly elected Gov. Bruce Rauner passed the state House and Senate — with bipartisan unanimity.

“The significance of the bill cannot be underestimated,” wrote Eugene Kontorovich, a law professor at Northwestern University. “BDS is not like the civil rights protests, as its supporters love to claim but rather more like the anti-Jewish boycotts so common in Europe in the 20th century and in the Arab world until this day.” European financial institutions that have become concerned about the risks — legal, economic and reputational — of doing business with Israelis will now need to consider the risks of refusing to do business with Israelis.

Other states are considering similar actions. In Congress, additional measures are being proposed. For example, Rep. Doug Lamborn, A Colorado Republican, has introduced the Boycott Our Enemies, Not Israel Act, which would require government contractors to certify that they are not shunning America’s most reliable ally.

Mr. Wistrich devoted his life to understanding anti-Semitism which, in the 20th century, pursued the goal of a Europe without Jews. He also recognized the goal of this century’s anti-Semites: a Middle East without a Jewish state.

Those who mourn his passing may take some consolation in knowing that there are now a few American statesmen doing more than averting their eyes and wringing their hands.

• Clifford D. May is president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a columnist for The Washington Times.

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From: NEWSMAX.com

June 12, 2015 

Scott Walker Eyes Marco Rubio as His Running Mate

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is talking positively about a Republican presidential ticket — potentially announced even before the first nomination balloting — that would include Sen. Marco Rubio as his running mate.

In a Bloomberg Politics interview Thursday, the likely candidate also expressed agreement with President Barack Obama on the pressing issue of fast-track trade legislation. Walker, 47, isn’t expected to formally enter the race until early July, after his state has completed a two-year budget plan.

Still, he’s apparently given some consideration and had discussions already about a potential running mate, with the focus on Rubio. “I’ve actually had quite a few people, grassroots supporters, donors, and others who have made that suggestion,” he said when asked about a Walker-Rubio ticket. “For now, you know, Marco is a quality candidate,” Walker said. “He’s going to be formidable in this race as things progress. And if we were to get in,  we’ll see where things take us.”

Walker was in Utah to meet with potential financial supporters and to speak at a summit hosted by 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney that’s attracted six declared and likely presidential candidates. The full interview can be seen on BloombergPolitics.com.

Walker said he and Rubio often hear the suggestion that they should combine forces, potentially even before the first nomination voting in Iowa in February 2016, as a way to stand out amid a crowded field. “We’d just probably have to arm-wrestle over who would be at the top of the ticket,” he said.

At this phase of presidential campaign, the norm would be for a White House hopeful to summarily dismiss such a move, in public and in private. Walker said he likes governors and their executive experience better than senators as potential presidents and vice presidents, but that Rubio stands out. “I do like Marco Rubio,” he said. “I think he and I have similar thoughts on national defense and foreign policy.”

Walker noted how he tweeted greetings to Rubio, 44, for his birthday last month, a move that also underscored his own relative youthfulness amid a mostly older Democratic and Republican field. “Marco, happy birthday from one 40-something to another,” Walker said of his greeting. “There’s certainly a generational issue there.”

In the most recent Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register Iowa Poll, Walker led in the state that starts the nomination process, while Rubio was the most popular second choice among likely Republican caucus participants.

Walker said he supports giving Obama the authority to submit trade agreements to Congress for an expedited, up-or-down vote without amendments. “If we don’t go down this path, we’re going to be at a competitive disadvantage, and so I think it just makes sense,” he said.

At the same time, like many Republicans who support granting the trade authority recent past presidents have had, Walker said the deal would allow the Republican-controlled Congress to review Obama’s actions. “If this president were to give them a bad deal, they should hold him accountable and vote it down,” he said. “They have every right to do that under the proposal.”

Walker said he’d look for ways to lower them especially for those in “the middle of the bracket” as well as for businesses. “I certainly wouldn’t be talking about anybody paying any more,” he said. The popular home-mortgage deduction is not a place where Walker would look for additional revenue to balance the cuts he’d like to see made, he said. “We’re going to look at the entire tax code and what the best way to reform is, but I think homeownership is an important part of living the American dream,” he said. He expressed similar views about the popular deduction for charitable contributions.

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II  Addendum below:  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this morning (Thursday, 11 June 2015), in Jerusalem, met with US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday, 31 May 2015):

1. Redacted from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks:

“We are in the midst of a great struggle being waged against the State of Israel, an international campaign to blacken its name.

It is not connected to our actions; it is connected to our very existence. It does not matter what we do; it matters what we symbolize and what we are. Now, this is a phenomenon that we have known in the history of our people – what hasn’t been said about the Jewish People? They said that we are the focus of all evil in the world. They said that we are the poisoners of the wells of humanity. They said that we drink the blood of little children. All of these things are being said about us today as well. It was not true then and it is not true today. This does not have a shred of truth.

I think that it is important to understand that these things do not stem from the fact that if only we were nicer or a little more generous – we are very generous, we have made many offers, we have made many concessions – that anything would change because this campaign to delegitimize Israel entails something much deeper that is being directed at us and seeks to deny our very right to live here.

I think that one must ask how can it be that Israel is accused over homes in Gilo, or over this or that action that we take to defend ourselves from terrorists, but that when a hundred times more victims – a hundred times more, not twice or ten or 50 times as many, but a hundred times – more people are being slaughtered in Syria, just in Syria – there are no protests, no condemnations, no 80% of decisions by UN human rights committees, against Syria.

It is we who are accused, IDF soldiers who are accused of killing children. I saw the IDF delegation to Nepal which rescued Nepalese children and brought babies into the world. I did not see a delegation from Boko Haram. I did not see delegations from Iran there. I did not see delegations from Al Qaida and I did not see delegations from Syria.

There is no justification for the campaign of delegitimization being waged against the State of Israel, in which they are trying to suspend us from international organizations. The last thing we need to do is to bow our heads and ask where we went wrong, where we erred. We have done nothing wrong and we have not erred.

We are not a perfect country; we do not pretend to be such, but they are setting standards for us that are both twisted and higher than those for any other country, any other democracy. There is no democracy that is more challenged than the State of Israel, which respects human rights, which respects pluralism, which respects humanity even in the most difficult war situations, even when thousands of missiles are being fired at our cities. Therefore, here we are not dealing in justifications, here we are telling the truth.

This past weekend we had to rebuff a major international effort to oust us from FIFA and I am pleased that we succeeded. This was part of the continuing effort; I am not deluding myself that these efforts will cease, and we need to act on a very broad front, but the first thing that we must arm ourselves with is the truth, the truth, and also with the inner pride that we know who we are and what we represent, and that we will not capitulate to libels.

Today we will deal with the home front exercise. I must say that alongside the development of our offensive capabilities, which is in a very impressive high gear, most of which is known to the public, we are also busy with preparing the home front for future campaigns because we have discovered that home front is a front line. There has been very great success; we saw this in Operation Protective Edge and at other times, in developments that we have made in both active and passive defense. Adequate preparation is important because planning well will pay off in the end.

II Addendum: June 11, 2015

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this morning (Thursday, 11 June 2015), in Jerusalem, met with US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey and told him at the start of their meeting:

“You’ve been a wonderful friend and a grand champion of America and of America-Israel relations. We appreciate it. I want to take this opportunity to also express our respect and deep admiration for America’s fighting men and women. We know you’re extended around the world, including in our region. We know we have no better friends than the American people, the American governments, the American fighting men and women. You fight for America, but you also fight for freedom.”

General Dempsey said, “The greatest gift has been the friendship that we’ve managed to forge with the leaders in the IDF, and I know you’re proud of them but we are too. It’s our constitution, and you know that that’s what inspires us as I know service to your nation inspires you.”
________________________________________
IMRA – Independent Media Review and Analysis

 

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From: Community News Service

By COL live reporter, Jun 4, 2015

Pharaoh’s Jockey Victor Espinoza came to pray at the Rebbe’s Ohel (Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson’s tomb) BEFORE the Belmont Stakes horse race. The Jewish owners, refugees from Egypt, were making a Kiddush Hashem. (A prayer to G-d ceremony with wine and treats — like herring and all the Manischewitz wine you can drink)

Victor Espinoza, the Mexican native who is hoping to make history by riding the first Triple Crown-winning horse in 37 years, turned to a spiritual source for blessing.

Espinoza, a jockey who will compete in the 2015 Belmont Stakes horse race in Elmont, NY, came to pray at the Rebbe’s (Schneerson, OBM) Ohel at the Old Montefiore Cemetery in Cambria Heights, Queens.

CBSNewYork reported that Espinoza visited the grave site of the Rebbe, “considered one of the most influential Jewish leaders of the 20th century” and where “hundreds of thousands come to the cemetery every year 24/7 to pray.”

Espinoza opened a prayer book, recited psalms, wrote out his own message and added his to a mountain of prayers at the sacred site, the TV station said.

He was flanked by Rabbi Efraim Zaltzman, Director of Chabad of Kingsborough in Brooklyn, Kabbalah teacher Rabbi Berel Lerman and Rabbi Motti Seligson, Director of ‎Media Relations at Chabad.org.

Espinoza, who is not Jewish, said that after receiving a blessing from Rabbi Sholom Ber Korf Chabad of Delray in Florida last month, he scheduled the detour to the Ohel from his regular race prep for the Belmont, COLlive was told.

“So much energy right here,” he said. “It would kind of build you up right here. It’s like good energy drinks.”

Mike Weitz, Espinoza’s Jewish publicist, said: “He believes with G-d’s help and the Rebbe interceding for him that he’s going to be very successful and very safe.”

Meanwhile, the owners of American Pharaoh Thoroughbred racehorse, which Espinoza will be riding, have announced that they will be observing the Shabbos on the day of the race.

The Zayats were raised in Egypt as observant Jews. On race day, which is the Sabbath, the family will abstain from driving in observance and will camp overnight in luxury RVs on Belmont’s grounds, CBS reported.

“We have a value system in our life, and that is a priority in our family, said Ahmed Zayat, who lives in Teaneck, New Jersey. “G-d comes first. (Then) family, country and all the others — all the others, you can put horse racing in with them.”

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