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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Hamas demonstrates its humanity again

Greetings from London Heathrow. I'm on my way home.

Hamas executed three 'murderers' at dawn on Tuesday. Two were executed by firing squad, while the third, a 'policeman' was hanged.

Last week, Amnesty International called for the 'attorney general' of Gaza to intervene in these cases.

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....

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Traveling again

I am currently in Chicago, on my way back to Israel.

Did not have internet access on a computer all weekend.

Will try to post either in flight or during my layover.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Your tax dollars/euros at work: 95.5% of 'Palestinians' say 'Palestinian Authority' is corrupt

Here's an astounding statistic from an AP story on corruption in the 'Palestinian Authority.'
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 experienced it.
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 everyone else.
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 Ministry."
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 community.
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 employees.
"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 restaurant.
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.

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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 Iran.
Mull emphasized that the administration is concerned about human rights in Iran and has raised the issue in meetings with regime officials.
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?"

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

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 House’s narrative.
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.”
Let's go to the videotape.

Most pro-Israel administration evah? Says who?

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Gaza's what?

This tweet requires no further comment.

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Monday, May 23, 2016

#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 more remote.”
More on Zogby here.

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.

For those who have forgotten, please recall this moment from the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

Let's go to the videotape.

You can bet that Jerusalem is not going to be part of this year's Democratic party platform. What could go wrong?

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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.

Let's go to the videotape.

Here's how the woman, Sophomore Eliana Kopley, was trapped outside.
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.
 There's more. Read the whole thing.

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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.
Ahead of a crucial congressional vote to either ratify or block the deal, J Street in July 2015 took out a full page advertisement in The New York Times supporting urging Congress to refrain from “sabotaging” the Iranian nuclear agreement.
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 nuclear program.”
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 online.
Oh yeah, and NPR got $100,000 too. Because government funding isn't enough.

There's much more - read the whole thing

The self-hating Jews at Saudi and Iranian funded J Street are quite proud of their role in selling out Israel.
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 Sunday.
“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 Israel.”
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.

#ThanksObama. You mamzer.

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Friday, May 20, 2016

'Our friends, the Saudis' funding Hillary's war on women and Israel

Greetings from Boston where the Sabbath doesn't start for quite a while. I was not on the ground very much yesterday, and when I was, I was trying to deal with a lost suitcase....

Nasser al-Rashid, an adviser to the Saudi royal family and one of the richest men in Saudi Arabia, has emerged as one of the largest donors to the Clinton Foundation, and his family members have emerged as large donors to the Democratic party.
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 candidates.
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 Foundation put 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 political cycles.
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 donated at least $490,000 mainly 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 cash.
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 turn.”
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?


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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Awful: 900,000 people lost their homes, land, wealth and citizenship

It's Nakba Day. 

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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

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).

As the @Instapundit says

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Oh my! Kareem Abdul Jabbar to come to Israel in July ... to meet Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau! UPDATE UNFORTUNATELY NOT TRUE

One of the best stories I have heard in a LONG time....



Unfortunately, the story is apparently not true.

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#Twitter suspends account exposing hatred and #anti-Semitism in the #BDS movement

Yes, they did.

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Monday, May 16, 2016

It's come to this....

Lew has his head so far up Obama's backside he is no longer capable of any independent thought. But let God Judge the betrayers of the Jewish people.

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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.”
I guess when your entire existence is invented, it's kind of hard to stop lying....

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.'


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Sunday, May 15, 2016


 More here.

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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.
The post has since been removed.
There's no place for that kind of accusation.

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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.
"It 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.

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Saturday, May 14, 2016

Report: Hezbullah asks journalists not to say Israel behind Badreddine assassination

A very interesting tweet from Le Figaro's Georges Malbrunot:
For those, like me, whose French skills are not up to snuff, here's Tony Badran:
Not saying that Israel did it excuses Hezbullah from seeking revenge for it, i.e. war.

Here are some more interesting tweets from Malbrunot's timeline. This series quotes an unnamed diplomat to which I am adding the Bing translations except where they seem ridiculous:
Anti-Assad Syrian armed groups do not have the capacity to carry out such an operation....
... even if Israel could use the services of one of these groups. We have information on the treatment of al-Nusra rebels [at hospitals] in Israel.
Diplomat has no doubt Badreddine assassination an extension of Israeli operations....
 ... of liquidations of senior Hezbullah officers.

And in case you missed it, Badreddine was killed half an hour after a visit by Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander Qassem Suleimani.

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'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.
At 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.
It was 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.'

There's more here.

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Friday, May 13, 2016

Why war between Hezbullah and Israel is unlikely

Even if Israel is behind the assassination of Hezbullah's Mustafa Badreddine, war between Hezbullah and Israel in the near future is unlikely.

Here's a good 140-character summary of the reason why:
Shabbat Shalom everyone.

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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.

This is from the BBC.
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.
The 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.
Khan 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.
Born 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.
Badreddine is 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.
He was indicted on four charges and was said by the tribunal to be "the overall controller of the operation" to kill 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.
Israel 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.

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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Thank you Harry Truman!

Israel's Independence Day is as good a time as any to recognize the small but significant contribution made to Israel's founding by America's 33rd President, Harry Truman.

Let's go to the videotape.

My Dad of blessed memory was very proud that his first Presidential vote was cast for Harry Truman. I wish I could be as proud of mine....

More here, here, and here.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2016


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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.
Rabbi Jason Miller weighed in at the Huffington Post, asking, When did wishing Israel a happy birthday become so controversial?
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' notice.
Then the station rejected the message outright. Alison Warren, associate director of development, wrote in an April 26 email:
Dear Lisa,
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 assist you.
"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 personal event.”

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 are not.
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 advocacy."   
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?

Just sayin'....

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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 tzadikim?
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 God.
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.

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Why there's an IDF

On this Memorial Day for Israel's fallen soldiers and terror victims, it's important to remember why an Israeli Defense Force remains necessary.
It's not your imagination when they really are out to get you.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

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 terror organization.

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.  

Last month, 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.”
Waiting to see if the IAF will try to stop the transfer of the S-300 anti-missile system to Iran by Russia. 

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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.

Let's go to the videotape.

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 it.
"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 or false?"
"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, no."
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 point.
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 untrue, correct?
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 ago.
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 inaccurate?
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 reports inaccurate?
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....

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Why Obama and Rhodes abandoned Syria

I don't know whether my friends at @Free_Media_Hub and @Paradoxy13 noticed, but the @rhodes44 story is a devastating indictment of Obama administration policy in Syria.
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 al-Assad.

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 murder: Iran.

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.

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