Of course, Amnesty said nothing of Gaza's 'justice system.' Richard Goldstone of the Goldstone Commission once endorsed Hamas' 'court system,' but it goes without saying that Gaza does not have an 'attorney general' and that Amnesty's call is ludicrous.
Hamas does have Abu Mazen, who is supposed to approve any death sentences, but since Hamas broke Gaza off from the more 'moderate' terrorists of Fatah in 2007, they no longer ask Abu Mazen to approve their death sentences.
But just give them a 'state' and they'll sort it all out....
A recent poll found that almost all Palestinians — 95.5 percent —
believe there is corruption in Abbas' government. Nader Said, a veteran
pollster, surveyed 1,200 people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip last
month. Among Gaza residents scoring the performance of the territory's
Hamas rulers, the figure was 82 percent.
"This is the highest rate I have ever seen in all the polls I have
done," Said, who runs an independent polling agency called AWRAD, told
The Associated Press. The margin of error was 3 percentage points.
Experts say perceptions of corruption tend to be overblown. The World
Bank, for example, found in a survey of Palestinians several years ago
that far more people believed there was corruption than actually
But critics say secretiveness among Abbas and his advisers and a lack
of responsiveness have fanned suspicions among the public that the
political elite enjoy privileges and special deals at the expense of
For example, the government hasn't submitted annual budget reports
for mandatory audits for four years, effectively preventing scrutiny of
how millions of dollars are spent, said corruption monitor Aman, the
Palestinian branch of Transparency International.
Hamdallah's predecessor, Salam Fayyad, was credited by international
donors with making public spending more transparent. Fayyad resigned in
2013 amid tensions with Abbas and Fatah, including over the budget.
Abbas then installed Hamdallah, an academic without political experience.
"Fayyad used to host us and brief us every year," Afaneh said. "In
the current situation, we don't hear from the government or the Finance
Finance Ministry officials did not respond to requests for comment.
The government does post its spending plans online. But the listings are bare-boned and often puzzling, said Afaneh.
For example, out of the government's development budget of $17.9
million for the first three months of 2014, $9.4 million went for Abbas'
small presidential plane and $4.4 million for "other" expenses. A
development budget typically goes to projects that benefit the
Afaneh said plane expenses shouldn't be listed under development and
that portraying one-fourth of the development budget in that quarter as
"other" raises questions.
The public has complained loudly over issues of nepotism and
disproportionately high salaries for select senior officials, some of
whom make $10,000 a month, about 10 times the average for government
"It's rare to find someone who got a job based on his
qualifications," said Diaa Abu Dhaher, 23, who has an undergraduate
degree in business administration but works as a waiter in a Ramallah
95.5% is the kind of number you usually see in polls in a dictatorship... oh... wait... this is a dictatorship. But usually you don't see wall-to-wall opposition to the dictator.
But the US Left and the Europeans continue to shower money on their beloved 'Palestinian Authority' because... anything to hurt the Jews.
Those villas at the top are part of the story, by the way, and they are not Jewish. They're located in Ramallah. Read the whole thing to see who owns them and how they got them. Yes, that's part of it. And this story too is part of the Obama #Legacy.
Obama administration: 'We stopped sanctioning Iranian human rights abusers after the nuke deal'
Remember how the Obama administration promised us last summer that sanctions would be 'snapped back' into place in the event of violations by Iran of the (still unsigned) JCPOA? Well, they're now admitting that in at least one area, the sanctions are gone - permanently. Not one Iranian human rights abuser has been designated as such since the P 5+1 (but not Iran) signed the JCPOA. And Congress is awakening to the reality that it was fooled.
Republicans and Democrats alike are now accusing the administration
of misleading Congress about its commitment to sanctions and saying that
it has avoided such designations in order to prevent the Iranian regime
from walking away from the deal.
“We were told during this process that getting the nuclear issue off
the table was so critical and we could actually expect Iran to engage in
additional destabilizing activity,” Rep. David Cicilline (D., R.I.)
said during a House Foreign Affairs Committee examining the
administration’s promises regarding Iran.
“We were assured that this would give us an opportunity to push back
hard in these other areas because the danger of a nuclear Iran would be
off the table, and I was very persuaded by that,” said Cicilline, a supporter of the nuclear agreement.
Cicilline asked Ambassador Stephen Mull, the administration’s lead
coordinator for implementing the nuclear deal, what the administration
has “done since the signing of the [nuclear deal] with regard to
imposing sanctions on human rights violators in Iran.” Mull admitted
that the U.S. has not taken any action.
“There has not been a specific sanction on human rights cases since the signing” of the deal, Mull said.
Cicilline questioned why, since the administration promised to take
action, it had not done so in the face of rising human rights abuses by
Mull emphasized that the administration is concerned about human
rights in Iran and has raised the issue in meetings with regime
In case you missed it, Cicilline is a Democrat and supported the deal.
Meanwhile, the White House plans to block any attempt to impose new sanctions on Iran, because... you know... the legacy....
“Congress wants to impose new pressure against Iranian human rights
violations, but the Obama administration keeps blocking new action. The
administration’s excuse is they already have all the tools they need,”
said one source who works closely with Congress on the Iran issue. “What
today’s admission shows is that they might have those tools, but
they’re certainly not using them.”
Make sure to read the whole thing. The unsaid problem in this whole affair is that reimposing sanctions is like closing the barn door after the cow has escaped. It would take years to new sanctions to begin to have the effect that the old ones had. As one Presidential candidate asked, "What difference does it make?"
Former NSC official: 'Most pro-Israel administration evah' conducted whisper campaign to smear Netanyahu
A former National Security Council official has told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that the Obama administration conducted a whisper campaign to smear Prime Minister Netanyahu and get the sellout to a nuclear Iran through Congress.
According to the congressional testimony
of Michael Doran — Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute and a former
senior director in the National Security Council (NSC) in the
administration of President George W. Bush — the White House initiated a
“whisper campaign” against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cast
him “as the villain of the Middle East peace process, an
arch-nationalist with unseemly ties to the Republican party who refuses
to make the necessary compromises to bring about an historic
reconciliation with the Palestinians,” he told the House Committee on
Oversight and Government Reform.
Doran’s testimony came in response to a controversial New York Times Magazine profile
on White House national security advisor Ben Rhodes, who gloated about
how he was able to deceive the public to garner support for last July’s
nuclear agreement. Rhodes admitted to creating an “echo chamber” among
susceptible journalists, policy experts and officials to spin the White
According to Doran, the Obama
administration engaged in a strategy of “deception” in order to create a
“detente” with Iran. Had the White House been open and honest about the
true nature of the agreement, there would have been significant public
backlash, Doran said.
In Doran’s estimation, Rhodes’s
behavior is part of a greater problem: the growing size and power of the
NSC. “Rhodes’s war room is not an isolated problem, it is symptomatic
of an NSC that, according to all three of Obama’s former secretaries of
defense, has grown imperial in both size and ethos. In order to protect
our system of checks and balances, Congress must take action to school
the White House in a healthy respect for republican values.”
#FeelTheBern Sanders appoints 3 anti-Israel 'activists' to write Democratic party platform, Wasserman-Schultz appoints another one as chair, and Clinton appoints... Wendy Sherman
The Democratic party has revamped the way it appoints members of its platform committee, apportioning representation based on votes in the primary. As a result, Hillary Clinton has appointed six members of the platform committee, Bernie Sanders has appointed five, and party Chaircritter Debbie Wasserman Schultz ('I wear my support for Israel to work on my sleeve every morning') has appointed four.
One of Sanders' appointees is longtime anti-Israel activist James Zogby.
Sanders’s choices include James Zogby, a pro-Palestinian activist who
is president of the Arab-American Institute in Washington and a
frequent commentator on Arab-Israeli issues.
On Saturday Zogby
noted recent government shifts under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
that consolidated his right-wing power base.
“His behavior has
been shameful, but so too is the extent to which Israelis, Americans and
others continue to enable his malevolent rule,” Zogby wrote.
The Obama administration has “repeatedly expressed displeasure over
Netanyahu’s settlement policies and his blatant interference in US
internal politics. Nevertheless the administration is now debating
whether to reward his government with a 10 year aid package valued at
$35 billion—while Netanyahu, supported by allies in Congress, is
brazenly holding out for $45 to $50 billion,” he wrote. “And so,
operating with virtually no restraints, Netanyahu continues to maneuver
and to aggressively advance his hard-line agenda. He maintains his grip
on power. Israeli society continues to become more extreme and
intolerant. Palestinians are more despairing and desperate. And peace
Other Sanders appointees include two other anti-Israel 'activists' - Cornel West and America's first Muslim Congresscritter, Keith Ellison.
One of Clinton's appointees is Wendy Sherman, the social worker turned nuclear negotiator, who brought us the disastrous nuclear agreements with Iran and North Korea.
And Wasserman Schutlz appointed as Chairman of the Platform Committee Representative Elijah Cummings, another member of the Hamas 54 (along with Ellison) who called for lifting the Gaza 'blockade' and letting Hamas continue to lob rockets at Israel.
Jewish woman forced to hide from anti-Israel 'activists' at UC Irvine
You all remember the University of California at Irvine, the place where then-Israeli ambassador to the United States Michael Oren was heckled and forced to stop speaking? Well, it happened again. Last week, a Jewish woman was forced to hide from anti-Israel 'activists' at Irvine outside a meeting at which a movie about the IDF was being screened.
Sophomore Eliana Kopley had just left a Holocaust-related event when
she was walking toward the facility featuring a screening of “Beneath
the Helmet,” a documentary about the Israel Defense Forces. As she
arrived at the event hosted by Students Supporting Israel, Ms. Kopley
was met by an angry crowd pounding on the doors and windows—engaged in
violent chants targeting the Jewish state.
“I was terrified. There is no other word to describe how I felt,” Ms. Kopley told the Haym Salomon Center.
As the mob tried to gain entrance to the event, one protestor shouted, “If we’re not allowed in, you’re not allowed in!”
With the crowd physically forbidding Ms. Kopley from attending the
event and chants inciting violence against Jews and Israel such as
“Intifada, Intifada—Long live the Intifada!” and “F**k Israel!” Ms.
Kopley walked away from the scene.
But she was not alone. A group of female students followed her as she escaped to safety in the room nearby.
“When I turned back, at that moment, I looked at one of the girls and wanted to hide and cry,” Ms. Kopley said.
Throughout this entire time, Ms. Kopley never hung up the phone with
her mother, who was anxiously fearful on the other end of the line.
“My mom keeps asking what’s going on. But I couldn’t even say
complete sentences. All I managed to say was ‘protesters’ and she
started yelling at me to call the cops,” Ms. Kopley said.
So she did. As the chanting heightened, Ms. Kopley remained on the
line with 9-1-1 until an officer found her shortly after. Two officers,
who decided it would be best to put on black rubber gloves to protect
them from sharp objects, escorted her through the crowd of protesters to
the nearby film screening safely.
How the Obama administration paid J Street to push the Iranian nuclear sellout
The Obama administration through its National Security Council passed hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Ploughshares Fund, an NGO that favors allowing Iran to have nuclear weapons. And the Ploughshares Fund paid J Street over $500,000 to push its agenda last summer. That's what came out over this past weekend.
A group the White House recently identified as a key surrogate in
selling the Iran nuclear deal gave liberal Jewish lobbying organization J
street $576,500 to advocate for the deal.
J-Street, a liberal Jewish political action
group, undertook a comprehensive campaign last year to support the
nuclear deal, amid lobbying by Jerusalem and other pro-Israel groups to
convince Congress to block the landmark pact.
J Street also created TV ads and built a wesbite to stump for the accord.
The group said called the New York Times ad
was “the latest phase of [our] multimillion dollar campaign to ensure
that the US Congress does not sabotage the nuclear deal.”
The Ploughshares Fund’s mission is to “build a
safe, secure world by developing and investing in initiatives to reduce
and ultimately eliminate the world’s nuclear stockpiles,” one that
dovetails with President Barack Obama’s arms control efforts. But its
behind-the-scenes role advocating for the Iran agreement got more
attention this month after a candid profile of Ben Rhodes, one of the
president’s top foreign policy aides.
Waiting to hear regrets from Senate Democrats over their votes in favor of letting Iran become a nuclear power.
Here are some more Ploughshares donees.
The Arms Control Association got $282,500; the
Brookings Institution, $225,000; and the Atlantic Council, $182,500.
They received money for Iran-related analysis, briefings and media
outreach, and non-Iran nuclear work.
Other groups, less directly defined by their independent nuclear expertise, also secured grants.
More than $281,000 went to the National Iranian American Council.
Princeton University got $70,000 to support
former Iranian ambassador and nuclear spokesman Seyed Hossein
Mousavian’s “analysis, publications and policymaker engagement on the
range of elements involved with the negotiated settlement of Iran’s
The Ploughshares grant to NPR supported
“national security reporting that emphasizes the themes of US nuclear
weapons policy and budgets, Iran’s nuclear program, international
nuclear security topics and US policy toward nuclear security,”
according to Ploughshares’ 2015 annual report, recently published
Oh yeah, and NPR got $100,000 too. Because government funding isn't enough.
J Street didn’t deny receiving the funds and
said it “acted in order to advance the nuclear deal with Iran out of
faith that it was an important deal, that it had a great contribution
also to the security of Israel.”
“(This) faith is shared by us as well as many
sources, both in the American government and in the Israeli security
establishment, as well as among the Jewish public in the US, most of
whom supported the nuclear deal,” the group said in a press release on
“The nuclear deal with Iran has blocked Iran’s
pathways to a nuclear weapon for the coming years,”said J Street,
adding “we are proud of the activities of the organization to advance
the nuclear deal between the world powers and Iran, a deal that we
believe is of the utmost importance for the security of the state of
Among those J Street cites as Israeli supporters of the deal is pathological liar Ami Ayalon. The endorsements of the deal have already been proven false.
One day, this will all be part of Obama's legacy - along with his infesting American politics with sleaze.
Nasser al-Rashid, one of Saudi Arabia’s wealthiest figures and an adviser to the country’s royal family, has donated somewhere between $1 million to $5 million to the Clinton Foundation, putting him in an elite category of prominent donors.
Al-Rashid’s children—including one who pled guilty to assaulting his
estranged wife—have poured almost $600,000 into Democratic coffers
during the past several years, raising questions about influence
peddling by prominent foreign families.
The controversy has already rippled through Florida’s contentious
race for a Democratic Senate seat and threatens to further entangle
presidential contender Hillary Clinton, who has already faced questions
about her close ties to foreign governments.
“This raises a very simple question in my mind—why is this family of
one of Saudi Arabia’s richest billionaires and a key adviser to the
royal family pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into our political
system to elect and influence these Democrats?” asked Ian Prior, a
longtime Republican political operative and current spokesman for the
Senate Leadership Fund, which advocates the election of Republican
Nasser Ibrahim al-Rashid, the family’s patriarch, is the founder and
chairman of the Riyadh-based Rashid Engineering, making him one of the
country’s top five wealthiest men.
His high-dollar donations to the Clinton Foundationput him in league with other prominent donors such as financial giant Barclays Capital and beer magnate Anheuser-Busch.
Al-Rashid's son Ibrahim might be even worse.
Al-Rashid’s three sons have followed in their father’s political
footsteps, contributing large sums to top Democrats, including Rep.
Patrick Murphy (D., Fla.), whose Senate race could help decide which
party controls the Senate in 2017.
Murphy has already returned a portion of al-Rashid’s donations due to his involvement in a domestic assault incident.
Ibrahim al-Rashid allegedly forced his way into his estranged wife’s
Pennsylvania home, where al-Rashid allegedly “grabbed her by the wrist,
struck her about the head and face with a closed fist then threw her to
the ground,” according to a copy of the police report viewed by the Free Beacon.
Following the 2014 incident, al-Rashid allegedly sent his wife a text
message stating, “I am not sorry this time I hope you die in hell,”
according to the police report.
Murphy, a longtime friend of al-Rashid, was recently forced to donate
around $16,000 in campaign funds to domestic violence groups after the
assault charge became a public liability for the campaign. Murphy also
returned all of the donations made by al-Rashid during the last three
However, that did not account for all of the money al-Rashid donated
in 2012 to a pro-Murphy Super PAC, prompting calls for Murphy to return
that money as well.
Al-Rashid has donatedat least$490,000mainly to Democratic campaigns,
the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and Democratic Super
PACs, according to funding data, raising further questions about whether
these candidates and organizations also will return the controversial
Al-Rashid's other sons have also donated significant amounts to Democrats.
Ibrahim’s brother, Salman al-Rashid, also has sunk at least$57,600 into Democratic campaigns, including the DCCC.
This includes contributions to the campaigns of Murphy and Sen. Cory
Booker (D., N.J.), as well as Rep. Ted Deutch (D., Fla.), Rep. Keith
Ellison (D., Minn.), and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.), among
others, according to Federal Election Commission data.
A third son of Nasser, Mohammed al-Rashid, appears to have donated around $40,000 mainly
to Democrats, according to FEC data. This includes donations to the
DCCC, Murphy, Ellison, Booker, and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D.,
Fla.), among others, according to the FEC.
One veteran political operative who has been tracking the 2016 election cycle told the Free Beacon that these donations raise questions about foreign influence in U.S. politics.
“Saudi Arabia is anti-Israel, anti-woman, and anti-human rights, yet
Hillary Clinton’s Foundation takes millions from the Saudi government
and well-connected billionaires like this al-Rashid,” the source said.
“Now we have down ballot Democrats looking the other way and taking
money from al-Rashid’s sons, one of whom committed domestic violence.
This from the party that uses divisive ‘war on women’ rhetoric at every
Booker and Deutsch both have reputations for being pro-Israel. You have to wonder how true that is if they're taking money from the al-Rashid's.
This video came from Arutz Sheva (Hat Tip: Gershon D).
Let's go to the videotape.
Which party is pro-Israel? Which party is conducting a war on women? And why is Debbie "I wear my support for Israel to work on my sleeve every day" Wasserman Schultz taking money from the al-Rashid's?
Still think Israeli airport security is 'too expensive'?
I have written many, many posts over the years calling on the United States to implement Israeli style airport security. The excuse I keep hearing is it's 'too expensive.'
On Sunday at Chicago-OHare - an airport I fly through from time to time - 'dozens' of people missed their flights and ended up spending the night at the airport on army cots due to security lines that were three hours long.
What does that cost you, America?
Let's go to the videotape.
For the record, in Israel, from arrival at the airport to the end of passport control, I am through the airport in 30-45 minutes (okay, I have the equivalent of a trusted traveler card in Israel, so I don't wait in line for passport control).
A museum without exhibits for a people without a history
How appropriate. The New York Times reports that the $24 million 'Palestinian Museum' (ostensibly 'privately funded') will open this week in Bir Zeit near Ramallah, but due to infighting it won't have any exhibits.
The long-planned — and much-promoted — inaugural exhibit, “Never Part,” highlighting artifacts of Palestinian refugees, has been suspended after a disagreement between the museum’s board and its director, which led to the director’s ouster. President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority and other dignitaries are expected to attend the opening ceremony, but a spokeswoman acknowledged on Sunday that “there will not be any artwork exhibited in the museum at all.”
Omar al-Qattan, the museum’s chairman, said Palestinians were “so in need of positive energy” that it was worthwhile to open even an empty building. “Symbolically it’s critical,” he said, conceding that the next phase, including the exhibits, “is the more exciting one.”
“Never Part,” developed over several years by the ousted director, Jack Persekian, was to feature artistic interpretations of things like keys and photographs that Palestinians around the world have kept from the homes they fled or were forced from in what is now Israel.
Mr. Persekian, who runs an art gallery called the Al Mamal Foundation for Contemporary Art in Jerusalem, said he had agreed to leave after the museum’s senior management unceremoniously told him that it no longer favored the project, but he said he did not know why.
“I can’t fathom what happened,” he said, offering a succinct description of the result of his work for the museum: “Waste.”
Mr. Qattan, the museum chairman, said that his team had decided that Mr. Persekian had not sufficiently built expertise among staff members during his tenure of three and a half years, and that outside artists had criticized his conception of the exhibition.
“We didn’t feel that what was delivered was up to scratch,” Mr. Qattan said.
But wait - it gets better. It seems that Mr. Persekian's successor has a slightly embellished resume.
The museum announced in a news release this month that it had named a new director, Mahmoud Hawari, who it called “the lead curator at the British Museum”and a specialist in early Islamic art, architecture and archaeology, among other topics.
A spokeswoman for the British Museum would not confirm that Mr. Hawari held the position of lead curator there, saying only that “he was a visiting academic at the British Museum.” A spokeswoman for Taawon said on Monday morning that the information in the release was based on a curriculum vitae that Mr. Hawari had provided.
In the news release by the Palestinian museum, Mr. Hawari said it would be an institution that “links Palestinians together, at home and in exile, wherever they may live.”
But here's a hint of why Mr. Persekian was fired and his exhibit canceled: It seems that the museum's owners were afraid that someone might say something against the 'Palestinian Authority.'
For “Never Part,” Mr. Persekian said he had collected images of countless artifacts from Palestinians around the world, conducted Skype interviews to document the stories behind those artifacts and planned to include physical objects as well. The objects would have been collected locally — across the West Bank for exhibitions in the museum here in Birzeit, a university town next to Ramallah, and in cities around the world for versions presented there.
Mr. Persekian said he had intended to make all this material available to artists whose work involves archival material and research, and the artists could have interpreted the objects as they saw fit. For those in charge of the museum’s finances, he said, that may have caused unease.
“Maybe they didn’t want to take a risk with something that is so unpredictable and so uncontrollable,” he said.
Yeah, imagine if some of those 'Palestinians' started talking about the corruption of the 'Palestinian Authority' or saying that they have no interest in 'returning' to 'Palestine.'
Defense Ministry employee dances on grave of IDF hero
Some of you may remember the story of Roi Klein HY"D (May God Avenge his blood), pictured here with his wife and children, who threw himself on a grenade at Bint Jbeil, Lebanon during the Second Lebanon War, thereby saving many other IDF soldiers.
I have no idea what precipitated the story below, but it is beyond disgusting and the Defense Ministry employee who did it ought to be dismissed.
Moshe Ben Zaken, an employee working in the office of Defense
Minister Moshe Yaalon, publicized (last week) an unusual post, in which
he slammed the conduct of heroic IDF soldier Roi Klein, who saved the
lives of his soldiers during the Second Lebanon War, when he lay over a
grenade during battle and was killed.
According to Ben Zaken, Klein jumped on the grenade, not out of bravery, but rather in order to cover up an operational error.
In 1961, they knew how to solve the 'Palestinian problem'
Here's an amazing 1961 Atlantic piece (would the Atlantic even publish something like this today @JeffreyGoldberg) written by a woman I am told is Ernest Hemmingway's ex-wife (thanks @soccerdhg) who took a tour of eight 'Palestinian refugee camps' in 1961.
Here's the money quote (in more ways than one) (Hat Tip: @zlando).
On this warlike note, we left. My guide had seemed a sober contented
fellow until our little meeting, whereupon he sounded like a politician
running recklessly for office. He then astonished me again.
can all be solved with money," he said. "Now the people have nothing in
their mouths but words, so they talk. Money fills the mouth too. If
every man got a thousand dollars for each member of his family, for
compensation to have lost his country, and he could be a citizen in any
Arab country he likes, he would not think of Palestine any more. Then he
could start a new life and be rich and happy. And those who really do
own something in Palestine must be paid for what they had there. But
those are not many. Most had nothing, only work."
It could - and probably still can - all be solved with money (although probably more today than 55 years ago). But of course no one - especially UNRWA - has any interest in solving it with money. And so, unlike any other refugees in the world, the 'Palestinians' continue to fester in camps... except for the ones who have escaped to the West.
Read the whole thing (I'm still reading it myself). And keep in mind that it was written six years BEFORE Israel 'occupied' the 'West Bank' and Gaza, so obviously that's not the problem.
'I killed myself to give the 'Palestinians' a state'
For once I agree with Bill Clinton. Yes, he really did nearly kill himself to give the 'Palestinians' a state. And yes, he's telling the truth about the 'Palestinians.'
Let's go to the videotape.
Since I know you can't make out what the spectator is saying, there's a full transcript here.
But here's the problem. I don't like Bill Clinton, but I have serious doubts he would ever purposely destroy Israel. I don't have those doubts about Hillary. Here's why. Hillary has a long history of being anti-Israel.
It seems that in the Obama White House, the boss may not be the biggest
Israel hater. That title may well belong to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (Hat Tip: Shy Guy).
In his book American Evita, Christopher Anderson writes.
a time when elements of the American Left embraced the Palestinian
cause and condemned Israel, Hillary was telling friends that she was
"sympathetic" to the terrorist organization and admired its flamboyant
leader, Yasser Arafat. When Arafat made his famous appearance before the
UN General Assembly in November 1974 wearing his revolutionary uniform
and his holster on his hip, Bill "was outraged like everybody else,"
said a Yale Law School classmate. But not Hillary, who tried to convince
Bill that Arafat was a "freedom fighter" trying to free his people from
their Israeli "oppressors." (1)
Of course Hillary's
feelings about the PLO and Israel are only one aspect of her character,
often a person's true nature is more closely revealed in a more intimate
setting. In an early showcase of Hillary's diplomatic skills
Christopher Anderson relates an experience that she and her future
husband had during a trip to Arkansas in 1973.
during this trip to his home state that Bill took Hillary to meet a
politically well connected friend. When they drove up to the house, Bill
and Hillary noticed that a menorah-the seven branched Hebrew
candelabrum (not to be confused with the more common and subtler
mezuzah)-has been affixed to the front door.
"My daddy was
half Jewish," explained Bill's friend. "One day when he came to visit ,
my daddy placed the menorah on my door because he wanted me to be proud
that we were part Jewish. And I wasn't about to say no to my daddy."
To his astonishment, as soon as Hillary saw the menorah, she refused
to get out of the car. "Bill walked up to me and said that she was hot
and tired, but later he explained the real reason." According to the
friend and another eyewitness, Bill said, "I'm sorry, but Hillary's
really tight with the people in the PLO in New York. They're friends of
hers, and she just doesn't feel right about the menorah." (2)
Read the whole thing. After that second story, anyone want to try to convince me that she 'only' hates Israel and not Jews?
The only time in her adult life that Hillary Clinton was pro-Israel was
when it was necessary to be elected as US Senator from the heavily
Jewish state of New York. I don't believe that Hillary Clinton is worthy
of Jewish support at all, but if American Jews are going to donate to
her campaign they should at least condition their support on a clear and
irreparable break with President Hussein Obama's policies on both the
Iranian nuclear file and the so-called 'peace process.'
Beirut barracks bomb preparer, Hariri assassination mastermind killed near Damascus
Israel may have been behind an explosion that killed Mustafa Badreddine, the Hezbullah commander who prepared the bombs for the US Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983, and who is said to the mastermind of the assassination of Lebanese President Rafik al-Hariri in 2005, among other crimes. Badreddine was killed in a blast near the Damascus Airport a few days ago.
An initial report by Lebanon's al-Mayadeen TV said that Badreddine,
55, died in an Israeli air strike. But a later statement by Hezbollah on
al-Manar's website did not mention Israel.
Israeli media reported that the government refused to comment on whether it was involved in Badreddine's death.
Israel has been accused by Hezbollah of killing a number of its fighters in Syria since the conflict began.
group was established in the wake of the Israeli occupation of Lebanon
in the early 1980s, and has called for the "obliteration" of Israel.
A number of Twitter accounts supporting Syrian rebel groups and the
al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front say Badreddine was killed in a battle
in Khan Touman, southern Aleppo, rather than in Damascus.
Touman was captured by a coalition of groups including al-Nusra Front
last week and has been subject to heavy shelling in recent days.
No official sources have commented on the reports.
in 1961, Badreddine is believed to have been a senior figure in
Hezbollah's military wing. He was a cousin and brother-in-law of Imad
Mughniyeh, who was the military wing's chief until his assassination by
car bomb in Damascus in 2008.
According to one report,
a Hezbollah member interrogated by the Canadian Security Intelligence
Service (CSIS), described Badreddine as "more dangerous" than Mughniyeh,
who was "his teacher in terrorism".
They are alleged to have
worked together on the October 1983 bombing of the US Marine Corps
barracks in Beirut that killed 241 personnel.
reported to have sat on Hezbollah's Shura Council and served as an
adviser to the group's overall leader Hassan Nasrallah.
Badreddine was tried in absentia by the ongoing Special Tribunal for Lebanon, in The Hague, over the killing of Mr Hariri.
Any of the armed groups seeking to overthrow Mr Assad might have
sought to kill the man co-ordinating Hezbollah military activities.
However, suspicion is likely to fall on Israel, which fought a war
against Hezbollah in 2006.
Israel has been accused of killing
several of the group's leaders over the years, although it has never
officially confirmed its involvement.
Hezbollah military chief
Imad Mughniyeh was killed in a car bombing in Damascus in 2008 that US
intelligence officials said last year was a joint operation by the CIA
and Israel's Mossad spy agency.
In January 2015, a suspected Israeli air strike in the Syrian Golan Heights killed six Hezbollah fighters, including Mughniyeh's son Jihad, and an Iranian Revolutionary Guards general.
And in December, Hezbollah said one of its senior figures, Samir Qantar, was killed when missiles fired by Israeli jets struck a block of flats in Damascus.
has also reportedly conducted air strikes aimed at preventing advanced
weapons shipments from Iran from reaching Hezbollah via Syria.
The 'no comment' is Israel's standard operating policy, but if Israel is involved in this, you can bet the Obama administration will make sure everyone knows about it.
The Israel Project's Omri Ceren provides more background by email.
Organizationally Badreddine was "dual hatted," per Matt Levitt, a Washington Institute director and the scholar who literally wrote the book on Badreddine [c]. He was both the head of Hezbollah's external global terror operations and the head of all Hezbollah activities in Syria [d].
Badreddine killed so many different people in so many different places that it's not actually clear if the Israelis were the ones who got him [e]. Under interrogation by Canadian security officials, a Hezbollah member once reportedly described Badreddine as "more dangerous" than his predecessor and cousin Imad Mughniyah [f]. He was unpopular even inside Hezbollah: Levitt tweeted he was "rash, hot tempered, impetuous, even unstable," and "was very close [to] Nasrallah, but widely disliked within Hezbollah," and was "a philandering playboy, not particularly religious" [g][h][i].
A couple of timelines: 1st, Badreddine's terror activities going back decades, 2nd, how the U.S. Treasury designated him as a terrorist starting in 2012, though last month
Badreddine terror activities timeline
1980s - In October 1983 he prepared the bombs for the Beirut barracks bombings, which killed 241 U.S. and 58 French servicemen. The targets were separate American and French buildings [j]. In December 1983 he was part of the Iran-backed cell that launched seven attacks in one day in Kuwait, killing 6 and wounding almost 90. The targets were the American embassy, a residential building for American company Raytheon, the French embassy, the Kuwaiti airport, the Kuwait National Petroleum Company oil rig, and a Kuwaiti power station [k].
1990s - He helped establish and then he coordinated Hezbollah Unit 1800, which facilitated terror attacks against Israel from the West Bank and Gaza [l].
2000s - He helped establish and the he coordinated Hezbollah Unit 3800, which launched attacks in Iraq against American, British, and Sunni forces [m]. In 2005 he masterminded Hariri's assassination in Lebanon, which killed Hariri and 21 others.
2010s - He's been coordinating all Hezbollah activities in Syria.
U.S. sanctions and designations timeline
2012 - Treasury designated Badreddine pursuant to E.O. 13224, labeling him a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist" [n]. The Treasury notice cited him for "providing support to Hizballah’s terrorist activities in the Middle East and around the world," assessed that he was currently "Hizballah's top militant commander," and noted that "the prosecutor of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon charged Mustafa Badr Al-Din with the attack... that killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and 21 others."
2015 - Treasury piled on more sanctions, this time pursuant to E.O. 13582 [o]. The Treasury note assessed he was "responsible for Hizballah's military operations in Syria since 2011," having sat with Nasrallah during meetings in Damascus throughout 2011 before expanding his role.
April 2016 - Treasury tagged him again, this time under the Hizballah International Financing Prevention Act of 2015, making him subject to secondary sanctions [p].
Badreddine's assassination could lead to war between Israel and Hezbullah.
Don't try to wish Israel a happy birthday on Michigan Public Radio
Michigan Public Radio has refused a four-word advertisement wishing Israel a happy birthday, calling it 'radioactive.' This came via Honest Reporting.
For sponsoring a day’s broadcast of Michigan Public Radio, Lisa Lis
was told she was entitled to have a message broadcast on the air. She
chose a four-word sentence, “Happy 68th birthday, Israel.” The station
rejected that line as too radioactive, saying, “this message would compromise the station’s commitment to impartiality and that it crosses over into advocacy, or could imply advocacy,” reports Deadline Detroit.
My hope for Israel as it celebrates 68 years of statehood
is that the public will cease to treat any mention of Israel as a
controversial topic. A non-political offering of congratulations to Israel on its anniversary of independence should be taken at face value and not made into a controversy.
If you think Michigan Public Radio was 'winging it' in order to find an excuse for not carrying the message... you're right. Here's more from that Deadline Detroit link.
Lis, a self-proclaimed progressive and strong supporter of
Israel, whose husband is Israeli and whose son is in the Israeli Defense
Forces, wanted her message to celebrate Israel. Eventually she settled
on "Happy 68th Birthday Israel." Israel celebrates Independence Day this
year on May 12.
Initially, "blessing" was in her message, but the station said that
implied something religious, so she dropped that word. Then the station
said it couldn't accommodate the wish because it needed two months'
Then the station rejected the message outright. Alison Warren, associate director of development, wrote in an April 26 email:
We will not be able to air your day sponsorship message as written.
We have determined that this message would compromise the station's
commitment to impartiality and that it crosses over into advocacy, or
could imply advocacy.
If there is another message, perhaps celebrating a birthday or
anniversary of an individual, please let me know and I'd be happy to
"I'm very upset," said Lis, a daughter of Florine Marks of Weight
Watchers' fame. "It’s sad. There's plenty anti-Israel messages out
there, and they won't allow something for Israel." Lis said she and her
husband, Hannan Lis, donate $40 per month.
Last Friday, Lis took it to the next level, writing about the conflict in a weekly newsletter emailed to about 1,000 people.
I am in a battle with Michigan Radio to use my Day Sponsorship to wish
Israel Happy 68th birthday. They denied my request because they said it
would "compromise the station's commitment to impartiality and that it
crosses over into advocacy".
Why would Public Radio need to be impartial about a legally
recognized country other than the fact, many want her wiped from the
face of the earth. Would it be a problem if it were the birthday of
England, Norway or South Sudan?
Israel is a hot button country that the world has accepted as
questionable and debatable and the major infraction Israel has committed
is purely her existence. By the way, I truly look forward to expressing
my same salutation when Palestine can celebrate her birthday.
Deadline Detroit emailed executives at the station Sunday and left phone messages Monday.
Steve Schram, executive director and general manager, responded Monday:
The current request was denied because it doesn’t meet our day
sponsorship policies, which state “typical messages honor an
individual’s birthday, anniversary, retirement, graduation, or other
In accordance with our rules governing donor acknowledgments,
announcements containing political or religious messages are not
acceptable This was shared with the donor.
This policy is not unique to this station and is similar to other public radio stations across the country.
Michigan Radio describes itself as "the state’s most listened-to public radio service, . . .with a broadcast signal that reaches 80% of Michigan’s population." Its three stations -- WUOM in Ann Arbor, WFUM in Flint and WVGR in Grand Rapids.-- "serve approximately 500,000 listeners each week across the southern half of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula."
Interestingly, during the volley of emails, Larry Jonas, director of
development at Michigan Radio, responded about whether it would allow
"Happy Birthday Norway."
Jonas wrote to Hannan Lis:
The answer to your question about whether or not we would allow a
"Happy Birthday Norway" is no. . . . We would not air such a message.
Harmless as it may seem, it forces us to make the choice between which
countries or political bodies are worthy of on-air recognition and which
Mind you, in the initial response, the station said wishing happy
birthday to Israel "would compromise the station's commitment to
impartiality and that it crosses over into advocacy, or could imply
Jonas would be hard-pressed to find many groups protesting U.S. policy in Norway.
Maybe it's time for the Lis's to find a new charity to which to donate that $40 per month. Since their son serves in the IDF, how about American Friends of the IDF?
Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach on how to visit the graves of the righteous
A well-known story involving Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (1910-95) zt"l (May the Memory of the Righteous be a Blessing), which bears repeating and which is relevant to the day.
A student in the Kol Torah Yeshiva in Jerusalem, approached his Rosh
Yeshiva, Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt”l and asked him the question:
May I leave my Torah studies in the yeshiva to go and pray at the graves
of tzadikim in the Galil, the north?
Rav Auerbach answered, “It is better to say in yeshiva, and study Torah”
The student replied, “Isn’t there a time I could go to visit the graves
of tzadikim? Doesn’t Rav Auerbach go and pray at the graves of
Rav Auerbach answered, “In order to pray at the graves
of tzadikim, one doesn’t have to travel up to the Galil. Whenever I feel
the need to pray at the graves of tzadikim, I go to Mount Herzl, [the
national cemetery for fallen IDF soldiers in Jerusalem], to the graves
of the soldiers…who fell “Al Kiddush Hashem” for the sanctification of
Shared by R' Yisrael Meir Lau.
For those who don't know Jerusalem, the Mount Herzl military cemetery is about a ten-minute walk from the Kol Torah yeshiva.
Breaking: IAF jets hit weapons convoy on Syria-Lebanon border
Israeli Air Force jets have attacked a weapons convoy traveling along the Syrian-Lebanese border. The intended recipient of the weapons was Hezbullah.
The attack allegedly occurred on the Syrian-Lebanese border earlier
in the afternoon and struck a number of vital positions important to the
Citing Arab media reports, Channel 2 said
that the Israeli Air Force struck the weapons convoy near a Syrian
"rebel safe-haven" where Hezbollah militants were allegedly stationed.
If the reports are confirmed, it would not be Israel's first
military excursion into enemy territory to stop the transfer of weapons
to its arch nemesis Hezbollah.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged for the first time that
Israel has taken action dozens of times beyond the northern border to
prevent Hezbollah from attaining “game-changing” weaponry.”
Rosemary Woods comes to the State Department, doctors press briefing on Iran
How many of you are old enough to remember Rosemary Woods, the Nixon secretary who 'accidentally' erased a critical 18 minutes from the tape of a conversation that took place in the President's office? Woods, who passed away in 2005, has apparently come back to life to work in the State Department.
The Washington Examiner provides a transcript of what the video originally said.
QUESTION: Please, Jen, can we stay on Iran, please?
MS. PSAKI: Sure. Let's stay on Iran and then we can go to China.
QUESTION: On the 6th of February in this room, I had a very brief exchange with your predecessor, Victoria Nuland —
MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.
QUESTION: — about Iran. And with your indulgence, I will read it
in its entirety for the purpose of the record and so you can respond to
"Rosen: There have been reports that intermittently, and outside
of the formal P5+1 mechanisms, the Obama Administration, or members of
it, have conducted direct secret bilateral talks with Iran. Is that true
"Nuland: We have made clear, as the Vice President did at
Munich, that in the context of the larger P5+1 framework, we would be
prepared to talk to Iran bilaterally. But with regard to the kind of
thing that you're talking about on a government-to-government level,
That's the entirety of the exchange.
As we now know, senior state department officials had, in fact,
been conducting direct, secret bilateral talks with senior officials of
the Iranian Government in Oman, perhaps dating back to 2011 by that
So the question today is a simple one: When the briefer was
asked about those talks and flatly denied them from the podium, that was
MS. PSAKI: I mean, James, I – that – you're talking about a
February briefing, so 10 months ago. I don't think we've outlined or
confirmed contacts or specifics beyond a March meeting. I'm not going to
confirm others beyond that at this point. So I don't know that I have
any more for you.
QUESTION: Do you stand by the accuracy of what Ms. Nuland told
me, that there had been no government-to-government contacts, no secret
direct bilateral talks with Iran as of the date of that briefing,
February 6th? Do you stand by the accuracy of that?
MS. PSAKI: James, I have no new information for you today on the
timing of when there were any discussions with any Iranian officials.
QUESTION: Let me try it one last way, Jen —
MS. PSAKI: Okay.
QUESTION: — and I appreciate your indulgence.
MS. PSAKI: Sure.
QUESTION: Is it the policy of the State Department, where the
preservation or the secrecy of secret negotiations is concerned, to lie
in order to achieve that goal?
MS. PSAKI: James, I think there are times where diplomacy needs
privacy in order to progress. This is a good example of that. Obviously,
we have made clear and laid out a number of details in recent weeks
about discussions and about a bilateral channel that fed into the P5+1
negotiations, and we've answered questions on it, we've confirmed
details. We're happy to continue to do that, but clearly, this was an
important component leading up to the agreement that was reached a week
QUESTION: Since you, standing at that podium last week, did
confirm that there were such talks, at least as far back as March of
this year, I don't see what would prohibit you from addressing directly
this question: Were there secret direct bilateral talks between the
United States and Iranian officials in 2011?
MS. PSAKI: I don't have anything more for you today. We've long
had ways to speak with the Iranians through a range of channels, some of
which you talked – you mentioned, but I don't have any other specifics
for you today.
QUESTION: One more on Iran?
QUESTION: The Los Angeles Times and Politico have reported that
those talks were held as far back as 2011. Were those reports
MS. PSAKI: I'm not sure which reports you're talking about. Are
you talking about visits that the Secretary and others made to Oman, or
are you talking about other reports?
QUESTION: I'm talking about U.S. officials meeting directly and
secretly with Iranian officials in Oman as far back as 2011. The Los
Angeles Times and Politico have reported those meetings. Were those
MS. PSAKI: I have nothing more for you on it, James, today.
You mean the Obama-Kerry State Department lied? Well, I'll be darned....
There is nothing at all remarkable about 'John Q. Citizen' looking back
on invasion, occupation, and insurgency in Iraq and saying, in effect,
"Don't touch it with a ten-foot pole; let the natives have at it and
sort it out on their own." It is something else, however, for an
official channeling the president of the United States to say, "I
profoundly do not believe that the United States could make things
better in Syria by being there. And we have an evidentiary record of
what happens when we're there—nearly a decade in Iraq." This is the
official alibi for not having protected, over the course of five years,
one single Syrian civilian from the murderous assaults of Bashar
Yet the official alibi lacks one critical ingredient:
the truth. A "decade in Iraq" did not dissuade the Obama administration
from protecting Syrian Kurds from a massacre by the Islamic State (ISIS,
ISIL, Daesh) in Kobani. Disaster in Iraq did not deter American
military forces from protecting Yazidis in Iraq itself. The Iraqi fiasco
has not stopped the Obama administration from establishing an anti-ISIS
American military presence in both Iraq and Syria: yes, boots on the
ground. No: the Rhodes-Obama fear and dismissal of making things better
in Syria "by being there" applies only to those parts of Syria
experiencing mass murder and massive displacement at the hands of Bashar
al-Assad. Why? Iran.
For an American president and his
principal subordinates to avert their gazes from mass homicide and from
doing anything at all to mitigate or complicate it is far from
unprecedented. In this day and age, however, knowing what we know about
twentieth century failures to protect civilians thanks to the research
and writings of Samantha Power and others, it is stunningly remarkable
and regrettable. For a man of Barack Obama's evident humanity and
values, surely there has been something of transcendent importance that
has stayed his hand from protecting Syrian civilians; something of
paramount national security significance that has stopped him from
acting in support of American friends and allies trying desperately to
deal with the hemorrhage of humanity from Syria. Thanks to Ben Rhodes
and his chronicler we know now what it has been: pursuit of a nuclear
agreement with Assad's premier long-term enabler and partner in mass
The following passage from the Samuels piece clarifies why it was
important for President Obama to protect no one in Syria, to risk his
own reputation in the red-line climb down, and even to assure Iran's
Supreme Leader in writing that the Ayatollah's murderous Syrian
subordinate would not be touched by (anti-ISIS) American military
intervention in Syria:
"By eliminating the fuss about Iran's nuclear program, the
administration hoped to eliminate a source of structural tension between
the two countries, which would create the space for America to
disentangle itself from its established system of alliances with
countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, and Turkey. With one bold
move, the administration would effectively begin the process of
large-scale disentanglement from the Middle East."
To complicate the ability of Iran's man in Syria to commit war
crimes and crimes against humanity would have placed at risk nuclear
negotiations aimed ultimately at dissolving American relationships of
trust and confidence with key regional powers. Yes, the Blob—the foreign
policy establishment—would have had a problem with this. Hence an
information operation headed by Rhodes aimed at avoiding head-on debates
with the Blob or, for that matter, the representatives of the American
people in Congress.
Were it not for their enormous suffering, millions of Syrian civilians
might find humor in the reason for their abandonment: a desire by the
American president to disentangle the United States from long-term
cooperative regional relationships. Were it not for the tens of
thousands of rockets and missiles pointed at them by Iran's Lebanese
militia, Israelis might enjoy the irony of it all. The only players in
this drama who need neither humor nor irony to appreciate the importance
and value of what is being undertaken are Iran and Russia.
One cannot help but hope that this is not what 60% of the American people have in mind when they demand an "America First" foreign policy.
Anti-Semitism is alive and well in the United States of America
I first heard of Ben Shapiro when he was a teenager writing pieces on Townhall.com and Jewish World Review during the second intifada - long before he became a 'syndicated columnist' or editor in chief of anything. I used to carry his pieces on my "The Matzav" mailing list (2000-04). So when I saw Ben post on Sunday morning (Israel time) that his wife had given birth to a baby on the Sabbath, I tweeted a Mazal Tov. Unfortunately, other people had other things to say....
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