Israel is incidental to the United States’ problem with Iran!

Based  upon a lecture by Ambassador Yoram Ettinger

By Jerome S. Kaufman

Once again,  the incomparable military analyst and astute political advisor, Yoram Ettinger, appears to be the only authority able and willing to see the forest from the trees.

Israel is incidental to the United States’ problem with Iran!

We were privileged to hear the ambassador at our Palm Beach Synagogue, April 21, 2012. He was introduced by proud American, proud Jew and dedicated Zionist, Steven Stern.

The ambassador made the startling announcement that Israel was totally secondary in Iran’s master plan – almost kind of a red herring! Huh? The ambassador went on to advise us that the world and especially the American State Department with the current administration has never really understood the geopolitics and military ambitions within the Middle East and how Iran’s master plan fits into the current dynamic.

Please look at the map. It is a map of the Middle East showing the vital importance of the Persian Gulf. The Gulf is a large body of water that lies between Saudi Arabia, the powerbroker for Sunni Muslims and Iran the strongest power within the Shiite Moslem world.  Much to their disappointment, neither of the two has controlled the Persian Gulf, primarily because neither has ever had any realistic ambition to rival the United States as a naval power. Unfortunately, Iran has obtained a far easier, less cumbersome and less expensive road to this power.

The Persian Gulf happens to be one of the main avenues for commerce, especially for all-powerful oil, in the world. It constitutes the easiest access to the Arabian Sea which immediately borders Pakistan and India and constitutes a much shorter route to the Far East. At this moment, Iran is threatening to close the Straits of Hormuz (see on map) at the bottom of the Persian Gulf which gains entry to the Arabian Sea and thus wreck havoc with the world’s oil supply. Iran claims this war provoking action would take place if  the United States or Israel or both attempt to take out Iran’s nuclear facility.

Ambassador Ettinger asks what of this Iranian threat to close the Straits of Hormuz if it is attacked? So what, points out Ettinger. How does the relative minor skirmish that would ensue to quickly take back the Straits and defeat a conventionally armed Iran, compare to having to deal with one that had obtained even the rudiments of nuclear warfare and has furthermore gained the support of the surrounding nations? There is no comparison. There is nothing, in fact, to talk about except in the minds of the world’s talking heads who have thus far failed to see the forest from the trees.

A not incidental problem is that if Iran gains control of the Persian Gulf, it also obtains total domination of the small, virtually powerless Persian Gulf States – Qatar, United Arab Republics. Oman, and Yemen – all very important politically and vital in the production of oil.  As the ambassador reminds us, loyalties change at the bat of an eye in the Middle East – not far different from the rest of the world. These countries that have long been supposed allies of the United States, under the threat of merciless punishment from an immediately adjacent neighbor, nuclear armed, would quickly change sides. This change of loyalties is particularly likely given the shocking, senseless, counter productive abandonment of allies by a painfully unreliable Obama administration.

How then does Israel fall within this dynamic? It does not. As much as Ahmadinejad despises Jews, he is far from stupid. He has simply been using the world’s all-consuming congenital hatred of Jews and Israel as a ploy to hood wink the world away from his master plan. Look at the map. Does it make sense for Iran to travel over 1000 miles,  in exactly the opposite direction, to attack Israel and risk immediate massive Israeli nuclear retaliation? Does he really want to cripple Iran’s much more productive and politically more sensible (to their minds) plan of domination of the Arab world and the world’s oil supply? Hardly.

Then, one might conclude that the US and the rest of the world’s talking heads had better stop talking about nonsensical, consistently failed “negotiations” see the forest not the trees and act immediately, if not sooner. They could quickly enlist the vital help of their only loyal ally in the area – Israel – and take out Iran before a much greater military and political disaster is there at our own doorstep – like it is right now.

Jerome S. Kaufman, Editor

www.israel-commentary.org

 Yoram Ettinger is a consultant on US-Israel relations as well as the Chairman of Special Projects at the Ariel Center for Policy Research. Formerly the Minister for Congressional Affairs to Israel’s Embassy in Washington, DC, Ettinger also served as Consul General of Israel to the Southwestern US. He is a former editor of Contemporary Mideast Backgrounder, and is the author of the Jerusalem Cloakroom series of reports which is featured on the ACPR website.

 

 

 

 

 

Media covers up 2.5 Million Tax dollars for Obama 13 year old daughter vacation – shades of her mother

I  Unbelievable!  Spring Break vacation for 13 year old daughter and her friends trip to Mexico!

(I could not believe it. Who would dare such chutzpa but GOOGLE IT and Snopes.com and you will find the story is true!)

Media covers up 2.5 Million Tax dollars for Obama 13 year old daughter vacation – shades of her mother

II Then Obamas demand obsequious, supplicant Left media scrub entire story from public view. And, of course they comply. Did you know about it?

This has GOT TO BE the crown jewel in the Imperial Presidency of Barak and Michelle!  Do we need a better reason that this one to make this a one term affair?

II Media scrubs Malia Obama vacation story

By DYLAN BYERS | 3/20/12

The AFP, the Huffington Post and other websites have scrubbed a report about first daughter Malia Obama’s school trip.

On Monday, the AFP reported that Obama’s daughter was on a school trip along with a number of friends and 25 Secret Service agents. The story was picked up by Yahoo, the Huffington Post, and the International Business Times, as well as UK publications like the Daily Mail and the Telegraph and other overseas publications like The Australian.

But on Monday night, the story had been removed from those sites .The AFP page for the story now links to a story titled “Senegal music star Youssou Ndour hits campaign trail,” as does the Yahoo page. The Huffington Post page now links directly back to the Huffington Post homepage. The Daily Mail, Telegraph, and Australian stories now lead to 404 error pages, reading “page not found.” The International Business Times story also links to the IBT homepage, though a version of the original story still exists online.

A spokesperson at the White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

UPDATE: Kristina Schake, Communications Director to the First Lady, emails to confirm this was a White House demand. “From the beginning of the administration, the White House has asked news outlets not to report on or photograph the Obama children when they are not with their parents and there is no vital news interest. We have reminded outlets of this request in order to protect the privacy and security of these girls.”  (Oh, I guess this statement makes this little 2.5 million dollar kid’s caper OK)

III Maybe you remember Michelle’s taxpayer paid trip to Spain:

Michelle Obama Criticized as “Modern-day Marie Antoinette” over Spain Vacation

Andrea Tantaros has penned a scorching editorial for the New York Daily News deeming First Lady Michelle Obama a “modern-day Marie Antoinette” for her vacation in Spain with her daughter.

“The First Lady is spending the next few days in a five-star hotel on the chic Costa del Sol in southern Spain with 40 of her ‘closest friends,'” Tantaros writes, pointing to a CNN report that Michelle Obama and her group are expected to occupy 60 to 70 rooms. “Not exactly what one would call cutting back in troubled times.”

(Is there anything else to say. Do we really want this imperial couple for another term leading us into national bankruptcy?)

 

 

God places his ark and presence with the Jewish people in the Kingdom of David (Jerusalem, circa 1000 BCE)

From this week’s Haftorah reading, Shemini, the third parsha in the Third book of the Hebrew Bible, Vayikra (Leveticus)

(And … an incidental lesson in domestic tranquility) jsk

God places his ark and presence with the Jewish people in the Kingdom of David (Jerusalem, circa 1000 BCE)

Verse 16  When the Ark of God arrived at the City of King David, Sha’ul’s (former King Saul) daughter, Michal, was gazing out the window. She saw (her husband) King David leaping and dancing before God; she looked upon him with contempt (because she felt that it was not appropriate for the King to dance, and certainly not in front of the Ark).

17  They brought the Ark of God and set it in its place in the tent which David had pitched. Then David offered burnt-offerings and peace-offerings before God.

18  When David finished bringing the burnt-offerings and peace-offerings, he blessed the people in the Name of the God of Hosts.

19  He distributed to all the people, to the whole crowd of Israel, men and women: a loaf of bread, a (generous) portion of good meat, and a bottle of wine, (after which) everyone went home.

20  David then returned to bless his household and Sha’ul’s daughter, Michal went out to meet him. “What an honorable day it was,” she said (cynically), “when the King of Israel exposed (some of his body while dancing) in the sight of his servants’ maids, just like a simpleton.”

21  “(We were dancing) before God,” David said to Michal, “who chose me over your father and his entire house to appoint me as ruler over God’s people Israel. (Therefore) I will rejoice before God!

22  (If) I would have lowered myself even further, and become humble in my own eyes (to dispense with my honor), then I would be (even more) honored among the maids which you mentioned.”

23   (For the sin of insulting King David), Michal, Sha’ul’s daughter, had no child to the day of her death.

7:1  What happened was, as King David was sitting in his palace after God had given him peace from all his enemies surrounding him

2.  The King said to Nasan the prophet: “See now! I live in a cedar palace (fit for my honor), but God’s Ark is sitting in a (mere) tent!”

3  Nathan said to the king, “Go and do whatever you have in your heart, for God is with you.”

4  That night God’s word came to Nasan, saying,

5  Go and inform My servant David, This is what God says, ‘Are you not happy with all the good I have done for you that you (want to) build Me a house to live in?’

6  I have not resided in a house from the day I brought the Children of Israel out of Egypt to this day, and I have moved around in a Tent and a Tabernacle (and you want to change that)?

7  In all my travels among all the Jewish people, have I ever spoken to any of the judges of Israel whom I commanded to look after My people Israel, saying, ‘Why have you not built Me a house of cedar?

8  “Now say this to My servant David, “This is what the God of Hosts says, “(Have I not done enough for you already?) I have taken you from the sheep pen, from following after the sheep, to be leader over My people Israel”

9  I was with you wherever you went and I eliminated all your enemies before you, I made your name great like the names of the greatest men on earth.

10  In your days I will make a place for my people Israel and I will plant them firmly. They will remain secure and will not be disturbed any more. Evil people will no longer oppress them, as they did initially,

11  Before the day I commanded the judges about My people Israel. I gave you peace from all your enemies and God told you that He would establish a (royal) house for you and your descendants-and you are still not satisfied!)

12  When your days are complete and you lie with your fathers, I will raise up your descendants that follow you, (one) who comes from your loins, and I will establish his kingdom. “

13  He will build a house for My Name, and I will establish his royal throne forever.

14  I will be a (like) father to him, and he will be a (like) son to Me, (in that) I will rebuke (him) with the rod of men and the plagues of mortals when he sins.

15  But my fondness will not depart from him as I withdrew it from Sha’ul, whom I removed before you (due to his sins).

16  Your house and your sovereignty will remain before you forever; your throne will be firmly established forever.

17  Nasan (The prophet) told all these words and all this vision to King David.

Marked for Death by Geert Wilders

Marked for Death by Geert Wilders

Regnery Publishing, Inc., (U.S. $27.95; CAN $30.50). 286 pages

Review by Elaine F. Miller

Geert Wilders, member of the Dutch parliament, leader of the Party for Freedom (PVV)  has written a book. It is titled Marked For Death.It sounds more like the name of a segment of the television program Unsolved Crimes. But, if Mr. Wilders and his 24/7 security have anything to say about it, it is a story will never be broadcast on cable.

Why has a European politician been forced to endure round-the-clock security for over eight years? Mr. Wilders answers the question. He criticized multiculturalism, jihad, the Dutch welfare system and its immigration laws. As a result, he has been forced to surrender his personal freedom while those opposing him walk free. He has received death threats, been labeled an Islamaphobe. He has watched one colleague massacred in the streets of Amsterdam (Theo Van Gogh) and another be forced to emigrate and go into hiding in the United Sates (Ayaan Hirsi Ali). He been tried. Both figuratively and literally. He has been banned.

In 2009, the then British Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, ordered that Mr. Wilder be stopped at Heathrow Airport and deported in order to prevent him from the speaking at the House Lords at the invitation of Lord Malcolm Pearson and Baroness Caroline Cox. Her act awakened an outcry. Later that year, Mr. Wilders returned to London and in March, 2010, he spoke at Westminster.

Further, the peer who first objected to Mr. Wilder’s invitation and warned that his presence would “lead to the incitement of religious and racial hatred, which constitutes a public order offense” (p. 194) is currently in the news (too late to be included in Marked For Death). Lord Nazir Ahmed, the first Moslem life peer is under investigation for offering ten million pounds bounty for the capture of President Barack Obama and former President, George W. Bush. 

Mr. Wilder’s political party, Party for Freedom (PVV) won 15.5 percent of the vote in the Dutch general election of June, 2010. It then joined in a coalition with two other parties. They have been instrumental in the creation and passage of laws that have changed the  Dutch immigration and social welfare system.

Despite the dour recent history of the West’s response to terrorist attacks on its hard-won values of representational democracy, Mr. Wilders is optimistic. He sees changes. He sees women in totalitarian Middle Eastern countries asserting their human rights and rejecting their second class citizen status. He cites the Saudi Arabian women who were arrested for attempting to drive. A small step, some might say. But then, there is the story of the boy with his finger in the dike. (Apparently an American myth, but one that is apropos.)

Marked For Death implies that the terrorism practiced against the West will abate, based, in part on increasing global awareness of jihad; that the Islamist’s mask of innocence has fallen and the presumption of innocence has been overcome. The honeymoon, so to speak, is over.

Mr. Wilders’ book is a moving personal story, a scholarly and thoroughly annotated political treatise. It is written with humor, frustration, passion, outrage, and a sense of injustice. Mr. Wilders’ efforts have come at a great personal toll. The attempts against his life, the efforts to silence him, have likewise chilled those that might support him.

In his Foreword to Marked for Death, Mark Steyn writes that at first, he hesitated to write an essay in support of Mr. Wilders and the book. After all, he asked, “Who needs it?” But then he took a walk in the woods.


 

We were honored to have Congressman Allan West visit our Synagogue, April 15, 2012

So, What did he say?

By Jerome S. Kaufman

We were honored to have Congressman Allan West visit our Synagogue, April 15, 2012

The Congressman was elegantly introduced by renown attorney and ardent political activist, Elaine  F. Miller. He spoke extemporaneously, without a tele-prompter, for over an hour and answered questions for another 45 minutes. The audience remained at rapt attention throughout.

The guy is amazing. How anyone can listen to this guy, see who he is, his confident, straight forward, sincere delivery, learn of his family background, his family’s three generations of military service, his pride in American exceptionalism, in the American way of life, in a free market economy, in individual responsibility, in government by the people  and for the people and not vote for him, is beyond understanding.

The Congressman presented a litany of facts that should be indelibly engraved upon the minds of this electorate. He included all the information that matters – no fluff, no bleeding heart arguments, no demagoguery, no hand wringing, no class warfare, no  redistribution of wealth, none of the socialism, communism, liberalism, universalism – whatever pipe dream one may want to employ. None of the lip-service support of Israel that one hears from so many other candidates – many Jewish – but by birth only.

He listed our immediate national and international concerns. To me, right at the top of the list, is the deliberate decimation of our armed forces.  Congressman West is a dedicated member of the Armed Services Committee and knows exactly what he is talking about. President Obama has been the driving force behind reducing our ability to defend ourselves. Our number of combat army brigades has been reduced from 45 to 32; our Marine Corps is down to post WWII levels at 183,000; The number of our naval fleet from 570 to 283 vessels in a world that is 70% water demanding constant  guarding from enemy intrusion.  Nine squadrons of fighter aircraft have been removed decimating our air force.

Who is going to protect this country – China, Russia, Iran, Islamic terrorism that is rapidly attacking virtually every corner of the globe? Norman Podhoretz was absolutely right, way back in September 2004, when he declared that we are in WWIV whether we like it or not. We are not in some nebulous, politically correct designated, War on Terrorism. We are in a war against Islamic fascism, aided and abetted by Russia, China and many of the countries of South America, North Korea, Iran, etc. The list is endless. They promote Islamic fascism that is directed against US interests. When it comes to their home fronts, that is another story. Furthermore, we have a president dedicated to placing us on the losing side of the confrontation.

What about the domestic scene? Mr. West advised us that this country is on the verge of economic collapse. Exactly what happened to Greece is happening to us – only on a larger scale. Under President Obama our national debt is increasing exponentially. We are now 15.6 trillion dollars in debt (Whatever a trillion is?) and by the end of the year will be over 16 trillion in debt. Using a simpler figure to understand – GDP (Gross Domestic Product) – our national ability to generate income from goods and services vs. our actual spending is now 102. That means we are now spending more annually than we are able to generate. Under Obama, by the end of the year that ratio will increase to 106.2. If one also factors in existing debt from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Social Security, Medicare, that ratio is closer to 200%!

How would that work out in your own household? Your only recourse would be to declare bankruptcy and I am not sure how that works if the whole country is bankrupt! Obviously, we have to trim our sails. All these perks, entitlements ( a word I never heard as a child or even as an adult. No one in our house was ever taught that they were “entitled” to anything except what they earned with their back or their brain), have to be drastically and painfully diminished.

As to the $64 question to Allen West? What about his referring to the 76 plus Democratic members of the House of Representatives as members of the Communist Party. Congressman West, explained he was referring to the 76 members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the largest group within House Democrats. The Communist Party has publicly referred to the Progressive Caucus as its allies or in an older term, fellow travelers.

Congressman West stood by his original statement. He said, if you notice, even the media has not challenged the truth of this statement. They just don’t like the fact that he said it. Mr. West explained there is just a hairline of difference between communism, socialism, progressivism, Marxism, statism, as to their ambitions and planned results. When we speak of the spectrum of the political left, we see a never ending growth of big government, nationalizing production, creating and expanding a welfare state, theoretically creating social and economic equality (after the loot is divided between the Party heads, of course) and creating a secular state. The rights of the individual, religion of any kind, have no place within these systems.

Congressman West then spoke about Israel. He advised us that there was unequivocal evidence that President Obama leaked the information that Israel was developing air bases in Azerbaijan. This flagrant treachery against a loyal American ally will hinder any mission to eliminate Iran’s nuclear facilities a thousand fold. It remains to be seen how many additional Israeli, Muslim and American lives it will cost. With friends like Obama, who needs enemies.

How important it is that the US genuinely has Israel’s back for both our sakes. Israel will need the US desperately and vice versa in the weeks, months, years that follow the essential action of taking out, militarily, Iran’s nuclear capability. The action will set off a hornet’s nest of our enemies. But,  there is no other choice. Negotiations have not and will not work. Even our broaching the topic of negotiations is immediately considered weakness by Arab and Iranian cultures. Without question, the longer we procrastinate and delude ourselves with wishful thinking the more entrenched our enemies become and the more difficult the essential task.

Have we not learned anything from WW II? Will we again allow another Hitler to take the offensive and cause another 60 million people or far more with nuclear weaponry, to die. Probably we will. People and nations seem incapable of learning from their past mistakes.

And may please G-d save us from  this recurring idiocy.

Jerome S. Kaufman

Editor, Israel Commentary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Israel: For your sake and ours, just say, “NO” to Obama

Just say, No

By Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger

Israel: For your sake and ours, just say, “NO” to Obama

“Israel Hayom” – Israel’s most read daily paper

April 6, 2012

Israeli leaders are able to repel President Obama’s relentless pressure to refrain from pre-empting Iran, Hizballah and Hamas; to freeze Jewish construction in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria; to retreat to the 1949 cease fire lines, including the repartitioning of Jerusalem; and to placate Mahmoud Abbas, while ignoring the PA hate-education, non-compliance and terrorism.

In contrast to the ironclad US public and Congressional support of Israel, negative presidential pressure has always been part of US-Israel relations.

Therefore, contemporary Israeli leaders should emulate Israeli Prime Ministers who served from 1948 (Ben Gurion) to 1992 (Shamir).  While they rejected – in most cases – presidential prescriptions for Israel’s national security, bilateral strategic cooperation surged unprecedentedly in spite off, and probably due to, their steadfastness.

The 1948-1992 Israeli leaders realized that presidential pressure came with the job; that saying, “No” was critical to Israel’s posture of deterrence; that rebuffing pressure would upgrade bilateral relations. In most cases, they did defy pressure.  They were not concerned with popularity and convenience, but with respect and conviction-driven vision. They did not alter strategy to elude pressure.

For example, in 1948, the US imposed a regional military embargo, while the British supplied arms to the Arabs, to force PM Ben Gurion to accept a UN Trusteeship instead of declaring independence. The US demanded to end “occupation” in the Negev, to internationalize Jerusalem and to absorb and compensate Palestinian refugees.

According to the first US Ambassador to Israel, James MacDonald (My Mission in Israel, Simon and Schuster, 1951, p. 49), “[Ben Gurion] warned President Truman and the Department of State that they would be gravely mistaken if they assumed that the threat would force Israel to yield on issues considered vital to its independence and security….”  Ben Gurion’s defiance forced the US to reassess its policy toward the Jewish State and recognize its strategic viability.

On May 26, 1967, President Johnson warned Prime Minister Eshkol against preempting Egypt and Syria: “Israel will not be alone unless it decides to go it alone.” Eshkol defied Johnson and Israel’s military devastated Egypt, which aimed to topple the pro-US regimes in the Persian Gulf. The US concluded that – irrespective of differences over the Arab-Israeli conflict – Israel was capable of pulling chestnuts out of the Middle East fire, for the US, without a single American boot on the ground.

On December 20, 1981, Prime Minister Begin summoned the US Ambassador to Israel and reproached him: “On June 7, we destroyed Iraq’s nuclear reactor near Baghdad…. You announced that you were punishing us [by imposing a military embargo and canceling military procurement in Israel]….  Not long afterwards – after a slaughter was committed against our people….we bombed the PLO headquarters in Beirut…. You suspended delivery of F-15 planes.  A week ago, the Knesset passed the Golan Heights Law.  Once again, you declared that you are punishing Israel…. Are we a vassal state of yours? Are we a banana republic?

You have announced that you are suspending consultations on the implementation of the memorandum of understanding on strategic cooperation….The people of Israel has lived 3,700 years without a memorandum of understanding with America, and it will continue to live for another 3,700 years….” (Lord Willing)

In 1982, Begin rejected the Reagan Plan for resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict.  However, an expanded memorandum of strategic cooperation was concluded in 1983. In 1991, then Secretary of Defense, Cheney, thanked Israel for bombing Iraq’s nuclear reactor in 1981, which spared the US a nuclear confrontation with Iraq in 1991.

Prime Minister Shamir had his share of clashes with Presidents Reagan and (especially) G.H. Bush. However, a 1988 agreement significantly upgraded strategic cooperation, and a series of 1991-2 Congressional initiatives further enhanced bilateral relations, in spite of the White House.

On a rainy day, the US prefers a defiant ally over a “punching bag!”

US-Israel relations have not evolved around the Arab-Israeli conflict, but around shared-values and mutual regional and global threats and interests.  While rebuking Israel over the Arab-Israeli conflict, the US has recognized Israel’s unique contribution to countering-terrorism, missile defense, intelligence gathering, battle tactics, the upgrading of US defense and commercial industries (expanding employment and exports), deterring anti-US rogue Arab regimes and supporting weak pro-US Arab regimes.

Submission to Presidential pressure while ignoring the unique support of the Jewish State by the American people (71% according to a February, 2012 Gallup poll) and by the co-equal, co-determining Congress (about 75% and 80% in the House and Senate respectively), would amount to a slap in the face of US democracy, undermining Israel’s most vital interests.

In face of the clear and present Iranian threat, will Prime Minister Netanyahu learn from history by following in the footsteps of the 1948-1992 defiant statesmen, or will he subordinate Israel’s survival to White House pressure?

Shabbat Shalom, Happy Passover and Easter,

“Second Thought: US-Israel Initiative”

www.TheEttingerReport.com

 

The Founding Fathers dedication to Moses and the Jewish Holiday of Passover

Revised from an Israel Commentary article of April 2012

By Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger

The Founding Fathers dedication to Moses and the Jewish Holiday of Passover

Published in “Israel Hayom” (Most read daily newspaper in Israel)

March 30, 2012

Passover, and especially the legacy of Moses and the Exodus, has been part of the American story since the seventeenth century, inspiring the American pursuit of liberty, justice and morality.

The special role played by Passover – and the Bible – in shaping the American state of mind constitutes the foundation of the unique relations between the American People and the Jewish State. As important as are the current mutual threats and interests between the US and Israel, the bedrock of the unbreakable US-Israel alliance are permanent values, principles and legacies, such as Passover.

In 1620 and 1630, William Bradford and John Winthrop delivered sermons on the “Mayflower” and “Arbella,” referring to the deliverance from “modern day Egypt and Pharaoh,” to “the crossing of the modern day Red Sea” and to New Zion/Canaan as the destination of the Pilgrims on board.

In 1776, Thomas Paine, the author of Common Sense (which cemented public support for the revolution), referred to King George as the “hardened, sullen tempered Pharaoh.”  Upon declaration of independence, Benjamin Franklin, the most secular Founding Father, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the second third American Presidents, proposed a Passover theme for the official US seal: the Pillar of Fire leading Moses and the Israelites through the Red Sea, while Pharaoh’s chariots drown in the Sea. The inscription on the seal was supposed to be: “Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God,” framing the rebellion against the British monarchy as principle-driven. The lessons of the Jewish deliverance from Egyptian bondage reverberated thunderously among the Rebels, who considered the thirteen colonies to be “the modern day Twelve Tribes.”

The 19th century Abolitionists, and the Civil Rights movement from the 1940s to the 1970s, were inspired by the ethos of the Exodus and by the Bible’s opposition to slavery. In the 1830s, the Liberty Bell, an icon of American independence, was adopted by the Abolitionists, due to its Exodus-inspired inscription: “Proclaim liberty throughout all the Land unto all the Inhabitants thereof” (Leviticus 25:10).  Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852), and her husband, Calvin Ellis Stowe (“The Little Rabbi”) were scholars of the Bible and the Exodus.  Harriet Tubman, who escaped slavery in 1849 and freed Black slaves on the Underground Railroad, earned the name “Moses.” The 1879/80 Black slaves who ran away to Kansas were called “the Exodusters.”  The most famous spiritual, “Go Down, Moses” was considered the National Anthem of Black slaves.

In 1865, following the murder of President Lincoln, most eulogies compared him to Moses.  Just like Moses, Lincoln liberated slaves, but was stopped short of the Promised Land. France paid tribute to the martyred Lincoln by erecting the Statue of Liberty, featuring rays of sun and a tablet, just like the glaring Moses descending from Mount Sinai with the Two Tablets of the Ten Commandments.

In 1954, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. compared the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision to desegregate public schools to the parting of the Red Sea.  In 1964, upon receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, Dr. King proclaimed: “Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself. The Bible tells the thrilling story of how Moses stood in Pharaoh’s court centuries ago and cried, ‘Let my people go.’”

President Reagan mentioned (Reagan at Westminster, 2010) Exodus as the first incident in a long line of Western resistance to tyranny: “Since the exodus from Egypt, historians have written of those who sacrificed and struggled for freedom – the stand at Thermopylae, the revolt of Spartacus, the storming of the Bastille, the Warsaw uprising in World War II.”

In July, 2003, President Bush stated, in Senegal, “In America, enslaved Africans learned the story of the exodus from Egypt, and set their own hearts on a promised land of freedom.”

In March, 2007, President Obama said in Selma, Alabama that the civil rights pioneers were the “Moses generation” and he was part of the “Joshua generation” that would “find our way across the river.”

(What Chutzpa!  Obama as Joshua! More confirmation of Obama’s classic narcissism and grandiose posturing) jsk

In 2012, the statue of Moses stares at the Speaker of the House, another statue of Moses towers above the seats of the Supreme Court Justices, a Ten Commandment monument sits on the ground of the Texas State Capitol and a similar monument will be shortly erected on the ground of the Oklahoma State Capitol.

In 2012, the leader of the Free World and its sole soul ally in the Mid-East, Israel, are facing the most lethal threat to liberty since 1945 – conventional and non-conventional Islamic terrorism. Adherence to the legacy of Passover, marshaling the conviction-driven leadership of Moses, and demonstrating the Joshua and Caleb courage and defiance of odds, will once again facilitate the victory of liberty over tyranny.

 

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: US-Israel Initiative”

Addendum Comments:

On Apr 1, 2012, at 12:12 PM, cody flecker wrote:

Actually Uriah P Levy was the first Commodore in the US Navy serving in the war of 1812. His nephew was Jefferson Monroe Levy, and it was he who bought the run down home and estate of Thomas Jefferson (Monticello) at an auction. Jefferson Monroe Levy while not a religious Jew was at best an observant Jew. He was one of the founders of the American Jewish Congress, after the pogroms started in Russia in the latter part of the 19th century. The Admiral that you are referring to was Admiral Rickover who was the father of the modern nuclear fleet.

Also, Your article failed to mention that Judah P Benjamin was the highest elected Jew in the Confederacy 100 years before those honors were again bestowed upon a Jew (Henry Kissinger)

Regards,

Cody Flecker

Thanks and …  How about Benjamin Cardoza, Supreme Court Justice (Benjamin Nathan Cardozo (May 24, 1870 – July 9, 1938) was a well-known American lawyer and associate Supreme Court Justice and actually the first Hispanic  on the Court well ahead of the present Far Left Justice Sonia Sotomayer  that erroneously declared for that honor. 

Haym Solomon was the guy that financed George Washington through the American Revolution. Admiral Hyman RICKOVER, FATHER OF US NUCLEAR NAVY, developed nuclear powered submarine, died 1986

And, I am sure that are hundreds if not thousands of others of whom we can all be very proud.

 

 

 

 

Once again, Obama undermines Israel’s ability to defend itself.

Bolton accuses administration of leaking story on Israeli planning along Iran border

By John Bolton

Once again, Obama undermines Israel’s ability to defend itself.

Published March 29, 2012 | FoxNews.com

Former U.S. diplomat John Bolton alleged Thursday that the Obama administration leaked a story about covert Israeli activity in order to foil potential plans by the country to attack Iran’s nuclear program.

Bolton, who served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in the George W. Bush administration, was responding to an article in Foreign Policy magazine that quoted government sources claiming Israel had been granted access to airfields in Azerbaijan — along Iran’s northern border.

The article did not state exactly what the Israelis’ intentions were, but it suggested it could point to a possible strike on Iran. “I think this leak today is part of the administration’s campaign against an Israeli attack,” Bolton claimed on Fox News.

The White House did not respond to Bolton’s claims Thursday.

Bolton, a Fox News contributor, noted that a strike launched from Azerbaijan would be much easier for the Israelis than a strike launched from their own country — jets could stay over their targets longer and worry less about refueling.  But he said tipping the Israelis’ hand by revealing “very sensitive, very important information” could frustrate such a plan. Speaking afterward to FoxNews.com, Bolton said he didn’t have hard proof that this was an intentional administration leak to halt an Israeli attack.

But he noted widely reported comments from Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in February that he thinks the Israelis could strike as early as April.  If that’s the case, Bolton said, then it would be “entirely consistent” for the administration to try to avoid that impending outcome. The Foreign Policy article quoted what were identified as “high-level sources … inside the U.S. government.”  It specifically mentioned “four senior diplomats and military intelligence officers.”

One intelligence officer, who was unnamed, told the magazine that the U.S. was “watching” the activity and was “not happy about it.”The Foreign Policy article did not specify whether any of the information came from the White House, and there is no direct evidence that this was a coordinated leak.

“Clearly, this is an administration-orchestrated leak,” Bolton told FoxNews.com. “This is not a rogue CIA guy saying I think I’ll leak this out.” “It’s just unprecedented to reveal this kind of information about one of your own allies,” Bolton said.

And Mark Steyn Says: Well, I think if you wanted just a single reason to vote this guy out in November, this is pretty much it. It’s part of a pattern. He regretted, a couple of years ago, that he didn’t have the freedom of maneuver that the politburo does in China. And we know that in China, it’s a dictatorship. In Russia, Vladimir Putin rigs the elections. Here, there’s 300 million people who have got all kinds of whimsical ideas about this and that, and they’re getting in his way. And for him to actually be sitting there next to the president of a hostile power, and say oh, believe me, I so envy you, you wouldn’t believe the trouble I have with this crazy democracy business back home, I can’t wait until that’s all behind me, and then I can just do what I want, that alone ought to be a disqualifier for office.

Elaine F. Miller, Esq.

Obama re-assures Vladmir Putin of his “cooperation and flexibility” after his re-election!

 II Chas. Krauthammer on video following above Obama gaff. Copy and paste to your browser below.

By Ed Morrissey

Obama re-assures Vladmir Putin of his “cooperation and flexibility” after his re-election!

 March 26, 2012

Congressman to Obama: 

You’d better not be trading away our missile defense system!

Update: A hint on Obama’s “flexibility” with Putin. 

Update: McCain calls Obama “a real Etch-a-Sketch leader”

It remains to be seen how the media will cover the explosive revelation from ABC’s Jake Tapper that Barack Obama asked Russian president Dmitri Medvedev to get Vladimir Putin to give him some “space” on missile defense so that he could be more “flexible” with the Russians in a second term. So far, the tepid coverage from National Journal and the Washington Post suggests that the media doesn’t consider a request to another nation to pipe down so an American President can win a second term and deliver more favorable policy to a potential antagonist more than a “gaffe.” They seem to be taking their cue from the White House, which attempted a little misdirection:

A senior administration official told ABC: “This is not the kind of year in which we’re going to resolve (an) incredibly complicated issue like this.”

Except Obama wasn’t caught telling Medvedev that he needed more space because missile defense was “incredibly complicated.” He told Medvedev that he needed more space on the issue — in other words, to have it downplayed as a national-security dispute with Russia — in order to win a second term, so that he could have “more flexibility” to deal with the Russians. Very obviously, Obama gave a strong hint that he could be more favorable to the Russian position, which completely opposes the deployment of a Western missile shield in Europe, when Obama doesn’t have to worry about being more accountable to the voters.

That’s not fooling Rep. Michael Turner, who chairs the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, which has direct oversight on missile-defense issues. Turner sent a letter to the White House this morning, demanding answers from Obama on whether he’s planning on defying Congress and trading away missile defense:

Dear Mr. President,

I request your urgent explanation of your comments to President Medvedev in Seoul this morning.

During the New START treaty ratification process, you made specific promises that Russian concerns about missile defense will not be allowed to affect U.S. missile defense deployment plans. You further committed that the United States will make both qualitative and quantitative improvements in its missile defenses. You have already walked away from detailed promises to modernize the U.S. nuclear deterrent; are you now planning to walk away from your promises regarding U.S. missile defense as well?

As you know, in the FY12 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress enacted, and you signed into law, a provision constraining your ability to share classified U.S. missile defense information with the Russian Federation. Congress took this step because it was clear based on official testimony and Administration comments in the press that classified information about U.S. missile defenses, including hit-to-kill technology and velocity at burnout information, may be on the table as negotiating leverage for your reset with Russia.

Despite signing the FY12 defense authorization legislation into law, you then issued a signing statement signaling that you may treat that provision protecting U.S. missile defense information as non-binding. This morning’s comments, on top of that action, suggests that you and your administration have plans for U.S. missile defenses that you believe will not stand up to electoral scrutiny.

Congress has made exquisitely clear to your Administration and to other nations that it will block all attempts to weaken U.S. missile defenses. As the Chairman of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee, which authorizes U.S. missile defense and nuclear weapons policy, I want to make perfectly clear that my colleagues and I will not allow any attempts to trade missile defense of the United States to Russia or any other country.

Sincerely,

Michael R. Turner

Chairman, Subcommittee on Strategic Forces

House Armed Services Committee

II Chas. Krauthammer – Video on above Obama statement, copy and paste to your browser

 http://shar.es/pzMMz


 

Seaweed in your gas tank

Another deliberately destroy the US scam from Barack Hussein Obama

From the brilliant CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER

Seaweed in your gas tank

Posted March 18, 2012

Yes, of course, presidents have no direct control over gas prices. But the American people know something about this president and his disdain for oil. The “fuel of the past,” he contemptuously calls it. To the American worker who doesn’t commute by government motorcade and is getting fleeced every week at the pump, oil seems very much a fuel of the present — and of the foreseeable future.

President Obama incessantly claims energy open-mindedness, insisting that his policy is “all of the above.” Except, of course, for drilling:

• Off the mid-Atlantic coast (as Virginia, for example, wants).

• Off the Florida Gulf Coast (instead, the Castro brothers will drill near there).

• In the broader Gulf of Mexico (where drilling in 2012 is expected to drop 30 percent below pre-moratorium forecasts).

• In the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (more than half the size of England, the drilling footprint being the size of Dulles Airport).

• On federal lands in the Rockies (where leases are down 70 percent since Obama took office).

But the event that drove home the extent of Obama’s antipathy to nearby, abundant, available oil was his veto of the Keystone pipeline. It gave the game away because the case for Keystone is so obvious and overwhelming. Vetoing it gratuitously prolongs our dependence on outside powers, kills thousands of shovel-ready jobs, forfeits a major strategic resource to China, damages relations with our closest ally and sends billions of oil dollars to Hugo Chavez, Vladimir Putin and already obscenely wealthy sheiks.

Obama boasts that on his watch production is up and imports down. True, but truly deceptive. These increases have occurred in spite of his restrictive policies. They are the result of Clinton- and Bush-era permitting. This has been accompanied by a gold rush of natural gas production resulting from new fracking technology that has nothing at all to do with Obama.

“The American people aren’t stupid,” said Obama (Feb. 23), mocking “Drill, baby, drill.” The “only solution,” he averred in yet another major energy speech last week, is that “we start using less, that lowers the demand, prices come down.” Yet five paragraphs later he claimed that regardless of “how much oil we produce at home … that’s not going to set the price of gas worldwide.”

So, decreasing U.S. demand will lower oil prices, but increasing U.S. supply will not? This is ridiculous. Either both do or neither does. Does Obama read his own speeches?

Obama says of drilling: “That’s not a plan.” Of course it’s a plan. We import nearly half of our oil, thereby exporting enormous amounts of U.S. wealth. Almost 60 percent of our trade deficit — $332 billion out of $560 billion — is shipped overseas to buy crude.

Drill here and you stanch the hemorrhage. You keep those dollars within the U.S. economy, repatriating not just wealth but jobs, and denying them to foreign unfriendlies. Drilling is the single most important thing we can do to spur growth at home while strengthening our hand abroad.

Instead, Obama offers what he fancies to be the fuels of the future. You would think that he’d be a tad more modest today about his powers of divination after the Solyndra bankruptcy, the collapse of government-subsidized Ener1 (past makers of the batteries of the future) and GM’s suspension of production — for lack of demand — of another federally dictated confection, the flammable Chevy Volt.

Deterred? Hardly. Our undaunted seer of the energy future has come up with his own miracle fuel: algae. Yes, green slime, upon which Steven Chu’s Energy Department will be sprinkling yet another $14 million of taxpayer money.

This is the very same Dr. Chu who famously said in 2008 that he wanted U.S. gas prices to rise to European levels of $8-$10 a gallon — and who Tuesday, eight months before Election Day, publicly recanted before Congress, Galileo-style.

Who do they think they’re fooling? An oil crisis looms, prices are spiking — and our president is extolling algae. After Solyndra, Keystone and promises of seaweed in their gas tanks, Americans sense a president so ideologically antipathetic to fossil fuels — which we possess in staggering abundance — that he is utterly unserious about the real world of oil in which the rest of us live.

High gasoline prices are a major political problem for Obama. They are not just a pain at the pump, however. They are a constant reminder of three years of a rigid, fatuous, fantasy-driven energy policy that has rendered us scandalously dependent and excessively vulnerable.

Charles Krauthammer’s email address is letters@ charleskrauthammer.com.

Inane Discussion with Chris Wallace and George Clooney

Fox News, Sunday, March 18, 2012

Compiled by Jerome S. Kaufman from various previous Israel Commentary articles and Internet sources.

Inane Discussion with Chris Wallace and George Clooney

At least Chris Wallace was honest enough to admit to George Clooney that the only reason Fox was airing their interview about South Sudan was the celebrity of Clooney. And … Clooney was honest enough to admit his role.

Terrific! Now what?

Where was the beef? There was no beef. All we saw were groups of G-d forsaken or should I say man-forsaken scared people without food, without shelter, without defense, without protecting forces, hiding from those who had only one goal in mind and have had for years – to annihilate the people of South Sudan.

Yes, I could almost use the word “holocaust.” But, to my mind  “holocaust” means  annihilating a people only because of who they are – no other purpose. The prime example is the German Nazis killing of Jews with the enthusiastic assistance of most of the rest of “Christian” Europe, and with the only qualification the victims be Jews. South Sudan is different in that there are several purposes for killing these defenseless people – at least in the minds of their murderers.

First, a brief history authored by Daniel Pipes in Israel Commentary:  The beautiful unappreciated, unreported history of Israel in South Sudan | Israel Commentary, January 3, 2012.

“Today’s Sudan took shape in the nineteenth century when the Ottoman Empire controlled its northern regions and tried to conquer the southern ones. The British, ruling out of Cairo, established the outlines of the modern state in 1898 and for the next fifty years ruled separately the Muslim north and Christian-animist south. In 1948, however, succumbing to northern pressure, the British merged the two administrations in Khartoum under northern control, making Muslims dominant in Sudan and Arabic its official language.

Independence from Britain in 1956 brought civil war, as southerners battled to fend off Muslim hegemony. Fortunately for them, Israel’s Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion’s “periphery strategy” translated into Israeli support for non-Arabs in the Middle East, including the southern Sudanese. The government of Israel served through the first Sudanese civil war, lasting until 1972, as their primary source of moral backing, diplomatic help, and armaments.”

Sudan’s civil war continued intermittently from 1956 until 2005. Over time, Muslim northerners became increasingly vicious toward their southern co-nationals, culminating in the 1980-90s with massacreschattel slavery, and genocide.”

The other paradigm to consider is, “Follow the Money.” Sudan is a treasure trove of oil resources, Although both countries are now independent, they remain interdependent in  terms  of the oil industry. About 75 percent of oil production (depending on specific field allocations) originates from the South, while the entire pipeline, refining, and export infrastructure is in the North. This situation has caused contention between the two countries over pipeline and export transit fees with the North attempting to solve the problem by simply annihilating the South and confiscating its superior oil resources.

To thwart these hundreds of years of Muslim aspiration, there was an election in the South. A referendum took place in January 2011 in which the people of South Sudan voted to secede from Sudan. In July 2011, Sudan became two countries: Sudan and South Sudan. The capital of Sudan is Khartoum and the capital of South Sudan is Juba.

Predictably, Sudan has deliberately ignored the election and is now waging an intense, virtually unopposed war on South Sudan attempting to fulfill their age old aspirations. The United Nations estimated that more than 2,300 South Sudanese have died in tribal and rebel violence this year alone.

On November 11, 2011, it was reported that Islamic North Sudan bombed free Christian South Sudan. How many millions of Christians, animists, and black moderate Muslims have to be slaughtered in the jihadi war in Sudan before the international community finally wakes up to its own vital interests and stands against this slaughter in the name of Allah?

What is the possible solution?

For the West, this means coming to the aid of  a loyal ally and a genuine bulwark against Islamic ambition. The crippling of the superior military of the North would be a great start. But, the South Sudanese must first survive. Otherwise we have nothing to  talk about. Then the vital contributions of agriculture, health, and education and the basic components of military defense.  A successful South Sudan could eventually become a regional power and a stalwart, important ally of the West.

Unfortunately none of the above discussion remotely entered the inane interview on Fox News. I expected a whole lot more from Chris Wallace. The contribution of the dilettante political activist, George Clooney, was as anticipated.

Jerome S. Kaufman, Editor

Israel Commentary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Abominable Louis Farrakhan. May his soul rest in Gehenim.

Farrakhan’s Secret Relationship

By Charles Jacobs, President American Anti-Slavery Group

The Abominable Louis Farrakhan. May his soul rest in Gehenim.

First published in The Daily Californian, March 16, 2012

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan addressed an estimated 600 students at UC Berkeley last Saturday, and told  Black students not to befriend any Jew without first reading “The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews,” a book whose thesis is that  “the Jews” were behind the black slave trade!  Heck of a way to start up a friendship!

Scholars both black and white have exposed the NOI book as a pack of lies, a modern day calumny which, much like their medieval analogues — “the Jews poisoned the wells,” “the Jews make matzo with the blood of Christian children”–is meant to incite hatred for Jewish people. Dangerous hatred.

The Daily Californian reports that Jewish students were hurt and shocked.  No doubt. But what will be more shocking perhaps is Minister Farrakhan’s own semi-secret relationship with the modern day slaving of African Blacks by people, and in countries, that the NOI leader has an interest to protect.

In 1994, an African Muslim from Mauritania  – Mohammed Athie — and I broke the story of a modern day slave trade in Mauritania and Sudan, in The New York Times .  We reported that   “perhaps 300,000” African Muslims were still serving Arab/Berber masters. 

“Black Africans in Mauritania were converted to Islam more than 100 years ago,” we wrote, “but while the Koran forbids the enslavement of fellow Muslims, in this country race outranks religious doctrine. These people are chattel: used for labor, sex, and breeding. They may be exchanged for camels, trucks, guns or money. Their children are the property of the master.”

In Sudan, Africa’s largest country, we reported that slavery was “making a comeback, the result of a 12-year-old war waged by the Muslim north against the black Christian and animist south. Arab militias, armed by the Government, raid villages, mostly those of the Dinka tribe, shoot the men and enslave the women and children. These are kept as personal property or marched north and sold.” We based our reports on government documentshuman rights publications  and a stunning interview with a UN official

The op-ed shocked many. We were encouraged to launch the American Anti-Slavery Group (AASG) which would document a modern day slave trade around the globe, but would focus on Sudan and Mauritania as the worst case of slavery, and the most controversial, and therefore least likely to be covered by others.

PBS’s Tony Brown Journal, the most popular Black news program at the time, invited Mohammed and me to speak about slavery. Immediately after our appearance, we were attacked by Farrakhan’s spokesman  who denied that Blacks served Arab masters in Sudan or – worse from NOI’s point of view, that Black Muslims served Arab Muslim masters in Mauritania. 

Farrakhan’s “calling,” after all, funded in part by Arab dictator Muammar Khadafy,  was to break the Black/Jewish civil rights alliance while teaching American Blacks that Islam was their path to freedom. Not in Sudan and Mauritania it wasn’t! NOI was serious about shutting us up.  

Samuel Cotton, a black reporter for the City Sun, NY’s second largest black paper conducted a thorough investigation that resulted in a five part series. “Arab Masters, Black Slaves”  screamed across the front page in NYC’s news kiosks. NOI warned Sam. They followed and menaced him when he spoke in Chicago, not far from their headquarters. Sam’s book, “Silent Terror,” has become an underground classic.

At a press conference in D.C in 1996, Farrakhan was asked about reports of slavery in Sudan. According to the NY Times , he angrily challenged them: “If slavery exists, go … to Sudan, and come back and tell the American people what you found.”The Baltimore Sun sent two reporters to Sudan. They found and liberated slaves and published a special four page insert in the paper’s weekend edition.  Farrakhan refused their request for an interview — and pretty much went radio silent on slavery issues…until fairly recently.

Farrakhan has always said that slavery in Sudan and Mauritania was a Zionist lie. Last week, South Sudan, the world’s newest nation, demanded the liberation of 30,000 slaves still held by Arabs in the North.   Minister Farrakhan, South Sudan is not a Jewish nation. You met with South Sudanese leaders in the Spring of 1994. They begged you for support – and to help free the slaves. They wrote that you told them “When it comes to a choice between religion or the dignity of the black man I will choose my skin.”  

You betrayed them. Why? Why has Farrakhan decided in recent days that he can safely  re-play his “Jews-were-the-slavers” card? I believe that the anti-Israel/anti-Semitic climate on California’s campuses emboldened him to regurgitate the attack.  

UC President Mark Yudof condemned Farrakhan’s message, but defended his rights to free speech. Interesting. I wonder what Mr. Yudof would do if a KKK speaker asked for the same rights — and a platform on his free-speech campus.

Meanwhile, I encourage the student body to visit our website at www.iabolish.org  to learn about the plight of modern day slaves, especially those in Sudan and Mauritania, where political correctness – and fear – have blocked human rights activists — who should be the slaves’ most vociferous champions — from taking moral action to set them free.

 

Reader Comment:

What soul? There’s more soul in the food he eats and in the shoes he wears than in him!

But couldn’t agree more with final destination (but not for “rest”).

Regards,
IRVING

The “Curious Speech” of Barack Obama

By Lawrence Kudlow, astute financial advisor

The Washington Times, March 5, 2012

Barack ‘All of the Above’ Obama

The “Curious Speech” of Barack Obama

President Obama fought back against rising oil and retail gas prices in a speech in Florida. But it was a curious speech. He started out by mocking Republicans, stating that GOP candidates are licking their chops as gasoline prices rocket up. He said, “They are already dusting off their three-point plans for $2 gas. I’ll save you the suspense: Step one is drill, step two is drill, and step three is keep drilling.”

Very clever. It’s kind of what Newt Gingrich said in this week’s Arizona debate.

But here’s the curious part. Obama said, “If we’re going to take control of our energy future, if we’re going to avoid these gas-price spikes down the line, then we need a sustained all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy — oil, gas, wind, solar, nuclear, biofuels and more.”

That’s a Republican policy. All of the above. George W. Bush used to say it. John McCain ran on it in 2008. And you hear Republicans talk in similar terms all the time. “All of the above.”

Obama next took credit for record oil and gas production. He took a bow for more rigs and the approval of pipelines (including from Canada!). He then argued that his administration has opened millions of acres for oil and gas exploration.

Well, I don’t know about the pipeline part. He sure hasn’t opened Keystone XL. And most people in the oil business say the administration has been slow-walking offshore permits, restricting access on federal lands, and excluding Alaska and the Arctic. They also note the general nuisance of the EPA, including its recent attack on hydraulic fracking.

But people in the business will tell you that production is high, and that things began turning around years before the administration took office. Of course, the great energy revolution has come with all the new shale fields in the Dakotas, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas and elsewhere, which has led to a gusher of new oil and natural gas.

The fact that Obama sounds like a Republican doesn’t mean that he’s opened the barn door to all manner of new leases and permits. But the reality is that his administration has loosened things up a bit. Whether drill, drill, drill would produce $2 gasoline is an interesting debate. But surely the U.S. is on the road to energy independence if the government is more hands-off.

The fact remains, however, that right now there’s rising public angst over higher gasoline prices. That could become an economic problem, but it’s more rapidly becoming a political problem for the White House.

A lot of consumers and motorists are trying to figure out why all this new energy production hasn’t stopped prices from rising. The best answer I can come up with is Iran. As the Iranians rattle their sabers over the Strait of Hormuz, oil traders are taking long positions in the market. According to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, traders with net-long positions of oil contracts worth $100,000 have increased from 181,000 in early October to 281,000 lately. (Hat tip to economist Conrad DeQuadros).

During this period, oil prices have jumped about $35, or 37 percent. Today the WTI contract for light sweet crude closed above $108. And it’s worth noting that non-oil commodity indexes during this period have increased by less than 2 percent. That means the oil spike is a supply shock, not economic-demand driven. And since mid-December, AAA retail gas prices have increased about 11 percent from $3.22 to $3.60. Undoubtedly, gasoline prices are following oil prices higher. And the oil-price jump is a function of trader worries that Iran might choke off the Hormuz Strait, leading to a substantial, if temporary, oil-supply shortage.

Obama cites the Iranian situation in his speech, and he’s got an important point. We can debate the merits of Obama’s Iranian policy. But the reality is that energy prices are rising on speculative trading demands over a potential worst-case scenario.

If that worst case scenario doesn’t come to pass, energy prices could well retreat. In any case, even the oil and gas spike thus far is not likely to have a significant economic impact. All that oil and gas shale production from private, not federal, lands is a big reason why. The new natural-gas supplies have caused the price of natural gas to fall substantially. That means much lower home-heating bills for consumers. And the relatively mild winter so far is another factor contributing to lower utility bills.

The moral of this story is that America should continue to drill, drill, drill, and put up the Keystone XL pipeline, and work with Canada to build an energy-independent North America. But as long as the Iranian threat is unsolved, the future risk of higher energy prices is going to be a fact of life.

COPYRIGHT 2012 CREATORS.COM

Who was Andrew Breitbart?

Conservative ‘happy warrior’ Breitbart dead at 43

By Jennifer Harper

 The Washington Times

http://israel-commentary.org/?p=3018

March 1, 2012

Andrew Breitbart, the conservative journalist, Internet pioneer and provocateur who helped reshape the media landscape with tenacious and original political style, died early Thursday after collapsing on the street near his Los Angeles home. He was 43.

His passing was announced through a posting on his extensive online news empire at bigjournalism.com, mourning him as a “patriot and a happy warrior.” In the past decade, Mr. Breitbart bore witness to media bias, partisan spectacle and celebrity foibles, and relished publicizing damning details to expose erring public officials.

In recent years, Mr. Breitbart lent a forum to sting videos uncovering irregularities at the community organization ACORN and was the first to publish a lurid photograph of former New York Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner that led to his resignation. The accuser was always candid about his motivations.

“I love fighting for what I believe in. I love having fun while doing it,” he wrote in “Righteous Indignation,” his most recent book. “I love fighting back, I love finding allies, and famously, I enjoy making enemies.”

The news spawned a deluge of online tributes and reactions, and word was spreadby tweets and blog posts from friends and foes alike. Both House Minority Leader Eric Cantor, Virginia Republican, and pundit Michelle Malkin said they were “stunned” by his death; Mrs. Malkin also noted that Mr. Breitbart “bane of the left” — had been a mentor to an entire rising generation of activists and citizen journalists.

Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum called his passing a “huge loss” for the nation, while campaign rival Mitt Romney deemed him a “brilliant entrepreneur, fearless conservative, loving husband and father.” Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Mr. Breitbart was a man of “great courage and creativity,” while Sarah Palin assured her Facebook followers, “We will continue the fight.”

Talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh told his audience Thursday, “Sometime during the 1990s, Breitbart had an awakening. He was constantly questioning what was all around him, which was really extreme liberalism, and he became … a bulldog.”

He was also at the center of a number of controversies about his writings and news-gathering methods. At the time of his death, he was defending a defamation suit filed by former U.S. Department of Agriculture official Shirley Sherrod about what Ms. Sherrod said were deceptively edited clips of her posted on Mr. Breitbart’s website.

Mr. Breitbart was born in Los Angeles, the adopted son of liberal Jewish parents. He ultimately emerged as a self-proclaimed “Reagan conservative” with a canny sensibility about American culture and political ironies. He was particularly irked by hypocrisy and corruption among public officials.

Like Matt Drudge, he was ahead of his time in recognizing the power of the Internet, joining forces with Mr. Drudge to search out and post the signature mix of online news and commentary as early as 1996 for the widely influential Drudge Report, at the very dawn of Web-based journalism. “In the first decade of the Drudge Report, Andrew Breitbart was a constant source of energy, passion and commitment. We shared a love of headlines, a love of the news, an excitement about what’s happening,” Mr. Drudge wrote in a remembrance posted across the top of his website Thursday.

Mr. Breitbart also developed considerable prowess as a public speaker and editorialist, including penning a regular weekly op-ed at The Washington Times and making multiple appearances at such major events as the annual CPAC gathering of conservatives in Washington. After collaborating with Mr. Drudge and with Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington, he founded six popular websites five years ago, offering a kaleidoscope of videos, news and commentary on politics, the media and popular culture.

Though Mr. Breitbart reportedly died of a suspected heart attack. the Los Angeles County coroner’s office will review his death and conduct an autopsy. Mr. Breitbart is survived by his wife, Susannah; four children; his sister, Tracy; his parents, Jerry and Arlene Breitbart; and his in-laws, actor Orson Bean and Alison Bean.


 

 

The brilliant Brett Stephens, Wall Street Journal Editorial Board, on Barack Obama

I The ‘Jewish’ President?

March 6, 2012

By BRET STEPHENS

The brilliant Brett Stephens, Wall Street Journal Editorial Board, on Barack Obama

II Video by Israeli Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, MK Danny Ayalon – Just the Facts, Ma’am

Should Israelis and pro-Israel Americans take President Obama at his word when he says—as he did at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference in Washington, D.C., on Sunday—”I have Israel’s back”? No!

Here is a president who fought tooth-and-nail against the very sanctions on Iran for which he now seeks to reap political credit. He inherited from the Bush administration the security assistance to Israel he now advertises as proof of his “unprecedented” commitment to the Jewish State. His defense secretary has repeatedly cast doubt on the efficacy of a U.S. military option against Iran even as the president insists it remains “on the table.” His top national security advisers keep warning Israel not to attack Iran even as he claims not to “presume to tell [Israeli leaders] what is best for them.”

Oh, and his secretary of state answers a question from a Tunisian student about U.S. politicians courting the “Zionist lobbies” by saying that  “a lot of things are said in political campaigns that should not bear a lot of attention.” It seems it didn’t occur to her to challenge the premise of the question. Still, if you’re looking for evidence of Mr. Obama’s disingenuousness when it comes to Israel, it’s worth referring to what his supporters say about him.

Consider Peter Beinart, the one-time Iraq War advocate who has reinvented himself as a liberal scourge of present-day Israel and mainstream Zionism. Mr. Beinart has a book coming out next month called “The Crisis of Zionism.” Chapter five, on “The Jewish President,” fully justifies the cover price.

Mr. Beinart’s case is that Mr. Obama came to his views about Israel not so much from people like his friend Rashid Khalidi or his pastor Jeremiah Wright. Instead, says Mr. Beinart, Mr. Obama got his education about Israel from a coterie of far-left Chicago Jews who “bred in Obama a specific, and subversive, vision of American Jewish identity and of the Jewish state.”

At the center of this coterie, Mr. Beinart explains, was a Chicago rabbi named Arnold Jacob Wolf. In 1969, Wolf staged a synagogue protest in favor of Black Panther Bobby Seale. In the early 1970s, he founded an organization that met with Yasser Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) —this being some 20 years before Arafat officially renounced terrorism. In the early 1990s, Wolf denounced the construction of the Holocaust Museum in Washington. And, in 1996, the rabbi “was one of [Mr. Obama’s] earliest and most prominent supporters” when he ran for the Illinois state Senate. Wolf later described Mr. Obama’s views on Israel as “on the line of Peace Now”—an organization with a long history of blaming Israel for the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Mr. Obama had other Jewish mentors, too, according to Mr. Beinart. One was Bettylu Saltzman, whose father, developer Philip Klutznick, had joined Wolf in “his break with the Israeli government in the 1970s.” Ms. Saltzman, writes Mr. Beinart, “still  seethes with hostility toward the mainstream Jewish groups” and later became active in left-wing Jewish political groups like J Street. Among other things, it was she who “organized the rally against the Iraq War where Obama proclaimed his opposition to an American invasion.”

Ms. Saltzman also introduced Mr. Obama to David Axelrod, himself a longtime donor to a group called the New Israel Fund. For a flavor of the NIF’s world view, a WikiLeaks cable from 2010 noted that an NIF associate director told U.S. embassy officials in Tel Aviv that  “the disappearance of a Jewish state would not be the tragedy that Israelis fear since it would become more democratic.”

Other things that we learn about Mr. Obama’s intellectual pedigree from Mr. Beinart: As a student at Columbia, he honed his interests in colonialism by studying with the late pro-Palestinian agitator, Prof. Edward Said. In 2004, Mr. Obama “criticized the barrier built to separate Israel and its major settlements from the rest of the West Bank”—the  “barrier” meaning the security fence that all-but eliminated the wave of suicide bombings that took 1,000 lives in Israel.

We also learn that, according to one of Mr. Beinart’s sources, longtime diplomat Dennis Ross was brought aboard the Obama campaign as part of what Mr. Beinart calls “Obama’s inoculation strategy” to mollify Jewish voters apprehensive about the sincerity of his commitments to Israel. Not surprisingly, Mr. Ross was a marginal figure in the administration before leaving last year.

In Mr. Beinart’s telling, all this is evidence that Mr. Obama is in tune with the authentic views of the American Jewish community when it comes to Israel, but that he’s out of step with Jewish organizational leadership. Maybe. Still, one wonders why organizations more in tune with those “real” views rarely seem to find much of a base.

But the important question here isn’t about American-Jewish attitudes toward Israel. It’s about the president’s honesty. Is he being truthful when he represents himself as a mainstream friend of Israel—or is he just holding his tongue and biding his time? On the evidence of Mr. Beinart’s sympathetic book, Mr. Obama’s speech at AIPAC was one long exercise in political cynicism.

II Video – MK Danny Ayalon