Saturday, August 8, 2020

Portland mayor condemns rioters for 'attempting to commit murder' - Brie Stimson

by Brie Stimson

“I believe that city staff could have died last night,” Wheeler said. “I cannot and I will not tolerate that. This is not peaceful protests. This is not advocacy to advance reforms.”

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler Thursday evening condemned the actions of rioters who attempted to set fire to a police precinct and blocked the exits while officers were inside.

“When you commit arson with an accelerant in an attempt to burn down a building that is occupied by people who you have intentionally trapped inside, you are not demonstrating, you are attempting to commit murder," Wheeler said in a news conference with Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell.

"Don’t think for a moment that you are if you are participating in this activity, you are not being a prop for the reelection campaign of Donald Trump — because you absolutely are," he said. "You are creating the B-roll film that will be used in ads nationally to help Donald Trump during this campaign. If you don’t want to be part of that, then don’t show up.”

A riot was declared Wednesday evening when agitators descended upon the Portland Police Bureau’s East Precinct building, spray-painted over security cameras, broke a glass door with a 2x4, lit a fire using an accelerant and threw fireworks and other objects at officers, according to FOX 12 in Portland.

Police said that a truck also attempted to run over officers.


The front doors of the precinct were barricaded before the fire was started with more than 20 officers and civilian employees inside, police said, according to FOX 12.

Officers used tear gas to disperse the rioters and at least eight people were arrested. A federal court order bars police from using tear gas unless a riot is declared.

“I believe that city staff could have died last night,” Wheeler said. “I cannot and I will not tolerate that. This is not peaceful protests. This is not advocacy to advance reforms.”

Rioters also vandalized and broke into Portland’s Police Association Tuesday night.

Wheeler also urged peaceful protesters to avoid gatherings that could turn destructive or violent, according to Oregon Live.

“If you are a nonviolent demonstrator and you don’t want to be part of intentional violence, please stay away from these areas,” Wheeler said. “Our community must say that this violence is not Portland, that these actions do not reflect our values and these crimes are distracting from reform, not advancing.”


The clashes between thousands of protesters and federal agents sent by the Trump administration to guard the federal courthouse stopped after an agreement between Democratic Gov. Kate Brown and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that called for the agents to begin drawing down their presence in Portland’s downtown on July 30.

Then some instigators moved on to other police buildings across the city to cause problems.
Wednesday night’s violence in a residential neighborhood on the east side of the city began after a group of about 100 people gathered in a nearby park for a rally advertised on social media by the group Pacific Northwest Youth Liberation Front with the slogan “No cops. No prisons. Total abolition." The group then marched to the precinct.

At the same time, a larger peaceful group of Black Lives Matter protesters gathered downtown to give speeches. No police presence was necessary, Portland Police Bureau Capt. Tony Passadore said.

“Hurting people and trying to trap people in a building and burn them up, it’s just completely awful,” Portland Fire & Rescue Lt. Damon Simmons reiterated in the news conference, according to FOX 12.

Wheeler said the city anticipates “additional planned attacks on public buildings” in the coming days and said he was giving the police leeway to do what they needed to do to counter those plans as long as it can be done without threatening peaceful protesters.

On Wednesday, Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell said rioters aren’t forwarding the cause of racial injustice protesters. "Portlanders need to send a strong message that enough is enough," he said. “This movement is really powerful, but the violence has taken away from it.”

Wheeler was met with jeers from protesters two weeks ago when he joined them for a dialogue.

Portland has faced nearly 70 nights of anti-police protests since the police custody death of George Floyd.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Brie Stimson


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Portland records deadliest month in 30 years: report - David Aaro

by David Aaro

July saw the highest number of deadly shootings or stabbings in a single month since the 1980s

At least 15 people were killed in Portland during the month of July, which was the highest number of deadly shootings or stabbings in a single month since the 1980s, according to authorities.

Police Chief Chuck Lovell addressed last month's violence which ended on Friday following a 150-round shooting at an apartment building in the city. So far this year, 24 people in Portland have died in homicides.

“That’s very concerning to know that that many people have been killed in such a short period of time,” Lovell said on Thursday, according to Portland's KATU. “These numbers were not acceptable.”


To solve the recent crimes, Lovell said the police bureau pulled officers from an “already diminished patrol” unit to help work on follow-up investigations.

“Our job, number one for us, is public safety and preservation of life. So we are, we’re going to resource some more people to the detective division to help follow up and do some investigation on those,” Lovell said. “It’s incumbent upon us as public safety professionals and police officers to go out and still do that work.”

He remarked how the bureau was forced to cut its Gun Violence Reduction Team at the direction of the City Council, which has made their job more difficult.

The 34-member team was broken up on July 1 following budget cuts to police units that reportedly targeted a disproportionate number of Black people in traffic stops, according to The Oregonian. It was the first month without the unit in more than a decade.

“What was really lost was the follow-up piece, picking up video, contacting people,” Lovell said.


Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty pushed to disband the Gun Violence Reduction Team, which was called a gang enforcement unit at the time, according to the station. She did so following a 2018 city audit which found that African Americans made up 59 percent of the unit's traffic stops in 2016.

“I don’t think it’s a staffing issue, and no matter how often they say they’re overworked and underpaid, the reality is that Portland police have for a long time decided what they will investigate and what they won’t,” Hardesty said.

Shootings have also increased in July compared to the same time last year. There were a total of 63 shootings last month compared to 28 in July 2019, according to the Police Bureau.

In terms of the response times of officers, it took police almost 15 minutes to respond to a shots-fired call this year, compared to just under seven minutes last year, the station reported. Police had told KATU the ongoing nightly demonstrations in the city had strained the department's resources.

Homicides, assaults, burglaries, and vandalism are also up when compared to last year, according to The Oregonian. Meanwhile, total person-to-person and property crimes are down from earlier years, police said.

David Aaro is a Reporter at Fox News Digital based in New York City.


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Hizballah kept three metric tons of ammonium nitrate, the explosive behind Beirut blast, in London storehouse - Robert Spencer

by Robert Spencer

“The ammonium nitrate was to be used for ‘proper organized terrorism’ and could have caused ‘a lot of damage.'”

Yet in London, Toronto, and elsewhere in the West, Muslims have openly displayed the Hizballah flag, with no fear of attracting unwanted law enforcement attention. They know Western authorities are weak and terrified above all things of being called “Islamophobic.” Everyone knows that.

“Hezbollah stockpiled chemical behind Beirut blast in London and Germany,” by Lahav Harkov, Jerusalem Post, August 5, 2020:

Hezbollah kept three metric tons of ammonium nitrate, the explosive thought to be behind the mega blast in Beirut this week, in a storehouse in London, until MI5 and the London Metropolitan Police found it in 2015.
The Lebanese terrorist group also stored hundreds of kilograms of ammonium nitrate in southern Germany, which were uncovered earlier this year.
The Beirut explosion took place at a warehouse that held 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate that had been confiscated from a ship.
The Iran-backed terrorists kept the explosive in thousands of ice packs in four properties in northwest London, according to a report in The Telegraph last year. The ice pack deception tactic was used in Germany, as well.
A source was quoted in The Telegraph saying the ammonium nitrate was to be used for “proper organized terrorism” and could have caused “a lot of damage.”
MI5 arrested a man in his 40s for allegedly planning terrorist attacks, but did not find evidence that the terrorists were planning an attack in the UK.
A foreign government reportedly tipped off MI5 to the explosives stockpile. KAN reported that the Mossad gave the UK the information.
“MI5 worked independently and closely with international partners to disrupt the threat of malign intent from Iran and its proxies in the UK,” an intelligence source told The Telegraph.
The Prime Minister’s Office did not respond to a question as to whether Israel helped the UK nab the terrorists.
However, Germany found the Hezbollah explosive stockpiles with help from the Mossad.
The operation and raid on mosques and residents tied to Hezbollah throughout Germany in April came in tandem with a ban on the terrorist group’s activities….

Robert Spencer


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Video: A Leftist Asked Him: 'When Was America Great?' -


His answer is stunning.

In a Breitbart exclusive -- Ricardo Cardwell explains what his response was to a leftist protester, prompted by Ricardo's MAGA hat, asking him "when was America great?" His answer is stunning:


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Pelosi lashes out at PBS' Judy Woodruff during interview, suggests anchor is a GOP 'advocate' - Joseph A. Wulfsohn

by Joseph A. Wulfsohn

What's going on with Nancy Pelosi?

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., had a bitter exchange with "PBS NewsHour" anchor Judy Woodruff Tuesday over the ongoing stalemate on Capitol Hill between lawmakers negotiating a so-called "Phase 4" coronavirus aid bill.
At one point in their interview, Woodruff asked Pelosi about the "flexibility" GOP lawmakers are showing in terms of allocating more money for state and local governments, as well as Republican arguments that "much of the money" allocated in the CARES Act "has not even been spent yet."

That didn't sit well with Pelosi.

"Well, if you want to be an advocate for them, Judy, if you want to be an advocate for them, listen to what the facts are," the speaker scolded the veteran anchor.

"I'm playing devil's advocate here," Woodruff responded.

"No, you aren't," Pelosi shot back. "The point is we have a bill that meets the needs of the American people. It's called the HEROES Act. They [Republicans] don't even want to do state and local and when they do, it's very meager and they want to revert money from before."

The exchange received renewed attention of social media Thursday, with Pelosi coming in for heavy criticism.

"Watch what happens when the media actually asks a real question from @SpeakerPelosi," Reagan Battalion reacted.

"This is an outrageous attack on the free press in America by a politician, I await the strong condemnation from the usual corners of the media," Fourth Watch media analyst Steve Krakauer wrote.

"Wow. Pelosi is so worked up about not being tossed softballs here," RedState senior editor Brandon Morse tweeted. "It's pathetic that she's so indignant about being asked a simple question. If Democrats can't respond to simple Republican points then they're in big trouble." 

Joseph A. Wulfsohn is a media reporter for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @JosephWulfsohn.


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An Effective COVID Treatment the Media Continues to Besmirch - Steven Hatfill

by Steven Hatfill

More info on the Voldemort of medications

On Friday, July 31, in a column ostensibly dealing with health care “misinformation,” Washington Post media critic Margaret Sullivan opened by lambasting “fringe doctors spouting dangerous falsehoods about hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 wonder cure.”

Actually, it was Sullivan who was spouting dangerous falsehoods about this drug, something the Washington Post and much of the rest of the media have been doing for months. On May 15, the Post offered a stark warning to any Americans who may have taken hope in a possible therapy for COVID-19. In the newspaper’s telling, there was nothing unambiguous about the science -- or the politics -- of hydroxychloroquine: “Drug promoted by Trump as coronavirus game-changer increasingly linked to deaths,” blared the headline. Written by three Post staff writers, the story asserted that the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine in treating COVID-19 is scant and that the drug is inherently unsafe. This claim is nonsense.

Biased against the use of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 -- and the Washington Post is hardly alone -- the paper described an April 21, 2020, drug study on U.S. Veterans Affairs patients hospitalized with the illness. It found a high death rate in patients taking the drug hydroxychloroquine. But this was a flawed study with a small sample, the main flaw being that the drug was given to the sickest patients who were already dying because of their age and severe pre-existing conditions. This study was quickly debunked. It had been posted on a non-peer-reviewed medical archive that specifically warns that studies posted on its website should not be reported in the media as established information. 

Yet, the Post and countless other news outlets did just the opposite, making repeated claims that hydroxychloroquine was ineffective and caused serious cardiac problems. Nowhere was there any mention of the fact that COVID-19 damages the heart during infection, sometimes causing irregular and sometimes fatal heart rhythms in patients not taking the drug.

To a media unrelentingly hostile to Donald Trump, this meant that the president could be portrayed as recklessly promoting the use of a “dangerous” drug. Ignoring the refutation of the VA study in its May 15 article, the Washington Post cited a Brazil study published on April 24 in which a COVID trial using chloroquine (a related but different drug than hydroxychloroquine) was stopped because 11 patients treated with it died. The reporters never mentioned another problem with that study: The Brazilian doctors were giving their patients lethal cumulative doses of the drug.

On and on it has gone since then, in a circle of self-reinforcing commentary. Following the news that Trump was taking the drug himself, opinion hosts on cable news channels launched continual attacks on both hydroxychloroquine and the president. “This will kill you!” Fox News Channel’s Neil Cavuto exclaimed. “The president of the United States just acknowledge that he is taking hydroxychloroquine, a drug that [was] meant really to treat malaria and lupus.”

Washington Post reporters Ariana Cha and Laurie McGinley were back again on May 22, with a new article shouting out the new supposed news: “Antimalarial drug touted by President Trump is linked to increased risk of death in coronavirus patients, study says.” The media uproar this time was based on a large study just published in the Lancet. There was just one problem. The Lancet paper was fraudulent and it was quickly retracted.

However, the damage from the biased media storm was done and it was long-lasting. Continuing patient enrollment needed for early-use clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine dried up within a week. Patients were afraid to take the drug, doctors became afraid to prescribe it, pharmacies refused to fill prescriptions, and in a rush of incompetent analysis and non-existent senior leadership, the FDA revoked its Emergency Use Authorization for the drug.

So what is the real story on hydroxychloroquine? Here, briefly, is what we know:
When the COVID-19 pandemic began, a search was made for suitable antiviral therapies to use as treatment until a vaccine could be produced. One drug, hydroxychloroquine, was found to be the most effective and safe for use against the virus. Federal funds were used for clinical trials of it, but there was no guidance from Dr. Anthony Fauci or the NIH Treatment Guidelines Panel on what role the drug would play in the national pandemic response. Fauci seemed to be unaware that there actually was a national pandemic plan for respiratory viruses.

Following a careful regimen developed by doctors in France, some knowledgeable practicing U.S. physicians began prescribing hydroxychloroquine to patients still in the early phase of COVID infection. Its effects seemed dramatic. Patients still became sick, but for the most part they avoided hospitalization. In contrast --- and in error -- the NIH-funded studies somehow became focused on giving hydroxychloroquine to late-presenting hospitalized patients. This was in spite of the fact that unlike the drug’s early use in ambulatory patients, there was no real data to support the drug’s use in more severe hospitalized patients.

By April, it was clear that roughly seven days from the time of the first onset of symptoms, a COVID-19 infection could sometimes progress into a more radical late phase of severe disease with inflammation of the blood vessels in the body and immune system over-reactions. Many patients developed blood clots in their lungs and needed mechanical ventilation. Some needed kidney dialysis. In light of this pathological carnage, no antiviral drug could be expected to show much of an effect during this severe second stage of COVID.

On April 6, 2020, an international team of medical experts published an extensive study of hydroxychloroquine in more than 130,000 patients with connective tissue disorders. They reaffirmed that hydroxychloroquine was a safe drug with no serious side effects. The drug could safely be given to pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers. Consequently, countries such as China, Turkey, South Korea, India, Morocco, Algeria, and others began to use hydroxychloroquine widely and early in their national pandemic response. Doctors overseas were safely prescribing the drug based on clinical signs and symptoms because widespread testing was not available.

However, the NIH promoted a much different strategy for the United States. The “Fauci Strategy” was to keep early infected patients quarantined at home without treatment until they developed a shortness of breath and had to be admitted to a hospital. Then they would they be given hydroxychloroquine. The Food and Drug Administration cluelessly agreed to this doctrine and it stated in its hydroxychloroquine Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) that “hospitalized patients were likely to have a greater prospect of benefit (compared to ambulatory patients with mild illness).”

In reality just the opposite was true. This was a tragic mistake by Fauci and FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn and it was a mistake that would cost the lives of thousands of Americans in the days to come.

At the same time, accumulating data showed remarkable results if hydroxychloroquine were given to patients early, during a seven-day window from the time of first symptom onset. If given during this window, most infections did not progress into the severe, lethal second stage of the disease. Patients still got sick, but they avoided hospitalization or the later transfer to an intensive care unit. In mid-April a high-level memo was sent to the FDA alerting them to the fact that the best use for hydroxychloroquine was for its early use in still ambulatory COVID patients. These patients were quarantined at home but were not short of breath and did not yet require supplemental oxygen and hospitalization.  

Failing to understand that COVID-19 could be a two-stage disease process, the FDA ignored the memo and, as previously mentioned, it withdrew its EUA for hydroxychloroquine based on flawed studies and clinical trials that were applicable only to late-stage COVID patients.

By now, however, some countries had already implemented early, aggressive, outpatient community treatment with hydroxychloroquine and within weeks were able to minimize their COVID deaths and bring their national pandemic under some degree of control.

In countries such as Great Britain and the United States, where the “Fauci-Hahn Strategy” was followed, there was a much higher death rate and an ever-increasing number of cases. COVID patients in the U.S. would continue to be quarantined at home and left untreated until they developed shortness of breath. Then they would be admitted to the hospital and given hydroxychloroquine outside the narrow window for the drug’s maximum effectiveness.

In further contrast, countries that started out with the “Fauci-Hahn Doctrine” and then later shifted their policy towards aggressive outpatient hydroxychloroquine use, after a brief lag period also saw a stunning rapid reduction in COVID mortality and hospital admissions.

Finally, several nations that had started using an aggressive early-use outpatient policy for hydroxychloroquine, including France and Switzerland, stopped this practice when the WHO temporarily withdrew its support for the drug. Five days after the publication of the fake Lancet study and the resulting media onslaught, Swiss politicians banned hydroxychloroquine use in the country from May  27 until June 11, when it was quickly reinstated.

The consequences of suddenly stopping hydroxychloroquine can be seen by examining a graph of the Case Fatality Ratio Index (nrCFR) for Switzerland. This is derived by dividing the number of daily new COVID fatalities by the new cases resolved over a period with a seven-day moving average. Looking at the evolution curve of the CFR it can be seen that during the weeks preceding the ban on hydroxychloroquine, the nrCFR index fluctuated between 3% and 5%.

Following a lag of 13 days after stopping outpatient hydroxychloroquine use, the country’s COVID-19 deaths increased four-fold and the nrCFR index stayed elevated at the highest level it had been since early in the COVID pandemic, oscillating at over 10%-15%. Early outpatient hydroxychloroquine was restarted June 11 but the four-fold “wave of excess lethality” lasted until June 22, after which the nrCFR rapidly returned to its background value. 

Here in our country, Fauci continued to ignore the ever accumulating and remarkable early-use data on hydroxychloroquine and he became focused on a new antiviral compound named remdesivir. This was an experimental drug that had to be given intravenously every day for five days. It was never suitable for major widespread outpatient or at-home use as part of a national pandemic plan. We now know now that remdesivir has no effect on overall COVID patient mortality and it costs thousands of dollars per patient.  

Hydroxychloroquine, by contrast, costs 60 cents a tablet, it can be taken at home, it fits in with the national pandemic plan for respiratory viruses, and a course of therapy simply requires swallowing three tablets in the first 24 hours followed by one tablet every 12 hours for five days.

There are now 53 studies that show positive results of hydroxychloroquine in COVID infections. There are 14 global studies that show neutral or negative results -- and 10 of them were of patients in very late stages of COVID-19, where no antiviral drug can be expected to have much effect. Of the remaining four studies, two come from the same University of Minnesota author. The other two are from the faulty Brazil paper, which should be retracted, and the fake Lancet paper, which was.

Millions of people are taking or have taken hydroxychloroquine in nations that have managed to get their national pandemic under some degree of control. Two recent, large, early-use clinical trials have been conducted by the Henry Ford Health System and at Mount Sinai showing a 51% and 47% lower mortality, respectively, in hospitalized patients given hydroxychloroquine. A recent study from Spain published on July 29, two days before Margaret Sullivan’s strafing of “fringe doctors,” shows a 66% reduction in COVID mortality in patients taking hydroxychloroquine. No serious side effects were reported in these studies and no epidemic of heartbeat abnormalities.

This is ground-shaking news. Why is it not being widely reported? Why is the American media trying to run the U.S. pandemic response with its own misinformation?

Steven Hatfill is a veteran virologist who helped establish the Rapid Hemorrhagic Fever Response Teams for the National Medical Disaster Unit in Kenya, Africa. He is an adjunct assistant professor in two departments at the George Washington University Medical Center where he teaches mass casualty medicine. He is principle author of the prophetic book “Three Seconds Until Midnight -- Preparing for the Next Pandemic,” published by Amazon in 2019.


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Commanders against Israel’s sovereignty: Look us in the eye… - Dr. Martin Sherman

by Dr. Martin Sherman

A cursory analysis of the “Commanders for Israel’s Security” plan reveals it as a political manifesto drafted by amateur politicians.

Standing guard in Judea and Samaria
Standing guard in Judea and Samaria                                                           Nati Shohat/Flash 90
It is useless for the sheep to pass resolutions in favor of vegetarianism, while the wolf remains of a different opinion. – R. Inge, dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral, 1915.

The most righteous of men cannot live in peace if his evil neighbor will not let him be– from Wilhelm Tell Act IV, Scene III, by Friedrich von Schiller, 1804.

“When somebody says they want to kill you, you should believe him.” An unnamed Holocaust survivor, commenting on the lessons he had learned from his experiences during World War II.

After several past endeavors—which have produced mixed results, ranging from the unsuccessful to total fiascoes—the organization known as Commanders for Israel Security (or CIS) has attempted to renew its assault on public opinion.

Illustrious past no license for present folly

For readers unfamiliar with the organization, CIS is a group purportedly comprising around 300 former senior IDF officers (from the rank of Brigadier-General and above) and officials with corresponding seniority in the Police and the Security Services. 

Although ostensibly “non-political”, CIS has very clear political preferences—virulently opposing any move that would entail extension of Israeli sovereignty over areas of Judea-Samaria (aka “The West Bank”) and proposing extraordinary measures to preserve the viability—however remote—of a two-state solution as a potential means for resolving conflict between Jews and Arabs over control of the Holy Land.

In recent weeks, CIS, apparently as a response to increased focus on annexation in the public debate, launched a new (copiously funded) PR campaign in English and Hebrew on social media, prominent billboards and full-page ads in the Israeli press, against any initiative to formalize Israeli control of territory across the pre-1967 Green Line.

As I have written in the past, CIS is an organization for which I would rather express respect than reproach. Indeed, I have great esteem—jointly and severally—for the huge effort and sacrifice its members have made to ensure the security of the nation and the safety of its citizens. Indeed, in the distant past, when I was considerably younger, and discernibly slimmer, some of its more vocal members dispatched me into harm’s way on operations in inhospitable environs.

That said, their illustrious past is hardly license to formulate and ferment a highly hazardous and harebrained, indeed borderline hallucinatory, scheme to handle the conflict with the Palestinian-Arabs. Indeed, it is difficult to conceive of any greater irony than that of the spectacle of scores of ex-senior security officials, who spent most their adult life defending Israel, now promoting a political initiative that will make it indefensible. 

In the interest of full disclosure, over the last few years, I have written several harsh critiques of CIS’s patently preposterous potpourri of poppycock, liberally peppered with internal contradictions and blatant non-sequiturs—see:
Goofy generals galore ;
My saddest column ever - Selling surrender as strategy;
My (initial) challenge to the generals – All 200 of them ;
Commanders for Israel’s (in)security: Taking security’s name in vain

Generals, gimmicks and gobbledygook;
Imbecility squared – Part 1 & Part 2;
Commanders taking the name of Israel’s security in vain

However, in the most recent CIS campaign, there is one element that is especially galling.
This is a call from CIS to a number of senior government ministers to “look us in the eye and admit that you have no idea how one-sided annexation will end.”

Although CIS was not formed until 2014, none of it constituent members ever publicly demanded—individually or collectively—that the architects of the calamitous Oslo process or the disastrous Disengagement, ever provide such a forward-looking prognosis before embarking on those moronic misadventures—even though their ruinous results were both eminently predictable, indeed even predicted.

But even more infuriating than this blatant display of disingenuous double standards, which demands 20-20 foresight as a precondition for implementation of a political initiative, is that the ominous outcome of CIS’s own perilous and preposterous “plan” (for want of a better word) are virtually a forgone and foreseeable conclusion: The inevitable conversion of the entire “West Bank” into a giant South Lebanon—which will replicate both the realities and results that still plague that hapless region. 

Indeed, only chronic myopia, moronity –or mendacity—can explain why anyone who purportedly has Israel’s interests at heart would possibly endorse and promote such a fatally flawed formula. 

After all, it requires no special acumen to foresee—indeed deduce with almost mathematical inevitability—the untoward chain of events that the CIS’s ill-omened blueprint is liable to precipitate.

Disaster in a nutshell

Two of the underlying assumptions of the CIS are (i) At present a two-state solution is not feasible and (ii) until it is, the IDF will remain deployed throughout the “West Bank”. 

Thus their plan specifically states:

“…Although there is currently no feasibility for the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel within the framework of permanent status agreement based on the principle of ‘two states for two people'…” (Page 10); 


“…The situation on the West Bank requires the continued deployment of the IDF until satisfactory security arrangements are put in place within the framework of a permanent status agreement…”(Page 11)

Those familiar with CIS’s proposal, which is nothing but a thinly veiled attempt to keep the terminally ill two-state formula on life-support, will recall that, in a nutshell, it comprises the following components:

(a) Forswearing sovereignty

Declare that Israel foregoes any claims to sovereignty over territory beyond the Security Barrier in Judea-Samaria, including East Jerusalem, and, therefore by implication admitting that some other party holds legitimate sovereign claim to it ; 

(b) Freezing construction 

Impose a freeze on all construction of residences and halt all infrastructure development in Jewish communities beyond that barrier—thus effectively dooming them to shrivel up and die; 

(c) Removal of Jewish residents.

Encourage the unilateral evacuation of all Jewish communities, located beyond the Security Barrier; 

(d) Conversion of IDF into an occupying force 

Leave the IDF in control of security throughout the entire area over which Israel renounces sovereignty –thus in a stroke, converting the IDF from a defense force into an occupying force, on territory over which Israel itself acknowledges that others have legitimate sovereign claims.

(e) Open-ended occupation

CIS envisages this IDF deployment continuing until some yet-to-be-identified Palestinian peace-partner emerges—sufficiently pliant to reach an agreement to accommodate Israeli security concerns, yet sufficiently authoritative to enforce its terms on a potentially recalcitrant population.

Pernicious & Puerile

As mentioned, the purported “rationale” for this policy prescription is to preserve the viability of the two-state principle for resolving the conflict with the Palestinian-Arabs, something which CIS acknowledges is not feasible at the moment—as no prospective partner with the adequate pliancy-cum-authority can be identified.

This obsessive adherence to a hopelessly failed political paradigm creates patently perilous pitfalls, clearly visible to all but those blinded by political bias. 

Indeed, it is a prescription that is, at once, pernicious — because of the predictably calamitous consequences it will precipitate — and puerile — because of the naive hope that it will not…

After all, by advocating ongoing and indeterminate Israeli military presence in territory, over which Israel concedes it has no sovereign claims(thus implying that others do), CIS not only recommends labelling the IDF an occupying force rather than a defense force; but is, in effect, endorsing the replication of the selfsame conditions that prevailed in pre-2000 South Lebanon—where Israel’s armed forces were deployed in territory to which Israel laid no sovereign claims, and in which there was no Israeli civilian presence.

Accordingly, there is little reason to believe this will not precipitate the selfsame results—a hasty and humiliating unilateral retreat without any final status agreement or even agreed security arrangements. 

Ensnaring the IDF into open ended “occupation”

The path leading to this grim outcome is not difficult to foresee.

After all, all the Palestinian-Arabs need to do to ensnare the IDF in an open-ended “occupation” is…well, nothing. 

All they need to do is to wait for the IDF to become caught up in what will inevitably become the “West Bank mud” (much akin to the “Lebanese mud”), an easy target for guerilla/terror attacks by a hostile population, backed –in all likelihood—by armed Palestinian security services (which, unsurprisingly, CIS does not recommend dismantling).

Soon, a combination of mounting domestic and international pressure will build up for the IDF to withdraw—similar to that which precipitated the precipitous IDF pullout from South Lebanon. On the domestic front, recurring IDF casualties in a “foreign land” will result in incessant calls to “bring our boys back home”. On the international front, increasing impatience with open-ended “occupation” will create growing demands for the removal of Israeli troops. Eventually, continued IDF deployment will no longer be tenable and evacuation become inevitable—without any adequate political settlement or sustainable security arrangements.

But, even in the unlikely event that some Palestinian-Arab partner could be located, who would, in good faith, agree to conclude a permanent status agreement and implement acceptable security arrangements allowing the IDF to evacuate Judea-Samaria, the CIS prescription is no less risk-fraught. 

After all, how could Israel ensure this agreement will be honored and these arrangements maintained over time?

Clearly it could not! 

A change of heart or a change of regime?

Indeed, once the IDF withdraws, Israel has no way of preventing its Palestinian cosignatories from reneging on their commitments — whether of their own volition, due to a change of heart, or under duress from extremist adversaries.

Even more to the point, barring gross interference in intra-Palestinian politics, Israel has no way to ensure that their pliant partner will not be replaced — whether by bullet or ballot—by far more inimical successors, probably generously supported by foreign regimes, who repudiate their predecessors’ peaceable pledges.

Indeed, it is more than likely that it would be precisely the “perfidious” deal struck with the “nefarious Zionist entity” that would be invoked as justification for the regime-change. 

Accordingly, no matter which of these outcomes — a change of heart or a change of regime — emerges in practice, Israel is likely to be confronted with a situation where it no longer has security control in Judea-Samaria and a hostile regime perched on the hills dominating the coastal megalopolis — overlooking its only international airport, adjacent to its major population centers and abutting principal transportation axes.

In the face of all this undeniable risk, it is difficult to fathom the military logic, which CIS calls on to contend with such political uncertainty.

Triumph of naïve optimism over bitter experience?

Indeed, if the IDF withdraws from the highlands of Judea-Samaria to redeploy within the route of the Security Barrier, which largely approximates the pre-1967 Green Line, this would in fact entail a violation of a host of cardinal military principles.

For example, it would entail:
- Exchanging a short, straight frontier of around 100 km, relatively removed from large urban population centers and commercial hubs for a long, contorted frontier of around 500 km or more, virtually adjacent to major concentrations of civilian populations and economic activity/infrastructures 

- Exchanging overwhelming topographical superiority for perilous topographical inferiority 

- Exchanging minimal strategic depth for the deployment of the IDF for no strategic depth whatsoever.

- Exchanging the advantage of interior lines for the disadvantage of exterior ones.

Thus, should post-final status agreement conditions deteriorate, Israel would find itself, militarily (the field in which CIS claims indisputable expertise) in a situation significantly worse than that prior to the agreement.

This is hardly a scenario that is preposterously implausible or excessively pessimistic. After all, it was Noble Laureate Shimon Peres, the principal Israeli protagonist in the Oslo process, who once warned: “The major issue is not [attaining] an agreement, but ensuring the actual implementation of the agreement in practice. The number of agreements which the Arabs have violated is no less than number which they have kept”. (Tomorrow is Now, Jerusalem: Keter, (Hebrew) 1978, p. 255).

Seen in this light, the CIS plan seems very much like the triumph of naïve optimism over bitter experience. 

A political manifesto, not a security plan

Indeed, even a cursory analysis of the CIS plan will reveal that it is not a security plan composed by military experts, but a political manifesto drafted by amateur politicians. Significantly , the “plan” deals very sparsely with military matters (which are CIS’s area of expertise) and focuses a great deal on civilian ones (which are not).

Thus, with regard to the “West Bank” and East Jerusalem, virtually all the CIS recommendations refer to beefing up security arrangements along the Security Barrier and crossing points, and completing the Barrier where gaps exist (page 22). By contrast, CIS enumerates a myriad of civilian issues (pages 24-5), which Israel is called upon to address. These include:

  • Addressing the lack of building permits for the growing Palestinian population in Area C
  • Spurring agricultural development in the West Bank
  • Easing restrictions on the transport and export of goods
  • Removing impediments to economic development (Computerizing VAT and SWIFT connectivity with Palestinian banks)
  • Developing Palestinian industrial and employment zones
  • Improving transportation infrastructures
  • Supporting the establishment of another, new Palestinian city (in area C)
  • Issuing a large number of permits for work in Israel
Of course, this leaves one to puzzle not only over what expertise CIS claims in civilian administration, water management, agricultural methods, banking, taxation and so on, and how it envisions Israel being involved in all these fields if all it has on the ground across the Security Barrier is military personnel; but also over why Israel should have to be burdened with building the socio-economic foundations for a prospective independent Palestinian-Arab state—all this in absence of a viable peace process and peace partner. 

Unrealistic altruism? Condescending patronage? Or the bigotry of low expectations?

Look us in the eye…

In light of the dramatic and detrimental flaws in CIS’s political paradigm, the real call that it should engender is one directed at CIS itself :
“Look us in the eye and admit. You have a very clear idea of how your proposal will end—in disaster.” 

Dr. Martin Sherman is the founder & executive director of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies


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Ilhan Omar: ‘I Seen My Opportunities, and I Took ‘Em’ - Hugh Fitzgerald

by Hugh Fitzgerald

Ilhan Omar continues her scandalous self-dealing.

Indifferent to past criticism of her practice of using most of her campaign funds to pay her husband for political consultancy work — which effectively means to pay herself – Ilhan Omar continues her scandalous self-dealing. The story is here.
The spigot at the Minnesota Democrat campaign’s headquarters continues to flow to the E Street Group, a Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm that raked in a remarkable 77 percent of the Omar campaign’s disbursements for the first three weeks of July.
Federal Election Commission records released Thursday show that the E Street Group received $606,000 from Omar’s campaign during that period.
The E Street Group is run by Tim Mynett, Omar’s third husband….
You’d think that maybe Rep. Omar — a member of “the squad,” that quartet of young leftist firebrands ostensibly dedicated to tearing down the kind of moneyed Washington scotch-quaffing establishment that enriches itself by operating on the fringes of the rulebook — might have flipped through the Justice Democrats Rolodex and found any other left-leaning consultancy group to handle the kind of amorphous things Omar’s campaign is paying the E Street Group to do.
After all, there are plenty of firms in Washington that are set up to handle “digital consulting,” “fundraising consulting” and “mail production and postage” — three things the Omar campaign paid the E Street Group to do in July — that aren’t run by people who enjoy intimate relations with the candidate….
Omar’s spent a total of $1.6 million with Mynett’s firm this election cycle. Your campaign donations to Omar, in other words, are going directly into her husband’s firm.
That’s almost half of the $3.4 million she’s spent this election cycle, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
This is technically legal, by the way….
Attorney Antone Melton-Meaux has made news by outraising Omar in the race; he managed to rake in $3.2 million last quarter, six times what Omar did.
Melton-Meaux is unlikely to win — according to Newsweek, recent polling has him down 66 percent to 29 percent. However, anything short of the kind of beatdown major college football programs put on the sad-sack third-rate teams they schedule for homecoming is going to look like a dent to Omar’s national profile, proof to many in the media and Democratic establishment she’s too divisive for prime time.
It also didn’t help that Melton-Meaux was the genesis of a massive unforced error for the Omar campaign when they put out a mailer criticizing her challenger’s prominent fundraisers. It named four of them: three Jewish executives and “Michael, a donor from Scarsdale, New York.” (For those of you unfamiliar with the New York City area, Scarsdale is a wealthy, heavily Jewish suburb.)
It’s unclear whether the E Street Group was responsible for the mailer, but maybe a more, say, assiduous outside consultancy might have reminded the campaign it ought to be particularly circumspect around anything regarding people of Jewish descent, given the candidate’s problematic history with anti-Semitism.
Would Ilhan Omar have cared if a political consultant – not her husband – had advised not raising any issue about Jewish contributors to her competitor’s campaign? She has ignored all previous charges about her antisemitic remarks. Why would she suddenly care now? She’s going to continue to voice her concern that for politicians who support Israel is “all about the Benjamins.”

They also might have been able to guard against a perfectly reasonable response from Melton-Meaux: Omar may have a problem with where his campaign contributions are coming from, but there are likely more voters who would be worried about where her campaign contributions are going.
Well, whatever. The point is that I don’t think Omar’s relationship with the E Street Group is about getting value for money.
No, it’s about getting as much of the campaign money contributed by donors to flow into the coffers of the E Street Group, which means Tim Mynett, which ultimately means Mrs. Mynett, a/k/a Ilhan Omar.

This relationship has been under question ever since it emerged Omar and Mynett may be sharing more than campaign strategy — and that, back in 2018, she spent most of her money with the E Street Group after the primary.
After winning the primary in the overwhelmingly Democratic Fifth Congressional District in 2018, there was little need to spend much money on her campaign – Omar was a sure winner. So why did she continue, after her primary win, to continue to funnel most of her campaign money to Mynett at his E Street group for services that were by that point largely unnecessary? She wasn’t yet his wife, but she was romantically involved with him. No doubt, she thought to herself, why not send Mynett some campaign Benjamins – lots of them — as a token of her affection and esteem?

She didn’t care then. She doesn’t seem to care now. This is going to continue as long as she’s in the seat and is legally allowed to do this. Here’s your anti-establishment outsider, progressives.
The latest outrage by the unsinkable Ilhan Omar is that of the $3.4 million in campaign funds she has spent this election cycle, almost half — $1.6 million so far – has gone to her husband’s firm, and therefore, ultimately, to her. It’s all legal – “honest graft” is the descriptive phrase. Ilhan Omar puts one in mind not of any true progressive, like Robert La Follette, but of one George W. Plunkitt, the master of corrupt politics in New York City during the Gilded Age, who famously said “I seen my opportunities, and I took ‘em.” And so has Ilhan Omar.

Hugh Fitzgerald


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