Friday, September 28, 2018

Watch: How Hezbollah builds missiles in the heart of Beirut - Tzvi Lev

by Tzvi Lev

Israel has been using a variety of means to closely monitor Hezbollah's effort to upgrade its missile cache.

The Iranian-backed Lebanese Hezbollah militia has been building factories in the heart of Beirut to convert missiles into highly-accurate precision weapons capable of striking sensitive Israeli sites.

The factories are located in the Beirut neighborhood of Uza'i, close to Rafic Hariri International Airport. One site is located inside a stadium belonging to Hezbollah's soccer team. Another is in the heart of a residential neighborhood and close to civilian residential buildings, while a third is at a dock that is only 500 meters from the airport's landing strip.

Upon deciding to convert its massive 150,000-strong rocket arsenal, Hezbollah chose to transfer its sites to the heart of Beirut in order to deter Israeli airstrikes, as air assaults on the Lebanese capital city would likely result in a high civilian death toll.

Israel has been using a variety of means to closely monitor Hezbollah's effort to upgrade its missile cache. Prime Minister Netanyahu first exposed Hezbollah's move of these hidden factories from the Bekaa Valley to residential neighborhoods in Beirut during his speech on Thursday at the United Nations.

In his address, Netanyahu blasted Hezbollah for "deliberately using the innocent people of Beirut as human shields". Netanyahu warned Hezbollah that "Israel knows what you are doing, Israel knows where you are doing it, and Israel will not let you get away with it”.

For years, Hezbollah has been attempting to get its hands on highly accurate missiles that would change the balance of power with Israel. After the missile shipments were repeatedly bombed by Israel, Hezbollah decided to convert its considerable amount of rockets by using Iranian-made missile transformation kits.

Israel has worked extensively to thwart such efforts, which included bombing a Hezbollah convoy transferring materials on September 17. At present, there are allegedly no missile factories in Lebanon that are capable of turning 'dumb bombs' into precision missiles.

In January, Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson Brigadier General Ronen Manelis wrote an op-ed to a Lebanese newspaper warning that Hezbollah's efforts to manufacture rockets inside Lebanon would plunge the region into war.

“Through the actions and inaction of the Lebanese authorities, Lebanon is turning into one big missile factory while much of the international community looks the other way,” wrote Manelis. “It’s no longer about transfers of arms, money or advice. De facto, Iran has opened a new branch, the Lebanon branch — Iran is here…Iran and Hezbollah are currently trying to build a precision missile factory.”

Site near the airport
IDF Spokesperson's Unit
The site at the dock
IDF Spokesperson's Unit
Hezbollah missile deployment

Tzvi Lev


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Video: Social Justice Math Classes - Sean Fitzgerald

by Sean Fitzgerald

It's more insane than you can possibly imagine.

FrontPageMag Editor's note: Below is Sean Fitzgerald's video exposing Social Justice Math Classes. The video was created in conjunction with the Freedom Center's Stop K-12 Indoctrination campaign. To read our new pamphlet on this issue, "Leftist Indoctrination in Our K-12 Public Schools," click here or order your own copy here.

Sean Fitzgerald is a graduate of John Jay College with a Degree in Criminal Justice and Film. He is the owner and content creator for


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No need to panic - Dr. Gabi Avital

by Dr. Gabi Avital

-- we must remember that this system is not battle-tested. The Israeli Air Force is more than equipped to handle this threat.

News of Russia's plan to provide Syria with advanced ‎S-300 air defense systems has prompted a frenzy of ‎dramatic reactions decrying the potential ‎‎"restriction" of the Israeli Air Force's ability to ‎operate in Syria's skies, warning of a grave ‎diplomatic crisis between Israel and Russia, and ‎predicting unchecked Iranian military entrenchment ‎in Syria.‎

While we cannot make light of the new reality vis-à-‎vis Syria, the danger the S-300s pose to Israeli ‎aircraft and the rise in Iran's regional power, we ‎would be wise to keep the matter in proportion. ‎Looking from the outside in, one could think Israel ‎has suffered a major military blow from which it ‎cannot recover and this is certainly not the case. ‎

The IAF has learned the lessons of the 1973 Yom ‎Kippur War, when it was ravaged by Egyptian and ‎Syrian anti-aircraft fire, well. It proved that on the ‎first day of the 1982 Lebanon War, when it decimated ‎Syrian air defenses in the first two days and went ‎on to down 80 Syrian planes in the following two ‎days. ‎

Syria was stunned, especially since the Israeli ‎operations exposed the weakness of its Russian-made ‎air defenses.‎

Russia is currently trying to upgrade its military ‎capabilities to an operational level that is on a ‎par with NATO forces. Given this effort, can Moscow ‎afford to take on – and lose to – the Israeli Air ‎Force again? ‎

Could it be that the IDF's 200 strikes on Iranian ‎assets in Syria since 2017, which penetrated the ‎Russian-backed Syrian air defenses and cost Israel ‎only one fighter jet, were not a big enough hint as ‎to the fact that the IAF's abilities have only ‎increased over the past 36 years? ‎

One must also ask why Russian decision-makers insist ‎on blaming Israel for Syrian air defenses shooting ‎down their plane last week, instead of seriously ‎examining whether the Israeli-Russian deconfliction ‎channel operated as it should have. ‎

What is so special about the S-300 surface-to-air ‎missiles that has everyone in a panic? Israeli pundits ‎make it seem as if this system, first developed in ‎the 1970s, is making Israeli pilots shake in their ‎boots and our decision-makers lose sleep. Is that ‎really the case? ‎

The S-300 system has never been tested on the ‎battlefield. While it can engage dozens of targets ‎simultaneously and has a range of 200 kilometers ‎‎(120 miles), its most recent models were produced in ‎‎1992.‎

The IAF has been studying this system for a long ‎time, as have other Western air forces. No air force ‎would allow such a threat to exist without devising ‎several contingencies, which is something even the ‎Russians understand. ‎

The IAF is more than ready to deal with this threat ‎and the pundits are panicking for nothing. ‎

Syria may get its hands on S-300 missiles thanks to an unexpected, tragic incident, but this ‎deal – if it indeed takes place – is all about the ‎money, and the currency Syria will use will be ‎Iranian.‎

The only question that one must ask the Russians is ‎why they believe giving Syria an improved anti-aircraft system would make Russian planes flying in ‎Syrian skies safer. If anything, Syria may one day ‎use this system against Russia itself.
Dr. Gabi Avital is an aeronautical and space engineering expert


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Corbyn vows Britain will 'recognize Palestine' if Labour wins election - Eldad Beck, News Agencies and Israel Hayom Staff

by Eldad Beck, News Agencies and Israel Hayom Staff 

"A quarter of a century on from the Oslo Accords, we are no closer to justice or peace and the Palestinian tragedy continues while the outside world stands by," Labour leader tells supporters

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn at the Labour Party Conference 
in Liverpool, Wednesday
Photo: Reuters 

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on Wednesday said his party would recognize a Palestinian state as soon as it takes office.

Speaking at an annual party conference in Liverpool, Corbyn said: "A quarter of a century on from the Oslo Accords, we are no closer to justice or peace and the Palestinian tragedy continues while the outside world stands by.

"As my great Israeli friend Uri Avnery, who died this year, put it: "What is the alternative to peace? A catastrophe for both peoples.

"And in order to help make that two-state settlement a reality, we will recognize a Palestinian state as soon as we take office."

Corbyn's comments were received with loud applause from the crowd, where numerous Palestinian flags were visible.

Britain's main opposition party also passed a motion strongly criticizing Israel's use of force against Gaza protests, urging more U.K. funding for the U.N. agency for Palestinians and backing a freeze on British arms sales to Israel.

Corbyn lamented "the ongoing denial of justice and rights to the Palestinian people" and said Labour is "united in condemning the shooting of hundreds of unarmed demonstrators in Gaza by Israeli forces and the passing of Israel's discriminatory Nation-State Law.

"The continuing occupation, the expansion of illegal settlements and the imprisonment of Palestinian children are an outrage," he said.

Labour has been riven by allegations that the party has become hostile to Jews under leader Jeremy Corbyn, a longtime supporter of Palestinians.

Foreign affairs spokeswoman Emily Thornberry said Labour must kick out "sickening individuals ... who use our legitimate support for Palestine as a cloak and a cover for their despicable hatred of Jewish people."

Meanwhile, an event hosted by the Jewish Voice for Labour group was canceled due to a bomb hoax. The event was being held on the sidelines of the Labour party conference.

Some 200 people were evacuated from the Blackburne House building in Liverpool following a phone call from a man who said two devices would cause many casualties.

The JVL event was a screening of "The Political Lynching of Jackie Walker," about the tribulations of a Labour activist accused of anti-Semitism.

An event organizer told a local media outlet that, 15 minutes after the film started, a building receptionist answered the phone and a man asked, "Is there a Jewish event going on?"

The receptionist gave an evasive answer but the man then said: "It is a big Jewish event and I want to tell you that there are two bombs that will kill many people in the building." He then hung up.

After the building was evacuated, police searched the premises but did not find anything suspicious.

Walker has claimed that Holocaust Memorial Day is exclusionary and that Jews were the chief financiers of the African slave trade to the Caribbean.

After the bomb scare Tuesday, Walker posted photos from the evacuation with the comment: "I will never be silenced."

Eldad Beck, News Agencies and Israel Hayom Staff


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Video: The Truth About Kavanaugh - Paul Joseph Watson

by Paul Joseph Watson

Believe the victim? No thanks, I'll believe the evidence.

In this new video, Paul Joseph Watson unveils The Truth About Kavanaugh. Don't miss it!

Paul Joseph Watson


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Israel’s Lessons From Two Historical Events - Joseph Puder

by Joseph Puder

This month marks the 45th Anniversary of the Yom Kippur War and the 25th Anniversary of the Oslo Accords signing.

This month (September, according to the Hebrew calendar) marks the anniversary of two major historical events in the Middle East.  Both of these events have had major repercussions on the region and in Israeli-Palestinian relations.  Forty-five years ago, on October 6, 1973, the armies of Egypt and Syria launched an attack on Israel during the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur.  Israeli military intelligence cautioned against a rush to war.  Major-General Zaira, Israel’s Chief of Intelligence, with an over-confident attitude, dismissed reports of Egyptian forces concentrating along the Suez Canal front as the same old Egyptian maneuvers.  Prime Minister Golda Meir, conscious of what might be the western reaction to Israeli military mobilization, and in particular, wary of a negative U.S. reaction, declined to order full mobilization, even when the Mossad Chief Zvi Zamir brought her a tip from an Egyptian double-agent (President Sadat’s son-in-law) that the Egyptians would attack on Yom Kippur.  As a consequence of the delay in Israel’s mobilization, and Egypt’s surprise attack, the Israeli fortification along the Suez Canal fell, albeit after a heroic fight by the defenders.  The lack of preparedness on the part of Israel as a result of over-confidence stemming from the Six-Day War, cost the lives of almost 3,000 Israeli soldiers.  Ultimately, Israel triumphed in spite of the early setbacks.

Twenty five years ago, on September 13, 1993, the Oslo Accords were formally signed on the White House lawn, with a grinning President Bill Clinton overseeing the historical handshake between Israel’s Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat, Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) chairman.  The signing of the Oslo Accords launched what we now know as the “peace process.” 

This reporter (along with Gary Ratner) met and interviewed PM Rabin at his Defense Ministry office in Tel Aviv, prior to the Oslo Process.  Responding to a question about meeting and negotiating with Yasser Arafat, Rabin emphatically rejected the idea, saying that under no circumstances would he negotiate with the murderous Arafat and his PLO terrorists.  Rabin’s sentiments toward Arafat were in evidence during the signing ceremony on September 13, 1993, at the White House.  Rabin was desperately trying to avoid talking to Arafat, or shaking his hand.  Even after being prodded by President Clinton to shake hands with Arafat following the signing of the Accord, everyone could easily detect the discomfort on Rabin’s face.  One can only imagine the pressure put on Rabin to go through with the Oslo deal.  According to historian Efraim Karsh, “So deep was his (Rabin’s) loathing of Arafat, that he planned to shun the Washington ceremony altogether.”  It took U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher to cajole Rabin into coming. Rabin had to take an “anti-nausea pill.”

It is clear now that Rabin’s skepticism about Arafat was warranted. Unfortunately Rabin decided to carry on with what he knew in his heart was a charade.  Rabin believed that peace had to commence at some point, but chose a time when Arafat’s fortunes and that of the PLO were at their lowest point.  Arafat sided with Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi brutal conquest of Kuwait, and the Arab Gulf states set out to punish the Palestinians.  Kuwait expelled most of its Palestinian population, and the rest of the Gulf Arab’s shunned the Palestinians.  Rabin said to us that, “you make peace with your enemies, and especially bitter enemies.”  When I asked Rabin what would happen if the Palestinians reneged on the Accords and resumed their terrorist attacks, Rabin replied that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) was strong enough to handle the Palestinians under such circumstances.

As it happened, Arafat’s pledge “to renounce terrorism, and other acts of violence” was a sham. Interviewed in Arabic by Jordanian TV on the same day the White House ceremony took place, Arafat made it clear to his Palestinian viewing audience that the Oslo Accords did not end the conflict.  He argued that the Accords gave his Palestinians (PLO) a territorial foothold from which the war to liberate all of Palestine (meaning Israel) would ensue. 

Arafat had often invoked the Treaty of Hudaybiyah when addressing Palestinian audiences.  It was the treaty the Prophet Mohammad made between his followers in Medina and his enemies from his own tribe of the Quraysh of Mecca, who inconclusively besieged his Medina followers in 628 CE.  The treaty establish a 10-year truce between the Muslims in Medina and the Quraysh of Mecca.  Two-years later, now with increased power and feeling strong enough, he broke the truce with the Meccan and attacked them.  In 630 CE, he conquered Mecca.  Arafat alluded to the Oslo Accords as his Treaty of Hudaybiyah, implying that he intended to break the Accords with Israel at the moment he felt it right, much like the Prophet did in 630 CE.  Indeed, in September, 2000, judging that the Israeli public morale was low, perceiving Israel as weakened by the suicide bombing campaign he coordinated with Hamas, he launched the Second intifada, this time a bloody and violent one.

Earlier in July, 2000, President Bill Clinton summoned Arafat along with Israeli PM Ehud Barak to Camp David for a peace summit. Arafat was given unprecedented concessions. The U.S. plan offered by President Bill Clinton and endorsed by PM Ehud Barak would have given the Palestinians 97% of the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and full control of the Gaza Strip, with a land-link between them.  In exchange for the 3% annexation of Judea and Samaria, Israel would increase the size of Gaza by a third from Israeli territory.  Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem would become the capital of the new state.  Palestinian refugees would have the right to return to the Palestinian state, and receive reparations from a $30 billion international fund to compensate them.  The Palestinians would maintain control over their holy places, and would be given desalinization plants to provide them with adequate water.

The Oslo process was one of the worst self-inflicted wounds in Israel’s history, along with the failure of Israeli military intelligence in the Yom Kippur war.  Palestinian terrorism didn’t end, it spiked.  More Israelis were killed in bombing and suicide attacks than in any previous two-year period in Israel’s history.  The failure of the Oslo process diplomacy has reinforced Benjamin Netanyahu’s conviction that Israel must wait for a Palestinian leader that is fully committed to peace and prosperity for his own people.  It also exposed the folly of the land-for-peace formula.

In the aftermath of the Yom Kippur War, the Agranat Commission laid blame on Israel’s military leadership for its “obdurate adherence to what was known as the ‘conception,’ according to which Egypt would not launch war against Israel before she had first ensured sufficient air power to attack Israel. Syria would only launch an all-out attack on Israel simultaneously with Egypt. 

The West Point Modern War Institute summarized the lessons learned from the Yom Kippur war. “Linking military action to political goals, guarding against cognitive biases, and when appropriate, recognizing opportunities to improve one’s own lot by acknowledging the interests of an adversary.”  These, according to its author David Wallsh, “are fundamental to the successful conduct of war in any time and place.”  For Egypt however, the “October War” served to convince Anwar Sadat that Israel couldn’t be eliminated by war and he ultimately chose to make peace.


Joseph Puder


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Europeanize America? Not on Your Life - David C. Stolinsky

by David C. Stolinsky

[In Europe] the "elite" decide what is best for the "common people" -- the "masses" -- and then cram it down their throats.

  • Europe did not invent racism and religious bigotry, but it surely perfected them.
  • Europeans lived for centuries under kings and emperors. They came to believe that power flowed from the top down. The "elite" decide what is best for the "common people" -- the "masses" -- and then cram it down their throats.
  • The "elite" send their children to the best schools and universities, and relegate the children of the "common people" to lousy schools, where they get lousy educations, which prepare them for lousy jobs, which pay lousy salaries, which leave them dependent on the government for a lifetime of "assistance." But they expect the "common people" to be grateful for the "universal education" -- and for the "assistance."
  • The American idea of individuals being responsible and taking responsibility is utterly foreign to the "elite," who seem much more comfortable with the European idea of infantilizing subjects to make them dependent on a parentified government to protect them, care for them, dole out money to them, and in general control their lives. If people cannot even choose their own light bulbs, toilets, or dishwasher detergent, in what sense are they free?

The Normandy American Cemetery is the burial place of thousands of American soldiers who fought and died to liberate Europe during World War II, many of them on D-Day, June 6, 1944. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Wallace)

If Europeanize were not a word, we would have to invent it, because that is what many are doing to America. Remember when candidate Obama was asked if he believed America is exceptional? He answered yes, but only in the sense that Britain, Greece, and other nations are exceptional.

As Gilbert and Sullivan said, "When everyone is somebody, then no one is anybody."

If every nation is exceptional, none is.

It is not that Obama and his friends really think America is unexceptional. They may well believe it is exceptional, but that it should not be. So they do everything they can to end its exceptional nature, and to make it resemble other nations. They are Europeanizing America.

Do not get me wrong. I love Europe. That is, I love to visit it:
  • I love to see the towers in Ireland, where monks hid from Viking raiders while preserving knowledge for the West. But now, Ireland's church is scandal-ridden.
  • I love to see the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, a reminder of the time when Britain controlled one-fifth of the Earth. But now the British army is a shadow of its former self. In 2013, a British soldier was murdered and almost beheaded on a London street.
  • I love to see the unsurpassed beauty of Paris. But now France is undergoing a demographic transformation.
  • I love to see beautiful cathedrals, where Christianity inspired great works of art. But now they have few worshippers.
And there are other things in Europe that I do not love, but I feel obligated to see:
  • I feel obligated to visit Clifford's Tower in York, England, where in the year 1190, Jews were massacred because of their faith. Europe did not invent racism and religious bigotry, but it surely perfected them. Europe invented the blood libel as far back as 1144, falsely accusing Jews of using the blood of children for Jewish rituals.
  • I feel obligated to remember (because it no longer exists) the Vélodrome d'Hiver, the Paris bicycle-racing stadium where in 1942 the French police rounded up thousands of Jews for shipment to Auschwitz. And today in France, Jews are targeted for assault or murder.
  • I feel obligated to visit Belleau Wood, where U.S. Marines fought and died to liberate Europe in World War I.
  • I feel obligated to visit Omaha Beach, where U.S. soldiers fought and died to liberate Europe in World War II.
  • I feel obligated to read (insofar as I can) European newspapers, to remind myself of ingrates who condemn "American militarism."
  • I feel obligated to visit the reading room at the British Museum, where many people say Karl Marx sat and fantasized an ideal communist society -- as a result of which about 100 million died.
  • I feel obligated to visit the site of the Munich beer hall where Hitler launched his first attempt to overthrow the Weimar Republic.
Thanks a lot, Europe, for giving us two world wars, socialism, communism, fascism, Nazism, and for perfecting racism as exemplified by the Holocaust. You have done so much for the world in the last century. No wonder "progressives" think Americans should be more like you.

Europeans lived for centuries under kings and emperors. They came to believe that power flowed from the top down. So they felt comfortable when their new rulers called themselves Führer, the Central Committee of the Communist Party, the Council of the European Union, or whatever. The idea was similar:
  • The "elite" decide what is best for the "common people" -- the "masses" -- and then cram it down their throats.
  • The "elite" dream up notions of the "ideal" state, and leave the "common people" to deal with the inevitable mess that results.
  • The "elite" are cared for in the best hospitals and clinics, and relegate the "common people" to the tender mercies of "gatekeepers" who may -- or may not -- allow you to see imported doctors from who-knows-where. But they expect the "common people" to be grateful for "universal coverage." Government-run health care is a major step in the demolition process. If bureaucrats can tell people what care they and their loved ones can receive -- and what care they cannot receive -- in what sense are those people free citizens, and not subjects of a domineering government that imposes life-and-death decisions on them?
  • The "elite" send their children to the best schools and universities, and relegate the children of the "common people" to lousy schools, where they get lousy educations, which prepare them for lousy jobs, which pay lousy salaries, which leave them dependent on the government for a lifetime of "assistance." But they expect the "common people" to be grateful for the "universal education" -- and for the "assistance."
  • The "elite" view schools and universities as a source of indoctrination, not education. They require students to regurgitate the "correct" doctrine, whether it is Nazi, communist, socialist, or environmentalist. Original thought is punished with lower grades.
  • The "elite" view our children as wards of the state, for whom we have only limited responsibility. They view home-schooling with alarm, and they want to imprison parents who home-school their children, as is already done in (surprise!) Germany.
  • The "elite" view the government as the source of help for those in need. So they vote the "correct" way, but like Europeans, they give little to charity, and they actually discourage giving to charity.
  • The "elite" see nothing wrong with the fact that 52% of American children now live in households receiving means-tested government assistance. In fact, the "elite" would like 100% of children to depend on government assistance ‒ that is, on them, the "elite."
  • The "elite" care little for foreigners who suffer and die, so like Europeans, they want to shrink the military until it is too weak to intervene to stop tyranny or mass murder. They run up huge debts and push new social programs, leaving less money for defense. Europeans could let their defenses atrophy, because America defended them. But if we weaken ourselves, who will defend us? Belgium? Who will fight global terrorism? Liechtenstein? Yes, war is terrible; is surrender better? Is what China is engineering now -- total spying, grading and controlling all of its citizens -- what the West really wants for its children and grandchildren?
Americans, on the contrary, believe that power flows from the bottom up. We believe in trying something, and if it doesn't work, trying something else. We do not believe in allowing the "elite" to impose their unworkable notions of the "ideal" state. We view our children as gifts, for whom we have ultimate responsibility to bring up to be self-reliant, ethical citizens.

Americans, in fact, do not believe in the "elite" in the first place. So, predictably, the self-anointed "elite" do not like American ideas, and they seem to be doing their best to demolish the American system.

And now, with the unaffordable Affordable Care Act ("ObamaCare"), we can look forward to increasingly severe doctor shortages. Many young people are willing to spend the best years of their lives training to be independent professionals, but not to be government underlings. And waiting times are growing progressively longer. I wish you good luck and good health -- you will need both.

The American idea of rights is utterly foreign to the "elite," who are much more comfortable with the European idea of privileges granted -- or withdrawn -- at the whim of the government.

The American idea of individuals being responsible and taking responsibility is utterly foreign to the "elite," who seem much more comfortable with the European idea of infantilizing subjects to make them dependent on a parentified government to protect them, care for them, dole out money to them, and in general control their lives. If people cannot even choose their own light bulbs, toilets, or dishwasher detergent, in what sense are they free?

Yes, the "elite" want to Europeanize America. But in view of what has happened in Europe in the last century, and what is happening there now, this seems like a really abysmal idea. And I'll keep that in mind when I vote.

Dr. David C. Stolinsky, a retired physician, is based in the US.


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Bombshell: I remember Brett Kavanaugh shooting Abraham Lincoln - Ed Straker

by Ed Straker

After six days talking with Democrat lawyers, I've come to realize that it wasn't John Wilkes Booth at all

I've always thought, as most people do, that John Wilkes Booth shot Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theater on April 4, 1865. But after spending six days talking with lawyers from the Democratic Party to help me refresh my memory, I've come to realize that it wasn't John Wilkes Booth at all, but rather Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

I had no memory of this happening as recently as last week, but today, it is as clear as day. I remember Kavanaugh coming up from behind the president of the United States and aiming a pistol at him. Only I'm not sure it was at Ford's Theater. It might have been at Ford's Theater, but it might also have been on the Mall, or in the White House, or on Capitol Hill. I'm a little hazy on the day, too. It might have been April 4, 1865, but it also could have been a few days before or after, maybe even as early as 1864.

The problem is that I had a few minor memory gaps. I don't remember what happened right before or right after the shooting. I don't remember exactly who was there and who wasn't. All I remember clearly is that Brett Kavanaugh did it. Trauma experts say it is perfectly normal to remember one detail of a traumatic incident while forgetting everything else.

My blackout periods can also be explained by my heavy drinking. I was slurring my speech and was totally passed out at certain points. But I was wide awake and attentive just as Brett Kavanaugh shot President Lincoln.

I have even named witnesses who saw this happen. Even though the witnesses do not recall Brett Kavanaugh shooting President Lincoln, it doesn't prove he didn't do it! Unless Kavanaugh can prove he didn't do it, he must be judged to have done it.

However unclear I am on the location and timing, I am rock-solid certain that it happened. I even submitted to a lie-detector test. While I can't release the results, I can assure you that everything I said was judged to be the truth. Brett Kavanaugh shooting President Lincoln: true. Brett Kavanaugh steering Titanic into path of iceberg: true. Brett Kavanuagh stealing Neil Armstrong's spacesuit on the lunar module: true.

You may be wondering why I waited so many years to come forward and why I told no one. That's because it was a repressed memory. Repressed memories can come out at any time. A day, a year, fifty years, even 150 years later. That explains all of it.

If you look at Brett Kavanaugh's calendar from 1864, his guilt is clear. He talks about "getting wasted" with his friends at a beer party. "Wasted" is a term for shooting people. That is clearly a reference to shooting President Lincoln.

I would be happy to testify to any and all of this. The only problem is that I live far from Washington, D.C. and would have to come on foot. The trauma of watching President Lincoln getting shot has caused me to be adverse to all horseless buggies and birdless flying machines. So it may take me a while to get there to testify. You can make it all easier simply by voting against Kavanaugh. That's at least what my therapist tells me.

Ed Straker is the senior editor of the Newsmachete Twitter Feed.


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What Is the Right Strategy with Hamas: Make Concessions or Fight? - Prof. Hillel Frisch

by Prof. Hillel Frisch

It is best for Israel to prolong the negotiations as long as possible, concede as little as possible, and wait until the sanctions against Iran come into full force.

A long-range rocket launch site owned by Hamas in the Zeitoun civilian neighborhood in Gaza, 2012, photo via IDF Flickr

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 960, September 27, 2018

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: What should the strategy regarding Hamas be –make concessions or initiate a fourth round of fighting? It is best for Israel to prolong the negotiations as long as possible, concede as little as possible, and wait until the sanctions against Iran come into full force. Then Israel should prepare for the next big round – not to defeat Hamas, but to tame it and keep the Palestinians divided.

Israel’s leading politicians, Minister of Defense Avigdor Lieberman and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have been engaged in a fierce debate with Minister of Education Naftali Bennet over how to react to Hamas’s venture since the March of Return to change the status quo – from Hamas’s relative submission to a return to the situation of tit-for tat attacks and counterattacks that prevailed for most of the period between Hamas’s takeover of Gaza in 2007 and the third large round of fighting in the summer of 2014.

Netanyahu and Lieberman want to reach understandings with Hamas to restore the relative calm that prevailed for nearly four years since 2014. They are willing to make humanitarian concessions and probably acquiesce to a sizeable prisoner release of hard-core terrorists in order to restore the calm, even temporarily. Bennet, by contrast, is bitterly opposed to making concessions and seeks a fourth round of confrontation that will considerably weaken the organization.

The merits of the debate are difficult to assess because of the wisdom of both approaches on political and military grounds. The question, of course, is which of these strategies would be better for Israel at this particular point in time.

Netanyahu and Lieberman have a strong case in calling for restraint and even concessions towards Hamas. They see Israel’s strategic concerns in hierarchical terms.

By far the most important threat to Israel is Iran’s nuclear program. Immediately following that are Iran’s attempts to set up a permanent military infrastructure in Syria, which would include a sizeable pro-Iranian militia presence on the Golan front.

With the Americans on board in this endeavor, as the statements made by John Bolton, President Trump’s chief security advisor, on his recent trip to Israel made clear, these leaders reason that nothing should detract from the focus on Iran or the renewal of sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

In fact, according to both Netanyahu and Lieberman, the decision by Hamas to heat up the Gaza front in late March was initiated by Iran and designed to shift the focus away from Iran to the Palestinians.  Such a change of focus, Iran hoped, would embolden key European states such as France and Germany to take countermeasures against the US’s sanctions on Iran.

So critical was it to maintain the focus on Iran that these leaders are willing to pay the price of changing the balance of threat in Hamas’s favor and reward Hamas for the violence it initiated. The assumption is that the balance of power between Israel and Hamas is such that the restoration of the status quo to the pre-March 2018 situation can be made after the sanctions against Iran are enforced to their full potential.

This is not a working assumption they can apply to Iran. Netanyahu and Lieberman reason that time is of the essence, not only because Trump’s pro-Israel administration has only two more years until its fate is decided by the next presidential election, but because there is a fear, given the legal challenges the president faces at home, that that time horizon might even be shorter.

For his part, Bennet makes a plausible argument against acquiescing to Hamas’s exploitation of Israel’s complicated geo-strategic environment. As far as Bennet is concerned, the focus on Iran is guaranteed by a president resolved to roll back Iran on its nuclear program and aggressive behavior towards its neighbors. A supportive US Congress and the legal framework within which the sanctions operate, which gives them a life of their own, cannot be sidelined by other crises, such as a fourth round between Israel and Gaza.

Based on these assumptions, Bennet argues that buying periods of quiet through concessions comes at considerable cost, especially if this means an increase in imports into Gaza, which would give Hamas the wherewithal to improve its military capabilities. Any form of ceasefire, whatever it is called, gives the organization time to train for the next round. This means greater and more lethal firepower.

Bennet is correct that Hamas uses its time wisely to increase its capabilities. For example, in 22 days of Operation Cast Lead in winter 2008-09, the organization, along with others, launched 925 rockets that hit Israel. This increased to 3,852 in Operation Protective Edge in 2014 – an almost 200% increase, even taking into account the much longer duration of fighting in 2014 compared to six years earlier (55 days compared to 24). Casualties were also significantly higher: 72 versus 13 Israeli deaths. The increase was mainly due to effective attacks from tunnels within Gaza and greater use of mortars against Israeli troops encamped within areas adjacent to Gaza.

Though Israel has developed technology to deal with both these problems, Hamas has proved to be an innovative enemy that might come up with further surprises in the next round. The longer the respite, one might safely assume, the greater the probability that it will do so.

Looking at how Israel secured deterrence on the Gaza front lends support to Bennet’s line of thinking. “Understandings” between Israel and Hamas have always been short-lived if acted upon at all. The 2005 “lull,” marketed as an informal understanding between the Palestinian factions and Israel, translated into a 345% increase in missile and mortar attacks in that year compared to 2004. After the 2012 round, the “understandings” brokered by the ousted Morsi government lasted little more than a year until the deadly trickle of missile and mortar launchings began anew.

Still less did “humanitarian” gestures buy quiet. From the point of view of Hamas, the greatest humanitarian move was the release of over 1,000 hard-core terrorists in 2011 in return for the release of one Israeli soldier. This did not prevent a second round in October 2012.

Over time, only the three large-scale rounds of violence created accumulated deterrence between rounds in which missile launchings after each round appreciably decreased.

The best option, then, is for Israel is to prolong negotiations as long as possible, concede as little as possible, and wait until the sanctions against Iran come into full force – and then prepare for the next big round, not to defeat Hamas, but to tame it and keep the Palestinians divided.

An earlier version of this article was published in The Jerusalem Post on August 30, 2018.

BESA Center Perspectives Papers are published through the generosity of the Greg Rosshandler Family

Prof. Hillel Frisch is a professor of political studies and Middle East studies at Bar-Ilan University and a senior research associate at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.


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Meet the Pashtuns and a tradition of being Bani Israel - Dana Soffi

by Dana Soffi

Interviewing Naqibullah Isacza, who fled the Taliban for the USA and tells Arutz Sheva of education for terrorism, persecution, love for Israel and dreams of visiting the graves of 'our common ancestors' in the Jewish state.

The prophet Zachariah foretells that all the nations of the world will come to Jerusalem on Sukkot in the days of the Redemption. Thus, the holiday reaches out to the nations of the world.

Tell us about yourself:

Let’s start from the beginning.

My family is called Khan, Khans are the leaders of Pashtuns. In northern Afghanistan we were the Khans: people with authority, honorable people. In 1984, under the direct supervision and leadership of my grandfather, our family, together with 3000 other Pashtun families, fled to Pakistan hoping to escape from war and communist regime bombings.

I was born in Pakistan in a beautiful mountainous area. Parents named me Naqibullah and I adopted my family name Isaczai, which means ‘sons of Isac’. We settled in a refugee camp. The conditions were terrible: we lacked water, electricity, gas… everything! I attended school there for 7 years, until we returned to our homeland of northern Afghanistan. It still wasn’t at peace. I finished school and enrolled at Balkh University in Mazar-i-Sharif, I studied Mining and Natural Resources Engineering.

After graduating, I worked for a nonprofit organization that educated women about their basic rights according to Islam and the Afghan constitution. USAID issued grants for these projects. While working there, I got targeted by the bad guys called ‘Taliban’. That was when I made the decision to move to the United States. Here I enrolled at the University of the People and am currently studying for my MBA in Business Management. I am still single..

Do you work?

I work for the state of Arizona. I am a case manager for the federal program that helps low-income families. We provide them assistance with health insurance, nutrition and cash.

Afghanistan and Pakistan: can you please explain the connection between the government of Pakistan and the Taliban?

The Taliban is a very famous movement. Afghanistan and Pakistan share a 2430 km border, it is called ‘the Durand line’. No Afghan [Pashtuns are the original Afghans] accepts it, they say the border has no geographical nor historical base.

Pashtuns, or Bani Israel, live on both sides of the Durand. There are two main cities on the Pakistani side: Quetta and Peshawar. I used to live in Quetta, I know every street there. There are two small towns in Quetta, one is called ‘Isaczai town’, the other is called ‘Alizai town’ [Alizai is the name of another Pashtun tribe]. Both Isaczais and Alizais control the Taliban.

You are saying that Pashtuns, aka ‘Bani Israel’, are in control of the Taliban...

Yes, most of the Taliban members are Pashtuns. Leaders of both Alizais and Isaczais live in Pakistan, so their territory is controlled by the government. Talibs walk freely inside those cities, they are the leaders there. The Pakistani establishment  ‘encourages’ them to continue their jihad [Muslim war against the infidels]: their families are blackmailed and threatened. People are sent to Afghanistan and forced to fight. They get killed if they refuse.

Why is Pakistan doing that? Back in 2001, when the Taliban government collapsed, we had no suicide attacks, no war. For three years Afghanistan was at peace. In 2004 the US government gave more than $1 billion to Pakistan to combat terrorism. You see, if there is no war and no suicide attacks, Pakistan isn’t going to be receiving any money! So they started a ‘business’ of producing terrorists to keep the money flowing. They brainwash and blackmail people to make them fight in Afghanistan.

There are more than 20 000 madrassas [Islamic religious schools] in Pakistan. If you take a look at rural areas, you will see people living in poverty: they lack food, drinking water, electricity, landline, etc. Most people are shepherds there. From a very young age and until the day they die all they do is take their sheep to the field and back.

Teachers in madrassas persuade children that their lives will always be boring and miserable. They say: ‘Why don’t you change that? If you want change you need to go to junnah [heaven].’ Then they explain that heaven is a garden with 72 virgins waiting for them. They present heaven as precious and life as worthless.

So living a boring life appears worse than dying and killing innocent people?

Exactly. They brainwash kids for years turning them into suicide bombers. That’s one of the ways they do it. The other way is by simply threatening families. They order people to perform an attack in exchange for their families’ safety. That’s a brief desc‎ription of Pakistan’s policies against Afghanistan.

Who does the Taliban target?

In general, Talibs have two targets: the worst and the best people of our society. By targeting bad people, like, for example, corrupted officials, they gain support of the local population. On the other hand, they are also targeting people who serve our community: doctors, teachers and engineers because they do not want Afghanistan to become a developed country. Developed Afghanistan will make it hard for them to brainwash people. Most of those serving in the Afghan military are teachers and engineers, the Taliban targets them.

You were threatened by the Taliban and had to flee…

Yes, and my family also. The Taliban is not that powerful in northern Afghanistan, but we own a piece of land in Sar-e-Pol province. My family doesn’t live there anymore, they moved to the city. It is dangerous for educated people to live in rural areas, because they might get kidnapped, or killed. One year ago my cousin’s cousin who worked for the police was brutally murdered by the Taliban. They literally cut him into pieces.

I am so sorry… Is it possible for your family to leave and join you in the US?

The US has a strict visa policy. I am allowed to bring my wife and children with me. I can also bring my parents and siblings under the age of 21. My father won’t come, but my mother… I am working on it.

Why won’t your father come?  

He can’t live in the United States. He is a grown man with a stable social life, he will simply have no one to communicate with. This is why he prefers living with his cousins and other relatives.

Did your work for the USAID projects help you get a visa? Was the process somehow easier for you?

It was easier because the United States has a special program for those Afghan citizens who work with the American government. Other people wait for years to get a Green Card, for us it is a matter of several months. I came here in 2016. Right now I am a permanent resident, I will be granted citizenship in 2019.

Can we hope to host you in Israel in 2019?

I need to take a vacation from work, and then I will certainly visit you! You know, the Muslim media does a great job of brainwashing everyone against the Jews and against Israel. Israel is pictured as the biggest enemy of Muslims.

I sometimes joke that if there was no Israel, people would still be living in caves like 10000 years ago. Most inventions are created by Israel! People with such high level of education cannot hate, they cannot discriminate against anyone. Sometimes at work we have security training conducted by police officers. We had one last month, and the man conducting it said that many police and security officers visit Israel to get their training. He said: ‘If you compare US security to Israeli security, you will see that US security is a joke.’

That’s how I imagine Israel, as one of the strongest, most developed nations of the planet. We owe Israel a lot.

Any particular places you would like to visit?

The graves of Avraham, Yitzhak and Yaakov, and the grave of mother Rachel. I would love to visit Tel Aviv, as it is a very famous city... I also want to visit places where people strictly keep Jewish traditions, so I can learn more about my own traditions.

What does being Bani Israel mean personally to you?

Back in that village in Pakistan nobody knew who Israel and Yaakov were. Despite that, many of them were called Israel, Yaakov and Benyamin. On Eid [Muslim religious holiday] Muslims slaughter a sheep or a goat to honor Ibrahim’s [Avraham] sacrifice. I remember that after slaughtering an animal, the villagers would put its blood on walls…

Were they all Pashtuns?

Yes, all of them were Pashtuns. They would put the blood near the door, the main entrance. Neither of us had an idea why we were doing that. The only thing that’s clear is that our grandfathers, and our grandfathers’ grandfathers, also did that. When I joined our Facebook group [The People of Israel’s Jirga – Pashtuns and Jews] I found that it was an Israelite custom. The first persons who did that were Israelites. This means that there is some sort of connection between Israel and Pashtuns.

Have you ever seen other Muslims do that?

Only Pashtuns, no one else does it. You know, many Muslims say that Jews are our enemies, but I don’t believe that. That is Arab propaganda. Why would we fight Israel for the sake of Arabs? Many Pashtuns will say that Israel is the enemy. My grandfather, too, but when asked if he was Israel, he always said: ‘Yes.’ Every uneducated Pashtun knows that. Educated Pashtuns are influenced by Iranian, Arab and other books. If you ask villagers: ‘Are you Israel?’ they will answer: ‘No, but my father and grandfather were.’

Ah, they are not because Israel is the ‘enemy’…

Yes, because they are constantly being told that Israel does awful things to Palestinians. The truth is, no one knows what Palestine even is! No one from rural areas knows where Palestine is located! It is all the result of the Arab media, people believe it. As I said earlier, if you go to villages of Quetta, or Kandahar, for example, the locals will tell you ‘Yes, we are the descendants of Yaakov, we are the descendants of Yitzhak’.

Are you proud of that?

Sometimes when I talk to other Afghans who are not Pashtuns, I tell them: ‘You’ve got to respect me because I am the son of prophets!’ I like that! We also believe that the Quran says that Israel is God’s chosen nation. That makes me proud.

Being an acting Muslim, how did you become interested in your Bani Israel ancestry?

5 years ago I found a website which linked Pashtuns to Israel. I wanted to learn more about the topic, so I started searching for a group, or a person to talk to. I was searching on Facebook and your group popped up. When I joined, I got many of my questions answered, I found people who were very nice to me. I felt as if I have found my family.

You feel the connection!

Yes, I feel like I am communicating with someone of my own. This is why I am so interested in the group. We don’t have Israeli embassy in Afghanistan, Afghanistan doesn’t have any diplomatic representation in Israel. Why? We never had any conflicts with Israel, we never had any wars, why don’t we have diplomatic relations?

If Arabs stand against Israel, why would we be the enemies of Israel for the sake of Arabs? Arabs are not our friends at all! We are a free, independent nation, we are the ones to decide our foreign policies, and we shouldn’t follow Iran and Arabs! I hope that together we can inspire our governments to establish friendly relations.

Naqibullah Isacza
צילום: INN:DS
You said that when you joined the group you got many of your questions answered. I suppose those questions were also related to strange customs and traditions you kept at home…

Yes! I saw a picture of taweez [amulets worn around the neck] with Stars of David engraved on them. I saw the same lockets in my mom’s jewelry box, she had many of them!

What about dietary laws? Do you mix meat with dairy?

No, and we also don’t mix fish and milk products. We usually wait for an hour or two between eating meat and dairy. Remember, you said that you wouldn’t eat an egg if it had a drop of blood inside? We, too, wouldn’t eat that, we would throw away the whole egg. We don’t eat any blood at all.

We heard that some Pashtuns slaughter an animal next to a hole in the ground so the blood flows there, then they cover the blood with mud, or sand. Have you ever seen this?

Yes, we do that. This is rare in cities, because most cities are multicultural - many things are adopted from other cultures, so people might not do that. In villages, however, when Pashtuns slaughter an animal they let the blood flow and then cover it with mud. In rural areas you will still see everyone putting blood on walls, and doing other things that are not part of Islam.

There are certain animals and sea creatures that the Jews are forbidden to eat. Are there any that Pashtuns wouldn’t eat?

No pork, of course. Some Pashtuns do eat camels or horses due to financial issues, but they are looked down upon, in Pashtun community this is considered a bad thing to do. I cannot eat camel, or horse. Pashtuns don’t eat shrimps. Some people adopted other cultures, they are no longer traditional, but if you take shrimps to village, locals will never touch those. They only eat chicken, sheep and goat.

Anything else you wish to tell readers?

I remember we wanted to play soccer, so I started counting people. One of the guys said: ‘No, don’t count us!’ If you go to a village and start counting people, you’ll find yourself in trouble. If, for example, there are 10 people sitting in a room and someone wants to bring food and asks how many people there are, they will either say a random number, or estimate, but they won’t be counting.

We heard that mixed marriages are not that common among Pashtuns.

We are very strict about that. My tribe, Isaczai, will never let a Pashtun marry a non-Pashtun. In general, it is very rare for Pashtuns to marry people from other nations, 1 in 10 000, maybe. There is only one person in my entire family that is married to a non-Pashtun.

How does the community treat a person who consists in a mixed marriage?

In villages they will not consider him a Pashtun anymore. He loses honor and respect, and his children are treated like non-Pashtuns. This is why people like these lose their language, because the community does not maintain good relationships with them. They may still live there, but they are definitely excluded from community. In FATA [Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Pakistan], for example, people are very strict, they would never do that. Many conflicts happen because of this. My father had a relative, a non-Pashtun wanted to marry her. He belonged to a powerful family. Still, my clan said: ‘No, you cannot get married.’ Both sides lost 10 people in that conflict.

In conclusion, is there anything else you would like to say?

I know that many Jews and Israelis think that we consider them our enemies, but that is not true. We want to build strong and honest ties with Israel. I want to assure you that Pashtuns, the people of Afghanistan, are not Arabs who consider Israel an enemy, we see you as our own blood. We want the new generation to know that Pashtuns and Israel are one nation that is not supposed to stay divided forever. We want to unite.

Dana Soffi was born in Riga, Latvia, made aliyah in November 2011 and married in Israel. She has a Bachelor's in Social Science and she and her husband are interested in researching the Lost 10 Tribes.


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