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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

That'll bring back the American mainstream....

The next chairman of the Democratic National Committee?
How can Jews still vote for this party? (Rhetorical question).

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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Rotting in hell together

Even though Obama won't say it, I will (as did Trump, Pence, Cotton, Rubio and others):

Good riddance!

Castro was an enemy to Jews, Israel and to every decent person in the world.

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Saturday, November 26, 2016

As terror fires burn all over Israel, Obama is silent

During the Sabbath there were terror fires all over Israel, the largest ones being a fire that has residents of Neve Tzuf - Halamish in Samaria still outside their homes, and the relighting of a fire in Haifa. 

I'd like to share with you a post I saw on Facebook this evening of someone who was evacuated from Beit Meir, a Moshav in the Jerusalem - Tel Aviv corridor, during the wee hours of Friday morning, together with his children and pregnant wife.

For the record, for those who still delude themselves that this is about the 'territories,' Beit Meir is within the green line that constituted Israel before 1967. 

Israel Radio reported on Friday that seven homes in Beit Meir were destroyed. But that understates the terror that the residents suffered on Thursday night. The terrorists purposely set the fires to block all the exits from the Moshav, so that the people had no place to flee until the firefighters arrived and cleared a path for them.

Here's the post. More after the post.

At around 2am this evening, terrorists set fire to my small mountain village of Beit Meir. They lit multiple blazes, surrounding the only exit from our moshav with a gulf of flames. As you can imagine, this made it exceedingly difficult for myself, my pregnant wife, and two kids to escape to safety. We, along with our neighbors, were trapped. After about an hour of harrowing confusion, firefighters managed to clear a path for the 100 families of Beit Meir to flee the inferno. I watched as dozens of righteous firefighters and police faded into the smokey distance of my rear view mirror. We fled to Beit Shemesh, and were warmly taken in at 330am by Rabbi Gerzi and his unceasingly kind family. For what's it's worth, I got out my phone to document the deluge. Perhaps it will give you a glimpse (as it did for me the first time) of the first hand horrors wrought by terrorists seeking to harm innocent civilians. It's 438am now, my kids are back asleep, and my village is no doubt still in flames. My parents are on a plane, somewhere over the Atlantic, oblivious to the chaos that awaits their arrival in Israel. Houses are still ablaze and the forest is a sea of fire. I don't know if I will have a house to return to. I just hope everyone managed to escape safely. Pray for us.
Posted by Yaakov Lehman on Thursday, November 24, 2016

Meanwhile, the self-proclaimed 'most pro-Israel administration evah' has been silent.
Now a report is finally emerging that a U.S. asset is deploying to Israel to help fight the fires.  But it’s not assistance being provided by the U.S. government.  The Israeli government has arranged with the company Global SuperTanker to send its unique Boeing 747 supertanker firefighting aircraft to Israel for support.  The plane will arrive on Friday.
Public communications about the supertanker’s deployment have been somewhat stilted – in contrast to the simple, heartfelt thanks expressed by the Israeli government to the foreign governments that have stepped up to provide assistance.
Benjamin Netanyahu put it this way, regarding the deployment from Global SuperTanker:
“It needs to be understood that the firefighting planes currently being used are not able to operate overnight. There is only one plane that has this ability, and that is the Supertanker. I instructed that it be brought here. It will take 24 hours to come from the US. We only use it in extreme situations. We don’t use it for everything but I prefer that we have too much rather than too little,” said Netanyahu.
Basically, this careful wording means Israel hired the plane.  The U.S. government isn’t providing it.  (Netanyahu would never say of aid provided by another government that “he has instructed that it be brought” to Israel.  He would publicly thank the other government, as he has done with all the foreign governments providing actual assistance.)
And not all Israelis are impressed:
However, the arrival of the supertanker has come in for criticism from some quarters. “This is a matter of politics and less of an operational need. We weren’t given the opportunity to express ourselves on the matter,” a senior member of the rescue services was quoted as saying.
To the extent it’s political, I read this as Netanyahu covering (once again) for the bad attitude of the Obama administration: arranging for an American asset to be involved in this Israeli emergency, because the longstanding ties of Israel and the United States are more important than the petulance and bad faith of an outgoing administration.
There is considerably more the administration could be doing.
By the way, nothing has changed since that post. I just googled "Obama Israel fires" and that is the most recent post.

And the Democrats are promoting the meme that Trump is an anti-Semite and a Nazi. The real anti-Semite is the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

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Friday, November 25, 2016


If you're wondering where I've been, I'm swamped with work and have borrowed one of my wife's computers because mine is being repaired (long overdue). So I haven't had time to post today.

But I'm sure you've heard of the return of ecoterrorism. We have fires all over the country - much of the city of Haifa has been evacuated. It's dry and windy - a recipe for fires as it is - and when you add 'Palestinian' use of fire as a weapon against us, it's been a disastrous couple of days.
Fires from an estimated 220 points of origin have broken out throughout central and northern Israel since Wednesday and assessments by police have strengthened suspicions that many were deliberately set and were nationalistically motivated. 
Boaz Ganor, founder and executive director of the International Institute for Counter- Terrorism, told The Jerusalem Post that, “even if a portion are intentional, it is not organized.

It’s not that you have a terrorist organization giving orders to their members to carry out fire attacks, though maybe in a few hours you can have groups like Hamas claiming the fires.”

But “one thing is clear,” Ganor said. “It is not a new form of terrorism. Arson attacks and setting fires in populated areas or forests are a well known modus operandi of terrorist groups, and not only in Israel.

In the ninth issue of the English-language Inspire magazine, released by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula in 2012, a significant portion was dedicated to attacking the United States by starting wildfires. The magazine listed instructions on how to ignite forest fires and the materials required, and instructs readers to look for two factors needed for a successful wildfire: dry conditions and high winds.

“When we define this phenomenon as ‘fire intifada’ – words used by the media, politicians and laypeople – we are overestimating the phenomenon,” Ganor told the Post. Nevertheless, Ganor explained that the pictures on social media networks of flames in the center of Haifa and surrounding Jerusalem are “heaven for those who may want to join the so-called ‘fire intifada,’ especially if you add the false reasoning of revenge for banning the call to prayer.” 
Ganor says “we should not exaggerate the terrorist motivation behind the wildfires,” stressing that “the conditions right now are perfect for fires, with an extended period of dry weather and strong winds.”

Michael Horowitz, director of intelligence at Prime Source, a Middle East-based geopolitical consultancy firm, agreed. “It is too early to conclude that this is a “new form of terrorism,” but it definitely can turn into that because of the virality of the trend,” he told the Post, adding that “it’s been praised by Hamas, and the hashtag “Israel is burning” is trending in Arabic. The mere perception of success can be enough to encourage copycat attacks.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday visited the Fire and Rescue Service’s coastal district forward command center, where was briefed on the efforts to put out the fires, many of which he said are “deliberate acts of arson.”

In Haifa, senior firefighter Shimon Ben Ner, told Army Radio that “I know for a fact that they tried to set fire to the department’s station in Haifa deliberately, to cause the Haifa fire department to be paralyzed.”
Earlier this evening, there were reports on Israel of 'Palestinians' celebrating the massive fires, many of which are now burning out of control around the country. Stay safe, especially those of you up north.

There's a tanker plane arriving tomorrow.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

'Most transparent administration evah' stonewalls Congress on Iran

Adam Kredo reports on the Obama administration's efforts to stonewall Congressional investigations into Obama's $1.7 billion cash payment to Iran.
As leading members of Congress petition the Obama administration for answers about what many describe as a $1.7 billion “ransom” payment to Iran, Obama administration officials are doubling down on their refusal to answer questions about the secret negotiations with Iran that led to this payment.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.), a vocal opponent of last year’s nuclear deal with Iran, has been seeking answers from senior Obama administration officials since at least late September. However, officials continue to stonewall the senator’s inquiries, according to senior congressional sources and formal communications between Rubio and the State Department obtained by the Free Beacon.
Rubio and several other lawmakers have petitioned the Obama administration for documents and information about the secret negotiations that resulted in Tehran receiving $1.7 billion in cash and a promise from the United States to further roll back sanctions on an Iranian financial institution that helped finance the country’s illicit ballistic missile program.
Rubio submitted a list of questions about the deal to Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sept. 29 during a hearing aimed at examining these payments to Iran.
Blinken finally provided answers to these questions last week, but declined to address all specific questions Rubio posed about the secret negotiations over the $1.7 billion payment.
While the Obama administration has maintained for months that the payment was not part of a ransom package, the Free Beacon and other publications have disclosed in recent weeks that the United States did engage in secret diplomacy with Iran on a range of issues, including the release of American hostages and the $1.7 billion payment.
These issues were addressed in three separate agreements that were only finalized once the United States agreed to provide Tehran with the $1.7 billion payment. Secret documents stored on Capitol Hill and treated in a classified manner show that each of the agreements hinged on the cash payment, the Free Beacon first disclosed in October.
Rubio and other lawmakers have also sought answers from Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who would have played a role in signing off on the agreements. Lynch has declined to answer questions, prompting Rubio and Rep. Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.), the incoming CIA director, to accuse her of “pleading the fifth” before Congress.
The White House has not responded to similar questions submitted by Rubio on Sept. 10, and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has not answered a series of queries posed on Oct. 25, according to sources who accused the administration of intentionally dodging congressional oversight.
Rubio asked Blinken to provide information on any U.S. official who signed off on the secret deals, and to specify if the agreements were part of the formal nuclear agreement or were inked separately. He also asked whether the deals were tied to the release of U.S. hostages.
Rubio hopes to obtain the name of the Iranian official or officials who signed these documents. Sources familiar with the deals and secret documents stored on Capitol Hill told the Free Beacon it is likely the United States inked these deals with a representative of Iran’s intelligence apparatus.
Blinken did not provide firm answers to any of these questions, according to a copy of his formal communication to Rubio viewed by the Free Beacon. He maintained that the cash payment was part of a decades-old legal dispute with Tehran before the international claims tribunal at the Hague.
The saddest part of all this is that most of the damage Obama has caused to American interests cannot be undone, and Obama, Kerry, Wendy Sherman Valerie Jarrett, Loretta Lynch and all the rest of this treasonous crew are unlikely to ever face prosecution for it.

A Presidency that will live in infamy. #ObamaLegacy

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Lawless: Obama trying to handcuff Trump on Middle East

Greetings from Israel. I am home again (briefly).

President Hussein Obama is trying to handcuff President Elect Donald Trump's Middle East policy.
Washington DC insiders widely expect the president to launch a bold effort to constrain the president-elect's options in dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by supporting unilateral international recognition of Palestinian statehood, possibly in the UN Security Council.
In seeking to overturn longstanding precedent and thwart the expressed policy positions of his successor, Obama presumably hopes that supporting (or not vetoing) a UN Security Council resolution on Palestinian statehood will create an irreversible fait accompli that will eventually spur Israel to make concessions, like a settlement freeze, which will in turn strengthen moderates on the Palestinian side.
It's the same thinking that led the United States to make concession after concession in the Iran nuclear deal, and it is likely to backfire in the same way. Unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state will communicate to Palestinian leaders that they do not need to concede anything and validate the use and incitement of violence, vindicating hardliners.
Until the Palestinian leadership can recognize and accept a Jewish state in the land of Israel, the United States must continue working to prevent international recognition of a Palestinian state.
Anyone still want to claim that the Obama administration is the 'most pro-Israel administration evah'? If yes, it's time to take your blinders off.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

So that's why Trump won the election

Greetings from London Heathrow.

It had to happen. Hamas Foreign Minister Mahmoud al-Zahar knows exactly why Donald Trump won the US elections. Zahar told al-Jazeera the next day that Trump is - you guessed it - a Jew.

Let's go to the videotape.

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It's come to this...

Good evening from JFK airport in New York. I'm on my way home.

Unfortunately, my blog is not allowing me to post pictures right now (if I can add one later I will), or I would post a screen cap I took from the Ben Gurion Airport arrivals website from October 27 (now added). Were I to post it, you would see that the present 'crisis' involving El Al's pilots playing games with the rules goes back a lot longer than the last week or so that it has been in the news. In fact, tomorrow will be my 14th El Al flight of the year, and at least seven of those flights have been an hour or more late. El Al is last in the world in on-time flight performance, and no, it's not because of security.

So it's come to this....
In light of the situation, El Al has announced a temporary change of policy, and will allow customers to cancel tickets for a full refund without incurring a penalty. The change will be in effect on all El Al flights scheduled through November 30, and will also allow passengers to reschedule flights free of charge.

Seven El Al officials resigned in recent days because of the crisis, including the chief pilot, Ido Sharon, and the fleet managers and chief pilots of a number of El Al fleets, Channel 2 reported on Sunday night.

Sources close to El Al management revealed to The Jerusalem Post that a solution to the crisis is not expected soon, unless there is an intervention by a third party, such as the government, the labor courts or even the Histadrut labor federation.

MK Eitan Cabel, chairman of the Knesset Economic Affairs Committee, dubbed the goings-on “a crisis” on Sunday, and will convene an emergency session of the committee on Thursday. Cabel announced that he will be meeting the representatives of the pilots and the management, separately, before the committee meets.

Meanwhile, both sides remain adamant in their positions and continue playing a blame game while fighting for public opinion.

“Unfortunately, El Al pilots are continuing their outrageous behavior. Seventeen captains and 16 first officers refused to man a flight, causing damage to the company, clients and fellow El Al employees,” an El Al representative said on Sunday.

The El Al pilots committee, on the other hand, lays the full blame on the management and denies the allegations against the pilots. In a statement issued by the committee on Sunday, the committee said, “[El Al] management is harming hundreds of passengers tonight. Flights were canceled despite there actually being enough pilots ready and available to man them.”

Indeed the pilots are available to fly, but pilots are only willing to man flights in one direction and demand being flown back in business class.

The common practice in El Al, and indeed in every major airline, is for pilots to fly the aircraft in both directions. If pilots are only willing to work on one direction, it means El Al has to dispatch two crews with every flight, paying double the number of work hours as well as for the non-working crew’s business class fares.

Until last week, El Al management begrudgingly accepted this practice in order to keep things running smoothly. Eventually, however, with no resolution to the dispute in sight, the airline decided to take a harder line.
The article goes on to  say that the pilots work 75-85 hours per month.  For which they are well-paid.
In documents submitted to the Tel Aviv Regional Labor Court last week, it was revealed that the average El Al flight captain’s monthly salary was NIS 96,756, with the average pilot’s salary being NIS 94,832. Both had seen constituted increases compared with the previous year.

The wage increases came with an increase in work hours as well, going up to an average of 81 hours a month as of June 2016, compared with 74 as of December 2016.
Note that's an average wage.  At an exchange rate of NIS 3.80 or so to  the dollar.... you can do the math. It's a heck of lot more than most Israelis make - many multiples.

On other airlines, pilots fly the aircraft in both directions. But they work in  both directions. Not El Al.


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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Poor Mooch....

Hat Tip: Boing Boing.

At least that immigrant is legal.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Astounding: US Embassy has left terror victim's body in Israeli morgue for six years

Sorry for the lack of posting - I am totally swamped with work and has been all week. This will be quick.

I am embedding a Facebook post by Kay Wilson, a terror victim, who describes the inaction of the US Embassy in Israel under both Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, with respect to the body of Kristine Luken. Luken was murdered in the same terror attack in which Wilson was injured.

This post is beyond shocking....

I have no words to describe my disgust with the United States government over this incident.

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Thursday, November 10, 2016

More good news: Trump to designate Hamas' parent a terrorist group

For those who don't recognize his name, Eric Trager is a fellow of the Washington Institute, a respected Washington think tank that researches the Middle East, and the author of 'Arab Fall: How the Muslim Brotherhood Won and Lost Egypt in 891 Days'.

This morning, he quotes Trump adviser Walid Phares as saying that President Elect Donald Trump intends to designate Hamas' parent group, the Muslim Brotherhood, a terror organization.
For those who read Arabic (I don't), you can find the full story here. (Hat Tip: MFS - The Other News).

Being a designated terrorist organization would severely restrict the Muslim Brotherhood's ability to operate in the US and abroad and is a step that is way overdue, but would never happen under an Obama administration. If this turns out to be true, it's great news.

My how times have changed.

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Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Horror in London: Trump actually intends to move US embassy to Jerusalem

Greetings from Boston where I celebrated the end of the Clinton dynasty last night by staying up way too long.

Al-Guardian is quoting Donald Trump adviser David Friedman (pictured, left) as saying that President Trump really does intend to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
Israeli government ministers and political figures are pushing the US president-elect, Donald Trump, to quickly fulfill his campaign promise to overturn decades of US foreign policy and recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv.

Their calls came as one of Trump advisers on Israel and the Middle East, David Friedman, told the Jerusalem Post that Trump would follow through on his promise.
‘It was a campaign promise and there is every intention to keep it,” Friedman said. ‘We are going to see a very different relationship between America and Israel in a positive way.”
Trump has also promised to 'tear up' the nuclear deal with Iran (which I cannot quite see him doing, although I do see him reimposing sanctions if there continues to be evidence that Iran is developing ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons), and has invited Prime Minister Netanyahu to the White House, calling Israel  a close friend.

Netanyahu has reciprocated.
Trump’s election was quickly welcomed by Netanyahu who, but the Israeli president steered clear of controversial issues, only congratulating Trump and calling him a “true friend” of Israel while pledging to work with him on security and peace in the region.
Netanyahu later released a video on YouTube welcoming Trump’s appointment.
“President-elect Trump is a true friend of the state of Israel,” said Netanyahu in a statement. “We will work together to advance the security, stability and peace in our region. The strong connection between the United States and Israel is based on shared values, shared interests and a shared destiny.

“I’m certain that President-elect Trump and I will continue to strengthen the unique alliance between Israel and the United States, and bring it to new heights,” he added.
Indeed, there are many reasons for Israelis to be pleased by Trump's election.
A Trump administration will be far more favourable to the Jewish state, another of the president-elect’s advisers on Israel has said.
Shmuel Rosner, a senior fellow at the Jewish People Policy Institute, said a Trump administration is likely to be “much more understanding if Israel has to use force in order to tamp down Palestinian violence”.
He also said he felt the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would be “much less of a priority, and when it’s not a priority, this means that Israel in some ways gets off the hook”.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas congratulated Trump and said he hoped peace could be achieved during his term based on the two-state solution.
“We are ready to deal with the elected president on the basis of a two-state solution and to establish a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders,” spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina told AFP, referring to the year when Israel seized the West Bank.
I didn't know that Rosner was advising Trump. That's interesting in itself.

In any event, given how little the Arab world cares for the 'Palestinians,' their position definitely does not improve by Trump's election.


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Monday, November 07, 2016

I held my nose and voted for Trump

I held my nose last night and voted for Donald Trump. Then, I scanned my ballot into my computer and emailed it to the county election commission in New Jersey. They acknowledged it during the night.

Kurt Schlichter beautifully describes many of the reasons I voted for Trump and why I had to hold my nose to do so. He missed a couple that relate to Israel specifically: Hillary's support for the 'Palestinians,' Hillary's support for the sellout to a nuclear Iran, and Hillary's anti-Semitic gut.

Read the whole thing. Stop #CrookedHillary

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Think about this before you vote Democrat: DNC didn't want to commemorate the Holocaust

For those of you who have not voted already, think about this before you even consider pulling the lever for a Democrat: The Democratic National Committee doesn't believe it's necessary or appropriate to commemorate the Holocaust. They believe there are too many Jewish holidays already.

By the way, please note the date on the email. This happened just a few months ago.

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Sunday, November 06, 2016

#BDS_Fail: Citibank, American Express pull support from Roger Waters concert tour

Both Citibank and American Express have withdrawn their support for former Deep Purple lead guitarist Roger Waters' concert tour over Waters' support of the BDS movement.
Citibank announced Tuesday that it was not sponsoring the upcoming concert tour of Pink Floyd co-founder and Israel-boycott advocate Roger Waters, adding that the bank had “no plans to work with this artist in the future,” the Algemeiner reported.
The banking giant issued the denial in a letter responding to a shareholder concerned about its relationship with Waters, who was accused by the Anti-Defamation League in 2013 of having “absorbed classic anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.” The New York Post reported last week that American Express had refused to sponsor Waters’ North American 2017 tour, but that Citibank would be sponsoring it instead.
“I want to let you know that Citi is not a sponsor of Roger Waters’ upcoming tour,” a Citibank official said in the email. “Two weeks ago, Citi offered a limited time pre-sale of tickets for cardmembers for select shows, as we do for thousands of concerts by different artists every year. While advertised as the ‘official card’ for payment purposes, the pre-sale was in no way an endorsement of the artist’s personal views. The pre-sale has ended and we have no plans to work with this artist in the future.”
A number of artists who were planning to play in Israel last year said that they felt threatened by proponents of the Palestinian-led boycott campaign against Israel. Despite these threats, major artists such as Alicia Keys, The Rolling Stones, Lady Gaga, and Bon Jovi have performed in Israel in recent years. Typically, when entertainers announces plans to perform in the Jewish state, boycott supporters make public appeals and send private messages to try to pressure them to cancel the concert; if a particularly prominent artist is involved, they may receive an open letter from Waters.
Waters' recent performances have veered into anti-Semitic territory

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The next President of the United States... Huma Abedin?

I screen capped this from a Facebook page. The site to which it links is so busy that you cannot access it right now. But you can read the email it quotes. If the email is authentic (and I know nothing of its source) it is - to put it mildly - deeply disturbing.

Is Hillary Clinton a puppet for the Muslim Brotherhood's Huma Abedin? Will the Muslim Brotherhood be sitting in the oval office if Clinton wins? Is anyone awake enough at the switch to acknowledge that reality?

Deeply, deeply disturbing.

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Friday, November 04, 2016

Dad's fourth yahrtzeit

Today, the 3rd day of the Jewish month of Cheshvan, marks Dad's fourth yahrtzeit (anniversary of the date of his death). That's Dad holding my brother and me in the picture (I'm the one standing). I still have imaginary conversations in my head with him and Mom in which I update them about their great-grandchildren, most of whom Dad never met (Mom never met any of them).

The rabbis tell us that on each anniversary of a person's death, once they have made it to the Garden of Eden, they rise another level. That's why on a yahrtzeit, the children are told that the neshama (soul) should 'have an aliya' (be uplifted). 

May our entire family be uplifted by today's events.

Shabbat Shalom to all of you.


Thursday, November 03, 2016

#Wikileaks: Clinton: 'A Potemkin process better than nothing,' exploit Bibi's apology to Israeli Arabs

You might recall that in the final days of the 2015 election, as he was panicked that the Obama administration was underhandedly attempting to remove him, Prime Minister Netanyahu urged Right wing voters to come out and vote to prevent the Arab population from causing the Left to win the election. Later, Netanyahu walked back those remarks.

Here, courtesy of Wikileaks, is Hillary Clinton's reaction.

And you want to put her in charge?

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Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Netanyahu on Election Day: 'White House is trying to topple me'

On Israeli Election Day in March 2015, Prime Minister Netanyahu called a senior Israeli reporter and told him that the White House 'is trying to topple me.'
At 1:36 P.M. on March 17, 2015, a senior Israeli journalist fielded a phone call. “I’m transferring the prime minister,” the voice on the other end told him. “Hello, Mr. Netanyahu,” the reporter began.
“I want to tell you that what’s happening today is election stealing,” Benjamin Netanyahu thundered. “Nothing like this has ever happened in any democracy anywhere. Because you’re in the press, you didn’t report on this scandal here. I’m about to lose the election.”
The astonished reporter asked the prime minister what he was talking about and added, “You’re [going to be] the next prime minister.”
“I'm not,” Netanyahu answered. “The V15 movement, backed by the American administration, brought software programs here …. You know what I'm talking about. I don’t want to elaborate over the phone, okay? Super-software that locates voters.”
The reporter had no idea what software the prime minister was alluding to. He also sensed paranoia in Netanyahu’s next remarks about a global conspiracy to topple him that included Washington, espionage agencies, the V15 movement that sought to unseat him, opposition leader Isaac Herzog and the Israeli media.
“What do you suggest I do with this information?” the journalist asked. “The vote is today.”
“I want you to know that this is what happened,” Netanyahu said, ending the conversation by making an accusation in the plural. “You won’t touch it. You aren’t handling [the story.] That's why I'm going to lose the election.”
Netanyahu won the election. But he was right about V15. They did try to topple him. Fortunately, they failed.

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Wow! Federal judge calls Netanyahu 'turbaned Israeli mullah,' Podesta nods in agreement

Wikileaks yields another treasure trove.

In an email to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, US judge George Paine (more on him in a minute) refers to Prime Minister Netanyahu as a 'turbaned Israeli mullah,' and Clinton campaign chair John Podesta nods in agreement (Hat Tip: Zvi S).

Who is George C. Paine II of Nashville, TN? He was, until his retirement, Chief Judge for the US Bankruptcy Court of the Middle District of Tennessee. He is most famous for having been subjected to a disciplinary proceeding because of his membership in a club that excluded blacks and women. Odd are the number of Jewish members approached zero, too.
The amazing thing about this email is that a federal judge felt comfortable sending it at all. And he wouldn’t have sent it unless he knew that Podesta shared his biases… which is obvious from Podesta’s comment.
And you thought which campaign is being supported by racists and anti-Semites?

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Trump campaign releases major statement on Israel

Just received this by email. It came out a short while ago.
Joint Statement from Jason Dov Greenblatt and David Friedman, Co-Chairmen of the Israel Advisory Committee to Donald J. Trump

It has been an exhilarating election cycle. Approximately seven months ago, we were blessed to have been tapped by Donald J. Trump to be his top advisors with respect to the State of Israel. We have been fortunate to work with a talented team of people and have put together the below positions. Each of these positions have been discussed with Mr. Trump and the Trump campaign, and  most have been stated, in one form or another, by Mr. Trump in various interviews or speeches given by him or on his social media accounts. For those of you who are true friends of the State of Israel, and for those of you who believe that the State of Israel and the United States of America have an unbreakable friendship, we urge you to read the below. We would like to express our gratitude to those individuals who have helped us over the past few months – we truly appreciate your efforts, friendship and guidance. We would also like to express our gratitude to our friend, a great friend of the State of Israel, Donald J. Trump, who gave us the tremendous opportunity to serve in this capacity. May God bless the United States of America and the State of Israel.
 ·       The unbreakable bond between the United States and Israel is based upon shared values of democracy, freedom of speech, respect for minorities, cherishing life, and the opportunity for all citizens to pursue their dreams.
·       Israel is the state of the Jewish people, who have lived in that land for 3,500 years. The State of Israel was founded with courage and determination by great men and women against enormous odds and is an inspiration to people everywhere who value freedom and human dignity.
·       Israel is a staunch ally of the U.S. and a key partner in the global war against Islamic jihadism. Military cooperation and coordination between Israel and the U.S. must continue to grow.
·       The American people value our close friendship and alliance with Israel -- culturally, religiously, and politically. While other nations have required U.S. troops to defend them, Israelis have always defended their own country by themselves and only ask for military equipment assistance and diplomatic support to do so. The U.S. does not need to nation-build in Israel or send troops to defend Israel.
·       The Memorandum of Understanding signed by the American and Israeli Governments is a good first step, but there is much more to be done. A Trump Administration will ensure that Israel receives maximum military, strategic and tactical cooperation from the United States, and the MOU will not limit the support that we give. Further, Congress will not be limited to give support greater than that provided by the MOU if it chooses to do so. Israel and the United States benefit tremendously from what each country brings to the table – the relationship is a two way street.
·       The U.S. should veto any United Nations votes that unfairly single out Israel and will work in international institutions and forums, including in our relations with the European Union, to oppose efforts to delegitimize Israel, impose discriminatory double standards against Israel, or to impose special labeling requirements on Israeli products or boycotts on Israeli goods.
·       The U.S. should cut off funds for the UN Human Rights Council, a body dominated by countries presently run by dictatorships that seems solely devoted to slandering the Jewish State. UNESCO’s attempt to disconnect the State of Israel from Jerusalem is a one-sided attempt to ignore Israel’s 3,000-year bond to its capital city, and is further evidence of the enormous anti-Israel bias of the United Nations.
·       The U.S. should view the effort to boycott, divest from, and sanction (BDS) Israel as inherently anti-Semitic and take strong measures, both diplomatic and legislative, to thwart actions that are intended to limit commercial relations with Israel, or persons or entities doing business in Israeli areas, in a discriminatory manner. The BDS movement is just another attempt by the Palestinians to avoid having to commit to a peaceful co-existence with Israel. The false notion that Israel is an occupier should be rejected.
·       The Trump administration will ask the Justice Department to investigate coordinated attempts on college campuses to intimidate students who support Israel.
·       A two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians appears impossible as long as the Palestinians are unwilling to renounce violence against Israel or recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. Additionally, the Palestinians are divided between PA rule in the West Bank and Hamas rule in Gaza so there is not a united Palestinian people who could control a second state. Hamas is a US-designated terrorist organization that actively seeks Israel’s destruction. We will seek to assist the Israelis and the Palestinians in reaching a comprehensive and lasting peace, to be freely and fairly negotiated between those living in the region.
·       The Palestinian leadership, including the PA, has undermined any chance for peace with Israel by raising generations of Palestinian children on an educational program of hatred of Israel and Jews. The larger Palestinian society is regularly taught such hatred on Palestinian television, in the Palestinian press, in entertainment media, and in political and religious communications. The two major Palestinian political parties – Hamas and Fatah – regularly promote anti-Semitism and jihad.
·       The U.S. cannot support the creation of a new state where terrorism is financially incentivized, terrorists are celebrated by political parties and government institutions, and the corrupt diversion of foreign aid is rampant. The U.S. should not support the creation of a state that forbids the presence of Christian or Jewish citizens, or that discriminates against people on the basis of religion.
·       The U.S. should support direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians without preconditions, and will oppose all Palestinian, European and other efforts to bypass direct negotiations between parties in favor of an imposed settlement. Any solutions imposed on Israel by outside parties including by the United Nations Security Council, should be opposed.  We support Israel’s right and obligation to defend itself against terror attacks upon its people and against alternative forms of warfare being waged upon it legally, economically, culturally, and otherwise. 
·       Israel’s maintenance of defensible borders that preserve peace and promote stability in the region is a necessity. Pressure should not be put on Israel to withdraw to borders that make attacks and conflict more likely.
·       The U.S. will recognize Jerusalem as the eternal and indivisible capital of the Jewish state and Mr. Trump’s Administration will move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.
·       Despite the Iran Nuclear deal in 2015, the U.S. State Department recently designated Iran, yet again, as the leading state sponsor of terrorism – putting the Middle East particularly, but the whole world at risk by financing, arming, and training terrorist groups operating around the world including Hamas, Hezbollah, and forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.  The U.S. must counteract Iran’s ongoing violations of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action regarding Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons and their noncompliance with past and present sanctions, as well as the agreements they signed, and implement tough, new sanctions when needed to protect the world and Iran’s neighbors from its continuing nuclear and non-nuclear threats.
A few observations:

1. It would be interesting to hear with what Hillary Clinton disagrees in this statement, if anything. It's a shame that no one who can will ask her, and no public statements are likely in the next week.

2. I would love to hear this directly from Donald Trump, rather than from his advisers. He should at least release this a statement saying he agrees with everything that is here.

3. To me, these are mainstream positions, certainly in Israel and probably among Republicans in the US as well. It would behoove all of us to carry these as talking points and to see who agrees with them and who does not. 

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Donald Trump sends a note to God

Some of you might recall that when Barack Hussein Obama was a candidate for President eight years ago, he came to Israel, and placed a note in the Western Wall that was promptly stolen out of curiosity.

So when Donald Trump sent a note to be placed in the Western Wall, he did something different. He photographed it and sent it to one of Israel's largest circulation newspapers.

The note is pictured above.

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Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Obama's legacy: Criminalizing Israeli citizenship?

I've already written a couple of times about the fears here in Israel of what President Hussein Obama might try to do to us in his final days in his office. Here's a really disturbing Wall Street Journal piece from Jonathan Schanzer about some of the possibilities.

The Middle East has few bright spots these days, but one is the budding rapprochement between Israel and its Sunni Arab neighbors, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, thanks to shared threats from Iran and Islamic State. Now the Obama Administration may have plans to wreck even that.
Israeli diplomats gird for the possibility that President Obama may try to force a diplomatic resolution for Israel and the Palestinians at the United Nations. The White House has been unusually tight-lipped about what, if anything, it might have in mind. But our sources say the White House has asked the State Department to develop an options menu for the President’s final weeks.
One possibility would be to sponsor, or at least allow, a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlement construction, perhaps alongside new IRS regulations revoking the tax-exempt status of people or entities involved in settlement building. The Administration vetoed such a resolution in 2011 on grounds that it “risks hardening the position of both sides,” which remains true.
But condemning the settlements has always been a popular way of scoring points against the Jewish state, not least at the State Department, and an antisettlement resolution might burnish Mr. Obama’s progressive brand for his postpresidency.
Mr. Obama may also seek formal recognition of a Palestinian state at the Security Council. This would run afoul of Congress’s longstanding view that “Palestine” does not have the internationally recognized attributes of statehood, including a defined territory and effective government, though Mr. Obama could overcome the objection through his usual expedient of an executive action, thereby daring the next President to reverse him.
Both actions would be a boon to the bullies in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, while also subjecting Israeli citizens and supporters abroad to new and more aggressive forms of legal harassment. It could even criminalize the Israeli army—and every reservist who serves in it—on the theory that it is illegally occupying a foreign state. Does Mr. Obama want to be remembered as the President who criminalized Israeli citizenship?
The worst option would be an effort to introduce a resolution at the U.N. Security Council setting “parameters” for a final settlement between Israel and the Palestinians.

The French have been eager to do this for some time, and one option for the Administration would be to let the resolution pass simply by refusing to veto it. Or the U.S. could introduce the resolution itself, all the better to take credit for it.
As the old line has it, this would be worse than a crime—it would be a blunder. U.S. policy has long and wisely been that only Israelis and Palestinians can work out a peace agreement between themselves, and that efforts to impose one would be counterproductive. Whatever parameters the U.N. established would be unacceptable to any Israeli government, left or right, thereby destroying whatever is left of a peace camp in Israel.
The Palestinians would seize on those parameters as their birthright, making it impossible for any future Palestinian leader to bargain part of them away in a serious negotiation. Arab states would find their diplomatic hands tied, making it impossible to serve as useful intermediaries between Jerusalem and Ramallah. It could refreeze relations with Israel even as they finally seem to have thawed.
President Obama may be the last man on earth to get the memo, but after decades of fruitless efforts to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict it might be wiser for the U.S. to step back until the Palestinians recognize that peace cannot be imposed from the outside.

If Mr. Obama is still seeking a Middle East legacy at this late stage in his presidency, his best move is do nothing to make it worse.
A few comments. First, it is longstanding US policy that peace between Israel and the 'Palestinians' can only come through direct negotiations between the parties. Obama has done much to undermine that policy through his insistence on international peace conferences and other ways of allowing the 'Palestinians' to avoid direct negotiations, including his support for preconditions to negotiations. Perhaps that's why Obama has zero influence in Israel, where the government once again spat in his face on Monday, announcing that it would build 98 new homes in Shilo, which is well outside the 'settlement blocs.'
On Monday the state informed the High Court of Justice it awaited final bureaucratic approval to develop the site within six months as a relocation option for the 40 families from the Amona outpost.

It, therefore, asked the HCJ to delay by seven months the mandated December 25 demolition of the outpost.

Alternatively, the state said, it was also pursuing the option of using the abandoned property law, so that it could relocate the outpost to land adjacent to the community’s current location.

Washington has rebuked Israel for both plans, but the State Department issued a particularly sharp statement in which it said the Shiloh project was tantamount to the creation of a new settlement, something Israel had promised the US it would not do.

“This settlement's location deep in the West Bank… would link a string of outposts that effectively divide the West Bank and make the possibility of a viable Palestinian state more remote,” the State Department had said.
Second, as much as I will never vote for Hillary Clinton (#NeverHillary), it is clear to me that this sort of scorched earth strategy from the Obama administration is far more likely if Donald Trump wins next week's election than if Clinton wins it. After all, it was Netanyahu who set up Clinton's illegal private server, and it was he that caused it to be used for government business (/sarc). Obama would have far more interest in trying to tie Trump's hands than in trying to tie Clinton's.

All in all, the outlook is bleak with the 'most pro-Israel administration evah' set to extract revenge from an Israeli government that has not been willing to surrender to Obama's wishes over the past eight years.

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