By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton
Well, that didn’t take long. SiriusXM is leading the charge in vigilante censorship by suspending Glenn Beck over a segment he had with Brad Thor. Beck is being purged and silenced for what a guest said on his show. Neither Brad Thor nor Glenn Beck called for the assassination of Donald Trump. For accurately likening Trump to a South American-style dictator and for positing a scenario where ‘if’ Trump violated the Constitution, it would justify removal from office, Trump’s acolytes are branding that a death threat. It’s a death threat alright… against free speech.
THOR: He is a danger to America and I got to ask you a question and this is serious and this could ring down incredible heat on me because I’m about to suggest something very bad. It is a hypothetical I am going to ask as a thriller writer.
With the feckless, spineless Congress we have, who will stand in the way of Donald Trump overstepping his constitutional authority as President? If Congress won’t remove him from office, what patriot will step up and do that if, if, he oversteps his mandate as president, his constitutional-granted authority, I should say, as president.
If he oversteps that, how do we get him out of office? And I don’t think there is a legal means available. I think it will be a terrible, terrible position the American people will be in to get Trump out of office because you won’t be able to do it through Congress.
BECK: I would agree with you on that and I don’t think you actually have the voices we’ve been talking about and we’ve been talking about this off-air for a while. I think the voices like ours go away. I don’t think we are allowed – especially if things, and I believe the economy is going to go to crap, even if Jesus was in office. It’s going to naturally reset. It has to.
SiriusXM is suspending Glenn Beck for a week of broadcasts relating to a conversation Beck had with author Brad Thor last week. They are suspending him during the same week that Glenn went on vacation. That’s just despicable and cowardly. If they think it will cow Beck, Thor or any other real conservative, they are delusional in the extreme.
This is guilt by imagination… the event never happened and is made up. I guess any excuse will do… the Trump lynch mob is using words like ‘implied’, ‘hinted’ and ‘insinuated’. Do you people see what you are doing? Really? You are doing everything you have accused the left of forever, only worse, because you are aggressively doing it. Worse yet, they know it is a lie. Beck has never advocated violence and the last time I looked, calling someone out for acting like a dictator was not a crime. Either these ‘so-called’ conservatives never heard the exchange or they are so brainwashed by the Trump movement, they are twisting everything they hear and see that isn’t pro-Trump. As Dom Theodore, the GM of the Glenn Beck Radio Show pointed out, this viral hatchet job is based on 49 seconds out of a 15-minute interview that gives no context of the hypothetical posited from by Brad Thor, a thriller writer.
SiriusXM is a private company and they have every right to do this. But we also have a right to boycott them and I will never, ever listen to them again. I understand quite a few others feel the same way. If you are sooo in the tank for Trump that you feel safe abridging someone’s constitutional right to free speech, then as far as I’m concerned you are a propaganda outlet and a Marxist one at that.
Here is what SiriusXM said:
SiriusXM encourages a diversity of discourse and opinion on our talk programs. However, comments recently made by a guest on the independently produced Glenn Beck Program, in our judgement, may be reasonably construed by some to have been advocating harm against an individual currently running for office, which we cannot and will not condone. For that reason, we have suspended The Glenn Beck Program from our Patriot channel for the coming week and are evaluating its place in our lineup going forward. SiriusXM is committed to a spirited, robust, yet responsible political conversation and believes this action reflects those values.
That’s rich coming from a station that showcases Howard Stern who explicitly talks about sex all the time. It would seem that what they won’t condone is any stance against Trump. But filth, hey… go for it.
Both Glenn Beck and Brad Thor are terrified of what Donald Trump will do. I’m right there with them. Beck predicted that if constitutional conservatives and those who stand against Trump don’t hang together, we will most assuredly all hang separately as per Ben Franklin’s quote. And he was right. It’s begun already and Trump is only the nominee right now. I expect he will win the presidency and then the real silencing and purging will begin.
Constitutional conservatives and those taking a principled stand against Trump are being kicked out of groups and purged from social media interactions. We won’t be silenced, but that won’t stop the onslaught. Beck predicted every bit of this. SiriusXM is either a coward or bought and paid for by the Trump campaign or both. The outlets pushing this garbage should be ashamed of themselves. They are acting like brownshirts for Trump. Glenn Beck and Brad Thor did nothing wrong and have absolutely nothing to apologize for. Both sides of the political aisle are now enemies within and have gone dark and evil. I fear this is only the beginning.
By: Roger Aronoff | Accuracy in Media
With a State Department Inspector General’s report concluding that Hillary Clinton was not, and would not have been, permitted to use a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state, the mainstream media have been forced to finally wake up and take notice of this persistent Clinton scandal. But instead of reporting that the revelations demonstrate how unfit Mrs. Clinton is for president, these news reports largely focus on the claim that it was merely record-keeping policies, or rules, which were broken.
“When two IT staffers raised concerns in 2010 that the system might not properly preserve records, the official said the system had been reviewed by attorneys and chided the staffers ‘never to speak of the Secretary’s personal email system again,’ the report says,” according to The Washington Post. “The IG’s office said it could not find evidence of such a legal review.”
In other words, the IT department was strong-armed into accepting Hillary’s dangerous email setup.
Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, writing for National Review, points outthat Mrs. Clinton’s transgressions were not merely violations against “policies” and “procedures,” as the IG report suggested, but “that these policies and procedures were expressly made pursuant to, and are expressly designed to enforce compliance with, federal law,” something the IG report at least acknowledged. And what were those “serious violations of federal law,” according to McCarthy?
“Mrs. Clinton’s withheld tens of thousands of government records (the e-mails) for nearly two years after she departed the State Department. She failed to return all government-related e-mails upon demand. She destroyed (or at least attempted to destroy) tens of thousands of e-mails without consultation with the State Department. And she did it all malevolently: for the manifest purpose of shielding her communications from the statutory file-keeping and disclosure requirements.”
Fortune magazine has listed a number of Mrs. Clinton’s misstatements, and shown how the IG report has exposed them as such. For example, Mrs. Clinton said: “What I did was allowed. It was allowed by the State Department. The State Department has confirmed that.”—AP interview, September. But what the report said was that there was “‘No evidence’ that Clinton asked for or received approval to conduct official government business on a personal email account run through a private server in her New York home. According to top State Department officials interviewed for the investigation, the departments that oversee security ‘did not — and would not—approve’ her use of a personal account because of security concerns.”
But an even bigger story here goes beyond Mrs. Clinton’s blatant attempts to subvert the Freedom of Information Act, and the fact that she did not archive her emails properly for record-keeping purposes. The bigger story is that this has been a national security scandal, placing classified sources and methods at risk. Mrs. Clinton wrote 104 emails that are considered classified, and sent or received at least 2,000 more emails containing material that was later classified. There were 22 emails that were considered “Top Secret” and too highly classified to be released to the public.
She and her apologists have claimed at various times that nothing was classified at the time she sent or received it and that nothing that passed through her server was marked classified. But it’s the material itself that matters, not the markings, and it was her responsibility to recognize material as classified.
Of course, Mrs. Clinton and her staffers declined to be interviewed for the Inspector General’s investigation, after previously stating that she would fully cooperate. “So what conceivable legal privilege do Clinton, Mills, Sullivan, and Abedin have that would allow them to refuse to answer investigators’ questions?” asks McCarthy in another article for National Review. “Only one: the Fifth Amendment privilege—i.e., the refusal to answer on the grounds that truthful responses might be incriminating.”
“The report is devastating,” writes McCarthy, adding that “although it transparently strains to soften the blow.”
“For example,” he writes, “it concludes that State’s ‘longstanding systemic weaknesses’ in recordkeeping ‘go well beyond the tenure of any one Secretary of State.’” However, Mrs. Clinton’s homebrew server was singular in its ability to breach national security.
Even CNN host Wolf Blitzer questioned why Mrs. Clinton did not cooperate with investigators. “But if she has done nothing wrong, if she’s done nothing wrong and she has nothing to hide, why not at least cooperate with the inspector general?” askedBlitzer on his CNN show, The Situation Room.
Pointing out that there was no Senate-confirmed inspector general during Mrs. Clinton’s four years as secretary of state, Howard Krongard, the State Department IG from 2005 to 2008 under President George W. Bush, told Fox News that “I would have been stunned had I been asked to send an email to her at a personal server, private address. I would have declined to do so on security grounds and if she had sent one to me, I probably would have started an investigation.”
Mrs. Clinton has uttered so many lies that she and her campaign are practically drowning in them, causing even The New York Times to take time to fact check her campaign rhetoric. Yet Mrs. Clinton continues to blame “Republicans and their allies” for damaging her presidential chances. “Thus far, this ‘vast right-wing conspiracy’ has entailed several left-leaning media outlets, the Obama-appointed intelligence community Inspector General, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” writes Guy Benson for Townhall.
That FBI investigation could derail Mrs. Clinton’s presidential run if FBI Director James Comey decides to refer the case to the Department of Justice. However, this State Department IG report is having an immediate effect. “This is a bad day for Clinton’s presidential campaign. Period,” wrote Chris Cillizza for the Post on May 25. “For a candidate already struggling to overcome a perception that she is neither honest nor trustworthy, the IG report makes that task significantly harder.”
Clinton’s biggest primary challenge comes not from the right, but from the left, with Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) refusing to concede to her. Sanders has said that he will challenge Mrs. Clinton all the way to the Democratic convention. Meanwhile, Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz may lose her position because she is perceived as “too divisive a figure to unify the party in 2016,”reports The Hill.
While the Democratic Party is divided, Mrs. Clinton remains the frontrunner and likely presidential nominee. However, it is becoming more and more clear that she has endangered government secrets.
“One of the more shocking parts of this report was the fact that after she thought she was being hacked, she complained to her staffers,” said CNN justice correspondent Evan Perez on Blitzer’s Situation Room on May 25. “In the report, it says their solution was simply to unplug the server.” Mrs. Clinton and her staff failed to report the incident to security officials, Perez said.
This damaging IG report demonstrates that Mrs. Clinton and her staff violated policy, lied about a legal review, and placed national security at risk. It is almost certain that her server was hacked by foreign governments. While mainstream media outlets would prefer to report this as a paperwork or records scandal, Mrs. Clinton’s email scandal remains a national security debacle, and a serious threat to end her dream of moving back into the White House.
By: Sam Vaknin | Gulag Bound
“What we are looking for here is the sort of person that slashes pictures,
takes a hammer to Michelangelo’s statues and a flamethrower to books;
someone who hates art and ideas so much that he wants to destroy them:
Inspector Morse in “The Twilight of the Gods” (1993)
In the 18th May edition of the Washington Post, Robert Kagan joined a growing chorus of public intellectuals who castigate Trump as a fascist.
All of them are confusing authoritarianism and totalitarianism with fascism. Trump is not a fascist. He is not sophisticated enough to have any political ideology. He is a narcissistic bully, a shrewd marketer, and an amateur politician with authoritarian instincts. These do not a fascist make.
So, what is fascism?
Nazism and, by extension, fascism (though the two are by no means identical) amounted to permanent revolutionary civil wars. In his magnum opus The Death of Politics (1994) John Laughland coined the apt term “subversive right,” or in his own words, a “mixture of Left and Right… (that has) embraced nationalist and socialist ideas….”
By: Lloyd Marcus
Folks, I got angry the other day. Mary and I were on the road most of this year campaigning for Ted Cruz. We’re back home in Florida. My grass is over a foot tall, neighbors are still polite and my lawnmower won’t start. I dropped off the lawnmower for Darrell our mechanic to fix. But that is not what made me angry.
I got angry thinking about how insane policies mandated by government are becoming the norm in America. We are being forced to accept numerous insane things like allowing men, even dressed as men, to enter girl’s restrooms. http://fxn.ws/1T9GSb2 All of us folks whose common sense tells us that these government mandates are insane had better keep our mouths shut or be branded bigoted, mean-spirited, intolerant and haters; face prosecution and jail time.
I got angry thinking about how in the midst of surrendering more and more of our freedoms, conservatives are still being coached not to dare run true conservative candidates to stop the Democrats/Lefts insanity. Folks, I feel like that guy in the movie, “Network”. I want to run to my window, throw it open and yell, “I’m mad as heck and not gonna take it anymore.”
Our nation was founded upon patriots who were fed up. They said, “Screw it, we ain’t taking it anymore from the all powerful British.”
The American colonies were broken into two groups; the Loyalists and the Patriots. Patriots felt they were treated unfairly by British government; taxed without any say or representation. Patriots wanted to break free of British rule.
Loyalists behaved similar to battered spouses. Though treated unfairly, loyalists saw benefits in remaining British citizens, fearful of being totally on their own. Loyalists were also extremely afraid to go up against the mighty, seemingly unbeatable, British military.
Thank God there were courageous patriots, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, George Washington, Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, Ethan Allen, Patrick Henry, and Ben Franklin who refused to listen to cowardly gloom and doom loyalists.
We have fearful GOP loyalists today cautioning us to be reasonable, don’t make the Left really angry by pushing back too hard and don’t dare run real conservatives. Thank God that we have conservative patriot warrior candidates today like Sharron Angle, Rob Maness and Kelli Ward to name a few.
True rock-solid conservative Sharron Angle is running for US Senate, Nevada. Patriots we must get behind this courageous, laser focused on liberty patriot sister. If I hear another person on our side say a real-deal conservative can’t win, I am going to slap them. Well, not really. But for crying out loud folks, when do we start firmly supporting conservatives with proven records of loyalty, patriots with histories of putting it all on the line for us? When do we stand for what we believe to be right rather than surrendering to the Left’s seemingly unstoppable fundamental transformation of America?
Patriot and national conservative radio talk show host Mark Levin gets it and has endorsed Sharron Angle for US Senate. Levin said he realizes that Angle faces an uphill battle against all the forces against her, but he is sick of it (mad as heck, not taking it anymore). Levin’s and other endorsements are great, but not enough folks. www.runsharronangle.com We need patriots across America to rally behind our patriot sister; calling family and friends in Nevada, telling them to vote for Angle in the fast approaching June 14th primary. Early voting starts May 28th. www.runsharronangle.com
Sharron is seeking to defeat a RINO named Heck who voted with Pelosi and the democrats 62% of the time. Heck, Nevada’s so-called republican senator voted with democrats for gun control, to fully fund Obamacare and voted for amnesty. Well, what the “Heck” is the benefit of having a RINO, a democrat in disguise, in that seat? www.angleforsenate.com
Three items atop Sharron’s list of democrat insanity she will correct is to eliminate Nevada Obamacare exchange, require voter ID in Nevada and protect student privacy. www.angleforsenate.com
My fellow Americans, we find ourselves in a similar situation as did our Founding Fathers, choosing to side with fear-driven GOP loyalists or brave conservative patriots. Battered conservative GOP loyalists will go along with the status quo, allowing Heck, a RINO to represent them in the general.
Taking a cue from our courageous Founding Fathers, brave patriots will back the true conservative in the race, patriot sister, Sharron Angle. www.angleforsenate.com
Lloyd Marcus, The Unhyphenated American
Chairman: The Conservative Campaign Committee
There is much to report at this time of political and diplomatic turmoil, but I will follow what has become my custom and start with some brief good news items.
Midway between the Dead Sea and Eilat, in a place called Sapir, in the harsh Arava desert, we find the International Center for Agricultural Training (AICAT). There, undergraduates from across Asia and Africa – from Nepal, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Ethiopia, South Sudan, East Timor, Thailand and Indonesia – come for a 10-month hands-on agriculture work-study program.
Says Hanni Arnon, AICAT director, “Here, where there are very harsh conditions, with geographic isolation, extreme weather, arid soil and a shortage of water — they learn the importance of human capacity. If you want it, you can make a change. We teach that a difficulty is a challenge and you need to find a solution.”
This is a very Israeli attitude, and is what has enabled us to thrive and grow. And how good, that we share this perspective with others.
WoundClot gauze is a flexible and easy-to-handle material made of highly absorbent regenerated cellulose (plant cells). It absorbs about 2,500 percent of its own weight in fluids and forms a coagulating gel membrane with platelets from the blood on the open wound.
“By absorbing blood and enhancing the natural clotting process, this unique gauze stops hemorrhaging within minutes and naturally dissolves – no need for painful removal – within 24 hours…
“The technology was developed at Ben-Gurion University by nanomaterials chemist Shani Eliyahu-Gross and commercialized by Core Scientific Creations, founded in 2012 in Kfar Saba by private angel investors…
“’What is unique about WoundClot is its bio-absorbability and its ability to withhold severe bleeding,’ Core Scientific Creations CEO Yuval Yaskil tells ISRAEL21c.
“’We managed to create a “DNA clock” that breaks down the product when we want it to and not because of saturation. Also, it is the only product of its kind we know of in the world today that doesn’t use compression.’”
The product was developed with the battlefield in mind, but has a host of other uses in trauma situations. It is predicted that someday this product may be in everyone’s medicine chest.
If you have not yet read the piece entitled ”The Palestinian Hoax” by Daniel Greenfield, writing as Sultan Knish, I encourage you to do so.
“…the Palestinian Museum…opened with much fanfare and one slight problem. While admission is free, there’s nothing inside for any of the visitors to see except the bare walls.
“The Palestinian Museum had been in the works since 1998, but has no exhibits. The museum cost $24 million…The Palestinian Museum is open, but there’s nothing inside.”
The museum, says Greenfield, is a metaphor for “Palestine.”
“Over the Palestinian Museum flies the proud flag of Palestine, which was originally the flag of the Iraqi-Jordanian Federation before the PLO ‘borrowed’ it, and visitors might be greeted by the Palestinian anthem composed by Greek Communist Mikis Theodorakis. If it sounds anything like the soundtrack from Zorba the Greek, that’s because they both share the same composer. All of Palestine is so authentically Palestinian that it might as well be made in China. At least that’s where the stained Keffiyahs worn by the stone throwers hurling rocks at passing Jewish families while posing heroically for Norwegian, Canadian and Chilean photojournalists are made. Palestine is an empty building with nothing in it…There’s a flag, an anthem, a museum and all the trappings of a country. But if you look closer, there’s nothing inside. The Palestinian Museum’s chairman, Omar al-Qattan, who was born in Beirut and lives in the UK, said that the ‘Palestinians’ needed positive energy so badly that opening an empty museum made sense. Just think how much positive energy can come from realizing that you have no culture, heritage or history to put in your museum…”
After you’ve read it, you might like to share it. This satirical piece looks at some very stark realities.
Just days ago, there was a rough spot in the coalition negotiations between Likud and Yisrael Beitenu, with dire predictions being made about how it was all going to fall apart. But it was ironed out.
And then came another glitch, as Naftali Bennett, head of Habayit Hayehudi, said his party would not support Lieberman as Defense Minister when the required vote was taken in the Knesset, unless Netanyahu acceded to his demand for a security secretary to be appointed to inform members of the Security Cabinet about complex military issues, and to facilitate their visits to sensitive security sites.
Credit: Gil Yohanan
As I see it, Bennett’s demand was quite legitimate. His concern was two-fold: that sometimes the Security Cabinet is by-passed as the IDF and the prime minister make decisions, and other times the Security Cabinet is ill-equipped to make proper decisions, when they are called upon to do so. He views this matter with utmost seriousness, as lives are at stake.
Many agreed with him, including Giora Eiland, former head of the National Security Council. Eiland explained:
“…the [Security] Cabinet does constitute the most senior echelon in the country in all matters of state security.
“The relationship between the Security Cabinet and the IDF can be compared to that of a company’s board of directors and the company itself, with the IDF chief of staff serving as its CEO. And though the board of directors does have a chairperson—personified by the prime minister—the most important issues are still decided by the board, and not its chairperson.
“…Cabinet members are usually senior ministers, some of them heads of their own party. These are very busy people, with most of them lacking the preferable security background. The members, however, are responsible for all the important decisions and are expected to learn and know the workings of the ‘company’—personified by the IDF—they oversee and whose actions they must approve. Appointing a military secretary to aid the Security Cabinet in these matters seems like a partial yet highly worthwhile solution to this.”
Inevitably, there is a political aspect that colors everything, and which the Israeli media – like media all over – just love to enlarge upon in great detail. The relationship between Netanyahu and Bennett, as many of my readers may be aware, is hardly warm. Certainly there is reason to believe that issues of ego or power rather than simply concern for the effectiveness of the Security Cabinet may have been involved in Netanyahu’s rejection of Bennett’s demand. The prime minister’s suggestion that a committee be appointed to look into the matter was rejected by Bennett as “spin.” Appointment of a “committee” is sometimes a means for stalling action.
Now, again, there were dire media reports about the coalition being on the verge of collapse; members of the current government rushed to bring the two sides together and prevent disaster. In this regard I was grateful that Herzog declared that his Zionist Camp would not step in to strengthen the coalition if Bennett walked. Had he been willing, who knows how Netanyahu would have responded. As it was, it was necessary for him and Bennett to come to some terms.
When Health Minister Ya’akov Litzman (UTJ) proposed a compromise, Netanyahu rejected it, although Bennett had accepted it.
Then on Sunday night, Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan (Habayit Hayehudi) encouraged the prime minister to accept it. Once Netanyahu did, the crisis disappeared.
The compromise: A committee will be formed to find ways to facilitate transfer of information to the members of the Security Cabinet; they will have three weeks to come up with a solution. In the interim, the head of the National Security Council will be responsible for reporting to the ministers.
So now we have a new enlarged government in place, and a new Minister of Defense. The Cabinet unanimously approved Lieberman in his new position Monday during the day, and at night the Knesset voted approval of Lieberman as Minister of Defense, 55 to 43. Lieberman has been sworn in.
Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90
Also sworn in last night were Sofa Landver, as Minister of Aliyah, and Tzachi Hanegbi, as Minister in the Prime Minister’s office.
Once he was sworn in, Lieberman resigned his Knesset seat, making way for the next on the Yisrael Beitenu list, Yulia Malinovsky, to enter the Knesset.
And so now is the time to mention – with no little disdain – that the Obama administration has already voiced discontent with our new coalition. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said last week that Washington had “seen reports from Israel describing it as the most right-wing coalition in Israel’s history…we also know that many of its ministers have said they oppose a two-state solution. This raises legitimate questions about the direction it may be headed in and what kind of policies it may adopt.”
The response a day later by Minister Yariv Levin – who had headed negotiations for Likud – was entirely appropriate:
“Our relations with the United States are extremely close and strong, but I think that the makeup of the government is an internal Israeli issue. That is how the situation has been in [Israel’s] entire history and I think we need to insist on that.”
Our paramount job is to stand strong for ourselves – if only we will do so. The world is going to say what it chooses to say, in any event.
Last Wednesday, two new members of the Knesset were sworn in: Yaakov Asher, who came in as part of a rotation deal between Agudat Yisrael and Degel Hatorah, and Rabbi Yehuda Glick, who came into the Likud coalition as a result of the resignation of Moshe Ya’alon. It is Glick I want to focus on here.
Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90
Just as there is hysteria about Lieberman in the government (which is already something of a joke, see below), so is there with regard to Glick, who is called an “extremist.” Why? Because, bless him, he wants to fight for Jewish rights on Har Habayit (the Temple Mount). He has declared himself committed to do what he can to secure the Jewish right to pray on this, our holiest place.
This is what we have come to, that speaking out for Jewish rights should be seen as “extreme.”
In an effort to calm tensions these past months, the prime minister put out an order that MKs were not to go up on the Mount – it was perceived as a “provocation.” Glick, before he was sworn in, went up one last time, which displeased Netanyahu. But Glick said:
“I have no idea when I will be able to return here.
“Know that everything that I do stems from the peace this place represents. I hope that it’s remembered that peace is the name of God, and everything I do for the country, the people and for Jerusalem, is driven by this city, the city of peace.”
Glick advocates not just for Jews, but for the rights of all peoples who are peaceful to pray on the Mount. He reminds his listeners that it is to be “a house of prayer for all nations.” (From Isaiah 56)
As we move towards the ill-fated Paris “peace” conference scheduled for June 3, Abbas is making the most of it – with a series of specifications and demands. If you follow what he said in a talk to the Arab League in Cairo on Saturday, it is possible to see, as clear as clear can be, that there has been no give in PA positions, no compromise. Everything is as it was last year, and the year before, and the year before that.
The “Palestinian state” should be located on all of the land beyond the 1949 armistice line, with perhaps small swaps of land of equal value, and eastern Jerusalem as the capital. There would be no recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.
There must also be, said Abbas, a “fair” resolution of the refugee issue, based on UN General Assembly Resolution 194 of 1948. This is an old demand loaded with dishonesty and subterfuge that they persist in holding on to. It’s a centerpiece of plans to weaken Israel. Resolution 194, according to Arab claims, gives Palestinian Arab “refugees” the “right of return” to areas within Israel that they fled in 1948.
Resolution 194, however, is just a recommendation from the General Assembly, without any weight in law. That is, there is no “right” conferred on refugees by virtue of the resolution, and no obligation levied against Israel. What is more, the reference to “return” was only one alternative mentioned in the resolution. What the Arabs did is to focus on a portion of one phrase, rather than the entire document. Over the last 65 + years, Arabs who fled during the war have been sustained, via UNRWA, in a refugee status, rather than being absorbed into the various Arab countries where they found themselves. Even “refugees” who acquired citizenship elsewhere are still counted as refugees, as are their descendants. I did a good deal of writing about this years ago, and nothing of significance has changed since I first wrote.
In addition now, Abbas, clearly confident of support from the international community, has added stipulations: if negotiations are re-launched, there should be time-caps set and a monitoring committee for following whatever is agreed upon. And he would like NATO troops in Judea and Samaria.
And what do we have? Lieberman, newly sworn in last night, immediately declared in a joint statement with Netanyahu that he supports the recent efforts to promote peace in the region that have been advanced by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. This is not an embrace of Abbas, and not endorsement of the French plan. No.
But it is a statement that reflects Netanyahu’s penchant for showing how willing we are to “make peace.” Netanyahu is facing pressure from France and the US government, and the EU. And I haven’t even mentioned yet the maliced meddling of the so-called leaders of the Jewish Policy Forum, who are preparing a paper to submit to the next president on how to pressure Netanyahu for concessions. So, it is, first, I suspect, a “reassurance” that we’re not obstructionist. And a way to reduce the horrendous pressure.
It is also, I think, a counter to Abbas’s demands regarding negotiations, and perhaps a diversion to weaken French influence – sort of a splitting of the playing field. At the time the French announced their initiative, the Arabs declared that the responsibility for pursuing an agreement rested with them. An undermining of the plans of the haughty French might be constructive.
Broadly speaking, this approach envisions an opportunity for us to improve our relations with Arab neighbors – something that the prime minister is always talking about. It is fraught at one and the same time with possibility in terms of strengthening our ties with the relatively moderate Arab states, and with danger, lest we concede what we should not in an effort to consolidate our interactions with them.
The initiative here is obviously that of Netanyahu. News sources called this a “surprise,” and I would say so. A shock might be more like it. But this was hardly a spontaneous action. According to the JPost this morning, Tzachi Hanegbi, who tilts to the left, was brought into the prime minister’s office so that he might work on this. What does “working on it” mean?
Even as I report on possible motivation for what Netanyahu is doing – which is not to my liking – I am able to consider the possibility that there might be some method to this madness.
Perhaps we need to also keep in mind that Netanyahu knows that a “peace deal” is beyond the realm of what is possible. He knows that Abbas is making his maximalist demands and will never come to terms. We absolutely should not count on the Arabs to save us, but they have, many times, and he may be counting on this again. And so, he might make his (potentially dangerous) gestures, to show the world how serious and magnanimous we are, but count on it, that in the end not much will change.
This turn of events is clearly also intended as an indication that Lieberman will be a “team player,” for he speaks of “positive elements” in the Saudi plan (if re-negotiated). What was discussed in the coalition negotiations? Choosing the time of Lieberman’s swearing in to make this announcement was deliberate, I have no doubt. Yariv Levin’s comments aside, with everything else, this is designed to allay fears in the world that Lieberman is a “crazy extremist.”
I feel the unease, and can clearly hear the laments: But Lieberman was supposed to be right wing! Let us watch… It is very early, and there are yet so many unknowns. As I said, “Choppy waters.” So complex. So difficult. Hold tight.
My own position: even if Lieberman turns out to be less than we might have hoped, Ya’alon had to go. A man who compares one of our soldiers to ISIS, as he did, and encourages military insurrection against the government, cannot be Minister of Defense.
In my last posting, I wrote about the fact that for an interval of six weeks no cement – intended for housing construction – had been permitted into Gaza because some of it was being diverted by Hamas for tunnel construction, but that now it would be permitted in again. I scoffed at the idea that the new regulations in place – such as more PA monitors on the scene – were going to make a difference. And that was before I had the latest information:
Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold speaking at a United Nations World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul indicated that Hamas was diverting 95% of the cement allowed into Gaza for civilian purposes, in order to utilize it for terror.
Ninety-five percent. The new stipulations will have close to no effect on this.
And so I ask: What is wrong with us? What sickness is this that we have to show how nice we are, even when there is evidence that what we are doing is damaging to our nation?
The most important lesson we as a nation still need to learn: to stand first for ourselves. I do not believe it can be said too often.
What better to do now than pray for the welfare of the State of Israel:
“Send Your light and truth to Israel’s leaders, ministers and officials.”
May we see better days ahead.
Total global oil production could decline for the next several years in a row as scarce new sources of supply come online.
According to data from Rystad Energy, overall global oil output will fall this year as natural depletion overwhelms all new sources of supply. But the deficit will only widen in the years ahead due to the dramatic scaling back in spending on new exploration and development.
Statoil says that global capex is set to fall for two years in a row, and is on track to fall for a third year in 2017 as more spending cuts are likely. “For the first time in history, we’ve seen cutting of capex two years in a row and potentially we risk a third year as well for 2017,” Statoil’s Chief Financial Officer Hans Jakob Hegge told Bloomberg in a recent interview. “It might be that we see quite a dramatic reduction in replacing the capacity and of course that will have an impact, eventually, on price.”
Oil companies are making painful cuts to spending, which will translate into much lower production than expected in the years ahead.
Although markets have dealt with the supply overhang for the better part of two years, the surplus could flip to a deficit as early as this year, as declines exceed new sources of production by a few hundred thousand barrels per day. That widens to more than a million barrels per day in both 2017 and 2018. To be sure, there are extremely large volumes of oil sitting in storage, which will take a few years to work through. That will prevent any short-term price spike even if depletion surpasses new production. But Statoil’s CFO said the world could start to see supply problems by 2020.
According to a separate report from SAFE, a Washington-based think tank, the oil industry has cut somewhere around $225 billion in capex in 2015 and 2016, which will lead to global supplies 4 million barrels per day lower in 2018-2020, compared to what market analysts expected as of 2014.
Of course, these figures are not inevitable. A sharp rise in oil prices would spur new investment and new drilling. In other words, deficits create profit opportunities for drillers, ushering in new supplies. The price acts as a self-correcting mechanism.
The problem is that, unlike many other industries, resource extraction is extremely volatile, with supply responses very delayed. Many oil projects, after all, take years to develop. Supply overshot demand, crashed prices, and in response, supplies will undershoot demand in the next few years. The industry has always suffered from booms and busts, and there is little reason to think that it will change, at least in the short run.
But we tend to have a myopic view on what to expect. When oil prices go up, people buy fuel efficient cars. When they go down, SUVs are back in style. When the world is dealing with too much supply, market watchers predict oil prices will stay low for years to come. If spot oil prices suddenly rise, forecasts are revised sharply upwards.
Here’s another example: the WSJ reports that oil prices are entering a “sweet spot,” a range between $50 and $60 per barrel that could finally be good for the global economy – low enough to provide consumers with a bit of a stimulus, but high enough to keep the industry and capital spending afloat. Also, crude at $50, as opposed to $30, can provide a bit of inflation to the deflation-beset economies in Europe and Japan. “Crude between $50 and $60 would be the absolute sweet spot,” Mark Watkins, regional investment manager at U.S. Bank Wealth Management, told the WSJ. “Everybody wins there.”
That is all well and good, but who expects oil to trade between $50 and $60 for any lengthy period of time? If there is one thing that we have learned over the past two years, it is that nobody has a crystal ball on prices. And if the industry indeed cuts capex for three consecutive years, at a time when demand continues to rise, the one thing we can be sure of is more volatility.
By Nick Cunningham of Oilprice.com