One man’s Advice: To Bomb or not to Bomb?

http://israel-commentary.org/?p=8136

Strike Iran Now to Avert Disaster Later
Redacted from an article By NORMAN PODHORETZ

Wall Street Journal
Dec. 11, 2013

Not too many years ago, hardly anyone disagreed with John McCain when he first said that “the only thing worse than bombing Iran is letting Iran get the bomb.” Today hardly anyone disagrees with those who say that the only thing worse than letting Iran get the bomb is bombing Iran. And in this reversal hangs a tale.

The old consensus was shaped by three considerations, all of which seemed indisputable at the time.

The first was that Iran was lying when it denied that its nuclear facilities were working to build a bomb. After all, with its vast reserves of oil and gas, the country had no need for nuclear energy. Even according to the liberal Federation of American Scientists a decade ago, the work being done at the Iranian nuclear facilities was easily “applicable to a nuclear weapons development program.” Surprisingly, a similar judgment was made by Mohamed ElBaradei, the very dovish director of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The second consideration was that the prospect of being annihilated in a retaliatory nuclear strike, which had successfully deterred the Soviets and the Chinese from unleashing their own nuclear weapons during the Cold War, would be ineffective against an Iran ruled by fanatical Shiite mullahs. As Bernard Lewis, the leading contemporary authority on Islam, put it in 2007, to these fanatics “mutual assured destruction is not a deterrent, it is an inducement. We know already [from the Iran-Iraq war] that they do not give a damn about killing their own people in great numbers. . . They are giving them a quick free pass to heaven and all its delights.”

Nor were the rulers of Iran deterred by the fear that their country would be destroyed in a nuclear war. In the words of the Ayatollah Khomeini, who brought the Islamist revolution to Iran in 1979: “We do not worship Iran, we worship Allah. . . . I say let this land [Iran] go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant in the rest of the world.” (The quote appeared in a 1981 Iranian collection of the ayatollah’s speeches. In later editions, that line and others were deleted as Iran tried to stir up nationalistic fervor amid the war with Iraq.)

And here, speaking in particular of a nuclear exchange with Israel—that “cancer” which the mullahs were and are solemnly pledged to wipe off the map—is the famous “moderate” Hashemi Rafsanjani, in an Al-Quds Day sermon at Tehran University on Dec. 14, 2001: “Application of an atomic bomb would not leave anything in Israel, but the same thing would just produce damages in the Muslim world.” Mr. Rafsanjani, an earlier president of Iran, is the sponsor and mentor of its current president, that other celebrated “moderate,” Hasan Rouhani.

The third consideration behind the old consensus was the conviction that even if the mullahs could be deterred, their acquisition of a nuclear capability would inevitably trigger a nuclear-arms race in the Middle East. Because the Sunni regimes in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and elsewhere throughout the region were all terrified at the prospect of being lorded over and held hostage by an Iran ruled by their ancestral enemies the Shiites, those regimes would rush to equip themselves with their own nuclear arsenals.

Yet as the years wore on, it became clear, even to the believers in this strategy, that the Iranians would not be stopped either by increasingly harsh sanctions—or by endless negotiations. One might have expected the strategy’s proponents to conclude, if with all due reluctance, that the only recourse left was to make good on the threat of military action. Yet while they continued to insist that “all options are on the table,” it also became increasingly clear that for Western political leaders as well as the mainstream think tanks and the punditocracy, the stomach for the military option was no longer there, if indeed it had ever been.

And so began the process of what Col. Allard calls “learning to love the Iranian bomb.” The first step was to raise serious doubts about the old consensus. Yes, the Iranians were determined to build a bomb, and, yes, the mullahs were Islamist fanatics, but on further reflection there was good reason to think that they were not really as suicidal as the likes of Bernard Lewis persuaded us. That being the case, there was also good reason to drop the idea that it would be impossible to deter and contain them, as we had done even with the far more powerful Soviets and Chinese.

It was the new consensus shaped by such thinking that prepared the way for the accord reached by six major powers with Iran in Geneva last month. The Obama administration tells us that the interim agreement puts Iran on a track that will lead to the abandonment of its quest for a nuclear arsenal. But the Iranians are jubilant because they know that the only abandonment going on is of our own effort to keep them from getting the bomb.

Given how very unlikely it is that President Obama, despite his all-options-on-the-table protestations to the contrary, would ever take military action, the only hope rests with Israel. If, then, Israel fails to strike now, Iran will get the bomb. And when it does, the Israelis will be forced to decide whether to wait for a nuclear attack and then to retaliate out of the rubble, or to pre-empt with a nuclear strike of their own. But the Iranians will be faced with the same dilemma. Under these unprecedentedly hair-trigger circumstances, it will take no time before one of them tries to beat the other to the punch.

And so my counsel to proponents of the new consensus is to consider the unspeakable horrors that would then be visited not just on Israel and Iran but on the entire region and beyond. The destruction would be far worse than any imaginable consequences of an Israeli conventional strike today when there is still a chance to put at least a temporary halt, and conceivably even a permanent one, to the relentless Iranian quest for the bomb.

Mr. Podhoretz was the editor of Commentary from 1960-95. His most recent book is “Why Are Jews Liberals?” (Doubleday, 2009). (I don’t know if reading the book or any thing else will answer that one)

I Obama’s Soft Despotism by Mona Charen II Explaining Obama Economics by Dinesh D’Sousa video

http://israel-commentary.org/?p=8098

By Mona Charen
Washington Times
Nov 25, 2013

The talking heads love presidential analogies. Is Obamacare’s rollout Obama’s Hurricane Katrina or his Iraq? Is Obama’s false promise that you could keep your health care plan like George H. W. Bush’s “read my lips” pledge, or is it like Bill Clinton’s “I did not have sexual relations with that woman”? Iran-Contra anyone?

These comparisons don’t take you far. The president’s troubles are unique to his particular vanities and blind spots.

Some of Obama’s most devoted admirers are at pains to distinguish his current fall from grace from George W. Bush’s. Chris Matthews, for example, argues: “The problem with Katrina was apparent indifference. One thing you can’t hold against the president is indifference about health care. He’s the guy that rushed in, pushed through a program with pure Democratic support and took all the risks involved in it.”

The accusation that Bush was “indifferent” to the suffering caused by Katrina is to take as fact the slanders of Bush’s detractors. Matthews also extends gracious allowances for Obama’s motives (though his suggestion that Obama “took all the risks” might not go down well with the 63 Democrats who lost their seats in 2010).

This tendency to judge liberals and leftists only by their intentions is very old. At its worst, it has been offered as justification for the foulest crimes. “In order to make an omelet,” Vladimir Lenin is supposed to have said, “you have to be willing to break a few eggs.” Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky, years later, replied, “I have seen the broken eggs, but no one I know has ever tasted the omelet.”

The unraveling of Obamacare is a kind of poetic justice, not just for Obama, whose overweening and utterly groundless arrogance now stands rebuked, but also for liberalism. Until Obamacare, liberals had been able to boast of providing benefits to various constituencies while forever pushing the costs onto future generations. This time is different. Why?

Republicans can take a bow on this one. Despite having lost the 2008 presidential election, they had not forfeited all influence over the political culture. Their focus on debt and excessive spending forced the reigning Democrats to trim their sails. The Obama/Pelosi/Reid troika did not dare to pass another new entitlement that would further bloat the deficit. Instead, they had to jury rig a law that would seem to be deficit-neutral.

And while Obama lied about the price to be paid (“the average family will see premiums decline by $2,500”), the costs were built into the system in various forms. The young would be forced to pay higher premiums to support the older and sicker, Medicare would take cuts, those with more beneficent plans would pay a “Cadillac tax,” inexpensive bare-bones coverage would be disallowed, medical device makers would pay a tax, Medicaid would be expanded, the uninsured would pay a fine (oh, excuse me, a “tax” according to the chief justice) and more.

Those are just the obvious costs. The less apparent include the incentives for employers to shift people to part-time work (less than 30 hours per week by the law’s terms), the increased costs of compliance with the law’s 10,000 pages of regulations, decreasing physician satisfaction, excessive centralization of care and the inevitable premium increases for those with employer-provided coverage.

Unlike Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, Head Start and the rest of the federal cornucopia, the costs of Obamacare are being felt immediately. That’s a trap door for Democrats.

Obama’s admirers may offer him credit for seeking to do good, but at what price? The Hippocratic oath for physicians should also apply to leaders: First, do no harm. The entire health care system now trembles with uncertainty because Obama imposed his vision of “fundamental transformation” on a reluctant nation.

Even assuming that Obama had the best motives — a desire to see the uninsured covered — his greed to control and regulate the entire health care system revealed a man without wisdom or prudence. He didn’t realize buying health insurance was so complicated, he explained on Thursday. Anyone who’d even run a Kinko’s would know better. He didn’t keep tabs on those tasked with creating this massive, hydra-headed system. Perhaps he thought there were no problems in the world that wouldn’t yield to another Obama speech.

C.S. Lewis, who died the day John F. Kennedy was shot 50 years ago next week, warned of soft despots: “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

II Video – Dinesh D’Souza with a short, simplified version of Obama economics

The politically incorrect version of Nelson Mandela from a respected journalist.

http://israel-commentary.org/?p=8123

By Michael Freund

Misrepresenting Mandela

by Michael Freund
The Jerusalem Post
December 10, 2013

Imagine a person who planned acts of sabotage and incited violence, resulting in the deaths of innocent civilians and damage to public property. A man who embraced brutal dictators throughout the Third World, such as Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi and Cuba’s Fidel Castro, singing their praises and defending them publicly even as they trampled on the rights and lives of their own people. A person who hugged Yasser Arafat at the height of the intifada, hailed Puerto Rican terrorists who shot US Congressmen, and penned a book entitled, How to be a good Communist.

Picture all this and, believe it or not, you will be staring at a portrait of Nelson Mandela. The death of the South African statesman last week has elicited an outpouring of tributes around the world, with various leaders and media outlets vying to outdo one another in their praise of the man. Highlighting his principled stand against apartheid, and his firm determination to erect a new, post-racial and color-blind South Africa, many observers have hailed Mandela in glowing terms, as though he were a saint free of blemish and clean of sin. But such accolades not only miss the mark, they distort history in a dangerous and damaging way and betray the legacy of Mandela himself.

Take, for example, the editorial in The Dallas Morning News, which likened Mandela to Moses and labeled him “the conscience of the world.” And then there was Peter Oborne, the UK Telegraph’s chief political commentator, who wrote a piece entitled, “Few human beings can be compared to Jesus Christ. Nelson Mandela was one.”

Even taking into account Mandela’s astonishing accomplishments and harrowing life story, he is far from being the angel that much of the media is making him out to be. After all, in 1961, Mandela co-founded Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation), the armed wing of the African National Congress, which undertook a campaign of violence and bloodshed against the South African regime that included bombings, sabotage and the elimination of political opponents.

Indeed, in his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, Mandela justified a car bomb attack perpetrated by the ANC in May 1983 which killed 19 people and wounded over 200, including many innocent civilians, asserting that, “Such accidents were the inevitable consequence of the decision to embark on a military struggle.” His record of support for the use of violence and terror was such that even the lefties at Amnesty International declined to classify him as a “political prisoner” because “Mandela had participated in planning acts of sabotage and inciting violence.”

No less distasteful was Mandela’s unbounded affection for international rogues, thugs and killers. Shortly after his release from prison in February 1990, he publicly embraced PLO chairman Yasser Arafat while on a visit to Lusaka, Zambia. The move came barely a month after a series of letter-bombs addressed to Jewish and Christian leaders were discovered at a Tel Aviv post office.

Three months later, on May 18, 1990, Mandela decided to pay a visit to Libya, where he gratefully accepted the International Gaddafi Prize for Human Rights from dictator Col. Muammar Gaddafi, whom he referred to as “our brother.” While there, Mandela told journalists, “The ANC has, on numerous occasions, maintained that the PLO is our comrade in arms in the struggle for the liberation of our respective countries. We fully support the combat of the PLO for the creation of an independent Palestinian state.”

The following month, on his first visit to New York in June 1990, Mandela heaped praise on four Puerto Rican terrorists who had opened fire in the US House of Representatives in 1954, wounding five congressmen. “We support the cause,” Mandela said, “of anyone who is fighting for self-determination, and our attitude is the same, no matter who it is. I would be honored to sit on the platform with the four comrades whom you refer to” (New York Times, June 22, 1990).

Even in later years, he maintained a fondness for those who used violence to achieve their aims. In November 2004, when Arafat died, Mandela mourned his old friend, saying that “Yasser Arafat was one of the outstanding freedom fighters of this generation.”

Now you might be wondering: why is any of this important? It matters for the same reason that the historical record matters: to provide us and future generations with lessons to be learned and pitfalls to be avoided. By painting Mandela solely in glowing terms and ignoring his violent record, the media and others are falsifying history and concealing the truth. They are putting on a pedestal a man who excused the use of violence against civilians and befriended those with blood on their hands.

By all means, celebrate the transformation that Mandela brought about in his country, the freedom and liberties that he upheld, and the process of reconciliation that he oversaw. But to gloss over or ignore his failings and flaws is hagiography, not history. And that is something Mandela himself would not have wanted. In 1999, after he stepped down as South African president after one term in office, he said, “I wanted to be known as Mandela, a man with weaknesses, some of which are fundamental, and a man who is committed, but nevertheless, sometimes he fails to live up to expectations.”

Sure, we all need heroes, figures who seem to soar above our natural human limitations and inspire us to strive for greatness. But Mandela was not Superman. He was neither born on Krypton nor did he wear a large letter “S” on his chest along with a red cape. He was a flawed human being, full of contradictions and shortcomings, a man who alternately extolled violence and reconciliation according to whether it suited his purposes to do so.

And that is how it would be best to remember him.

The writer served as deputy communications director in the Prime Minister’s Office of Binyamin Netanyahu. He is the founder and Chairman of Shavei Israel (www.shavei.org), a Jerusalem-based group that facilitates the return of the Bnei Menashe and other “lost Jews” to the Jewish people.

Surprise, Surprise! Iran takes no time spitting into the faces of Obama/Kerry/World while negating Nuclear Agreement

Surprise, Surprise! Iran takes no time spitting into the faces of Obama/Kerry/World while negating Nuclear Agreement

SOURCE: Saudi Gazette Dec.1 2013

Iran Foreign Minister Zarif states unequivocally, “Iran has final say on Nuclear enrichment”
Agence France Presse

His (F.M.Zarif) remarks appeared to conflict with the landmark nuclear deal struck with world powers in Geneva last weekend.

TEHRAN “Iran will decide the level of uranium enrichment in its nuclear program based on its energy and other civilian needs,” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in remarks reported Saturday[20 Nov.].

His remarks appeared to conflict with the landmark nuclear deal struck with world powers in Geneva last weekend, which states that the enrichment level must be mutually defined and agreed upon by both sides in further negotiations.

“Iran will decide the level of enrichment according to its needs for different purposes,” Zarif said late Friday night, according to the official IRNA news agency.

“Only details of the enrichment activities are negotiable,” he said, referring to a final accord with the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia plus Germany-known as the P5+1 group — that the parties hope to negotiate within a year.

The interim agreement reached in Geneva set out trust-building measures by both sides to be implemented in a six-month period, during which negotiations over the final accord must begin.

Iran agreed to freeze expansion of its nuclear activities — which Western powers and Israel suspect mask military objectives despite repeated Iranian denials and to cap enrichment of above low-level purity, including 20 percent.

Israel and Western powers “hope” (What a ridiculous word to use in International crucial negotiations, especially with a completely unreliable, false partner!) the final accord will drastically scale back Iran’s enrichment program, which is currently producing the low-enriched uranium required for electricity and medical isotopes but could be ramped up to produce the highly enriched uranium which is a key element of a nuclear weapon. Iran has repeatedly said it will not seek nuclear weapons while insisting it has the “right” to enrich uranium under the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

“We have always said we will not allow anyone to determine our needs,” Zarif was quoted as saying by the Fars news agency. “But we are prepared to negotiate about it.” (As the centrifuges keep spinning)

According to the interim deal, the final accord must “involve a mutually defined enrichment program with mutually agreed parameters consistent with practical needs.”

But it also calls for limits “on scope and level of enrichment activities, capacity, where it is carried out, and stocks of enriched uranium, for a period to be agreed upon.”

Gov. Mike Huckabee and Cong. Michelle Bachman address National Zionist Org of America Convention Nov. 24, 2013

http://israel-commentary.org/?p=8069

900 plus ardent Israel Supporters attend

I Cong. Michelle Bachman

ZOA Board Member James Pollack introduced Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who said that, if either Mike Huckabee or Michele Bachmann had been elected president, the security situation of Israel, the United States and the world would be very different today. No-one in Washington, he said, is more focused, more supportively intellectually or more knowledgeable about Israel than Michele Bachmann.

Michele Bachmann opened by saying that she was absolutely thunderstruck at the events in the world of the past few weeks and especially last night in Geneva, when the hinge of history turned. A spiritual darkness has descended on our world with this decision of the P5+1and Iran, a decision with the import to change the world. Yet I think this agreement has more to do with Israel than with Iran. Israel may be forced now, when abandoned by the world, not to strike Iran even if Iran continues its march towards a nuclear bomb.

I served on the House Intelligence Committee. There have been intelligence leaks regarding Israel’s preparation to deal with Iran in the event that it has to do so, leaks that Israel might be planning to strike in the next 2-4 months, Israel investigating the possible use of airbases in Azerbaijan. Many of the secrets coming up would be secrets known to only about ten people in the whole country. Every leak puts Israel in a more dangerous position than it has been in before.

Meanwhile, Iran has obtained six months in which to continue its deceptions and preparations to become a nuclear power. Prime Minister Netanyahu will be forced to make a decision to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities. One can’t believe the Iranian regime is serious about this agreement. Ali Khamenei made a vile speech attacking Jews and crowds in Tehran have been chanting ‘Death to America’ — this, at a time you’d think they’d be trying to put their best foot forward. Where has the Senate been? Where has the House been? Where have the pro-Israel organizations been, besides the ZOA? Where are they all at a time like this? Meanwhile President Obama is permitting Iran to keep on keeping on. Iran has been made to give up nothing or next to nothing.”

II Gov. Mike Huckabee

Sheldon Adelson, in his introductory remarks for Governor Huckabee, said that “I think few Jews are as true Zionists as former pastor and governor Mike Huckabee.”

Governor Huckabee than addressed the crowd saying, “The Land of Israel was promised to the Jews by G-d. The division of Jerusalem is unimaginable. You don’t negotiate with those who don’t want you to exist. I support a Palestinian state — outside Israel … The ZOA is the strongest Jewish voice for Israel on the face of the planet. Other Jewish organizations are sometimes afraid to ruffle feathers. Mort Klein and ZOA are prepared to pluck the chicken.

It is time for the others get over their throat colds and speak out as well.” Turning to the deal with Iran signed in Geneva, Governor Huckabee said, “This is the equivalent of giving them a shot of whisky, the keys to the sports car and telling them to go out and impress their girl.” Yet Secretary Kerry spoke, in fact, he is still talking, about what a good deal this is.

This is the time that we need a Churchill and instead we have a Chamberlain. It is Israel that has a Churchill in Benjamin Netanyahu. It is also time that we took the jack hammer to the United Nations, disassemble it, and let it float out into the East River. The UN takes our money and insults us … Our relationship to Israel is not organizational, it’s organic.

The greatest gift of G-d is to be free, and Israel is free and its borders are not set by the UN or the Balfour Declaration, but by G-d Almighty … Israel cannot talk peace to people who deny it the right to breathe. The U.S. should be saying, ‘You cannot attack Israel. An attack upon them is an attack upon us’ … Israel has been revived. The dry bones that Ezekiel saw have been revived because G-d’s hand is upon her. Standing with Israel is standing with G-d’s Chosen. G-d has never abandoned Israel and he’s not about to start and I don’t want to be on the wrong side of history … Never, never, never, never again — that is the true basis for peace.

The brilliant Dinesh D’Souza re-visits Obama’s Dream for America on Thanksgiving/Chanukah eve.

The brilliant Dinesh D’Souza re-visits Obama’s Dream for America on Thanksgiving/Chanukah eve.

Two fantastic videos with Dinesh D’Souza speaking now and at the Nixon Library one year ago

OBAMA’S DREAM IS NOT THE AMERICAN DREAM

NOVEMBER 21, 2013

The American dream is a dream that goes back a couple of hundred years to when a bunch of guys got together in Philadelphia and came up with a formula for a new kind of country. The American founders believed that if this recipe was adopted, this new country would become the strongest, most successful, most prosperous country on the planet. And so it has been. Here we are, and we are on top of the world. The idea that America is based on a unique formula is called American exceptionalism.

In 2009, President Obama was asked, “Do you believe in American exceptionalism?” He gave a very odd answer. He said, “I believe in American exceptionalism” but then he added this, “Just as the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believed in Greek exceptionalism.” If everyone believes they are exceptional, then clearly no one is.

It’s worth stepping back for a moment and asking, “What is exceptional about America?” What would happen if you were to come to my native country of India; what if you lived there, worked there, stayed for many years, and maybe even took Indian citizenship Could you actually become Indian? No. Why not? Because to be Indian, you need two things; brown skin and Indian parents. Being Indian is a function of birth and blood. And so it is in most countries in the world.

But, not in America. In America, the Irish, the Italians, the Jews, the Koreans, and the West Indians can come here and can, in fact, become “American.” You become American by assimilating into a way of life, to a constitution and a rule of law. So that’s one aspect of American exceptionalism.

Here is another: America is a country founded on entrepreneurship, on trade, and on business. This may seem sort of obvious, but historically the entrepreneur, the merchant, and the trader have been reviled and looked down upon. Confucius said that the noble man knows what is virtuous but the low man knows what is profitable.

Even in Europe today, inherited money is better than earned money. Why? Because inherited money is innocent. It fell out of the sky. If you earned it, the assumption is that you probably had to run over some guys to get it. There is a prejudice against the nouveau riche, against earned wealth.

Historically there is a totem pole, and the businessman and the entrepreneur is at the bottom. But the American founders took that totem pole and flipped it. The entrepreneur is at center stage.

For me, the American dream is not merely a dream of economic opportunity. There is economic opportunity in America. But what is remarkable to me is how well ordinary citizens have it in America.

There is a material allure to America, but when I think of my own life, what has mattered most to me in coming to America is that here is a country where I get to write the script of my own life. Here is a country where my destiny isn’t given to me, it’s constructed by me. Here is a country where my life is a blank sheet of paper and I am the artist. I think this is why young people around the world are magnetically drawn to America: because America represents the self-directed life. This is the core of the American dream.

And then we have a different dream. This is Obama’s dream. Before we get into Obama’s dream, I do want to point out that there is a common view even among conservatives, even among Republicans, that the problem with Obama is that he is a bungler, he is an amateur in the title of a recent book, he tries to do x but he gets y.

This has produced a whole set of conservative punditry essentially lecturing Obama on things like, “Obama, don’t you realize that confiscatory taxation does not produce economic growth?” “Oh, Obama, don’t you realize that by blocking oil drilling in America you aren’t going to create jobs?” “Oh, Obama, may we advise you that Assad, the dictator of Syria, or the Mullah’s in Iran are not our friends?” “Obama, you should wake up to the fact that if we slash our own nuclear weapons this will not inspire the Iranians to do the same.”

Now you can begin to see why people get conspiracy theories about Obama. He’s a traitor. He’s a secret Muslim. He’s a Manchurian candidate.

I would like to offer a little different theory, and that is that Obama subscribes to an ideology that aims to reduce America’s influence in the world. He wants to cut America down to size. He doesn’t want America to be number one. He would be perfectly happy if we were number 18 or number 37.

Why does Obama want to reduce America’s footprint in the world? Because he believes we’ve been stepping on the world. This is his ideology. What Obama really wants to do is redistribute power globally. He would like to see many countries on the world stage – Brazil, India, China, Russia, all vying for power. No single superpower calling the shots.

YouTube Video: Obama’s dream is not the American dream

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II Unfortunately, this is just the cover of the 8 minute update of the 2016 Movie. He did e-mail the update video to me but it will not embed on this site or forward. You might be able to enroll on D’Sousa’s web page list and then get a copy directly? jsk

Savvy multibillionaire Saudi Arabian Prince’s analysis of Obama, US Politics and the Iran Nuclear Fiasco

http://israel-commentary.org/?p=8014

Why are we feeding Palestinian terrorism? Iran Is Playing Obama, Says Savvy Saudi Prince

Jeffrey Goldberg – Bloomberg News Service
November 22, 2013

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the Saudi royal who seems to own most everything there is to own — a chunk of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, a piece of Twitter, all of Paris’s George V Hotel, the Savoy in London, and a Boeing 747 for his personal use — was sitting in the lobby of the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago the other evening (he and Bill Gates own most of Four Seasons Holdings), offering up the view — the view of an experienced negotiator from the Middle East — that U.S. President Barack Obama is outmatched by the Islamic Republic of Iran.

(By the way, this the same Arab Prince whose 10 million dollar attempted bribe donation to NYC following the September 11, 2001 Twin Towers bombing Mayor Rudy Giuliani refused. The Mayor was well aware that 11 of the 15 terrorists on the suicide mission drove 3 planes into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon were Saudi Arabians and was not in the mood to accept this attempted whitewash of this awful Arab terrorist act that killed near 6000 innocent civilians. In response to the Major’s refusal this same prince accused Giuliani of being a Jew and a tool of the Jewish lobby. Reporter Jeffrey Goldberg seems to have forgotten this part of bin Talal’s history.)jsk

Be that as it may, the Prince seems to be on a more rational tack in the present discussion:

“There’s no confidence in the Obama administration doing the right thing with Iran,” he told me, with a directness that would make Benjamin Netanyahu blush. “We’re really concerned — Israel, Saudi Arabia, the Middle East countries — about this.”

It is quite something for a Saudi royal to state baldly that his country is part of a tacit alliance with Israel, but Saudi leaders, like Israel’s leaders, are frantic with worry that an overeager Obama will accede to Iran’s desire to become a threshold state, one whose nuclear program is so advanced that it would only need several weeks to assemble a deliverable weapon. Alwaleed, like Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, believes that Iran, in its ongoing negotiations with the world’s major powers, will pocket whatever sanctions relief it gets without committing to ending its nuclear program. “Why are they offering relief?” he asked. “Keep the pressure on. Sanctions are what brought about the negotiations to begin with! Why not keep the pressure up?”

Obama, Alwaleed says, is a man who is in desperate political straits and needs a victory — any victory — to right his presidency. “Obama is in so much of a rush to have a deal with Iran,” he said. “He wants anything. He’s so wounded. It’s very scary. Look, the 2014 elections are going to begin. Within two months they’re going to start campaigning. Thirty-nine members of his own party in the House have already moved away from him on Obamacare. That’s scary for him.”

Alwaleed believes a stronger president would have the willpower to say no to a flawed deal with Iran. Like the Israelis, the Saudis believe a flawed deal is one in which Iran isn’t forced to put its nuclear program in reverse, by shuttering facilities and mothballing centrifuges. (Alwaleed is not a Saudi government official, but he often floats trial balloons on behalf of the members of his family who rule his country, and they consider him free to make impolitic statements they believe but cannot publicly endorse.)

“This has been going on for 30 years plus, since the Iranian revolution in 1979,” he continued. “And his people bragged about the first call between President Obama and President Rouhani. But what does a call mean? It’s nothing.” He went on to condemn Obama for folding when confronted with proof that Syria, Iran’s proxy, used chemical weapons against civilians. Obama had previously warned Syria not to cross the red line he drew on the deployment of chemical weapons.

If the negotiations don’t succeed — and clearly, Alwaleed sees no chance of success — then what? Anti-proliferation by force? I asked him if he thought the Arab states would actually back an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, if this terrible option should come to pass. “Publicly, they would be against it,” he said. “Privately, they would love it.”

What about at the level of the so-called Arab Street? “The Sunnis will love it,” he said, referring to the dominant branch of Islam, to which most Arab Muslims adhere. “The Sunni Muslim is very much anti-Shiite, and very much anti-, anti-, anti-Iran,” he said.

You’re sure they loathe Iran more than they loathe Israel?

“Look, Iran is a huge threat, historically speaking,” he said. “The Persian empire was always against the Muslim Arab empire, especially against the Sunnis. The threat is from Persia, not from Israel. This was a great empire ruling the whole neighborhood. I’ll tell you something — they are in Bahrain, they are in Iraq, they are in Syria, they are with Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas, which is Sunni, in Gaza. They are intruding into these areas. King Abdullah of Jordan had a good statement on this — he said that a Shiite crescent begins from Iran, through Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and goes down to Palestine, to Hamas.”

Alwaleed, who spent much of our time together criticizing Obama, also reserved some criticism for Saudi Arabia’s Jewish ally. He said that if Netanyahu would make advances in the peace process with Palestinians, he would help marginalize Iran. “If you want to weaken Iran’s position in the Arab world, you should have peace with the Palestinians. This would help move Iran away from this issue. This is the heart of it. Hezbollah will not go away, but they will be weakened.”

“This last piece of analysis made good sense to me” (Jeffrey Goldberg).

(And, that’s where Jeffrey Goldberg lost me and all credibility as a political analyst by ignoring Alaweed’s previous political position vis-a-vis Jews and Israel. Any political analyst, without some “liberal” agenda of his own, knows that the Israeli/PA dispute has absolutely nothing to do with Iran’s frantic efforts to obtain nuclear weapons. This Arab, Alwaleed, is just another Arab taking a shot at Israel that will forever, please G-d, act as a thorn in their throats. The Arabs know very well that Israel is the major obstruction to Islam’s goal to rule the Middle East now and the rest of us as soon as possible – no matter how many centuries it may take. And, if Jeffrey Goldberg does not understand that and evidently he does not, he is nowhere near as smart as he thinks he is and I had some doubts of my own, even before this outrageous aside “made good sense” to him.)

Jerome S. Kaufman

Obama/Kerry/Neville Chamberlain – Birds of a feather – And my Heaven help the US, Israel and World

http://israel-commentary.org/?p=7996

Israeli Ministers Line Up to Lambast Iran Nuclear Deal; Choice Was Between ‘Plague and Cholera’ Says MK Lapid

Iran, World Powers Reach Interim Deal on Nuclear Program

NOVEMBER 24, 2013 2:26 AM

Author: Dovid Efune
The Algemeiner

As news broke in the wee hours of the morning of an interim deal reached between Iran and world powers over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program, Israeli ministers and political figures from across the political spectrum took to the airwaves with sharp critique.

According to various reports, the deal calls for Iran to halt key parts of its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief said to be valued at approximately $7 billion dollars.

In an interview on Israel Defense Forces radio, Israel’s Finance Minister, Yair Lapid, widely believed to be the second most influential politician in the country, sounded a bitter tone.

“We had a choice here between the plague and cholera. We were left alone explaining the truth, and all of our options were bad,” he said. “I don’t understand how the French Foreign Minister can call an agreement that doesn’t involve the dismantling of one centrifuge a ‘victory.’ I can’t understand the world’s failure to notice the nineteen thousand Iranian centrifuges.”

“Obviously a deal is better than a war, but not this deal,” he said. “Netanyahu did everything he could and we all stand behind him on this.”

Describing it as “the biggest diplomatic victory Iran has known in recent years,” Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that “the State of Israel will have to think things over.” “This brings us to a new reality in the whole Middle East,” he told Israel Radio.

“We awoke this morning to a new reality. A reality in which a bad deal was signed with Iran. A very bad deal,” said Israel’s Economy Minister Naftali Bennett. He painted a bleak picture of what may come to pass as a result of the arrangement. “If a nuclear suitcase blows up five years from now in New York or Madrid, it will be because of the deal that was signed this morning,” he said. “It is important that the world knows: Israel will not be committed to a deal that endangers its very existence,” Bennett added.

In an interview with Israel’s Channel 2, the country’s Minister of Tourism Uzi Landau said that “Iran has zero credibility but has been treated as an equal partner.” “When the West comes to the table with intent to get a deal at any cost, it is obvious that the deal will be bad,” he lamented. “Western leaders were influenced by their internal economic interests.”

Israel’s Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz also sharply criticized the deal, saying that it is reminiscent of the “bad deal with North Korea.” Asked about the possibility of an Israeli strike on Iran, Steinitz said, “We have never surrendered our right to self defense to anyone, including the United States.” According to the Associated Press, Steinitz also referred to the deal as being based on “Iranian deception and self-delusion.”

Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin said that although Israel considers the agreement to be bad, it still could have been worse. “The final text of the agreement while still bad, is better than the first draft,” he said. Elkin also said that while the relief from sanctions offered to Iran in the deal may appear to be relatively limited, its impact will in reality be far more significant. “Those who claim that the agreement freezes the status quo are not telling the truth. The Western readiness to ease the sanctions will cause the global sanctions regime to start crumbling,” he predicted. “Israel must maintain its military readiness and work to apply diplomatic pressure to influence the final deal with Iran,” Elkin added.

“This is an excellent deal for Iran, but unfortunately this agreement is extremely dangerous for the free world,” Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon said in an email to The Algemeiner. “The centrifuges are staying in place while the sanctions regime is dismantled. This is exactly the opposite result that peace-loving people had been hoping for. It goes without saying that all options remain on the table and that Israel has the capability — and the responsibility — to defend itself using any means necessary.”

Channel 2 reported that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is expected to address the deal in a statement at the start of his weekly cabinet meeting in a couple of hours. Jerusalem believes that the deal, while marginally better than the first draft, is still bad, and could get worse if the controls stipulated in the agreement aren’t rigorously implemented, the channel said.

“The agreement provides for Iran both a significant easing of sanctions and the ability to maintain a significant portion of its nuclear program. The agreement allows Iran to continue enriching uranium, leaves it with all its centrifuges that enable it to produce fissile material for nuclear weapons, and also does not provide for the dismantling of the reactor in Arak,” officials in the Prime Minister’s office said.

A Knesset source who declined to be named as he was not authorized to speak on the matter, told The Algemeiner that Israel is disappointed and feels betrayed, and that chances of any great concessions in a peace deal with the Palestinian Authority are now slim.

Amos Yadlin the former head of Israeli military intelligence said that Israel “Will know in a few months if this was a new Munich agreement wherein Nazi Germany was allowed to annex parts of Czechoslovakia which will lead us to war, or a new Camp David which can lead to peace.”

Uzi Rabi, Director of the Dayan Center for Middle East studies at Tel Aviv University was even more direct. “Iran has prevailed,” he said, “Rouhani has achieved his internal goals.”

“This deal sacrifices the long term interests of the West in exchange for the short term gain of getting Iran to agree not to cross the nuclear threshold for a few months,” he said. (Even that much gain is total conjecture)

What Michael Reagan, Ronald’s son, thought of “The Butler”

What Michael Reagan, Ronald’s son, thought of “The Butler”

By Michael Reagan
Aug 22, 2013

There you go again, Hollywood.

You’ve taken a great story about a real person and real events and twisted it into a bunch of lies.

You took the true story of Eugene Allen, the White House butler who served eight presidents from 1952 to 1986, and turned it into a clichéd “message movie”

“Lee Daniels, The Butler, stars Forest Whitaker as Cecil Gaines, a fictional character supposedly based on Eugene Allen’s real life.

But let’s compare the two White House butlers.

Guess which one grew up in segregated Virginia, got a job at the White House and rose to become maître d’hôtel, the highest position in White House service?

Guess which one had a happy, quiet life and was married to the same woman for 65 years? And who had one son who served honorably in Vietnam and never made a peep of protest through the pre and post civil rights era?

Now guess which butler grew up on a Georgia farm, watched the boss rape his mother and then, when his father protested the rape, watched the boss put a bullet through his father’s head?

Guess which butler feels the pain of America’s racial injustices so deeply that he quits his White House job and joins his son in a protest movement?

And guess which butler has a wife (Oprah Winfrey) who becomes an alcoholic and has a cheap affair with the guy next door? (I’m surprised it wasn’t the vice president.)

After comparing Hollywood’s absurd version of Eugene Allen’s life story with the truth, you wonder why the producers didn’t just call it “The Butler from Another Planet.”

Screenwriter Danny Strong says he was trying to present a “backstage kind of view of the White House” that portrayed presidents and first ladies as they really were in everyday life.

Well, I was backstage at the White House — a few hundred times. I met and knew the real butler, Mr. Allen, and I knew a little about my father.

Portraying Ronald Reagan as a racist because he was in favor of lifting economic sanctions against South Africa is simplistic and dishonest.

If you knew my father, you’d know he was the last person on Earth you would call a racist.

If Strong had gotten his “facts” from the Reagan biographies, he’d have learned that when my father was playing football at Eureka College one of his best friends was a black teammate.

Strong also would have learned that my father invited black players home for dinner and once, when two players were not allowed to stay in the local hotel, he invited them to stay overnight at his house.

Screenwriter Strong also might have found out that when my father was governor of California he appointed more blacks to positions of power than any of predecessors — combined.

It’s appalling to me that someone is trying to imply my father was a racist. He and Nancy and the rest of the Reagan family treated Mr. Allen with the utmost respect.

It was Nancy Reagan who invited the butler to dinner – not to work but as guest. And it was my father who promoted Mr. Allen to maître d’hôtel.

The real story of the White House butler doesn’t imply racism at all. It’s simply Hollywood liberals wanting to believe something about my father that was never there.

My father’s position on lifting the South African sanctions in the ‘80s had nothing to do with the narrow issue of race. It had to do with the geopolitics of the Cold War.

But facts don’t matter to Hollywood’s creative propagandists. Truth is too complicated and not dramatic enough for scriptwriters, who think in minute terms, not the big picture, when it comes to a conservative.

Despite what Hollywood’s liberal hacks believe, my father didn’t see people in colors. He saw them as individual Americans. If the liberals in Hollywood — and Washington — ever start looking at people the way he did, the country will be a lot better off.

PS I just saw The Butler and came to the same conclusions as Michael Reagan. The tip off as to the intent of the film is how the producers made Ronald Reagan look like an ugly man with a distorted face. As you all know, Ronald Reagan was a Hollywood leading man and looked and acted the part. But, anything to distort the facts and present a pathetic political agenda that unfortunately, most viewers will swallow. Jsk

As Christians Stampede out the Exits in Arab Lands …

As Christians Stampede out the Exits in Arab Lands …

Motherland Lost
By Samuel Tadros

Review by Michael J. Totten
Wall Street Journal August 12, 2013

For hundreds of years, Copts made up roughly 15% of Egypt’s population. Since the Arab Spring, more than 100,000 have left.
The Middle East is tough on minorities. After millennia of Jewish presence throughout the Arab and Persian lands, almost every country in the region—save for Israel, of course, was emptied of Jews in the last century.

Today it’s the Middle East’s Christians who are streaming out. In Lebanon, Christians made up a slight majority a couple of decades ago, but today they’re down to barely a third of the population. Hundreds of thousands of Christians fled sectarian fighting in Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein, and they’re a minority now in the Palestinian city of Bethlehem — the birthplace of Jesus. But the most dramatic Christian exodus is out of Egypt. Since the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak, the rise of Islamists and mob attacks have driven more than 100,000 Christian Copts out of the country.

Samuel Tadros’s book, “Motherland Lost: The Egyptian and Coptic Quest for Modernity,” is a scholarly yet riveting account of this tragedy. The author takes us on a grim tour through the modern history of Egypt, chronicling the rise and fall of its Coptic minority, the country’s largest Christian community. Along the way, Mr. Tadros offers a trenchant analysis of Egypt’s struggle, and that of the Copts, to overcome backwardness and obscurantism.

The Copts are indigenous inhabitants of the Nile delta, children of its ancient Pharaonic civilization. They have been Christians for as long as Christianity has existed. (Egypt is part of the greater Holy Land, and St. Mark, one of the disciples of Jesus, spread the gospel there and founded the Church of Alexandria, which today belongs to the Copts.) The Copts have their own Eastern Orthodox rite, their own pope and for hundreds of years they’ve made up roughly 15% of Egypt’s population.

Mr. Tadros, an Egyptian Copt who immigrated to the U.S. in 2009, makes it clear that the story of Egypt’s Christians isn’t one of relentless abuse. Copts have received both good and bad treatment at the hands of the region’s succession of reigning powers. But mostly it’s been bad. They were persecuted by the Roman and Byzantine empires long before the Islamic conquest in A.D. 639, after which they were cast as second-class citizens subject to additional regulations and taxes. Isolation from Christendom and survival in the face of adversity are etched into their soul. “Coptic history has been an endless story of decline and despair,” Mr. Tadros writes, “but it has also been a story of survival.”

A respite came when, after centuries of Mamluk rule (under Ottoman suzerainty), Egypt’s Albanian governor, Muhammad Ali, rebelled against the Porte in 1805. Ali’s rule was kinder to Copts than anything that had preceded it. In 1863 came the relatively enlightened rule of Ali’s grandson, Khedive Ismail, during which the Copts flourished. Ismail appointed Coptic judges to Egyptian courts and awarded them political rights and representation in government.

Britain invaded, reluctantly, when in 1882 a nationalist uprising threatened European interests, including the then newly built Suez Canal. British occupation would last 40 years, during which time London resolved that Egypt had to be governed by Muslims. Thus Lord Cromer, the head of its occupation, appointed only Muslims to the highest positions. “A policy favoring Muslims,” Mr. Tadros writes, “would ensure the country’s tranquility,” since London “viewed Muslims as fanatics and had little faith in their tolerance should the British appoint Copts to higher positions.” In 1911, more than a thousand Copts convened a conference in Asyut in central Egypt and drew up a list of demands. They wanted Sundays off work, anti-discrimination laws in the public sector, minority representation in government, equal access to education. All were denied.

Things took a turn for the worse when Gamal Abdel Nasser and his self-styled Free Officers seized power in 1952. Nasser declared Egypt an Arab country for the first time in its history, evicted Europeans, nationalized property and industry, and hitched Egypt to the Soviet Union. Nasser wasn’t overtly bigoted against Christians. Even so, the Copts paid the heaviest price for his socialist policies. Confiscated land was disproportionately Christian, for instance, and almost all of it was redistributed to Muslims.

His successor, Anwar Sadat, junked socialism, aligned Cairo with Washington and signed a peace treaty with Israel, but he also sicked the Muslim Brotherhood—the Islamist organization founded by Hassan al-Banna in Egypt in 1928—on his leftist opposition. Sadat unwittingly unleashed an Islamist insurgency that triggered a wave of Christian immigration to the U.S. and Europe in the 1970s, and the Islamists have remained intermittently off their leash ever since. Where Egypt finds itself now, wedged between the theocrats of the Brotherhood and the secular authoritarians of the military, can be traced back to that fateful decision.

The author has no brief for Egypt’s next ruler, Hosni Mubarak. The former president was, after all, the civilian face of a military regime that maltreated everyone. Yet there’s no getting around the fact that Christians have fared even worse since Mr. Mubarak’s removal, and not only because Mohammed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood regime was both sectarian and theocratic. The army, Mr. Morsi’s main opponent, also committed acts of mass violence against Copts in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. In October 2011, for instance, soldiers opened fire on Copts protesting the demolition of a church in upper Egypt, killing 23 and wounding more than 200.

Most worrisome is the dramatic upswing in anti-Christian violence by average Muslims who have often known their victims as neighbors their entire lives. Churches have been burned; Christians have been expelled from villages; and Copts have been imprisoned on charges of blaspheming Islam.

Mr. Tadros’s conclusion is bleak: After two millennia, the Copts, like the Jews before them, are stampeding to the exits. “The feeling of sadness and distress,” Mr. Tadros writes, “is impossible to overcome as I watch the faces of the new immigrants in my church in Virginia. A church that has withstood diverse and tremendous challenges is now threatened in its very existence.”

Mr. Totten, a contributing editor of World Affairs and City Journal, is the author of four books, including “The Road to Fatima Gate.”

Read the small print of Netanyahu’s public referendum as he prepares to give away the heart and soul of the Jewish people

Read the small print of Netanyahu’s public referendum as he prepares to give away the heart and soul of the Jewish people

I News item from The Jewish Press, August 2, 2013, Week in Review by Jason Maoz, Editor

II Commentary below news item by Jerome S. Kaufman, Editor, Israel Commentary

III Historical Revisionism by Former Ambassador Alan Baker. Link below

I LAND WITHDRAWAL REFERENDUM PASSES CABINET
By Jason Maoz

The Israeli Cabinet approved a measure that would require a public referendum or vote on any peace agreement that involves withdrawing from land Israel captured in the 1967 Six Day War.

The legislation was to be brought to a vote of the full Knesset by midweek for a first reading.

“It is important that every citizen have a direct vote on what will determine the future of the state,” Benjamin Netanyahu told the Cabinet before the vote.

But, the legislation only refers to land under Israel’s sovereign control, meaning a referendum will not have to be held in order to give away areas of the West Bank to the Palestinians. Any peace deal that requires giving away parts of Jerusalem or the Golan Heights, or land swaps, will have to be put to a popular vote.

II Commentary by Jerome S. Kaufman

But, what about the so-called West Bank, a misnomer deliberately created by the British and adopted by an anti-Semitic world and a totally naive unaware and arrogant Israeli government that has refused to recognize the lethal effect of this terminology obscuring the irrefutable truth?

The West Bank is rightfully called Judea and Samaria and was supposed to have been part of the Jewish Homeland in the first place. The ownership dates to numerous references and declarations, by G-d himself, in the Hebrew Bible (The Torah) and far less significantly — endorsed by the San Remo Conference of 1920, the League of Nations and the obligatory assumption by the United Nations of the binding resolutions of the League of Nations.

The biblical Jewish Homeland was designated originally to extend all the way to the Euphrates River in present day Iraq! The League of Nations initially designated a similar area and gave it to the British as a temporary mandate as part of the spoils of World War I from the defeat of the Ottoman Empire. France was given the mandate over Syria and Lebanon.

Britain, under then Secretary Winston Churchill, almost immediately ripped off 78% of the Mandate in 1922 and created a separate entity they named Transjordan. As titular head they appointed Abdullah I, the grandfather of Jordan’s present ruler, Abdullah II.

Emir Abdullah soon succeeded in loosening the British mandate over Transjordan with an Anglo-Transjordanian treaty. On May 15, 1923, Britain formally recognized the Emirate of Transjordan as a state under the leadership of Emir Abdullah. This angered the Zionists, as it effectively severed Transjordan from Palestine and so reduced the area of any future Jewish national home in the region. The treaty stipulated that Transjordan would be prepared for independence under the general supervision of the British high commissioner in Jerusalem, and recognized Emir Abdullah as head of state.

Judea and Samaria (West Bank) were thus never part of the ripped off territory of Jordan. When Israel finally declared an independent nation after the British were driven out in 1948, Five Arab armies — Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Egypt immediately attacked with one goal in mind — to extinguish completely the re-born Jewish State.

They partially succeeded with Jordan occupying Judea and Samaria and 1/2 of Jerusalem. So, in fact it was Jordan that became the “Occupying Force” on “Occupied Territories.” This state of affairs continued from 1948 to 1967 with nary a word about a Palestinian Arab people or a Palestinian State. The Palestinian people and nation, as Newt Gingrich so accurately described, is indeed an “Invented People.”

In the Six Day War of 1967, Israel again defeated invading Arab armies, regained Judea and Samaria and re-united Jerusalem from Jordan, all of which should have been Israel’s in the first place. It is this hard earned, G-d given territory that Netanyahu, under the pressure of Obama, appears to be giving up despite all history, logic, religious observance, geo-politics and military due diligence, to the contrary.

Unfortunately this whole indisputable narrative has never been properly presented to the world or for that matter to the Israeli public. Israel has cursed itself with any number of far left Members of the Knesset (MKs) who have been given the supremely important portfolio of National education. These appointees have taken full advantage of the position, denigrating their own glorious Jewish faith, obscuring their biblical and temporal claim to all of the Jewish Homeland and doing whatever they could to eliminate the G-d given glory of Jewish exceptionalism!

Does that sound familiar to Americans, who may finally understand what Barack Obama has been doing? He has been waging a singularly dedicated and sickeningly successful campaign to eliminate our own American exceptionalism. And, where has that got us and where will this self-immolation, ably assisted by Benjamin Netanyahu, get Israel?

May the Israeli people and the Members of the Knesset beware — Read the small print and do not be a party to passing further readings of this atrocious bill and thus become an enabler to Netanyahu’s perfidy.

Jerome S. Kaufman

III Historical Revisionism by Former Ambassador Alan Baker
Copy and paste to your browser: http://israel-commentary.org/?p=6203

Is Netanyahu a New Ariel Sharon in Disguise? Is Bibi now Sharon Number Two Committing National Suicide?

BIBI THE PEACENIK?

Is Netanyahu a New Ariel Sharon in Disguise? Is Bibi now Sharon Number Two Committing National Suicide?

By Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu
The Jewish Press
August 2nd, 2013

Sharon turned on backers and expelled Jews from Gaza. Bibi frees terrorists and chases surrender. A new poll shows his star soaring and Lapid’s dropping. Bibi the “peacenik?” A new poll has surprised observers and shows that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud party has soared past its current strength while Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party has taken a nosedive in popularity. Labor also is suddenly more popular.

The Smith surveying company carried out the poll for the Globes business newspaper, which reported, “The resumption of the peace talks with the Palestinians is benefiting the Likud, restoring its political fortunes after a long slide.” Polls themselves can be inaccurate, (Let us pray) cause and effect are not necessarily obvious, and the public, especially the Israeli public, can be very fickle.

But the bottom line is that Netanyahu is solidly up front, perhaps reflecting the public’s feeling of less uncertainty in the short term, regardless of the incredible gamble Netanyahu has taken for the long term. No one knew what was going on inside Ariel Sharon’s mind when he flabbergasted the public and turned traitor to the Likud’s own policy platform by carrying out the removal of all Israeli civilians and soldiers from Gaza, even at the expense of bolting the Likud and forming the Kadima party.

Critics assume that he did so to make a bundle for him and a friend by establishing a casino in northern Gaza, which never got off the drawing boards. However, when people get older, especially when they are in a position of power, their egos do strange things to the brain. Perhaps they want their place in history, or perhaps they think they have one last chance in life to save the world. The same may not be true for Prime Minister Netanyahu, who will be 64 in October, but the fact is that in the past three years, he has turned from Mr. Hawk to almost Mr. Dove, constantly caving in to pressure from President Obama.

Whether the White House is offering him something in return concerning Iran is conjecture, but Netanyahu’s capitulation — freeing terrorists and chasing surrender — is reminiscent of Yitzchak Rabin’s. He once promised he would never shake the hand of Yasser Arafat, but Rabin ended up signing a peace agreement with him. Globes noted that Netanyahu sat twice this week in the Knesset cafeteria, where journalists and Cabinet ministers mingle, after appearing there only once in the previous four years.

Apparently, the man feels more comfortable with journalists now that he has indicated he is willing to toy with the left-wing media’s agenda. It would take an earthquake or two to make a Netanyahu a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, but for the time being, he would be happy to settle for a more comfortable position in the coalition government. The latest poll proves that Netanyahu has made mincemeat out of Lapid and left Bennett with just about the same support he had.

The national religious crowd, like Shas, always goes to bat for its own leader, but the team never is able to fill the empty bleacher seats with more enthusiasts. On the surface, the resumption of direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority was the major event this week that might have changed the Likud’s and Yesh Atid’s fortunes in the poll.

Lapid is increasingly being seen by his supporters as having reneged on his promises to help the middle class and is being throwing into the same ”capitalist” class as Netanyahu. That would explain why respondents in the poll dumped Lapid and gave Labor, headed by Shelly Yachimovich, a whopping 18 seats, five more than it holds in the current Knesset.

Rounding out the list, Meretz continues to gain strength adding one more projected seat to come up 10 Knesset members, four more than now, Shas is making a comeback to its present strength of 11 seats, Naftalli Bennett’s Jewish Home party picks up one more for 13 mandates, and Tzipi Livni is languishing with three seats, half her party’s current strength. She is not getting any Brownie points for being Netanyahu’s errand girl. Last is the polls is Shaul Mofaz’s Kadima, which would go into its well-deserved political graveyard and be shut out of the next Knesset.

About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.

Evidently, Obama wants the Muslim Brotherhood back in power?

http://israel-commentary.org/?p=7097

I U.S., in Sign of Displeasure, Halts F-16 Delivery to Egypt
II Egyptian Commanding General al-Sissi Criticizes Obama Government

By MARK LANDLER and THOM SHANKER
July 24, 2013

WASHINGTON — President Obama, in his first punitive response to the ouster of Mohamed Morsi as president of Egypt, has halted the delivery of four F-16 fighter planes to the Egyptian Air Force.

Mr. Obama, administration officials said, wanted to send Egypt’s military-led government a signal of American displeasure with the chaotic situation there, which has been marked by continued violence, the detention of Mr. Morsi and other leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, and a transition that has not included the Brotherhood.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel relayed the decision to Gen. Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi, the head of Egypt’s military, a senior official said, and did not say when the Pentagon might reschedule the delivery.

“Given the current situation in Egypt, we do not believe it is appropriate to move forward at this time with the delivery of F-16s,” the Pentagon press secretary, George Little, said Wednesday. He did not cite any specific actions by the Egyptian military.

The White House emphasized that the decision did not have implications for $1.5 billion in American aid to Egypt, which it has said it does not want to cut off for now. The administration is reviewing that aid but has scrupulously avoided referring to Mr. Morsi’s ouster as a coup d’état, which could force its suspension on legal grounds.

In the immediate aftermath of Mr. Morsi’s ouster, the administration said it did not plan to halt the F-16 shipment. But officials said they were disturbed by how events have unfolded since then. Holding up planes is a modest, but unmistakable, symbol of that concern — “an inside fastball to the military,” in the words of a Pentagon official.

“We’ve been very clear with the military: we understand this is a difficult situation but we want things to get back on track,” said a White House official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing the diplomatic sensitivities of the decision. “Trying to break the neck of the Brotherhood is not going to be good for Egypt or for the region.”

The warplanes are part of a deal the United States and Egypt reached in 2009 for the delivery of 20 F-16 C/D fighters during 2013. The first batch of aircraft was delivered in January, with more scheduled for this summer and another delivery late this year.

The summer delivery already had been delayed once, for logistical reasons, when it was determined that the American pilots who would ferry the F-16s to Egypt might have difficulty leaving the country on commercial carriers because of the mushrooming political unrest.

The decision was described by some Pentagon officials as carefully calibrated to signal American displeasure but not go so far as to rupture the relationship or put Egypt’s security at risk.

The jet fighters have little role in Egypt’s domestic unrest, and Egypt is not facing an imminent external threat that would require adding four more warplanes to its security forces, said one Pentagon official. The greatest blow might be to the pride of the Egyptian military.

“This is like throwing an inside fastball to brush a batter back from the plate — just a warning that you can ‘bring the heat’ if you have to,” another Pentagon official said. If the political transition within Egypt moves ahead, the shipment of warplanes could be rescheduled.

Pentagon officials also noted that while the F-16 shipment was halted, other military-to-military cooperation remained. For example, American planning for a major, annual joint military exercise with Egypt, called “Bright Star,” would continue.

“We remain committed to the U.S.-Egypt defense relationship as it remains a foundation of our broader strategic partnership with Egypt and serves as pillar for regional stability,” said Mr. Little, the Pentagon spokesman.

II Rare interview with Egyptian Gen. Abdel Fatah al-Sissi

By Lally Weymouth, E-mail the writer

CAIRO — In his first interview since the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi last month, Egypt’s commanding general sharply criticized the U.S. response, accusing the Obama administration of disregarding the Egyptian popular will and of providing insufficient support amid threats of a civil war.

“You left the Egyptians. You turned your back on the Egyptians, and they won’t forget that,” said an indignant Gen. Abdel Fatah al-Sissi, speaking of the U.S. government. “Now you want to continue turning your backs on Egyptians?”

Excerpts from rare interview with Egyptian Gen. Abdel Fatah al-Sissi

Egyptian general criticizes U.S. in first interview since coup
Excerpts of interview with Gen. Abdel Fatah al-Sissi

Sissi is widely considered the most powerful man in Egypt, wielding more control than anyone over the country’s direction after a tumultuous 21 / 2 years in which the military has shoved aside two presidents following popular uprisings. He denied interest in running for president but did not rule it out.

Although Sissi gives occasional speeches, he rarely sits down for interviews. But over the course of two hours in an ornate reception room in Cairo’s Defense Ministry on Thursday, he provided his most detailed explanation yet of why he decided to oust Morsi, the nation’s first democratically elected president. Sissi also expressed deep disappointment that the United States has not been more eager to embrace his rationale.

Sissi’s comments are a measure of just how thoroughly the Obama administration has alienated both sides in a profoundly polarized and unsettled Egypt, all while trying to remain neutral. Morsi’s supporters in the Muslim Brotherhood regularly accuse the United States of acquiescing to a military coup.

Sissi spoke on the same day that Secretary of State John F. Kerry made the administration’s most supportive comments to date, saying that Egypt’s army was “restoring democracy.”

“The military was asked to intervene by millions and millions of people,” Kerry said during a visit to Pakistan. “The military did not take over, to the best of our judgment — so far.”

The U.S. government is required by law to halt non-humanitarian assistance when a democratically elected government is forced from office in a military coup. But the Obama administration appears determined to avoid using that term and to prevent a cutoff of the $1.3 billion that the U.S. government sends to Egypt annually. Much of that aid goes to the military.

Since Morsi’s July 3 ouster, U.S. officials have cautioned Sissi and other generals to show restraint in their dealings with protesters, at least 140 of whom have been killed in clashes with security forces. The Obama administration has also encouraged the military to reconcile with the Muslim Brotherhood.

That prospect appears distant, with authorities promising a fresh crackdown on Islamist protests and Morsi continuing to be detained in an undisclosed location, unable to communicate with even his family.

Still, the furthest Washington has been willing to go in penalizing the military is to postpone the sale of four F-16 fighters. Most analysts say the delay is purely symbolic.

Sissi bristled at the move. “This is not the way to deal with a patriotic military,” he said.

Netanyahu makes an inexplicable self-destructive gesture to a non-existent peace partner while his Hamas neighbors meet with Iran!

http://israel-commentary.org/?p=7108

By Steven Emerson, Executive Director
Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT)
July 29, 2013

Hamas Holds Secret Meeting With Iran

By John Rossomando • Jul 29, 2013

Hamas, Hizballah and Iran held secret talks last month in Lebanon in an effort to smooth over strained relations stemming from their rival stances on Syria, according to the London-based Asharq al-Awsat.

Hamas has supported Syrian rebels trying to overthrow Bashar al-Assad’s regime and individual Hamas members have unofficially joined in the rebellion. But arms and fighters supplied by Tehran and its Lebanese proxy Hizballah have helped Assad rebuff rebel advances. Iran has retaliated against Hamas by dramatically cutting funding to the Palestinian terrorist group.

That, combined the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood government in Cairo, has put Hamas in a difficult bind. The Egyptian army has destroyed dozens of smuggling tunnels that fueled the economy in Hamas-run Gaza.

Mousa Abu Marzook and Muhammad Nasr, who belong to Hamas’s political bureau, represented the terrorist group at the recent meeting. Hamas leaders remain hopeful that Iran’s support will return to past levels.

“We have not lost allies; on the contrary, we are keeping all our friends, but there are issues that led to some apathy in the relationship, and we as a movement and government are eager to keep our fraternal relations with all the countries of region, which have a degree of cooperation, coordination, and support because Palestine is the cause of the [Muslim world] and not only the cause of the Palestinians. Therefore, we are eager to iron out all the differences in the interest of our people and cause,” Hamas spokesman Ahmad Yusuf said in a statement.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Arghachi said that Hamas and Iran are close to resolving their differences and misunderstandings over Syria. (Good luck!)

Will Blacks finally wake up to their own Race Hustlers?

Will Blacks finally wake up to their own Race Hustlers?

The Decline of the Civil Rights Establishment
By Shelby Steele
Wall Street Journal July 22, 2013

By SHELBY STEELE

The verdict that declared George Zimmerman not guilty of murdering Trayvon Martin was a traumatic event for America’s civil-rights establishment, and for many black elites across the media, government and academia. When you have grown used to American institutions being so intimidated by the prospect of black wrath that they invent mushy ideas like “diversity” and “inclusiveness” simply to escape that wrath, then the crisp reading of the law that the Zimmerman jury displayed comes as a shock.

On television in recent weeks you could see black leaders from every background congealing into a chorus of umbrage and complaint. But they weren’t so much outraged at a horrible injustice as they were affronted by the disregard of their own authority. The jury effectively said to them, “You won’t call the tune here. We will work within the law.”

Today’s black leadership pretty much lives off the fumes of moral authority that linger from its glory days in the 1950s and ’60s. The Zimmerman verdict lets us see this and feel a little embarrassed for them. Consider the pathos of a leadership that once transformed the nation now lusting for the conviction of the contrite and mortified George Zimmerman, as if a stint in prison for him would somehow assure more peace and security for black teenagers everywhere. This, despite the fact that nearly one black teenager a day is shot dead on the South Side of Chicago—to name only one city—by another black teenager.

This would not be the first time that a movement begun in profound moral clarity, and that achieved greatness, waned away into a parody of itself—not because it was wrong but because it was successful. Today’s civil-rights leaders have missed the obvious: The success of their forbearers in achieving social transformation denied to them the heroism that was inescapable for a Martin Luther King Jr. or a James Farmer or a Nelson Mandela. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton cannot write a timeless letter to us from a Birmingham jail or walk, as John Lewis did in 1965, across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., into a maelstrom of police dogs and billy clubs. That America is no longer here (which is not to say that every trace of it is gone).

The Revs. Jackson and Sharpton have been consigned to a hard fate: They can never be more than redundancies, echoes of the great men they emulate because America has changed. Hard to be a King or Mandela today when your monstrous enemy is no more than the cherubic George Zimmerman.

Why did the civil-rights leadership use its greatly depleted moral authority to support Trayvon Martin? This young man was, after all, no Rosa Parks — a figure of indisputable human dignity set upon by the rank evil of white supremacy. Trayvon threw the first punch and then continued pummeling the much smaller Zimmerman. Yes, Trayvon was a kid, but he was also something of a menace. The larger tragedy is that his death will come to very little. There was no important principle or coherent protest implied in that first nose-breaking punch. It was just dumb bravado, a tough-guy punch.

The civil-rights leadership rallied to Trayvon’s cause (and not to the cause of those hundreds of black kids slain in America’s inner cities this very year) to keep alive a certain cultural “truth” that is the sole source of the leadership’s dwindling power. Put bluntly, this leadership rather easily tolerates black kids killing other black kids. But it cannot abide a white person (and Mr. Zimmerman, with his Hispanic background, was pushed into a white identity by the media over his objections) getting away with killing a black person without undermining the leadership’s very reason for being.

The purpose of today’s civil-rights establishment is not to seek justice, but to seek power for blacks in American life based on the presumption that they are still, in a thousand subtle ways, victimized by white racism. This idea of victimization is an example of what I call a “poetic truth.” Like poetic license, it bends the actual truth in order to put forward a larger and more essential truth—one that, of course, serves one’s cause. Poetic truths succeed by casting themselves as perfectly obvious: “America is a racist nation”; “the immigration debate is driven by racism”; “Zimmerman racially stereotyped Trayvon.” And we say, “Yes, of course,” lest we seem to be racist. Poetic truths work by moral intimidation, not reason.

In the Zimmerman/Martin case the civil-rights establishment is fighting for the poetic truth that white animus toward blacks is still such that a black teenager—Skittles and ice tea in hand—can be shot dead simply for walking home. But actually this establishment is fighting to maintain its authority to wield poetic truth—the authority to tell the larger society how it must think about blacks, how it must respond to them, what it owes them and, then, to brook no argument.

The Zimmerman/Martin tragedy has been explosive because it triggered a fight over authority. Who gets to say what things mean—the supporters of George Zimmerman, who say he acted in self-defense, or the civil-rights establishment that says he profiled and murdered a black child? Here we are. And where is the authority to resolve this? The six-person Florida jury, looking carefully at the evidence, decided that Mr. Zimmerman pulled the trigger in self-defense and not in a fury of racial hatred.

And here, precisely at the point of this verdict, is where all of America begins to see this hollowed-out civil-rights establishment slip into pathos. Almost everyone saw this verdict coming. It is impossible to see how this jury could have applied the actual law to this body of evidence and come up with a different conclusion. The civil-rights establishment’s mistake was to get ahead of itself, to be seduced by its own poetic truth even when there was no evidence to support it. And even now its leaders call for a Justice Department investigation, and they long for civil lawsuits to be filed—hoping against hope that some leaf of actual racial victimization will be turned over for all to see. This is how a once-great social movement looks when it becomes infested with obsolescence.

One wants to scream at all those outraged at the Zimmerman verdict: Where is your outrage over the collapse of the black family? Today’s civil-rights leaders swat at mosquitoes like Zimmerman when they have gorillas on their back. Seventy-three percent of all black children are born without fathers married to their mothers. And you want to bring the nation to a standstill over George Zimmerman?

There are vast career opportunities, money and political power to be gleaned from the specter of Mr. Zimmerman as a racial profiler/murderer; but there is only hard and selfless work to be done in tackling an illegitimacy rate that threatens to consign blacks to something like permanent inferiority. If there is anything good to be drawn from the Zimmerman/Martin tragedy, it is only the further revelation of the corruption and irrelevance of today’s civil-rights leadership.

Mr. Steele is a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. Among his books is “White Guilt” (HarperCollins 2007).