Saturday, September 19, 2015

The collapse of the Palestinians - Reuven Berko

by Reuven Berko

Hamas and the Palestinian Authority are too busy with their rivalry to truly care about the Palestinian people's welfare • Both are also oblivious to the fact that Middle East geopolitics and global circumstances have marginalized the Palestinian issue.
An anti-Hamas rally in the Gaza Strip this week
Photo credit: AFP

Reuven Berko


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

Congress Must Not Retreat Further on Disastrous Iran Deal - Joesph Klein

by Joesph Klein

Time to invoke the "nuclear option" to prevent nuclear catastrophe?

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been scrambling to find a way to politically embarrass the 42 senators who twice successfully blocked a floor vote on the resolution to disapprove President Obama’s disastrous nuclear deal. The Democratic-led filibusters succeeded last week and again this week. McConnell’s latest plan was to re-introduce the resolution with amendments requiring Iran to recognize Israel and release the American hostages the rogue regime is detaining before any congressionally imposed sanctions can be lifted. 

“I will file on an amendment that would prevent the President from lifting sanctions until Iran meets two simple benchmarks: It must formally recognize Israel’s right to exist, and it must release the American citizens being held in Iranian custody,” McConnell said. "At the very least we should be able to provide some protection to Israel and long-overdue relief to Americans who’ve languished in Iranian custody for years."

The outcome was predictable. “Senate Republicans' last gasp,” as CNN described it, ended in failure, as once again the Democratic minority prevailed with its third filibuster. The amendment needed 60 votes just to get past the filibuster but fell short.

The 60-day congressional review period stipulated in the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 ended on September 17th, when Senator McConnell’s last-ditch effort ran aground.

Senator McConnell’s Democratic counterpart, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, gloated in victory. "The issue has been decided," Reid said. "But instead of focusing on the critical issue of funding our government, Sen. McConnell has decided to spend the entire week on something that's already been decided, twice."

Sadly, the Republican Senate majority has allowed the Democratic minority to prevail. They committed several unforced errors. 

The Republican Senate majority’s first mistake was not to insist on handling the nuclear deal agreement, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPA”), as a treaty, for which the Constitution requires a two-thirds vote of the Senate to approve. The Republican majority forfeited the Senate’s treaty power in favor of the very weak Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015. This legislation provides Obama with enormous leverage by being able to veto a resolution of disapproval and have his veto easily sustained by just over a third of the vote in either chamber of Congress. True, if the Senate majority had held fast to the treaty route, Obama would have skirted congressional review altogether. He would have contended that he did not need congressional review or approval of what he could characterize as purely an executive agreement, not a treaty. But at least there would not have been any congressional participation in the process. Future presidents would have had an easier time repudiating the deal if its status had remained solely as an executive agreement. Now, under the terms of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, Congress’s failure to disapprove the deal within the stipulated time period arguably legitimizes it and elevates the JCPA to a status somewhere above a pure executive agreement that no judicial body would be likely to invalidate.

Compounding their initial error forfeiting the Senate’s treaty advice and consent power, McConnell and the Republican Senate majority then gave the Senate Democratic minority and Obama a free pass. The obstructionists did not have to go on the record by casting their votes supporting the deal on its merits, and Obama did not even have to exercise his veto power.

McConnell inexplicably did not use the so-called “nuclear option” and adopt a procedural rule against the use of the filibuster, as Reid himself did when he was the Senate majority leader. Reid managed to scuttle the filibuster back in 2013 by changing the rules so that Obama’s nominations could glide through to a majority vote. Here we are dealing with a potential once-in-a-lifetime vote on a vital matter of national security. Using the “nuclear option” to force a floor vote on a deal that could lead to a nuclear holocaust should have been a no-brainer, whether or not Obama’s veto of a resolution of disapproval would have been sustained. At least Congress would have been on the record with bipartisan majorities against the deal.

As Senator Marco Rubio said: “We are debating an issue that’s existential to allies of our, that ultimately imperils the security of the world. And if ever there was a time where you would consider something like that, it would be this.”

McConnell also missed an opportunity to alternatively follow the lead of the House of Representatives and submit a resolution stating that a vote to disapprove the Iran nuclear deal is legally premature at this time. The Obama administration has not complied with a key trigger in the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, which required it to provide Congress with all documents relevant to the JCPA before the time period for voting on the JCPA began to run. Congress has still not received the text of the so-called "side deals" between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency that bear directly on the inspection verification mechanisms central to the JCPA.

The test now for the Republican majorities in both the House of Representatives and the Senate is what they will do next to put Congress on the record against the deal. First, each chamber should vote on a stand-alone bill requiring Iran to recognize Israel and release the American hostages the rogue regime is detaining before any congressionally imposed sanctions can be lifted. The current sanctions legislation should be extended for at least ten years beyond its current expiration date at the end of 2016, and expanded if Iran is detected cheating or violating the arms or missile embargoes. Senator McConnell should force a floor vote by finally invoking the “nuclear option.”  Defeated or not by an Obama veto, at least a bipartisan majority of Congress will be on the right side of these issues.

Second, Congress should go on record endorsing individual state government initiatives to cut off funds to companies tied with the Iranian regime as a sponsor of terrorism. These could include defense companies that do business with the Iranian regime. The Obama administration will probably push back against the states, citing the following provision in the JCPA:

“If a law at the state or local level in the United States is preventing the implementation of the sanctions lifting … the United States will take appropriate steps, taking into account all available authorities, with a view to achieving such implementation.” 

If the Obama administration were to push back against the states, it would set up a battle for the courts to decide. The states would have a reasonably good chance of winning since state and local level procurement spending and investment of state taxpayers’ money are involved.

Third, the Senate majority should block any State Department nominees who would be involved in any way in the implementation of the JCPA.

Finally, Congress should look at areas relating to the implementation of the JCPA to defund. It can start by defunding any efforts by the Obama administration to cooperate with Iran, as provided for in Annex III, with respect to civil nuclear technology and “training and workshops to strengthen Iran’s ability to protect against, and respond to nuclear security threats, including sabotage, as well as to enable effective and sustainable nuclear security and physical protection systems.” Helping a country whose leaders continually chant “Death to America” is simply insane.

President Obama may now have his legacy Iran deal, but the American people will have to live with the lethal fallout. Congress at minimum should do what it can to blunt its worse effects.

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


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

The great American patronizing email - Dror Eydar

by Dror Eydar

A recently released 2010 email from Martin Indyk to Hillary Clinton reveals a great deal about the Americans' misguided approach toward Israel and its leader • Five years later, it is clear how wrong the Obama administration's approach actually was.

Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk
Photo credit: KOKO

Dror Eydar


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

Germany: Migrants' Rape Epidemic - Soeren Kern

by Soeren Kern

"We Are the Biggest Brothel in Munich"

Translations of this item:
  • Although the rape took place in June, police kept silent about it for nearly three months, until local media published a story about the crime. According to an editorial comment in the newspaper Westfalen-Blatt, police are refusing to go public about crimes involving refugees and migrants because they do not want to give legitimacy to critics of mass migration.
  • A 13-year-old Muslim girl was raped by another asylum seeker at a refugee facility in Detmold, a city in west-central Germany. The girl and her mother reportedly fled their homeland to escape a culture of sexual violence.
  • Approximately 80% of the refugees/migrants at the shelter in Munich are male... the price for sex with female asylum seekers is ten euros. — Bavarian Broadcasting (Bayerischer Rundfunk).
  • Police in the Bavarian town of Mering, where a 16-year-old-girl was raped on September 11, have issued a warning to parents not to allow their children to go outside unaccompanied. In the Bavarian town of Pocking, administrators of the Wilhelm-Diess-Gymnasium have warned parents not to let their daughter's wear revealing clothing in order to avoid "misunderstandings."
  • "When Muslim teenage boys go to open air swimming pools, they are overwhelmed when they see girls in bikinis. These boys, who come from a culture where for women it is frowned upon to show naked skin, will follow girls and bother them without their realizing it. Naturally, this generates fear." — Bavarian politician, quoted in Die Welt.
  • A police raid on the Munich refugee facility found that guards hired to provide security at the site were trafficking drugs and weapons and were turning a blind eye to the prostitution.
  • Meanwhile, the raping of German women by asylum seekers is becoming commonplace.

A growing number of women and young girls housed in refugee shelters in Germany are being raped, sexually assaulted and even forced into prostitution by male asylum seekers, according to German social work organizations with first-hand knowledge of the situation.

Many of the rapes are occurring in mixed-gender shelters, where, due to a lack of space, German authorities are forcing thousands of male and female migrants to share the same sleeping areas and restroom facilities.

Conditions for women and girls at some shelters are so perilous that females are being described as "wild game" fighting off Muslim male predators. But many victims, fearing reprisals, are keeping silent, social workers say.

At the same time, growing numbers of German women in towns and cities across the country are being raped by asylum seekers from Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Many of the crimes are being downplayed by German authorities and the national media, apparently to avoid fueling anti-immigration sentiments.

On August 18, a coalition of four social work organizations and women's rights groups sent a two-page letter to the leaders of the political parties in the regional parliament in Hesse, a state in west-central Germany, warning them of the worsening situation for women and children in the refugee shelters. The letter said:
"The ever-increasing influx of refugees has complicated the situation for women and girls at the receiving center in Giessen (HEAE) and its subsidiaries.
"The practice of providing accommodations in large tents, the lack of gender-separate sanitary facilities, premises that cannot be locked, the lack of safe havens for women and girls — to name just a few spatial factors — increases the vulnerability of women and children within the HEAE. This situation plays into the hands of those men who assign women a subordinate role and treat women traveling alone as 'wild game'.
"The consequences are numerous rapes and sexual assaults. We are also receiving an increasing number of reports of forced prostitution. It must be stressed: these are not isolated cases.
"Women report that they, as well as children, have been raped or subjected to sexual assault. As a result, many women sleep in their street clothes. Women regularly report that they do not use the toilet at night because of the danger of rape and robbery on the way to the sanitary facilities. Even during daylight, passing through the camp is a frightful situation for many women.
"Many women — in addition to fleeing wars or civil wars — are also on the run for gender-related reasons, including the threat of forced marriage or genital mutilation. These women who face special risks, especially when they are on the run alone or with their children. Even if they are accompanied by male relatives or acquaintances, this does not always ensure protection against violence because it can also lead to specific dependencies and sexual exploitation.
"Most female refugees have experienced a variety of traumatizing experiences in their country of origin and while on the run. They are victims of violence, kidnappings, torture, rape and extortion — sometimes over periods of several years.
"The feeling to have arrived here — in safety — and to be able to move without fear, is a gift for many women.... We therefore ask join our call for the immediate establishment of protected premises (locked apartments or houses) for women and children who are travelling alone....
"These facilities must be equipped so that men do not have access to the premises of the women, with the exception of emergency workers and security personnel. In addition bedrooms, lounges, kitchens and sanitary facilities must be interconnected so that they form a self-contained unit — and thus can only be reached via lockable and monitored access to the house or the apartment."
After several blogs (here, here and here) drew attention to the letter, the LandesFrauenRat (LFR) Hessen, a women's lobbying group that originally uploaded the politically incorrect document to its website, abruptly removed it on September 14, without explanation.

The problem of rapes and sexual assaults in German refugee shelters is a nationwide problem.

In Bavaria, women and girls housed at a refugee shelter in Bayernkaserne, a former military base in Munich, are subject to rape and forced prostitution on a daily basis, according to women's rights groups. Although the facility has separate dorm rooms for women, the doors cannot be locked and men control access to the sanitary facilities.

Approximately 80% of the refugees/migrants at the shelter are male, according to Bavarian Broadcasting (Bayerischer Rundfunk), which reports that the price for sex with female asylum seekers is ten euros. A social worker described the facility this way: "We are the biggest brothel in Munich."

Police insist they have no proof that the rapes are taking place, although a police raid on the facility found that guards hired to provide security at the site were trafficking drugs and weapons and were turning a blind eye to the prostitution.

On August 28, a 22-year-old Eritrean asylum seeker was sentenced to one year and eight months in prison for attempting to rape a 30-year-old Iraqi-Kurdish woman at a refugee shelter in the Bavarian town of Höchstädt. The reduced sentence was thanks to the efforts of the defense attorney, who persuaded the judge that the defendant's situation at the shelter was hopeless: "For a year now he sits around and thinks about — about nothingness."

On August 26, a 34-year-old asylum seeker attempted to rape a 34-year-old woman in the laundry room of a refugee facility in Stralsund, a city near the Baltic Sea.

On August 6, police revealed that a 13-year-old Muslim girl was raped by another asylum seeker at a refugee facility in Detmold, a city in west-central Germany. The girl and her mother reportedly fled their homeland to escape a culture of sexual violence; as it turns out, the man who raped the girl is from their country.

Although the rape took place in June, police kept silent about it for nearly three months, until local media published a story about the crime. According to an editorial comment in the newspaper Westfalen-Blatt, police are refusing to go public about crimes involving refugees and migrants because they do not want to give legitimacy to critics of mass migration.

Police chief Bernd Flake countered that the silence was aimed at protecting the victim. "We will continue with this policy [of not informing the public] whenever crimes are committed in refugee facilities," he said.

Over the weekend of June 12-14, a 15-year-old girl housed at a refugee shelter in Habenhausen, a district in the northern city of Bremen, was repeatedly raped by two other asylum seekers. The facility has been has been described as a "house of horrors" due to the spiraling violence perpetrated by rival gangs of youth from Africa and Kosovo. A total of 247 asylum seekers are staying at the shelter, which has a capacity for 180 and a cafeteria with seating for 53.

Meanwhile, the raping of German women by asylum seekers is becoming commonplace. Following are a few select cases just from 2015:

On September 11, a 16-year-old girl was raped by an unidentified "dark-skinned man speaking broken German" close to a refugee shelter in the Bavarian town of Mering. The attack occurred while the girl was walking home from the train station.

On August 13, police arrested two Iraqi asylum seekers, aged 23 and 19, for raping an 18-year-old German woman behind a schoolyard in Hamm, a city in North Rhine-Westphalia.

On July 26, a 14-year-old boy was sexually assaulted inside the bathroom of a regional train in Heilbronn, a city in southwestern Germany. Police are looking for a "dark skinned" man between the ages of 30 and 40 who has an "Arab appearance." Also on July 26, a 21-year-old Tunisian asylum seeker raped a 20-year-old woman in the Dornwaldsiedlung district of Karlsruhe. Police kept the crime secret until August 14, when a local paper went public with the story.

On June 9, two Somali asylum seekers, aged 20 and 18, were sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison for raping a 21-year-old German woman in Bad Kreuznach, a town in Rhineland-Palatinate, on December 13, 2014.

On June 5, a 30-year-old Somali asylum seeker called "Ali S" was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison for attempting to rape a 20-year-old woman in Munich. Ali had previously served a seven-year sentence for rape, and had been out of prison for only five months before he attacked again. In an effort to protect the identity of Ali S, a Munich newspaper referred to him by the more politically correct "Joseph T."

On May 22, a 30-year-old Moroccan man was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison for attempting to rape a 55-year-old woman in Dresden. On May 20, a 25-year-old Senegalese asylum seeker was arrested after he attempted to rape a 21-year-old German woman at the Stachus, a large square in central Munich.

On April 16, a 21-year-old asylum seeker from Iraq was sentenced to three years and ten months in prison for raping a 17-year-old girl at festival in the Bavarian town of Straubing in August 2014. On April 7, a 29-year-old asylum seeker was arrested for the attempted rape of a 14-year-old girl in the town of Alzenau.

On March 17, two Afghan asylum seekers aged 19 and 20 were sentenced to five years in prison for the "particularly abhorrent" rape of a 21-year-old German woman in Kirchheim, a town near Stuttgart, on August 17, 2014.

On February 11, a 28-year-old asylum seeker from Eritrea was sentenced to four years in prison for raping a 25-year-old German woman in Stralsund, along the Baltic Sea, in October 2014.

On February 1, a 27-year-old asylum seeker from Somalia was arrested after attempting to rape women in the Bavarian town of Reisbach.

On January 16, a 24-year-old Moroccan immigrant raped a 29-year-old woman in Dresden.

Dozens of other cases of rape and attempted rape — cases in which police are specifically looking for foreign perpetrators (German police often refer to them as Südländer, or "southerners") — remain unresolved. Following is a partial list just for August 2015:

On August 23, a "dark skinned" man attempted to rape a 35-year-old woman in Dortmund. On August 17, three male "southerners" attempted to rape a 42-year-old woman in Ansbach. On August 16, a male "southerner" raped a woman in Hanau.

On August 12, a male "southerner" attempted to rape a 17-year-old woman in Hannover. Also on August 12, a male "southerner" exposed himself to a 31-year-old woman in Kassel. Police say a similar incident occurred in the same area on August 11.

On August 10, five men of "Turkish origin" attempted to rape a girl in Mönchengladbach. Also on August 10, a male "southerner" raped a 15-year-old girl in Rinteln. On August 8, a male "southerner" attempted to rape a 20-year-old woman in Siegen.

On August 3, a "North African" raped a seven-year-old girl in broad daylight in a park in Chemnitz, a city in eastern Germany. On August 1, a male "southerner" attempted to rape a 27-year-old woman in downtown Stuttgart.

Meanwhile, parents are being warned to look after their daughters. Police in the Bavarian town of Mering, where a 16-year-old-girl was raped on September 11, have issued a warning to parents not to allow their children to go outside unaccompanied. They have also advised women not to walk to or from the train station alone because of its proximity to a refugee shelter.

In the Bavarian town of Pocking, administrators of the Wilhelm-Diess-Gymnasium have warned parents not to let their daughters wear revealing clothing in order to avoid "misunderstandings" with the 200 Muslim refugees housed in emergency accommodations in a building next to the school. The letter said:
"The Syrian citizens are mainly Muslim and speak Arabic. The refugees have their own culture. Because our school is directly next to where they are staying, modest clothing should be worn in order to avoid disagreements. Revealing tops or blouses, short shorts or miniskirts could lead to misunderstandings."
A local politician quoted by Die Welt newspaper said:
"When Muslim teenage boys go to open air swimming pools, they are overwhelmed when they see girls in bikinis. These boys, who come from a culture where for women it is frowned upon to show naked skin, will follow girls and bother them without their realizing it. Naturally, this generates fear."
The increase in sex crimes in Germany is being fueled by the preponderance of Muslim males among the mix of refugees/migrants entering the country.

Where are the women?
Of the 411,567 refugees/migrants who have entered the EU by sea so far this year, 72% have been male. Above, some of the hundreds of migrants who arrived in Munich on September 12, 2015.

A record 104,460 asylum seekers arrived in Germany in August, bringing the cumulative total for the first eight months of 2015 to 413,535. Germany expects to receive a total of 800,000 refugees and migrants this year, a four-fold increase over 2014.

At least 80% of the incoming refugees/migrants are Muslim, according to a recent estimate by the Central Council of Muslims in Germany (Zentralrat der Muslime in Deutschland, ZMD), a Muslim umbrella group based in Cologne.

The asylum seekers are also overwhelmingly male. Of the 411,567 refugees/migrants who have entered the European Union by sea so far this year, 72% have been male, 13% women and 15% children, according to calculations by the United Nations Refugee Agency. Information about the gender of those arriving by land remains unavailable.

Of the asylum seekers arriving in Germany in 2014, 71.5% of those between ages 16 and 18 were male; 77.5% in the 18-25 age group were male; as were 73.5% of those between 25 and 30, according to German migration statistics. Data for 2015 is not yet available.
Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter.

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

Trading Horses with Putin - Caroline Glick

by Caroline Glick

Time for Israel to reach out to Russia?

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

Trading horses with Putin This week US President Barack Obama informed Jewish leaders that he plans to meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on November 9.

After 42 Democratic senators spent September 11 blocking their Senate colleagues from voting on Obama’s nuclear deal with the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, the time has come to stop trying to influence the Obama administration’s policy toward Iran specifically and toward the Middle East in general. It’s a sucker’s game.

Obama’s supporters like to argue that the administration’s rupture with Israel over the Iran deal is nothing more than a difference of opinion about how best to deal with a problem that both sides wish to solve. But this is not the case.

On Tuesday, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius hailed Obama’s “enormous victory” on the Iran nuclear deal. To be sure, Obama’s victory was not against Iran. It was against Netanyahu.

Based on an interview he conducted with Obama’s deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, Ignatius wrote, “A weak president Obama may be. But a paradox of his presidency is that he has been at his toughest in fighting for the Iran nuclear deal against Netanyahu, the leader of one of America’s closest allies.”

Through Ignatius, Rhodes basked in the president’s great victory over Israel, a victory he views as Obama’s greatest foreign policy achievement.

The takeaway lesson is obvious. Obama never intended to stop Iran from going nuclear. The goal of his nuclear diplomacy with the mullahs was to beat Israel. And there you have it. The Democrats protected him and he beat us. So mazal tov to him.

Now that this is out in the open, clearly we have no reason to get excited about his decision to meet with Netanyahu. Certainly there is no point in making any concessions to Obama ahead of the visit in order to increase its chances of success.

And this is the heart of the matter.

Israel isn’t all powerful. We’re a small country with significant but limited resources and capabilities.

The region we live in is deeply chaotic and steeped in crises. Our great challenge is to pick our fights carefully.

We cannot afford to get sucked into adventures – like appeasing Obama – where the likely return on our investment is minuscule.

Today Israel has only two threats that it really needs to worry about: the Iranian threat and the Palestinian threat to Jerusalem.

Iran threatens Israel in three ways. The greatest threat it poses of course is its nuclear threat. With Obama’s declaration of victory over Israel the time for diplomacy ended. Israel needs to focus its efforts on the one path still open to us.

The government needs to devote its energies to developing the means to physically destroy Iran’s nuclear program. To this end, Netanyahu’s meeting next week with Russian President Vladimir Putin will be much more consequential than his meeting with Obama in November.

No, Israel cannot entertain fantasies about a possible alliance with Russia. That won’t happen. But at the same time, we need to recognize that Russia is not the Soviet Union. Yes, Russia has superpower aspirations, which include projecting its power in the Middle East. But unlike the Soviet Union, Russia’s actions are not informed by an overarching world view that is inherently anti-Semitic.

In other words, it may be possible to do business with Putin.

Along these lines, we need to recognize that Putin’s decision to deploy forces in Syria is not necessarily a hostile act. What it is first of all is proof that Assad’s regime is lost. And this is a good thing because a weak, disintegrating Syria is bad for Iran.

The second way Iran threatens Israel is through its regional power projection. Up until the war began in Syria five years ago, Syria was Iran’s ace in the hole.

Through its Syrian protectorate, Iran controlled a border with Israel and with Hezbollah. Ever since the war began, Iran has been forced to spend $6 billion-$16b. every year in the hope of saving Assad.

The Russian deployment around Latakia is proof that Iran has been defeated.

During the 2006 war with Hezbollah, Russia shared intelligence and other assets with the Iranian proxy.

But unlike the Soviets in previous wars, the Russians didn’t actively interfere with Israel’s military operations. Today, after five years of failure in Syria, Hezbollah and Iran are weaker than they were in 2006. So it is hard to see why Russia would do more to help them in their war against Israel today than it did back then.

Whatever the state of Moscow’s relations with the Iranians and Hezbollah, today Israel has the ability to influence Russia’s actions.

One of the ways Israel can penetrate Russia’s decision loop is by offering to help it fight anti-Russian jihadists operating out of Syria. One of Islamic State’s senior commanders in Syria is Tarkhan Batirashvili, a former Georgian special forces commander trained by the US. According to McClatchy, Batirashvili fought against the Russians in both South Ossetia and in Chechnya. In 2012 he traveled to Turkey where he joined other jihadists in founding IS. Today, Chechens form one of the largest groups of foreign fighters in Islamic State.

Iran and Hezbollah have no credibility in fighting them.

Although Assad and his Iranian sponsors like to talk about their total war against Islamic State, they have played a key role in enabling the psychotic jihadist movement to take and maintain control over so much territory. They have done so mainly by fighting a phony war against IS that has kept others from taking more concerted action against the terrorist army.

Iran’s phony war and effective protection of IS is of a piece with its long record of colluding with Sunni jihadists.

Since early 2002, Iran has served as a major command post for al-Qaida. Much of al-Qaida’s leadership in Afghanistan fled to Iran as US forces overthrew the Taliban regime. Since their entry into the country, Iran has claimed that these senior al-Qaida commanders were “being detained” or “under arrest.”

Amazingly while “under detention,” from 2004 through 2011, members of the group managed to organize al-Qaida in Iraq and command both its and the Shiite insurgencies against US forces in the country. In 2012, al-Qaida in Iraq morphed into IS.

This week it was reported that Iran has “swapped” five senior al-Qaida leaders for an Iranian diplomat that al-Qaida held in Yemen. In short order these terrorist chiefs will be permitted to leave Iran. According to the terms of their “release,” the five agreed not to attack Assad’s regime, but rather focus their efforts on Western targets.

Most media reports have portrayed Putin’s decision to deploy forces to Syria as proof of his commitment to maintaining Assad’s hold on power. But the truth is much more straightforward. Putin is deploying forces to Syria because he thinks he has an opportunity to rebuild Russia’s strategic projection in the Middle East through Syrian bases. And he is right.

The Russians will no doubt be happy to destroy Chechen terrorists a cool 3,500km from Moscow.  And here Israel would be a much better partner for Russia than IS’s Iranian and Syrian enablers.

If Russia is interested in Israel’s help, we can leverage our assistance as a means of exacting a Russian pledge not to interfere in Israeli operations against Hezbollah.

As to Iran, the fact that Russia has long assisted Iran’s nuclear program is not proof that Putin believes a nuclear-armed Iran is good for Russia. Russia’s involvement has been far more mercenary than strategic. Selling Iran nuclear reactors is simply good business as far as Putin is concerned.

Israel may be able to make him a better offer.

Chances of success will be much greater if the government manages to get Israel’s gas out of the sea.

Iran’s decision to set loose al-Qaida commanders is yet further proof of Iran’s ill intentions toward the US and Europe. Israel can leverage its capacity to track and fight terrorists in order to advance its interests in Europe.

This brings us to the Palestinian threat. Israel can offer its services in foiling terrorist plots in Europe in exchange for an end to European financing of anti-Israel activist groups.

Israel has an acute need today to weaken the BDS movement and decrease Western pressure regarding the Palestinians, because currently the Palestinians are using the West’s support for them to endanger Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem.

Alexander Levlovitz’s murder by rock-throwing terrorists in Jerusalem’s Armon Hanatziv neighborhood over Rosh Hashana was the result of a multi-dimensional campaign directed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to destroy Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem.

This campaign is the second major threat that Israel needs to contend with today.

To date, rather than confront this Palestinian campaign with a similarly multidimensional counteroffensive under Netanyahu’s direct command, Israel has sufficed with one-dimensional responses that on their own can have little impact on the Palestinian campaign. The government’s so far stymied plan to mandate long prison sentences for rock throwers is one such limited and ultimately fruitless response.

Rock throwing is among the last components of the Palestinian campaign against Jerusalem. More significant aspects of the Palestinian operation against Israel’s capital include Abbas’s massive campaign of incitement, and the PA ’s organization, training, funding and deployment of forces tasked with functions relevant to the goal of undermining Israeli control of Jerusalem. The just-outlawed women’s brigade on the Temple Mount charged with assaulting Jewish visitors is a component of this task force.

Just as a decade ago then-prime minister Ariel Sharon raised a unique task force comprised of the military, police, and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) along with representatives of relevant government ministries to plan and execute the expulsion of the Jews of Gaza, so today, Netanyahu must raise a dedicated task force whose sole purpose is to dismantle and defeat the Palestinian campaign against the capital.

Israel can handle Jordanian snubs and threats.

It can survive a UN decision to let “Palestine” fly its flag next to Pakistan’s. Israel can diminish its engagement with Obama. It can contain the threats from IS in Sinai and Hamas in Gaza.

But Israel cannot stand idly by in the face of the rising threat from Iran. And it cannot take the Palestinians’ assault on its sovereignty over Jerusalem lying down.

We are not all powerful. And who knows, maybe Putin won’t want to trade horses with us. But with or without him, we are capable of preventing Iran from going nuclear, as we must, to ensure our survival.

And we can defeat the Palestinians and protect Jerusalem, as we must, to ensure our survival. Now is the time to avoid low-return investments and concentrate our efforts where they are most important and where we have the most to gain.

Caroline Glick


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

Israel is not a lonely island - Boaz Bismuth

by Boaz Bismuth

The International Atomic Energy Agency's decision on Thursday to reject, by a large majority of 61 to 43, the proposal from the Arab bloc -- to impose international oversight on Israel's nuclear facilities is not just a major Israeli victory, but also proof that Israel is not some wayward island in a virtuous global sea.

For years now we haven't exactly been spoiled by the international community; the nuclear deal and labeling products made in Judea and Samaria are just the most recent examples. But to conclude that Israel is now isolated after the diplomatic tsunami forecast in 2011 (remember?) and that the current "radical" right-wing government in Jerusalem is leading us into historical isolation is a bit of a stretch. And it's more than a little wrong. 

The International Atomic Energy Agency's decision on Thursday to reject, by a large majority of 61 to 43, the proposal from the Arab bloc, essentially by Egypt, to impose international oversight on Israel's nuclear facilities is not just a major Israeli victory, but also proof that Israel is not some wayward island in a virtuous global sea. 

The story of the IAEA's vote needs to be divided in two: The positive aspect, of course, is that all EU countries, the U.S., and countries from South America, the Pacific and Africa, all voted against the proposal. 

The negative aspect is the fact that Arab states, even the friendly ones among them with which we have diplomatic ties, still after all these years cannot cross the bridge and understand that relations with Israel cannot be maintained only behind closed doors and only when it suits their interests (security cooperation, for example), while displaying hostility when the spotlight is shining, as in the case of the IAEA vote.

Let's begin with the positive. Recently the superpowers signed a nuclear deal with Iran. Even those who supported the deal -- aside from President Barack Obama -- are cognizant of its dangers. A diplomatic source with knowledge of the situation admitted Thursday that the IAEA vote by Western countries could not have been different. There is a limit to how much Israel can be put at risk: not only the nuclear deal with Iran, but inspections of Israeli nuclear sites.

We must also acknowledge that Israel did serious diplomatic work. And when Israel embarks on campaigns such as these -- for four years I took part in some of them -- the work is serious and provides the corresponding results. 

However, there is a negative side to the story. Egypt under President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi is comfortable for Israel, certainly in comparison to Egypt under his predecessor, Mohammed Morsi. Israel and Egypt share common enemies (terrorism, the Islamic State group) in the Sinai Peninsula. Israel allows Egypt to deploy military forces in Sinai beyond what is stipulated in the peace accord between the countries.

Israel and Egypt have also found a common language regarding Hamas. But when it comes to civilian matters or things that occur in the spotlight, Egypt is like the other Arab states in its need to display obstinacy (note Jordan's conduct lately). On the one hand, the Foreign Ministry's director general recently paid a visit to Cairo, the Israeli ambassador's residence in Egypt was re-inaugurated, and a new Egyptian ambassador will arrive in Israel soon; on the other hand Israel was not invited to the ceremonial opening of the New Suez Canal and, as noted, Egypt worked hard against Israel on the nuclear front.

These are the limits to Israel's relations with Arab states, for anyone who still doesn't know or doesn't understand. Add to this that the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty is the "baby" of Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, and you'll see why Egypt worked so feverishly on the rejected IAEA proposal.

But most importantly for those who were worried: Israel is not lost in the world, and has not lost America either.

Boaz Bismuth


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Clinton Global Initiative loses sponsors and prestige speakers - Thomas Lifson

by Thomas Lifson

This could be the beginning of the end. Of course, the empire is striking back

The Clinton brand is becoming toxic. The family and its purportedly “non-profit” entities have been so seriously damaged that major corporate sponsors and high ranking speakers are deserting the Clinton Global Initiative. David Mastio of USA Today has the story:
USA TODAY has confirmed that sponsors from 2014 that have backed out for this year include electronics company Samsung, oil giant ExxonMobil, global financial firms Deutsche Bank and HSBC, and accounting firm PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers)Hewlett-Packard, which just announced major layoffs, will be an in-kind donor instead of a cash contributor, and the agri-chem firm Monsanto has cut back its donation. Dow's name is missing from the donor list as well, but the chemical company's exit is not confirmed.
High-profile corporations might not be the only key supporters backing away from association with the Clinton family's charitable arm. In 2014, eight national leaders, kings, presidents and prime ministers, appeared on the program for CGI's annual meeting, including the president of the United States and the prime minister of Japan. This year, only leaders from Colombia and Liberia are currently on the program.
The Obama administration is backing away as well. In 2014, the cabinet officials heading the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Commerce, as well as key White House adviser Valerie Jarrett spoke at the conference. This year no Obama administration appointees as prominent are on the program.
This could be the beginning of the end. Of course, the empire is striking back:
In emails, Craig Minassian, chief communications officer of CGI, said that more speakers and sponsors are yet to be announced. The event will be attended by nearly two dozen heads of state. "Revenue is actually slightly better than last year ... so there isn’t a decline in support," he wrote.
It does take a long time for these withdrawals to work their way through the system. Pledges are made, schedules are set long in advance. The Hillary email scandal has only been working its way toward its eventual end for several months. But the faithful supporters are also stepping up:
According to the foundation website, Microsoft has increased its donation to the event and well-known retailer GAP, Inc. has joined the roster, but other names signing on are unknown to most Americans: Consolidated Contractor Company, a Middle East construction firm; Delos, a real estate company; and Cheniere, a natural gas pipeline and terminal company.
As in years past, a number of widely known corporate brands are sticking with sponsorship of the Clinton event. Barclays, CocaCola, P&G, Cisco, Goldman Sachs and Western Union remain sponsors, as they were in 2014. Senior executives from other companies, including Sodexo and Unilever, will appear on stage. And non-profit support for the event has not dropped off.
Just wait. Let these companies start hearing about consumer protest over their support of Clinton “charities” and they may change their minds. And a lot depends on how the FBI investigation plays out.

Any way you slice it, this is terrible news for the Hillary campaign.

Thomas Lifson


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