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Friday, March 31, 2017

INTO THE FRAY: AIPAC – Touting Tyranny in Pursuit of Bipartisanship


INTO THE FRAY: AIPAC – Touting tyranny in pursuit of bipartisanship

By MARTIN SHERMAN

Instead of trying to resurrect the decrepit zombie of two-statism in pursuit of bipartisanship, AIPAC would do better to assist in promoting Zionist-compliant alternatives

A durable Israeli-Palestinian peace can best be achieved through direct negotiations between the two parties, resulting in a Jewish state living side-by-side in peace with a demilitarized Palestinian state… – From “The Peace Process: Israel’s Pursuit of Peace” currently on AIPAC’s website.

Rejecting decades-old policy, the Republican Party approved on July 12 a platform that does not include a call for a two-state solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict…and omits any reference to a solution that would establish an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel… – From “In Major Shift, GOP Rejects Two-State Solution” the Forward, July 10, 2016.

This year’s AIPAC conference, held earlier this week, was by all accounts, and on all counts, a rousing event, attended by a massive audience of around 18,000—and yet another testimony to the pre-eminent pro-Israel lobby’s impressive convening power, organizational capabilities and political clout.

Bipartisanship: At what cost?

The conference was accompanied by persistent press reports suggesting that after a bruising—and unsuccessful—dispute with the Obama-regime over the Iran nuclear deal, which eroded support among Democrats, AIPAC will attempt to reinstate its bipartisan status by actively reaffirming its commitment to the two-state paradigm.

Don’t misunderstand me. In principle, bipartisanism is an admirable, and in many ways, necessary goal. Indeed as AIPAC CEO Howard Kohr pointed out in his 2016 address: “there are those who question our bipartisan approach to political advocacy, but unless any one party controls the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives, and controls them forever, bipartisanship is the only way to create stable, sustainable policy from one election to the next”.

There is, of course, much to be said for aspiring to bipartisanship, and for attempting to place Israel above the partisan rivalries of US domestic politics. Indeed, it is difficult to conceive of any other way to sustain effective influence on Israel-related issues over time, in which the reins of executive and legislative power are transferred from one party to another.

But for all its merits, there is –or should be –a limit to the price required for ensuring such bipartisan approval. After all, at some point, accommodating positions on one end of the political spectrum in the name of bipartisanship may well become counter-productive and undermine the core objectives for which bipartisanship was sought in the first place.

Bipartisanship: A means to an end

After all, as important as bipartisanship is, it is in fact a means to achieving a goal – not a goal in itself—and it is crucial that this distinction be kept clearly in mind.

Thus, in his 2017 address, Kohr declared: “…we are here because we are the bipartisan voice in America needed to help keep Israel safe in a dangerous world.

It is clear therefore that AIPAC’s objective is “keeping Israel safe in a dangerous world” and bipartisanship, a means to achieve it.

But what happens when the only way to attain the desired bipartisanship not only prevents keeping Israel safe, but in fact, creates a situation that places it in grave jeopardy?

This is precisely the situation that is clearly liable to arise if a Palestinian state is established—and this raises a thorny question for AIPAC: Given the fact that the Republican Party has eschewed endorsement of the two-state prescription, explicit support for two-statism would no longer seem to be an indispensable requisite for bipartisanship.

Why, then, did Kohr feel the need to pronounce such an explicit endorsement. Midway through his otherwise admirable address, he urged the US to undertake “steps [that] could…create a climate that encourages the Palestinians to negotiate in pursuit of the goal we desire: Jewish state of Israel living side by side in peace and security with a demilitarized Palestinians state.”

A polemic & problematic proclamation

This reflects another statement on the AIPAC website, according to which: “Israel and the United States are committed to a two-state solution — a Jewish state living side-by-side in peace with a demilitarized Palestinian state.”

Kohr’s proclamation is both highly polemic and problematic—from numerous aspects.

Israel’s commitment to a two-state outcome is patently debatable—at both government and public levels.

First of all, as Hillel Fendel points out in a recent Op-Ed ‘Why does AIPAC support two-states if Israeli gov’t doesn’t?’ , over half the government ministers have publicly expressed their opposition to a Palestinian state.

Moreover, with the passage of time, opposition to the land-for-peace formula and the two-state-prescription, on which it is based, seems to be growing in the Israeli public.

A new poll released just this week showed a dramatic decline “in support for withdrawal from the West Bank and the establishment of a Palestinian state”. Conducted by the Midgam Institute, headed by Dr. Mina Tzemach, one of Israel’s foremost pollsters, its findings showed a steep fall in the “willingness to agree to a withdrawal from the West Bank as part of a peace agreement – from 60% in 2005 to 36% in 2017.”

The wide-ranging poll also examined public attitudes to various configurations of a Palestinian state. Thus, almost 80% oppose a Palestinian state in all the territory of the West Bank, and close to 60% oppose Palestinian statehood even if Israel keeps the settlement blocs. If land swaps are involved, nearly two thirds oppose establishment of a Palestinian state.

The delusion of demilitarization
The poll also found that overwhelming majorities support positions that would effectively preclude agreement with any conceivable Palestinian partner. Thus, 79% endorsed retaining a united Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty and almost 90% believe that Israel cannot withdraw from territories bordering on Ben-Gurion Airport and over 80% that Israel cannot withdraw from territories adjacent to the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem Highway (Route 443). For some reason, opinions regarding the territory abutting the Trans-Israel Highway (Route 6) were not surveyed.

These findings clearly underscore the deep suspicion the Israeli public harbors regarding the Palestinians and their peaceable intentions. Curiously, this seems to be a suspicion shared by AIPAC itself, as reflected by its repeated stipulation that the Palestinian state be demilitarized, indicating that even some future Palestinian peace-partner could not be entrusted with the means available to every other sovereign state!

Moreover as Fendel points out in his previously mentioned article, even in the unlikely event that “the [Palestinian Authority] does accept the condition [of demilitarization] , and then declares independence with Israel’s consent, and then takes up arms and forms an army, there is nothing that Israel would be able to do about it, nor would the new state cease being a state”.

Interestingly, this is a position that echoes one articulated by none other than the late Shimon Peres, who in his Oslo-era book, “The New Middle East” (1993) asked pointedly: “Even if the Palestinians agree that their state have no army or weapons, who can guarantee that a Palestinian army would not be mustered later to encamp at the gates of Jerusalem and the approaches to the lowlands? And if the Palestinian state would be unarmed, how would it block terrorist acts perpetrated by extremists, fundamentalists or irredentists?

AIPAC would ignore these questions at Israel’s peril!

“Depraved indifference” of the two-state paradigm

Indeed, unless two-state proponents can address them adequately; unless they can provide persuasive prescriptions on how to contend with the grave dangers that may well emerge pursuant to an Israeli withdrawal; unless they present a convincing case why what occurred in the past when Israel relinquished territory, will not reoccur if, yet again, it relinquishes territory, then continued advocacy for Palestinian statehood is reprehensible recklessness.

After all, any Arab entity set up in Judea-Samaria would have a front of around 500 km, abutting Israel’s most populous area, and total topographical superiority over 80% of the country’s civilian population, vital infrastructure systems/installations and 80% of its commercial activity.

So, even in the context of a demilitarized state– absent an air-force, navy armor or heavy artillery—any forces deployed in these areas (regular or renegade) could, with cheap readily available weapons (such as those in “demilitarized” Gaza), disrupt at will, the socio-economic routine in Israel’s coastal megalopolis, making the attrition in daily life increasingly onerous and hazardous…

Moreover, there is little dispute that if Israel were to evacuate Judea-Samaria, it is far from implausible (to grossly understate the odds) that the territory would –sooner or later—fall into the hands of Hamas-like elements, or worse. Indeed, the only way to ensure that what happened in Gaza does not happen in Judea-Samaria is for Israel to retain control of this territory—thereby precluding implementation of the two-state formula and the emergence of a Palestinian state.

Accordingly, given the clear and present dangers entailed in the two-state paradigm, dangers considerably heightened by the precarious position of the current regime in neighboring Jordan, threatened by ever-ascendant Islamist elements, should not further advocacy of this perilous prescription be deemed “reckless endangerment”—even “depraved indifference”?

Touting tyranny in pursuit of bipartisanship

Of course, unless one assumes the wildly improbable, implementation of the two-state principle—and the establishment of a Palestinian state—will culminate in realities that are the diametric antitheses of the very values for which it was purportedly supported.

This is something that AIPAC must seriously consider in assessing its support of two-statism. For in its quest for bipartisanship by strongly endorsing the perverse two-state prescription in order to mollify miffed Democrats, AIPAC is in fact…touting tyranny.

After all, given the socio-cultural conditions in virtually all Arab countries, and the appalling precedents set in Palestinian-administered territories, evacuated by Israel in the past, the most likely outcome of the two-state endeavor is not difficult to foresee.

Indeed , there is little reason to believe—and two-state proponents have certainly never provided anything approaching a persuasive one—that any prospective Palestinian state, established on territory Israel evacuated, will quickly become anything but yet another homophobic, misogynistic Muslim-majority tyranny, that discriminates against its women/girls, persecutes its homosexuals, pursues its political dissidents and persecutes it non-Muslim residents.

Are these really the realities that AIPAC strives to foster? Is this, in the words of AIPAC’s CEO, really the best way “to help keep Israel safe in a dangerous world”?

If not, then surely it should undertake some serious soul-searching into the morality and the rationality of its embrace of two-statism in its quest for bipartisanship.

Better route to bipartisanship: Persuasion not pandering

AIPAC is, of course, in many and important ways an admirable organization, doing sterling work on behalf of the Jewish state and the Jewish people –opposing Iran’s nuclear drive, combating the global delegitimization of Israel and BDS campaign, fighting the scourge of ascendant anti-Semitism…

Significantly—to its great credit—it has even mustered the courage to abandoned its bipartisan position in the past, to oppose the hazardous Iran deal, which was repeatedly excoriated during the 2017 conference, probably to the chagrin of many Democrats. Even if, for the moment, it was unsuccessful, it was the right thing to do—and may well pay off in the future.

This should be its model for its position on the Palestinian issue.

Rather than pander to the Democrats by embracing the decrepit zombie of two-statism, AIPAC should lobby them to abandon this perilous and pernicious paradigm. That should be the real challenge for AIPAC – to persuade them to forgo the fatally flawed and failed formula of land-for-peace and persuade both parties to adopt new Zionist-compliant alternatives. That would be a far better route to bipartisanship!

Martin Sherman (www.martinsherman.org) is the founder and executive director of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies (www.strategic-israel.org).

Caroline Glick: COLUMN ONE: ISRAEL’S SILENCED MAJORITY

COLUMN ONE: ISRAEL’S SILENCED MAJORITY  


All previous attempts to reach a deal by extracting concessions from Israel did nothing but weaken Israel.

BY CAROLINE GLICK, JPOST

President Donald Trump (R) greets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a joint news.

During Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s meeting with US President Donald Trump at the White House in February, the premier was reportedly taken by surprise when Trump gently prodded – ahead of their meeting – for Israel to “hold back on settlements for a little bit.”

Since their meeting, Trump’s prod that Israel curtail the property rights of Jews in Judea and Samaria has been the central issue Trump’s chief negotiator Jason Greenblatt has discussed with Netanyahu and his representatives.

From the moment Netanyahu returned from Washington, his government ministers have been asking him to brief them on his discussions with Trump. He has refused. But on Thursday, Netanyahu finally agreed to update his security cabinet.


His agreement is long past due. It is vital for Netanyahu to tell his cabinet ministers what is happening in his conversations with the Americans about Judea and Samaria. It is imperative that the cabinet determine a clear response to Trump’s apparent demand for a full or partial freeze on Jewish property rights in Judea and Samaria.

Such an agreed response is urgent because Trump’s position is antithetical to the position of the vast majority of Israelis. If the government caters to Trump’s demands it will breach the trust of the public that elected it.

This state of affairs was brought home this week with the publication of a new survey of public opinion regarding the Palestinian conflict with Israel. The survey was carried out among adult Israeli Jews by veteran Israeli pollster Mina Tzemach for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

The results of the poll are straightforward. Since Israel’s 2005 withdrawal from Gaza, Israeli support for territorial concessions to the Palestinians has collapsed. Whereas in 2005, 59% of Israelis supported the establishment of a Palestinian state in Gaza, Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria in exchange for peace, today a mere 29% of Israelis support such a policy.

And levels of Israeli opposition to territorial giveaways only grow when the specifics of withdrawal are considered.

Seventy-seven percent of Israelis oppose full withdrawal from Judea and Samaria in the framework of a peace deal. Sixty-four percent oppose a pullout under which Israel would trade sovereignty over the so-called “settlement blocs” for sovereignty over lands inside of the 1949 armistice lines.

Fifty-seven percent of the public opposes an Israeli withdrawal from everything outside the settlement blocs even without such a trade.

The dramatic drop in Israeli support for the establishment of a Palestinian state over the past 12 years has nothing to do with ideology. The Israeli public has not turned its back on the Left’s ideological vision of two-states west of the Jordan River because it has adopted the ideological convictions of the religious Zionist movement.

The Israeli public has abandoned its support for the two-state paradigm because it believes that Israel’s past moves to implement it have weakened the country and that any attempt in the future to implement it will imperil the country.

This conviction is revealed by the fact that 76% of Israeli Jews want Israel to permanently retain sole responsibility for security in all of Judea and Samaria.

Eighty-eight percent say that Israel must permanently control the territory bordering Ben-Gurion Airport. Eighty-one percent insist that Israel must permanently control the land that bordering the Tel-Aviv-Jerusalem highway Route 443.

Eighty-one percent of Israelis say that Israel must control the Jordan Valley in perpetuity. Fifty-five percent say that Israel cannot defend itself without permanently controlling the Jordan Valley. Sixty-nine percent of Israelis reject the notion that Israel can subcontract its national security to foreign powers that would deploy forces to the Jordan Valley in the framework of a peace deal.

In other words, Trump’s desire to mediate a deal between Israel and the PLO places him in conflict with anywhere between 60 and 85% of the Israeli public.

Throughout the US presidential race, Trump said repeatedly that his mastery of the art of the deal would enable him to succeed where his predecessors failed. His experience as a negotiator in the business world, he said, makes him more capable of mediating a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians than any of his predecessors.

It is possible that Trump is right about his relative advantage over his predecessors. But how well or poorly he negotiates is completely beside the point.

Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama didn’t fail to bring peace between Israel and the Palestinians because they were bad negotiators. They failed because there is no deal to be had. This reality is what informs the Israeli public.

The Israeli public rejects the two-state model that is now informing Trump, because it has become convinced that Israel’s partner in a hypothetical deal – the PLO – has no intention of ever making a deal with Israel.

The people of Israel has come to realize that the PLO demands Israeli concessions – like a freeze on Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria – not because it wants to make peace, but because it wants to weaken Israel.

The reality that informs the position of the Israeli public has been borne out by every PLO action and position since July 2000, when the PLO rejected peace and Palestinian statehood and opted instead to initiate a terrorist war against Israeli society and launch a campaign to delegitimize Israel’s right to exist.

In contrast to the Israeli public, the American foreign policy establishment never accepted the obvious meaning of Yasser Arafat’s rejection of then-Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak’s peace offer at Camp David in July 2000, and his subsequent initiation of an all-out war of terrorism against Israel.

The Americans responsible for determining US Middle Eastern policy, along with the American Jewish community, never acknowledged the significance of the Palestinians’ refusal to accept sovereign responsibility over Gaza after Israel withdrew from the area in 2005.

They never accepted the obvious meaning of Hamas’s victory in the Palestinian elections in 2006 or the post-Israeli withdrawal transformation of Gaza into a hub of global jihad and a launching pad for continuous aggression against Israel.

Unlike the Israeli public, the Americans closed their eyes to the significance of Mahmoud Abbas’s campaign to delegitimize Israel’s right to exist, to the PA’s refusal to accept Israel’s right to exist, to the PA’s finance of terrorism, and its indoctrination of Palestinian society to support and work toward the destruction of Israel.

This week, the willful blindness of the American foreign policy establishment and the American Jewish establishment to the reality that informs the position of the Israeli public was on display at AIPAC’s policy conference. Although the conference was held under the banner, “Many Voices, One Mission,” precious few voices were heard that reflected the view of the overwhelming majority of Israelis.

The view of the Israeli public that the two-state policy is entirely divorced from reality because there is no one on the Palestinian side who is interested in living at peace with a Jewish state, and that further Israeli concessions to the PLO endanger the Jewish state, was virtually ignored, particularly by the American speakers.

No senior American policy-maker explained that given the Palestinians’ commitment to the destruction of Israel, any policy that requires Israel to make territorial and other concessions is an anti-Israel policy – in substance if not in intent.

The reason the position of the majority of the Israeli public was ignored by the largest pro-Israel lobbying organization in America is that no senior American policy-maker on either side of the partisan aisle is willing to allow the reality that informs the Israeli public to influence its thinking. Although an ideological chasm separates Martin Indyk – John Kerry’s chief negotiator – from Elliott Abrams – George Bush’s point man on Israel – the substance of their views of the goal of US policy-making toward Israel and the Palestinians is largely the same. They both believe that Israel should surrender the vast majority of Judea and Samaria to the PLO.

And this again brings us to Israel and the security cabinet meeting on Thursday evening.

Ahead of the meeting, Netanyahu said that he intended ask his ministers to approve his plan to establish a new town in Judea and Samaria for the residents of the recently destroyed community of Amona.

There is no doubt that from a political perspective, and indeed from a humanitarian perspective, Netanyahu’s commitment to establishing a new community for the former residents of Amona is a positive development. But the question of whether or not Israel should build a new community in Judea and Samaria is not the main issue. Indeed, the issue of Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria has never been the main issue.

The pressure the Trump administration is exerting on Israel to constrain the rights of Jews to property in Judea and Samaria is the direct consequence of the refusal of the American foreign policy establishment to reckon with the reality that Israelis have internalized.

The Israeli public today recognizes that there is no deal to be had. The Palestinians will never make peace with Israel, because they remain committed to its destruction.

It doesn’t matter how effective the Americans are at negotiations. It doesn’t matter how many concessions they are able to extract from Israel in their endless attempts to coddle the Palestinians and convince them to negotiate. Indeed, the Americans’ collective refusal to come to terms with the reality that guides the Israeli public indicates that regardless of what their actual feelings toward Israel may be, in demanding Israeli concessions to the PLO, the Americans are implementing a policy that is stridently anti-Israel.

Under the circumstances, Netanyahu’s task, and that of his ministers, is not to convince the new administration to respect the legal rights to property of Jews in Judea and Samaria. Their duty is to represent and advance the interests and positions of the public that elected them.

Netanyahu and his ministers must make clear to Trump and his advisers that there is no point in trying to reach a deal with the PLO. Trump’s predecessors’ failure to reach an accord had nothing to do with their failure to master the art of the deal. They failed because there is no one on the Palestinian side who is interested in making a deal.

Moreover, Netanyahu and his ministers must explain to Trump that all previous attempts to reach a deal by extracting concessions from Israel did nothing but weaken Israel. And the Israeli public will no longer accept any such concessions from their government.

How did a Never Trumper end up in the White House


As reported by the Political Insider  there have been many questions raised about why the White House won’t mention or ask questions about congressional oversight of intelligence. Why doesn’t Congress have the political will to review the same intelligence seen by House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes?

According to PI we may have an answer!
Never Trumper Katie Welsh

White House Deputy Chief of Staff Katie Walsh, a former member of the #NeverTrump movement, resigned just as the New York Times linked the White House as the source for Nunes. Now, rumors are swirling that this timing isn’t just coincidental.

It appears that Walsh is the source for New York Times’ Maggie Haberman, whom are reportedly both friends.

Of course This is a big deal, via Conservative Treehouse:

And with the White House Leaker now identified and fired, the White House challenges the congressional intelligence committee leaders, four members of the oversight ‘gang-of-eight,’ to come and review the Obama intelligence report. That review request paints Intel Committee Ranking Member Adam Schiff, and Senate Intelligence Committee Vice-Chair Senator Mark Warner into a corner.
President Trump is now challenging the House and Senate intel committee heads to review the evidence of President Obama’s surveillance. How can they refuse to see the truth without exposing their political agenda?
Well played, Team Trump, well played.
Here’s the play – FIRST THE LEAKER:
White House deputy chief of staff Katie Walsh, a top aide to President Donald Trump, is leaving his administration to work for an outside group supporting the president’s agenda, three Republicans close to Trump said. […] Walsh was a close ally of White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, serving as his chief of staff when Priebus led the Republican National Committee. (link)
Katie Walsh was brought on specifically because President Trump’s Chief-of-Staff Reince Priebus asked for her. Walsh was a #NeverTrumper during the 2016 primary.
[Now fathom the renewed leverage/influence President Trump (and Bannon) carries over Priebus.]
♦ The article written by Maggie Haberman outlined two National Security Council members as the people who facilitated the intelligence information for Devin Nunes to review
 
The bombshell reports goes on to say that since Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the Senior Director for Intelligence at the National Security Council, and Michael Ellis have been outed as Nunes’ sources, they are authorized to act on behalf of the President and thus the story is not scandalous.

If the accusations against Walsh are true, this means the Trump White House cautiously used the media to help get rid of her, while asking the Intelligence Oversight Committee to review the details of how President Barack Obama really did monitor Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

While if true, indeed this is a master political move by Trump White House insiders to clean house, yet nevertheless begets the question, how the hell did a #NeverTrumper end up on the White House staff roll anyway- let alone deputy chief of staff?!?



The Ettinger Report: Connecting the Middle East dots


Yoram will be in the US in May, August and November, 2017, available for speaking engagements.


Connecting the Middle East dots

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel initiative”
YouTube 6-minute-video on-line seminar on US-Israel and the Mideast

Video#39: http://bit.ly/2mT25Ri; Entire mini-seminar: http://bit.ly/1ze66dS     

1. According to the Saudi Arabian-based newspaper, Arab News, "the Arab Spring is not about seeking democracy, it is about Arabs killing Arabs… about hate and sectarian violence…. The Arab Spring is an accumulation of years of political corruption, human rights violations, sectarianism and poor education systems…. The Arabs were never united and are now divided beyond anybody’s imagination. Arabs hate each other more than they hate the outside enemy.  Syrians are hurting Syrians and the Israelis are the ones who treat the Syrian wounds [in an Israeli field hospital built on the Golan Height]." 

2. Connecting the dots of the increasingly boiling Arab Street highlights the 1,400 year reality of intense intra-Arab violent intolerance, hate education, transient (one-bullet) regimes, tenuous policies, non-compliance with intra-Arab agreements, explosive unpredictability and the absence of intra-Arab peaceful coexistence.   

3. Since the 7th century appearance of Islam, the Arab street has never experienced freedom of religion, speech, press, association or movement, which are prerequisites for free elections and peaceful coexistence. Arab societies are ruled by – and the will of the majority is subjugated by - non-democratic, minority rogue regimes.

4. The Arab Street is dominated by domestic, regional, national and intra-Arab subversion and terrorism. Ethnic cleansing in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Tunisia, the Sudan and Libya reflects the lack of national cohesion on the Arab street and the merciless intra-Arab/Muslim fragmentation along ethnic, tribal, cultural, geographic, ideological and religious lines. The misperception of the national cohesion of two of the most powerful Arab countries throughout the 20th century - Iraq and Syria - has collapsed, setting them on a chaotic course of disintegration. Studying the fate of minorities in Arab countries, reveals the devastating Arab/Muslim attitude towards the "infidel" Christians, Jews, Hindus or Buddhists.     

5. The current increasingly, turbulent Arab Tsunami, which erupted in 2010, has intensified anxiety and panic among the pro-US regimes of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Bahrain, which are inherently susceptible to domestic upheaval. They are aware that Egypt's Mubarak, Libya's Kaddafi, Tunisia's Ben Ali and Yemen's Salah (possibly joined by Syria's Assad) were perceived to be Rock of Gibraltar-like regimes, but were overthrown by Islamic mobs. They are cognizant of the clear, present and lethal threat posed by Iran and Iran's adversary, ISIS (the "Islamic State in Iraq and Syria"). They are concerned about the lava erupting from the endemic civil war in an intractably fragmented Yemen, which controls the route of oil tankers from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean. 

6. The December 2010 Tunisian upheaval fueled the February 2011 Libyan and Egyptian eruptions, which fed the February 2011 turmoil in Yemen and Bahrain, providing a tailwind for the March 2011 surge of the civil war in Syria.  The intensification of terrorism and disintegration in Iraq poses an imminent deadly threat to the Hashemite regime in Jordan, which could be transformed into another haven for Islamic terrorism, threatening to sweep through Saudi Arabia and other pro-US Gulf states.

7. The increasingly boiling Arab Street accentuates Israel's unique role as the only stable, reliable, effective, democratic and unconditional national-security-producing-ally of the US, whose posture of deterrence – in the face of Islamic terrorism and Iran - is a life insurance policy for pro-US Arab regimes in the Middle East.

8. Connecting the dots of the increasingly boiling Arab Street underscores the recklessness of past pressure on Israel to retreat from the Golan Heights, as well as the current pressure on Israel to withdraw from the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria, which dominate the border with Jordan (the Jordan Valley) and over-tower Jerusalem, Israel's only International Airport and 80% of Israel's infrastructure and population, which is concentrated in the 9-15 mile narrow sliver along the Mediterranean (the pre-1967 Israel). An Israel without the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria would be transformed from a strategic asset to a strategic burden on the USA.

9. Connecting the dots of the increasingly boiling Arab Street exposes the gullibility of well-intentioned peace negotiators, who still consider the Arab Tsunami an Arab Spring, transitioning itself to democracy, embracing Western norms of peaceful coexistence, compliance with agreements and civil liberties. They believe that a signed agreement can over-ride a 14 century old shifty and devious political culture.  They ignore the fact that intra-Arab conflicts – not the Arab-Israeli conflict - have been and are "the Middle East conflicts." The Arab Tsunami has exposed the Palestinian issue as a marginal issue in Middle Eastern politics, not a crown-jewel of Arab policy making, nor the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict.  

10. Against the backdrop of the real Middle East, Israel cannot afford to lower its security threshold and rely on peace-driven-security. As long as the Arab Street is dominated by an unpredictable, violently intolerant 14-century-old political culture, Israel must pursue security and deterrence-driven peace.

11. The next video will shed light on the Middle East labyrinth.

Trump accepts new Jewish Town


The Trump Administration gives ok to new town for Amona residents on grounds that PM Netanyahu made promise to residents prior to meeting Trump
.

By Gary Willig of Arutz Sheva,  3/31/2017
Hezki Baruch


Accoring to Arutz Sheva, per 
the Jerusalem Post, US President Donald Trump has accepted the construction of a new town for the former residents of Amona in Judea and Samaria.

A senior Trump Administration official told the Post that the administration considers the new town to be an exception to its request that Israel "hold off" on construction in Judea and Samaria, as the move fulfills a long-standing promise to the currently-homeless residents.

"We would note that the Israeli prime minister made a commitment to the Amona settlers prior to President Trump laying out his expectations, and has consistently indicated that he intended to move forward with this plan," the US official said.

"Going forward, and as we move into more detailed discussions regarding the possibilities for advancing Israeli-Palestinian peace, the Israeli government has made clear that Israel's intent is to adopt a policy regarding settlement activity that takes President Trump's concerns into consideration," the official added.

Prime Minister Netanyahu announced that Israel would reduce construction in Judea and Samaria limiting it to building inside town lines except for extenuating circumstances, this at the same cabinet meeting in which the new town was approved, Haaretz reported.

“This is a very friendly administration and we need to be considerate of the president’s requests,” Netanyahu told the Security Cabinet.

The new town will be the first constructed with the official approval of the Israeli government in Judea and Samarria since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993.

Daily Cartoons







Thursday, March 30, 2017

Freedom Caucus Confused with Trump Tweets

A reported by Breitbart: Virginia Republican Rep. Dave Brat told reporters in a hallway just off the House floor that he is confused by President Donald Trump’s tweets attacking the House Freedom Caucus for hindering the president’s agenda—specifically the American Health Care Act, or Ryancare.

“I don’t know who has his ear,” said Brat, who is a member of the House Freedom Caucus and was part of the HFC team negotiating with the White House and the House Republican leadership to amend the Ryancare bill.
“I don’t think he is hearing that we are trying to serve him a victory–right?–Right now, this bill is at 17 percent in the polls, and that’s not a winner.”
The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don't get on the team, & fast. We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) pulled the bill from the House floor Friday minutes before it was sure to be defeated.
The Ryancare bill is a modification of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that created Obamacare. Although it was pulled from the floor, it is still active legislation and subject to manager’s amendments from the chairmen of the Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, and Budget committees, as well as changes made by the House Rules Committee, which reports the bill to the House floor with its final language.
Autoplay: On | Off
Brat said the key to fixing the American Health Care Act is to correct Obamacare provisions that drove up premiums, but in the current language in the Ryancare bill, premiums would still go up 10 percent or 15 percent.
“Right now, no young person can go out and buy a cheap insurance policy–by law,” he said. “The federal regulations and mandates prevent you from shopping across state lines, which President Trump campaigned on.”
The president campaigned all over the country and told every arena audience that he would repeal Obamacare.
Brat said the House Freedom Caucus is staying true to the president’s campaign promises, which were not reflected in the Ryancare bill.
Another problem with the speaker’s bill was that it was rushed through in a process that took only three weeks from Ryan releasing the text of the bill to what would have been a vote on the House floor.

“If you have a good process, it will result in a good policy; and then, that’s good politics,” he said.

Hamas Targets Israeli Leaders in New Video


The Times of Israel reports: A video published Wednesday by a Hamas-affiliated news site threatens to kill senior Israeli defense officials in revenge for the killing of a senior Hamas terrorist last week. One after the other, the video shows the Israelis through the crosshairs of a sniper’s scope, followed by a short message across a black screen in both Hebrew and Arabic, reading “we will act in kind.”

Those threatened include Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, IDF Chief-of-Staff Gadi Eisenkot, Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman, Mossad chief Yossi Cohen, IDF deputy chief-of-staff Aviv Kochavi, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, and the commander of the new Oz commando brigade Col. David Zini.
The video was publicized by the Gaza-based Shehab News Agency and is believed to be in response to the assassination of senior Hamas terrorist Mazen Faqha last week. It was apparently made by Hamas members. While Israel has not acknowledged any involvement in the killing, the terrorist group insists that the murder has the Jewish state’s fingerprints on it.
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Israels Right to Exist From Bible not Google Says Minister

MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty


TEL AVIV – Israel’s moral claim to the land of Israel comes from the Bible, not Google, an Israeli minister said in Washington on Tuesday at an event marking 50 years since the 1967 Six Day War.

“Defense is important and security is important, but the most important thing is the moral claim of Israel. We are committed to go forward with living in our ancient land, land that was given us not by Google and Wikipedia, but by the Bible; King David, King Saul, King David, King Solomon, Abraham – and this is the right [and] we are going to demand our right forever and ever,” Communications Minister Tzachi Hanegbi said.
The event, called “Celebrate 50 Years of Rejuvenation in Judea and Samaria,” marked the capture of the West Bank by the Jewish state in 1967’s defensive war. It was attended by nationalist Israeli ministers including Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely, Israeli consul generals, settler leaders and 350 AIPAC participants.
The conference speakers expressed strong support for extending Israeli sovereignty to the West Bank, referred to by its biblical name Judea and Samaria.
Housing and Construction Minister Yoav Galant (Kulanu) said, “For us, Judea and Samaria is Israel.” He added that control of Area C, the West Bank territory under Israeli civilian and military rule in which both Palestinians and Jewish Israelis reside, is essential for Israel’s continued security.
“There is no way that Israel can exist” without the Jordan Valley and the mountaintops of Samaria, he said. “Of course, it is difficult to have a strong Jerusalem without [the settlements of] Givat Ze’ev, Ma’aleh Adumim and Gush Etzion and all these places.”
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely spoke about Israel’s victory in the Six Day War.
“It was a just war. It is a just defense. But the most important one, it was based on a just claim. A just claim of the Jewish people on [the Biblical areas of] Beit El, Shechem, Jerusalem and Hebron,” she said.
“Let me tell you something, if those places are not Jewish, who can tell me that [the modern cities of] Herzliya, Rehovot, Rishon Lezion and Tel Aviv are Jewish,” Hotovely said. “I always say that the occupation is a myth, because we never occupied other people’s land. [Judea and Samaria] is Jewish land. This should forever be a Jewish land under Israeli law.”
“We need to get to a million settlers in Judea and Samaria – with a U.S. embassy in Jerusalem. We need to think of new ways of thinking that will include Judea and Samaria under Israeli sovereignty forever.”
Yishai Fleisher, the event’s MC and International Spokesman for the Jewish community of Hebron, criticized a common response to accusations of so-called Israeli occupation.

“They say ‘you stole our land’ and we say ‘but we created the cell phone,’” he said in his opening speech. Instead, Fleisher said, the world must be told categorically that the West Bank belongs to Israel and it will stop at nothing to annex and develop it.

Arab States Remove Denial of Jewish Ties to Temple Mount from UNESCO

jerusalem
AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty

Ynetnews reports: In a diplomatic win for Israel, the Temple Mount and Western Wall will not be mentioned nor included in any vote or measure during a meeting of the UNESCO Executive Board on Jerusalem and the territories May 1st.

A draft of the decision, which Ynet obtained, represents a significant achievement for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Israeli diplomacy at UNESCO, which is considered one of the most hostile arenas for Israel at the UN.
The issue of Jerusalem at UNESCO has seen some extremely sensitive issues brought to the forefront, including a resolution seen by many as an attempt to erase Jewish connections to holy sites in Jerusalem.

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