Friday, September 27, 2019

Denying Jerusalem's Jewish History Despite Archaeological Evidence - Lawrence A. Franklin

by Lawrence A. Franklin

The Palestinian Ministry of Information once issued a staggering report, according to which no archaeological excavations in Jerusalem had supposedly ever unearthed Jewish artifacts.

  • As has been true with previous archaeological discoveries in Israel, however, this one is unlikely to put a dent in the long-term international campaign to delegitimize the Jewish state by rewriting and distorting its history, even by renaming the Jewish sites Rachel's Tomb near Bethlehem to "Bilal ibn Rabah mosque" (it was never a mosque) and Hebron's Tomb of the Patriarchs the Ibrahimi Mosque.
  • "Rewriting the history of the Land of Israel in order to deny Israel's right to exist is central to Palestinian Authority (PA) policy. Long before it started the PA terror campaign (the 'Intifada,' 2000-2005), the PA was fighting a history war – erasing Jewish history and replacing it with a fabricated Palestinian history." — Palestinian Media Watch.
  • Where Palestinian propaganda is concerned, however, none of the above [documentation or archeological evidence] appears to matter.

The City of David Foundation recently delivered a major blow to the effort to erase Judaism's 3,000-year ties to Jerusalem. On September 9, the foundation's leading archaeologist announced the discovery of a 2,600-year-old royal seal, found near the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, which bears the name (in Hebrew) of Adenyahu, a son of King David mentioned in the biblical Book of Kings. (Image source: Eliyahu Yanai/City of David Foundation)

The City of David Foundation recently delivered a major blow to the Arab effort to erase Judaism's 3,000-year ties to Jerusalem. On September 9, the foundation's leading archaeologist, Eli Shukron, announced the discovery of a 2,600-year-old royal seal, found near the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, which bears the name (in Hebrew) of Adenyahu, a son of King David mentioned in the biblical Book of Kings.

As has been true with previous archaeological discoveries in Israel, however, this one is unlikely to put a dent in the long-term international campaign to delegitimize the Jewish state by rewriting and distorting its history, even by renaming the Jewish sites Rachel's Tomb near Bethlehem to "Bilal ibn Rabah mosque" (it was never a mosque) and Hebron's Tomb of the Patriarchs the Ibrahimi Mosque.

This international campaign of delegitimization, moreover, far predates the establishment of the modern Jewish state.

The ancient Romans tried to strip the area of it Jewish identity to make it more Roman by renaming Judea "Syria Palaestina."

Later, Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, the fifth caliph of the Umayyad dynasty of Syria -- who ruled during the late 7th century -- employed the tactic of delegitimizing both Judaism and Christianity by constructing the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, atop the biblical spot where Abraham was prepared to sacrifice his son, Isaac -- also the site of the twice-destroyed Jewish Temples. The famous Western Wall, a retaining structure of the Temple Mount, is all that remains of their existence.

In contemporary times, a version of this tactic of revisionist history was attempted by the late PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, who -- during the US-brokered Palestinian-Israeli peace talks at Camp David in 2000 -- tried to assert that the first and second Jewish temples were not erected in Jerusalem, but rather miles away in Nablus.

That episode followed a staggering report, three years earlier, by the Palestinian Ministry of Information, according to which no archaeological excavations in Jerusalem had supposedly ever unearthed Jewish artifacts.

According to extensive research by Palestinian Media Watch, however:
Rewriting the history of the Land of Israel in order to deny Israel's right to exist is central to Palestinian Authority (PA) policy. Long before it started the PA terror campaign (the "Intifada," 2000-2005), the PA was fighting a history war – erasing Jewish history and replacing it with a fabricated Palestinian history. This rewriting has two central goals:
1- Erase the Jewish nation's 3,000 year history in the Land of Israel;
2- Invent ancient Palestinian, Muslim and Arab histories in the land.

The goal of this historical revision as a political strategy was first expressed publicly at a conference of Palestinian historians in 1998, when rewriting history was linked to the political goal of denying Israel's right to exist:
"Dr. Yussuf Alzamili [Chairman History Department, Khan Yunis Educational College] called on all universities and colleges to write the history of Palestine and to guard it, and not to enable the [foreign] implants and enemies to distort it or to legitimize the existence of Jews on this land... [History lecturer Abu Amar] clarified that there is no connection between the ancient generation of Jews and the new generation." [Al-Ayyam, Dec. 4, 1998]
Erasing Jewish history in the land of Israel is followed by the PA's invention of ancient and modern histories that support its political ideology and claim to the land of Israel. The Holocaust and other aspects of Jewish history are alternately denied, downplayed or distorted. Another distortion is to hide from Palestinians that Jesus was a Jew who lived in the Land of Judea/Israel. PA leaders repeatedly define Jesus as a Palestinian who preached Islam, thus denying not only Jewish history, but also the history and legitimacy of Christianity.
The cumulative effect of this concerted effort has been both counter-factual and unfortunate. Already in 2006, the World Heritage Site Committee of the United Nations Economic, Social, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) passed a resolution referring to the Temple Mount -- the holiest site in Judaism -- solely by its Arabic, Islamic name, al-Haram al-Sharif.

Nonetheless, extensive documentation from antiquity and countless archaeological finds continue to confirm both Judaism's ties to Jerusalem and the Jewish people's millennia-old presence in the land of Israel.

Foremost among the findings that provide proof of ancient writings about the Jews and Jerusalem -- apart from the Bible, much of which is magnificently displayed by the new excavation of the City of David – are the written histories by Josephus Flavius (37-100 AD), The History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides, and the famous Dead Sea Scrolls. There are also extraordinary excavations by the Israeli archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazor, who in 2012 unearthed a Solomon-era wall and other related sites. This followed and preceded many other discoveries, such as a wide street filled remnants of shops and tunnels, as noted in the New Testament, that runs near the Western Wall.

Where Palestinian propaganda is concerned, however, none of the above appears to matter. During the very week in early September that the City of David Foundation revealed the ancient Hebrew seal found near the Western Wall, Dr. Ghassan Weshah, the head of the History and Archaeology Department at the Islamic University of Gaza, told the Gaza news service Felesteen:
"One of the biggest lies of the Zionists with regard to the Al-Aqsa Mosque is that it was built on the ruins of the Temple, which was destroyed on August 21, 586 BCE. This is a false statement. There is no other building under the Al-Aqsa Mosque."
If statements such as Weshah's were not taken seriously by members of the international community, they would be dismissed as the propaganda tools they are by the reams of irrefutable scientific evidence to the contrary. It is thus incumbent on all honest academics to be vigilant and determined about setting the record straight.

Dr. Lawrence A. Franklin was the Iran Desk Officer for Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. He also served on active duty with the U.S. Army and as a Colonel in the Air Force Reserve.


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How the Ukraine Ended Up at the Center of American Politics - Daniel Greenfield

by Daniel Greenfield

It’s all about the energy.

The average America[n] working out in a gym while being forced to endure CNN talking heads yammering about Ukraine has to wonder why a country how [sic] knows very little about is all over Washington D.C.

How did a minor country intersect with three presidential campaigns, those of Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump, the Mueller investigation and the business dealings of the Biden clan?

Ukraine’s government is a dysfunctional oligarchy that exists in a state of permanent conflict between billionaires, energy interests, nationalists, Russian front groups, European front groups and street thugs. To make matters more confusing, some of those categories overlap and sometimes shift back and forth.

The Ukraine is one of the poorest countries in the region. Its per capita income is miserable. Its life expectancy is slightly higher than that of Syria. Its real prize is a complex energy sector interwoven with those of Russia and the European Union. Every reason why Ukraine has been in the news comes back to that energy sector and its role in the power balance between Russia, Europe and the United States.

Without that energy sector, the Ukraine would have wallowed quietly in a morass of corruption. Instead its scandals touch off explosions in Moscow, Brussels and Washington D.C. because they originate there.

That’s why the origin of the latest Ukraine scandal begins, unsurprisingly, with an energy company.

Burisma Holdings, the energy company, paid Hunter Biden, Joe’s son, $50,000 a month to sit on its board. That’s not a commonplace arrangement. But energy companies in that part of the world are never just private companies. They’re closely linked to political interests and political leaders.

The company that was paying Biden’s son a cool $50K a month was founded by a businessman who had been the Minister of Natural Resources in the Yanukovich government. The Yanukovich government, which was pro-Russian, was forced out by nationalist and pro-EU activist protests. Yanukovich fled to Russia and Putin responded to the fall of his government by invading the Ukraine and annexing Crimea.

And Crimea is all about the pipelines.

Yanukovich’s party employed American political consultants from across the spectrum including Tony Podesta, the brother of Hillary’s campaign chair, Tad Devine, Bernie Sanders’ chief political strategist, and Paul Manafort, briefly Trump’s campaign chair. While Podesta won’t be charged and Devine got off, Manafort had the book thrown at him because our political class and the Russian and Ukrainian political classes have more than a few things in common. And the similarities are only growing.

The Manafort case was collateral damage from the infighting between Ukraine’s old government and its new government. But Democrat operatives seized on the Ukrainian scandals because of their potential usefulness to their anti-Trump cause, ignoring Podesta and Devine, while focusing on Manafort.

Last year, three Senate Democrats, including Senator Bob Menendez, who had faced a corruption trial a year before, sent a letter demanding that the Ukrainian government aid in their investigations of Manafort, and by extension Trump, or lose foreign aid. Despite claims by Senator Leahy, Senator Menendez, and Senator Durbin, that the investigations weren’t yielding the desired results because of pressure by the Trump administration, the Ukrainians did not care about Trump or Manafort.

They were out to settle scores with Yanukovich, his Party of Regions, and their political allies.

The Biden family had similarly been entangled in a Ukrainian investigation of the economic and political networks of the Yanukovich government which led, among other places, to Burisma and Hunter Biden.

That may have led Vice President Joe Biden to aggressively pressure the Ukrainian government to fire Viktor Shokin, its top prosecutor. "I looked at them and said, 'I'm leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you're not getting the money.' Well, son of a b --. He got fired,” he had boasted.

Biden wasn’t the only one who had wanted Shokin gone. Pro-EU elements had wanted the same thing.

And that’s the great challenge of Ukraine’s scandals, understanding the intersection between politics, ideology and financial interests. Ukraine is in the midst of a struggle between nationalists, the EU and Russia, and between corrupt financial interests on all sides trying to get their hands on its industries.

With corrupt political interests in Washington D.C. and Moscow intertwining national interests and private economic interests, the Ukraine is the ultimate swamp. And the money has kept moving both ways. Just ask Tony Podesta and Hunter Biden. Both of whom were entangled with the Russian boogeyman that the Democrats can’t seem to see when they’re the ones making the rubles.

Today’s Ukraine resembles The Third Man’s vision of Vienna. It’s a convoluted nest of spies, information brokers, and corrupt financial interests, that’s in the middle of a tug of war between two superpowers. And its chaos and corruption resemble Russia after the fall of Communism and before control of the country was consolidated by Vladimir Putin, former KGB personnel and their billionaire oligarch allies.  

Ukraine embodies the worst of the region before and after the fall of the Soviet Union. And America and Russia have both been sucked into it by mixing politics and business, as the Clintons and the Bidens did.

Democrats and Republicans have held out hope that Ukrainian investigations would produce something useful, but the only thing they have produced and will go on producing is more corruption. A corrupt system can’t investigate itself. Ukraine’s prosecutorial system is at the heart of the corruption.

There’s nothing to be found in the Ukraine except a convoluted network of overlapping agendas, secret bank accounts, bribes, front men, paid agents and foreign operatives going all the way to the bottom.

A true swamp has no bottom. The Ukrainian swamp has no bottom. Let’s hope that ours does.

That ought to be a warning to anyone on either side expecting the FBI or independent prosecutors to fix this. Washington D.C. isn’t as bad as Kiev, but the FBI, the DOJ and assorted judicial and prosecutorial bodies have been hopelessly tangled in political corruption and serve their own political interests.

To most Americans, the Ukraine may be obscure and far away, but its political scandals not only intersect with our own, increasingly they have begun to predict them. Only on a much larger scale.

The Democrats have built much of their campaign against President Trump around Ukrainian political scandals. The irony is that they have adopted Ukraine as their political model. The political consultants who went to Ukraine brought its culture of corruption back here. And we’re all living with it now.

Ukraine is an energy industry battlefield. So is America.

Some of the biggest backers of impeaching President Trump are in the green energy business. Trump’s backing for oil and coal lit a fire under our economy, but it’s been bad news for the folks who make money from subsidized renewables and, even more shamefully, carbon credits. If Trump loses, they win.

Not just ideologically, but economically, to the tune of more billions of dollars than you can count.

The pipelines in question are legal and virtual, but, as proposals like the Green New Deal demonstrate, they are more inescapable systems of control than any conventional pipeline could ever be. Like the pipelines, they consolidate control, create dependency and build a corrupt energy monopoly.

After the fall of the old Ukrainian government, Burisma, the energy company that was paying Hunter Biden $50,000 a month, got into the green energy business. A year later, Burisma had started the Energy Security Forum to promote “green energy”. The speakers included former Senator Landrieu.
And, of course, Hunter Biden.

By then, Burisma, once aligned with Russia, had become thoroughly enmeshed in the European Union.

Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.


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Are Israelis Heading for a Threepeat Election? - Ari Lieberman

by Ari Lieberman

Israelis warily eye prospect of third election as Netanyahu is tasked with forming coalition.

Despite efforts by Israel’s president, Reuven Rivlin, to convince Israel’s two largest parties – Likud and Blue & White – to forge a national unity government, the prospect of that desired outcome appears more distant. At Rivlin’s urging, the Likud’s Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu and Blue & White’s Benny Gantz met earlier this week for two hours to see if differences between them could be bridged but the parties appear to be no closer to bridging their gaps. Given the impasse, Rivlin just announced that he’s giving Netanyahu first crack at forming a coalition since Bibi received 55 parliamentary recommendations to Gantz’s 54. But there is no reason to believe that he’ll be any more successful than he was back in April when he failed to form a coalition following the first election. The magic number required for a governing coalition is 61.

Israel’s parliamentary system of voting whereby voters cast their votes for parties rather than individuals lends itself to dysfunction. Voters tend to gravitate toward special interests diluting the powers of the larger parties. There are 120 seats in Israel’s parliament or Knesset. Thirty-three of those seats are occupied by the centrist Blue & White while 32 are occupied by Likud. Then there are a myriad of smaller parties with special interests.  The center-right Likud can rely on support from the right-wing Yemina party, which controls 7 seats and two ultra-orthodox parties, Shas (9) and UTJ (7).  The centrist Blue & White can rely on 11 seats held by various leftist parties.

The anti-Zionist Arab parties hold 13 seats but quite understandably, no mainstream party will dare enter into partnership with them. The party capable of breaking the impasse is Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu (Israel Our Home) party. Prior to entering politics, Liberman was a bouncer but today, he’s the kingmaker. The 8 seats his party possesses can put Netanyahu over the top.

Ideologically, there isn’t much of a difference between Liberman and Netanyahu; both are center-right. Liberman, a resident of Nokdim, which sits across the Green Line separating Judea & Samaria from Israel proper, had been a reliable Netanyahu coalition partner in past elections. But Netanyahu and Liberman had a falling out in 2018 over what the latter described as Netanyahu’s capitulation to Hamas and his inadequate response to Hamas rocket fire from Gaza. Liberman also disagreed with Netanyahu’s decision to allow Qatari cash to flow into Gaza. The two men also likely share a personal animus toward each other.  

Despite being ideologically right leaning, Liberman, who represents a large Russian constituency in Israel, is staunchly secular and this places him at odds with the ultra-orthodox parties. Central to the dispute between Liberman and the ultra-orthodox parties is Liberman’s desire for increased military conscription among the ultra-orthodox yeshiva students, who are generally exempt from military service. Neither side seems willing to compromise on the issue and Liberman has indicated that he will not join a Netanyahu-led coalition unless Netanyahu’s ultra-orthodox coalition partners agree to compromise.

Liberman has publicly expressed his desire for a broad-based national unity government and logically, that appears to be the best option available. No one in Israel wants a third election, which will likely end with the same inconclusive results as the previous two. Moreover, in terms of defense and security, there is little that separates Blue & White from the security-oriented Likud. Three of the four top leaders of Blue & White are former military chiefs of staff. But Blue & White’s Gantz has stated that while he was open to the idea of a unity government, he would not join one in which Netanyahu remains as Likud leader.

Netanyahu is currently facing indictment pending a hearing on three separate criminal cases involving charges of alleged breach of trust, fraud and bribery. Gantz has publicly called on Netanyahu to step down until these matters are resolved and conditioned his acceptance of a unity government on Bibi giving up the reins, something Bibi is unlikely to do voluntarily. It’s the old story of the irresistible force meeting the immovable object.

So, while Israel faces serious threats from nefarious entities like Hamas, Hezbollah and the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Jewish State is in a state of political gridlock with neither side willing to budge and huge egos impeding cogent, rational thought. The Israeli electorate is exhausted, and Israel needs unity in order to face and overcome its strategic and economic challenges. If Israel is to move forward, its leaders must check their egos at the door and put aside their petty differences. 

Ari Lieberman


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When Hillary Clinton Colluded with Ukraine - Daniel John Sobieski

by Daniel John Sobieski

Where are the congressional hearings on Hillary's collusion with Ukraine?

So now we have a whistleblower who isn’t because he cannot be, either from his circumstance or from the law. He or she had no firsthand knowledge, weren’t on the call or in the room, and in any case cannot blow the whistle on a unitary executive, namely President Trump. You can only be a whistleblower for an agency you are a member of. We have a quid without a quo and a phone conversation in which President Trump did not pressure a Ukrainian leader into a crime Joe Biden has previously confessed to, namely threatening to withhold a loan guarantee unless the Ukrainian government fires a prosecutor looking into a company that was paying Hunter Biden, a man with no special knowledge of Ukraine or the business, $600,0000 a year.

As Trump lawyer and former New York mayor Rudy Guiliani points out, the phone transcript makes Trump the whistleblower and Biden the criminal in a Ukrainian collusion saga that leads to Hillary Clinton and not Donald Trump. As Giulian states in an interview with Fox News’ John Roberts:
The reality is, the distinction is this. What they are trying to say is, I went there for a political mission to kind of get Joe Biden in trouble.
I went there as a lawyer defending his client. I -- I have known about this for five months. I have been trying to get people to cover this for five months. So, I knew it would be very, very hard to get this out.
And what I'm talking about, this, it's Ukrainian collusion, which was large, significant, and proven with Hillary Clinton, with the Democratic National Committee, a woman named Chalupa, with the ambassador, with an FBI agent who's now been hired by George Soros who was funding a lot of it.
If you want real collusion with a real trail of evidence of people trying to do real things interfering with our elections, particularly the 2016 campaign, try Hillary Clinton’s real collusion with Ukraine to derail and besmirch Team Trump. As Politico reported in a story that went nowhere at the time:
Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found.
A Ukrainian-American operative who was consulting for the Democratic National Committee met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in an effort to expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort and Russia, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation.
The Ukrainian efforts had an impact in the race, helping to force Manafort’s resignation and advancing the narrative that Trump’s campaign was deeply connected to Ukraine’s foe to the east, Russia. But they were far less concerted or centrally directed than Russia’s alleged hacking and dissemination of Democratic emails.
Here you have a meeting between a DNC operative in a foreign embassy receiving materials used to defame and derail the Trump campaign. This meeting had real consequences worse than in the case of the Donald Trump, Jr. meeting which bored its participants to death.

Was anyone interested? Certainly not MSNBC’s Brian Williams and Andrea Mitchell, who were puzzled as to what Donald Trump was referring to when he tweeted about Team Hillary’s collusion with Ukraine:
On MSNBC Wednesday morning, two of MSNBC’s most prominent anchors admitted they had no idea what Trump was referring to, when he tweeted out that the Clinton campaign also sought out information from foreign government officials to help boost her campaign, during the 2016 election. After reading the tweet, Brian Williams asked Andrea Mitchell if she knew what he was talking about. “I’m hoping you can help me decipher this,” he asked. “It’s hard to figure out what this is about,” Andrea Mitchell quizzically responded.
It wouldn’t have been so hard if the crack investigative reporters at MSNBC and CNN had followed the facts and the named sources in the Politico report instead of unnamed sources who produce fake news about Team Trump which result in stories being retrace and reporters resigning. As MRC/Neswbusters reported:
Trump’s tweet was referring to a seven-month old report from Politico, which found that Ukrainian officials worked with the DNC to help do opposition research on Trump in order to help Clinton’s campaign. This research was also leaked to several American journalists, according to the report.
Politico found that a veteran DNC operative, Alexandra Chalupa, sought out information to damage the Trump campaign after media reports speculated Paul Manafort had ties to Russia. She sought out help to do this from the Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S. and one of his top aides, “with the DNC’s encouragement,” Politico reported.
Chalupa spoke to Politico, which recalled:
She [Chalupa] said that, when Trump’s unlikely presidential campaign began surging in late 2015, she began focusing more on the research, and expanded it to include Trump’s ties to Russia, as well. She occasionally shared her findings with officials from the DNC and Clinton’s campaign, Chalupa said.
The report went into further detail, but the long and short of it explained how Ukrainian officials admitted to “working very closely” with Chalupa, who then shared this information with the DNC.
One official, Andrii Telizhenko told Politico:
They were coordinating an investigation with the Hillary team on Paul Manafort with Alexandra Chalupa.”
Telizhenko recalled that Chalupa told him and Shulyar that, “If we can get enough information on Paul [Manafort] or Trump’s involvement with Russia, she can get a hearing in Congress by September.”
Say what? This is what you really call “empirical evidence” of collusion with a foreign government, inviting them to interfere in the 2016 election. Yet the media ignores it, Congressional Democrats avert their eyes, and congressional Republicans afraid of their own shadow let Democratic bottom feeders like Rep. Adam Schiff and Rep. Chuck Schumer beat up on President Trump without any meaningful response or defense.

Where are the congressional hearings on Hillary’s collusion with Ukraine? Where are the hearings on a sitting vice president’s criminal collusion with that same foreign government? Where are the hearings on her making it possible for Russian interests to control 20 percent of our uranium supply in exchange for donations to the Clinton Foundation?

Joe Biden? Lock him up.

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


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US-Israel Defense Pact - Yoram Ettinger

by Yoram Ettinger

Constructive Defense Pact

A constructive US-Israel defense pact should be based on shared values and shared strategic interests, expanding the two-way-street, win-win US-Israel strategic cooperation.

An effective US-Israel defense pact should enhance Israel’s self-reliance and independence, rather than Israel’s dependence upon the US.

A useful US-Israel defense pact should bolster and leverage Israel’s posture of deterrence at the geographic junction of the Mediterranean-Europe-Africa-Asia, which is a focal point of global terrorism, the proliferation of ballistic and nuclear technologies and unpredictable tectonic military eruptions. Israel’s role is doubly critical at a time when Europe’s posture of deterrence is rapidly collapsing.

A beneficial US-Israel defense pact should further extend the strategic hand of the US – through Israel’s proven capabilities – without additional US aircraft carriers and troops in the Middle East.

A worthwhile US-Israel defense pact should underscore the role of Israel as the most cost-effective, battle-tested laboratory of US defense industries, upgrading US military performance, research and development, production, export and employment. The unique Israeli battle experience has benefitted US military operations by enhancing the formulation of US battle tactics and maneuverability.

The primary aim of a constructive US-Israel defense pact is not to defend Israel, but to face mutual threats and challenges such as the conventional and non-conventional threats of Iran’s Ayatollahs, global Islamic Sunni terrorism, the emergence of additional rogue regimes in the Middle East, lethal threats to every pro-US Arab regime, the violent unpredictability and unreliability of the Middle East, the need to maintain a military and commercial technological edge, etc.

An effective US-Israel defense pact must not constrain Israel’s freedom of unilateral, self-defense military action against clear and present threats, which has bolstered Israel’s posture of deterrence, and therefore transformed the Jewish State into a most reliable beachhead of the US. Tying Israel’s military hands would erode Israel’s posture of deterrence; thus shrinking its contribution to US interests.

For instance, the 1981 and the 2007 Israeli bombings of Iraq’s and Syria’s nuclear reactors – in defiance of US opposition – saved the globe from the wrath of nuclearized Saddam Hussein and Assad, sparing the US a nuclear confrontation in the 1991 Gulf War. Israel’s 1967 preemptive war against a unified Arab offensive was opposed by the US, but devastated the pro-Soviet Egyptian leader, Nasser, who strove to topple the pro-US Arab Gulf regimes. It deprived the USSR of a rare bonanza, while sparing the US a devastating blow, at a time when the US was largely dependent upon Persian Gulf oil.

Defense pacts do not stifle unilateral military actions, as documented by the NATO Treaty which stipulates (Article 4): “The Parties will consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the Parties is threatened.”

The aim of a valuable US-Israel defense pact is to confront threats and challenges in the larger regional and global context, not the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Palestinian issue, which have never been core causes of regional turbulence, and – irrespective of the Arab talk – have never been a top priority of the Arab walk.

The aim of a compelling US-Israel defense pact must never involve US troops on Israel’s borders, nor determination of Israel’s future borders, nor any reference to Israeli withdrawals from the strategic high-ground of the Judea and Samaria mountain ridges (the cradle of Jewish history). Such a retreat would downgrade Israel from a strategic asset to a strategic liability.

A mutually-beneficial US-Israel defense pact should focus on:
*A substantial enhancement – qualitatively and quantitatively – of the prepositioned US military stockpiles in Israel (expediting deployment to conflict areas; benefitting from Israeli security and maintenance; and available to – and replenished by – Israel upon eruption of wars);

*Upgrading intelligence-sharing, benefitting from Israel’s unique network of intelligence;
*Boosting counter-terrorism and special operation cooperation;
*Expanding joint military exercises;
*Providing Israel with access to more sophisticated military systems, in order to test them under battle conditions, while sustaining Israel’s qualitative military edge.
*Improving the Haifa and Ashdod port facilities in order to accommodate the US 6th Fleet and its aircraft carrier. They are closer than European ports to conflict areas, providing the US navy with a more effective platform of maneuvers, maintenance and repair;
*The establishment of a series of bilateral funds in the mode of the successful bilateral BIRD Foundation, which is limited to non-defense industries. They will stimulate the joint development and manufacturing of advanced military systems by compatible US and Israeli defense contractors and startups (leveraging Israel’s do-or-die state of mind and ground-breaking innovations) in the areas of space and space satellites, aerospace, missile defense, cyber defense, artificial intelligence, command-control-communications-computers, unmanned systems and robotics, electro-optics.

Open-ended aspects of Defense Pacts
Productive US-Israel relations – and Israel’s own national security – behoove Israel to reject the deployment of US troops on its borders.

Moreover, no treaty should be perceived as automatic US military involvement on behalf of Israel.  All US treaties are open-ended, subject to the US Constitution, which endows US presidents with the authority to avoid full implementation of treaties/guarantees.

For example, a November 15, 2001 Department of Justice memo to the White House determined that the US President has the Constitutional discretionary authority to terminate, or suspend, unilaterally, fully or partly, the 1972 USA-USSR ABM Treaty without seeking coordination with Congress, whenever the president determines that it is in the national interest to do so.

In 1985 and 1986, President Reagan unilaterally suspended security commitments to New Zealand, and terminated the Treaty of Friendship with Nicaragua.  In 1979, President Carter unilaterally terminated the mutual defense treaty with Taiwan upon the establishment of diplomatic relations with China.

Escape routes are also provided by Article 5 of NATO Treaty: “The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them shall be considered an attack against them all…. Each of them…shall assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith…such action as it deems necessary [my emphasis], including the use of armed forces [an option, but not mandatory….].”

According to Hebrew University Prof. Michla Pomerance; “A treaty can never entail more than a contingent and tentative promise to use force in the future…. American defense commitments… are generally characterized by vagueness, non-specificity and the explicit denial of any automatic obligation to use force… to keep the US options open and its absolute discretion intact in deciding whether, and how, to redeem its promise…. What constitutes ‘interpretation’ for the promisor may well be seen as ‘breach’ by the promise…. A president’s decision to execute – or not to execute – an international commitment depends on his own – not the promisee’s – assessment…. Every US international commitment allows for future non-implementation, consistent with US interests and the US Constitution….”

In conclusion, a constructive US-Israel defense pact should be dedicated to the enhancement of mutually-beneficial, win-win, two-way-street cooperation in the face of regional and global mutual threats, not by the reintroduction of one-way-street relations.  Moreover, it should not include any reference to Israel’s withdrawal from critical high ground – which is irreversible – in return for a US military commitment, which is reversible.

Yoram Ettinger


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US Oil Is Key Weapon against Iran - Fletch Daniels

by Fletch Daniels

Because we no longer are dependent on Middle East oil, we have more options in responding to this international crisis.

President Donald Trump's restrained response to Iran's attack on Saudi Arabia shows that the U.S. is in a much stronger strategic position in reference to the Middle East than it has been in decades past.

This is largely thanks to America's emerging energy independence, the very thing Democrats promise to demolish at the first opportunity. 

In this complex geopolitical situation, where you have a radical Shia regime attacking a radical Wahhabi Sunni state, there are no easy answers.

Showing that radicalism is not confined to the Middle East, the Democrats left all politics at the water cooler to unite in the face of the crisis by coolly chanting, "Impeach, impeach, impeach!" Perhaps they are so divorced from reality that they don't realize they are emboldening Iran by projecting disunity and weakness from America.

That said, it is challenging to name two countries that have done more damage to the United States and global security in recent years than Iran and Saudi Arabia. It brings to mind the quote by Henry Kissinger about the Iran-Iraq war that "it's a pity both sides can't lose." 

Because we no longer are dependent on Middle East oil, we have more options in responding to this international crisis, to include showing strategic patience.

It is not in our interest to allow Iran to restrict the world's oil supply or to see the Saudi government fall. Any radical Islamist government that replaced the House of Saud would be worse than the corrupt and decadent pseudo-religious leadership of that country and far more hostile to the West.

But it is debatable as to which country, Iran or Saudi Arabia, has actually done more to harm U.S. national security. 

The Shia theocrats of Iran have a more apocalyptic worldview based on their belief in the coming of the 12th Imam and have also been very effective at using proxy groups to carry out attacks. Allowing an apocalyptic regime that is so practiced at using proxies like Hezb'allah to secure a nuclear weapon is unfathomable.

Saudi Arabia, while smiling at the U.S. and Western powers, has quietly radicalized much of the Sunni Islamic world by using its oil wealth to plant radical Salafist madrassas across the globe, including in the U.S.

The Saudi regime has played a double game, deflecting extremist rage away from the regime and toward the Western world. 

The single best national security move the U.S. made to limit the damage of both of these regimes was to dramatically increase its own oil production, significantly reducing the global price of oil and limiting the magnitude of mischief emanating from these countries.

Even apart from the tremendous damage it would do to the U.S. economy, any discussion of ending fracking or cutting U.S. oil production should begin and end with discussion on how it damages national security. The shale revolution has been one of the greatest weapons conceived to reduce these nations' power and influence.

Many American military lives would be sacrificed on the altar of climate insanity should we follow Democrats down such a destructive path as to shatter U.S. energy independence, since an increase in wars would be the inevitable result. 

The U.S. neared energy independence at the end of 2018, when it became a net exporter of oil for the first time. This was revolutionary in impact, completely altering the state of global play since the U.S. had been a significant net oil importer since the Truman Administration. Countries that rely heavily on an oil-based economy, like Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Russia, were significantly weakened by this change in the state of play since the U.S. was no longer driving demand. 

While it varies by month, the U.S. is right on the edge of achieving complete energy independence and status as a net oil exporter. Since oil is a global commodity, this does not insulate the U.S. from price shocks. An attack like the one on Saudi Arabia will result in a rise in prices at the pump. But it puts America in a much better position to withstand disruptions in the global supply. It ensures that the U.S. does not have to rush to the aid of Saudi Arabia on a moment's notice. 

This is why Tulsi Gabbard's recent tweet accusing President Trump of making our country "Saudi Arabia's b----" while serving Saudi masters was such a tone-deaf and stupid accusation. While she is clearly just trying to stay relevant in the Democrat race to the bottom, it is the Democrat candidates who are promising to do everything in their power to demolish the U.S. energy supply, which would flood Saudi Arabia with cash that would enable it to do more global mischief. 

Elizabeth Warren was so enamored of the idea of destroying U.S. energy independence that she promised to do it on day one. What she is really promising is to elevate Middle Eastern states that are hostile to Western ideals into global positions of power and great influence. 

America's energy independence has given President Trump tremendous leverage and the ability to be patient. If we were still reliant on Middle East oil, we would already be bracing for a regional war, and our forces would be flowing into the region. We would have no choice since oil is the lifeblood of the U.S. economy.

Our energy independence also changes the calculus for potential allies in Europe and Asia. These countries are much more dependent on Middle East oil, meaning they are much more likely to contribute to any coalition to protect that oil supply. They don't have the luxury to sit back and wait for the U.S. to respond if they are not sure the U.S. will respond. 

Even a 1024/1024 climate cultist like Elizabeth Warren would not be able to allow America's oil pipeline to be shut off. If you can't produce energy and hostile powers are denying access, war is the only viable option, meaning that American lives would be sacrificed. Wind and sun energy will not be able to pick up the slack any time soon, if ever. Warren would have no choice but to race to Saudi Arabia's aid. 

The Iranian regime is not acting out of a position of strength. The maximum pressure campaign is crippling it, and its position is not sustainable. Inflation in Iran is above 40 percent, and the regime is running out of money. The mullahs are desperate to provoke some type of confrontation in the hopes of getting more favorable terms. With every day that passes, their position further erodes.

Regimes like Iran's theocracy rarely disappear quietly into the dustbin of history. More, and probably worse, attacks are coming, particularly when they see the actions of the disloyal opposition in America. The Iranian regime must be getting increasingly frustrated that its members have not achieved their goal yet, which is to prod the U.S. back to the negotiating table and to ensure favorable terms.

President Trump is using this time to gather allies and prepare for the storm. The Iranian regime is likely to miscalculate, meaning that the U.S. may eventually have no choice but to accept Iran's invitation to the dance. But, for the moment, thanks to America's energy independence, President Trump has managed this crisis perfectly.

Fletch Daniels blogs at and can be found on Twitter at @fletchdaniels.


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Smackdown: Rep. Devin Nunes torches vaunted 'whistleblower' report - Monica Showalter

by Monica Showalter

Nunes knows probably more about these Democratic deep state shenanigans than anyone.

With the Thursday morning release of a declassified version of the famed 'whistleblower' report, the left and its media arm are having a field day. Headlines such as these are pretty much all that's out there, with this sampling curated by the Drudge Report:
Seven-day scramble ends with big gamble...
Majority of House members now support impeachment...
All circumstantial evidence?
Trump Team Bets Backfire!
But fans the flames...
ROVE: Pelosi's Circular Firing Squad...
PAPER: Charges epitomize framers' idea of impeachable offense?
George Conway predicts Republicans will vote against Trump...
Favors, dirt, investigations...
Voters react with joy, fury, ambivalence...
After all, the report itself serves as the latest basis for initiating impeachment against President Trump, something the left has been champing at the bit to do ever since before President Trump took office. They've tried several times before, most notably with the failed Russia-Russia-Russia gambit and now see this whistleblower report as their last-ditch chance. Now they've got a report from another embittered deep-stater hiding behind a veil of anonymity trying yet again, with page one beginning in this unpromising matter:
Fortunately, someone who knows how deep state works probably better than anyone was able to see through the kultursmog and torch the whole thing as junk. Rep. Devin Nunes, the ranking Republican minority member on the House Intelligence Committee had a spectacular retort, one that surely would rank with Sen. Lindsey Graham 2.0's spectacular speech to Democrats after their sneaky string of shenanigans surrounding the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.

Nunes rips them good, stating what every sane American out there is thinking:
I want to congratulate the Democrats on the rollout of their latest information warfare operation against the President, and their extraordinary ability once again to enlist the mainstream media in their campaign.
This operation began with media reports—from the prime instigators of the Russian collusion hoax—that a whistleblower is claiming President Trump made a nefarious “promise” to a foreign leader. The released transcript of the call has already debunked that central assertion, but that didn’t matter. The Democrats simply moved the goalposts and began claiming that there doesn’t need to be a quid pro quo for this conversation to serve as the basis for impeaching the president.
Speaker Pelosi went even further when asked earlier if she’d put the brakes on impeachment if the transcript turned out to be benign. She responded, “We have many other candidates for impeachable offenses.” So there you go—if their whistleblower operation doesn’t work out, the Democrats and their media assets can always drum up something else.
And what other information has come to light since the original false report of a “promise” being made? We’ve learned the following:
  • The complaint relied on hearsay evidence provided by the whistleblower.
  • The Inspector General did not know the contents of the phone call at issue.
  • The Inspector General found that the whistleblower displayed “arguable political bias” against Trump.
  • The Department of Justice investigated the complaint and determined no action was warranted.
  • The Ukrainian President denies being pressured by President Trump.
So, once again, this supposed scandal ends up being nothing like what we were told. And once again, the Democrats, their media mouthpieces, and a cabal of leakers are ginning up a fake story, with no regard to the monumental damage they’re causing to our public institutions and to trust in government, and without acknowledging all the false stories they propagated in the past, including countless allegations that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to hack the 2016 election. We’re supposed to forget about all those stories but believe this one. In short, what we have with this storyline is another Steele dossier.
I’ll note here that, in the Democrats’ mania to overturn the 2016 elections, everything they touch gets hopelessly politicized. With the Russia hoax it was our intelligence agencies, which were turned into a political weapon to attack the president. And today, the whistleblower process is the casualty. Until about a week ago, the need to protect that process was a primary bipartisan concern of this committee. But if the Democrats were really concerned with defending that process, they would have pursued this matter with quiet and sober inquiries, as we always do for whistleblowers.
But that would’ve been useless for them. They don’t want answers, they want a public spectacle. And so we’ve been treated to an unending parade of press releases, press conferences, and fake news stories.
The rest of his opening statement is stellar and it can be read here.

It meshes perfectly with our own Clarice Feldman's analysis about the sorriness of the whole Democrat spectacle - and if you haven't read Clarice's column last Sunday yet, it's good stuff here.

Nunes is to be praised for getting the facts right and calling the Democrats out on what a disgusting game they're focusing on.

Hat tip: Jim Hoft at GatewayPundit

Monica Showalter


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Iran Attacks Saudi Arabia, Why and What Comes Next? - Dr. Mordechai Kedar

by Dr. Mordechai Kedar

Deep insight into the situation

Dear friends and colleagues,
On September 25 I was interviewed by Dr. Alan Keyes about the Iranian attack on the Saudi oil facilities, how to understand the Iranians and how to deal with their aggressive behavior.
The interview is 51 minutes long, but I believe it is worth your while.

All the best,
Dr. Mordechai Kedar
Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies,
Bar-Ilan University

Dr. Mordechai Kedar


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Chuck Schumer Blows It on Protecting Children - Blima Miller

by Blima Miller

Schumer can't resist defending the significance of science. He's accused Donald Trump of "denying the science" of "the severe and immediate impacts of climate change." Yet when it comes to the facts of fetal life, he turns a blind eye.

Don't say you weren't warned. After one attempt to email Chuck Schumer, requesting support for a congressional bill that seeks to ban abortion at 20 weeks post-fertilization or more, a swift response arrives:

Dear Ms. Miller:
Thank you for sharing your comments on the issue of abortion.
As the father of two girls, I share your deep respect for the sanctity of life, and I realize the importance of honoring ones moral and religious heritage. But I also value the freedom under the law that all American citizens have to base our personal choices on our own values and moral convictions. I also believe that the decision to have children ought to be a personal one based on a woman's own religious and moral beliefs, not those of the government or outside organizations. Having said that, I support measures that aim to reduce the number of legal abortions, and I believe that education and prevention are critical to achieving that.
The decision to have an abortion will never be an easy one, nor should it be, but I believe that every woman should have the option to make her own determination in counsel with her minister, priest, or rabbi, her physician and her family.
Again, I thank you for voicing your opinion on this issue. Please keep in touch with your thoughts and opinions.
Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator
So much for gaining even a speck of support from the N.Y. senator for the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. Despite voting against it last year, he deplorably continues to share his "deep respect for the sanctity of life" with anyone who's still willing to listen. Inconsistently, Schumer can't resist defending the significance of science. He's accused Donald Trump of "denying the science" of "the severe and immediate impacts of climate change." Yet when it comes to the facts of fetal life, he turns a blind eye. The severe and immediate impacts of unrestricted abortion don't seem to rank high enough on the Schumer Scientific Scale. Then again, population control has always been an integral part of the save-the-planet initiative. Just ask Bernie Sanders
Now for some real science: Research has demonstrated that sensory receptors for pain (nociception) exist throughout the skin and mucosal surfaces by 20 weeks. The networks between the spinal cord and thalamus (which functions in pain recognition in fetuses as well as in adults) are also just about integrated at this point. The U.S., despite being remarkably advanced in concern for the helpless, is one of only seven countries that tolerates elective abortions after 20 weeks — more than halfway through pregnancy. This doesn't seem to bother Schumer, who by default has already nayed this year's Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act
Says the senator: "But I also value the freedom under the law that all American citizens have to base our personal choices on our own values and moral convictions."
It is disturbing that the intensely amoral notion of causing pain and ultimately death to a human body has become purely one of a subjective nature. Meet the kind of moral relativism justified by advocates for abortion on demand. Out of the millions of abortions performed, it cannot be reasonable to assume that their motives excuse the slaying of innocents. Research demonstrates that a vast percentage of abortions are done out of financial stress, the desire to continue education, or just not feeling prepared. 
"I also believe that the decision to have children ought to be a personal one based on a woman's own religious and moral beliefs, not those of the government or outside organizations."
For some reason, Chuck takes pride in the fact that, unlike China, this country has never imposed birth control on its occupants. While mass shootings and the alleged separation of children from their parents at the border immediately warrant Mr. Schumer's outrage, the slaying of fetuses on American soil has him spewing sentimental statements on the government's rightful role. The usual big-government interventions are instantly replaced by an appeal to individual decision-making. The rationalizing won't help, because the obvious reality remains: one's "own religious and moral beliefs" cannot be allowed to dictate decisions that are no longer religious or moral. The celebrated choice to cut a life short will never vindicate itself. Our country's heritage happens to be founded on the basic sanctity of individuals and their natural rights from womb to tomb. 
A 2008 press release depicts a passionate Schumer questioning the FDA about its relaxed stance toward bisphenol A, the toxic chemical found in plastic baby bottles. "If there is any serious risk at all posed by this chemical, it is simply unacceptable to allow Americans, especially vulnerable infants, to come into contact with it." The report then shuns a previous FDA study as having "minimized linkages between the substance ... and developmental problems for young children who were exposed to the chemical in the womb." Somehow, a fetus confronting a chemical is more of a concern than him facing an abortionist's forceps. 
Heaven forbid that Mr. Schumer should employ his power to direct public consciousness toward a place of humanity. Instead, he pretentiously reassures us that "infanticide is already illegal" — as if feticide were, too. 
"Having said that, I support measures that aim to reduce the number of legal abortions, and I believe that education and prevention are critical to achieving that."
Yes, Schumer is providing sound education on the subject matter. He intelligently imparts the good tidings that a woman has the right to choose "before that moment before the child is born." 
"I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live." (Deuteronomy, 30:19)
From the Creator's mouth to your ears, Chuck. 
Charles Schumer once declared: "The symbol of America should be the Statue of Liberty[.]" Oddly enough, his passionate embrace of those huddled masses yearning to breathe free never extended to the "masses of cells" Americans dare think of as babies. 

Blima Miller


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