Tag: Hillary Clinton


Two Resistances: Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, Sept. 6, 2017 — The quiet resistance — the one without black masks and clubs — is the more revolutionary force, and it transcends race, class, and gender.

Leftism Is Not Liberalism. Here Are the Differences: Dennis Prager, Daily Signal, Sept. 12, 2017— What is the difference between a leftist and a liberal?

Liberals' Addiction to Identity Politics Bad for Parties, Political Life: Robert Fulford, National Post, Aug. 25, 2017— Since the ignominious failure of the 2016 election, the Democrats have been searching their souls.

Israeli “Occupation”: The BIG LIE: Sally F. Zerker, CIJR, Sept. 15, 2017— The time has come to tell the world’s “liars”, boldly and forthrightly, that Israeli “occupation” is the BIG LIE of our age.


On Topic Links


9/11 Sixteen Years Later: Lessons Put Into Practice?: John Bolton, Algemeiner, Sept. 11, 2017

Cultural Approbation: Weekly Standard, Sept. 04, 2017

The New Manichaeans: Michael Knox Beran, National Review, Aug. 28, 2017

The Coming Terror: Mark Steyn, Jewish World Review, Sept. 5, 2017




Victor Davis Hanson

National Review, Sept. 6, 2017


The quiet resistance — the one without black masks and clubs — is the more revolutionary force, and it transcends race, class, and gender. After the election of Donald Trump, there arose a self-described “Resistance.” It apparently posed as a decentralized network of progressive activist groups dedicated to derailing the newly elected Trump administration.


Democrats and progressives borrowed their brand name from World War II French partisans. In rather psychodramatic fashion, they envisioned their heroic role over the next four years as that of virtual French insurgents — coming down from the Maquis hills, perhaps to waylay Trump’s White House, as if the president were an SS Obergruppenführer und General der Police running occupied Paris. Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone wrote admiringly about the furious Resistance’s pushback against Trump, with extravagant claims that his agenda was already derailed thanks to a zillion grass-roots and modern-day insurgents. Hillary Clinton belatedly announced that she too had joined up with the Resistance (“I’m now back to being an activist citizen and part of the Resistance”), apparently in approbation of both its methods and agendas.


Appropriating the name of heroic World War II fighters to characterize a loosely formed alliance of Trump resisters has since proven a mockery of history — and creepy as well. Powered by Resisters of various sorts have made use of repugnant assassination pornography: a Shakespearean troupe ritually stabbing Trump-Caesar every night, a widely viewed Trump decapitation video, loud boasts by Hollywood’s stars such as Robert De Niro and Johnny Depp of their desires either to beat Trump to a bloody pulp or to do a John Wilkes Booth hit on him, street demonstrations where the likes of multimillionaire exhibitionist Madonna dream out loud off blowing up the White House, while various state legislators, professors, and activists talk of presidential assassination. Is there a new division at the Secret Service whose sole task is solemnly informing the media that it is “investigating” the latest celebrity’s threat?


In more mainstream fashion, Democrats in Congress have often stalled Trump’s appointees, blocked Obamacare reform, and talked of removing Trump through impeachment or the 25th Amendment or the Emoluments Clause. The Resistance has gone from melodramatic charges of Trump’s collusion with the Russians, to amateur diagnoses of his mental incapacity, to fear-mongering about his supposed wild desire for a Strangelovian nuclear war with North Korea, to castigating him for his apparently callous and uncaring reactions to Hurricane Harvey victims.


The Democratic National Committee leaders in their speeches resort to scatology to reflect their furor at Trump’s victory. The media, led by CNN in its visceral hatred of Trump, has given up past pretenses of disinterested reporting. Indeed, a number of journalists have sought to ratify their prejudices by claiming that Trump is so toxic that old-style protocols of fairness can no longer apply. Street brownshirts such as those of Antifa (too rarely and belatedly disowned by a few mainstream Resistance leaders) justify their anti-democratic and anti-constitutional violence on the grounds that Trump is found guilty of being a Nazi — and therefore those alleged to be Nazis have to be resisted by any anti-Nazi means necessary.


In the olden days, demonstrators decked out in black, with masks and clubs, would have been deemed sinister by liberals. Now are they the necessary shock troops whose staged violence brings political dividends? Antifa’s dilemma is that its so-called good people wearing black masks can find almost no bad people in white masks to club, so they smash reporters, the disabled, and onlookers alike for sport — revealing that, at base, they perversely enjoy violence for violence’s sake. As the cowardly Klan taught us in the 1920s and 1960s: Put on a mask with a hundred like others, and even the most craven wimp believes he’s now a psychopathic thug.


For the most part, the Resistance leadership is not the modern version of a group of grass-roots idealistic outsiders living hand-to-mouth between missions in the scrub. Their announced leaders, such as Hillary Clinton, are often the embodiment of the status quo rich, influential, and elite America. The Resistance sees nothing incompatible in attacking Trump while working out of a townhouse in Georgetown, living in a Malibu compound, flying in a private jet, making a quarter-million a year as a university-endowed professor or a Southern Poverty Law Center grandee, or being a life-time Washington fixture or corporate CEO.


Indeed, anti-Trump activism and privilege may be symbiotic. If one were to look at a county map of the United States calibrated by average income, the Resistance leaders could be identified by their homes clustering in the nation’s most affluent enclaves on the two coasts. They are most certainly not resisting the market capitalism, Washington-establishment politics, and old-boy networking that so empowered them.


Nor is it very brave to loudly announce one’s membership in the Resistance, given that the powerful organs of popular culture and the American status quo — both the Republican and Democratic intellectual establishments, the foundations, universities, Silicon Valley, Hollywood, Wall Street — are, in orthodox fashion, anti-Trump. Which of the following is a smarter career move at Google, at an Aspen Institute colloquium, on the set of Disney, in a CNN newsroom, at a Citibank retreat, in the Yale faculty lounge, on the beach at Martha’s Vineyard, while sunning on David Geffen’s yacht, or talking on a panel at the National Press Club: to admit to voting for Donald Trump, or to proudly proclaim you are a member of the Resistance?… [To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]                      





Dennis Prager

Daily Signal, Sept. 12, 2017


What is the difference between a leftist and a liberal? Answering this question is vital to understanding the crisis facing America and the West today. Yet few seem able to do it. I offer the following as a guide. Here’s the first thing to know: The two have almost nothing in common. On the contrary, liberalism has far more in common with conservatism than it does with leftism. The left has appropriated the word “liberal” so effectively that almost everyone—liberals, leftists, and conservatives—thinks they are synonymous. But they aren’t. Let’s look at some important examples.


Race: This is perhaps the most obvious of the many moral differences between liberalism and leftism. The essence of the liberal position on race was that the color of one’s skin is insignificant. To liberals of a generation ago, only racists believed that race is intrinsically significant. However, to the left, the notion that race is insignificant is itself racist. Thus, the University of California officially regards the statement, “There is only one race, the human race,” as racist. For that reason, liberals were passionately committed to racial integration. Liberals should be sickened by the existence of black dormitories and separate black graduations on university campuses.


Capitalism: Liberals have always been pro-capitalism, recognizing it for what it is: the only economic means of lifting great numbers out of poverty. Liberals did often view government as able to play a bigger role in lifting people out of poverty than conservatives, but they were never opposed to capitalism, and they were never for socialism. Opposition to capitalism and advocacy of socialism are leftist values.


Nationalism: Liberals deeply believed in the nation-state, whether their nation was the United States, Great Britain, or France. The left has always opposed nationalism because leftism is rooted in class solidarity, not national solidarity. The left has contempt for nationalism, seeing in it intellectual and moral primitivism at best, and the road to fascism at worst. Liberals always wanted to protect American sovereignty and borders. The notion of open borders would have struck a liberal as just as objectionable as it does a conservative.


It is emblematic of our time that the left-wing writers of Superman comics had Superman announce a few years ago, “I intend to speak before the United Nations tomorrow and inform them that I am renouncing my American citizenship.” When the writers of Superman were liberal, Superman was not only an American but one who fought for “truth, justice, and the American way.” But in his announcement, he explained that motto is “not enough anymore.”


View of America: Liberals venerated America. Watch American films from the 1930s through the 1950s and you will be watching overtly patriotic, America-celebrating films—virtually all produced, directed, and acted in by liberals. Liberals well understand that America is imperfect, but they agree with a liberal icon named Abraham Lincoln that America is “the last best hope of earth.”


To the left, America is essentially a racist, sexist, violent, homophobic, xenophobic, and Islamophobic country. The left around the world loathe America, and it is hard to imagine why the American left would differ in this one way from fellow leftists around the world. Leftists often take offense at having their love of America doubted. But those left-wing descriptions of  America are not the only reason to assume that the left has more contempt than love for America. The left’s view of America was encapsulated in then-presidential candidate Barack Obama’s statement in 2008. “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America,” he said. Now, if you were to meet a man who said that he wanted to fundamentally transform his wife, or a woman who said that about her husband, would you assume that either loved their spouse? Of course not.


Free speech: The difference between the left and liberals regarding free speech is as dramatic as the difference regarding race. No one was more committed than American liberals to the famous statement, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Liberals still are. But the left is leading the first nationwide suppression of free speech in American history—from the universities to Google to almost every other institution and place of work. It claims to only oppose hate speech. But protecting the right of person A to say what person B deems objectionable is the entire point of free speech.


Western civilization: Liberals have a deep love of Western civilization. They taught it at virtually every university and celebrated its unique moral, ethical, philosophical, artistic, musical, and literary achievements. No liberal would have joined the leftist Rev. Jesse Jackson in chanting at Stanford University: “Hey, hey. Ho, ho. Western civ has got to go.” The most revered liberal in American history is probably former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who frequently cited the need to protect not just Western civilization but Christian civilization. Yet leftists unanimously denounced President Donald Trump for his speech in Warsaw, Poland, in which he spoke of protecting Western civilization. They argued not only that Western civilization is not superior to any other civilization but also that it is no more than a euphemism for white supremacy.


Judaism and Christianity: Liberals knew and appreciated the Judeo-Christian roots of American civilization. They themselves went to church or synagogue, or at the very least appreciated that most of their fellow Americans did. The contempt that the left has—and has always had—for religion (except for Islam today) is not something with which a liberal would ever have identified. If the left is not defeated, American and Western civilization will not survive. But the left will not be defeated until good liberals understand this and join the fight. Dear liberals: Conservatives are not your enemy. The left is.  





BAD FOR PARTIES, POLITICAL LIFE                                                                   

Robert Fulford

National Post, Aug. 25, 2017


Since the ignominious failure of the 2016 election, the Democrats have been searching their souls. How could a once-great party have fallen so low? Was it the lacklustre campaign of their presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton? Was it the failure of the Democrats to grasp Donald Trump’s vote-getting power? Was it a complete breakdown of the party’s national machine? Mark Lilla, a widely praised social critic and Columbia professor, believes he has the answer. He delivers it in The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics (Harper/Collins), a sharply intelligent and highly persuasive book.


He deals with American politics, but his perceptions also apply to Canada. A large part of our public life is conducted through identity politics. Canadians anxious to better the lives of Indigenous people, for example, increasingly tend to express themselves in issue-specific organizations rather than through political parties. A long-time leftist, Lilla claims that the Democrats have become addicted to pressure groups that slice the public into ethnic, national and sexual elements. These slices have together overwhelmed the Democratic Party itself and rendered it irrelevant. The left has now balkanized the electorate and invested its energies in social movements rather than party politics.


Lilla yearns for the big-tent appeal of the old Democrats. He looks back in history to Roosevelt’s New Deal as a golden age of liberalism. He wants public life to emphasize “what we all share and owe one another as citizens, not what differentiates us.” He calls for an end to movement politics. “We need no more marchers. We need more mayors. And governors, and state legislators, and members of Congress.” He imagines a healthier form of politics that transcends identity attachments. Organizations claiming to speak for repressed Americans are usually given the benefit of the doubt by the public. Lilla isn’t so generous. A few days after the 2016 election he wrote in a New York Times article that “Liberals should bear in mind that the first identity movement in American politics was the Ku Klux Klan. Those who play the identity game should be prepared to lose it.”


Born in 1956, Lilla grounds his account of identity politics in what he knows of the 1960s and its effects. From 1965 or so, war and the rise of feminism together left many of the young dissatisfied with conventional politics. To side with the Democrats was to embrace Lyndon Johnson’s Vietnam policy. That was okay for parents, but the furious young needed something different.


In the early stages of revived, second-generation feminism, women with leftish inclinations wanted a more specific approach. In 1970 a slogan arose, “the personal is political.” It raced through women’s discussions and found a permanent place in the rhetoric of feminism. It was a time when women met in groups for “consciousness-raising,” which meant sharing various forms of dissatisfaction with their condition as women. Encouraged to confess or complain, women turned their meetings into variations of therapy groups or prayer meetings. They expressed themselves (as the literature on the subject demonstrates) in purely personal terms. In trying to research the subject, they turned inward, examining their own feelings. A sense of identity took hold, setting the pattern for scores of later movements, fundamentally altering the structure of liberal politics.


As Lilla says, a young woman of today “may come from a comfortable, middle-class background” but “her identity confers on her the status of one of history’s victims.” Now she has claims to make—not claims for the whole of society but claims for her particular slice. Her politics will be based on this self-definition. If she’s in college she may join a women’s organization. Soon her views on women’s issues become non-negotiable. Her teachers, always ready to identify and endorse popular new ideas, become willing mentors….

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]    




Sally F. Zerker                                         

CIJR, Sept. 15, 2017


The time has come to tell the world’s “liars”, boldly and forthrightly, that Israeli “occupation” is the BIG LIE of our age. We’ve all seen the propaganda effectiveness of “the big lie” many times before, and this one too is working its indecorous distortion of the truth.


The truth is that Jews cannot be occupiers of the Biblical lands, which include present-day Israel, Judea, Samaria, and some of the country of Jordan. The term occupation is meant to signify larceny, theft of others’ property, abuse of the Other, cheating, immorality, and dreadful deeds. Obviously, this is a very offensive concept. But Jews are not, and cannot be guilty of these crimes, for two reasons. One, Jews are the extant aboriginal people of this land, and two, Jews have international legal rights to this territory. These two concepts, historical and legal, require elucidation.


What defines Jewish indigenousness is the consistency of modern Jews with their ancestors of thousands of years ago. They live in a country with the same name, Israel, as that which existed in 1312 B.C.E. Today’s Israelis speak the same language that was spoken by Jews in that land more than 3000 years ago. We do not need a Rosetta stone to understand ancient Hebrew scripts because the language and letters are the same as current Hebrew. Israelis chant from the same biblical texts that their ancestors did millennia past. Their Jewish law presently is derived from that found in their Talmud which was originally oral and later written down about twenty-five hundred years ago. Their Temple, which was destroyed by invaders twice, can be archaeologically located in their original site in Jerusalem. And Jerusalem which was founded by their biblical King David, still stands as the centre of Jewish sovereignty, as it did when King David ruled the Jews.


In reality, the Jewish people established a distinct civilization in their ancient homeland approximately 3500 years ago, and the roots of that civilization are still much of the source of Jewish life in Israel right now. And, despite a series of conquests and expulsions over the centuries, (Roman, Muslim, Crusaders), Jews retained and rebuilt communities in Jerusalem, Tiberius, Rafah, Gaza, Ashkelon, Jaffa, Caesarea, Safed and elsewhere. Years before the Zionist migrations began in the 1870s, Jews lived continuously over time throughout the land of Israel.


Anthropologist Jose Martinez-Cobo, a Special Rapporteur for the UN who studied the place and condition of indigenous peoples and nations, defined such communities as those that have continuity, with the land, with shared culture in general, such as religion, lifestyle etc., with intrinsic language, with common ancestry, and other relevant factors. By that respected definition of indigenousness, it is irrefutable that Jews are indeed the indigenous people of the land of Israel.


On the other hand, there were no Muslims in existence until almost 2000 years after Jews had already settled in Israel, because Islam was the religion that Mohammed founded. Arabs, who are the ethnic peoples out of the Arabian Peninsula, had not come to the region through their conquests until after Mohammed’s death in 632 ACE. It is important to understand that no independent Arab or Palestinian state has ever existed in this region, which came to be called Palaestina, after the Romans so renamed it in the second century. The Romans purpose for this alteration was to break the link of the Jews with their past, after they had crushed the Jewish revolt in ACE 135. Thus, when the Arabs did conquer and occupy parts of the land, they did so as occupiers of previously settled territories by Jews.


As for more recent Arab settlers, if one looks at the period when Jews began to immigrate to the region in large numbers in 1882, there were fewer than 250,000 Arabs living in the region, and the majority of these had arrived in recent decades. According to many observers and authorities, the vast majority of the Arab population in the early decades of the twentieth century were comparative newcomers, either late immigrants or descendants of persons who had immigrated into the territory in the previous seventy years. BDS supporters, who accept the premise that the Palestinians are indigenous and oppressed by white colonialists have it backward according Barbara Kay, columnist for the National Post (Canada). “It is the (non-white) Mizrachi Jews in continuous habitation in Israel from time immemorial who were oppressed under a series of imperial regimes, up to and including the British Mandate.”…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]


Dr. Sally F. Zerker is Professor Emerita, York University,

and Academic Co-Chair of CIJR’s Toronto Chapter.

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!



On Topic Links


9/11 Sixteen Years Later: Lessons Put Into Practice?: John Bolton, Algemeiner, Sept. 11, 2017—Today marks the 16th anniversary of Al Qaeda’s 9/11 attacks. We learned much on that tragic day, at enormous human and material cost. Perilously, however, America has already forgotten many of September 11’s lessons.

Cultural Approbation: Weekly Standard, Sept. 04, 2017—The Delta Sigma Phi fraternity chapter at the University of Michigan had what it thought was a delightful theme—antiquity on the Nile—for a party kicking off the school year. They invited guests to come as a “mummy, Cleopatra, or King Tut, it doesn’t matter to us. Get your best ancient Egyptian robe and headdress and be ready to party in the desert.”

The New Manichaeans: Michael Knox Beran, National Review, Aug. 28, 2017—In November 2016, Mark Lilla, the humanities scholar, published an essay, “The End of Identity Liberalism,” in the New York Times. “In recent years,” he wrote, “American liberalism has slipped into a kind of moral panic about racial, gender and sexual identity that has distorted liberalism’s message and prevented it from becoming a unifying force capable of governing.”

The Coming Terror: Mark Steyn, Jewish World Review, Sept. 5, 2017—Most of the news bulletins I'm exposed to are on the radio, as I'm tootling around hither and yon. So it took me a while to discover that what the media call "peace activists", "anti-racists" and "anti-Nazis" are, in fact, men and women garbed in black from head to toe, including face masks.










Canadian Institute for Jewish Research & Beth Radom Congregation Present: “Christian Genocide in the Middle East: Why is the World Silent?” Academic conference moderated by Prof. Frederick Krantz (Concordia U.; CIJR Director). Featuring: Prof. Paul Merkley (Prof. emeritus, Carleton U.), Donna Holbrook (National Executive Director, ICEJ Canada), Christine Williams (award-winning journalist, author and Public Affairs & Media Consultant, ICEJ Canada), Lieutenant Colonel Sargis Sangari (Chief Executive Officer, Near East Center for Strategic Engagement LLC).


Free Admission. SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2016. 1-4PM

Location: Beth Radom,18 Reiner Road, North York, ON, M3H 2K9


Israel and the 10 Commandments of a Trump Presidency: Yoram Ettinger, Algemeiner, Nov. 16, 2016— The outcome of the November 8, 2016, US election was predicted by those who doubted the accuracy of the polling samples.

Hillary’s Loss Accelerates the Democrats’ Turn Against Israel: Seth Mandel, New York Post, Nov. 14, 2016— Israel’s supporters were hoping Hillary Clinton could forestall the Democratic Party’s seemingly inevitable turn against the Jewish state.

Can Iraq’s Christians Finally Go Home?: Mindy Belz, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 27, 2016  — Noura Diyha wrestled a phone from her pocket to show me a photo of herself at age 3.

Yaffa Eliach, Historian Who Captured Faces of the Holocaust, Dies at 79: Joseph Berger, New York Times, Nov. 9, 2016—Yaffa Eliach, who as a 4-year-old survived the Nazi massacres of Jews in her Lithuanian town, and went on to document their daily life in a kaleidoscopic book and a haunting, three-story canyon of photographs at


On Topic Links


Obama Lobbies Against Obliteration by Trump: Maureen Dowd, New York Times, Nov. 12, 2016

In Post-Arab Spring Egypt, Muslim Attacks on Christians are Rising: Sudarsan Raghavan, Washington Post, Nov. 13, 2016

Mideast Christians Facing Islamic State Genocide Hopeful Trump Will ‘Secure Peace’: Edwin Mora, Breitbart, Nov. 15, 2016

Turkey Targets Oldest Syriac Orthodox Monastery: Robert Jones, Gatestone Institute, Nov. 16, 2016




Yoram Ettinger                                                              

Algemeiner, Nov. 16, 2016


The outcome of the November 8, 2016, US election was predicted by those who doubted the accuracy of the polling samples. In fact, it is doubtful that credible samples can be currently formulated, due to the fluctuating ground of the social, economic, political, demographic and ethnic environment in the 435 congressional districts, the 50 states and the many county lines in the US.


The outcome of the November races for the White House, 34 Senate seats, 435 House seats, 12 governorships and all state legislatures spotlights the reasserted profile of the flyover areas of relatively small-town-America, the blue-collar and six-pack-Joe and lunch-pail-Mable America (“Reagan Democrats”), the moderate “Blue Dog” and conservative America, the national and homeland security hawks and the evangelical constituency, which was not significantly registered in prior election cycles.


The November 8, 2016 election was a victory of the anti-establishment and politically incorrect folks over the politically correct media, academia, political, business and foreign policy establishments. The term “alt-right,” which nobody had heard of until the unexpected emergence and rise of Donald Trump in the US…


What impact will the Trump victory have on US-Israel relations? Just like all Western democracies and other allies of the US, Israel is mostly concerned with the US posture of deterrence, which has played a critical role in restraining global radicalism and reassuring free societies. However, the US power-projection has been significantly eroded during the Obama administration, generating tailwinds for rogue regimes and headwinds for America’s allies, as has been strikingly demonstrated in the Persian Gulf and the Middle East at large. It has fueled global turbulence, instability and Islamic terrorism, which is asserting itself in Europe and increasingly on the US mainland.


The Trump presidency is expected to reboot the US posture of deterrence by reversing the recent draconian cuts in the US defense budget and the size of the US armed forces – in the face of intensifying clear and present terrorism, conventional and nuclear threats to the US and its allies — and to replenish the rapidly depleted and aging US military stockpiles; compensate for the declining purchase power of the US dollar; restore the size of the armed forces, and reassess the July 2015 agreement with Iran. The latter has caused all pro-US Arab countries to downgrade their confidence in the US posture of deterrence and seek closer ties with Russia.


The track record of President-elect Trump, Vice President-elect Pence, and their foreign policy and national security advisers, suggest that US-Israel relations are expected to experience less tension and substantial enhancement, driven by the 400-year-old foundation of Judeo-Christian values of liberty and justice, as well as long and short-term mutual interests and threats, Israel’s unique and increasing contributions to the US commercial and defense industries and to scientific, technological, irrigation, agricultural, space and military US concerns.


President and Vice President-elect Trump and Pence, and most of their advisers on US-Israel relations and foreign policy, are prone to adhere to the following “10 commandments:” 1. Jewish sovereignty over the land of Israel is a derivative of a unique historical right – which was enshrined by the early pilgrims and the US Founding Fathers — rather than a compensation for the Holocaust; 2. Israel is a most effective, unconditional geo-strategic ally of the US, willing to flex its muscles, extending the strategic hand of the US, while employing its own – not American — soldiers, performing within the framework of a two-way-street, mutually beneficial, win-win US-Israel relationship;


3. The scope of US geo-strategic interests, and therefore US-Israel relations, dramatically transcends the Palestinian issue; 4. Irrespective of the Arab talk — but based on the Arab walk — the Palestinian issue is not a core cause of Middle East turbulence, nor a centerpiece of Arab policy-making, nor a trigger of anti-US Islamic terrorism, nor the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict;


5. Based on the intra-Arab Palestinian track record (stabbing the backs of their Arab hosts), the relationships between the Palestinian Authority and anti-US regimes and terror organizations, the anti-US incitement on the Palestinian street, Palestinian hate-education, and the strategic implications of the raging anti-US Arab tsunami, a Palestinian state would be a strategic liability, undermining regional stability and vital US interests in the Middle East;


6. The Trump team’s order of priorities will minimize the US involvement in the mediation/negotiation process of the Palestinian issue. The Trump team is aware that the US has introduced numerous Israel-Arab peace initiatives, none of which succeeded. The only two successful peace initiatives, Israel-Egypt and Israel-Jordan, were initiated – and directly negotiated — by the parties involved. The US involvement has always radicalized Arab expectations by further pressure on Israel, thus radicalizing Arab positions, which undermines the prospects of peace.


7. The Trump/Pence state of mind does not consider Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria an obstacle to peace nor a violation of international law. 8. The Trump/Pence team recognizes that the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria are critically required for Israel’s existence, as demonstrated by a map submitted to President Johnson by former chairman of the Joint-Chiefs-of-Staff, General Earl Wheeler: “The minimum requirements for Israel’s defense include most of the West Bank.”

9. The Trump/Pence team is aware that Jerusalem is the ancient capital of the Jewish state – not an international city — and therefore should be the site of the US Embassy in Israel. The refusal to relocate the US Embassy to Jerusalem has undermined the US posture of deterrence, and has strayed from the legacy of the US Founding Fathers, who considered Jerusalem a cornerstone of their moral and cultural worldview, as reflected by the 18 Jerusalems and 32 Salems (the original Biblical name of Jerusalem) on the US map.


10. Trump’s anti-establishment worldview is also targeting the State Department, which has been systematically wrong on Middle East issues, including its 1948 recommendation not to recognize the establishment of Israel, and its current insistence that Jerusalem is an international city. Therefore Foggy Bottom will not lead — but follow — the Middle East policy of the Trump administration, which will not subordinate the US unilateral action to multilateralism and the UN…                                                         

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]                       



HILLARY’S LOSS ACCELERATES                                                                          

THE DEMOCRATS’ TURN AGAINST ISRAEL                                                                                        

Seth Mandel                                                                                                          

New York Post, Nov. 14, 2016


Israel’s supporters were hoping Hillary Clinton could forestall the Democratic Party’s seemingly inevitable turn against the Jewish state. Clinton’s loss last week means we’re officially après Hillary — and must prepare for the flood. This could be the last US presidential election that Israelis don’t have to watch with existential dread.


At least, the first signs of a post-Clinton Democratic Party aren’t good. Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, a fiery critic of Israel, is the front-runner to be the next Democratic National Committee chairman. As Scott Johnson detailed in The Weekly Standard when Ellison was on the verge of winning his House seat in 2006, before his congressional career Ellison had worked with Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam and even defended Farrakhan against accusations of anti-Semitism.


Ellison has left Farrakhan far behind, but his Israel criticism remains scathing. As the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported, Ellison “has organized letters urging pressure on Israel, and was an advocate of drawing lessons from the UN Goldstone Report following the 2009 Gaza War.” Even Richard Goldstone, the author of the infamously anti-Israel report, wound up essentially disowning it.


On a trip to Israel last summer, Ellison posted a photo of a sign in Hebron declaring Israel to be an apartheid state and land thief. He has also called for Israel to end the blockade on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip — despite the fact that Gaza-based terrorists have launched over 11,000 rocket attacks on Israeli civilians since Israel withdrew from the strip in 2005. Amid the 2014 war to stop those attacks, Israel discovered that Hamas had built a vast system of underground tunnels from Gaza to Israel in preparation for mass terror attacks.


Yet Ellison is far from a lone voice among Democrats; indeed, he’s co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. In his quest for the party chairmanship, Ellison has the backing of soon-to-be Democratic Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer — who prides himself on his pro-Israel bona fides and is now using his credibility on the issue to elevate Ellison. (Retiring Sen. Harry Reid offered his own endorsement over the weekend.) Schumer might just be bowing to the new reality. According to the Pew Research Center, Democrats sympathize more with Israel than the Palestinians by a 43-29 margin — but that’s far closer than just a few years ago.


And among liberal Democrats, it flips: Liberals prefer the Palestinians by a 40-33 margin. We saw this play out over the summer, as Bernie Sanders challenged Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination. Sanders had massive support among young liberals, who are increasingly hostile to Israel. Hillary won the nomination, but the message was clear: The future of the Democratic Party clearly belongs to those backing Sanders.


Diving into the numbers only paints a bleaker picture. In their book “Our Separate Ways: The Struggle for the Future of the US-Israel Alliance,” Dana Allin and Steven Simon (the latter a former Mideast adviser to President Obama) argue demographics will pull the two countries apart. Hispanics, who accounted for more than 50 percent of US population growth between 2000 and 2014, according to Pew, vote overwhelmingly Democratic, as do African-Americans. Allin and Simon predict that minorities will see more in common with the Palestinians than with Israel (the daft comparisons between Jim Crow and Israel’s treatment of Palestinians get ever more common), and Democratic priorities will reflect that. “And,” the authors write, touching on what really worries the pro-Israel community, “it will inflame the left-right divide in America.”


Democrats are in the minority now, but won’t be forever, and will obviously field a presidential candidate in 2020. What happens then? “In the absence of active demonization by” Obama, says one official at a pro-Israel organization, “I think we’re still a cycle or two away from Democrats turning on Israel” full force. But, he notes, the future isn’t bright — and “progressives are lost, of course.” Israeli officials are used to being able to count on bipartisan support in Congress, and they didn’t seem too worried no matter which way the US presidential election went this year. It might be the last time they have that luxury.            




CAN IRAQ’S CHRISTIANS FINALLY GO HOME?                                                                                      

Mindy Belz                                                                                      

Wall Street Journal, Oct. 27, 2016


Noura Diyha wrestled a phone from her pocket to show me a photo of herself at age 3. She’s wearing a bonnet and riding a tricycle on a grass lawn. Some 14 years later, Noura is one of nearly 1 million internally displaced people in Iraqi Kurdistan. Her family fled from the mostly Christian village of Batnaya in August 2014, when Islamic State militants captured territory throughout northern Iraq. She now lives in Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan. As coalition forces—Iraqi government forces, allied militias and Kurdish soldiers, backed by U.S. air and on-the-ground support—advance toward Mosul and retake villages like Batnaya, Noura’s family hopes to return home soon. Yet even success on the battlefield won’t guarantee a safe return for exiled Christians and other religious minorities.


ISIS fighters dug in at Noura’s town and came under heavy fire on Oct. 20. They used rocket launchers and suicide bombers against coalition ground troops, but the village was retaken earlier this week. Coalition forces, aided by U.S. airstrikes and mortar rounds, covered significant ground and retook dozens of other villages controlled by ISIS. Nearing Mosul’s city limits, the armies face intense resistance. For Noura and thousands of others, these are days of waiting, only now with the possibility of returning home. “A military defeat of Daesh [ISIS] is only the first step,” says Father Emanuel Youkhana, an Assyrian priest who heads an Iraqi relief organization. “We must deal with root causes that allowed Daesh to arise and take this territory, in order to permit all Iraqi people to return home.”


Turkey, a NATO member, now stands in the way of the Christians’ return. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan inserted thousands of Turkish forces into Nineveh months ago, and he insists they participate in the fight against ISIS. Mr. Erdogan told an Arab news channel this month, “only Sunni Arabs, Turkomens, and Sunni Kurds” should remain in the Mosul region once it is liberated. Under martial law in his own country, Mr. Erdogan has closed churches and detained Christian clergy.


Father Youkhana and others fear Turkey seeks to re-establish its own empire out of the crumbling ISIS caliphate, one similar to the Ottoman empire—the same government that killed an estimated 1.5 million Armenian and Assyrian Christians in genocides a century ago. Iraq opposes Mr. Erdogan’s overtures. “The Turkish insistence on its presence inside Iraqi territories has no justification,” said Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi at a recent press conference in Baghdad. Iraq’s Parliament called the Turkish troops “hostile occupying forces.”


Yet the Obama administration is pressuring Baghdad to accept a role for Turkey. Given the strength of Turkish influence, and Christians’ lack of political clout, this is likely to finish the Christians’ right to return. This despite the fact that Christians have lived in this part of the world since the first century. I’ve walked through church ruins in Nineveh that archaeologists estimate were constructed in the second or third century. “I believe we stand at a crossroads for the future of Christianity—and pluralism—in the Middle East,” said Carl Anderson of the Knights of Columbus at an event this month in New York City. “Either Christianity will survive and offer a witness of forgiveness, charity and mercy, or it will disappear, impoverishing the region religiously, ethnically and culturally.”


Mr. Anderson’s organization compiled a 300-page report at the request of the State Department documenting ISIS genocide of Christians in Iraq. Besides the toxic level of displacement, the report contains graphic detail confirming that at least 1,100 Christians have been murdered by Islamic militants in Iraq since 2003, though the number is almost certainly higher now. Yet U.S. officials seem to be ignoring these findings, even though the report pushed Washington to legally declare ISIS’s actions a “genocide.”


Exile is at the heart of the Christian message. The Old Testament Jews wandered in the wilderness and the savior Jesus Christ “had no place to lay his head.” His apostle Paul wrote four of his New Testament epistles from prison. The Christians in Iraq know this is their story, too. Yet being vanquished forever from this heartland is a terrible fate to contemplate…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]     Contents           



OF THE HOLOCAUST, DIES AT 79                                                                           Joseph Berger                                                                           New York Times, Nov. 12, 2016


Yaffa Eliach, who as a 4-year-old survived the Nazi massacres of Jews in her Lithuanian town, and went on to document their daily life in a kaleidoscopic book and a haunting, three-story canyon of photographs at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, died on Tuesday at her home in Manhattan. She was 79. Her death, after a long illness, was confirmed by Thea Wieseltier, a family friend.


After a childhood that might have throttled a person of lesser spine, Professor Eliach (pronounced EL-ee-akh) dedicated herself to the study and memorialization of the Holocaust and its victims. Starting in 1969, she did so as a professor of history and literature in the department of Judaic studies at Brooklyn College, and by founding the pioneering Center for Holocaust Studies at the Yeshivah of Flatbush in Brooklyn. Though modest in scale, its collection of taped interviews, diaries, letters, photographs and artifacts became a model for dozens of such centers. Her mission, she said many times, was to document the victims’ lives, not just their deaths, to give them back their grace and humanity. She determined to do so as a member of President Jimmy Carter’s Commission on the Holocaust during a visit to the death camps, where she realized that the victims were portrayed only as bulging-eyed skeletons in ragged striped uniforms, not as the vital people they once were.


Professor Eliach decided to recreate the shtetl she had known in Lithuania — Eisiskes, known in Yiddish as Eishyshok — where 3,500 Jews, almost the entire Jewish population, were killed, by collecting photographs of its inhabitants. Starting with a nucleus of family photos she and her older brother had squirreled away in hiding, she spent 15 years traveling to all 50 states and many countries searching for photographs, diaries and letters of other shtetl residents. In Israel, she knocked on 42 doors of an apartment building to track down one family and unearthed a cache of material buried in cans under a palm tree. In Australia, she told a radio station that she was searching for a family known as “the Mice” and was fortunate to get a tip from a caller. She hired security guards to help her gather materials in a former synagogue in a rough section of Detroit. And in several cases she resorted to a kind of bribery — medication, a color TV, four jogging suits — to persuade families to part with precious photographs temporarily so that she could reproduce them. She spent more than $600,000 of her own money and loans, then supported the project with a Guggenheim fellowship.


Professor Eliach ultimately collected 6,000 photographs of townspeople posing at bar mitzvahs, graduations and weddings, and in family groups — accounting for 92 percent of the village’s slaughtered Jews. Some 1,500 were selected for the Holocaust museum’s “Tower of Faces,” sometimes called a “Tower of Life,” where photographs are arranged in a narrow, soaring chasm that visitors walk through. The faces render the lives of so many ordinary Jews intimate and vibrant. By 2016, 40 million people had visited the museum since its opening in 1993. Professor Eliach assembled hundreds of the photographs and oral histories into an 818-page book, “There Once Was a World: A 900-Year Chronicle of the Shtetl of Eishyshok,” published by Little, Brown & Company in 1998. It was a nonfiction finalist for the National Book Award and joined her earlier book, “Hasidic Tales of the Holocaust,” as among her major contributions.


Menachem Z. Rosensaft, a leader in organizations of survivors’ children, said that Professor Eliach had made the Holocaust a subject both “accessible and kosher” for Orthodox Jews after years in which it had “presented far too many theological problems,” like how God could allow such things to happen.

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]    


CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!


On Topic Links


Obama Lobbies Against Obliteration by Trump: Maureen Dowd, New York Times, Nov. 12, 2016 —You know how desperate President Obama is — as he contemplates all his accomplishments going down the drain at the hands of a man he has total contempt for — when he is willing to do something so against his nature.

In Post-Arab Spring Egypt, Muslim Attacks on Christians are Rising: Sudarsan Raghavan, Washington Post, Nov. 13, 2016 — The Christian and Muslim villagers grew up together, played on the same soccer fields as kids, and attended the same schools in this riverside hamlet.

the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, died on Tuesday at her home in Manhattan. She was 79.

Mideast Christians Facing Islamic State Genocide Hopeful Trump Will ‘Secure Peace’: Edwin Mora, Breitbart, Nov. 15, 2016—Leaders from the minority Christian community in the Middle East have commended President-elect Donald Trump on his victory last week, saying they are hopeful the new American leader will strengthen and support the ethno-religious minority groups in Iraq and Syria victimized by the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL).

Turkey Targets Oldest Syriac Orthodox Monastery: Robert Jones, Gatestone Institute, Nov. 16, 2016—The European Commission has recently issued its 2016 Turkey Progress Report, which contains serious criticism of the country's increasingly grave human rights record.







How Donald Trump Pulled It Off: Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., Wall Street Journal, Nov. 9, 2016 — Donald Trump probably w

on’t get credit, even from those bending over backward to be charitable to last night’s winner, for his most-revolutionary endeavor—namely his effort to lighten up campaign rhetoric.

Donald Trump’s Assault on Both Parties Will Make America Better: Conrad Black, National Post, Nov. 9, 2016— It is not such a surprise that Americans have elevated Donald Trump to the headship of their country.

Tuesday's Biggest Loser: Michael Graham, Weekly Standard, Nov. 9, 2016— Forget Hillary and Trump. The biggest loser Tuesday night was Barack Obama.

Trump and Israel, Now What?: Herb Keinon, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 9, 2016 — “I love Israel and honor and respect the Jewish tradition and it’s important we have a president who feels the same way,” US President-elect Donald Trump said in a pre-recorded video message to a rally held two weeks ago in a restaurant overseeing the Old City.


On Topic Links


Defeat Likely Spells the End of Clinton Dynasty: Daniel Halper & Marisa Schultz, New York Post, Nov. 10, 2016

Reminder: Hillary Clinton Lost Because She’s Hillary Clinton : Heather Wilhelm, National Review, Nov. 11, 2016

Iran Nuclear Deal Could Collapse Under Trump: Carol Morello, Washington Post, Nov. 9, 2016

What Israel Doesn’t Need From Trump: Jonathan S. Tobin, Commentary, Nov. 9, 2016




Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.

Wall Street Journal, Nov. 9, 2016


Donald Trump probably won’t get credit, even from those bending over backward to be charitable to last night’s winner, for his most-revolutionary endeavor—namely his effort to lighten up campaign rhetoric.

Even now many Republican anti-Trumpers continue to fume over his remark about John McCain: “I like people who weren’t captured.” It was disrespectful, yes. It was also a joke; a wisecrack, offered in response to Sen. McCain’s equally flippant dismissal of Trump supporters as “crazies.”


Mr. Trump never stopped being an entertainer in his campaign. Though his approach went over the heads of the media, in one way it was genius: He basically stopped trying to convince anybody soon after his famous escalator ride in the Trump Tower in Manhattan. He figured out early that his voters didn’t need any more explanation or justification. His argument was completely embodied in “Make America great again” plus his outsize public persona. He only needed to keep his fans jollied up, and fired up, for the long wait ’til election day.


The biggest embarrassment of this campaign has been the sodden pundits who kept insisting on taking oh-so-seriously his every remark. They never understood that Mr. Trump did not speak to lay out a platform. He was inventing almost daily a new episode of the 16-month Trump-for-president reality show to keep his audience from drifting off. Mr. Trump was defined by the liberal media as the angry candidate. A few of his fans obviously were looking for an aggressive outlet, but Mr. Trump was not one of them. His performance over the course of the race was nothing short of remarkable. A man of his years, in rally after rally, kept summoning the juice to give his fans the upbeat, improvisational show they were waiting for.


The pantomime that was universally interpreted by the media as a parody of the disabilities of a New York Times reporter, his defenders pointed out, was actually pretty typical of how he mocks anybody whose words he wishes to satirize. His jokey monologue in the closing stage of the race about his struggles to stay on message was interpreted by some as a sign the pressure was getting to him. C’mon. He was engaged in meta hilarity at the expense of the unemployed campaign professionals who critique his efforts 24 hours a day on the cable channels.


Then there was the vulgar Billy Bush tape. Ninety-nine percent of America that doesn’t work in a media company in midtown recognized instantly that it wasn’t two rapists discussing the finer points of sexual assault. It was one guy clowning for another on the subject of celebrity sex appeal. Peter Thiel, the Silicon Valley venture capitalist and auto-contrarian, stealing a line from the New York Post’s Salena Zito, spoke of voters taking Mr. Trump “seriously, not literally.” This was something the media should have understood earlier than it did.


His immigration stance correctly identified the anxiety of less-educated Americans who’ve seen the economy pass them by. Even so, by the end of the campaign, he had talked them down to a policy roughly identical to Barack Obama’s and Hillary Clinton’s. His Syria policy is closer to Mr. Obama’s than Hillary’s: He doesn’t believe in spending American money and lives to sort out that country’s problems.


None of this means Mr. Trump is actually prepared to be president, though he might be: Whatever his public persona, in his business life he has shown himself to be shrewd, flexible and capable of learning—especially from his own failed episodes of risk-taking.


He is dismayingly indifferent to the accuracy of his facts. He doesn’t give two hoots about what many of us consider policy holies concerning NATO, nonproliferation, international trade, etc. His platform comes down to “trust me”—a remarkable mandate if you can pull it off. More than anything, though, this column criticized his unwillingness to do what was necessary to win. He kept doubling down unnecessarily on his fan base long after it would have been advisable to reach out to undecideds and assure them that he would not be a crazy or dangerous president.


Indeed, it continues to be our suspicion that Mr. Trump took too long to begin taking his own presidential ambitions seriously. With his shocking win on Tuesday, now he will have to decide in his heart if the outcome was a colossal accident—or the hand of destiny. Ironically, had he lost and become a kibitzer on cable TV, Mr. Trump would have had to start thinking seriously about policy. Now he will have an entire government to help with that. Voters, perhaps shrewdly, saw him as better suited to being a leader than an adviser.                                






WILL MAKE AMERICA BETTER                                             

Conrad Black                                                                                   

National Post, Nov. 9, 2016


It is not such a surprise that Americans have elevated Donald Trump to the headship of their country. It was improbable at first, because of his raucous personality, and the fact he had never held public office or a high military command (the almost invariable qualifications for a nominee). He financed his own campaign, avoiding the endless demeaning roundel of fundraisers, (and doing quite well selling silly hats and T-shirts). It was also apparently unpromising because he was attacking the entire entrenched leadership of both parties, the Clintons, Obamas, and Bushes, OBushtons, as I called them here last week, and because he was opposed by and deliberately incited the escalated hostility of the national media, and the officious polling organizations.


The whole Trump campaign was audacious because it relied altogether on a broad swath of all socioeconomic groups — it was not a coalition based on pitching to the particular desires of voting blocs. As Trump said on election night, and as his wife had stated in several speeches recently, it was a movement, a mighty national rejection of the prim, robotic flimflam that disguised a corrupt failing system and feckless leadership behind the façade of “bridge-building, inclusiveness,” and self-abasement in the world.


Two premises undergirded the whole enterprise: that the party elders and their apparatus in both parties were castles made of sand and sawdust, and that a majority of Americans were so concerned about the first period of outright decline in American history and when the economic well-being of the middle and working classes had deteriorated outside the downdraft of normal cycles, that they would vote for a purposeful strategy put in plain and politically incorrect language. These were bold conclusions, and even in the aftermath of their thunderous validation, those who right into election night counting were complacently expecting Trump to be sent packing back to his demi-monde of golf clubs, condos and low-brow television, are divided between those who wonder if they had completely misjudged or misheard or just missed what was happening, and the imperishables.


The latter group, including a number of the conservative intellectuals who stormed out of the Republican party and noisily slammed the door behind them, are claiming to be prophets who will be honoured, are proud of the martyrdom they have (unintentionally) chosen, and warn darkly of Trump’s authoritarian tendencies. Such tendencies are less pronounced in the president-elect’s character than in the personality of his chief opponent, and the whole concept is nonsense, given the robustness of the constitutional strength of the legislative and judicial branches of the U.S. government. (All three branches have performed poorly during the past 20 years, which is ultimately why Donald Trump will be the next president, but they are at least proficient in ensuring they are not overrun by the other branches.)


What made Trump such a long shot was the tenacity of the pompous certitude of entitlement of the political class. This is always a dangerous attitude in a country that actually holds free elections. Donald Trump was well known to the public before he started his campaign. He had the means to finance the campaign, used the social media and the conservative talk shows and bloggers to counter the mainline media and exploited their ignorance and malice to gain popularity from the wide section of the public that resented the bias and condescension of the Clinton News Network (CNN) and its ilk.


He knew, from polling and from echelons of the public that he encountered in his entertainment business, that the Archie Bunkers of America were angry and numerous, and that they were decent, plain-spoken, patriotic people, not ignorant slobs in need of guidance from my esteemed but disoriented friends such as (to pick two names out of a distinguishedly full hat) George Will and Fareed Zakaria.


Those who have been routed should have seen it coming. Trump thundered into the nomination race, cleaned up most of the primaries, routed 14 candidates, including five serious governors (Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, John Kasich, Scott Walker), and three prominent senators (Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio). And is credited with raising the Republican primary vote by 60 per cent in four years.


His entire campaign was an assault on everyone in both parties who was complicit in the blunders of the past 20 years: the soft early response to terrorism, the housing bubble and financial crisis and great recession; the admission of 12 million illegal and unskilled migrants, the disastrous Iraq war, 15 million dropouts from the workforce, immense trade and budgetary deficits, and a doubling of national debt in seven years to produce one per cent economic growth. Given their lengthy intertwined involvement in high government office, the Bushes and Clintons were both obvious targets for Trump’s uproarious billingsgate, and his political incorrectness shattered many taboos and enjoyed a much wider appeal than had been thought possible for many months. He debunked global warming (more or less accurately) as a leftist attempt to hobble capitalism and incidentally destroy the coal and oil industries, and reviled U.S. President Barack Obama and former secretary of state Clinton for their inability to mention “Islamic extremism.”


His attacks in the crowded Republican debates were often brutal and personal: Sen. Rubio’s slight stature and tendency to perspire, Bush’s alleged lack of energy, Sen. Cruz’s claimed ethical lapses, even Carly Fiorina’s (unexceptionable) appearance; it was often gratuitous and unseemly but none of his opponents had any idea how to deal with it. He tapped a tremendous volcanic lava pool of public anger at poor government that has produced the first absolute and comparative decline in American history. Historians of the future will wonder how the political class imagined it could admit so many migrants without taking effective measures to control the southern border, and merely babble garrulously on, year after year, about “comprehensive immigration reform.”…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link —Ed.]               




TUESDAY'S BIGGEST LOSER                                                                                         

Michael Graham                                                                                                  

Weekly Standard, Nov. 9, 2016


Forget Hillary and Trump. The biggest loser Tuesday night was Barack Obama. Yes, his approval rating is above 50 percent. In at least one survey Obama is more popular than Reagan was at the end of his second term. But numbers are fleeting. The facts are not. President Obama's record on foreign and domestic policy is dismal, to say the least. His withdrawal of American power from the world coincided with the rise of ISIS, the ravaging of Syria and a series of successful terror attacks both in the heart of Europe and here on American soil. Would there have been a Brexit, or victories for anti-immigration parties in Europe without the failure of Obama's leadership in the Middle East and North Africa?


President Obama's domestic-policy record is even worse: The weakest economic recovery since the Great Depression; a record number of Americans on food stamps and for the longest time; a stimulus plan that was an economic joke even before "Cash for Clunkers" became a punchline; and a doubling of the national debt in eight short years. And then there's Obamacare. On election night Democratic operative James Carville announced "Obamacare is dead." He's right, but that was true whether Trump or Clinton won.


Obamacare didn't die in the ballot box, it died in the mail box: Millions of Americans getting letters announcing premium increases of 50, 60, even 100 percent. And that's on top of huge deductibles that made their "insurance" little more than a reverse lottery ticket against medical catastrophe. President Obama did this to America on purpose. Obamacare wasn't crippled by being the best deal he could wrangle from the Republicans. It was crafted and passed entirely by Obama and his Democrat allies. He wanted it and he got it. Good and hard.


Obama's supporters shrug off such criticism. They believe Obama will be viewed as a success because history is written by political winners, not masters of healthcare policy. As the first black American to achieve the presidency and the first Democrat to win a popular-vote majority since 1976, Obama fans believe his two White House wins make him a lock for the list of successful presidents. But now President Obama is going to hand the keys of the White House to Donald Trump. It's the biggest of his electoral defeats, but hardly the first. In fact, the devastation of the Democratic Party is Obama's true political legacy.


If Democrats were a species of wildlife, Barack Obama would be indicted under the Endangered Species Act. As Larry Sabato at the University of Virginia reports, the Obama era cost Democrats 11 governorships, 13 U.S. Senate seats, 69 House seats and 913 legislative seats(!). And that's before the 2016 results, in which (for example) Kentucky Republicans won the statehouse for the first time since 1921, and the Iowa GOP picked up the state senate. The Obama Effect has wiped out a generation of Democrats—rising stars like North Carolina's Kay Hagan or Indiana's Evan Bayh or Wisconsin's Russ Feingold—who could be potential POTUS or VP candidates…if they hadn't been defeated in the Obamacare backlash (in Feingold's case, twice!) So who is the face of the post-Obama Democratic Party: Joe Biden? Elizabeth Warren? Bernie Sanders? I'd make a "Golden Girls" wisecrack but they'd all have to play Sophia. (She was the really old one.)


To paraphrase Hillary Clinton, the entire Democratic village went all-in to raise Barack Obama to the White House. He, in turn, razed that village and set it ablaze. Now he's leaving the White House in the hands of a man who spent a year searching for his birth certificate. Because Barack Obama couldn't beat him—not with all the money, all the media and all of his magical "light-bringer" political powers. Barack Obama is a failure. Obamacare is done. His executive orders will be overturned. He has no political successor. There are not "Obama Democrat" to champion his ideology. And the indisputable evidence of Obama's failure will come the moment Donald Trump stands with him on January 20 and takes the oath of office.




TRUMP AND ISRAEL, NOW WHAT?                                                                                

Herb Keinon                                                        

Jerusalem Post, Nov. 9, 2016


“I love Israel and honor and respect the Jewish tradition and it’s important we have a president who feels the same way,” US President-elect Donald Trump said in a pre-recorded video message to a rally held two weeks ago in a restaurant overseeing the Old City. “My administration will stand side-by-side with the Jewish people and Israel’s leaders to continue strengthening the bridges that connect, not only Jewish Americans and Israelis, but also all Americans and Israelis,” he said. “Together we will stand up to enemies, like Iran, bent on destroying Israel and her people, together we will make America and Israel safe again,.”


Now we will see. The unexpected, improbable, against-the-odds victory Tuesday of Trump over Hillary Clinton undoubtedly shocked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jerusalem as much as it shocked leaders in capitals throughout the world. Now Netanyahu and his aides will have to begin figuring out what exactly it means for Israel.  And that will not be an easy chore, considering that Trump does not have any real practical record on Israel.


While Netanyahu obviously had policy differences with Clinton, at least he knew where she stood and what to expect. Israeli policy-makers, in general, like the predictable; they like to know what they are getting, even if it is not everything they want, because at least in this regard they know how to prepare. Clinton was a known-commodity because she has been involved for so long at a policy level on Israel-related issues. There was a degree of predictability regarding how she would act, and who she could be expected to bring on board her national security team.


No such predictability exists with regard to Trump. He is a blank slate; a wild card. While during the campaign Trump hit the right rhetorical buttons when it comes to Israel –, though he also raised some eyebrows by talking at one stage about US “neutrality” in the conflict with the Palestinians and at another about the need for US allies to pay more of their share of US military assistance – he has no track record. Being the grand marshall of the Israel Day Parade in Manhattan is commendable, but it is not the same as having dealt over the years with the nitty-gritty of Mideast issues..


That being the case there are certain elements of a Trump presidency that had to have Netanyahu smiling on Wednesday morning. The first is Trump's running mate, Mike Pence. The former Indiana governor and congressman is an Evangelical Christian and strong supporter of Israel. He stated at that rally in Jerusalem two weeks ago – shortly after UNESCO voted to expunge any Jewish connection to the Temple Mount – that Jerusalem is the “eternal undivided capital of the Jewish people and the Jewish state.” He called Israel America's “most cherished ally,” and said that he and Trump stand with Israel because “Israel's fight is our fight, because Israel's cause is our cause.” And, unlike Trump, he has a long record of political support for Israel.


Pence is not the only reason Netanyahu is smiling. He is also smiling because the Republicans retained control of both the House and the Senate. During the last eight rocky years of his relationship with Obama, Netanyahu found some solace in having an extremely supportive Congress on his side. And although there was pre-election talk that the Republicans might lose the Senate, that did not transpire. Netanyahu, who in his more than 10 years as Israeli prime minister has never had the opportunity to work alongside a Republican president, will now get the chance to work not only with a president whose worldview is much closer to his own, but also with a president who will be buttressed by a Republican-held Congress whose support for Israel remains extremely strong.


Netanyahu also had to be smiling because as of January 20 there will be sitting in the White House a man who has trashed the Iranian nuclear deal. Though Trump never promised to scrap the deal, as some other early Republican candidates did, he has been scathing in his criticism of the deal, and he obviously does not have any emotional investment in it that could possibly blind him to Iranian violations. It is not clear who will make up Trump's national security team, but it will surely not include those who pushed through the Iranian deal, and are so wedded to that they would do anything to ensure that it succeeds, including overlooking  any Iranian behavior that contravenes the agreement.


The prime minister also had to be smiling because groups such as J Street, a Jewish obbying organization that has encouraged Administration pressure on Israel, will lose much of its impact and influence as a result of the election results. J Street's influence stems largely from its connections and access to the Administration, whose work if often did. Tellingly, its head Jeremy Ben-Ami borrowed a football metaphor in saying to the New York Times in 2009 that “our No. 1 agenda item is to do whatever we can in Congress to act as the president’s blocking back.” The job of the “blocking back” is to protect the quarterback. But now that the quarterback has changed, and the playbook will be completely different, the importance of that particular blocking back will be greatly diminished.


Netanyahu has to be smiling as well at some of the names of candidates being bandied about to fill various high profile positions in a Trump administration, first and foremost as the new secretary of state. Among the names being discussed for secretary of state, for example, are former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, a leading Trump supporter, and former ambassador to the UN John Bolton. The appointment of either would be loudly applauded in the Prime Minister's Office, as their outlooks on the region and its threats are very similar to those of Netanyahu. Another leading candidate, current chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee), would also be applauded, as he was a leading opponent of the Iran deal…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link —Ed.]               


On Topic Links



Defeat Likely Spells the End of Clinton Dynasty: Daniel Halper & Marisa Schultz, New York Post, Nov. 10, 2016 — Hillary Clinton’s second defeat in her quest for the White House — capped by a humbling concession speech Wednesday — may be the farewell for a family that has been Democratic royalty for nearly three decades.

Reminder: Hillary Clinton Lost Because She’s Hillary Clinton : Heather Wilhelm, National Review, Nov. 11, 2016—Well, that didn’t take long. Just hours after Hillary Clinton lost the presidency to Donald Trump — and hours after she left her disconsolate supporters at New York City’s Javits Center, hightailing it to the confines of Manhattan’s Peninsula Hotel—cries of “sexism” erupted across America’s fruited plain.

Iran Nuclear Deal Could Collapse Under Trump: Carol Morello, Washington Post, Nov. 9, 2016—The future of the historic nuclear agreement with Iran is in the air with the prospect that a Donald Trump administration could take steps that would cause Iran to abandon its commitments, experts said Wednesday.

What Israel Doesn’t Need From Trump: Jonathan S. Tobin, Commentary, Nov. 9, 2016—What assumptions can we make about U.S. foreign policy in the next four years, especially with regard to the Middle East? The first, I think, is that the contrast between Trump’s policies and those of President Obama will not be as great as people might think.







The Gamble of Trump: Editorial, Wall Street Journal, Nov. 6, 2016 — The case for Donald Trump is political disruption.

The Rise and Fall of Hillary Clinton: Father Raymond J. de Souza, National Post, Nov. 7, 2016 — One hundred years ago this month, after nearly 68 years as emperor of Austria-Hungary, Franz Joseph died, leaving the throne to his grandnephew Charles.

Israel is the Sane, Stable Democracy: David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom, Nov. 4, 2016 — What can one say about the ghastly U.S. presidential election campaign that is (thankfully) coming to an end next week?

Will Betraying Israel be Obama’s Farewell Gesture?: Isi Leibler, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 1, 2016 — Throughout his entire presidential term of nearly eight years, US President Barak Obama has insisted that he “has Israel’s back.”


On Topic Links


Sanctity and Dispossession: Mark Steyn, Jewish World Review, Nov. 8, 2016

Obama’s ‘Hope and Change’ has Given us ‘Fear and Loathing’: Michael Goodwin, New York Post, Nov. 6, 2016

History Repeats as Farce, Then as 2016: Joseph Rago, Wall Street Journal, Nov. 4, 2016

Why No #Never Hilllary?: Jonathan Rosenblum, Jewish World Review, Nov. 8, 2016





Wall Street Journal, Nov. 6, 2016


The case for Donald Trump is political disruption. A broken Washington needs to be shaken up and refocused on the public good, and who better to do it than an outsider beholden to neither political party? If only that reform possibility didn’t arrive as a flawed personality who has few convictions and knows little about the world.


The best hope for a Trump Presidency is that he has aligned himself with enough sound policy impulses that he could liberate the U.S. economy to grow faster again. He would stop the crush of new regulation, restore a freer market for health insurance, unleash U.S. energy production, and reform the tax code. His default priority would be growth, which the U.S. desperately needs after a decade of progressive focus on income redistribution and the worst economic recovery in 70 years.


Assuming Republicans hold Congress, the House GOP has already put many of these reforms in legislative language. Mr. Trump could adopt them as his own reform agenda and get a fast start on governing. With a GOP Senate he could fill Antonin Scalia’s seat on the Supreme Court with someone from the fine list of candidates he has publicly released. For many voters, the future of the Court is by itself enough reason to support Mr. Trump.


Yet while this could be a 1980-like moment of economic renewal, Mr. Trump is no Ronald Reagan. The Gipper came to office with a coherent and firmly held world view formed by decades of reading and experience as a Governor. It isn’t obvious that Mr. Trump reads anything at all. He absorbs what he knows through conversation and watching TV, and he has no consistent philosophy.


This makes it hard to predict how he would respond to the shocks and surprises that buffet any President. His firmest policy conviction seems to be that trade is a zero-sum game and that America is losing from global commerce. But if he follows through on his vow to withdraw from trade pacts, impose tariffs on imports and punish U.S. companies that invest abroad, he could cause a recession. The main economic battle in a Trump Administration would be between his pro-growth domestic reforms and his anti-growth trade policy.


The strongest argument against Mr. Trump, as Hillary Clinton has recognized, concerns his temperament and political character. His politics is almost entirely personal, not ideological. He overreacts to criticism and luxuriates in personal feuds. President Obama’s greatest failure has been to govern in a deliberately polarizing fashion, and Mr. Trump’s response has been to campaign the same way. If the businessman loses a race that Republicans should win this year, one reason will be that his often harsh rhetoric has repelled women, minorities and younger voters. He ignores or twists inconvenient facts, and even when he has a good point his exaggerations make it harder to persuade the public. Yet a President needs the power to persuade.


The least convincing Never Trump argument is that he would rampage through government as an authoritarian. That ignores the checks and balances in Washington that constrain GOP Presidents in particular. If Mr. Trump wins, the media would awaken from their Obama-era slumbers and dog his Administration with a vengeance. The permanent bureaucracy would resist his political appointees, working with the media to build public opposition.


The more realistic concern, especially for conservatives, is that Mr. Trump would be as haphazard in office as he has been as a candidate and thus fail to change Washington as he has promised. Mr. Trump would start out with more than half the country disliking him, and most of his advisers lack government experience. Too many blunders or an early recession could cause voters to sweep out the GOP Congress in 2018, setting up a return to an all-progressive government in 2020. Another risk comes from the negative impulses on the political right that Mr. Trump’s meanest rhetoric has awakened. Populism has its uses, and the media stereotypes of Mr. Trump’s supporters don’t capture their variety and general goodwill. But populism becomes dangerous when it is rooted too much in ethnicity or class.


Mr. Trump’s Breitbart posse has a vendetta against Republicans on Capitol Hill and is motivated by brooding resentments that too often veer into white-identity politics. If Mr. Trump indulged these sentiments as President, he would further polarize the country and alienate non-whites for a generation. Then there is the biggest Trump gamble of all—foreign and security policy. The good news is that Mr. Trump wants to rebuild U.S. defenses that have eroded on Mr. Obama’s watch. He would be more candid about, and more aggressive against, the Islamist terror threat…                                                                                        [To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link —Ed.]                                                                                                                                                         




THE RISE AND FALL OF HILLARY CLINTON                                                                      

Father Raymond J. de Souza                                                                                                 

National Post, Nov. 7, 2016


One hundred years ago this month, after nearly 68 years as emperor of Austria-Hungary, Franz Joseph died, leaving the throne to his grandnephew Charles. The last ruler of the Hapsburg monarchy had a short reign, the liquidation of his empire and the abolition of his royal house being among the terms of peace that ended the First World War. Driven into exile, he died in Madeira before his 35th birthday.


Charles was a holy man who understood that he had a duty to serve his people and to work assiduously for peace. In 2004, he was beatified by Pope John Paul II. This election day in the U.S., the witness of Blessed Charles is a reminder that holiness and high office are not incompatible, and that great power can be a means of humble service. That he reigned a century ago is also a reminder that history is not a matter of progress, for the descent of man, and woman, from Blessed Charles to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, is steep and stomach-churning.


I have no greater gifts of electoral analysis, so I presume that Clinton, the heir presumptive, will emerge triumphant Tuesday night. She is not, as her opponent said, a “nasty woman,” but the return of the Clintons is a nasty business, indeed. After this sordid year, perhaps the single service that Trump has rendered was to expose just how nasty the establishment culture of entitlement is in America, of which the Clintons are both exemplars and experts. The Economist has spent the entirety of 2016 expressing the exasperation of the transatlantic establishment, which believes that Americans have been insufficiently appreciative of Clinton. After all, the “establishment politics that Mrs Clinton encapsulates almost to the point of parody” is what voices like The Economist think, on balance, is a good thing.


Trump, it is universally agreed, is a master of mendacity. But it is also true that, in Hillary Clinton’s 40 years in public life, she has mastered the art of prevarication. Her husband, possessing greater charm, preferred the brazen lie. Nevertheless, despite the cataract of untruths that cascaded from Trump, he did tell one truth over and over again: America’s political establishment could be bought and sold. He knew this because he had bought and sold it himself, while attending to his celebrity properties.


Trump ran for president having held no public office. A lacuna to be sure, but surely as troubling is the permanent political class, which does nothing but trade public offices. The Clinton family business of personal enrichment through public office is odious, but by no means unique. It has become something of a norm, but no one has done it better, or for as long. To hear Clinton and her ilk speak of public service is nauseating, unless it is to be understood as the public servicing her family. Yet this is the way the permanent political class operates. They decide who is in and who is out, and whatever arrangements need to be made to protect each other. When Trump blasted the Clintons last summer for having a man as repellent at Anthony Weiner in their inner circle, it was one of many ways in which the privileges of the political class were finally being called into question.


Astonishingly, it fell to Trump — a narcissistic blowhard who is clearly unfit for the presidency — to play the role of the boy who declared that the emperor had no clothes. It took a wealthy man entirely outside the normal partisan apparatus to say what no one in the imperial court is permitted to say — namely, that the system is corrupt, and that the Clintons, seeking the White House a quarter-century apart, are this generation’s most corrupt couple. Hillary Clinton, with the connivance of the partisan and media establishment, the co-operation of a politicized justice system and resources accrued from rapacious influence-peddling, will have heaved herself over the finish line for the presidency as she always has: within the rule, but just so. Trump changed the rules in 2016. Clinton will win the election, but her presidency is already lost.                                                                       



ISRAEL IS THE SANE, STABLE DEMOCRACY                                                                                

David M. Weinberg                                                                                                       

Israel Hayom, Nov. 4, 2016


What can one say about the ghastly U.S. presidential election campaign that is (thankfully) coming to an end next week? That we cry for America, the greatest nation on the face of this earth, which is self-immolating; sunk by candidates who are insincere, uncouth, and unprincipled. The crude campaigns of both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton leave the U.S. badly divided along the lines of race, economic status and political ideology; with dark forces of intolerance dominating every talk show and rally. Alas, there is almost no discussion of important policy issues in a world where U.S. leadership acutely is being challenged.


What can we say? Say this: In comparative perspective, Israel seems like the sane, stable democracy these days. Consider the situation in America to the situation in Israel on almost any foreign or domestic issue, and you're forced to admit that, heck, Israel is in a better place. To begin with, perhaps Israel's system of government — long maligned — is more satisfying and representative. Voters here in Israel have more than two binary choices for leader of the country. Don't tens of millions of Americans wish that they had a serious third-party candidate to vote for this year?


And for all the rough and tumble nature of Israeli party politics, hasn't the cutthroat, populist primary system in America disappointed Republicans and Democrats alike? By the way, Israel had a female leader (Golda Meir) almost 50 years ago, while in America they're still arguing about the glass ceiling and wondering whether a woman can be trusted with the highest office in the land. It's true that Israel hasn't had a black, or a Sephardi, prime minister, while America has elected an African-American as president twice. But given the ongoing and escalating race riots in U.S. inner cities, I'm not sure that America has too much to brag about in this field. In any case, Jews from Arab lands have served in Israel as military chief of staff, defense minister, president, and Supreme Court justice.


As for the quality of candidates for national leader, I bet you that Americans would bus themselves in droves to the polling stations in order to vote for Benjamin Netanyahu if he were running as a candidate in this U.S. election! Now consider the language used in campaigns. Israeli politicians regularly accuse each other of fascism and corruption, which is bad enough. But no one mixes female hygiene, the size of male organs, and other deplorables into political discourse. Nobody in Israel has questioned the integrity of our electoral system either, even when the result was decided by a hair — for example when Netanyahu edged Shimon Peres out of office in 1996 by less than 1% of the vote. Nobody claimed the vote was rigged and nobody threatened to reject the result.


Israeli prosecutors have actually put corrupt politicians behind bars, including a president, prime minister, finance and interior minister, and others. They didn't cover up and close the books on crimes akin to "extreme carelessness" in handling "very sensitive, highly classified information that possibly was accessed by hostile actors" — which is what the FBI did this year. More important is the fact that Israel has charted for itself intelligent courses in foreign and domestic policy, which is far more than can be said of the U.S. in the Barack Obama era and likely beyond. Furthermore, such issues are actually debated intensely in Israeli election campaigns, whereas the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign has been dominated by personal insults and peccadilloes, rather than policy.


Israel has a working national health system that, for all its problems, is the envy of most countries in the world. Everybody benefits from considerably comprehensive mandatory coverage. Obama's health reforms have been a disaster, yet neither presidential candidate has bothered to present a realistic plan to fix things.


Israel built a fence to keep millions of illegal immigrants from Africa from flooding into the country through Sinai, and passed several iterations of tough yet humanitarian immigration/deportation laws that have been debated at length in parliament and the highest court. It is a controversial policy arena that has been met head-on by intelligent debate and determined government action.


In the U.S., beyond Trump's lazy, hazy and haphazard Mexican wall idea, neither he nor his opponent have offered any realistic approaches to confronting immigration issues. There is a serious and worthy debate underway in Israel about the direction, composition, and scope of powers of the Supreme Court. The justice minister is also seeking to reform the selection process for justices, in an above-board and open process that will involve give-and-take between conservatives and liberals. In the U.S., however, the Supreme Court has become the ultimate political football, with presidents unabashedly yanking it left and right, and the fiercely partisan Congress flat-out blocking presidential appointments just because.


Who has handled relations with Russia better in recent years, Netanyahu or Obama? The Israeli prime minister has navigated a difficult situation with Russian fighter jets flying along our northern border, backing our enemies — without incident; while the American president has completely botched his ballyhooed "reset" with Moscow, and let Putin muscle into Eastern Europe and the Mideast.


Who has done a better job of setting down red lines regarding the conflict in Syria? With determination, Netanyahu has relayed the limits of what Israel can tolerate north of its borders, keeping Hezbollah and Iran at bay for the time being. He quietly and smartly has used humanitarian diplomacy with rebel groups to safeguard the border too. Obama on the other hand, whimpered down from the red lines he loudly set over chemical weapons and other war crimes in Syria, leaving America with little credibility or clout.


Who has more allies now in the Arab world — Israel or the U.S.? Egpyt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states today tacitly rely on Netanyahu's acumen and security assistance more than they count on Obama. Only the mullahs in Iran have a better relationship with the White House than with the Israeli Prime Minister's Office; and the Obama-Rouhani nuclear accord isn't a great feather in America's cap either.


This listing of America's woes and foibles and their comparison to Israel's relative resiliencies, is not meant to gloat. It is with sorrow that I chronicle the yanking of America off its solid policy moorings by an outlier president, and its sullying by a loutish election campaign. I weep for America and wish it a speedy and full recovery. The world needs America to bounce back, and I am praying that it will. But the contrast detailed here should instill some modesty in American politicians and pundits (and Jewish community leaders) who are quick to lecture Israel about what it must do on a range of external and internal matters. Hey, American friends, get your act together before hectoring Israel..




WILL BETRAYING ISRAEL BE OBAMA’S FAREWELL GESTURE?                                                               

Isi Leibler                                                                                                              

Jerusalem Post, Nov. 1, 2016


Throughout his entire presidential term of nearly eight years, US President Barak Obama has insisted that he “has Israel’s back.” The reality is that Obama’s appalling foreign policy has been geared toward the creation of “daylight” between the US and Israel. To this end, Obama reneged on the longstanding bipartisan policy that the US would never be a party to forcing Israel into reverting to the 1949 armistice lines. That policy was reflected in the carefully drafted UN Security Council Resolution 242, unanimously adopted on November 22, 1967, which intimated that Israel would never be expected to revert to indefensible borders. The armistice lines imposed at the end of the War of Independence were never considered formal borders. They left Israel only 14 km. wide at its narrowest point and were described by foreign minister Abba Eban as the “Auschwitz borders.”


In explaining the language of UN Resolution 242, US ambassador to the UN Arthur Goldberg was specific. In order to achieve “secure and recognized boundaries” there would be a necessity for both parties to make “territorial adjustments in their peace settlement, encompassing less than a complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from the occupied territories, inasmuch as Israel’s prior frontiers had proved to be notably insecure.” It was also clearly understood that withdrawals would only take place in the context of an overall peace settlement.


In September 1968, president Lyndon Johnson stated that “it is clear … that a return to the situation of 4 June 1967 will not bring peace. There must be secure and there must be recognized borders.” President Ronald Reagan in September 1982 stated, “In the pre-1967 borders, Israel was barely 10 miles wide at its narrowest point. The bulk of Israel’s population lived within artillery range of hostile armies. I am not about to ask Israel to live that way again.” Secretary of state George Shultz in September 1988 declared, “Israel will never negotiate from, or return to, the lines of partition or to the 1967 borders.” President Bill Clinton in his final January 2001 attempt to promote a solution continued to emphasize the importance to Israel of “secure and recognized boundaries.”


Even the Palestinians who initially bitterly opposed Resolution 242 ultimately accepted it when the PLO signed the Declaration of Principles with Israel in September 1993. In an April 14, 2004 letter to prime minister Ariel Sharon responding to Israel’s announcement of the unilateral Gaza withdrawal, US president George W. Bush wrote that “the United States reiterates its steadfast commitment to Israel’s security, including secure, defensible borders.” More explicitly, Bush stated that “in light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli population centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949, and all previous efforts to negotiate a two-state solution have reached the same conclusion. It is realistic to expect that any final status agreement will only be achieved on the basis of mutually agreed changes that reflect these realities.”


The US Congress endorsed the letter in joint resolutions by the Senate (95-3) and the House (407-9). Sharon regarded these Bush commitments as a negotiated deal based on his total withdrawal from Gaza. He considered it to be his most important diplomatic achievement and used it vigorously in an attempt to justify what subsequently proved to be the disastrous withdrawal from Gaza. As late as November 2009 secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who was a major critic of Israel within the Obama administration, still acknowledged the goal of “a Jewish state with secure and recognized borders that reflects subsequent developments and meets Israeli security requirements.”


On May 19, 2011, in a shameful humiliation, without any prior notice, just hours before meeting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Obama stunned his guest by radically reneging on and deviating from this longstanding bipartisan US policy. He did so when it was clear that the PA was totally inflexible and the entire region was being engulfed by a barbaric civil war. Obama chose that time to state that “the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states.” If adopted, that would effectively impose the indefensible 1949 armistice lines as the benchmark for opening future negotiations, with any variation subject to Palestinian consent. Given the consistent Palestinian track record of refusing to make any concessions, the concept of “mutually agreed swaps” is pure fantasy. The fallback would be imposing the 1967 borders which would entail forfeiting secure borders and ceding the major settlement blocs including the Jewish neighborhoods of east Jerusalem – something that no Israeli government could contemplate…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link —Ed.]           


On Topic Links


Sanctity and Dispossession: Mark Steyn, Jewish World Review, Nov. 8, 2016—The latest amusing electoral intervention by James Comey? As I wrote on the very day the FBI Director "re-opened" the Hillary investigation: I suppose if you've run one sham investigation there's no harm in running a second. And so it proved.

Obama’s ‘Hope and Change’ has Given us ‘Fear and Loathing’: Michael Goodwin, New York Post, Nov. 6, 2016—So this is how Hope & Change ends. With the FBI in turmoil, with surging anti-police violence, with fears of voter fraud and foreign hacking, with a sluggish economy, with a terror warning and with two unpopular presidential candidates tearing at each other like wolves. Heckuva job, Barack Obama!

History Repeats as Farce, Then as 2016: Joseph Rago, Wall Street Journal, Nov. 4, 2016—Americans elected the greatest president, Lincoln, four years after the worst, Buchanan, so there’s some hope that 2020 will redeem 2016, whoever wins on Tuesday.

Why No #Never Hilllary?: Jonathan Rosenblum, Jewish World Review, Nov. 8, 2016—Thumbing through latest issue of the Yale Law Report recently, I came across my class secretary's quarterly musings in which he recounts how he first heard Hillary Clinton speak at our fifteenth class reunion, the year her husband was running for his first term.






Final Days, Awful Choice: Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post, Nov. 3, 2016 — Rule of thumb for a presidential campaign where the two candidates have the highest unfavorable ratings in the history of polling: If you’re the center of attention, you’re losing.

The Case for Trump: Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, Oct. 17, 2016— Donald Trump needs a unified Republican party in the homestretch if he is to have any chance left of catching Hillary Clinton — along with winning higher percentages of the college-educated and women than currently support him.

Tuesday Will Bring No Peace to the United States: Rex Murphy, National Post, Nov. 4, 2016 — The day of reckoning is at hand. Most of the world is on the verge of nervous collapse as the Americans prepare to go to the polls and force themselves to the painful duty of determining whether their aversion to Donald Trump is stronger than their distaste for Hillary Clinton.

1776: Would You Like to Reconsider?: Andrew Roberts, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 28, 2016 — The American primary system, which has thrown up two presidential candidates who are despised by 60% of Americans, is broken and urgently needs to be reformed.


On Topic Links


What a Spectacle this Election Has Been: Conrad Black, National Post, Nov. 4, 2016

Americans Have a Chance to Dethrone the House of Clinton: Deroy Murdock, National Review, Nov. 5, 2016

Crisis of the Conservative House Divided: Steven F. Hayward, Weekly Standard, Oct. 31, 2016

The US Elections, 2016, Panel Discussion (Video): Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, Nov. 3, 2016



Charles Krauthammer                     

Washington Post, Nov. 3, 2016


Rule of thumb for a presidential campaign where the two candidates have the highest unfavorable ratings in the history of polling: If you’re the center of attention, you’re losing. As Election Day approaches, Hillary Clinton cannot shake the spotlight. She is still ahead in the polls, but you know she’s slipping when she shows up at a Florida campaign event with a week to go accompanied by the former Miss Universe, Alicia Machado.


The original plan was for Clinton to pivot in the final week of the campaign from relentless criticism of Donald Trump to making a positive case for herself. Instead, she reached back for a six-week-old charge that played well when it first emerged back then but now feels stale and recycled. The setback and momentum shift came courtesy of FBI Director James Comey. Clinton’s greatest hurdle had always been the Comey primary, which the Democrats thought she’d won in July when he declined to recommend prosecuting her over classified emails. This engendered an outpouring of Democratic encomiums about Comey’s unimpeachable integrity and Solomonic wisdom.


When it was revealed last Friday that there had been a Comey recount and Clinton lost, Solomon turned into Torquemada. But, of course, Comey had no choice. How could he have sat on a trove of 650,000 newly discovered emails and kept that knowledge suppressed until after the election? Comey’s announcement brought flooding back — to memory and to the front pages — every unsavory element of the Clinton character: shiftiness, paranoia, cynicism and disdain for playing by the rules. It got worse when FBI employees began leaking stories about possible political pressure from the Justice Department and about parallel investigations into the Clinton Foundation.


At the same time, Clinton was absorbing a daily dose of WikiLeaks, offering an extremely unappealing tableau of mendacity, deception and the intermingling of public service with private self-enrichment. It was the worst week of her campaign, at the worst time. And it raises two troubling questions: Regarding the FBI, do we really want to elect a president who will likely come into office under criminal investigation by law enforcement? Congressional hearings will be immediate and endless. A constitutional crisis at some point is not out of the question. And regarding WikiLeaks, how do we know it will have released the most damning material by Election Day? A hardened KGB operative like Vladimir Putin might well prefer to hold back whatever is most incriminating until a Clinton presidency. He is surely not above attempted blackmail at an opportune time.

There seems to be a consensus that Putin’s hacking gambit is intended only to disrupt the election rather than to deny Clinton the White House. Why? Putin harbors a deep animus toward Clinton, whom he blames personally for the anti-Putin demonstrations that followed Russia’s rigged 2011 parliamentary elections. Moreover, Putin would surely prefer to deal with Trump, a man who has adopted the softest line on the Kremlin of any modern U.S. leader.


In a normal election, the FBI and WikiLeaks factors might be disqualifying for a presidential candidate. As final evidence of how bad are our choices in 2016, Trump’s liabilities, especially on foreign policy, outweigh hers. We are entering a period of unprecedented threat to the international order that has prevailed under American leadership since 1945. After eight years of President Obama’s retreat, the three major revisionist powers — Russia, China and Iran — see their chance to achieve regional dominance and diminish, if not expel, U.S. influence. At a time of such tectonic instability, even the most experienced head of state requires wisdom and delicacy to maintain equilibrium. Trump has neither. His joining of supreme ignorance to supreme arrogance, combined with a pathological sensitivity to any perceived slight, is a standing invitation to calamitous miscalculation.


Two generations of Americans have grown up feeling that international stability is as natural as the air we breathe. It’s not. It depends on continual, calibrated tending. It depends on the delicate balancing of alliances and the careful signaling of enemies. It depends on avoiding self-inflicted trade wars and on recognizing the value of allies like Germany, Japan and South Korea as cornerstones of our own security rather than satrapies who are here to dispatch tribute to their imperial master in Washington. It took seven decades to build this open, free international order. It could be brought down in a single presidential term. That would be a high price to pay for the catharsis of kicking over a table.                                                                                                



THE CASE FOR TRUMP                                                                                                       

Victor Davis Hanson                                                                                                      

National Review, Oct. 17, 2016


Donald Trump needs a unified Republican party in the homestretch if he is to have any chance left of catching Hillary Clinton — along with winning higher percentages of the college-educated and women than currently support him. But even before the latest revelations from an eleven-year-old Access Hollywood tape, in which Trump crudely talked about women, he had long ago in the primaries gratuitously insulted his more moderate rivals and their supporters. He bragged about his lone-wolf candidacy and claimed that his polls were — and would be — always tremendous — contrary to his present deprecation of them. Is it all that surprising that some in his party and some independents, who felt offended, swear that they will not stoop to vote for him when in extremis he now needs them? Or that party stalwarts protest that they no longer wish to be associated with a malodorous albatross hung around their neck?


That question of payback gains importance if the race in the last weeks once again narrows. Trump had by mid-September recaptured many of the constituencies that once put John McCain and Mitt Romney within striking distance of Barack Obama. And because Trump has apparently brought back to the Republican cause millions of the old Reagan Democrats, various tea-partiers, and the working classes, and since Hillary Clinton is a far weaker candidate than was Barack Obama, in theory he should have had a better shot to win the popular vote than has any Republican candidate since incumbent president George W. Bush in 2004.


What has always been missing to end the long public career of Hillary Clinton is a four- or five-percentage-point boost from a mélange of the so-called Never Trump Republicans, as well as women and suburban, college-educated independents. Winning back some of these critics could translate into a one- or two-point lead over Clinton in critical swing states.


Those who are soured on Trump certainly can cite lots of understandable reasons for their distaste — well beyond his sometimes grating reality-television personality. In over-dramatic fashion, some Against Trumpers invoke William F. Buckley Jr.’s ostracism of John Birchers from conservative circles as a model for dealing with perceived Trump vulgarity. He is damned as an opportunistic chameleon, not a true conservative. Trump’s personal and professional life has been lurid — as, again, we were reminded by the media-inspired release of a hot-mic tape of past Trump crude sexual braggadocio. The long campaigning has confirmed Trump as often uncouth — insensitive to women and minorities. He has never held office. His ignorance of politics often embarrasses those in foreign- and domestic-policy circles. Trump’s temperament is mercurial, especially in its ego-driven obsessions with slights to his business ethics and acumen. He wins back supporters by temporary bouts of steadiness as his polls surge, only to alienate them again with crazy nocturnal tweets and off-topic rants — as his popularity then again dips. He seems to battle as much with GOP stalwarts as Clintonites, often, to be fair, in retaliation rather than in preemptory fashion.


All these flaws earned Trump nemesis in his disastrous first debate, which was followed by marked dips in his polls. He seemed not to have prepared for the contest, convinced that he could wing it with his accustomed superlative adjectives and repetitive make-America-great generalities. He so obsessed over Clinton’s baited traps and contrived slights about his commercial reputation and his temperament that he allowed her to denigrate his character with impunity — even as he missed multiple opportunities to chronicle her spiraling scandals and contrast his mostly conservative agenda with her boilerplate, Obama 2.0, “you didn’t build that” neo-socialism. Trump’s second debate performance was far stronger, and stanched his hemorrhaging after the Access Hollywood revelations, but it was not the blow-out needed to recapture the lost momentum of mid-September — nor will it yet win over Never Trump Republicans and independent women.


The counterarguments for voting Trump are by now also well known. The daily news — riot, terrorism, scandals, enemies on the move abroad, sluggish growth, and record debt — demands a candidate of change. The vote is not for purity of conservative thought, but for the candidate who is preferable to the alternative — and is also a somewhat rough form of adherence to the pragmatic Buckley dictate to prefer the most conservative candidate who can win. The issue, then, at this late date is not necessarily Trump per se, but the fact that he will bring into power far more conservatives than would Hillary Clinton. No one has made a successful argument to challenge that reality.


Nor is the election a choice even between four more years of liberalism and a return of conservatism; it’s an effort to halt the fundamental transformation of the country. A likely two-term Clinton presidency would complete a 16-year institutionalization of serial progressive abuse of the Constitution, outdoing even the twelve years of the imperial Roosevelt administration. The WikiLeaks revelations suggest an emboldened Hillary Clinton, who feels that a 2016 victory will reify her utopian dreams of a new intercontinental America of open borders and open markets, from Chile to Alaska, in the manner of the European Union expanse from the Aegean to the Baltic…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]                            




TUESDAY WILL BRING NO PEACE TO THE UNITED STATES                                                   

Rex Murphy                                                                                                                     

National Post, Nov. 4, 2016


The day of reckoning is at hand. Most of the world is on the verge of nervous collapse as the Americans prepare to go to the polls and force themselves to the painful duty of determining whether their aversion to Donald Trump is stronger than their distaste for Hillary Clinton. They are caught between a rock and a hard place, the devil and the deep blue sea, writhing painfully on both horns of the fiercest dilemma democratic voters have, perhaps ever, to face.


As to predicting the outcome, no fool am I. Looking at it over the last year or so, this election of our friends down south has had more twists, turns and novelties than the wildest amusement park. It participates of a logic all its own.  The introduction of Trump to the world of politics has produced a twilight zone, where the normal dynamics, the conventions and rituals of modern media-driver democratic politics, have been blistered and battered beyond recognition and perhaps even beyond repair.


The great merger of high-celebrity culture — the Kardashian universe — with that of cynical Washington power lust has occurred, and the offspring is a strange, unfathomable amalgam of the worst, most distressing of both. Making predictions does not belong to this world — what was true yesterday may no longer be true today. And seeking predictive guidance from any previous campaigns is an errand for fools or mystics.


There are some moments from this weird cycle I shall never be able to purge from memory. Does anyone recall the early moments of the campaign when it seemed Trump might be in trouble because he said Clinton had been “schlonged” in the 2008 battle for her party’s nomination? For two days the discussions raged — was he being sexist? Rude? Lewd? By campaign’s end, however, we had the great tape of Access Hollywood and Trump and Billy Bush discussing the various super-subtle approaches famous men can deploy toward attractive women. This was the “grab them by the pussy” monologue that effectively put “schlonged” in linguistic Quaker territory.


Bernie Sanders will always be with me. A Don Quixote figure, a Knight of the Woeful Countenance, if ever there was one. His quest was forlorn from the start. Poor, innocent, socialist, geriatric Bernie – his previous big moment had been the famous honeymoon in Moscow. But Clinton had his goose in the oven from the get-go. She owned the party; she had, as now we know, friends in the media forward her questions for some of the debates; and, of course, she had early secured all the super delegates.


Then came the saddest gesture. Bernie, already hemmed in and tormented by Clinton’s ministrations with the Democratic National Committee, gave up his only sword. He dismissed all the controversy of “her damn emails.” He probably thought this was noble politics — pushing the campaign away from gossip toward “the issues.” Alas and alack, as time and WikiLeaks were to so severely prove, how he might have wished the emails did not go away. They became the single most dramatic and continuous element in the campaign, the one most corrosive to Clinton’s struggle up political Everest. Trump had no such delicacy. And here in the final days of the campaign, where the leaks are at full tide, the Federal Bureau of Investigation drops its now-famous bombshell and the result on Tuesday is really anyone’s guess.


I recall Clinton’s first dealing with the email and server. It seems a long time back. She withdrew from all government systems and installed that private server for convenience, she said. Having “two” portable devices was just too burdensome.  She wanted to work from one. Oh, Hillary. Why did you start so badly. She had more “devices” during her term as secretary of state than are in Bill Gates’ hobby room.  She lost them more often than she ran out of bleach. The server debacle also opened the door to her very lowest moment. It is a truth universally acknowledged, if I may twist a phrase from Miss Austen, that it is never good news for a presidential campaign when people start talking about wieners. Particularly, a Clinton presidential effort — for the Weiner factor has exerted its dark magic in ways reminiscent of her own husband’s darkest political days.


But when wiener politics brings to centre-stage the very Mother of all wieners, Anthony Weiner himself, and when the doings of that compulsive exhibitionistic erotomaniac — the estranged husband of your closest confidante and aide — somehow collide with your campaign, it is the day of the locust indeed. Weiner’s picture scandal and Clinton’s email woes intersect at the FBI, which has been investigating both. Clinton must bathe in tears every time she recalls, as Washington lore has it, that she introduced Weiner to Huma Abedin. She was Fate’s chosen instrument to bring the most ridiculous and disgraced figure on the American political scene into the very heart of her now very troubled effort to reach the White House. Schooled? It appears Trump was right.


Tuesday will bring what it may. Whatever the result, there will be no peace. The factions will rage, and the great messy tensions and anger within the American political systems will increase. But as spectacle it has been and will likely remain without rival, a farce as rich and ridiculous as Art of Nature has ever provided.




1776: WOULD YOU LIKE TO RECONSIDER?                                                                

Andrew Roberts                                                                                

Wall Street Journal, Oct. 28, 2016


The American primary system, which has thrown up two presidential candidates who are despised by 60% of Americans, is broken and urgently needs to be reformed. The only rational response to the choice of  Hillary Clinton or  Donald Trump is that of  Henry Kissinger on the Iran-Iraq War: “A pity they both can’t lose.” For a non-American who defends the U.S. at every opportunity, I must ask: Are you deliberately trying to make it more difficult for me this year?


For all the undoubted genius of your Constitution, in 2016 it is no longer sustainable for Americans to say they have the best democratic system in the world. There have been many types of democracy—the Athenian agora model of direct participation, the Westminster-based constitutional monarchy, the Swiss referendum and cantonal model, Indian mass democracy, and so on. But it is impossible any more to suggest that the finest one is that which has thrown up Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump as the final choice for 320 million Americans.


When Chinese GDP is overtaking America’s, we are engaged in a vital ideological struggle over which political system delivers the best results: the state corporatism of the Beijing model, where there is no free speech and no democracy, or the democratic model of the West, whose leading democracy today presents its people with a choice between a preposterous, petulant monster of self-regard with deep, dark psychological flaws on one side, and on the other a proven failure whose views float with the polling data and whose word of honor cannot be relied upon.


I’m not for a moment suggesting that democracy is under threat in America. With your Constitution, Bill of Rights, First Amendment, Congress, separation of powers—and the sublime instincts of the American people—democracy is under no threat whatsoever here, for all your president’s absurd hyperbole. But the concept of democratic values as worthy aspirations for modern society certainly is under serious threat globally from a totalitarian state-capitalist model that is dangerously attractive in what it is producing for its populations, while American democracy is offering a choice between a crook and a clown.


So what is to be done? First, the Republicans need party leaders and candidates who confront people like Mr. Trump seriously from the start and do not coddle him in the vain hope that if you’re nice you inherit his supporters when he collapses. Second, it is ludicrous to have debates controlled by TV channels that want the GOP to split and the Democrats to win, and which frame their questions accordingly. Third, the talking down of America, even in an election year, has gone too far and is likely to be misinterpreted abroad. Newt Gingrich has said that if Mrs. Clinton wins, America will go the way of Venezuela. No it won’t. When Adam Smith was brought the news of Burgoyne’s surrender at Saratoga, and was told that Britain was ruined forever, he replied. “There’s a great deal of ruin in a nation.”


If we in Britain got over losing America and went on to become the largest empire in history, you can get over four years of Mrs. Clinton. The word “again” in “Make America great again” is a terrible libel on your country, which is still great on any objective criterion, albeit clearly going in the wrong direction. Self-pity is not a part of the American national character—however emotionally and rhetorically alluring it might be during election time—and you must not permit Mr. Trump’s sloganizing to allow it to find a place there.


Fourth, the percentages of support that guarantee a candidate a place in the debate should be drastically higher so that you don’t have a dozen or more people taking part and thus sometimes given no more than 30 seconds in which to try to sum up complex issues, leading to a moronically low standard of debate. If Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas were forced to debate each other in 30-second bursts, answering politically loaded questions from CNN and ABC and CBS intended to embarrass them, you probably wouldn’t have got a much better outcome.


That Donald Trump has held no public office also ought to have been an automatic disqualification. I know you like the idea in America that anyone can be president, but you are really testing that dictum this year. You’ve had plenty of presidential candidates who have not previously held elected office, including William Howard Taft, Herbert Hoover, Wendell Willkie and Dwight Eisenhower. But they all held high offices or served their country outside politics: Taft was governor of the Philippines, Hoover was head of the Belgian Relief Agency during World War I, Willkie fought the Ku Klux Klan and headed his local bar association, and Eisenhower was Supreme Allied Commander during World War II. These were all honorable positions of importance and responsibility. Mr. Trump has been head of Miss Universe and star of “The Apprentice,” both businesses in which he owned an interest.


The Republican Party should not have allowed itself to be hijacked by a man with so minute a record of contribution to the nation, and it needs to alter its rules to prevent a similar demagogue with deep pockets and no conscience from doing it again. The Republicans need a superdelegate system of sane party elders who want to see the party win. If there hadn’t been superdelegates in the Democratic Party, Bernie Sanders would be within a hair’s breadth of the White House right now…                                                             

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link —Ed.]                    

On Topic Links


What a Spectacle this Election Has Been: Conrad Black, National Post, Nov. 4, 2016—Squalid, garish, heavy-laden with mud-slinging and mired in corruption though the U.S. election campaign is, almost unmitigated mockery of everything that the founding documents of the United States proclaimed as they artfully reinterpreted a rather grubby colonial tax squabble with Great Britain into the dawn of human liberty, though it also is, it has been engrossing.

Americans Have a Chance to Dethrone the House of Clinton: Deroy Murdock, National Review, Nov. 5, 2016—Drain the swamp!” GOP presidential nominee Donald J. Trump has insisted before huge crowds increasingly confident of a well-deserved, sorely needed, come-from-behind victory.

Crisis of the Conservative House Divided: Steven F. Hayward, Weekly Standard, Oct. 31, 2016—For months it has been clear that in one vital respect Donald Trump's fate in the presidential election does not matter. Win or lose, he has divided and may yet shatter the conservative movement, a fact that was evident before the Access Hollywood tape gave us a TMI moment barely suitable for TMZ. Who could have foreseen that the Great Pumpkin candidate would turn out to be a Black Swan event for conservatism?

The US Elections, 2016, Panel Discussion (Video): Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, Nov. 3, 2016—Canadian Institute for Jewish Research and Congregation Tifereth Beth David Jerusalem present: "The US Elections, 2016", Panel Discussion, Oct. 31, 2016.






TONIGHT: CIJR & Congregation Tifereth Beth David Jerusalem Present: the U.S. Elections, 2016: Panel Discussion. Featuring: Machla Abramovitz (CIJR Academic Fellow), Prof. Frederick Krantz (Director, CIJR), Prof. Ira Robinson (Concordia U.), Prof. Harold Waller (McGill U.), Moderator: Jack Kincler (National Chairman, CIJR). Topics of discussion include U.S elections and American Jewry, the Middle East and the world, U.S. elections and Israel, U.S. elections and women: une question mal posée?


Admission is free. 7:30pm, Oct. 31, 2016.


Location: Congregation Tifereth Beth David Jerusalem, 6519 Baily Road, Montreal


Hillary Has Only Herself to Blame for the Mess She’s in: Michael Goodwin, New York Post, Oct. 29, 2016 — We must forgive Mark Twain for his error when he declared that “history never repeats itself but it often rhymes.” After all, he’d never met the Clintons.

Clinton’s State Department: A RICO Enterprise: Andrew C. McCarthy, National Review, Oct. 29, 2016 — Felony mishandling of classified information, including our nation’s most closely guarded intelligence secrets; the misappropriation and destruction of tens of thousands of government records — these are serious criminal offenses.

How Donald Trump is Still a Thing: Rex Murphy, National Post, Oct. 21, 2016 — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump may have finally received the campaign miracle he needs

Donald Trump Garners Unlikely Muslim Cheerleaders: Yaroslav Trofimov, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 20, 2016 — With his statements targeting Muslims, it might seem that  Donald Trump would have few cheerleaders in the Middle East.


On Topic Links


Can Hillary Clinton Survive the Return of Carlos Danger?: Amy Chozick and Mark Landler, New York Times, Oct. 31, 2016

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in Dead Heat as Email Scandal Returns Near End of Presidential Campaign: Nick Allen and David Lawler, Telegraph, Oct. 30, 2016

What's a Conservative to Do? Vote for Pence: Daniel Pipes, Philadelphia Inquirer, Oct. 18, 2016

If You Love America and Israel, Vote Against the System: Naomi Ragen, Arutz Sheva, Oct. 31, 2016




Michael Goodwin                                                                    

New York Post, Oct. 29, 2016


We must forgive Mark Twain for his error when he declared that “history never repeats itself but it often rhymes.” After all, he’d never met the Clintons. If Twain were alive now, he would be astonished at how the headlines over the email scandal roiling the presidential race are virtual repeats of the family’s 1990s saga in power. The headlines are also an omen. A restoration of the Clinton presidency would be a restoration of the national and moral chaos they invariably create. They can’t help themselves. They are corrupt and corrupters, the ­Typhoid Mary of politics.


Whether by nature or nurture, they are programmed to ruin. Friends, allies, institutions — all are stained by their touch. And always, the Clintons blame somebody else. Now it’s FBI Director James Comey’s turn to embody their all-purpose bogeyman, the vast right-wing conspiracy. Somebody, sometimes everybody, is out to get them, unfairly of course.


The victim card is a Clinton family heirloom, but there are major problems playing it over Comey’s sudden reopening of the email probe. Clinton created the mess with her incredibly stupid decision to use a private server as secretary of state. Virtually every major issue dogging her, including her reputation for chronic dishonesty, was started or exacerbated by that decision, including the current one.  Even as her top aides remain mystified about why she did it, the result fits the family pattern now that Huma Abedin, her most loyal “body” person, is on the hook. It was, by all accounts, the FBI’s criminal investigation into Abedin’s pervy husband, Anthony Weiner, that led to the new cache of suspect emails found on a computer the couple shared.


Still, Clinton is understandably panicked because the timing of Comey’s announcement could cost her the election. Her demand that he release everything immediately is also understandable, even as she knows it is impossible for him to release potential evidence before it is examined. Her attacks on him play well to her base, and her media handmaidens are amplifying the complaint that he has gone rogue. But, as usual, there is less than meets the eye here, for Clinton could solve the problem herself without Comey doing anything to help.


She could simply order Abedin to hold a press conference and answer any and every question about the newest batch of emails. Let reporters ask Abedin directly: What’s in those emails? Did any contain classified material? Why didn’t you turn that computer over to the FBI during its initial investigation? Did you lie to the FBI about having work-related emails on it? Also, did Weiner have access to classified material? Was the computer ever hacked? the potential upside is huge. If Abedin can answer “no” to all the key questions about classified material and her own conduct, Clinton could credibly declare Comey’s announcement much ado about nothing. She could even hold her own press conference to answer questions and conclude by saying: We have been as transparent as we can be, and we are not afraid of a new investigation because we have nothing to hide.


Now, back to reality. Clinton reality. Hillary won’t do any of that because the potential downside is also huge. My guess is she fears the worst, and may secretly subscribe to the idea that Comey wouldn’t have acted in such a bold and controversial way without some conviction that he had stumbled on a potential bombshell. And Clinton, a former litigator used to playing defense, probably already knows what’s in the emails. Or perhaps she has concluded that, if indeed there are thousands of them, as is being reported, at least some are bound to refuel suspicions that she and her team are guilty of mishandling national secrets.


Then, instead of putting the issue to bed, any substantive discussion, including an Abedin press conference, would actually fan the fire just as voters are going to the polls. Moreover, even if Abedin’s answers would help Clinton, taking her public would be effectively betting the presidency on her performance. Abedin’s always worked behind the scenes, and has little experience in front of a camera, not to mention a forest of them that would assemble for such an extraordinary event.


To top it off, this professional crisis is coming as Abedin’s personal world is in turmoil. Weiner is a certified creep, but he is still the father of their young child, and now faces the possibility of federal prison. Against that backdrop, what if Abedin were to stumble or crack in public? What if she has a lawyer who advises her to say nothing because she might also be a federal target and risks incriminating herself by speaking publicly?…                                                                                               

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]




CLINTON’S STATE DEPARTMENT: A RICO ENTERPRISE                                                                     

Andrew C. McCarthy                                                                                            

National Review, Oct. 29, 2016


Felony mishandling of classified information, including our nation’s most closely guarded intelligence secrets; the misappropriation and destruction of tens of thousands of government records — these are serious criminal offenses. To this point, the Justice Department and FBI have found creative ways not to charge Hillary Clinton for them. Whether this will remain the case has yet to be seen. As we go to press, the stunning news has broken that the FBI’s investigation is being reopened. It appears, based on early reports, that in the course of examining communications devices in a separate “sexting” investigation of disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner, the bureau stumbled on relevant e-mails — no doubt connected to Huma Abedin, Mr. Weiner’s wife and, more significantly, Mrs. Clinton’s closest confidant. According to the New York Times, the FBI has seized at least one electronic device belonging to Ms. Abedin as well. New e-mails, never before reviewed by the FBI, have been recovered…


One thing, however, is already clear. Whatever the relevance of the new e-mails to the probe of Clinton’s classified-information transgressions and attempt to destroy thousands of emails, these offenses may pale in comparison with Hillary Clinton’s most audacious violations of law: Crimes that should still be under investigation; crimes that will, in fitting Watergate parlance, be a cancer on the presidency if she manages to win on November 8.  Mrs. Clinton appears to have converted the office of secretary of state into a racketeering enterprise. This would be a violation of the RICO law — the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act of 1971 (codified in the U.S. penal code at sections 1961 et seq.).


Hillary and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, operated the Clinton Foundation. Ostensibly a charity, the foundation was a de facto fraud scheme to monetize Hillary’s power as secretary of state (among other aspects of the Clintons’ political influence). The scheme involved (a) the exchange of political favors, access, and influence for millions of dollars in donations; (b) the circumvention of campaign-finance laws that prohibit political donations by foreign sources; (c) a vehicle for Mrs. Clinton to shield her State Department e-mail communications from public and congressional scrutiny while she and her husband exploited the fundraising potential of her position; and (d) a means for Clinton insiders to receive private-sector compensation and explore lucrative employment opportunities while drawing taxpayer-funded government salaries.


While the foundation did perform some charitable work, this camouflaged the fact that contributions were substantially diverted to pay lavish salaries and underwrite luxury travel for Clinton insiders. Contributions skyrocketed to $126 million in 2009, the year Mrs. Clinton arrived at Foggy Bottom. Breathtaking sums were “donated” by high-rollers and foreign governments that had crucial business before the State Department. Along with those staggering donations came a spike in speaking opportunities and fees for Bill Clinton. Of course, disproportionate payments and gifts to a spouse are common ways of bribing public officials — which is why, for example, high-ranking government officeholders must reveal their spouses’ income and other asset information on their financial-disclosure forms.


While there are other egregious transactions, the most notorious corruption episode of Secretary Clinton’s tenure involves the State Department’s approval of a deal that surrendered fully one-fifth of the United States’ uranium-mining capacity to Vladimir Putin’s anti-American thugocracy in Russia.


The story, significant background of which predates Mrs. Clinton’s tenure at the State Department, has been recounted in ground-breaking reporting by the Hoover Institution’s Peter Schweizer (in his remarkable book Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich) and the New York Times. In a nutshell, in 2005, under the guise of addressing the incidence of HIV/AIDS in Kazakhstan (where the disease is nearly nonexistent), Bill Clinton helped his Canadian billionaire pal Frank Giustra to convince the ruling despot, Nursultan Nazarbayev (an infamous torturer and human-rights violator), to grant coveted uranium-mining rights to Giustra’s company, Ur-Asia Energy (notwithstanding that it had no background in the highly competitive uranium business). Uranium is a key component of nuclear power, from which the United States derives 20 percent of its total electrical power.


In the months that followed, Giustra gave an astonishing $31.3 million to the Clinton Foundation and pledged $100 million more. With the Kazakh rights secured, Ur-Asia was able to expand its holdings and attract new investors, like Ian Telfer, who also donated $2.35 million to the Clinton Foundation. Ur-Asia merged with Uranium One, a South African company, in a $3.5 billion deal — with Telfer becoming Uranium One’s chairman. The new company proceeded to buy up major uranium assets in the United States. Meanwhile, as tends to happen in dictatorships, Nazarbayev (the Kazakh dictator) turned on the head of his state-controlled uranium agency (Kazatomprom), who was arrested for selling valuable mining rights to foreign entities like Ur-Asia/Uranium One. This was likely done at the urging of Putin, the neighborhood bully whose state-controlled atomic-energy company (Rosatom) was hoping to grab the Kazakh mines — whether by taking them outright or by taking over Uranium One.


The arrest, which happened a few months after Obama took office, sent Uranium One stock into free fall, as investors fretted that the Kazakh mining rights would be lost. Uranium One turned to Secretary Clinton’s State Department for help. As State Department cables disclosed by WikiLeaks show, Uranium One officials wanted more than a U.S. statement to the media; they pressed for written confirmation that their mining licenses were valid. Secretary Clinton’s State Department leapt into action: An energy officer from the U.S. embassy immediately held meetings with the Kazakh regime. A few days later, it was announced that Russia’s Rosatom had purchased 17 percent of Uranium One. Problem solved.


Except it became a bigger problem when the Russian company sought to acquire a controlling interest in Uranium One. That would mean a takeover not only of the Kazakh mines but of the U.S. uranium assets as well. Such a foreign grab requires approval by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, a powerful government tribunal that the secretary of state sits on and heavily influences. Though she had historically postured as a hawk against foreign acquisitions of American assets with critical national-security implications, Secretary Clinton approved the Russian takeover of Uranium One. During and right after the big-bucks Russian acquisition, Telfer contributed $1.35 million to the Clinton Foundation. Other people with ties to Uranium One appear to have ponied up as much as $5.6 million in donations.

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]





HOW DONALD TRUMP IS STILL A THING                                                                   

Rex Murphy                                                                                                                   

National Post, Oct. 21, 2016


Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump may have finally received the campaign miracle he needs: Madonna recently promised that, “If you vote for Hillary Clinton, I will give you a b—j–.” If a spur were needed to drive the millions still in the “undecided” camp to flee in dread to Trump, this is it. Should it come down to a forced choice between voting for a rude scatterbrain, or being targeted for a home service visit from the world’s only Kabbalist sex toy, what’s to choose?


I’d prefer to use a less graphic example, but it does show that Trump, despite his own best efforts, is still in the running. After all, the washed-up pop star wouldn’t be offering her services if Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was a shoo-in. This prompts the question: how does the most disorganized, febrile, roller-coaster campaign in modern history still have wheels? If Trump is really a foolish, misogynistic, egotistic groper, why is the election still a contest? Well, loathe him as you may, he still strikes a chord with a great swath of the American electorate.


If Trump had a brain and could properly organize his thoughts, he would have already left Clinton in the dust. But even with the disorganized substitute for a brain that he does have, he is exploding so many of the fixed patterns of modern American politics, that — in spite of all his outrageous performances — people are still with him. His campaign may be a battered and beat-up embarrassment, but, for many people, at least it’s heading in a different direction from the weary, cynical road the political class has always travelled upon. Trump has wrecked the neat and subtle pact between the Republican and Democratic establishments. He broke the entire Republican field on the troublelous matter of immigration. He has blistered the mummified consensus on so many issues, and opened the windows on many others deemed too “uncomfortable” for public discussion, that, despite his recklessness, he finds support from multitudes of people who are fed up with the political class.


He’s broken free from the self-imposed shackles of political correctness, which has smothered so many conversations on important issues. And he has violated with almost gleeful savagery the previously sacred zone of not asking questions about the Clintons — from Bill’s transgressions, to Hillary’s ruthless attacks on her husband’s mistresses, to her “extremely careless” handling of national security matters, from sending confidential emails using a private server to the many still-unanswered questions about Benghazi. Then there’s the immense accumulation of wealth — more than $2 billion — by the Clinton Foundation, which was acquired from some of the most questionable regimes in the world, by the most questionable of methods.


Meanwhile, the left-wing media has tried its darnedest to ignore Clinton’s many sins, to the point of nullifying its real responsibilities. As Glen Reynolds of Instapundit has said, many of the high priests of the American media are “Democratic operatives with bylines.” Most damningly, Trump thrust into public view the tawdry tale of how the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. State Department and perhaps even the White House gave immunity to all Clinton’s aides, and made every effort to obstruct Congressional inquiries into the email scandal. In other words, he has been exposing how the power of the Clinton machine has infected the heart of the American system of government and how justice bends before power.


So how is it is the Trump campaign still has wheels? How can such a fractured personality, a blundering reality-show celebrity, wander about the American political landscape with even a slight chance of winning? It isn’t because of the candidate. It is despite the candidate. Trump, as such, inspires no one. But by instinct or just random chance, he highlights much of what is wrong with American politics. He says what has long been waiting to be spoken, calling out the political process itself, the players and the media.


Trump is rough, rude and unready to be president, by any normal or even strained standard. That he is still in contention is a barometer of how greatly American politics needs to be taken out of the hands of the people who have owned it for a generation. That’s the only reason his campaign matters. With savage irony, it’s likely even he doesn’t know that his own campaign is the strongest proof of how broken that system is.




DONALD TRUMP GARNERS UNLIKELY MUSLIM CHEERLEADERS                                                                   

Yaroslav Trofimov                                                                                                          

Wall Street Journal, Oct. 20, 2016


With his statements targeting Muslims, it might seem that Donald Trump would have few cheerleaders in the Middle East. And yet, as the U.S. presidential election approaches, an unusual collection of America’s Muslim friends and foes is rooting for the Republican candidate. Broadly, they can be grouped in two camps. The first are those long opposed to American presence in the region and encouraged by Mr. Trump’s isolationist thinking. They figure discrimination against Muslims in America is an acceptable price for ending America’s decadeslong involvement in the Middle East. A Trump victory, they hope, would greatly diminish America’s global standing.


Then there are some traditional U.S. allies in the region who have grown alienated under President Barack Obama and who fear Hillary Clinton would renew U.S. efforts to promote democracy in the region. In particular, these politicians in countries such as Egypt and Turkey find solace in Mr. Trump’s reluctance to criticize human-rights violations abroad. “Those regimes have a lot of concerns about a relaunch of the democratic project. For them, supporting Trump is a pragmatic choice,” said Jordanian commentator Amer al-Sabaileh, head of the independent MEMPSI think tank in Amman. “Their major priority is not to lose power, and they don’t care about how he views Muslims.”


Iran’s stance in the U.S. presidential race is particularly interesting. On the surface, Mr. Trump appears a hawk on Iran. He has criticized the nuclear deal struck by Mr. Obama, a plank of the Trump campaign. Yet, unlike Mrs. Clinton, he also appeared to embrace the core Iranian narrative of the current turmoil in the Middle East. He portrayed Tehran, the Syrian regime of President  Bashar al-Assad and Russia as forces combating terrorism. “Assad is killing ISIS, Russia is killing ISIS and Iran is killing ISIS,” Mr. Trump said at the second presidential debate. While the Obama administration points out that Iran, Russia and the Syrian regime focus their firepower on moderate rebels who oppose Islamic State, Mr. Trump, at the third debate on Wednesday, asserted that these rebels may be worse than Mr. Assad.


He also questioned American defense commitments to Iran’s main regional rival, Saudi Arabia, and alleged that Saudi authorities, like Islamic State, “push gays off buildings.” While gay sex is illegal in Saudi Arabia and many other Muslim nations, no one in the kingdom has been executed for it in recent times. “There are noises of joy in Iran when Trump turns around and says that Iran is on the right side in Syria,” said Alex Vatanka, Iran expert at the Middle East Institute in Washington. Yet, he added, the real reason Iranian leaders are rooting for him goes deeper: They believe they could get away with a lot more under a President Trump. “The hard-liners in Tehran view the Trump presidency as one where any kind of coalition against Iran in the way Iranians experienced it in the past 10 years would be so much harder for Washington to achieve,” Mr. Vatanka said. “The world is not going to listen to him and that becomes, in itself, an opportunity for Iran on the international stage.”


Even Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Lebanon’s Iran-backed Shiite Hezbollah militia, approvingly quoted Mr. Trump in a recent speech, citing the Republican candidate to support his longtime allegation that the Obama administration and Mrs. Clinton had created the Sunni extremist Islamic State. In Turkey, President  Recep Tayyip Erdogan initially reacted with anger when Mr. Trump proposed to bar Muslims from entering the U.S.—a policy stance since modified as “extreme vetting.” In June, the Turkish leader even called for renaming the Trump Towers in Istanbul. Mr. Erdogan’s tone, however, changed dramatically after the failed July coup against him. Unlike other Western leaders and the Obama administration, Mr. Trump refused to criticize the wave of detentions and dismissals in Turkey that followed the failed coup and expressed his admiration for the Turkish leader…                                                                                                               

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]




On Topic Links


Can Hillary Clinton Survive the Return of Carlos Danger?: Amy Chozick and Mark Landler, New York Times, Oct. 31, 2016—In the summer of 2013, Hillary Clinton had just left the State Department and returned to New York. She planned a quiet year, basking in sky-high approval ratings and enjoying a respite from the media spotlight as she laid the groundwork for a second presidential run. Then Carlos Danger happened.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in Dead Heat as Email Scandal Returns Near End of Presidential Campaign: Nick Allen and David Lawler, Telegraph, Oct. 30, 2016 —The U.S. presidential race has narrowed to a statistical dead heat in the wake of Hillary Clinton’s latest email scandal, a new poll showed Sunday. Donald Trump surged to within one percentage point of Clinton in the ABC News/Washington Post survey, having been 12 points behind in the same poll a week ago.

What's a Conservative to Do? Vote for Pence: Daniel Pipes, Philadelphia Inquirer, Oct. 18, 2016 —The disgraceful presidential candidates coughed up by America's two great political parties, each one repulsive in his or her distinctive way, leaves many conservatives in a dilemma. We cannot vote for either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Nor, try as we might, do we warm to Gary Johnson's Libertarian Party.

If You Love America and Israel, Vote Against the System: Naomi Ragen, Arutz Sheva, Oct. 31, 2016—I can certainly see why women, including Jewish women, would prefer a seemingly well-spoken, mature senior stateswoman, to a brash, loud-mouthed political neophyte who has made so many off-handed offensive locker-room comments about women. This would be your instinct. How lovely, how easy, it would be then, to vote in a woman running against a man like that. And how disastrously wrong.








The Press Buries Hillary Clinton’s Sins: Kimberley A. Strassel, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 16, 2016 — If average voters turned on the TV for five minutes this week, chances are they know that Donald Trump made lewd remarks a decade ago and now stands accused of groping women.

The New York Times Abandoned its Integrity Just to Bash Donald Trump: Michael Goodwin, New York Post, Oct. 11, 2016 — There is apparently nothing wrong with America that can’t be blamed on Donald Trump.

The New York Times’ Obsession With Settlements Means It Misses Other News: Ira Stoll, Algemeiner, Oct. 6, 2016  — One of the ways the New York Times shows its bias against Israel is with decisions on the placement of stories.

Is Obama Preparing a Parting Shot at Israel?: Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post, Oct. 27, 2016— Last week, the U.N.’s premier cultural agency, UNESCO, approved a resolution viciously condemning Israel (referred to as “the Occupying Power”) for various alleged trespasses and violations of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.


On Topic Links


Why Readers See The Times as Liberal: Liz Spayd, New York Times, July 23, 2016

The Ongoing NYT Propaganda Campaign: Prof. Phyllis Chesler, Arutz Sheva, Sept. 22, 2016

The Real Reason Reporters Don’t Give to Pols: It Would Give Away Their Agenda: Jonah Goldberg, New York Post, October 21, 2016

Checkmating Obama: Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 27, 2016





Kimberley A. Strassel                                 

Wall Street Journal, Oct. 16, 2016   


If average voters turned on the TV for five minutes this week, chances are they know that Donald Trump made lewd remarks a decade ago and now stands accused of groping women. But even if average voters had the TV on 24/7, they still probably haven’t heard the news about Hillary Clinton: That the nation now has proof of pretty much everything she has been accused of.


It comes from hacked emails dumped by WikiLeaks, documents released under the Freedom of Information Act, and accounts from FBI insiders. The media has almost uniformly ignored the flurry of bombshells, preferring to devote its front pages to the Trump story. So let’s review what amounts to a devastating case against a Clinton presidency.


Start with a June 2015 email to Clinton staffers from Erika Rottenberg, the former general counsel of LinkedIn. Ms. Rottenberg wrote that none of the attorneys in her circle of friends “can understand how it was viewed as ok/secure/appropriate to use a private server for secure documents AND why further Hillary took it upon herself to review them and delete documents.” She added: “It smacks of acting above the law and it smacks of the type of thing I’ve either gotten discovery sanctions for, fired people for, etc.”…


A few months later, in a September 2015 email, a Clinton confidante fretted that Mrs. Clinton was too bullheaded to acknowledge she’d done wrong. “Everyone wants her to apologize,” wrote Neera Tanden, president of the liberal Center for American Progress. “And she should. Apologies are like her Achilles’ heel.” Clinton staffers debated how to evade a congressional subpoena of Mrs. Clinton’s emails—three weeks before a technician deleted them. The campaign later employed a focus group to see if it could fool Americans into thinking the email scandal was part of the Benghazi investigation (they are separate) and lay it all off as a Republican plot. A senior FBI official involved with the Clinton investigation told Fox News this week that the “vast majority” of career agents and prosecutors working the case “felt she should be prosecuted” and that giving her a pass was “a top-down decision.”


The Obama administration—the federal government, supported by tax dollars—was working as an extension of the Clinton campaign. The State Department coordinated with her staff in responding to the email scandal, and the Justice Department kept her team informed about developments in the court case. Worse, Mrs. Clinton’s State Department, as documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show, took special care of donors to the Clinton Foundation. In a series of 2010 emails, a senior aide to Mrs. Clinton asked a foundation official to let her know which groups offering assistance with the Haitian earthquake relief were “FOB” (Friends of Bill) or “WJC VIPs” (William Jefferson Clinton VIPs). Those who made the cut appear to have been teed up for contracts. Those who weren’t? Routed to a standard government website.


The leaks show that the foundation was indeed the nexus of influence and money. The head of the Clinton Health Access Initiative, Ira Magaziner, suggested in a 2011 email that Bill Clinton call Sheikh Mohammed of Saudi Arabia to thank him for offering the use of a plane. In response, a top Clinton Foundation official wrote: “Unless Sheikh Mo has sent us a $6 million check, this sounds crazy to do.”


The entire progressive apparatus—the Clinton campaign and boosters at the Center for American Progress—appears to view voters as stupid and tiresome, segregated into groups that must either be cajoled into support or demeaned into silence. We read that Republicans are attracted to Catholicism’s “severely backwards gender relations” and only join the faith to “sound sophisticated”; that Democratic leaders such as Bill Richardson are “needy Latinos”; that Bernie Sanders supporters are “self-righteous”; that the only people who watch Miss America “are from the confederacy”; and that New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is “a terrorist.”


The leaks also show that the press is in Mrs. Clinton’s pocket. Donna Brazile, a former Clinton staffer and a TV pundit, sent the exact wording of a coming CNN town hall question to the campaign in advance of the event. Other media allowed the Clinton camp to veto which quotes they used from interviews, worked to maximize her press events and offered campaign advice.

Mrs. Clinton has been exposed to have no core, to be someone who constantly changes her position to maximize political gain. Leaked speeches prove that she has two positions (public and private) on banks; two positions on the wealthy; two positions on borders; two positions on energy. Her team had endless discussions about what positions she should adopt to appease “the Red Army”—i.e. “the base of the Democratic Party.” Voters might not know any of this, because while both presidential candidates have plenty to answer for, the press has focused solely on taking out Mr. Trump. And the press is doing a diligent job of it.        





THE NEW YORK TIMES ABANDONED ITS                                                            

INTEGRITY JUST TO BASH DONALD TRUMP                                                                        

Michael Goodwin                                                                                                  

New York Post, Oct. 11, 2016


There is apparently nothing wrong with America that can’t be blamed on Donald Trump. He is single-handedly destroying the Republican Party, trashing presidential debates and spoiling the reputation of locker-room talk. And — breaking news alert! — Trump is even changing journalism. His habit of saying things that nobody ever said before is forcing reporters to unleash their partisan views instead of just giving the facts.


Some of these charges may be true, but the one about Trump changing journalism is demonstrably false. All the more so because it comes from the editor of the New York Times, who happens to be the actual guilty party. Dean Baquet, the Gray Lady’s boss for two years, recently claimed that Trump’s campaign had forced the paper into a new way of covering politics. “I think that he’s challenged our language,” Baquet told an interviewer. “He will have changed journalism, he really will have.”


The claim is presented as one of those chin-stroking insights about a new paradigm that liberals spot around every corner. In fact, it is just another example of the Times getting it all wrong. Trump didn’t change the Times — Baquet did. He’s the one who authorized reporters to abandon the paper’s standards when covering Trump and express their personal political opinions. Or, as Baquet said in the interview with Nieman Lab’s Ken Doctor, the struggle for fairness is over. “I think that Trump has ended that struggle,” Baquet boasted. “I think we now say stuff. We fact-check him. We write it more powerfully that it’s false.”


Fact-checking, of course, is often in the eye of the beholder, and quickly morphs into opinion when there is no restraint or neutral standard. The result is the paper’s relentless, daily assault on Trump, to the advantage of Hillary Clinton. Opinions, all uniformly anti-Trump, now ooze from the paper’s every pore, with headlines on front-page “news” articles indistinguishable from daily denunciations on the editorial and op-ed pages. This is not a mere continuation of the old liberal bias that infected the Times, the Washington Post and the broadcast networks for years. This is a malignant strain of conformity that strips away any pretense of fairness in favor of strident partisanship.


The signal that the Times abandoned its traditional church-state separation of news and opinion came in an article by the paper’s media reporter two months ago. In his August piece, Jim Rutenberg declared that most reporters saw Trump “as an abnormal and potentially dangerous candidate,” and concluded they had a duty to be “true to the facts, in a way that will stand up to history’s judgment.” Baquet, in the interview, cited the Rutenberg piece, saying it “nailed” his thinking. He also said he started “down this track” years ago, during the dispute over weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and made it clear he believed then-President George W. Bush and then-Secretary of State Colin Powell lied to take America to war. The Trump treatment, he said, was a logical extension: “I think he gave us courage, if you will. I think he made us — forced us, because he does it so often, to get comfortable with saying something is false.” Baquet offered another example that got him to this point. He accused Republicans of lying in their “swift-boat” charges against Democratic nominee John Kerry in the 2004 campaign.


It is not incidental that his examples all involve allegedly dishonest Republicans, and none involves dishonest Democrats. Nothing better explains why the Times fails to give Clinton the same scrutiny it gives Trump. More than 60 percent of voters regard her as fundamentally dishonest, but Baquet sees only Republicans as liars. Simply put, his political bias precludes fair journalism. And once standards are gone, they are gone forever, meaning anyone wanting to work at the Times will face a political litmus test. Baquet’s defense of slanted coverage is reflected in the trove of ­emails WikiLeaks released from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.


Times reporters and columnists repeatedly show up in partisan ways. Washington correspondent John Harwood sends Podesta his private approval of Hillary Clinton appearances, as if he’s on the team. Columnist Nicholas Kristof, in advance of an interview with Bill Clinton, ­emails his questions, which Podesta’s team passes around to staffers to shape Clinton’s answers.


A Washington reporter gives Hillary Clinton veto power over quotations he can use from an interview. Another reporter is praised as someone who has “never disappointed” in delivering stories the campaign wants “teed up” for public consumption. As the editor, Baquet should be outraged that his staff secretly compromised the paper’s integrity. But as the editor who eliminated the Times’ standards, he’s getting the biased paper he wanted.                                                        




THE NEW YORK TIMES’ OBSESSION WITH                                                                   

SETTLEMENTS MEANS IT MISSES OTHER NEWS                                                                       

Ira Stoll                                                                                                                  

Algemeiner, Oct. 6, 2016


One of the ways the New York Times shows its bias against Israel is with decisions on the placement of stories. The latest example comes with the newspaper’s decision to print a news article, above the fold on page one, about a flap between the Obama administration and the Israeli government over a West Bank settlement.


I’d argue that this doesn’t really amount to “news” much at all. American governments have been critical of West Bank settlements for decades. Israeli governments, meanwhile, have for decades supported allowing Israeli Jews to live in the West Bank. Jews have a long historical and religious connection there. Jewish settlements provide a security buffer in the Jordan valley. They provide affordable housing and a security buffer around the Israeli capital at Jerusalem. And the existing Jewish population in the settlements needs room to grow.


Yet the Times editors place the “United States Criticizes Israel Over West Bank Settlement Plan” headline at the top of page one, judging it to be bigger news than a bunch of other stories in the day’s paper that did not make it onto the front page at all — including the approach of Hurricane Matthew, the end of cash tolls at New York City bridges and tunnels, the selection of a new secretary-general of the United Nations and the announcement of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.


The Times is so obsessed with the settlement issue that it follows up the front-page story with another long one online — it will probably make the print newspaper sometime in the next few days — headlined, “West Bank Settlers Prepare for Clash, With Israeli Government.” That article is about the prospect that the Israeli government will force the evacuation of 40 families from Amona. Unfortunately for Times readers who are counting on the newspaper to deliver an accurate portrayal of the world, the newspaper’s focus on the settlement issue comes at the expense of excellence when it comes to other issues that are probably more significant.


For example, the White House made a stunning insult to Israel and to world Jewry by issuing a “corrected” press release deleting the word “Israel” from its description of the location of the Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem, the site of President Obama’s remarks at the funeral of Shimon Peres. The Times handled this not with a full-length news article, much less a front-page, above-the-fold one, but instead with a single paragraph all the way at the end of an article about the funeral. The fact that the Obama White House can’t even acknowledge that Shimon Peres was buried in Israel says so much. As Elliott Abrams wrote on his blog at the Council on Foreign Relations web site, the site “lies in Western Jerusalem, near Yad Vashem and Jerusalem Forest…only those who seek to destroy Israel think this place will ever be anything but a part of the Jewish State.”


As for the Washington Free Beacon’s scoop that there are three written agreements between the US and Iran’s intelligence ministry that are being kept secret from the public in a secure reading room on Capitol Hill — well, nothing about that in the Times, either. But in terms of the prospects for peace in the Middle East and for the security of Israel and America, that’s a much bigger and more important deal than any nonsense the Times is peddling about West Bank settlements.




IS OBAMA PREPARING A PARTING SHOT AT ISRAEL?                                                                        

Charles Krauthammer                                                                               

Washington Post, Oct. 27, 2016


Last week, the U.N.’s premier cultural agency, UNESCO, approved a resolution viciously condemning Israel (referred to as “the Occupying Power”) for various alleged trespasses and violations of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Except that the resolution never uses that term for Judaism’s holiest shrine. It refers to and treats it as an exclusively Muslim site, a deliberate attempt to eradicate its connection — let alone its centrality — to the Jewish people and Jewish history.


This Orwellian absurdity, part of a larger effort to deny the Jewish connection to their ancestral homeland, is an insult not just to Judaism but to Christianity. It makes a mockery of the Gospels, which chronicle the story of a Galilean Jew whose life and ministry unfolded throughout the Holy Land, most especially in Jerusalem and the Temple. If this is nothing but a Muslim site, what happens to the very foundation of Christianity, which occurred 600 years before Islam even came into being?


This UNESCO resolution is merely the surreal extreme of the worldwide campaign to delegitimize Israel. It features the BDS movement (Boycott, Divest and Sanction), now growing on Western university campuses and in some mainline Protestant churches. And it extends even into some precincts of the Democratic Party.


Bernie Sanders tried to introduce into the Democratic Party platform a plank more unfavorable to Israel. He failed, but when a couple of Hillary Clinton campaign consultants questioned (in emails revealed by WikiLeaks) why she should be mentioning Israel in her speeches, campaign manager Robby Mook concurred, “We shouldn’t have Israel at public events. Especially dem activists.” For whom the very mention of Israel is toxic.


And what to make of the White House’s correction to a news release about last month’s funeral of Shimon Peres? The original release identified the location as “Mount Herzl, Jerusalem, Israel.” The correction crossed out the country identifier — “Israel.” Well, where else is Jerusalem? Sri Lanka? Moreover, Mount Herzl isn’t even in disputed East Jerusalem. It’s in West Jerusalem, within the boundaries of pre-1967 Israel. If that’s not Israel, what is?


But such cowardly gestures are mere pinpricks compared to the damage Israel faces in the final days of the Obama presidency. As John Hannah of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies recently wrote (in Foreign Policy), there have been indications for months that President Obama might go to the U.N. and unveil his own final status parameters of a two-state solution. These would then be enshrined in a new Security Council resolution that could officially recognize a Palestinian state on the territory Israel came into possession of during the 1967 Six-Day War. There is a reason such a move has been resisted by eight previous U.S. administrations: It overthrows the central premise of Middle East peacemaking — land for peace. Under which the Palestinians get their state after negotiations in which the parties agree on recognized boundaries, exchange mutual recognition and declare a permanent end to the conflict.


Land for peace would be replaced by land for nothing. Endorsing in advance a Palestinian state and what would essentially be a full Israeli withdrawal removes the Palestinian incentive to negotiate and strips Israel of territorial bargaining chips of the kind it used, for example, to achieve peace with Egypt. The result would be not just perpetual war but incalculable damage to Israel. And irreversible, too, because the resolution would be protected from alteration by the Russian and/or Chinese veto.


As for the damage, consider but one example: the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem, destroyed and ethnically cleansed of Jews by its Arab conquerors in the war of 1948-1949. It was rebuilt by Israel after 1967. It would now be open to the absurd judicial charge that the Jewish state’s possession of the Jewish Quarter constitutes a criminal occupation of another country. Israel would be hauled endlessly into courts (both national and international) to face sanctions, boycotts (now under color of law) and arrest of its leaders. All this for violating a U.N. mandate to which no Israeli government, left or right, could possibly accede.


Before the election, Obama dare not attempt this final legacy item, to go along with the Iran deal and the Castro conciliation, for fear of damaging Clinton. His last opportunity comes after Election Day. The one person who might deter him, points out Hannah, is Clinton herself, by committing Obama to do nothing before he leaves office that would tie her hands should she become president.


Clinton’s supporters who care about Israel and about peace need to urge her to do that now. It will soon be too late. Soon Obama will be free to deliver a devastating parting shot to Israel and to the prime minister he detests.


CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!



On Topic Links


Why Readers See The Times as Liberal: Liz Spayd, New York Times, July 23, 2016—I HAVE been here less than a month, but already I’ve discovered something that surely must be bad for business if your business is running The New York Times.

The Ongoing NYT Propaganda Campaign: Prof. Phyllis Chesler, Arutz Sheva, Sept. 22, 2016—I’m sure that reading the New York Times is shortening my life—and yet I continue to do so. I no longer monitor it as I once did.

The Real Reason Reporters Don’t Give to Pols: It Would Give Away Their Agenda: Jonah Goldberg, New York Post, October 21, 2016 —‘Let me say for the billionth time: Reporters don’t root for a side. Period.” This declarative tweet came from The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza on Oct. 16. The next day, Cillizza posted on Twitter, “Well, this is super depressing. NO idea why any journalist would donate $ to politicians.

Checkmating Obama: Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 27, 2016—In one of the immortal lines of Godfather 2, mafia boss Michael Corleone discusses the fate of his brother, who betrayed him, with his enforcer. “I don’t want anything to happen to him while my mother is alive,” Corleone said.







UNESCO Votes: No Connection Between Temple Mount and Judaism: Jerusalem Post, Oct. 13, 2016 — In a 24-6 vote, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization on Thursday gave preliminary approval to a resolution that denies Jewish ties to its most holy religious sites: the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.

Is the Tide Turning for Israel?: Jonathan S. Tobin, Commentary, Oct. 13, 2016 — The headline out of Geneva is as familiar as it is depressing and disgraceful.

Same Old, Same Old . . .: Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, Oct. 14, 2016— Every time the Clinton campaign hits a rough patch…

The Paradox of Sukkot: Finding Joy in Uncertainty: Nathan Lopes Cardozo, Algemeiner, Oct. 14, 2016 — When contemplating the festival of Sukkot, we are confronted with a remarkable paradox.


On Topic Links


Sukkot For Our Time: Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Jewish Press, Oct. 14, 2016

Palestinians Suffer Defeat at UNESCO, Losing France, EU, India, Africa: Hillel Neuer, UN Watch, Oct. 14, 2016

After Elections, Will Obama Betray Israel at UN?: Breaking Israel News, Oct. 14, 2016

At the U.N., Only Israel Is an ‘Occupying Power’: Eugene Kontorovich & Penny Grunseid, Wall Street Journal, Sept. 13, 2016




Jerusalem Post, Oct. 13, 2016


In a 24-6 vote, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization on Thursday gave preliminary approval to a resolution that denies Jewish ties to its most holy religious sites: the Temple Mount and the Western Wall. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the vote stating: “The theater of the absurd continues at the UN.” “Today UNESCO adopted its second decision this year denying the Jewish people’s connection to the Temple Mount, our holiest site for more than 3,000 years,” he said. “What’s next? A UNESCO decision denying the connection between peanut butter and jelly? Batman and Robin? Rock ‘n’ roll?”


Twenty-six nations abstained from the vote and two were absent. The six countries that voted in support of Israel were the United States, Great Britain, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Germany and Estonia. A senior US administration official chastised the vote taken by UNESCO’s 58-member Executive Board and told The Jerusalem Post that the US “will not hesitate to use our vote at the current board meeting to oppose these resolutions.”


The Palestinian Authority, however, welcomed the results. The official spokesman of the Palestinian Presidency Nabil Abu Rudeinah said on Thursday evening that the continued international decisions against the occupation and its policy including that of UNESCO regarding Jerusalem and the al-Aksa Mosque form a clear message from the international community that it does not agree with the policies that protect the occupation and contribute to the creation of chaos and instability.


In 2015, the Palestinians, who have been recognized by UNESCO as a member state since 2011, began a drive to change the language with which that international body refers to the Temple Mount area, known to Muslims the Al-Haram Al Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary). Initially they tried and failed to have it declared a solely Muslim site. Since then, they have submitted resolutions on Jerusalem at every possible UNESCO meeting, that uses only the Muslims terms for the Temple Mount area and its adjacent Western Wall.


UNESCO’s Executive Board passed such a resolution last April and its 21-member World Heritage Committee had been poised to do so again in July in Istanbul. That vote was delayed until October 24-26, when the failed Turkish coup, cut the meeting short. Since then a sentence has been inserted into the text that mentions that Jerusalem and its Old City walls are holy to all three religions; Judaism, Islam and Christianity. The Western Wall is mentioned twice in quotes. Otherwise it was referenced in the text by its Muslim name of the Buraq Plaza.


Thursday’s vote was taken by UNESCO’s 58-member Program and External Relations Commission in advance of its ratification next Monday or Tuesday by the UNESCO Executive Board, which is made up of the same member states. UNESCO outgoing director-general Irina Bokova has spoken against such resolutions, but ultimately the matter lies in the hands of the member states.


In the aftermath of Thursday’s UNESCO vote, both Israel’s Ambassador to UNESCO Carmel Shama-Hacohen and outgoing Foreign Ministry director- general Dore Gold focused on the changes in the voting roster since the executive board last approved such a resolution in Paris in April. Shama-Hacohen and the Foreign Ministry had worked hard in advance of the vote to lobby member states to stand with Israel. Gold, who resigned his position on Thursday effective immediately, said that the UNESCO vote was a “going away present.”


Ten countries which voted for the resolution the last time it came before UNESCO for a vote, abstained this time around, Gold said. What that means, he said, is that more countries voted for Israel or abstained, than voted against Israel. The 10 countries which switched their vote from last time were France, Sweden, Slovenia, Spain, Argentina, India, Sri Lanka, Togo, Guinea and Ghana. Gold signed documents over the summer with Guinean officials formally reestablishing diplomatic ties. He also noted the significance of India and Argentina switching their votes and not voting against Israel, as they have traditionally done.

“What this indicates is that things are shifting for Israel,” Gold said. “You are not going to get a total re-definition about how states are going to vote in the UN system in a matter of a few months, but a new trend is clear, which I hope Israel can build upon in the months and years ahead.” Gold noted that none of the European countries voted for the resolution.


Asked how getting four European countries to abstain can be considered a victory, inasmuch as the resolution detaches any Jewish connection from Jerusalem, Gold said the drafters of the resolution included a sentence saying that the city is important to all three monotheistic faiths. Those countries that abstained – rather than vote against it – could point to that wording as not erasing completely Jewish ties to the capital. “We appreciate the shift of 10 countries in the direction of abstaining,” he said. Gold added that this is not a binding UNESCO resolution, and that UNESCO director-general Irina Bokova said that since there was no consensus around the resolution, she will not implement it.


The PA’s Foreign Ministry said, “We regret that few countries succumbed to the PR bullying orchestrated by Israel, which shifted the focus from Israel's illegal and colonial actions in occupied East Jerusalem to issues irrelevant to the content and objectives of the resolutions, which aims to put an end to Israel's dangerous and illegal actions against holy sites in Jerusalem and Palestinian rights, including the right to worship. “Palestine will continue to defend the rights of our people through all available legal and diplomatic avenues, including UN organizations. Our peaceful agenda will not be derailed by propaganda, nor will our tolerance and adherence to international law be altered by fallacies and cynical spin,” the PA Foreign Ministry said.

Netanyahu suggested that the Bible aside, UNESCO members should visit the Arch of Titus in Rome. “On it one can see what the Romans brought back to Rome after they destroyed and looted the Second Temple on the Temple Mount 2,000 years ago.


There, engraved on the Arch of Titus, is the seven-branched menorah that is the symbol of the Jewish People, and I remind you, is also the symbol of the Jewish state today,” he said. “Soon, UNESCO will say that the Emperor Titus engaged in Zionist propaganda,” Netanyahu said. “To say that Israel has no connection to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall is like saying that China has no connection to the Great Wall of China or that Egypt has no connection to the pyramids. By this absurd decision, UNESCO has lost what little legitimacy it had left,” Netanyahu added…


The votes broke out in this way. Those who supported the motion included Algeria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Chad, China, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan and Vietnam.


Nations that abstained from the vote were: Albania, Argentina, Cameroon, Cote de’Ivoire, El Salvador, Spain, France, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Haiti, India, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Nepal, Uganda, Paraguay, South Korea, St. Kits and Nevis, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Togo, Trinidad and Ukraine.


Absent countries included Serbia and Turkmenistan; Those who opposed the resolution were: the US, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Germany and Estonia voted against the motion.





IS THE TIDE TURNING FOR ISRAEL?                                                                                             

Jonathan S. Tobin                                                                                                        

Commentary, Oct. 13, 2016


The headline out of Geneva is as familiar as it is depressing and disgraceful. UNESCO—the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization—voted again today to claim that Judaism and the Jewish people have no ties to Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and the Western Wall. The vote, just the latest example of the UN’s anti-Semitic bias is a brazen attempt to deny history aimed at promoting the delegitimization of Israel. But the Palestinians and their supporters who sponsored this pathetic show shouldn’t be celebrating. The vote at the UN agency went against Israel but, for the first time, more nations abstained than supported the vicious assault on truth. While the mere fact that UNESCO is being used in this fashion illustrates its moral bankruptcy, the decline in support for the Palestinians’ big lies shows that their campaign against the Jewish state is actually losing ground.


The vote at the UNESCO council was lopsided, with 24 nations supporting the resolution denying Jewish ties to the holiest sites in Judaism and supporting efforts to force Jews out of their capital and only six (the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Lithuania, and Estonia) opposed. But this time, a total of 26 countries abstained. Among the abstainers were France, Sweden, Slovenia, India, Argentina, and Togo, which had all previously announced their support for the smear. In all, ten nations that had voted for a similar resolution in the past abstained this time. Not a single European nation backed the Palestinians on this, the key symbolic plank in their effort to isolate the Jewish state and deny it legitimacy.


The shift to a majority opposing or abstaining on the Palestinian’s Jerusalem resolution reflects the growing success of Israeli diplomacy throughout the world. Efforts to isolate Israel in the Third World are finding increasing resistance in both Africa and Asia as many nations are realizing that supporting the Palestinians’ outrageous claims serves no purpose other than to make peace even less likely. Others are seeking closer ties to Israel—both openly and sometimes covertly—because they appreciate what the Jewish state has to offer in terms of security cooperation at a time when the threat from Islamist terror looms larger around the globe. They are also reading the signals from some of the most vicious enemies of Israel, such as Saudi Arabia, which have recently demonstrated that they fear Iran and look to the Jewish state as a potential ally. Though all continue to pay lip service to the Palestinian cause, backing their obsessive and pointless war against Israel does no one much good–least of all the Palestinian people, who continue to labor under the misrule of both Fatah in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza.


But while Prime Minister Netanyahu and Israel’s diplomats should be forgiven for expressing some satisfaction at the lower than expected vote total for this act of historical denial, the resolution’s passage is still a matter of deep concern. The manipulation of UNESCO by the Israel-haters is a warning to the world that the Palestinian goal isn’t really a fair-minded two-state resolution, which peace process advocates say is the only possible way to resolve the conflict. The Palestinian Authority’s diplomatic offensive on Jerusalem is a companion piece to their effort to gin up public opinion against Israel by promoting canards about Israel’s supposed plans to harm the Temple Mount mosques. That incitement has fueled the latest round of terrorist murders called the “stabbing intifada.” The point of this hate isn’t to build support for the independent Palestinian state they claim to want but rather to make clear their intent to deny Jewish rights and history and ultimately force Jews out of Jerusalem, if not the rest of the country.


The Palestinians may content themselves with resolutions that encourage them to believe they may achieve their goal of ridding Jerusalem of its Jewish majority. But this effort demonstrates that Palestinian opposition to coexistence and anti-Semitic incitement is a far bigger obstacle to peace than anything Israel has done. As the lower vote total at UNESCO shows, their problem is not just that Israel refuses to disappear. It is that much of the rest of the world is also beginning to understand their true goal.                     





SAME OLD, SAME OLD . . .                                                                                                         

Victor Davis Hanson                                                                                            

National Review, Oct. 14, 2016


Every time the Clinton campaign hits a rough patch — the Clinton Foundation disclosures, the State Department e-mail scandals, Hillary’s health crisis, the “deplorables” smear, the WikiLeaks releases — it lets off an IED, from the staged theatrics of the Khans and the Venezuela beauty queen to the Access Hollywood tape and the groper accusations.

Clinton, Inc. assumes, so far consistently correctly, that the toady media will obsess with Trump’s frothing and screaming about being hit. That defense will eat up about three to four days of the campaign calendar, and likely cost him a three- to four-point dip in the polls. After the IED goes off, a wounded Trump recalibrates and inches up more slowly than after the last explosion — only to step on another land mine and blow himself up all over again.


Of course, Trump should not take the bait, and should instead offer, if the charges are indeed false, a two-minute denial followed by a ten-second simple “I am not a perfect person and am sorry for some things in my past,” and then focus on Hillary’s dismal public record while publishing a new version of something like a Contract with America — ten or so initiatives he would promise to get into law during his first 100 days of office. But that is like training your cattle-dog Queensland Healers not to bite ankles, while somehow being resigned to the fact that they can’t help themselves from such inbred snapping.


Somehow Trump, the supposedly astute businessman, cannot envision that inside the Clinton campaign there are shelves and shelves of stacked Trump IEDs, an inventory all primed with the media and fused to go off the minute Hillary hits another crisis.


Clinton’s greatest fear — the logical conclusion from the WikiLeaks trove thus far — is that the campaign will hinge on the dismal economy, record debt, a war against police, Islamic terrorism, newly emboldened enemies abroad, illegal immigration, the Obamacare disaster, and her past ineptitude in office. With less than a month left, her campaign is now reduced to the easy enough gift narrative of Trump as pervert and creep, followed by three to four days of furious Trump denials — and then on to the next exploding land mine.


It would be as redundant to say Trump’s past vulgarity and detour rants (what the media calls “temperament”) made him uniquely a plodding target as it is banal to drag up again old Heraclitus (“character is fate”). But, in fact, it is a little more complicated than that. Is an imploding Target Trump all that new? George W. Bush lost the popular vote in 2000 largely because of a late IED about a DUI that went off five days before the election. John Kerry and the media almost blew Bush up in 2004 with a forged National Guard document. John McCain in 2008 was reduced to a senile plutocrat and alleged adulterer. Romney in 2012 was an unimpeachable candidate, but then we learned that he had hazed in prep school, was a financial vulture who picked over the carcasses of the defenseless poor, tortured dogs, slandered nearly half the non-income-tax-paying electorate, had a callous “binder” of women, and was married to an equestrian wife with an elevator in their home.     




Nathan Lopes Cardozo

Algemeiner, Oct. 14, 2016


When contemplating the festival of Sukkot, we are confronted with a remarkable paradox. As is well known, the Sukkah visualizes our life span in the world. For what is a Sukkah? It is a frail structure in which we need to dwell for seven days. Many commentators remind us that these seven days represent man’s average life span, which is about 70 years. This was well stated by King David when he wrote, “The span of his years are seventy and with strength eighty years.” (Tehilim 90:10)


Indeed, under favorable circumstances, we may prolong our stay in this world into our eighth day; this is symbolized by Shemini Chag Atzereth, (a separate festival immediately following the seven days of Sukkot). Nevertheless, it’s a wonder how frail our life is — not only short, but also unreliable. As long as we live under favorable and healthy circumstances, life is a pleasant experience, and just like the Sukkah, it seems to protect us and make us safe. But once life gives us serious problems or turns against us, we realize how unstable our lives really are. Like the Sukkah, it is far less reliable than we had imagined.


Perplexing, however, is the fact that the festival of Sukkot is seen as the highlight of joy and happiness. Speaking specifically about Sukkot, the Torah states: “And you shall be happy on your festival” (Devarim 16-14). This means that we should experience the most exalted form of happiness at a time when we have to dwell in a structure that is far from secure. In fact, Jewish law makes it utmost clear that the Sukkah must be built in such a way that it is not able to stand up against a strong wind, that its roof must be leaking when it starts to rain and that it must contain more shadow than sunlight. These conditions should make us feel distressed, because the Sukkah seems to represent the vulnerability of man. So why command us to be joyful precisely at the time when we are confronted with all that can go wrong in life?


Here another question comes to mind. Since the Sukkah teaches us about life’s handicaps, we would expect that Jewish law would also require the interior of the Sukkah to reflect a similar message. As such, the Sukkah should be empty of all comfort. It should just contain some broken chairs, an old table and some meager cutlery with which to eat one’s dry bread.


Yet Jewish law holds a great surprise. It requires that the Sukkah’s interior should reflect a most optimistic lifestyle. Its frail walls should be decorated with beautiful art, paintings and other decorations. The leaking roof, made from leaves or reeds, should be made to look attractive by hanging colorful fruits down from it. One is required to bring one’s best furniture into the Sukkah, to put a carpet on the ground, have nice curtains hanging in front of its windows, etc. One should eat from the most beautiful plates and use one’s best cutlery. Meals should be more elaborate, including delicacies. Singing should accompany those meals. All this seems to reflect a feeling that this world is a most pleasant place made for our enjoyment and recreation.


So why sit in a frail hut? The message could not be clearer: however much the outside walls and the leaking roof reveal man’s vulnerability and uncertainty, inside these walls one needs to make one’s life as attractive as possible and enjoy its great benefits and blessings. This should not be lost on us. Instead of becoming depressed and losing faith in life after the great tragedies that befall us, we should continue to approach life with the optimistic note that is conveyed to us by the beautiful interior of the Sukkah. True, the ongoing guerrilla attacks on Jews in the land of Israel and the collapse of the Twin Towers in the heart of the US prove how vulnerable modern man really is and how shaken the outer walls of his “Sukkah” are. But this should not hold us back from enjoying life as much as possible. To be happy when all is well is of no great significance. But to be fully aware of the dangers that surround us and simultaneously continue our lives with “song and harp” is what makes humans great and proud.


We should therefore discourage people from speculating about “the end of days” or reading kabbalistic and other sources informing us that the messianic days are very close and that the wars preceding his coming are imminent. There is no way of knowing. Just as in the days of Shabbatai Zvi, such speculations, however tempting, could cause a great backlash and do a lot of harm. Instead we should stay planted with our feet on the ground, and make sure we live up to our moral and religious obligations.


All of our tragedies should encourage people to be more united and to show more sensitivity to each other’s needs. They should encourage Jew and gentile to build strong family ties and create, just as in the case of the Sukkah, strong and pleasant homes. They should inspire people to go to synagogue and church and create strong communities, because these are some of the decorations in our lifelong Sukkah. The walls of our world may be shaking, but let us not forget that we have an obligation to decorate the interior.


CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters Shabbat Shalom!

No Daily Briefing Will Be Published on Monday




On Topic Links



Sukkot For Our Time: Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Jewish Press, Oct. 14, 2016—Of all the festivals, Sukkot is surely the one that speaks most powerfully to our time. King Solomon’s Kohelet, which we read on Sukkot, could almost have been written in the twenty first century. Here is the ultimate success, the man who has it all, and yet who, surveying the totality of his life, can only say, in effect, “Meaningless, meaningless, everything is meaningless.”

Palestinians Suffer Defeat at UNESCO, Losing France, EU, India, Africa: Hillel Neuer, UN Watch, Oct. 14, 2016—Despite the outrageous denial of Jerusalem’s historic Jewish and Christian ties implied by the Palestinian-drafted Islamist resolution adopted today by UNESCO’s executive board—detailed here by UN Watch—the fact is that the Palestinians suffered a significant defeat in the international arena.

After Elections, Will Obama Betray Israel at UN?: Breaking Israel News, Oct. 14, 2016—WikiLeaks recently exposed an email written by former White House official Stuart Eisenstadt that discussed the Obama administration’s deteriorating relationship with Israel and warned, “There is a distinct possibility that the Administration may seek a new U.N. Security Council resolution embodying the two-state, with [pre-] 1967 lines and agreed land swaps, and some vague statements about Jerusalem.”

At the U.N., Only Israel Is an ‘Occupying Power’: Eugene Kontorovich & Penny Grunseid, Wall Street Journal, Sept. 13, 2016—The United Nations began its annual session this week, and Israel will be prominent on the agenda. Many fear the Security Council may consider a resolution setting definite territorial parameters, and a deadline, for the creation of a Palestinian state.







Trump Deserves to be Taken Seriously After Surviving Round One: Michael Goodwin, New York Post, Sept. 27, 2016 — Her smile betrayed Hillary Clinton.

Beyond Partisanship: Editorial, Jerusalem Post, Sept. 26, 2016 — While in New York, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with the presidential candidates of both major parties.

Sizing Up the Next Commander-in-Chief: Robert M. Gates, Wall Street Journal, Sept. 16, 2016 — You wouldn’t know it from the presidential campaigns, but the first serious crisis to face our new president most likely will be international.

The Construct of the White Working-Class Zombies: Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, Sept. 26, 2016 — One of the strangest transformations in the era of Obama has been the overt and often gratuitous stereotyping of so-called white people…


On Topic Links


Trump Vs. Clinton: First Debate Highlights (Video): Breaking Israel News, Sept. 27, 2016

No Wobbles, Tantrums or Knockouts on a Relatively Good Night for Trump: David Horovitz, Times of Israel, Sept. 27, 2016

Study Shows US Jewish Votes Could Play Decisive Role in Swing States: Penny Schwartz, Times of Israel, Sept. 23, 2016

If Hillary Loses, Democrats Face a Long Time in Exile: Michael Barone, New York Post, Sept. 23, 2016






Michael Goodwin                            

New York Post, Sept. 27, 2016


Her smile betrayed Hillary Clinton. It was too long, too frequent and obviously planned. It was a silent statement that she, the mature adult on the stage, was showing the stoic forbearance of a saint against an unruly child. But the unruly child didn’t cooperate with her plan. Donald Trump was a brawler from start to finish and played very rough, but was never wild, and was nowhere near the monster she needed him to be. Maybe now she will take him seriously. She’d better if she wants to be president.


Going into the first debate, Trump had to step over a very low bar. All he had to do was reassure voters that he was neither a lunatic nor an idiot, and could control his temper for 90 minutes. He cleared the bar, delivering a series of passionate moments on issues of substance, such as trade, jobs and taxes in the first few minutes. And while he regressed into an old habit of wandering into rhetorical dead ends, interrupting, making faces and talking too much about his business, he never lost his cool in a way that would have been a disaster.


Clinton faced several key challenges, too. One, given her health issues, was to avoid a coughing fit or show any signs of physical distress. A second was to display her preparation and vast library of knowledge without getting lost in the weeds, and a third was to get under Trump’s skin. Check, check and check. Mission accomplished.


Yet while both candidates achieved most of what they had to, the result isn’t equal. A slugfest standoff, which is what America witnessed last night, is much better for Trump than it is for Clinton. She is the de facto incumbent and his merely surviving benefits him as the challenger. He wobbled at times and was not as orderly in his preparation, but proved he could take her best punches on the big stage. It wasn’t his best night, but it was good enough.


If that sounds as though the Republican nominee is being graded on a curve to win the most powerful and important office in the world, don’t blame Trump. Blame Clinton and her media handmaidens. Their synchronized effort to demonize Trump and paint him as being temperamentally unfit to be president is not working. They set the bar too low by defining Trump as way outside the lines of normal political discourse, and therefore an unacceptable alternative to her. Tens of millions of Americans don’t agree. Moreover, the strategy also gives Trump a challenge he could handle and control over his own destiny. For last night at least, he beat the Clinton juggernaut at their own game.


Chalk the mistake up to Clinton arrogance. As it did with Bernie Sanders, who almost grabbed the Democratic nomination from her, Clinton’s team never took Trump seriously. They assumed that general-election voters wouldn’t, either. Even more amazing, they apparently still believe that if only they keep describing him as unqualified, the public will get on board and the Trump candidacy will collapse. Just the other day, Clinton asked union supporters, “Why aren’t I 50 points ahead?,” suggesting she still doesn’t understand why the race is even competitive, let alone a dead heat.


At the same time, her own problems — an image of being dishonest and untrustworthy — are not things she can fix or control. Her only hope is that Trump would come off as too risky for most voters, and the smile would be her way of saying, “I told you so.” He still might cooperate, but not last night. He flirted with danger, yet did not get tripped up or make any huge mistakes. No surprise, she did benefit from the decisions of moderator Lester Holt. He asked only one brief question about her email scandal without mentioning the FBI investigation, and never raised the family foundation scandals.


Fairness dictated Holt should have pressed Clinton more, especially because he asked Trump about two hot-button issues: the Obama birther issue in the context of race, and why he hadn’t released his personal income taxes. But even that imbalance ultimately might serve Trump. The test was survival, and media bias is fuel for his movement. So even after an unfair fight, he lives to fight another day. We’ll know in a few days whether undecided voters were moved in either direction, but my guess is that the race still will be close when the second debate comes around in 12 days.                                                                               




BEYOND PARTISANSHIP                                                                                                            


Jerusalem Post, Sept. 26, 2016


While in New York, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with the presidential candidates of both major parties. To his credit, Netanyahu managed to maintain a statesmanlike neutrality that reflects America’s broad, non-partisan support for Israel. The prime minister was less successful at doing this in the previous presidential elections, during which he was perceived as favoring Mitt Romney over Barack Obama.


In the months that remain until the November presidential election, Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders should strive to maintain their neutrality. The ties between Israel and the US are too strong and profound to turn support for Israel into a partisan issue. Israel is an American ally in the most profound meaning of the word, and this should be reflected in our diplomacy. Regardless of which party receives a mandate from the American people to enter the White House, relations with the US will remain strong. That is apparent from the statements made by both candidates, but it is also self-evident from the very nature of the alliance between the US and Israel. In every significant way Israel and America are allies.


Ideologically speaking, Israel shares America’s values. Though they developed differently, the democratic institutions of both countries are informed by many of the same ideals. The founding fathers of both countries were influenced by the Bible’s skeptical and ambiguous approach to absolutism and the divine right of kings and its insistence on the basic dignity of every human being as made in the image of God.


Freedom of speech and freedom of assembly are protected in both countries even in the most extreme of cases. In Israel, Arab Israeli parliamentarians speaking in the Knesset are permitted to voice radically anti-Zionist positions; Israeli policies on the West Bank are regularly and publicly attacked; even the most high-ranking officials are not immune to muckraking. In America, the right to express the most distasteful opinions – from Holocaust denial to white supremacism to radical criticism of US policies abroad – is zealously defended.


Tactically, Israel identifies with and promotes the US’s global vision of promoting freedom. Israel’s army is formidable and completely loyal to its democratically elected governments. The Jewish state helps to secure America’s borders and its interests and protects the lives of Americans – not just in the Middle East but elsewhere. Economically, Israel’s dynamic hi-tech industry – tightly related to its defense sector – develops both civilian and military technologies that have helped upgrade American capabilities. And Israel helps stimulate the US economy through trade, technological innovation and job creation.


Israel is the only Middle Eastern state never to oppose America on major international issues. Unlike other true US allies such as European states, Israel is one of the few countries aligned with the US that not only has the will but also the wherewithal to aid the US when necessary. Though Israel is a tiny country, the IDF is said to be larger than the French and British armies combined. Throughout the decades since its creation, Israel has been in constant conflict with its neighbors, which has forced it to maintain a superbly trained and equipped military that is capable of mobilizing within a few hours. Both candidates understand this as do the vast majority of Americans, regardless of their party affiliation.


Foreign policy “realists” have attempted to argue that the US’s open support for Israel is detrimental to American interests. If America were to reduce its exposure to Muslim criticism of Israel by limiting its ties with the Jewish state, it would be beneficial to US interests, they say. But these realists – who see themselves as driven solely by rational considerations – forget that this line of thinking leads to increasingly larger concessions and compromises on the sorts of basic values shared by the US and Israel. For just as the US’s close ties with Israel anger Islamists, so does America’s defense of gender equality, its defense of the freedom of speech, its support for religious freedom…                                                                                 

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]            




SIZING UP THE NEXT COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF                                                                            

Robert M. Gates                                                                                                  

Wall Street Journal, Sept. 16, 2016


You wouldn’t know it from the presidential campaigns, but the first serious crisis to face our new president most likely will be international. The list of possibilities is long—longer than it was eight years ago.  Here is the world the new president will inherit at noon on January 20—a range of challenges for which neither candidate has offered new strategies or paths forward.

Every aspect of our relationship with China is becoming more challenging. In addition to Chinese cyberspying and theft of intellectual property, many American businesses in China are encountering an increasingly hostile environment. China’s nationalist determination unilaterally to assert sovereignty over disputed waters and islands in the East and South China Seas is steadily increasing the risk of military confrontation.


Most worrying, given their historic bad blood, escalation of a confrontation between China and Japan could be very dangerous. As a treaty partner of Japan, we would be obligated to help Tokyo. China intends to challenge the U.S. for regional dominance in East Asia over the long term, but the new president could quickly face a Chinese military challenge over disputed islands and freedom of navigation. Dealing effectively with China requires a president with strategic acumen and vision, nuance, deft diplomatic and political skill, and sound instincts on when to challenge, when to stay silent and when to compromise or partner.

On this most complex challenge, neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump has said or done much to give anyone confidence. All we really know is Mr. Trump’s intention to launch a trade war with a country holding over $1 trillion in U.S. debt and the largest market for many U.S. companies; and Mrs. Clinton’s opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, which she helped to craft and the failure of which would hand China an easy political and economic win.


Then there is Vladimir Putin’s Russia, now routinely challenging the U.S. and its allies. How to count the ways. There was the armed seizure of Ukraine’s Crimea; Moscow’s military support of the separatist movement in eastern Ukraine; overt and covert intimidation of the Baltic states; the dispatch of fighter and bomber aircraft to avert the defeat of Syria’s Assad; sales of sophisticated weaponry to Iran.


There is Russia’s luring the U.S. secretary of state into believing that a cease-fire in Syria is just around the corner—if only the U.S. would do more, or less, depending on the issue; the cyberattacks on the U.S., including possible attempts to influence the U.S. presidential election; and covert efforts to aggravate division and weakness with the European Union and inside European countries. And there is the dangerously close buzzing of U.S. Navy ships in the Baltic Sea and close encounters with U.S. military aircraft in international airspace.


The only thing longer than the list of hostile Russian actions abroad is the list of repressive actions inside Russia to stifle dissent and strengthen Mr. Putin’s security services-run state. Mr. Putin will continue to behave aggressively until confronted and stopped. No one in the West wants a return to the Cold War, so the challenge is to confront and stop Mr. Putin’s aggressions while pursuing cooperation on international challenges that can only be addressed successfully if Russia is at the table—from terrorism to climate change, from the Syrian conflict to nuclear nonproliferation and arms control. Again, neither Mrs. Clinton nor Mr. Trump has expressed any views on how they would deal with Mr. Putin (although Mr. Trump’s expressions of admiration for the man and his authoritarian regime are naive and irresponsible).


North Korea and Iran are sworn enemies of the U.S. North Korean potentate  Kim Jong Un is building more nuclear weapons for his arsenal even as he develops ballistic missiles that now, or very soon, can reach all of our allies (and U.S. military forces) in Asia. During the first term of the next president these missiles will be able to reach the U.S. mainland.


On his good days, Kim Jong Un appears to outsiders as a cartoonish megalomaniac; on his bad days, he seems to yearn for a Gotterdammerung finale in which a perishing North Korea takes a lot of Asians and Americans with it. Or is he simply continuing to pursue a strategy designed to preserve his rule and North Korea’s independence through nuclear blackmail? The new U.S. president could face an early North Korean provocation against the South, the Japanese or us, and for sure will be confronted by a long-term strategic nuclear threat to our allies and to America.


Regarding Iran, whatever value Mr. Obama’s nuclear agreement has brought, the deal has led to no decrease in Iran’s aggressive meddling in the Middle East nor any lessening of its hostility to the U.S. Iranian naval challenges to U.S. warship operations in the Persian Gulf have nearly doubled over the last year. Iran will do all it can to embarrass the U.S.—such as allowing Russian planes to use Iranian airfields to attack the Syrian opposition and testing ballistic missiles—even as it strives to eject us from the entire region. Our new president had best be prepared for an early test of U.S. resolve in the Persian Gulf and Iran’s continuing regional subversion.


While Mrs. Clinton gave a speech on Iran over a year ago, she has since offered no inkling of her views and has said little about North Korea. Mr. Trump has said nary a word on the challenge posed by either country. Both candidates have spelled out how they would deal with ISIS, and terrorism more broadly, but their approach in essence sounds like what President Obama is doing now—with more ideological fervor and some additional starch. Neither has addressed what the broader U.S. strategy should be toward a Middle East in flames, from Syria to Iraq to Libya, and where Gulf Arab states worry about their own stability amid growing doubts they can rely on the U.S.; both Egypt and Turkey are ruled by increasingly authoritarian strongmen; and an Israeli-Palestinian conflict further from resolution than ever.


Mr. Trump has suggested we should walk away from the region and hope for the best. This is a dangerous approach oblivious to the reality that what happens in the Middle East doesn’t stay in the Middle East. Mrs. Clinton has ruled out putting U.S. ground troops in Iraq and Syria “ever again.” That is a politically driven categorical declaration of a sort no president (or candidate) should make, and it raises the question whether she would pull out the 5,000 U.S. troops now in Iraq. She has expressed no new ideas to deal with the boiling caldron that is today’s Middle East…                                                                                               

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]         





Victor Davis Hanson

National Review, Sept. 26, 2016


One of the strangest transformations in the era of Obama has been the overt and often gratuitous stereotyping of so-called white people — most often the white working classes who have become constructed into veritable unthinking and unrecognizable zombies. For progressives especially these were not the sympathetic old foundation of the Democratic party, who were once romanticized as the “people” pitted against the industrialists and the bluestockings, but rather have become monstrous caricatures of all sorts of incorrect race/class/and gender behavior and speech.


Stranger still, this disparagement was concurrent to the release of a variety of recent studies that have shown that the white working class has been “losing ground” in far more dramatic terms than have other ethnic groups, especially in key areas such as health and life expectancy. Such news might once have earned liberal sympathies rather than derision. Odder still, the so-called one percenters — that includes high percentages of whites, who have benefited from globalization and changes in the U.S. economy — are often precisely those who damn the less fortunate for supposedly enjoying racially based privileges that are largely confined to themselves.


Obama himself had long ago made popular the idea that there are not individual white people, good and bad, lazy and industrious, but more generally a collective Borg of racist and culpable “white people.” Or, as he characterized his own “effective” tricks over clueless whites in his admittedly fictional memoir Dreams from My Father, “it was usually an effective tactic, another one of those tricks I had learned: [White] People were satisfied so long as you were courteous and smiled and made no sudden moves.”


The president himself repeatedly amplified this emphasis on clueless retrograde whites during his two presidential campaigns, which in toto can be fairly characterized as a refutation of his earlier admirable 2004 speech at the Democratic convention (‘There is not a black America and a white America and Latino America and Asian America — there’s the United States of America”).


Indeed, on a number of occasions during the 2008 campaign, Obama reverted to the “white men” tropes earlier found in Dreams from My Father and commonly heard in Jeremiah Wright’s Trinity Church. In Obama’s much heralded March 2008 apologia (“A More Perfect Union”) for intimacy with the racist Reverend Wright, he drew a moral equivalence between the racist firebrand Wright and his own grandmother, who had sacrificed to send him to prep school (“I can no more disown him [Wright] than I can my white grandmother”).


When later he was called on equating Wright’s racism with his clueless grandmother’s supposed racist fears of being alone on a street with young African-American males (in the manner that progressives such as Jesse Jackson, Mark Cuban, and Lena Dunham have similarly confessed), Obama further dismissed her with the curt remark that “she is a typical white person, who, if she sees somebody on the street that she doesn’t know, you know, there’s a reaction that’s been bred in our experiences that don’t go away and that sometimes come out in the wrong way, and that’s just the nature of race in our society.” In a public reading of Dreams From My Father in Cambridge, Mass., in September 1995, a young Obama emulated his prejudicial grandmother’s supposedly nerdy white accent.


“Typical” (along with “they” and “them”) is a favorite stereotyping adjective of Obama’s and reappeared recently during his Laos trip, when he blasted Americans as racist: “Typically, when people feel stressed, they turn on others who don’t look like them.” That invoked memories of his clinger speech eight years earlier. After losing the Pennsylvania primary, Obama generalized the white working classes as mindless zombies of a xenophobic and racist sort who had not supported his candidacy: “And it’s not surprising, then. They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”


In repeatedly emphasizing “they” and “them,” Obama sought to reinvent the country into two groups — one, a noble if not long-suffering ascendant coalition of various aware racial minorities, aided by largely sympathetic but naïve and condescending well-meaning whites. The other half were the “lazy” Americans who in times of economic stress “typically” revealed their innate ignorance through racism and nativism…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]    




On Topic Links


Trump Vs. Clinton: First Debate Highlights (Video): Breaking Israel News, Sept. 27, 2016—Presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton face off in the first of three major debates which both hope will tip the scales in their favor.

No Wobbles, Tantrums or Knockouts on a Relatively Good Night for Trump: David Horovitz, Times of Israel, Sept. 27, 2016—It may have been primetime American TV, but the first Hillary Clinton-Donald Trump presidential debate came at an awkward time for Israel, getting underway at 4 in the morning. And for those here who stayed or got up, there was nary a reference to us to lift our tired, pre-dawn spirits — no direct mention of Israel, and just a single Trump namecheck of our prime minister.

Study Shows US Jewish Votes Could Play Decisive Role in Swing States: Penny Schwartz, Times of Israel, Sept. 23, 2016—A new study, touted as the first-ever state-by-state, county-by-county Jewish population estimate, shows how the Jewish vote could play a crucial role in key battleground states.

If Hillary Loses, Democrats Face a Long Time in Exile: Michael Barone, New York Post, Sept. 23, 2016—There’s been lots of speculation about the fate of the Republican Party if (as most of the prognosticators expect and hope) Donald Trump loses. There’s been less speculation, though recent polling suggests it may be in order, about the fate of the Democratic Party if Hillary Clinton loses.







The Evolution of Egypt-Israel Relations: No Longer a Terrorist Entity: Zvi Mazel, Jerusalem Post, Sept. 10, 2016 — The Egyptian foreign minister brought a breath of fresh air to the decades-long Arab-Israeli conflict when he stated unequivocally on August 21 that Israel could not be considered a terrorist state.

The Meaning of an Olympic Snub: Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal, Aug. 15, 2016  — An Israeli heavyweight judoka named Or Sasson defeated an Egyptian opponent named Islam El Shehaby Friday in a first-round match at the Rio Olympics.

What the Benghazi Attack Taught Me About Hillary Clinton: Gregory N. Hicks, Fox News, Sept. 11, 2016— Last month, I retired from the State Department after 25 years of public service as a Foreign Service officer.

Libya: Unified Against ISIS, Fragmented After: Rod Nordland & Nour Youssef, New York Times, Sept. 3, 2016 — Martin Kobler, the United Nations envoy to Libya, used to regularly joke that the only functioning government in Libya was the Islamic State.


On Topic Links


Not Just Sports: Mixed Sentiments in Egyptian Discourse about Israel : Omer Einav , Orit Perlov & Ofir Winter, INSS, Aug. 18, 2016

The Weakening of Wilayat Sinai: Yoram Schweitzer, INSS, Aug. 31, 2016

Hillary Clinton Forgets Benghazi, Claims ‘We Did Not Lose a Single American’ in Libya: Ben Wolfgang, Washington Times, Sept. 7, 2016

Inside the Brutal But Bizarrely Bureaucratic World of the Islamic State in Libya: Sudarsan Raghavan, Washington Post, Aug. 23, 2016




Zvi Mazel                                                            

Jerusalem Post, Sept. 10, 2016


The Egyptian foreign minister brought a breath of fresh air to the decades-long Arab-Israeli conflict when he stated unequivocally on August 21 that Israel could not be considered a terrorist state. This further step toward closer relations between Egypt and Israel resonated throughout the Arab world, where accusing the Jewish state of terror against the Palestinians is a basic propaganda tenet.


Sameh Shoukry, meeting high school students in his office, was asked why Israel’s actions against the Palestinians were not considered terrorism. The exchange between the students and the minister was recorded and posted by the Egyptian Foreign Ministry on its Twitter account. His answer was factual and devoid of the accusations against Israel, which are automatic in the Arab world. He is quoted as having said, “You can look at it from the perspective of a regime of force,” going on to explain that “certainly in accordance with its history it has a society in which the element of security is strong.” And then he added something startling, “From Israel’s perspective, since 1948 that society had faced many challenges that have instilled in its national security doctrine its control of land and border crossings.” In fact, said the Egyptian foreign minister, “there is no evidence showing a link between Israel and armed terrorist groups.”


This can be seen as a new way of viewing Israel and its place in the region in the face of Arab attitudes, the Islamic establishments and nationalist elites still refusing to acknowledge its legitimacy and opposing it furiously. For not only did Shoukry distance himself from qualifying Israeli activities as acts of terror, that is, illegitimate and deserving of unreserved condemnations; he mentioned the year 1948 – that is,the year of the proclamation of the State of Israel and the war of independence, both sources of the nakba or “disaster” of the Palestinians and of all Arabs – as a well-known historical fact.

And it was because of the challenges that resulted from that historical fact that Israel had to react forcibly ever since.

Shoukry’s words made headlines in Egypt – though many media outlets chose to ignore them, including those affiliated with the regime who were reluctant to deal with such potentially explosive declarations. Indeed, the following day a Foreign Ministry spokesman accused “several papers” of having distorted what had actually been said and of falsely reporting that the minister had declared that the killing of Palestinian children was not terrorism.


Furthermore, he said, those papers were guilty of incitement against the well-known views of Egypt, which has championed Palestinian rights in the past, the present, and would forever champion them. He stressed that the students had not asked specific questions concerning the killing of Palestinian children but had simply voiced a theoretical question as to why the international community did not define Israeli actions as acts of terror. The minister, the spokesman said, had replied that there was no legal international definition regarding acts committed by nations. In other words, the Foreign Ministry did not try to distance itself from what the minister had said, and simply accused the media of having distorted his words.


Taken in the context of the evolution of the relations between Egypt and Israel, Shoukry’s comments can be seen as yet another step toward closer links between the countries. It is well known that there is strong intelligence and security cooperation between Israel and Egypt based, among other considerations, on the common threat of Islamic State – Sinai Province. If it is not defeated in Egypt, it will attack Israel directly. In the past, the group has launched missiles across the border and was responsible for a cross border terrorist attack near Eilat in 2011 in which eight Israelis were killed.


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu openly declares that he has frequent conversations with Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi. Such is the background of the gradual rapprochement between the two countries: Egypt has sent an ambassador to Tel Aviv and the Embassy of Israel in Cairo is open again. Sisi has also said that he is ready to help promote negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and his foreign minister recently made a visit to Israel. Prime Minister Netanyahu’s envoys regularly travel to Cairo for high-level talks. It can be safely assumed that they include a number of subjects and not solely the Palestinian question, which is far from being Sisi’s first priority.


There can be no mistake: The Egyptian president is behind all these moves. Sisi has launched an all-out effort to develop his country and put it on the path of sustainable economic growth. Cooperation with Israel is part of this vision. Sisi is a staunch Muslim but has always shunned religious extremism. He has been remarkably moderate concerning Israel ever since he became a public figure, that is, when he was appointed minister of defense by the since ousted Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi in the mistaken belief that this pious general would help bring about the rule of the Brotherhood with a complicit army.


Sisi refrains from attacking or even condemning Israel. It was made clear from the first interviews he gave the press even before his election to the presidency. It took several questions concerning his views on the Palestinian issue before he succinctly said that there should be a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.


At the same time the Egyptian president has been pushing for toning down extremism in Islam. He has demanded that the clerics of al-Azhar Mosque undertake a reform of some of the more extreme expressions of religious dialogue. The Education Ministry has also been tasked with removing from textbooks elements or episodes encouraging religious extremism, more specifically those extolling Jihad – such as the wars of Saladin and of Akba Ben-Nafea, who conquered large territories in Africa. Also expunged were some texts disparaging the Jews, but not all. Chapters dealing with the peace agreement with Israel were expanded; the new modern history book of Egypt has a picture of Menachem Begin next to Anwar el Sadat, together with significant extracts of the peace treaty.


In spite of these encouraging developments, there are those who are steadfast in their opposition to Israel. They are mostly to be found in the old elites – the Islamic establishment and what is left of the nationalistic and pan-Arabic movements. There is still a prevalent belief among the Egyptian public that Israel is an enemy bent on harming Egypt. When Sisi decided to build a second canal alongside the Suez Canal to double its capacity and let a greater number of vessels through, a number of articles “explained” that the move was intended to spike Israel’s projected Ashdod-Eilat railway, allegedly intended to draw traffic away from the canal. When Prime Minister Netanyahu toured East African countries some weeks ago, media in Egypt “explained” that it was in order to encourage agriculture in countries situated up river on the Nile, which would then need more water thus diminishing what will be left for Egypt. When parliament member Tawfik Okasha had “the temerity” to host the Israeli ambassador for dinner, he was expelled from the parliament.


And of late an Egyptian judoka was roundly berated for agreeing to a match with an Israeli opponent – and for losing. No wonder then that the Egyptian president is proceeding cautiously. Warmer relations with Israel are of paramount importance, but he has no wish for a confrontation with elites he needs to support his economic policy, especially since at the moment it has ushered in a measure of austerity which is highly unpopular. He has apparently chosen a more circuitous route. A few months ago he announced that he wanted to help restart dialogue between Israel and the Palestinians, a perfectly legitimate long-term preoccupation for Egypt, which aspires to peace in the region…                                                                       

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]




THE MEANING OF AN OLYMPIC SNUB                                                                        

Bret Stephens                                                                                                      

Wall Street Journal, Aug. 15, 2016


An Israeli heavyweight judoka named Or Sasson defeated an Egyptian opponent named Islam El Shehaby Friday in a first-round match at the Rio Olympics. The Egyptian refused to shake his opponent’s extended hand, earning boos from the crowd. Mr. Sasson went on to win a bronze medal. If you want the short answer for why the Arab world is sliding into the abyss, look no further than this little incident. It did itself in chiefly through its long-abiding and all-consuming hatred of Israel, and of Jews.


That’s not a point you will find in a long article about the Arab crackup by Scott Anderson in last weekend’s New York Times Magazine, where hatred of Israel is treated like sand in Arabia—a given of the landscape. Nor is it much mentioned in the wide literature about the legacy of colonialism in the Middle East, or the oil curse, governance gap, democracy deficit, youth bulge, sectarian divide, legitimacy crisis and every other explanation for Arab decline.


Yet the fact remains that over the past 70 years the Arab world got rid of its Jews, some 900,000 people, while holding on to its hatred of them. Over time the result proved fatal: a combination of lost human capital, ruinously expensive wars, misdirected ideological obsessions, and an intellectual life perverted by conspiracy theory and the perpetual search for scapegoats. The Arab world’s problems are a problem of the Arab mind, and the name for that problem is anti-Semitism.


As a historical phenomenon, this is not unique. In a 2005 essay in Commentary, historian Paul Johnson noted that wherever anti-Semitism took hold, social and political decline almost inevitably followed. Spain expelled its Jews with the Alhambra Decree of 1492. The effect, Mr. Johnson noted, “was to deprive Spain (and its colonies) of a class already notable for the astute handling of finance.” In czarist Russia, anti-Semitic laws led to mass Jewish emigration as well as an “immense increase in administrative corruption produced by the system of restrictions.” Germany might well have won the race for an atomic bomb if Hitler hadn’t sent Albert Einstein, Leo Szilard, Enrico Fermi and Edward Teller into exile in the U.S.


These patterns were replicated in the Arab world. Contrary to myth, the cause was not the creation of the state of Israel. There were bloody anti-Jewish pogroms in Palestine in 1929, Iraq in 1941, and Lebanon in 1945. Nor is it accurate to blame Jerusalem for fueling anti-Semitism by refusing to trade land for peace. Among Egyptians, hatred of Israel barely abated after Menachem Begin relinquished the Sinai to Anwar Sadat. Among Palestinians, anti-Semitism became markedly worse during the years of the Oslo peace process. In his essay, Mr. Johnson called anti-Semitism a “highly infectious” disease capable of becoming “endemic in certain localities and societies,” and “by no means confined to weak, feeble or commonplace intellects.” Anti-Semitism may be irrational, but its potency, he noted, lies in transforming a personal and instinctive irrationalism into a political and systematic one. For the Jew-hater, every crime has the same culprit and every problem has the same solution. Anti-Semitism makes the world seem easy. In doing so, it condemns the anti-Semite to a permanent darkness.


Today there is no great university in the Arab world, no serious indigenous scientific base, a stunted literary culture. In 2015 the U.S. Patent Office reported 3,804 patents from Israel, as compared with 364 from Saudi Arabia, 56 from the United Arab Emirates, and 30 from Egypt. The mistreatment and expulsion of Jews has served as a template for the persecution and displacement of other religious minorities: Christians, Yazidis, the Baha’ i. Hatred of Israel and Jews has also deprived the Arab world of both the resources and the example of its neighbor. Israel quietly supplies water to Jordan, helping to ease the burden of Syrian refugees, and quietly provides surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities to Egypt to fight ISIS in the Sinai. But this is largely unknown among Arabs, for whom the only permissible image of Israel is an Israeli soldier in riot gear, abusing a Palestinian.


Successful nations make a point of trying to learn from their neighbors. The Arab world has been taught over generations only to hate theirs. This may be starting to change. In the past five years the Arab world has been forced to face up to its own failings in ways it cannot easily blame on Israel. The change can be seen in the budding rapprochement between Jerusalem and Cairo, Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, which might yet yield tactical and strategic advantages on both sides, particularly against common enemies such as ISIS and Iran. That’s not enough. So long as an Arab athlete can’t pay his Israeli opposite the courtesy of a handshake, the disease of the Arab mind and the misfortunes of its world will continue. For Israel, this is a pity. For the Arabs, it’s a calamity. The hater always suffers more than the object of his hatred.





Gregory N. Hicks

 Fox News, Sept. 11, 2016


Last month, I retired from the State Department after 25 years of public service as a Foreign Service officer. As the Deputy Chief of Mission for Libya, I was the last person in Tripoli to speak with Ambassador Chris Stevens before he was murdered in the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on our Benghazi post. On this, the fourth anniversary of the Benghazi tragedy, I would like to offer a different explanation for Benghazi’s relevance to the presidential election than is usually found in the press.


Just as the Constitution makes national security the President’s highest priority, U.S. law mandates the secretary of state to develop and implement policies and programs "to provide for the security … of all United States personnel on official duty abroad.”  This includes not only the State Department employees, but also the CIA officers in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012. And the Benghazi record is clear: Secretary Clinton failed to provide adequate security for U.S. government personnel assigned to Benghazi and Tripoli.


The Benghazi Committee’s report graphically illustrates the magnitude of her failure. It states that during August 2012, the State Department reduced the number of U.S. security personnel assigned to the Embassy in Tripoli from 34 (1.5 security officers per diplomat) to 6 (1 security officer per 4.5 diplomats), despite a rapidly deteriorating security situation in both Tripoli and Benghazi. Thus, according to the Report, “there were no surplus security agents” to travel to Benghazi with Amb. Stevens “without leaving the Embassy in Tripoli at severe risk.” Had Ambassador Stevens’ July 2012 request for 13 additional American security personnel (either military or State Department) been approved rather than rejected by Clinton appointee Under Secretary of State for Management Pat Kennedy, they would have traveled to Benghazi with the ambassador, and the Sept. 11 attack might have been thwarted.


U.S. law also requires the secretary of state to ensure that all U.S. government personnel assigned to a diplomatic post abroad be located at one site. If not, the secretary — and only the secretary — with the concurrence of the agency head whose personnel will be located at a different location, must issue a waiver. The law, which states specifically that the waiver decision cannot be delegated, was passed after the 1998 bombing of two U.S. embassies in Africa, when deficient security was blamed for that debacle under Bill Clinton's presidency.


When asked about security at Benghazi on Sept. 11, Mrs. Clinton has repeatedly asserted her lack of responsibility. Initially, she said that she never read any of the reporting on security conditions or any of the requests for additional security, claiming that “she delegated security to the professionals.” More recently, she stated that “[I]t was not my ball to carry.” But the law says otherwise. Sound familiar? Her decision to allow the Benghazi consulate to be separate from the CIA annex divided scarce resources in a progressively deteriorating security environment. U.S. personnel assigned to Benghazi tried to overcome this severe disadvantage through an agreement that the security personal from each facility would rush to the other facility’s aid in the event it was attacked. The division of our security resources in Benghazi is the root cause of the “stand down” order controversy so vividly portrayed in the movie “13 Hours.”


Notably, one of the primary goals of Ambassador Stevens’ fatal visit was to begin consolidating our Benghazi personnel into one facility, which would have concentrated our security posture in Benghazi’s volatile and violent environment. There are no punitive measures for breaching these two laws. Mrs. Clinton will not have to appear before judge and jury to account for her failures. Is this why she felt these laws could be ignored? Because she is now the Democratic presidential candidate, only the American electorate will have the opportunity to hold her accountable…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]





Rod Nordland & Nour Youssef

New York Times, Sept. 3, 2016


Martin Kobler, the United Nations envoy to Libya, used to regularly joke that the only functioning government in Libya was the Islamic State. Unlike the country’s other three governments, it not only held territory but ran the courts, provided services to the public and ensured security — however harsh its rule. Fortunately, Mr. Kobler said recently, his joke is now out of date, with the Islamic State reduced to three neighborhoods in the coastal city of Surt, and its headquarters in the hands of militias supporting the new United Nations-backed government. “This is over now,” he said.


The problems of governing Libya, however, are far from over, particularly as its many remaining factions try to figure out what comes next at a potential second round of talks this month, presided over by the United Nations. Surt’s future will loom large in the discussions. Ever since Libya’s longtime ruler, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, was deposed and killed in Surt in 2011, the country has been divided by tribal and militia rivalries. With a population slightly larger than that of Miami, Libya has no clear central government and scant possibility of exploiting its enormous oil reserves, the ninth largest in the world. That a United Nations-backed government in Tripoli was able to dispatch a militia force to subdue the Islamic State in Surt was the first piece of good governance news in five years of vicious internecine fighting.


But even victory in Surt remains worrisome. First of all, the militias have to finish clearing out remnants of the Islamic State from the three city neighborhoods. The militias are reported to be close to accomplishing that, which will then raise the question of what they will do next. They are from Misurata, a coastal city seen as a rival of Surt. While they were nominally doing the bidding of the new, United Nations-backed Government of National Accord, or G.N.A., it is not at all clear that they will continue to accept its authority. Then there are Libya’s other factions. The government in the eastern city of Bayda, with its Parliament in Tobruk, once enjoyed international support but now relies mostly on Egypt and some Persian Gulf allies. It is also suspicious of the intentions of the Misuratans, and angry about United Nations backing of the G.N.A.


The country’s most powerful military leader, Gen. Khalifa Hifter, based in Benghazi, has almost entirely cleared that city, the east’s biggest, of the Islamic extremists who once held sway there. But he, too, is deeply suspicious of the Misurata militias, because they are dominated by Islamists. While General Hifter has been named the Libyan National Army commander, politically he operates independently. That is true as well of the third faction claiming to rule Libya, a Tripoli-based Islamist militia grouping that has a Parliament separate from that of the G.N.A.


“The government has to implement state authority over who dominates this area,” Mr. Kobler said. That the Misurata militias were acting on behalf of the G.N.A. when they ousted the Islamic State from Surt was a very positive sign, he said. “It shows the strength of the G.N.A.,” he added. “The other two governments do not exist. A government should provide security, basic services. That is not the case from those two governments.” It is important as well, he said, that an international consensus is building to support the G.N.A., with the Arab League and the African Union calling on their members not to back other factions’ claims to legitimacy; the success in Surt bolstered that consensus. The same consensus does not seem to exist in many parts of Libya. The government based in Bayda has denounced the G.N.A. In Benghazi, General Hifter has boycotted the meetings that the United Nations has convened to bring all of the factions together, and he is by far the strongest military player. When Surt finally falls, said Ahmed el-Mesmari, the spokesman for the Libyan military in the east, the militias there will abandon the new Tripoli government.


“We don’t think anyone can control these forces,” Mr. Mesmari said. “They are anarchists and extremists. They are closer to Qaeda than they are to anyone else. They would be very hard to tame.”…


[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]





On Topic Links


Not Just Sports: Mixed Sentiments in Egyptian Discourse about Israel : Omer Einav , Orit Perlov & Ofir Winter, INSS, Aug. 18, 2016—The match on the judo mat between Israeli Ori Sasson and Egyptian Islam el-Shehaby in the 2016 Olympic Games went beyond sports.

The Weakening of Wilayat Sinai: Yoram Schweitzer, INSS, Aug. 31, 2016—Wilayat Sinai, an organization identified with the Islamic State, has recently suffered a series of serious blows from the Egyptian army.

Hillary Clinton Forgets Benghazi, Claims ‘We Did Not Lose a Single American’ in Libya: Ben Wolfgang, Washington Times, Sept. 7, 2016 —Glossing over the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi that claimed the lives of four U.S. diplomats, Hillary Clinton on Wednesday night claimed that “we did not lose a single American” due to military intervention in Libya. Speaking at a veterans’ forum hosted by NBC News, the former secretary of state said she stands by the 2011 decision to take action in Libya and that America suffered no casualties.

Inside the Brutal But Bizarrely Bureaucratic World of the Islamic State in Libya: Sudarsan Raghavan, Washington Post, Aug. 23, 2016—When the Islamic State’s religious police arrived at his door, Ahmooda Abu Amood feared he would never see his family again. The two militants drove up in a beige sport-utility vehicle, Abu Amood said, the kind used to transport anyone who broke the rules to an office to pay a fine, to get a whipping — or to jail.