Emergency Committee for Israel: 'Why is Donald Trump always kissing up to dictators?'
The Emergency Committee for Israel has released its first online advertisement in a while. It's directed at Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Here's the press release:
Today the Emergency Committee for Israel released "Trump Loves
Dictators," a 30-second ad highlighting Donald Trump's disturbing
affection for anti-American dictators. The ad will appear online and on
television in primary states this week.
In recent months, Trump has praised or apologized for Saddam Hussein,
Bashar Assad, Vladimir Putin, and Benito Mussolini, and previously he
praised the Chinese government for carrying out the Tiananmen Square
William Kristol, Chairman of the Emergency Committee for Israel, said:
"If you're pro-Israel, you shouldn't be pro-Trump. Apologists for
dictators aren't reliable friends of the Jewish state."
Let's go to the videotape.
If you follow me on Twitter, you know already that I'm not very keen on Donald Trump....
Kerry won't commit to US veto of Iran-Russia arms deal
Under the terms of the Iranian nuclear sellout, the United Nations Security Council must approve the sale of certain conventional weapons to Iran. Since the United States has a veto in the Security Council, this means that the United States can veto such sales.
It was recently announced that Iran intends to purchase the latest Sukhoi-30 warplanes from Russia. Those warplanes would need to be approved by the Security Council under the terms of the nuclear sellout. But under questioning before the House Foreign Affairs Committee by Representative Brad Sherman (D-Ca) on Thursday, Secretary of State Kerry refused to commit to the United States vetoing the sale.
This is from an email I received from Omri Ceren of The Israel Project.
The context is the recent Iranian announcement that they intend to
purchase Sukhoi-30 warplanes from Russia. According to UNSCR 2231 that
sale has to go through the Security Council, which means the U.S. can
veto it. The relevant language says weapons sales to Iran need to be
approved by the UNSC "in advance on a case-by-case basis" if the weapons
fall under the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms. The
section even explicitly specifies "combat aircraft" [a].
At today's HFAC briefing Rep. Sherman asked Sec. Kerry whether the
U.S. intends to veto the sale. Kerry refused to commit to a veto:
SHERMAN: ... under the UN Security Council Resolution 2231, Russia
can't sell fighter planes to Iran unless the Security Council
specifically approves that. I'll ask you, will we use our veto to
prevent fighter planes from being sold to Iran from Russia? KERRY:
Well, I don't think you have to use a veto. I think it's a matter of a
committee. There's a committee and it's in approval in the committee,
but we would not approve it. SHERMAN: And would we use our veto if necessary to prevent the sale? KERRY:
To the best of my knowledge, Congressman, I don't, I haven't looked at
the specifics of the transaction, etc. In principle, we are very
concerned about the transfer of weapons and so, you know, we would
approach it with great skepticism. But I haven't seen the specific
transfer or what the request is. We have a committee that will analyze
this thoroughly before anything happens and the committee signs off on
it, I assure you. We'll stay in touch with you.
It's not obvious why the Secretary hadn't been briefed about "the
specifics of the transaction." The Sukhois took up a week of press
inquiries about Iran. Nonetheless his answer is part of a pattern - now
several weeks old - of administration officials refusing to commit to
vetoing the warplane sale.
The sale first broke across U.S. wires on Feb 10. Reuters quoted
Iranian DM Hossein Dehghan revealing "we have even decided on the number
of Sukhoi-30 fighter jets" to buy and the AP had him elaborating "we
told them that we need to be involved in the production" of the
warplanes [b][c]. Michael Singh - Washington Institute Managing Director
- quickly tweeted "For the next five years, US or other P5 member could
block this per UNSC Res 2231" [d].
Over the next week the administration went from: denying it could veto to not knowing if it could veto to refusing to answer if it would veto.
For the first few days the administration flat out denied that it had
the ability to block weapons sales. All of that was off the record. Then
reporters started asking questions publicly at briefings, and State's
position shifted: for two consecutive days - Feb 16 and 17 - State
Department spokesman Toner told journalists the administration wasn't
sure if the U.S. could veto [e][f]. Then on Feb 18, more than a week
after the news first broke, the State Department acknowledged the sale
is illegal and falls under UNSCR 2231 [g]. Subsequent coverage that day
indicated the Obama administration did indeed have the authority to
block the sale [h].
But it was still not clear if the White House would actually use its
veto authority, and it's still not clear after today's hearing, with
Kerry expressing ignorance of the details of the sale.
Some skeptics are now suggesting that the administration is trying to
sandbag Congress on the Sukhoi sale. The move would be repeat of what
happened throughout the two years of nuclear negotiations:
administration officials would routinely brush off questions about
specific concessions by declaring that the entire package was made up of
moving parts that all had to fit together, so nothing was final until
everything was final.
Then when all the details were finalized, the
entire package was presented to Congress as a fait accompli: lawmakers
were told that the deal couldn't be reopened and that rejecting it would
lead to war.
If that modus operandi sounds familiar, it should - it's the foreign policy equivalent of how Obamacare was railroaded through Congress. And somehow there are people out there who still think that this administration is pro-Israel....
Leader of self-proclaimed 'most pro-Israel administration evah' backs BDS (in Judea and Samaria)
President Hussein Obama signed into law today a bill that includes extensive provisions targeting the boycott, divest, sanction (BDS) movement that seeks to destroy trade with Israel. However, in a signing statement (of the type to which he objected during the Bush administration and vowed that his administration would never issue), Obama objected to language that referred to 'Israeli controlled territory' and announced that his administration would not enforce the law against companies and countries that boycott the 'settlements.'
“I have directed my administration to strongly
oppose boycotts, divestment campaigns, and sanctions targeting the
State of Israel,” Obama said in a signing statement. “As long as I am
president, we will continue to do so. Certain provisions of this act, by
conflating Israel and ‘Israeli-controlled territories,’ are contrary to
longstanding bipartisan United States policy, including with regard to
the treatment of settlements.”
Obama further said in the statement that
“consistent with longstanding constitutional practice” the
administration would negotiate with other countries under the law “in a
manner that does not interfere with my constitutional authority to
conduct diplomacy,” language used in signing statements to signal that a
president will not apply a part of a law that does not comport with US
The BDS portion of the law, backed by the
American Israel Public Affairs Committee, was authored by Rep. Peter
Roskam, R-Ill. and Rep. Juan Vargas, D-Calif.
There are multiple bills under consideration
in Congress and in over 20 state legislatures targeting BDS. Many of the
state bills mandate the divestment of state funds, including pensions,
from entities that boycott Israel and a number of those bills extend
protection to the settlements. Illinois and South Carolina have passed
into law in recent months anti-BDS bills that include protection for
The Florida legislature this week passed a law
that includes settlement protections, and it awaits signing by Governor
Rick Scott. A similar bill was introduced this week in the Ohio
It came to this: Netanyahu had to ask Berlusconi for help with Obama
In case you missed it, Haaretz reported on Tuesday that the US National Security Administration intercepted a 2010 phone call between Prime Minister Netanyahu and then-Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in which Netanyahu asked Berlusconi for help in repairing his relations with the self-declared 'most pro-Israel administration evah.'
During their conversation, Netanyahu claimed he needed Berlusconi's help due to an "absence of direct contact" between himself and President Barack Obama.
The document leaked to the WikiLeaks website is a brief summary of Netanyahu and Berlusconi's communications that was published by the NSA for internal usage by the American intelligence community and the White House. According to the document, the call was intercepted as part of U.S. monitoring of Berlusconi's office, and not through a wiretap on Israeli lines.
The conversation between Netanyahu and Berlusconi took place four days after a crisis erupted during Vice President Joe Biden's visit to Israel on March 9 due to Israel's decision to green light 1,600 new housing units in East Jerusalem's Ramat Shlomo neighborhood, which is beyond the 1967 Green Line.
The NSA report said "Israel has reached out to Europe, including Italy, for help in smoothing out the current rift in its relations with the United States."
The call took place on an open international line, so it is likely Netanyahu knew the conversation would be intercepted by U.S. intelligence services. It is even possible Netanyahu used the conversation with Berlusconi to try to reach out to America.
I don't know which is more troubling here - the fact that Netanyahu even had to reach out to Berlusconi in the first place or the fact that the United States, which continues to hold Jonathan Pollard after he spent 30 years in jail for 'spying' on Israel's behalf, was spying on Israel in the first place.
Travis Allen, of Huntington Beach in southern California’s Orange
County, introduced the bill – called the California- Israel Protection
Act – to “require the State of California to divest from companies that
Allen said in a statement that the US and Israel
“have historically stood together as allies due to our unique bond
founded on shared values, a bilateral trade relationship, and our
unwavering commitment to freedom and democracy.
Any company that
is intentionally inflicting economic harm upon California’s trading
partners weaken our ability to conduct business and harm the vital
economic interests of our state. Further, boycotts of countries often
derive from ethnic, religious, racial, or nationality discrimination,
which directly contradicts the values of California citizens.”
bill would also penalize companies boycotting products made in the
settlements, east Jerusalem or the Golan Heights, since it would
prohibit California from investing in any company that is “engaging in
actions that are politically motivated and are intended to penalize,
inflict economic harm on, or otherwise limit commercial relations with
the State of Israel or companies based in the State of Israel or in
territories controlled by the State of Israel.”
Allen said it is
“unconscionable for our state to do business with companies that play
politics and boycott our critical allies. California has developed
long-standing social, political, and economic partnerships with the
State of Israel that should not be cast aside by politicians.”
to Allen, in 2014 California exported over $2.3 billion in goods to
Israel, making Israel the state’s 18th largest export destination and
its largest market in the Middle East.
South Carolina became the
first US state to pass a similar bill in June, and this was followed by a
bill approved by the Illinois legislature in July.
Here's hoping Travis comes back to visit us again soon.
According to the report, the plot was made public with the Attorney
General’s indictment last month of two of the terrorists, including the
head of the cell, a 25-year-old from Kfar Yassuf in the West Bank who
had rented an apartment in the Abu Dis neighborhood of east Jerusalem.
Ahmed Azzam was in the advanced stages of establishing Hamas
infrastructure in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, with funding and
direction from Hamas in Gaza, the indictment said. To this end, he had
purchased chemical materials and rented the apartment in east Jerusalem,
where he set up an explosives lab. Also, according to the indictment,
Azzam recruited the terrorist who was tasked with transporting the bombs
beyond the Green Line.
It was this terrorist, Hazam Sanduka — nicknamed “the mechanic” for
his intimate knowledge of cars — who had determined that Netanyahu would
be the main target.
The 22-year-old resident of east Jerusalem and a student of Arabic at
Abu Dis University was recruited in November by Azzam, who was looking
for a Jerusalem resident to aid in the preparation of terrorist attacks.
To me, the following is the most incredible part of the story. Sanduka is interviewed. Look where Sanduka was employed:
Interrogator: Did you plan where to carry out terror attacks?
Sanduka: After discussing with Azzam the possibility
of kidnappings, suicide attacks or bombings, I began to think about the
most suitable place to carry them out. Since I worked for a security
company in Jerusalem, I thought the most appropriate places were the
Malha shopping mall, the Jerusalem [sports] Arena and the Great
Synagogue, because many people frequent those places, including Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Interrogator: What was your job at the security company?
Sanduka: My job was to conduct security checks at
the Arena and the Great Synagogue… After purchasing the (chemicals) in
Abu Gosh, I drove to Jaffa to check out whether I was being followed and
if there was a good place there for a terror attack… I saw that there
was, at the Jaffa Port and on the beach, where many restaurants are
located, so it is filled with people.
Can someone please tell me what a 22-year old terrorist - or anyone who is studying Arabic at Abu Dis (an Arab neighborhood near Mount Scopus) - is going working in 'security' in the Jewish populated parts of Jerusalem? Huh?
By the way, the cell was sponsored by Hamas, and not by ISIS as previously thought.
IDF releases new app to warn of 'security incidents'
The IDF's Home Front command has released a new app to warn of 'security incidents.' The app is available for Android and iPhones, is free, but is only visible in Israel.
The application, detailed in a call with
reporters Monday, was developed by a staff of some 15 people in the Home
Front Command, which oversees civilian preparedness. It was launched
this month on Android and Apple devices.
Called “Home Front Command,” the application aims to improve on
several civilian-developed counterparts that alert Israelis to the
warning sirens that blare ahead of incoming missiles. Those applications
gained popularity during the 2014 war in Gaza, but alert users to every
siren across the country.
The IDF’s alternative will track users based on their GPS location,
and alert them only to threats in their immediate area. It will cover a
range of emergencies — from earthquakes to terror attacks to incoming
rockets. In addition to warning users of the threat, the application
will provide instructions on how to respond. It will be available in
four languages — Hebrew, English, Arabic and Russian — though it will
not be available for download outside Israel.
In addition to the sirens spread throughout the country, the Home
Front Command sends text message warnings to Israelis’ phones and
broadcasts them on the TV and radio. Lt. Col. Shlomi Maman, the Home
Front Command’s alert branch commander, said the army wants to localize
warnings as much as possible — even by neighborhood — so as to avoid
needlessly worrying civilians.
“We view a warning that reaches a citizen who didn’t need to receive
it just like someone who needed to receive [a warning] and did not,”
Maman said in the briefing. “This project is to make it more selective.”
I wonder how Israelis will feel about the IDF knowing their location all times (theoretically). Hmmm.
It's come to this: Moronic Leftist MK thinks Jews first came to Israel from Egypt
Someone must have tipped Stav Shaffir off as to how boorish this tweet was, because it's no longer in her Twitter feed. Fortunately, Channel 10's Akiva Novick (who knows his bible) caught it and posted it to Facebook for posterity with a plea for more bible education in Israeli schools. For the Hebrew-impaired, the Labor party MK's tweet says the following:
"Our history began from Jerusalem" said [Education Minister Naftali] Bennett this morning. Forgive the pettiness, but the Education Minister should know that according to the Torah, we came here from Egypt.
I guess Shaffir's 'education' excluded the book of Genesis....
Also over the weekend, Washington Free Beacon's Adam Kredo reported that Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is teaming up with a pro-Iranian group for a fundraiser at the home of a Twitter executive.
Clinton will participate in a Menlo Park fundraiser on Sunday hosted
by Twitter executive Omid Kordestani and his wife Gisel Hiscock, as well
as National Iranian American Council (NIAC) board member Lily Sarafan and Noosheen Hashemi, who serves on the board of the pro-Iran advocacy group Ploughshares, a major funder of pro-Iran efforts.
NIAC, an advocacy group formed by Iranian-Americans to work against the pro-Israel community, has long been accused of lobbying on Iran’s behalf against sanctions and other measures that could harm the Islamic Republic’s interest.
Ploughshares, which partners with NIAC, is joining the White House in
efforts to pressure the Jewish community and others to back the
recently implemented Iran nuclear agreement, the Free Beacon reported.
The organization has also spent millions to influence coverage of
Iran and protect the Obama administration’s diplomatic relations with
NIAC has emerged a key pro-Iran player in the United States, working
with the White House and liberal groups to spin the deal as a positive
for U.S. national security.
The group is currently leading the charge to block
recent counter-terrorism legislation that would require individuals who
have travelled to Iran to obtain a visa before entering the United
Congress passed the legislation in response to recent disclosures
exposing flaws in the U.S. visa waiver program, which eases travel to
the U.S. with 38 partner countries.
Lawmakers said the legislation is meant to ensure that individuals
with potential ties to terrorism will be detected before entering the
The White House has threatened to waive these new anti-terror
provisions pertaining to Iran in order to preserve diplomatic relations
with the country. Secretary of State John Kerry wrote to Iranian leaders
in January promising to block the new law.
NIAC is now spearheading an advocacy campaign aimed at petitioning lawmakers to reverse the counter-terror law.
This is what Hillary refers to as being 'tough' on Iran. Anyone still foolish enough to think she's pro-Israel? What could go wrong?
#BDS_Epic_Fail: Former 'white shoes' law firm withdraws Harvard Law School funding due to BDS
Shavua tov, a good week to everyone.
Back in the 60's and 70's, New York law firms were split into 'Jewish law firms' where Jews could be accepted and predominated, and 'white shoes law firms,' which for the most part did not accept Jews. By the time I came out of law school in the mid-'80's, the world was changing (my first law firm was one that was known as a 'white shoes' law firm and I had offers from others) although there were still vestiges of the old regime.
For the uninitiated, the “Milbank Tweed Student Conference Fund” (or Milbank Fund, named after the multinational law firm that
endowed it), was established in 2012 to support the activities of
student-run organizations at Harvard Law School. The Dean of Students
office allocates the funds through an open application process. As part
of the arrangement, Milbank Fund recipients are required to recognize
the contribution by ensuring that all promotional materials for
Milbank-funded programming include at least one reference indicating
Milbank as a headlining sponsor.
At the start of this semester, HLS announced, without explanation,
the sudden termination of the Milbank Fund. We are writing today so that
the record may reflect that the termination of the Milbank Fund is, in
fact, completely our fault.
In our defense, we couldn’t have possibly foreseen how our actions
would come to affect the rest of the campus community. On the eve of our
first-ever Milbank-sponsored speaker event, titled “The Palestine Exception to Free Speech: A Movement Under Attack”,
the only thing we were really concerned about was what type of food to
order for our fellow classmates. Like many others, we are an
organization that recognizes the value of quality food as a major key to
the success of any lunch talk.
So we ordered pizza—about $500 worth. We made sure to get a little
something for everyone, because inclusivity! We got some margheritas for
the traditional, buffalo chicken for the carnivorous, and of course,
some formaggio for our colleagues with a more refined palate. The pizza
was delicious, and for that, we must take a moment to sincerely thank
Milbank for its generous contributions.
Even though we had only used Milbank’s money for the pizza (our
speakers, two civil rights attorneys and an undergraduate student,
graciously offered their time at no additional cost to the school), we
held up our end of the deal by including, in all promotional e-mails and
at the bottom of the event’s official Facebook page, some iteration of
the following sentence: “This event is brought to you by the generous
support of Milbank LLP.”
Ironically enough, a very similar sequence of events would unfold at
Harvard Law School in the aftermath of our event. The very next day, the
Dean of Students office—citing a flood of angry phone
calls and emails received from Milbank executives and other off-campus
parties over the previous 24 hours—asked an organizer of the event to
disassociate from Milbank in all past and future Justice for Palestine
As a start, the organizer was asked to immediately remove the reference
to Milbank’s “generous support” from JFP’s Facebook event page.
After acknowledging that they recognized the irony in asking a
student to retroactively edit the description for an event that was
about free speech and its exceptions, the Dean of Students
administrators proceeded to make it very clear that our cooperation
would be greatly appreciated. Even though the event had already passed,
it was evident that the administration was feeling tremendous pressure
to do something, anything, to appease Milbank.
In exchange for a written guarantee that JFP’s future funding (be it
from Milbank or any other source) would not be adversely affected, we
agreed to remove the sentence from the Facebook event page. Though that
guarantee was promised to us, we never got it.
Turns out, that’s because our request was directly incompatible with
what Milbank was demanding. Administrators would later reveal that
Milbank had gone so far as to demand that JFP’s Milbank funding be
rescinded completely. According to Dean Minow, this was not a demand her
administration could honor, so Milbank decided to pull out all of
its annual $250,000 in student activity funding as a result of her
administration’s “principled stance” in support of our right to speak
openly and honestly about Palestine.
surprise announcement, carried by the state-run Saudi Press Agency,
comes as deeply divided Lebanon struggles to handle the fallout from
neighboring Syria's raging civil war. The Lebanese government declined
to immediately comment on the Saudi decision.
One deal involves Saudi Arabia paying $3 billion to buy French arms
for the Lebanese military. The other involves a $1 billion support deal
for the Lebanese police.
Saudi Arabia said it halted the deals because of recent Lebanese
positions "which are not in line with the brotherly relations between
the two countries." It did not elaborate.
However, it comes after Lebanese Foreign Minister Gibran Bassil
declined to support resolutions against Iran during two meetings of Arab
and Muslim foreign ministers.
Bassil is the president of the right-wing
Christian Free Patriotic Movement, which is one of the strongest allies
of the Iran-backed militant Hezbollah group in Lebanon.
Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia long has been suspicious of the
predominantly Shiite Iran, which supports Hezbollah and Syria's
embattled President Bashar Assad. Relations took a turn for the worse at
the start of the year, when Saudi Arabia executed a prominent Shiite
cleric and protesters stormed Saudi diplomatic posts in Iran. That in
turn prompted Riyadh to cut diplomatic relations with Tehran.
The Lebanese army is generally seen as a unifying force in the
country, and draws its ranks from all of Lebanon's sects. However, it's
widely viewed as being much weaker than Hezbollah.
That almost makes this sound like a foolish move - the last thing the Saudis want to do is strengthen Hezbullah. On the other hand, the Lebanese Armed Forces are full of Shiite Hezbullah members.
Hezbullah, which already has operations in Paraguay, Brazil, Venezuela
and Mexico (the article doesn't say Mexico, but I've reported that in
the past) is setting up operations in Cuba to serve as a base for an
attack on Israeli interests in Latin America to avenge the death of
master terrorist Imad Mughniyah. The report in YNet is based upon an article in Italy's Corriere della Sera.
to the report, three Hezbollah members have already arrived in Cuba
with the purpose of establishing a terrorist cell there. The cell is to
include 23 operatives, hand-picked by Talal Hamia, a senior member
tasked with heading the covert operation.
The operation, titled "The Caribbean Case," was reportedly allocated
a budget of $1.5 million. The Cuba base is to be initially used for
logistics purposes, including intelligence collection, networking and
During the week of
September 5, 2011 extremely sensitive sources reported in confidence
that the Israeli Intelligence and Security Service (Mossad) has informed
the leadership of the Israeli Government that Hezbollah is establishing
an operational base in Cuba, designed to support terrorist attacks
throughout Latin America.
The confidential intelligence report from Blumenthal to Clinton continued:
These sources believe
that Hezbollah supporters have been instructed to also begin casing
facilities associated with the United States and the United Kingdom,
including diplomatic missions, major banks, and businesses in the
region. These individuals believe that the Hezbollah military commanders
in Lebanon and Syria view these U.S. and U.K. entities as contingency
targets to be attacked in the event of U.S. and British military
intervention in either Syria or Iran, at some point in the future.
The real question here is what the Obama administration did about Hezbullah establishing bases in Latin America. The answer: Absolutely nothing.
Obama could stop Iranian weapons purchases... but he won't
Under the atrocious nuclear agreement with Iran, President Hussein Obama has the legal authority to stop Iran from purchasing all those Russian weapons. But, reports Adam Kredo, he won't.
“We’re aware of ongoing discussions between Russia and Iran regarding
possible purchases of military equipment,” a State Department official
who was not authorized to speak on record told the Free Beacon
in response to inquiries. “If we have concerns about specific
transactions, we’ll express those concerns through the appropriate
channels, whether bilaterally with Russia or at the U.N. if any
specific transaction violates any U.N. Security Council resolutions.”
However, critics of the administration’s outreach to Iran expressed
skepticism. They maintain that the White House is turning a blind eye to
Iranian violations of the nuclear accord in order to preserve
diplomatic ties with the Islamic Republic.
“The U.N. resolution to endorse the flawed Iran nuclear deal actually
gives the United States and other members of the Security Council the
power to review and legally block arms sales by Russia or other actors
to Iran,” Sen. Mark Kirk (R., Ill.), a critic of the nuclear accord,
told the Free Beacon. “But as Russia and Iran further escalate
their use of indiscriminate military force in the Middle East, the
administration appears wholly unwilling to use this power.”
According to the terms of the U.N. resolution governing the nuclear
agreement, the U.S. and other Security Council members are provided with
the power to approve “in advance on a case-by-case basis” most
conventional arms sales to Iran.
The statute specifically applies to the “supply, sale, or transfer”
to Iran of many conventional arms, including “battle tanks, armored
combat vehicles, large-caliber artillery systems, combat aircraft,
attack helicopters, warships, missiles, or missile systems,” according
to the resolution.
Iran is reportedly seeking to purchase from Russia a new cadre of advanced Russian-made warplanes and other arms.
The provision requires the Security Council to individually approve
the sale of these weapons for the next five years. Any member of the
council has the right to veto a measure, meaning that the United States
“could effectively block such a sale,” according to Michael Singh, a
former White House national security official who worked on the Iran
“It appears that the Obama administration has the authority to block
any sale of fighter aircraft to Iran,” said Singh, managing director of
the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “In pressing for the
approval of the nuclear deal by Congress, the administration discussed
these arms restrictions (and related missile restrictions) as de facto
bans, there will certainly be an expectation that they would use that
“Critics of the deal insisted that the Obama administration would be too
intimidated to ever use those mechanisms because then Iran would walk
away from the deal,” the source said. “This arms sale suggests the
critics were right and that the deal supporters bamboozled Congress.”
After Kredo's piece was published, the Obama administration tried to sound a more forceful note.
Update 4:10 p.m.: Following publication, officials
familiar with the situation said they expect the administration to be
more forceful in raising concerns about these sales, particularly the
transfer of advanced war jets.
'Palestinian Authority' appointed Imam gives television tips on how to beat your wife
What's most amazing about this is not that it happened, but the reaction of the naive westerners to a glimpse of true Islamic behavior.
Hassan Al-Laham is the top Muslim spiritual leader for Gaza appointed by the 'moderate' 'Palestinian Authority.' (No, this guy isn't even appointed by Hamas, even though he's in Gaza). Official 'moderate' 'Palestinian Authority' television carried this lesson by him informing husbands how to beat their wives... and get away with it.
Let's go to the videotape.
This video, which Fox News calls 'shocking' (Hat Tip: Memeorandum), is actually more than three years old (where was the media for the last three years?). Shocking? Hardly. Certainly not to anyone at all familiar with Islam.
But there's much more to this interview than the short clip you just saw.
Explaining that divorce must be a last resort in Islam, Al-Laham laid out the four steps that should come first.
"Allah said: Warn them [the wives], and separate from
them, and hit them, and bring an arbitrator from his family and an
arbitrator from her family," he said.
Al-Laham, whose title makes him the top spiritual
leader appointed by the Palestinian Authority, then went into detail
about how a husband should hit a wife.
"Not hitting that will bring the police, and break her hand and cause bleeding, or hitting that makes the face ugly," he said.
The hitting should "be like a joke," even reinforcing "the love and friendship" between the couple, he said.
I don't know about you but I can tell you that if God Forbid I hit my wife, it would not reinforce the love and friendship between us. And my guess is that most Muslim women would tell you - if they felt safe talking about it - that being beaten by their husbands does not reinforce love and friendship.
So why is the West so shocked by this? Because Muslims get a free pass from the Western media. They're considered so 'exotic' and 'cool' that they can do no wrong.
The world needs to wake up to this misogynistic cult.
Here's another example. Let's go to the videotape.
Okay, that one was staged. But it was staged to make a point. Abuse of girls and women happens all too much in the Arab Muslim world. It's time to stop giving them a pass on it.
Sunday marked ten years since the murder of Ilan Halimi. That's Halimi in the square with the purplish pink around it. It's from a Muslim dating site. It was eventually taken down. Halimi was brutally murdered by a gang of Muslims, all but one of whom have been let go ten years later. On Sunday, there were a number of very small ceremonies in Paris marking Halimi's murder. They were only attended by Jews.
The small crowd and its Jewish focus illustrate the wide disconnect between how the Halimi case is understood within and outside of France’s Jewish community – and what that might mean for the French Jewish future.
For France’s Jews, it remains an intimately tragic affair, marking arguably the most savage and sadistic anti-Semitic crime in France since World War II. For many citizens of French or European Christian origins, it is indeed a despicable violent crime, but not one fuelled by anti-Semitism. For me this is a form of blindness, of denial – but also a mark of the failure of France's government and Jewish community to establish violent anti-Semitism as a central concern for the whole of society.
Guershon N'duwa, president of the FJN, the Black-Jewish Federation of France, a constituent member of the French Jewish umbrella body CRIF, has organized the ceremony for Ilan Halimi for the past ten years, but he will not organize an eleventh. "The French government has always minimized the case of Ilan Halimi, and even now, has still not woken up to establish the link with the attacks of the past few years," says N'duwa, "and there is a definite link, a hatred of Jews.”
He continued: "But while Jewish community leaders have reached upwards, if you like, to French political parties on the right and left, they have not reached out to the non-Jewish public. So in spite of grandiose statements by politicians about fighting anti-Semitism, many French people still believe that Ilan's horrific death was a specifically Jewish affair, with few emotional links to the overall French nation, and not even necessarily a case of anti-Semitism. In reality, the intense emotional reaction by Jews here became a line that separated them from other French people, who reacted with intellectual disgust, but little more."
Both the Jewish community and the French government have been unable to engage the wider French public with the need to see, recognize and confront violent anti-Semitism and incitement against the community. This has diminished the number of French people who see anti-Semitic violence as a problem for all of France, not only its Jews and the government and security elite. For many, World War II had ended long ago, so it was easier to believe that this was a simple indecent but random tragedy committed by sociopaths.
The anniversary event’s low turnout was also an indication of intra-Jewish politics that have weakened the community’s resonance to speak as a united voice on this issue. In fact there were five other competing Halimi commemoration ceremonies around Paris this year, somewhat atomizing the effect of fewer and more robustly attended events. There were no Halimi family members present at Sunday’s Boulevard Voltaire gathering either, though his sisters reportedly attended one of the other ceremonies.
"This has become a very politicized affair and I am unhappy enough about that not to do it again," says N'duwa, who comes from a Protestant family in Congo-Brazzaville, Africa. He converted to Judaism years ago in France and has also lived in Israel.
Youssouf Fofana, who organized his kidnapping for ransom, will be in prison for years, in theory for life. Most of the others involved, including the woman used as bait, and the building superintendent who gave them the basement room and apartment in which Halimi was tortured in exchange for 1500 euros (which he never saw), have already been released.
Ten years after Halimi's murder, I still wonder why Jews remain in France. Neither they nor their non-Jewish neighbors understand what's going on in their country.
Angela Merkel says it's not the time for a 'two-state solution'
Even German Chancellor Angela Merkel gets it: This is not the time for a 'two-state solution.'
Merkel, who in the past has insisted that the “two-state solution” is
the best way to end the conflict, appeared to signal at Tuesday’s
Government-to-Government meeting that she would turn down the pressure
on Israel to push for a diplomatic process with the Palestinian
"Now is not the time for a significant step
forward [in the two-state solution]," she said during a joint press
conference with Netanyahu in Berlin, according to i24news.
Merkel stressed that while substantial progress can't be achieved at
this time, "it is possible to make improvements in specific fields," and
promised Germany's help in doing so, particularly in the economic area.
remarks echo recent statements by officials in the United States, who
admitted that President Barack Obama recognizes that reaching a
two-state solution before he leaves office is unlikely.
expressions have been sounded in Israel as well, where opposition
chairman Yitzhak Herzog has also admitted that the “two-state solution”
is not feasible at this time and has offered his own, alternative plan
With Syria falling apart a few miles away and Lebanon under the control of the Iranian proxy Hezbullah, is the world finally starting to get it?
#ThanksObama... for making America's former allies into our allies
It's not just Israel that doesn't trust Barack Hussein Obama. And in one of the best examples of countries having interests rather than friends, a group of previously irreconcilable American allies has joined together look out for their own interests in the waning days of the Age of Obama. Bret Stephens reports.
I’ve spent the better part of a week talking to senior officials,
journalists, intellectuals and politicians from across Israel’s
political spectrum. None of it was on the record, but the consistent
theme is that, while the Jewish state still needs the U.S., especially
in the form of military aid, it also needs to diversify its strategic
partnerships. This may yet turn out to be the historic achievement of Benjamin Netanyahu’s long reign as prime minister.
On Sunday, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon publicly shook hands with former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki al-Faisal at the Munich Security Conference. In January, Israeli cabinet member Yuval Steinitz
made a trip to Abu Dhabi, where Israel is opening an office at a
renewable-energy association. Turkey is patching up ties with Israel. In
June, Jerusalem and Riyadh went public with the strategic talks between
them. In March, Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi told the Washington Post that he speaks to Mr. Netanyahu “a lot.”
de facto Sunni-Jewish alliance amounts to what might be called the
coalition of the disenchanted; states that have lost faith in America’s
promises. Israel is also reinventing its ties to the aspiring Startup
Nations, countries that want to develop their own innovation cultures.
In October, Israel hosted Indian President Pranab Mukherjee
for a three-day state visit; New Delhi, once a paragon of the
nonaligned movement that didn’t have diplomatic ties to Israel for four
decades, is about to spend $3 billion on Israeli arms. Japanese Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe, who is personally close to Mr. Netanyahu, sees
Israel as a model for economic reinvention. Chinese investment in Israel
hit $2.7 billion last year, up from $70 million in 2010. In 2014,
Israel’s exports to the Far East for the first time exceeded those to
Then there is Europe—at least the part of it that is
starting to grasp that it can’t purchase its security in the coin of
Israeli insecurity. Greece’s left-wing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras
used to lead anti-Israel protests. But Greece needs Israeli gas, so he
urges cooperation on terrorism and calls Jerusalem Israel’s “historic
capital.” In the U.K., Prime Minister David Cameron’s government is moving to prevent local councils from passing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) measures against Israel.
this amounts to another Obama administration prediction proved wrong.
“You see for Israel there’s an increasing delegitimization campaign that
has been building up,” Mr. Kerry warned grimly in 2014. “There are
talks of boycotts and other kinds of things. Today’s status quo
absolutely, to a certainty, I promise you 100%, cannot be maintained.”
Except when the likely alternatives to the lousy status quo are worse.
Maybe we need to say #ThanksObama after all. Just not the way he expected. Heh.
At the Nazareth Restaurant and Deli in Columbus, Ohio, owner Hany Baransi is proud to be Israeli.
Hany Baransi has been serving authentic hummus and falafel in his
central Ohio eatery for 27 years, proudly giving diners a taste of his
Israeli Christian Arab heritage between bites of rich Mediterranean
A sign bearing an Arabic greeting—“Ahlan Wa Sahalan”— hangs
prominently near the glass doors of his Nazareth Restaurant & Deli
in Columbus, through which passersby can also spot an Israeli flag.
Baransi says he has always been outspoken about his Israeli identity,
and so when his restaurant was attacked on Thursday evening by a machete-wielding man, he believed it was no coincidence.
No, it was no coincidence. Nor was the attacker's name: Mohamed.
The assailant, identified by police as 30-year-old Mohamed Barry,
“came in and asked where I was from,” Baransi told The Tower. While
Baransi was at home nursing a headache at the time, one of his
employees– a young waitress– told Barry that the owner is from Israel.
The man left after he determined that Baransi wasn’t at the restaurant,
only to return around 30 minutes later with a machete and start hacking
“He came to each table and just started hitting them,” Karen Bass, who was in the restaurant at the time, told WBNS. “There were tables and chairs overturned, there was a man on the floor bleeding, there was blood on the floor.”
Fortunately, no one was killed and Barry was caught by police after he tried to hack them too.
So is the Middle East coming to Columbus? The local police chief doesn't think so but Baransi has a different opinion.
“Is it a random attack? Yes, but it wasn’t a random attack like you’re
walking in the street and there are 10 shops and you pick one,” he said.
“It was a random attack [insofar] that I was one of the Israelis
[picked] between all of the Israelis that are around here. It was a
“I am a very outspoken Israeli, and I have an Israeli flag in my
restaurant,” added Baransi, who moved to the United States from Haifa in
1983 and said he tries to visit Israel as often as he can. “When people
[from the Arab community] ask me where I am from, I tell them I am
Israeli, I am an Israeli Christian Arab, it’s not like I am Palestinian,
and then they start arguing and fighting with me.”
“You know, we are Israelis, used to this in our lives, people
attacking us and wanting to kill us,” he observed. “But Americans — I
have young ladies, 19, 20-years-old, they probably never heard people
yelling and screaming. It was a huge experience for them. And some of
them are very devastated. All of us communicate on a daily basis, and
some of us, a couple of people, are still having a really hard time.”
He said that he is only willing to reopen his restaurant once his
staff assures him that they are ready. “Even though I am hurting
financially badly, if this time is needed for the well-being of my
employees, I am okay with that,” he stressed. “God will provide for us.”
First they come for the Saturday people and then they come for the Sunday people? Bet on it.
"Regarding a ceasefire, a halt to operations, if it happened, it
doesn't mean that each party will stop using weapons," Assad said in
Damascus in televised comments.
"A ceasefire means in the first place halting the terrorists from
strengthening their positions. Movement of weapons, equipment or
terrorists, or fortification of positions, will not be allowed," he
Oh, of course. Why would I think otherwise? Silly me....
#ThanksObama Iran-financed Hamas produces 'music video' about yearning to roast Jewish flesh
Yes, it's come to this.
Here's a highly professional Hamas 'music video,' undoubtedly paid for with Iranian funds released from international sanctions thanks to the Obama administration, that expresses the terror group's yearning to roast Jewish flesh.
Hamas prays: 'Oh Martyrdom-seeker, make them cry. Make the fire engulf them. Turn
them into body parts, roast them, bringing joy to the hearts of the
Let's go to the videotape.
#ThanksObama for financing this music video we just could not have done without.
According to the Florida senator, the Obama administration
deliberately created distance between the U.S. and Israel in an effort
to improve the U.S. standing and its perception in the Muslim world.
"It's been a disaster," he added.
The Republican candidate said the Obama administration damaged the relationship with Israel by briefly suspending military sales during the last Gaza war,
and by making an implied threat that the U.S. won't use its veto power
in the UN Security Council against a possible resolution recognizing a
Rubio also slammed Obama for treating Iran's supreme leader with
"more respect" than Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, due to Israel's
opposition to the Iran nuclear deal.
Marco Rubio (and Ted Cruz) got Barack Obama right, so why won't anyone else say so?
I have now watched the video of Chris Christie 'destroying' Marco Rubio on Saturday night, and I have to tell you that the people commenting on it have missed the boat. If you haven't seen it yet, the video is embedded here.
Yet Rubio also had an important point: Christie’s premise is dead
wrong. Obama has not steered the Titanic into an iceberg because he is
an unprepared, untested amateur. He has done it quite deliberately, at
times masterfully, because Obama believes in the policies that
constitute the iceberg. He is a movement leftist with a transformational
agenda and an Alinskyite’s understanding of the extortionate uses of
power. Authoritarian rule, government-controlled health care, open
borders, runaway spending, Islamist sympathies, crony-capitalist green
energy – these are not initiatives Obama stumbled into because he was
unprepared. Obama has studiously taken the country where he wants it to
go. And he has rolled over the old experienced hands to do it – so much
for amateur hour.
Obama is not the bumpkin of Christie’s portrayal. But Christie is not so
much wrong in this regard as calculated. Progressive-lite types like
Christie want Obama’s failed presidency to be seen as the consequence of
lack of experience rather than as policy-driven because they often
cooperate with Obama Democrats and sympathize with a number of their
Christie couldn’t get enough of Obama after “Super Storm Sandy” –
regardless of how much it undermined Mitt Romney. At best, Christie has
been ambivalent in his opposition to Obamacare – carefully navigating
between his instinctive support of it and the intense opposition of more
conservative voters whom he knew he’d be courting in the 2016 GOP
primaries. And while Christie is trying to appeal to conservatives as
the adult in the room willing to speak hard truths about entitlements
and debt spending, his record as governor is: Talk a good game but do
essentially nothing about our basket-case state’s structural problems.
That is a big part of why, as Rubio pointed out, Christie’s tenure has
featured multiple credit downgrades.
The Christies of the Republican party insist that the country is in
disastrous shape because Obama was not up to the job. In truth, Obama
used Democratic congressional control when he had it to push through
Obamacare and Dodd-Frank; ever since, having taken the measure of
feckless GOP opposition, he has skillfully (albeit illegally) exploited
executive power to pursue progressive objectives. Obama has been plenty
up to the job as he intended the job to be done.
This reality is not helpful to a Christie, who wants to be seen as a
pragmatic problem-solver willing to “cross the aisle.” The logic of
Christie’s championing of bipartisan cooperation “to get things done”
has necessarily meant working in furtherance of Obama’s agenda (and, in
New Jersey, working closely with Democrats – which is how you get
multiple credit downgrades). No one courting the Republican base can
afford to be seen as complicit in Obama’s program. So, for Christie, if
Obama is to be portrayed as a failure, it’s got to be because Obama
wasn’t prepared to be president, not because of policies Republicans
Rush Limbaugh wonders why only Rubio and Ted Cruz are willing to acknowledge that Obama's behavior has been a deliberate attempt to destroy the United States.
And I think... This is what I was talking about earlier when I say, "I
think some of these professional media analysts..." God bless them and
they do hard work, and many of them, they're just fine people. But I
don't know that they have the ability to see these debates the way
people watching the debates on TV see them. Meaning: I don't know how
big a faux pas this was for Rubio. Clearly it was not a positive;
clearly it was not his best. But I don't think it ruined his chances and
wiped him out like some in the media opined.
Let's get to the audio sound bites. I want to start with this. It's
the fastest way to get into this. Because this is important, folks.
This is really, really important. There are only two people that I'm
aware of that are making a consistent point of this. Rubio, actually, is
atop of this. Rubio and Cruz are the only two in the entire Republican
field. Carly Fiorina may have said something like this occasionally.
With Rubio, it's a theme. With Cruz, it's close to a theme. And the
real question is: Why do the other Republicans in the field disagree?
Why do they not say it themselves, that Obama is doing what he's
doing on purpose and by design? That is a brilliantly conceived and
flawlessly executed plan to transform America into something it was not
founded to be. This is something crucially important to Republican
voters. To people inside the Beltway, it's kind of a chuckle. "There
they go again, those right wingers!" To people inside the Beltway, to
the elites, to the establishment, Obama's just the latest Democrat to
He's no different than any other Democrat. "It's just the Democrat
Party, and they have a president." They don't see the country in crisis
in any way. Not because of the economy, not because of immigration,
not because of foreign policy. In no way are we in a crisis. And, as
such, they don't see what Obama's doing as anything except maybe a
young, inexperienced -- this is Christie's point -- incompetent boob.
Well, that's not who Obama is. Rubio's opponents are using it to
disqualify him. "See! Obama doesn't know what he's doing, and Rubio's
the same kind of guy, just a few short years in the Senate running for
president. We can't afford it.
"Meanwhile, the governors! We're the guys. We're the tough guys.
We've had to make tough decisions," blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. The
governors will not admit who Obama is. The governors will not admit it,
and Trump does not agree that Obama is purposely doing this. Trump
thinks he's a blithering incompetent. This is crucially important.
He's one of two people saying it. Now, folks, you go out and talk to
actual Republican primary voters. You go out, outside of Washington,
outside New York, go out to where these primaries and caucuses are being
held, and you will find that this is exactly what has propelled
Republicans to the polls in droves in 2010 and 2014. It's not the
belief, it's not the theory, it is the knowledge that Obama's doing this
on purpose, and there isn't and hasn't been any push-back. And
Republican voters are livid. Obama has said he's doing it on purpose.
He has said his purpose is to transform the nation. Everybody knows
that Obama is an Alinskyite.
The real question is -- and I was talking about this over the weekend
with my good buddy, Andrew McCarthy. The real question is, why are
these other guys not saying it? Why does Chris Christie make fun of
it? Why does Donald Trump pooh-pooh it? Well, Trump I have to leave
out of this, out of this theory. But Trump also, just for the record,
said he thinks Obama's an incompetent boob, doesn't know what he's
doing. Christie's point is Obama's incompetent, he doesn't know what
he's doing because he's inexperienced just like Rubio doesn't know what
he's doing 'cause he's experienced. It's Barack Obama 2 in that Rubio
would be inexperienced senator, elected president, we don't want to do
Rubio's point, no, no, no, no, no. Obama's not incompetent. He's
not inexperienced. He's doing exactly what he wants to do. And none of
these Republican moderates will go there. You want to know why? You
want to know why? You want to know why they cannot agree that Obama's
doing this on purpose? Very simple. They cannot agree that Obama's
doing it on purpose. They do not dare say that Obama's doing it on
purpose because they have all worked with Barack Obama, in one way or
another, every one of these governors, many of them, and even a lot of
Republicans in the House and Senate have worked with Obama to advance
certain elements of the agenda.
I think the real important question here to ask and answer is why
won't anybody but Rubio and Cruz say it? Because that's essentially, if
you had to encapsulate what the Republican primary is, it's about
that. Like they keep harping on, Christie -- or it might have been
Trump, I don't know who it was -- jumped on Rubio, maybe it was a
moderator in the post-debate analysis. Why does he keep campaigning
against Obama? Obama's not on the ballot. Obama's seven years old.
Obama's in his last year. Why does he keep running against Obama?
Because Hillary and Bernie Sanders want to continue what Obama has
started, and it is the transformation of America. The Republican base
is fully aware of it. The Republican primary voters have been begging
the Republican Party to stop this since 2010, since 2009 when Obama took
See, the post-debate analysts who are either on sight or in studios,
television studio, I really -- this is not a criticism of them. I don't
want anybody to get the wrong idea. I think when you start making fun
of Rubio for repeating that Obama's doing it on purpose, you don't
understand how important that is to the Republican base, which is what
this primary is all about. It's fundamental. And by the same token,
defining conservatism, being able to, is fundamental. It's what this is
all about. And if you can't do it, if your definition of conservatism
is ignorant or wrong, I guarantee you you're gonna pay for it when it
comes time to vote.
I think Rush got it right. The only candidates for whom the American citizens in Israel will come out to vote are Rubio and Cruz. We all get that they are the only two candidates that will try to undo what Obama has wrought. And one of the things Obama has wrought is trying to set Israel on a path toward destruction (God Forbid).
Here's hoping that New Hampshire voters don't listen to the media tomorrow.
Remember President Hussein Obama promising Israel additional military aid to ensure that we can cope with a nuclear Iran? In Haaretz on Sunday, Barak Ravid reported that Prime Minister Netanyahu told his cabinet on Sunday that if the Obama administration doesn't properly help Israel, he'll wait for the next administration.
"It's not yet clear that we will come to an agreement," Netanyahu told the cabinet members in the course of a diplomatic-security briefing by acting national security adviser Jacob Nagel, who also heads the Israeli team negotiating memorandum with the Americans. "[We] need to see if [we] can achieve a result that will address Israel's security needs or perhaps we will not manage to come to an agreement with this administration and will need to come to an agreement with the next administration."
Last Thursday, an American delegation led by Yael Lempert, the Special Assistant to the president and Senior Director for the Levant, Israel and Egypt at the National Security Council in the White House, who arrived in Israel to hold a third round of negotiations on the matter. Over the past three days, the American team held discussions with a team of counterparts from the national security staff in the Prime Minister's Office and from the Defense Ministry, the Israel Defense Forces and the Foreign Ministry. The main topic of discussion in the talks was the size of the aid that the United States would provide Israel and the conditions on its use.
Netanyahu's remarks at the cabinet meeting raise the possibility that the round of talks in Jerusalem will not achieve substantial progress. Just two weeks ago, in the course of his visit to the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where the prime minister met with American Vice President Joe Biden, and where the two discussed the matter, the prime minister sounded much more optimistic. In an interview on stage with American journalist Fareed Zakaria, Netanyahu noted that he believed Israel and the United States would manage to wrap up negotiations in a positive manner on a new security memorandum of understanding in the coming months that would outline the size of American assistance to the IDF for the coming decade.
The current security memorandum of understanding signed ten years ago between the two countries is due to expire at the end of 2018. As a result of the understanding, the United States has provided $30 billion over a decade in security assistance to Israel. In the course of meetings between Netanyahu and Obama at the White House in November, the two announced the opening of new negotiations on the memorandum for the coming decade.
At the beginning of the negotiations a few months ago, senior figures in the defense establishment expressed the position that Israel is in need of a $5 billion annual increase to the amount of American assistance. Netanyahu himself has told the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee of the Knesset that he is interested in coming to agreement with Obama on the sum of "$4 billion plus."
In the course of his last visit to the United States and in interviews with the American media since then, Netanyahu has stressed that Israel needs a substantial increase in American security assistance in light of the nuclear agreement that Iran reached with the major world powers. Iran will be receiving $100 billion as a result of the lifting of sanctions and can use these funds to acquire quantities of weapons and provide advanced weaponry to Israel's enemies – Hezbollah, Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Netanyahu noted.
At the same time, Netanyahu has made it clear in recent months both in public and in private conversations with the Americans that the Sunni Arab countries are acquiring large quantities of advanced weaponry from the United States and France to protect themselves from Iran, but the weapons could in the future be turned against Israel. In such a reality, he has argued, an increase in American assistance is necessary to maintain the IDF's qualitative advantage in the region.
Senior officials in the defense establishment are expressing serious concern over the prospect that it will not be possible to reach an agreement with the Obama administration on the size of security assistance, resulting in a deferral of the subject until a new president takes office in January 2017. Under such circumstances, there would be less than a year remaining to come to a new security agreement before the current one expires. That would present a very complicated situation since any new president would need half a year at least to study the subject.
DEBKA, which I don't like to sole source, but will because of the Haaretz background, reports on some of the specifics of what's missing.
US President Barack Obama has retracted on his pledge of an extra
defense package to compensate Israel for the damage caused its security
by the nuclear deal concluded with Iran last year. This flat refusal,
reported here by debkafile’s
Washington sources, confronted Israeli officials when they met last
week with heads of the National Security Council at the White House.
Asked to define its new requirements, Israel asked the administration
for an additional $1.9 billion, which would have upped the total to $5
billion per annum for the next five years. The officials explained that
Israel’s defense bill had been inflated substantially by the new perils
looming from the current Middle East wars, and the windfall Iran had
gained from the lifting of sanctions for its advanced ballistic missiles
programs and for enhancing its allies' aggressive capacity, especially
that of Hizballah.
Israel is now beset additionally by adverse Russian military
operations in southern Syria and looming ISIS threats on multiple
fronts, at a time that the Arab states are stuffing their armories with
advanced weapons from Russia and China.
The US officials explained that, because of cutbacks in US defense
spending, it would not be possible to add a single dollar to Israel’s
regular $3.1 billion appropriation. After notifying Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon of this refusal,
the Israeli delegation was advised to reduce its application to $900
million. This too was refused.
The standing $3.1 billion annual US assistance program for Israel
expires at the end of 2016. The negotiations taking place currently were
to have covered its extension for ten years. That too is in doubt.
The Obama administration reacted angrily to Prime Minister Netanyahu's statement, and said that Israel will not get a better deal from the next President. Of course, that depends who the next President is.
The 74 passengers aboard the flight were originally checked in with
Turkish Airlines, which flies to Somalia three times per week, Mohamed
Ibrahim Yasin Olad, Daallo Airlines chief told Al Jazeera on Sunday.
"They were not our passengers. Turkish Airlines cancelled its flight
from Mogadishu that morning because their incoming flight from Djibouti
could not come to Mogadishu because of what they said was strong
wind," Olad said.
"They requested we carry the passengers on their behalf to Djibouti
where they would continue their journey on a Turkish Airlines flight,"
And the Turks? They're trying to disown the whole story.
"Turkish Airlines have not been in contact with us since the incident
happened. You can say they are trying to distance themselves from the
incident." Olad said.
Turkish Airlines suspended its flights to Somalia on Tuesday.
Al Jazeera contacted Turkish Airlines for comment but so far did not get a response.
The picture above was on the front page of this morning's Jerusalem Post print edition (Hat Tip: Leah P).
What does each of the five women in the picture have in common aside from the fact that they all belong to Women of the Wall?
The caption says that they are 'teaching' women to put on Tefillin. There's one small problem: Not a single one of them has the Tefillin on correctly.
While I can't really see where the arm Tefillin are, the head Tefillin are supposed to go "in the place where an infant's head beats" according to the Talmud. That means that they should be in the center of the head with the front line of the Tefillin ending at the hairline.
Now look at the picture again.
From Left to Right, women 1, 2 and 5 all have their Tefillin on their foreheads (which was how the Karaite sect wore them). Women 3 and 4 have them off to one side. Yes, of course, it's the Left side.
I am an Orthodox Jew - some would even call me 'ultra-Orthodox.' Born in Boston, I was a corporate and securities attorney in New York City for seven years before making aliya to Israel in 1991 (I don't look it but I really am that old :-). I have been happily married to the same woman for thirty-five years, and we have eight children (bli ayin hara) ranging in age from 12 to 33 years and eight grandchildren. Three of our children are married! Before I started blogging I was a heavy contributor on a number of email lists and ran an email list called the Matzav from 2000-2004. You can contact me at: IsraelMatzav at gmail dot com