Friday, June 15, 2018

Hillary's Intent: What James Comey Missed - Greg Richards





by Greg Richards

Follow the money...


James Mr. Magoo Comey, Director of the Federal Bureau of Magoo, while acknowledging that Hillary had put the country’s secrets on her home server – i.e., without their protective coding – could find no “intent” in her doing so. It just happened. Let’s unpack that.

Bill and Hillary Adjusted Gross Income

2009
$10.0 million
2010
$13.1 million
2011
$14.7 million
2012
$19.7 million
2013
$27.1 million


Hillary’s total “intent”
as Secretary of State
$84.6 million

Source: NPR

While these numbers are not out of line with the Clintons’ AGI in the surrounding years, the question still arises…What was this money being paid for? It can’t all be for speeches by Bill on diarrhea in Africa (as characterized by the inimitable Mark Steyn).

Let’s put it this way…
  • Rockefeller sold oil
  • Ford sold cars
  • Gates sold software
  • What is Hillary selling? Well, as Secretary of State, breaking all precedent, protocol and the lessons of signals intelligence of the 20th century, she arranged for the top-secret communications of our country to be available to outside listeners at her discretion. The Federal Bureau of Magoo doesn’t see anything peculiar about it. Could happen to anybody. James Mr. Magoo Comey isn’t concerned, doubtless because he has “a higher loyalty,” although God knows what it is to. Certainly not the Constitution. Certainly not the destiny of United States of America. Probably it has to do with being a Clinton toady.
  • So, what is Hillary selling? Us!
Would it make you feel better if you were a soldier if you knew that your mission or your route march had been decided in light of who been able to reach the Secretary of State with the appropriate fee?

Too much of this, and our Armed Forces would become as ineffective as those of any Third World kleptocracy. The American Republic has always been able to avoid corruption of this type in the past. That is, before Hillary. (One of the things about the Clintons is that their crimes are so colossal that the person who brings them up is the one who looks crazy.)

Ask yourself this…
  • What was it worth to Iran in to know our policies in dealing with their nuclear program?
  • What was it worth to Russia to know how we will react to their taking over Crimea and invading Eastern Ukraine?
  • What was it worth to Germany to know how much we know about their selling high-value machinery to Iran?
  • What was it worth to China to know how we are planning to react to their expansion in the South China Sea?
  • What was it worth to Syria to know how serious we are at enforcing our red line?
  • What was it worth to Cuba to know whether we’re going to insist that they dismantle their gulag?
The NSA grew out of our wartime experience with signals intelligence, particularly the massive success of the British Ultra project. Since then, the NSA has sent countless mathematicians gibbering to sanatoriums – metaphorically speaking, of course.

Not metaphorically speaking, one of the strangest phenomena in physics is quantum entanglement: that entangled subatomic particles change their state apparently simultaneously apparently regardless of distance. I.e., they appear to communicate non-relativistically. The NSA has looked into this phenomenon for communications but it has borne no fruit so far (as far as we know). This is the extent to which we go to protect our sensitive national communications. Not Hillary. She puts our national communications essentially on a toy. This not only puts them in condition to be purloined without fingerprints, but it also endangers our coding because it puts them in clear and thus provides a crib for those trying to break into our codes.

No to worry. The Federal Bureau of Magoo not only sees no intention on Hillary’s part to sell out the country – us – for her personal financial reward, they apparently see no danger to our national communications, although James Mr. Magoo Comey did not address this point in his exoneration of Hillary in July 2016.

"With a cloth?"

Must have slipped his mind. Because James Mr. Magoo Comey is an honorable man. In fact, all of them at the Federal Bureau of Magoo are all, all honorable men.

But what about intent? Oh, that. Well, in the words of a great American… “you betcha!

Greg Richards

Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2018/06/hillarys_intent__what_james_comey_missed.html

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UN construction in J'lem - only with approval of Israel - Orli Harari





by Orli Harari

J'lem court rules on petition over UN's illegal construction and invasion of state land in Armon Hanatziv neighborhood.


Armon Hanatziv
Regavim                                                   Armon Hanatziv
The Jerusalem District Court ruled this week that until a coordination mechanism is established between the state and the UN, the UN will not begin any work at a compound in the neighborhood of Armon Hanatziv.

A petition submitted by the Regavim organization in March 2017 revealed that the UN had committed a large number of building offenses in the Armon Hanatziv compound and that it had invaded acres of state land beyond the area allocated to it by the State of Israel.

After the submission of the petition, the state admitted that extensive building offenses had indeed been committed and that it would conduct diplomatic negotiations to formulate a coordination mechanism regarding the UN building plans in the area.


The state's updated announcement said this week that "the diplomatic contacts are taking a long time, so that the coordination mechanism that the parties are working on has not yet been formulated," but the talks are held "to the satisfaction of the state."

The Regavim movement noted that the diplomatic contacts began more than a year ago, and the end is nowhere in sight, indicating that the parties are not close to agreements.

Judge Oded Shaham accepted the state's update and ordered that another update regarding the contacts be given in November. Until then, the UN will not begin any new work on the site.


Regavim welcomed the decision. "The diplomatic immunity of the UN does not allow it to violate the laws of the host country," says Attorney Avi Segal of the Regavim organization. "Until the petition was filed, the UN did what it pleased with blatant disrespect for the State of Israel and its law. The court established this week in its decision that there will be no construction in the compound without the consent of the State of Israel. The issue of the invasion by the UN of an additional 30 dunam [7.4 acres] of land in the compound, beyond what the State of Israel allocated, will also be discussed separately. "


Orli Harari

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/247446

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From 9/11 to Spygate: The National Security Deep State - Daniel Greenfield





by Daniel Greenfield

The men that failed on 9/11 used their new powers to suppress the truth about Islamic terror.




On September 4, 2001, Robert Mueller took over the FBI. At his confirmation hearings, fraud had overshadowed discussions of terrorism. And as FBI Director, Mueller quickly diverged from the common understanding that the attacks that killed 3,000 people had been an act of war rather than a crime.

In 2008, Abdullah Saleh al-Ajmi, who had been unleashed from Guantanamo Bay, carried out a suicide bombing in Iraq. Al-Ajmi had been represented by Thomas Wilner who was being paid by the Kuwaiti government. 

Wilner was a pal of Robert Mueller. And when the families were having dinner together, Mueller got up and said, "I want to toast Tom Wilner. He's doing just what an American lawyer should do."

“I don't know what he was doing from inside the government. I'd like to find out,” Wilner mused.

We know some of what Mueller was doing. The same official who paved the way for raiding the president’s lawyer, who illegally seized material from the Trump transition team and whose case is based in no small part on illegal eavesdropping, fought alongside Comey against surveilling terrorists. Materials involving the Muslim Brotherhood were purged. Toward the dawn of the second Obama term, Mueller met with CAIR and other Islamist groups and a green curtain fell over national security.

But the surveillance wasn’t going anywhere. Instead it was being redirected to new targets.

Those targets were not, despite the wave of hysterical conspiracy theories convulsing the media, the Russians. Mueller’s boss was still quite fond of them. Barack Obama did have foreign enemies that he wanted to spy on. And there were plenty of domestic enemies who could be caught up in that trap.

By his second term, the amateur was coming to understand the incredible surveillance powers at his disposal and how they could be used to spy on Americans under the pretext of fighting foreign threats.

Two birds. One stone.

While the Mueller purge was going on, Obama was pushing talks with Iran. There was one obstacle and it wasn’t Russia. The Russians were eager to play Obama with a fake nuke deal. It was the Israelis who were the problem. And it was the Israelis who were being spied on by Obama’s surveillance regime. 

But it wasn’t just the Israelis.

Iran was Obama’s big shot at a foreign policy legacy. As the year dragged on, it was becoming clear that the Arab Spring wouldn’t be anything he would want to be remembered for. By the time Benghazi went from a humanitarian rescue operation to one of the worst disasters of the term, it was clearly over.

Obama was worried that the Israelis would launch a strike against Iran’s nuclear program. And the surveillance and media leaks were meant to dissuade the Israelis from scuttling his legacy. But he was also worried about Netanyahu’s ability to persuade American Jews and members of Congress to oppose his nuclear sellout. And that was where the surveillance leapfrogged from foreign to domestic.

The NSA intercepted communications between Israelis and Americans, including members of Congress, and then passed the material along to the White House. Despite worries by some officials that "that the executive branch would be accused of spying on Congress", the White House "believed the intercepted information could be valuable to counter Mr. Netanyahu's campaign." 

The precedent was even more troubling than it seemed. 


Obama Inc. had defined its position in an unresolved political debate between the White House and Congress as the national interest. And had winkingly authorized surveillance on Congress to protect this policy in a domestic political debate. That precedent would then be used to spy on members of the Trump transition team and to force out Trump’s national security adviser.

National security had become indistinguishable from the agenda of the administration. And that agenda, like the rest of Obama’s unilateral policies, was enshrined as permanent. Instead of President Trump gaining the same powers, his opposition to that agenda was treated as a national security threat.  

And once Obama was out of office, Comey and other Obama appointees would protect that agenda.

We still don’t know the full scope of Spygate. But media reports have suggested that Obama officials targeted countries opposed to the Iran sellout, most prominently Israel and the UAE, and then eavesdropped on meetings between them and between figures on the Trump team.  

Obama had begun his initial spying as a way of gaining inside information on Netanyahu’s campaign against the Iran deal. But the close election and its aftermath significantly escalated what had been a mere Watergate into an active effort to not only spy, but pursue criminal charges against the political opposition. The surveillance state had inevitably moved on to the next stage, the police state with its informants, dossiers, pre-dawn raids, state’s witnesses, entrapments and still more surveillance. 

And the police state requires cops. Someone had to do the dirty work for Susan Rice.

Comey, Mueller and the other cops had likely been complicit in the administration’s abuses. 
Somewhere along the way, they had become the guys watching over the Watergate burglars. Spying on the political opposition is, short of spying for the enemy, the most serious crime that such men can commit. 

Why then was it committed?

To understand that, we have to go back to 9/11. Those days may seem distant now, but the attacks offered a crossroads. One road led to a war against our enemies. The other to minimizing the conflict.

President George W. Bush tried to fight that war, but he was undermined by men like Mueller and Comey. Their view of the war was the same as that of their future boss, not their current one, certainly not the view as the man currently sitting in the White House whom they have tried to destroy.

Every lie has some truth in it. Comey’s book, A Higher Loyalty, his frequent claims of allegiance to American ideals, are true, as he sees it, if not as he tells it. Men like Comey and Mueller believed that the real threat came not from Islamic terrorists, but from our overreaction to them. They believed that Bush was a threat. And Trump was the worst threat imaginable who had to be stopped by any means. 

What Comey and Mueller are loyal to is the established way of doing things. And they conflate that with our national ideals, as establishment thugs usually do. Neither of them are unique. Washington D.C. is filled with men and women who are registered Republicans, who believe in lowering taxes, who frown at the extremities of identity politics, but whose true faith is in the natural order of government.

Mueller and Comey represent a class. And Obama and Clinton were easily able to corrupt and seduce that class into abandoning its duties and oaths, into serving as its deep state against domestic foes.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodies? It’s the old question of who watches the watchmen that no society has found a good answer to. And the answer is inevitably that the watchers, watch themselves and everyone else. What began as national security measures against Islamic terrorism was twisted by Obama and his deep state allies into the surveillance of the very people fighting Islamic terrorism. 

Spygate was the warped afterbirth of our failure to meaningfully confront Islamic terrorism. Instead, the political allies of the terrorists and the failed watchmen who allowed them to strike so many times, got together to shoot the messengers warning about the terror threat. The problem had never been the lack of power, but the lack of will and the lack of integrity in an establishment unwilling to do its job.

After 9/11, extraordinary national security powers were brought into being to fight Islamic terror. Instead those powers were used to suppress those who told the truth about Islamic terrorism.


Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/270430/911-spygate-national-security-deep-state-daniel-greenfield

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UCLA Students File Criminal Complaints Against anti-Israel Disruptors - Edwin Black





by Edwin Black

Doing the job the university won't do.




Criminal complaints are now being filed by students following the belligerent disruption of a May 17, 2018 Students Supporting Israel [SSI] event at University of California Los Angeles. At least a half-dozen students announced they would visit the UCLA police department to file formal complaints reporting criminal disruption of a meeting, as well as disturbing the peace and conspiracy.

The move follows media disclosures that the UCLA was reneging on the public pledge by two chancellors in the Daily Bruin —bolstered by a statement for the record by a university spokesman — to refer the belligerent May 17 incident to prosecutors.

The disruption and nose-to-nose intimidation of the students attending the May 17 SSI event at UCLA was documented in a video, beginning at minute 41. Disruptors suddenly and loudly stormed into the room mid-session. One person tore down a flag, demonstratively pulled away a desk placard, and cursed threateningly close to the face of a panelist. With bullhorns, whistles, staged dancing, and slogan shouting, the event was shut down.

The Louis Brandeis D. Center, led by attorney Alyza Lewin, along with Director of Legal Initiatives Aviva Vogelstein and three law students in the UCLA Brandeis chapter, dispatched a letter to the university asserting that the disruption crossed the line into misdemeanor violations of the California criminal code. They cited Title 11, section 403 (which covers deliberate disruption of a public meeting —successfully used to convict the so-called Irvine 11), section 415 (which covers malicious disturbance of the peace), and section 182 (which forbids any conspiracy to violate the other sections). 

At the same time, two UCLA chancellors, Jerry Kang and Monroe Gorden, penned an official denunciation of the incident that was published in the Daily Bruin campus newspaper. Their statement promised, “For those outsiders who disrupted the event, we will refer all evidence of wrongdoing to local prosecutors to determine whether they have broken the law.” 

Bolstering the chancellors, university spokesman Tad Tamberg confirmed, “the off-campus people who have been identified … have been arrested previously and are known to the police here and have been referred to the prosecutor’s office.” He added, that a proper police investigation had already been done. “You don’t send something to the prosecutor’s office without first investigating it,” he stated. The involved UCLA students were to be referred to university discipline rather than prosecutors, the university stated.

It was not clear why UCLA students, who potentially broke the law, would not receive the same referral to prosecutors as outsiders for the same conduct. 

The case then took a strange and unexplained twist. Three weeks after the event, in an email, Tamberg clarified, “There were no arrests, nor did anyone file a police report or complaint regarding the May 17 disruption, hence there was no police investigation.” Tamberg explained his prior assurance about a referral to prosecutors actually involved the disruption of an earlier, completely unrelated February 26, 2018 event with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.

Prosecutors and police assert that without the filing of actual police complaints, no investigation or referral to the prosecutor can take place. None of the disrupted students contacted said they had filed a report, with two saying they did not even know they had the right to file such a complaint. Hence, no action could be taken.

After the media disclosure, numerous students stepped forward to file complaints. The first was Justin Feldman, president of the SSI chapter at Santa Monica College, enrolled at UCLA for the fall semester. Feldman stated he feared for his personal safety during the incident. On June 11, Feldman, who had previously completed a StandWithUs [SWU] high school training program, appeared at the UCLA police department accompanied by Yael Lerman, SWU legal director, to formally file his complaint. 

More than a few of the students harassed during the May 17 event were trepidatious about filing a police report. But, according to Lerman, the police made the whole process “comfortable,” acting “helpful and respectful.” After a short wait at the station, officers Robert Chavez and Lowell Rose escorted Feldman into a small room where his report was taken during an hour-long interview in what Lerman described as an “unrushed” session. 


Lerman credited Feldman for his actions. “What Justin did in filing was critical in moving the process forward. The [UCLA] administration has known about this for weeks and has chosen not to move this forward. So now the students have to.”

After emerging from the police station, Feldman stated, “I feel empowered.” He added, “I feel it is so important for students to take matters into our own hands, and not leave them to bureaucratic measures.” Feldman stated that “most students simply do not know about the process and what measures can be taken to hold people accountable.”

"Justin's courage will serve to empower other students at universities across the country who will realize that students can help move justice forward when administrations can’t or won’t,” added Roz Rothstein, cofounder and CEO of StandWithUs.

A campus police spokesperson assured that the department would investigate all complaints in the matter. Feldman’s complaint is just the beginning.

At press time, Alyza Lewin, COO of Louis D. Brandeis Center in Washington, D.C., had dispatched its director of legal initiatives, Aviva Vogelstein, and a law clerk to fly to Los Angeles to meet with numerous other students who are scheduled to file complaints. Law students in the UCLA Brandeis chapter will observe the process.

The police currently are reviewing a list of 10 individuals who allegedly perpetrated the disruption, along with screen captures of their text messages and social media statements. One such message urged disruptors “to shut it down.”

Within 24 hours of Feldman’s complaint, UCLA confirmed that the matter would indeed be referred to prosecutors. “UCPD has reviewed the video of the May 17 disruption, and is investigating the information in the incident report for any new evidence about the disruption that it may contain,” stated university spokesman Tamberg. He added, “UCPD will forward the incident report to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office.” A prosecutor has already been assigned. Tamberg stated UCPD “will discuss both the report and the video with the prosecuting attorney in July, when that person returns from leave.”

“This case is a turning point for all students across the country,” asserts SWU’s Rothstein. Lewin of the Brandeis Center agreed stating, “Students across the country now recognize the importance of promptly reporting incidents like these to the police.”


Edwin Black is the New York Times bestselling author of IBM and the Holocaust and Financing the Flames.

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/270460/ucla-students-file-criminal-complaints-against-edwin-black

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Ten Positives from the Trump-Kim Summit - James Arlandson





by James Arlandson

Millions of South Koreans have been praying for this time.


After the professionals have analyzed and criticized the results, let's look at some of the positives.
Here is a summary of the main portion of the four-part deal.
  1. The United States and the DPRK commit to establish new U.S.-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.
  2. The United States and DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.
  3. Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
  4. The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.
First, he shook hands with an evil dictator. "That's a positive?" Yes. What else was he supposed to do? He could not extend his hand at all, nor could he extend it and pull it back, as twelve-year-olds do. "Too slow!" He did the right thing to shake his hand.

Second, he met with Kim in a photo op under the balcony in the colonnade. He was right to do that, too. He had to treat the evil dictator with a minimum of respect. He could not very easily walk in through a side door. The goal is to get a good deal for America and the allies in the region. To do that, it would have been unwise to insult Mr. Kim.

Third, he helped a dazed and confused Mr. Kim walk through the right door after the video-photo op under the colonnade. Mr. Kim did not know where to go, and Mr. Trump held out his arm to indicate they should both turn right into the door. Clearly, Mr. Kim, living a sheltered life for twenty-six years, was out of his depth. Mr. Trump was savvy enough to see it and lent a guiding hand in such a small thing. This portended a victory for Trump in the larger deal and in future negotiations. Mr. Pompeo, take note.

Fourth, he praised the evil dictator for his willingness to sign the deal. Critics say he praised Kim too much – a very "talented" man, he said at the press conference. The context was that Mr. Trump was happy Mr. Kim was forward-thinking enough to sign the deal in the first place. Mr. Trump clarified at the press conference that he said Mr. Kim was not a "nice" guy, and that's a signal he acknowledged the abuses and devastation. Yes, he could have held back a little, but Mr. Trump does not do "holding back" very well. I used to dislike it, but now I'm used to it (up to a point). Instead, I focus on results and policies. I have stopped worrying about the president's gauche social skills and his inability to rise to Mr. Lincoln's restrained and wonderful rhetoric. In my assessment, even Mr. Trump has improved relative to the old Mr. Trump when he first declared to run back in June 2015. 

Fifth, we can work to bring our soldiers and Marines and others back home. That is important to the families of the "Forgotten War."

Sixth, the agreement goes on to say, "The United States and the DPRK commit to hold follow-on negotiations." Thus, the negotiations are ongoing. We should not expect a final deal right now. Discussion for the moment is the best way toward substantial peace.

Seventh, the U.S. did not lose anything substantial in the deal. As Trump pointed out, the U.S. did not have to turn over $150 billion as it did with the Iran deal. So if the DPRK does not follow through with its commitment, then we can either drop the whole thing or keep going with negotiations.

Eighth, Mr. Trump showed a video on the beauty of capitalism and reinforced the notion in his press conference that North Korea has beautiful beaches. What's wrong with an extra-big carrot? China is discovering, albeit in a limited way, that free-market capitalism provides prosperity. Superb approach, without apologies.

Ninth, at the press conference, Mr. Trump did not absolutely guarantee that the U.S. will stop the "war games" or military exercises. "We will be stopping the war games, which will save us a tremendous amount of money, unless and until we see the future negotiation is not going along like it should" (emphasis added). We will still maintain sanctions and the "war games." Conditions apply.

Tenth, let's face it: America and the rest of the world are better off after the summit and the agreement than before those things.

Mr. Kim and the "Deep State" behind him may indeed back away from a verifiable and irreversible change and denuclearization. Even here, Mr. Trump acknowledged that he may have to admit later that he miscalculated. Difficult to do for such a prideful man. 

Millions and millions of South Korean Christians have been praying for this time in their shared history. Let's keep the positives going all the way to North Korea tearing "down this wall!," to echo president Reagan's words.

It would be nice if the left and the Trump-haters settled down, but that is too much to ask.


James M. Arlandson's website is Live as Free People, where he has posted Do Christians Have to 'Keep' the Ten Commandments?, Glossary of Medieval Terms A to J and Glossary of Medieval Terms to Z.


Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2018/06/ten_positives_from_the_trumpkim_summit.html

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ANALYSIS: Winds of war as Iran axis prepares for Golan offensive - Yohanan Visser





by Yohanan Visser

A major battle against the rebels along the Israeli and Jordanian border seems unavoidable.


On Sunday, the Israeli military launched a massive surprise drill in the Golan Heights involving a large number of reservists who were ordered to report for immediate duty and to show up in full gear.

In a statement, the IDF claimed the exercise had nothing to do “with current events” and was planned “in advance as part of the 2018 training schedule,” while the army warned residents of the mountainous plateau they could expect hearing “loud explosions” and “increasing traffic of vehicles.”

The statement was most likely meant to reduce tensions in the region and to prevent further escalation toward war after the Iranian-backed pro-Assad coalition started to prepare for a large-scale offensive against the various rebel groups in the border area with Jordan and Israel.

The final preparations for the offensive in southern Syria started after talks between Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US army, and Russia's chief of the military's General Staff, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, about the situation in the so-called de-confliction zones reportedly failed to produce concrete results.

Dunford and Gerasimov met in the Finnish capital Helsinki where they tried to “avoid miscalculation and to promote transparency and de-confliction in areas,” a U.S. statement said without further elaboration.

The Israeli and Jordanian border regions in Daraa and Quneitra are one of the two de-confliction zones in Syria.

On Monday the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab (ACDFRL) reported that the so-called Al Gaith division of the Syrian armed forces had already captured the city of Baath on the Syrian Golan Heights and were now less than two kilometers away from the Israeli border.

ACDFRL published images of Syrian soldiers in Baath who were preparing for an offensive against mainly Islamist rebel groups in the Kuneitra province as well as photos from a large military parade held by the Free Syrian Army in Bosra al-Sham in the Daraa province.

“As forces mass on both sides, large scale fighting seems inevitable in upcoming days,” according to Forensic Research Lab which also warned the offensive could prompt Israeli strikes.

Later on Monday, local media reported attacks on “militants” in the Eastern Daraa country side and a deadly offensive against Islamic State hubs in the al-Suweida province east of Daraa, which is home to a large Druse minority in Syria.

At the same time it became clear Iran and Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad were playing their favourite deceit game with Israel and Western powers such as France.

After Assad last month said there were no Iranian troops in Syria, he now says Iran’s presence in the country is non-negotiable.

During an interview with Al-Alam TV in Iran, the Syrian dictator also said “he would not object to the establishment of a permanent Iranian military base within his country's borders if such a base is necessary.”

Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani, meanwhile, indulged in double speak about Iran’s activities in Syria.

Rouhani told French president Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday he didn’t rule out an Iranian withdrawal from Syria once the “roots of terrorism” are destroyed.

At the same time, the Iranian president defended Iran’s growing presence in Syria and said the presence of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps in Syria “is quite legal and based on the official request of the Syrian government with an aim of fighting terrorism.”

Rouhani and Assad were subsequently exposed as liars by the head of IDF Intelligence Directorate Maj.-Gen. Tamir Heyman, who told a closed forum of international security experts on Wednesday that Iran’s ‘counter-terrorism’ excuse for setting up bases throughout Syria is a hoax.

Heyman showed the experts a map with Iranian bases in Syria which are all built in ‘liberated’ areas where there is no longer any military threat to the Syrian regime.

“You probably think it’s because they are trying to help the Assad regime fight extremists, fight terror. Well, get ready for a surprise: In all these places on the map there has been no fighting going on for half a month,” Heyman was quoted as saying by Israeli broadcaster Kan.

The Israeli military, meanwhile, not only held a surprise drill on the Golan Heights, but also continued its attacks on Iranian related targets in Syria.

On Tuesday, Sky News Arabic reported new IAF strikes on Hezbollah positions and weapon depots in the Qalamoun Mountains near the Lebanese border.

A major battle between the rebels and Iranian backed forces along the Israeli and Jordanian border seems unavoidable after commanders of the various anti-Assad militias rejected a Russian proposal to start ‘peace talks’.

The pro-Assad coalition has now issued a 48-hour-long ultimatum to the rebel groups about the peace talks, but chances are slim they will give in since most of them are hard-core Islamist or even Jihadist movements who prefer to confront the army of their foe and fight to the death.

The imminent large-scale offensive will first be aimed at the liberation of the so-called Death Triangle which connects Daraa and Quneitra with west Damascus and will reportedly include the involvement of Iranian backed militias such as Hezbollah.

The Iranians deceived Russia and other international players by sending their proxy Hezbollah back to the border region disguised as Syrian army soldiers after an initial withdrawal, the Wall Street Journal reported last week.

"They are leaving … in their Hezbollah uniforms and they are returning in regime vehicles and dressed in regular [Syrian] army uniforms,” Ahmad Azam a commander of a rebel group in Quneitra told the American paper.

The Lebanese terror group also refuses to concede to the Russian request to vacate a number of bases in southwest Syria.

All this is known to the Israeli military, an unnamed Israeli official told WSJ.

"You can be sure that Israel is very much aware of basically everything happening in our backyard," the official said.


Yohanan Visser is an independent journalist/analyst who worked for many years as Middle East correspondent for Western Journalism.com in Arizona and was a frequent publicist for the main Dutch paper De Volkskrant. He authored a book in the Dutch language about the cognitive war against Israel and now lives in Gush Etzion. He writes a twice weekly analysis of current issues for Arutz Sheva.

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/247475

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The Final Nail in the ACLU's Coffin - Alan M. Dershowitz





by Alan M. Dershowitz

The headline in the June 8, 2018 edition of The New Yorker tells it all: "The ACLU is getting involved in elections – and reinventing itself for the Trump Era."

The director of the American Civil Liberties Union has now acknowledged what should have been obvious to everybody over the past several years: that the ACLU is no longer a neutral defender of everyone's civil liberties; it has morphed into a hyper-partisan, hard-left political advocacy group. The final nail in its coffin was the announcement that for the first time in its history the ACLU would become involved in partisan electoral politics, supporting candidates, referenda and other agenda-driven political goals.

The headline in the June 8, 2018 edition of The New Yorker tells it all: "The ACLU is getting involved in elections – and reinventing itself for the Trump Era." The article continues:
"In this midterm year, however, as progressive groups have mushroomed and grown more active, and as liberal billionaires such as Howard Schultz and Tom Steyer have begun to imagine themselves as political heroes and eye Presidential runs, the A.C.L.U., itself newly flush, has begun to move in step with the times. For the first time in its history, the A.C.L.U. is taking an active role in elections. The group has plans to spend more than twenty-five million dollars on races and ballot initiatives by Election Day, in November."
Since its establishment nearly 100 years ago, the ACLU has been, in the words of The New Yorker, "Fastidiously nonpartisan, so prudish about any alliance with any political power that its leadership, in the 1980's and 90's, declined even to give awards to likeminded legislators for fear that it might give the wrong impression." I know, because I served on its National Board in the early days of my own career. In those days, the Board consisted of individuals who were deeply committed to core civil liberties, especially freedom of speech, opposition to prosecutorial overreach and political equality. Its Board members included Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals, right-wingers and left-wingers -- all of whom supported neutral civil liberties.

The key test in those days was what I have come to call "the shoe on the other foot test": would you vote the same way if the shoe were on the other foot, that is if the party labels were switched? Today the ACLU wears only one shoe and it is on its left foot. Its color is blue. And the only dispute is whether it supports the progressive wing of the Democratic party or its more centrist wing. There is little doubt that most Board members today support the progressive wing, though some think that even that wing is not sufficiently left. There is no longer any room in the ACLU for true conservatives who are deeply committed to neutral civil liberties. The litmus test is support for hard-left policies.

To be sure, the ACLU will still occasionally take a high-profile case involving a Nazi or Klan member who has been denied freedom of speech, though there are now some on the board who would oppose supporting such right-wing extremists. But the core mission of the ACLU -- and its financial priority -- is now to promote its left-wing agenda in litigation, in public commentary and now in elections.


If you want to know the reason for this shift, just follow the money. ACLU contributors, including some of its most generous contributors, are strong anti-Trump zealots who believe that the end (getting rid of Trump) justifies any means (including denying Trump and his associates core civil liberties and due process).

Anthony Romero, the current radical leftist who directs the ACLU, refers to those of us who favor the ACLU traditional mission as "the old guard." The leading critic of the ACLU's newfound partisan mission is Romero's predecessor, Ira Glasser who was the executive Director of the ACLU from 1978 until 2001. Glasser believes that this transformation in the way the ACLU has operated since 1920 "has the capacity to destroy the organization as it has always existed." Glasser points out that some of the greatest violations of civil liberties throughout history have come from "progressive politicians, such as President Franklin D. Roosevelt who interned 110,000 Japanese-American citizens. He worries, and I worry, that when the ACLU supports candidate's parties and partisan agendas, it will become less willing to criticize those who it has supported when they violate civil liberties.

The Presidency of Donald Trump has introduced a new dynamic. Trump himself has denied fundamental civil liberties by his immigration policies, his attitude and actions regarding the press, and his calls for criminal investigations of his political enemies. The ACLU will criticize those actions, as it should. But the Trump presidency has also pushed the ACLU further to the left and into partisan politics. President Trump is so despised by contributors to the ACLU that they have increased their contributions, but also demanded that the ACLU be on the forefront of ending the Trump presidency, either through impeachment, criminal prosecution or electoral defeat.

The move of the ACLU to the hard-left reflects an even more dangerous and more general trend in the United States: the right is moving further right; the left is moving father left; and the center is shrinking. The center-left is losing its influence in organizations like the ALCU, and the center-right is losing its influence in conservative organizations. America has always thrived at the center and has always suffered when extremes gain power.

The ACLU's move from the neutral protector of civil liberties to a partisan advocate of hard-left politics is both a symptom and consequence of this change. If America is to remain strong, its major institutions must move closer to the center and reject the extremes of both sides. If the ACLU does not return to its core values, a new organization must be created to champion those values.
This article was first published in The Hill.

Alan M. Dershowitz is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law Emeritus at Harvard Law School and author of "Trumped Up, How Criminalization of Political Differences endangers Democracy."

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/12507/aclu-leftist-partisan

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FIFA Examining Sanctions Against Palestinian Soccer Chief After Cancellation of Argentina Match, Israeli Officials Say - Ben Cohen





by Ben Cohen

“This is a recurring ritual in which Rajoub attempts to lead FIFA decisions against our football and against the State of Israel,” IFA Chairman Ofer Eini said after the vote.


Argentina captain Lionel Messi arriving in Moscow for the 2018 World Cup. 
Photo: Reuters / Sergei Karpukhin.

Israeli soccer officials said on Wednesday that they had received assurances from FIFA — the governing body of world soccer — that disciplinary proceedings will be launched against Jibril Rajoub, the head of the Palestine Football Association (PFA), for his campaign of incitement that led to the cancellation of a scheduled match between Israel and Argentina on June 9.

A statement from the Israel Football Association (IFA) on Wednesday stated that FIFA’s Council — meeting in Moscow on the eve of the 2018 World Cup, which opens in Russia on Thursday — had “decided to initiate disciplinary proceedings” against Rajoub. The statement emphasized that Rajoub’s incitement had included threats to burn replica shirts bearing the name of veteran star Lionel Messi, Argentina’s captain, and comparisons of Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians with the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany.

The IFA said that it had submitted a formal complaint to FIFA immediately after the canceled match, adding that the body’s Disciplinary Committee was examining “possible sanctions” against Rajoub.

Israel’s soccer chiefs also expressed satisfaction at the resounding defeat — by a vote of 82% to 18% — of Rajoub’s proposal to suspend Israel from FIFA on the grounds of alleged human rights violations. Rajoub’s previous effort failed similarly in 2015, while a more recent proposal to sanction the IFA over the participation of clubs from the West Bank and Israel’s national league was also rejected.


June 13, 2018 7:39 pm

The 50 year-old reputation of the UN General Assembly as a trusty platform for incitement against the State of Israel acquired its...
“This is a recurring ritual in which Rajoub attempts to lead FIFA decisions against our football and against the State of Israel,” IFA Chairman Ofer Eini said after the vote.

Praising FIFA as a “true friend,” Eini observed that as a consequence, “Rajoub fails time after time.”

“Israeli football will continue to be part of the international community and the State of Israel will continue to enjoy support in the world football association,” Eini said.

The cancellation of the match prevented Argentina’s national team from being sucked into a major political controversy on the eve of the World Cup — a competition the country lost to Germany in the last final, in 2014. While Rajoub was roundly condemned, many Israelis also expressed anger with government officials — most notably Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev — for insisting that the fixture, originally to have been played in Haifa, be moved to Jerusalem.

While there have been claims, not least from Rajoub himself, that the Argentine decision to cancel was a victory for the Palestinian effort to isolate Israel, there is little evidence to suggest that the players themselves were involved. A source described as being “close” to Messi told ESPN on Wednesday that the decision had been taken solely by Argentina’s Football Association.

“This was the AFA’s call,” the source was quoted as saying. “Lionel doesn’t cancel matches, Lionel doesn’t call up players, Lionel doesn’t name or remove managers. Lio only plays football.”


Ben Cohen

Source: https://www.algemeiner.com/2018/06/13/fifa-examining-sanctions-against-palestinian-soccer-chief-after-cancellation-of-argentina-match-israeli-officials-say/

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'A monument to stupidity and corruption' - Rafael Levi





by Rafael Levi

MK Glick arrives at Netiv Ha'avot, where security forces are demolishing houses by supreme court order. 'Sights that make one shudder.'


MK Glick in Netiv Ha'avot

MK Glick in Netiv Ha'avot

Staff for Struggle of Netiv Ha'avot
Two days after the evacuation of the 15 houses in Netiv Ha’avot, the houses continue to be demolished Thursday morning.

After security forces demolished 10 houses yesterday, five more homes belonging to the Dan Heer, Bolwick, Yehezkeli, Noy and Bar-Lev families were demolished this morning.

MK Yehuda Glick (Likud) arrived this morning to the neighborhood in the Gush Etzion community of Elazar, in order to encourage the residents in light of the harsh scenes of house demolitions.
"The sights make one shudder, and the thought of why this is happening makes one shudder even more,” Glick said. “It brings me back to the sights of Gush Katif, for which today we are paying the price. It's just awful. It's done just because of the evil of left-wing organizations that decided to talk for Palestinians, as it were, even though no Palestinian is going to get any benefit from this. There are no words.”

"Up until yesterday morning there was a house in this place, now there is a ruin here, a monument to stupidity, corruption and imperviousness. This is an area where no one will benefit. It is simply evil for its own sake. No words."

Video Player (Hebrew)


Rafael Levi

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/247441

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Thursday, June 14, 2018

The "Trump Doctrine" for the Middle East - Guy Millière





by Guy Millière

Trump -- laid the foundation for a new alliance of the United States with the Sunni Arab world, but he put two conditions on it

  • Trump has shown the strength of the United States and restored its credibility in a region where strength and force determine credibility.
  • Trump more broadly laid the foundation for a new alliance of the United States with the Sunni Arab world, but he put two conditions on it: a cessation of all Sunni Arab support for Islamic terrorism and an openness to the prospect of a regional peace that included Israel.
  • Secretary of State Pompeo spoke of the "Palestinians", not of the Palestinian Authority, as in Iran, possibly to emphasize the distinction between the people and their leadership, and that the leadership in both situations, may no longer be part of the solution. Hamas, for the US, is clearly not part of any solution.
  • Netanyahu rightly said that Palestinian leaders, whoever they may be, do not want peace with Israel, but "peace without Israel". What instead could take place would be peace without the Palestinian leaders. What could also take place would be peace without the Iranian mullahs.
After three successive American Presidents had used a six-month waiver to defer moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem for more than two decades, President Donald J. Trump decided not to wait any longer. On December 7, 2017, he declared that the United States recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel; the official embassy transfer took place on May 14th, the day of Israel's 70th anniversary.

From the moment of Trump's declaration, leaders of the Muslim world expressed anger and announced major trouble. An Islamic summit conference was convened in Istanbul a week later, and ended with statements about a "crime against Palestine". Western European leaders followed suit. Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel said that President Trump's decision was a "serious mistake" and could have huge "consequences". French President Emmanuel Macron, going further, declared that the decision could provoke a "war".

Despite these ominous predictions, trouble remained largely absent. The Istanbul statement remained a statement. The "war" anticipated by Macron did not break out.

The Islamic terrorist organization Hamas sent masses of rioters from Gaza to tear down Israel's border fence and cross over, to force Israeli soldiers to fire, thereby allowing Hamas to have bodies of "martyrs" to show to the cameras. So far, Hamas has sent 62 of its own people to their death. Fifty of them were, by Hamas's own admission, members of Hamas.

Palestinian terrorist groups fired rockets into southern Israel; Israeli jets retaliated with airstrikes. Hamas sent kites, attached to incendiary devices and explosives, over the border to Israel. So far, 200 of the fire-kites that Hamas sent have destroyed 6,200 acres of Israeli forests and farmland.

Pundits who predicted more violent reactions have been surprised by the relatively quiet reaction of the Palestinian and Muslim communities. The reason might be called the "Trump Doctrine for the Middle East".

One element of it consisted of crushing the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. President Trump had promised quickly to clear the world of what had become a main backbone of Islamic terrorism. He kept his promise in less than a year, and without a massive deployment of American troops. Trump has shown the strength of the United States and restored its credibility in a region where strength and force determine credibility.

Another element of it was put in place during President Trump's trip to Saudi Arabia in May 2017. President Trump renewed ties which had seriously deteriorated during the previous 8 years. Trump more broadly laid the foundation for a new alliance of the United States with the Sunni Arab world, but he put two conditions on it: a cessation of all Sunni Arab support for Islamic terrorism and an openness to the prospect of a regional peace that included Israel.

Both conditions are being gradually fulfilled. In June 2017, Saudi Arabia's King Salman chose his son Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) as heir to the throne. MBS started an internal revolution to impose new directions on the kingdom. The Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition, created on December 15, 2015, was endorsed by the United States; it held its inaugural meeting on November 26, 2017. In addition, links between Israeli and Saudi security services were strengthened and coordination between the Israeli and Egyptian militaries intensified.

An alliance between Israel and the main countries of the Sunni Arab world to contain Iran also slowly and unofficially began taking shape. MBS, calling called Hamas a terrorist organization, saying that it must "be destroyed". He told representatives of Jewish organizations in New York that Palestinian leaders need to "take the [American] proposals or shut up."


Pictured: President Donald Trump hosts Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the White House on March 20, 2018, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images)

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas was summoned to Riyadh twice -- in November and December 2017; and it appears he was "asked" to keep quiet. Never has the distance between Palestinian organizations, and Saudi Arabia and the Sunni Arab world, seemed so far. The only Sunni Arab country to have maintained ties with Hamas is Qatar, but the current Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim ben Hamad Al Thani, has been under pressure to change his stance.

Immediately after President Trump left Riyadh, a third element emerged. The US presidential plane went directly from Riyadh to in Israel: for the first time, a direct flight between Saudi Arabia and Israel took place. President Trump went to Jerusalem, where he became the first sitting US President to visit the Western Wall, the only historical remains of a retaining wall from the ancient Temple of King Solomon. During his campaign, Trump had referred to Jerusalem as "the eternal capital of the Jewish people", implicitly acknowledging that the Jews have had their roots there for 3,000 years.

After his visit to the Wall, President Trump went to Bethlehem and told Mahmoud Abbas what no American President had ever said: that Abbas is a liar and that he is personally responsible for the incitement to violence and terror. In the days that followed, the US Congress demanded that the Palestinian Authority renounce incentivizing terrorism by paying cash to imprisoned Palestinian terrorists and families of terrorists killed while carrying out attacks. President Trump's Middle East negotiators, Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt made it clear to Palestinian leaders that US aid to the Palestinian Authority could end if the US demand was not met. Nikki Haley told the United Nations that the US could stop funding UNWRA if Palestinian leaders refused to negotiate and accept what the US is asking for. Since it was founded in 1994, the Palestinian Authority has never been subjected to such intense American pressure.

The fourth element was President Trump's decision to leave the Iran nuclear deal. President Trump immediately announced he would restore "the harshest, strongest, most stringent sanctions" to suffocate the mullahs' regime. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has since presented to Iran a list of 12 "basic requirements" for a new agreement.

President Trump's decision came in a context where the Iran regime has just suffered a series of heavy blows: the Israeli Mossad's seizure in Tehran of highly confidential documents showing that Iran has not ceased to lie about its nuclear program; the revelation by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the Mossad operation, and the Israeli army's decisive response to an Iranian rocket barrage launched from Syrian territory. By it, Israel showed its determination not to allow Russia to support Iran when Iran uses its bases to attack Israel.

Netanyahu was invited by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Moscow on May 9 to commemorate the Soviet victory over Germany in 1945; during that visit, Putin seems to have promised Netanyahu neutrality if Israel were attacked by Iranian forces in Syria. Putin, eager to preserve his Russian bases in Syria, clearly views Israel as a force for stability in the Middle East and Iran as a force for instability -- too big a risk for Russian support.

In recent months, the Iranian regime has become, along with Erdogan's Turkey, one of the main financial supporters of the "Palestinian cause" and Hamas's main backer. It seems that Iran asked Hamas to organize the marches and riots along the Gaza-Israel border. When the violence from Gaza became more intense, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh was summoned to Cairo by Egypt's intelligence chief, who told him that if violence does not stop, the Israel military would carry out drastic actions, and Egypt would be silent. It could become difficult for Iran to incite Palestinian organizations to widespread violence in the near future.

It could become extremely difficult for Iran to continue financially to support the "Palestinian cause" in the coming months. It could soon become financially unbearable for Iran to maintain its presence in Syria and provide sophisticated weapons to Hezbollah. Turkish President Erdogan speaks loudly, but he seems to know what lines not to cross.

Protests in Iran have become less intense since January, but the discontent and frustrations of the population persist and could get worse.

The Trump administration undoubtedly realizes that the Iranian regime will not accept the requirements presented by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and that the harsh new sanctions might lead to new major uprisings in Iran, and the fall of the regime. Ambassador John Bolton, now National Security Advisor, mentioned in January that the "strategic interest of the United States" is to see the regime overthrown.

Referring recently to the situation in the Middle East and the need to achieve peace, Pompeo spoke of the "Palestinians", not of the Palestinian Authority, as in Iran, possibly to emphasize the distinction between the people and their leadership, and that the leadership in both situations, may no longer be part of the solution. Hamas, for the US, is clearly not part of any solution.

No one knows exactly what the peace plan to be presented by the Trump administration will contain, but it seems certain that it will not include the "right of return" of so-called "Palestinian refugees" and will not propose East Jerusalem as the "capital of a Palestinian state". The plan will no doubt be rejected by both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas; it already has been, sight unseen.

Netanyahu rightly said that Palestinian leaders, whoever they may be, do not want peace with Israel, but "peace without Israel". What instead could take place would be peace without the Palestinian leaders. What could also take place would be peace without the Iran's mullahs.

It should be noted that on December 7, 2017, when Donald Trump announced the transfer of the United States Embassy to Jerusalem, the leaders of the Muslim world who protested were mostly Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iran's Hassan Rouhani. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Oman did not send representatives to the Islamic summit conference in Istanbul. When the US embassy in Jerusalem opened its doors on May 14, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Gulf emirates were quiet.

On that day, Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron repeated what they had said on December 7, 2017: that the embassies of Germany and France in Israel would remain in Tel Aviv. Macron condemned the "heinous acts" committed by the Israeli military on the Gaza border but not aggression of Hamas in urging its people, and even paying them, to storm Gaza's border with Israel.

If current trends continue, Macron and Merkel could be among the last supporters of the "Palestinian cause." They sound as if they will do just about anything to save the corrupt Palestinian Authority.

They are also doing everything to save the moribund Iran "nuclear deal," and are deferential to the mullahs' regime. During a European summit held in Sofia, Bulgaria, on May 16, the Trump administration was harshly criticized by the European heads of state who argued that Europe will "find a way around" US sanctions and "resist" President Trump. European companies are already leaving Iran in droves, evidently convinced that they will be better off cutting their losses and keeping good relations with the United States.

On June 3-5, Benjamin Netanyahu went to Europe to try to persuade Merkel, Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May to give up backing the Iran nuclear deal. He failed, predictably, but at least had the opportunity to explain the Iranian danger to Europeans and the need to act.

As Iran's nuclear ties to North Korea have intensified in the last two years -- Iran seems to have relied on North Korea to advance its own nuclear projects -- the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula that might have begun with the Donald Trump-Kim Jong-Un meeting in Singapore on June 12, clearly will not strengthen the Iranian position.

European leaders seem not to want to see that a page is turning in the Middle East. They seem not to want to see that, regardless of their mercenary immorality, of their behavior staying on the page of yesterday, is only preventing them from understanding the future.

Guy Millière, a professor at the University of Paris, is the author of 27 books on France and Europe.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/12506/trump-doctrine-middle-east

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