Saturday, May 14, 2016

How New York State Can Fight Europe's Rampaging Israel Boycotters - Benjamin Weinthal and Asaf Romirowsky

by Benjamin Weinthal and Asaf Romirowsky

The Senate passed a robust anti-BDS bill that would penalize European companies engaged in boycott-related activity.

Originally published under the title "How New York Can Help Stop Europe's Rampaging Israel Boycotters."

"Americans and New Yorkers want to stand with our strategic democratic ally Israel and against hatred peddled by the BDS movement," New York Assemblyman Charles Lavine told the Jerusalem Post earlier this month.
In America, the odious boycott, divestment and sanctions movement targeting Israel remains largely confined to university humanities departments, leaving Europe as the main battleground in the economic war on Israel.

And now a bill in the New York Legislature may be the key to blunting financial and political damage to Israel in Europe.

The Senate passed a robust anti-BDS bill that would penalize European companies engaged in boycott-related activity. The measure is before the Assembly, sponsored by Charles Lavine (D-Nassau).

Nearly half of US states have passed anti-BDS resolutions or laws. New York's law will be crucial because scores of major European companies and banks are based in the Empire State. The mere threat of legislation penalizing European banks has prompted one major bank to shut down an Austrian BDS group's account: The Vienna-based financial-services provider Erste Group closed the account held by BDS Austria.
Nearly half of US states have passed anti-BDS resolutions or laws.
After the Jerusalem Post exposed in February a BDS account held by the DAB Bank in Munich — a subsidiary of the French banking giant BNP Paribas — the account of BDS Campaign in Germany was closed.

Both BNP Paribas and Erste Group have branch offices in New York City. German, Austrian and French banks maintaining BDS accounts are now likely to face greater scrutiny by New York State legislators.
Take, for example, Vienna's pro-boycott Austrian-Arab Culture Center. It holds an account with the Austrian bank BAWAG, and held an event last month with the convicted terrorist Leila Khaled, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. BAWAG has an office in New York City.

The PFLP has been designated by the United States and the European Union as a terrorist organization. Khaled was part of a terrorist cell that hijacked TWA Flight 840 in 1969. A year later, she participated in the hijacking of EL AL Flight 219.

The Austrian bank BAWAG provides an account to Vienna's pro-boycott Austrian-Arab Culture Center.
Note as well: New York City-based Cerberus Capital Management owns 52 percent of BAWAG, and GoldenTree Asset Management — another New York City-based investment firm — has a 40 percent stake in the bank.

The Strasbourg-based Credit Mutuel, which also has a branch in New York City, holds the account of the main hub of Israel-boycott activity in France: BDS France. Credit Mutuel has also snubbed the French government. "The French opposition against any form of boycott is well known. There are strict rules in France against calls for a boycott. These rules apply notably to all economic operators," the French embassy in Tel Aviv said about the Credit Mutuel account.

Germany's Commerzbank and Baden Württembergische Bank (BW) both have BDS accounts and offices in New York. The United States fined Commerzbank $1.45 billion last year for violating Iran, Cuba and Sudan sanctions.

In April, Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) said, "I am alarmed by reports that Commerzbank, a German bank headquartered in Frankfurt with branches in Illinois and New York, may be one of several German banks facilitating accounts used by anti-Israel and anti-Semitic BDS groups, and I urge the Illinois Investment Policy Board to investigate these reports under our state's first-in-the-nation anti-BDS law."

European companies and financial institutions will need to make hard decisions about being soft on BDS.
According to a 2004 study by Ludolf Herbs and Thomas Weihe, titled The Commerzbank and the Jews, 1933-1945, the bank's "participation in anti-Semitic measures was an important part of the business practices of the Commerzbank" during the Holocaust.

BW Bank is located in Stuttgart in the southern German state of Baden-Württemberg. Stuttgart owns nearly 20 percent of BW and the state owns roughly 25 percent of the bank. Stuttgart Mayor Fritz Kuhn says he "feels a deep connection to Israel," but he has defended the BDS account.

European companies and financial institutions will need to make hard decisions. Do they want to continue to stoke anti-Semitism via BDS and hurt Israel's economy while facing financial damage to their businesses in the United States? It should be a no-brainer.

Benjamin Weinthal is a Berlin-based fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.  
Asaf Romirowsky is the executive director of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME) and a fellow at the Middle East Forum.


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

Israel Gains the Upper Hand over Hamas in Gaza’s Subterranean War - Ari Lieberman

by Ari Lieberman

The Israeli army's new technologies and methods for combatting the terror group.

As Israel nears its 68th year of independence, Israelis can take pride in the fact that they have much to celebrate. Unemployment is low and standards of living are comparable to those of affluent Western nations. Israel’s citizens have transformed a semi-arid land into an oasis. Its innovative and resourceful people have turned the nation into a technology giant. Water shortages that plagued the nation during its formative years are now a thing of the past thanks to cost-effective desalinization plants and other innovative water technologies. Israel maintains a highly developed and modern infrastructure and its formidable military continuously ranks among the most powerful. Recent natural gas finds off Israel’s coast have instantly transformed the Jewish State into a major energy player with various nations eager to sign deals and form partnerships. When natural disasters strike distant countries, Israeli rescue and medical personnel are among the first on the scene and are world renowned for their efficiency and effectiveness.

It’s no wonder that in poll after poll, Israelis consistently rank among the happiest people in the world. Perhaps the greatest testament to Israel’s success is the growth of its population. In 1948, only 6% of world Jewry resided in Israel. Today, that figure has swelled to nearly 50%, a development not seen since the Second Temple Era, two-thousand years ago!

Despite these phenomenal achievements, Israelis still have to contend with menacing and malignant forces lurking just beyond their borders. Up until recently, attention was focused on the north in Lebanon where the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist group maintains a stockpile of 110,000 missiles, all aimed at Israel. With help from Iran, the Shia proxy group is also attempting to establish missile bases in Syria from where it could open a second front against Israel. Israel has thus far been successful in thwarting these nefarious efforts, striking out militarily when necessary and continues to remain vigilant.

Not to be outdone, Hamas, the terror entity that governs Gaza has significantly escalated tensions in the south. In the past few weeks, the genocidal Sunni group initiated several border provocations that demonstrate just how precarious the border situation is.

On April 15, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh while speaking at a rally announced, “Our message…is a message inked in blood. The rifle and the tunnel are our commitment…” Haniyeh’s belligerent bombast was likely for internal consumption but underscores attempts by the terror group to focus on tunnels as an offensive tool of warfare. During Israel’s 2014 summer offensive against Hamas, the Israel Defense Forces uncovered and destroyed nearly three-dozen terror tunnels, some of which extended deep into Israel. These tunnels were designed for ghoulish mega attacks aimed at killing and capturing as many civilians as possible and at least one tunnel was found lurking beneath an Israeli kindergarten.

Following the 2014 conflict, Hamas began rebuilding its tunnel network diverting cement and building materials earmarked for civilian use. But Israel invested heavily in technologies aimed at tunnel detection. Beginning this year, Hamas began experiencing a series of mysterious and devastating tunnel cave-ins. At least a dozen tunnels have reportedly collapsed, trapping and killing several Hamas operatives including senior commanders.

Deep paranoia immediately set in. Hamas accused Israel of employing a secret weapon that caused the cave-ins. Some Hamas operatives refused to re-enter existing tunnels for fear of additional Israeli induced cave-ins.

Whether Israel has such a device or not, Israel’s combat engineers have been working relentlessly to uncover the tunnels. The Shin Bet, Israel’s FBI equivalent, has been active in debriefing captured Hamas operatives with intimate knowledge of Hamas’ tunnel operations.

In mid-April, Israeli forces secured the capture of Mahmoud Atauna, a senior Hamas operative active in the tunnel business. He provided his interrogators with a treasure trove of information on Hamas operations and activities including those involving the terror tunnels. That same month, the Shin Bet scored another intelligence coup capturing another operative whom officials said provided “extensive information on Hamas activities to dig tunnels that are to be used for Hamas fighters to infiltrate Israeli areas.”

Israel’s anti-tunneling efforts have paid off. In recent weeks, the IDF has uncovered two well-constructed tunnels extending into Israel proper and buried several dozen meters below ground. Hamas terrorists watched helplessly from their posts as Israeli forces converged on their prized possessions, which had taken months, if not years, to construct. In an effort to distract the IDF, Hamas breached the ceasefire which had held since August 2014 and fired a number of mortar rounds. Israel responded with accurate tank fire and airstrikes. Hamas got the message and backed off.

The Hamas provocations demonstrate how volatile the situation is and how easily a localized border skirmish can escalate into full-fledged conflagration. But the terror tunnels pose a serious challenge that must be addressed and it appears that the Israelis are beginning to get the upper hand in the subterranean battle.

Since 2008, Israel has had to battle Hamas on three occasions. On each occasion, Hamas was thoroughly trounced and beaten. The routine is predictable. Hostilities begin with Hamas initiating rocket fire or some other terror attack against Israel’s civilian populace. It then hides behind its own civilian population when Israel inevitably retaliates. The Islamists and their useful idiot, radical leftist allies condemn Israel for using “disproportionate” force and call for “restraint.” Hamas then declares “victory.” Rinse and repeat.

This cycle is referred to by some Israeli analysts as mowing the lawn. Every so often, Hamas or Hezbollah forget about the thrashing they received at the hands of the Israeli army in years prior and embark upon another futile adventure. Israel is then forced to mow the lawn and cut them down to size. If Hamas continues to violate Israeli sovereignty with its reckless tunnel experiment, Israel may be required to once again, mow the lawn. 

Ari Lieberman is an attorney and former prosecutor who has authored numerous articles and publications on matters concerning the Middle East and is considered an authority on geo-political and military developments affecting the region.


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

Clinton E-mail Trove Likely in Russian Hands - Joseph Klein

by Joseph Klein

Putting her own needs before national security.

Thousands of e-mails from Hillary Clinton’s private, unsecured server, created while she served as Secretary of State, are reportedly in the possession of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR). The SVR is said to have gained access to the e-mails, of which it made copies, through its monitoring of a Romanian computer hacker named Marcel Lazăr Lehel (aka Guccifer). Guccifer had learned about the existence of Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail account after accessing the e-mails of her close confidante and informal adviser, Sidney Blumenthal, with whom Hillary had extensive correspondence during her term as Secretary of State.

A report attributed to Russia’s Security Council indicates that an internal battle has broken out over whether to publicly release the e-mails between the Director of the FSB, Alexander Bortnikov, and Chairwoman of the Council of Federation, Valentina Matviyenko. The latter had authorized a release of some of the e-mails to Russia Today (RT) back on March 20, 2013. Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service director expressed alarm at the release, primarily because of concerns that the release would reveal to U.S. intelligence services how Russia used its monitoring of Guccifer to obtain Clinton’s e-mails. He had good reason to be concerned. U.S. authorities worked with their Romanian counterparts to follow the trail that led to Guccifer’s arrest in Romania.

In March 2016, Chairwoman Matviyenko is said to have called for a total release of the e-mails, in part to influence the U.S. presidential election. Ms. Matvivenko reportedly cited Russian President Vladimir Putin’s positive statements about Donald Trump and claimed that Hillary Clinton was not liked by the Russian people.

Perhaps it was just a coincidence, but Guccifer was quickly extradited to the United States from Romania at the end of March. He is facing a nine-count federal indictment on various charges, including wire fraud, cyberstalking, identify theft, unauthorized access to computers and obstruction of justice.

The FBI requested the extradition, according to the Romanian government. Thus, it would be logical to assume that the FBI has been speaking with Guccifer regarding the server, although the agency has not officially confirmed such discussions.

 “Because of the proximity to Sidney Blumenthal and the activity involving Hillary’s emails, [the timing] seems to be something beyond curious,” said Ron Hosko, former assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division from 2012-2014, as quoted by Fox News. “Here is an individual in a relatively poor Eastern European country who was able to intrude on sensitive emails about activities in Benghazi.”

The mainstream media had sought to protect Hillary Clinton from revelations about Guccifer’s role in the hacking of her private e-mail server as long as it could. For example, NBC News reporter Cynthia McFadden had interviewed Guccifer from a Bucharest prison and elicited Guccifer’s first-hand account that Hillary’s server was “not safe at all.” NBC sat on this interview for more than a month. Only after Guccifer was extradited to the U.S. and appeared to be of interest to the FBI did NBC have to acknowledge the potential importance of what Guccifer had to say regarding Hillary’s unsafe server.

On May 4th, NBC finally issued a press release about the interview that it planned to run several days later. Even then, NBC played defense for Hillary’s campaign, emphasizing in the press release that “Guccifer could provide no documentation to back up his claims, nor did he ever release anything on-line supporting his allegation, as he’d done frequently in prior hacks.” Of course, the best proof would be the released e-mails themselves, which RT had reported were obtained from Guccifer, complete with excerpts, in its March 20, 2013 article.

The New York Times has also played defense for the Clinton team. In an article appearing on May 11th entitled “Use of Unclassified Email Systems Not Limited to Clinton,” New York Times reporter Steven Lee Myers claimed it was regular government practice to send e-mails that may contain classified information over unclassified government computer networks used for more routine business. These unclassified government computer networks even had a nickname - “low side.”

“A review of the 30,322 emails from Mrs. Clinton’s private server that the State Department has made public under the Freedom of Information Act provides an extensive record of how such sensitive information often looped throughout President Obama’s foreign policy apparatus on unclassified systems, from embassies to the United Nations to the White House,” Mr. Myers wrote. “Many of the emails were sent over the State Department’s unclassified system,, which is considered secure but not at the level of the State Department’s system for emailing classified information.”

While acknowledging that Hillary Clinton’s private server “was assumed to be even less secure than the State Department’s ‘low side,’” the New York Times reporter made sure to add that “the unclassified servers at some government agencies have been hacked in recent years.”

Undoubtedly, the government’s own computer network systems need to be better secured. However, that is beside the point. For her own selfish reasons, Hillary Clinton set up a rogue private e-mail system that was not subject to any government oversight. Unlike with respect to its own systems, the government was not able to monitor the use of Hillary’s private system. It was not in a position to periodically inspect and make decisions on whether to upgrade security. And there was no automatic archiving of e-mails passing through the private system for document retention purposes.

The bottom line is that Hillary Clinton, while Secretary of State, recklessly caused an evasion of whatever safeguards existed in the standard government handling of e-mails pertaining to government business. She recklessly created a non-accountable private system, with knowledge that classified information could pass through the system and be hacked without detection from government information technology security experts. Some of the e-mails reportedly involved national defense, including one determined to be “secret” sent by her aide Huma Abedin, which dealt with North Korea's ballistic missile launch. Another e-mail dealt with drone activities, particularly in Pakistan.

At minimum, therefore, it is highly likely that Hillary Clinton violated 18 U.S. Code § 793 (f):
Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer— Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both. [Emphasis added.]

Whether any of the e-mails were marked classified at the time they were sent or received through her server is irrelevant. Whether Hillary only received e-mails containing sensitive secret information, and did not produce or send any of her own, is also irrelevant. Moreover, her intent is irrelevant. By using the private system in the first place and causing her aides to communicate to her over that system, with knowledge of the potential harm to national security if adversaries gained access to her non-secure system, Hillary engaged in a pattern of reckless conduct over four years. She was grossly negligent in permitting information relating to the national defense to be removed from its “proper place of custody” and communicated via e-mail over her unsafe server. Russia appears to have copies of at least some of these e-mails, after tracking the hacker Guccifer who gained access to Hillary’s server.

Hillary Clinton’s gross negligence in putting herself before national security, which she was entrusted to help protect, merits criminal prosecution.  

Joseph Klein


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

The Fruits of Subversion - Caroline Glick

by Caroline Glick

Israel's left-wing shadow government.

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

For the Obama administration, Israel’s security brass is an alternative government.

That is the lesson from an article published this week in Foreign Affairs by David Makovsky, a member of Secretary of State John Kerry’s negotiating team during his failed peace process two years ago.

Makovsky wrote that the security brass’s unbridled vilification of Sgt. Elor Azaria, for killing a wounded terrorist in Hebron in March, “captures the IDF’s growing involvement in the Palestinian issue.”

“Seeing a diplomatic vacuum in Israeli politics,” he wrote supportively, “the IDF has increasingly worked to assert itself as a guardian of democratic values and a stabilizer of the Israeli-Palestinian arena.”

The article tells us two things. First, for the administration, “Israeli democracy” means the Left is in charge.

The “diplomatic vacuum,” Makovsky referred to after all wasn’t an oversight. The public elected leaders who shared its view that the “peace process” is a fraud. We elected leader[s] who agree that Israel making unreciprocated concessions to terrorists is not a peace process. It’s a process of destroying Israel.

If the voters had wanted a government that felt otherwise, they would have voted the Left to lead.

So the “diplomatic vacuum” is just the government doing what it was elected to do.

The General Staff is the Left’s representative, and has in recent months served as its surrogate government, taking steps that advance the Left’s agenda against the wishes of the government and the public that elected it.

For instance, the General Staff “inadvertently” returned the body of a dead terrorist to his family despite an explicit cabinet decision to end the practice.

Likewise, our generals continuously pressure the government to agree to relinquish security control over the Palestinian population centers, and transfer security responsibility to terrorism-supporting Palestinian militias. This despite the fact that the government has repeatedly rejected their position.

These actions are bad enough on their own. But when seen in the context of recent events, they lend the impression that for our generals, gross insubordination to the Netanyahu government is the rule, rather than the exception.

Deputy Chief of General Staff Maj.-Gen. Yair Golan compared Israeli society to the Nazis on Holocaust Remembrance Day. This was a direct assault on the government’s policy of fighting, rather than joining, Israel-bashers who deny the right of the Jewish state to exist. And his comrades in the General Staff and in the Left praised him for his appalling behavior.

Then there is the late Maj.-Gen. Meir Dagan, the retired director of the Mossad.

Last Thursday Channel 2’s investigative news program Uvda broadcast an interview with Dagan, conducted shortly before his death.

Dagan told the host Ilana Dayan that in 2010, he committed espionage.

Dagan revealed that in 2010, he went behind Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s back and informed then-CIA director Leon Panetta that Netanyahu and then-defense minister Ehud Barak were about to order the security services to attack Iran’s nuclear installations.

Panetta, who Dayan also interviewed, substantiated Dagan’s remarks.

Dagan gave three justifications for his behavior. He claimed that whereas he acted out of Israel’s national interest, Netanyahu acted out of “political motivations.”

Dagan insisted that had Israel attacked, the US would have used force to protect Iran’s nuclear installations from Israel.

Dagan argued that Netanyahu is to blame for President Barack Obama’s decision to cut a deal with the Iranian regime that effectively paves the way for Iran’s emergence as a nuclear power and a regional hegemon.

Had Netanyahu played along with Obama, Dagan argued, Obama wouldn’t have opened negotiations with Iran.

Dagan’s actions and his justifications for them indicated that he trusted Panetta, and through him, Obama, more than he trusted Netanyahu, a man whom he loathed.

Shortly after his interviewed aired, The New York Times posted an article repudiating Dagan’s faith in Obama and showing that Netanyahu’s judgment was far superior to that of his spy chief.

David Samuels’s profile of Obama’s Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes, “the single most influential voice shaping American foreign policy aside from [Obama] himself,” revealed that Obama’s Iran policy was determined well before he entered office. And it had nothing to do with anything Netanyahu did or didn’t do.

Samuels also exposed that Dagan’s confidante Panetta was little more than a marionette controlled by Obama and Rhodes.

In a candid interview with him, Panetta revealed that Obama tasked him with convincing Netanyahu not to strike Iran’s nuclear installations.

As Samuels put it, Panetta, said that as secretary of defense, “one of his most important jobs was keeping... Netanyahu and his defense minister Ehud Barak from launching a preemptive attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.”

Panetta said that he convinced them not to strike Iran by telling that if push came to shove, Obama would order US forces to strike Iran’s facilities to prevent the regime from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Panetta then admitted that today he does not believe that he was telling them the truth.

For his part, Rhodes revealed that from the outset of his presidency, it was Obama’s aim to cut a deal with Iran while ending the US’s alliances with Israel and the Sunni states.

In Rhodes’s words, from Obama’s perspective, reaching a deal with Iran was “the center of the arc” around which Obama’s whole vision of a transformed US foreign policy ran.

Rhodes said that Obama believed, “We don’t have to be in cycles of conflict if we can find other ways to resolve these issues. We can do things that challenge the conventional thinking that, you know, ‘AIPAC doesn’t like this,’ or ‘the Israeli government doesn’t like this,’ or ‘the Gulf countries don’t like it.’” He continued, “It’s the possibility of improved relations with adversaries. It’s nonproliferation. So all these threads that the president’s been spinning – and I mean that not in the press sense – for almost a decade, they kind of all converged around Iran.”

Rhodes said the administration’s claim that talks with Iran only began after the 2013 election brought the supposedly moderate Hassan Rouhani to power instead of outgoing president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was a deliberately concocted lie.

The myth of Iranian “moderates” locked in a struggle with “extremists” was invented, Rhodes said, to “eliminate a source of structural tension between [the US and Iran] which would create the space for America to disentangle itself from its established system of alliances with countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel and Turkey.”

Panetta and other senior Obama administration officials told Samuels that Obama ignored their advice, using them as “cover” to push through his radical foreign policy agenda.

Netanyahu understood all of this intuitively. But Dagan refused to see it. Driven by his personal animus toward Netanyahu and by egomania, he chose to trust Panetta, and through him, Obama, more than he trusted the man he was legally bound to serve.

And so, Dagan willfully subverted the premier’s authority. He unlawfully revealed Israel’s most classified operational secret to Obama’s puppet. Through his action, Dagan cleared the final obstacle to Obama’s pursuit of his anti-Israel agenda.

Since his final interview was broadcast, Dagan’s many supporters have argued that his behavior is beside the point. It is Netanyahu’s fault that Israel didn’t attack Iran at the time or since. Netanyahu, they say, could have fired Dagan and replaced him with someone who agreed with his assessments.

Although valid in theory, these arguments insult the intelligence of even a casual observer of the routine insubordination of senior security officials with dovish conceits toward right-wing politicians.

Netanyahu allowed Dagan to retire with honor from the Mossad despite his appalling behavior.

And still, the minute he was out the door, Dagan denounced Netanyahu. Projecting his own behavior on the prime minister, Dagan castigated him as irresponsible, untrustworthy and dangerous. Perhaps hoping to help Obama’s reelection, on the eve of the 2012 election, Dagan told Dayan that he had informed the Americans of Netanyahu’s planned attack on Iran’s nuclear installations.

Far from being punished for his espionage, Dagan was the toast of the town. He was the hero of the Left and a star of the international lecture circuit.

Like Golan, the Left celebrated him as a guardian of Israel’s “democratic values.”

The Left’s response to Dagan and Golan shows the real balance of power between a right-wing prime minister and left-wing, insubordinate generals.

Had Netanyahu fired Dagan, he would have acted just as he did upon his retirement. And he would have been idealized as a martyr just as he was upon retiring. Perhaps Netanyahu hoped that by not firing Dagan he had a better chance of being able to attack Iran’s nuclear installations after he was gone. Whatever the case, the blind Dagan was more powerful than the clear-sighted Netanyahu.

It is difficult to assess the damage Dagan caused Israel’s security. But it is clear that harm he did us was immense, strategic, long-term and multi-dimensional.

And national security wasn’t the only victim of Dagan’s behavior. His insubordination, like that of his comrades on the General Staff, struck a devastating normative blow to the country as well.

From the perspective of democratic norms, the worst part of Dagan’s subversion is that he was proud of it.

By insisting his final interview be broadcast posthumously, Dagan showed that he wanted his subversion of the government to be his legacy. Dagan’s final act was to tell his countrymen that it is legitimate to place themselves above the law and above the lawful government and take independent actions that will obligate the entire country.

Ironically, there is no substantive difference between Dagan’s actions – or the generals’– and the actions of the so-called Hilltop Youth in Samaria whom the generals continuously condemn as the greatest threat to Israel.

Like the generals, right-wing extremist teenage outlaws reject the authority of the government. Like the generals, denizens of “the state of Judea” believe that they know how to advance Israel’s national security better than our elected officials.

True, the damage the generals cause the country by revealing state secrets to foreign governments and libeling the nation of Israel as Nazis is several orders of magnitude greater than the damage wrought by fanatical teenagers who vandalize Arab property. Indeed it is far greater than alleged acts of murder that a handful of Hilltop Youth stand accused of committing.

And by acting lawlessly and showing bottomless contempt for our elected officials, Dagan, Golan and their comrades tell the Hilltop Youth and the rest of us that the law is what they say it is.

Sixty-eight years ago, after declaring Israel’s independence, David Ben-Gurion set about dismantling the underground militias to ensure the survival of the state as a coherent political unit.

Sixty-eight years later, it works out there are still competing gangs trying to obligate the rest of us with their unlawful, anti-democratic and immoral behavior. If Israel is to survive for the next 68 years, we need to act firmly and forthrightly to end this state of affairs.

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


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

Palestinian Leaders and Child Sacrifice - Khaled Abu Toameh

by Khaled Abu Toameh

What happened in the Abu Hindi home is an unspeakable family tragedy. What is happening to the Palestinian people, who have forever been led by leaders who care nothing for their well-being, is a tragedy of national proportions.

  • The Palestinian Authority (PA) is now hoping that the tragedy of the Abu Hindi family will push Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to revolt against Hamas.
  • Hamas is hoping that the tragedy will further undermine the credibility of the Palestinian Authority among Palestinians, shown as being complicit in the blockade on the Gaza Strip to prevent it from receiving weapons.
  • These charges and counter-charges constitute yet more proof that the PA and Hamas are determined to pursue their fight to the last Palestinian child.

The tragic death of three Palestinian siblings, killed in a fire that destroyed their house in the Gaza Strip on May 6, demonstrates yet again the depth to which Palestinian leaders will go to exploit their children for political purposes and narrow interests.

The three children from the Abu Hindi family -- Mohamed, 3 years old, his brother Nasser, 2 years old and their two-month infant sister Rahaf, died in a fire caused by candles that were being used due to the recurring power outages in the Gaza Strip.

The electricity crisis in the Gaza Strip is the direct result of the continued power struggle between the two Palestinian rival forces, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA).

In recent months, the crisis has deepened, leaving large parts of the Gaza Strip without electricity for most of the day. Hamas blames the Palestinian Authority for the crisis because of its failure to cover the costs of the fuel needed to operate the power plants in the Gaza Strip. The PA has retorted by blaming Hamas's "corruption" and "incompetence."

The Abu Hindi family resides in the Shati refugee camp, where Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and other leaders of the Islamist movement live. But unlike the senior Hamas leaders, the Abu Hindi family could not afford to purchase their own power generator to supply them with electricity during the power outages. Instead, the tragedy-stricken family, like most families in the Gaza Strip, resorted to the cheapest alternative lighting method -- candles.

On that horrific evening, the Abu Hindi's three children went to sleep while the candles were burning. Hours later, the charred bodies of the three siblings were taken from the house while it was still on fire and engulfed with smoke.

In any other country, this incident would have been reported as a routine tragedy -- one of the kind that could happen in any city such as New York, London or Paris.

Here, however, the death of the three children is not just another personal tragedy. This was a case, rather, of child sacrifice: the Abu-Hindi children were sacrificed on the altar of the decade-long war being waged between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. And these children are far from the first or last such victims.

In equal measure, the PA and Hamas are exploiting the tragedy of the Abu Hindi family to wage a smear campaign against each other. It is not as though these rivals have lived in harmony until now. But the political mud-slinging at the expense of the three dead children has reached repulsive levels.

The children were not even buried before Hamas leaders pointed their fingers at Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his prime minister, Rami Hamdallah, who it claimed were held personally responsible for the electricity crisis in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri claimed that the electricity crisis was part of the PA leadership's effort to keep the entire Gaza Strip under blockade. The PA's ultimate goal, he explained, is to see Hamas undermined and removed from power in the Gaza Strip.

Other Hamas officials said the crisis was the direct result of the Palestinian Authority's insistence on imposing a tax on the fuel it supplies to the power plants in the Gaza Strip -- a financial burden that Hamas could not afford to pay because of the already high cost of the fuel. They said that the tax was unjustified because the PA, through an arrangement with Israel (from which it purchases the fuel), gets the tax refunded. In addition, they pointed out, the PA has refused to file a request with Israel to increase its supply of electricity to the Gaza Strip.

Translation: Hamas takes no responsibility for the fact that two million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip spend nearly 12 hours a day without electricity. Instead, in their view, it is the sole responsibility of Mahmoud Abbas and his prime minister, whose only interest is to strip Hamas of its power.

But where did the millions of internationally donated dollars go? How much do the tunnels cost, the ones Hamas uses to launch terrorist attacks against Israel? Funding terrorists and their families? Might not that money have been better invested in keeping children from burning to death from candle fire?

Hamas leaders staged the smear well. In an unprecedented move, masked members of Hamas's military wing, Ezaddin Al-Qassam, were dispatched to attend the funeral of the three children. Hamas leaders such as Ismail Haniyeh were also present, offering condolences to the family. The cameras caught all this, demonstrating the family's affiliation with Hamas and implying that Abbas and his Palestinian Authority were responsible for the tragedy.

Masked Hamas gunmen pose for the media at the funeral of the Abu Hindi children in Gaza, May 7, 2016.

The Palestinian Authority is also seeking to cash in on the tragedy by waging a war of defamation against Hamas. Yusuf Al-Mahmoud, spokesman for the Palestinian Authority government, dismissed the Hamas charges. "Those who continue to hijack the people of the Gaza Strip are responsible for this tragedy," he said, referring to Gaza's Hamas rulers. "The tragedy of the children in the Gaza Strip is the tragedy of all Palestinians. Hamas is responsible for the ongoing split (between the West Bank and Gaza Strip)." Abbas's ruling Fatah faction has even gone as far as presenting the dead children's grieving father as one of its own.

The Palestinian Authority is now hoping that the tragedy of the Abu Hindi family will push Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to revolt against Hamas.

Hamas is hoping that the tragedy will further undermine the credibility of the Palestinian Authority among Palestinians, shown as being complicit in the blockade on the Gaza Strip to prevent it from receiving weapons.

These charges and counter-charges constitute yet more proof that the PA and Hamas are determined to pursue their fight to the last Palestinian child.

Yet Abbas is trying to persuade the world to back his plan for establishing a sovereign Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. It is hard to imagine how he will even be able to step foot in Gaza after this funeral.

What happened in the Abu Hindi home is an unspeakable family tragedy. What is happening to the Palestinian people, who have forever been led by leaders who care nothing for their well-being, is a tragedy of national proportions.

Khaled Abu Toameh, an award-winning journalist, is based in Jerusalem.
Follow Khaled Abu Toameh on Twitter


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

Perpetuating Palestinian propaganda - David Singer

by David Singer

Maps that propagate the fabricated Palestinian narrative have no place in publications or media that are expected to represent truth.

McGraw Hill’s decision to trash copies of its textbook Global Politics: Engaging a Complex World –has been subjected to intense criticism on web sites propagating the “Palestinian Narrative” of the 100 years old Arab-Jewish conflict.

The “Palestinian Narrative” is a concoction of lies and half-truths based on the 1964 PLO National Charter – as amended in 1968 - and the 1988 Hamas Covenant.

Catherine Mathis - a spokeswoman for McGraw-Hill - explained the Company’s reasons for destroying the textbook – which contained four misleading and inaccurate maps of “Palestine” (click to see them):

"As soon as we learned about the concerns with it, we placed sales of the book on hold and immediately initiated an academic review. The review determined that the map did not meet our academic standards. We have informed the authors and we are no longer selling the book. All existing inventory will be destroyed. We apologize and will refund payment to anyone who returns the book."

McGraw-Hill’s action follows similar criticism of MSNBC which aired the same series of maps last year on “MSNBC Live”.  Host Kate Snow and her then guest Middle East expert Martin Fletcher made a return appearance to acknowledge that they realized after they went off the air that the maps were not factually accurate and they regretted using them.

Now the leftist and anti-Zionist  Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) has published a letter signed by 35 prominent academics attacking McGraw Hill’s “shocking and outrageous act of censorship of the Palestinian narrative from US schoolbooks”.

The fact that JVP openly acknowledges the offending maps are part of the “Palestinian narrative” is surely more than sufficient justification for trashing the text book - because no disclosure was made by the contributing editors that the maps they used were partisan in nature.

But the academics' letter goes even further in claiming:

“The maps in question are historically accurate” - but gives no evidence to back up that claim. “If there were in fact any minor errors with the maps they should have been corrected rather than removed altogether”- but fails to list such minor errors.

I contacted JVP requesting to know what those “minor errors” were.

Rather than listing those “minor errors” – JVP referred me to the factsheet of another web site propagating the same maps and claiming they were accurate.

I then sent JVP my detailed reasons for questioning the accuracy of these four maps – adding:

“I know it would be very difficult to withdraw your letter signed by so many distinguished people but it needs to be qualified if their integrity and yours is to be maintained.

McGraw Publishing had the intellectual strength to remove the offending text book from sale when inaccuracies in the maps were brought to its attention.

I believe you now need to issue an appropriately worded supplementary letter that:
  •  errors appearing in the published maps drawn to your attention after your letter was published were regrettably incapable of being corrected thereby necessitating their withdrawal and the textbook from sale.
  • McGraw Hill's decision to do so was justified.               
Please give this letter your serious consideration and let me know what you intend doing.”

No response has been received to this and two subsequent e mails.

Misleading maps – like misleading statements - allowed to go unchallenged - soon become accepted as gospel truth if repeated often enough in text books and in the media.

Anti-Israel websites peddling the “Palestinian narrative” and refusing to publish comments seeking to correct unsubstantiated and untrue statements are increasing.

Jewish Voice For Peace does itself no credit in aligning with these insidious web sites by maintaining its deafening silence and knowingly propagating these totally discredited maps.

David Singer


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

ISIS declares state of emergency in its capital Raqqa - Rick Moran

by Rick Moran

The terrorists have declared a state of emergency and are working feverishly to protect key potential targets

Islamic State forces are preparing for an extended siege of its capital Raqqa as two forces close in on the city from the east and west. Social media reports say that the terrorists have declared a state of emergency and are working feverishly to protect key potential targets.

“They see the Syrian Democratic Forces, along with the Syrian Arab Coalition, maneuver both to their east and to their west," Warren said. "Both of these areas becoming increasingly secure, and the Syrian Democratic Forces increasingly able to generate their own combat power in those areas."
The coalition believes ISIS is now responding to those maneuvers.
"We've had reports of ISIL repositioning both their combat capabilities, I guess what they think may be coming next," Warren said, using another name for ISIS. "And we've seen reports of them repositioning personnel ... either within the city or even out of the city."
U.S. military also note the movement of fighters who have been well dug in throughout Raqqa could give overhead surveillance aircraft an improved chance of finding and targeting them.
The fortunes of ISIS have changed in the last few months, as the international coalition has gradually put pressure on ISIS economic assets, drying up their sources of income. And Turkey has taken a far more active military role in the fight, shelling ISIS targets near its border. 

But, as factionalism among rebels continues to hinder the effort to defeat ISIS on the battlefield, the Syrian government is targeting the very same forces that are lining up to beseige Raqqa. It seems unlikely that ISIS can be dislodged from their stronghold as long as opposition to them is so divided.

Rick Moran


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

Britain's Muddled Priorities? - Douglas Murray

by Douglas Murray

Sometimes you can see a whole society's self-delusion in under a minute. Consider a single minute that occurred in Britain this week.

  • On the one hand, the overwhelming cause of our current security problems is Islamist terror. It is the number one cause of concern to our police, intelligence services and everybody else with the nation's security at heart. The public expects to be protected from such terror and expects that protection to come from that security establishment.
  • Yet all the time, a vocal lobby of Muslim and non-Muslim figures tries to pretend that the threat is not what it is, or that an attempt to depict any and all efforts to protect the country -- even one phrase said by one actor in one simulated attack scenario -- is some terrible crime of bigotry.
  • An actor saying "Allahu Akbar" in a simulated terror attack may be offensive to somebody's religion. But if so, what is more offensive to their religion: one actor saying "Allahu Akbar" as part of a simulation, or countless Muslims around the world shouting the same phrase before real attacks in real time?

Sometimes you can see a whole society's self-delusion in under a minute. Consider a single minute that occurred in Britain this week.

On Monday night, Greater Manchester Police staged a pre-prepared mock terrorist attack in a Manchester shopping centre in order to test emergency responses capabilities, readiness and response times. At one stage, an actor playing a suicide bomber burst through a doorway in a crowded part of the shopping centre and detonated a fake device.

It turned out that the actor pretending to be a suicide bomber had shouted the words "Allahu Akbar" ("Allah is Greatest") before the simulated attack. This may have helped make the simulation more realistic, but it had an immediate backlash. Nobody complained about the simulated attacks. What disturbed some people was the simulation of the signature Islamist sign-off.

A video still from the mock terrorist attack staged on May 9, 2016 by the police in Manchester, England.

Within hours, the simulated moral outrage machine, social media, began deploring the outrageousness of the exercise. Soon, community spokesmen were on the airwaves, deploring the use of the crucial phrase. Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan said,
"[O]n reflection, we acknowledge that it was unacceptable to use this religious phrase immediately before the mock suicide bombing, which so vocally linked this exercise with Islam. We recognise and apologise for the offence that this has caused."
Greater Manchester's police and crime commissioner, Tony Lloyd, tried to explain that,
"it is frustrating the operation has been marred by the ill-judged, unnecessary and unacceptable decision by organisers to have those playing the parts of terrorists to shout 'Allahu Akbar' before setting off their fake bombs. It didn't add anything to the event, but has the potential to undermine the great community relations we have in Greater Manchester."
By now, most of the national papers and the 24-hour news programs were all over the story. That is where the revealing minute happened. On Sky News, interviewer Kay Burley was interviewing one Jahangir Mohammed, who was introduced as a "community worker." Mr. Mohammed spent some time commenting:
"Like everything, there's a securitised approach to these things and that's necessary in training like this. But I think sometimes there's also a need for them to have a bit of religious and cultural context when they're doing training like this in a wider setting about the possible implications and the effects on wider society and communities within that society."
Ms. Burley thanked Mr Mohammed for his illuminating contribution and went onto the next news item. In other main stories, she said,
"One man has died, three others injured after a knife attack at a train station near Munich. The attacker -- a 27-year-old German -- shouted 'Allahu Akbar' according to witnesses, before stabbing people at the station in Grafing. He was overpowered at the scene and is now in custody."
The combination of these two news stories took about one minute.

Whether or not the Grafing attacker turns out to be a non-Muslim with psychiatric issues, as the press is currently suggesting, or an Islamist with or without such issues, this single minute of broadcast footage says so much about the problem that societies such as Britain's are now in.

On the one hand, the overwhelming cause of our current security problems is Islamist terror. It is the number one cause of concern to our police, intelligence services and everybody else with the nation's security at heart. The public expects to be protected from such terror and expects that protection to come from that security establishment. Yet all the time, a vocal lobby of Muslim and non-Muslim figures tries to pretend that the threat is not what it is, or that an attempt to depict any and all efforts to protect the country -- even one phrase said by one actor in one simulated attack scenario -- is some terrible crime of bigotry.

Of course, there would have been no social media backlash and no swift apology from the Greater Manchester Police if the terrorist simulation had involved a "far-right" terrorist. But there is always a backlash if the scenario reflects the real security threat that all our societies are facing. This is yet another occasion in which the general public's view of people's priorities is legitimately raised. Why would any Muslim or anyone else genuinely opposed to terror object to the realistic simulation of such an event? One can see, of course, that it may be offensive to somebody's religion. But if so, what is more offensive to their religion: one actor saying "Allahu Akbar" as part of one simulation, or countless Muslims around the world shouting the same phrase before real attacks in real time?

If I were a Muslim, I would spend every minute of my waking life trying to persuade my co-religionists not to kill people right after shouting about my Allah. I do not think I would bother for a second if a police force, trying to keep people safe, chose realistically to simulate the behaviour of my co-religionists. It is a matter of priorities, and across Britain and many other countries in the world today, our priorities are now seriously awry.

Douglas Murray is a current events analyst and commentator based in London. Follow Douglas Murray on Twitter


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

Pssst: Trump wasn't wrong on the rape thing - Marion DS Dreyfus

by Marion DS Dreyfus

Though Trump has his distortions and exaggerations, this actually is not one of them.

Donald Trump got into a whole big vat of brouhaha early in the campaign when he noted that many of the men who enter this country illegally are rapists.  He added, "And some, I believe, are all right."

The peals of outrage echo even today, nine and ten months after the remark was made.

Now, ignorant kids who can't recall three presidents during their lifetimes or know when the Second World War took place, much less who were the combatants, opine obnoxiously in full confidence born of utter cluelessness that the Donald is a "racist" because he stated that many south of the border infiltrators were indeed what they are: rapists.

The meme is picked up by adults and never questioned, like the nonsense that for the Inuit, there are 59 words for snow.  No one actually gets into the dogsled, mukluks up to an igloo, and asks an actual Inuit: "How many words for snow are there in your language?"

Or the absurdity of failing to check the number of "disappearing polar bears" in the far North, but to assume Al Gore's irresponsibly inaccurate mishmash of a "documentary" had the stats right.  He didn't.  And they weren't.  There are more polar bears than before.

Okay, they are not career rapists.  They wouldn't, if they could write, put it on their CVs, for jobs that are under the radar for which they are minimally qualified.  But the fact is, opportunity presents itself in the perilous, sweltery desert, on nights when people try to catch a few Zs on makeshift sleeping arrangements, before proceeding onward into the States – where branded nirvana, plummy entitlements and open-handed obama-bots grin toothily and wave greenbacks marked Vote Democrat! at them like friendly Walmart greeters.  As many of the people trying to surge into the U.S. from Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Mexico, of course, happen on occasion to be women or teen girls, nature and recklessness take over.  So rape happens.  That qualifies as making these gangsters and tattooed men about fencing...rapists.

With reference to mass trespassers who sneak into this country 24/7, more now as Obama's malign tenure is coming to an end, thousands of reports have been filed for the past decade, and some on such rape, vandalism, and chicanery of every sort.  Check with the voluminous reports of the Center for Immigration Studies, with southern newspapers, with police files across the 1,000+ mile breadth of the southern border.

I have been on the border, more than once, seen the tracks, and the men waiting in the baking sun for cloaking nightfall – and invisibility.

Why is this obvious on-the-ground carnality all suddenly forgotten and deliberately elided in a vast effort to depopulate the record of disgraceful misbehavior and criminality?

Not every alien violating our borders, across or under or through our defenses, is a sexual predator, but almost every female coming across has recorded being harassed; sexually molested; or, yes, raped by the men trudging in around her.  To say nothing of the ranchers and landowners whose livestock and wives and minor children have been also molested, abused, sometimes slaughtered, with their property laid to waste and despoiled with bags of feces and bundles of junk, rotting carcasses, and food ends, trash, and rubbish of every sort.

Why has this been deleted, when the history of such abuses is profound, of long duration, and disgracefully unlitigated?  To hear tell many (Democrats), the stealing and territorial vandalism and rape that have marked all this illegality for so long are a myth, or somehow conveniently GOP-manufactured, and everyone who comes in without benefit of papers and documentation is a saint, given only to Mother Teresa acts and behavior.  That is manifestly untrue.

The ratio of criminals, drug mules, rapists, and actual felons of various stripes has not been completely systematized, partially because the border patrols and guards are told to stand down and release anyone for everything – which they, alas, have been forced to accommodate – including major car offenses and vehicular manslaughter accompanied by lack of insurance to cover such mishaps, wanton destruction, and willful wilding.  That does not mean a huge number of crimes have not in the past – and ongoingly – been perpetrated.

Donald Trump acknowledging what millions of Southerners have been bitterly protesting for more than a decade does not make him or you a racist.  It is, sadly, a reality.  That geographical distance has kindly permitted most Northerners to ignore, since it has been at a remove and has been squelched by so many lawmen and Obama minstrels.  Nobody has seen to it that property owners so savaged and vandalized and stolen from are indemnified for their losses.  And the word from on high, The Man with his shoes on priceless White House furnishings, has told these petitioners, and their governors, basically, Shut up, you racist ungrateful privileged colonialists.

So though Trump has his distortions and exaggerations, this actually is not one of them.  Check the stats and lit yourself.  Don't take the word of people like Ben Rhodes and other Olympic liars to be in any way reflective of reality.  Here or elsewhere.

Has the Fifth Estate gone entirely to sleep in these critical matters?

Marion DS Dreyfus


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