Bolton’s appointment — a brilliant “America first” move by President Donald Trump

www.israel-commentary.org

Redacted from an article originally published at Breitbart.com.

By Carolyn Glick

President Donald Trump’s decision to appoint former UN Ambassador John Bolton to serve as his National Security Advisor is arguably the most significant single step he has taken to date toward implementing his America First foreign policy.

The news hit America’s enemies and competitors — from Pyongyang to Teheran to Moscow to Beijing — like a wall of bricks Thursday night.
Early criticisms on the political right of Bolton’s appointment have centered on two points. First, it is argued that Bolton, who has been involved in U.S. foreign policymaking since the Reagan administration, is a creature of the Washington foreign policy swamp.

While it is true that Bolton is from Washington – or Baltimore, to be precise – and although it is true that he held senior foreign policy positions in both Bush administrations, he has always been a thorn in the side of the establishment rather than a member of that establishment.

For the better part of three decades, Bolton has bravely held positions that fly in the face of the establishment’s innate preference for appeasement. He was a vocal critic, for example, of then-President Bill Clinton’s disastrous nuclear diplomacy with North Korea.

The 1994 “Agreed Framework” that Clinton concluded with Pyongyang was touted as a peaceful resolution of the nuclear crisis with North Korea. In exchange for shuttering – but not destroying — its nuclear installations, North Korea received light water reactors from the U.S. and massive economic relief.

As Bolton warned it would, North Korea pocketed the concessions and gifts and continued to develop its nuclear weapons. In other words, far from preventing North Korea from developing nuclear weapons, the Agreed Framework preserved the North Korean nuclear program and enabled the regime to develop it effectively with U.S. assistance.

For his warnings, Bolton has been reviled as a “warmonger” and a “superhawk” by the foreign policy elite, which has gone out if its way to undercut him.

President George W. Bush appointed Bolton to serve as UN ambassador in 2005 in a recess appointment. Three moderate Republicans on the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, Lincoln Chafee (RI), Chuck Hagel (ND), and George Voinovich (OH), signaledthat they would oppose Bolton’s confirmation, blocking it.

At the time, rumors surfaced that then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had quietly undercut Bolton’s confirmation in private conversations with senators. Those rumors were denied, and Rice publicly supported Bolton’s confirmation.

But in 2016, Rice, along with her mentor, former secretary of state James Baker, and her deputy and successor as National Security Advisor, Stephen Hadley, openly opposed President Trump’s intention to appoint Bolton Deputy Secretary of State. At the same time, all three lobbied Trump to appoint outgoing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Bolton was a vocal opponent of Rice’s nuclear diplomacy with North Korea, undertaken after Pyongyang conducted its first nuclear test in 2006. He also opposed Rice’s pursuit of diplomatic ties with Iran through negotiations in Iraq. In both cases, as events showed, Bolton’s criticisms were all in place.

Rice’s nuclear diplomacy with North Korea emboldened the regime, and enabled its continued testing of nuclear weapons and development of ballistic missiles.

In Iran’s case, Rice’s negotiations with the Iranians in 2007 and 2008 set the stage for president Barack Obama’s nuclear talks with Tehran, which led to the 2015 nuclear deal. That deal, like the 1994 Agreed Framework with North Korea, preserves, rather than dismantles, Iran’s nuclear program while providing Iran with the financial means to expand its regional power through its terrorist proxies.

On the other hand, Bolton’s actions while in office brought extraordinary benefit to US national security. For instance, as Bush’s undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, in 2003 Bolton conceptualized and launched the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI). The purpose of the PSI was to empower nations to interdict ships suspected of carrying weapons of mass destruction, delivery systems, and related materials from states and non-state actors of proliferation concern. Originally launched with 11 state members, today the PSI has 105 state members. Its members have interdicted multiple ships suspected of transferring illicit weapons systems to other states and to non-state actors.

Like Trump, Bolton is an opponent of international treaties that bind the U.S. in a manner that may be antithetical to its national interests, and prefers bilateral agreements that are tailor-made to defend America’s national interests. Bolton was a firm opponent of the Rome Treaty, which established the International Criminal Court. He worked avidly to vacate America’s signature from the treaty.

Due largely to his cogent opposition, the Bush administration decided not to submit the treaty to the Senate for ratification. Bolton concluded 100 bilateral treaties with nations committing them never to present complaints against U.S. military personnel before the tribunal.

Bolton’s nationalist convictions, and his refusal to join the foreign policy elite in its adoration of diplomacy, whatever the substance, over a firm, fact-based pursuit of America’s national interests lies at the heart of the foreign policy establishment’s opposition to him.

Indeed, the level of hostility the foreign policy establishment has directed towards Bolton over the years has been so ferocious, it is a testament to his diplomatic skills, and success, that he has managed to persevere in Washington, in and out of office for forty years.

As to the second charge by conservative critics, that Bolton is a neoconservative interventionist, the fact is that he is neither a neoconservative nor is he a knee jerk interventionist. Rather, Bolton supports the judicious use of American power in the world to advance U.S. national security and economic interests when the use of force is the best way to achieve those interests.

It is true that Bolton supported the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. But it is also true that he opposed the nation-building strategy that stood at the root of America’s failure to achieve its aims there.

It is also true that like many of the neoconservatives, Bolton is a firm supporter of Israel. However, Bolton is actually far more supportive of Israel than the neoconservatives are. As a nationalist, he supports U.S. allies because he understands that the stronger America’s allies are, the better able they are to defend their interests. Since American allies – particularly Israel – share America’s interests, the more powerful they are, the more secure America’s interests are, and the less the U.S. needs to assert its power abroad.

Bolton supported — indeed, urged — Israel to destroy Iran’s nuclear installations during the Obama presidency. Rather than treating Israel as what Rice referred to patronizingly as America’s “special friend,” Bolton views Israel as America’s most powerful ally in the Middle East. He opposes Palestinian statehood and an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank.

 

Bolton’s healthy skepticism for international agreements; his support for a foreign policy that prioritizes the advancement of American national interests over multilateral diplomacy; and his belief that Obama’s signature diplomatic achievement, the nuclear deal with Iran, is a disaster, all make him the senior diplomat most aligned with President Trump’s America First agenda in Washington.

The combination of Trump and Bolton no doubt puts fear in the hearts of America’s enemies, and heartens America’s allies. Given the hatred Bolton inspires in the Washington swamp, it took great courage for Trump to appoint him. America and its allies will be the primary beneficiaries of this bold move.

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

 

 

Congressional Pork Barrel Spoilage system alive and well in Florida thanks to 1.3 trillion dollar spending bill

www.israel-commentary.org

And, not to knock Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) and the State of Florida. I am sure the other 49 State Senators can send out a similar message to their constituency.  Never mind  the entire nation is catapulting  to the inevitable sink hole where your dollar becomes worthless and you will find yourself unable to pay your home mortgage while standing in bread lines with a bushel basket full of worthless dollars.  G-d Forbid!

Jerome S. Kaufman

From:  Florida Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL)

A big win for Florida

Dear Friends,

Early Friday morning, the Senate passed a spending bill that is great news for Florida – and our country. From increasing funding to address the opioid crisis, to making sure we have the right equipment to track hurricanes, to protecting Florida’s citrus industry, this legislation will includes funding for a number of projects I’ve been fighting for here in the Senate:

$3.3 billion to fight the opioid epidemic and mental health crises. An estimated 2.6 million Americans suffer from opioid use disorder. In Florida alone, more than 5,200 people have died from an opioid-related event in 2016 – a 35 percent increase from 2015. I requested additional funding for treatment, prevention and research.

$67.47 million in total funding for citrus greening research and the Citrus Health Research Program. As citrus greening has hurt growers across Florida, I’ve advocated for increased funding to study and address the problem to help our citrus industry.

• $895 million for Kennedy Space Center to modernize launch facilities, more than doubling what the center received last year. I requested the increased funding to bolster work on launch and processing infrastructure needed for NASA’s initiative to explore deep space.

• $121 million for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to purchase a reliable backup for its aging hurricane hunter jet. I’ve been pushing for a replacement since 2015. The funding comes in the wake of several incidents over the last two years when the jet NOAA uses to gather hurricane measurements was grounded during the hurricane season.

• $76.5 million in total funding to protect and restore the Everglades. The U.S. Army Corps budget was also increased, allowing additional funding for Everglades restoration.

• $82 million to repair the Herbert Hoover Dike. U.S. Army Corps budget was also increased, allowing for additional funding for dike repairs.

• $279.6 million, a 14-percent increase, in funding to support Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The four historically black colleges and universities in Florida – Florida A&M in Tallahassee, Florida Memorial University in Miami Gardens, Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach and Edward Waters College in Jacksonville – prepare over 16,000 students for careers in STEM, aviation, law, nursing and other fields.

• $250 million in federal funding for positive train control grants. Positive train control technology will help prevent deadly crashes on our railroads. It’s critically important for those railroads that carry passengers, like Sunrail and Tri-Rail. As the ranking member on the Senate Commerce Committee, I pressed for the funding to help passenger railroads meet a federal deadline to install the lifesaving technology.

• $100 million for research and development program for automated vehicles. The SunTrax facility at Florida Polytechnic University is a qualified proving ground and will have the opportunity to benefit from the program.

• Restored and increased funds to $35 million for democracy programs in Venezuela and Cuba. I requested Congress “redouble, not eliminate support for democracy and human rights” in Venezuela. The democracy programs support civil society organizations and promote human rights.

• $60 million for the Nonprofits Security Grant Program. The program helps certain non-profits harden their facilities against attack, such as organization like the Jewish Community Centers (JCCs) in Orlando and Miami and elsewhere. I requested this funding after JCCs across Florida received a series of telephone bomb threats.

• Increased funding for the Holocaust Survivor Assistance Program to $5 million. I requested $5 million in funding to provide long-term support and services for Holocaust survivors.

In addition to this critical spending, we also moved a little closer to turning the voices of these students who are demanding action on gun violence into policy. The spending package included several provisions I co-sponsored to address gun violence in Florida and across the country, including:

• Fix NICS Act. I cosponsored this bipartisan bill, which requires federal agencies and states to develop implementation plans to upload to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) all information prohibiting a person from purchasing a firearm, rewards states who comply with these plans through federal grant preferences, and reauthorizes and improves programs that help states share information on criminal records with NICS, among other things.

• STOP School Violence Act. I co-sponsored this bipartisan bill that would allow schools to access federal funds to invest in programs, training and technology to keep students safe.

• CDC Gun Violence Research. The spending package included language to clarify that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) can conduct research on gun violence. This bill is fantastic news for our state. And while these gun violence provisions are just steps, they are steps in the right direction and show just what we can do when we work together.

(And, who could possibly argue with the justness,  political correctness and legitimacy of all of the above?  Only one very major problem — WE ARE RAPIDLY RUNNING OUT OF SPENDING OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY.)

Jerome S. Kaufman

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

Explaining the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) Fiasco

https://israel-commentary.org

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:
israelcommentary@comcast.net

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

https://israel-commentary.org

WHISTLEBLOWER MAGAZINE
February 2018

And… as a ‘SANCTUARY’ FOR ILLEGALS BECOMES BLACKS’ WORST NIGHTMARE’

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:
israelcommentary@comcast.net

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

Winston Spencer Churchill Ha Maccabee

https://israel-commentary.org

BY RABBI MEIR Y. SOLOVEICHIK

COMMENTARY, FEBRUARY, 2018

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:
israelcommentary@comcast.net

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

www.israel-commentary.org

It would show that the popular former president understands humility.

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

PHOTO: LIONEL CIRONNEAU/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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:
israelcommentary@comcast.net

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

https://israel-commentary.org

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:
israelcommentary@comcast.net

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

Don’t Count Bibi Out

 https://israel-commentary.org
 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:
israelcommentary@comcast.net

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