Friday, April 6, 2018

The Heavy Price of Israeli Generosity - Mordechai Nisan

by Mordechai Nisan

No good deed extended to Palestinians goes unpunished.

Although some stubborn Israelis won't agree, Israel is really to blame for the absence of peace with the Palestinians.  This is not to say Israel is also guilty for the war with the Palestinians, though people might mistakenly think so, considering the recent killing of 18 Palestinians in Gaza who were engaged in a pseudo-civilian invasion of Israeli territory on March 30.

The real story is clear but generally misreported or unreported by the fake news outlets: Israel's wanton concessions, innumerable gestures of good-will, and wide range of assistance that have all failed since the 1993 Oslo Accord to bring peace with the Palestinians.  Israel withdrew from all of the Gaza Strip and parts of Judea and Samaria in the spirit of "territories for peace." Facing Palestinians with their battery of terrorists and rock-throwing youth, knife-stabbers and arsonists, food-poisoners and maniacs crashing their vehicles into soldiers and pedestrians, Israel often showed undue indulgence where iron-clad firmness would have been expected and justified.     

Israel's complacent generosity has provided quality medical treatment in its hospitals for Palestinian enemies of Zionism, offered academic studies to convicted and imprisoned Arab terrorists, and transfers gas and electricity to Gaza and its Hamas jihad regime. And the courts – well, Israel's Supreme Court – is on constant alert to block any government initiative to build its security wall through an empty field near an Arab village, and to cancel government punishment and deterrence decisions to destroy a terrorist's home.

In Middle Eastern cultural terms, we have uncovered an explanation for the interminable conflict.  We have to speak about this with frankness, free from PC thought-control and Edward Said mantras.


The religious and political culture of the Arabs and Muslims is grounded in hierarchy and authoritarianism, even dictatorship and repression. As Allah is to be obeyed, so the Muslim must obey the ruler.  Muhammad demanded obedience as the primary duty of the Muslim.  Even when the ruler is unjust, the alternative to his rule is not liberty, but anarchy. Chaos and war in Syria, Iraq, and Libya, serve as real-time test-cases for this hypothesis.

Israel has confused and disoriented the Palestinians for 50 years. Its so-called occupation regime, brandishing its assorted soldiers, roadblocks, arrests, and curfews, still leaves the Arabs with a panoply of liberties. They malign the Jews with impunity, spew hatred for Zionism, and erase Israel from their maps. They can violate Oslo agreements, mobilize anti-Israel resolutions at the United Nations, and promote the de-legitimization of Israel in the world. The Palestinian Authority uses its policemen as terrorists and foments violence on the Temple Mount.  Hamas, after firing 20,000 rockets into Israel in the last ten years, yet refuses to return the corpses of Israeli soldiers, while Israel is adamant in assuming responsibility to prevent a virtual humanitarian crisis in Gaza.     

And Israel continues to transfer millions of shekels each month to sustain the Fatah Ramallah rogue regime of Mahmoud Abbas – notorious Palestinian terrorist, Holocaust denier, and human rights violator.

The Arabs are baffled by Israel's flawless fawning because this is a cultural enigma too unnerving to grasp. Their perennial war against the Jews is part of a psychological dynamic that Machiavelli wrote about in The Prince: "men have less scruple in offending one who makes himself loved than one who makes himself feared."  Accordingly, Arab youth walk brazenly and freely – and safely - in the Jewish sections of Jerusalem, enjoying the cafes and restaurants, while Jews are apprehensive to wander around the eastern Arab-inhabited parts of the city – where Israelis have been stabbed to death.


So what are the Arabs to understand when Israel releases terrorists in bizarre deals, ignores Arab citizens unfurling Palestinian flags in Umm el-Fahm and Sakhnin in defiance of the state of Israel, and lavishes upon the Arabs a policy of preferential affirmative action? When Israel offered the Golan to Assad and Palestine to Arafat, and Sadat got the Sinai and Nasrallah southern Lebanon, the Arabs – while always demanding more - see only weakness and capitulation.

The Arab psyche requires a readjustment of things. Thus, Palestinians therefore trigger more violence in order to stimulate the appropriate response from Israel. They yearn for a reordering of the value-universe, reestablishing meaning as when the culprit and criminal are severely punished. That would make perfect sense to them. An adversary who refuses to exercise power and authority is not worthy of respect, let alone allegiance. The Arabs feel scorn toward the Jews who can – but don't – rule with an iron fist.

When Islamic religious lore says Jews love life but the Muslims love death, this is an indictment of Jewish meekness and praise for Muslim faith. 


Yes, Israel is guilty for the conflict – not at the source but for its prolongation. Acts of Israeli restraint and accommodation send the Palestinians the wrong message. Terrorists must be expelled, militants silenced, and anti-Semitic propaganda quashed. The Arab community can then accept reality and peace under the blue-and-white flag in Israel, or preferably leave. The proper cultural-political ordering of things will bring warfare – but not the war - to an end.    

Writing in 1914, the pioneering Zionist Moshe Smilansky, having experienced Jewish-Arab connections in Rehovot, was remarkably frank concerning the Arab: "if he senses you have power, he will submit to you and maintain his hatred for you in his heart. If he feels you are weak – he'll rule you." The Jew cannot eliminate the Arab's hatred, but he can decide what the Arab does with it.

Dr. Mordechai Nisan is a retired lecturer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the author of Only Israel West of the River.


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Mossad chief: 100% certain Iran seeks nuclear bomb - Orly Harari

by Orly Harari

Mossad chief warns Iran never abandoned nuclear program, failure to cancel or change Iran deal will create existential threat for Israel.

Yossi Cohen
Yossi Cohen
Miriam Alster, Flash 90
Mossad Chief Yossi Cohen said Iran is continuing to develop nuclear weapons, warning the international community to either change or cancel the Iran deal.

In a meeting, Cohen said the Iran deal was "an awful mistake that allows the country to preserve completely crucial elements of its nuclear plan, and it will remove the various restrictions within a few years."

"Iran will succeed in enriching enough uranium to build an arsenal of nuclear weapons," Cohen warned.

He slammed the decision to remove sanctions, and emphasized that Iran has continued to develop its long-term ballistic missile program.

"As the head of the Mossad, I am 100% certain that Iran never abandoned its vision and plan of a nuclear-armed military for even one second. The failure to change or cancel the deal will create an existential threat for Israel," he emphasized.

Orly Harari


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Why don't the Palestinians march on Iran, Syria, Egypt and Jordan? - Giulio Meotti

by Giulio Meotti

In Syria, 23 Palestinians were killed in March alone, for a total of 3,685 Palestinian Arabs who have died since the start of the civil war in Syria seven years ago, including 467 women.

Imagine if Hamas brought those 30,000 people, armed militiamen, families and children to march near the Syrian border. Bashar el Assad would have ordered an Alawite battalion to shoot into the crowd. There would have been 200 deaths. Then, to dissuade them from doing it again, he would have thrown two barrel bombs at them. Another 80 dead. Then, if the Palestinians had resisted, the Syrians would have thrown two sarin gas tanks at them. Dozens of deaths and hundreds of (real) injuries. The survivors would have been evacuated by bus.

In Syria, 23 Palestinians were really killed in March alone, for a total of 3,685 Palestinian Arabs who died since the start of the civil war in Syria seven years ago, including 467 women - and the world doesn't give a damn. I see no pacifists, journalists, politicians, flotillas, UN bureaucrats and intellectuals in Yarmouk, one of the largest Palestinian refugee camps near Damascus.

Where is the famous Palestinian solidarity? Where is BDS? Where are the Hamas leaders? Where are the famous media that make public opinion? They are all in Gaza, because there is Israel to execrate, to crucify, to condemn. A hypocrisy bathed in the blood of so many innocents, and they want to wash the blood of Palestinian terrorists with that of the Israelis. Perversity incarnate!

Imagine if Hamas had brought those 30,000 to the Iranian border. The ayatollahs would have sent them the Basiji, the Shiite militia. To shoot on the crowd, to make mass arrests, to torture them in Evin prison, to make desaparecidos. Let's think about what the Iranians did when their women tried to take off the veil on the street or their poor marched for bread. They did it to their own citizens.

Imagine if Hamas had brought those 30,000 against the Erdogan in Turkey. Ask the Kurds - they know what would have happened to the Palestinians. And if Hamas had brought those 30,000 against the Egyptian border, would Al-Sisi have used white gloves?

Do we ever hear of Palestinian Arab marches in Jordan, where they make up the vast majority of the population? No? Because they remember what King Hussein did to them in 1972: 3,400 Palestinians killed in cold blood.

The truth is that Israel, in a Middle East founded on abomination, state terror and violence, constitutes the closest thing to Amnesty International, with rules of engagement that many Western countries dream of and that fulfill many Western principles in a barbaric environment. The Palestinian Arabs and the international community know that and they play with Israel's right to exist.

Giulio Meotti, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly column for Arutz Sheva. He is the author of the book "A New Shoah", that researched the personal stories of Israel's terror victims, published by Encounter and of "J'Accuse: the Vatican Against Israel" published by Mantua Books.. His writing has appeared in publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Frontpage and Commentary.


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Is the Migrant Caravan a Trojan Horse? - Brian C. Joondeph

by Brian C. Joondeph

ISIS once threatened to send half a million migrants to Europe as a “psychological weapon”. Could they be sending others to Central America?

'Trojan horse' refers to a clever trick to hide and sneak foes across enemy lines. It is the story of a large hollow wooden horse constructed by the Greeks, to hide and hold Greek warriors. The horse was offered to Troy by the Greeks as a tribute to goddess Athena which would make Troy impregnable. Once brought inside the gates of Troy, soldiers emerged from the horse, opening the city gates to the Greek army. It was a clever and effective sneak attack.

Although this was an ancient technique of war, Trojan horses are being used today, in a different kind of war. This war is not against the Greeks, but instead against first world western countries, including the United States, that have lost the will to defend their people, their culture, and their borders.

The current Trojan horse is the “migrant caravan”, heading from Central, through Mexico, toward the U.S. southern border. The migratory surge is sponsored by a group called Pueblo Sin Fronteras, whose mission is to, “Accompany migrants and refugees in their journey of hope, and together demand our human rights.” The migrant caravan now traversing Mexico is their modus operandi.

Migrants from Central America are supposedly fleeing their home countries to seek political asylum further north. They are allowed to cross Mexico’s own southern border but are not being invited to stay in Mexico or granted asylum by Mexico. Instead they are given assistance, by migrant organizations, the Mexican government, and likely American pro illegal immigration groups, toward their final destination, the United States.

Once they set foot in the U.S., they can claim political asylum, and with U.S. catch-and-release policies, are essentially set free within the U.S. Are all of the migrants being persecuted politically in their home countries or are some traveling with the caravan for other reasons? If so, how many? Do any U.S. government officials, other than President Trump, know or care?

This photo from CNN shows the migrant caravan.

So does this photo below from Telesur.

Notice how many of the migrants are young men, fit and of military age. These migrants look remarkably similar to photos of Syrian refugees entering Europe. Sure there are women and children too, but most are young men.

Why aren’t they staying in their home countries, trying to make things better for themselves, their families, and their fellow countrymen? In fact, are they all from Central America? Could any of these young men be from countries further east, as in the Middle East? Who knows?

ISIS once threatened to send half a million migrants to Europe as a “psychological weapon”. Could they be sending others to Central America? Who is screening or vetting the young men in the migrant caravan en route to the U.S.? Could this caravan be a Trojan horse designed to hide enemy combatants among those legitimately seeking refuge?

Aside from potential terrorists, what else might be hiding within the migrant caravan? How about contagious infectious diseases? Some nasty diseases may be crossing our southern border, as I wrote about several years ago. How many in the migrant caravan are carrying such a disease? Wouldn’t Americans want to be protected from outbreaks of chicken pox, hepatitis, and scabies?

Fast forward to the present and look what’s happening in New York City, as reported by the New York Post last week. “The number of tuberculosis cases in New York City suddenly jumped by 10 percent last year — the largest increase since 1992.”

TB is common in drug abusers but also in immigrants from certain countries. From the NY Post: “TB disproportionately affects foreign-born New Yorkers — accounting for 86 percent of all cases in the city.” Where in particular, you might ask?

“Many of the infected city residents came from China, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, India or Mexico.” Some of the same countries participating in the migrant caravan. Could contagious diseases be another Trojan horse hiding within the caravan?

Less dangerous is scabies, which as reported last year, is “on the rise among migrants” in Paris. When you bring there here, here becomes there.

Then there are drugs, already crossing the border with ease, which have no need of hiding in a Trojan horse. What about weapons? Is every backpack being carried through Mexico to the U.S. being searched? How easy would it be to bring a biological or chemical weapon, hiding with the masses of people making up the caravan?

What is the U.S. doing about this? The left is encouraging this mass migration as it supplies future Democrat voters necessary for them to advance their left-wing agenda. Republicans, concerned more about the well-being of the Chamber of Commerce and their other donors than they are about the American people, have been mum.

Mexico now claims to be stopping the caravan, allowing some migrants to seek asylum and others to be returned to their home countries. Perhaps the threats of economic sanctions have caught the attention of Mexican leaders. Similar to how a threatened trade war brought China to the negotiating table. Will this be the last of such caravans?

It remains to be seen as other reports dispute Mexican claims. Pueblos Sin Fronteras, declared the caravan would continue onward to and across the border. Who is telling the truth, the Mexican government or the immigration group supporting the caravan?

Regardless of whether Mexico is serious or just posturing, this is a slow pitch for President Trump to hit out of the park. Aside from unleashing an economic tsunami upon Mexico for aiding and abetting this mass migration, his signature campaign issue is ready to be hit into the upper decks.

Remember the omnibus spending bill with $700 billion in defense spending? And that the president has much more spending discretion with an omnibus spending bill than an actual budget?

It’s a golden opportunity for President Trump, under the blanket of national security and protecting the homeland from an invasion of sorts, to direct the military to secure our border via troops and a wall. Whether through the Army Corps of Engineers or private contractors, the time is ripe for Trump to make good on his campaign promise from that day he rode down the Trump Tower escalator and announced his candidacy.

If Democrats and even Republicans don’t like it, let them go on record defending mass migration of unvetted young men from who knows where, bringing who knows what into America. Waiting for Ryan and McConnell to do anything is like waiting for Hillary Clinton to go away. They will have excuses, just as they did for repealing Obamacare and passing a fiscally responsible spending bill.

Trump is the last chance to stop this invasion. Ignoring the problem is the surest way for him to lose his supporters. As he told us repeatedly, he would build the wall and make Mexico pay for it. The time is ripe to make good on that promise.

Brian C. Joondeph, MD, MPS, a Denver based physician and writer. Follow him on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Brian C. Joondeph


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Official: Escalation may lead to another round of fighting - Ido Ben Porat

by Ido Ben Porat

Security official tells Arutz Sheva: The recent Gaza developments may be part of Hamas' plan to start another round of fighting by May 14.

Terror march
Terror march
Abad Rahim Katib, Flash 90
A security official spoke to Arutz Sheva on Thursday morning about the recent developments in Gaza and the possibility of another war breaking out.

According to the source, who insisted on anonymity, the recent events are part of a larger Hamas plan, which is expected to reach its peak on May 14.

"Hamas is interested in gradually growing the flames, until May 14," the source told Arutz Sheva. "And from there, they want to lead an escalation which will bring about another round of fighting in Gaza."

In February, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot predicted that a new conflict between Israel and the Hamas terror organization in Gaza was likely in 2018 resulting from Hamas' mismanagement of the Gaza Strip and the correspondingly difficult humanitarian conditions.

In March, the Palestinian Authority (PA) official in charge of Gaza affairs told Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu) said that beginning April 1, the PA would stop paying salaries to its employees in Gaza. Such a step, causing tens of thousands of Gaza workers to lose their income, could cause a humanitarian crisis in the enclave.

Ido Ben Porat


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The K-12 Code Can Stop Political Child Abuse - Daniel Greenfield

by Daniel Greenfield

Indoctrination, bias and racism have no place in a classroom.

To order the Freedom Center's latest pamphlet, "Leftist Indoctrination In Our K-12 Public Schools," click here or to learn more about the Center's Stop K-12 Indoctrination campaign, click here.  

Hampton Middle School has a problem.

The school in Hampton, Georgia managed to make national news twice in one week. 

A sixth-grade teacher from the school was caught on tape ranting against Trump’s slogan of Make America Great Again. “Maybe he’s talking about it was great during segregation in the ‘60s. Is that what he’s talking about?”

“He must be talking about when it was great for Europeans," Johnetta Benton sneered. "Because when it comes to minorities, America has never been great for minorities." 

Josie Orihuela , the Cuban-American student who tried to argue with her teacher, was told that she had no right to complain because her European ancestors have killed millions. 

The teacher, who was supposed to be talking about Black History Month, also claimed that all Americans were illegal immigrants who had stolen the land. “When you say immigrants are killing folks, that's us. That's you, you, you, you and you,” she said, pointing at the different students, including Josie.

Josie had been named after her grandfather, who had fled Castro’s Cuba, and had Cherokee ancestry.

And Corey Sanders, a 7th grade social studies teacher at Hampton Middle School, who was supposed to be teaching about Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, instead ordered students to write letters in order to “pressure lawmakers to have stricter gun laws in the United States.” 

Georgia is a red state. But, despite that, students are still being brainwashed and berated. In Hampton, two students and their families stood up for their country and for their right to think for themselves.

But how many other schools and school districts are witnessing the same phenomenon? And how many students lack the courage shown by Josie? How many are too afraid to stand up and speak up?

“This activity took the wrong approach in limiting the ability of students to share any thoughts outside of what was directed of them when the subject elicits many different viewpoints from people, including students,” the school district spokesman correctly stated.

That’s exactly how education is meant to work. Teachers are obligated to teach children how to think, not to tell them what to think. But, at Hampton the school had failed to meet its obligation to its students and their parents. And this is unfortunately the case at schools across the country.

To prevent these abuses and return our public schools to their proper roles, the David Horowitz Freedom Center is fighting to bring the K-12 Code of Ethics to classrooms across the country. 

The K-12 Code is designed to ensure that students have the resources and the freedom to make up their own minds by mandating that, “teachers must provide them with materials supporting both sides of the controversy, and present those views in a fair-minded non-partisan manner.”

Teachers can express their own points of view, but students must be allowed to “make up their own minds and to disagree with the teacher without incurring any penalty.” The K-12 Code of Ethics leaves plenty of room for inquiry. It protects the First Amendment rights of both teachers and students to express their viewpoints. 

And it would have protected the students of Corey Sanders’ 7th grade class from having their First Amendment rights violated by being forced to advocate for only one side of a controversial issue.

The K-12 Code of Ethics bars teachers from advocating for a political candidate at any level of government – local, state, or federal – and from supporting or opposing legislation, court cases, or executive actions. It also bars partisan advocacy of a controversial issue. A controversial issue is defined in the K-12 Code as “an issue that is a point in electoral party platforms at the national, state or local level.”

Forcing students to advocate for only one side of the gun control debate would have violated the Code. And the code will be backed by a special review board which will have the power to hear complaints and impose disciplinary measures ranging from probation to suspension to the loss of a teaching license.

The K-12 Code doesn’t rule out a debate over gun control. Teachers can teach the controversies, but their job is to show students both sides of the debate and they must not advocate for only one side.

The Code also opposes the introduction “into class any controversial subject matter that is not germane to the topic of the course being taught.” Asking students in a class covering Africa, Asia, and the Middle East to write letters opposing gun control is a clear example of a violation of this sensible, ethical rule.

And, in a time when poisonous racist ideas such as “white privilege” have found their way off college campuses and into high schools, middle schools, elementary schools, and even kindergartens, racial scapegoating of the kind Josie experienced would also be ruled out by the K-12 Code.

The K-12 Code of Ethics makes it clear that teachers will not be allowed to "single out one racial group of students as responsible for the suffering or inequities experienced by another racial group of students."

No student should ever be called a murderer because of their perceived race, as Josie was. 
That kind of racism has no place in either the classroom or the 21st century. The K-12 Code doesn’t just liberate students to think for themselves; it protects them from being victimized as racial scapegoats.

Josie transferred from Hampton Middle School soon after her traumatic experience. But the K-12 Code of Ethics can protect other students from similar abusive experiences.

The K-12 Code of Ethics doesn’t censor. It doesn’t come down on one side of any issue. Instead, it protects students from being victimized by politically-minded teachers in the classroom. It doesn’t end debate or favor one side of the political spectrum: instead it ensures that students will be free to make their own minds without fear of consequences. It turns the classroom away from indoctrination and back toward an education appropriate for training the future citizens of a healthy democracy.

Support for the K-12 Code of Ethics is growing around the country.

In Virginia, Del. Dave LaRock introduced a resolution in the Virginia House of Delegates supporting the K-12 Code of Ethics.  He warned that educators are “imposing their own personal views" and “bullying kids that don’t agree with their liberal viewpoint.”

It’s time for the K-12 Code of Ethics to come not only to Virginia, but to states around the country, to all the schools where the First Amendment rights and the right to a bias-free education are being violated by classroom radicals.

No student should be bullied, enlisted in political advocacy against their will, or racially scapegoated.

The K-12 Code of Ethics shouldn’t be needed. Professional teacher organizations and unions should adopt them on their own. But these groups have become extremely partisan and are now part of the problem. The K-12 Code, enacted into legislation, will give parents a tool to protect their children from political child abuse.

Because what happened to Josie should never happen in another classroom ever again.

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


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Paul Joseph Watson Video: I Support The Parkland Students -


And why you should too.

In this new video, Paul Joseph Watson says I Support The Parkland Students and explains why you should too. Don't miss it!


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DNC Black Caucus chair outs herself as former Black Panther - Rick Moran

by Rick Moran

The Democratic Party is the party of radical leadership

The chairwoman of the DNC's Black Caucus told a town hall in Detroit over the weekend that she is a former member of the notorious Black Panthers, a radical extremist activist group formed in the 1960s.

Washington Examiner:
"I'm a former Black Panther and, when we talk about the movement , as a former Black Panther with Angela Davis and Kathleen Cleaver, it was important ... to make people understand it was about the movement for us," said Rollins. "Educating us. We got out and we taught kids, we fed the hungry, and we clothed the naked."
At the end of Rollins' statement, which was secretly taped and posted online by the GOP War Room, she asks blacks to vote for Democrats in the 2018 midterms and help take Congress back from the Republican Party.
"We got to turn back to the revolution!" Rollins yelled.
Sitting near Rollins was Democratic National Committee Deputy Chairman Keith Ellison, D-Minn.

Noted political scientist Norm Ornstein wrote that Republicans are no longer conservatives; they are radicals. Perhaps Ornstein should train his famous powers of observation on the Democrats to find real radicalism.

By any definition, the Black Panthers were far out of the mainstream in the U.S. in the 1960s and '70s. They were even out of the mainstream among blacks. They were radical "community activists" who have been accused over the years of everything from extorting money from black shopkeepers to murder.

Conservative intellectual David Horowitz details, in his conversion from far left to the right, the murder of his bookkeeper, Betty Van Patter, by the Panthers as one of the defining moments of his life. Van Patter had been doing the books for a Black Panther school when she disappeared, only to be found a few weeks later floating in the bay.

Black Panther-defenders point to all the good work they did in trying to make blacks self-sufficient and instill pride in people living in inner-city communities. But their radical agenda was doing blacks no good, and the violent and extreme nature of many Black Panther members wipes away any good they may or may not have done.

The Democratic Party is far more radical than the GOP. Prominent radicals include not only Ms. Rollins and DNC vice chairman Keith Ellison, but also the radical socialist Senator Bernie Sanders, former House speaker Nancy Pelosi, and many others in Democratic party leadership positions. 

That's the difference. The GOP has its share of loons and right-wing nuts. But they are mostly shunted to the sidelines. Democrats feature their radicals, give them power, and allow them to set the party's agenda. 

They are a far more dangerous party, and God help us if they ever achieve power.

Rick Moran


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Is Trump About to Repeat Obama's Worst Mistake? - Malcolm Lowe

by Malcolm Lowe

Even if the implications of the massacre in Afrin were not so clearly evident, President Trump should remember the worst mistake of Obama's presidency in the area.

  • Should American personnel be removed from Syria, President Erdogan will be able to use his tanks and airplanes to revive the Turkish genocidal tradition by expelling the Syrian Kurds from their towns and villages along the entire border with Turkey. These are the same Kurds -- remember Kobani? -- who drove out ISIS from its Syrian "caliphate" and enabled other Syrians to regain their freedom and return to their own homes.
  • In early February, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman begged Turkey to cease its assault on Afrin, claiming -- truly enough -- that "the continuation of Turkey's military operation will facilitate the return of instability and terrorism to Syria." Indeed, deprived of American protection, the Kurds will hardly find anyone else willing to rescue them apart from Iran. If that happens, the Kurds will reward Iranians with same loyalty and devotion that they showed hitherto to Americans. Understandably, since they will owe their lives and homes to Iran, not to the United States.
  • Even if the implications of the massacre in Afrin were not so clearly evident, President Trump should remember the worst mistake of Obama's presidency in the area. This was Obama's precipitous and petulant decision to withdraw residual American military forces from Iraq. So, Mr. Trump, we beg and urge you not to copy Obama, who made his big mistake and reversed it, but to reverse your mistake before you make it.
The terrified dire warnings that greeted Donald Trump's election to the presidency of the United States have proved to be mostly exaggerated or imaginary. In some cases, like his decision to terminate absurd diplomatic antics about the location of Israel's capital, he has put an end to nonsense perpetrated by politicians throughout the world, including all recent American presidents. Very sadly, extremely sadly, he now seems inclined to repeat the worst mistake of his predecessor, President Obama.

The rumor is spreading that Trump is about to end all American involvement in Syria and bring American military personnel back home. The result, within months or even weeks, will be the expulsion from their homes of the Syrian Kurds, who have been the most faithful allies and most sincere admirers of the United States. Such a betrayal will indelibly and permanently mar the reputation of Donald Trump, giving satisfaction to all those who claimed that this successful businessman has zero competence in politics.

The result of an American withdrawal should be blindingly obvious from recent events. Turkey has just driven 200,000 Syrian Kurds from their homes in Afrin and has announced its intention to proceed from there to Manbij. Only the presence of American military personnel in Manbij has so far deterred Turkish President Erdogan from continuing his crazy persecution of Kurds. Should American personnel be removed from Syria, Erdogan will be able to use his tanks and warplanes to revive the Turkish genocidal tradition by expelling the Syrian Kurds from their towns and villages along the entire border with Turkey. These are the same Kurds -- remember Kobani? -- who drove out ISIS from its Syrian "caliphate" and enabled other Syrians to regain their freedom and return to their own homes.

Pictured: The city center of Kobani, Syria on June 20, 2015, shortly after the Kurdish YPG militia wrested control of the city from ISIS. (Photo by Ahmet Sik/Getty Images)

It is shameful that neither the United States nor most other countries did anything to prevent or even protest against the atrocity committed in Afrin. The main exception, surprisingly, was the Iranian regime -- despite its problems in its own Kurdish areas. In early February, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman begged Turkey to cease its assault on Afrin, claiming -- truly enough -- that "the continuation of Turkey's military operation will facilitate the return of instability and terrorism to Syria." Indeed, deprived of American protection, the Kurds will hardly find anyone else willing to rescue them apart from Iran. If that happens, the Kurds will reward Iranians with same loyalty and devotion that they showed hitherto to Americans. Understandably, since they will owe their lives and homes to Iran, not to the United States.

Trump's looming decision is motivated, the rumors say, by his belief that the United States should not be in the business of "nation building." But that is not what is involved here. We are not talking of the investment of hundreds of millions of dollars in rebuilding the destroyed cities and infrastructure of Syria. We are talking of the retention of a few thousand American military ground personnel and an air force umbrella to exclude Turkish tanks and warplanes.

Even if the implications of the massacre in Afrin were not so clearly evident, President Trump should remember the worst mistake of Obama's presidency in the area. This was Obama's precipitous and petulant decision to withdraw residual American military forces from Iraq. The Iraqi government begged America to retain a military presence in Iraq in order to continue its role of advising and accompanying the reformed Iraqi army. The only issue was how American personnel should be prosecuted for civil offenses committed off duty. A compromise on this issue was surely possible, but Obama lost patience and withdrew.

Obama's justification was that -- all along -- the war in Afghanistan was a "good war" but the war in Iraq was a "bad war," since the former but not the latter had UN approval. It was an absurd comparison from the viewpoint of American interests. Iraq sits in a key position in the Middle East, has vast oilfields and modern industry and a well-educated population. Afghanistan is populated by majority illiterate tribes who are engaged in perpetual petty warfare; its only product of note is opium poppies.

As a result of Obama's mistake, ISIS was able to capture a vast area of northern Iraq with -- initially -- hundreds rather than thousands of militiamen. It happened because the Iraqi army officers in Mosul, bereft of their American advisors, panicked and fled, rendering their leaderless servicemen helpless victims of the smaller but well-led ISIS force.

The consequences of this preventable catastrophe were immense: the massacre of Yazidis and the persecution of Christians, the wanton destruction of historic churches and ancient antiquities, the theft of hundreds of thousands of dollars from the bank in Mosul, the many casualties and the vast destruction in Mosul and other towns that accompanied the long and slow eviction of ISIS.

Fortunately, Obama was not so dogmatic in his ideology as not to recognize the need for American re-engagement in Iraq and for engagement in the Syrian arena. In both countries, the Kurds -- who had rescued the Yazidis from extinction and given refuge to Christians -- played a crucial role.

So, Mr. Trump, we beg and urge you not to copy Obama, who made his big mistake and reversed it, but to reverse your mistake before you make it.

Please listen to those like Senator Lindsey Graham, who has just given you a similar message: "When it comes to Syria, do not read the Obama playbook... It'd be the single worst decision the president could make."

Malcolm Lowe is a Welsh scholar specialized in Greek Philosophy, the New Testament and Christian-Jewish Relations. He has been familiar with Israeli reality since 1970.


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Thursday, April 5, 2018

Israel foils Islamic Jihad plot to attack navy vessel, abduct soldiers - Nikki Guttman, Shlomo Cesana, News Agencies and Israel Hayom Staff

by Nikki Guttman, Shlomo Cesana, News Agencies and Israel Hayom Staff 

Gaza-based terrorist group planned to sink an Israeli Navy ship and abduct survivors or bodies, says Shin Bet security agency

An Israel Navy boat intercepts the Gazan boat   
Screenshot: IDF Spokesperson's Unit

Israeli security forces recently thwarted an Islamic Jihad plot to attack an Israeli Navy vessel and abduct sailors, the Shin Bet security agency revealed Wednesday.

Islamic Jihad operative Amin Saadi Muhammad Jumma, 24, from Rafah in the Gaza Strip, and nine other men were arrested on March 12, when the Navy's 916th Patrol Squadron stopped their boat after it left the designated Gaza fishing zone on what is believed to be a reconnaissance mission for Islamic Jihad.

The investigation revealed that Jumma had been ordered by his superiors to gather intelligence ahead of a coordinated attack in which Islamic Jihad planned to fire a missile at an Israeli Navy vessel, sink it and abduct the survivors or bodies.

The attack was planned as part of Islamic Jihad's retaliation against the IDF over the Oct. 30 destruction of a terror tunnel near the Israel-Gaza Strip border, in which seven operatives were killed.

According to information released by the Shin Bet, Islamic Jihad planned to use three boats to lure a navy ship, fire a Russian-made Kornet anti-tank missile at it, and abduct the survivors or, if there were no survivors, their bodies, with the aim of using them as leverage in a future prisoner exchange with Israel.

Jumma told interrogators that the first boat was supposed to breach the designated fishing zone so as to have an Israeli ship approach it. The second boat would have then fired a missile at the naval vessel, and the third boat would have arrived on the scene to carry out the abductions, the Shin Bet said in a statement.

"In order to prepare for the attack, Jumma conducted a number of surveillance missions on navy ships and gathered intelligence about their locations and routes, the number of soldiers on them and the types of weaponry on board," the agency said.

The Southern District Attorney's Office said Jumma would be arraigned at the Beersheba District Court on Wednesday.

The prosecution said Jumma was involved in extensive terrorist activities, including several instances when he smuggled weapons and explosives from Egypt into Gaza.

In 2013, he allegedly teamed with his brother to smuggle 300 kilograms (660 pounds) of explosives into Gaza, and in 2015 he was paid $6,000 to help smuggle large quantities of fiberglass into Gaza for weapon production, the indictment said.

"Once again, we have proved that terrorist organizations are exploiting the relief Israel wishes to afford civilians in Gaza by easing restrictions on fishing, in order to promote terrorist attacks, in a manner that harms the civilian population in the Gaza Strip.

"Security forces will continue to spare no effort, on land, in the air and at sea, to thwart terrorist plots," the Shin Bet's statement said.

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman lauded the operation, saying, "The IDF and Shin Bet have once again prevented a terrorist attack against our troops. The challenges on the Gaza border are varied and complex but the Israeli public have someone they can count on."

Nikki Guttman, Shlomo Cesana, News Agencies and Israel Hayom Staff


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Are The Iranian Nuclear Deal's Days Numbered? - Joseph Klein

by Joseph Klein

The critical signal Trump needs to send Iran and North Korea.

The disastrous nuclear deal with Iran that former President Barack Obama considers his foremost foreign policy legacy is tottering. President Trump has threatened not to extend the waiver of U.S. sanctions on Iran related to the nuclear deal when the waiver comes up for renewal next month unless there are fundamental changes to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the nuclear deal is formally known. If the president follows through with his threat, the JCPOA will be on its death bed. 

The changes that President Trump wants addressed are an end to the JCPOA’s so-called sunset provisions under which limits on the Iranian nuclear program begin to go away after 10 years, more comprehensive access by international inspectors to Iran’s military sites, and curbs on Iran’s ballistic missile program.  Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo and incoming National Security Adviser John Bolton have opposed the nuclear deal from the outset and are likely to reinforce President Trump’s own desire to exit the JCPOA in its present form.

The Western European parties to the JCPOA negotiations - France, the United Kingdom and Germany – have been working with the State Department director of policy planning Brian Hook and other State Department officials to reach agreement on possible changes to the deal. However, even if the Western Europeans are willing to advocate for the changes that President Trump is seeking, Russia and China are unlikely to go along.

More importantly, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said earlier this year that the nuclear deal was “not renegotiable.” In fact, Iran has threatened to withdraw from the deal even if, as Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister and JCPOA negotiator Abbas Araqchi said, “the ultimatum is passed and waivers are extended.” Not content with the financial largesse and relief from sanctions the Iranian regime has already pocketed, the regime wants more assurances that major banks and companies will actually do business with Iran. “If the same policy of confusion and uncertainties about the JCPOA continues, if companies and banks are not working with Iran, we cannot remain in a deal that has no benefit for us,” Araqchi said. “That’s a fact.”

In short, the Iranian regime wants even more economic benefits from the West to remain in the nuclear deal. President Trump wants more restrictions imposed on the Iranian regime, with no additional concessions to the Iranians in return, to continue the waiver of U.S. sanctions and stay in the deal. There appears to be no middle ground preventing the JCPOA from imploding.

The New York Times editorial board is already predicting disaster if President Trump follows through with his ultimatum. Its April 1st editorial praised the benefits of the nuclear deal. “If Iran tries to cheat, the most rigorous technological verification system in the world can detect the violations and alert the world in time to intervene,” the editorial proclaimed. Not quite. The inspection process is full of loopholes, providing the Iranian regime plenty of opportunity to cheat undetected at its military sites. The regime has declared such sites to be off limits to any international inspection. "No one in Iran will permit the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] access to military sites, such access is not part of the nuclear deal, the additional protocol or its safeguard agreement," Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said last January.  

The Times editorial also stated that the concern over Iran’s continued building of ballistic missiles was not among the concerns that “were supposed to be prevented by the deal.” This statement is misleading at best. The United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorsed the JCPOA and purported to make it binding as a matter of international law, also “calls upon Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.” Even if technically weaker than an outright legal prohibition, the intent to shut down any activity by the Iranian regime related to such ballistic missiles, and its intrinsic connection to the nuclear deal endorsed by the same resolution, is clear.

Not content with blatantly misrepresenting the flawed Iran nuclear deal itself, the Times editors went on to link its continuation to the success of negotiations with the North Korean regime over dismantling its nuclear program. The editorial claimed that if President Trump withdraws from the JCPOA, North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong-un “will see it as proof that the United States cannot be trusted to stick to its commitments and will be reluctant to reach any agreement.”

The problem with the Times’ argument is that there is no way of knowing for sure whether the Iranian regime is sticking to its commitments because it will not allow unfettered, anytime-anywhere international inspections. North Korea and Iran in the past have cheated on their prior nuclear-related commitments. There is no reason to expect a different result this time absent ironclad inspection and verification mechanisms along with immediate punitive consequences for any violations.

President Trump’s messages to both Iran and North Korea should be simple and direct: No more buying time to further develop nuclear arms and ballistic missiles capable of delivering them. No more economic concessions granted upfront before there is verifiable proof of significant irreversible dismantling of key elements of both the nuclear arms and ballistic missile programs. No loopholes or exceptions to an in-country foolproof international inspection regime. 

There is one linkage between Iran and North Korea that the New York Times editors chose to overlook -  the dangerous collaborative relationship between the two rogue states to bolster both of their nuclear weapons and missile programs. The JCPOA made the collaboration easier by removing, for example, a large Iranian state-owned financial institution, Bank Sepah, from the UN and U.S. sanctions lists. Not only has this bank been involved in facilitating Iran’s own weapons program. It has also been involved in the past in a relationship with a North Korean bank that “has been used for North Korea-Iran proliferation-related transactions,” according to the U.S. Treasury Department.

By being tough with the Iranian regime and demanding changes to the flawed JCPOA, President Trump would be sending at the same time the right signal to North Korea that he means business in advance of any summit meeting he may have with Kim Jong-un.

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


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Local governments in California revolt against state's sanctuary policies - Rick Moran

by Rick Moran

An unprecedented move by local governments to opt out of the state's sanctuary policies.

A revolt by local governments against California's sanctuary policies is growing. Huntington Beach has filed suit in federal court to opt out of the state's sanctuary policies for illegal aliens, referring to the law that came into effect January 1 of this year as "constitutional overreach."

Several other municipalities have joined a suit filed last month by the town of Los Alamitos, claiming the law is unconstitutional. Significantly, the 3rd most populous county in the state, Orange Country, recently voted to join the suit after the sheriff's department announced plans to circumvent the law by informing federal immigration officials of illegal aliens in custody.

Several other cities and towns are considering joining the Los Alamitos suit.

Fox News:
Just last month the city of Los Alamitos started the movement across the state after it voted to opt out of the sanctuary city law over the belief that it “may be in direct conflict with federal laws and the Constitution.”
Council members also felt that the law conflicts with their ability to “honor our oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States,” which they took upon their appointments.
Other cities and towns have since acted to join a federal lawsuit filed by the U.S. Justice Department which argues that three recent California laws deliberately interfere with federal immigration policies.
The Orange County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously last week to join the lawsuit just after the county sheriff’s department announced a new method to inform federal agents about illegal immigrants that have been released from custody that still complies with the law.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra threatened the sheriff’s office with the possibility of arrest.
“State law is state law. It’s my job to enforce state law and I will do so.”
Huntington Beach could be the first to file a lawsuit outside of the federal government’s lawsuit. Council members asked city Attorney Michael Gates ““to work with the county or other municipalities that wish to join our efforts,” The Orange County Register reported.
I can't recall a similar revolt by local governments against a state statute anywhere else. And the movement to sue the state is growing:
Aliso Viejo Mayor Dave Harrington said his council will discuss similar action next month.
“It is a great thing what they did,” Harrington told the Orange County Register. “I think they were spot-on, that we take the oath of office to uphold the Constitution of the United States.”
Buena Park Councilwoman Beth Swift said she will follow the lead as well and will request a discussion on the measure at the next council meeting.
While the state's AG, Xavier Becerra, was threatening city officials with arrest, California’s Senate leader, Kevin de León, who authored the controversial sanctuary law, was threatening small local governments with ruinous lawsuits:
The Los Alamitos Council’s “symbolic vote in favor of President Trump’s racist immigration enforcement policies is disappointing,” de León told the Ventura County Star.
“Local governments that attempt to break state law will saddle their residents with unnecessary and expensive litigation costs.”
Nice town ya got there. Be a shame if it went broke because you disagreed with me.

Talk about "unnecessary and expensive litigation costs," imagine a couple of hundred California local governments suing the state. De Leon will have all the litigation he wants if that happens.

Obviously, this is an issue made for the Supreme Court. Lower courts will almost certainly rule against the local governments, given how liberal many of them are. But the larger issue of whether California can refuse to enforce federal immigration law will wait for the Department of Justice suit against California's sanctuary policies to be settled. 

Rick Moran


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