Friday, May 27, 2022

Miranda Devine analyzes Sussmann trial: Ramifications of Hillary Clinton's 'dirty trick' are momentous - Fox News Staff

 

by Fox News Staff

Devine said Hillary Clinton is at heart of Durham investigation, Sussmann trial

 

 

Fox News contributor Miranda Devine said Hillary Clinton is at the heart of the ongoing trial of Michael Sussmann as a result of John Durham's investigation. On "Fox & Friends" Thursday, Devine explained that the ramifications of Clinton's attempt to mar Trump's reputation are momentous. 

FBI LEADERSHIP WAS ‘FIRED UP’ ABOUT ALLEGED SECRET CHANNEL BETWEEN TRUMP-RUSSIAN BANK: SUSSMANN TRIAL

MIRANDA DEVINE: Susmann is [on trial for] for misleading, lying to the FBI. But really, at the heart of this is Hillary Clinton. She sanctioned, she approved this attempt to dirty up Donald Trump and paint him as an agent of the Kremlin. The ramifications of that dirty trick went on, crippled the Trump presidency, did great damage to this country, was the source of a lot of the rancor and division that we see now.

And God forbid, also was part of Putin's invasion of Ukraine and the damage that that's done to everyone in the world. So this is not a trivial issue. It may seem that the charge is small, but actually the ramifications and the report that will come from John Durham are momentous. And we should all pay very close attention to it.

WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW BELOW:

Democrats see Uvalde shooting as a political asset: Miranda Devine

Fox News Staff

Source: https://www.foxnews.com/media/miranda-devine-sussmann-trial-hillary-clinton

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Biden to the Rescue of Cuba - Humberto Fontava

 

by Humberto Fontava

Embracing a barbaric Stalinist regime.

 


“This week, White House officials announced steps to move away from the “maximum pressure” approach of sanctions and diplomatic isolation toward Cuba and Venezuela that was a centerpiece of former President Donald Trump’s Latin America strategy,” (italics mine) reports Foreign Policy ….”The new policies include allowing increased U.S. remittance flows and select U.S. travel to the island.”

"I think we've seen this song before… This is going to increase the amount of money that's going to the dictatorship." Said DeSantis  during an appearance at the University of Miami Health System’s Don Soffer Clinical Research Center….“I think people, particularly down in South Florida, understand, the minute you're sending more of this to the island, that's going right into the pocket of the Cuban dictatorship, that is not going to help the people of Cuba realize freedom,” DeSantis said.

Among the most preposterous jingles from the Castro regime’s U.S.-based agents-of-influence is the one about how U.S. hostility to the Castro regime has “historically failed” so it’s high time to “try something new” by engagement.

Given his heavy Cuban-American constituency and his many Cuban-American political colleagues and advisors (plus his sharp common-sense) Gov.  DeSantis, as shown above, knows full well that Biden’s “new” approach to Cuba is “a song we’ve seen before,” especially during the Obama terms. 

And the results of Obama’s “engagement” (surrender) to the Castro regime were precisely the ones predicted by “crackpot Cuban-American hard-liners!” (i.e. people who experienced the regime):  a wealthier Stalinist regime, more repressive at home, and more confident in its terror-sponsorship and drug-running abroad. All this was meticulously documented right here at Townhall. 

In fact, the only genuinely revolutionary Cuba policy of the past 40 years was Trump’s, by simply fully enforcing the sanctions that came to be known as the Cuba “embargo.” This was also documented here at Townhall. 

 In fact, that much cherished (and practiced) “U.S. engagement with the Castro brothers” began before the Castro brothers and Che Guevara were even in power, and has continued in fits and starts ever since. 

"Me and my staff were all Fidelistas,” boasted Robert Reynolds, the CIA's "Caribbean Desk's specialist on the Cuban Revolution" from 1957-1960. The boastful ex-honcho of the most lavishly-funded intelligence agency in human history boasted of his affection for the KGB-protégé whose lifelong craving was to nuke his homeland to a snickering Fidel Castro himself upon a visit to Cuba in 2001.)

"Everyone in the CIA and everyone at State was pro-Castro, except [Republican] ambassador Earl Smith." (CIA operative in Santiago Cuba, Robert Weicha.)

The shrewd CIA’s advice was taken, and thus January 7, 1959 marks a milestone in U.S. diplomatic history. Never before had the State Department extended diplomatic recognition to a Latin American government as quickly as they bestowed this benediction on Fidel Castro's that day.

Nothing so frantically fast had been bestowed upon "U.S.-backed" Fulgencio Batista seven years earlier. Batista had in fact been punished by a U.S. arms embargo and heavy diplomatic pressure to resign for a year. Batista was subsequently denied exile in the U.S. and not even allowed to set foot in the country that “backed" him.

In fact, during Castro's first 16 months in power, the U.S. State Department made over 10 back-channel diplomatic attempts to ascertain the cause of Castro's tantrums and further "engage" him. Argentine President Arturo Frondizi was the conduit for many of these and recounts their utter futility in his memoirs. 

Result: In July 1960, Castro's KGB-trained security forces stormed into 5,911 U.S.-owned businesses in Cuba and stole them all at Soviet gunpoint -- $2 billion was heisted from outraged U.S. businessmen and stockholders. Not that all Americans surrendered their legal and hard-earned property peacefully. Among some who resisted where Bobby Fuller, whose family farm would contribute to a Soviet-style Kolkhoze, and Howard Anderson, whose profitable Jeep dealership was coveted by Castro's henchmen. Both U.S. citizens were murdered by Castro and Che's firing squads, after torture.

In July 1961, JFK's special counsel Richard Goodwin met with Che Guevara in Uruguay and reported back to Kennedy: "Che says that Cuba wants an understanding with the U.S.; the Cubans have no intention of making an alliance with the Soviets. So we should make it clear to Castro that we want to help Cuba." (How Che managed a straight face during this conversation requires an article of its own.)

Result: Soviet Nuclear missiles, locked and loaded, in Cuba a year later -- and pointed at Goodwin and Kennedy's very homes.

In 1975, President Gerald Ford (under Kissinger's influence) allowed foreign branches and subsidiaries of U.S. companies to trade freely with Cuba and persuaded the Organization of American States to lift its sanctions. 

Result: Castro started his African invasion and tried to assassinate Ford. You read right. On March 19, the Los Angeles Times ran the headline "Cuban Link to Death Plot Probed." Both Republican candidates of the day, President Ford and Ronald Reagan, were to be taken out during the Republican National Convention. The Emiliano Zapata Unit, a Bay Area radical group linked to the Weather Underground, would make the hits. 

Jimmy Carter, in a good-will gesture, lifted U.S. travel sanctions against Cuba and was poised to open full diplomatic relations with Castro.

Result: More thousands of Cuban troops spreading Soviet terror (and poison gas) in Africa, more internal repression, and hundreds of psychopaths, killers, and perverts infiltrated the boats and shoved their way on the Mariel Boatlift. 

Ronald Reagan sent Alexander Haig to meet personally in Mexico City with Cuba's "Vice President" Carlos Raphael Rodriguez to feel him out. Then he sent diplomatic whiz Gen. Vernon Walters to Havana for a meeting with the Maximum Leader himself.

Result: Cubans practically take over Grenada, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. (But unlike the aforementioned Democrats, Reagan responded to Castro's response -- and with pretty dramatic results. (Recall the U.S. liberation of Grenada.)

President Clinton tried playing nice again in the '90s, removing travel restrictions, etc. 

Result: Three U.S. citizens and one resident who flew humanitarian flights over Florida straits (Brothers to the Rescue) murdered in cold blood by Castro’s MIGS. Cuban agent Ana Belen Montes moles her way to head of the Defense Intelligence Agency's Cuba division, resulting in the deepest and most damaging penetration of the U.S. Defense Department by an enemy agent in modern history. 

Obama outdid all of the above. And former National Security Advisor John Bolton summed up the results back in 2019: “While the last administration wanted to improve relations with the tyrants in Havana, and to convince the world that they posed no threat, the Cuban regime tightened its grip and extended its tentacles…In no uncertain terms, the Obama administration's policies toward Cuba have enabled the Cuban colonization of Venezuela today.”

By the way, some of those ex-CIA honchos are not pleased with my expose’ of their calamitous idiocies in Cuba. So they viciously maligned my books—but without actually refuting one syllable of my thoroughly footnoted quotes and findings.

 

Humberto Fontava

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2022/05/biden-rescue-cuba-humberto-fontova/

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Assassination in Tehran - Kenneth R. Timmerman

 

by Kenneth R. Timmerman

The motorcycle killers who got to the Quds Force Colonel were playing hardball.

 


Ken Timmerman’s 12th book of non-fiction, And the Rest is History: Tales of Hostages, Arms Dealers, Dirty Tricks, and Spies, will be released by Post Hill Press on Aug. 31. His website is kentimmerman.com.

The motorcycle killers who assassinated a senior Quds Force officer in Tehran on Sunday knew what they were doing.

According to Iranian media accounts, accomplices blocked the street behind the target’s car by double-parking and raising their trunk, clearing the way for the motorcycle killers who shot Colonel Hassan Sayyad Khodaei five times as he was about to drive off in his Kia Pride.

The feat was even more brazen since the Colonel’s street led directly to the Iranian parliament, one of the most secure areas of Tehran. The assassins hit Khodaei from behind in the head and the heart, blowing out both the driver and the passenger side windows of his car, according to photos subsequently released to the Iranian media.

The Iranian regime immediately blamed Israel for the assassination, referring to Khodaei as a “defender of the shrine,” a reference to Quds Force officers engaged in the fight against ISIS in Syria.

Khodaei, whose real name was Bahram, was one of three brothers who joined the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps in the 1980s and fought in the war against Iraq. All three brothers, and four more Khodaei cousins, later became officers in the elite Quds Force, Iranian sources said.

Israeli media initially identified Khodaei as a senior officer in charge of Quds Force expeditionary forces inside Syria. Subsequent reports said he was in charge of Hezbollah missile bases inside Syria, and tasked with “attacking Israeli interests and citizens abroad as deputy commander of Unit 840.”

The Israel Defense Force spokesman identified Unit 840 eighteen months ago as the Quds Force group that had been placing mines and IED’s in the Golan Heights along Israel’s border with Syria.

An Iranian source told me, Khodaei supervised deliveries to Syria of advanced targeting kits for Hezbollah missiles.

Most intriguing, however, are suggestions that Khodaei was fingered by an alleged Quds Force assassin named Mansour Rasouli, who was captured and interrogated by Mossad operatives last month.

Mossad reportedly captured Khodaei inside Iranian Kurdistan while he was en route to Turkey to assassinate three Western targets, including an Israeli consular official in Turkey. The opposition Iran International television network posted what it claimed were audio recordings of Rasouli’s confessions, where he expressed remorse over his mission.

Iranian Telegram channels said that Khodaei’s nickname was “hunter,” a reference to this alleged role in luring and attacking Israelis, Iranian dissidents, and anti-Iran regime activists overseas.

Earlier this month, the Times of Israel reported that Israel’s security service, Shin Bet, had foiled an effort by the Iranian regime to lure Israeli academics, business people, and former defense officials to Europe, to attend a phony security conference in Zurich, Switzerland.

The report showed an email, purportedly signed by a Swiss researcher named Oliver Thränart, inviting an Israeli intelligence reporter to an annual “Zurich Strategic Dialogue,” scheduled for January 14, 2022.  The email requested that the guest fill out an application form and comply with Swiss Covid-19 requirements.

I received an identical email from that same Oliver Thränart last October, inviting me to the same January 14, 2022, conference. After a couple of exchanges, Thränart droped off the radar until Christmas, when he said that the conference had been cancelled because of the Omicron variant.

I have long been targeted by the Iranian regime, as I reveal in a new memoire of my exploits as a war correspondent and investigative reporter that will be released on August 31.

Initially, the Iranians targeted me because I was investigating their clandestine nuclear weapons program – more than a decade before it was exposed to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the IAEA. Later, they attempted to lure me to phony opposition “conferences” because of my role as the founder and CEO of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran (FDI), iran.org.

Hassan Shariatmadari, the editor of the regime daily Kayhan and a IRGC brigadier general, regularly attacked FDI as a CIA-funded anti-regime organization.

In a Dec. 8, 2007 column, he absurdly claimed that FDI had a “four-layer plan” to topple the Iranian regime, led by yours truly, “who heads the Iran desk at CIA.”

In a series of articles in September 2009, Shariatmadari claimed that I was spearheading the latest wave of anti-regime demonstrations inside Iran. “While we would be happy to accept such an honor,” I replied in the name of the foundation, “neither I nor my board can take credit for such power or influence.” The full statement is here.

The most recent Shariatmadari screed dates from December 4, 2019, when he linked my alleged efforts to overthrow the regime to similar efforts by then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. “Kenneth Timmerman, former CIA member and currently director of the American Institute NED [National Endowment for Democracy], acknowledged that the CIA has not only helped the Iranian rioters with software systems, but also delivered to them the hardware.” (I have had no association with NED since 1997, and have no idea what software systems he is referring to).

This is a regime that never gives up, and that spends enormous sums of money to track its opponents and hunt them down. In the 1990s, they sent hit teams across Europe, where they assassinated more than 200 top leaders of the opposition in exile. In the 2000s and beyond, they have snatched opponents in Iraq and elsewhere and hustled them back to Tehran, where they have been summarily executed.

In a particularly egregious case, they have also enlisted the intelligence and judicial authorities of a friendly state, the Republic of Georgia, to frame a defector from Iranian intelligence who became a witness in a civil lawsuit by families of 9/11 victims against Iran. Falsely sentenced to 17 years for a crime he did not commit nor even imagine, Hamid Reza Zakeri continues to languish in a Tbilisi jail.

It's still early to know the bill of particulars that led Israel – or someone else – to assassinate a Quds Force Colonel in Tehran. But one thing is certain: the Iranians play hardball. And so do the Israelis.

 

Kenneth R. Timmerman

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2022/05/death-tehran-kenneth-r-timmerman/

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Israel Confronts Iranian Aggression and Renewed Palestinian Terror - Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser

 

by Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser

Perhaps the most disturbing issue that’s happening in Israel is the rise of Palestinian nationalistic feelings and religious Islamic feelings among Israeli Arabs.

 

Israel Confronts Iranian Aggression and Renewed Palestinian Terror
Advanced IR-6 centrifuges in the underground and hardened Natanz uranium-enrichment facility in central Iran. (Atomic Energy Organization of Iran)

Institute for Contemporary Affairs

Founded jointly with the Wechsler Family Foundation

Vol. 22, No. 13

  • The most important and most dangerous challenge for Israel is the progress in the Iranian nuclear military program. There has been a sharp increase in the pace in which the Iranians are developing their program and the pace in which they are enriching uranium.
  • The Iranians are moving very fast towards having the capability to have enough fissile material for several bombs within a very short period of time. This means Iran is deep into the area where it can be called a threshold nuclear country.
  • There is a big debate among the experts about how much time it is going to take before the Iranians have the weapon itself. Some think it’s going to take two years. I’m much more pessimistic because I think that the Iranians don’t work in a linear way to first produce the enriched uranium and then start worrying about how to turn it into a bomb.
  • While Israel doesn’t see eye-to-eye with the Americans on returning to the Iran nuclear deal, it does cooperate with the Americans on trying to convince the Iranians that moving forward is going to be dangerous. We are in the midst of a big military exercise in which Israel is cooperating with the Americans in the modeling of an attack on the Iranian nuclear facilities.
  • Israel has been facing an increase in the number of Palestinian terror attacks in the last couple of months, which have gone beyond the usual level of terrorism. This has forced Israel to launch Operation “Break the Wave” and act in ways beyond what it was doing before, mainly in the Jenin area and the northern part of Judea and Samaria.
  • Perhaps the most disturbing issue that’s happening in Israel is the rise of Palestinian nationalistic feelings and religious Islamic feelings among Israeli Arabs. The Arabs living in Israel don’t go into the streets because they have some economic difficulties. This is a very minor element in the equation.

Israel is a very strong country militarily. It knows how to defend itself and has the capabilities to do so. Nevertheless, Israel faces a number of very serious challenges.

Iran Approaches the Nuclear Threshold

The most important and most dangerous challenge for Israel is the progress in the Iranian nuclear military program. There has been a sharp increase in the pace in which the Iranians are developing their program and the pace in which they are enriching uranium. If the information provided by Minister of Defense Gantz is correct, then in the last three months they produced twice as much uranium enriched to 60% as they did in the previous three months. That means the Iranians are moving very fast towards having the capability to have enough fissile material for several bombs within a very short period of time. This means Iran is deep into the area where it can be called a threshold nuclear country.

This is a red line from an Israeli point of view. When former Prime Minister Netanyahu presented his famous drawing in the UN General Assembly in 2012, he spoke about 250 kilograms of 20%-enriched uranium in the hands of the Iranians as a red line. We are far beyond that red line. Moreover, the Iranians used the time of the negotiations in Vienna in order to accumulate more and more uranium enriched to high levels.

There is a big debate among the experts about how much time it is going to take before the Iranians have the weapon itself. Some think it’s going to take them two years. I’m much more pessimistic about it and much more skeptical because I think that the Iranians don’t work in a linear way to first produce the enriched uranium and then start worrying about how to make it into a bomb.

We know they are making progress in the technological sphere.

Ali Akbar Salehi and Hassan Rouhani
Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, shows former Iranian President Hassan Rouhani models of nuclear centrifuges, April 9, 2019 (Iranian President’s Office)

Remember, we don’t have any answers from the Iranians about all the open questions regarding the potential military dimensions of their program before they entered the JCPOA.

And we definitely don’t have any answers about the new revelations that Israel brought to the table once it took the information from the nuclear archives in Tehran in 2018, in spite of the efforts of the International Atomic Energy Agency to convince the Iranians to cooperate. But there are four sites that were exposed just because Israel brought in this archive. At a couple of them, anthropogenic traces of uranium were found and the Iranians haven’t explained the source of this uranium or provided information about where this uranium is now and how much there is.

We have to assume that the Iranians have done all kinds of experiments with this uranium in order to shorten the time necessary for them to move from having 90%-enriched uranium at a military grade to having the capability to produce a bomb.

Moreover, they have recently produced uranium metal and they possess a lot of missiles that can carry nuclear warheads. So we should be very worried about the nuclear program.

Unfortunately, although Israel and the United States share a commitment not to allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon, they still do not agree about the way to move in that direction.

The Americans are still interested in bringing Iran back to the JCPOA, which will only gain something like two years, but will allow the Iranians to make legitimate progress towards having any number of nuclear weapons they choose to have within less than nine years. To our mind here in Israel, this is ridiculous and extremely dangerous, and we don’t see eye-to-eye with the Americans on this matter.

At the same time, Israel does cooperate with the Americans on trying to convince the Iranians that moving forward is going to be dangerous. Both are in the midst of a big military exercise in which they cooperate in the modeling of an attack on the Iranian nuclear facilities, which is a message to Iran: “Be careful. Don’t move from where you are toward having fissile material and producing 90%-enriched uranium,” which is something Israel and the Americans both don’t want to see happen.

Although the Iranians could have had a nuclear weapon long ago, Israel and the U.S. managed to postpone that by more than 15 years. But this is not good enough. We haven’t managed to stop it altogether. This is something that at a certain point we might have to do, and this time is becoming closer and closer. We don’t have all the time in the world before we will have to take steps that are decisive in this context. The pace with which the Iranians are now moving towards having the capability to produce nuclear weapons is much faster than it used to be in the past.

What we would like to see now is more pressure on Iran that would stop it from moving forward and clarifying to Iran that if they do, there is a plan B that would make the price of moving forward too high for the regime. That’s what needs to be done, not going back to the JCPOA way, which guarantees them everything they want in a few years. That’s not kicking the can down the road. With every kick that you give to the can, it becomes bigger and more explosive. That’s why Israel keeps saying we are not going to be a part of the JCPOA. We will take the necessary steps to protect ourselves and to prevent Iran from having the capability to produce nuclear weapons.

Countering Iran on Israel’s Northern Border

The other element that we have to worry about when we talk about Iran is the ongoing effort of the Iranians to entrench their forces in Syria and turn Syria into a base from which they can operate against Israel, and at the same time deliver advanced weaponry to Hizbullah in Lebanon. This would allow them to have precision-guided munitions. That is something that Israel has been working every day to prevent with our efforts to hit Iranian targets and Iranian shipments of arms to Hizbullah. Fortunately, in Syria we have developed rules of engagement that allow us to operate there with only limited repercussions.

HaniyehatAlAqsa
A painting posted by Iran’s Supreme Leader Khamenei showing “Jerusalem’s liberators” on the Id al-Fitr holiday. Hamas’ Ismael Haniyeh is in the first row, second from the right, between Hizbullah’s Hassan Nasrallah and, presumably, Palestinian Imam Ekrima Sabri, the former grand mufti of Jerusalem. Behind Nasrallah is Ziad Nakhala, head of Palestinian Islamic Jihad. They stand beneath a heavenly cloud in the shape of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani.

Meanwhile, the Iranians have managed to make progress in strengthening their allies, but they have done it much slower than they wished because of our activities. We have to worry about escalation with Hizbullah, which has up to 150,000 rockets and operates advanced UAVs. And it’s not only Hizbullah. Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad are also receiving Iranian support to improve their military capabilities. They are boasting about it all the time.

Just imagine what’s going to happen if the Iranians reenter the JCPOA and get all the money that awaits them – tens of billions of dollars if they rejoin the nuclear deal. We are very concerned about that. We realize that everything we do in this “campaign between wars” is important in slowing down the Iranians’ progress, but will not succeed in blocking and stopping it altogether.

The Palestinian Conflict

The Palestinians understand that Israel is not willing to use force in order to rearrange the situation, especially not to use it against Gaza. We saw this in Operation “Guardian of the Walls” in May 2021, where the option of taking really severe measures against Hamas was not on the agenda for Israel.

At the same time, Israel is committed to strengthening the Palestinian Authority, while the Palestinian Authority operates against Israel in many fields: paying salaries to terrorists for carrying out attacks against Israelis, inciting against Israel, and operating against Israel in international fora, the International Criminal Court and elsewhere.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Israel has been facing an increase in the number of Palestinian terror attacks in the last couple of months, which have gone beyond the usual level of terrorism that nobody counts, which includes stone-throwing and firebombing. These have taken place in areas inside the Green Line, and this has had a very important impact on the sense of security of Israelis. It forced Israel to act in ways beyond what it was doing before.

Israel embarked on Operation “Break the Wave,” which is being carried out mainly in the Jenin area and the northern part of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank). It is in this context that the reporter from Al-Jazeera lost her life. The Palestinians take advantage of this death in order to wage a campaign of delegitimization against Israel in the international arena.

In Gaza, the Hamas leadership is heating up the situation by making all kinds of threats. My reading is that they do not mean to put Gaza in harm’s way. The situation there is still very problematic from their point of view.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Khamenei embraces Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Khamenei embraces Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.

They haven’t reconstructed the damage done in the war last year. Israel is giving Gazans more permits than ever to work in Israel. So there is resentment within these Gaza citizens to see another war emerging. Hamas would prefer to see the situation somehow kept within the confines of Jerusalem and the Israeli Arabs and Judea and Samaria, where they would like to see more terrorists coming from there and not involving them directly.

Yes, they have the capability. They have the option if they wish to. And they are working very hard to gain greater capabilities. But I don’t think they are very eager to resume the war in Gaza. That said, an escalation can happen.

We have to be prepared for doing that. Because this feeling of Hamas that Israel is not going to really take measures against it makes Hamas much more self-confident and allows it to come up with more extreme threats against Israel.

By allowing more than 10,000 people to work in Israel, we ease the pressures in Gaza considerably. We also allow more than 100,000 Palestinians from Judea and Samaria to work in Israel.

Perhaps the most disturbing issue that’s happening in Israel is the rise of Palestinian nationalistic feelings and religious Islamic feelings among the Israeli Arabs. The Arabs living in Israel don’t go into the streets because they have some economic difficulties. This is a very minor element in the equation. We are now thinking about establishing a National Guard in Israel that would be more capable to deal with this matter.

The International Effort to Demonize Israel

The campaign being waged in the wake of the death of the Al-Jazeera reporter highlights an additional area in which we are challenged, the international effort to demonize and to delegitimize Israel. We see that not only by the activities of both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas and its allies, but also in the activities of many radical left-wing groups around the world that try to demonize Israel.

Pro-Palestinian demonstration in New York CIty
(Screenshot/Talk Radio News Service/YouTube)

We are most concerned in this respect with what’s going on in the United States, because voices coming from the extreme left wing of the Democratic Party are trying to question the special relationship between Israel and the United States, which is a very important element in our national security. So we have to make sure that this relationship is maintained and we have to take steps to assure this right now.

So altogether, all of these elements form a very challenging environment for Israel.

* * *

This Jerusalem Issue Brief is based on his live on-line briefing to the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) on May 24, 2022.

 

Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser is Director of the Project on Regional Middle East Developments at the Jerusalem Center. He was formerly Director General of the Israel Ministry of Strategic Affairs and head of the Research Division of IDF Military Intelligence.

Source: https://jcpa.org/article/israel-confronts-iranian-aggression-and-renewed-palestinian-terror/

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Bush Terror Plot Shows Why Iraq Travel Ban Was Needed - Daniel Greenfield

 

by Daniel Greenfield

Iraq, a playground for ISIS and Iran, is the poster boy for a travel ban

 


A travel ban from Islamic terror states made a lot of sense. It just didn't go far enough. As this latest case shows.

An Iraqi citizen living in Columbus, Ohio, has been charged federally with an immigration crime and with aiding and abetting a plot to murder former United States President George W. Bush.

Shihab Ahmed Shihab Shihab, 52, was arrested by FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force agents this morning and appeared in federal court here at 2:30pm. His case was unsealed at that time.

Shihab originally entered the United States in September 2020 on a visitor visa, and in March 2021, he filed a claim for asylum with United States citizenship, which is pending review. He lived in both Columbus, Ohio, and Indianapolis and worked at markets and restaurants in both cities.

Shihab Shihab, so amazing they named him three times.

The triple Shihab entered the United States on September 2020. While Trump's Executive Order 13780 was in effect until Biden revoked it on taking office in 2021, it was inferior to trump's original Executive Order 13769 or the so-called "Muslim ban" in a number of ways. And while 13769 was tossed aside mostly due to legal challenges, that was not the case with the Iraq part of it.

Iraq was removed from a revised version of an executive order banning travel from certain Muslim-majority countries after intensive lobbying from the Iraqi government at the highest levels, a senior US official told CNN Monday.

The pressure from the Iraq officials included a phone call between Trump and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on February 10 and an in-person conversation between Abadi and Vice President Mike Pence in Munich on February 18.

Those conversations were followed by discussions between Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and members of the Iraqi government about vetting measures in place that would prevent suspected terrorists from leaving Iraq and coming to the United States.

Tillerson described his efforts in public remarks Monday after the new order had been signed.

“Iraq is an important ally in the fight to defeat ISIS, with their brave soldiers fighting in close coordination with America’s men and women in uniform,” he said. “This intense review over the past month identified multiple security measures that the State Department and the government of Iraq will be implementing to achieve our shared objective of preventing those with criminal or terrorist intent from reaching the United States.”

We can see how that worked out.

Iraq, a playground for ISIS and Iran, is the poster boy for a travel ban.

 

Daniel Greenfield

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/point/2022/05/bush-terror-plot-shows-why-iraq-travel-ban-was-daniel-greenfield/

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Bowing to Hezbollah - Ari Lieberman

 

by Ari Lieberman

The anti-Hezbollah coalition wins Lebanon’s elections. But how much does it change?

 


On May 15, Lebanon held parliamentary elections the results of which saw Hezbollah, and its political allies lose their parliamentary majority. Hezbollah’s parliamentary bloc dropped from 71 to 62 seats in 128-seat parliament. The Christian Lebanese Forces party headed by Samir Geagea emerged as the clear winner, securing 19 seats, making the Lebanese Forces party the largest Christian party in parliament. Geagea is stridently anti-Hezbollah.

Sixty-five seats are required to form a parliamentary majority. But even if the anti-Hezbollah bloc secures a parliamentary majority, it is a virtual certainty that the political gridlock and dysfunction plaguing the country will remain. This is because the favorable outcome of the elections has changed nothing on the ground, where the Iran-backed Hezbollah continues to remain the dominant military power in Lebanon and can enforce its dictates when and where it pleases.

Hezbollah receives approximately $700 million in military and financial assistance from the Islamic Republic, this at a time when ordinary Iranians are struggling financially, with many unable to feed their families. Hezbollah supplements its revenue intake by engaging in drug trafficking and money laundering for drug cartels and corrupt governments. Venezuela’s Maduro-led government maintains close ties with Hezbollah and is partners with the terror group’s transnational organized crime ventures.

Hezbollah’s formidable militia dwarfs the Lebanese Armed Forces, maintaining military capabilities far superior to those of the LAF. Despite a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for the disarmament of all militias and armed groups in Lebanon, Hezbollah continues to operate openly and with impunity, in flagrant disregard of international law.

The LAF has rarely, if ever, attempted to interfere with Hezbollah operations. This is because the LAF is fragmented along sectarian lines and has been thoroughly penetrated by Hezbollah. Hezbollah has been known to pilfer weapons from LAF stocks. In addition, the LAF has often acted as an auxiliary force for Hezbollah, securing Hezbollah’s rearguard as it moved large quantities of men and material to and from Syria during Syria’s civil war.

In 2008, the Lebanese government attempted to assert itself against Hezbollah but a strong showing of military power by Hezbollah in the streets of Beirut forced the Lebanese government to back down, while the LAF stood by helplessly. Cowardice, incompetence, corruption, and sectarianism have collectively taken their toll on the LAF rendering it incapable of securing Lebanon’s sovereignty against the cancerous reach of the Mullah Entity.

Lebanon is a failed state in every respect. It has no independent foreign policy. All decisions of import are decided by Hezbollah, which of course, takes its cues from Iran. In July 2006 Hezbollah, without consulting with the Lebanese government, sparked a month-long war with Israel which devastated Lebanon. Hezbollah maintains its own telecommunications infrastructure and controls Lebanon’s main ports of entry. This allows the terrorist organization to engage in arms and drug trafficking schemes away from prying eyes and ears.

Lebanon’s economy is in a death spiral. It has defaulted on its foreign debt and the Lebanese Lira has lost over 95 percent of what it was worth in late 2019, making it virtually worthless. Lebanese have watched helplessly as rampant hyper-inflation has wiped out their life-long savings.  

Piles of garbage remain uncollected on the streets. Electricity is sporadic, at best. Gasoline shortages are rampant. Gas stations are often closed and when they’re open, motorists must endure hours-long wait times on endless lines to secure a few gallons. In the meantime, Hezbollah has imported sanctioned petrol from Iran, usurping Lebanon’s energy authority.

Lebanon’s judiciary is thoroughly corrupt and dysfunctional. On August 4, 2020, 2,750 tons of negligently stored ammonium nitrate at Beirut’s port exploded killing approximately 215 people and injuring an estimated 6,000. Property damage neared $15 billion and an estimated 300,000 people were made homeless by the blast. Various judges tasked with investigating the disaster were thwarted in their efforts by Hezbollah, which correctly feared that they would be blamed. Hezbollah controls Lebanon’s ports and has been known to store its military hardware there. In addition, Hezbollah operatives have been known to use ammonium nitrate, a potential bomb-making ingredient. It is therefore logical to assume that at the very least, Hezbollah was aware of the presence of such volatile material at the port and probably siphoned off some of the stockpile for its own uses. Yet two years later, thanks to Hezbollah’s meddling, there has been virtually no progress in the investigation even though all fingers point to at least some Hezbollah culpability.

In an article published in the Wall Street Journal, Lebanese analyst Hanin Ghaddar insightfully pointed out that Hezbollah used to be considered a state within the Lebanese state. Today, it is Lebanon that is a small state within the Hezbollah state. Truer words have not been spoken. For all intents and purposes, Lebanon no longer exists as a sovereign independent state. It is an entity that has been subsumed by Hezbollah and by extension, that alien, malevolent force from the east, the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Despite Hezbollah’s electoral setback, Lebanon’s parliamentary elections have changed nothing. They merely provide the façade of a functioning state, giving Hezbollah the political cover necessary to continue with its malign activities. Until Hezbollah is fully dismantled, Lebanon will continue to remain a failed state no matter how many elections are held. 

 

Ari Lieberman

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2022/05/bowing-hezbollah-ari-lieberman/

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Is the COVID Pandemic about to Get Ugly? - George W. Ford

 

by George W. Ford

Geert Vanden Bossche predicted omicron. Now he's predicting something far worse.

For a pandemic to be brought under control, a sufficient part of the population needs to acquire sterilizing immunity so that transmission among individuals can be minimized and herd immunity of the whole population can be achieved.  COVID mass vaccinations have been a medical disaster in the U.S. and many other countries because the vaccines allow high levels of transmission of the virus and block our innate and naturally acquired immunity.  As a result of this high level of COVID infection spread, the current lull in virulence (severe outcomes and deaths) will soon skyrocket to levels far higher than in 2020.

This warning that the pandemic is "far from over" comes from Geert Vanden Bossche, a well-known vaccinologist based in Belgium who has been ringing alarm bells for over a year.

Geert is not alone in coming to this conclusion, but he is one of the few prominent researchers speaking out.  Many research papers came to this conclusion more than a year ago.  Geert refers to one such paper, "Risk of rapid evolutionary escape from vaccines targeting Sars-CoV-2 spike protein":

The spike protein RBD [receptor binding domain] of Sars cov2 is the molecular target for many vaccines aimed at bringing the virus under control. Such a narrow molecular focus raises the specter of viral immune evasion as a potential failure mode.

In this context, vaccines that do not provide sterilizing immunity (and therefore continue to permit transmission) will lead to a buildup of large standing populations of virus, greatly increasing the risk of immune escape.

Early last year, Geert sent a video message to the World Health Organization about his urgent concerns regarding mass vaccinations.  His plea was to "open the scientific debate on how human interventions are currently driving viral immune escape."  He called the mass vaccinations a "colossal blunder."  He called for "devising a strategy ... to eradicate the steadily emerging highly infectious variants."

Geert has been particularly alarmed by the vaccination of the young, who have the best innate immune systems, which normally act as a sponge, or drain, for the entire population to rid itself of a pandemic.  In his view, it is the superior strength of the innate immune systems in children, with their ability to neutralize the virus, that helps to enable the population to achieve herd immunity.  But by injecting vaccinal antibodies into young people, Geert is warning that we are in effect replacing neutralizing antibodies with non-neutralizing antibodies:

Can you imagine what this would mean if you suppress the innate immunity of young people on a permanent basis?  Because that is exactly what we will do if we vaccinate the young.  These people will have their innate antibodies completely suppressed, and their acquired antibodies from the vaccines will be completely worthless[.] ... It will prevent the population from ever achieving herd immunity.

Geert publishes on Substack.  Among his many interviews are two long-form interviews on The HighWire with Del Bigtree (Nov. 18, 2021, here and May 6, 2022, here).

In his November 2021 interview with Del Bigtree, Geert predicted that the delta variant, which had already been infecting the vaccinated, would soon be replaced by a new variant, which would have transmission immunity from the vaccine and may even enhance that transmission.  It turns out that Geert was correct.  The next month, omicron appeared.  This new variant is more transmissible than delta, and in his opinion, infections seem to be just as or more prevalent in the fully vaccinated and can reinfect recovered patients, as he predicted.

In the May 2022 interview, Geert, who predicted the omicron family of viruses accurately, is now predicting that a new type of variant is right around the corner — a variant that not only will allow transmission of the virus but will be far more virulent than omicron.  He told Del, "The pandemic is anything but over."

His thesis is that a mass vaccination that allows the virus to escape places pressure on the virus to become more transmissible, following natural selection of the fittest.  Since many in the population are in the same situation, meaning they are vaxxed and the vax is putting immune pressure on the virus in similar ways, the fittest mutant virus (fittest in transmission) ultimately becomes the dominant variant in the population.

But it is the second phase of viral mutation that most concerns Geert.  Now that it has become highly transmissible, the virus is working on the next step of the viral attack: virulence.  Geert predicts that the combination of a non-sterilizing vaccine and the mutating virus will lead to both high infectiousness and a much higher level of severe disease and death.

He describes the science behind his belief in the May 2022 interview.  While that science is not easy to understand, it could be described as follows: the same factor that is making the virus highly transmissible in the nose and throat area is also blocking the transfer of the disease among cells in the lower respiratory area, which is where severe disease occurs.  Geert believes that the virus mutations are hard at work in overcoming that obstacle in the lungs.  He believes that the virus has experienced massive pressure to mutate in such a way as to cause severe respiratory disease and predicts that this will happen in a matter of weeks.

The overall message that this scientist is sending might be that we are at war not only with a mutating virus, but with a complex interplay among a mutating virus, population segments that have well functioning innate and natural immunity, and population segments (most of the population) that carry vaccinal antibodies that do not neutralize the virus.  This is uncharted territory, and the discussion is made difficult by scientific complexities that are not easy to understand.

It is worth listening to Geert's voice because he takes the time to explain his point of view and looks at different aspects of science — vaccinology, virology, immunology, and evolutionary biology.  Geert's thinking takes time to understand, but it is a good antidote to the confusion generated by COVID news.

Image: qimono via Pixabay, Pixabay License.

 

George W. Ford

Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2022/05/prominent_vaccinologist_says_covid_pandemic_is_about_to_get_ugly.html

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How The Biden Administration Is Getting Erdoğan's Moves All Wrong - Burak Bekdil

 

by Burak Bekdil

Erdoğan has long been playing the old oriental carpet-selling game: pitting potential buyers against each other to get the best price -- Turkey is hoping to be sold to the highest bidder.

  • After Russia's invasion of Ukraine, when every sane country is staying away from wiring even a few cents to Russia, NATO "ally" Turkey is still talking about buying a second S-400 system.

  • The result? The U.S. is further appeasing [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan.

  • Erdoğan has long been playing the old oriental carpet-selling game: pitting potential buyers against each other to get the best price -- Turkey is hoping to be sold to the highest bidder.

  • The West's appeasement will just further embolden Erdoğan to keep blackmailing it: If you do not sell me F-35s or F-16s, I will buy fighter jets from Russia. Erdoğan then turns to Putin: I am your man in NATO. If you do not want me to be a real NATO ally, you must give me something. Erdoğan's double-play has to be stopped. For that, is needed a determined Western bloc who will remind him that he will not get what he wants from his (theoretical) allies in the West by blackmailing them.

The West's appeasement will, unfortunately, only embolden Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and push him further into the Russian orbit, both politically as a covert ally and militarily as a client of critical weapons systems. Pictured: Erdoğan holds a press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin on October 22, 2019 in Sochi, Russia. (Image source: kremlin.ru)

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has revived an old, outdated, near-defunct concept: a Western habit of overrating Turkey's "geo-political importance." Totally blind to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's anti-Western policy calculus, the Biden administration is pushing Turkey's Islamist strongman into further stealth hostility toward the civilized parts of the world.

"For better or for worse, Turkey is a NATO ally and will remain so. After Russia's invasion of Ukraine, global politics are rapidly evolving in an unpredictable direction. The U.S. has, therefore, an interest in Turkey maintaining a robust air force," wrote Henri J. Barkey, a professor of international relations at Lehigh University. Ironically, Turkish court indictments mention Barkey, a former member of the U.S. state department's policy planning staff, as the key CIA operative behind the failed coup against Erdoğan's government in July 2016. Barkey, in Turkey, is a wanted man.

The West can clearly see Turkey's "unhelpful" behavior -- as it sees that of many countries -- but shrugs it off.

Turkey, in response to the military operation in Ukraine, abstained from voting on suspending Russia's membership in the Strasbourg-based Council of Europe, the West shrugged it off.

As Western governments targeted Roman Abramovich and several other Russian oligarchs with sanctions to isolate Putin and his allies, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said that "Russian oligarchs are welcome in Turkey."

Russia keeps using Turkish airspace as freely as if it had never invaded Ukraine.

More recently, Erdoğan's government said that it will not back Washington's plans to create special NATO deployment forces in the Black Sea region to contain Russia. The idea was proposed last year by U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, involving the Black Sea's littoral countries that are NATO members: Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria. "Turkey seeks to use diplomatic avenues outside the Montreux Convention and persuasion to keep NATO allies away from the Black Sea," news reports quoted Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar as saying.

More recently, Turkey's leading defense procurement official, Undersecretary of Defense Ismail Demir, said that the purchase of a second batch of the Russian-made S-400 surface-to-air missiles was on the agenda:

"Turkey has been thinking and moving [for the second batch] and is adamant that it will buy the second system, no matter what America says, Turkey continues to apply the same decision that was made at the beginning [of the process to buy Russia's] S-400s."

In 2019, Turkey announced that it would become the first NATO ally to deploy a Russian-made air and anti-missile defense system, against NATO rules, which require all members to use the same weapons systems. Turkey paid $2.5 billion for the S-400s. The move cost Turkey suspension of its membership in the U.S.-led, multinational, F-35 fighter jet program.

Turkey has also been targeted by the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). With that $2.5 billion already in Russian coffers, Turkey, fearing further U.S. sanctions, has been unable to unpack and deploy the S-400s. This dust-up with the U.S. took place before Russia invaded Ukraine. After Russia's invasion of Ukraine, when every sane country is staying away from wiring even a few cents to Russia, NATO "ally" Turkey is still talking about buying a second S-400 system.

The result? The U.S. is further appeasing Erdoğan.

In January, U.S. President Joe Biden surprised EastMed pipeline partners Israel, Greece and Cyprus by abruptly withdrawing U.S. support for the pipeline, thereby preventing a diversified energy supply to Europe, and further assuring even greater oil revenues for Russia and its war machine. The White House claimed that the $7 billion project was antithetical to its "climate goals."

Turkey, from the beginning, was completely outside the EastMed project. Turkey is claiming part of the natural gas in the East Mediterranean fields, but not as an equal partner. Regarding the EU and EastMed: Europe's new push for diversification from Russia's energy has revived talks about EastMed. However, the European Commission is still insisting on knowing more about the EastMed pipeline's commercial viability before giving its final blessing.

In April, State Department Under-Secretary for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland was in Ankara to ink a vague new strategic concept with Turkey. Observers say the concept can provide the framework under which positive changes in bilateral relations can be advanced. "If it works, this is a win for both Congress and the White House," Barkey wrote in The Arab Weekly that "if the US refused to sell fighter jets, he [Erdoğan] would simply procure them from Russia instead."

Also in April, in an about-face, a senior U.S. State Department official said in congressional correspondence that the [potential] sale of F-16 fighter aircraft to Turkey would "serve U.S. interests and bolster NATO unity."

"The Administration believes that there are nonetheless compelling long-term NATO alliance unity and capability interests and U.S. national security, economic and commercial interests supported by appropriate U.S. defense trade ties with Turkey," Naz Durakoğlu, the State Department's top official for legislative affairs, wrote to Congressman Frank Pallone, who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Most recently, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that foreign military sales to key Washington partners such as Turkey and India should be sped up and bureaucratic hurdles removed.

Asked during a congressional testimony what the Biden administration can do "to cut through the red tape to help our work with our allies such as Turkey and India," Blinken told the House Appropriations Committee:

"I think that we can and should do better in sales, particularly in the rapidity with which we're able to do things, review things. I think that's on us in the executive branch. It's also on Congress."

The West's appeasement will, unfortunately, only embolden Erdoğan and push him further into the Russian orbit, both politically as a covert ally and militarily as a client of critical weapons systems. Erdoğan has long been playing the old oriental carpet-selling game: pitting potential buyers against each other to get the best price -- Turkey is hoping to be sold to the highest bidder.

The West's appeasement will just further embolden Erdoğan to keep blackmailing it: If you do not sell me F-35s or F-16s, I will buy fighter jets from Russia. Erdoğan then turns to Putin: I am your man in NATO. If you do not want me to be a real NATO ally, you must give me something. Erdoğan's double-play has to be stopped. For that, is needed a determined Western bloc who will remind him that he will not get what he wants from his (theoretical) allies in the West by blackmailing them.

Burak Bekdil, one of Turkey's leading journalists, was recently fired from the country's most noted newspaper after 29 years, for writing in Gatestone what is taking place in Turkey. He is a Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

 

Burak Bekdil

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/18483/getting-erdogans-moves-wrong

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Did the experiment fail? 70% of Israelis don’t want Arabs in future coalition - Jpost Poll - Gil Hoffman, Jerusalem Post Staff

 

by Gil Hoffman, Jerusalem Post Staff

Netanyahu cannot form government in three scenarios • Ben-Gvir would receive six seats

 

 Naftali Bennett and Mansour Abbas in the Knesset.  (photo credit: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP via Getty Images)
Naftali Bennett and Mansour Abbas in the Knesset.
(photo credit: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP via Getty Images)

An overwhelming majority of Israelis do not want to see an Arab party in a future government that would be formed after the next election, according to a poll taken for The Jerusalem Post.

In addition, the groundbreaking poll found that in three different scenarios – of the current list of parties and different configurations of politicians and mergers – Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud comes out on top but would consistently fall short of the 61 seats needed to form a coalition.

According to the poll conducted by Panels Research following a year of Ra’am (United Arab List) being in the coalition, 69% - almost three quarters of the country - do not want an Arab party in the government next time, 22% would be in favor, and nine percent said they do not know. The number of people opposed to an Arab party in the coalition includes 40 percent of Israeli-Arabs.

Elections with existing parties

 The state of play if elections were held with current parties. (credit: Courtesy) The state of play if elections were held with current parties. (credit: Courtesy)

Although the poll predicted a significant rise in support for Likud from 30 seats to 35, Netanyahu would still not be able to form a government. His bloc of Likud, Religious Zionist Party, Shas and United Torah Judaism would win 59 seats if an election would be held now. The parties in the current coalition would win 54 seats, and the Joint List seven.

The past two and a half years of political chaos would continue, with no possibility of forming a government without major ideological compromises.

The only way for Netanyahu to build a coalition if the parties remain as they are would be if New Hope or Yamina do not cross the electoral threshold, which would be a goal of his campaign in the next election.

In the poll, New Hope and Ra’am would barely cross the threshold. Meretz, with only 2.6%, would not cross. It was badly harmed by last Thursday’s rebellion against the coalition by one of its MKs, Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi.

The poll found that 65% of Israelis are not satisfied with the performance of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, and only 30% said he is performing well. Five percent said they did not know.

Elections with mergers

 What would happen if there were mergers between parties? How much would each faction receive? (credit: Courtesy) What would happen if there were mergers between parties? How much would each faction receive? (credit: Courtesy)

Consequently, only 25% of those who voted in the last election for Bennett’s Yamina Party intend to vote for it next time. Another 20% of Yamina voters are undecided. Only one-third of those who said they would vote for Yamina next time are religious.

The poll presented different scenarios in which the political map could change ahead of the next election. It found that Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked would not help the Likud if she joined, and that if Itamar Ben-Gvir ran in his own party he would actually steal three seats from Netanyahu’s party even if it included Shaked, the popular Yamina politician long rumored to be considering a jump to Likud.

On the other hand, if Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel – currently a member of New Hope – would join forces with Bennett, he would help bring an additional seat to Yamina.

Elections if parties split and create new alliances

 What would happen if the parties split? How would each one fare on its own? (credit: Courtesy) What would happen if the parties split? How would each one fare on its own? (credit: Courtesy)

In another scenario presented of a merger of Yisrael Beytenu, Yamina and New Hope, the parties would win 12 seats, three less than they would win running separately. This option has long been discussed as something of a right-wing Republican Party-like faction in Israel. But based on the results of the Post poll, it is unlikely that such an option would gain traction.

There was talk last week of Labor and Meretz running together, which would win nine seats according to the poll. If the two ran separately, Labor would win seven and Meretz would not cross the threshold.

Rebel Yamina MK Amichai Chikli’s planned new party would not cross the 3.25% electoral threshold, which is usually around 150,000 votes, but with 2.7%, and considering that he has yet to announce the official formation of a party, he has a firm basis to build on. 

 

Gil Hoffman, Jerusalem Post Staff

Source: https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/article-707827

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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Texas school shooting: Beto O'Rourke derails Gov. Greg Abbott update on Uvalde shooting - Anders Hagstrom

 

by Anders Hagstrom

Gunman Salvador Ramos made three Facebook beginning roughly 30 minutes before the shooting took place

 

 

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke attempted to derail Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's response to the shooting in Uvalde, Texas, on Wednesday.

Abbott spoke for roughly ten minutes before attempting to transfer the microphone to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, at which point O'Rourke approached the stage.

Only some of O'Rourke's words were audible, but he was pointing aggressively at the stage even as those on it shouted him down.

TEXAS SCHOOL SHOOTING: LIVE UPDATES

"You are doing nothing," O’Rourke said at one point.

Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke disrupts a press conference held by Governor Greg Abbott the day after a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, May 25, 2022.

Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke disrupts a press conference held by Governor Greg Abbott the day after a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, May 25, 2022.  (REUTERS/Veronica G. Cardenas)

Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke disrupts a press conference held by Gov. Greg Abbott the day after a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, May 25, 2022.

Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke disrupts a press conference held by Gov. Greg Abbott the day after a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, May 25, 2022.  (REUTERS/Veronica G. Cardenas)

Patrick said "sir, you are out of line, please leave this auditorium."

Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin shouted at O'Rourke as well, calling him a "sick son of a bitch."

O'Rourke was then escorted out of the auditorium.

TEXAS SCHOOL SHOOTING TIMELINE

Prior to the interruption, Abbott praised the response of police officers who stopped the attack from getting any worse. One officer who responded to the shooting lost a daughter in the attack, he said.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke interrupts a press conference held by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott following a shooting yesterday at Robb Elementary School which left 21 dead including 19 children, on May 25, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke interrupts a press conference held by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott following a shooting yesterday at Robb Elementary School which left 21 dead including 19 children, on May 25, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas. (Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images)

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke speaks to the media after interrupting a press conference held by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on May 25, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke speaks to the media after interrupting a press conference held by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on May 25, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas.  (Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images)

Abbott went on to confirm that the shooter, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, shot his grandmother before carrying out the attack. He then crashed his vehicle outside Robb Elementary School and exchanged gunfire with police before entering a pair of classrooms.

UVALDE, TEXAS SCHOOL SHOOTING: AT LEAST 2 GIRLS, BOTH 10, STILL MISSING, FAMILY FEARS THEY WERE KILLED

Abbott confirmed that Ramos had made three Facebook posts in the roughly 30 minutes leading up to the shooting.

"I'm going to shoot my grandmother," Ramos posted first.

"I shot my grandmother," he posted few minutes later.

"I'm going to shoot an elementary shool," the third post read.

Abbott did not call for gun control legislation, instead saying members of the community had told him they are suffering a mental health crisis.

 

Anders Hagstrom

Source: https://www.foxnews.com/us/texas-school-shooting-robb-elementary-beto-orourke-uvalde

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