Tuesday, November 13, 2018

What is the actual goal of Hamas? - ILTV


by ILTV

ILTV speaks with Dr. Mordechai Kedar of Bar Ilan University about the clashes in Israel's south.





ILTV

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/254644

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Report: IDF given 'green light' in Gaza - Gary Willig


by Gary Willig


PM, Defense Minister reportedly give go-ahead to launch heavy retaliation for 200 rockets fired at Israel. Security Cabinet to meet


the meeting in the Kirya today
Ariel Hermoni/Ministry of Defense                                     The meeting in the Kirya today

The consultation between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, and the military leaders in response to the launching of over 200 rockets from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. lasted over four hours.

A political source said that "in the prime minister's consultation with the heads of the defense establishment, operational decisions were made."



Tomorrow, the Security Cabinet will meet and discuss the escalation in Gaza. According to the source, the IDF has been given a green light to launch a heavy retaliation against Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza.

The decision comes as UN and Egyptian mediators attempt to restore calm and convince Hamas to halt the rocket attacks. Despite their efforts, rockets continue to fall on Israel.

The IDF has struck about 70 targets in Gaza in response to the continuing rocket attacks.

IDF Spokesperson Brigadier General Ronen Manelis warned: "Hamas is leading the Gaza Strip to destruction and will feel the intensity of the IDF's response in the coming hours. So far we have attacked a wide range of targets. Firing squads, military compounds, and observation posts. The attempt to harm civilians is unacceptable to us and we will continue to respond with force."


Gary Willig

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/254626

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An IDF Lieut.-Col. killed, second officer injured in special ops action in Gaza - debkaFile


by debkaFile

In the course of an operation by an IDF special unit, an exchange of fire developed during which an Israeli officer was killed and a second injured [and evacuated to hospital

The special operations troops were extricated under air cover after a Hamas ambush east of Khan Younes, Sunday night, Nov. 11, Hamas reported seven dead, including a senior commander. The IDF force was discovered by Hamas while conducting a counter-terror operation and surrounded under heavy fire. An IDF lieutenant-colonel and another officer were killed.  The Israeli air force was sent in and bombed the sources of enemy fire to get the men out and across the border to Israel. The massive aerial bombardment was massive enough to be heard at a far distance.

Early Monday, the IDF spokesman issued the following communique: “In the course of an operation by an IDF special unit, an exchange of fire developed during which an Israeli officer was killed and a second injured [and evacuated to hospital in Beersheba]. The operation is over. The OC Southern Command ordered the roads between 232 and the Gaza border off-limits to traffic, excepting only local residents.”

Hamas released this statement: “Am Israeli army special unit entered Gaza territory driving civilian vehicles. It reached 3km deep up to the Shahid Ismail Abu Shanav east of Khan Younes. The unit assassinated Nour Barakeh, a commander of Hamas’ armed wing. After it was discovered,” said the Hamas statement, ”the Israeli air force bombed the area to cover the withdrawal of the Israeli force, causing casualties.”

To understand what happened Sunday night, it is essential to pinpoint the moment when Hamas knew about the special Israeli unit operation, say DEBKAfile’s military sources. Were the IDF troops blown the moment they crossed the border fence? Or when they reached Khan Younes? In the worst case, Hamas had an intelligence tip-off of the coming raid and had prepared an ambush along the unit’s line of retreat.

Hamas maintains a string of observation posts along the border for surveillance of the Israel side – some from towers; others hidden behind sand dunes. Now and again, highly-trained spies steal across from Gaza into Israel unnoticed and return with information on IDF military movements and the civilian activity.

One such spy was captured on Saturday, Nov. 10, after he had covered hundreds of meters up to Netiv Ha’asarah to the north of the Gaza Strip and set fire to a greenhouse. The IDF later stated “The terrorist was under surveillance from the moment he crossed the border.” There was no explanation as to why he was not apprehended before he had time to roam free, because this kind of spying has been going on for some months without being brought to the public notice.

During nearly 8 months of border clashes between the IDF and Hamas and other Palestinian groups, these terrorists have had a chance to closely study Israel military practices, responses and norms, and learn how to counter them, whether in border clashes or in raids inside their territory in the Gaza Strip. The violent disturbances of tens of thousands of Palestinian rioters going on week after week were far from demonstrations by a needy population; they were craftily designed to understand the Israeli enemy they have sworn to destroy. What happened on Sunday night was the result. The writing had been on the wall from April


debkaFile

Source: https://www.debka.com/an-idf-officer-killed-second-injured-in-special-ops-action-in-gaza/

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London: Muslims screaming genocidal chant about murdering Jews shout down Jewish speakers at Kristallnacht vigil - Robert Spencer


by Robert Spencer

This is what Theresa May’s Britain has become.



Few in the West know the meaning of the “Khaybar, Khaybar” chant. That this imam chanted it at a “Return March” rally demonstrates that the Gaza protests are anything but peaceful.

As I explain in my book The History of Jihad From Muhammad to ISIS, which you can order here, Muhammad led a Muslim force against the Khaybar oasis, which was inhabited by Jews — many of whom he had previously exiled from Medina. When he did so, he was not responding to any provocation. One of the Muslims later remembered: “When the apostle raided a people he waited until the morning. If he heard a call to prayer he held back; if he did not hear it he attacked. We came to Khaybar by night, and the apostle passed the night there; and when morning came he did not hear the call to prayer, so he rode and we rode with him….We met the workers of Khaybar coming out in the morning with their spades and baskets. When they saw the apostle and the army they cried, ‘Muhammad with his force,’ and turned tail and fled. The apostle said, ‘Allah Akbar! Khaybar is destroyed. When we arrive in a people’s square it is a bad morning for those who have been warned.’”

When they entered Khaybar, the Muslims immediately set out to locate the inhabitants’ wealth. A Jewish leader of Khaybar, Kinana bin al-Rabi, was brought before Muhammad; Kinana was supposed to have been entrusted with the treasure of on of the Jewish tribes of Arabia, the Banu Nadir. Kinana denied knowing where this treasure was, but Muhammad pressed him: “Do you know that if we find you have it I shall kill you?” Kinana said yes, that he did know that.

Some of the treasure was found. To find the rest, Muhammad gave orders concerning Kinana: “Torture him until you extract what he has.” One of the Muslims built a fire on Kinana’s chest, but Kinana would not give up his secret. When he was at the point of death, one of the Muslims beheaded him. Kinana’s wife Safiyya bint Huyayy was taken as a war prize; Muhammad claimed her for himself and hastily arranged a wedding ceremony that night. He halted the Muslims’ caravan out of Khaybar later that night in order to consummate the marriage.

Muhammad agreed to let the people of Khaybar to go into exile, allowing them to keep as much of their property as they could carry. The Prophet of Islam, however, commanded them to leave behind all their gold and silver. He had intended to expel all of them, but some, who were farmers, begged him to allow them to let them stay if they gave him half their yield annually. Muhammad agreed: “I will allow you to continue here, so long as we would desire.” He warned them: “If we wish to expel you we will expel you.” They no longer had any rights that did not depend upon the good will and sufferance of Muhammad and the Muslims. And indeed, when the Muslims discovered some treasure that some of the Khaybar Jews had hidden, he ordered the women of the tribe enslaved and seized the perpetrators’ land. A hadith notes that “the Prophet had their warriors killed, their offspring and woman taken as captives.”

Thus when modern-day Muslims invoke Khaybar, they are recalling an aggressive, surprise raid by Muhammad which resulted in the final eradication of the once considerable Jewish presence in Arabia. To the jihadists, Khaybar means the destruction of the Jews and the seizure of their property by the Muslims.




“London rally for Jews killed in Arab countries disrupted by men shouting in Arabic about killing Jews,” Jewish Telegraph Agency, November 9, 2018:
(JTA) — A vigil held by pro-Israel activists in London for Jews murdered in Arab countries was dispersed after men shouted in Arabic about killing Jews.
The event by the Israel Advocacy Movement was held Wednesday on Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park, which is known for its culture of free speech and passionate street preachers championing various causes.
A few dozen people holding Israeli flags and candles gathered there ahead of Kristallnacht, the 1938 Nazi pogrom in Germany and Austria, to highlight the suffering and slaying around the same time of many hundreds of Jews who were killed and wounded in pogroms across the Arab world.
Joseph Cohen, an Israel Advocacy Movement activist, filmed the event as about 20 men drowned his talk shouting “Jews, remember Khaybar, the army of Muhammad is returning.”
The cry relates to an event in the seventh century when Muslims massacred and expelled Jews from the town of Khaybar, located in modern-day Saudi Arabia. Some of the men shouted about “Palestine,” surrounding the pro-Jewish activists and shoving them….
A German woman who witnessed the event said: “A Christian was preaching and the atmosphere was friendly, a Muslim was preaching and there were shouts but the atmosphere was still friendly, but as soon as Jews wanted to honor their dead a whole of crowd appeared out of nowhere, as soon as the flags appeared, the cursing began against people who only wanted to honor their dead.
“I think what we just saw was anti-Semitism.”
No kidding, really?


Robert Spencer

Source: https://www.jihadwatch.org/2018/11/london-muslim-screaming-genocidal-chant-about-murdering-jews-shout-down-jewish-speakers-at-kristallnacht-vigil

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Democrat Election - By Hook or Crook - Joseph Klein


by Joseph Klein

How far will the Left go to manipulate Florida election results?




“It’s déjà vu all over again” was one of Yogi Berra’s most quoted sayings. It is being quoted again in the aftermath of last week’s midterm elections in Florida. Just like in 2000, when the outcome of the presidential race between George W. Bush and Al Gore was at stake, Florida will be ground zero for vote recounts. The difference is that in 2000 the vote margin between the two presidential candidates was razor thin to begin with – just under 1800 votes, which shrank over time to 537. This time, there were clear Republican leads on Election Night in the closely watched Florida races for senator and governor. The leads shrank so dramatically since then that vote recounts were ordered Saturday pursuant to Florida’s election laws. The vote margin shrinkage resulted in large part from the late discovery and delivery of ballots from the Democrat-leaning counties of Broward and Palm Beach. Machine recounts will come first, to be followed by vote recounts by hand if the result of the machine recounts is within a 0.25 percent margin.

In the Florida Senate race, Governor Rick Scott was reported on Election Night to have been ahead of his opponent, Democrat incumbent Bill Nelson, by approximately 60,000 votes. By Sunday afternoon, his lead had mysteriously slipped to around 12,500 votes. Given the track record of the two deliberately laggard counties, particularly Broward County, Governor Scott smelled a combination of fraud and incompetence. As Democrats were sending “an army of lawyers” to Florida with the avowed purpose of winning the election for incumbent Senator Bill Nelson, Governor Scott was accusing the Democrats of foul play. "I will not sit idly by while unethical liberals try to steal this election from the great people of Florida," he said. "Their goal is to keep mysteriously finding votes until the election turns out the way they want." Governor Scott wasted no time in filing lawsuits against officials in Broward and Palm Beach counties over their handling of the ballots and lack of transparency.

Bill Nelson dismissed Rick Scott’s complaints and claimed that the governor “is trying to stop all the votes from being counted.” Lawyers for Nelson filed their own federal lawsuit against Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner, claiming irregularities in the signature matching process used to validate provisional ballots. They want all votes cast using vote-by-mail or those "determined to involve a signature mismatch, be counted as valid votes." The Scott campaign accused the Nelson legal team of asking “the federal courts to allow voter fraud. They are asking courts to overrule election officials and accept ballots that were not legally cast."

So far Scott is 2 for 2 in the courts. Circuit Judge Carol-Lisa Phillips sided with Governor Scott in finding that Brenda Snipes, Broward's supervisor of elections who has a murky history when it comes to the handling of ballots, had violated Florida public records laws. Ms. Snipes does not seem to have learned from her past transgressions, including a judge’s rebuke for her destruction of ballots in a 2016 Congressional race too soon. This time Judge Phillips concluded that Ms. Snipes wrongfully denied a request by the Scott campaign for information on the total ballots cast and a breakdown of votes by absentee, early and Election Day vote categories. In the Palm Beach County case, Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Krista Marx also ruled in favor of the Scott campaign. The judge ordered that Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher’s office provide more transparency regarding determinations of the validity of mailed-in absentee ballots.

In the Florida governor race, Congressman Ron DeSantis saw his relatively comfortable margin of victory over Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum as of last Wednesday shrink from a bit over 50,000 votes to fewer than 34,000 votes by Sunday. Mr. Gillum retracted his previous concession. "Let me say clearly, I am replacing my words of concession with an uncompromising and unapologetic call that we count every single vote," he said.  

In both the Senate and governor's race,  gross mishandling of ballots and attempts to fraudulently include ballots submitted illegally by non-citizens are among the tactics that the Left appears inclined to use to frustrate the will of the people. 

The lead Democrat attorney representing the Nelson campaign in the vote recount, Marc Elias, described the eventual outcome as “a jump ball" that he predicted his client would win. Elias is no stranger to controversial efforts to influence the outcome of an election. While representing Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, Elias hired Fusion GPS with funds from the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee to investigate the Trump campaign and its possible ties to Russia. The result was the discredited dossier prepared by Christopher Steele, which was used to secure a FISA court warrant to spy on former Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page. Elias also helped to push the former disgraced senator of Minnesota, Al Franken, over the top in a controversial recount back in 2008. Moreover, Elias is joined at the hip with George Soros. He both received donations from the left wing billionaire and joined the board of the Soros-funded Democratic Super PAC known as Priorities USA Action, which had expended money in support of Bill Nelson’s campaign.

Now we are getting a better idea of what both Nelson and Gillum mean when they or their surrogates say they want every single vote counted. Watch out for attempts to count the illegal votes of non-citizens. After all, non-citizens have voted in past Florida elections. As reported by the Daily Caller, a transcript of a Palm Beach County Canvassing Board proceeding shows lawyers purporting to represent Nelson and Gillum registering objections to the exclusion of a provisional ballot submitted by a non-citizen. Gillum’s lawyers had no comment. Marc Elias denied that the lawyer who was present and purporting to represent Nelson was someone the Nelson campaign had authorized to make such an objection. “Non-citizens cannot vote in U.S. elections,” he said. However, what Elias self-servingly says for the benefit of the press and what he actually does are two different things. Just consider his federal lawsuit asking that all provisional ballots and ballots determined to involve a signature mismatch be counted as valid votes. If such ballots are all counted, there would be a gap wide enough for box loads of non-citizen ballots to fit through without timely detection.

To paraphrase what Joseph Stalin was reported to have said about voting, it does not matter what those who vote decide. It only matters who counts the vote. Left wing lawyers and campaign operatives have taken that advice to heart. Their efforts to manipulate the electoral system by hook or by crook, irrespective of the will of the people, must be stopped in its tracks.


Joseph Klein is a Harvard-trained lawyer and the author of Global Deception: The UN’s Stealth Assault on America’s Freedom and Lethal Engagement: Barack Hussein Obama, the United Nations & Radical Islam.

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/271926/democrat-election-hook-or-crook-joseph-klein

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FL Democrats’ lawyer openly argued to count votes by non-citizens - Thomas Lifson


by Thomas Lifson

We have evidence that they believe noncitizens get to have their votes counted thanks to a transcript made by a court reporter hired by Republicans

When Democrats repeat their latest mantra, “Count every vote!” they mean even votes from non-citizens (not to mention the deceased). We have evidence that they believe noncitizens get to have their votes counted thanks to a transcript, made by a court reporter hired by Republicans, of the review of provisional ballots in Palm Beach County. Via the Federalist:
During review of provisional ballots to determine whether a recount is justified in the tight Florida governor, senate, and agriculture commission races, Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher identified a voter as a non-citizen and declared that the ballot would not be counted.
Attorneys representing the Democratic candidate for Senate Bill Nelson and the Democratic candidate for governor Andrew Gillum objected. A copy of the uncertified transcript shows the interaction.
During review of provisional ballots to determine whether a recount is justified in the tight Florida governor, senate, and agriculture commission races, Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher identified a voter as a non-citizen and declared that the ballot would not be counted.
Attorneys representing the Democratic candidate for Senate Bill Nelson and the Democratic candidate for governor Andrew Gillum objected. A copy of the uncertified transcript shows the interaction.
Ace investigative reporter Luke Rosiak of the Daily Caller News Foundation contacted Mark Elias, the Perkins Coie lawyer running the Democrats’ attempt to win the election thought vote counting efforts, and he attempted to deny that the lawyers were acting on behalf of the Democrats:
Marc Elias, a lawyer for Nelson, told TheDCNF: “The lawyer who was present was not someone we had authorized to make such an objection. Non-citizens cannot vote in U.S. elections.”
He did not explain how the lawyer, Mr. Scarola, came to be representing Nelson’s interests in Palm Beach. (snip)
Barry Richard, a lawyer for Gillum, did not immediately return a request for comment.
How big is the problem of noncitizen voting in Florida? We have no idea, but this report by NBC 6 from 2012 suggests that the margin of victory in the contested races for governor and senator is far smaller than the potential number of noncitizen voters:
Florida officials are now saying that nearly 200,000 registered voters may not be U.S. citizens.
Earlier in the week, state election officials announced they had identified more than 2,600 people who are in Florida legally but ineligible to vote.
The Department of State is asking county election officials to verify the information. Election supervisors are contacting voters and if someone is not a citizen, their name will be dropped from the voter rolls.
But an initial list drawn up by the state — and not widely released — shows that a comparison of voter lists and driver's license information turned up a list of nearly 182,000 people who may not be U.S. citizens.
The automatic registration of voters when drivers licenses are issued in California is a means to enable noncitizen voting, it is obvious to me. The applicant must be diligent in opting out of registration, meaning that negligence (or language problems) can used as an excuse.

Face it: Progressive economic policies don’t work, so Americans tend to catch on over time that they are better off with Republicans in office. The remedy the Democrats seek is to import a new electorate, hungry for “free stuff.”

Thomas Lifson

Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2018/11/fl_democrats_lawyer_openly_argued_to_count_votes_by_noncitizens.html

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The "Separate" Palestinian State - Khaled Abu Toameh


by Khaled Abu Toameh

Abbas can continue to present himself to the world as the "President of the State of Palestine" as much as he wants. He is only living in an illusion

  • To date, Hamas and Fatah have not been able to agree on the interpretation of the "reconciliation" agreements already signed. Fatah claims that the agreements are supposed to allow its Ramallah-based government to assume full responsibility over the Gaza Strip. Hamas, for its part, remains vehemently opposed to relinquishing security control over the Gaza Strip.
  • Abbas's official news agency, Wafa, issued a strongly worded statement accusing Hamas of being part of a "Zionist-American conspiracy" to detach the West Bank from the Gaza Strip. According to the statement, Hamas is now cooperating with the US and Israel to establish a separate Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip. "There will be no Palestinian state without the Gaza Strip, and there will be no [separate Palestinian] state in the Gaza Strip," the statement quoted Abbas as saying.
  • Abbas can continue to present himself to the world as the "President of the State of Palestine" as much as he wants. He is only living in an illusion: it is obvious by now that he does not represent the two million Palestinians who are living in a separate Hamas-controlled entity in the Gaza Strip. Abbas has not been able to set foot in the Gaza Strip for the past 11 years, and his chances of ever returning there now seem to be zero.

For the past 11 years, a number of Arab countries have tried to end the power struggle between Hamas and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction, to no avail. Several "reconciliation" agreements previously signed between Fatah and Hamas have never been implemented. Pictured: Abbas (right) and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal meet on November 24, 2011 in Cairo, Egypt, in one "reconciliation" attempt. (Photo by Mohammed al-Hams/Khaled Mashaal's Office via Getty Images)

Last week, Hamas began paying salaries to thousands of its employees after Qatar sent a $15 million grant in cash to the Gaza Strip. The money was brought to the Gaza Strip by senior Qatari envoy Mohammed El-Amadi through the Erez border crossing with Israel.

The Qatari grant is in the context of efforts by Egypt, Qatar, and the United Nations to reach a long-term truce between Israel and Hamas.

The payment was the first of a total of $90 million that the emirate has pledged to send to the Gaza Strip in the next six months, according to Palestinian sources.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) and its president, Mahmoud Abbas, however, remain opposed to an agreement; reports say that one of the reasons they are opposed to a truce accord between Israel and Hamas is because such a deal will pave the way for the establishment of a separate Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip.

On November 11, Abbas again accused Hamas of being part of a US and Israeli "conspiracy" to separate the Gaza Strip from the West Bank. He also threatened to impose punitive measures against the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on the pretext that the "conspiracy" was aimed at establishing a separate Palestinian state there.

The reality, after all, is that there already is a separate Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip, and It has been there since 2007, when Hamas violently seized control of the area and toppled Abbas's Palestinian Authority.

Abbas and the PA, all the same, have since been living in denial. They have even created an alternate reality in their head -- one that continues to believe that it is still possible to establish a sovereign and independent Palestinian state in the entire West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem.

For the past 11 years, a number of Arab countries, including Egypt, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, have tried to end the power struggle between Hamas and Abbas's Fatah faction, to no avail. Several "reconciliation" agreements previously signed between Fatah and Hamas have never been implemented.

To date, Hamas and Fatah have not been able to agree on the interpretation of the "reconciliation" agreements already signed. Fatah claims that the agreements are supposed to allow its Ramallah-based government to assume full responsibility over the Gaza Strip. Hamas, for its part, remains vehemently opposed to relinquishing security control over the Gaza Strip. The most Hamas is willing to offer Abbas's government is limited civilian control, which means paying salaries and funding schools, hospitals and other public institutions in the Gaza Strip.

In the past few weeks, Abbas and some of his top officials in Ramallah have warned that any truce between Israel and Hamas will "consolidate" the split between the West Bank and Gaza Strip, thus paving the way for the establishment of an independent and separate Palestinian state in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. Now that understandings appear to have been reached between Israel, Qatar, Egypt and Hamas to improve the living conditions of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, Abbas and his PA officials are seething with rage.

As part of the purported understandings, Qatar sent millions of dollars in cash to the Gaza Strip on November 8. The money will be used to pay thousands of Hamas employees and needy Palestinian families. According to some reports, a senior Qatari official, Mohammed El Amadi, arrived in the Gaza Strip carrying three suitcases stuffed with $15 million.

In response, Abbas's official news agency, Wafa, issued a strongly worded statement accusing Hamas of being part of a "Zionist-American conspiracy" to detach the West Bank from the Gaza Strip. According to the statement, Hamas is now cooperating with the US and Israel to establish a separate Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip. "There will be no Palestinian state without the Gaza Strip, and there will be no [separate Palestinian] state in the Gaza Strip," the statement quoted Abbas as saying.

This claim, of course, is a total misrepresentation of both the reality and facts. If anyone is responsible for a separate Palestinian state that already exists in the Gaza Strip, it is Fatah and Hamas, not Israel and the US. Actually, the power struggle between Hamas and Fatah is completely unrelated to Israel, the US or any other third party. The dispute between the two Palestinian parties is the direct result of a power struggle over money and power.

Neither Israel nor the US helped or condoned Hamas's violent takeover of the Gaza Strip in 2007. Hamas managed to topple Abbas's Palestinian Authority in Gaza mainly because his Western-funded security forces surrendered without putting up a fight.

Since then, Hamas and its allies in the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) have turned the Gaza Strip into a separate and independent Palestinian state. Hamas and PIJ do not recognize Abbas as the legitimate president of the Palestinians. They have, in the Gaza Strip, their own de facto government, Hamas; their own parliament; their own security forces and militias, and even their own laws.

Abbas can continue to present himself to the world as the "President of the State of Palestine" as much as he wants.

He is only living in an illusion: it is obvious by now that he does not represent the two million Palestinians who are living in a separate Hamas-controlled entity in the Gaza Strip. Abbas has not been able to set foot in the Gaza Strip for the past 11 years, and his chances of ever returning there now seem to be zero.

Hamas says that if Abbas dares to enter the Gaza Strip, he will be put on trial for "high treason" -- a crime punishable by death in accordance with Palestinian laws and traditions. In the eyes of Hamas, Abbas is a traitor because he is conducting security coordination with Israel and imposing economic sanctions on the Gaza Strip.

Abbas undoubtedly knows that as long as Hamas and PIJ are in the Gaza Strip, he will never be able to return there. He also undoubtedly knows that he feels safer being in Ramallah than in the Gaza Strip. In Ramallah, he is safe because the IDF is only a few hundred meters away from his headquarters and residence. Were it not for the presence of Israel in the West Bank, Hamas would have toppled Abbas's government a long time ago. It is Israel's ongoing crackdown on Hamas in the West Bank that is keeping Abbas and his government in power.

Abbas most likely does not want to acknowledge this reality. He also most likely does not want to accept any responsibility for the divisions among his people, particularly the split between the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Instead, he is now seeking to accuse everyone else but himself for the fact that there already is a separate Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip. Surreally, Abbas is now accusing Israel and the US of working towards establishing a separate Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip -- when this has been the reality for the past 11 years.

The separate Palestinian state was created in the Gaza Strip the day Hamas took control over the area. It was created there the day Abbas's security forces in the Gaza Strip surrendered to Hamas in 2007.
The separate Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip was created the day Abbas and his enemies in Hamas failed to honor the several "reconciliation" agreements they had signed in the past decade.

What is even more surreal is that Abbas is now accusing Hamas of collaboration with Israel and the US to establish a separate Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip. This accusation is ridiculous, given the fact that Hamas continues to seek the destruction of Israel and considers the US an enemy of Arabs and Muslims.

Abbas, however, apparently does not want to be confused by reality. He prefers to continue his long-standing strategy of blaming everyone else but himself for the miseries of the Palestinians. The emerging truce deal only confirms the reality that Abbas has been trying to ignore for the past 11 years: that a separate Palestinian state does exist, and it is run by Hamas, PIJ and other armed groups who continue to give the Palestinian president the imperial brush-off.
  • Follow Khaled Abu Toameh on Twitter

Khaled Abu Toameh, an award-winning journalist based in Jerusalem, is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at Gatestone Institute.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/13281/separate-palestinian-state

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When Obama ejected reporters, the media yawned - Thomas Lifson


by Thomas Lifson

It's different when Obama did it because he wasn't a Republican. Get it?

If your only source of news is the mainstream media, you might think that Donald Trump is the first president to act against a reporter who heckled him, and that denial of a White House pass to CNN heckler Jim Acosta is a grave threat to the public’s right to know. But that very same media largely applauded, or at least remained silent, when President Obama several times had reporters ejected from public events where he was speaking because he didn’t like their behavior or their questions.

The Political Insider takes us on a short trip down memory lane, rescuing those incidents from the memory hole. Most remarkably, some of the reporters were from officially-designated victim groups, and therefore, in the eyes of the politically correct, entitled to holy status. For one example:

Not long after taking office, the Secret Service literally dragged away a black female reporter. Imagine the optics if an African-American woman were dragged away by Trump’s Secret Service.







YouTube screen grab
Here is another view of the incident:






In 2015, President Obama had a transgender reporter who was heckling him ejected from a meeting, claiming that the White House is his house. Not the property of the American people,apparently:
“Hey, listen, you’re in my house,” the president continued. “You don’t start — it’s not respectful when you get invited to somebody … you’re not going to get a good response from me by interrupting me like this.”
“I’m sorry — no, no, no, no, no. Shame on you,” Obama added. “You shouldn’t be doing this.”
“You can either stay or be quite or we’ll have to take you out,” Obama told the person.


But perhaps worst of all, no misbehavior, or even any words, were need to eject a reporter from a news event.

Washington Free Beacon reporter Adam Kredo was reportedly ejected from a State Department media briefing in Vienna Monday, as senior department officials threatened to call security on him.
Kredo, who is covering the White House's ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran, tried unsuccessfully to attend a briefing with the State Department's undersecretary of state for political affairs Wendy Sherman.
The Free Beacon reporter, who is credentialed through the Austrian government, suggested Monday that he was kicked out of the briefing because Obama administration officials are concerned about how media may cover its alleged concessions to Iran.
Ben Rhodes wrote about the importance of the “echo chamber” in support of the Iran deal, bamboozling reporters who “literally know nothing” into ginning up public support for the shipping of billions of dollars to the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism. Having a savvy reporter with contrary views present would get in the way of Rhodes’s game.

There are more examples at the link. But when you review them, keep in mind that in emails uncovered by Judicial Watch, Josh Earnest as caught bragging about the ability of Obama administration officials to “exclude Fox News from significant interviews.” (hat tip: Rosie Memos)


Do you remember the firestorm this disclosure ignited? Neither do I.

So, take these protests over Acosta with a grain of salt. Make that a box of salt.

Hat tip: John McMahon


Thomas Lifson

Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2018/11/when_obama_ejected_reporters_the_media_yawned.html

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Why Trump is Right on California Wildfires - Matthew Vadum


by Matthew Vadum

How “green policies” are burning the Golden State to a crisp.




As huge wildfires continued to devour forests, homes, and businesses across California over the weekend, President Trump lashed out at the destructive, deadly policies long pushed by environmentalists that set the stage for the Golden State’s now-routine fiery catastrophes.

“There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor,” President Trump tweeted Nov. 10 at 3:08 a.m. “Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!”

On Nov. 11 at 4:40 a.m. he followed up with: “With proper Forest Management, we can stop the devastation constantly going on in California. Get Smart!”

In-between the two tweets, Trump used Twitter to urge people in the affected areas to “evacuate quickly,” praised the “[m]ore than 4,000” who are fighting the Camp and Woolsey Fires in California, and to express sympathy for the fire victims.

Idiot celebrities and clueless politicians weighed in across the fruited plain, eager to attack Trump.

“This is an absolutely heartless response,” singer Katy Perry naively tweeted. “There aren’t even politics involved. Just good American families losing their homes as you tweet, evacuating into shelters.”

California Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom (D), a strong supporter of the no-growth economic policies that caused the deadly fires, tweeted:

“Lives have been lost. Entire towns have been burned to the ground. Cars abandoned on the side of the road. People are being forced to flee their homes. This is not a time for partisanship. This is a time for coordinating relief and response and lifting those in need up.”

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) sided with Democrats Sunday, saying:

“I don't think it’s appropriate to threaten funding. That’s not going to happen. Funding will be available. It always is available to our people wherever they are, whatever disaster they are facing. I do think, though, this year we came up with a strong bipartisan success in fixing the wildfire funding issue that had kind of paralyzed our ability to go out and fight fires and suppress fires and mitigate next year’s forest fires.”

But as usual Trump is right –at least in a big-picture way— and his critics are wrong.

Years ago environmentalist lobbies ideologically opposed to economic growth put the screws to California’s once-thriving wood-harvesting industry. New federal and state regulations came into effect make it increasingly difficult for the industry to operate.

“As a result, timber industry employment gradually collapsed, falling in 2017 to half of what it was 20 years earlier, with imports from Canada, China, and other nations filling domestic need,” Chuck DeVore, Vice President of National Initiatives at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, writes at Forbes.

As timber harvesting permit fees rose and environmental regulations intensified, industry employees left the field and “[t]he combustible fuel load in the forest predictably soared,” according to DeVore. “No longer were forest management professionals clearing brush and thinning trees.”

With all that kindling piling up on forest floors, today’s devastating wildfires were not hard to foresee.

Back in 2005 experts were predicting “larger, more devastating fires—fires so hot that they sterilized the soil, making regrowth difficult and altering the landscape,” DeVore writes. They saw the rise of “fires that increasingly threatened lives and homes as they became hotter and more difficult to bring under control.”

“Federal lands have not been managed for decades, threatening adjacent private forests, while federal funds designated for forest maintenance have been "borrowed" for fire suppression expenses,” DeVore writes. “The policies frequently reduce the economic value of the forest to zero. And, with no intrinsic worth remaining, interest in maintaining the forest declined, and with it, resources to reduce the fuel load.”

Two decades ago there used to be an orderly burning of wood waste –including brush and smaller trees cleared by thinning efforts— from timber operations, DeVore adds. That waste fed “renewable biomass powered electric generating plants across the length of the state,” but taxpayer-subsidized solar power coupled with California’s air-quality regulations and less wood waste to use forced biomass generators to shut down.

“What used to be burned safely in power generators is now burned in catastrophic fires,” he writes. “Including the growing capture and use of landfill methane as a fuel, California’s biomass energy generation last year was 22% lower than it was 25 years before.”

Outgoing California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) pigheadedly blames global warming for the fires but as Cato Institute meteorologist Ryan Maue noted on Twitter back on Aug. 5:

“Blue check marks:  please take a deep breath and read up on California's forest management issues that are decades in the making. Governor Brown blames climate change for wildfires and avoids any meaningful conversation on policy solutions.”

Although in his tweets President Trump seem to be blaming California authorities for the fires, arms of the federal government which have long been under the influence of the same left-wing enviro-radicals who run California, are largely to blame.

In charge of 190 million acres of land, the U.S. Forest Service can’t manage land to prevent fires or protect property after blazes begin, Robert (R.J.) Smith, a distinguished scholar at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said previously.

“Private owners cannot afford to let their forests die of disease, insect infestations or wildfire,” Smith said. “They are on the job 24 hours a day, unlike 9-5 government bureaucrats. If private owners fail they go bankrupt. If Forest Service managers fail, at worst they are transferred to another forest.”

“In total, the U.S. government owns about 640 million acres of land, predominantly in the drought-riddled western states,” according to a Fox News summary. “Some 85 percent of Nevada; 70 percent of Alaska and roughly half of Arizona, California and Utah are federal lands.”

Smith laid some of the blame at the feet of radical environmentalists for preventing the Forest Service from managing woodlands by taking away the old or dead trees that are most likely to catch fire. The government’s refusal to open roadways in forested areas also makes fighting fires unnecessarily difficult, according to critics.

Although some may have found President Trump’s tweets about the poor quality of forest management in California jarring or ill-timed, that doesn’t change the fact that the evidence is on his side.


Matthew Vadum, senior vice president at the investigative think tank Capital Research Center, is an award-winning investigative reporter and author of the book, "Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts Are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers."

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/271927/why-trump-right-california-wildfires-matthew-vadum

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Two Dem heavyweights claim Hillary is a lock to win the 2020 Dem nomination - Thomas Lifson


by Thomas Lifson

"The generation of Democrats who have been waiting to take over the party from the Clintons will be fuming that she is back and stealing their show. But they revealed themselves to be bungling amateurs in the Brett Kavanaugh nomination fight, with their laughable Spartacus moments. She will trounce them."

In an op-ed appearing in today’s Wall Street Journal, Mark Penn, a former senior adviser to Bill Clinton for many years, and Andrew Stein, former Manhattan Borough and New York City Council president predict that Hillary Clinton will seek and win her party’s nomination on 2020:
Get ready for Hillary Clinton 4.0. More than 30 years in the making, this new version of Mrs. Clinton, when she runs for president in 2020, will come full circle—back to the universal-health-care-promoting progressive firebrand of 1994. True to her name, Mrs. Clinton will fight this out until the last dog dies. She won’t let a little thing like two stunning defeats stand in the way of her claim to the White House. (snip)
Mrs. Clinton has come unbound. She will not allow this humiliating loss at the hands of an amateur to end the story of her career. You can expect her to run for president once again. Maybe not at first, when the legions of Senate Democrats make their announcements, but definitely by the time the primaries are in full swing.
Mrs. Clinton has a 75% approval rating among Democrats, an unfinished mission to be the first female president, and a personal grievance against Mr. Trump, whose supporters pilloried her with chants of “Lock her up!” This must be avenged.
Both men have known Hillary quite well for many years. I share their assumption that she will adopt any policy stance that she thinks will give her an advantage. And, although they don’t mention it (probably because of their personal relationships with them), there is a large political organization that needs her to be a candidate or in office for their own careers to flourish. Now that she is powerless to deliver political favors, donations to the slush fund known as the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, have been drying up, so maintaining the political machine has become more difficult.

Another thing they don’t mention is her legal liability for the various scandals, especially her abuse of official emails, must be defended against, and claiming that, as a candidate, it is illegitimate for the Trump administration to be investigating her, is a tempting posture.

Both men also have an accurate view of the lack of talent in the Democratic Party:
The generation of Democrats who have been waiting to take over the party from the Clintons will be fuming that she is back and stealing their show. But they revealed themselves to be bungling amateurs in the Brett Kavanaugh nomination fight, with their laughable Spartacus moments. She will trounce them. Just as Mr. Trump cleared the field, Mrs. Clinton will take down rising Democratic stars like bowling pins. Mike Bloomberg will support her rather than run, and Joe Biden will never be able to take her on.
Written by Those Who Know.

Thomas Lifson

Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2018/11/two_dem_heavyweights_claim_hillary_is_a_lock_to_win_the_2020_dem_nomination.html

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The Fragility of Middle East Alliances - Dr. James M. Dorsey


by Dr. James M. Dorsey

Competition among Middle Eastern rivals and ultimate power within the region’s various alliances is increasingly as much economic and commercial as it is military and geopolitical.



Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, photo via Wikimedia Commons

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,004, November 12, 2018

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Competition among Middle Eastern rivals and ultimate power within the region’s various alliances is increasingly as much economic and commercial as it is military and geopolitical. Battles are fought as much on geopolitical fronts as they are on economic and cultural battlefields such as soccer.

Three recent developments lay bare the fragility of Middle Eastern alliances and a rebalancing of their priorities: the Russian-Turkish compromise on an assault on the rebel-held Syrian region of Idlib, the fate of troubled Abu Dhabi airline Ettihad, and battles over the reconstruction of Syria.

These developments highlight the fact that competition among Middle Eastern rivals and ultimate power within the region’s various alliances is increasingly as much economic and commercial as it is military and geopolitical. Battles are fought as much on geopolitical fronts as they are on economic and cultural battlefields such as soccer.

As a result, the fault lines of various alliances across the greater Middle East, a region that stretches from North Africa to northwestern China, are coming to the fore.

The cracks may be most apparent in the Russian-Turkish-Iranian alliance, but they also lurk in the background of Gulf cooperation with Israel in confronting Iran, as well as the unified front put forward by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Russia prevented, at least for now, a rupture with Turkey by delaying an all-out attack on Idlib despite Iranian advocacy of an offensive. Turkey, already home to three million Syrians, feared that a Syrian-Russian assault would push hundreds of thousands, if not millions, more refugees across its border.

If Iran was the weakest link in the debate about Idlib, it stands stronger in its coming competition with Russia for the spoils of reconstruction of war-ravaged Syria.

Similarly, Russia appears to be ambivalent towards a continued Iranian military presence in post-war Syria, a potential flashpoint given Israel’s opposition and Israeli attacks that led recently to the downing of a Russian aircraft.

By the same token, Turkey, despite its backing of Qatar in its 15-month-old dispute with a Saudi-UAE-led alliance that is boycotting the Gulf state diplomatically and economically, poses perhaps the greatest challenge to Qatari efforts to project itself globally by operating one of the world’s best airlines and positioning itself as a sports hub.

Turkey, despite its failure to win the right to host Euro 2024 and its lack of the Gulf’s financial muscle, competes favorably on every other front with Qatar as well as the UAE, which is also seeking to project itself through soft as well as hard power. The UAE opposes Erdogan because of his Islamist leanings, ties to Iran, and support of Qatar. Turkey wins hands down against the small Gulf states when it comes to size, population, location, industrial base, military might, and sports performance.

That, coupled with a determination to undermine Qatar, was likely one reason why the UAE’s major carriers, Emirates and Etihad (which is troubled by a failed business model), have, despite official denials, been quietly discussing a potential merger that would create the world’s largest airline.

Countering competition from Turkish Airlines, which outflanks both UAE carriers with 309 passenger planes that service 302 destinations in 120 countries, may well have been another reason. Emirates, the larger of the two Emirati carriers, has a fleet of 256 aircraft flying to 150 destinations in 80 countries.

These recent developments suggest that alliances, particularly the one that groups Russia, Turkey and Iran, are brittle and transactional. They are geared towards capitalizing on immediate common interests rather than shared long-term goals, let alone values.

This is true even if Russia and Turkey increasingly find common ground in concepts of Eurasianism. It also applies to Turkey and Qatar, who both support Islamist groups, as well as to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, who closely coordinate policies but whose different goals are on display in Yemen.

The fragility of the alliances is further underscored by Turkish, Russian, and Iranian aspirations of resurrecting their respective empires in a 21st century mold and the Saudi quest for regional dominance.

Notions of empire have informed policies since long before the realignment across Eurasia as a result of the shift in the American focus from the Middle East to Asia, particularly the rise of China. Relations between the West and Russia have been increasingly strained, and Middle Eastern states like Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Iran have been increasingly assertive.

Then-president of Turkey Suleyman Demirel told this writer as far back as the 1990s, in the wake of the demise of the Soviet Union and the emergence of independent, mostly ethnically Turkic Central Asian republics, that “Turkey’s world stretches from the Adriatic to the Great Wall of China.”

In a world in which globalization is shaped by geopolitical zones rather than individual countries, Russia’s imperative is to define itself as a Eurasian rather than a European power that would be on par with China, the EU, and a US zone of influence.

“Putin does not think along national lines. He thinks in terms of larger blocks, and ultimately in terms of the world order,” said former Portuguese minister for Europe Bruno Macaes in a recently published book, The Dawn of Eurasia.

In so doing, Russia is effectively turning its back on Europe as it reinvents itself as an Asian power on the basis of Eurasianism, a century-old ideology that defines Russia as a Eurasian rather than a European power.

The Eurasian Economic Union, which groups Russia, Kazakhstan. Kyrgyzstan, Belarus and Armenia, is a vehicle that allows Russia to establish itself as a bloc in the borderland between Europe and Asia.

Similarly, Eurasianism has gained currency in Turkey. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who was enabled by the demise of the Soviet Union and the re-emergence of a Turkic world, projects his country as a crossroads between Europe, Africa, and Asia rather than as a European bridge to Asia.

In that vein, Turkish columnist Sinan Baykent projected the recent fence-mending visit to Germany by Erdoğan and his proposal for a summit on Syria involving Turkish, Russian, German, and French leaders as a Eurasian approach to problem-solving.

The meeting between Erdogan and German Chancellor Angela Merkel was meant “to pave the way for a Eurasian solution for the region… There is a new axis forming today between Berlin, Moscow, Ankara, Tehran and maybe Paris… All of these countries are fed up with American unilateralism and excessive policies displayed by the Trump administration,” Baykent said.

If Turkey’s and Russia’s vision of their place in the world is defined to a large extent by geography, Iran’s topology dictates a more inward-looking view despite accusations that it is seeking to establish itself as the Middle East’s hegemon.

Iran is a fortress. [It is] Surrounded on three sides by mountains and on the fourth by the ocean, with a wasteland at its center,” noted Stratfor, a geopolitical intelligence platform. Gulf fears are rooted not only in deep-seated distrust of Iran’s Islamic regime, but also in the fact that the foundation of past Persian empires relied on control of plains in present-day Iraq.

As a result, the maneuvering of Gulf states, in contrast to Turkey and Russia, is driven less by a conceptual framing of their place in the world and more by regional rivalry and regime survival. Countries like Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE walk a fine line focusing geopolitically on an increasingly unpredictable US and economically on China and the rest of Asia, including Russia, Korea, and Japan.

What the plight of Idlib, potential change in aviation, and competition for reconstruction contracts collectively highlight is the brittleness of Middle Eastern alliances that threatens to be reinforced by economics, rendering it an increasingly important factor alongside geopolitics.

“Stakes for all parties are starting to divert from each other in Syria and the prospects of cooperation with Russia and Iran are becoming more challenging,” said Turkish columnist Nuray Mert, commenting on the situation in Idlib. Her analysis is as valid for Idlib as it for the prospects of many of the Middle East alliances.


A podcast version of this story is available on Soundcloud, Stitcher, TuneIn, and Tumblr.

BESA Center Perspectives Papers are published through the generosity of the Greg Rosshandler Family


Dr. James M. Dorsey, a non-resident Senior Associate at the BESA Center, is a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University and co-director of the University of Würzburg’s Institute for Fan Culture.

Source: https://besacenter.org/perspectives-papers/frail-middle-east-alliances/

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