07/24/14

A Bit Better

Arlene from Israel

Kerry has left Israel, for consultations in Cairo.  He’ll be back, undoubtedly.  But it’s nice to know he’s not here.

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The FAA ban on US airlines flying in and out of Ben Gurion has been lifted.  They say it’s because they have been “working with its US government counterparts to assess the security situation in Israel and carefully reviewing both significant new information and measures the Government of Israel is taking to mitigate potential risks to civil aviation,”

http://www.jpost.com/Operation-Protective-Edge/FAA-lifts-flight-ban-on-US-flights-to-Israel-368705

Yea, right. They were simply called out on this decision and backed off.

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And I suspect that the forthright and public response of Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) may have had something to do with it.  The Senator wanted to know whether the decision to ban flights amounted to an economic boycott of Israel, expressed himself dubious about the exact timing of that decision, and posed five specific questions.  Among those questions: Why, if the issue is safety, was Israel singled out when flights are permitted into Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen?

When a state department spokesperson called the questions “offensive and ridiculous,” he countered that, “Serious questions were asked about the nature of a decision that handed Hamas a public relations victory…the only thing ‘ridiculous’ is the state department’s response to basic questions.”

In his full statement – which you can see here:  http://www.cruz.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=1593 – he declared that “Ben Gurion has rightly earned the reputation as one of the safest airports in the world due to the aggressive security measures implemented by the Israeli government.”  (Emphasis added)

He then said he would hold up the approval of state department diplomatic nominees until he got answers to his questions.

It’s important to recognize that we do have good friends in the American government (if not in the executive branch).

Ted Cruz is pictured. | AP Photo

Credit: AP

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As to the need to take out all of Hamas’s tunnels…

Chief of Staff Benny Gantz made a statement yesterday when he visited soldiers on the front lines:

“we must stick to the targets for which we entered [Gaza] and continue our maneuvers as long as it takes.”

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4549085,00.html

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And then there was an interview late in the day yesterday given by member of the Security Cabinet Finance Minister Yair Lapid (head of Yesh Atid).  It perhaps has added significance because he’s center-left and until recent days talked a great deal about “peace.”  Said Lapid (emphasis added):

“…the objectives of the operation needed to be met ‘before they talk to us about a ceasefire.’

“Lapid defined the objectives as cleansing ‘Gaza of its terrorist tunnels and delivering a significant blow to Hamas’s rocket infrastructure.’

“Even amid all the talk of a ceasefire, Lapid said the government was telling IDF to ‘go, achieve your objectives.’”

http://www.jpost.com/Operation-Protective-Edge/Security-cabinet-discusses-both-expanding-Gaza-operation-cease-fire-efforts-368668

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While Communications Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) who is a member of the Security Cabinet, said today that we are not seeking a ceasefire at present – we must complete our ground offensive first, something he estimates will take another week or two.  After that, he said, if Hamas is still launching rockets, we may have to go further, and find Hamas leadership “hiding in their holes.”

http://www.timesofisrael.com/army-may-have-to-grab-hamas-leaders-hiding-in-their-holes/

As I wrote yesterday, “Hold on, hold on!”  If this remains the policy of the government, we will be OK.

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I share here an article put out from The Investigative Project on Terrorism, headed by Steve Emerson.

It raises some serious questions regarding the identification of all of Hamas’s tunnels.  It’s pointless to talk about taking them all out if they haven’t all been identified.  Additionally, it raises troubling questions about whether the US necessarily shares all of its information on the tunnels with Israel and whether Israel is utilizing all possible hi tech equipment for identifying tunnels deep underground.  (Please be assured, Israel is aware of this equipment.)

According to Emerson, US officials believe that Israel is underestimating the number of tunnels.  American information on this has been acquired via satellites equipped with special high resolution infrared detection technology.

And then we have this information:

“It is believed that the construction of the more advanced Palestinian tunnels began right after the 2012 cease-fire agreement, when Israel agreed to lift restrictions for humanitarian aid, including large quantities of steel and concrete,” he [Emerson] said, adding that the agreement to lift the blockade was overseen by Hillary Clinton.

“…the tunnels are quite sophisticated, with water, sewage, and lighting allowing for months-long stays.” (Emphasis added)

http://www.investigativeproject.org/4471/exclusive-us-intelligence-source-claims-hamas-has

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Much is being made these days of a shift in international opinion that reflects a greater acknowledgement of the nature of Hamas. There is some shift, true (and I’ll explore this further in a coming post), but I think it would be foolish to rely upon this in any significant way.

The EU Foreign Affairs Council released a statement with regard to the Gaza war two days ago.  And it has been pointed out that the EU foreign ministers for the first time said: ”All terrorist groups in Gaza must disarm.” (Emphasis added)

Yes, good. But it also said:

”The EU condemns the loss of hundreds of civilian lives, among them many women and children. While recognizing Israel’s legitimate right to defend itself against any attacks, the EU underlines that the Israeli military operation must be proportionate and in line with international humanitarian law.”  (Emphasis added)

So there we are.  A “balanced” assessment that levels fallacious charges against Israel.

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Here, as elsewhere, the concept of “proportionate” is either misunderstood or deliberately distorted.

International law defines proportionality in the context of legitimate military goals.

If there is a military necessity – e.g., striking a launcher – then it is considered legitimate to act even if there may be civilians injured or killed.

As Col. Richard Kemp – former commander of British forces in Afghanistan – explained in a talk he delivered here in Jerusalem just this evening, the question of proportionality comes in with regard to how much is force is required to achieve that legitimate goal.  If the force used is not excessive, then even if there are civilians hit, it is proportionate.

What would be “disproportionate” would be an intentional attack directed against civilians or an attack launched on a military objective in the knowledge that the incidental civilian injuries would be clearly excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage.

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Ambassador Alan Baker, an international lawyer, in a new piece for JCPA, also addresses these issues.  He writes (emphasis added):

“International law recognizes Israel’s right to defend itself, whether by the conventional international right of self-defense as set out in the UN Charter or by the international customary right to self-defense.

“Accusations that Israel is collectively punishing the Palestinian population of the Gaza Strip have no basis. Israel’s military actions are solely directed to one strategic and tactical purpose, not to punish the population, but to halt the indiscriminate rocket fire and terror infiltration into Israel’s sovereign territory.

The allegation leveled against Israel that it uses disproportionate force, is a misreading of the international rules of proportionality in armed conflict which are intended to regulate the extent of force needed in relation to the military challenge anticipated.”

http://jcpa.org/article/hamas-israel-confrontation-legal-points/

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Speaking of proportionate force…

A topic that I must mention here (and will return to in considerably more detail soon) is the prospect of a “Goldstone II,” which we are now facing.  Remember the Goldstone Report? Libelous accusations regarding Israel’s “war crimes” committed during Operation Cast Lead (at the beginning of 2009) were leveled at us in this major report.  It followed an “investigation” that was headed by Justice Richard Goldstone, as mandated by the UN Human Relations Council.

I mention it here because that same UN Human Rights Council, which is consistently and notoriously anti-Israel, has now voted to appoint an “international commission of inquiry” to look at Israeli actions in “the Palestinian territories” and most specifically Gaza.

Only the US voted against this.  While 29 countries approved it and 17 nations – including those considered allies, such as the UK, Germany and France – abstained.

Israel has called this action a “travesty.” A statement from the prime minister’s office said, “This investigation by a kangaroo court is a foregone conclusion.”

Indeed.  UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has already come out with a statement that, “There seems a strong possibility that international humanitarian law has been violated in a manner that could amount to war crimes.”

This is not at all unexpected.  It was at a seminar discussing this issue that I heard Col. Kemp speak tonight.

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The battle with Hamas inside of Gaza continues.  The count of young soldiers we have lost is now 32.

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In a ceremony in the Knesset that was very low key because of the war, Ruby (Reuven) Rivlin was sworn in as president of Israel today, succeeding Shimon Peres  His term of office is seven years.

After reciting the Shehechiyanu prayer, he said: “With this prayer, in awe and humility, on your behalf and at your command, I come to faithfully fulfill my role as tenth president of the State of Israel.”

Reuven Rivlin to take Shimon Peres´ post.
Credit: Philly.com

07/24/14

Egypt’s “cold war” with the U.S.

By: Ashraf Ramelah
Voice of the Copts

An unusual security search at the entrance of the Egyptian presidential palace in Cairo took place two days ago as reported by Egyptian newspapers and the Italian RAI 24 news. John Kerry and his staff were asked to go through a metal detector, and one staff member was asked to show the contents of his pockets before visiting President Al-Sisi. This humiliating reversal of protocol was a sign of mistrust towards the U.S. by an Egypt never shy about expressing hostility for America’s support of the Morsi regime. Kerry’s visit to Egypt was for the purpose of brokering peace between Israel and Gaza (the Hamas terrorist organization).

However, was President Al-Sisi merely reflecting the animosity of the Egyptian people towards the Obama administration and posturing to score points with Egyptians? Or was Al-Sisi’s motive to emphasize Egypt’s sovereignty to an Obama administration for America’s egregious error in backing the former terrorist-backed president, Morsi — not standing for and with the Egyptian pro-democracy majority? Al-Sisi’s coldness counters a U.S. State Department unwilling to let go of America’s glaringly wrong position. Western media’s “military-coup general” is turning out to be Egypt’s best prospect for human rights and democratic ideals up to this point.

Egyptian pro-democracy freedom fighters who backed Al-Sisi for president, have been icy and caustic towards the U.S. since lobbing tomatoes at Hilary back when she visited Egypt in support of the Muslim Brotherhood “freedom-fighters.” That was the moment the Western media reversed the facts in Egypt’s revolution saga. Referring to the MB as freedom-seekers, this “fact” became the premise underlying all reports to date.

After three and a half years (with two interim governments and two elected presidents) and the brutality of the Morsi MB-backed regime gone, the U.S. and the Western media stick to their narrative that characterizes the current populace president, Al-Sisi, as undesirable. But according to ordinary Egyptians yearning for a better economy and the freedoms and rights of Western democracy, President Al-Sisi is their only option. So far, only the Muslim Brotherhood and its sympathizers are afraid of Al-Sisi. Looking back to day one of Morsi’s presidency, Egyptians had only suspicion at first followed by contempt then dread. The populace was cowed; whereas today’s Egyptians have relevance and strength.

While Kerry and his staff came under scrutiny during security measures at the presidential palace, the Arabic Al Hayat news was reporting that President Al-Sisi declined President Obama’s invitation to participate in the African summit next week in the U.S. Egypt had not been invited to the earlier African summit held on its own continent this year at a time when Egypt’s interim government held power upon the fall of the Morsi regime. The U.S. sponsors overlooked Egypt for this important summit held in Egypt’s backyard when the ignoring of anti-Morsi, anti-Brotherhood leaders was of key importance to the U.S. administration on behalf of the corrupted Morsi regime.

07/23/14

Hold On, Hold On!

Arlene from Israel

We buried another lone soldier today.  Max Steinberg, 24, a Golani soldier who came from Los Angeles just a couple of years ago.  Again, a call went out for people to come to the funeral, held at the national cemetery on Har Herzl, Jerusalem.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said: “Over 30,000 people came to give you the honor of a hero. The strength of the Jewish people lies in people like you.”

There are tears that do not go away.

Embedded image permalink

Credit: LoneTreeBeer

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The big news last night was that the US Federal Aviation Administration gave an order banning US flights to and from Ben Gurion Airport for 24 hours. (That ban has already been extended beyond the original 24 hours.)  Some US airlines then said they were going to cancel flights into Israel indefinitely. and some European airlines fell in line.

The US is saying that this was done because of potential risk to planes of being hit by Hamas rockets, because a rocket had hit a house in Yehud, which is about a kilometer from the airport.

http://www.jpost.com/Operation-Protective-Edge/FAA-bans-flights-to-Israel-on-US-airlines-for-24-hours-368542

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Minister of Transportation Yisrael Katz (Likud), however, calls this decision “surrendering to terrorism”: “This decision is not proper…Contacts are being made at all government and professional levels to change this decision.”   He explains that both because of the Iron Dome system and the airport’s own security arrangements – both inside the airport itself and for aircraft – there really is no reason to fear.

The airport remains open; El Al continues to operate and has no intention of stopping.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/183243#.U8_ZXpvlrIV

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Eugene Kantorovich, international lawyer, posed it a great deal more strongly in “Israel, the FAA and International Isolation” (emphasis added):

“For years, peace processors and pundits have threatened that to stop its ‘growing international isolation,’ Israel must make ‘painful concessions’ and withdraw from territory. The ‘growing isolation’ was always a myth…

“Now, however, international isolation has truly arrived–not from holding territory, but from leaving it. With the suspension of American and European flights to Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport, rockets from Gaza yielded what peace processors said settlement construction would. The flight suspension by all major airlines is a major–even if temporary–economic, diplomatic, and psychological setback for Israel. It finds itself, for the moment, in same position as Iraq, Libya, and Somalia.

The subtext here is that Israel has a sword at its neck: face a private-sector no-fly zone or agree to a cease-fire that lets Hamas keep its rockets, and thus close Ben Gurion Airport again at the time of its choosing. It is a lose-lose proposition…

“Indeed, the decision-making behind the FAA ban demands investigation. Ben Gurion remains an extremely safe airport. The FAA had many various measures short of a flight ban, like warnings, that it could have imposed. The FAA only warns airlines about flying to Afghanistan; it does not ban them. And the FAA move comes the day after a general State Department warning about Israel–though far more people were killed in Chicago on Fourth of July weekend than in the Jewish state since the start of the Gaza campaign…”

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2014/07/22/israel-the-faa-and-international-isolation/

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J.E. Dwyer, a retired Naval Intelligence officer who cites Kontorovich in her piece, provides additional evidence for the political nature of the FAA ruling (emphasis added):

“I would cite the example of Pakistan, where there have been multiple, very serious attacks on commercial airports in recent months, including an attack on an airliner in Peshawar, this one on the airport in Karachi, and an earlier one involving Taliban rocket fire in Peshawar…In none of the instances in Pakistan has the FAA banned U.S. carriers from flying in and out of the Pakistani airports.  At most, it has issued safety warnings.”

http://libertyunyielding.com/2014/07/23/finally-obama-leads-front-hamas-faa-move-ben-gurion/

(With thanks to Saul G.)

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The bottom line here is that we cannot allow Obama/Kerry to squeeze us.  We must – absolutely must – bite the bullet and do what we need to do with Hamas in Gaza.

Caroline Glick describes the situation (emphasis added):

“We have known for years that tunnels were a central component of Hamas’s logistical infrastructure.

“What began as the primary means of smuggling weapons, trainers and other war material from Hamas’s sponsors abroad developed rapidly into a strategic tool of offensive warfare against Israel.

“As we have seen from the heavily armed Hamas commando squads that have infiltrated into Israel from tunnels since the start of the current round of warfare, the first goal of these offensive tunnels is to deploy terrorists into Israel to massacre Israelis.

“But the tunnels facilitate other terror missions as well.

Israel has found tunnels with shafts rigged with bombs located directly under Israeli kindergartens.

If the bombs had gone off, the buildings above would have been destroyed, taking the children down with them.

“Other exposed shafts showed Hamas’s continued intense interest in hostage taking…”

http://carolineglick.com/obama-to-the-rescue-of-hamas/

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In “Hamas’s Attack Tunnels: Analysis and Initial Implications,” written for JCPA, Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi is even more explicit about the tunnels (emphasis added):

“…Tunnel warfare provided armies facing a technological superior adversary with an effective means for countering its air superiority.  For example, a tunnel is opened only briefly to launch rockets and then immediately closed to prevent detection of the launchers’ location by the IDF.  The concealment of these launchers in tunnels, in the heart of the civilian population, makes it very difficult to detect them in real time and attack them

“The attack tunnels create a new equation in the power balance between Israel and Hamas. They give Hamas an ability to infiltrate Israel and carry out strategic attacks involving mass killing, along with an ability to launch missiles from locations concealed within civilian population centers that serve, in effect, as human shields. Should Hamas retain in the future 20 tunnels, and dispatch 50 operatives in each, they could deploy 1,000 men behind Israeli lines. The tunnels would allow Hamas to wreak havoc if they are left in place.”

http://jcpa.org/hamas-attack-tunnels/

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Thus, there must be no cessation of Israel’s operation in Gaza until the job is done.  No, “almost done,” no, “we got most of the tunnels.”  Done.

Kerry is here in Israel, working on that ceasefire.  He claims to have made “some progress,” but we must remind ourselves that he always says this no matter the situation.  “There is still work to be done,” he admits, and I would say so:

From Qatar, Khaled Mashaal declares in a public statement, regarding a ceasefire, “We reject today and will reject in the future.”

Mashaal will not accept the Egyptian proposal for establishing a humanitarian ceasefire first and then negotiating terms.

First Israel must end its siege of Gaza, he says, and then there can be a ceasefire.  No outside force will disarm Hamas. (So much for Netanyahu’s notion of getting the international community to do this.)  The only way this could happen is if Israel also disarmed, says Mashaal.

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And please note this:

“Referring to the suspension of international flights to Israel, Mashaal said: ‘When you lay siege to our airspace, we lay siege to your airspace. The resistance is today in the Gaza Strip and tomorrow it is capable of surrounding you in the West Bank.’”

http://www.jpost.com/Operation-Protective-Edge/Mashaal-Israel-must-end-siege-for-humanitarian-cease-fire-in-Gaza-368653

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Heaven is giving us our chance here.  Mashaal reminds me of Pharaoh, whose heart was hardened.  He thinks he can stand against us, but he is sowing the seeds of Hamas’s destruction.

He says that he and the other leaders of Hamas are prepared to die for the sake of ending the blockade.

But that’s pure rhetoric. While we would be happy to oblige, what he means is that he’s prepared to allow the civilians of Gaza to keep dying.

See this:

“Hamas has millions in assets, and it seems that the wealth extends to day-to-day life as well as investments and fat bank accounts. For them [the leaders], life is about private jets and luxury, not war planes and hunger.”

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4548202,00.html

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Where are we now?  Making good progress, winning every battle with Hamas, uncovering new tunnels.  We have captured several Hamas operatives, and secured information from them about tunnels we hadn’t been aware of.  Just today a major tunnel was discovered that had maps and weaponry that was clearly intended for an imminent terror attack.

Obviously, Ya’alon’s statement three days ago that we needed only two or three more days was over-optimistic.  Either that, or, my gut tells me, perhaps at that point it was anticipated that a ceasefire would be forthcoming soon, and so it was best to set this time table publicly.

At any rate, several more days are necessary.  Tonight there is talk that the Security Cabinet might vote to further step up the operation.

As we progress, painfully, we also continue to lose soldiers.

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Today, we struck a terrorist position in al-Wafa hospital in Gaza (emphasis added):

“IDF sources say that the controversial decision to attack the position was taken after several days in which ground forces came under heavy fire from gunmen positioned inside the hospital grounds. The fire report included both light weaponry and heavy anti-tank missiles directed towards IDF armored vehicles.

The hospital premises were being used as war rooms and command centers by the terrorist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad,’ said an IDF spokesperson.

“The military added that it had repeatedly warned international agencies and the Palestinian head of the hospital directly about the gunfire from the hospital, as well as several other senior Palestinian officials – but to no avail. Instead, in the past several hours the intensity of the attacks has only increased, posing a real and imminent danger to the lives of soldiers operating in the area, forcing the IDF to respond with fire of its own.”

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/183247#.U8-t8pvlrIU

The fact that the IDF finally acted here is significant,  That Hamas uses hospitals as command centers is hardly news.  But the readiness to defend our soldiers (after appropriate warnings), even if a hospital was involved, shows a strength that is encouraging.  They didn’t hold back because the PR will be negative.

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There are rumors that we have killed  Muhammad Sinwar, one of the commanders of Hamas’s military wing.  Hamas is denying this.

Unquestionably, we are aiming for the big guys when it is possible (and they’re not hiding in tunnels under hospitals).

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Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, is here in Jerusalem, having flown in on El Al:
“I flew here to show solidarity with the Israeli people, who have come under attack from Hamas, and to show that it’s safe to fly in and out of Israel.

“Halting flights here – when the airport is safe – hurts Israel and rewards Hamas for attacking Israel. Hamas wants to shut down the airport; we can’t let that happen.”

http://www.timesofisrael.com/day-16-of-hamas-israel-conflict-finds-ceasefire-bids-stalled-foreign-airlines-leaving-israel-and-death-toll-rising/

Much appreciated.

Credit: AP

07/23/14

Hundreds Of CA Taxpayers And Professors Write To Express Outrage Over SFSU-Funded Terrorist Meetings

By: Tammi Rossman-Benjamin
Independent Sentinel

7 Groups Demand Cal State Governing Board Investigate 

Los Angeles, CA, July 22, 2014 – Citing broad academic and community outrage, seven groups, today, urged the California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees, the group with ultimate authority over educational and fiscal matters at SFSU and all CSU schools, to launch its own investigation into San Francisco State University (SFSU) Professor Rabab Abdulhadi’s recent use of $7,000 from SFSU to fly to Jordan, the West Bank and Israel to meet with known terrorists.   AMCHA Initiative co-founder Tammi Rossman-Benjamin will deliver the letter and remarks at today’s bi-monthly Board of Trustees meeting.

“On June 24, President Wong defended Abdulhadi’s use of public funds for her personal advocacy mission as ‘research’ and stated that his investigation concluded it complied with ‘established rules without fault or violation’,” wrote AMCHA Initiative, Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel, Proclaiming Justice to the Nations, Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, Simon Wiesenthal Center, StandWithUs and Zionist Organization of America.  “We are extremely troubled by President Wong’s statement, as are many others throughout the state and across the county.”

Hundreds of California taxpayers have written to State Controller John Chiang to express their outrage and call for an investigation into the misuse of state funds.  The following are excerpts from some of the letters:

“Please help put a stop to this outrageous abuse of power and resources by any faculty member or administrator.”

“I am appalled to read about state funds supporting the travels of SFSU professors for a purely political agenda. You have a fiduciary responsibility to better oversee public funds.”

“I am opposed to any professors using California State funds to go on political tours. It is essential that politics and research be separated very carefully…”

“This must be audited and the money reimbursed to the state by Rabab Abhulhadi.”

“[T]here is no legitimate personal political advocacy that taxpayers should fund, particularly when it involves taxpayer funds used for non-educational purposes, e.g. spent primarily for political advocacy…”

“I am writing to you today to express my outrage over SFSU President Wong’s decision to spend thousands of taxpayer dollars to meet with terrorists. As a California taxpayer and resident, I am calling on you to audit the university and put an end to President Wong’s funding of terrorist trips.”

“I am…disturbed that funds designated for educational and research purposes are going for avowedly political purposes that encourage violence and intimidation here on US campuses as well as foster acts of terror overseas.”

CA faculty are also outraged that Wong condoned the use of university funds for political advocacy.  Yesterday, dozens of faculty from universities throughout California sent a letter to the State Controller indicating that they are appalled that Abdulhadi has been allowed to use state funds “to advance her own political agenda…to promote an academic boycott of Israel,” and they are “deeply disturbed that SFSU President Wong has condoned Prof. Abdulhadi’s use of state funds as legitimate research.”  In addition, 12 faculty members from UC San Diego sent a letter to the CA State Controller stating: “President Wong’s justification of this abuse of California taxpayers’ money as legitimate “research” is outrageous and so broadens the term “research” as to make it meaningless.”  Individual faculty also wrote to Chiang stating:

“At my own university [Yale University], if I were to do this I would have to repay the university, at a minimum. Disciplinary action might also be undertaken for such misuse of university funds.” 

“As a professor, I always attended and reported to colleagues about any state and even self funded conference in which I participated. I cannot imagine my and my colleagues not keeping our fiscal and intellectual commitments to our employing university!”

SFSU Professor Rabab Abdulhadi’s trip to the Middle East came under scrutiny when a California Public Records Act (PRA) Inquiry in May, requested by AMCHA Initiative, revealed Abdulhadi received more than $7,000 from SFSU to meet with the following members of known terrorist organizations:

  • Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist Leila Khaled: Khaled is a convicted hijacker and the most famous member of the PFLP, a terrorist organization responsible for 159 terrorist acts such as bombings, armed assault and assassinations.
  • Islamist leader Sheik Raed Salah: Salah was recently incarcerated for aiding and abetting Hamas.

Abdulhadi, in her own words, acknowledged her trip as purely political.  At a SFSU public event, she called her trip a “political solidarity tour” whose primary purpose was to promote “resolute actions in support of the academic and cultural boycott of Israel.” Abdulhadi was the faculty advisor to the SFSU knife-wielding student investigated by the FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Force and was caught on tape glorifying terrorism to students.

“We are turning to you, as members of the CSU Board of Trustees with ultimate fiduciary responsibility for the University, with a question that many concerned citizens in our state and across the country are asking: Is a self-described “political solidarity trip” to promote the academic boycott of Israel, which itself has been declared as contrary to the values of the university by Chancellor White and hundreds of other University leaders, consistent with the educational mission of the California State University and a legitimate use of taxpayer funds?,” wrote the groups.

“Across California, professors are trying to game the system and politicize the campus,” stated Rossman-Benjamin.  “As California faculty, we are extremely concerned.  Please put a stop, once and for all, to this egregious abuse of power and resources and uphold our scholarly values.”

A copy of the full letter can be seen here.

AMCHA Initiative is a non-profit organization dedicated to investigating, documenting, educating about, and combating anti-Semitism at institutions of higher education in America. AMCHA Initiative’s efforts are bolstered by a network of more than 5,000 members and supporters of the Jewish community — including university alumni, parents and grandparents, rabbis, religious school principals and synagogue members — who have joined together to speak in one voice to ensure the safety and well-being of Jewish students on college and university campuses across the country.

07/23/14

Pat Buchanan Backs Away From Putin Worship

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

Conservative columnist Pat Buchanan, who once declared that Vladimir Putin was a Christian “planting Russia’s flag firmly on the side of traditional Christianity,” has decided that his support for the virtual dictator’s regime has its limits.

The veteran columnist and former anti-communist communications director for President Ronald Reagan has decided that he cannot justify the Russian shoot-down of the Malaysian civilian airliner.

Buchanan is the author of a well-regarded new book on Richard Nixon’s political comeback. His old friends and associates have been wondering when Buchanan would make a comeback himself, by disavowing his vocal support of the Vladimir Putin regime in Moscow.

In a column on the website of his American Conservative magazine, Buchanan still tries to get Putin personally off the hook for the mass murder of nearly 300 people by calling the shoot-down a “horrendous military blunder” on the part of Russian-backed forces. But he does admit that the Russians have blood on their hands.

“They have been armed and advised by Russia,” Buchanan said of those who conducted the shoot-down. “And it was a Russian SA-11 that brought the airliner down. While the separatists say they got the surface-to-air missiles from an army depot, there is evidence the missile was provided by Russia, and Russians may have advised or assisted in the fatal launch.”

Nevertheless, Buchanan doesn’t want to do much about it.

The title, “Don’t Let the Hawks Hijack MH17,” is a warning from Buchanan against increasing sanctions on the Putin regime and sending weapons to the government of Ukraine as a response to the shoot-down. A confrontation with Russia could lead to “something unthinkable,” he says, suggesting a nuclear war if the U.S. stands up to Putin’s aggression.

If we antagonize Russia, he says, Putin could tighten his ties with Beijing, and break up the U.S.-led sanctions regime on Iran. However, he also thinks the U.S. and Russia can still cooperate against terrorism.

We had called Buchanan a modern-day Russian dupe for his enthusiastic support of the Putin regime.

While Buchanan’s policy of appeasement continues, he does seem to have had an awakening that Putin is not the choir boy he previously thought he was.

In a December 17, 2013, column, “Is Putin One of Us?,” Buchanan wrote that “Putin says his mother had him secretly baptized as a baby and professes to be a Christian.”

In an April 4, 2014 column, “Whose Side Is God on Now?,” Buchanan wrote that Putin is actually not only leading the Christian world by standing up to “America’s arrogant drive for global hegemony,” but is also engaged in a “tribal defense of lost Russians left behind when the USSR disintegrated.”

However, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February of this year violated a 1994 agreement pledging to respect the sovereignty of the nation that had suffered tremendously under Soviet imperialism. The pro-Russian president of Ukraine, exposed for his corruption, fled the country for Russia.

In his new approach to Russia, Buchanan acknowledges the Russian role in the shoot-down of the Malaysian airliner, and does not seem to accept the lies emanating from Moscow that attempt to blame the U.S. or Ukraine for the destruction of the plane.

One lie which surfaced on Russia Today (RT), the Drudge Report and the Alex Jones website was that Ukraine destroyed the plane, thinking it was Putin’s jet.

However, Buchanan would only go so far in holding Putin responsible for the shoot-down of the plane. He insisted that “Putin did not order the plane shot down,” even though the Ukrainian government says it has evidence that a Russian officer actually ordered the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

Perhaps Buchanan’s next column on this matter will be an acknowledgement that his Putin-worship went too far, and that Putin, in fact, isn’t the Christian he claims to be.

Putin’s Christian façade will be difficult to maintain when parents of the Flight 17 crash victims are accusing him of committing mass murder.

Simon Mayne, the father of one of the victims, math student Richard Mayne, is quoted in the Daily Mail as saying, “Everyone knows what is going on out there is Russian-sponsored. This is a man who rides bare-chested on a horse because he thinks people will admire him, but he’s murdered my son essentially.”

In addition to such posturing, Putin also appears regularly at functions of the Russian Orthodox Church, to give the impression that he is a religious believer. These photo ops have clearly had an impact on conservatives like Buchanan.

Indeed, one day after the Malaysian plane shoot-down, Putin was photographed at the Trinity St. Sergius monastery outside Moscow after meeting with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, an identified Soviet KGB agent.

Journalist David Satter had written about Kirill’s service to the KGB, which was undoubtedly a factor in the Kremlin denying him a visa to travel to Russia. Another factor had to be Satter’s reports that terrorism in Russia, blamed on Islamic terrorists, was actually the work of agents of the Federal Security Service, or FSB, a successor to the old KGB.

While Satter was denied the right to travel to Russia and report on the situation there, Russian journalists from RT are able to work in the United States without interference or censorship, and have an American audience through cable TV of tens of millions.

It is believed that the RT headquarters in Washington, D.C. employs 80 staffers. Two have resigned in protest over its broadcasting of lies about the situation in Ukraine.