A Levy Report Campaign!

Arlene from Israel

Just yesterday plans were finalized for launching the first stage of a major effort aimed at securing the acceptance of the Levy Report.

You will find an article about it here:


But I want to take the time in this posting to provide a bit of background and explain what the report is and why it is important. (And those in Israel, please see all the way to the bottom.)


The Jewish claim to the land of Israel — certainly including all of Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria — is solid. It is predicated first on our ancient history in the land. Jews are, in fact, the indigenous people here, having maintained a continuous presence for almost 4,000 years. Our ancient heritage actually can be found not in western Israel, but in eastern Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria.

In addition to heritage, there is solid legal precedent for our claim to the land — via the San Remo Conference, the Mandate for Palestine, and more.

For at least 20 years, however, there has been a concentrated delegitimization campaign waged by the Palestinian Arabs and their supporters that attempts to discredit our rights to the land.

The perception that Jewish rights to the land have been diminished has been fueled by Palestinian Arab leader Mahmoud Abbas and his cohorts, who – in insisting ad nauseum that Israel’s proper place is behind the “1967 border” – reveal themselves to be major advocates of the dictum that, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”

Of course this business of a “1967 border” is a lie: there was no border established to Israel’s east after the War of Independence ended in 1949, only a temporary armistice line. The armistice agreement was not even with a “Palestinian people,” but with Jordan. Nor did Security Council Resolution 242 require Israel to pull back fully from Judea and Samaria, which was secured defensively during the Six-Day War in 1967.

But why bother with facts when a myth more favorable to the political interests of the Palestinian Arabs can be successfully generated? Today, a good part of the world believes that Judea and Samaria consist of “Palestinian land,” which Israel must “return.” The president of the United States speaks in such terms. Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, called “settlements” (pejoratively), are referred to either as “illegitimate” or “illegal,” and the stumbling block to peace. Eastern Jerusalem, today part of the united capital of Jerusalem under full Israeli sovereignty, is called “Arab Jerusalem.”


This Palestinian Arab myth could not have been successfully generated had successive Israeli governments self-confidently and persistently presented truths to counter the lies. Regrettably, since Oslo, this has rarely been the case. While no Israeli government has ever declared Judea, Samaria and the eastern part of Jerusalem to be “Palestinian land,” some have skirted close to embracing this position by behaving “as if.” Some Israeli leaders to the left have swallowed the notion in its essence, speaking in terms of what the Israelis owe the “Palestinians.” Some others are ideologically opposed to any such concept but timid about bucking a position that is politically correct internationally.

In other places you may read about the “competing” Israeli and Palestinian Arab “narratives” concerning the land. You will not hear that from me. There are not two “narratives” of equal weight that are simply a matter of perspective. There is the truth about the situation, and there is the invented narrative — the deliberate lie crafted for malign political purposes. Regrettably, many of our own leaders have not spoken the truth boldly enough for some time now.


Prime Minister Netanyahu is not ideologically committed to a “Palestinian state.” His problem, rather, is that he is timid before the international community. He prefers to “play the game,” believing — mistakenly — that in doing so he will lessen the pressure on Israel and accrue favor for Israel in the international community.

In January, 2012, Netanyahu appointed a committee – popularly referred to as the Levy Committee – to examine the status of Israeli building in Judea and Samaria. Edmund Levy, former Justice of the High Court, headed the committee; its other members were Alan Baker, international lawyer and former adviser for the Foreign Ministry, and Tehiya Shapira, retired Tel Aviv District Court Judge.

The Committee’s Report, which was released on July 8, 2012, is 90 pages long in the original Hebrew. (Only summaries exist in English.) It consists of both conclusions and recommendations and provides legal arguments and research.

The accusations currently being leveled by the international community against Israel as a violator of “international law” because of building in Judea and Samaria are countered by the Levy Report conclusions. That is, because of both historical and legal factors, the decades-long presence of Israel in Judea and Samaria is not “belligerent occupation.” Israel’s situation is unique (sui generis) and Israel has the legal right to settle in Judea and Samaria.

The Report then offers a number of important recommendations, consistent with the conclu­sions, regarding adjustments in Israeli policies and practices in Judea and Samaria. These recommendations would clarify the rights of Israeli citizens living in Judea and Samaria, who currently find themselves at a serious disadvantage: The Israeli legal system default there favors Arabs.


I have it from an impeccable source that when Prime Minister Netanyahu first saw the Report, he declared, “Ah, this is just what we need.”

But information about the report was leaked, and Netanyahu, confronting the international furor that would result from its official adoption, did an about-face. The Report, which was to be referred to the Ministerial Committee on Settlements for discussion, was tabled. To this day, it sits in a drawer somewhere, effectively never having seen the light of day.

And so, the Levy Report disappeared from the radar screen of public awareness. But it was not forgotten by Israeli activists and politicians with a nationalist orientation, who understood its enormous importance.

In the fall of 2012, a small group of seasoned activists (including yours truly) formed an ad hoc committee to pursue plans for securing the adoption of the Report by the government. International lawyers and politicians were consulted, the political climate was assessed and assessed again; and plans for a campaign evolved through several permutations. Persons and organizations of prominence who would lend their names to the campaign were sought. Additionally, and necessarily, backers to provide funds were secured.

As the plans for the campaign have coalesced over the last few months, the Campaign Committee has become convinced that the timing is right.

This is, first, because of the farcical “negotiations” with the Palestinian Authority. If there are going to be such negotiations (certainly not advocated by the Campaign Committee) it is important that Israel negotiate from strength, and this means stating Israeli rights without equivocation. There is scant time to delay on this. It’s one thing to concede that Israel “must” withdraw from at least part of Judea and Samaria, because this is “owed” to the Palestinian Arabs, and quite another to say that it is Israeli land by right and any concessions to the Palestinian Arabs would be a matter of choice and discretion.

Then there has been an encouraging shift within the government, with a greater number of ministers and deputies who are nationalist or who tend to be opposed to the notion of a Palestinian state, such as: Moshe Ya’alon; Naftali Bennett; Danny Danon; Yisrael Katz; Tzipi Hotovely; Ze’ev Elkin; Uzi Landau; Yair Shamir; and Uri Ariel. Add to this list Yuli Edelstein, Speaker of the Knesset.

Lastly, there is Prime Minister Netanyahu’s second Bar Ilan speech of October 6. Instead of speaking of a “two state solution,” as he had previously, he emphasized Jewish rights in the land. A change of tone that many consider significant.


And now, at long last, the Levy Report Campaign is kicking off.

The Campaign Committee is operating with the assistance of Regavim, a fine Israeli organization that works “to ensure responsible, legal & accountable use of Israel’s national lands and the return of the rule of law to all…aspects of the land.” (See http://regavim.org.il/en)

The campaign is envisioned in two stages – first within the Knesset and then more broadly within the public domain.

It is so new that neither a name nor a logo are yet in place. But the services of the educator who will work with the members of the Knesset have been secured. There will be major social media aspects to this effort, as well as organizational work done within the Knesset – in large part by Knesset members themselves – to generate significant and sustained support for the Report. Already, members of the Knesset approached informally have expressed considerable enthusiasm.

The goal of the campaign, of course, remains acceptance of the Levy Report by the government. Right now a process is being set in place that will take time to unfold, step-by-step. It would be foolish and unrealistic to anticipate immediate acceptance. First the climate must be created.

The Campaign Committee believes this effort will provide support for the prime minister, so that he is bolstered from within the nation – and thus better able to resist outside pressures. As well, the campaign should, in time, shift public perceptions regarding Israel’s rights.

As the campaign progresses, I will, of course, follow through with additional information.


A word about sovereignty. The committee is certainly not ideologically opposed, but is not promoting this — and takes no position on the specific form it might take — because in our opinion it is premature. There will be no serious action towards sovereignty — either over Area C or all of Judea and Samaria — until the government of Israel first declares our RIGHT TO THE LAND, and there is broad public understanding of that right. This is what the Levy Report is about. It is a vehicle for changing the paradigm of thinking. We believe it lays the necessary ideological/legal groundwork for what will follow.


Readers, please note that we are seeking support in two respects. First, we have a coalition of organizations that are supporting our venture in principle. If you are associated with an organization that would like its name added, or would like information to that end, please contact me.

And then, while sufficient funds were raised to kick this off, additional money is required for an aspect of the campaign that has been added since the budget was drafted. If you are interested in more details and think you might be able to help, please! do contact me.


I was not going to deal with other issues in this posting, but there is one topic that must be addressed now: The Cabinet has voted to release 26 more prisoners (terrorists) tomorrow, in line with a commitment made by our government to the PA at the start of “negotiations.”

The decision to carry through on this, in spite of PA behavior — incitement, etc. — is causing considerable dissension in the country, and within the government — with Habayit Hayehudi in particular protesting this as immoral.

This is the Netanyahu who concedes for the sake of keeping the US and international community happy. These terrorists should not go free.

There will be a demonstration tonight, 7-9 PM, at the prison at Ofer, with a human chain formed around the prison. There will be buses running from Binyanei Ha’uma in Jerusalem, but reservations must be made. For reservations or more information, call: 072-2156-213. And see http://www.myisrael.org.il/action/ for more information, as well.


The Cruz-ing, Lee-ing and Palin-ing of Ken Cuccinelli

By: Lloyd Marcus

Well folks, how does it feel to be called stupid, crazy, extremist, racist and terrorist for standing firm for values and principles which most Americans have held and continue to hold dear? Such are the rantings coming from liberal media and Washington elites about the Tea Party.

Word on the political street is GOP polling has tanked because they foolishly listened to the wacko Tea Party lead by toxic idiots Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Sarah Palin.

So to win an approving pat on the head from DC elites and the liberal media, conservative politicians and the Tea Party must offer their unconditional surrender to Obama’s socialist/progressive fundamental transformation of America agenda. And for good measure, the Tea Party must abandon their friends Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Sarah Palin; burning them in effigy.

Regrettably, too many politicians on our side have drank the kool-aid, abandoning Conservatism in hope of winning a little love from liberals.

This is why Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli’s rock-solid conservative platform is extremely courageous. http://www.cuccinelli.com

Readers of my articles are well aware of how much I believe character matters when electing leaders. Awarding great power to someone who lacks a conscience is insane. Had the liberal media paid more attention to Obama’s character rather than insisting that his skin-color exempts him from the standard vetting process, America would not be in a mess which threatens the vision of our founding fathers.

For those of you who still think character does not matter, check out this list of ways Obama tried to inflict unnecessary pain on the American people; using them as mere pawns, acceptable collateral damage in his vendetta to destroy his Nemesis the Republicans and the Tea Party. http://bit.ly/1byUEV7

Despite all the bad press, and the Administration along with their liberal media cheering section all pounding on their chests in victory like King Kong, the Cruz, Lee and Palin revolt against Obamacare reignited the Tea Party. Patriots are fired up!

Electing Ken Cuccinelli governor of Virginia will be another desperately needed fighter on the front-lines to stop Obamacare. http://bit.ly/17SdIX1

Fighting Obamacare from the beginning, Cuccinelli was the FIRST Attorney General in the nation to file a lawsuit to have ObamaCare ruled unconstitutional by the courts.

Cuccinelli’s stellar political record speaks for itself. Here are a few little known facts which further illustrate the character of the man.

Thomas Haynesworth is a wrongfully accused black man who spent 27 years in jail for 3 rapes. New DNA testing technology proved Hayesworth innocent of one of the rapes and revealed the guilt of a look-a-like. No DNA was available from the other two rapes. Upon reviewing the evidence, Cuccinelli believed Haynesworth was innocent and went to bat for him which won Governor McDonnell’s support for Haynesworth’s parole. However, Haynesworth would still be branded as a registered sex offender and have to report to a parole officer.

Such injustice was unacceptable to Cuccinelli. Again, he went to bat for Haynesworth by going to the VA Court of Appeals and argued Haynesworth’s innocence. The Court of Appeals found Haynesworth innocent of the two crimes, despite the lack of DNA evidence. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IR1E7ECImJs

But wait, but wait, how could this tale of compassion and determination to seek justice for an innocent black man be true? Haven’t we been told that all white conservative Republicans are secretly members of the KKK?

With the Virginia election for governor less than two weeks away, the Democrats continue to spend millions spreading lies about Cuccinelli. One such lie claims Cuccinelli is anti-woman. The truth is the polar opposite. Cuccinelli opposes the numerous infringements on our constitutional freedoms built in Obamacare which includes forcing taxpayers to fund abortions; government mandated betrayal of citizens religious convictions. Liberals have despicably spun his opposition to Obamacare to mean he hates women.

The truth is, Ken Cuccinelli has a proven track record of heroic advocacy for women. While in college at UVA, Cuccinelli was moved by a sexual assault on a female fellow student. He and a few others started a sexual assault awareness program; The Sexual Assault Fact and Education (SAFE) group. http://wapo.st/9CugPS

Sex trafficking of young girls is growing rapidly in Virginia and throughout America. As Attorney General, Cuccinelli started from the ground up to make the VA AG’s office the center hub of efforts, working with law enforcement agencies across VA to crack down on sex trafficking. http://cbsloc.al/ZUwWqM

So here we go again folks, a real stand up guy fighting for the rights of We The People being trashed by the Democrats and their media buddies; attempting to Cruz, Lee and Palin him as yet another Conservative nut case.

Please do not allow them to get away with it. This time, let’s make sure the good guy wins.

Ken Cuccinelli for governor Virginia. http://bit.ly/17SdIX1

Lloyd Marcus, Proud Unhyphenated American
Chairman: Conservative Campaign Committee


Back to Normal

Arlene from Israel

“Back to Normal” (whatever “normal” means)

Some days ago, I had shared with my readers the fact that there would be a hiatus in my writing both for personal reasons and because of a major project. As to the personal reasons, I am functioning without major distraction now but advise you that, down the road, I may again be focused on other matters for a period of time during which I will not be posting.

As to the major project: I look forward eagerly to sharing the details in a day or two, in a posting devoted primarily to this.

Today’s posting will be, as I indicated, “normal.”


What strikes me is that in the duration of time during which I have not been posting, nothing of major significance has shifted. It’s essentially more of the same, with slight variations and permutations. The same nonsense. The same outrage.

One on-going source of outrage is the manner in which an anti-Israel EU is conducting itself. And so I would like to begin by sharing a part of Caroline Glick’s column from this past week, entitled, “Israel’s European challenge.” Writes Glick (emphasis added):

“…In mid-September, the IDF enforced a High Court of Justice order to destroy 250 structures built illegally by Palestinian squatters in the Jordan Valley. The High Court acted in accordance with the agreements signed between the Palestinians and Israel. Those agreements gave Israel sole control over planning and zoning in the Jordan Valley and throughout the area of Judea and Samaria defined in Area C.

“Five days after the IDF destroyed the illegal structures, Palestinian activists arrived at the site with tents. Their intention was to act in contempt of the law and the agreements the PLO signed with Israel, and to resettle the site.

“The Palestinians did not come alone. They were accompanied by European diplomats. The diplomats were there to provide diplomatic cover to the Palestinians as they broke the law and breached the agreements PLO signed with the Israeli government.

“This would have been bad enough, but in the event, one European diplomat, Marion Castaing, the cultural attache at the French Consulate in Jerusalem, decided that her job didn’t end with providing diplomatic cover for lawbreakers. She joined them. She punched an Israeli border policeman in the face.

“Rather than apologize to Israel for using European diplomats to support Palestinians engaged in criminal activity, and for Castaing’s shocking violence against an Israeli soldier lawfully performing his duties, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton attacked Israel.

“Ashton called the tents, presumably paid for by European taxpayers, ‘humanitarian assistance’ and declared, ‘The EU deplores the confiscation of humanitarian assistance carried out by Israeli security forces yesterday in Khirbat al-Makhul.’

“‘EU representatives have already contacted the Israeli authorities to demand an explanation and expressed their concern at the incident. The EU underlines the importance of unimpeded delivery of humanitarian assistance and the applicability of international humanitarian law in the occupied Palestinian territories,’ Ashton said.

“The EU’s role in financing illegal Palestinian building efforts in the Jordan Valley is not unique. For some time, in contempt of Israeli law and the arrangements signed between Israel and the PLO, the EU has been financing illegal building by Arabs in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.

“What was new in last month’s incident was the deployment of European diplomats at the scene to provide diplomatic cover for Palestinian law-breakers…

“In recent months, there has been a palpable escalation of European hostility toward Israel…”


“Outrage” is a fairly apt description of what transpired here — what continues to transpire. The Europeans are growing increasing blatant in their anti-Israel positions. There is nothing subtle about their behavior. And please note that they fall back upon allusions to “international humanitarian law” when criticizing Israel. That’s the standard: Anyone, at any time, can refer to “international humanitarian law,” but this in no way means that such law genuinely applies.


Glick tracks what she sees as the cause of the heighted EU hostility to Israel, much of it economic in nature.

But that hostility transcends economic issues and can be tracked back for some time. It incorporates hypocrisy and a double standard applied to Israel alone.

“Consider,” says Glick, “Europe’s position on Israeli communities built beyond the 1949 armistice lines. Europe wrongly asserts that these communities are illegal. But even if they were right, Europe’s behavior toward Israel would still make a mockery of its proclaimed devotion to international law. Europe has no problem, indeed it has actively supported settlements for citizens of belligerent occupying powers in areas ruled through occupation. As Profs. Avi Bell and Eugene Kantorovich from the Kohelet Policy Forum explained in a recent paper on the EU’s guidelines, the EU supports settlements by occupying powers in Northern Cyprus, Abkazia and Western Sahara. In light of this, it is clear that the guidelines directed against Israel are inherently discriminatory.

“The EU’s supposed commitment to international law is similarly exposed as a sham by its willingness to turn a blind eye to the Palestinian Authority’s diversion of EU monies to finance terrorism. Despite mountains of evidence accumulated over the past 13 years that aid is being siphoned off to finance terrorist attacks against Israel, the EU has refused to take action. And its refusal to act is itself a breach of international law.”

It is time, says Glick, to begin confronting the truth on these issues and stop giving a free pass to those “who distort the very meaning of international law while making empty proclamations of support for the cause of peace.”


This is information — and a perspective — that every supporter of Israel should have access to.


Another running theme is that of Iran’s race to become a nuclear power, and the refusal of the nations negotiating with Iran to put a stop to what is imminent.

Perhaps at some time in the near future I’ll be motivated to discuss details once again. But for me now it all seems so wearisome, so “been-there-done-that.” The bottom line is that everything that is being discussed is a half-way measure that won’t stop Iran. As PM Netanyahu continues to point out, nothing short of the dismantlement of Iran’s nuclear development capability will work. The Iranian offer to stop enriching at higher levels is meaningless if the equipment that would permit them to do so is still in their possession: In a matter of weeks they could (would, as they wished) be up and running again.

And I hasten to point out here, that when it’s said that the sanctions are working, that is not really so — or is only relatively so. The Iranians are in an economic bind and hope to have sanctions eased, undoubtedly. But please note that they have not stopped their program because of those sanctions. (See Ajami on this below.)


Fouad Ajami offers an analysis of the situation — both with regard to Obama’s position on Iran and on Syria — in the Wall Street Journal (emphasis added):

“…The remarkable thing about President Obama’s diplomacy in the region is that it has come full circle—to the very beginning of his presidency. The promised ‘opening’ to Iran, the pass given to Bashar Assad’s tyranny in Syria, the abdication of the American gains in Iraq and a reflexive unease with Israel—these were hallmarks of the new president’s approach to foreign policy.

“Now we are simply witnessing the alarming consequences of such a misguided, naïve outlook. [Note from Arlene: do not write to me to tell me that Obama is not naive, please. This is an Ajami quote, and he makes his case.]

“Consider this bit of euphoria from a senior Obama administration official after the Oct. 16-17 negotiations in Geneva with the Iranians over their nuclear program: ‘I’ve been doing this now for about two years, and I have never had such intense, detailed, straightforward, candid conversations with the Iranian delegation before.’

“…True, the sanctions have had their own power, but they haven’t stopped Iran from aiding the murderous Assad regime in Syria, or subsidizing Hezbollah in Beirut. And they will not dissuade this regime from its pursuit of nuclear weapons. In dictatorial regimes, the pain of sanctions is passed onto the underclass and the vulnerable.

“…The gullibility of Mr. Obama’s pursuit of an opening with Iran has unsettled America’s allies in the region. In Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates there is a powerful feeling of abandonment. In Israel, there is the bitter realization that America’s strongest ally in region is now made to look like the final holdout against a blissful era of compromise that will calm a turbulent region. A sound U.S. diplomatic course with Iran would never have run so far ahead of Israel’s interests and of the region’s moderate anti-Iranian Arab coalition.”



The last paragraph I cite above is significant on two counts: The news here is filled with reports of the severe disillusionment of Saudi Arabia — the anger at Obama’s failure to come through.

For example, from Reuters:

“Saudi Arabia’s warning that it will downgrade its relationship with the United States is based on a fear that President Barack Obama lacks both the mettle and the guile to confront mutual adversaries, and is instead handing them a strategic advantage.

“Riyadh is locked in what it sees as a pivotal battle over the fate of the Middle East with its arch-rival Iran, a country it believes is meddling in the affairs of allies and seeking to build a nuclear bomb, charges Tehran denies.

“The kingdom’s intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, has told European diplomats that Riyadh is contemplating a ‘major shift’ away from the United States over Washington’s policies on a host of issues including Syria.”



And Ajami is on the mark, indeed, with the fact that here in Israel, where we get it right, we deeply resent being represented as a stumbling block to a peaceful settlement with Iran, a “warmonger,” facing down the US’s “peaceful” approach.


There continues to be a very real dispute between the US and Israel with regard to how much time there remains before Iran has nuclear capabilities, i.e., the ability to put together a bomb should its leaders decide to.

David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security and a former inspector with the IAEA, has released a new assessment estimating that “Iran could produce enough weapons-grade uranium to build a nuclear bomb in as little as a month.”

“The new assessment comes as the White House invited Senate staffers to a briefing on negotiations with Iran as it is trying to persuade Congress not to go ahead with a bill to stiffen sanctions against Iran.” (All emphasis added)


Israeli assessments (roughly, “months away”) are much closer to the Albright estimate than to what Obama is gambling on. Obama is playing with fire of the most dangerous and lethal sort.


The heart of the matter is the question of what Netanyahu will finally decide to do, and when — after all his warnings are ignored and the world sails blithely towards a nuclear Iran.

Last week, the New Republic ran a major interview with Amos Yadlin, former head of IDF intelligence and presently head of the Institute of National Security Studies. Yadlin flew one of the planes that attacked the Iraqi reactor. (All emphasis added)

Says Yadlin: “I supported [Netanyahu and Barak] on the notion that if we come to the fork in the road [on Iran], where we have to choose between very tough alternatives—the ‘bomb’ or the ‘bombing’—I’m with the prime minister, for the bombing.”

Many people, he goes on to say, thought that 2012 was the year in which Israel had to attack. He did not. But he suggests that 2014 is. He believes Israel should go as long as possible in giving diplomacy that chance. But then…

“Israel doesn’t need America on D-Day. It can do it alone. It even can cope with the day after, but it does need the United States for the decade after.

“…even the most successful operation theoretically—theoretically—will stop the program for five years. If you want to make these five engineering theoretical years into a decade, until the regime changes, you need the U.S. on board, with the continuation of sanctions, with leading the international campaign against the renewal of the nuclear program in Iran, and maybe supporting [Israel] in doing it again. So that’s why I think 2012 was the wrong year to do it, because in 2012, it was a bright red light from Washington. I would like to emphasize, Israel is not asking for a green light. Israel only doesn’t want to do something that is going 180 degrees against American vital interests as long as it is not a response to a threat that is almost an existential threat. I think in late 2013 or early 2014, especially if America sees that Iran is not serious about reaching an acceptable agreement and only continues to buy time, the U.S. will accept an Israeli attack because a nuclear Iran is absolutely against American vital national security interests…


“The coming year is a special challenge because the Iranians are now very close. They may be able to produce a bomb faster than intelligence can detect that they are breaking out or sneaking out. And the breakout time may be shorter than the time necessary for the decisions and planning and execution of an operation that can stop it. This is what is unique here. ‘You cannot live with a nuclear Iran,’ that’s was decided long ago, But in the coming year, the probability of affirmative answers to all four fundamental questions [that must be asked regarding possibility of success] will be higher than it has ever been…

“[To those who say Israel cannot do it] I say that they ignore history. The same people also thought that we couldn’t destroy the Arab air forces in ‘67. They thought we couldn’t make it to Entebbe and free the hostages in 1976. They thought it was impossible to strike the reactor in Iraq. They thought we couldn’t destroy the Syrian air defenses in the Bekaa Valley in 1982. There’s a lot they thought Israel couldn’t do.”

Yadlin is confident that Israel can do it. Period. “It is doable…My confidence level is quite high. We have been building the force and practicing for this day for years.”

He then addressed the issue of probability of success — with that probability dropping as Iran does more to secure its facilities. Right now he thinks the probability is still quite high — 95% — but that indeed it will be dropping.

As to Netanyahu: “The prime minister is not bluffing. It is the main issue he cares about. He thinks that stopping Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons is the most important issue for the future of the State of Israel. And he hasn’t changed.”



GOP Congressman Flees Anti-NSA Rally

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

Libertarian Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson were the most prominent Republicans appearing at last Saturday’s far-left anti-NSA rally, staged in honor of former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

Johnson, who is also a libertarian, was introduced to the crowd as an advocate of legal marijuana, and drew applause and cheers.

Amash was also a favorite, but clearly seemed uncomfortable on stage as he was surrounded by “Stop Watching Us” activists holding thousands of anti-NSA petitions. Numerous “Thank you Edward Snowden” banners were visible in the crowd before him.

Amash gave a speech, staged a brief photo op with some of the participants who formally presented the anti-NSA petitions, and then quickly walked away in order to avoid interviews with the press.

This didn’t stop NBC News reporter Michael Isikoff from following the Michigan congressman after his speech and trying to corner him about whether he regards Snowden as a criminal, traitor, or hero. Isikoff’s cameraman was filming the exchange while walking backward.

Only one small part of the exchange with Amash aired on NBC News. The Michigan Tea Party-backed Representative was overheard telling Isikoff that Snowden had “very few options, but the issue is not whether he did the right thing or not. I think he’s certainly broken some laws.”

Yet, the rally was designed specifically for the purpose of supporting Snowden and his criminal disclosures.

Snowden is the subject of a sealed criminal complaint charging him with espionage and theft of government property. He fled to Chinese Hong Kong and then Russia, where President and former Soviet KGB officer Vladimir Putin gave him asylum. Snowden’s disclosures about the nature and extent of U.S. surveillance programs have clearly benefitted America’s enemies and damaged America’s international standing in the world.

The small crowd, which assembled near Union Station and then marched to the Capitol Reflecting Pool, was led in chants of “They say wiretap. We say fight back.”

USA Today said “thousands” had rallied against the NSA, but several hundred was a more accurate estimate. The crowd included members of Code Pink, the Marxist organization that frequently demonstrates against aid to Israel; extremists from the Lyndon LaRouche organization (with posters showing Obama with a Hitler mustache); ACLU activists; and advocates for American “political prisoners” such as convicted cop-killer Joanne Chesimard (a member of the Black Liberation Army who escaped to Cuba).

Other official sponsoring organizations included the ANSWER Coalition, a front of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, and the International Socialist Organization (ISO).

Glenn Greenwald, one of the individual endorsers of last Saturday’s rally, has been Snowden’s handler and conduit for leaks to the media. He has also spoken at several ISO conferences, declaring on one occasion that the “weakening of America” is a “very good thing.”

Evan Gahr reported for AIM that Greenwald is speaking at the November 16 “Faith in Freedom” banquet of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim Brotherhood organization. CAIR was also an official sponsor of Saturday’s rally.

The October 26 event was emceed by Kymone Freeman, director of something called the “National Black LUV Fest,” and featured a statement by Snowden from Moscow. “It’s about our right to know, to associate freely, and to live in an open society,” said Snowden. His statement, however, said nothing about government surveillance in Russia, conducted by the former KGB, now known as the FSB.

The Snowden statement was read by Jesselyn Radack of the Government Accountability Project, who claimed, during a brief interview, that the U.S. government is at fault for Snowden fleeing to Moscow, that the Russians are not controlling the former NSA contractor, and that Putin has played the role of peacemaker regarding Syria. When pressed on her claims and asked about the Putin regime murdering independent journalists who oppose his rule, she said she had to go, and fled with the help of her own handler.

Radack’s discomfort was nothing compared to that of Amash, who apparently didn’t realize how extreme the crowd was going to be.

Former Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton, who calls Snowden a traitor, has said, in regard to his latest disclosures about alleged NSA monitoring of the telephone calls of certain world leaders, “It doesn’t bother me at all…it is the duty of the President…to take steps to protect America and if that means conducting espionage, even on friends, absolutely.”

Amash has become a favorite of the far-left for partnering earlier this year with Democratic Rep. John Conyers (MI) in an effort to defund the NSA’s surveillance programs. Analyst Trevor Loudon notes, “Conyers has a more than 40 year history of collaborating with the Communist Party and almost as long with the Democratic Socialists of America.”

Since the Amash-Conyers amendment went down to defeat, Amash is now supporting another legislative maneuver to gut the ability of the NSA to conduct surveillance programs. It carries the long title of “Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ending Eavesdropping, Dragnet Collection, and Online Monitoring Act,” also known as the USA FREEDOM Act. This bill has been introduced by Republican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin in cooperation with Conyers.

Loudon has said that he finds it ironic that “millions of American patriots, motivated by genuine constitutional concerns, have been turned into attack dogs against one of their few remaining effective means of national defense. America’s enemies must be laughing uproariously over this.”

In this case, the anti-NSA activists have the support of a bipartisan lobbying firm, the Smith-Free Group in Washington, D.C. Philip G. Kiko, who served as Chief of Staff to Sensenbrenner, is leading the lobbying campaign against the NSA.

But while Kiko’s job is to give the appearance of Republican support for the Conyers-Sensenbrenner legislation, the far-left is actually calling the shots. The Washington, D.C. rally, for example, was organized by the George Soros-funded Free Press, the main organization behind the “Stop Watching Us” coalition.

The group claimed to have “both sides of the political spectrum” represented at the rally, but the only groups from the conservative side were the Competitive Enterprise Institute and Freedom Works—and they did not have speaking parts.

However, another featured speaker was former Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich, now a Fox News commentator. Kucinich was perhaps best known for sponsoring legislation to create a Department of Peace in the executive branch.

Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected]. View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.


The Left’s Continued Assault on the Truth About Benghazi

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

The left-wing, George Soros-funded Media Matters has long held that the Benghazi scandal is a “phony scandal” and parroted the administration’s pronouncements minimizing the scandal. Now, they have penned a book, The Benghazi Hoax, which formalizes this theory.

“The book—the first such endeavor for Media Matters, which is self-publishing it—was conceived of in the spring, as the congressional hearings on Benghazi were taking place, he [David Brock] said,” according to Politico, which focused largely on the pro-Clinton aspects of the book. Brock is described in the article as the “Media Matters founder and Hillary Clinton ally,” and it points out that Brock acknowledges that part—a “fraction,” he claims—of their mission is “Supporting the Clintons.”

“The book is the latest effort this year in what is likely to be more Clinton-centric efforts ahead of 2016.” Indeed, the book mentions 2016 and Clinton several times and dismisses any attempts to tar Clinton’s reputation as part of the Republican-conservative smear machine. They even cry “sexism” on behalf of Clinton.

According to the book, authored by David Brock and Ari Rabin-Havt, the genesis of the manufactured Benghazi scandal started in an impromptu statement by then-Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who was looking to gain the advantage over incumbent President Barack Obama on foreign policy. Romney did make mistakes in his presentation of the issue, a fact that dominated the media coverage for days afterward. But this was not mentioned by Brock and Rabin-Havt.

The authors maintain that “Reporters for established news outlets work with a healthy skepticism for the administration in power, but when Democrats are in the White House, conservatives have become adept at badgering a so-called ‘liberal media’ to prove its lack of bias by adopting their story ideas.” In other words, the liberal media should just ignore conservative points of view entirely, and stories that are embarrassing to liberals, while Democrats are in office.

If Media Matters had its way, the Benghazi incident would just be considered one of many violent incidents abroad, and dismissed entirely. “Had the Benghazi attack not occurred at this unique moment—on a day when the Republican candidate for the presidency and his promoters in the conservative media were desperate for a new storyline, especially one that would undercut the popular effect of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden the year before—this tragedy might not have been converted into a political scandal,” they suggest. “After all, Benghazi was just one of at least 157 attacks on our diplomatic facilities over a 15-year period, 9 of which resulted in U.S. fatalities.”

Actually, this was the first time in 33 years a U.S. ambassador had died as a result of terrorism.

Other important facts left out of the book include the deteriorating security situation leading up to the terrorist attack, the inadequate security at the Special Mission Compound, and the fact that CIA employees are reportedly being polygraphed and forced to sign non-disclosure agreements regarding the Benghazi incident. The book fails to adequately explain what military forces were available at Sigonella, Aviano, and other U.S. military bases during the attack. There is a very shallow retelling of events that barely educates the reader as to what occurred at the Special Mission Compound and CIA Annex. They also continue promoting the YouTube video myth, arguing that the question of whether or not this was a preplanned terrorist attack or an attack resulting from a spontaneous demonstration sparked by the anti-Islam video “would be an enduring part of the Benghazi conversation—one not fully resolved to this day.” While Obama’s explanation changed numerous times on this point, he did end up saying that he had called it an act of terrorism from day one. Apparently Media Matters missed that memo.

The new book, The Benghazi Hoax, reads like a political treatise, spending much of the book “educating” readers about their imagined right-wing smear machine than on the Benghazi incident itself. The authors focus more on minor political fluff such as rhetoric over Clinton’s ill-timed concussion, than on the facts.

The Media Matters authors call the criticism of the President over this incident “beyond the pale,” and cry sexism over the treatment of Hillary Clinton, and racism over the treatment of the “exotic” President—their words, not mine.

Plenty of relevant facts are omitted from the book in a way that misleads the reader, and the presentation of material is so lopsided and incomplete as to defy belief. For example, the books states that “[Former Deputy Chief of Mission Gregory] Hicks actually contradicted the assessment of his attorney that he had been given his current job as a punishment, telling the committee: ‘[M]y family really didn’t want me to go back. We’d endured a year of separation when I was in Afghanistan 2006 and 2007. That was the overriding factor. So I voluntarily curtailed—I accepted an offer of what’s called a no-fault curtailment.’”

“Hicks explained, ‘That means that there’s—there would be no criticism of my departure of post, no negative repercussions,’” continued Media Matters. They forgot to mention that Hicks went on to testify that he had been verbally offered preferential selection when he accepted his voluntary curtailment, but that this never materialized. Instead, he was placed back into the ordinary pool of candidates and had to accept a lower level assignment as a result.

As for the Accountability Review Board report, the Media Matters authors declare that “It was not a politically motivated document, nor did it leave blame on the doorsteps of the President or secretary of state.”

“For this reason alone, it came under attack from conservatives who sought to discredit it, convinced that it had to be a whitewash.”

The ARB report has been called a whitewash because senior State Department officials were not held accountable for the lack of security, or the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi. In other words, it did not focus on the actions of Secretary Hillary Clinton, who was not interviewed, or Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy, who was interviewed. Regional Security Officer (RSO) Eric Nordstrom critically stated at a May 2013 hearing that the message to his colleagues about the decision to focus on mid-level employees is that “if you’re above a certain level, no matter what your decision is, no one’s going to question it. And that’s my concern with the ARB.”

In fact, the Media Matters authors go out of their way to criticize the Republican hearings as politically motivated without really going over what was said at those many hearings. “House investigations have become maddeningly successful conduits for deceptively framed snippets of transcript from congressional interviews and cherry-picked administration documents,” write Brock and Rabin-Havt. They then refer to the most sensationalized tidbits of Congressional coverage themselves without delving into the meaning of the hearings. Instead, they focus largely on discrediting Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT). It is not until seven chapters later, in Hoax 12: “Muzzled,” that they mention a revelation from the hearings: that upon Rep. Chaffetz’s trip to Libya, Cheryl Mills had required Hicks to speak with him only with “a State Department lawyer present.”

“Following the hearing, conservatives looked to save face by jumping on a portion of Hicks’ testimony to claim that he had been the subject of an angry phone call from Cheryl Mills, Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff at the State Department, complaining of his meeting with Chaffetz,” write the authors in inflammatory prose. They fail to mention the reason for Mills anger: Hicks had given a classified briefing to Chaffetz and others for which the State Department lawyer had no clearance and could not attend.

It bears mentioning that the Media Matters authors maintain that the Accountability Review Board (ARB) members had no personal reason to back the administration and politicize the review process; this despite the fact that the investigation did not take place in a political vacuum. What they also don’t mention is that Vice-Chair Admiral Michael Mullen was quite friendly with Cheryl Mills early on during the investigation, despite the fact that he was essentially investigating the State Department. According to Mullen’s own testimony, he gave Mills a friendly call less than 10 days into the investigation to let her know that one of the witnesses he had just interviewed less than 24 hours beforehand was not ready to testify before Congress. The witness in question: Charlene Lamb, who was temporarily placed on administrative leave due to her actions. In addition, it was Mills who had actually called Mullen just weeks earlier to ask him to co-chair the ARB.

“The Media Matters activists do not report [ARB Chair Ambassador Thomas] Pickering has largely unreported ties to the revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa, as WND revealed,” reported WorldNetDaily in one article of its three-part series by their excellent reporter, Aaron Klein. The articles debunk some of the myths promoted by the new Media Matters book, which has gone largely unacknowledged by the mainstream media.

Klein points out that Pickering is a board member, along with George Soros, of the International Crisis Group (ICG). Among other things, writes Klein, “The ICG itself has long petitioned for talks with Hamas as well as normalized relations with the Muslim Brotherhood, for years urging the Egyptian government to allow the Brotherhood to establish an Islamist political party.”

The real hoax here is that Media Matters is anything other than a Soros-funded propaganda machine for the Obama administration, and especially for Hillary Clinton and her ambitions. If you want to learn about what really happened in Benghazi, check out the website of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi, which Accuracy in Media organized to attempt to establish the truth about Benghazi. The commission is continuing to expand its investigation to expose the scandalous cover-up of the facts by the Obama administration and its media lapdogs.

Roger Aronoff is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and can be contacted at [email protected]. View the complete archives from Roger Aronoff.


UPDATE: U.S. Naval Commanders and Captains Fired

By: Susan Knowles
Gulag Bound

navy_symbolThis article is written as a follow up to an article I recently wrote called “The Thinning of the Military Herd?” A reader of that article brought it to my attention that there had also been a number of other firings in the military under Obama.

I began conducting researching on these firings and came across an article in a military publication, Stars and Stripes, which also confirmed the dismissals. The publication reported that in 2012, the U.S. Navy dismissed approximately twenty-five Commanders and Captains for a variety of reasons.

Whenever, there is a massive firing, whether in the military or otherwise, the first inclination is to assume that there is something not quite right or irregular about these terminations. Suspicions are raised and in the case of the military, firings have been rumored to be about Obama’s attempt to weaken the military or retain only those military members who would be willing to fire upon American citizens should an order be given to do so.

What I discovered, however, about the grounds for these firings appears at first glance to have merit. If these allegations are true as listed below then they may have been nothing more than routine and necessary terminations.

Cmdr. Derick Armstrong, commanding officer of the guided missile destroyer USS The Sullivans, was relieved “as result of an unprofessional command climate that was contrary to good order and discipline.”

Cmdr. Martin Arriola, commanding officer of the USS Porter, fired Aug. 30 due to loss of confidence in his ability to command after the vessel collided with a tanker.

Capt. Antonio Cardoso, commanding officer of Training Support Center San Diego, fired Sept. 21 for violating the Navy’s policy on hazing.

Capt. James CoBell, commanding officer of Oceana Naval Air Station’s Fleet Readiness Center Mid-Atlantic, was fired Sept. 10 pending an investigation into his leadership.

Cmdr. Joseph E. Darlak was replaced as the skipper of the USS Vandegrift on Nov. 2, after a rowdy and booze-fueled port visit to Vladivostok, Russia, in the month previous.

Cmdr. Franklin Fernandez, commanding officer of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 24, fired Aug. 21 due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command for allegedly driving under the influence.

Rear Adm. Charles M. Gaouette was replaced as commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis pending the outcome of an internal investigation into allegations of inappropriate judgment, the Navy announced on Oct. 27.

Cmdr. Ray Hartman, commanding officer of the amphibious dock-landing ship Fort McHenry, dismissed Nov. 19 for allegations of misconduct.

Cmdr. Jon Haydel, commanding officer of the amphibious transport dock USS San Diego, fired March 12 amid an investigation into “personal misconduct.” Cmdr. Diego Hernandez, commanding offer of the ballistic-missile submarine USS Wyoming, relieved Feb. 4 after he was convicted in an admiral’s mast of dereliction of duty for mishandling classified materials.

Cmdr. Lee Hoey, commanding officer of the Navy Drug Screening Laboratory, San Diego, fired May 1 due to poor command climate.

Cmdr. Dennis Klein, commander of the submarine USS Columbia, fired May 1 for inadequate performance in administration and operations.

Capt. Marcia “Kim” Lyons, commander of Naval Health Clinic New England, relieved April 6 after problems were identified in an annual command climate survey.

Capt. Chuck Litchfield was relieved from command of the USS Essex after it collided with the replenishment oiler Yukon off the Southern California coast on May 16.

Capt. Robert Marin, commander of the USS Cowpens, relieved Feb. 10 on suspicion of “inappropriate personal behavior.”

Capt. Sean McDonell, commander of Seabee reserve unit Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 14 in Jacksonville, Fla., relieved of duty Nov. 26 for mismanagement and unspecified “major program deficiencies.”

Cmdr. Corrine Parker, head of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 1, fired April 16 after an investigation revealed the possible falsification of administrative records.

Capt. Lisa Raimondo, commander of Naval Health Clinic Patuxent River, Md., relieved of command on June 29 due to a “a significant lack of leadership and integrity that eroded good order and discipline in the command.”

Capt. Jeffrey Riedel, program manager of the Littoral Combat Ship program, was “temporarily reassigned” pending a command investigation into allegations of inappropriate personal behavior.

Cmdr. Sara Santoski, commanding officer of the Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 15, fired Sept. 1 due to a loss of confidence in her ability to command following a crash that resulted in the death of two sailors.

Cmdr. Sheryl Tannahill, commanding officer of Navy Operational Support Center Nashville, relieved of command Sept. 16 amid allegations of an inappropriate relationship.

Cmdr. Michael Ward, commanding officer of the USS Pittsburgh, fired Aug. 10 for personal misconduct.

Capt. Michael Wiegand, commanding officer of Southwest Regional Maintenance Center in San Diego, relieved Nov. 8 amid allegations that funds were misused under his watch.

Capt. Ted Williams, commanding officer of the Mount Whitney in Italy, was fired Nov. 19 for allegations of misconduct.

Cmdr. Jeffrey Wissel, commander of Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron 1, fired Feb. 27 amid allegations of “personal misconduct.”

I think the bigger question may be whether these alleged acts of misconduct, if true, are indicative of a military who suffers from failed leadership originating with the Commander-in-Chief on down.

It’s also possible that there were just some “bad apples” that finally got caught. One example, are the allegations against Commander Jon Haydel. What the publication’s article doesn’t say is that he allegedly had pornography on his government computer. He was also alleged to have ordered a duty driver to twice take him home and to have a Navy doctor come to his home to examine his ailing wife. All of the allegations, if true, are violations which could easily warrant dismissal.

Haydel-HouseNavy Times caption: “Cmdr. Jon Haydel, left, was fired as commanding officer of of the amphibious transport
dock San Diego in March. Investigators cited Haydel’s lack of engagement with the crew and were critical
of the performance of Lt. Cmdr. Wes House, right, the ship’s executive officer, in Haydel’s absence. (Navy)”

Furthermore, not mentioned in the Stars and Stripes article, was a Lt. Cmdr. Wes House who was also fired in 2012. House took over when Jon Haydel was relieved and immediately ran into trouble. It appears that he ordered and redirected his crew to do tasks to the highest possible standards and when they weren’t done to his expectations, he would threaten and shout at them. He would also order crewmembers back to the base at all hours just to do routine tasks that could have waited until normal work hours. Further, he yelled at his officers in front of the enlisted personnel and created such low morale, that a number of the crewmembers filed complaints against him. Did this alleged behavior rise to the level of requiring termination? Some would argue that it did.

Darlak-JosephCmdr. Joseph E. Darlak

Finally, while the article alludes to Joseph Darlak’s drinking, it fails to make mention of allegations that he and his crew went to strip clubs in Russia and became so rowdy that top officers had to be restricted to the ship and told to turn down the music to the disturbance that it caused.

A third possibility is that the allegations against these military officers were false or that some of them were set up. Antonio Cardoso, for instance, believes that a female U.S. Marine accused him of hazing because she didn’t like an order he gave her. James CoBell was accused of being abusive to subordinates and using them to conduct personal favors. Although, he was cleared by an Investigating Officer, he was dismissed anyway. Were these officers wronged? Perhaps they were.

CoBell-JamesNavy Times Caption: Capt. James CoBell, the commanding officer
of FRC Mid-Atlantic, was fired Sept. 28. (Navy)”

It’s difficult to draw a concrete conclusion about the large number of dismissals. However, it is also too early to conclude that these officers were dismissed by Obama under suspicious circumstances for his own personal and/or political agenda.


Knowles-Freedoms-FlightSusan Knowles is an author, psychotherapist and former practicing attorney. Her latest book, a political fiction, is entitled, “Freedom’s Fight: A Call to Remember,” available on Amazon.com. Her website is www.susanknowles.com, where this article is also located.





Egypt’s Challenge: Writing a New Constitution

By: Ashraf Ramelah
Voice of the Copts

Writing a New Constitution

As Egyptians wait for the constituent assembly to produce the country’s new foundational document, the world can only speculate as to how well the new draft will distinguish Egypt’s future from its past. Article 2 of Sadat’s 1971 constitution is the controversial point today. Since 1980, it states:

“Islam is the state religion, and the Arabic language is its official language. The principles of Islamic sharia law are the main source of legislation.”

If its wording is written into the draft of Egypt’s new constitution, that will substantiate a religious state and a draft that is unsuccessful for the third time since the Egyptians rebelled against authoritarianism and religious supremacy, and in all likelihood, mark the end of a modern renaissance sought by the people who rose up in January 2011.

Article 2 spells out two critical foundational points — a state designated religion and religious doctrine as the source of civil law — which clash with the formation of democracy. Even if these Islamic measures are accompanied by words promoting liberty, equality and human rights elsewhere in the same writing, the use of Article 2 will present a huge problem for the liberal, secular, pro-democracy freedom movement. This could well be a signal for the continuance of Egypt’s already two-year old revolt which originated against supremacies of a political class using religion to accrue power.

The greatest contributor to the making of Article 2 and its formation of the deeply rooted Islamic state was former President Anwar Sadat. Remember that Sadat’s constitution promised free markets, individual freedom, democratic procedures and safeguards for an independent judiciary; other buried clauses granted his presidency complete power, and he used it to appropriate exclusive ownership of the state for Islam. In 1971Sadat replaced Egypt’s 1954 constitution thereby moving the country away from the policies of socialism enacted by his predecessor, Gamal Abdul Nasser. Sadat sought the help of Islamists who influenced the populace against socialism in accordance with Islamic beliefs. In return, he added pro-Islam insertions to Egypt’s constitution making Islam the state religion, Arabic the official language and Islam a source of Egyptian law (later changing “a source’” to “the source”). As such, Sadat authorized Islam to lay claim to Egypt, fueling its drive.

The key to Sadat’s success was “Islamic duality” — a political doctrine of deception based upon the Hadith [tales of the life of Muhammed] and the Sira [Mohamed’s biography] in which the Prophet teaches that to advance Islam, it is permissible to lie in three cases: to a wife, to a friend and to an enemy. For example, Sadat’s constitutional article declaring religious freedom was followed by his presidential order to place the Coptic Pope under house arrest; his constitutional article declaring freedom of press was followed by his arrest of journalists, including jailing Mohammad Hassnen, the head of Al-Ahram newspaper. We will likely see this again with the forthcoming constitution.

Envision the following scenario. Upon receiving the draft, Egyptians will wait for constitutional experts in the media to fully explain and challenge it in the period of time between its issuance and the popular referendum vote to approve it. The populace that makes up the pro-democracy freedom movement might not be able to comprehend the full implications of the extensive fine print inside the sugar coating of repeated words on human rights and freedom. Meanwhile, assembly committee members assigned to write separate draft sections will hawk their special wares to the country, selling Sharia and selling democracy.

Egyptians have no reason to believe that democratic words written into their constitution will not as readily be written out or abrogated by articles within the same text. But dissatisfaction will be delayed; the draft will come to a vote and be approved. Disillusionment will set in sometime after the draft becomes official and the new constitution is in use. The reality of another wave of Islamic requirements (civilization jihad) will hit Egyptians when they face serious roadblocks to equality and human rights. The populace, no longer illiterate and trusting as in the time of Sadat but, now determined without fear, will fill the streets and squares; clashes will continue to keep alive the goals of the revolution.

Egyptians are no longer infected with the indoctrination of “democracy equals evil” transmitted by the policies and propaganda of past dictators which bonded the populace to the rise of the Egyptian Islamic state. Over decades Egypt’s Islamic presidents – Nasser, Sadat, and Mubarak – systematically created today’s embedded culture of Islam’s power and privilege. Democracy is unfathomable as it allows the doctrine of Islam (and its followers) to co-exist equally with other religions and ideologies — a societal demotion considered heretical and unacceptable – and that cannot possibly be the desired outcome of those now crafting Egypt’s constitution. Majority members will aim for the status-quo, and to salvage and sanitize the face of Islam ruined by the Morsi regime’s push toward Sharia. They saw how Islam’s image was damaged due to the regressive religious politics of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and Morsi’s terrorist administration. Now they will attempt to renew interest in Islam through moderation and reinvent it in modern ways that pander to the new liberal-leaning constituency.

Representatives from the Coptic Church make up about five percent of the constituent assembly, and include bishops. The invitation from the interim government to the church illustrates that Egypt continues to play up the importance of religion, as opposed to equality and freedom of religion. In a country where religious identity cards are carried by every citizen, double standards and discrimination throughout society are based on religion. It is therefore disappointing to see the same game being played now within the critical moment of laying a foundation for expunging these prejudices. So far, bishops in the assembly, sensing that Islam will remain supreme at the completion of this “democratic” constitution, have been concentrating on protecting church doctrine

The cultural mindset is inescapable. The state run system – elite power structures within state bureaucracies – and its corruption must also be defeated. Freedom fighters will need be vigilant for years to come, develop strong leaders and continually stage protests to keep the dynamic for democratic values and institutions moving forward. Gradualism, at best, will be the method of democracy-building in Egypt for generations to come.

The major achievement of the January 2011 freedom uprising has been to force the writing of Egypt’s constitution before presidential and parliamentary elections take place – a huge accomplishment for the Egyptian freedom movement. After more than two years of sacrifice, bloodshed, false starts, and a surprising alliance with Egypt’s military, a coalition stronghold of 30 million individuals in the name of freedom matures daily in the process — equipping themselves with ever greater courage and the tenacity required for the long run.