06/19/15

The Ups and Downs

Arlene from Israel

Lots of “downs,” for sure, but we have to also seek out the “ups” wherever we can find them.

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American-born Michael Oren – historian, immediate past Israeli ambassador to the US, newly elected MK in the Kulanu party, – has surprised me, and a whole lot of other people as well. He was always a very middle of the road, “two-state” advocate, and someone who has seemed to be an “establishment” type. I would not – could not! – have predicted the critique of Obama he has now produced.


Credit: Bloomberg

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Oren has written a book – Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide, which will be released June 23 – and a major article in the WSJ, in which he discusses Obama’s attitude towards Israel with startling candidness.

John Podhoretz wrote about the book thus (emphasis added):

“It’s an ultimate insider’s story told while all the players save Oren are still in place…

“It’s not that there’s lots of breaking news in ‘Ally’ that will startle people. Rather, it makes news on almost every page with its incredibly detailed account of the root hostility of the Obama administration toward the Jewish state…

“On major matters, the administration seemed to hold Israel accountable for problems it had nothing to do with…

“Oren also writes about bizarrely petty offenses. In 2010, Obama left Israel off a list of countries he mentioned as having helped in the wake of the Haiti earthquake when it was the first nation in the world to dispatch relief teams and get them to the disaster sites — because the president was angry about something having to do with the peace process…”

http://nypost.com/2015/06/09/a-new-inside-account-of-obamas-israel-ire/

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In his Wall Street Journal piece, written this week, Oren writes (emphasis added):

“’Nobody has a monopoly on making mistakes.’ When I was Israel’s ambassador to the United States from 2009 to the end of 2013, that was my standard response to reporters asking who bore the greatest responsibility—President Barack Obama or Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu—for the crisis in U.S.-Israel relations.

“I never felt like I was lying when I said it. But, in truth, while neither leader monopolized mistakes, only one leader made them deliberately

“From the moment he entered office, Mr. Obama promoted an agenda of championing the Palestinian cause and achieving a nuclear accord with Iran. Such policies would have put him at odds with any Israeli leader. But Mr. Obama posed an even more fundamental challenge by abandoning the two core principles of Israel’s alliance with America.

The first principle was ‘no daylight’…immediately after his first inauguration, Mr. Obama put daylight between Israel and America.

“’When there is no daylight,’ the president told American Jewish leaders in 2009, ‘Israel just sits on the sidelines and that erodes our credibility with the Arabs’…

The other core principle was ‘no surprises’

“Israeli leaders typically received advance copies of major American policy statements on the Middle East and could submit their comments. But Mr. Obama delivered his Cairo speech, with its unprecedented support for the Palestinians and its recognition of Iran’s right to nuclear power, without consulting Israel.

“Similarly, in May 2011, the president altered 40 years of U.S. policy by endorsing the 1967 lines with land swaps—formerly the Palestinian position—as the basis for peace-making. If Mr. Netanyahu appeared to lecture the president the following day, it was because he had been assured by the White House, through me, that no such change would happen.”

http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-obama-abandoned-israel-1434409772

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Obama’s inherent hostility towards Israel will come as news to very few of us.  It is a very “down” side of what we must contend with today.

The “up” aspect is Oren’s willingness to catalogue his experience publicly, and point an appropriate finger.  More routinely, there is an inclination to diplomatically paper-over problems between nations, especially nations that are supposed to be the closest of allies.  One can only guess at the level of distress and frustration Oren coped with during the years he served as ambassador.

What is more, I see it as part of the “up” side that Prime Minister Netanyahu is refusing to comment or criticize Oren or apologize on behalf of Israel.  Netanyahu has had to swallow a whole lot of fury with regard to Obama’s treatment over the years.  Surely, he must feel vindicated at some level now, although he cannot give overt expression to this vindication.  Let us hope he continues to stand strong.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/196943#.VYQWg5sVjIV

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It goes without saying that the response of the Obama administration to Oren’s revelations has been angry and indignant.  That angry indignation was expressed here in Israel by US Ambassador Dan Shapiro, who has been pressuring Netanyahu to apologize.  All the more credit to Bibi that he is not responding to this pressure.

The one who did back down is Moshe Kahlon, head of the Kulanu party, to which Oren belongs.  He says that Oren does not speak for his party.

According to the article I cite above, Gilad Erdan, Minister of Internal Security, has written something criticizing Oren, as well. That disappointed me.

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An item of importance to mention here, and a real downer:


Credit: Menahem Kahana/AFP

A famous Catholic church – the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fish – in Tagbah, near the Kinneret, suffered a serious fire on Thursday.  Arson is being assumed because of the nature of the fire, and an investigation is in process.

I want first to condemn this act of arson in the strongest terms. This is not only wrong morally in and of itself; it tears the fabric of Israeli society and damages the name of Israel – which prides herself on being a place where there is freedom of worship for all.  I would like my Christian readers especially to know how abhorrent Israelis find this behavior.

Netanyahu said: “There is no room for hate or intolerance in our society.”

Chief Rabbi David Lau declared that the attack “contradicts Jewish values and human morality.”

At the same time, I caution just a bit of patience, as the investigation proceeds.  Perhaps, as is being charged in some quarters, ultra-religious young Jews are responsible for this.  But we do not know this yet.  I have memories of other times that the assumption was made, in the face of religious desecration of one sort or another, that it was Jews who did it – when it later turned out that others were responsible but had attempted to make it appear that it was an act of Jewish extremists.

A group of young Jews was questioned, but then released quickly because there was no evidence that they were involved  Fervently I hope it was not Jews who did this, but I am prepared to accept the verdict that it was, if that is what is determined in the end, and to fully condemn those responsible.

What everyone needs to know is that the investigation will be serious.

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Time grows short, and so I simply say, Shabbat Shalom.

05/17/15

Living History: On the Front Lines for Israel and the Jews 2003-2015

By: Fern Sidman


Purchase at Amazon.com

From 2003 through the early months of 2015, I wrote more than 200,000 words about anti-Semitism/anti-Zionism,” says Prof. Phyllis Chesler in the introduction of her recently released book, “Living History: On the Front Lines for Israel and the Jews 2003-2015” (Gefen Publishers).

This admission should come as no surprise to anyone even tangentially familiar with the voluminous amount of essays and articles that Dr. Chesler has written on the subject over the last 13 years, donning an impressive variety of hats. As an astute political analyst, researcher and investigative journalist, she has honed these skills in her quest to offer her reader a meticulous examination of a panoply of hot button geo-political issues pertaining to Israel and the Jewish people.

In this anthology-style compendium that contains the corpus of her work in non-redacted form, Chesler prodigiously confronts the seemingly eternal scourge of global anti-Semitism/anti-Zionism, the pernicious nature of radical Islam, the proliferation of visceral Jew hatred and incessant Israel bashing on university campuses, the exposure of the most egregious forms of propaganda in films and books, the truth about the nefarious agenda of multicultural relativism and critiques the role of the left-liberal media in creating the “perfect storm.”

Chesler throws down the gauntlet and debunks the “Big Lies” in a brutally honest manner. Crafting cogent arguments with the trademark depth and aplomb that has come to define her writing since 1972, she takes no hostages.

As she takes us on a sojourn that unravels the “slow motion holocaust” that is being perpetrated against the Jew but nary acknowledged or even discussed in “polite circles,” Chesler explains that this cognitive war against the Jewish nation is predicated on a corruption of the truth. Fueled by unsavory alliances between the denizens of the leftist/progressive camp and radical Jihadists of all stripes, anti-Zionism (which is tantamount to anti-Semitism, says Chesler) is no longer considered an odious worldview but one that smacks of a perverse sense of moral rectitude; straight out of an Orwellian-style groupthink salon..

Case in point: Chesler speaks directly to her erstwhile colleagues in the Western feminist movement who ostracized her for blowing the lid off the anti-Israel sentiment in its ranks. Shining a light on their misplaced invective against the Jewish state, Chesler writes, “Since 1972, I have been explaining to Ms. feminists that we should not hold the only Jewish state to a higher or different standard than we hold all other nations states; when we do, it is called racism, Jew-hatred, or anti-Semitism.”

While Israel continues to be the world’s ‘bogeyman’; its detractors are clearly multiplying at blinding speed as evidenced in Chesler’s writings The Jew is classified by the intellectual elite as the “aggressor’, the “cruel occupier” of Palestinians and the ruthless engineer of an apartheid state through a series of sophist arguments and Goebbels-like agitprop.

Chesler writes that Western academics haves became increasingly “Stalinized and Palestinianized.” Addressing the burgeoning phenomenon of academic boycotts that emanate from world class universities, Chesler clarifies the gravitas of the situation by writing “they have disinvited Israeli scholars, fired Israeli academics, rejected university applications from Israeli students, refused to stage exhibits by Israeli artists or sell textbooks to Israeli universities, written inflammatory and defamatory editorials in prestigious journals condemning Israel for massacres that never occurred, etc”

Chesler’s writing exudes passion, pathos, optimism and melancholy combined with the blunt force of realism. What is most remarkable and at times quite eerie is the degree to which prescience plays a significant role in her assessment of the abysmal failure on the war on terror. In a 2008 essay, in which she offers a critique of then presidential contender Barack Obama, she writes: “He is a United Nations-style anti-American and postmodern multicultural relativist, and that means Obama may refuse to call barbarism by its rightful name if that barbarism is practiced by Muslims,” this years before anyone even heard of “Jihadi John.”

Most troubling to Chesler is the rapid succession of horrifying events that may indeed presage the type of calamitous scenario that she warns of in terms of lethal Jew hatred. In 2004, she wrote: “Today, the danger to Jews is far graver and more complex than it ever was before, including the 1930s,” Lest we forget the murders of the four Jewish men in a kosher grocery store in Paris in January of 2015, the murder of a Jew in Copenhagen earlier this year and the attacks on synagogues throughout Europe.

Dr. Chesler exhorts us to lift our heads out of the sand. Denial by Western liberals of the real threat that Islamic jihadism poses to the glorious civilization they have built and the hard core fact that Israel and the Jews are in existential peril, will, says Chesler, lead us into “a Dark Age.”

This page turner is a must read for anyone who wishes to make sense of a world gone mad. With dismal news swirling around us, the keen clarity, vision, and indomitable spirit that Chesler’s imparts is a light in a dark tunnel.

Link: http://www.amazon.com/Living-History-Front-Israel-2003-2015/dp/9652298417/ref=sr_1_1_twi_1_pap?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1431828865&sr=1-1&keywords=living+history+chesler

04/1/15

Obama’s Virtual War on Israel

By: Alan Caruba
Warning Signs

Israel in the Sights

This is hardly the best week to demonstrate his intense hatred of Israel, but since he has devoted 18 months to a fruitless and foolish negotiation with Iran, one can understand why Barack Hussein Obama is in a bad mood. His foreign policy “legacy” is close to being flushed down the Iranian toilet.

On March 31, the Defense of Democracies’ Iran Press Review quoted the Deputy Commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, Brigadier General Masoud Jazayeri, who said, “All should know that we will not allow the inspection of the country’s military and defense industries.” Or, as they say in Farsi, “No deal.”

This week began with Palm Sunday celebrating Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem and proceeds to Good Friday which, at sundown, coincides with the Jewish observance of Passover and Christianity’s “last supper.” It concludes with Easter; holy days that occurred in the holy land that was Israel then and now.

Jesus was a Jew preaching primarily to Jews, whose disciples were Jews, and doing so entirely in Israel, the homeland of Jews for more than a thousand years at that time. The ancestors of Arabs in those days would have been regarded as Assyrians or Egyptians. The people called “Palestinians” did not exist until designated as such by Yassir Arafat in the 1960s.

So why is Obama leading a virtual war on Israel by declassifying information about Israel’s nuclear defenses and a purported effort to get the United Nations to declare “Palestine” a separate state?

At what point will it be understood that the United Nations has no power to create states or to grant formal “recognition” to state aspirants and that the Palestinian Authority and/or Hamas does not meet even the most basic characteristics of a state, lacking for example either a capitol or a currency.

As spelled out in the 1933 Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States, “Palestine” would have to have a permanent population, a defined territory, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other states. By contrast, the current president of the Palestinian Authority is now into his eleventh year of a term that, by their own law, is limited to four.

Not only have the “Palestinians” refused statehood and a two-state relationship since the founding of Israel, but they have participated in large wars and small against Israel, beginning with one in 1948 when Israel declared its statehood. Despite 1949 Armistice Agreements, reprisal operations continued through to the 1960s from Syria, Jordan, and Egypt. The Six-Day war occurred in June 1967 and the Yom Kippur War was fought in 1973.

Focusing on the “Palestinians”, the First Intifada, an uprising against Israel in the West Bank and Gaza occurred from 1987 to 1993. It was followed by a Second Intifada from 2000 to 2005. Responding to escalating rocket fire, there was a three-week Gaza War from December 2008 to January 2009 and in 2014, the Israelis had to respond to weeks of rockets again.

Barack ObamaObama has turned to the United Nations knowing that it took the UN seventy years to even acknowledge the January 28-28 anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz Birkenau, the Nazi death camp in which millions of Jews perished. The UN has studiously avoided the subject of anti-Semitism because that would only call attention to the fact that it has been the global platform for anti-Semitism since its founding in 1945.

A perfect example has been its Human Rights Council that has always included nations famed for their own lack of human rights. When it began its March 2nd session since electing 14 new members last fall, it included Saudi Arabia, Cuba, China and Russia. By the end of March, the Human Rights Council had declared Israel the world’s leading woman’s rights violator and followed up with a general condemnation, adopting four resolutions condemning Israel, four times more than any other of the 192 members of the UN.

This is the same UN that in 2014 elected Iran to its woman’s rights commission, that selected genocidal Sudan and other slave-holding nations to its Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations to oversee human rights activists, and whose UNRWA handed rockets found in Gaza schools back to Hamas. By acclamation, a senior post on the US Special Committee on Decolonization was given to the murderous regime of Syria.

The question of whether Israel is guilty of war crimes was raised in the UN when, after weeks of rocketing from Gaza, it defended itself with an air and land war. It followed the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teenagers in June 2014. Operation Protective Edge began on July 8 and lasted seven weeks. In the course of it, they discovered over thirty tunnels whose purpose was to provide access to Israel for attacks on its citizens. Apparently self-defense is not a privilege the UN wants to extend to Israel.

In last Saturday’s issue of The New York Times, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, founder of the World Values Network, took out a full page advertisement comparing the deal to empower Iran to make its own nuclear weapons to the 1933 Munich Agreement by British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain with Adolf Hitler that led to World War II. In the Jerusalem Great Synagogue on the same day, the American-born Chief Rabbi said, “The President of the United States is lashing out at Israel just like Haman lashed out at the Jews.”

No doubt this will be on the minds of Jews, less than 0.2% of the world’s population, when they sit down to celebrate Passover, remembering their enslavement in Egypt and the exodus that led them to freedom. Jesus celebrated Passover and the Kingdom of God. He would pay for it when the Romans put him to death shortly thereafter.

It is futile to think that Obama will cease from his assaults on Israel in the remaining 22 months of his second and final term in office. Those who know the history cited above must join hands to resist this latest enemy of Israel, this disgrace to America who is already widely regarded as the worst, most lawless President ever elected to that office.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

02/19/15

The Stuff of Heartbreak

Arlene from Israel

It is just short of two years ago that Adelle Biton, then two years of age, was driving in the Shomron with her mother and two older sisters, when Arabs threw rocks at their car, causing it to spin out of control and collide with an oncoming truck.  Her mother and sisters were moderately injured. Adelle, however, incurred severe brain injury.  She spent a long time in a hospital and then time in a rehab center, before she was brought home, still severely disabled, to continue therapies.

Adva, her mother, was remarkable for her constant devotion and her optimism.

Adva and Adelle Biton

Credit: Yoni Kempinsky

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Today, Adelle Biton succumbed to pneumonia.

On learning the news, I cried.  Such a painful and unnecessary loss of tender young life.  Such anguish for the family.

And so, Baruch Dayan HaEmet.  The Almighty has taken Adelle.  May He grant healing for the hearts of Adva and her husband, Rafi, and other members of the family.

As to those who throw such stones (or firebombs or firecrackers), may He allow them no peace.

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An occurrence such as this brings us upright, and sharpens our perspective.  There are issues that truly, truly matter. And others that are imbued with nonsense and pettiness and self-interest.  And I say honestly today that I have precious little patience for the constant flow of nonsense and pettiness and self-interest that passes for “news” these days.

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Sadly, there is yet one more death I must report: Minister Uri Ohrbach, 54, passed away yesterday after a battle with an unnamed blood disease.  He had worked as a journalist and author for years, before joining a new Habayit Hayehudi and entering the Knesset.

He is being widely saluted as a man of exceptional sincerity, gentleness and wit. What is clear is that this was a man who was greatly loved.

Uri Orbach at the Knesset. 'I feel like making an impact in a different way' (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky) .

Credit: Alex Kolomoisky

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So, let us look at some of the news that does matter (if only people would pay attention):
Just a week ago, the IDF and the Shin Bet launched raids in the area southwest of Jenin, uncovering large quantities of firearms, ammunition and knives – sufficient to “strengthen [Hamas’s] grip on the territory.”  Hamas does not intend to stop trying, folks.  Let us not forget this.

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The IDF has warned the government that the PA could collapse at any time.

“In one of the scenarios that the IDF presented, a small localized security incident, like an altercation between settlers and Palestinians, or the throwing of a Molotov cocktail could quickly escalate to rioting in the Galilee and the Triangle area. With the weakened Palestinian Authority a situation like this is liable to lead to terrorist organizations taking control of the West Bank.”

http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/IDF-security-assessment-The-Palestinian-Authority-can-collapse-at-any-moment-390934

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Repeatedly, it has been the case that rumors spread by Palestinian Authority “leaders” regarding alleged Israeli threats to the Al Aqsa Mosque have served as incitement – whipping up the populace to fury and violence.

Now we learn from the Palestinian Media Watch that the PA is renewing this incitement:

For example, on February 5, the PA Minister of Religious Affairs Sheikh Yusuf Ida’is warned that since January, Israel has made “over a hundred attacks and incidents of desecration of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Ibrahimi Mosque (i.e., Cave of the Patriarchs)” and that “the Al-Aqsa Mosque is in grave and direct danger and that with every sunrise. this danger grows.”

Similar statements are being made by others.

http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=14016

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Defense Minister Bogie Ya’alon, for his part, has leveled another sort of charge at the PA. In a taped address to the annual conference of the INSS – the Institute for National Security Studies, he said:

“We tried after [Operation] Protective Edge, with Egyptian agreement, to facilitate the entry of the PA into the Strip, but they didn’t want it,”

“…it was clear that the only way to allow the more open transfer of goods and people in and out of Gaza to Israel and Egypt would be through the stationing of PA troops at the border crossings.

“We created a three-way mechanism – the [Israeli] Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, the Palestinian prime minister, and the UN representative Robert Serry. What’s left of that today?  The coordinator and Robert Serry. The Palestinians ran away!  They are good at accusing us at the UN and the Security Council and the ICC. But when it comes time to take responsibility, they are nowhere, and this was not the first time.” (Emphasis added)

http://www.timesofisrael.com/yaalon-lambastes-pa-for-bailing-out-on-plan-to-ease-gaza-blockade/

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In sharing this accusation by Ya’alon, I am not endorsing the idea of PA officers at the Gaza crossing.  My intent, rather, is to point a finger directly at the PA and to be certain that people understand precisely what we are dealing with.  With the focus on Iran, I hadn’t mentioned Abbas or the PA for several days.

Martin Indyk, who consistently works against Israel’s best interests, has just made a statement regarding what’s going to happen after the elections. There will be increased pressure on Israel to go back to negotiations, he warned, including via a Security Council resolution.

And my inclination is to tell him, and all of his ilk, to stuff it. We are supposed to make “peace” with these guys?  They are going to administer a secure and responsible and peaceful state?  Of course neither Martin or others who think as he does believe a peaceful “two-state solution” is really around the corner. But hey, if Israel can be weakened…

The lesson.  We have to be on our guard in all quarters.

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Of course, there is also the occasional politician on the far left here in Israel who says it’s time for us to withdraw unilaterally from Judea and Samaria since negotiations don’t work.  Great idea!  I believe they have oatmeal between their ears in place of brains.

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Yesterday, Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot was sworn in as IDF Chief of Staff, replacing Benny Gantz.  Eisenkot is described as “cool and calculated, someone who will strike hard and fast – but only if he has to.”  He served in the vaunted Golani Brigade.

We can only pray for General Eisenkot’s wisdom and bravery and cool head, as he faces incredible challenges in the weeks and months ahead.

Credit: Israel Defense

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The Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations is meeting here in Jerusalem this week.  I close today by sharing a video of the remarks of Prime Minister Netanyahu to this group.  His focus, of course, was his up-coming speech in the Congress on Iran.  Worth a listen.

http://www.voiceofisrael.com/netanyahu-conference-presidents-sacred-duty-make-israels-case/?utm_source=ZohoCampaigns&utm_campaign=Feb+16%2C+2015_2015-02-16&utm_medium=email

02/1/15

The Good News That Is

Arlene from Israel

Along with the bad news, we can see those who do get it and respond appropriately.  I will describe what I have learned briefly – briefly being my practice, of necessity, before Shabbat.

The first issue is the matter of Obama’s State of the Union threat to veto any legislation regarding sanctions against Iran.  The issue was misrepresented, as, in fact, the sanctions under the proposed Kirk-Menendez legislation would not kick in until and unless negotiations failed. The current negotiating deadline is June 30.  There have been two extensions already and it becomes ridiculous – the Iranians are being provided with the opportunity to advance their agenda.  Obama’s argument that this legislation would inhibit negotiations is nonsense – on the contrary, it would “motivate” Iran to negotiate.

On Tuesday, a letter was sent to the president, signed by 10 Senate Democrats, telling him that by March 24, but not before, they would vote for legislation to impose sanctions on Iran if the Iranians refuse to commit to a “political framework that addresses all parameters of a comprehensive agreement.” Menendez was among those who signed the letter.

There was a widespread reaction when this news broke interpreting this as a setback for those who want to see the Kirk-Menendez legislation pass.  I didn’t understand that, because Obama was simply being given a bit of leeway before action on the bill would kick in.  And what was significant was that 10 Democrats were now prepared to support this legislation –  (with the considerable exception of Menendez, and then Charles Schumer) it had been labeled a partisan “Republican” effort.  Now this was clearly no longer the case.

The ten who signed the letter were: Menendez, Schumer, Blumenthal, Peters, Casey, Cardin, Coons, Manchin, Donnelly, and Stabenow.  If you are a constituent of one of these, you might want to write and thank him/her for readiness to support the bill.

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Fast forward to the Banking Committee, which had to pass on the Kirk-Menendez legislation.  The 10 Democrats had pledged not to vote on this legislation until March 24 – but that was on the floor of the Senate. There was no commitment regarding a holding pattern in the Banking Committee.

The very good news here is that yesterday it passed through the Committee 18-4, with three additional Democrats who had not signed the letter – Tester, Heitkamp, Warner – voting for it.

There are then three Democratic Senators – Booker, Bennett, Gillibrand – who had voted for an earlier version of the Kirk-Menendez bill, and are expected to support this version, although they didn’t sign the letter.

And so, the bottom line – according to Omri Ceren of The Israel Project – is that the way seems clear for it to be brought to the floor, and it looks as if the vote, come March 24, should be veto-proof.

And this is before Netanyahu speaks to the Congress.  His words might bring along additional votes.

Obama, who does not take defeat lightly, is clearly not a very happy man right now (see second story below).

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The story broke three days ago in the Free Beacon (emphasis added):

A U.S. State Department funded group is financing an Israeli campaign to oust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and has hired formed Obama aides to help with its grassroots organizing efforts.

U.S.-based activist group OneVoice International has partnered with V15, an ‘independent grassroots movement’ in Israel that is actively opposing Netanyahu’s party in the upcoming elections, Ha’aretz reported on Monday. Former national field director for President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign Jeremy Bird is also reportedly involved in the effort.

“OneVoice development and grants officer Christina Taler said the group would be working with V15 on voter registration and get-out-the-vote efforts but would not engage in overtly partisan activities. She said OneVoice and V15 are still formalizing the partnership.

While V15 has not endorsed any particular candidates, it is working to oppose Netanyahu in the March elections.

“’We’ve formed a partnership with [V15], but it’s important to know we’re absolutely nonpartisan,’ Taler told the Washington Free Beacon. ‘Our biggest emphasis and focus right now is just getting people out to vote.’

“OneVoice said in a press release on Tuesday that it is teaming up with V15 because Israel ‘need[s] a prime minister and a government who will be responsive to the people.”’

http://freebeacon.com/national-security/state-department-funded-group-bankrolling-anti-bibi-campaign/

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Clearly, this is not the “good news.”  This is an outrage above and beyond.  I have difficulty here giving voice to how I responded to this, because I try to write very professional pieces, and what I have to say would not be quite “professional.”

The direct meddling in our election, not for positive reasons, but in an effort to oust Netanyahu because Obama despises him, cannot be tolerated.  And this is the same Obama who has refused to meet with Netanyahu when he comes to speak to Congress, “because it’s wrong to influence the election.”

My own hope would be that Israelis, on learning of this, would be so enraged by the meddling that they would make a point of – dafka! – voting for Netanyahu, because the State Department cannot tell us which candidate we should support.  (Dafka? Just so. In spite of. To the contrary.  Spoken a bit ironically.)  It is said that we Israelis are a “dafka” people, and that is how we survive.

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This news has been picked up and put out by a variety of sources.

Head of NGO Monitor, Gerald Steinberg, has blasted the State Department over this action.

“Steinberg pointed out that American taxpayer funds have been used for similarly politically-charged projects in the recent past. In 2012, USAID, the US’s largest provider of foreign assistance, donated millions of dollars to Israeli NGOs through the ‘Peace and Reconciliation Program,’ which included support for the so-called “Geneva Initiative” – another grassroots project pressuring the Israeli government to make concessions to the Palestinians.

’After public exposure, the funding was discontinued,’ Steinberg said.” (Emphasis added)

http://www.algemeiner.com/2015/01/28/ngo-monitor-head-slams-use-of-american-taxpayer-funds-to-finance-anti-netanyahu-campaign/

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So that’s the first order of business, folks.  Scream long and loud about this.  Protest to your elected representatives.  Put this information out wherever you can – in letters to the editor, Internet talkbacks, on your FB pages, etc. etc. In the US make the point that taxpayer money is being used improperly.  This CAN make a difference, and it falls to each of you to do your part.  Don’t sit still for this. Be enraged in a pro-active manner.

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And the good news? “U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Congressman Lee Zeldin, R-NY-1, today sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry asking for information regarding media reports that U.S. taxpayer dollars are being used to fund efforts to influence upcoming elections in Israel.”

Said Senator Cruz: “This administration’s relentless harassment of Israel is utterly incomprehensible. The Islamic Republic of Iran is pursuing the deadliest weapons on the planet, and there can be no doubt that their first target will be Israel, followed by the United States. This administration should be focusing its animosity on the very real enemies we face, not on our staunch allies.” (Emphasis added)

The letter requests answer to eight questions.

You can see the full letter here:

http://www.cruz.senate.gov/files/documents/Letters/20150129_Letter_to_Secretary_Kerry.pdf

We’ve got good people working for what is right.

Shabbat Shalom

01/19/15

Exclusive!!! Moscow Conference Unites ‘Ferguson’, ‘Palestine’, Putin’s Invasion of Ukraine, US Hard Left and ‘Crazy Right’ – a Warning to America

By: Trevor Loudon
New Zeal

Hard on the heels of news that US Black radicals are connecting with Palestinian revolutionaries, come even more disturbing revelations.

In December of 2014, a conference was held in Moscow that united the black struggles in the United States, the “Palestinian” uprising, the Russian sponsored Ukrainian breakaway province now known as Novo rossiya (New Russia), separatist movements from Europe, Asia and even the Southern United States, with the US hard left and some elements of the “crazy right.”

bear

For the conference video, go here

The conference mirrored current Russian geo-political strategy. In search of a “multi-polar” world, Russia is reaching out to its hard left communist allies and to elements of the disaffected nationalist “right” to create chaos in the Middle East, Europe and particularly the United States.

This conferences is part of an anti-Western propaganda war as vicious as anything seen in Soviet times. Its aim is to destabilize and humble, then destroy, Israel and the US.

If the campaign succeeds in destroying “US hegemony” or “uni-polarity,” Russia, China. Iran and their neo-communist and Islamic allies will rule this planet.

Right of Peoples to Self-Determination and Building a Multipolar World was a conference held in Moscow on December 13, 2014, hosted by the Anti-Globalization Movement (AGM) of Russia.

Go to the conference KeyWiki page here.

The conference brought together activists from Novorossiya (Donetsk and Lugansk), TransDniester, Iran, Syria, the Serb Republic, Italy, the United States and several regions of the Russian Federation. The conference was opened by AGM President Alexander Ionov. Other speakers included Oleg Tsarev, the speaker of the Parliament of Novorossia and Alexander Kofman, the minister of foreign affairs of the Donetsk People’s Republic.

According to a report from Moscow’s Press TV:

What brought together the participants of Moscow anti-globalization conference is an objective necessity of uniting major public and political organizations, struggling with the ideology of global imperialism domination. Right now it’s time to make real and serious step on the way to multipolar world, stop the civilian population genocide in conflict areas as well as to accept those who are fighting for their rights. Special attention was focused on the peoples right to self-determination. The existing world order is depriving the inhabitants of Novorossiya, Flanders, Catalonia, Texas, Alaska and Scotland and their legitimate right to self-determination, guaranteed to them by the UN Charter. The anti-globalization conference in Moscow was held to find out methods for resisting the ideology of global domination. Participants also discussed how to counter the EU and US policy of undermining sovereignty of independent states by orchestrating what is known as “colored” revolutions.

Conference delegates

Conference delegates

Delegates from organizations around the globe attended, including the Marxist dominated Scottish Nationalist Party, the Catalan Electoral Alliance Convergence and Union, The “rightist” New Flemish Alliance from Belgium and the Venetian Independence Movement.

Participants heard presentations by a number of “leaders from Novorossia (the area declared independent by the people of Eastern Ukraine), leading Russian journalists, representatives of the Italian European Communitarian movement, a representative from Srpska, the Serbian section of Bosnia, Israel Shamir, a leading anti-Zionist writer from Israel and others.”

Major themes of the discussion were the “U.S.-backed war against the people of Donetsk and Lugansk in eastern Ukraine; the expansion of NATO into the former Soviet Union and economic war against Russia, Venezuela and Iran; and the ongoing uprising against racism and police brutality in the United States.”

Activists from Donetsk, Lugansk and Odessa “eloquently described the atrocities and humanitarian catastrophe Washington’s proxy war is inflicting on the people of Novorossiya and the urgent attempts to bring medicine and food to that besieged region. The U.S. role in Israeli genocide against the Palestinian people was also on the agenda… Speakers also condemned the U.S.-NATO proxy war against Syria and U.S.-NATO crimes in Libya, Yugoslavia and the TransDniester Republic.”

According to US website UHURUNEWS.COM:

Our panel discussion will include delegations from Venezuela, Iran, Italia, Catalonia, Novorossia, USA, Flanders, France, etc. Famous Russian social and political leaders, human rights activists, members of Russian parliament and other honorable guests are expected to appear.

Essential attention will be given to a detailed report on the events in the American city of Ferguson prepared by one of the leaders of the Black Is Back Coalition, who participated in a series of large peaceful protests held in many cities of the United States.

Five Americans from the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) attended the Moscow conference. They were Margaret Kimberley of Black Agenda Report and the UNAC Administrative Committee; Joe Iosbaker of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, the Rasmea Odeh defense campaign and the UNAC Administrative Committee; Bill Doares of the International Action Center: women’s rights activist, Mo Hannah; and UNAC Co-Coordinator, Joe Lombardo.

US delegates Bill Doares, Margaret Kimberley, Joe Lombardo, Joe Iosbaker

US delegates Bill Doares, Margaret Kimberley, Joe Lombardo, Joe Iosbaker

United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) is dominated by the pro-North Korea/Cuba/Venezuela/Zimbabwe/Russia and Iran Workers World Party – which has been heavily involved in recent anti-police rioting in the US. Its leading body also contains a representative from the Muslim Peace Coalition and another from the Filipino revolutionary support group Bayan USA.

Delegate Bill Doares is a long time WWP member, while Joe Lombardo was a guest at the Party’s 2014 national convention.

Joe Iosbaker is a leader of the Maoist leaning Freedom Road Socialist Organization. He and and several leaders of his group were raided by the FBI in 2010, for their alleged support for Palestinian and Latin American revolutionaries.

Iosbaker incidentally was once part of the Marxist led Chicago New Partyas was President Barack Obama.

FRSO has also been heavily involved in recent anti-police rallies and demonstrations.

Marina Dudanova, who is active in the Antiwar Committee in Chicago, a UNAC affiliated group, also attended on her own and spoke at the conference. She is a Russian from TransDniester, which is part of Moldavia. She spoke on the situation of the Russian minority in Moldavia.

Dr. Michael Hill, President of The League of the South, an anti-Washington, neo-Confederacy group spoke (by Skype) to the conference:

Hill discussed The League of the South and its goal of the survival, well-being, and independence of the Southern people and how the South’s identity as an historic “blood and soil” nation conflicts with the current globalist agenda of the USA regime. He emphasized the importance of The League’s work not only in preserving a particular people living on a particular land, but also its direct Southern nationalist challenge to the political, economic, and financial engine of globalism—the Washington, DC/European Union alliance.

Daniel Miller’s Texas Nationalist Movement was also invited:

The Texas Nationalist Movement has been invited, alongside other representatives from independence movements around the world, to an international conference in Moscow in December.

The four day conference, hosted by the Anti-Globalization Movement of Russia, will discuss such issues as the sphere of the sovereignty, the practical realization of the people’s right for self-determination, the influence of the Internet on independence movements, and mechanisms of the geopolitical influence with the help of legal institutions.

TNM will be the lone representative from Texas.

The UNAC delegate’s report is pure Russian propaganda. Some of it reads reads like the starry-eyed letters sent back home by US visitors to Comrade Stalin’s “worker’s paradise” in the 1930s.

During dinner one evening, we also spoke at length with one of the fighters for the defense forces in Donetsk. He lived in Kiev during the Euromaidan protests and initially joined the protests on the pro-Maidan side. It became clear to him that neo-Nazis were playing a leadership role and were fomenting anti-Russian sentiment. He eventually left Kiev and joined the defense forces in the East. He explained that they have been holding back the Kiev forces. He also said that in July, they had hopes that Russia would join their fight, but by August it was clear that such a move would cause a direct conflict with the U.S. and NATO and possibly a world war, which Russia could not risk.

.Later, we attended a demonstration at the US Embassy organized by our Russian hosts. At the demonstration, we chanted, “Hands up, don’t shoot,” and carried signs with the logos of UNAC and the Anti-Globalization Movement of Russia in support of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. We laid flowers in front of the Embassy in honor of the murdered men.

Moscow is a modern city much like any large U.S. city. The people were dressed well, and looked healthy and cared for. We learned that many of the social benefits that existed under the Soviet Union still exist. These include free universal healthcare. For most people, college was free, and students received a stipend for their living expenses. Putin is very popular with a high approval rating among the Russian people. The people see him as a kind of populist leader.

If the UNAC delegates loved Russia, they showed nothing but contempt for their own country.

From Joe Lombardo’s speech:

US delegate Joe Lombardo address the conference

US delegate Joe Lombardo addresses the conference

The movement in the United States has taken heart from other mass rebellions, such as those in Tunisia and Egypt. Though these revolutionary uprisings have suffered setbacks, we saw the tremendous power of mass of people in the streets. Such mass movements were able to topple entrenched dictatorships that had strong U.S. backing. The Occupy movement in the United States tried to copy this, and parks were occupied for weeks in cities all across the country. Though these movements did not bring about a changed government in the U.S. and were defeated by the police, the movement learned a lot from the experience. We got a new vocabulary. We now talk about the 1% who rule our country and the 99% who are ruled for their benefit. We learned that unlike during the Vietnam protests, we don’t want to just protest and get back on our buses and go home. We need to sustain our protests over a period of time.

When Michael Brown, a black teenager was shot down and killed by a white cop in Ferguson, Missouri, the Ferguson community protested and sustained their protests, coming out every day and confronting a militarized police force. This gave heart to the movement, and so the U.S. is now in the midst of mass protests in cities all across the country. The spark of Ferguson has lit a tremendous fire, and however this rebellion ends, we can never go back. There is a new political consciousness, especially in the Black and Latino communities that will not go back to the old status quo. There is a new political reality in the United States today.

From Margaret Kimberly’s speech “Ferguson and American history”:

But in truth, black Americans have always been under the most surveillance, and are the most controlled group of people in the country. This level of control goes back to enslavement in the earliest days of American settler history and impacts us all two hundred years later. Slavery could not exist as an institution without police state terror and the legacy of that history continues until the 21st century and thus Ferguson.

The truth is this. The police in the United States are the 21st slave patrol and unless Americans acknowledge that fact, grand juries like the one in Ferguson, Missouri will issue verdicts that allow them to kill at will. This was a very difficult year for anyone concerned about police misconduct. In July a New York City man named Eric Garner died in what a coroner ruled a homicide at the hands of police. His killer was also not indicted. Two weeks ago a 12-year old child with a toy gun was killed by police in Cleveland, Ohio, a state which has laws on the books allowing for open carrying of firearms.

From Joe Iosbaker’s speech “Rasmea Odeh: Political Prisoner, and the case of the 23 anti-war and international solidarity activists”:

Rasmea Odeh is an activist in the Palestinian community in Chicago and is now a political prisoner. In a Federal Court in November 2014, she was convicted of a violation in her immigration application in 2004. This mockery of justice was a political trial masquerading as a criminal trial.

The case against her grew out of the investigation of 23 anti-war and Palestinian community organizers in Chicago and Minneapolis, who were subpoenaed to a federal grand jury in 2010. I am speaking today because I was one of those activists. My home was raided by 25 FBI agents on September 24th, 2010. They came after me because I had been a leader in a large protest against the Iraq War, and because I am a supporter of the cause of the Palestinian people.

The grand jury is investigating myself and the 23 activists for allegations that we provided “material support of terrorism.” This is a lie. The FBI and the Justice Department investigated us and are attempting to “criminalize” efforts to empower Chicago’s Palestinian, Arab and Muslim communities, as well as work to build solidarity with the struggle in Palestine.

From Bill Doares’ speech, “NO TO WORLD WAR!!”:

It is in our interest to stand in solidarity with the people of the world who are resisting imperialism. And we call upon people around the world to stand in solidarity with the national uprising now raging in the United States against police terror and mass incarceration. The US police state and prison-industrial complex be part and parcel of the global US war machine, and the freedom struggle of Black, Latino, Native and other people of color against racist oppression is its Achilles heel.

We stand with those around the world who are standing up to imperialism, with the freedom fighters of Novorossiya and Palestine, with all those who seek to build a different world, from Africa, Latin America, East Asia, the Middle East and here in Russia in the heartland of Eurasia. We say no to war, no to sanctions! No to imperialism, yes to a multipolar world, yes to global equality, yes to international solidarity! Together we will win!

From Mo Hannah’s speech:

Warm greetings from the people of the U.S.A. I know that a group like the one gathered here already knows this, but just to remind you, we delegates from the U.S. hate what the U.S. government is doing as much as or even more than our brothers and sisters who are being harmed by its horrific actions across the world. Although we hate this regime, we love our country. We also love the rest of the world, which is one reason why we are here in Mother Russia.

The same devious exploitation perpetrated by U.S. empire builders as they back the most brutal forces in Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Libya, and other places in the word is also reflected in how the U.S. court system treats women and children. I could spend hours discussing what happens to divorcing and separating women in the U.S. who are victims of domestic violence—but you need only look at how the U.S. treats other disadvantaged groups–especially, of course, unarmed black, brown, and other non-white citizens like Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Eric Garner in New York City, Trayvon Martin in Florida, and countless others—to get an idea.

I myself do not take personal responsibility for the wickedness of the masters of empire, but I do take responsibility, as you do, for doing whatever I can to fight back.

Not content with speech-making, the delegation gave several radio interviews and took part in a press conference on December 15, with Russian and foreign media.

This was followed by a December 17, demonstration outside the U.S. Embassy protesting racism, police brutality and political repression in the U.S. Demonstrators carried photos of Mike Brown, Eric Garner and Rasmea Odeh and chanted, “Hands up! Don’t shoot” and “I can’t breathe!” The protesters “laid flowers outside the embassy in memory of Mike Brown, Eric Garner and others murdered by the U.S. state apparatus.”

AGM President Alexander Ionov with AGM members and UNAC Co-Coordinator Joe Lombardo outside the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.

AGM President Alexander Ionov with AGM members and UNAC Co-Coordinator Joe Lombardo outside the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.

On December 16, the UNAC delegation met with the Embassy of the State of Palestine Ambassador to the Russian Federation, Dr. Fa’ed Mustafa.

“First on the agenda” was to talk with Ambassador Mustafa about the case of Rasmea Odeh, the Palestinian activist from Chicago and the “newest political prisoner in the U.S.”

Bill Doares, Joe Iosbaker, Dr. Fa’ed Mustafa, Mo Hannah, Joe Lombardo

Bill Doares, Joe Iosbaker, Dr. Fa’ed Mustafa, Mo Hannah, Joe Lombardo

He urged our delegation to link her case to the stories of thousands of Palestinians who are also falsely arrested and imprisoned, tortured and brutalized by the Israelis.

Finally, we expressed to him that the U.S. government complicity with the Israeli occupation in Rasmea Odeh’s case exposes their overall role as the main backer of Israel’s occupation”.

Every old Soviet conference ended with a stirring “declaration” – a call to action and this modern version did not disappoint – it even obliquely attacked National Security Agency Intelligence gathering. The NSA is of course the body charged with monitoring people just like this delegation.

The world is changing. And, unfortunately, it is changing for the worse. The worsening geopolitical situation calls on us to support the nations and peoples who oppose the dictate [of] a unipolar world and seek to propose an alternative agenda. [The] progressive part of mankind stands for the development of international cooperation and solidarity, respectful of other peoples, their sovereignty, values and lifestyles as opposed to the current destructive manifestations of the “new world order”: the barbaric exploitation of the majority of the world population, the destruction of national sovereignty and spiritual foundations of society, [and the] suppression of sovereignty of personality through the illegal collection of information.

Then came the inevitable attack on US foreign policy:

Organizations participating in the international panel discussion urge people worldwide to unite and establish a united front against discrimination, violation of human rights, religious and racial intolerance. We condemn the crimes and murders perpetrated against the people of Novorossia. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the innocent victims in Odessa, Lugansk and Donetsk. We strongly condemn political repression, particularly in countries that have positioned themselves as democratic nations.

The interference in the affairs of sovereign states, the sponsorship and support of extremist and terrorist entities are unacceptable in the XXI century. Events in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Ukraine demonstrate the predatory foreign policy of the U.S. and its NATO allies. Local conflicts have affected more people than those affected during World War II. The U.N. no longer performs [its] role as peacekeepers, as more than 70 armed conflicts have taken place since the establishment of the organization.

Then the country that murders journalists, jails opponents of the regime, supports global insurrection and invades sovereign countries at will, had this to say about US human rights – even invoking the names of FBI agent murderer Leonard Peltier and cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal:

The U.S. government has depressing statistics in the field of human rights. The latest example of political repression is Rasmea Odeh, an activist of the Palestinian community of Chicago, who is a political prisoner now. The U.S. Department of Justice has sent her to the tribunal because her migration card had no information about the fact that in 1969 she was imprisoned in Israel by the Israeli military court based on the information extracted under torture. As part of the support for the Israeli occupation of Palestine, the U.S. government supports the Israeli occupation and military courts. Rasmea’s torture was part of a series of repressions against [the] pro-Palestinian movement in the United States. We demand the release of Rasmea Odeh and an end to the U.S. support for the occupation of Palestine!

African Americans, [Latinos/as] and other minorities are oppressed in the U.S. We condemn the systematic killings by the police in the USA!

We condemn the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., Eric Garner in New York City and many others!

We support the protests in the U.S. cities as part of their struggle for freedom from police brutality, against mass defiance of human rights by the police, and call for the release of political prisoners such as Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu-Jamal!

We call upon the people of the United States to take activities of the police under their control and demand investigation into the atrocities committed by the police officers!

And the Grand Finale!!!

The time of retreat has passed! It’s time for advancing! This Declaration is the first step toward the consolidation of the progressive part of mankind! We will make every effort to build a multipolar world! We are the alternative!

This conference could not have occurred without Russian government support. Its program is completely in line with Russian strategy.

It is evidence that Moscow is working with both its old leftist base and less than stable elements of the “right” to export chaos and revolution to the West.

The United States is led by Barack Obama, a man who comes from a similar background to many of the activists profiled above.

His views are the same as theirs. He’s just acting at a much higher level. His goal is the same though – to bring his country to its knees.

As my book The Enemies Within:Communists, Socialists and Progressives in the US Congress details, the leadership of the Democratic Party has been co-opted by people of similar views – as sadly have some elements of the GOP.

Many libertarians and paleo-conservatives, though completely sound on the Constitution, have been completely gulled by Russian propaganda and now believe the US government and military as the biggest threats to their lives and liberty. Many of them believe that Russia and China are morally superior to their own country!!!

Part of the “responsible right” has even fallen under Putin and his propaganda machine’s spell. Pat Buchanan loves Putin. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher from California, a good man and a true Reagan conservative, wants to use Russia as an ally against China!! Russia and China ARE allies against the West.

Just Google the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

Many Western Christians and conservatives think that Putin will ally with the Russian Orthodox Church to save us all from Islam.

The cruel hoax there is the that Putin’s Soviet KGB/Russian FSB has always controlled the Orthodox Church, just as it controls much of Islam.

That leaves the defense of the West down to a very small strata of thinking conservatives, who understand that Russia/China/Iran/Cuba/Venezuela/North Korea and radical Islam are all allies and mortal enemies of the West. That these forces have infiltrated every Western country to the highest levels and are now empowering street level agitators to weaken and divide us.

To end this threat, to save the West, security has to be strengthened both externally – and internally. The US military must be cleansed of political correctness, adequately funded and modernized. The Western Alliance must be re-strengthened. That’s a no-brainer.

How much should America and the West spend on National Defense? How much should you spend on household insurance? Whatever it takes to adequately protect you.

Do you think that Putin would begin the re-conquest of Europe, that the Middle East would be on fire, that terrorists would be infiltrating the Southern Border, that China would be bullying its neighbors, if Ronald Reagan was currently Commander-in-Chief of the US military?

But even more importantly, America must begin to take internal security seriously again. More than 100 Democratic Congress members and Senators could not pass a basic FBI security clearance to clean the toilets at any military base in the United States. And neither could the President.

If the new Republican Congress refused to seat any Congress member onto any Congressional Committee without an FBI background check, all hell would break loose. The GOP would lose a few of their own, but the Democrats would be decimated.

The United States of America is under assault from the rulers of Moscow, Beijing, Tehran, Pyongyang, Havana, Caracas, thousands of mosques (foreign and domestic), the AFL-CIO, the Communist Party USA, the Workers World Party, Democratic Socialists of America, many elements of the Federal Government, a third of Capitol Hill and the occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Winning the first “Cold War” was not the “end of history,” but losing this one certainly would be.

Thinking conservatives and patriots know what has to be done to save the Republic and the West.

Everything we hold dear is at stake. There is no time to lose.