Saturday, March 4, 2017

Trump administration and Congress seek to slash UN funding in wake of new anti-Israel action - Robert Spencer

by Robert Spencer

Hat tip: Dr. Jean-Charles Bensoussan

And more than an absurdity: it’s a monstrous injustice, and it clearly demonstrates the perfidy of the United Nations, which at this point is little more than a tool of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

“Classifying the IDF, one of the most professional and responsible military forces in the world, alongside terrorist groups like ISIS and Boko Haram is an absurdity.”

And more than an absurdity: it’s a monstrous injustice, and it clearly demonstrates the perfidy of the United Nations, which at this point is little more than a tool of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The U.S. shouldn’t just slash funding to it, but defund it altogether, withdraw from it, and expel it from New York.

“Trump Admin, Congress Seek to Slash U.N. Funding in Wake of New Anti-Israel Action,” by Adam Kredo, Washington Free Beacon, March 2, 2017:

The White House and Congress are considering slashing U.S. funding to the United Nations in light of its most recent effort to declare the Jewish state’s fighting forces a chief violator of children’s rights, according to multiple conversations with U.S. officials.
The U.N. is working to add the Israeli Defense Forces, or IDF, to a list of entities such as terror groups that are responsible for inhumane acts against children.
The move would be just the latest anti-Israel salvo by the U.N., which caused controversy late last year when, with the backing of the Obama administration, it moved to condemn Israel for building homes for Jewish people in Jerusalem.
The latest action against Israel would add the IDF to the Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflicts, which would designate the Jewish state’s fighting forces as one of the worst offenders of children’s human rights in the world. Other groups and entities on the list include terrorist entities and forces that kill children en masse.
The move has prompted outrage in the White House and on Capitol Hill, where multiple U.S. officials told the Washington Free Beacon that they will no longer stand by as the U.N. singles out Israel for criticism. The effort to counter what they described as the U.N.’s anti-Israel bias is likely to include cutting a large portion of U.S. funding to the organization.
One senior White House official familiar with the Trump administration’s thinking on the matter told the Free Beacon that the president and his senior-most advisers are sick of seeing Israel treated as a pariah by the U.N.
“The Israeli Defense Forces are among the most humane, professional armed forces on the planet,” said the official, who was not authorized to speak on record. “Israel has been aggressively refining its protocols to minimize civilian casualties—so much so that after the 2014 conflict in Gaza the United States sent a delegation to study their best practices.”
The White House official signaled that the Trump administration would pursue a vastly different approach to the U.N. than its predecessor.
The Obama administration came under criticism from the pro-Israel community on numerous occasions for failing to defend Israel adequately in the face of international criticism. This culminated in a flurry of anger late last year when the Obama administration, in one of its final official acts, permitted the U.N. to officially chastise Israel in a break with decades of U.S. policy.
“In a region where the use of civilians, including children, as human shields is routine, singling out Israel for condemnation is, in a word, ridiculous,” the White House official said. “If the United Nations’ Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict has nothing better to do with the United States taxpayer dollars that fund it than engage in a vendetta against our ally Israel, perhaps we should rethink that support.”
Rep. Peter Roskam (R., Ill.), a vocal defender of Israel, expressed disappointment in the U.N.’s latest action. He told the Free Beacon that Congress is prepared to reduce U.S. financial support for the U.N., which comprises a significant share of the organization’s operational budget.
“The United States Congress is already taking a serious look at United Nations funding levels in light of a number of recent actions unfairly targeting Israel,” Roskam said. “Classifying the IDF, one of the most professional and responsible military forces in the world, alongside terrorist groups like ISIS and Boko Haram is an absurdity.”
“If the U.N. goes through with this,” Roskam said, “the calls for reduced funding will grow even louder.”…

Robert Spencer


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Media Misfeasance Exposed in "Eyeless in Gaza" Documentary - Noah Beck

by Noah Beck

Despite Israel's unprecedented efforts to minimize Gaza's civilian casualties, the film shows how Hamas works to maximize them.

Hamas operatives burst into the Associated Press (AP) Gaza bureau during the 2014 war with Israel, angered by a picture shot by an AP photographer. Gunmen threatened the AP staff, which never reported the incident.

The incident shows that Hamas can control what journalists report, and what they don't, former AP Middle East reporter Matti Friedman says in a new documentary, "Eyeless in Gaza."
Producer Robert Magid's 50-minute film, which is screening via pay-per-view online, examines the flaws and challenges in reporting on the 50-day war.

Magid said he wanted to "set the record straight and provide context," after being appalled at news coverage that ignored Hamas's practice of launching rockets from civilian areas. That omission allowed the media to push a false narrative that "Israel was callous in their bombing."

The sullied moral image of Israel that emerged from the media's biased coverage sparked public outrage and anti-Semitism. "Muslims will crush the Jews as they did in Khyber 14 centuries ago," protestors in the film shout. Another says: "I see the Jews in Israel as total Nazis."

Reporters routinely failed to show the history leading up to the conflict or how Hamas instigated it. Magid provides viewers with some brief historical context: Israel expelled 10,000 of its own citizens from the Gaza Strip in 2005 and offered the Palestinians their first chance at self-rule. But Hamas took over the territory and turned it into an Islamist terror state, rather than a model for responsible self-rule and peaceful coexistence with Israel.

Viewers see how attack tunnels exemplify Hamas' policy of diverting public resources to fund terrorism. Israel allows high-quality cement into Gaza in response to the humanitarian need to rebuild damaged buildings, only to discover the same cement being used to build massive underground tunnels whose only purpose is to target Israelis. Each tunnel costs about $3 million, and an Israeli military spokesman interviewed in the film estimates $100 million in resources were diverted.

Despite Israel's unprecedented efforts to minimize Gaza's civilian casualties, the film shows how Hamas works to maximize them.

"The Israeli army called me, they asked me to leave Al-Sajaeya," says one Gazan. "We stayed at home because Al Aksa and Al Quds [Hamas] radio stations told us 'Don't leave your homes, it's rumors.' We remained in our homes, but when we saw the bombs pouring on us, we miraculously got out...Five of my brothers' sons were killed, and the houses destroyed."

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) went to great lengths to spare civilians, issuing warnings by leaflets, SMS messages, the "roof knock" technique, and social media. Col. Richard Kemp, the former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, notes in the film "the immense efforts that the IDF took when fighting in this very challenging environment, to minimize the number of civilian deaths [even though] Hamas used human shields virtually constantly. They deliberately site their weapon systems, and their fighters among the civilian population."

"Eyeless in Gaza" shows the underreported perspective of Israelis trying to survive Hamas rocket attacks, including a huge explosion on a populated beach, and people racing to shelters with just 15 seconds to reach them. Israel's Iron Dome defense system is no silver bullet: "10 percent [of] rockets...could hit you," notes Tal Inbar, head of the Space Research Center at the Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies in Herzliya. "And...if the enemy is firing thousands of rockets...10 quite a lot." Even intercepted rockets can still cause shock and injuries from falling shrapnel.

Kneejerk global condemnations of Israel triggered by a lopsided casualty count resulted, at least in part, from the media's failure to cover the true nature of the mass casualty-threat facing Israel. Hamas launched thousands of rockets at schools, hospitals, and densely packed Israeli neighborhoods, demonstrating the group's intent to kill many thousands of civilians. Hamas failed only because Israel had invested billions in a rocket defense system and Israelis regularly scurried to bomb shelters despite the disruption to their lives.

Former Russia Today correspondent Harry Fear, who calls himself "one of the most Palestinian-sympathizing journalists in the world," notes that Palestinians "rejected cease fires, which could have saved...thousands of lives..."

Fearing violent retribution from Hamas, journalists engaged in collective self-censorship, he told Magid. Just about all foreign correspondents witnessed Palestinian war crimes without reporting them. "Rockets were being fired consistently from densely populated areas," he said. He was expelled from Gaza after reporting on Twitter such fire.

An Indian television crew aired footage of Palestinian terrorists firing rockets from civilian areas only after it had left Gaza. Its report, shown in "Eyeless in Gaza," notes that the rocket fire "will obviously have serious consequences... for those who live here, should Israel choose to retaliate."

Hamas' intimidation of journalists produces flawed, misleading coverage, as Friedman elaborates: "Most of the work of the international media in Gaza is done not by western journalists ... but by local Palestinians from Gaza: fixers, translators, reporters, photographers ... their families are in Gaza, and they're not going to get Hamas angry. And because these people largely shape the coverage, that ends up having a very significant effect."

Fear decries the limits to free speech in Gaza, citing a 2014 poll indicating that 80 percent of Palestinian journalists exercise self-censorship for fear of retribution.

Similarly, Friedman says in the film, "I understand why reporters censor themselves ... in Gaza," "What I don't understand is why the news organizations haven't made clear the restrictions under which they operate in Gaza, so that news consumers can understand that they are seeing a warped picture."

The intimidation can be worse for Palestinian journalists. Ayman Al Aloul describes his imprisonment and torture by Hamas after he refused to stop writing about Gaza's extreme poverty, and Hamas' failed economic policies. "They started beating me and cursing at me. When I went back inside [my cell], I feared someone would be sent to end my life... I was scared they would say, 'He died from cold or hunger.' I was really scared."

While the Western media and United Nations Human Rights Council obsessively harp on any alleged Israeli human rights violation, it completely ignored Al Aloul's case.

Conflicts that receive far less media attention than the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, despite being exponentially bloodier, also have been neglected, thanks to the media's obsession with Israel. The film notes that, since 2011, nearly half a million people have been killed or wounded in Syria, compared to about 2,000 in Gaza. "160,000 Palestinians lived in Yarmouk prior to 2011. [Because of] Syrian...bombing and starvation policies, there are now 18,000."

Thus, campus protesters who routinely accuse Israel of "genocide" and "massacre" are either grossly misinformed (at least in part because of media bias) or simply anti-Semitic.

UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) spokesperson Chris Gunness acknowledges a double standard by the media and Arab governments' in terms of attention given to the plight of Palestinians in Syria versus Gaza. But when asked why UNRWA failed to condemn Egypt's security-motivated destruction of thousands of homes along the Gaza border, he says only, "we are not mandated to work in Egypt."

Friedman notes, "If Israel did 1 percent of that, of course the international community would be in an uproar. I think people aren't interested in Arabs in general, or what Arabs do to each other. I think they're basically interested ... in the actions of Jews. And that's why Egypt can destroy entire neighborhoods [bordering] Gaza, as it did recently, and the world kind of yawns. That I think proves that ... the story being told here by the international media is not a story about current events. It's a story about something else. It's a morality play starring a familiar villain [the Jews]."

This hostile paradigm explains the failure of Western media to report on the anti-Semitic nature of the Hamas charter, which blames all of the world's woes – including every major war and revolution, and even the Holocaust – on the Jews, while calling for their annihilation, Friedman says in "Eyeless in Gaza."

"If you say that Hamas is anti-Semitic, if you quote their charter, if you look too closely at exactly what their goals are, and who they are, then it would disrupt the narrative, according to which Israel is an aggressor, and the Palestinians are passive victims who have reasonable goals," Friedman says.

Nevertheless, the media's failure to include critical facts like those exposed in "Eyeless in Gaza" encourages terrorist groups like Hamas to embrace tactics intended to maximize civilian casualties. The resulting global condemnation of Israel for Gazan deaths only encourages Hamas to jeopardize civilians in the next round of violence.

As "Eyeless in Gaza" highlights, the kind of journalism that covered the 2014 war in Gaza distorted the truth, abetted a terrorist group, and strengthened the party most responsible for Gaza's misery and ongoing hostilities with Israel. For more on the film, click here.

Noah Beck is the author of The Last Israelis, an apocalyptic novel about Iranian nukes and other geopolitical issues in the Middle East.


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Anti-Trump Activist, Former Leader of Islamist Group Working at the VA - Joe Kaufman

by Joe Kaufman

Ex-Emerge National Director Tamim Chowdhury attempts to hide his radical Muslim past (and present).

In September 2014, Tamim Chowdhury moved to Miami, Florida to become the first National Executive Director of Emerge USA, a radical Muslim political advocacy group that works to gain a foothold within local and federal positions of power. Prior to that, Chowdhury had spent the past three-plus years working out of the national policy office of the US General Services Administration (GSA). Now, he’s back in DC, working at the VA and serving under a President that he has previously spoken out against and demeaned.

LinkedIn is a social networking service which allows people to view others’ professional CVs. Tamim Chowdhury’s LinkedIn page is very detailed. It features all of his activities within the US government. However, there is a gap in the work history on his LinkedIn page from October 2014 through July 2016. It is understandable why. It was the time that Chowdhury spent as the National Executive Director of Emerge USA, a Muslim organization that, despite its innocuous name, sponsors political forums at radical mosques. These mosques include:

1. Tampa’s al-Qassam, which was founded by Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Sami al-Arian; 2. Pembroke Pines’ Darul Uloom, which has served a number of al-Qaeda recruits and which is headed by anti-gay imam Shafayat Mohamed; and 3. the Islamic Center of Boca Raton, which was co-founded by Hamas web designer Syed Khawer Ahmad and al-Arian associate Bassem Alhalabi, whose founding imam Ibrahim Dremali was placed on the federal ‘no fly’ list, and which built its current mosque using seed money from the al-Qaeda charity Global Relief Foundation.

The founder and Co-Chairman of Emerge is Khurrum Wahid, a South Florida attorney who has built his name on representing high profile terrorists, including operatives from al-Qaeda. One of his clients, Miami imam Hafiz Khan, shipped $50 thousand to the Pakistani Taliban specifically to murder American troops overseas. Previously, Wahid served as a legal advisor for the national office of the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). According to the Miami New Times, Wahid himself was placed on a federal terrorist watch list in 2011.

Emerge works in coordination with other radical Muslim organizations. One of the highlights of Tamim Chowdhury’s time with Emerge was in July 2015, when he represented the group in an event entitled ‘Back2School Giveaway’ with the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), which was running the event.

ICNA is the American affiliate of South Asian Islamist group Jamaat-e-Islami (JI). JI’s militant wing, Hizbul Mujahideen, owned the Pakistani compound where Osama bin Laden was hiding out and where he was eventually killed by US Navy Seals. ICNA, itself, has been linked to terrorist financing and has used the web to promote different terrorist groups, including Hamas, al-Qaeda, Hezbollah and the Taliban. In July 2014, ICNA co-sponsored of a pro-Hamas rally held in Downtown Miami, where rally goers shouted, “We are Hamas” and “Let’s go Hamas.”

Representing ICNA at the Back2School event was ICNA Florida Secretary Abdul Rauf Khan. Khan has used his Facebook page to post videos dedicated to Nation of Islam leader and anti-Jewish fanatic Louis Farrakhan and Egypt’s banned Muslim Brotherhood. He has been photographed wearing Muslim Brotherhood garb, himself. Khan also posted a video on his Facebook site glorifying a member of Hezbollah as a “hero,” and he posted a link to an anti-Semitic video labeling comedian talk show host Bill Maher, “Zionist Jew Bill Maher.”

In October 2015, Chowdhury represented Emerge at the annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), held in Chicago, Illinois, where Chowdhury was born (His parents are from Bangladesh). ISNA was incorporated in the state of Indiana, in July 1981, co-founded by Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) leader Sami al-Arian. In 2007 and 2008, the US Department of Justice named ISNA an “unindicted co-conspirator” for two federal trials dealing with the financing of millions of dollars to Hamas.

Speakers at the ISNA convention included: Jamal Badawi, who was also named by the US as a party to Hamas funding and who, in his book ‘Gender Equity in Islam,’ justifies the beating of women by their husbands; Siraj Wahhaj, who was named by the US government an “unindicted co-conspirator” to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center; and Zulfiqar Ali Shah, who was the South Asia Director of KindHearts, a Hamas charity that was shut down by the US government in February 2006.

In August 2015, Chowdhury was interviewed by the imam of Pembroke Pines-based Darul Uloom, Shafayat Mohamed, for the mosque’s video channel. Darul Uloom has been linked to a number of terrorists, including now-deceased al-Qaeda Commander Adnan el-Shukrijumah. Mohamed has been thrown off many Broward County boards due to his actions against the gay community. In February 2005, an article written by him was published on the mosque website, titled ‘Tsunami: Wrath of God,’ claiming that gay sex caused the 2004 Indonesian tsunami.

For nearly two years, Tamim Chowdhury operated from South Florida, collaborating with radical Muslim organizations and institutions. But today, he finds himself embedded in our nation’s capital, working in the highly unlikely positions as a Contracting Officer and Project Manager at the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). According to his LinkedIn page, he began working at the VA in August 2016 and has even represented the department at “real estate seminars and small business conventions.”

When Chowdhury started at the VA, it was under the Obama Administration. Currently, he serves under the Administration of President Donald Trump. This is, no doubt, a problem for Chowdhury, as he has, in the recent past, spoken out against and propagated materials vilifying and demeaning President Trump. In October 2015, after actress Jennifer Lawrence conspiratorially said that President Trump would be “the end of the world,” Chowdhury wrote, “Glad to know I’m not alone.”

In May 2016, Chowdhury posted onto his Facebook page a link to an article titled, ‘An Open Letter to My Children About Donald Trump’ along with a graphic depicting an angry looking Trump with the words “MAKE AMERICA HATE AGAIN," a nasty play on Trump’s Presidential campaign slogan. The article paints the President as an intensely bigoted and power hungry individual. It states, “Being Donald Trump means that you are afraid. That you are afraid of people who are not like you... And that fear makes you hate those people. All of those people.”

In February 2016, Chowdhury shared a post from Islamist lecturer Yasir Qadhi, calling President Trump “a fascist demagogue who appeals to the basest instincts in fundamentalists and fanatics.” Qadhi’s message is ironic, as he once stated about Jews, during a viciously anti-Semitic rant, “As for 80 to 90 percent of the Jews in our times, they are Ashkenazis, i.e. Khazars, i.e. Russians... Look at them - white, crooked nose, blonde hairs... These are not a Semitic people. Look at them! They don’t look like Semites, and they are not Semites.”

Tamim Chowdhury has his own Jewish problem. In April 2016, he posted a map of South Florida onto his Facebook page, labeling different areas using ethnicities, stereotypes and racial slurs. The cities Margate, Sunrise and Lauderhill are circled and labeled in red marker “The f*****g hood.” Davie and Cooper City are circled and labeled “Rednecks.” Hialeah is circled and labeled “Cuba.” And Surfside and Miami Shores are circled and labeled “Jews.”

When then-candidate Donald Trump said he wanted to “drain the swamp” in DC, Tamim Chowdhury is a perfect example of someone who needed to be drained. He associates with radical Muslim organizations, even becoming the leader of one. He disrespects and vilifies the President, the one who he is currently working for. And he posts disturbing material that is meant to portray people in negative stereotypes and worse.

Tamim Chowdhury is putting Emerge’s Islamist game plan into action by having acquired a position at a high level US governmental department. Working in a capacity that deals with the military makes him privy to information which could cause damage to the interests of American security and service personnel. His stated hatred for the Commander in Chief, and by extension America and its armed forces, raises the possibility of his acting as a mole or engaging in sabotage by aiding and abetting the radical Islamist groups which he associates with.

Chowdhury should be thoroughly vetted, and his social media postings and history of working for Islamist causes and interacting with known terrorism supporters needs to be investigated. These actions and connections indicate a clear conflict of interest, suggest a potential threat to national security, and should lead to his being removed from his position immediately.

Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.

Joe Kaufman was the 2016 Republican nominee for United States House of Representatives in Florida’s 23rd Congressional District. He is an expert in the fields of counter-terrorism, foreign affairs and energy independence for America. He has been featured on all major cable networks, including Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, PBS and C-SPAN. Joe has been instrumental in getting terrorist charities shut down and terror-related individuals put behind bars. Exactly one month prior to the September 11 attacks, he predicted the attacks by stating in an article that “the 1993 World Trade Center bombing was no aberration” and that it would happen again.


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The Lessons Of The Hamas War - Caroline Glick

by Caroline Glick

Israel's strategic mistake.

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

The State Comptroller’s Report on Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s war with Hamas in the summer of 2014, is exceedingly detailed. The problem is that it addresses the wrong details.
Israel’s problem with Hamas wasn’t its tactics for destroying Hamas’s attack tunnels. Israel faced two challenges in its war with Hamas that summer. The first had to do with the regional and global context of the war. The second had to do with its understanding of its enemy on the ground.

War between Hamas and Israel took place as the Sunni Arab world was steeped [in] a two-pronged existential struggle. On the one hand, Sunni regimes fought jihadist groups that emerged from the Muslim Brotherhood movement. On the other, they fought against Iran and its proxies in a bid to block Iran’s moves toward regional hegemony.
On both fronts, the Sunni regimes, led by Egypt under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the Saudi regime and the United Arab Emirates, were shocked to discover that the Obama administration was siding with their enemies against them.

If Israel went into the war against Hamas thinking that the Obama administration would treat it differently than it treated the Sunni regimes, it quickly discovered that it was mistaken. From the outset of the battle between Hamas and Israel, the Obama administration supported Hamas against Israel.

America’s support for Hamas was expressed at the earliest stages of the war when then-secretary of state John Kerry demanded that Israel accept an immediate cease-fire based entirely on Hamas’s terms. This demand, in various forms, remained the administration’s position throughout the 50-day war.

Hamas’s terms were impossible for Israel. They included opening the jihadist regime’s land borders with Israel and Egypt, and providing it with open access to the sea. Hamas demanded to be reconnected to the international banking system in order to enable funds to enter Gaza freely from any spot on the globe. Hamas also demanded that Israel release its terrorists from its prisons.

If Israel had accepted any of Hamas’s cease-fire terms, its agreement would have constituted a strategic defeat for Israel and a historic victory for Hamas.

Open borders for Hamas means the free flow of armaments, recruits, trainers and money to Gaza. Were Hamas to be connected to the international banking system, the jihadist regime would have become the banking center of the global jihad.

The Obama administration’s support for Hamas was not passive.

Obama and Kerry threatened to join the Europeans in condemning Israel at the UN. Administration officials continuously railed against IDF operations in Gaza, insinuating that Israel was committing war crimes by insisting that Israel wasn’t doing enough to avoid civilian casualties.

As the war progressed, the administration’s actions against Israel became more aggressive. Washington placed a partial embargo on weapons shipments to Israel.

Then on July 23, 2014, the administration took the almost inconceivable step of having the Federal Aviation Administration ban flights of US carriers to Ben-Gurion Airport for 36 hours. The flight ban was instituted after a Hamas missile fell a mile from the airport.

The FAA did not ban flights to Pakistan or Afghanistan after jihadists on the ground successfully bombed airplanes out of the sky.

It took Sen. Ted Cruz’s threat to place a hold on all State Department appointments, and Canada’s Conservative Party government’s behind-the-scenes diplomatic revolt to get the flight ban rescinded.

The government and the IDF were shocked by the ferocity of the administration’s hostility. But to his great credit, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu surmounted it.

Netanyahu realized that Hamas is part of the Muslim Brotherhood nexus of jihad and also supported by Iran. As a result the Egyptians, Saudis and UAE rightly view it as a major enemy. Indeed, Egypt was in a state of war with Hamas in 2014. Gaza serves as the logistical base of the Salafist forces warring against the Egyptian military.

Netanyahu asked Sisi for help in blunting the American campaign for Hamas. Sisi was quick to agree and brought the Saudis and the UAE into an all-but-declared operational alliance with Israel against Hamas.

Since the Egyptians were hosting the cease-fire talks, Egypt was well-positioned to blunt Obama’s demand that Israel accept Hamas’s cease-fire terms.

In a bid to undermine Egypt, Obama and Kerry colluded with Hamas’s state sponsors Turkey and Qatar to push Sisi out of the cease-fire discussions. But due to Saudi and UAE support for Sisi and Israel, the administration’s attempts to sideline the Egyptians failed.

The cease-fire terms that were adopted at the end of the war contained none of Hamas’s demands. Israel had won the diplomatic war.

It was a strange victory, however. Netanyahu was never able to let the public know what was happening.

Had he informed the public, the knowledge that the US was backing Hamas would have caused mass demoralization and panic. So Netanyahu had to fight the diplomatic fight of his life secretly.

The war on the ground was greatly influenced by the diplomatic war. But the war on the ground was first and foremost a product of the nature of Hamas and of the nature of Hamas’s relationship with the PLO.

Unfortunately, the Comptroller’s Report indicates that the IDF didn’t understand either. According to the report, in the weeks before the war began, the then-coordinator of government activities in the territories, Maj.-Gen. (res.) Eitan Dangot, told the security cabinet that the humanitarian situation in Gaza was at a crisis point and that hostilities were likely to break out if Israel didn’t allow humanitarian aid into the Strip.

On Wednesday we learned that Dangot’s view continues to prevail in the army. The IDF’s intelligence chief, Maj.-Gen. Herzi Halevi, told the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that Israel must send humanitarian aid to Gaza to avert a war.

There is truth to the IDF’s position. Hamas did in fact go to war against Israel in the summer of 2014 because it was short on supplies.

After Sisi overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt the previous summer, he shut Egypt’s border with Gaza because Gaza was the logistical base of the insurgency against his regime. The closed border cut off Hamas’s supply train of everything from antitank missiles to cigarettes and flour.

The problem with the IDF’s view of Hamas is that providing aid to Gaza means supplying Hamas first and foremost. Every shipment into Gaza strengthens Hamas far more than it serves the needs of Gaza’s civilian population. We got a good look at Hamas’s contempt for the suffering of its people during Protective Edge.

After seeing the vast dimensions of Hamas’s tunnel infrastructure, the then-OC Southern Command, Maj.-Gen. Sami Turgeman, told reporters that Hamas had diverted enough concrete to its tunnel project to build 200 kindergartens, two hospitals, 20 clinics and 20 schools.

Moreover, the civilian institutions that are supposed to be assisted by humanitarian aid all serve Hamas. During the war, three soldiers from the IDF’s Maglan unit were killed in southern Gaza when they were buried in rubble of a booby-trapped UNRWA clinic.

The soldiers were in the clinic to seal off the entry shaft of a tunnel that was located in an exam room.

Hamas had booby trapped the walls of the clinic and detonated it when the soldiers walked through the door.

All of the civilian institutions in Gaza, including those run by the UN, as well as thousands of private homes, are used by Hamas as part of its war machine against Israel.

So any discussion of whether or not to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza is not a humanitarian discussion. It is a discussion about whether or not to strengthen Hamas and reinforce its control over the population of Gaza.

This brings us to the goals of the war in Gaza in 2014. At the time, the government debated two possible endgames.

The first was supported by then-justice minister Tzipi Livni. Livni, and the Left more generally, supported using the war with Hamas as a means of unseating Hamas and restoring the PLO-controlled Palestinian Authority to power in the area.

There were four problems with this notion. First, it would require Israel to reconquer Gaza.

Second, the Obama administration would never have agreed to an Israeli conquest of Gaza.

Third, Israel doesn’t have the forces to deploy to Gaza to retake control of the area without rendering its other borders vulnerable.

The final problem with Livni’s idea is that the PLO is no better than Hamas. From the outset of the war, the PLO gave Hamas unqualified support. Fatah militias in Gaza manned the missile launchers side by side with Hamas fighters. PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas represented Hamas at the cease-fire talks in Cairo. He led the political war against Israel in the West. And he financed Hamas’s war effort. Throughout the war Abbas sent a steady stream of funds to Gaza.

If PLO forces were returned to Gaza, they would behave precisely as they behaved from 2000 until Hamas kicked them out in 2007. That is, they would have acted as Hamas’s full partners in their joint war against Israel.

The second possible endgame involved a long-term strategy of defeating Hamas through attrition. This was the goal the government ended up partially adopting. The government ordered the IDF to destroy as much of Hamas’s missile arsenal as possible and to destroy its offensive tunnels into Israel. When the goals had been achieved to the point where the cost of opposing Obama grew greater than the battle gains, Netanyahu agreed to a cease-fire.

For the attrition strategy to have succeeded, the cease-fire would have only been the first stage of a longer war. For the attrition strategy to work, Israel needed to refuse to resupply Hamas. With its missile arsenal depleted and its tunnels destroyed, had Israel maintained the ban on supplies to Gaza, the residents would have revolted and Hamas wouldn’t have had the option of deflecting their anger onto Israel by starting a new war.

The IDF unfortunately never accepted attrition as the goal. From the Comptroller’s Report and Halevi’s statement to the Knesset this week, it appears the General Staff rejected attrition because it refuses to accept either the nature of Hamas or the nature of the PLO. Immediately after the cease-fire went into force, the General Staff recommended rebuilding Gaza and allowing an almost free flow of building supplies, including concrete, into Hamas’s mini-state.

The Comptroller’s Report is notable mainly because it shows that nearly three years after Protective Edge, official Israel still doesn’t understand what happened that summer. The problem with Hamas was never tactical. It was always strategic. Israel won the diplomatic battle because it understood the correlation of its strategic interests with those of the Sunni regimes.

It lost the military battle of attrition because it permitted Hamas to resupply.

Caroline Glick


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President Trump Saves a CIA Agent - Daniel Greenfield

by Daniel Greenfield

The truth about the CIA and the covert war at home and abroad.

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

Last month, President Trump stood in front of the CIA Memorial Wall and declared that Islamic terrorism "has to be eradicated just off the face of the Earth." It is front of this wall where, as Vice President Pence said, “we remember 117 who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom”, that real change in how we treat those who fight terrorism must begin.

The vast majority of the men and women added to that wall in the last few decades were killed by Islamic terrorists. They include Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods who were murdered in Benghazi. And who were abandoned by their government, by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, before their deaths.

The media made much of the resignation of Edward Price. Price had started out as an analyst under Bush. Under Obama, he shot up to spokesman, senior director and special assistant to the president. In this capacity, he insisted that the CIA should research Global Warming and sold the Iran nuke sellout.

Price’s resignation was meaningless. He was an Obama loyalist embedded in a senior national security position to push propaganda. And now there was no future under Trump for his old line of work.

But the media wept crocodile tears for the “career CIA official” whose work involved endangering national security and manipulating the media. It has shown distinctly less interest in the plight of a CIA agent who actually took risks on the ground to secure the capture of Islamic terrorists.

While the media portrays the White House as being at war with the CIA, the Trump administration prevented the extradition and imprisonment of Sabrina De Sousa. De Sousa was in the airport about to be extradited to Italy, but an agreement was reached to release her instead.

"I can confirm that this wouldn't have happened without extraordinary help from the Trump administration," Former Rep. Pete Hoekstra said.

De Sousa had been working a secretary in the United States Embassy in Rome. She is allegedly one of a number of CIA people accused by Italy of having helped capture a member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s murderous organization, al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya or the Islamic Group, led by the Blind Sheikh who was involved in the World Trade Center bombing and plots to bomb landmarks across New York City.

Considering the leftist slant and general incompetence of Italy’s legal system, it is not clear if Sabrina De Sousa was even involved in the operation. Furthermore the United States government’s position is that De Sousa’s job at our embassy made her arrest a violation of international agreements. Italy convicted 26 Americans in absentia. These convictions are worthless here, but Sabrina De Sousa found herself under arrest while flying to visit her sick mother.

The Democrats and the media, who of late have strived to portray themselves as the defenders of the intelligence community, have no interest in the case. If anything they are covertly cheering it on.

Ever since 9/11, they declared war on the CIA personnel who were capturing and interrogating the terrorists. They have targeted them and exposed them to aid the Islamic terrorists at war with us. The left bemoans the Obama loyalists elevated to top national security posts while writing off the lives of the men and women on the ground. That is what happened in Benghazi and across the War on Terror.

The Democrats have recently learned to love the CIA, as they attempt to exploit anti-American leftists planted in the Agency in their war against the democratically elected President of the United States.

But their sudden respect for the CIA is a very recent one.

Early in Obama’s term in office, Democrats tried to threaten CIA interrogators with 15 years in prison if they interrogated Muslim terrorists too harshly. A year earlier, Attorney General Eric Holder had named a prosecutor to investigate the CIA’s interrogation of Islamic terrorists. The investigation, with its efforts to bring criminal charges, dragged on through much of Obama’s first term, without yielding anything.

But the Democrats were still determined to punish the men and women who had kept us safe. The release of the partisan Senate report two years later, not only endangered American lives and smeared the CIA wholesale, but allowed the families of terrorists to target assorted personnel, including the psychologists who had worked with the CIA on the interrogation program, for lawfare campaigns.

Obama’s own CIA director had charged Democrat Senate committee members with stealing sensitive documents. The names of these psychologists had been leaked through a Senate report which had used the names and pseudonyms of CIA officials. Even the pseudonyms could be used to identify CIA people.

Among their top targets was the CIA official who was the inspiration for Zero Dark Thirty’s Maya whose real life counterpart headed the Global Jihad Unit.  Despite every effort by the CIA, the media insisted on publishing her name. Taking the lead in this illegal act was the Washington Post.  “Maya’s” name still appears on the website a top Senator Democrat who had called for a special investigation into the Valerie Plame affair. Indeed the media had recreated a real life version of the Plame affair except this time, unlike Plame, their target was actually hunting Islamic terrorists in trouble spots.

And, equally predictably, no one in the media or among the Democrats went to jail for it.

Indeed the media had developed a habit of naming CIA personnel against their protests and those of the Agency. The New York Times named the interrogator of the mastermind of the September 11 attacks. But the media was just acting as the distributors for intelligence gained from the leftist activist tip of the spear, from 9/11 Truthers to the ACLU’s John Adams Project whose lawyers allegedly took photos of interrogators and showed them to terrorists.

The left has been at war with the men and women working secretly to protect us from Islamic terror. They have filled the upper echelons of the national security infrastructure with their own people. It is these activists who are doing everything possible to sabotage President Trump to aid the terrorists.

Under Obama, the men and women on the ground were sold out, exposed to political, legal and violent retribution by the enemies of this country. It is time to end all that. The people working to hunt down terrorists, to interrogate them and bring them to justice, must know that their government has their back. Obama’s first executive orders began the process of favoring terrorists over interrogators. Trump’s first executive orders have put power back in the hands of those protecting us from terror. That process must continue until all our people, from the border patrol to the beat cop, from the covert operative shadowing a terrorist to the drone operator, knows that they can do their job without fear of the left.

National security is not just a phrase. It’s people. And those people must know that their country will stand behind them.

In the Vietnam War, the left’s worst crime wasn’t treason; it was driving a wedge between the country and those fighting for it. By targeting police, border patrol and CIA personnel, Obama repeated that crime. Now as President Trump fights to take back this country from drug dealers, illegal aliens and terrorists, and their leftist allies, those fighting for us know that we stand behind them.

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


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France's Fatal Attraction to Islam - Giulio Meotti

by Giulio Meotti

Instead of fighting to save what is savable, French opinion-makers are already writing the terms of surrender.

  • By hybridizing cultures and rejecting Christianity, France will soon end up not even teaching also Arabic, but only Arabic, and marking Ramadan instead of Easter.
  • Instead of wasting their time trying to organize an "Islam of France", French political leaders, opinion makers and think tanks should look for ways to counter the creeping Islamization of their country. Otherwise, we may soon be seeing not only a "Grand Imam de France", but also lashes and stonings on the Champs Élysées.

Two years ago, the rector of the Great Mosque of Paris, Dalil Boubakeur, suggested converting empty churches into mosques, to accommodate the growing Muslim community in abandoned Christian sites. Now, many people in France seem to have taken the idea so seriously that a report released by the foundation Terra Nova, France's main think tank that provides ideas to the governing Socialist Party, suggests that in order to integrate Muslims better, French authorities should replace the two Catholic holidays -- Easter Monday and Pentecost -- with Islamic holidays. To be ecumenical, they also included a Jewish holiday.
Written by Alain Christnacht and Marc-Olivier Padis, the study, "The Emancipation of Islam of France," states: "In order to treat all the denominations equally, it should include two important new holidays, Yom Kippur and Eid el Kebir, with the removal of two Mondays that do not correspond to particular solemnity".

Thus, Easter and Pentecost can be sacrificed to keep the ever-elusive multicultural "peace".

Terra Nova's proposal was rejected by the Episcopal Conference of France, but endorsed by the Union of Islamic Organizations of France, close to the Muslim Brotherhood, which would also like to include the Islamic holidays of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha in the calendar. The idea of replacing the Christian holidays was also sponsored by the Observatory of Secularism, an organ created by President François Hollande to coordinate secularist policies. The Observatory of Secularism also proposed eliminating some Christian holidays to make way for the Islamic, Jewish and secular holidays. "France must replace two Christian holidays to make way for the Yom Kippur and Eid," said Dounia Bouzar, a member of the Observatory.

In his recent book, Will the Church Bells Ring Tomorrow?, Philippe de Villiers notes the disappearance of churches in France, and their replacement by mosques. Pictured above: On August 3, 2016, French riot police dragged a priest and his congregation from the church of St Rita in Paris, prior to its scheduled demolition. Front National leader Marine Le Pen said in fury: "And what if they built parking lots in the place of Salafist mosques, and not of our churches?" (Image source: RT video screenshot)

"France is no longer a Catholic country", wrote Frederic Lenoir, editor-in-chief of Le Monde des Religions. The newspaper Le Figaro wondered if Islam can already be considered "France's prime religion." Instead of fighting to save what is savable, French opinion-makers are already writing the terms of surrender. That is the meaning of Terra Nova's proposal.

A similar shocking idea came from another think tank, the Montaigne Institute, which provides ideas to another presidential candidate, Emmanuel Macron. In its report, written by Hakim El Karoui, the Montaigne Institute proposed the creation of a "Grand Imam of France", no less, as if Paris and Cairo would have the same historic roots. Macron recently apologized for French colonialism, feeding a defeatist sense of guilt that fuels Islamic extremists in their demands.

The Montaigne Institute has also suggested teaching Arabic in public schools. This idea was also sponsored by Jack Lang, president of the Institute of the Arab world, who stated, "the Arab world is part of us". By hybridizing cultures and rejecting Christianity, France will soon end up not even teaching also Arabic, but only Arabic, and Ramadan instead of Easter.

If the goal is accommodating Muslims in the French Republic instead of assimilating them, why not ban pork in the schools, avoid sensitive subjects such as the Crusades and the Holocaust, separate men and women in swimming pools, call cartoonists to "responsibility," and allow Islamic veils in the public administration? In fact, all these things are taking place in France today. And the result is not "emancipation," but religious segregation.

It is in this Apartheid that Islamic extremists grow and permeate hearts and minds. France's director-general of intelligence, Patrick Calvar, has been clear: "The confrontation is inevitable," he said. There are an estimated 15,000 Salafists among France's seven million Muslims, "whose radical-fundamentalist creed dominates many of the predominantly Muslim housing projects at the edges of cities such as Paris, Nice or Lyon. Their preachers call for a civil war, with all Muslims tasked to wipe out the infidels down the street".

The Socialist front-runner for the Presidential elections, Benoit Hamon, to whom the Terra Nova's report was directed, even justified the disappearance of French women from the cafés in Muslim-majority areas: "Historically, in the workers' cafes, there were no women," he said.

Instead of wasting their time trying to organize an "Islam of France", French political leaders, opinion-makers and think tanks should look for ways to counter the creeping Islamization of their country. Otherwise we may soon be seeing not only a "Grand Imam de France", but also lashes and stonings on the Champs Élysées.

Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.


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Shattering the State Department’s Echo Chamber - Sarah N. Stern

by Sarah N. Stern

If the objective is “peace”, one must honestly ask oneself if any of the politically gut-wrenching and internally divisive land withdrawals -- has actually brought us any closer to that objective of peace.

Most Americans would like to believe that certain ethical qualities are in the mix when shaping American foreign policy, such as intellectual honesty and moral integrity. These qualities, whether part of an individual’s nature or those of national policy, often require some difficult introspection.

Sometimes it even involves the painful admission that one has been wrong. Even if one has been wrong for an extremely long time. And it is human nature that the longer the time, the deeper the resistance to change.

So it is with certain theories that our State Department has clung to for generations now, such as “land for peace.” What we have seen through decades of empirical, and often heartbreaking experience, is that this formula simply hasn’t worked. If the objective is “peace”, one must honestly ask oneself if any of the politically gut-wrenching and internally divisive land withdrawals from the Sinai, Gaza, southern Lebanon and parts of Judea and Samaria, has actually brought us any closer to that objective of peace.

But rather than challenge the premises of this formulation, those in the State Department’s echo chamber simply dig their feet in further and rationalize its failure. Each time there is another excuse. “Israel hasn’t given enough land”, or “Gaza was without a negotiating partner”.

All of the State Department apparatchiks who stubbornly cling to this mantra were one hundred per cent in favor of each of these withdrawals. Then, when those land withdrawal did not bring us closer to the designated objective, they came up with convenient post facto rationalizations.

On Wednesday February 15, five former U.S. ambassadors to Israel, Thomas Pickering, Edward Walker, James Cunningham, William Harrop, and Daniel Kurtzer wrote a letter to the U.S. Foreign Relations Committee casting doubts upon the ability of President Trump’s selection of David Friedman for the position of ambassador to Israel because he has not demonstrated than he has bought into their paradigm, which has proven to be an abject failure, time and time again.

One of the arguments that is used to bolster this failed premise is an equally false mantra that we find within the letter. This false mantra has been used, even before the state of Israel was declared, to say that the Jewish enterprise will be doomed to failure because the demographics of the Arabs will eventually outnumber those of the Jews.

It is couched within the February 15th letter, which states: “If Israel is to carry on as a democratic, Jewish nation, respected internationally, we see no alternative to a two-state solution.”

This mantra was used ever since the days of the Yishuv (the settlements in Israel before statehood), under President Truman, when his Secretary of Defense James Forrestal exclaimed, “You just don’t understand. There are four hundred thousand Jews and forty million Arabs. Forty million Arabs are going to push for four hundred thousand Jews into the sea. And that’s all there is to it. Oil -- that’s the side we want to be on.”

During the Oslo years, Israeli demographers from the Israeli Central bureau of Statistics used inflated statistics, taken in good faith, and without due diligence, from the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. These numbers have been politically used by those on the left to scare Israelis and Jews worldwide into conceding the geographic and topographically necessary defensive advantage to the Palestinian Authority. These inflated statistics became the critical foundation upon which was built much the recycled claim that “Israel cannot maintain itself as both a Jewish state and a democracy unless it creates a Palestinian state”, found in the February 15th letter.

It was the height of irresponsibility to not verify the statistics given by the P.A, in the first place. However, they have been proven to be totally inflated, by the esteemed analyst Yoram Ettinger and Nicholas Eberstadt, chief demographer of the American Enterprise Institute, as well as by the World Bank. The correct demographic data points on a 66% majority of Jews living West of the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, and the demographic trends in the two populations point to a steep trajectory of rising birthrates among the Jewish population, as well as a steady migration into Israel because of accelerated spikes in global anti-Semitism, and declining birth rates among the Palestinians, as well as their steady migration out of the Middle East.

Yet these false numbers have been forever parroted.

Many factors, including a hefty dose of professional hubris and cognitive dissonance within the State Department’s hermetically sealed echo chamber, have not allowed these five former ambassadors to acknowledge that their premise for finding peace between the Israelis and Palestinians was not only fundamentally flawed but it was based on misleading, fallacious data.

A famous quote, often attributed to Albert Einstein, defines insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. The failure to entertain any alternative route to peace, or the possibility of their paradigm being based on a faulty premise built upon faulty data, is the only way to describe the ossified cognitive status of those who signed the February 15th letter.

Sarah N. Stern is Founder and President of the Endowment for Middle East Truth, an unabashedly pro-American and pro-Israel think tank and policy institute in Washington, DC


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Ghazala Khan Got Liberal Respect. Not Ryan Owens's Widow - Daniel John Sobieski

by Daniel John Sobieski

Democrats and the liberal media have mocked the survivors of our war heroes before.

President Trump’s moving and deserved tribute to the memory and sacrifice of Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens, delivered as his widow, Carryn Weigand Owens, sat in the gallery as his guest, has attracted praise from those that love the country he died for:
Of all the moments from President Trump’s first address to Congress, the most riveting piece of political theater was his tribute to the widow of fallen Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens. The president’s critics and supporters alike admired it.
Midway through his speech, the president gestured to Owens‘ widow, Carryn, who was a guest in the balcony seated with presidential daughter Ivanka Trump.
“We are blessed to be joined tonight by Carryn Owens,” Mr. Trump said. “Ryan died as he lived: a warrior, and a hero -- battling against terrorism and securing our nation. Ryan’s legacy is etched into eternity. For as the Bible teaches us, there is no greater act of love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. Ryan laid down his life for his friends, for his country, and for our freedom -- we will never forget him.”
Mrs. Owens, tears streaming down her cheeks, rose to acknowledge a lengthy standing ovation and raised her eyes to the heavens.
Unfortunately, the moment has also attracted the scorn and hypocrisy of those for whom patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels, accusing President Trump of using her grief as a political pawn and even accusing Owens’ widow of being an idiot for giving her own tribute to her husband, raising her hands and eyes to a Heaven he now occupies in thanks for his life and his love, both of her and his country. Typical was the vitriol tweeted by Dan Grillo, former volunteer for both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama:
A former Hillary Clinton volunteer drew swift condemnation -- and lost his job -- after mocking the widow of a fallen Navy SEAL who was honored by the president during his congressional address Tuesday night…
“Our veterans have delivered for this nation -- and now we must deliver for them,” Trump said, eliciting an extended standing ovation from the entire chamber for a visibly emotional Owens. “Ryan died as he lived: a warrior, and a hero -- battling against terrorism and securing our nation,” Trump said. While widely regarded as the most powerful moment of the night, Grilo was not impressed. Responding to a tweet from L.A. Times reporter Matt Pearce, who noted that Owens was crying and overwhelmed, Grilo tweeted:“Sorry, Owens' wife, you’re not helping yourself or your husband’s memory by standing there and clapping like an idiot. Trump just used you.”
Democrats and the liberal media have mocked the survivors of our war heroes before. Witness their shabby treatment of Charles Woods, father of Ty Woods, and Patricia Smith, mother of Sean Smith, heroes who died, along with Glen Dougherty and Ambassador Christopher Stevens in the terrorist attack on our Benghazi compound. Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama lied to them in front of their sons’ caskets, with Hillary doubling down later to call the Benghazi families liars.

Of course, liberals had no trouble exploiting the grief of Gold Star family of Ghazala and Khizr Khan at the Democratic National Convention to attack Donald Trump’s proposed restrictions on immigration. As the kerfuffle about Donald Trump’s reaction to the speech by Khizr Khan at the Democratic National Convention gathered steam over the following weekend, Hillary Clinton repeated her slander that somehow the families of the Benghazi dead were lying when they said she told them in front of their son’s caskets they died because of a video. This time she didn’t say “liar”, but that their grief made them misunderstand her:
Over the weekend, Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton accused two Benghazi families of "not understanding her" the day bodies of the Americans killed in Benghazi were returned home. This wasn't the first time Clinton essentially called Charles Woods, father of Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods, and Pat Smith, mother of information officer Sean Smith, liars. Woods and Smith say Clinton told them a video was to blame for the Benghazi attack, not terrorism. Clinton disagrees but "doesn't hold any ill feeling for someone who in that moment may not fully recall everything that was or wasn’t said."
In her patronizing monotone, Hillary essentially said the Benghazi families were not only liars but stupid as well, badly in need of a remedial English course. Now, Khizr’s wife Ghazala Khan, whose son gave his life for his country in Iraq, is a Gold Star mom deserving of our respect. Her silence at the convention should be interpreted as nothing more than grief, and Donald Trump would have been wise not to rise to the media bait. But Patricia Smith, Charles Woods, and other members of the Benghazi dead belong to Gold Star families as well. Where is their respect and media condemnation of Hillary Clinton’s callousness and serial lying about them and the terrorist attack that killed their sons? As Howard Kurtz, Fox News media analyst, points out:
There is no question that Khan, whose soldier son was killed in Iraq, provided a heartbreaking moment in Philadelphia. Trump had nothing to do with his son’s wartime death, of course, but Khan took his proposed temporary ban on Muslim immigrants and used it to question whether the candidate has even read the Constitution (which Trump says he has).
The media have given this man and his wife an enormous platform -- in a way they conspicuously declined to do when Patricia Smith blamed Hillary Clinton at the Republican convention for the death of her son in Benghazi.
Charles Wood, the equally grieving father of Tyrone Woods, who died in the Benghazi terrorist attack, says he did not misunderstand what Hillary told him in front of his son’s casket:
This morning on America's Newsroom, Charles Woods again explained his version of events and didn't hold back about what Clinton did or said.
"She stood in front of my son's casket and blamed the rage directed at American embassies on a video she said we had no part of," Woods said. "When they had the casket ceremony she also lied to the American public. These are her words as best as I can recall, 'rage was directed at American embassies as a result of that awful video that we were not responsible for. She said basically the same thing in private to the families that were grieving and then a half hour later she said basically the same thing as far as causation to the American public."
Jim Geraghty, writing in National Review, notes the glaring disparity in the treatments of Ghazala Khan and Patricia Smith:
Hey, remember when the first night of the Republican convention featured Patricia Smith, mother of Sean Smith, one of the Americans slain in Benghazi? Remember how her speech was called a “cynical exploitation of grief”? Or the “unabashed exploitation of private people’s grief” or “the weaponization of grief”? Remember how she “ruined the evening”? How it was, “a spectacle so offensive, it was hard to even comprehend”? How some liberal commentators said, “Mrs. Smith was really most interested in drinking blood rather than healing”? How her speech represented an “early dip into the gutter”? Remember how a GQ writer publicly expressed a desire to beat her to death?
Patricia Smith was said to be a “grieving unhinged mother” that was exploited for political gain. Ghazala Khan was treated as the second coming of Cindy Sheehan, the Code Pink poster mom who the media slavishly covered as she encamped outside the Bush family ranch in Crawford, Texas.

Patricia Smith understood Hillary perfectly. As Patricia Smith said in her riveting convention speech:
“I know a few things could’ve been done to prevent it. But nobody’s admitting to anything. Right now, my understanding is Hillary didn’t do a damn thing. And I wonder what she did as Secretary of State, because she disavows everything. She disavows the fact that she even got any call for security... If this is her Department, she certainly doesn’t know how to run the Department. And she lied the whole time. She lied to me and called me a liar on TV,” Smith continues.
“She said ‘One of us is a liar, and it wasn’t me,’” Smith recalls Hillary saying on air later...
“I am not a liar! I know what Hillary told me! In fact… I’ve spoken to quite a few different people -- Hillary and Obama, Panetta, Susan Rice, and several others… every one of them told me it was the fault of the video, including Obama -- and he denies it!
“Please, tell the world. Tell the world what she’s really like.”
The Democrats have no trouble mocking the likes of Patricia Smith, Charles Woods, and now, Carryn Owens, people whose grief and sacrifice is real and deserve every tribute coming their way. Nor do they have any trouble exploiting such grief when it suits their political purposes. Neither Carryn Owens nor President Trump exploited the death of “Ryan” Owens for political purposes. The Democrats and the Khans did. They are the idiots.

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.


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