12/19/16

The CIA’s Dirty Tricks Against American Democracy

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

There is an easy way to determine who is a faithful Democratic Party hack in the media and who on the left maintains at least some independence from the party line. Long-time Democrat Bill Moyers thinks it’s an open-and-shut case that Russia’s Vladimir Putin intervened in the election to help Trump and that our democracy is in peril. The Intercept thinks the evidence is weak, and that the CIA may have some other reason for “squaring off directly against Trump.” What could that possibly be?

Could it be that CIA Director John Brennan fears that Trump as president could order an investigation into what the CIA has been up to under President Obama? What could that be? Could the CIA have been interfering in foreign elections, and if so, could such efforts have provoked Russian retaliation?

The folks at the Intercept are on the far-left, but have decided to maintain some semblance of objectivity when it comes to sensational claims of foreign interference in the 2016 campaign. However, the idea they propose—that the controversy can be solved by President Obama declassifying evidence—is not practical. Obama won’t do it, because the intelligence agencies always claim that disclosure will reveal sources and methods. If they do release “evidence,” it will be vague and mostly worthless, just like the stories in The Washington Post and New York Times, where these allegations initially surfaced. These stories are impossible to confirm or deny.

The CIA will want to hide its hand, not because the evidence may implicate Russia in election interference, but because the evidence we do have demonstrates that the CIA is currently interfering in the results of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. That’s the story that cannot be told, and the one which threatens our democracy. The Times and Post are vehicles for this insidious effort.

We do know that CIA Director Brennan is a far-left extremist—just like Obama himself—who once voted for a Communist Party candidate, and whose sympathies for radical Islam are well-known. Questions persist about whether Brennan, an alumnus of Catholic Fordham University, converted to Islam and why he took his oath of office on a copy of the U.S. Constitution and not the Bible.

But rest assured. Snopes, one of those liberal entities that is now part of the Facebook operation to detect “fake news,” says Brennan’s conversion to Islam remains an “unsubstantiated rumor.” Snopes does, however, report that it is true that Brennan “was sworn in to his office not on a Bible but on a copy of the Constitution.” A photo exists of the occurrence.

The real “fake news” surrounds the claims that Putin intervened to help Trump. At a post-election crying session, Hillary Clinton said that Putin hated her because he associated her with protests against his rule in Russia, and he wanted to get even. Putin did accuse her of stoking the protests. But where is the evidence that the alleged hacking was payback? What’s more, is there evidence that the protests in Russia were inspired or funded by the U.S.? Perhaps that issue ought to be resolved.

Since we know that the Obama administration interfered in foreign elections in Canada and Israel, is it that incredible to believe that the Clinton State Department had a hand in the anti-Putin protests? We noted in a column that Obama had tried, but failed, to take out Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but did succeed in taking down Canada’s Conservative Party Prime Minister Stephen Harper, a big supporter of Israel. Where was the media outcry over that?

An additional question is whether or not Obama used the CIA to interfere in foreign elections such as those in Russia, Canada or Israel.

It may be the case that the Democrats and their media allies have opened up an entire Pandora’s Box when it comes to interference in elections. Shouldn’t we “drain the swamp” here before we focus on what others have done to us?

The issue of U.S. interference in foreign elections is a matter that should be investigated by Congress if it goes forward with a probe into alleged Russian hacking into the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

If the inquiry regarding Russia determines that Putin wanted to destroy Hillary’s campaign and elect Trump, that doesn’t make Trump a dupe of the Russians. It may have just been a personal Putin vendetta against Hillary.

The real issue is what policies these two candidates would have pursued. We already know that Obama and Hillary staged a Russian reset that was a spectacular failure, and that Putin used this new development in relations between the U.S. and Russia to launch military aggression in Ukraine and Syria. So the former KGB chief running Russia knew he could get the better of Hillary if she became president.

Writing at Forbes, Paul Roderick Gregory looks at the evidence of how Trump poses a far greater threat to Putin, not in threatening military action against the Russian regime, but in seeking American energy independence. He says, “If Putin’s core objective is indeed to protect his petrostate, he would not root for Trump. The US fracking revolution has transformed the world energy market from $100 to $50 oil, has broken Russia’s dominance of the European natural gas market, and has plunged the economy into a prolonged ‘period of stagnation,’ as the Soviets used to call it. Under Trump, Putin can expect a second energy revolution, which will threaten Putin’s hold on power, which looks strong but is weaker than we think.” This is why there have been reports that the Russians are secretly subsidizing anti-fracking groups in the West.

Gregory says that if you look at the energy picture from Putin’s perspective, he would have preferred the Obama/Clinton policies that “blocked pipelines, imposed strict regulations on unconventional oil and gas, froze leases on federal lands, and used other anti-carbon actions” that had the ultimate effect of propping up the value of the oil resources of his shaky regime.

If the Democrats really wanted to take down Putin’s regime, they would abandon their anti-fossil fuel policies, give up on a “climate change” agreement that benefits our adversaries, and support the President-elect’s policies of growth and resource exploration and exploitation. Instead, they want to blather on about Putin’s hatred for Hillary, using anonymous CIA sources in the media to make a case for a narrow probe.

Let the investigations begin. Let them be far-reaching and broad. Let’s determine what Obama and Hillary’s State Department did not only to Russia, but to Israel and Canada as well. And let’s find out if the CIA was part of this destabilization effort.

If pursued by a Republican Congress with the guts to probe what really went on and get to the bottom of what the CIA has been up to, we may be looking at a scandal that could shake the foundations of the political party that has occupied the Oval Office for the past eight years. This might be the only way to teach the CIA a lesson about not interfering with the results of an American election.


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

08/26/16

Egyptian judoka Salafi-style: No withdraw, no win, no handshake

By: Dr. Ashraf Ramelah | Voice of the Copts

Egypt

The ancient Greek Olympiad, the origin of today’s Olympic Games, was held in honor of Zeus. The games were used as a political tool between rival city-states. It was all about victory and the assertion of dominance. The inception of the Olympiad dates back to nearly nine hundred years before the moon god, Allah, whispered his special message into humanity through the angel Gabriel. So, it is not odd that upon completion of the August 12 judo match of the Rio Olympics between Egyptian competitor, Islam el-Shehaby, and Isaeli champion, Or Sasson, that the devout Salafi publicly observed his god by refusing, according to Quranic commandment, to shake the extended winning hand of Sasson, the Jew.

When the match was over, Shehaby ignored Sasson, following the Quranic verse 2:65 (And will ye knew those amongst you who transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath: We said to them: “Be ye apes, despised and rejected”). This was not the case of a sore loser. The devout Muslim was paying homage to Allah. Deference to Allah is why Egyptian Copts are barred (unofficially) from Egypt’s Olympic training camps at an age when children are singled out for athletic talent. Christian family ancestry (the name of one’s great-great-grandfather) or simply the mandatory Egyptian ID card indicating Christianity will shut any candidate out.

Shehaby was internationally ranked very high at 25 in his weight class. As Egypt’s state champion, Salafi Shehaby’s chances were very good for victory; predictions were made that Islam would dominate. The Egyptian Olympic Authority knew it risked the dreaded possibility that Shehaby could face an Israeli champion. Sure enough the 32nd round of the judo matches determined this to be when the draw brought Sasson, ranked at 5, to face Shehaby. Cries of protest from the devout of Egypt (and other Islamic countries) for Shehaby to withdraw were deafening.

To settle the matter, Khalid Abdul Aziz (Egyptian Minister of Youth and Sports), relegated religious considerations to the rules and regulations of the world games. Shehaby’s potential triumph over an Israeli Jew would not be relinquished when the possibility of his dominance would bring great honor to Islam. Aziz went on CNN Arabic to quote the Olympic Charter, “Egypt is committed to the Olympic Charter, which does not recognize withdrawal of a participant, and it is not acceptable for any Egyptian athlete to withdraw from any competition. This would expose the player and country to sanctions. Egyptian athletes must accept competition with everyone, regardless of any other considerations.”

This actually gave the 34-year old Salafi judoka a choice. Reminded of his duty to the Charter and his country, he could stay on track. Otherwise, withdraw from the contest and abide by the religious dictates of his conscience (embodied in the disapproval of fellow believers). Shehaby, no doubt, had in mind fellow athlete, Ramadan Darwish, who overpowered his Israeli competition in the 2012 Dusseldorf quarterfinals of the German judo games delivering Egypt the Bronze medal. Darwish brought a double honor to Allah when he disregarded the after-match handshake in submission to the laws of his religious doctrine.

However, what Shehaby didn’t know choosing to go forward was that two days hence he would honor Allah in front of the world only by half his former teammate – losing the combat and likewise refusing the sportsman’s handshake. The final push for his decision to engage came from the president of the Egyptian Olympic Committee, Hisham Kattab, who confirmed that no one can force Shehaby to withdraw and shatter his hopes of an Olympic competition just because he happens to face an Israeli player. He went on to wish Shehaby a win and the achievement of an Olympic medal.

On the day of the match, reporters described Shehaby looking haggard, stepping onto the mat with his eyes darting and knees quivering. Bigotry is not easy. Just the thought of proximity is unnerving and, in this case, weakened resolve. Like Nasser’s ‘67 five-day defeat, in five minutes it was over for Shehaby. The Egyptian president returned from the world stage to apologize to the Egyptian people as Shehaby needs to do now. Egyptian government authorities and their Olympic committee publicly condemned Shehaby’s behavior calling the player back home. Meanwhile, Shehaby’s success resides in his contribution to the expansion of Islamic ideology.

Christian Coptic participation in Egypt’s Olympics is tokenism, if and when we see it. In their formative years, Egypt’s Christian children know they haven’t a shot at striving for the pinnacle of athletics and, for that matter, government, academics, politics or the military. Only just recently are there a handful of elected Christians to the Egyptian parliament. However, this will not yet lead to the reversal of institutionalized second-class status for minority religions.

Shehaby’s scraggly Mohammed-style beard, worn by devout Salafi Muslims, contradicted the ideal of former Egyptian participants in past Olympics, placing worship over country. Reaction to Shehaby upon return can be summed up in the malicious mockery found in the comments of media host and secularist, Dr. Khaled Montaser, who blogged on social media, “It’s clear that our judoka player is a cocktail of crap. He also refused to shake hands with the president of the Olympic Committee [a woman] during the investigation because it is haram [a sin]!!” An investigation by the Olympic Commission was made into Shehaby’s refusal to bow to his opponent according to regulation when the match ended. Montaser then evoked Osama Bin Laden’s hideout to say, “Even if this were the Tora Bora team one would never act like that!! El-Shehaby thought that he was in the Khaybar Gazwa.” He added, “Who sent such an Uncle Salafi to shame and disgrace us?”

07/20/16

Where to Turn?

Arlene from Israel

As you have undoubtedly observed, the state of the world is terrible and growing worse.  Social unrest, violence, threats of violence and more are all about us: From yet another – particularly horrendous – terror attack, this one in Nice; to an illegal immigrant problem in Europe that is out of control and endangers the entire European society; to Iran’s   belligerent stance; to repeated incidents of racially motivated murders of police officers in the US.  (Remember Obama’s promise eight years ago of a time of “post-racial” harmony?)

Could I begin this posting without alluding to these exceedingly alarming matters? They can be ignored only at great peril.

Credit: istock

In particular is this the case with regard to Islamist terror – which is still not being confronted within Europe and the US with either honesty or anything resembling requisite resolve.  After the Nice attack French Prime Minister Manuel Valls declared that France is going to have to learn to live with terror.

http://dailycaller.com/2016/07/15/french-prime-minister-on-nice-terror-attack-france-is-going-to-have-to-live-with-terrorism/

Then there is the inability (or refusal) on the part of European officials to address the threat presented by the influx of a huge hostile Muslim population.  There is actually a tendency in certain parts of Europe for authorities to hide statistics on rape and sexual aggression by Muslim immigrants, for fear of alarming the populace.

http://www.spectator.co.uk/2016/01/its-not-only-germany-that-covers-up-mass-sex-attacks-by-migrant-men-swedens-record-is-shameful/

While the world most definitely prefers to ignore the intentions of Iran – and, in fact, is all too accommodating.  News has just broken about a “secret deal” – an “add-on document” revealed by AP – which was apparently approved by the US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany.  It “will ease [nuclear constraints on Iran] in slightly more than a decade, cutting the time Tehran would need to build a bomb to six months.”

http://www.timesofisrael.com/secret-document-reveals-key-iran-nuclear-constraints-will-ease-in-10-years/

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, speaking to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, identified Iran as Israel’s greatest threat: Iran “continues to develop its military missile program with full force,” he said.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/iranian-threat-tops-hamas-islamic-state-liberman-tells-knesset/

While over in the US, after the Baton Rouge massacre of police officers, Attorney General Loretta Lynch – fueling tensions – opined that, while people should not be violent, their feelings of “helplessness” and “fear” are “understandable” and “justified.”

http://www.frontpagemag.com/point/263550/ag-lynch-suggests-baton-rogue-police-massacre-daniel-greenfield

Not only has a huge black-white rift emerged in the US, there are anti-Israel overtones within the “Black Lives Matter” movement.  Most recently, Atlanta’s mayor, Kasim Reed, flatly rejected “Black Lives Matter” demands that Atlanta’s police stop associating with Israeli police. Israel is referred to as “Apartheid Israel,” and black identification is with the people of Gaza.  (Should we be surprised?)

https://www.algemeiner.com/2016/07/19/atlanta-mayor-flatly-rejects-demand-from-local-black-lives-matter-group-to-cut-ties-with-apartheid-israel

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It is hardly possible for me to address all of these issues in any detail in this one posting – I can only point in a number of very important directions.

Having done so, I want to narrow my focus to Israel-related matters.  In this regard, there is some good news.  I didn’t start with it, but happily it does exist.

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Right now is an especially auspicious time for me to mention the Legal Grounds Campaign, which I co-chair with Jeff Daube –http://israelrights.com

Last week we had the closing ceremony for our pilot law course.  Ten law students were provided with eight classes taught by top notch international lawyers on issues regarding our rights in the land – issues that are often not adequately touched upon in the law schools.  We now have ten students who will be far better equipped to address these issues once they begin their law careers.

We are delighted about this.  Having proven that we can do this successfully, we are aiming for more students and more classes next year.  This is a real and important contribution to Israel’s future.

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At the same time, Jeff and I are working on the first video for Legal Grounds – a presentation of the case for our rights in the land.  There is so much disinformation out there, so much confusion on the various legal and historical issues, that we believe it is critical for us to present our case cogently, simply, and with great clarity.  To be done in Hebrew and English versions, it will be dynamic and cutting-edge.  We hope it will go viral.

We are grateful to generous donors who have provided the basic funds for the production of this video: we are very close to signing on a video producer.

Video Streaming

Credit: zyxel

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My friends, I share quite candidly the fact that my intensive work on the Legal Grounds Campaign has prevented me from posting as frequently as has been my habit.  Thus does a posting such as today’s have a feel of being not just a current report, but a review of recent events.

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As of last Wednesday, the 13th, Theresa May officially succeeded David Cameron as prime minister of Great Britain.  This definitely counts as good news.

Theresa May emerges to speak to reporters after being confirmed as the leader of the Conservative Pa

Credit: Reuters

During her service as home secretary, she demonstrated very warm feelings towards Britain’s Jewish citizens, and voiced support for Israel.  She visited Israel in 2014, has spoken before a variety of Jewish groups, and, also in 2014, banned the French anti-Semitic comedian Dieudonne from entering the UK.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/theresa-may-jews-and-israel-6-connections/

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Prime Minister May’s selection of Boris Johnson, former mayor of London, as Foreign Secretary, is also being celebrated: Johnson has a history of exceedingly supportive ties to the Jewish community and to Israel.

Boris Johnson, the UK's newly appointed foreign secretary. Photo: Wikipedia.

Credit: Wikipedia

He was here last November in order to boost London-Jerusalem ties.  Commenting on supporters of BDS, he referred to them, as “corduroy-jacketed lefty academics.” (One version reports – even better – that he said “corduroy-jacketed, snaggletoothed, lefty academics.”)

“I cannot think of anything more foolish [than to boycott] a country that, when all is said and done, is the only democracy in the region, the only place that has in my view a pluralist open society.”

http://www.algemeiner.com/2016/07/17/british-jewry-hails-appointment-of-staunch-israel-supporter-boris-johnson-as-new-foreign-secretary/

Referred to as a “larger than life character,” he is, admittedly, a bit idiosyncratic. But that’s quite OK.  He sounds like our kind of guy.  He has not endeared himself with the Palestinian Arabs.

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The best vote of confidence in Israel: the arrival of new olim (immigrants).  On Tuesday, 218 people from N. America made the flight, to come home.  They were assisted by the organization Nefesh b’Nefesh.

Credit: MyIsrael

The Nefesh b’Nefesh goal for the summer is 2,000 olim.

http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Over-200-new-immigrants-from-North-America-arrive-in-Israel-460807

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I will mention here, just briefly, the July 10th visit to Israel of Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry.  This was the first visit to Israel of an Egyptian foreign minister since 2007, and the tone was most cordial.  Recently a growing relationship between Israel and Egypt – with enhanced intelligence cooperation – has come to light, spurred in part by mutual concerns about ISIS.

Shoukry came promoting a reinvigoration of “the peace process,” with Egyptian involvement.  It’s that Egyptian involvement that Netanyahu welcomes, as it undercuts EU efforts.

There is talk of arranging for a meeting between Netanyahu and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi but it is not clear whether this will materialize.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/on-rare-israel-visit-egypt-fm-pushes-for-renewed-peace-talks/

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on Sunday, July 10, 2016 (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Credit: Hadas Parush/Flash90

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Also briefly: An agreement for normalization of ties between Israel and Turkey was reached at the end of June.  Vastly leery of the Islamist perspective of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, I had a response to this that was not positive, and I was hardly the only one reacting this way.  In many quarters it was felt that Turkey gained too much, and Israel demanded too little.

What was particularly galling was the apology by Israel for the deaths of nine so-called “activists” who were aboard the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara – which was attempting to break the Gaza blockade six years ago. Those who died had ambushed and viciously attacked Israeli navy commandos who had come aboard to demand that the ship alter its course.  A compensation fund for the families of those who died is to be established to the tune of $20 million.  It feels altogether too much like an inappropriate admission of culpability from our side, a sort of appeasement.  (The quid pro quo here is supposed to be that legal action against Israelis involved would be dropped.)

What is greatly disturbing, Turkey was not required to banish Hamas, but simply to ensure that Hamas not plan terrorism from inside its borders.  Right….

On the other hand, Turkey did not secure one of its major demands, which was the end of the Gaza naval blockade.  Turkey will be able to provide relief provisions to Gaza via an Israeli port, and to lend assistance to Hamas with reconstruction inside Gaza.  (Eyebrows are raised over this last concession, which raises questions about the nature of the Turkish assistance to Hamas, particularly with regard to construction of “hospitals,” which Hamas uses as military headquarters.)

Some in the know are saying that the prime motivator of this agreement was gas.  Turkey, whose ties with Russia are not what they once were, requires gas.  And Israel is most interested in selling.

http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-gas-execs-see-israel-turkey-gas-deal-by-2017-1001135479

Others say that this agreement increases stabilization in the area, but that remains to be seen.  There is even a question now as to whether the failed military coup in Turkey will end up weakening the rapport with Israel.

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I fervently wish that I could say that in Israel all is peaceful and easy, but of course that is not the case.  Terror attacks and attempted attacks continue:

On Sunday morning, alert security guards stopped a suspicious Palestinian Arab man from boarding the light rail at the Jaffa Street station near King George Street, right in the center of town.

Credit: Shmuel Bar Am

Turned out that he was carrying three pipe bombs as well as knives.  Had he successfully boarded, it would have been a horror.  The terrorist was from a village near Hevron.

http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Police-arrest-Palestinian-suspected-of-carrying-explosive-device-460610

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I want to share this article by Ruthie Blum – “Where is the feminist outcry?” – because the world so little understands the nature of our enemy, and what we must contend with (emphasis added):

“The recently appointed head of Israel’s Shin Bet internal security agency gave his first presentation on Tuesday to the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee of the Knesset. As part of his overview of the country’s current situation, Nadav Argaman addressed the role of Arab women in the terror wave against Israelis that began last September.

“More specifically, he talked about the way in which Palestinian girls and women are being forced by the norms of their society to become cannon fodder in the ‘lone-wolf intifada’

“According to Argaman, so far more than 40 girls and women have been wounded, killed or arrested for committing — or attempting to commit — terrorist attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians. These acts are both homicidal and suicidal in nature: geared toward murder, on the one hand, but usually involve or result in self-sacrifice.Indeed, a teenage girl who runs up to a group of IDF soldiers while flailing a knife and shouting ‘Allahu akbar’ knows she is not long for this world. Even those who go after unarmed passersby are aware that they are likely to be shot in the process.

“…most of these women had ‘shamed’ their families in some way — through what is considered to constitute sexual misconduct. This could include anything from flirting with the wrong boy — a Christian, perhaps — to engaging in actual or perceived adultery.

These women know that what awaits them is a painful, humiliating and often slow death at the hands of one or more male relatives — fathers, brothers, uncles, cousins — with no intervention on the part of their mothers or the Palestinian police.

“Yes, honor killing is alive and well in the Palestinian Authority, whose leaders traipse around the United Nations in Armani suits to bemoan Israeli injustices.

To ‘launder’ their inevitable end, many Palestinian girls opt to go out with a literal bang and become ‘martyrs.’ Some, Argaman said, are encouraged to do so — even driven to the site of the terrorist attacks they are told to commit — by their parents. If the girls are put to death for dishonoring their families, the stain remains. If, on the other hand, they are killed in the process of maiming Jews, their parents are guaranteed adulation and a hefty monthly stipend from the coffers of the PA, filled regularly by the United States and Europe…”

http://israelagainstterror.blogspot.co.il/2016/07/where-is-feminist-outcry-ruthie-blum.html

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Blum’s title is right-on. It has long been a sore point with me: the failure of left wing so-called feminists to cry out on behalf of their Palestinian Arab sisters.  Because this involves  Palestinian Arab society, they prefer to turn a blind eye.

Please, share this broadly.

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And lastly here a look at who we are – along with further information on who they are (emphasis added):

The Knesset Special Committee on the Rights of the Child is working to resolve the issue of Palestinian Arab child beggars. It was revealed that “there are dozens of children aged five to 17 begging in the streets, the vast majority in Arab villages.

“They are mostly minors…who come through crossings or open areas, or children from East (sic) Jerusalem…This is a growing phenomenon [especially] during the holidays and summer vacation.

“…these children, who often suffer from physical and sexual abuse, are often forced by adult handlers to beg on the streets for 11 hours per day.”

Frustration has been expressed because of a lack of cooperation on this issue within the Palestinian Authority.

http://www.pressreader.com/israel/jerusalem-post/20160719/281629599617196

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A long posting, my friends, I know. Hopefully a valuable one. There is more, much more.  Next time.

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“Ana BeKoach” – a mystical song that is a special favorite of mine.  It feels right for today and I like this version (although I don’t know why the illustration utilized).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3IW4S7DlSo

“We beg, we beg thee with the strength and greatness of thy right arm, untangle our knotted fate.
Accept your people’s song, elevate, elevate and purify us.”

07/15/16

Ted Cruz slams Obama admin for interfering in Israeli election

By: Renee Nal | New Zeal

??? ?????? ?????? ?????? ???? ?? ??????? ?? ???? ????? ??? ?????? ???????? ????? ???? ?? / ??"? photo by Haim Zach / GPO

Way back in January 2015, Senator Ted Cruz, along with U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin, demanded an investigation into “whether or not Obama has launched a political campaign against [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu before the March elections,” as reported at the Right Scoop.

In March, they sent a letter to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen “questioning whether [State Department grant recipient] OneVoice was acting in violation of its tax exempt status.” Their questions went unanswered.

Fast forward to yesterday’s headline at the Washington Times:

Obama admin. sent taxpayer money to campaign to oust Netanyahu

From the article:

“The State Department paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayers grants to an Israeli group that used the money to build a campaign to oust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in last year’s Israeli parliamentary elections, a congressional investigation concluded Tuesday.”

While the mainstream media does not appear to give a hoot, once again Senator Ted Cruz has proven himself to be on the right side of history. He should be commended for exposing this outrageous and dare this author say – treasonous – misuse of taxpayer funds!

Here is Sen. Cruz and Rep. Zeldin’s press release, in full.

Sen. Cruz and Rep. Zeldin Issue Joint Statement on New PSI Report Investigating State Department Grants to OneVoice

‘OUR TAXPAYER DOLLARS SHOULD NOT BE USED TO FURTHER ANY EFFORT TO OVERTHROW THE DULY-ELECTED LEADER OF A DEMOCRATIC ALLY’

July 14, 2016 | 202-228-7561
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) today issued the following statement on the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations’ (PSI) bipartisan report titled “Review of U.S. State Department Grants to OneVoice,” which confirms that U.S. taxpayer dollars were provided to an organization that sought to oust Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:

“OneVoice’s previous history of being involved in past Israeli elections should have been enough of a red flag not to provide grants under any circumstances,” Cruz and Zeldin said. “Yet the State Department’s apparent lack of oversight, either deliberate or blatantly incompetent, is nonetheless completely unacceptable in either respect. Our taxpayer dollars should not be used to further any effort to overthrow the duly-elected leader of a democratic ally, even if he or she is not politically aligned with the current American administration. Instead of undermining the will of Israelis in the only true democracy in the Middle East, America should be providing our close ally Israel with our steadfast support.”

Sen. Cruz and Rep. Zeldin first sent a letter to the State Department on January 29, 2015, expressing strong concerns over media reports a taxpayer funded 501(c)3 non-profit called OneVoice was actively working with V15 to influence the outcome of the March 17, 2015 Israeli elections and calling for a State Department investigation into the matter. After further alarming news reports indicated OneVoice was engaged in overt political activity, they sent a letter to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen on March 3, 2015 questioning whether OneVoice was acting in violation of its tax exempt status. The IRS refused to answer their questions.

This new PSI report confirms much of the disturbing allegations raised in the Cruz-Zeldin letters to both the State Department and the IRS. OneVoice built a major grassroots campaign infrastructure and operation using grants provided by the State Department, which was then subsequently utilized during the Israeli election with the specific goal of defeating Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Israeli election. A consulting firm founded by two former Obama campaign operatives, 270 Strategies, received its own State Department grant and approval to advise OneVoice on constructing this effort. The political game plan was further devised during the State Department’s grant period and was even emailed to a top State Department official who deleted it–and then, subsequently, not only denied reading it, but also claimed to be unaware it was against government policy to delete such emails.

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The corruption in the Obama administration is rampant.

07/6/16

Cutting Through the Pain

Arlene from Israel

Here I am, again, skipping over the good news.  My apologies for this, as I know my readers enjoy those good reports (as do I).  But once again, I feel compelled to focus on the not-good news:

Some painful circumstances – disease, for example – may be unavoidable.  Others should never, ever happen.  What I have in mind right now is the terrorist murder of 13 year old Hallel Yafa Ariel last week, who met her death at the hands of a knife-wielding 17 year old Palestinian Arab.

Credit: onlysimchas

Monday I paid a shiva (condolence) call to her family.  I was blown away by their determination to persevere, their strength in the face of horror.

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And just for one moment it is the horror I need to focus on.  For she wasn’t “just” killed via a knifing.  Her body endured a pummeling by knife.  It is so perversely sick that thinking about it becomes unbearable.  (It brought to my mind the 2011 beheading of the two-month old Fogel baby by Palestinian Arabs terrorists who later declared themselves “proud” of what they had done.)

There is a part of me that wants to be circumspect and discrete, passing over these gruesome facts.  But I have come to realize I have an obligation to speak out. Because the world does not know. People – embracing some sanitized version of the situation – do not begin to comprehend what we deal with here.  And so I must tell it out, and ask you to wrap your heads around this, and tell it out as well.

Please, do not imagine that the way this young terrorist behaved is a response to the “occupation” – an occupation which, in point of fact, does not even exist.  (More below on this issue.)  Or that he is an anomaly, an aberration in an otherwise normal social.  For this is not the case!

What we are facing is a society that in some substantial measure –encouraged by its leadership – embraces, indeed venerates, violence.

Consider Palestinian Arab practices such as “honor killings” and the shooting of guns to celebrate weddings (which practice on occasion causes the accidental death of a celebrant).  Mark their hysterical and violent funerals for their terrorists, as compared with the subdued, “let’s make the world a better place” tone of the funerals for the victims of those terrorists.

Hey, even more significantly: Mark the fact that the terrorists are their national heroes, celebrated in a way that the Palestinian Arabs never, ever remotely celebrate scientists or musicians or educators.  And that children are taught at a young age to embrace violence.  This is a form of child abuse.

See this chilling video:http://www.palwatch.org/site/modules/videos/popup/video.aspx?doc_id=16531   and be sure to read the full comment below about social media.

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And so, we come to the great injustice visited upon us by the world: We are told to make concessions to the Palestinian Arabs for “peace.”  Concessions to people who venerate violence and celebrate death.

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The traditional way of Muslim mourning requires erecting a tent, where mourners receive their visitors.  The Taraiyre family – family of the terrorist who murdered Hallel Ariel – has such a tent.

The governor of Hebron (center), visiting the mourning tent  for the terrorist killed after slaughtering 13-year-old Hallel Ariel. Photo: Facebook.

Credit: Facebook

It was paid for by the Palestinian Authority.

http://www.algemeiner.com/2016/07/04/palestinian-authority-funds-mourning-tent-for-terrorist-who-stabbed-13-year-old-israeli-girl-to-death-fatah-official-arrives-to-pay-tribute-to-family/

Reportedly, a high official of Fatah, the major party of the PA, was among those who paid a condolence call.

And there is still more.  As the Palestinian Media Watch has noted:

“…in accordance with PA law, Taraiyre’s family will now begin receiving a monthly stipend — something that is paid to all families of “martyrs” [shahids].

http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=18302

Please, dear friends, wrap your heads around this, as well.  The Palestinian Authority condones and rewards what this young terrorist did.  Its leaders have no red lines that conform with decency and humanity.  They do not speak out against such acts, but the contrary.

How dare the world suggest that we sit with the PA and negotiate a “state” for them!

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Before I move on to further points I wish to make, it is important for me to note that certainly not every Palestinian Arab embraces violence and is filled with hatred; some show that decency and humanity I refer to above.

Please see an article here about the Palestinians Arabs who saw the overturned car of the Mark family, and came to help:

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4824391,00.html

(The fact that this was newsworthy indicates that this behavior is out of the norm.)

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As to the much touted suggestion that the “occupation” is the cause of this deep-seated and virulent hatred we are witnessing:

[] I have spoken many times about the fact that in legal and historical terms Israel is not an “occupier” in Judea and Samaria, and I will return to this many more times. But even if there were an “occupation,” it would not justify what is going on now. No way, no how.  To use it as justification is to obfuscate: to rationalize, to mask the total immorality of the current violence.

[]  While they are reluctant to say so publicly for obvious reasons, it has been clear for years that many Palestinian Arabs would prefer governance by Israel to governance by the PA, which is totally corrupt, provides no human rights, offers scant economic opportunities, has no social services, etc.  They are not chaffing under Israeli governance, where it exists, so much as furious about the way the PA conducts itself.  But sometimes it is easier (and safer) to vent against Israel.  And the PA – in speaking about such things as the alleged danger Jews represent to the Al-Aqsa Mosque – provides a convenient rationale for channeling this fury.

See this, written just a year ago:

http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/half-of-jerusalems-palestinians-would-prefer-israeli-to-palestinian-citizen

It is nonsense to suggest that those Palestinian Arabs under the jurisdiction of Israel are so greatly enraged by this fact that they are reduced to extreme and uncontrollable violence, or that those under the jurisdiction of the PA are livid because they believe the PA has not been given the latitude to establish a full state.

Palestinian Arab culture is hamula-based.  The loyalty is to the clan. There is not a huge yearning for a state.  Not intrinsically.  Whatever the PR hype on the matter.

[] Lastly, I would like to share something just written by the eminent scholar Efraim Karsh, “Occupation is not the problem.”

When professor Karsh speaks about “occupation,” he is not referring to legalities of ownership of the land, but of governance of the Palestinian Arabs by Israel.

His executive summary (emphasis in the original):

The proposition that ‘occupation’ is to blame for Palestinian terrorism defies history, reality, and logic. Israel’s control of the Palestinian population of the West Bank and Gaza has been virtually nonexistent for twenty years, ever since the 1995 interim agreement and the 1997 Hebron redeployment. Palestinian terrorism has increased not in response to the ‘occupation,’ but in response to its ending.”

Professor Karch writes (emphasis added):

“If occupation is indeed the cause of terrorism, why was terrorism so sparse during the years of actual occupation? Why did it increase dramatically with the prospect of the end of the occupation, and why did it escalate into open war following Israel’s most far-reaching concessions ever?

One might argue far more plausibly that it was the absence of occupation – that is, the withdrawal of close Israeli surveillance – that facilitated the launching of the terrorist war in the first place, just as it was the partial restoration of security measures in the West Bank during the 2002 Operation Defensive Shield and its aftermath (albeit without assuming control of over the daily lives of the Palestinian population there) that brought the Palestinian war of terror to a (temporary) halt.

http://besacenter.org/perspectives-papers/occupation-not-problem/

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Unfortunately – and it grieves me greatly to say this – some portion of Israeli society is also sick.  But in a way that is the inverse of the Palestinian Arab society.

We have had our own Jewish nation in modern times for 68 years now. But before this, we were in galut – in exile – for some 2,000 years. During those years, the survival of Jews often depended upon being able to please the host society.  And we have not, as a nation, yet lost the habit of trying to please others.

As the Western world promotes a disproportionate concern for the Palestinian Arabs to the detriment of Israeli rights and well being, our leadership – or some portion thereof – struggles to show what “good guys” we are in dealing with those Palestinian Arabs.

In a nutshell: We are not as tough on them, and specifically on the leadership of the Palestinian Authority, as we need to be.  We take little steps, and while they move in the right direction – quicker demolition of houses of terrorists, refusal to return bodies, etc. – they remain insufficient.

Our government needs to be less concerned about what the Western world will say, and more concerned about making certain that no more Israelis meet the fate endured by Hallel Yafa Ariel and Rabbi Micki Mark last week.

There are a number of suggestions on the table as to how to be more stringent. They include such actions as shutting down PA broadcasts, because of the incitement; refusing to turn over any tax monies collected as long as the PA continues to pay the families of terrorists and “salaries” to terrorists in prison; and blocking use of the Internet, which is a major vehicle for terrorists’ communication (although how, is beyond my expertise).

Taking aim directly at PA actions is a critical component of what needs to be done.  And it is precisely in this regard that our government tends to tip-toe.

I cannot possibly deal here with all the suggestions for greater stringency that have been proposed, although I will mention one below and return to others later.

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There is a feeling in several quarters in Israel that the government is about talk – about “seeming” tough for the moment – rather than about real action.

There is solid reason for this feeling.  There have been stringent actions announced in the face of a specific terrorist act that are quietly reversed when the moment is past.  And announcements about actions that seem to be stringent but in point of fact are not what they appear to be.

~~~~~~~~~~

Here I mention a couple of examples of the latter:

The prime minister announced that in response to the terror attack in Kiryat Arba, 42 new housing units would be built.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/pm-approves-additional-units-in-kiryat-arba-in-response-to-attacks/

Subsequently it became apparent that the tenders for this building had gone out well before the attack.  That is, it was not a plan for new, additional building being announced at all.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/214518#.V3v9QZDr3IU

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It was also announced that there was going to be “full closure” of the village of Bani Na’im, home of the murderer of Hallel Ariel.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/Flash.aspx/363300#.V3wBVZDr3IU

Subsequently, it was discovered that the “full closure” consisted of “nothing more than a pile of dirt that the Arab residents easily drive around.”

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/214423#.V3wAUZDr3IV

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What I ask here is that you send a message to Prime Minister Netanyahu.

I cannot emphasize this enough: Do NOT preach to him. Do NOT write in anger.  Do NOT suggest that you have superior expertise in the matter and can advise him on what to do.  Do NOT engage in polemics or provide history lessons. All of these approaches are severely counterproductive.  They will turn him off.  If you want to be helpful, you will write with great restraint and avoid these pitfalls.

Be respectful.  And write no more than three sentences.  Be positive: Urge strength, encourage him to stand tall in the face of enemies, let him know you are with him during this horrendous time. It is the number of messages that matters, not your specific message.

I provide three different addresses below.  Send your message to all three.  The prime minister will not be reading these messages directly, his aides will. In your subject line, put “Please share this with the prime minister,” “Please pass this message to PM Netanyahu,” or something similar

[email protected]    [email protected] (underscore after pm)    [email protected]

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As to responses that are being called for, I want to allude here to one approach that I see as good news: annexation of Ma’aleh Adumim and of Gush Etzion.  It is time for a new message, say those advancing these proposals.  And I heartily agree.  Whether they meet with success now or not, we must hope that they mark the beginning of a brighter future.

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When last I wrote, I noted that neither the White House nor the State Department had expressed condolences for the terrorist murder of Hallel Ariel, who was an American citizen.  It was pointed out to me by a couple of readers that indeed there had been a statement by the State Department.  This is the case, and so my comment had not been fully correct. But the State Department expression of condolences – which ignored the fact that Hallel was an American – was insufficient.

Not for a second do I believe this was an inadvertent oversight on the part of the State Department.  To acknowledge Hallel’s citizenship is to acknowledge responsibility for responding to what happened to her.  The State Department would rather avoid this.

A ZOA press release on this issue makes the further point that the condolence statement neglects to mention that the terrorist was a Palestinian Arab. Hmmm… It also compares the State Department condolence here to similar condolences regarding events in other parts of the world.
http://zoa.org/2016/07/10328355-zoa-u-s-state-departments-condolence-statements-on-terrorist-attacks-biased-against-israel-jews/

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I will do my best to focus on some measure of good news when next I post.

07/5/16

Resilience in the Face of Obscenity

Arlene from Israel

You try to scare us so that we’ll wear down, break, and leave, but it’s all for naught. The sentiments in Otniel are not of fear and exhaustion, but rather of cohesion, resilience and especially a strong desire to move forward. The murderers that imagine eliminating us through bloodshed will find before them again and again a solid wall of people who believe in life a lot more than those same murderers believe in death.”

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4822991,00.html

These are the words of Eran Dgan, secretary of Otniel, a small Jewish community south of Hevron in the regional council of Har Hevron, and home of the Otniel Yeshiva.

Amazing words from an anguished man.  Dgan was addressing the terrorists – not yet captured – who late on Friday afternoon attacked and killed Rabbi Michael (Micki) Mark, who was director of the Otniel Yeshiva and lived in the community with his wife and their 10 children.

Miki Mark (Facebook)

Facebook

Let all potential terrorists mark Dgan’s words well.  As a matter of fact, let the world mark them well.  We are not going anywhere.

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Described as a pillar of the community, Rabbi Mark was a much-loved man – “a man of faith and spirit [who] spent every moment of his free time studying Torah…a gentle man and a devoted father to his family.”  He was in his car on route 60, south of Hevron, when Arabs drove past him and began shooting at his car.  There are at least 20 bullet holes in the car.

As Mark’s 14 year old son described it:

“They shot at us from the side where my sister was sitting next to me, on my left – then suddenly dad wasn’t moving anymore.”

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/214380#.V3j4C5Dr3IW

As the rabbi lost control, the car flipped over.

The Marks' flipped car (Photo: Har Hevron Regional Council)

Credit: Har Hevron Regional Council

The rabbi’s wife, Chava, was seriously injured.  Following a series of surgeries her life is now out of danger, but she is still in very serious condition and faces a long recovery.  A daughter, 14, was moderately injured and remains in the hospital.  The son, quoted above, was lightly injured and has been released from the hospital.

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The funeral today was held in two venues.  First a service in Otniel, with many rabbis and other notables in attendance.

Credit: Arutz Sheva

Credit: Hadas Perush/Flash90

Credit: Hadas Perush/Flash90

And then interment in Jerusalem.

Please see this extraordinary video clip of the Mark children put out before the funeral:

http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Murdered-Rabbis-children-Please-come-to-his-funeral-459336

Said President Ruby Rivlin, who was a distant cousin of Rabbi Mark, “We are not loosening our grip on the land. Terrorism will never undermine our hold on the land...”  Again, let everyone take note.  (Mark was also a cousin of Yossi Cohen, head of the Mossad.)

Rabbi Yehuda Glick, mourning deeply, on Friday noted his close relationship with Rabbi Mark: “He was like a brother to me.”

And Rabbi Binyamin Kelmanson, Rabbi Mark’s brother-in-law, said, addressing Mark at the funeral:

“Ironically, you will also be missed by the members of the [group] your murderers came from, you will be missed by our [Arab] neighbors whom you helped so much. We will still try to maintain good relations with our neighbors, and we will continue to meet with them.”

“But,” – now addressing the Arab population – “know this, that if you do not strike down the arms of the murderers, it will hurt you.”

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/214401#.V3j9aJDr3IV

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Religious Jews, on receiving news of a death, say “Baruch Dayan HaEmet.”  “Blessed be the Righteous Judge.”  We, even when bereft and devoid of understanding, surrender to the Almighty’s judgment in the matter.  And so, we see, again and again, an astonishing lack of bitterness in those mourning victims of terror.

We encounter, instead, a desire that some good should result from the unbearable tragedy.  And a firm determination to stand strong.

I have written again and again about the sense of family we have here in Israel.  And this is part of what we are witnessing: a strength that comes from being tied to the people. The people embracing the mourners and holding them upright in unending comfort.

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I was going to say there will be no good news in today’s posting. But the news of who we are as a people and how we cope as a people is very very good news indeed.

Har Hevron Regional Council head Yochai Damri  put out a message before Shabbat:

“…For a long time in Otniel and Har Hevron, we have experienced difficult events, and today an additional event, but they will not break us! A peaceful Sabbath and a warm and lamenting hug to all.”

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4822991,00.html

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The Security Cabinet met last night and has decided on a number of more stringent measures for dealing with the Arabs: there will be a cemetery for burying terrorists, and none of their bodies will be returned; more work permits will be cancelled; more speedy demolition of houses of terrorists; more closures, including of Hevron; etc. etc.  More to follow on this in my next posting.

All to the good, and, taken collectively, still not sufficient.  This cannot continue.  That is the message that was delivered in demonstrations held here in Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria last night.

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Approval has been given for construction of 42 new apartments in Kiryat Arba, in response to the terrorist murder of Hallel Ariel last week.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/pm-approves-additional-units-in-kiryat-arba-in-response-to-attacks/

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I am very eager to get this out, but pause to note just a couple of other matters:

We must ask, first, how much one family can endure.  Chava Mark, who is seriously injured, is the aunt of Yondav Hirschfeld, one of the eight high school students murdered during the 2008 terror attack in the Markaz HaRav Yeshiva in Jerusalem.

Her son, Shlomi, is married to Iska, the daughter of Eliyahu Ben-Ami of Otniel, who was killed in a terror shooting attack in 2000.

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Hallel Ariel, murdered in her bed by a terrorist last week, was a US citizen (with joint Israeli and American citizenship). To the best of my knowledge there has been no mention of this by the White House or State Department – no expression of outrage over this death.   If I am wrong, and it has come, it is in recent hours, for last I checked it was not the case.  Shameful.

And then: Abbas, who has remained purposely silent on these Palestinian Arab terrorist murders.  To decline to speedily and forcefully condemning is to condone.  Make no mistake about it: His people get the message.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/abbas-refusing-to-condemn-terror-surge-not-taking-calls-from-world-statesmen/

06/15/16

Facing Down Reality

Arlene from Israel

I decided to table this posting for a couple of days because of the horrendous terror attack in Florida.

For all those who lost dear ones in that obscene assault, or who were wounded, I extend deepest compassion.  May they know healing.

Credit: Tribune

What is painfully ironic is that what I had originally planned to write about in this post and what subsequently happened in Orlando are thematically connected.

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Let’s start with the attack in Orlando that killed at some 50 people and wounded at least as many more.  According to a number of news reports, the terrorist appeared to have ISIS connections:

“According to CNN citing a police source, Omar Mateen, 30, a US citizen born to Afghan parents, was holed up inside the club with hostages for several hours and communicated with police on a number of occasions. In one of the calls, he swore allegiance to the terror group that has claimed several deadly attacks around the world in recent months, including the Paris attacks in November 2015 and Brussels several months later.

“An FBI spokesman later confirmed that a call to police in which a ‘general allegiance to the Islamic State’ was made.”

http://www.timesofisrael.com/orlando-shooter-called-police-swore-allegiance-to-islamic-state/

A number of reports had it that he shouted “Allahu Akbar” as he aimed his assault weapon.

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While, of course, claims are not documentation, this is enough to make people sit up and take notice:

ISIS, in a radio broadcast on Monday, claimed the Orlando terrorist as “one of the soldiers of the caliphate in America.”

http://www.timesofisrael.com/islamic-state-orlando-shooter-one-of-our-soldiers-in-america/

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Soldiers of the caliphate in America?  Is this just crazy talk?

Hardly.

See this article in American Thinker, which states (emphasis added throughout):

”While the Middle East remains a hotbed for terrorists, we’ve got our own jihad training compounds set up in rural areas across the United States. They are run by an organization called Muslims of America (MOA). Law enforcement describes these compounds as ‘classically structured terrorist cells.’”

http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2015/09/muslims_of_america_terrorist_training_compounds.html

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Author Carol Brown provides, first, background on the Muslims of America:

”Let’s start with the founder: El Sheikh Gilani. Prior to MOA, he founded Jamaat ul-Fuqra, a Pakistani terror organization. MOA is the American version of ul-Fuqra…

“Gilani emigrated from Pakistan around 1980. He settled in Brooklyn, NY, where he began preaching at a mosque frequented by African-American Muslims. This is where he started to recruit for jihad in Afghanistan, often targeting black criminals who converted to Islam in prison — a source of recruits for jihad that continues to this day.

“Then Gilani took things a step further and set up a terror-training compound in a rural area of upstate New York. There are now numerous MOA compounds across the United States. Estimates vary regarding how many there are, ranging from 22 to 35. As of this writing, states where MOA has set up shop are: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.

In other words, they’re just about everywhere.

In some states there is more than one location. New York’s ‘Islamburg’ (located in the town of Hancock) is the largest operation and serves as the headquarters…

There is no doubt that MOA is a terror organization operating on American soil. It is well documented by the FBI whose records state that MOA has the infrastructure to plan and carry out terror attacks (here, and overseas) and that MOA leaders urge their members to commit jihad against enemies of Islam.”

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She sites from a Christian Action Network (CAN) report:

“MOA trains men, and women, to become jihadists poised to attack Americans when Gilani gives the order. Toward this end, MOA maintains a stockpile of illegal weapons. Residents are taught that jihad is their life’s purpose…

“Compounds are completely insular, with their own stores, mosques, and graveyards, as well as guard posts to intercept visitors… All members follow Sharia law and consider themselves to be above local, state and federal authority…

“There are as many as four generations of people living in these camps, all of whom have been taught from the outset to distrust Americans and to prepare for jihad. For some members, life in the camp is all they’ve ever known…”

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Then she explains how the Muslims of America get away with what they are doing:

“…factors that reflect a combination of deception, political correctness, and public policy that inhibits the FBI’s ability to do their job. First, the FBI wants to avoid the appearance that it is scrutinizing Muslim organizations and/or is infringing on religious freedom. Second, MOA sets up religious/charitable causes to mask their illicit activities, intertwining good with bad. This enables them to play the victim card during investigation attempts.

“In other words, suicidal political correctness overrides our safetyas United States law enforcement allows itself to be intimidated by faux charities that provide cover for terrorists.

“But perhaps the most significant barrier to our ability to take action is the fact that our State Department refuses to designate ul-Fuqra a terrorist organization despite unequivocal evidence that they are.

“…as Ryan Mauro, national security researcher for CAN stated back in 2009: ‘law enforcement authorities do not have the tools they need to search these compounds…members involved in terrorist and criminal activity are being treated as if they are isolated incidents; rogue followers of an otherwise innocent cult.’

So we’ve got jihad training camps and sleeper cells scattered all across the United States ready to attack. And what are we doing about it? Precious little.”

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The current resident of the White House may speak of “terror,” when confronting what happened in Orlando. But he will not say “Muslim” or “jihad,” and certainly doesn’t speak of a “caliphate.”  The terrorist who took 50 lives is represented as one angry man.  An “isolated incident,” as above.  He declines to confront the truth of the situation.

The question, then, is whether the American people are ready to deal with reality.

~~~~~~~~~~

Dry Bones gets it so very right:

Islamism,Islam, Muslim, terror, terrorism, Orlando, terror attack, LGBT, Media, MSM, media bias,Jihad,

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On this subject, I also recommend you read Caroline Glick’s latest: “Is ISIS a GOP franchise?” (emphasis added):

“…as the president sees things, if you oppose limitations on firearm ownership, then you’re on Mateen’s [the terrorist’s] side…

“To say that Obama’s behavior is unpresidential is an understatement.His behavior is dangerous. It imperils the United States and its citizens.

”Adolf Hitler did not go to war against Great Britain because he opposed parliamentary democracy. Hitler went to war against Britain because he wanted to rule the world and Britain stood in his way.

”Just so, Islamic jihadists are not sides in America’s domestic policy debates about gun ownership and gay rights. Islamic jihadists like Mateen, the Tsarnaev brothers from Boston, Nidal Malik Hassan at Ft. Hood, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi at Garland, Texas, Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik in San Bernadino didn’t decide to slaughter innocents because of their passionate opposition to the liberal takeover of the US Supreme Court.

They killed Americans because they thought that doing so advances their goal of instituting the dominion of Islamic totalitarians across the world. They oppose freedom and democracy because democracy and freedom stand in the way of their goal to subordinate humanity to an Islamic caliphate.

”…The most devastating, and at this point clearly premeditated, outcome of Obama’s refusal to name the cause of the violence is that he has made it illegitimate to discuss it. He has made it controversial for Americans to talk about Islamic supremacism, extremism, violence and war for world domination.

”He has made substantive criticism of his policies tantamount to bigotry. And he has rendered the public debate about the most salient strategic threat to American lives, liberty and national security a partisan issue.

Today in Obama’s America, only Republicans use the terms Islamic terrorism or radicalism or jihad. Democrats pretend those things don’t exist.”

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Our-World-Is-ISIS-a-GOP-franchise-456667

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Here in Israel, as my readers know, we had a terror attack last Wednesday night.  There was one man present who was shot in the head at close range, twice. Miraculously, he survived.  His father was quoted in the news, as he opined that, “The solution [to terror attacks] is obviously diplomatic. Until we have a two-state solution, we have to protect our children.”

This father is not the only one who thinks this way, and yet his comment – his supposition that terror would cease if we gave the Palestinian Arabs a state – left me absolutely aghast.  And determined to counter his “observation” with a solid, albeit necessarily abbreviated, dose of reality.

It occurred to me then, as it has innumerable times in the past, that, in a situation such as this, we see a primary difference between those politically on the left and those on the right. On the left there is a tendency to believe that every problem has a solution, which can be approached via reason and kindness.  On the right we recognize the existence of evil, with which it is impossible to bargain.

~~~~~~~~~~

A few facts:

The attack was perpetrated by members of Hamas.

Hamas has never even pretended to be seeking a “two-state solution.” Says the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, with regard to the Hamas Charter (emphasis added):

“overtly anti-Semitic and anti-West, radical Islamic in outlook, it stresses Hamas’ ideological commitment to destroy the State of Israel through a long-term holy war (jihad).

Main points of the Charter:

“ The conflict with Israeli is religious and political…

All Palestine is Muslim land and no one has the right to give it up

“ The importance of jihad (holy war) as the main means for the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) to achieve its goals: An uncompromising jihad must be waged against Israel and any agreement recognizing its [Israel’s] right to exist must be totally opposed. Jihad is the personal duty of every Muslim.”

http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/data/pdf/PDF_06_032_2.pdf

Credit: Frontpage

By what stretch of the imagination, then, could we come to the conclusion that giving Hamas a state next to Israel would convince them to withdraw their commitment to destroy Israel?

~~~~~~~~~~

Of course, at least in theory, Israel is expected to negotiate a “two-state solution” with the PLO/Palestinian Authority, anyway, not Hamas.  Hamas would be a party to nothing.  But what is clear from a security perspective is that Hamas is eager to overthrow the PA; were there – Heaven forbid! – to be a Palestinian state under PA/PLO auspices, Hamas would attempt to take it over as quickly as possible.  Then we would have Hamas at our eastern border.  That would put a quick end to terrorism, right?  Just like in Gaza.

~~~~~~~~~~

But let’s take a look at the Palestinian Authority for a moment.  While the PA adapts an ostensibly more moderate stance, in the end its goals are no different from those of Hamas.

It should be noted that twice very generous (excessively generous) offers regarding a state have been made to the PA by Israeli leaders.  Once by then PM Ehud Barak, and again by then PM Ehud Olmert, whose terms were even more generous (a capital in eastern Jerusalem, 94% of Judea and Samaria, 5,000 “refugees” brought in).  But they were both turned down.  This is not how an entity that truly wants a state acts.

~~~~~~~~~~

The Palestinian National Charter of 1968 – which has not been altered since – reads in part (emphasis added):

Palestine is the homeland of the Palestinian Arab people

Palestine, with the boundaries it had during the British Mandate, is an indivisible territorial unit

“ The phase in their history, through which the Palestinian people are now living, is that of national (watani) struggle for the liberation of Palestine.

Armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine. This it is the overall strategy, not merely a tactical phase. The Palestinian Arab people assert their absolute determination and firm resolution to continue their armed struggle and to work for an armed popular revolution for the liberation of their country and their return to it…

“ The liberation of Palestine, from an Arab viewpoint, is a national (qawmi) duty and it attempts to repel the Zionist and imperialist aggression against the Arab homeland, and aims at the elimination of Zionism in Palestine

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

Sounds rather like the Hamas Charter, does it not?

~~~~~~~~~~

In 1974, recognizing that Israel could not be defeated all at once, the PLO adopted the “Phased Program,” which speaks of “liberation steps.”  Any “step” that paved the way for the final goal of “complete liberation” was considered acceptable.  That included negotiations, if they weakened Israel, for the sake of the final goal.  As part of this policy, it was decided to give the impression of moderation.

Said Palestinian Minister Nabil Sha’ath in 1996:

“We decided to liberate our homeland step-by-step…Should Israel continue [to negotiate] – no problem…if and when Israel says ‘enough’…in that case…we will return to violence. But this time it will be with 30,000 armed Palestinian soldiers…” (www.mideastfacts.com/quotes.html)

That impression of moderation is nurtured to this day in English and there are those who persist in allowing themselves to be deluded by it.  When one studies what Palestinian Arab leaders say to their own people in their own language, however, it is quite another story.  See the Palestinian Media Watch (www.palwatch.org) for unending instances of incitement, support for terrorism (which includes a convoluted system for paying salaries to terrorists in Israeli prisons), claims to all of the land – with identification of Israeli cities such as Haifa as “Palestinian,” and maps that show “Palestine” in all of the land, with Israel gone.

From the Facebook page of Fatah, the main party of the PA:

 

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The delusion of an America safe from Islamic radical threat, and the delusion that Israel can find security in a “two-state solution,” are close cousins then.  And they are both exceedingly dangerous.

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I will return to my regular format with good news (which does exist) and lots of pictures, next I write.

Please share this very widely.

06/10/16

Recurring Evil

Arlene from Israel

Last time I posted, it was with a spirit uplifted because of Yom Yerushalayim.  I had not intended to post again until next week.  For Shabbat is coming, and immediately after, Shavuot, the harvest festival that celebrates our receiving of the Torah and is marked by study into/or through the night, and a custom of eating dairy foods (cheesecake a specialty).

But pain and horror have intervened, and so I must write again now, because everyone must know:

On Wednesday night, two terrorists attacked in Tel Aviv, killing four innocent Israelis and wounding another sixteen, several of whom are in intensive care.  The carnage took place at an outdoor mall known as the Sarona Market. It is immediately across from the Defense Ministry headquarters, the Kirya.

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The four who were killed are:

Ido Ben Ari, 42, from Ramat Gan.  The father of two, he served in the elite Sayeret Matkal unit during his IDF service.  His wife was injured in the attack.  Their two children were with them; one of his sons was restless and didn’t want to be there.

Ido Ben Ari, of of four victims killed in a terror attack in Tel Aviv's Sarona Market on June 6, 2016. (Courtesy)

Courtesy

Ilana Naveh, 40, from Tel Aviv.  The mother of four – including a daughter who had recently celebrated her bat mitzvah; she was out that night to celebrate her birthday.  A neighbor said about Ilana, “She was the best woman in the world…her door was always open.”

Ilana Navaa

Credit: Times of Israel

Michael Feige  58,from Ramat Gan.  The father of three, he was a highly esteemed professor at Ben Gurion University in Be’ersheva. A sociologist and anthropologist, he headed the Israel studies program at the university.

Credit: Dani Machlis

Mila Mishayev, 32, from Rishon Lezion.   She was engaged to be married, and her wedding was planned for the near future.  She was waiting for her fiancé in the café when she was attacked. After having been shot, she actually called him before she died of loss of blood.

Mila Mishayev

Credit: Times of Israel

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The killers have been identified as first cousins, Muhammad and Khalid Mehamara of the Arab village of Yatta in the Hevron Hills, in Area A, controlled by the PA. One is now in police custody, and the other, shot, in the hospital.

At first there were questions about how they got into Israel, but it has since been revealed by security that there were in Israel illegally for some months before the attack.

This immediately suggests the likelihood of collaborators. Terror is often a “family affair,” and it has come to light that the uncle of these terrorists, Taleb Mehamara, was a member of a Fatah Tanzim terror cell that killed four Israelis in a targeted shooting attack in 2002. He is currently in an Israeli prison.

I have my own unanswered question: Did they come into Israel illegally, sent by Hamas to plan, and wait for the “right” time to attack.  Or were they here for other reasons and then recruited in the last several days?

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The two, dressed in white shirts and black pants and ties, sat down at a table in the upscale Max Brenner café and ordered desserts. Then they rose to their feet, pulled out submachine guns, and began to indiscriminately shoot. When they were done, there was death, and injury, and a café strewn with blood.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/in-suits-and-ties-gunmen-shatter-israelis-hope-terror-wave-had-ended/

MK Amir Ohana (Likud), who arrived at the scene shortly after the attack occurred, described  “uneaten birthday cakes next to pools of blood.”

http://www.algemeiner.com/2016/06/08/eyewitnesses-to-tel-aviv-terror-carnage-uneaten-birthday-cakes-next-to-pools-of-blood-shooters-disguised-as-ultra-orthodox-jews/

~~~~~~~~~~

Prime Minister Netanyahu had just arrived in the airport following his trip to Moscow when this happened.  Heading straight to the scene of the attack, he vowed a “decisive” response.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/netanyahu-vows-decisive-response-to-tel-aviv-attack/

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits the scene of a terror attack on Tel Aviv's Sarona Market on June 9, 2016. (Prime Minister's Office)

Credit: PMO

Thursday, after meeting with heads of the security agencies, Netanyahu said, “We discussed a series of offensive and defensive steps that we will take in order to act against this serious phenomenon of shootings. This is a challenge, and we shall meet it.”  In this statement, he raised the issue of collaborators.

While our new Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, declared that Israel “doesn’t intend to put up with the situation. I don’t think this is the time to issue pronouncements, but everything necessary we will do and we will do in a severe manner.”

To which I respond, all power to him.

~~~~~~~~~~

At the time of this writing, the following actions have been taken, although more might follow:

The village of Yatta has been sealed off, and no one will be allowed in or out except for emergencies.  The question is how long this will be sustained.  Some members of the Mehamara clan have been taken in for questioning, and the work permits (allowing entry into Israel) for 204 members of that clan have been cancelled.

Additionally, 83,000 permits for entry into Jerusalem over Ramadan, for praying at the Al-Aksa Mosque at the Temple Mount, which had been given to residents of Judea and Samaria, have been cancelled.

Lieberman on Thursday called for a moratorium on the return of terrorists’ bodies to their families.  We’ve been round and round on this one so often!  Let us hope this is the last word on the situation now.  Lieberman is also calling for the process of razing terrorists’ homes to be expedited so as to be completed in 24 hours.

“…none of those involved in the attack will escape justice,” he said

“Those who tried and succeeded in harming innocent Jews, at this very moment they and their families are paying and will pay the price. And those who sent them, directly and indirectly…who provide the ideological and operational infrastructure for these acts, will not be spared. We will catch each and every one of them.”

Late yesterday, the prime minister announced that a third suspect had been apprehended.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/netanyahu-says-third-suspect-apprehended-in-tel-aviv-attack/

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The question being asked is why this happened now after many weeks of relative calm in Israel.

Much is being made in certain media sources of the fact that Hamas has praised the attack without actually taking credit for it.  But I’m not reading it this way.  Hamas has said that the terrorists were members of their group, and has praised their actions as “heroic.”  The village of Yatta is actually recognized as a Hamas stronghold.

Hamas has offered a “rationale” for the attack: unspecified “Al-Aksa violations.”  This is a standard charge as part of the incitement against Israel, and in that sense it is not connected to Hamas exclusively – it is the constant cry of Abbas.  But this charge is particularly ironic now considering that permits by the tens of thousands had been granted to Palestinian Arabs to make it easier to get to Al-Aksa.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/hamas-blames-tel-aviv-attack-on-al-aqsa-violations-threatens-more/

Finally, Hamas has threatened that there will be more attacks during the month of Ramadan.

~~~~~~~~~~

And that leads to another thread in this situation: Ramadan, which began Sunday night. Typically, there is heightened Arab violence here over this period of time when observant Muslims neither eat nor drink from sun-up to sun-down.  I do not believe there is any ideological reason for this – it is more the physical strain on the Muslim systems, the discomfort and frustration.

~~~~~~~~~~

And then, lastly, there is this: the convergence of Yom Yerushalayim with the beginning of Ramadan.  They tried to stop the Parade of Flags through the Muslim Quarter of the Old City and could not – never mind that the Damascus Gate (Sha’ar Shechem) was closed to the Parade early so that there would not be Jewish celebrants in the area when Ramadan started.

I believe the Parade – the celebration of victory at a time the Arabs consider a “setback” – is galling to them in any terms.

See just a portion of the video clip below:

http://www.youfacebookclip.com/watch?v=xyzydnXmxTE

It shows tens of thousands of young Zionist Jews celebrating at the Kotel for Yom Yerushalayim. This particular clip was from three years ago, but the flavor is much the same.  It is not a hostile celebration.  It doesn’t involve shooting of guns or shouting violent threats.  It is joyous.  It suggests victory and a positive Jewish future.

The Kotel is on the edge of Arab areas of the Old City.

~~~~~~~~~~

I do not paint all Arabs with one brush.  I know there are peaceful Arabs, and Arabs glad for Israeli citizenship or residency.  Some who are even Zionistic.

But neither do I delude myself.  There is much hatred within the Arab community, and it is directed at us – not because of anything we have done, but because of who we are. It is palpable.

Innocents were murdered in Tel Aviv on Wednesday night.  People – good people with loving lives – who were doing nothing to invite what happened to them.  And yet their deaths were celebrated as a victory by many in the Arab community. There was the passing out of candy. And they lit up the sky with fireworks in Yatta.

In a million years, can you imagine Jews behaving thus?

Perhaps ugliest of all, there was celebration in front of Sha’ar Shechem, where our young people had sung and danced only days ago.  See it for yourself in this brief video clip:

http://matzav.com/watch-arabs-at-shaar-shechem-celebrate-tonights-deadly-tel-aviv-terror-attack/

~~~~~~~~~~

And so we must be resilient as we face down this enemy. Strong in defending ourselves. Confident that we have a right to do so.

There can be no equivocation – no accepting of excuses of any sort.

~~~~~~~~~~

In the end, they cannot win.  For the hatred in their hearts is destructive to them, more than to us.  It is corrosive.

We Israelis, on the other hand, are amazing in our determination to go on with life in positive ways.  On Thursday, less than 24 hours after the attack, this was the scene at Sarona Market, with young people erecting an impromptu memorial to those who had been killed.

Teenage members of a pre-army program set up an impromptu memorial for the victims of a terror attack a day prior at the Max Brenner cafe at the Sarona Market in central Tel Aviv, June 9, 2016. (Ricky Ben-David/Times of Israel)

Credit: Ricki Ben-David/Times of Israel

They softly sang Shir Lama’alot – a Song of Ascents, Psalm 121: “Behold, He that keepeth Israel, doth neither slumber nor sleep…The Lord shall guard thy going out and thy coming in, from this time forth and for ever.”

“We have to be strong. We survive as Israelis because people wake up the next morning and do what needs to be done,” said one participant.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/a-day-after-terror-attack-tel-avivs-sarona-goes-back-to-a-sadder-normal/

While a Chabad rabbi, at a table on the periphery of this activity, encouraged male passersby to put on tfillin.  “We all need to do good,” he explained, “to create a chain effect in our own surroundings, among our family and friends and workplace and to be better people. If we go out of our way to do good, it will hasten our redemption.”

And Defense Minister Lieberman came by for a cup of coffee in a show of solidarity.

Credit: jta

~~~~~~~~~~

As we head towards Shavuot, and the time for religious study, let us be mindful of all that we are meant to be.

Credit: Jewish ledger

“It is is a tree of life, to those who grasp it, and all its ways are peace.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhpsldK_1_U

06/8/16

Hillary’s Russian Reset, Terrorism, and the Threat to Israel

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

Reset

In her recent foreign policy speech, hailed by the media, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, “If Donald [Trump] gets his way, they’ll be celebrating in the Kremlin. We cannot let that happen.” But as veteran correspondent David Satter points out, the celebrations began when Mrs. Clinton launched a “reset” in Russian relations in 2009 that ignored the criminal nature of the regime in Moscow and led to the invasion of Ukraine.

“It began as we know with a mistranslation of the word ‘reset’ and I think went downhill from there,” Satter said, referring to her photo-op with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Satter’s new book, The Less You Know, the Better You Sleep, is the result of years of research that has uncovered some of the most closely-held state secrets of the Vladimir Putin regime. Putin came to power “as the result of an act of terror carried out against his own people,” he explained.

He discussed his dramatic findings in a recent speech at the Heritage Foundation.

The book has important implications for how intelligence agencies analyze Islamic terrorism occurring outside of Russia as well, and sponsored by regimes such as Syria or Iran.

The first American journalist to be expelled from Russia since the end of the Cold War, Satter investigated the former KGB’s role in such terrorist incidents as the Moscow apartment bombings of 1999, the Dubrovka Theater siege of 2002, and the Beslan hostage taking of 2004. In all of these cases, he says, there is strong evidence of links between the terrorists (sometimes labeled as Chechens) and the KGB (now known as the FSB). Either the FSB carried out the terrorism through its agents or let it occur, he said, in order to justify the creation of a new dictatorship in Moscow.

In the case of the apartment bombings, which killed about 300 people and led to a brutal invasion of the Russian region of Chechnya, Satter said, “This central historical event in my view was the greatest political provocation since the burning of the Reichstag. And it established the regime with which we now have to contend, both in Ukraine and potentially in other parts of the world.”

The burning of the Reichstag solidified the Hitler dictatorship in Germany, eventually leading to World War II.

Over the years, Satter has been gathering evidence of the role of Russian intelligence in various terrorist incidents inside Russia. He discussed some of the evidence intestimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on May 17, 2007, explaining how Putin and other former KGB agents had become the “new ruling hierarchy” in Russia.

But he said the Obama administration came to power in 2008 with the attitude that it “did not want to hear” about any of this and instead blamed problems in U.S-Russian relations on George W. Bush. This led to Mrs. Clinton’s disastrous “reset” with the Putin regime.

Russians who have investigated the KGB’s role in domestic terrorism in Russia usually end up dead, Satter pointed out. These included Sergei Yushenkov and Yuri Shchekochikhin, members of an independent commission created to investigate the apartment bombings; Anna Politkovskaya, a leading journalist; and Alexander Litvinenko, a former KGB/FSB officer who had fled to London and co-authored the blockbuster Blowing Up Russia: The Secret Plot to Bring Back KGB Terror.

“As a result of this series of killings,” Satter said, “I became literally the only person left who was raising this issue publicly, protected by the fact that I am an American citizen and also participate in the political process in Washington.”

He said, “I can’t say that I’ve had overwhelming success in calling this to the attention of the political world in Washington. But I do write about it in The Wall Street Journal. I’ve testified about it in Congress and I wrote about it in my second book, Darkness at Dawn: The Rise of the Russian Criminal State. And I’ve certainly dealt with it in much greater detail in this [new] book.”

In his latest book, Satter writes about how Western officials have been unable to accept the idea that the Russian regime would “murder hundreds of its own citizens and terrify the nation to hold on to power.” He added, “This refusal to believe the unbelievable, however, came at a cost. It crippled Western policy toward Russia, rendering it naïve and ineffectual. From the moment Putin took power, the West maintained an image of Russia that bore no relation to reality.”

During the question-and-answer period, an individual named Karl Golovin, who described himself as a retired Federal Special Agent, tried to change the subject to allegations that terrorist incidents in the United States were being carried out by agents of the U.S. government. These allegations figure prominently in the “inside job” theory of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States that has been popularized by such figures as radio host Alex Jones. Such a theory is popular in the Russian media, Satter noted.

But he said the difference between the U.S. and Russia is that the U.S. is a democratic country with an independent press and institutions free of government control or intimidation.  On the other hand, there were no independent hearings into the terrorism inside Russia, and investigators who looked at official complicity were murdered.

Compounding this tragedy, President Obama’s pro-Russian and pro-Iranian foreign policy has backed Israel into a corner, leading to reports that the Jewish state is being forced to turn to Russia to assure its survival in an increasingly dangerous Middle East. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is in Moscow for an official visit, has to know that if Putin can kill his own people through terrorism that he blames on Muslims, then he can certainly arrange attacks on Israel through Palestinian terrorist groups once connected to the old Soviet Union and now working with Syria or Iran, both Russian client states.

Netanyahu has to know that what has been called the “Red Jihad,” which kills Russians for domestic political purposes, can easily target Israel and the West.


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

06/1/16

Choppy Waters

Arlene from Israel

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.

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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.”

http://www.israel21c.org/turning-israels-desert-into-a-teaching-experience-2/

Students come from many countries to learn Israeli agricultural techniques at AICAT. Photo: courtesy

Courtesy

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.

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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.

Photo via wiseGEEK

Courtesy

http://www.israel21c.org/a-new-gauze-that-stops-bleeding-in-minutes/

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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…”

http://sultanknish.blogspot.co.il/2016/05/the-palestine-hoax.html

After you’ve read it, you might like to share it.  This satirical piece looks at some very stark realities.

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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.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Photo: Gil Yohanan)

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.”

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4807817,00.html

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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.

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When Health Minister Ya’akov Litzman (UTJ) proposed a compromise, Netanyahu rejected it, although Bennett had accepted it.

Yaakov Litzman matzavcomwpcontentuploads201506yaakovlitzm

Credit: Alchetron

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.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/212961#.V0wpOZBf3IV

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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.

Liberman sworn in as Defense Minister

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.

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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.”

http://www.timesofisrael.com/us-says-addition-of-liberman-to-coalition-raises-questions/

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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.”

http://www.timesofisrael.com/minister-us-wrong-to-question-liberman-appointment/

Credit: al-monitor

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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.

Yehuda Glick's inaugural Knesset address

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.”

http://www.timesofisrael.com/pm-chides-incoming-mk-glick-for-temple-mount-visit/

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)

Some radical.

~~~~~~~~~~

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.

http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Abbas-in-Cairo-urges-coming-Israel-Palestinian-talks-be-based-on-two-state-solution-455283

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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.

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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.

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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.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/pm-arab-peace-plan-could-revive-talks-with-palestinians/

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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

http://matzav.com/israel-hamas-steals-95-of-cement-meant-for-rebuilding-for-terror-purposes/

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.

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What better to do now than pray for the welfare of the State of Israel:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XP40Bl24PE0

Send Your light and truth to Israel’s leaders, ministers and officials.”

May we see better days ahead.