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Friday, December 30, 2016

What makes Hamas seethe?

What could really anger Hamas? How about this video from a Chanuka party in Bahrain held by millionaire Lazer Scheiner?

Let's go to the videotape. More after the video.

And yes, this video really does have Hamas seething.
The Islamist group said the video from the event, hosted by the king of Bahrain and attended by members of the local Jewish community, was “humiliating” after it was posted on YouTube.
In the clip, Muslim and Jewish men wearing keffiyehs and kippahs were seen performing a traditional Hasidic dance during a candle-lighting ceremony.
“In light of the increasing pace of international sympathy for the Palestinian cause… and the growing boycott of the Zionist movement in all forms, a group of dignitaries and traders in the State of Bahrain hosted a Zionist, racist and extremist Jewish delegation and danced with them in a humiliating and disgraceful spectacle,” Hamas officials said in a statement.
“Hamas calls on Bahrain to fully stop any form of normalisation with the Zionist enemy.”
But John Kerry thinks it's all about 'settlement' construction.

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Oh my: British PM Theresa May in 'unprecedented' attack on US over Kerry speech

In what's being called an 'unprecedented' attack, British Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday issued a blistering rebuke of US Secretary of State John Kerry's ranting attack on Israel on Wednesday.
A spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May said it was inappropriate of Mr Kerry, America's top diplomat, to attack the make-up of the democratically-elected Israeli government – a key ally of both the US and Britain.
Downing Street also rebuked Mr Kerry for focusing on the single issue of Israeli settlements and not the whole conflict.
Intervening in the increasingly hostile international dispute today, a spokesman for the British Prime Minister said: 'We do not... believe that the way to negotiate peace is by focusing on only one issue, in this case the construction of settlements, when clearly the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians is so deeply complex.
'And we do not believe that it is appropriate to attack the composition of the democratically-elected government of an ally.'
'The Government believes that negotiations will only succeed when they are conducted between the two parties, supported by the international community.'
It echoes Mr Netanyahu's riposte yesterday when he accused the US Secretary of State of being skewed against Israel' and talking 'obsessively' about settlements.
Mind you, Britain was one of the 14 countries that voted in favor of UN Security Council Resolution 2334 last Friday, so why are they now attacking Kerry?

Apparently because they think he went too far.

And Britain is not the only country who went after Kerry today. So did Australia's Julie Bishop.
In a statement released on Thursday, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Australia was not currently a member of the Security Council and was not eligible to vote on the resolution.
However, she said, "in voting at the UN, the Coalition government has consistently not supported one-sided resolutions targeting Israel".
She urged both sides to refrain from steps that damage the prospect for peace and to "resume direct negotiations for a two-state solution as soon as possible".
Meanwhile, in the US, it's not just President Elect Donald Trump who has been tweeting up a storm in support of Israel. So have many Representatives and Senators from Kerry's own party (and of course from the Republican party).
“While he may not have intended it, I fear Secretary Kerry, in his speech and action at the U.N., has emboldened extremists on both sides,” said Senator Chuck Schumer, the incoming Senate Democratic leader.
A bipartisan chorus of lawmakers, upset with President Obama’s decision last week to allow the passage of a United Nations resolution condemning Israel’s construction of settlements in disputed territory, made clear that they were looking past the departing administration.
Senator Benjamin L. Cardin of Maryland, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, said he shared Mr. Kerry’s concerns “with the lack of forward progress on a two-state solution.” But Mr. Cardin also said he was unhappy that Mr. Obama had not vetoed the United Nations resolution, instead abstaining from the vote. He pledged to “explore congressional action that can mitigate the negative implications” of it.
The most ardent supporters of Israel in Congress seemed just as liberated as Mr. Kerry was to let loose.
“Secretary Kerry’s speech today was at best a pointless tirade in the waning days of an outgoing administration,” said Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona. “At worst, it was another dangerous outburst that will further Israel’s diplomatic isolation and embolden its enemies.”
Representative Eliot L. Engel of New York, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, called Mr. Kerry’s speech “gratuitous” and “wrong.” “There doesn’t seem any purpose to this other than to embarrass Israel,” Mr. Engel said. “It just pained me to watch it.”
Democratic members of Congress who are closer to Mr. Kerry, a former senator, and the Obama administration were more measured. Many had been angered by Mr. Netanyahu’s decision last year to accept an invitation from the Republican-led House to deliver a speech in the Capitol, where he confronted the president over the Iran nuclear accord.
Yet even these Democrats — eyeing the arrival of a Republican administration-in-waiting that has vowed strong support for Israel — left little doubt that they were parting ways with Mr. Obama on the substance of the United Nations resolution.
Senator Bill Nelson of Florida, who is facing re-election in 2018, said he knew why Mr. Kerry was frustrated over the settlements, which he called an “impediment toward a negotiated two-state solution.” But he was quick to note that he was among the 88 senators who signed a letter months ago opposing the sort of United Nations resolution on Israel that the Security Council approved last week.
Hopefully the reactions in Congress will keep the Obama administration from saddling Israel with their 'peace plan.' Perhaps this picture says it best.

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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Oh, what a tangled web we weave. When first we practise to deceive!

The Obama administration's effort to deny Prime Minister Netanyahu's charge that Obama was behind the passage of a UN resolution declaring the Western Wall to be 'Palestinian territory' has come apart under the weight of its own lies.

You will recall, if you follow the links above that the Obama administration denied the Netanyahu government's accusations that Obama-Kerry were behind and orchestrating the UN resolution. And if you keep reading below, you will find out that in fact, the Obama administration has been orchestrating this resolution since September, and that John Kerry's little post-election trip to New Zealand (and Antartica) is likely connected to it.

On Wednesday morning, Israel Radio reported on an Egyptian newspaper report that published a summary of a meeting among Kerry, Susan Rice and chief 'Palestinian' negotiator bottle washer Saeb Erekat. That led to this denial from US National Security Council spokesman Ned Price:
To which CAMERA analyst Gidon Shaviv responded.
Price equivocated.
Price never responded to the question.

But in fact, on Tuesday, the State Department's Mark Toner admitted that the meeting did take place. And much more (full transcript here).
QUESTION: Yeah. I mean, tensions have been increasing since the UN vote on Friday. I’m sure you’ve seen all the reports and heard a lot of the words. The Israeli officials are now being quoted as saying that they have evidence that they will lay out to the Trump administration of – in which the U.S., specifically Kerry, had discussions with the Palestinians before the vote, a few weeks before, during a visit to Washington where Saeb Erekat was around, and basically that he pushed them to go to Egypt and to move ahead with this resolution. That’s one of the things.
QUESTION: So the question is: Was the U.S. hiding behind this other group of countries to submit the resolution? Were those discussions ever taken place? Because the Israelis feel that they’ve got evidence that there was meddling by the Americans.
MR TONER: Excuse me. Forgive me. (Coughs.) I picked up a cold over the weekend too, unfortunately, so I apologize.
So you’re right. We’ve obviously seen the same reports, an amalgamation of different allegations that somehow this was U.S.-driven and precooked. What I’ll say – excuse me – (coughs) – is that we reject the notion that the United States was the driving force behind this resolution. That’s just not true. The United States did not draft this resolution, nor did it put it forward. It was drafted and initially introduced, as we all know, by Egypt, in coordination with the Palestinians and others. When it was clear that the Egyptians and the Palestinians would insist on bringing this resolution to a vote and that every other country on the council would, in fact, support it, we made clear to others, including those on the Security Council, that further changes were needed to make the text more balanced. And that’s a standard practice on – with regard to resolutions at the Security Council. So there’s nothing new to this.
Actually, it's not 'standard practice' unless you're looking for an excuse not to veto it. If the United States had planned to veto the resolution - as happened many times in the past - it would not have bothered to pretend to make the text 'more balanced,' because it would not have mattered. And it certainly would not have sent Secretary Kerry gallivanting around the world to work on it. 
You look like you’re pouncing on me, but go ahead.
QUESTION: No, we just —
MR TONER: No, we’ll continue. I can continue, but if you have a – do you have a follow up?
QUESTION: No, no. Let’s just keep going with this.
MR TONER: Okay, sure. And this is a really important point. We also made clear at every conversation – in every conversation – that the President would make the final decision and that he would have to review the final text before making his final decision. So the idea that this was, again, precooked or that we had agreed upon the text weeks in advance is just not accurate. And in fact —
QUESTION: But we know that —
MR TONER: Go ahead. I’m sorry. Go ahead.
QUESTION: No, we know that the U.S. didn’t draft it or put it forward. But was the U.S. in any way coaxing on any – another group of countries to move ahead and go and move ahead with this resolution?
You mean like 'humiliated' Joe Biden leaning on Ukraine to improve the 'optics' and make it 14-0? But Toner didn't bother to explain that.
MR TONER: Well, again, these are – I mean, again, I think it’s important to have the proper context, in that all through the fall there was talk about – and we often got the question here and of course we replied that we’re never going to discuss hypotheticals in terms of what resolutions or what is circulating out there – but of course, there has been for some time in the fall talk about this resolution or that resolution with regard to the Middle East peace and the Israeli-Palestinian issue.
Yes, of course. Because without the need to worry any more about himself or his party, the true Jew-hating Obama was free to come out. 
So of course, in the – of course, in the course of those conversations, we’re always making clear what our parameters are, what our beliefs are, what our – what we need to see or what we – in order to even consider a resolution. That’s part of the give-and-take of the UN.
QUESTION: But surely these countries, before they would move ahead, would want to get the view of an influential member of the Security Council of the UN of who – of what their position would be on this.
MR TONER: Well, again, I think we – of course, as the draft or the text was circulated, we said to those on the Security Council that – what further changes were needed to make the text more balanced. And in fact, we ended up abstaining because we didn’t feel it was balanced enough in the sense of it didn’t hit hard enough on the incitement-to-violence side of the coin.
No. When you abstain and you could have vetoed, that's a vote in favor. Let's call a spade a spade. 
Go ahead. You look perplexed. (Laughter.) Go ahead, Said.
QUESTION: At what stage did you intervene to try and balance? Was it after Egypt said they’d withdraw it?
MR TONER: I think it was once – yeah, I mean, once – I mean, I don’t have a date certain. It was once the Egyptians and Palestinians made it clear that they were going to advance this text or bring this resolution to a vote and that, in fact, it would be supported by other countries.
QUESTION: Does that date predate Mr. Erekat’s visit to the State Department?
MR TONER: I don’t know the date of his visit. But again, I’m not – I’m not exactly – and I’m not necessarily excluding that when he did visit to the State Department that they didn’t discuss possible resolutions or anything like that in terms of draft language. But again, there was no – nothing precooked. There was nothing – this was not some move orchestrated by the United States.
Erekat 'visited' the State Department on December 12 - ten days before the Egyptians presented and withdrew the resolution, and eleven days before Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal and Venezuela - with open support from the UK and behind the scenes support from the US - presented it again. Orchestrated? Bet on it. 
QUESTION: Could you be clear what you just said? I heard a double negative in there. You’re not precluding that they didn’t discuss it. Are you saying they – that when the Palestinians were here —
MR TONER: I don’t have a readout. Yeah, I don’t have a readout of that meeting in front of me. I just – but I said I can imagine that they talked about Middle East peace broadly and efforts to reinvigorate the process. I don’t know that they discussed the possible action at the UN. But of course, as we – as I said in answer to Lesley’s question, that was something that was in the mix for some months now in New York at the UN that there might be some action taken there.
This wouldn't be anywhere near as suspicious had the meeting been publicly disclosed on December 12. But if had, Israel would not have been blindsided.
QUESTION: And what about New Zealand, when the Secretary was there before Antarctica?
Yeah indeed. Let's interrupt for a minute. Here's a New Zealand Herald report from November 13, five days after the US election.
One of the closed-door discussions between United States Secretary of State John Kerry and the New Zealand Government today was a potential resolution by the United Nations Security Council on a two-state solution for the Israel - Palestinian conflict.
After the talks, Foreign Minister Murray McCully even raised the possibility of the US or New Zealand sponsoring a resolution.
"It is a conversation we are engaged in deeply and we've spent some time talking to Secretary Kerry about where the US might go on this.
"It is something that is still in play," McCully told reporters after talks today in Wellington.
New Zealand's two-year term on the Security Council will end in ignominy on Saturday. But then, we should not have been as surprised by their behavior as we were. Our bad.

Back to the State Department. 
QUESTION: And also I believe he had a meeting here with Mr. Shoukry at some point in early December.
MR TONER: Mm-hmm.
QUESTION: Was the resolution discussed at either of those meetings with those diplomats?
MR TONER: Again, I can’t specifically say whether the resolution – but certainly, if a resolution or action at the UN was discussed, it wasn’t discussed in the level of detail where there was some final text. We always reserved the right with any text that was put forward, drafted and put forward, to veto it or to not take action or abstain, which is what we ended up doing.
Like I said - when you have a veto and you don't use it, you're voting in favor. 
QUESTION: But you advised them on how to put together a motion that the United States would feel comfortable abstaining or voting in favor of?
MR TONER: Well, I think what we said is – and this is not just unique to this process, but once a text, a draft text is to the point where it’s going to be put forward to a vote, of course we would provide input on what we believed were – was language that didn’t pass or didn’t allow us to vote for it or —
QUESTION: You see what I’m saying?
QUESTION: You didn’t just say bring whatever motion you like up and we’ll vote however we feel about it. You were encouraging them to bring forward a motion that you would feel comfortable not blocking.
Sounds like game, set and match right here. 
MR TONER: Well, but we have to be really careful in how we’re talking about this because what the allegations —
QUESTION: (Inaudible.)
MR TONER: No, I know and I understand that. But no, no, but I’m saying that some of the allegations out there, frankly, are implying that this was somehow some – as I said, some orchestrated action by the U.S. to pass a resolution that was negative about settlement activity in Israel, and the fact is that that’s just not the case. Of course, we would always provide, when the final text was going up for a vote, our opinion on where the red lines were. But I think that – I think this is all a little bit of a sideshow, to be honest, that this was a resolution that we could not in good conscience veto because it condemns violence, it condemned incitement, it reiterates what has long been the overwhelming consensus international view on settlements, and it calls for the parties to take constructive steps to advance a two-state solution on the ground. There was nothing in there that would prompt us to veto that type of resolution.
Actually, no. The only party it calls on to do anything is Israel
QUESTION: But there was nothing in there —
MR TONER: And in fact —
QUESTION: — because you told them not to put anything in there that would cause you to veto it.
MR TONER: But that – but again, not at all. And I said we did not take the lead in drafting this resolution. That was done by the Egyptians with the Palestinians. But again, in any kind of resolution process, of course there’s moments where – or I mean, it’s not like our views regarding settlements or regarding resolutions with respect to Israel aren’t well-known and well-vetted within the UN community. There’s been many times in the past where we’ve not – or we vetoed resolutions that we found to be biased towards Israel. But that’s another point here is that there’s nothing – the other canard in all of this is that this was somehow breaking with longstanding U.S. tradition in the UN Security Council, when we all know that every administration has vetoed – or rather has abstained or voted for similar resolutions.
Actually, no administration other than the Carter administration has ever called 'settlements' illegal. And no administration has ever called on 'all States'
to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967
That's right. In case you missed it, the Obama administration voted for a resolution that backs BDS.
QUESTION: But it’s true then that you had opportunities to ask them not to bring it forward at all and didn’t take them.
MR TONER: I’m not sure what you’re —
QUESTION: Well, instead of saying why not write the motion this way, you could have said please don’t bring a motion.
MR TONER: Well, again, I think when it was clear to us that they were going to bring it to a vote and that every other council – every other country on the council was going to support that resolution, that draft text —
Since when does a country with veto power have to worry about what 'every other country on the council' is going to do, especially a week before ten of the council's 15 members are about to turn over? Funny that we never hear Russia or China worrying about what 'every other country on the council' is going to do.

But the effort to destroy Israel in the council goes back much further than Kerry's trip to New Zealand in November. Here's Adam Kredo from the Washington Free Beacon.
Jonathan Schanzer, a Middle East expert and vice president for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told the Free Beacon that he spoke with U.S. officials in September who admitted that “a U.N. measure of some shape or form was actively considered,” a charge that runs counter the White House’s official narrative.
“We know that this administration was at a minimum helping to shape a final resolution at the United Nations and had been working on this for months,” Schanzer said.
“This isn’t terribly dissimilar from the administration’s attempts to spin the cash pallets they sent to Iran,” he added, referring to the administration’s efforts to conceal the fact that it sent the Iranian government some $1.7 billion in cash.
“The fact is, the administration has been flagged as being an active participant in this U.N. resolution,” Schanzer said. “Now they wish to try to spin this as inconsequential. This was an attempt by the administration to lead from behind, as they have done countless times in the past and which has failed countless times in the past.”
And if you're having any doubts whether to believe Schanzer or to believe the Obama-Kerry spin, please consider this.
One veteran foreign policy insider and former government official who requested anonymity in order to speak freely described senior Obama administration officials as “lying sacks of shit” who routinely feed the press disinformation.
A senior congressional aide who is working on a package of repercussions aimed at the U.N. told the Free Beacon the administration is scrambling to provide excuses in response to the breakdown in its own narrative regarding the resolution.
“The administration got caught red handed, and now they’re talking out of both sides of their mouth,” said the source, who was not authorized to speak on record. “First they claimed the resolution was simply not objectionable. Now they say it will actually help advance peace. These denials only look more ridiculous with each passing day as new evidence surfaces that the White House was behind this anti-Israel resolution.”
The Obama administration has been caught several times misleading the public about its campaign to discredit Israel, including the funding of an organization that sought to unseat Netanyahu in the country’s last election, according to one congressional adviser who works with Republican and Democratic offices on Middle East issues.
All of which leads this Jew to believe that columnist and lawyer Kurt Schlichter is spot-on with this tweet.

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It's not that Kerry doesn't get Israel - he's enraged he can't get rid of it

In an editorial this morning, the Wall Street Journal blasts John Kerry's 'marathon speech' on Wednesday in which he reserved rage only for Israel in the entire Middle East.
We recite this history to show that it’s not for lack of U.S. diplomacy that there is no peace—and that mishandled diplomacy has a way of encouraging Palestinian violence. In 2000 then-President Bill Clinton brought Israeli and Palestinian leaders to Camp David to negotiate a final peace agreement, only to watch Palestinians walk away from an offer that would have granted them a state on nearly all of Gaza and the West Bank. That failure was followed by another Palestinian terror campaign.
Israelis remember this. They remember that they elected leaders—Yitzhak Rabin in 1992, Ehud Barak in 1999, Ehud Olmert in 2006—who made repeated peace overtures to the Palestinians only to be met with violence and rejection.
In his speech, Mr. Kerry went out of his way to personalize his differences with current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, claiming he leads the “most right-wing” coalition in Israeli history. But Israelis also remember that Mr. Netanyahu ordered a settlement freeze, and that also brought peace no closer.
The lesson is that Jewish settlements are not the main obstacle to peace. If they were, Gaza would be on its way to becoming the Costa Rica of the Mediterranean. The obstacle is Palestinian rejection of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state in any borders. A Secretary of State who wishes to resolve the conflict could have started from that premise, while admonishing the Palestinians that they will never get a state so long as its primary purpose is the destruction of its neighbor.
But that Secretary isn’t Mr. Kerry. Though he made passing references to Palestinian terror and incitement, the most he would say against it was that it “must stop.” If the Administration has last-minute plans to back this hollow exhortation with a diplomatic effort at the U.N., we haven’t heard about it.
Contrast this with last week’s Security Council resolution, which the Obama Administration refused to veto and which substantively changes diplomatic understandings stretching to 1967. Mr. Kerry claimed Wednesday that Resolution 2334 “does not break new ground.”
The reality is that the resolution denies Israel legal claims to the land—including Jewish holy sites such as the Western Wall—while reversing the traditional land-for-peace formula that has been a cornerstone of U.S. diplomacy for almost 50 years. In the world of Resolution 2334, the land is no longer Israel’s to trade for peace. Mr. Kerry also called East Jerusalem “occupied” territory, which contradicts Administration claims in the 2015 Supreme Court case, Zivotofsky v. Kerry, that the U.S. does not recognize any sovereignty over Jerusalem.
The larger question is what all this means for the prospects of an eventual settlement. Mr. Kerry made a passionate plea in his speech for preserving the possibility of a two-state solution for Jews and Palestinians. That’s a worthy goal in theory, assuming a Palestinian state doesn’t become another Yemen or South Sudan.
But the effect of Mr. Kerry’s efforts will be to put it further out of reach. Palestinians will now be emboldened to believe they can get what they want at the U.N. and through public campaigns to boycott Israel without making concessions. Israelis will be convinced that Western assurances of support are insincere and reversible.
It's not that Kerry doesn't get all those things. He does. It's that in Kerry's 60's radical mind - like his boss' - Israel is a neo-colonialist creation of the West that has no right to exist among the 'natives' of the Middle East.

The only reason Kerry doesn't come right out and say it is because while that kind of talk is acceptable in Europe, it's not acceptable (yet) in the US. Thanks to Donald Trump defeating Hillary Clinton in last month's election, it may never become acceptable in the US. 

And that is the source of Kerry's rage.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Bolton: 'Obama didn't stab Netanyahu in the back - he stabbed him in the front'

Here's a report by @EdHenry on the Tucker Carlson Tonight show, which features commentary by Alan Dershowitz, John Bolton and others.

Let's go to the videotape (Hat Tip: Zvi S).


Note that Bolton thinks that Security Council Resolution 2334 will have significant impact. 

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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Trump Towers at Turtle Bay?

Charles Krauthammer has some great ideas for what to do about the United Nations.

Let's go to the videotape.

If the US is no longer in the UN, and the UN is no longer in the US, will any of their resolutions mean anything?

Trump Towers at Turtle Bay. Heh.

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This is rich: Frequently anonymous source blasts Beacon's Kredo for using anonymous sources

On Monday, Martin Indyk took to Twitter (which is not just a tool of the Trump campaign) to blast the Washington Free Beacon's Adam Kredo for using anonymous sources to attack Vice President Joe Biden for pressuring Ukraine to vote against Israel in last Friday's Security Council vote on 'settlements.'

Typical 'liberal' that he is, Indyk maintains a double standard: When he's the anonymous source, he wants to be protected, but when someone else uses an anonymous source, that's not okay.

Here are a couple of the instances in which it's come out over the last few years that Martin Indyk, now head of the Brookings Institution, which took $14 million from Qatar, and formerly US ambassador to Israel, has been caught being an anonymous source.

April 2014: Indyk orchestrates campaign to collapse peace talks
Meanwhile, the Washington Free Beacon's Adam Kredo blames it on the Americans, saying that the White House has had  a secret campaign to scapegoat Israel for the 'talks' failure.

Multiple sources told the Washington Free Beacon that top Obama administration officials have worked for the past several days to manufacture a crisis over the reissuing of housing permits in a Jerusalem neighborhood widely acknowledged as Israeli territory.
Senior State Department officials based in Israel have sought to lay the groundwork for Israel to take the blame for talks collapsing by peddling a narrative to the Israeli press claiming that the Palestinians were outraged over Israeli settlements, the Free Beacon has learned.
These administration officials have planted several stories in Israeli and U.S. newspapers blaming Israel for the collapse of peace talks and have additionally provided reporters with anonymous quotes slamming the Israeli government.
The primary source of these multiple reports has been identified as Middle East envoy Martin Indyk and his staff, according to these insiders, who said that the secret media campaign against Israel paved the way for Secretary of State John Kerry to go before Congress on Tuesday and publicly blame Israel for tanking the talks.
“The Palestinians didn’t even know they were supposed to be abandoning negotiations because of these housing permits, which are actually old, reissued permits for areas everyone assumes will end up on the Israelis’ side of the border anyway,” said one senior official at a U.S. based pro-Israel organization who asked to remain anonymous because the Obama administration has in the past retaliated against critics from inside the pro-Israel world.
“Then Martin Indyk started telling anyone who would listen that in fact the Palestinians were angry over the housing issue,” the source said. “Eventually, the Palestinians figured out it was in their interest to echo what the Americans were saying.”
We've known for a long time what a shmuck Indyk is, haven't we? He's also a member of the board of the New Israel Fund. Back to Kredo.
One former Israeli diplomat familiar with Indyk’s tactics said that he is a crass political player who has a history of planting negative stories about Israel in order to undermine the Netanyahu government and bolster his hand in the talks.
“I’ve seen this before and see his fingerprints,” said the source, who referenced a separate story two weeks ago in which U.S. government sources implied that newly installed Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer was not performing his job effectively.
“It’s certainly in Indyk’s interest now [to undermine the Israelis], but this was a game he also used to play when he was ambassador twice,” said the former diplomat. “This is part of Indyk’s playbook.”
“There was only one person who would do this kind of thing and it’s Martin Indyk and his staff,” the former diplomat added.
Another Washington-based source familiar with the talks said that Kerry’s peace team has a track record of trashing Israel anonymously.
“It’s one of the worst-kept secrets in Jerusalem that Kerry’s team leaks anti-Netanyahu quotes and claims to the Israeli press—not that is should be a mystery why Israeli reporters based in Israel keep producing anti-Bibi quotes from ‘American officials,’” the source said.
“But just imagine the outrage if the roles were reversed and Bibi had a team on the ground in D.C. trashing Obama to the Washington Post on background,” the source said.
May 2014: Indyk forced to resign after being pegged as anonymous source blaming Israel for collapse of peace talks 
Martin Indyk is going to resign from the leadership of the Obama-Kerry State Department's 'negotiating team' for the 'peace process' after being exposed as the source for Nachum Barnea's YNet story blaming Israel for the failure of the 'peace talks.'

The Israeli daily Haaretz reported that Indyk is considering resigning in light of President Barack Obama’s intention to suspend US involvement in seeking a negotiated end to the conflict, citing unnamed Israeli officials “who are close to the matter.” Indyk has informed the Brookings Institute that he will soon return to his vice president post, from which he took a leave of absence during the negotiations, Haaretz reported.
It also said Indyk is being identified in Jerusalem as the anonymous source in a report by Yedioth Aharonoth columnist Nahum Barnea on Friday in which unnamed American officials primarily blamed Israel for the failure of the peace talks.
“There are a lot of reasons for the peace effort’s failure, but people in Israel shouldn’t ignore the bitter truth – the primary sabotage came from the settlements,” the official told Barnea.
He's a bitter old man, isn't he?
In May 2014, Indyk went on a drunken tirade blaming Israel for the talks' collapse.
US chief Middle East negotiator bottle washer Martin Indyk went on a 30-minute anti-Israel rant at a Washington bar on Thursday night just before meeting with former Defense Minister and Prime Minister Ehud Barak.

Indyk—who has been identified by the Washington Free Beacon as the source of a recent series of anonymous quotes in the press condemning Israel—was caught openly lashing out at Israel over drinks with several members of his staff and wife, Gahl Burt.

The conversation took place in the hotel bar at the Ritz-Carlton on Thursday night, shortly after Indyk finished delivering remarks at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy’s (WINEP) annual gala.

While Indyk was critical of Israel in his public remarks, he and his staff are said to have let loose on the Jewish state over drinks before Indyk was scheduled to meet with former Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

“The tone was nasty,” according to the source who overheard the conversation.

Indyk and his staff “openly blamed” conservative Israeli politician Naftali Bennett and others for “sabotaging the [peace] negotiations” by issuing permits for new Israeli housing blocks in Jerusalem.

“In the 30 minute conversation, no one at the table mentioned a single wrong thing the Palestinians had done,” according to the source who overheard the conversation. “There was no self-criticism whatsoever.”

Indyk’s staff also weighed in on the peace process, saying that while the press may believe that peace negotiations broke down over Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ unilateral bid for statehood at the United Nations, “they knew the truth and that [talks had broken down] way before that due to settlements,” according to the source.

“The staff relished how critical Indyk was of Israel in public speech,” the source said. “They laughed about it.”

Indyk also took aim at WINEP executive director Rob Satloff, who had moderated a question-and-answer session with Indyk earlier in the evening.

Indyk “was incredulous” that Satloff had offered an alternate explanation of the settlement issue, one that applied less blame to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Indyk told his crew that Satloff’s explanation “was just false” and that no one he knows believes it.

The conversation then turned to Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, according to the source, who additionally provided a hand-drawn map of the bar area pinpointing Indyk’s location.
Indyk did not respond to emails requesting comments, and the State Department is denying that the conversation took place. But there are far too many details in this story.
Oh, by the way, in his younger days, Indyk was known as Arafat's yes-man, and the 'Palestinians' continually sought his participation in the last round of talks against Israeli opposition.

Thankfully, he is unlikely to play any role in a Trump administration. Good riddance.

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Hamas drone engineer assassinated in Tunisia was working on undersea drone to attack Israeli gas platforms

Ten days ago, a drone engineer who worked for both Hamas and Hezbullah was assassinated in Tunisia. The Tunisian government accused 'foreign entities' of being involved in the assassination, and both Hamas and Hezbullah pointed a finger at Israel.

It now turns out that the engineer, Mohammed al-Zawahri, was developing an undersea drone that could be used to attack Israeli natural gas platforms in the Mediterranean. From Professor Jacobson.
Israel in recent years has discovered and is developing enormous natural gas reserves, and has installed air defenses around platforms, including a sea-based Iron Dome system.
Ynet News reports:
Chief Hamas engineer Mohammad al-Zawahri, who was killed in Tunisia earlier this month, was reportedly working on drones and “remote-controlled submarines” for the Islamic terror group. A TV station in Tunisia recently aired footage allegedly presenting these projects.
Talk show Labes aired photos from al-Zawahri’s lab with host Rashed al-Hiyari claiming one of them shows remote-controlled “submarines” developed by the Tunisia engineer.
“Israel knew he was a real threat and that is why it assassinated him,” al-Hiyari said of al-Zawahri. “There was a failed attempt to assassinate him several months ago as well.”
AL Monitor further reports:
Alzoari was an aeronautical engineer who specialized in the manufacture of drones. For the last few years, he was employed by Hamas and Hezbollah. According to sources in Tunis, he also designed an unmanned naval vessel, apparently submersible and capable of attacking targets at sea.
According to the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronoth (the Hebrew language version of Ynet), al-Zawahari was involved specifically in targeting the natural gas platforms.
Read the whole thing.

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Monday, December 26, 2016

Dermer to CNN: Israel will present evidence of Obama's UN gambit to Trump administration

Israel's Ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, told CNN on Monday that Israel has evidence that President Hussein Obama orchestrated the presentation and passage of Security Council Resolution 2334, condemning as 'illegal' Israeli 'settlement' in Judea, Samaria and 'east' Jerusalem. Dermer said that Israel will present the evidence to the Trump administration after January 20, and leave it up to Trump whether to share it with the American people (Hat Tip: MFS - The Other News). I would bet on it being shared if it's solid enough.
Israel has evidence that U.S. President Obama's administration is behind Friday's Security Council resolution, Israel's Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer told CNN on Monday.

"We will present this evidence to the new administration through the appropriate channels. If they want to share it with the American people they are welcome to do it," Dermer told CNN.

According to Dermer, not only did the U.S. not stand by Israel's side during the vote, it "was behind this ganging up on Israel at the UN." Dermer said it was "a sad day and a shameful chapter in U.S.-Israeli relations."

In his first public reaction to the vote, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday that the Obama administration has carried out an underhanded and an anti-Israel maneuver at the UN Security Council.
Why should anyone be surprised at that?

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Joe Biden gets his revenge on Netanyahu by forcing Ukraine to vote against Israel

YNet is reporting that serial groper Joe Biden got his revenge for being 'humiliated' by Prime Minister Netanyahu six years ago by pressuring Ukraine to vote in favor of a Security Council resolution calling Israeli 'settlements' 'illegal' on Friday.
Ukraine’s decision to vote in favor of the resolution appears to demonstrate the extent to which US President Barack Obama was behind the decision.

According to officials in Israel, Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, a Jew who is thought of as one of Israel’s main supporters, wanted that his country not be involved in the consultations held on the resolution.
However, Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko decided to vote in favor of its passage following a telephone conversation with US Vice President Joe Biden.
"The text of the resolution is balanced," Kiev asserted. "It calls for taking measures necessary for peaceful solution from both Israeli and Palestinian sides: Israel should stop its settlement activities while Palestinian authorities – to take effective measures toward fighting against terrorism."
"Our country consistently advocates the respect for the international law by everyone and everywhere as has experienced itself the tragic consequences brought by its violation," the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry added.
Perhaps this is why one of the first places in which the Netanyahu government has announced that it will build in response to the United Nations is the scene of Biden's 'humiliation,' Ramat Shlomo.

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As Israel seeks help from Trump, Netanyahu spox accuses Obama of orchestrating UN resolution

A spokesman for Prime Minister Netanyahu with what's described as 'ironclad intelligence' is accusing the Obama administration of orchestrating the introduction and passage of UN Security Council Resolution 2334 on Friday.
Speaking to Fox News on Sunday, David Keyes said Arab sources, among others, had informed Jerusalem of Obama’s alleged involvement in advancing the resolution.
“We have rather ironclad information from sources in both the Arab world and internationally that this was a deliberate push by the United States and in fact they helped create the resolution in the first place,” Keyes told the US media outlet.
The White House has adamantly denied “cooking up” the resolution, rejecting accusations by Netanyahu to that effect.
“We did not draft this resolution; we did not introduce this resolution. we made this decision when it came up for a vote,” said Obama’s deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes on Friday. But because of its opposition to settlement activity and concern for what it could mean for the region, the US “could not in good conscience veto,” he added.
I'd believe just about anyone before I'd believe Ben Rhodes

Meanwhile, Israel is seeking help from President-elect Donald Trump.
Netanyahu is now reaching out to the incoming Trump administration, which takes office on January 20, and to friends in Congress, in the hope of “deterring” what he sees as further potential Obama administration-led diplomatic action against Israel, the Channel 2 report said. His aim is for the Trump team to make plain that his administration will “economically hurt” those countries that voted against Israel in the UN and that do so in the future.
Netanyahu’s fear is that Secretary of State John Kerry will set out principles or parameters for a Palestinian state in a speech that he has said he will deliver in the next few days on his Middle East vision. The prime minister fears that, in its final days, the Obama administration will seek to have a resolution enshrining those parameters adopted by the UN Security Council, the report said.
There are three questions here. First, can Trump deter other nations from cooperating with Obama by threatening them economically? Second, is he willing to use that power if he has it? And third, what price will Israel have to pay in order to get to Trump to act?

In the meantime, hundreds of Syrians are dying daily on Obama's watch, but hey, no Jews involved so what difference does it make?

Oh and by the way, as bad as this situation is, can you imagine how much worse it would be if the President elect were Hillary Clinton?

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Deja vu all over again: Obama not the first President to attempt to hurt Israel in his final days

Barack Hussein Obama is not the first US President to try to use the United Nations to hurt Israel in his final days in office. That 'honor' goes to Obama's ideological mate, Jimmy Carter. In this Washington Post editorial from December 21, 1980 (Hat Tip: Mark Dubowitz) (would they publish it today?), if you replace Carter with Obama, the result is uncanny.
THE AMERICAN vote against Israel in the Security Council Friday was, in a sense, the essential Carter. There was no good reason of state for the United States to reverse its previous refusal (twice to condemn Israel for expelling two West Bank mayors -- not least because a change would mark its previous votes as politically motivated. Moreover, the issue of the mayors, who are indeed their people's authentic representatives but are also spokesmen for violence, is more complicated than any U.N. majority -- and certainly Secretary General Kurt Waldheim, who immediately offered the mayors the comforts of the house for a hunger strike -- could be expected to grasp. Yet the administration condemned Israel. It evidently did so out of a familiar impulse to be at one with the virtuous souls of the Third World, notwithstanding the complexities of the larger issue at hand.
That issue is whether friends should be treated differently from enemies.It's a tough one. That is, it's a tough one for the United States and especially for the Carter administration. No other country -- no other president -- has so indulged the luxury of deciding whether to support friends on all occasions regardless of their failings or whether to apply ostensibly universal values and condemn them in particular cases when they are deemed to fall short. It would be truly regrettable if the United States followed the pack and decided every case on political grounds alone. At the same time, it cannot be denied that there is a pack and that it hounds Israel shamelessly and that this makes it very serious when the United States joins it. Jimmy Carter has regularly anguished on this score. This time, in perhaps his last U.N. act of consequence, there was a suggestion in the air that he was finally doing what in his heart he has always wanted to do: vote for what he regarded as virtue.
To whatever effect, Ronald Reagan will do it differently.
May God obliterate both Carter's and Obama's names and memories. ימח שמם וזכרם of these evil people. And may Obama's efforts have even less effect than Carter's had.

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Obama's hatred of Israel isn't just personal animus against Netanyahu

When Barack Hussein Obama ordered his UN ambassador to abstain in Friday's vote against the 'settlements' at the United Nations, it wasn't just personal animus against Prime Minister Netanyahu.
Mr. Obama’s animus toward Prime Minister Netanyahu is well known. Apparently Mr. Obama took it as an affront that the President-elect would express an opinion about this week’s U.N. resolution.
It is important, though, to see this U.S. abstention as more significant than merely Mr. Obama’s petulance. What it reveals clearly is the Obama Administration’s animus against the state of Israel itself. No longer needing Jewish votes, Mr. Obama was free, finally, to punish the Jewish state in a way no previous President has done.
What Obama did on Friday went against the views of the vast majority of the US Congress, the vast majority of the American people, and of course, the vast majority of Israelis - including the sane part of the Israeli Left.
For those who speak Hebrew, there's a video of Lapid blasting the resolution on Saturday here.

What Obama did on Friday will permanently cloud the possibility of any kind of peace. This is from the first link, a Wall Street Journal editorial.
No effort to rescind the resolution, which calls the settlements a violation of “international law,” will succeed because of Russia’s and China’s vetoes.
Instead, the resolution will live on as Barack Obama’s cat’s paw, offering support in every European capital, international institution and U.S. university campus to bully Israel with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
Here in Israel, there's a palpable fear that the mamzer in the White House isn't done 'punishing' us yet.
At the cabinet meeting yesterday the experts on foreign affairs presented a scenario in which Obama could even on his last day in office cause harm to Israel.
The concern is that Obama may promote a move in the UN Security Council giving guidelines for a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians and the establishment of a Palestinian state. Israel would find it hard to present an alternative model after these guidelines are set.
The experts on foreign affairs also posed another concern regarding the Paris conference which is supposed to take place during the course of February. At the conference a pro-Palestinian peace initiative may be presented and could be viewed as authoritative if it is adopted.
I'm less concerned about what could happen in February - when Donald Trump is President - than I am about what could happen in the next three weeks. 

Obama has earned the title ימח שמו וזכרו - may his name and memory be obliterated. May God Bring that about speedily and in our time.

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Sunday, December 25, 2016

Does this image bother you?

I think it's accurate and well-deserved.

Some people think otherwise.

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Facebook's 'fact checkers': Biased and prevaricating, backed by guess who?

In an effort to eliminate 'fake news' from its site, Facebook has appointed 'fact checkers' to confirm or deny whether stories are true. But one of Facebook's 'fact checkers' has already been caught in a lie while reporting on a story about the Obama administration trying to influence Israel's elections, while another has been accused of falsifying news and embezzling money from its own website.

The first fact checker caught with its pants down is PolitiFact. The second - caught literally with its pants down - is Snopes.

Here's PolitiFact.
PolitiFact, which is part of a new group that will help Facebook flag “disputed” stories, last year rated as “Mostly False” a claim that the U.S. funded an election effort in Israel via the nonprofit One Voice aimed at defeating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
PolitiFact left out of its declaration on One Voice that Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist who lists himself as an adviser and donor to PolitiFact, documents on his personal website that he has been “helping out” One Voice, where he writes he also serves as an adviser.
Also missing from PolitiFact’s rating about the One Voice claim is that One Voice is partnered with Google, which also happens to be a donor to the Poynter Institute for Media Studies,  which owns the Tampa Bay Times. PolitiFact is a project of the Tampa Bay Times.
A senate investigation in July concluded that the State Department did not do anything illegal in funding One Voice to the tune of nearly $350,000 in 2013, but that the infrastructure created by One Voice at the time of the State Department financing could have been used last year in the anti-Netanyahu campaign.
While PolitiFact noted that its March 25, 2015 “Mostly False” designation “may change as more evidence comes to light,” it did rely largely on One Voice’s word on the matter while failing to note the ties between PolitiFact and the partners of One Voice.
Snopes, which I have said before I would not trust on anything political, has bigger issues.
Now a DailyMail.com investigation reveals that Snopes.com's founders, former husband and wife David and Barbara Mikkelson, are embroiled in a lengthy and bitter legal dispute in the wake of their divorce.
He has since remarried, to a former escort and porn actress who is one of the site's staff members.
They are accusing each other of financial impropriety, with Barbara claiming her ex-husband is guilty of 'embezzlement' and suggesting he is attempting a 'boondoggle' to change tax arrangements, while David claims she took millions from their joint accounts and bought property in Las Vegas.
The Mikkelsons founded the site in 1995. The couple had met in the early 1990s on a folklore-themed online message board, and married before setting up the site.
War of the Roses, anyone?

Oh, and the PolitiFact article tells us that guess who is behind the 'fact checkers.'
Breitbart News last week reported that a cursory search of the Poynter Institute website finds that Poynter’s IFCN is openly funded by Soros’ Open Society Foundations as well as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Google, the National Endowment for Democracy and Newmark’s foundation.
Poynter’s IFCN is also funded by the Omidyar Network, which is the nonprofit for liberal billionaire eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. The Omidyar Network has partnered with Open Society on numerous projects and has given grants to third parties using the Soros-funded Tides Foundation. Tides is one of the largest donors to left-wing causes in the U.S.
Well color me shocked.

My coverage of One Voice... and V-2015. Among other places.

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Dennis Ross rips Obama over abstention, says it's not likely to matter

Former peace processor par excellence Dennis Ross has ripped President Obama for failing to veto Friday's UN Security Council resolution.
If there is one issue on which the President has been consistent vis-à-vis Israel, it has been settlement construction in the territories that Israel occupied after the 1967 war. From the outset of his administration, he called for a freeze on the building of Israeli settlements to include natural growth. Even when he vetoed a settlements resolution in 2011, he had his then UN ambassador, Susan Rice, make a tough statement about our opposition to settlements even as she explained that the one-sided nature of the resolution left us little choice but to veto.
Perhaps, President Obama felt this resolution was more balanced. Truth be told, resolutions in international forum about Israel are rarely, if ever, balanced.
This one creates the veneer of balance by referring to the need to stop terror and incitement, but of course it never names the Palestinians so this effectively refers to stopping all such actions by both sides. Moreover, the resolution is criticizing only Israel and calling on it to cease all its activity beyond the June 4, 1967, lines — which is defined as a violation of international law. Nothing is asked of the Palestinians.
Sounds just like Obama administration policy all along, doesn't it? Nothing asked of the 'Palestinians.' But Ross also has some good news for the Israelis.
While the Israelis clearly opposed the resolution and hoped it would be vetoed by the U.S., one can ask: Does this resolution create a precedent? It is hard to see how. President-elect Trump was clear about his opposition to it and has already tweeted in response to the resolution that things will be different in his administration.
Even in UN terms, the fact that the resolution was considered under Title 6 and not Title 7 means it cannot serve as a predicate for imposing sanctions later on — clearly a path the Palestinians would like to go down.
If there is one area in the resolution that may be potentially problematic for the future, it is the reference to the settlements being illegal. That could create problems for the one possible formula for resolving the border at some point: settlement blocs and territorial swaps. One way to absorb a significant number of settlers is to permit settlement blocs which are on a small part of the West Bank to become part of Israel; in return the Israelis would swap territory as compensation to the Palestinians. Will that not be more difficult if all settlements are deemed illegal?
Killing what was left of the 'two-state solution' through his bumbling is clearly right up Obama's alley. The mamzer.

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Obscenity personified: Obama lies, stabs Israel in the back, wishes us a Happy Chanuka

Shavua tov, a good week to everyone. And a freilichen (Happy) Chanuka too.

The title of this post was stolen from a tweet by Anne Bayefsky after the United States abstained in the Security Council on Friday, allowing a resolution to pass that condemns as 'a flagrant violation' of 'international law' Israel's 'settlements' in the 'West Bank' and 'east' Jerusalem.

Will this resolution matter? John Bolton thinks it will. Let's go to the videotape.

Meanwhile the killing in Syria continues, but since there are no Jews involved, no one cares.

What better time to break with 50 years of US policy in the Middle East and try to impose a 'solution.'

Oh and guess what the mamzer was doing at the very moment he let the resolution pass... he was wishing all the stupid Jews who voted for him a Happy Chanuka.

Thanks for the stab in the back Obama.

While the resolution has not woken up too many Democrats to the fact that Obama's a Jew hater, it has woken up the Israeli government. In fact, Prime Minister Netanyahu claims that Obama had specifically promised to veto any UN resolutions in his last days in office.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday accused President Barack Obama of breaching a specific commitment to Israel by allowing through Friday’s UN Security Council anti-settlements resolution, and compared the outgoing president’s behavior to that of predecessor Jimmy Carter, “a president who was hostile to Israel.” 
Vowing not to be forced by international pressure into withdrawing from disputed territory, he said the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump had indicated that it would join an all-out war against what he called a “shameful” and “scandalous” decision.
He described the 14-0 vote in the Security Council, with the US abstaining, as “the swan song of the old world that is anti-Israel.” Now, he said, “we are entering a new era. And as President-elect Trump said, it’s going to happen a lot faster than people think.”
In this new era, it will a lot more costly for those who seek to harm Israel, he warned.
Practically speaking, Netanyahu also announced that Israel was re-evaluating all of its dealings with the United Nations, and that he had already instructed officials to cut off “30 million shekels ($7.8 million) of funding for five UN bodies that are particularly hostile to Israel.” More such action will follow, he promised.
He noted that he had recalled Israel’s ambassadors from New Zealand and Senegal, two of the four countries that sponsored the resolution that have diplomatic relations with Israel. Israeli aid to Senegal has also been halted, he said.
I think he should recall his ambassadors from the UK and France and Egypt as well, and call the US and Russian ambassadors in for a dressing down.

Netanyahu had more to say.
The US abstention came in “a complete contradiction” to a “specific commitment by President Obama in 2011,” he said. It was “a shameful anti-Israel ambush” by the administration, he said.
“The whole Middle East is going up in flames,” he said, “and the Obama administration and the Security Council” target Israel, the region’s only democracy. “How shameful.”
US legislators intend to pass a law to punish states or organizations, including the UN, that seek to hurt Israel. The US alone, he noted, provides a quarter of the UN’s funding.
He said Israel was “on a journey” to improve its relations with the nations of the world. “It could be that this scandalous decision yesterday will accelerate this process. This is the straw that broke the camel’s back. Yesterday’s decision is a recruitment call to all our many friends in the US and around the world — friends who have had enough of the UN’s hostile treatment of Israel and who intend to push fundamental change at the UN.”
Therefore, he said, invoking the spirit of the Hanukkah festival which began on Saturday, “the light will oust the darkness.”
Speedily and in our times.

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Friday, December 23, 2016

The Real Donald Trump

I have been back in Israel since late Tuesday night. Totally swamped with work, and therefore I have not posted.

I'd like to share a story that I heard in the US last week. I understand that it's been making the rounds in the yeshiva world there.

About ten years ago, a car got a flat tire - I think it was on the George Washington Bridge. An Orthodox Jew changed the tire. The driver of the car was grateful, and wanted to pay the Orthodox Jew a large sum of cash. The Jew refused to take any money, telling the driver that the Jewish people's job in this world to perform acts of kindness for other people. 

When the Jew went to pay his mortgage the next month, the bank sent back his check, saying that the mortgage had been paid off. Thinking there was a mistake, the Jew went to the bank, which was quite definite about the fact that the mortgage had been paid.

The driver of that car with the flat tire had taken down the license plate number of the Jew who changed his tire, found out who owned the car, and went and paid off his mortgage. The driver of the car with the flat tire was Donald Trump.

I can't confirm whether this story is true (but apparently it has gained credibility in the yeshivas in the US over the last couple of years), so here's something else to think about: Donald Trump's daughter converted to Judaism by an Orthodox Rabbi and married the scion of a New Jersey real estate family that is known in the Jewish community for its charitable deeds (Kushner Academy in Caldwell, New Jersey was founded by Jared Kushner's family). Both of Donald Trump's sons are married to Jewish women. ALL of Donald Trump's grandchildren are Jewish.

How many of the Jews who say terrible things about Donald Trump can say that all of their grandchildren are or will be Jewish?

Think about that.

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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Pilots didn't crash EgyptAir plane - there was an explosion

Greetings from... would you believe Lakewood, New Jersey?

Remember that EgyptAir plane that went down over the Mediterranean on a flight from Paris to Cairo back in May? This time, it wasn't a pilot suicide that crashed the plane. It was a more mundane form of terrorism: a bomb explosion.
Egypt's Ministry of Civil Aviation on Thursday said investigators found traces of explosive materials on the remains of the victims aboard EgyptAir Flight MS804.
Egyptian officials in July said the word "fire" was clearly audible from cockpit voice recorder before the plane crashed into the Mediterranean Sea on May 19, killing all 66 people aboard. The plane was traveling from Paris to Cairo.
Electronic messages sent out by the jet showed smoke detectors going off in a toilet and in the avionics area of the plane moments before it crashed.
The ministry said a forensic report "included a reference to find traces of explosive materials some human remains for victims of the accident."
Think about that the next time you take off from Paris. Yours truly was practically strip-searched by French 'security' while boarding a flight from Paris to the US a few months ago. I guess I fit the profile (not!).

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Thursday, December 08, 2016

Did Target block Israelis from its website?

I know I haven't been on in a few days, but greetings from Boston.

On my last trip here (two weeks ago!), I went to Target, found significant discounts that required me to download their app onto my smartphone, downloaded the app (two of them in fact), got the discounts, and started receiving a flood of emails and push notices from Target.

That's kind of expected - but when I clicked on them I couldn't access anything from the emails or from the apps on my phone.

I assumed this was because I was in Israel, because when I tried to access the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' E-Z pass web site (I have now acquired a transponder which I schlep with me from rental car to rental car rather than paying the outrageous fees that the rental car companies charge to rent one), I couldn't do that from Israel either.

Silly me. I assumed that just like the Commonwealth blocked the E-Z pass site to anyone outside the US (they did, didn't they?), so did Target. I was wrong. Dead wrong. It seems that Target was targeting Israelis, although having been discovered, they have quickly opened up the site (Hat Tip: MFS001).
When Jennifer Bayer tried to access  Target’s site she got an “Access Denied” message. After her friends confirmed that they were having the same problem, she contacted Target directly for an answer.
Tho company responded: 
“The reason you’re unable to place orders on Target.com from Israel is to ensure the data security of all our guests. Target.com has made the conscious decision to block IP addresses originating from Israel, as it is one of the top 5 countries from which malicious attacks against our website originate.
Although you can’t access the site from Israel, our team is more than happy to help you place a domestic order over the phone. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call at your convenience, our Target.com is available 24 hours a day, every day of the week.  To place an order on Target.com you can call 1(800) 591-3869.”
Well, maybe except I'll tell you a secret: Many US toll free numbers don't work from Israel either. Not even with your VoiP line (of course I have one!).

It only took a few hours of sunlight for Target to see the error of their ways.
We at Janglo want to publicly acknowledge Target.com‘s decision today to unblock Israeli access to their site this evening after countless Israeli users complained.
Just about a year ago, we were very happy to see Target begin offering shipping to Israel, and we’ve hoped to see them expand their presence here. In fact, their web site currently offers a discount of NIS 80 when purchasing NIS 400 or more with coupon code ISRAELSHIP. Check it out at http://intl.target.com
Target has never indicated any signs of being antisemitic or anti-Israel, and we hope the store felt no ill intentions by today’s campaign. Now that you see how strong your customer base in Israel is, we hope you’ll consider opening a store here soon!
But given that Mrs. Carl and I are both currently in the US (and will actually be staying in the same place for a few days - no, not a vacation - starting tonight), I guess we don't need a discount on shipping to Israel right now anyway....

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