Explaining the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) Fiasco


The surveillance state is here, and to stay

Redacted from article
By Wesley Pruden – The Washington Times
February 8, 2018

The administration of Barack Obama, eager to advance the interests of Hillary Clinton, who was to be the front for his otherwise constitutionally forbidden third term, sought court approval to spy on a suspected colluder with Russians, and in doing so advanced the surveillance state that will now spy on everybody.

Everything about FISA is shady, smarmy and suspicious to the limit. The Obama administration cut corners and trashed the ethics (do not laugh) of government lawyers to get necessary warrants to pursue Carter Page, a minor Trump campaign aide and the suspected colluder.

To do that, the lawyers for Mr. Obama’s government told the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court some imaginative things about Mr. Page, none of them good and some of them more than a little naughty. But what Mr. Obama’s lawyers didn’t tell the court was that their “facts” were extracted from a dossier of unverified rumors, hearsay, gossip and street talk, put together by a British undercover man whose word and reliability the FBI would not vouch for.

Nor were the judges told that an official of the Justice Department, one Bruce Ohr, had colluded privately with the author of the dossier — and that Mr. Ohr’s wife, Nellie, had worked on the dossier. The dossier was not great literature, but it apparently was enough to keep a family together.

Most revealing of all, the dossier was originally paid for by Hillary Clinton, eager to collect campaign dirt on Donald Trump, and the Democratic National Committee, which was doing everything it could to grease the nomination for Bubba’s first lady. Mr. Obama’s lawyers were working under the mushroom theory of courtroom connivance, keep the judges in the dark and under a blanket of bovine fertilizer. Judges usually don’t like that.

But it was all in a good cause. Donald Trump had to be destroyed, lest lightning strike and he become the president of the United States. Lie, fib, fudge and make it up, and when caught at it lie some more. Everybody expects politicians to lie. Denial is the unanimous reaction on the left to “the memo” that set out some of the particulars of the chicanery uncovered by congressional committees.

“The big memo was a bust,” wrote one hyperventilating pundit in flyover country, still in a sulk that Donald Trump was elected by the Electoral College, as the Constitution provides, and not by a popular vote. The memo accomplishes “little other than prompting the preposterous second-place president to declare preposterously that somehow, amid its utter irrelevance, the memo had vindicated him.”

But what we saw, Judge Andrew Napolitano, retired from the New Jersey judiciary, observes in The Washington Times, was “a new turn as politicians engaged in cherry-picking snippets from classified raw intelligence data that support their political cases, pro-Trump and anti-Trump.”

Politicians, good ones and bad ones, are eventually deleted from the passing parade, and this, too, will pass. (So far it has no name, but only if we’re lucky will it escape being called “something-gate”). But the damage done will not pass so easily. The surveillance state, once established, is likely to be with us forever.

The implications of “something-gate” are well over the heads of the big-time mainstream legacy media, so called. Barack Obama was once a professor of constitutional law, deeply distrustful of what he agreed was a secretive “deep state,” but once in the White House he, too, recognized the usefulness of a weaponized intelligence service and even the IRS, ready to go after pesky critics. The big-time mainstream legacy media is largely dedicated now to the restoration of how it used to be, and how it must be again.

Woodward and Bernstein are footnotes now to an ancient history. There are no hungry reporters in hot pursuit of a Nixon administration or rogues in the government of Ronald Reagan. The New York Times and The Washington Post, together with the great civil libertarians, are no longer demanding accountability in inconvenient places. They oppose the disclosure of embossing public documents. The president is an inviting target and bashing him is great fun.

The watchdogs have gone to sleep, lest they see something they don’t want anybody to talk about.

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

To subscribe to Israel Commentary:  Send your email address to:

https://israel-commentary.org – complete list of recent articles
Facebook: 1. Jerome S. Kaufman
2 .Israel Commentary
Twitter:  @israelcomment

California now a “sanctuary state” thanks to Gov. Jerry Brown & liberal Democrats in Sacramento


February 2018


Reveals state-wide war brewing over health care, education and other services

By Jesse Lee Peterson

The Golden State is home to an estimated 2.3 million illegal aliens. And police are no longer permitted to ask suspects about their immigration status or assist with federal immigration-enforcement activities.


Yes, California voters are dumb for voting in liberal Democrats who continue to pass laws that endanger citizens. For black Americans who might not understand this – you too will be impacted! Now that California has been designated a “sanctuary state,” illegal aliens, including MS-13, will flock to the state in droves and they’ll end up in the black community.

For the past 27 years, my nonprofit organization, BOND, has been trying to educate blacks on this issue with town hall forums, media, rallies, etc. Along with groups like FAIR, California Coalition for Immigration Reform and the late Terry Anderson, we’ve been warning the state and the nation of what was coming, but most blacks refused to listen.

We couldn’t get blacks to support a border wall or to vote against liberal Democrats who are selling them out for the Hispanic vote. Most blacks are so brainwashed by their godless black leaders, they’re willing to vote against their own self-interest.

They blindly follow corrupt Democrats like Barack Obama, Maxine Waters, Karen Bass, Kamala Harris, Mark Ridley-Thomas and others who use them. All Democrats have to do is accuse anyone who opposes illegal immigration of being “racist,” and that’s enough to put blacks in a hypnotic trance and make them vote for Democrats.

The illegal immigration issue is out of control. The Hispanic population is growing rapidly, and it’s flexing its political muscle. There’s a warfare brewing between black and Hispanic gangs in Los Angeles, and it’s just a matter of time before it explodes. As a result, decent blacks are fleeing California and moving down south.

Order Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson’s book, “The Antidote: Healing America from the Poison of Hate, Blame, and Victimhood.”

Illegal aliens are draining California taxpayers. According to Fox News, Los Angeles County taxpayers paid a whopping $1.3 billion in just two years for illegal-alien benefits and programs – nearly a quarter of the amount spent on the state’s needy population.

Over the past 60 years, the black community traded in values and principles for welfare and programs. As a result, most blacks rely on government assistance. Blacks are fighting with illegals in Los Angeles for health care, public education and other services.

I know many qualified blacks who’ve applied for all types of jobs in Los Angeles County and weren’t hired because they don’t speak Spanish; blacks are upset about this. If blacks stood up and demanded that their elected officials do something about this issue, the problem could be solved. But they’re so angry and preoccupied with blaming the white man, they can’t see that they’re voting for their own self-destruction.

The NAACP has completely sold out blacks. It supports amnesty, and it has allowed illegals to hitch their plight to the civil-rights struggle of blacks. The shameless NAACP is also pushing the insidious lie that increased immigration is helpful to the black community.

Members of the corrupt Congressional Black Caucus unanimously support amnesty for Hispanics and for the more than 3 million immigrants of African descent.

Except for a handful of black conservatives like myself, Sheriff David Clarke, Larry Elder, Walter Williams, Thomas Sowell and Peter Kirsanow, there aren’t any black voices boldly speaking out about the devastating impact illegal immigration is having on black Americans.

Democrats are giving out all kinds of taxpayer funded goodies to seduce Hispanics and addict them, just like they did to blacks. They’re brainwashing, spoiling and dumbing them down to use them for votes. There are some decent Hispanics who don’t agree with rewarding illegals, but they’re too afraid to speak out.

And now that California has legalized the sale of recreational marijuana, the state will attract more criminals and the worst kind of people. What a shame!

President Trump and Congress are deliberating the future of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. Trump has reiterated that he wants to work with Democrats to find a permanent legislative solution to allow those protected by DACA to stay in the country, but only if it comes with a long-promised border wall and major changes to the immigration system.
Blacks need an advocate on this issue, and they have a friend in President Trump. But if they don’t wake up and stand for what is right, they will be permanently replaced.

For blacks to free themselves from this nightmare, they must first turn back to God and love Him with all their soul and might. Second, they must abandon group thinking and the Democratic Party. If they do this, we can make America great again overnight.

(Jesse Lee Peterson – host of “The Fallen State” TV show on WND-TV – is the most courageous, outspoken critic of the “civil rights” establishment in America today. Raised without his father on a plantation near Tuskegee, Alabama, during the Jim Crow era, Peterson has lived a part of America’s history few have experienced.)

To subscribe to Israel Commentary:  Send your email address to:

https://israel-commentary.org – complete list of recent articles
Facebook: 1. Jerome S. Kaufman
2 .Israel Commentary
Twitter:  @israelcomment

Winston Spencer Churchill Ha Maccabee




In 1969, Winston Churchill’s biographer Martin Gilbert interviewed Edward Lewis Spears, a longtime friend of Gilbert’s subject. “Even Winston had a fault,” Spears reflected to Gilbert. “He was too fond of Jews.” If, as one British wag put it, an anti-Semite is one who hates the Jews more than is strictly necessary,

Churchill was believed to admire the Jews more than elite British society deemed strictly necessary. With attention now being paid to Churchill’s legacy as portrayed in the film Darkest Hour, I thought it worth exploring the little-known role that Churchill’s fondness for the Jewish people played at a critical period in the history of Western civilization.

The film highlights three addresses delivered by Churchill upon becoming prime minister in the spring of 1940, with the Nazis bestriding most of Europe. Of the three, his two speeches before Parliament—the one that promised “blood, toil, tears, and sweat,” the other that “we shall fight on the beaches”—are more famous.

The most important disquisition, however, may have been the radio remarks delivered on May 19, as they were the first words spoken by Churchill to the British people as leader of His Majesty’s Government. Britain faced, he said, “the foulest and most soul-destroying tyranny which has ever darkened and stained the pages of history.”

The Nazis had thus far destroyed every adversary that they had faced, leaving in their wake a “group of shattered states and bludgeoned races: the Czechs, the Poles, the Norwegians, the Danes, the Dutch, the Belgians—upon all of whom the long night of barbarism will descend, unbroken even by a star of hope, unless we conquer, as conquer we must; as conquer we shall.”

Noting that he was speaking on a celebratory day in the Christian calendar, Churchill then concluded with an apparent scriptural citation—a rare rhetorical choice for him—as inspiration to his country at the most perilous moment in its history.

Today is Trinity Sunday. Centuries ago words were written to be a call and a spur to the faithful servants of Truth and Justice: “Arm yourselves, and be ye men of valour, and be in readiness for the conflict; for it is better for us to perish in battle than to look upon the outrage of our nation and our altar. As the Will of God is in Heaven, even so let it be.”

Thus ended Churchill’s first radio address as prime minister to the British people, which has come to be known as the “Be Ye Men of Valour” speech. That evening, Anthony Eden told Churchill: “You have never done anything as good or as great. Thank you, and thank God for you.” The scriptural conclusion was a stunning success, stiffening the British spine and capturing the English imagination. But where in the Bible is the verse with which Churchill concluded and for which his speech is named?

In fact, the citation is from a work of Jewish apocrypha—the first book of Maccabees, which describes the triumph of the Maccabees over the Seleucid Empire, leading to the holiday known as Chanukah. Churchill would have known it from the Apocrypha portion of the King James Bible. In the book’s third chapter, Judah Maccabee exhorts his troops prior to the recapture of Jerusalem:

And Judas said, Arm yourselves, and be valiant men, and see that ye be in readiness against the morning, that ye may fight with these nations, that are assembled together against us to destroy us and our sanctuary: For it is better for us to die in battle, than to behold the calamities of our people and our sanctuary. Nevertheless, as the will of God is in heaven, so let him do.

As Hillsdale College’s Richard Langworth has noted, Churchill altered the quotation, as “the writer in him could not resist an editorial improvement.” One edit that he made is particularly interesting. In paraphrasing Judah, Churchill spoke of the outrages against “our altar,” rather than “our sanctuary.” Here Churchill combined an understanding that Judah’s victory concluded with a rebuilding of the altar (the word “Chanukah” itself refers to the chanukat ha-mizbeach, the dedication of the sacrificial altar in the Temple).

Through Churchill’s rhetoric, England was transformed into an altar for which the English must be willing to sacrifice, and ultimately rededicated.
Even more fascinating is the choice of citation itself. Why would Churchill select this verse with which to conclude his first address as prime minister?

Like traditional Judaism, Churchill’s own Anglican Church did not include the book of Maccabees in its canon, and there are any number of biblical instances, from Moses to Joshua to David, of eloquent exhortations in war.

The answer possibly lies in the fact that the Chanukah story is one of the few instances of a biblical battle waged against overwhelming odds. It is a tale, as the Jewish liturgy puts it, of rabbim be-yad me’atim, of the many falling into the hands of the few.

As the film depicts, Churchill’s own cabinet contained those who, like Lord Halifax, were so frightened by the British plight that they urged negotiation and capitulation. Churchill’s choice of quotation from Maccabees is thus understood in the context of the verses earlier in the same chapter, where Judah’s own compatriots confess themselves daunted by their situation.
Who, when they saw the host coming to meet them, said unto Judas, How shall we be able, being so few, to fight against so great a multitude and so strong, seeing we are ready to faint with fasting all this day?

Unto whom Judas answered, It is no hard matter for many to be shut up in the hands of a few; and with the God of heaven it is all one, to deliver with a great multitude, or a small company: For the victory of battle standeth not in the multitude of an host; but strength cometh from heaven.

They come against us in much pride and iniquity to destroy us, and our wives and children, and to spoil us. But we fight for our lives and our laws. Wherefore the Lord himself will overthrow them before our face: and as for you, be ye not afraid of them.

In 1960, a retired Churchill met with David Ben-Gurion, another leader who had overseen a war in which the many fell into the hands of the few. Churchill gave Ben-Gurion an essay that he had composed in 1931 titled “Moses: The Leader of a People.” In it Churchill appears to describe his own journey during the decade to follow.

“Every prophet,” he wrote, “has to come from civilization, but every prophet has to go into the wilderness. He must have a strong impression of a complex society and all that it has to give, and then he must serve periods of isolation and meditation. This is the process by which psychic dynamite is made.”

It was in the wilderness, Churchill wrote, that Moses encountered a vision of a burning bush, through which God, from the midst of an ethereal fire, informed him that “there is nothing that man cannot do, if he will it with enough resolution.” Churchill composed these words in 1932; eight years later, he returned from the political wilderness, with “psychic dynamite” that helped save civilization.

Churchill, seeking a source of inspiration in England’s darkest hour, turned to the story behind the Jewish Festival of Lights. It is a fascinating footnote in the life of a man who wrote these words in 1920: “Some people like Jews and some do not, but no thoughtful man can doubt the fact that they are beyond all question the most formidable and the most remarkable race which has ever appeared in the world.”

To subscribe to Israel Commentary:  Send your email address to:

https://israel-commentary.org – complete list of recent articles
Facebook: 1. Jerome S. Kaufman
2 .Israel Commentary
Twitter:  @israelcomment

The Clintons Owe Monica an Apology


It would show that the popular former president understands humility.

Monica Lewinsky in Cannes, southern France, June 25, 2015.

By Abby Ellin

March 5, 2018

In a new essay for Vanity Fair, Monica Lewinsky writes that although her relationship with Bill Clinton was consensual, she now realizes it was a “gross abuse of power” on his part. She’s right. And it’s time he apologized.

Yes, Mr. Clinton included her in a 1998 speech in which he asked forgiveness from “my family, my friends, my staff, my cabinet, Monica Lewinsky and her family, and the American people.” But he never apologized for letting a young woman’s life crumble, for throwing her under the bus, for being a coward.

He should, even if it wouldn’t make up for the way she was portrayed as a tramp, a bimbo, “that woman,” or, in the words of Hillary Clinton, a “narcissistic Looney Tune.” Mr. Clinton was the grownup in the room—a room that also happened to be the Oval Office.

Whether she pursued him or he pursued her, he was the president of the United States.

Had it happened today, maybe Mr. Clinton would have resigned. Or maybe he would have done as David Letterman did when he admitted on national TV that he’d had affairs with staffers and apologized to his wife, family and employees. “And that is all I’m going to say about that,” he concluded. Mr. Letterman didn’t obfuscate, backpedal or claim to be “misunderstood.” He manned up, then dealt with a private matter privately. Today, no one associates Mr. Letterman with anything other than excessive facial hair.

Imagine what kind of message it would send if Mr. Clinton apologized today. It would show that a man—a powerful, brilliant man whom many Americans still revere—understands humility. It might even make other men acknowledge, and try to correct, their own shortcomings.

Mrs. Clinton could join in, too. She’s still standing by her man, and it has hurt her. “We have a man who is accused of sexual assault sitting in the Oval Office, don’t we?” she told radio host Rita Cosby, referring to Donald Trump. She’s right. But without acknowledging her own husband’s wrongful acts, her words are meaningless.

As a woman, a feminist and an American, I’d like to hear an apology. Forget politics; it’s about human decency and righting old wrongs. It’s about redemption, for the Clintons and Ms. Lewinsky. It’s about showing the current administration how adults behave.

“Forgiveness is a way of opening up the doors again and moving forward, whether it’s a personal life or a national life,” Mrs. Clinton once said. So is apology.
Ms. Ellin is author of “Duped,” forthcoming from Public Affairs in 2019.

If you want to bring tears to your eyes. Watch UN Ambassador Nikki R. Haley address the American Israel Public Affairs Comm. March 5, 2018

If you want to bring tears to your eyes, watch UN Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki R. Haley, address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington, DC, March 5, with 18,000+ Jews in attendance!

PS   Nikki Haley for US President 2024!

Please hold your contributions for a bit.  Thank you.

Jerome S. Kaufman

To subscribe to Israel Commentary:  Send your email address to:

https://israel-commentary.org – complete list of recent articles
Facebook: 1. Jerome S. Kaufman
2 .Israel Commentary
Twitter:  @israelcomment




DEATH THREAT FROM IRAN — Not to be ignored or minimized


Former Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Commander threatens to nuke Israel – and why he’s for real.

By Kenneth R. Timmerman
Frontpage Magazine
February 26, 2018

Maj. General Mohsen Rezai founded Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps in the early days of the revolution, upon the personal orders of Ayatollah Khomeini.

While he relinquished control of the IRGC in 1997, he remains one of the regime’s most influential leaders. A “principalist,” who is considered a revolutionary purist, Rezai has occasionally shown a more pragmatic bent.
He regularly boasts of the Iranian regime’s military power, and issues threats to all who would challenge the regime that seem to get dismissed in the Western media.

Last week, when he vowed to “level Tel Aviv to the ground,” was no exception. He was speaking in response to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who warned at the Munich Security Conference last week that Israel would “act against Iran itself” if Iran continued to invade Israeli air space, as they did when they sent a drone into Israel from an air base in Syria.

And yet, outside of the Israeli media, only the Daily Mail paid much attention to Rezai’s threats. But make no mistake about it: General Rezai understands the cold calculus of nuclear deterrence, and he was not making an idle threat. His message was crystal clear: Iran considers itself to be a nuclear weapons-capable state.  And he speaks from direct, personal knowledge since he was himself in charge of Iran’s nuclear weapons program for over a decade.

I know this because his son defected to the United States at the age of 23 in 1999, and wound up staying with me for several months, learning English in my basement by watching Jackie Chan movies. Many of the stories he told me about his father I related in a 2005 book, Countdown to Crisis: the Coming Nuclear Showdown with Iran.

Here is just one of them, which explains why I am confident that General Rezai was not making an idle threat to Israel last week. It involves a January 1993 trip Rezai made to China and North Korea with a 50-man military delegation, as well as his then teenage son.

For nearly an entire week, the North Koreans escorted Rezai and his delegation to military bases all over the country. They split them into two groups. Rezai and the men who had already taken the tour plunged directly into negotiations. His deputy, Mohammad Baqr Zolqadr, the dark-skinned fanatic who had just come back from training Osama bin Laden’s terrorists in Sudan, led the second group, including his boss’s son.

Young Ahmad marveled when they were taken to a top secret airbase, carved out of the rock inside a mountain. As they entered, their North Korean hosts pointed out the thickness of the special blast doors, designed to withstand a direct nuclear hit.

Deep inside the mountain they came to a huge cavern, where two dozen aircraft were parked like ducks in a row, nestled into each other’s wings. In separate store rooms carved out of the rock, the North Koreans had stockpiled missiles, fuel, and all the necessary maintenance equipment.

They managed the entire complex from a modern control room, where flight officers surveyed the buried runway through a giant glass window, a bit like the control tower on an aircraft carrier. But most amazing of all was the underground runway, pitched at a steep upward slant. As the jets cycled up their engines, the jetwash was deflected by a blast wall and vented through a series of long tunnels to the surface to reduce the heat signature.

The jets hurtled upwards using a catapult, similar to an aircraft carrier. At the end of the runway, doors opened onto the sky. The jets shot out, burner cans lit, like a missile emerging from a launch tube buried halfway up the mountainside.

At one missile test range the elder Rezai visited, Iranian engineers were working side by side with the North Koreans, preparing telemetry equipment for a test. They were working to extend the range of the missile known in the West as the No-Dong…

The original specifications called for a Circular Error Probable (CEP) from between 1,500 to 4,000 meters, an unheard of margin of error in the West. This meant that just half of the missiles would fall within 1,500 to 4,000 meters of a target area. The key was making sure the new missile could carry a warhead large enough for the Chinese bomb design Iran is believed to have purchased from Dr. A.Q. Khan. Given the density of Israel’s population, it didn’t much matter where it fell. That missile, later known as the Shahab-3, was designed to be able to hit Israel.
Toward the end of the week-long visit, the elder Rezai was summoned to meet the Great Leader himself, the grandfather of “little rocket man,” Kim Jong Il. Rezai met with Kim Il Sung alone. No aides, no note-takers, not even his own translator were allowed in the room in the Great Leader’s palace. Just the two of them, and Kim’s personal interpreter.

The aging Kim was terminally ill, although Rezai didn’t know that at the time. He still appeared robust, jovial, and keenly aware of his visitor. Look how much we have accomplished together, he said, as they reviewed work on the new joint missile project. Neither man had any doubt as to the missile’s purpose as a nuclear delivery vehicle. And that’s when Rezai told Kim about the bombs.

The stories about Iran’s attempt to purchase nuclear warheads from Kazakhstan and other Central Asian Republics were true, he said. Rafsanjani had sent buying teams a little all over the place. But there had been problems. To avoid detection, the weapons had been disassembled and transported piece by piece in separate trucks.

They had put a non-professional in charge of the operation, and the results were predictable. When the bombs arrived in Tehran in late 1991 and early 1992, key parts were missing. Iran could hardly go to the Russians and ask them for assistance, since Yeltsin’s intelligence people had raised a public stink about the missing bombs. Iran needed Kim’s help to get those weapons operational. The aging North Korean leader agreed immediately…

On the plane back to Tehran, Rezai was ecstatic. His lifelong dream of making Iran an independent nuclear power capable of defending itself against aggression—even by a superpower!—was about to come true. As he mulled over his meeting with Kim in the executive cabin of the Boeing 707, [his son] asked him how they would ever manage to ship atomic weapons from North Korea to Iran.

We don’t need to, Rezai said. We have all the parts but one. And now North Korea has agreed to supply us what we are missing….
Ahmad told me he assumed the missing bomb part was the fissile material core. But Clinton administration officials I shared this anecdote with at the time said they believed the North Koreans did not have enough fissile material or the inclination to share it, even with Iran.

Ahmad Rezai’s defection to the United States placed General Rezai in a precarious position. The young Rezai’s information proved to be so valuable to the U.S. intelligence community that they fast-tracked his application for U.S. citizenship and awarded him a passport and a new identity.
He died in Dubai on November 2011 at the age of 35, as I related in these pages. My own investigation on the ground led me to believe he was murdered by a Russian hitman, hired by Tehran. General Rezai is a cold-blooded killer, but he is also a survivor. He remains a top Godfather of the Islamic regime.

It would be unwise to sweep away as idle threats comments such as those he made last week. He knows Iran is a nuclear-weapons capable state, because he was present at the creation. With the Iran nuclear deal safely guaranteeing that Iran’s nuclear programs will not be challenged, General Rezai and other regime leaders can now brandish them as a deterrent.
These are dangerous times, indeed.
To subscribe to Israel Commentary:  Send your email address to:

https://israel-commentary.org – complete list of recent articles
Facebook: 1. Jerome S. Kaufman
2 .Israel Commentary
Twitter:  @israelcomment

Don’t Count Bibi Out

 By Bret Stephens

The New York Times
Feb. 23, 2018

If you follow the news from Israel, you might surmise that Benjamin Netanyahu’s days as prime minister are numbered. The police recommend that he be charged on multiple counts of bribery, fraud and breach of trust. Fresh charges may yet be brought in additional investigations. A former top aide to Netanyahu agreed this week to serve as a witness against him. Press reports suggest a man clinging to power.


Don’t be so sure. If an election were held tomorrow, Bibi — as Netanyahu is universally known in Israel — and his Likud party would likely win, according to recent polls. Roughly half of Israelis think the prime minister should quit, but that’s down from 60 percent in December.


Netanyahu has no intention of resigning, even if the attorney general chooses to indict him. The Likud rank-and-file remain loyal to their leader. His coalition partners may detest him, but for now they see greater political advantage in a wounded prime minister than in a fresh one. Besides, Bibi has been, for Israelis, a pretty good prime minister. Some indicators:

Economy: Since Netanyahu returned to power in 2009, the economy has grown by nearly 30 percent in constant dollars — nearly twice the growth rate of Germany or the United States. Some 3.6 million tourists visited Israel in 2017, a record for the Jewish state. On Monday, Israel announced a $15 billion dollar deal to export natural gas to Egypt from its huge offshore fields.


Diplomacy: Netanyahu’s personal ties to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi are exceptionally close, as they are with Japan’s Shinzo Abe. Israel’s relations with African countries and the Arab world are the best they’ve been in decades; reaction in Riyadh and Cairo to the Trump administration’s decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem amounted to a shrug. Netanyahu’s 2015 speech to Congress opposing the Iran deal, billed as an affront to the Obama administration, turned out to be an inspiration for Israel’s neighbors. And Netanyahu’s arguments against the deal now prevail in the current White House.

Security: In 2002, at the height of the second intifada, Israelis suffered more than 400 terrorism fatalities. In 2017 there were fewer than two dozen. Two wars in and around Gaza, both initiated by Hamas, were devastating for Palestinians but resulted in relatively few Israeli casualties. The Israeli Air Force lost an F-16 after coming under heavy Syrian antiaircraft fire, but that seems to have been a fluke. For the most part, Israel has been able to strike Syrian, Iranian and Hezbollah targets at will.

And then there are the Palestinians. The central complaint of Netanyahu’s critics is that he has failed to make good on the promise of his 2009 speech at Bar-Ilan University, where he claimed to accept the principle of a Palestinian state. Subsidiary charges include his refusal to halt settlement construction or give former Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad a sufficient political boost.

It should go without saying that a Palestinian state is a terrific idea in principle — assuming, that is, that it resembles the United Arab Emirates. But Israelis have no reason to believe that it will look like anything except the way Gaza does today: militant, despotic, desperate and aggressive. Netanyahu’s foreign critics are demanding that he replicate on a large scale what has failed catastrophically on a smaller scale. It’s an absurd to ask.

It’s also strange that the same people who insist that Israel help create a Palestinian state in order to remain a democracy seem so indifferent to the views of that democracy. Israel’s political left was not destroyed by Netanyahu. It was obliterated one Palestinian suicide bombing, rocket salvo, tunnel attack and rejected statehood offer at a time. Bibi’s long tenure of office is the consequence, not the cause, of this.

Specifically, it is the consequence of Israel’s internalization of the two great lessons of the past 30 years. First, that separation from the Palestinians is essential — in the long term. Second, that peace with the Palestinians is impossible — in the short term. The result is a policy that amounts to a type of indefinite holding pattern, with Israel circling a runway it knows it cannot yet land on even as it fears running out of gas.

The risks here are obvious. But it’s hard to imagine any other sort of approach, which is why any successor to Netanyahu will have to pursue essentially identical policies — policies whose chief art will consist in fending off false promises of salvation.

There’s a long Jewish history of this. For all of his flaws, few have done it as well as Bibi, which is why he has endured, and will probably continue to do so. ☐

To subscribe to Israel Commentary:  Send your email address to:

https://israel-commentary.org – complete list of recent articles
Facebook: 1. Jerome S. Kaufman
2 .Israel Commentary
Twitter:  @israelcomment

Impeachment or Bust by Wm. McGurn (My new favorite columnist)

Democrats have a single goal when it comes to Donald Trump : impeachment. Their strategy is likewise clear: Resist! What no one seems to ask is whether resistance is really the best path to the House majority Democrats would need to pass articles of impeachment.

Democrats do have a few things going for them this year. On average, the party that holds the White House loses 30 seats or so in midterm elections—and the GOP has only a 24-seat majority. Moreover, 35 House Republicans are leaving their seats, more than twice the number of Democrats who are.

That’s not all. The intense dislike for Mr. Trump energizes the Democratic base the way Barack Obama energized the Republican one. Many swing districts will be in suburban areas where the vote margin may be decided by college-educated women, one of Mr. Trump’s weakest demographics.

But the idea that Mr. Trump’s unpopularity makes a blue wave inevitable overlooks some Republican advantages. Mr. Trump’s popularity is beginning to move upward with the growing economy, which points to a key weakness in the Resist! strategy:

Because the tax reform passed without a single Democratic vote, good news about the economy is bad news for Democratic candidates. It further means the Democratic message is rooted in enabling Washington dysfunction, because they cannot run as people willing to reach across the aisle to get things done.

It’s too early to know how last week’s failure to pass an immigration bill will play out politically. But if Mr. Trump goes around the country saying he offered to compromise but Democrats refused because they’d rather have a political issue, that could hurt them too. Especially because he will remind voters this is the same party willing to shut down the government for people here illegally.

There’s also the problem of candidates. Among this year’s crop of Democratic hopefuls are some military veterans. But it’s not a uniform message. A progressive Democrat backed by New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is targeting seven-term Rep. Dan Lipinski in Chicago, a pro-life Democrat who voted against ObamaCare.

If the goal is a Democratic majority, purity campaigns are a distraction. When Rahm Emanuel was engineering the party’s retaking of the House in 2006, his strategy was to settle on a candidate who would be competitive in the district (even if not as liberal as the party would like) and then reduce the primary bloodshed.

It’s not clear Democrats are following that path today. In the California district where Republican Darrell Issa is retiring, for example, five Democrats are vying to replace him. Does anyone believe that in this competition a centrist Democrat will rise to the top?

In California, there’s an added problem: Under the state’s jungle-primary law, the two largest vote getters run in the general even if they are from the same party. So California Democrats are worried that their five candidates may split the vote and send two Republicans into November contention.

Finally there’s Mr. Trump. Even with his recent bump in the polls, he remains divisive. But he’s not the only divisive politician who will figure in this election. The most recent Politico/Morning Consult poll suggests that Nancy Pelosi has pulled off a largely unheralded achievement: In the Age of Trump, she is arguably the most unpopular politician in America.

What does that mean for impeachment? Well, in 69 House districts surveyed by the Congressional Leadership Fund (a super PAC devoted to maintaining the GOP majority), Mrs. Pelosi is underwater in every one. She is also toxic among independents.

Take California’s 10th District, held by Republican Jeff Denham. Hillary Clinton carried this district in 2016, and Mr. Trump’s approval rating is at minus four. But again, Democrats are split among eight primary contenders. And the CLF survey showed that voters in Mr. Denham’s district prefer Paul Ryan as speaker to Mrs. Pelosi by 13 points.

Come this fall, expect many GOP ads featuring Mrs. Pelosi calling tax cuts for workers “crumbs” and reminding voters that even if they find their Democratic candidate for the House reasonable, a vote for him will be a vote for Speaker Pelosi.

Of course it’s still early, and the polls remain volatile. The received orthodoxy may well turn out to be true, and the blue tsunami will wash over Congress in November, which will be followed by President Trump’s impeachment the following year.

Even so, the Resist! card remains a huge gamble. If Democrats cannot take back the House or Senate in an election year when they enjoy many advantages, they will wake up Nov. 7 in worse shape than when Mr. Trump beat Mrs. Clinton. And they will then enter the 2020 race without the White House, without either chamber of Congress and without a message.

Write to mcgurn@wsj.com.

To subscribe to Israel Commentary:  Send your email address to:

https://israel-commentary.org – complete list of recent articles
Facebook: 1. Jerome S. Kaufman
2 .Israel Commentary
Twitter:  @israelcomment

The PKK and Hamas: A Tale of Two Terror Camps

The PKK and Hamas: A Tale of Two Terror Camps

Redacted from excellent, more detailed article by Gerald A. Honigman

(PKK = The Kurdistan Workers’ Party or PKK is an organization based in Turkey and Iraq. Since 1984 the PKK has been involved in an armed conflict with the Turkish state, with the initial aim of achieving an independent Kurdish state, later changing it to a demand for equal rights  …)

Recently, the Turks complained about the January 31, 2018 Washington placement of Hamas leader, Ismail Haniya, on a terror blacklist. Ankara has supported Hamas substantially for years now, especially since an increasingly dictatorial Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) gained ascendency in the second decade of this century.

As the turmoil in adjacent Syria and Iraq continues, Turks appear to have visions of at least partially recreating the borders of the former Ottoman Turkish Empire.

Absent Washington and Moscow’s involvement, this might already have been a done deal, with the centuries old rivalry between Ottoman Sultans and Iran’s Safavid and Qajar Shahs at play. Russia’s involvement is nothing new—both in pre-and post-Soviet days. Moscow was non-discriminatory when expanding its own imperial borders at the others’ expense.

While the AKP claims it’s not really “Islamist,” Erdogan & Co. certainly have an affinity for militant, fundamentalist Islamist groups—including ISIS and Hamas. It’s no accident that the border has been fluid for ISIS fighters moving between Turkey and Syria.

Ankara’s support for a group dedicated to the slaughter of Jews and their sole, resurrected nation (thirty-eight Israels fit into Turkey; Israel’s population is about 1/11 its size with about the same 20% mix of Arabs to Jews as Turkey’s 23 % Kurds to Turks.

Turkey has wanted to have it both ways with Israel. And Jews have let them get away with it. It’s sought economic and military ties and expected Jerusalem to help in its own matters of “internal security.”

In turn, (possibly selling its soul) Israel obtained a powerful Muslim, but non-Arab, neighbor which was not looking to have it for dinner…another place for young Israelis to visit and such. Of course, Jerusalem was expected to allow Ankara to dictate terms. Recall the Turks’ support of the MV Mavi Mamara incident in 2010, for starters. The cost has been too high…

Jerusalem has engaged in shameful behavior to assist alleged friends in the subjugation of another truly (35-40 million) stateless people, who pre-date Arabs and Turks in the area by millennia, and who are still struggling for basic human and political rights–the Kurds. While Israel has assisted them in some ways as well, Israeli intelligence and weaponry have helped Ankara in their suppression. For or a number of reasons, this must finally come to a halt.

The assorted Arab enemies which Israel faces just among “Palestinian” Arabs (most who were newcomers into the original 1920 Mandate themselves)–Fatah, Hamas, and so forth–have two goals…destruction of Israel and its Jews.

Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah and latter-day Arafatians of the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) play good cop “moderates” simply to milk dhimmi nations for $$$ billions while building up their own military, courtesy of Uncle Sam and others. Abbas’s dead boss’s Swiss bank accounts are legendary.

Bad cop Hamas folks are simply more honest. They get most of their gelt from Iranian mullahs and the new, would-be Turkish Sultan. Look at both cops’ websites and such in case you think there’s really a difference in their ultimate plans for Israel.

Recall  that on the overall balance sheet, an Arab state emerged after World War I on almost 80% of the original 1920 Mandate of Palestine. In 1922, most of the original territory–all land east of the Jordan River–was handed over to Arab nationalism by Great Britain. So, right from the getgo, contrary to Arab storytelling (like America, not Israel, destroyed all their planes in the June ’67 war, etc.), most of the land was given over to Arab nationalism–not to Jews.

Had Arabs accepted the next 1947 partition, they would have wound up with almost 90% of the total. They rejected it, because, in Arab eyes, no one except themselves had any rights in what they call “purely Arab patrimony” and the Dar ul-Islam.

Since then, Israel (1/2 of whose Jews who are from refugee families who fled the so-called “Arab” world) has made repeated attempts to reach peace via additional so-called land-for-peace measures. Palestinian Arabs (and most others) have rejected such efforts to reach a real modus vivendi with Jewish neighbors.

Fatah, Hamas, & Co. have been engaged in continuous efforts to eradicate Israel and its Jews, and civilian targets have been the most sought after for shock value.

So, how has Ankara dealt with its alleged Jerusalem “friend’s” attempt to deal with this violence? By blaming Israel itself and expecting Jews to simply put up with it…

While Israel has dropped leaflets; made phone calls to non-combatants; gone house to house when long distance artillery and bombing would reduce risk to its own 19-year-olds on the ground; and so forth in attempts to avoid civilian casualties, when Arabs use their own women and children as human shields, this is hard to do. And when they fire at Israeli civilians from behind Arab civilians, they are committing a double war crime according to Geneva Conventions–which no one seems to care about.

Given the above and much more, it’s now time to examine problems Ankara has with another people–those whom it renamed “Mountain Turks” (guess why?), aka the Kurds.

As we’ve already seen, they predate the Turks’ arrival from central Asia by thousands of years, similar to when Arabs burst out of the Arabian Peninsula from the 7th century C.E. onwards and slaughtered, conquered, and Arabized lands and scores of millions of native peoples in all directions.

Like Jews in Israel, Kurds were there long before an Arab or Turk ever conquered their lands. Just ask the ancient Roman historians and those who came before them if you doubt this read: http://ekurd.net/mismas/articles/misc2007/11/article12.htm

Recall that roughly forty million Kurds live in the Middle East and are about 20-25% of Turkey’s population, about the same mix of Arabs to Jews in Israel. The first Kurdish nationalist revolts in the area dated from the 19th century. Others would come as well…especially after London’s betrayal.

The emergence of powerful Turkish and Iranian rulers after World War I (Ataturk and Reza Shah Pahlavi) left tens of millions of Kurds stateless in the new age of nationalism in the region. Other peoples were gaining states of their own after the collapse of empires in the Middle East and Europe, but not Kurds–a recipe for explosion, for sure.

After Great Britain won a favorable decision from the League of Nations in 1925 tying the oil of Mesopotamia’s predominately Kurdish north to the British Mandate of the same name and subsequently to the new Arab state of Iraq, promises earlier made in support of Kurdish independence were aborted, and the Brits militarily aided Arabs in squashing Kurdish dreams.

Kurds were shafted via a collusion of imperial British petroleum politics and Arab nationalism. Think of the British-led, Arab fighting force which attacked a re-born Israel in 1948, Transjordan’s Arab Legion, led by Sir John Bagot Glub, Glubb Pasha, and then see if you need to ask why Arabs refer to the birth of an independent Kurdistan as “another Israel.” After Iraq’s Arab Shi’a army, with Iran’s help, chased Kurds out of Kirkuk with American tanks and such, guess who begin pumping oil again from there? British Petroleum, BP.

Kurds have been used and abused by many players ever since—again, including  America and Israel. Turks, at times, also used them to do their own dirty work vis-à-vis Christian Armenians and Assyrians. A good place to start for some review of this might be the late, great William Safire of The New York Times’s “The Sellout of the Kurds” op-eds in the 1970s…

http://ekurd.net/mismas/articles/misc2013/9/syriakurd890.htm .

As World War I came to a close, being a mere remnant of the former extensive Ottoman Empire, Ataturk’s Turkey was determined to see no further geographical losses. So, in the age of nationalism, what was there to do with millions of non-Turkic people who predated you on the land?

Well, in Turkish eyes, you could just rename and erase Kurds as a people, outlaw their culture and language, intimidate, murder, and subjugate–and so forth (note: Arabic is the second national language of Israel, Arabs have their own schools, are members of the Knesset, are free to curse Israel, side with other Arabs who wish it dead, etc.).

Kurds have frequently been “Mountain Turks” ever since. Arabs have used these same tactics towards them as well. The Kurdish scholar, Ismet Cherif Vanly’s book, The Syrian ‘Mein Kampf’ Against the Kurds (Amsterdam, 1968) speaks volumes about this.

The militant (sadly sometimes resorting to terror) Socialist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) was born amid this subjugation of the Kurdish people–again, 18 to 24 million just in Turkey alone.

Unlike Arabs, with almost two dozen states (carved out largely from non-Arab peoples’ lands), Kurds remain a truly stateless people. They have suffered horrendously because of this–long before Saddam Hussein’s Arab Anfal Campaign slaughtered some two hundred thousand of them in Iraq in the 1980s. And here’s another thought…

At a time when Ankara is growing more hostile to America, threatening the closure of the American air base at Incirlik and such, think about what American bases set up in a friendly Iraqi Kurdistan (and supplying/training Kurdish tank battalions, air squadrons, etc.) might be able to do to counter not only Turkish ambitions but those of Iran’s as well.

Compare the quest of subjugated, stateless Kurds to the 22nd state Arabs are demanding at the sole state of the Jews’ expense, which would be, as we have seen, the Arabs’ second one in Palestine, not their first. Today’s Jordan has that honor.

Palaestina was the name the Roman Emperor, Hadrian, bestowed upon Judaea after the Jews’ second revolt for freedom in 135 C.E. to rub salt into the wound. It meant the land of the Philistines, the earlier non-Semitic/non-Arab invading “Sea People” from Crete.

While Erdogan’s folks support Hamas and rant against Washington placing its chief honcho on a terror watch list, it must again be asked…what compromises did Turks make with their own national competitors, such as and especially Kurds? The answer, of course, is a glaring “none”!

Unlike Hamas, the PKK was born not only out of this denial of Kurdish rights, but the attempted eradication of the Kurds’ own identity. And again, Arabs have done this to their own perceived nationalist competitors as well. Besides Kurds, how they’ve dealt with some forty million, native, pre-Arab, Kabyle people–the Imazighen/”Berbers” –comes to mind.

Whatever its bloody sins are, the PKK (and its Syrian and Iranian affiliates) has never sought destruction of Turkey nor of its people. It has merely sought rights for Kurds–not “Mountain Turks”–which Turks refuse to grant…ironically, those very same rights Ankara expects Israel to cede to those who would indeed destroy it if given half a chance.

(Hopefully, Israel will not continue to try and ingratiate its sworn enemies, and the United States, under Donald Trump and absent the American State Department, will finally know to separate its supposed friends from its real enemies.) jsk

Gerald Honigman is an educator who has done extensive doctoral studies in Middle Eastern Affairs, has lectured on numerous campuses and other platforms, and has publicly debated many anti-Israel spokesmen. His articles and op-eds have been published in hundreds of newspapers, magazines …

To subscribe to Israel Commentary:  Send your email address to:

https://israel-commentary.org – complete list of recent articles
Facebook: 1. Jerome S. Kaufman
2 .Israel Commentary
Twitter:  @israelcomment



Michigan Muslim Candidate for Governor has the chutzpa to declare he plans to make Michigan a Sanctuary State!


(And, many totally uninformed people drenched in their blind brain washed “Liberalism” will vote for him. It is really hard to comprehend.) 

(Please get out the vote in November against this lethal menace to our Judean/Christian ethic and Western democracy) jsk

From: Abdul’s El-Sayed’s advertising literature and social media:

“Be Like Muhammad”   (Huh!)

Michigan Civilization Jihad: Abdul’s Webinar Reaches Michigan Homes Tonight While “Be Like Muhammad” Weekend Retreat

(Linda Sarsour, (world champion anti-Semite and US hater) is to join Abdul El-Sayed in a Webinar that reaches out to homes anywhere in Michigan and beyond.

She is an outspoken opponent of Israel and Zionism.

Sarsour, who is of Palestinian descent, has also been a harsh critic of Israel. Sarsour backs the movement to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel, known as BDS. She told NY that she supports a one-state solution that would create a shared country for Jews and Palestinians — a solution that many Jews consider a formula for the demise of Israel. And in 2012, she tweeted “Nothing is creepier than Zionism.”) jsk

8th Annual “Be Like Muhammad” (Huh!)
Three-Day Retreat for Youth


To subscribe to Israel Commentary:  Send your email address to:  israelcommentary@comcast.net

https://israel-commentary.org – complete list of recent articles
Facebook: 1. Jerome S. Kaufman
2 .Israel Commentary
Twitter:  @israelcomment

In the face of Poland’s recent pathetic attempt to absolve itself of culpability in their gleeful slaughter of Jews during WW II:


Anatomy of a Genocide 

By Professor Omer Bartov

Book review by Michael S. Roth

Wall Street Journal, Jan. 20-21, 2018

(Italicized comments – Jerome S Kaufman)

In hyper polarized environments, many take comfort in the idea that our conflicts with other people arise mainly from misunderstandings, that if we just took the time to get to know those people as human beings, we might all get along. It will be harder to take such comfort after reading Omer Bartov’s “Anatomy of a Genocide.”




Mr. Bartov, a professor of European history at Brown University, has spent his professional life trying to understand the efforts to exterminate the Jews of Europe during World War II. He has written on Nazi ideology and the German military; on total war’s relation to genocide; and on questions of representation and memory in regard to traumatic historical events.




For several years, he has been interested in the role of Eastern European interethnic relations in the Holocaust and its aftermath. “Anatomy of a Genocide”—a detailed examination of deadly events in the town of Buczacz, in present-day Ukraine, during World War II—is the product of his decades of research into the ways in which ideology, ethnic tension and war become a recipe for mass murder.




It is also a powerfully personal project. Mr. Bartov’s mother immigrated from Buczacz to what is now Israel in the mid-1930s.Family members who didn’t emigrate were murdered in the “cruel and intimate” events of the following decade.



If you google Buczacz, you will probably be redirected to Buchach, the currently acceptable spelling for the Ukrainian version of the city’s name. There are also Yiddish, Hebrew and Turkish versions, because today’s western Ukraine, part of what is sometimes called Galicia, has been home to a variety of ethnic groups for centuries.
In the late 1700s, the province contained about 200,000 Jews and an even greater number of Christians who identified as either Polish or Ukrainian (Ruthenians).



Throughout the 19th century, the region was controlled by the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which in 1867 “emancipated” the Jews: As citizens, they could now engage in commerce and own land. As more and more Jews took advantage of these freedoms, tensions arose with other groups. (Oh! They took advantage. Those damn Jews succeeded and were too much competition, as usual) jsk
Mr. Bartov notes that the “rules of the game” changed completely after World War I and the Russian Revolution. Intensified religious and ethnic identification, along with violent swings in political control, led to increased violence.



Russia occupied Buczacz for more than a year near the end of the war, and fighting among Poles and Ukrainians left legacies of resentment and a “competition of atrocities in which there could only be losers.”



The Poles and Ukrainians seemed to agree on one thing: that the Jews were the friends of their enemies. This meant that whenever conflicts arose, the Jewish population was vulnerable. (and of course, to blame.)


And in Buczacz conflicts did arise, not least in the late 1930s and early 1940s—from the Soviet occupation of the city as World War II began, to the fierce fighting between Poles and Ukrainians, to the coordinated effort to murder or expel Jews from the region.



Families that had managed to live together peacefully turned on one another with startling ferocity. “The intimacy of friendships that served as a barrier to stereotypes,” Mr. Bartov writes, “was now transformed into an intimacy of violence.”



Although there had been sporadic violence in the region for a long time, even the shrewdest observer “could not anticipate the scale of the horror that was about to envelope Galicia.” There is by now an enormous body of literature on the depravity of those who organized, implemented, or just stood by and watched the mass killings of Eastern European Jews in 1942-43.



But even readers familiar with this literature and the gruesome events it describes will be shaken by Mr. Bartov’s story of this single town. It is brutal. Killers knew their victims personally, and most of the time such familiarity only added to the sadistic glee with which they slaughtered children or buried entire families in mass graves.




Many of the perpetrators were known as decent folk before the killings began, not displaying any particular tendencies toward violence or ideologically fueled hatred. And afterward they were able to return to their normal lives without a trace of their capacities for cruelty or any indication of remorse or shame. The bloodshed seemingly left no stain. (on them – the dirty bastards! What about on the Jews?)
German overseers were brought in to Buczacz to ensure that the extermination of the Jews would be efficient. Mr. Bartov draws our attention to the gratuitous nastiness of many of the killers—this wasn’t just a military operation or a case of merely following orders. Murderers and their lovers, families and friends “appear to have enjoyed their brief murderous sojourn in the region,” Mr. Bartov writes.




After all, they were powerful for a while; they held life and death in their hands, and they had access to all the food, booze and sex they could possible want. “For many of them,” Mr. Bartov says, “this was clearly the best time of their lives.”
This is not a story of industrialized murder of the sort that occurred at centers like Auschwitz. This is a story of close-up killing—of shooting a young girl in the face, of smashing a toddler’s skull against a rock or a wall. There was little effort at secrecy. The mass graves on Fedor Hill, a popular recreation site, were easily visible, and in a small place like Buczacz, everyone knew the final destinations of Jews who were marched away.




Recruiting townsmen to be shooters was never a problem, Mr. Bartov notes, and participation in the murders of neighbors “nourished a grotesquely merry intimacy.”




Mr. Bartov does devote some pages to accounts of people in the region who spared the lives of Jews on the run, often at risk to themselves. These rare acts of goodness, he concludes, demonstrate that “there always was a choice”—in many cases the decision to help was a mercenary calculation, in precious few was it motivated by “altruism and grace.”
The defeat of the Nazis did not bring respite to the region. As the Soviet armies approached, Polish and Ukrainian nationalists intensified their attacks on each other. Scores of thousands were killed before the Ukrainians succeeded in 1944 in driving Polish citizens from the region.
By then the Jews were gone.



When the Soviets seized control, they decided that there could be no return to normal after such massive trauma. They moved hundreds of thousands of people in order to separate the competing nationalist groups. By the end of the 1940s, the once multiethnic region had become homogeneously Ukrainian. Today, Buczacz’s citizens memorialize the martyred Ukrainian nationalists who fought for their cause.




The Polish population has all but disappeared, and there is just the occasional Jewish visitor to a Holocaust monument buried deep in a dense forest.




Mr. Bartov’s anatomy of genocidal destruction is a monument of a different sort. It is an act of filial piety recollecting the blood-soaked homeland of his parents; it is a substantive contribution to the history of ethnic strife and extreme violence; it is a harrowing reminder that brutality and intimacy can combine to destroy individual lives and reshape the destiny of a region and its peoples: history as recollection and as warning.




(Never mind the nuances and dubious “lessons” of history. I would rather a contingent of single-minded Mossad  search out any surviving killers and hang them up in the town square by the usual parts  and the women in whatever manner equivalent.  And, since there are not many killers left for justice to prevail, maybe we can take a lesson from biblical history and have the Mossad search out their First Born?)  jsk


Jerome S. Kaufman, Editor/Publisher ISRAEL COMMENTARY


—Mr. Roth is the president of Wesleyan University. Among his books is “Memory, Trauma and History: Essays on Living With the Past.”
To subscribe to Israel Commentary:  Send your email address to:
http://israel-commentary.org = Complete web page of prior articles
Facebook: 1. Jerome S. Kaufman
2 .Israel Commentary
Twitter:  @israelcomment


This week’s Torah portion: G-d sets Israel’s borders and warns them against the existential mistakes they are making to this very day.



From: The Second Book of the Hebrew Bible

Parsha Mishpatim – The Torah Portion of the Week   23:27-32

27  I will send my terror ahead of you, and throw all the people against whom you will come,  into confusion. I will make all your enemies turn their backs and flee from you.

28 I will send the hornet swarms before you (that will strike them in the eyes and inject venom into them and they will drive out the Hiuites, the Canaanites, and the Hitites from before your eyes

29 I will not drive them away from you in one year lest the land become depopulated and the beasts of the field become too many for you (to contend with).

30 Little by little I will drive them away from you until you have increased and can occupy the land.

31 I will set your borders from the Reed Sea to the Philistine Sea, and from the desert to River (Euphrates) for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hands, and you will drive them away from you.

32 Do not make a covenant with them or with their gods.

33 Do not let them live in your land, since they may cause you to sin against Me, in that you will worship their gods, which will be a trap for you.

Map of G-d’s land given to the Jewish people encompassed all the land on both sides of the Jordan River extending well into present day Iraq all the way to the River Euphrates on the East and south to the Reed Sea crossed by the Hebrews upon their escape from Egyptian bondage with Hashem’s indispensable help.



To subscribe to Israel Commentary:  Send your email address to:
http://israel-commentary.org = Complete web page of prior articles
Facebook: 1. Jerome S. Kaufman
2 .Israel Commentary
Twitter:  @israelcomment
Compiled by Jerome S. Kaufman


The House Memo, the FBI and FISA.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill Jan. 30, 2018
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill Jan. 30, 2018 PHOTO: MARK WILSON/GETTY IMAGES
The House Intelligence Committee voted Monday night to release a Republican memo that by most accounts reveals how the FBI handled, or mishandled, federal wiretap requests during the 2016 presidential campaign. The White House should now approve its public disclosure as the first of several to help the country understand what really happened.

Democrats are objecting to the release, claiming partisanship and violations of national security. None of this is persuasive. Republican Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes has followed a long and deliberative process that follows House protocol.

When the FBI finally agreed after months of resisting to answer a committee subpoena for documents, Mr. Nunes deputized former prosecutor and South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy to investigate.


The subsequent memo was vetted for security concerns, provided to the entire House committee, then made available to the entire House, then shown to the director of the FBI, and is now undergoing White House review. This is hardly a Chelsea Manning-to-WikiLeaks-to-New York Times leak.

Another false claim is that Republicans are “censoring” a rival Democratic memo. The same Democrats howling about national security wanted the committee on Monday instantly to approve the public disclosure of their counter-memo that hasn’t gone through the equivalent reviews that the majority memo has. Committee Republicans voted to start that process by making the Democratic memo available to the full House, and by all means let’s see that memo too.

The House memo is not about “attacking the FBI” or “our law enforcement professionals,” as Democrat Adam Schiff insists. This is about restoring confidence in a law enforcement agency that played an unprecedented role in a U.S. presidential election regarding both the Trump and Clinton campaigns.

Americans deserve to know whether accusations that the Kremlin infiltrated the Trump campaign have any basis, and prosecutors and Congressional committees are investigating. The FBI might well have had cause to believe Russians were targeting the Trump campaign when they sought a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court warrant. But Washington also should be able to investigate if and how law enforcement agencies exceeded their remit in seeking wiretaps.

The memo also concerns the integrity of the FISA process. Democrats created FISA in the 1970s to protect against wiretap abuses during the Cold War. We opposed it on grounds that it would dilute political accountability, and what do you know here we are. FISA is supposed to provide a measure of legal assurance against abuse, and FBI and Justice officials appear ex parte before the FISA judges with no competing claimants.

The public should know if as part of its warrant application the FBI used the Christopher Steele dossier that we now know was financed by the Hillary Clinton campaign. The House intelligence memo may answer that question, as well as whether the FBI made other misrepresentations or omissions in its FISA application. In June 2017 former FBI director Jim Comey referred in Senate testimony to the dossier as containing “salacious and unverified” material. Is that what the FBI told the FISA court in 2016?

If the FISA judges weren’t told about the partisan provenance and doubts about the veracity of the memo in the middle of a presidential election campaign, then what is FISA for? To serve as a potted plant so the FBI can get whatever warrants it wants? Are they genuine Article III judges with an independent writ or merely another arm of the executive branch that can be rolled like some deputy assistant secretary of State?

The same progressives who demanded accountability for FISA courts after Edward Snowden exposed federal snooping now want President Trump to shut down the House’s limited attempt at transparency. Don’t buy it, Mr. President. Let it all out—the two House Intelligence memos, Senator Chuck Grassley’s referral letter for a criminal investigation of Mr. Steele, and all other relevant FBI or Justice documents that won’t undermine U.S. security. Our democracy can take the transparency, and after the 2016 fiasco it deserves it.


To subscribe to Israel Commentary:  Send your email address to:
http://israel-commentary.org = Complete web page of prior articles
Facebook: 1. Jerome S. Kaufman
2 .Israel Commentary
Twitter:  @israelcomment

For those confused with Special Council Mueller’s investigation of “collusion” please read background below


Article: Liberal Media spin Deep State Trickery against Trump
and support Special Counsel Mueller’s Witch Hunt

By L. Brent Bozell III

Media Watch, January 2018

In the real world, when a crime is committed a prosecutor is appointed to gather the evidence and prosecute the person who committed the crime. In surreal Washington, with the Trump- Russia “collusion” case, no specific crime was observed but a special prosecutor was appointed anyway to go look for one.

It’s like saying, “We’re investigating President Trump for murder.”
Who did he kill? “We don’t know of anyone yet … but give us time.”

The liberal media never explain exactly what Trump-Russia “collusion” is but they claim Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign somehow acted with Russia to tip the election and rob Hillary Clinton of the presidency. That has been the liberal media drumbeat, and it has only intensified (to absurd degrees) with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

Along with not really explaining what “collusion” is or what crime Trump allegedly committed, the leftist press also downplay the machinations of the Deep State, which despises Trump, and the shenanigans of Mueller, who has “investigated” far and wide and indicted several people for actions that had absolutely nothing to do with the 2016 campaign.

Mueller is a prosecutor in search of a crime; he is on a witch hunt. The Media Research Center is documenting and exposing the leftist media’s shameful promotion of that witch hunt and related news developments. In so doing, the MRC is uncovering countless facts the leftist press doesn’t report and raising many questions liberal journalists should be asking but won’t because they, like the Deep State, want Trump removed from office.

We can’t present all the points the press should be pursuing but here are some of the more important ones that reveal the press’ bias by omission:

Former FBI Director James Comey said he wrote a memo to himself about Trump asking him to drop the Michael Flynn investigation. Why hasn’t that memo been released to the public? Was Comey’s removal of that memo from the DOJ to his home a crime.

Comey was appointed by President Obama in 2013 to succeed then-FBI Director Robert Mueller. Comey and Mueller are good friends, described by the Washington Post as “brothers in arms.” Isn’t this a conflict of interest for Mueller, now the special counsel working with the FBI to investigate Trump, who fired Comey in May 2017?

Both Comey and Mueller oversaw a bribery and money laundering case that involved Russian penetration of the U.S. uranium market, at a time (2010) when the Obama administration and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton approved the sale of the Uranium One company to Russia, giving Vladimir Putin control over 20% of U.S. uranium. Is this Clinton-Obama collusion with Russia?
Investors in Uranium One donated $145 million to the Clinton Foundation and Bill Clinton was paid $500,000 in 2010 by a Russian bank with investments in Uranium One. Is this Clinton-Russia collusion? Why are the liberal media ignoring the two congressional investigations into Uranium One?

FBI informant William Campbell was threatened with imprisonment by Attorney General Loretta Lynch in 2015 if he spoke with Congress about the uranium case, the bribery he witnessed, and information that “involves the Clintons.” What information does he have about the Clintons and why are the liberal media ignoring this story?

The prosecutor in the uranium case was Rod Rosenstein, who is now the deputy U.S. attorney general who appointed Mueller to investigate Trump-Russia collusion; the lead FBI agent in the uranium case was Andrew McCabe, who just recently escaped by resigning, the deputy FBI director; the FBI director at the time overseeing the uranium case was Robert Mueller.

In 2015, shortly after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s illicit use of a private server was reported, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe urged Andrew McCabe’s wife, liberal Democrat Jill McCabe, to run for state senate. In summer/fall 2015, a McAuliffe PAC and another Democratic PAC paid Jill McCabe $675,288. In early spring 2016, Andrew McCabe, under FBI Director Comey, was assigned to oversee the investigation of Clinton’s server.

Why did Comey select McCabe and didn’t the Democratic payments to McCabe’s wife present a conflict of interest? Why did McCabe not recuse himself from the Clinton case until one week before the 2016 election?

One of Andrew McCabe’s lead investigators in the Clinton case was FBI counterintelligence expert Peter Strzok who, as texts between him and his mistress Lisa Page reveal, is pro-Clinton and vehemently anti-Trump. Strzok interviewed Clinton — no recording, no transcript — for the server case.

After FBI Director James Comey wrote a statement describing Clinton’s server use and mishandling of classified documents as “grossly negligent,” Strzok changed those words to “extremely careless.” Did Strzok change the words to protect Clinton?

FBI Director Comey drafted an exoneration of Clinton in April 2016 before she and 16 other key witnesses had even been interviewed. How can you exonerate people before you even talk to them?

Special Counsel Mueller selected Strzok and his mistress Lisa Page to work on the Trump investigation; Page, an FBI lawyer, previously worked for Andrew McCabe. Strzok’s wife, the pro-Clinton Melissa Hodgman, was promoted to Associate Director of Enforcement at the SEC by Obama in late 2016, after the FBI found Clinton emails on convicted felon Anthony Weiner’s laptop.

Was Hodgman’s promotion designed to influence Strzok’s investigation of Clinton? Why did Hodgmann scrub her social media accounts after Strzok’s pro-Clinton sympathies were exposed?

Strzok texted Lisa Page on Aug. 15, 2016, “I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s [McCabe] case, there’s no way he [Trump] gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.” What is Strzok’s anti-Trump “insurance policy”?
In an April 2, 2016 text to Strzok, Page wrote, “So look, you say we text on that phone when we talk about Hillary [Clinton] because it can’t be traced….” Where is “that phone” now and what information is on it? Why were they trying to hide their conversations about Clinton?

What communications did FBI Deputy Director McCabe have with Strzok and Page about Clinton or Trump?

Was either Strzok or Page subject to blackmail (and by whom) because of their extramarital affair?

In the texts, Page refers to Trump as an “enormous douche,” a “loathsome human” who “should go F himself.” Strzok says “F TRUMP,” he is a “f***ing idiot,” and his supporters are “PATHETIC” and “DOUCHEBAGS.” Page also says to Strzok, maybe “you’re meant to protect the country from that menace [Trump],” and he replies, “we’re both very fortunate” and “I can protect our country at many levels.” Why were such Trump-haters selected by Special Counsel Mueller? Did their hatred of Trump taint the Russia collusion case or the Clinton server investigation?

Former Trump campaign official Paul Manafort was indicted by Mueller for alleged illegal lobbying he did for Ukraine between 2005 and 2015, years before Trump announced his campaign or hired Manafort. Why is Mueller investigating and charging people for actions that have nothing to do with supposed Trump-Russia collusion?

Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn was indicted by Mueller — based on a Strzok interview of Flynn — for lying to the FBI about aDecember 26 conversation with a Russian official about sanctions. Why is Mueller charging Flynn for post-election actions that have nothing to do with election collusion?

As part of the Mueller investigation, Democrat and top Clinton bundler Tony Podesta resigned from and dissolved his $24 million lobbying firm, The Podesta Group, which he had founded with his brother John Podesta, who was Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager. Why would he give up such a lucrative and influential business so quickly and why have the leftist press ignored this story?

The Russian “dossier” on Trump, which helped spark the collusion investigation and appointment of a special counsel, was created by Fusion GPS and paid for by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. Did the FBI, under Obama, use the dossier to get FISA warrants to spy on Trump and Trump campaign officials? Why isn’t a special counsel investigating this?

Manafort was wiretapped both before and after the 2016 election by U.S. investigators under President Obama. Who ordered these wiretaps and why? Strzok reportedly offered dossier-writer Peter Steele, a former British spy, $50,000 to verify his sources. When asked by Congress about this, FBI Director Christopher Wray declined to answer. Did the FBI pay Steele and what is Strzok’s relationship with Steele?

Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr met with Fusion GPS personnel, and his wife, Nellie Ohr, “worked for Fusion GPS during the 2016 election.” That’s a conflict of interest. What did Ohr discuss with Fusion GPS and why did Ohr try to conceal these meetings from Congress?

Mueller reportedly is seeking a potential obstruction of justice charge against Trump because Trump fired Comey. If that is true, then doesn’t Deputy AG Rosenstein have to recuse himself because he wrote the memo to terminate Comey?

This is an “investigation” that deserves criminal investigation.

These and many other questions need to be answered and reported to the public. Fox News, the MRC’s CNSNews.com, MRCTV and NewsBusters, and a few other outlets are covering some of these stories. But the liberal media are ignoring these matters or dismissing them as conservative deflection. CNN’s JimAcosta, for instance, rejects questions about Mueller and the Deep State as a “right-wing narrative” fueled by the “conservative media.”

The leftist media do not want the American public to know the truth. But we do. The MRC is holding the liberal press accountable.

L. Brent Bozell III
Media Watch, Founder and President

To subscribe to Israel Commentary:  Send your email address to:
http://israel-commentary.org = Complete web page of prior articles
Facebook: 1. Jerome S. Kaufman
2 .Israel Commentary
Twitter:  @israelcomment

President Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address, Jan 30, 2018. What’s not to like?


By Jerome S. Kaufman

Astute Fox News Senior Analyst Brit Hume best summed up the Democrat response to the speech. “I don’t think the American people are going to like the attitude and body language of the Democrat leaders in the audience. “They all looked as if their dog had just died.” Bret Baier and Martha McCallum, the Fox team alongside for the speech coverage, cracked up.

What then was the Democrat problem? Simple. President Trump was just too good. He presented his unbelievable list of one year’s accomplishments. He put forward the American flag and his primary concern for the well-being of the United States of America First — not selfish, power seeking single minded partisan politics.

What was his one year list of accomplishments? In part they included:

2.4 million new jobs!
Rising wages in all segments of the economy,
Nation-wide unemployment at a 45 year low,
African American unemployment at the lowest level ever,
Hispanic unemployment also at the lowest level ever,
Small businesses gained 8 trillion in value.
The Stock Market gains are off the charts at all time highs,
Your retirement holdings, your 401K savings are greater than ever,

The Congress, thanks to the ceaseless nudging of President, passed a bill authorizing the biggest tax cuts and reforms in our history:

The Standard Deduction for individuals has been doubled

The first $45,000 of income is tax-free

The credit for each child supported has doubled

The tax bill for a family of four with an income of $75,000 has been halved

Take home pay has increased for everyone

The awful Individual Mandate of Obama Care forcing everyone to buy health insurance, whether they wanted to or not, has been eliminated.

Three million Americans have already received tax reductions

The taxes on businesses has been lowered from 35% one of the highest in the world to 21% making us once again competitive in world markets and virtually guaranteeing greater production, greater employment and higher wages.

Small businesses can now deduct from their taxes 20% of business income.

The big corporations are flocking back to this country from abroad, bringing back American dollars and creating new American jobs.

Apple is investing 3.5 billion more dollars in new operations and 20,000 new workers are to be hired

Exxon Mobile is bringing back 50 billion dollars to invest in US projects

Fiat Chrysler is investing one billion in a Warren, MI truck factory shifting work back from Mexico.

Toyota Motor Corp and Mazda Motor Corp announced they would build a new $1.6 billion joint venture auto plant.

US War Veterans, for the first time have other options for health care. They are no longer held hostage to the oft-proven inefficient operations of Veteran Hospitals

President Trump, with Senate approval, has appointed a top rated Supreme Court Judge, Neil Gorsuch, who is known for his faith and belief in the Constitution of the United States — not the whims of transient political popularity and correctness.

President Trump has appointed a record number of circuit court justices that are also sworn to uphold the Constitution of the US and actually believe and respect that oath.

President Trump became the first US president in the State of Israel’s 70 year old re-birth to recognize Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel. The audience’s response registered thunderous support and heart warming.

In the latest Fox News Poll, President Trump’s approval rating had risen to 45% and there is no question, after this home run of a speech, it will rise considerably more – as it should.

So, no wonder the Democrats sat upon their hands with wry, unhappy faces and left early.

Jerome S. Kaufman, Editor/Publisher
Israel Commentary

To subscribe to Israel Commentary:  Send your email address to:
http://israel-commentary.org = Complete web page of prior articles
Facebook: 1. Jerome S. Kaufman
2 .Israel Commentary
Twitter:  @israelcomment