Saturday, January 24, 2015

Obama changes plan to make an urgent visit to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday - Thomas Lifson

by Thomas Lifson

The long term goal of the mullahs is to seize control of all the Persian Gulf oil states (which are ruled by Sunni monarchs) and grab control of Mecca and Medina, thereby making Shia Islam dominant in the Muslim hierarchy.

The White House has announced a sudden change of plans. President Obama will cut short his visit to India this week, skipping a planned excursion to the Taj Mahal, in order to fly to Riyadh and pay respect to the man he famously bowed down to in 2009, the late King Abdullah. Update: Visiting Saudi Arabia is important enough to cancel the pleasure excursion, but commemorating the 70th anniversary of Auschwitz Tuesday was not important enough to plan around, even though heads of state from France, Germany, Belgium, Austria, the Netherlands, and Denmark will be present.  CNN reports:
U.S. President Barack Obama will travel to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday in order to meet the newly appointed monarch, King Salman, and pay his respects to the family of the late King Abdullah, the White House said Saturday.
Vice President Joe Biden was originally set to have led a delegation to Saudi Arabia on Obama's behalf.
However, the schedule for the President's departure from India has been adjusted to allow Obama to stop in Riyadh himself on his way home, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said.
The funeral was already held Friday. But I have to suspect that this trip is more than a symbolic bow. Saudi Arabia is facing a grave crisis with the fall of the pro-American government in Yemen to Iranian backed Houthi rebels. The Shia theocrats in Tehran are surrounding the Sunni Saud family business with Shia regimes in Beirut (via Hezb’allah), Damascus, Baghdad, and now Sanaa.

The Saud family maintains ownership of the country (the only country in the world named after a family) through its support of the vast Wahhabi clergy apparatus that justifies family rule through their guardianship of Mecca and Medina, and through subsidies to ordinary Saudi citizens funded by oil wealth. Both of those pillars of stability are currently under challenge. With oil prices half what they were months ago, Saudi treasury is no doubt running a cash deficit, financed by sale of assets held overseas. Though large, these reserves cannot pay the bills forever.

[And] now that [the] world is waking up to the threat posed by Wahhabi clerics proselytizing overseas on Saudi-funded mosques, there is growing pressure to rein in the clergy, something that will be difficult to accomplish while maintaining their crucial domestic support.

To make matters much, much worse, the oil producing region of Saudi Arabia is mostly inhabited by Shiite Muslims, who are second class citizens. The long term goal of the mullahs is to seize control of all the Persian Gulf oil states (which are ruled by Sunni monarchs) and grab control of Mecca and Medina, thereby making Shia Islam dominant in the Muslim hierarchy.

With the mullahs working away on their nuclear bomb program, it is not hard to imagine that newly crowned King Salman has some tough questions for Obama that require a face to face meeting. Such as: “When do we get our nukes? We want bombs and delivery systems on our soil asap.” Or, “We are buying some of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. What are you going to do about it?” Or, “Do you realize what would happen to your economy if we cut back our oil production and doubled the price per barrel?”

Make no mistake, potentially the biggest crisis in a generation is brewing in the Persian Gulf region. The mullahs are implacable and for whatever reason, Obama is not playing the negotiations with them in a way that suggests he wants to stop their nuclear weapons program. The Saudis see this and understand that they would be an even bigger (and softer) target than Israel, which, after all, is believed to have a substantial nuclear arsenal and a doomsday plan to use it (“Operation Samson”) if attacked with nuclear weapons. 

Thomas Lifson


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Sleeper Cells: The Immigration Component of the Threat - Michael Cutler

by Michael Cutler

These politicians are actually declaring that they want to use a system they concede is broken, to provide millions of illegal aliens with identity documents and and lawful status.
This level of lunacy and duplicity takes my breath away.

Long_border_fence750x420In the wake of the terror attacks in Paris, France terror raids were carried out in Belgium and Greece to identify, locate and hunt down so-called “sleepers cells.” Journalists and politicians have finally raised the issue of the threats potentially posed by sleeper agents in the United States, going back to the future — the same concerns about sleeper cells in the United States were voiced in the wake of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 including by the then-director of the FBI, Robert Mueller.

Of course any discussion about sleeper agents gaining entry into the United States would logically call into question the multiple and massive failures of the immigration system. Today politicians from both sides of the political aisle are hell-bent on making certain that the flood of foreign workers, foreign tourists and foreign students continue without impediment. Consequently admitting that immigration is a vital component of national security and must be treated as such would run contrary to the goals of advocates for Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

The “solution” politicians and journalists who oppose effective immigration law enforcement have devised to resolve the quandary that this creates is to describe sleeper agents as being “homegrown,” hoping that Americans will ignore the obvious: That foreign nationals are seeking to enter the United States to launch terror attacks.

Incredibly, even such foreign national terrorists have come to be referred to as being “homegrown” by journalists, politicians and high-ranking members of the law enforcement community who should know better. This is nothing short of Orwellian propaganda.

Former NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelly apparently fell victim to this mis-identification of foreign terrorists when he described Faisal Shahzad, the so-called “Times Square Bomber” as being “homegrown.” The title of a New York Post article, published on May 11, 2010, quoted Commissioner Kelly, “Kelly: NYC bomb suspect ‘homegrown,’” and contained the following statement:
The Times Square threat was “a classic case of homegrown terrorism,” Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said at a briefing for private security executives.
Shahzad had legally immigrated to the United States when he was roughly 20 years old. How on earth is he “homegrown”? He may not have come to the United States with the intentions of ultimately carrying out a terrorist attack, however it is impossible to know when he made that decision. What is clear is that he is absolutely not “homegrown.”

In fact, in that article, Kelly was also quoted as referring to Najibullah Zazi, the leader of a group that planned a suicide bombing of the New York City subway system, as also being “homegrown,” blatantly ignoring the fact that Zazi had immigrated to the United States from his native Pakistan when he was a teenager

Does this mean that native-born Americans are not being recruited by ISIS or al-Qaeda? Of course they are, but it is lunacy to ignore the failures of the vetting process by which we admit immigrants and grant them visas and provide them with immigration benefits including political asylum, lawful immigrant status and even United States citizenship through the naturalization process.

While some native-born American citizens, who for a variety of reasons may have decided to heed the call of terror organizations to take up arms against America and Americans, to date, most of the terrorists who have carried out terror attacks inside the United States were foreign nationals who, in one way or another, often through the legal entry system, managed to enter the United States, bide their time, hiding in plain sight or, in the parlance of the 9/11 Commission, embedded themselves in communities around the United States as they went about their deadly preparations.

The terror attacks carried out at the CIA Headquarters and at the World Trade Center in 1993, the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 and most recent, the attack on April 15, 2013 at the Boston Marathon were all carried out by foreign nationals – not “homegrown” terrorists.

I have raised the issue of “sleeper agents” at congressional hearings year ago. What I had to say is a part of the congressional record — a record I suspect many of today’s politicians would rather not want Americans to even know exists.

In fact, to cite one such hearing, roughly ten years ago, on March 10, 2005, I testified before the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims on the topic, “Interior Immigration Enforcement Resources.”

The Center for Immigration Studies posted my prepared testimony for that hearing. Here are some excerpts from my prepared testimony (which are every bit as relevant today as they were back then):
 A country without secure borders can no more stand than can a house without walls. The task of securing America’s borders falls to the dedicated men and women of CBP and ICE. These law enforcement officers are often put in harm’s way as they try to prevent aliens from gaining unauthorized entry into our country. They are not succeeding in this vital mission, as evidenced by the millions of illegal aliens who currently live within our nation’s borders today. This is not because of failings which the employees of ICE or CBP bear the responsibility, but rather because our Government has consistently failed to provide them with the resources that they need to make certain that this basic job gets done.
The 9/11 Commission ultimately came to recognize the critical nature of immigration law enforcement where the war on terror is concerned. In fact, page 49 of the report entitled, ”9/11 and Terrorist Travel: A Staff Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States,” contains a sentence that reads, and I quote, ”Thus abuse of the immigration system and a lack of interior immigration enforcement were unwittingly working together to support terrorist activity,” unquote.
Clearly, the effective enforcement of the immigration laws from within the interior of the United States is critical for our nation to gain control of its borders and to protect its citizens from aliens who come to this country to engage in criminal activities and terrorism.
Our nation’s inability and apparent unwillingness to enforce the immigration laws has caused our nation to pay a heavy price. As we know, on September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks were launched from within our borders by aliens who exploited various weaknesses in the immigration system.
The specter of terrorist attacks is not the only price to be paid for our failure to secure our borders. Illegal immigration impacts more aspects of this country than does any other issue. It impacts everything from education, the economy, health care, criminal justice, and national security. In fact, it is estimated that some 30 percent of the Federal inmate population is comprised of aliens. It is not unreasonable to say that more people lose their lives each year as a result of crimes committed by criminal aliens within our borders than were killed on that horrific day in September of 2001.
When he testified before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence last month, FBI Director Robert Mueller testified that he is very concerned about the lack of data on a network of al Qaeda sleeper cells in the United States. He went on to say, and I quote, ”finding them is a top priority for the FBI, but it’s also one of the most difficult challenges,” unquote.
Sleeper cells are not like cicadas. They do not simply slip into our country and then burrow into a hole for months or years awaiting instructions to emerge to carry out a terrorist attack. Sleepers are, in fact, aliens who, upon entering our country, manage to hide in plain sight by finding a job, attending a school, or managing to hide in plain sight by doing things that do not call attention to them. Someone once said that an effective spy is someone who could not attract the attention of a waitress at a greasy spoon diner, and the same could be said of an effective terrorist.
It is, therefore, vital that we regain control of our borders and the entire immigration bureaucracy and enforcement program if we are to protect our nation against terrorists and criminals, and this requires that we have an adequate number of law enforcement agents dedicated to this critical mission.
There’s another critical element to the interior enforcement of the immigration laws that’s seldom discussed, the investigation of applications for immigration benefits to uncover fraud, which, according to a GAO report issued 3 years ago, is a pervasive problem within the immigration benefits program. A terrorist bent on attacking the United States would most want three things to attack our nation: Money, a weapon of mass destruction, and a U.S. passport. The passport enables an alien to easily travel across our borders, but also across the borders of other countries. And, as we now know, the 9/11 commission found that the ability to travel freely and extensively was essential to the terrorists of 9/11 as they prepared to attack us.
Aliens who succeed in acquiring resident alien status can more readily embed themselves in our country and ultimately attain U.S. citizenship, making them eligible for that highly coveted U.S. passport. Immigration fraud enables aliens to avail themselves of this opportunity through deception.
On July 27, 2006 I testified before the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims on the topic: “Whether the Attempted Implementation of the Reid-Kennedy Immigration Bill Will Result in an Administrative National Security Nightmare.” 

In my testimony I made my opposition to the Senate immigration bill, S.2611, abundantly clear. I noted that any member of Congress who would vote to provide lawful status and identity documents for millions of illegal aliens should be given “The MVP Award by al-Qaeda.”

video of a segment of my testimony has been posted on YouTube. In my testimony I addressed the the findings and recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, especially where sleeper agents and the Visa Waiver Program are concerned. I also tackled the notion of “security checks” vs. actual field investigations. As I have said to members of Congress, “If I cannot sleep at night, I don’t want you to be able to sleep either.”

Although the hearing was held to consider legislation that had been approved by the Senate nearly 9 years ago, my testimony at that hearing would absolutely apply to the current DACA (Deferred Action-Childhood Arrival) program (DREAMers), the expanded amnesty program that the Obama administration is seeking to implement by executive order and Comprehensive Immigration Reform legislation being touted by the Republican leadership in Congress today.

On September 20, 2013 CAPS (Californians for Population Stabilization) posted my commentary, Comprehensive Immigration Reform: Background Checks Require A Reality Check.
On November 1, 2013 CAPS posted my commentary, “Speed Kills at USCIS.”

USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) is the woebegone division of the DHS that would be tasked with administering this program. As it is, this beleaguered and inept agency cannot keep up with its workload without “rubber-stamping” approvals on many applications where this slipshod approach enables fraud to often go undetected.

On November 30, 2013 CAPS posted my commentary: “Political Asylum Fraud: Where America’s Companssion Becomes Vulnerability

My article was predicated on a hard-hitting report posted by ABC News on November 20, 2013, “Exclusive: US May Have Let ‘Dozens’ of Terrorists Into Country As Refugees.”
On July 20, 2013 the Washington Times published a truly disturbing report, “Homeland Security loses track of 1 million foreigners; report could hurt immigration deal.”

The Washington Times article focused on how this obvious ineptitude of the DHS would impact passage of Comprehensive Immigration Reform while ignoring the potential threat that this poses to national security and public safety.

America’s borders and immigration laws are, or at least are supposed to be, an integral component of national security. In the days, weeks and months after the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 a parade of political leaders seeking a “photo-op” stood in front of a forest of microphones and television cameras and self-righteously pounded the podium and thumped their chests demanding an answer to the question, “Why had no one connected the dots?” Clearly the dots have been connected time and again but are being ignored by all too many of our political “leaders.”

The concerns I raised also apply to the sort of amnesty program that the Republican leadership has strongly advocated.

On March 21, 2012, the Huffington Post published an extremely disturbing article that was entitled: “Peter King: Iran May Have ‘Hundreds’ Of Hezbollah Agents In U.S.”

The Huffington Post article focused on a hearing that was conducted that day by the House Committee on Homeland Security that is chaired by Congressman Peter King of New York. The topic of the hearing was, “Iran, Hezbollah, and the Threat to the Homeland.”

Here is how the Huffington Post article began:
Iranian-backed Hezbollah agents, not al Qaeda operatives, may pose the greatest threat on U.S. soil as tensions over Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons program ratchet up, according to the Republican chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security.
“As Iran moves closer to nuclear weapons and there is increasing concern over war between Iran and Israel, we must also focus on Iran’s secret operatives and their number one terrorist proxy force, Hezbollah, which we know is in America,” said New York Rep. Peter King at a Wednesday hearing of his committee.
The hearing, which featured former government officials and the director of intelligence analysis for the New York Police Department, follows a foiled plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington, D.C., and testimony by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper in late January that Iran’s leaders are “more willing to conduct an attack inside the United States in response to real or perceived U.S. actions that threaten the regime.”
Opening the hearing, King said, “We have a duty to prepare for the worst,” warning there may be hundreds of Hezbollah operatives in the United States, including 84 Iranian diplomats at the United Nations and in Washington who, “it must be presumed, are intelligence officers.”
What is impossible to understand is how any politician, of either party, can support legislation to provide unknown millions of illegal aliens with lawful status and identity documents. Given the lack of resources, any massive program of this sort would undermine national security and public safety.

Let’s start out by noting that virtually every politician who has supported one version or another of “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” has justified support for that legislation by claiming that the “immigration system is broken.” These politicians are actually declaring that they want to use a system they concede is broken, to provide millions of illegal aliens with identity documents and and lawful status.

This level of lunacy and duplicity takes my breath away.

It is, in fact, not difficult to find evidence of the failings of the entire immigration system. The evidence can be found in the presence of millions — perhaps tens of millions — of illegal aliens living and working illegally in the United States, virtually with impunity.

The point being ignored by our supposed “leaders” is that our immigration system is our first line of defense and last line of defense against international terrorists and transnational criminals. When politicians talk about how broken the system is, they need to be asked how they would be willing to entrust a major component of national security to the “broken bureaucracy at USCIS” that adjudicates these applications.

Simply addressing the issue of border security in four out of fifty border states and utterly ignoring the utter lack of integrity to the system by which the applications they want to send to USCIS in conjunction with Comprehensive Immigration Reform or other such massive program to provide millions of illegal aliens with lawful status and official identity documents, is a blatant prescription for disaster.

On December 21, 2014 CAPS (Californians for Population Stabilization) posted my extensive article, “Obama’s ‘Gift’ to International Terrorists: Immigration Executive Action.”

Here is a short excerpt of my article that discuss two of many hearings that Congress has conducted that have made it clear that USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) is unable to truly adjudicate the applications it is already receiving each year:
Within the past year the House Judiciary Committee has convened two hearings to consider the lack of integrity to the process by which applications for political asylum are adjudicated.
On February 11, 2014, a hearing was conducted on the issue: “Asylum Fraud: Abusing America’s Compassion?”
On December 12, 2013, a hearing was conducted on the issue:
Asylum Abuse: Is it Overwhelming our Borders?”

Both hearings made it clear that there is a serious lack of integrity to the political asylum program. This important humanitarian program processes thousands of applications each year. Yet, the fraud rate in this program bears witness to the lack of integrity. Because USCIS cannot effectively identify fraud and take measures to counter this fraud, national security is compromised.
Consider this excerpt from the prepared testimony of the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Bob Goodlatte:
Accounts indicate that aliens are being coached in the asylum process and are being taught to use certain terms to ensure that they are found to have a credible fear. According to critics many of these claims are often an orchestrated sham.
In addition to this alarming trend, the House Judiciary Committee recently obtained an internal CBP memo that states many people claiming a ‘credible fear’ of persecution at our ports of entry have a direct or indirect association with drug trafficking and other illegal activity, such as human smuggling. Since there are intelligence gaps and loopholes in the system, the asylum process is often being abused by individuals who would otherwise be subjects of interest or subjects of criminal investigations. Once these unscrupulous individuals falsely claim a ‘credible fear’ of persecution, there is virtually no investigation by U.S. authorities. Because the Obama Administration refuses to detain most of them, criminals and those who pose national security threats are then able to live and work in the U.S. for many years before their cases are ever heard by immigration judges.
The term “adjudicate” implies the judicious consideration of these applications which, according to the 9/11 Commission and the staff report quoted previously, have serious national security implications. Today USCIS is little more than a rubber-stamp operation where Adjudications Officers must approve nearly every application that they receive if they are to meet their quotas for productivity. (It takes just minutes to approve an application but may well take days to deny an application.)

In point of fact, that beleaguered agency is already inundated with more than 6 million applications annually.

The evidence can be also found in the high levels of fraud documented in a series of reports issued by the GAO (General Accountability Office) and the OIG (Office of Inspector General).

On May 2, 2013, I was interviewed by Megyn Kelly of Fox News about the nexus between the systemic failures of the immigration system and the terror bombing of the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. The video of my interview is posted on the Fox News website under the title, “Immigration Expert: The System Failed in Boston and Keeps on Failing.”

The Summer 2013 edition of the quarterly publication, “The Social Contract” included my article, “Political Asylum: Where Compassion and National Security Intersect.”

On November 26, 2014 FrontPage Magazine published my article, Obama ‘Solves’ Immigration Crisis by Ordering ‘Shields Down.’

I won’t rehash information contained in that article (I strongly suggest you read that article) but I do want you to consider that the “9/11 Commission Staff Report on Terrorist Travel” that was prepared by the staff that assisted the 9/11 Commission began with this first paragraph of the preface of that report:
It is perhaps obvious to state that terrorists cannot plan and carry out attacks in the United States if they are unable to enter the country. Yet prior to September 11, while there were efforts to enhance border security, no agency of the U.S. government thought of border security as a tool in the counterterrorism arsenal. Indeed, even after 19 hijackers demonstrated the relative ease of obtaining a U.S. visa and gaining admission into the United States, border security still is not considered a cornerstone of national security policy. We believe, for reasons we discuss in the following pages, that it must be made one.
That report also detailed numerous examples of instances where terrorists not only made use of visa and immigration benefit fraud to enter the United States, but to also embed themselves in the United States. Page 47 of this report noted:
Once terrorists had entered the United States, their next challenge was to find a way to remain here. Their primary method was immigration fraud. For example, Yousef and Ajaj concocted bogus political asylum stories when they arrived in the United States. Mahmoud Abouhalima, involved in both the World Trade Center and landmarks plots, received temporary residence under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers (SAW) program, after falsely claiming that he picked beans in Florida.
This paragraph is found on page 98, under the title “Immigration Benefits”:
Terrorists in the 1990s, as well as the September 11 hijackers, needed to find a way to stay in or embed themselves in the United States if their operational plans were to come to fruition. As already discussed, this could be accomplished legally by marrying an American citizen, achieving temporary worker status, or applying for asylum after entering. In many cases, the act of filing for an immigration benefit sufficed to permit the alien to remain in the country until the petition was adjudicated. Terrorists were free to conduct surveillance, coordinate operations, obtain and receive funding, go to school and learn English, make contacts in the United States, acquire necessary materials, and execute an attack.
Evidence of incompetence and ineptitude of the immigration system can also be found on no less an authoritative website than the Department of Justice website.

On March 10, 2010 the following press release was posted on that website: “Eritrean Man Pleads Guilty to Alien Smuggling.”

Here is my analysis of the information contained in the press release:

The defendant in the case, Samuel Abrahaley Fessahazion, a citizen of Eritrea was arrested and prosecuted for alien smuggling (inducing and encouraging) and conspiracy to commit these crimes. However, it is worth noting that Eritrea, Fessahazion’s country of citizenship, has been identified as a country that has provided shelter to al-Qaeda. Consider this article that was published on April 17, 2009 by The Telegraph, a British newspaper, “US threatens Eritrea over support for al-Qaeda-linked terrorists .” The paper noted, “The US has warned Eritrea it risks American military action for its support for a Somalian terrorist group linked to a plot to attack President Barack Obama.”

According to the DOJ press release, Fessahazion himself ran our nation’s border on March 20, 2008 and then he applied for political asylum roughly 6 months later. He had either studied our immigration “system” or had been well coached. In any event, in under six weeks he was granted political asylum.

It is extremely important to note that while there was no evidence provided in the press release that any of these aliens were involved in terrorism, the Tri-Border Region of Brazil has terror training camps. Yet there was no mention of any efforts being made by ICE to identify, locate and arrest any of these smuggled aliens.

Clearly Mr. Fessahazion committed fraud in his application for political asylum, lying about his whereabouts at the time he sought political asylum, yet there was no mention of any charges being brought against him for lying on his application. Had he been convicted of committing fraud in that application he would face removal (deportation) from the United States upon completion of his jail sentence. However, since he was not prosecuted for having committed fraud in his application for political asylum, he will likely be permitted to remain in the United States when he completes his prison sentence.

Adding to the failures of the immigration system in Washington are the policies of “Sanctuary Cities” and “Sanctuary States.” On September 24, 2014 FrontPage Magazine published my article, “‘Sanctuary Cities’ or ‘Safe Havens’ for Terrorists?

Could you imagine waiting to board and airliner and the pilot, having performed the mandated pre-flight inspection of the aircraft you are about to fly on, proclaiming that the aircraft has serious mechanical issues but that the flight would nevertheless be leaving on time on a journey over mountains and other inhospitable terrain? Would you be willing to board that airliner? Would you not question the sanity of the pilot?

The congressional hearings, GAO reports and other clear evidence of the failures of the immigration system cited above amount to a pre-flight inspection of a critical component of national security. Every hearing, every report and news accounts of terrorists who have been apprehended provide stark and unequivocal evidence that the immigration system is indeed broken.

Unlike the airline passenger who can simply opt to not board the defective airliner, the citizens of the United States are indeed a “captive audience” and are forced to go along for the ride.

The obvious question is why political “leaders” who were elected to represent the citizens of the United States and adhere to their oaths of office including defending the Constitution of the United States would ignore the obvious.

Is it stupidity or a lack of moral compass? Here is a bit of food for thought: On April 21, 2014 the Washington Times published a succinct but extremely disconcerting article, the title of which says it all — “America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds.”

Michael Cutler


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Game Not Over: Israel's Quneitra Attack in Context - Jonathan Spyer

by Jonathan Spyer

The Iran/Hizballah/Assad side has long threatened to develop the Golan as a front for possible 'jihad duties' against Israel. Both Syrian President Bashar Assad and Nasrallah made unambiguous public statements in 2014 threatening the opening of military activity against Israel in this area.

Originally published under the title, "A Move in an Unfinished Game."

Thousands of Iranians gather in Tehran for the funeral of Revolutionary Guard Commander General Mohammad Ali Allahdadi.
In analyzing the significance of, and likely fallout from ,the Israeli killing of a number of senior Hizballah and IRGC personnel close to the Golan border this week, a number of things should be borne in mind:

Firstly, the killings were a response to a clear attempt by the Iranians/Hizballah to violate the very fragile status quo that pertains between these elements and Israel in Lebanon and Syria. In his interview to the al-Mayadeen network three days before the attack, Hizballah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah explicitly claimed that his organization was not engaged in 'resistance work' on the Golan. The Israeli strike showed that this statement was a lie.
The killings were a response to a clear attempt by the Iranians and Hizballah to violate the fragile status quo in the Golan.
Some analysis of the strike has suggested that the men killed in the attack were engaged in preparation for the placing of sophisticated Iranian missile systems on the Syrian part of the Golan. Other accounts suggested that their mission was part of preparing this area for the launch of ground attacks across the border against Israeli targets, perhaps using proxies. In either case, the mission was a clear attempt to change the arrangement of forces in the north, in such a way that could be expected to ensure an Israeli response.

Secondly, in the past, Hizballah has reacted differently to Israeli strikes on it or its Syrian allies within Syria, compared to strikes on Lebanese soil. The difference again relates to the unstated but clear 'rules of the game' between the organization and the Jewish state. Israeli strikes on materiel making its way to the organization from Syrian soil have elicited no response from the movement.

By contrast, an Israeli attack on a weapons convoy just across the border on Lebanese soil near the village of Janta on February 24, 2014 provoked a Hizballah response . On March 18th, an IED was exploded just south of the border fence in the Majdal Shams area on the Golan Heights, wounding four IDF soldiers.

The rules of the game in question do not indicate a lessening of warlike intentions or a growing affection on the part of Hizballah toward Israel. Rather, they reflect the acute need that this organization and its Iranian masters currently have to not be drawn into conflict with Israel unless this becomes unavoidable.

Hizballah is overstretched at the moment. It has between 5000-10,000 men engaged in Syria. It is engaged in a determined and fraying attempt to prevent Sunni jihadi incursions across the border into Lebanon from Syria, and bomb attacks by the Sunni groups further into Lebanon.

Hizballah is also an integral part of the Iranian outreach effort in Iraq, where members of the organization are engaged in training Shia fighters.

The last thing that the IRGC and Hizballah need is to be drawn into a premature conflagration with Israel.
Even as far afield as Yemen, where the Iran-backed Houthi militia is engaged in a push for power, the movement's fingerprints have been found.

All this reflects Hizballah's nature as Iran's primary agent in the Arab world. Given all this activity, the last thing that the IRGC and Hizballah need is to be drawn into a premature conflagration with Israel.

This need to avoid a collision with the Jewish state is compounded by a shortage of Iranian cash, deriving from the collapse of oil prices.

The Iran/Hizballah/Assad side has long threatened to develop the Golan as a front for possible 'jihad duties' against Israel. Both Syrian President Bashar Assad and Nasrallah made unambiguous public statements in 2014 threatening the opening of military activity against Israel in this area. Israel, in turn, has made clear that such a move would constitute a violation of the status quo . The strike on Sunday constituted a very kinetic further Israeli message intended to drive home this point.

Thus, despite the death of a senior IRGC commander in the Israeli strike, the action by Israel should not be seen as a general casting aside of the rules of engagement by Jerusalem on the northern border, but rather as an insistence on maintaining these rules, and a warning of the consequences to the other side of continued violation of them.
The action by Israel should not be seen as casting aside the rules of engagement on the northern border, but rather as an insistence on maintaining these rules.
The thing which might be held to differentiate this action from previous events is of course the death of IRGC General Mohammed Allahdadi.

Allahdadi may not be the first senior IRGC figure to lose his life in Syria at Israeli hands in the last three years of war in that country. That distinction arguably belongs to Brigadier-General Hassan Shateri, assassinated on February 13, 2013, either by the Syrian rebels or by persons working for Israel, depending on which version you choose to believe.

But certainly the high visibility of Allahdadi's demise, taking place unambiguously at Israeli hands, represents something new. From this point of view, the quoting by Reuters of an Israeli 'security source' to the effect that Israel did not know who was in the car at the time that it was destroyed may be seen as an attempt to re-locate the action within the realms of the recognized rules of engagement.

Responses by Lebanese political leaders and media to the event have been characterized by a sort of nervous, veiled request to Hizballah not to bring down Israel's wrath on Lebanon. The Daily Star captured this tone in an editorial entitled 'Don't take the Bait.' After a series of unflattering remarks about Israel, the paper's editors noted that 'While some naturally feel a desire for retaliation against Israel, Hezbollah must be vigilant against designs for it to be drawn into a larger confrontation. Lebanon has enough concerns of its own without falling prey to a plot against it."'

Of course, Iran and Hizballah are strong enough to ignore such voices. but given the tense internal situation in Lebanon at present, it is likely that the lack of enthusiasm of non-Shia Lebanese for Hizballah's war in Syria, and in particular their lack of willingness to pay any price accruing from it, will factor into the Shia Islamist movement's and its master's decisionmaking. Hizballah needs a quiet and quiescent Lebanese political scene, so that it may conduct its war against Sunni jihadis coming in from Syria under the guise of unified Lebanese action, rather than sectarian account-settling.

Lastly, as has been noted in previous analyses, Iran has armed and trained Hizballah so that it may be used to deter an Israeli response against Iranian nuclear facilities, or be activated as part of a response to such a strike. It is unlikely to wish to place this investment prematurely at risk.

So the strike on Sunday was a re-stating by Israel of previously clarified ground rules relating to what will be permitted in Syria, and what will not. A response of some kind in the weeks, months or years ahead is likely. But the Israeli action was not a disregarding by Israel of previously existing 'rules of engagement' in the north. It is unlikely therefore to result in a similar upturning of the tables at the present moment by Iran and Hizballah.

Jonathan Spyer is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and a fellow at the Middle East Forum.


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Islamic State Deepens Grip in Future Palestine - Khaled Abu Toameh

by Khaled Abu Toameh

According to Israeli security forces, dozens of Hamas and Islamic Jihad members in the West Bank have defected to the Islamic State in recent months. Their main goal, according to sources, is to topple the Palestinian Authority and launch terror attacks on Israel.
Some 200 supporters of the Islamic State, who held up Islamic State flags, took to the streets of Gaza City to protest the latest cartoons published by the French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo. They also chanted slogans that called for slaughtering French nationals, and burned French flags. Attempts by Hamas to impose a news blackout on the protest failed, as photos and videos found their way to social media.
The glorification of terrorists and jihadists by the Palestinian Authority, and the ongoing anti-Israel incitement by both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, is driving many Palestinians into the open arms of the Islamic State.

Hamas and other Palestinian groups are continuing to deny the obvious, namely that the Islamic State terror group has managed to set up bases of power in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The Palestinians do not feel comfortable talking about the fact that Islamic State is working hard to recruit Palestinians to its ranks.

The presence of Islamic State in the West Bank and Gaza Strip is an embarrassing development for both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.

For Hamas, the fact that Islamic State has long been operating in the Gaza Strip is something that it does not want the world to know about.

Hamas cannot afford a situation where another Islamist terror group poses a challenge to its exclusive control over the Gaza Strip. Since it seized control over the Gaza Strip in 2007, Hamas has successfully suppressed the emergence of rival forces, first and foremost the secular Fatah faction headed by Mahmoud Abbas.

But if until recently it was Fatah that posed a challenge and threat to Hamas's rule, now it is the Islamic State and its supporters in the Gaza Strip are openly defying the Islamist movement's regime.

When the first reports about Islamic State's presence in the Gaza Strip emerged last year, Hamas and other Palestinians were quick to dismiss them as "false."

Salah Bardaweel, a senior Hamas official, said in February 2014 that the Islamic State "does not exist" in the Gaza Strip.

This week, however, it became evident that Hamas was lying when it denied the presence of Islamic State in the Gaza Strip.

Some 200 supporters of the Islamic State, who held up Islamic State flags, took to the streets of Gaza City to protest the latest cartoons published by the French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo.

The protesters tried to storm the offices of the French Cultural Center in Gaza City. They also chanted slogans that called for slaughtering French nationals, and burned the French flag.

Palestinians waving Islamic State flags attempt to storm the French Cultural Center in Gaza City. Some in the crowd carried posters glorifying the terrorists who carried out this month's attacks in Paris. (Image source: ehna tv YouTube screenshot)

The protest apparently caught Hamas by surprise. Hamas security forces that were rushed to the scene dispersed the protesters and arrested seven Islamic State supporters.

Attempts by Hamas to impose a news blackout on the Islamic State protest failed, as photos and videos of the demonstration found their way to social media. Needless to say, Hamas-affiliated media outlets ignored the protest. They were hoping that the world would also not see the Islamic State demonstrators on the streets of Gaza City.

Hamas's biggest fear is that scenes of Islamic State supporters marching in the heart of Gaza City will scare international donors and dissuade them from providing badly needed funds for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip. Hamas is also afraid that Western officials working with the United Nations and relief agencies will stop visiting the Gaza Strip after watching the footage of Islamic State supporters.

In recent weeks, it has also become evident that Islamic State has some kind of a presence in the West Bank -- a fact that poses a serious threat to Abbas's Palestinian Authority [PA].

Just last week, Israel announced arrests of members of an Islamic State terror cell in the West Bank city of Hebron. The three Palestinian members of the cell confessed during interrogation that had planned to launch a series of terror attacks against Israel. The three suspects were identified as Waddah Shehadeh, 22, Fayyad al-Zaru, 21 and Qusai Maswaddeh, 23.

Until recently, Hamas was considered the number one threat to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. Now, however, it has become evident that Islamic State is also trying to set up bases of power in the West Bank. According to Israeli security sources, dozens of Hamas and Islamic Jihad members in the West Bank have defected to Islamic State in recent months. Their main goal, the sources, said, is to topple the PA and launch terror attacks on Israel.

Abbas is lucky that the Israeli security forces are still operating in the West Bank, including inside cities and towns controlled by the Palestinian Authority. Were it not for the IDF and various branches of the Israeli security establishment, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Islamic State would have toppled the Palestinian Authority and beheaded Abbas and his officials a long time ago.

Still, Abbas does not feel comfortable acknowledging the fact that a growing number of Palestinians in the West Bank are joining Islamic State. Abbas fears is that if he admits that Islamic State is already operating in the West Bank, this could dissuade many Western countries from supporting his effort to persuade the world to support the creation of an independent Palestinian state. Like Hamas, Abbas also fears that Westerners would stop visiting Ramallah and other West Bank Palestinian cities once they learn about Islamic State's presence in these areas.

Although Hamas and the Palestinian Authority are continuing to bury their heads in the sand and deny what is there, they cannot avoid responsibility for the emergence of Islamic State in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. The glorification of terrorists and jihadists by the PA and the ongoing anti-Israel incitement by both the PA and Hamas, are driving many Palestinians into the open arms of the Islamic State.

This is something that the UN Security Council members will have to consider the next time they are asked to vote in favor of the establishment of a Palestinian state. Otherwise, they will be voting for the creation of an Islamic, and not a Palestinian, state.

Khaled Abu Toameh


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Obama's 'Partners' Strategy Collapses and the Left Finally Begins to Wake Up - Silvio Canto, Jr.

by Silvio Canto, Jr.

Unfortunately, the president’s cursory and formulaic description of his counterterrorism policies this week, following a year in which jihadist forces and terrorist attacks expanded across the world, suggested that he remains uninterested in correcting his mistakes.

We hear that President Obama hates the Clintons.  Frankly, I don't know, but can you blame him if he does? 

Back in the late 1990s, an economic boom saved President Clinton from his reckless Oval Office behavior and total indifference to terrorism.  President Clinton coasted in the late 1990s and avoided all the tough calls on Osama bin Laden and Social Security reforms.  Again, President Clinton got away with it because everybody was busy working and enjoying what Charles Krauthammer called our "holiday from history":
Like the 1920s, the 1990s were a golden age permeated by a postwar euphoria of apparently endless peace and prosperity. Both eras ended abruptly, undermined ultimately by threats that were ignored as they grew and burrowed underground.
Clinton let a decade of unprecedented American prosperity and power go without doing anything about al Qaeda, Afghanistan or Iraq (where his weakness allowed France and Russia to almost totally undermine the post-Gulf War sanctions).
And although al Qaeda declared war on America in 1996 and, as we now know, hatched the Sept. 11 plot that same year, it continued to flourish throughout the decade.
Looking the other way was largely a function of the age -- our holiday from history, our retreat from seriousness, our Seinfeld decade of obsessive ordinariness.
Clinton never could have been elected during the Cold War.
The 1990s produced a president perfectly suited to the time -- a time of domesticity, triviality and self-absorption.
President Obama is not going to enjoy any "holiday from history."  He is not that lucky.  Don't blame President Obama if he prays every night for those late 1990s to come back, and come back soon!  It was certainly easier to be president when all you had to do was enjoy the monthly unemployment reports.

Again, Clinton was born under a lucky star.  Obama wasn't!  And don't expect any lucky stars over the White House any time soon.

This week, Yemen burst open President Obama's door.  Unfortunately for the cultists who blame everything on Bush and the few still faithful "yes we can" screamers, President Obama is starting to hear it from liberal sources like the Washington Post:
IN DEVOTING 250 of the 6,800 words of his State of the Union address to the fight against “violent extremism,” President Obama offered a boilerplate description of his policy.
But here is the clincher or hook from the newspaper that endorsed him twice:
The Yemen mess reveals the weaknesses of Mr. Obama’s “partners” strategy, which has been too narrowly focused on drone strikes and training of specialized units, and not enough on providing security for the population, institution-building and support for moderate political forces. Unfortunately, the president’s cursory and formulaic description of his counterterrorism policies this week, following a year in which jihadist forces and terrorist attacks expanded across the world, suggested that he remains uninterested in correcting his mistakes.
Add Thomas Friedman to the list:
When you don’t call things by their real name, you always get in trouble.
And this administration, so fearful of being accused of Islamophobia, is refusing to make any link to radical Islam from the recent explosions of violence against civilians (most of them Muslims) by Boko Haram in Nigeria, by the Taliban in Pakistan, by Al Qaeda in Paris and by jihadists in Yemen and Iraq.
We’ve entered the theater of the absurd.
And Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, Democrat from Hawaii:
I think this is a bipartisan concern. It's a bipartisan concern for all of us to make sure that we keep the American people safe and specifically when we talk about this terminology, the use of Islamic extremism. Terminology and the use of this specific term is important because words are an expression of your feeling and your understanding. So as, for example, last night, the president came and talked to Congress about coming to request an authorization to use military force.
Thanks to Mr. Friedman for saying that "we've entered the theater of the absurd."  

The bad news is that we really entered that theater of the absurd when people like Mr. Friedman and others got drunk on the Obama Kool-Aid back in 2008!  Wonder how many of them thought that this was the change we were waiting for?

The good news is that some are waking up, looking at the windshield, and screaming, "Look out, look out there's a truck about to hit us!"

P.S. You can hear my show CantoTalk or follow me on Twitter.

Silvio Canto, Jr.


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Iran, Obama, Boehner and Netanyahu - Caroline Glick

by Caroline Glick

Boehner didn’t invite Netanyahu because he cares about Israel’s election. He invited Netanyahu because he cares about US national security. He believes that by having Netanyahu speak on the issues of Iran’s nuclear program and radical Islam, he will advance America’s national security.

1unnamedOriginally published by the Jerusalem Post
Iran has apparently produced an intercontinental ballistic missile whose range far exceeds the distance between Iran and Israel, and between Iran and Europe.

On Wednesday night, Channel 2 showed satellite imagery taken by Israel’s Eros-B satellite that was launched last April. The imagery showed new missile-related sites that Iran recently constructed just outside Tehran. One facility is a missile launch site, capable of sending a rocket into space or of firing an ICBM.

On the launch pad was a new 27-meter long missile, never seen before.

The missile and the launch pad indicate that Iran’s ballistic missile program, which is an integral part of its nuclear weapons program, is moving forward at full throttle. The expanded range of Iran’s ballistic missile program as indicated by the satellite imagery makes clear that its nuclear weapons program is not merely a threat to Israel, or to Israel and Europe. It is a direct threat to the United States as well.

Also on Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was invited to address a joint session of Congress by House Speaker John Boehner.

Boehner has asked Netanyahu to address US lawmakers on February 11 regarding Iran’s nuclear program and the threat to international security posed by radical Islam.

Opposition leaders were quick to accuse Boehner and the Republican Party of interfering in Israel’s upcoming election by providing Netanyahu with such a prestigious stage just five weeks before Israelis go to the polls.

Labor MK Nachman Shai told The Jerusalem Post that for the sake of fairness, Boehner should extend the same invitation to opposition leader Isaac Herzog.

But in protesting as they have, opposition members have missed the point. Boehner didn’t invite Netanyahu because he cares about Israel’s election. He invited Netanyahu because he cares about US national security. He believes that by having Netanyahu speak on the issues of Iran’s nuclear program and radical Islam, he will advance America’s national security.

Boehner’s chief concern, and that of the majority of his colleagues from the Democratic and Republican parties alike, is that President Barack Obama’s policy in regard to Iran’s nuclear weapons program imperils the US. Just as the invitation to Netanyahu was a bipartisan invitation, so concerns about Obama’s policy toward Iran’s nuclear program are bipartisan concerns.

Over the past week in particular, Obama has adopted a position on Iran that puts him far beyond the mainstream of US politics. This radical position has placed the president on a collision course with Congress best expressed on Wednesday by Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez. During a hearing at the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee where Menendez serves as ranking Democratic member, he said, “The more I hear from the administration and its quotes, the more it sounds like talking points that come straight out of Tehran.”

Menendez was referring to threats that Obama has made three times over the past week, most prominently at his State of the Union address on Tuesday, to veto any sanctions legislation against Iran brought to his desk for signature.

He has cast proponents of sanctions – and Menendez is the co-sponsor of a pending sanctions bill – as enemies of a diplomatic strategy of dealing with Iran, and by implication, as warmongers.

Indeed, in remarks to the Democratic members of the Senate last week, Obama impugned the motivations of lawmakers who support further sanctions legislation. He indirectly alleged that they were being forced to take their positions due to pressure from their donors and others.

The problem for American lawmakers is that the diplomatic course that Obama has chosen makes it impossible for the US to use the tools of diplomacy to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

That course of diplomatic action is anchored in the Joint Plan of Action that the US and its partners Germany, France, Britain, China and Russia (the P5+1) signed with Tehran in November 2013.

The JPOA placed no limitation on Iran’s ballistic missile program. The main areas the JPOA covers are Iran’s uranium enrichment and plutonium reactor activities. Under the agreement, or the aspects of it that Obama has made public, Iran is supposed to limit its enrichment of uranium to 3.5-percent purity.

And it is not supposed to take action to expand its heavy water reactor at Arak, which could be used to develop weapons grade plutonium.

THE JPOA is also supposed to force Iran to share all nuclear activities undertaken in the past by its military personnel.

During his State of the Union address, Obama claimed that since the agreement was signed, Iran has “halted the progress of its nuclear program and reduced its stockpile of nuclear material.”

Yet as Omri Ceren of the Israel Project noted this week, since the JPOA was signed, Iran has expanded its uranium and plutonium work. And as the Eros-B satellite imagery demonstrated, Iran is poised to launch an ICBM.

When it signed the JPOA, Obama administration officials dismissed concerns that by permitting Iran to enrich uranium to 3.5% – in breach of binding UN Security Council Resolution 1929 from 2010 – the US was enabling Iran to develop nuclear weapons. Enrichment to 3.5%, they said, is a far cry from the 90% enrichment level needed for uranium to be bomb grade.

But it works out that the distance isn’t all that great. Sixty percent of the work required to enrich uranium to bomb grade levels of purity is done by enriching it to 3.5%. Since it signed the JPOA, Iran has enriched sufficient quantities of uranium to produce two nuclear bombs.

As for plutonium development work, as Ceren pointed out, the White House’s fact sheet on the JPOA said that Iran committed itself “to halt progress on its plutonium track.”

Last October, Foreign Policy magazine reported that Iran was violating that commitment by seeking to procure parts for its heavy water plutonium reactor at Arak. And yet, astoundingly, rather than acknowledge the simple fact that Iran was violating its commitment, the State Department excused Iran’s behavior and insisted that it was not in clear violation of its commitment.

More distressingly, since the JPOA was signed, Iran has repeatedly refused to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to access Iran’s nuclear installations or to inform the IAEA about the nuclear activities that its military have carried out in the past.

As a consequence, the US and its partners still do not know what nuclear installations Iran has or what nuclear development work it has undertaken.

This means that if a nuclear agreement is signed between Iran and the P5+1, that agreement’s verification protocols will in all likelihood not apply to all aspects of Iran’s nuclear program. And if it does not apply to all aspects of Iran’s nuclear activities, it cannot prevent Iran from continuing the activities it doesn’t know about.

As David Albright, a former IAEA inspector, explained in a Wall Street Journal op-ed last May, “To be credible, a final agreement must ensure that any effort by Tehran to construct a bomb would be sufficiently time-consuming and detectable that the international community could act decisively to prevent Iran from succeeding. It is critical to know whether the Islamic Republic had a nuclear weapons program in the past, how far the work on warheads advanced and whether it continues. Without clear answers to these questions, outsiders will be unable to determine how fast the Iranian regime could construct either a crude nuclear-test device or a deliverable weapon if it chose to renege on an agreement.”

Concern about the loopholes in the JPOA led congressional leaders from both parties to begin work to pass additional sanctions against Iran immediately after the JPOA was concluded. To withstand congressional pressure, the Obama administration alternately attacked the patriotism of its critics, who it claimed were trying to push the US into and unnecessary war against Iran, and assured them that all of their concerns would be addressed in a final agreement.

Unfortunately, since signing the JPOA, the administration has adopted positions that ensure that none of Congress’s concerns will be addressed.

Whereas in early 2013, Secretary of State John Kerry declared that “the president has made it definitive” that Iran needs to answer all “questions surrounding Iran’s nuclear program,” last November it was reported that the US and its partners had walked back this requirement.

Iran will not be required to give full accounting of its past nuclear work, and so the US and its partners intend to sign a deal that will be unable to verify that Iran does not build nuclear weapons.

As the administration has ignored its previous pledges to Congress to ensure that a deal with Iran will make it possible to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons, it has also acted to ensure that Iran will pay no price for negotiating in bad faith. The sanctions bill that Obama threatens to veto would only go into effect if Iran fails to sign an agreement.

As long as negotiations progress, no sanctions would be enforced.

OBAMA’S MESSAGE then is clear. Not only will the diplomatic policy he has adopted not prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons (and the ability to attack the US with nuclear warheads attached to an ICBM), but in the event that Iran fails to agree to even cosmetic limitations on its nuclear progress, it will suffer no consequences for its recalcitrance.

And this brings us back to Boehner’s invitation to Netanyahu.

With Obama’s diplomatic policy toward Iran enabling rather than preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear power, members of the House and Senate are seeking a credible, unwavering voice that offers an alternative path. For the past 20 years, Netanyahu has been the global leader most outspoken about the need to take all necessary measures to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power, not only for Israel’s benefit, but to protect the entire free world. From the perspective of the congressional leadership, then, inviting Netanyahu to speak was a logical move.

In the Israeli context, however, it was an astounding development. For the past generation, the Israeli Left has insisted Israel’s role on the world stage is that of a follower.

As a small, isolated nation, Israel has no choice, they say, other than to follow the lead of the West, and particularly of the White House, on all issues, even when the US president is wrong. All resistance to White House policies is dangerous and irresponsible, leaders like Herzog and Tzipi Livni continuously warn.

Boehner’s invitation to Netanyahu exposes the Left’s dogma as dangerous nonsense.

The role of an Israeli leader is to adopt the policies that protect Israel, even when they are unpopular at the White House. Far from being ostracized for those policies, such an Israeli leader will be supported, respected, and relied upon by those who share with him a concern for what truly matters.

Caroline Glick is the Director of the David Horowitz Freedom Center's Israel Security Project and the Senior Contributing Editor of The Jerusalem Post. For more information on Ms. Glick's work, visit


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