05/28/15
Hillary Clinton / Elizabeth Warren

The Ironic Tie Between Elizabeth Warren’s Hypocritical Home Flipping and Mitt Romney

By: Benjamin Weingarten
TheBlaze

Massachusetts political roots aside, you might think that the comparison of Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former governor and failed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is absurd.

Warren, the progressive populist who in both rhetoric and regulation has sought to shackle “predatory” financial institutions as a means of supposedly protecting “the little guy,” and Romney, the patrician and wealthy denizen of the financial establishment of 47 percent infamy, would appear to be polar opposites.


Elizabeth Warren delivers her famous “You didn’t build that” speech.
(Image Source: YouTube screengrab)

But alas, as is so often is the case in politics, Warren’s public face is contradicted by her private actions – actions that we will soon see are similar in nature to those that made Romney a millionaire.

Warren, like Romney, profited by buying assets at low prices and through either improving said assets or waiting for the market to strengthen, selling them at higher prices.

As Jillian Kay Melchior and Eliana Johnson lay out in a recent National Review exposé, Warren “bought and sold at least five [residential] properties for profit,” generating at least $240,500 before accounting for remodeling costs.

Several of the homes Warren purchased and then flipped had been foreclosed upon.

The focus of the piece is the rank hypocrisy that Warren would execute such profit-seeking transactions, given that she has called the idea of buying and selling properties quickly for profit a “myth” that contributed to our economic woes, and decried the banks that foreclosed on the homes of working class Americans.

Rightfully, the column closes with the following flourish:

In her 2014 autobiography, Warren wrote of the events that precipitated the financial crisis that “everyone seemed to have a story about someone they knew who was getting rich by flipping houses.”

She omitted a crucial one.

But it ought to be pointed out that not only were Warren’s actions counter to her stated principles – they mimicked those of the private equity companies and other financial institutions that she has spent her entire public life railing against.

What private equity professionals like Mitt Romney, and investors in general seek to do is “buy low and sell high.”

Firms like Romney’s Bain Capital scour the market for businesses they believe are undervalued and/or have significant growth potential. They seek to buy these businesses at a low price, and grow them while making them more profitable and efficient by cutting costs, closing non-core operations while strengthening core ones and implementing new and improved strategies and practices to better their business models.


Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

By improving the companies in which they invest, the end goal is to sell them for many times the price at which they were bought.

What Romney did at the macro level in investing in businesses worth hundreds of millions or billions of dollars, Warren did at the micro level in investing in homes worth thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The difference however is that Romney’s investing in many cases led to the creation of ever-better goods and services at ever-lower prices, with the benefits accruing to not only Romney, Bain’s investors, and the employees of the strengthened companies, but all consumers – that is, you and me.

Certainly Warren’s investments in home remodeling may have created work for construction companies and home suppliers, but those benefits pale in size and scope to the benefits to the public of successful private equity investments.

Too, many progressives are queasy about the idea of gentrification, which they argue prices poorer people out of their neighborhoods, replacing them with the more “privileged,” all supposedly to the detriment of the character of said communities. Warren supported this process by improving several of the homes she purchased that had been in disrepair, and selling them at a significant premium.

No one should begrudge Elizabeth Warren for her apparent investing acumen.

And one suspects that no one on the left will begrudge her for her home-flipping hypocrisy, given that the truly ill-gotten riches of the Clintons who partnered with all manner of tinpot dictators and civil rights squelchers do not seem to offend the left’s sensibilities.

But all should recognize that the very business for which Romney was castigated by large swaths of the public is in essence the same business in which Warren was an active participant, only at a smaller scale and with far more modest benefits.

This is not an indictment, but a compliment, even if Warren herself would not like to hear it.

More broadly, we should be celebrating those who create wealth, and crucifying those who destroy it — namely government bureaucrats whose resources only exist because they bilk the individuals and businesses that did build that.

05/28/15
Hillary Clinton

EXCLUSIVE: The Day-by-Day Clinton Scandal Tracker

Doug Ross @ Journal

Just so you can keep ’em all straight. Summarized and sanitized for your protection!

27-May-2015

Clinton Foundation hit with racketeering lawsuit
Clinton Foundation finds itself drawn into FIFA soccer corruption scandal

26-May-2015

Hillary never disclosed secret shell company funneling income to Bill

25-May-2015

Did Clinton pay-to-play arrangement hand over port container operations to UAE?

24-May-2015

Emails reveal Hillary cared so much about Benghazi she slept through intel briefing 4 days later
Stephanopoulos joined Bill Clinton on Pedophile Island
The 15 Benghazi emails you need to read

23-May-2015

Hillary’s Real Benghazi Problem
Hillary claim she used only one email address while at State? Another lie
Hillary Deliberately Caused Delay Of Email Release By Submitting Only Paper Copies

22-May-2015

New Hillary Emails Confirm She Received Classified Info on Private Email
Hillary Was Pushing For Tax Breaks To Benefit Clinton Library Donors
Clinton Foundation Had $26M In Contributions It ‘Forgot’ To Disclose

21-May-2015

Clinton Aides at State Handled FOIA Requests, Not Experts: WSJ
Hillary can’t shake email controversy
Does Hillary deserve to be President after jeopardizing national security?

20-May-2015

The State Department’s In-Kind Contribution to the Clinton Campaign
State Dept Won’t Comment on Report Cheryl Mills Interfered with Hillary Clinton FOIA Requests

19-May-2015

Did Hillary Clinton know of Benghazi attack in advance?
Hillary, “Sid Vicious”, and Libya

18-May-2015

The Truth About Benghazi Slowly Emerges
Proof: US Was Running Weapons Thru Benghazi to Syria
Key Hillary Clinton Claim on Emails Was a Lie

17-May-2015

Stop me if you’ve heard this one; Hillary took money from more companies seeking influence
‘Clinton Cash’ author: George Stephanopoulos guilty of ‘hidden-hand journalism’
‘Clinton Cash’ Author Reveals Other Ties Stephanopoulos DIDN’T Admit or Apologize For

16-May-2015

ABC, Stephanopoulos Clinton Foundation Hypocrisy Staggering
Hillary Clinton personally took money from companies that sought to influence her
Clintons Earned $30 Million in 16 Months, Report Shows

15-May-2015

Former Obama CIA Chief: Hillary’s Emails Compromised By Our Enemies
Guess Who Delayed Response to Stephanopoulos Scoop So Politico Could Publish First?
Clinton Foundation donors include dozens of media organizations, individuals
Stephanopoulos Another Example Of Revolving Door Journalism

14-May-2015

Clinton Connections Paid Off for Indonesian Tobacco Tycoon
Former CIA Official: WH’s Story on Benghazi Talking Points Isn’t Credible

13-May-2015

Clinton Foundation donor can’t explain role in Russian uranium deal
Alan Colmes: FBI Should Investigate Clinton Foundation

12-May-2015

Clinton Foundation Donors Fill Hillary’s Campaign Coffers

11-May-2015

Report: Clinton Foundation Tried to ‘Strong-Arm’ Leading Charity Watchdog
Federal Court Reopens State Dept. FOIA Lawsuit: “Newly Discovered Evidence” of Clinton Crimes

9-May-2015

Stunned Reporter Grills State Dept.: Why Won’t Hillary’s Breaches Be Investigated?

7-May-2015

Why Did a Nigerian Company Pay Bill Clinton $1.4MM for 2 Speeches?
Clinton Crime Fund Reportedly Took Funds From Human Rights Violators
Four Clinton Foundation Trustees Charged Or Convicted Of Financial Crimes

6-May-2015

The Hill-Billy Cash Pump
Bill Clinton Puts Blame for Family’s Scandals on Accountant

5-May-2015

The Clinton Foundation isn’t a “charity” in any normal sense of the word

4-May-2015

Bill Clinton: Foundation didn’t do anything ‘knowingly inappropriate’
Bill Clinton on Huge Speaking Fees: ‘I Gotta Pay Our Bills,’ You Know

3-May-2015

The Clintons, a luxury jet and their $100 million donor from Canada

30-April-2015

The Clintons, a luxury jet and their $100 million donor from Canada
Hillary Opposed Sending Nuke Tech to India… Until Huge Donations Flowed In
Benghazi Committee Gets Some Subpoeaned Docs from State Dept.–Two Years Later

29-April-2015

Benghazi Committee Gets Some Subpoeaned Docs from State Dept.–Two Years Later
Clinton Foundation spent more on office supplies than on charity gifts in 2013
181 Clinton Foundation donors who lobbied Hillary’s State Department

28-April-2015

Report alleges Clintons personally profited from Hillary’s tenure at State
The Clintons lower the bar — again
If This Is the Best Defense of the Clinton Foundation, She’s in Trouble

27-April-2015

Sunlight Foundation leader: Clinton Foundation a “slush fund”
So About the Clintons’ So-Called ‘Charity’…
Who’s Afraid of the Benghazi Hearings?

26-April-2015

The Fall of the House of Clinton
Hillary’s Day of Wrath
Clinton Foundation distributed useless drugs to AIDS patients
For the Clinton Defense
ABC & This Week With George Stephanopoulos owe their viewers an Apology

25-April-2015

Report: Clintons Engaged in Pay-for-Play During Efforts to Rebuild Haiti
Clinton relatives, donors got rich off taxpayer-funded Haiti contracts
Clinton Greed

24-April-2015

Who is really drawing out the Benghazi investigation?
‘Hillary Thinks She Is Bigger Than God’
Hillary now raising funds off of … evidence of her corrupt fundraising
Muslim Brotherhood Payrolled By Clinton Foundation

23-April-2015

How long can this train wreck continue?
Bill Clinton sold us to the ChiComs; Hillary sold us to the Russians
White House Refuses to Comment on Shady Deal Hillary Made With Russia
Many Clinton charity donors got State Dept. awards under Hillary
Clintons Lied on Tax Forms, Claiming No Foreign Money to Foundation
Oops: Clinton Foundation Re-Filing Five Years of Tax Returns Over ‘Errors’
State Dept. Documents Reveal Concern about Bill Clinton’s Activities with ‘Saudi Entities’

22-April-2015

Cash Flowed to Clintons as Russians Pressed for Control of Uranium Company
Former Clinton Employee Tied To Muslim Brotherhood Sentenced To Life In Prison

21-April-2015

White House Won’t Deny Clinton Foundation Donors Got Special Treatment
The Latest Available Clinton Foundation Filings Appear Deceptive

19-April-2015

‘Clinton Cash’ Reveals Foreign Pay-to-Play Deals with Clinton State Dept.

18-April-2015

Newsweek: Largest donor to Clinton Foundation has trade ties to Iran
Cisco Used Clinton Foundation To Cover-up Human Rights Abuse In China

12-April-2015

Here’s a breakdown of every scandal swirling around Hillary

9-April-2015

Hillary Reversed Position on Trade Deal With Colombia After Huge Donation to Clinton Foundation
Hillary For Sale: At Least $1 Million From Morocco Flowing Into Clinton Foundation

7-April-2015

Top Spy: Hillary’s Emails ‘Likely’ Hacked by China, Russia, Iran
How the U.S. thinks Russians hacked the White House
Hillary’s Brothers Unlike Any Others

31-March-2015

Hillary’s accidental drone email about decorating reveals BIG new problems
Hillary’s private intel chief Sidney Blumenthal also an illegal lobbyist?

30-March-2015

Did Clinton’s Backdoor Adviser Illegally Lobby for Putin Ally?
The long, complicated story of Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi subpoena
Obstruction of Justice – A Must For Hillary
The Latest Bombshell from Mrs. Clinton’s Lawyer

29-March-2015

Situation Normal: Hillary Clinton obstructs justice and operates outside the law

28-March-2015

Get Hillary’s server, it’s now evidence of a potential crime
GOP: ‘Even Nixon Didn’t Destroy the Tapes’

27-March-2015

Hillary Clinton Defies Subpoena, ‘Wiped Her Server Clean’
Hacked Hillary Emails: Getting Fed Intelligence By Her Own Private Spy Service

26-March-2015

Clintons Received Money from ‘Front for the Government of Iran’
Did Hillary Run Her Own Intelligence Operation?
Lawsuit: Clintons are guilty of racketeering, influence peddling
Business dealings of Hillary Clinton’s brother raise new questions

25-March-2015

Clinton Nemesis Ramps Up Effort to Get State Dept. to Spill on Hillary’s Tenure

21-March-2015

Bill Clinton ‘Unaware’ Brother-In-Law on Board of Haitian Gold Mine that Landed Rare Permit

20-March-2015

Trey Gowdy to Hillary Clinton: Hand Over Your E-Mail Server
Now Huma Abedin is Being Scrutinized for Possible Corruption

19-March-2015

Emails sought of nearly a dozen U.S. State Department workers under Clinton

18-March-2015

State Dept. Employees Who Don’t Sign Separation Agreement Face Dire Consequences
Hillary committed obstruction of justice

17-March-2015

Clintonworld’s Self-Pitying Shadiness Returns
Clintons UAE Quid Pro Quo
Hillary Clinton’s Top Five Secrecy Scandals

16-March-2015

Hillary Clinton’s Top Five Secrecy Scandals
Clintons Cover-Up Team
Hillary Clinton should face criminal charges
The “Hillary Was Right to Break the Law Because Republicans Are Mean” Defense

15-March-2015

Trey Gowdy: House may go to court to get Clinton email server
On Benghazi, a timeline of State Department obstruction
Hillary Clinton Lies… A Lot
Clinton camp issues clarification on deleted emails, claims ‘every’ message was reviewed

14-March-2015

Valerie Jarrett behind leak of Hillary Clinton’s email scandal
State Department contradicts Hillary Clinton’s email claim
An Open Letter to hdr22@clintonemail.com

13-March-2015

Hillary Is Being Investigated for a Possible Felony
Clinton Faces Broader Email Deception Issue Involving Entire State Department

12-March-2015

Did Hillary let friends use State Department gigs as a piggy bank?
Hillary’s Rose Law Firm Career a Sign of What Was to Come?

11-March-2015

Hillary’s email explanation is self-contradictory – here’s how

10-March-2015

The Hillary Email Scandal: Who Profits?
The Mendacious, Charmless, Painfully Mediocre And Unelectable Hillary Clinton
Hillary’s Train Wreck Press Conference: Spin, Lies and Unanswered Questions
Carefully scripted Hillary knocked out of comfort zone
Internet Catches Hillary in Three Provable Email Falsehoods
Hillary emerges from behind stonewall for tightly controlled press conference
Mystery location of Clinton email server seen as ‘matter of national security’
Hillary Tries To Quell Email Controversy, But Only Creates More Questions
Trey Gowdy: Hillary’s Server Or Hillary’s Testimony
Hillary’s brother got the gold mine, Haiti got the shaft

9-March-2015

‘It will be a crime if she knowingly withholds documents pursuant to subpoena’
Clinton e-mail scandal disqualifies her for president
Hillary Clinton’s Possibly Fatal Email Mistake
Cheryl Mills, Hillary Clinton: What We Musn’t Forget About Benghazi
New FOIAs Probe Clinton Secret Email System, Lawsuits May Follow In 20 Days
White House: Hillary And Obama Did Email Each Other
Why Would Foreign Governments’ Donations to the Clinton Foundation Not Count as Bribes?
Wealthy at Scandal-Plagued HSBC Have Donated/Bribed $81 Million to Hillary’s Bribery Storefront

8-March-2015

Gowdy: Huge Gaps Of “Months And Months” In Emails Hillary Turned Over
Hillary Milhous Clinton

7-March-2015

Hillary Exposed Her Emails To Spies… To Hide Them From You
While Clinton Hid Emails, $6 Billion Went Missing in Her State Dept.

6-March-2015

State Department: Hillary decides what emails we can see
FOIA Request for Hillary Clinton’s Email Address Went Missing

5-March-2015

Hillary fired US Ambassador to Kenya for using personal email account
Server, Serve Her: Clinton Crumbling
Hillary Clinton Still Doesn’t Get It
Hillary’s Brother Gets Exclusive Mining Permit from Haiti After Taxpayers Sent Country Billions

4-March-2015

Emailgate May Be the Final Scandal to Sink Hillary Clinton
Hacker Reveals Contents from Hillary’s Private E-Mails and Shows Who She Was Talking To
Bigger Question: Did Hillary use unsecured email for Classified Info?
Hillary Clinton leaked e-mail story to New York Times before tweet
MSNBC: Hillary Personal Email Use at State ‘Staggering’, ‘Shocking’ and ‘Ridiculous’

3-March-2015

The Hillary Cover-Up and the End of Democracy
Hillary Clinton’s Private E-Mail Draws Scrutiny

2-March-2015

Hillary Clinton Used Personal Email Account at State Dept., Possibly Breaking Rules
Report: Hillary Clinton Evaded Government Email While Secretary Of State

05/28/15
Obama and Obamacare

New York Times Still Deceiving About Obamacare

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

The New York Times is at it again. In a front page story in Tuesday’s print edition, the Times is dishonestly pushing an argument that they hope will result in a favorable Supreme Court decision for President Obama’s so called Affordable Care Act. The mantra repeated over and over again is this: those four words in the Obamacare law—“established by the state”—were actually an accident, a drafting error. And those words, according to the Times and all of the sources they chose to comment on it for the article, are being misinterpreted by some who want to, shall we say, “degrade and defeat” the law.

The plain language of the law is that subsidies were only meant for those who purchase their plans through exchanges set up by the individual states. But that’s not what the Times and their sources want you to believe. Even if the Times were to admit that is the plain meaning based on the language in the law, their argument is that it still wasn’t the intent of the lawmakers and staffers who composed and approved of the legislation.

So now comes the Times, a month before the Supreme Court is planning to announce its decision, with a front-page article that is dishonest on many levels. If you are doing a news story, as opposed to a not-so-carefully disguised editorial, you would seek opposing points of view. In reading this article, you find that there is not one person among those interviewed who even knew that there was an issue regarding subsidies as they related to state exchanges versus the federal exchange.

First, the Times posed the questions: “Who wrote [those four words], and why? Were they really intended, as the plaintiffs in King v. Burwell claim, to make the tax subsidies in the law available only in states that established their own health insurance marketplaces, and not in the three dozen states with federal exchanges?”

Then it states: “The answer, from interviews with more than two dozen Democrats and Republicans involved in writing the law, is that the words were a product of shifting politics and a sloppy merging of different versions. Some described the words as ‘inadvertent,’ ‘inartful’ or ‘a drafting error.’ But none supported the contention of the plaintiffs, who are from Virginia.”

If this were a real news story, and not a front-page editorial disguised as a news article, these reporters would have sought out the opinion of people who disagree with those “more than two dozen Democrats and Republicans involved in writing the law.”

I cited the evidence in a column last March when the King v. Burwell case was being argued, and the same narrative was being pushed at that time by the Times and other liberal news organizations. I linked to a National Public Radio (NPR) article that had actually practiced journalism by talking to one of the plaintiff’s lawyers in this case; he pointed out that regarding this supposed drafting error, “those words are in the bill 11 times.”

I also cited an article published in Politico, two months before the bill passed in 2010, that cited then-Senator Ben Nelson’s opposition to a federal exchange: “Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) said Monday that he would oppose any health care reform bill with a national insurance exchange, which he described as a dealbreaker.” If that isn’t clear enough, Politico added this: “Nelson could have deprived House Democrats from securing what they have increasingly viewed as a must-have—a national exchange rather than a series of state exchanges.”

My column cited an American Spectator piece that details Nelson’s position on this issue. And then there’s Jonathan Gruber. As I wrote at the time: “And don’t forget Jonathan Gruber. He was one of the architects of Obamacare, and a close adviser to President Obama. He received millions of taxpayer dollars, from various states and the federal government. Gruber is the person who said that passing Obamacare depended ‘on the stupidity of the American voter,’ and that it was ‘written in a tortured way’ in order to deceive the voters about all the taxes they would have to pay. Regarding the subsidies being paid only to state exchanges, Gruber said that was ‘to squeeze the states to do it [to set up exchanges].’”

So there you have it. After reading what Gruber said, what Politico wrote months before the bill became law, how NPR reported it, and what Sen. Nelson told Greta Van Susteren, it becomes clear that the Times is editorializing, and not reporting, in a front-page story intended to influence a Supreme Court decision.

I suppose it’s possible to read the Times article, and read the evidence cited in my article, and conclude that the Times is telling the truth, and respecting its readers’ ability to hear two sides of this story and decide for themselves. On the other hand, maybe not.

05/28/15
Trevor Loudon

Trevor Loudon to Speak in Gresham, Oregon

New Zeal

Trevor Loudon will be speaking to the Gresham Tea Party at the Mojave Grill on 77NE 4th Street, Gresham Oregon, Friday, May 29th, at 6:30 pm.

Flag_of_Oregon.svg

All welcome. See you there!!

05/27/15
Israel

Tracking

Arlene from Israel

First a correction.  The information I had cited from Israel National News, regarding President Rivlin receiving an award from NIF turned out to be inaccurate.  He is, rather, to receive an award from the Jewish-Arab center for cooperation, Givat Haviva.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/195825#.VWWHz5uJjIW

Givat Haviva – a recipient of NIF funds – was founded by the far left, secular Hashomer Hatzair movement.  To the best of my knowledge, it does not promote BDS, criminalization of IDF soldiers, or other similar abominations.  It fosters a vision of “shared human values,” which puts emphasis on a democratic and secular rather than a Jewish Israel.

(With thanks to Moshe D. for calling this correction to my attention.)  See more below about BDS and NIF.

~~~~~~~~~~

We continue to see tensions between various government persons regarding their assigned positions and confusion as to who has precisely what responsibility.  All of this is regrettable and counterproductive.  Much of the problem is the result of lack of clarity about ministries, which are invented, done away with, reinstated, and redefined according to political need.

Thus, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat has now expressed great dissatisfaction with the appointment of Ze’ev Elkin as Minister of Jerusalem Affairs; he says that Netanyahu had promised him that he would have responsibilities that will now be undertaken by Elkin.  (The Ministry of Jerusalem Affairs, although it had existed previously, was not a defined ministry in this particular government until Netanyahu saw fit to assign Elkin to this post when other responsibilities were removed from his jurisdiction and given to Gilad Erdan.)

Elkin has responded by expressing the hope that he and Barkat will be able to work cooperatively for the good of Jerusalem.

In a similar vein, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely has disparaged Erdan’s role (presumably as Public Diplomacy Minister), as it undercuts her responsibilities.

And Benny Begin is refusing to cooperate by resigning so that Erdan can become a minister without exceeding the limit on Likud ministers that had been agreed up. 

~~~~~~~~~~

In response to the rocket barrage (five Grads) – launched from Gaza – that hit Gan Yavne near Ashkelon last night, the IDF this morning attacked four targets in Gaza.  This sort of immediate response is routine policy.  Four direct hits on terrorist infrastructure were confirmed.  However, as Avi Issacharoff (below) writes, by design the sites hit were vacant and no one was hurt.  This was apparently because Israel wished to deliver a message, not take life in an action that would promote an escalation.  The attack, of course, was accompanied by a stern statement about Israel being prepared to do whatever is necessary – and should push come to shove, Israel indeed would  be prepared to take meaningful action.

Now, according to media reports, Egypt is asking Israel to hold fire.  (And apparently Hamas has written a similar letter.) Arab sources say Hamas security forces have arrested several members of the armed wing of Islam Jihad.  It was said to be an internal struggle within IJ that prompted the rocket-launching.

http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Egypt-to-Israel-Hold-back-your-aggression-404224

~~~~~~~~~~

An alternate version of what happened: Dan Diker of Voice of Israel says this was a show of force between rival terrorist gangs with Islamic Jihad attempting to show up Hamas.

~~~~~~~~~~

It is highly likely that Hamas has no appetite for starting with Israel again right now; they haven’t even begun to recover from the war waged last summer.  However, says Issacharoff, for a variety of reasons, Hamas leadership is not adverse to sporadic launching of rockets on Israel.  Among those reasons is a desire to demonstrate that it is not collaborating with Jerusalem, and to provide just a hint of a warning to Israel. While, says Issacharoff (and I believe he is correct), Israel, for her part, prefers a chastened Hamas in charge in Gaza rather than having to cope with the terrorist chaos that would ensue if Hamas were taken out, or alternatively, with the burden of retaking all of Gaza. 

http://www.timesofisrael.com/when-two-gazans-fight-israel-suffers/

~~~~~~~~~~

As to BDS:

Just weeks ago, in a stunning decision, Israel’s High Court ruled that the Finance Minister can “impose fines and withhold funding from Israeli NGOs calling for boycotts of businesses in all or parts of Israel.”  Power was also granted to file lawsuits against these NGOs.

As Ronn Torossian wrote at the time:

”Petitioners in court today who sought permission of boycotts of Israel were New Israel Fund (NIF) sponsored organizations, including Gush Shalom, Adalah — the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI)…

”One wonders how the NIF can claim they do not support BDS when they go to Israel’s Supreme Court — with American Jewish donor money — and try to cancel the law forbidding boycotts of the State of Israel.

“The NIF’s website and annual report proclaim that NIF will ‘not exclude support for organizations that discourage the purchase of goods or use of services from [West Bank] settlements.’”

http://www.newsmax.com/RonnTorossian/Boycotts-Israel-Netanyahu-NGOs/2015/04/16/id/638877/#ixzz3XVCCXHGO

~~~~~~~~~

The battle against BDS has been gaining traction in another way as well, as states in the US have begun advancing opposition. First, was Tennessee, which on April 21st passed a resolution condemning boycotts.  A month later, both houses of the Illinois legislature unanimously passed anti-boycott legislation.

Now there is a push for Congress to do the same.

~~~~~~~~~~

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has just told the French parliament that France would not sign an agreement with Iran unless inspections are permitted at all sites, including military sites.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/france-wont-sign-iran-deal-without-military-site-inspections/

Last week Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ruled out inspections at military sites. 

But Yukiya Amano, the head of the UN’s IAEA said yesterday that Iran had agreed to “snap inspections,” including at military sites as part of the Additional Protocol of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) .  Amano says Iran would have to allow inspections according to the Protocol and that months would be needed to assess the military aspects of the situation.  (Remember that Iran has declined to provide the IAEA with baseline information.)

On the other hand, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said it was not so: “some” access to sites would be permitted, but not military sites.  In fact, just days ago, Iran demanded 24 day notice before any inspections – their definition of “snap inspections.”  As Fabius commented then: “in 24 days a lot of things can disappear.”

http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/05/21/iran-wants-24-days-notice-prior-to-nuke-inspections/

~~~~~~~~~~

Always the lack of clarity, the hedging, the shifting of position.  And now there is talk that the June 30 deadline for a deal may be extended – buying Iran further time to advance its agenda.

This is a very bad scene because the notion that it is possible to genuinely negotiate in good faith with Iran is flawed at its core. The Iranians are running rings around the P5 + 1 team.  But the one thing Obama wants to avoid is the appearance that this great diplomatic venture of his has failed abysmally.  For some time now it has struck me as rather incredible that it is France that is hewing to the toughest line.

~~~~~~~~~~

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini today called on Israel and the PA to resume peace talks immediately.  Why?  Because the current situation on the ground is “not sustainable.”

She apparently knows this because we hit targets in Gaza. 

“Without any kind of political process, without any horizon, we cannot expect anything but more violence to come again,” she said.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/195916#.VWYQepuJjIU

~~~~~~~~~~

My question, then, is this:  Is Mogherini genuinely a dimwit, or is she pretending?  Does she not know that Hamas in Gaza would not be party to a “peace process,” were Israel to re-establish one with the PA?  I guess she does know, because she called upon Israel and the PA, not Hamas, to come to the table. 

So let me rephrase this: Why would she think that Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza would stop attacking Israel and become good neighbors if peace were made with the PA? That the existence of a “Palestinian state” on part of the land would mollify them?

Allow me to cite a few phrases from the Hamas Charter (with emphasis added):

Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it.

Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious. It needs all sincere efforts.

The Islamic Resistance Movement [Hamas] is a distinguished Palestinian movement, whose allegiance is to Allah, and whose way of life is Islam. It strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine.

The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the links in the chain of the struggle against the Zionist invaders.

The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgment Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up.

Nationalism, from the point of view of the Islamic Resistance Movement, is part of the religious creed. Nothing in nationalism is more significant or deeper than in the case when an enemy should tread Moslem land.

Leaving the circle of struggle with Zionism is high treason, and cursed be he who does that.

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/hamas.asp

Clearly, Hamas has to grapple with realities on the ground and decide when or if to launch serious attacks against Israel. But we should never make the mistake of thinking because Hamas is reticent to start up now means it opts for “peace,” or would be satisfied with sharing Palestine with the Jewish people. Moghirini’s “horizon” is not Hamas’s horizon.

~~~~~~~~~~

A week from today, on Wednesday, June 3, Unity Day will be marked.  Mayor Nir Barkat, working with the parents of Eyal Yifrach, Gil-Ad Shaer and Naftali Frenkel – who were kidnapped and killed by terrorists last year – have designated the day as a time for honoring the memory of the boys by bringing people together.

A joint message from the parents read:

“Jews from around the world came together to support [the boys’] families by searching, praying, and just reaching out. The sense of unity reached its peak 17 days later as the three boys were found and ultimately laid to rest side by side.

“Now, one year later, the families of the boys are asking the Jewish people to come together again. Together with, Nir Barkat, the Mayor of Jerusalem and Gesher [an organization that promotes understanding between secular and religious Jews], we will honor the teens’ memory by joining in ‘Unity Day’ to bring back that sense of togetherness and hope.”

You may remember the incredible unity of those days.  Now we need such feeling more than ever.  As Barkat has written:

“The Jerusalem Unity Prize [which will be awarded that day] and Unity Day serve to memorialize the three boys by strengthening the common bonds that exist within our Jewish people and encourage greater tolerance and mutual respect between all sectors of our greater community.”   (Emphasis added)

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4660758,00.html

3 kidnapped teen boys Israel 6-14-2014