Saturday, May 07, 2016

From Ian:

A President Who Learned Nothing
Most of the initial reaction has focused on the revelations about how Rhodes has manipulated the facts to sell the Iran deal. Samuels notes, for example, that the administration claimed that the nuclear talks got under way in 2013 because of the election of a supposed moderate, Hassan Rouhani, as Iran’s president. This “was largely manufactured for the purpose for selling the deal,” he writes. The reality is that Obama was “eager to do a deal with Iran as far back as 2012, and even since the beginning of his presidency.”
Moreover, the administration claimed that the deal would help “moderates” in Iran to oppose a “hard-line” faction even though Leon Panetta, Obama’s former CIA director and secretary of defense, is quoted as saying that the CIA analysis did not support the contention that the “Iranian regime was meaningfully divided between ‘hard-line’ and ‘moderate’ camps.”
There is much more along these lines in the article, including Rhodes’ boasts about how he feeds the White House propaganda line to Washington journalists who faithfully parrot his talking points.
But what really struck me about the article is the supreme arrogance that grips this White House.
That is an occupational hazard in any White House, of course, but Obama and his closest aides take it to a new level. Samuels repeatedly notes that Rhodes has “contempt” and “aggressive contempt” for “anyone or anything that stands in the president’s way” and for “the groupthink of the American foreign-policy establishment and its hangers-on in the press.”
The story notes that Rhodes “referred to the American foreign-policy establishment as the Blob. According to Rhodes, the Blob includes Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates and other Iraq-war promoters from both parties who now whine incessantly about the collapse of the American security order in Europe and the Middle East.”
7 Shocking Revelations in NY Times’ Profile of Obama’s Foreign Policy Guru
The New York Times’ nearly 10,000-word profile of President Obama’s deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes is filled with insider details on White House policy and administration strategy.
Here are the seven most surprising tidbits, enumerated in no particular order.
1 – The White House expects “message discipline” from the media.
2 – The Times describes Rhodes as “the single most influential voice shaping American foreign policy,” yet writer Samuels concedes it is “startling” that Rhodes is lacking “conventional real-world experience.”
3 – The Times describes Rhodes as an almost ventriloquist who shapes the news media.
4 – The Obama administration utilized a narrative that was “often misleading or false” to sell the Iran nuclear deal to the public.
5 – Rhodes himself reveals some of the motivation for the Iran nuclear deal – that the agreement advances Obama’s general academic foreign policy philosophies.
6 – The timing of the effort to declassify the contents of redacted sections of the government’s 9-11 report on the eve of Obama’s visit to Saudi Arabia last month may not have been coincidental. The Times does not report anything specific on the matter, but it’s phraseology makes clear the peculiarities of the story and Rhodes’ relationship to his brother, CBS News President David Rhodes. CBS News helped to revive the 9-11 document effort.
7 – The use of social media to parrot Obama’s agenda.
White House blames allegations of Iran nuclear deal deceit on 'sour grapes'

Top Obama Aides: Childhood in Muslim Nation Influenced His Worldview
The details were contained in the Times’ profile of Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser titled, “The Aspiring Novelist Who Became Obama’s Foreign-Policy Guru.” Jarrett is Obama’s senior adviser.
The Times cited Rhodes explaining:
Obama’s particular revulsion against a certain kind of global power politics is a product, Rhodes suggests, of his having been raised in Southeast Asia.
Continues the Times, quoting Rhodes:
“Indonesia was a place where your interaction at that time with power was very intimate, right?” Rhodes asks. “Tens or hundreds of thousands of people had just been killed. Power was not some abstract thing,” he muses. “When we sit in Washington and debate foreign policy, it’s like a Risk game, or it’s all about us, or the human beings disappear from the decisions. But he lived in a place where he was surrounded by people who had either perpetrated those acts — and by the way, may not have felt great about that — or else knew someone who was a victim. I don’t think there’s ever been an American president who had an experience like that at a young age of what power is.”

Edwin Black: How the Nazis Targeted Blacks, and the Impact of the Holocaust on African Americans
In recent years, some in the African American community have expressed a disconnect to Holocaust topics, seeing the genocide of the Jews as someone else’s nightmare. After all, African Americans are still struggling to achieve general recognition of the barbarity of the Middle Passage, the inhumanity of slavery, the oppression of Jim Crow and the battle for modern civil rights. For many in that community, the murder of six million Jews and millions of other Europeans happened to other minorities in a faraway place where they had no involvement.
However, a deeper look shows that proto-Nazi ideology before the Third Reich, the wide net of Nazi-era policy, and Hitler’s post-war legacy deeply affected Africans, Afro-Germans, and African Americans throughout the 20th century. America’s Black community has a mighty stake in this topic.
Understanding the German Reich and the Holocaust is important for Blacks, just as it is for other communities, including Roma, eastern Europeans, people with disabilities, the gay community, Jehovah’s Witnesses and many other groups in addition to Jews. The dots are well known to many scholars — but rarely connected to form a distinct historical nexus for either the Holocaust or the African American communities. This is understandable. The saga behind these connections started decades before the Third Reich came into existence, in a savage episode on another continent that targeted a completely different racial and ethnic group for death and destruction. But the horrors visited on another defenseless group endured, and became a template for the Final Solution. Students of the Holocaust are accustomed to looking backward long before the Third Reich and long after the demise of the Nazi war machine. African Americans should do the same.
It is settled, everyday history that Nazi Germany aggressed against its neighbors in part because of a twisted concept known as Lebensraum, that is, the self-declared mandate to achieve “living space” for an overcrowded Germany. Lebensraum declared that the Third Reich was inherently entitled to supplant and destroy other nations to advance German biological supremacy. This racist philosophy underpinned Germany’s invasion, subjugation, and rape of much of Eastern Europe. However, students of lebensraumknow it was not a Hitlerian concept. Rather, it was coined in the last gasp of the nineteenth century by German geographer Friedrich Ratzel.
Remembering Golda Meir’s African legacy
There is still one other question arising out of the disaster of nations which remains unsolved to this day, and whose profound tragedy, only a Jew can comprehend. This is the African question. Just call to mind all those terrible episodes of the slave trade, of human beings who, merely because they were black, were stolen like cattle, taken prisoner, captured and sold. Their children grew up in strange lands, the objects of contempt and hostility because their complexions were different. I am not ashamed to say, though I may expose myself to ridicule for saying so, that once I have witnessed the redemption of the Jews, my people, I wish also to assist in the redemption of the Africans.
So wrote Theodore Herzl, visionary and architect of modern Israel, effectively pushing the goals of the Zionist movement to not just the realisation of a homeland for the Jewish people, but assisting in securing freedom for African nations then under colonial bondage and civil rights for people of African descent living in western nations. Several Zionists applied themselves to this aspect of the vision, but it is Golda Meir, born Golda Mabovitch a hundred and eighteen years ago this week, who emerged as the builder of bridges between Africa and Israel.
When she was appointed Israel’s second Foreign Minister in 1956, Golda Meir announced that a cornerstone of her foreign policy was to reach out to the African states emerging from colonial rule. The rationale for this was lost to many at the ministry. After all, the new countries were often poorer than Israel and facing greater security, environmental and other problems; what could they possibly help Israel with? Moreover, this was the woman who once said, “There is no Zionism except the rescue of Jews.” At a meeting, Meir explained:
We Jews share with the African peoples a memory of centuries-long suffering. For both Jews and Africans alike, such expressions as discrimination, oppression and slavery-these are not mere catchwords. They don’t refer to experiences of hundreds of years ago. They refer to the torment and degradation we suffered yesterday and today. Let me read you something to illustrate the point.
She then read to them the passage from Herzl’s Altneuland which opens this article. In her autobiography, My Life, Golda expands on how she saw Israel’s common ground with African nations.
Obama and ‘Jewish Heritage Month’
Once we understand that there are those who believe that the existence of Jews as a recognizable entity, is only justified (and only temporarily) to the extent Jews rely on their residual memories of collective oppression to aid left-wing liberation movements, one can begin to understand the far left’s problem with the Jews. Their ideology leaves no room for anything but revulsion with Zionism, dismissal of claims of anti-Semitism (in ways they would never dismiss accusations of other forms of racism), nor for considering the Holocaust to have any more significance than as an unfortunate example of “white on white crime.”
In short, to many on the far left, the only good Jew is a secular left-wing internationalist political activist with no particular interest in the well-being of his fellow Jews. (Consider again the Oberlin students: “We urge all Jewish students concerned about anti-Semitism to fight with equal passion for Palestinian liberation, Black liberation, and an end to all forms of oppression, on and off campus.” Others, but not Jews, are permitted to be especially concerned with the fate of their own group.) Given that only a small fraction of Jews fit that model, anti-Semitism is therefore a natural consequence.
Jews have a specific heritage worth celebrating. It would have been proper if the White House had recognized it, no matter what the far Left thinks.
A Much Needed History Seminar
The Obama administration came into office in 2009 determined to create more “daylight” between the U.S. and Israel because they foolishly believed doing so would encourage the Palestinians to make peace. In the more than seven years since then, they have continued to make that mistake and have, as a result, encouraged both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, as well as meddling outside parties like Iran, which is funding Hamas and Islamic Jihad with some of the profits they’re making from the nuclear deal it signed with the U.S. have become more intransigent not less so. Though the administration did the right thing on this UNESCO resolution, their willingness to treat Jerusalem as a Jewish “settlement” rather than as Israel’s capital has exacerbated the problems there.
Everybody in the White House and the State Department consider themselves to be very smart and, no doubt, the same will be true of anyone hired by Clinton and Trump (though the latter is as painfully ignorant of the facts and history of the Middle East and other important topics as any major party candidate for president within memory). But they probably all could use a refresher course on the history of the Middle East. More importantly, they will need to understand that so long as the U.S. continues to validate noxious hotbeds of anti-Semitism like UNESCO by remaining in the organization, they are part of the problem, not the solution.
All the pious platitudes uttered by the United States and other Western powers about memory of the Holocaust and against anti-Semitism are meaningless if they are also unwilling to combat expressions of Jew hatred that seek to ignore the truth about Jerusalem’s past and its present. If the next administration, whoever it is that leads it, makes the same mistake, the bloody results of the last few years will be repeated.
UN official spurns Netanyahu’s Jerusalem history lesson offer
The UN’s special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, Nickolay Mladenov, bristled at the suggestion that UN staff in Jerusalem were insufficiently educated.
“If someone wants to issue invitations they should be for Paris and addressed to the ambassadors of the member-states of UNESCO there,” he said in a statement.
“UN staff in Jerusalem know the history of the region, its people and religions all too well.”
On Friday, Netanyahu reiterated his “shock” that UNESCO would adopt “a decision denying any Jewish connection to the Temple Mount, our holiest site.”
“That is why today I am announcing a seminar on Jewish history for all UN personnel in Israel,” he said in a statement. “I will personally host the lecture at the Prime Minister’s Office,” said Netanyahu, the son of renowned late historian Benzion Netanyahu, noting that it would be delivered by a “leading scholar of Jewish history.”
Diplomats would also be invited, “including of countries which voted for this outrageous decision,” Netanyahu said.
Some of their best friends
News of Winston Churchill’s electoral defeat caught David Ben-Gurion between New York and London aboard an ocean liner, where fellow Zionist leaders were now toasting the victorious Labor, recalling its staunch backing of the Zionist cause.
The jubilation made sense. It had been a mere eight months since Labor adopted its leader Clement Attlee’s call for the establishment of a Jewish state with a Jewish majority in an expanded Palestine.
All were therefore elated – except Ben-Gurion.
“There is no confidence that, once in power, Labor will demand of itself what it demanded of others,” he warned.
Vindication arrived within weeks, when Attlee turned his back on Labor’s stated policy, saying he would not lift restrictions on Jewish immigration to Palestine. Worse, with displaced persons’ camps overflowing with skeletal survivors, foreign minister Ernest Bevin warned that if the Jews “push to the head of the queue,” anti-Semitism might resurge
Anti-Semitism and insecure Jews
In my educational role, I was given the responsibility of pioneering a new “Multi-faith” curriculum, being rolled out in faith schools and mainstream schools. I designed an engaging programme aimed at exposing our young British Jewish students to different faiths and races to engender understanding and positive attitudes towards others. Fast forward to today and the anti-Semitism should be a thing of the past. But it’s not – it’s worse. As I review the anti-Semitic tweets and Facebook posts from multiple personalities, including prominent British-Muslim MP’s and Councillors, with their Hitler-fixated and offensive language about Jews and Israel, I wonder: how were they educated? Where do their wrongheaded and radical ideas come from? As we were teaching our youth about coexistence, others, it seems, as Emran Mian and Kasim Hafeez have spoken about, were being raised to hate.
This is why the current focus on anti-Semitism is so important and so overdue. Figures from the Campaign Against Antisemitism have shown that anti-Semitic hate crime in the UK increased by 26% in 2015. This is clearly not just a problem in the UK; British Jews look with horror on anti-Semitic beatings and violence in Europe, not to mention terror attacks like those on the kosher supermarket in Paris or the Belgian Jewish Museum.
In her apology statement, Naz Shah spoke about learning more. I hope she’s sincere because education is key. She and all those now being exposed have been misinformed about Jews and Israel. A culture has been created in which the demonisation of Jews and Israel were tolerated. A comprehensive education that counters radicalism and is based on facts can engender tolerance and respect.
Anti-Semitism has been termed “the oldest hatred”. We Jews know that it will never go away. But we also know where racist comments and insults can lead: Anti-Semitism is deadly.
And that is why we Jews are insecure.
History's Problematic History About Einstein and Zionism
The History Channel Web page, “Albert Einstein: Fact or Fiction?,” contains this significantly misleading sentence, “… though he [Albert Einstein] was very sympathetic to Israel, he was never an ardent Zionist [and] he believed in ‘friendly and fruitful’ cooperation between Jews and Arabs …” There are two problems here – 1) the erroneous characterization of Einstein’s attitude toward Zionism and 2) the erroneous implication that Zionism and Israel from the outset did not believe in cooperation between Arabs and Jews. Contrary to the assertion that Einstein was “never an ardent Zionist,” Einstein expressed great admiration of and identification with Zionism. In a June 13, 1947 letter to Jawaharlal Nehru, who would become India's prime minister in August of that year, Einstein wrote,
Long before the emergence of Hitler I made the cause of Zionism mine because through it I saw a means of correcting a flagrant wrong. ... the Jewish people alone has for centuries been in the anomalous position of being victimised and hounded as a people, though bereft of all the rights and protections which even the smallest people normally has... Zionism offered the means of ending this discrimination. Through the return to the land to which they were bound by close historic ties... Jews sought to abolish their pariah status among peoples... The advent of Hitler underscored with a savage logic all the disastrous implications contained in the abnormal situation in which Jews found themselves. Millions of Jews perished... because there was no spot on the globe where they could find sanctuary... The Jewish survivors demand the right to dwell amid brothers, on the ancient soil of their fathers. (“Einstein on Israel and Zionism” by Fred Jerome, St. Martin’s Press New York, 2009, Page 244) (Fred Jerome is a consultant to the Newhouse School of Communications, Syracuse University and has published in Newsweek and The New York Times.)
Moreover, The History Channel's language that Einstein "was never an ardent Zionist [and] believed in ‘friendly and fruitful’ cooperation between Jews and Arabs …” in context implies erroneously that Zionism from the beginning did not believe in this cooperation. This implication is contradicted by David Ben-Gurion, certainly an ardent Zionist, who was the leading founder of the State of Israel and its first prime minister.
Anti-Zionism versus Antisemitism: It’s not that hard
Modern Antisemitism portrays Israel as the ‘Jew’ among nations, and projects antisemitic stereotypes previously attached to Jews as a people onto the country itself. Wherever you see Israel demonised as grasping, greedy, malicious, secretly conspiring — for example, controlling the banks, creating ISIS, executing 9/11 and so on, you are witnessing this phenomenon, a sick modern twist on a very old story. In short: ‘Jewish power’ is now mediated by the Jewish State. Some tropes have been subtly transformed: the blood libel, for example, has evolved into an obsession with Israel being a ‘baby killer’ and accusations that the Israeli army harvests organs from Palestinian corpses: but largely the tropes are intact.
In the course of demonising Israel in this way, modern antisemitism deploys two particularly nasty tactics: holocaust inversion — the idea that Israeli Jews are now ‘Nazis’, and the plain lie that Israel is an apartheid state. The Holocaust is belittled, declared not to have even happened, or even to have been a Jewish money-making hoax. Attempts to delegitimise Israel — to say that it legally shouldn’t exist and that Jews don’t have the right to self-determine as other peoples do — completes the list of the basic incontestables.
Having established these parameters, Modern Antisemitism then challenges Jews elsewhere to either associate with the Devil Incarnate that is Israel and suffer the consequences — in particular in Western countries by being ostracised from ‘progressive’ discourse — or dissociate themselves from it and become ‘good Jews’.
Me and Jeremy Corbyn MP
It was 2009, and Jeremy was an irrelevant backbencher who garnered little interest. Seriously: my note only got a single like, and that was from me.
I thought I’d deleted all those old notes and lost to the ether anything I hadn’t transferred to this blog.
Me and Jeremy Corbyn MP
Thursday, January 22, 2009 at 11:22pm
This evening Jeremy Corbyn, MP for Islington North, came to speak to the Oxford University Labour Club about the recent conflict in Gaza. It was a pretty decent talk, for the most part. But at the end I couldn’t resist going up to him and asking a cheeky question.
Me to Jeremy Corbyn: “Thank you for your talk, I really enjoyed it. I just wanted to ask: how come Zionists have such a stranglehold on Labour politics? I mean, take James Purnell for example – he went from being in LFI to a ministerial position. How do they have such control?”
Jeremy Corbyn: “I only wish I knew… money, I suppose.”
David “The Jews” Ward Elected in Bradford
Labour’s anti-Semitism crisis has not affected their performance in Bradford, where suspended “zio” hater Mohammed Shabbir comfortably held his seat. Intriguingly he won more votes this time round, since his comments came to light…
LibDem David Ward has also returned to elected office, joining Shabbir and co on what must be a very tolerant and progressive Bradford council. Ward is of course the disgraced former MP who ranted about “the Jews” and the Holocaust time and time again, even while he was a candidate a few months ago. The party did nothing then and they’ve done nothing now. A reminder that the LibDems have an even worse record on dealing with anti-Semitism than Corbyn’s Labour…

US takes tougher tone on Israeli settlements in new report
The United States will endorse a tougher tone with Israel in an upcoming international report that takes the Jewish state to task over settlements, demolitions and property seizures on land the Palestinians claim for a future state, diplomats told The Associated Press.
The US and its fellow Mideast mediators also will chastise Palestinian leaders for failing to rein in anti-Israeli violence. But the diplomats involved in drafting the document said its primary focus will be a surge of construction in Jewish housing in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
The US approval of the harsh language marks a subtle shift. Washington has traditionally tempered statements by the so-called “Quartet” of mediators with careful diplomatic language, but the diplomats said the US in this case will align itself closer to the positions of the European Union, Russia and the United Nations, who emphasize Israel’s role in the Mideast impasse.
The report’s release is sure to infuriate Israel, where officials are already bracing for expected criticism. And on the other side, although the mediators will endorse some long-standing Palestinian complaints, the Palestinians are likely to complain the report does not go far enough.
Former Israeli, Saudi Arabian officials talk Iran nuclear threat at DC event
The old adage proclaiming that the "enemy of my enemy is my friend" was on full display Thursday evening when a retired IDF general sat down with the former intelligence chief of Saudi Arabia to discuss the current tumult facing the Middle East, according to CNN.
Maj. Gen. Yaakov Amidror (res.) along with Prince Turki al-Faisal spoke at the The Washington Institute for Near East Policy in the US capital, where the two discussed a number of security topics including the Iranian nuclear threat and America's varying role in the region.
"We are both exes," Faisal said, reminding the audience that the two were private citizens and no longer represented their respective governments.
The most pressing issue facing the two historic adversaries presently is arguably Iran, which both countries believe aims to develop nuclear weapons. According to foreign media reports, Israel and Saudi Arabia have quietly been cooperating with one another for "years" among shared security concerns, despite the Islamic kingdom's refusal to acknowledge the existence of the Jewish state.
During their discussion, Faisal said that "all options" would be available to the Saudi regime concerning Iranian nuclear proliferation, including the its own "acquisition [of] nuclear weapons... to face whatever eventuality might come from Iran."
Like Saudi Arabia, Amidror noted that Israel would also meet the threat if Iran decided to weaponize its nuclear technology.
"In principle, the Iranians can go nuclear and from the Israeli point of view, this is a threat to existence," Amidror said. "We will not let this happen."
Israeli Diplomacy: Finding Friends in Improbable Places
“Today we have diplomatic relations with 161 countries – more than at any time in our history,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the AIPAC policy conference in March. “And by the way, there are not that many countries left. There are only about 200 countries in the world.”
Despite the number of internal and external critics who say that Netanyahu is isolating Israel, the Jewish state is in fact making diplomatic connections that, in some cases, would have been unthinkable twenty or even ten years ago. Two news items this week brought this heartening development to light.
NATO announced on Wednesday that Israel would be opening a mission at the alliance’s headquarters in Brussels. From NATO’s perspective, the move appears to be part of strengthening its relationships with Middle Eastern allies, as it also announced the opening of missions for Jordan, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Qatar. But in Israel’s case, this triumph also reflects a movement towards re-establishing diplomatic ties with Turkey.
Turkey and Israel had a crisis in diplomatic relations following the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident, in which a group of activists set on breaking Israel’s naval blockade of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip attacked Israeli soldiers who were trying to board the vessel. In the ensuing violence, nine of the protesters were killed and ten Israeli soldiers were injured. Turkey, in protest, broke off ties with Israel. However since December, there have been growing signs that the two countries would re-establish ties. Turkey had long vetoed Israel’s attempt to open a mission in NATO headquarters, and its decision to drop the veto allowed the mission’s establishment to go forward.
Venezuela’s UN envoy: Is Israel seeking ‘final solution’ for Palestinians?
Venezuela’s ambassador to the United Nations on Friday compared Israel to the Nazi regime, asking whether the Jewish state planned to “wage a final solution” against the Palestinians.
In a speech to an informal meeting of the Security Council at the UN headquarters in New York on “protection” for Palestinian civilians, Rafael Ramirez said: “What does Israel plans do to with the Palestinians? Will they disappear? Does Israel seek probably to wage a final solution? The sort of solution that was perpetrated against the Jews?”
His comments drew a furious response from Israel’s ambassador Danny Danon, who accused Ramirez of “clear anti-Semitism.” The remarks came a day after Israel marked Holocaust Remembrance Day, in memory of the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis during World War II.
“This statement by the Venezuelan ambassador is clear anti-Semitism against the Jewish state,” Danon said, according to a statement released by the Israeli mission to the UN. “His remarks are a direct continuation to the Palestinian representative’s statement a few days ago comparing Israel to the Nazis.
Analysis: No tears in Jerusalem over Davutoglu’s departure
The resignation of Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Thursday may be causing headaches in Washington, where he was seen as a possible brake on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s efforts to consolidate power. The move may be a source of consternation in Europe, which saw the former professor as a possible reformer But Jerusalem is one capital where his departure will not be mourned.
Not because Israel has any faith in Erdogan, but rather because Davutoglu’s attitude toward Israel and the Jews was not seen as much different or better than Erdogan’s.
Davutoglu, who served as Erdogan’s chief adviser from 2003 to 2009, his foreign minister from 2009 to 2014, and prime minister for the last two years, was the ideological architect of Ankara’s foreign policy under Erdogan, a foreign policy that has essentially left Turkey friendless in the region, with the exception of Hamas and Qatar.
And it is a foreign policy that placed at its center a distancing from Israel.
Read Peter Beinart and you'll vote Donald Trump
Several weeks ago, I was “outed” as one of Donald Trump’s two advisors on the relationship between the United States of America and the State of Israel. It is an honor and a privilege to advise Mr. Trump on a critical issue that is near and dear to my heart, and I fervently hope that I have the opportunity to assist him in developing and implementing policies that strengthen both countries and the unbreakable bond between them.
Right now, however, the bloodsport of American presidential politics is in full bloom, and within that scented garden emerges a recent Op-Ed piece by CNN panelist, Peter Beinart, published in Israel’s left-wing paper Haaretz. Beinart, a well-known supporter of J Street, New Israel Fund and the BDS movement, decries Trump’s selection of Israel advisors as a cynical charade by which Trump leverages Jews in his employ to go “all in” on Israel solely to garner political capital. According to Beinart, these token Jews, myself included, are just willing pawns in a modern day Game of Thrones, all willing to fall on their proverbial swords for Trump the King.
I have never met Mr. Beinart nor do I care to, and he knows absolutely nothing about me. Had he made the slightest inquiry (apparently no longer necessary for modern journalists), he would have known that I am not in Mr. Trump’s employ, have hundreds of other clients, and hold views on Israel that are entirely independent of any political movement or candidate. Those views have been developed over more than thirty years of study of historical accounts and scholarly works, interaction with Israeli political, military and business leaders, and probably 100 trips or more to the Holy Land. I didn’t just come out of “central casting,” as Beinart implies, to facilitate some political theatre, and my beliefs are not for sale to the highest bidder. The same holds true for Jason Greenblatt, Mr. Trump’s other advisor, whom I have known for years.
But I do want to thank Mr. Beinart for getting this issue out on the table, albeit clumsily and disingenuously. Because his reflexive reaction to my involvement in the Trump candidacy lays bare how dangerous the Jewish left is to the State of Israel.
Sheldon Adelson Supports Donald Trump: He ‘Will Be Good for Israel’
Now that Donald Trump is the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, a top GOP donor, voiced support for his fellow billionaire.
“Yes, I’m a Republican, he’s a Republican, “Adelson told the New York Times in a brief interview. “He’s our nominee. Whoever the nominee would turn out to be, any one of the 17 — he was one of the 17. He won fair and square.”
Adelson, who has remained mostly neutral for the past few months of nominating competitions, made the comments on the sidelines of a gala dinner for the World Values Network, a Jewish organization run by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach.
According to the Times, Adelson said he believes Trump “will be good for Israel.”
Where Jewish conservatives stand on Trump: A running tally
Never Trump? Always Trump? Never-doesn’t-last-forever-Trump?
And what about Hillary or Bernie?
Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, presents a quandary for Jewish conservatives. He said in December that he doesn’t want Jewish Republican money, and that he would be “neutral” when it comes to Israel and the Palestinians.
He walked the “neutrality” back in his speech in March to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, but his peregrinations on foreign policy (hawk? dove? anything?), his lack of political and policy experience, his appeals to nativist, isolationist voters and his broadsides against Muslims, Hispanics and women continue to chill some conservatives, many Jews among them. On the other hand, his daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner are both Jewish and involved in pro-Israel and Jewish activism, and both have played prominent roles in his campaign.
We’ve started a running list of where prominent Jewish conservatives land when it comes to how to deal with The Donald. Expect updates, with new names and possibly changed positions.
University of Toronto "pro-Palestine" lecture featured Holocaust denial, claims of Jewish conspiracies, and praise for Hitler
Out of respect for the right to free speech, this sort of thing shouldn't be banned by law. But you'd imagine out of a sense of a commitment to truth, if not of decency, the University of Toronto would know better than to host an event featuring the demented antisemite, Ken O'Keefe.
Earlier in the week, O'Keefe was featured at a grubby little bunker called "Beit Zatoun," the hub of anti-Israel activism in Toronto.
The following day, he delivered a speech at The University of Toronto. Watch the video below and you'll see a man whose head is clearly filled with paranoid delusions and frizzled mental wiring claiming the Holocaust was a "myth," part of a Jewish conspiracy to oppress the Palestinians. His insanity extends to conspiracy theories about childhood vaccines and the CIA creating ISIS.
This happened with the acquiescence and, by allowing it to take place unchallenged at one of its lecture facilities, the imprimatur of The University of Toronto. It's worth noting that O'Keefe's events were promoted by the so-called "progressive" magazine, NOW. Interestingly, a NOW editor notoriously has said that she is in favor of censorship. NOW editor Susan Cole said universities are not the place for "provocateurs" who "target minorities." More interestingly, Holocaust denial and overt antisemitism evidently don't qualify as an example of hate speech for them. In fact, NOW referred to the Holocaust-denier O'Keefe as a "human rights activist."
This is what things have come to.
BBC's Jeremy Bowen Follows PLO Dictates
The latest example comes in a March 4 web article and a World Service radio broadcast that aired on March 6 about the violence in Jerusalem in the wake of a bus bombing carried out by a Palestinian terrorist last month. After creating a tale of equivalent mutual hatred and violence on each side, Bowen attempts to dispel the Israeli charge that Palestinian attacks are a result of relentless incitement by the Palestinian leadership. The BBC journalist imposes a blame-Israel narrative on his audience as he 'explains' the "core of the conflict":
But hundreds of conversations with Palestinians over many years here have convinced me that the biggest factor that shapes their attitudes to Israel is not the incitement to hate but the occupation of the Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem, that started after Israel's victory in the 1967 Middle East war.
When Palestinians who agitate against Israel find an audience, it is because of the way that the occupation, which is inherently violent, has overshadowed and controlled Palestinian lives for almost 50 years.

Not only does Bowen echo the Palestinian narrative by describing disputed territories meant to be defined in bilateral negotiations as "Palestinian territories" but he servilely obeys the PLO's media advisory to journalists laying out what they should emphasize in their reporting, namely,that the conflict is totally and singularly about "the occupation."
Hamas blames PA, Israel for deaths of 3 children in Gaza house fire
Ismail Haniyeh says Israeli blockade, high price of diesel imposed by PA, led to deaths of 3 kids whose candle-lit home burned down
Hamas Gaza leader Ismail Haniyeh on Saturday accused Israel and the Palestinian Authority of complicity in the deaths of three children killed in a fire that burned down their home, which was apparently started by candles used to light the residence.
Haniyeh said the Israeli blockade on Gaza, and the high price charged by the PA for diesel supplies to the Strip, cause power shortages which indirectly led to the children’s death.
“Israel’s plane are scorching the earth and Palestinian homes, and those who conspire (to continue) the siege on Gaza are burning Palestinian children,” Haniyeh said at the children’s funerals, Ynet reported.
Israel and Hamas are one misdirected shell away from war
Reports on Thursday evening that Janaa al Amor, a 49-year-old Palestinian woman, had been killed by Israeli artillery fire east of Khan Younis in the northern Gaza Strip illustrates how easily violence on the border between Israel and Gaza can escalate.
For now, it must be said, both sides seem interested in containing the violence. Even though IDF forces have been operating just beyond the Gaza fence, hunting on both sides of the border for Hamas’s attack tunnels, Hamas has been firing at the troops rather than launching rockets toward populated areas.
Nor has Hamas used its remaining tunnels — two of which have been found in the last month — or other means to attack Israeli targets.
For now, the two sides wrestle within this small perimeter, an area of 150-200 meters (165-656 feet) from the border fence where Israeli forces are operating under fire from Hamas members. On Thursday afternoon, Palestinian sources claimed that IDF troops were active in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip and in Rafah at its south, inside Palestinian territory.
Hamas: We don’t seek war, but won’t accept Israeli ‘incursions’
Hamas Gaza leader Ismail Haniyeh said on Friday that his terror group is not seeking war with Israel but will not tolerate Israeli troops entering the Palestinian territory.
“We are not calling for a new war, but we will not under any circumstance accept these incursions,” he said in a prayer sermon in the Gaza Strip, on the fourth day of tit-for-tat exchanges of fire between Hamas and Israel around the coastal enclave.
Haniyeh said that Israeli forces had intruded “150 to 199 meters (165 to 220 yards) on the pretext of searching for tunnels.”
Israel on Thursday announced it located a cross-border tunnel extending into Israel and built by the terror group for the second time in recent weeks.
Arab world silent in face of Israeli 'aggression' in Gaza, Nasrallah says
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah on Friday condemned Israel for its military operations in the Gaza Strip.
Hamas and the IDF exchanged hostilities sporadically over the course of the past 48 hours, with the Islamist movement firing mortars at Israeli soldiers operating near the Gaza-Israel frontier.
The IDF has retaliated with tank fire and fighter jet sorties against Hamas targets.
The Israeli military has been engaged in intensive efforts to ferret out and destroy Hamas-built tunnels that traverse the subterranean Gaza-Israel frontier.
"The Arab world is keeping quiet in light of this situation," Nasrallah said.
A cartoon journey through a Middle East childhood
While Sattouf insists he is not a satirist, in The Arab of the Future, politics inevitably looms threateningly at the edges of his portrayals of his family's experience, particularly in Hafez al-Assad's Syria.
The first word he learns in Arabic is "yahudi" or "Jew", which some children in his father's village accuse of him of being on account of his blond hair and foreign mother.
Some critics have pointed to scenes such as this as proof that the book's portrayal of the Arab world is reductive and misleading, but Sattouf rejects this.
"The children I met in Syria,... they were educated to hate Jews and to hate Israel but they were extremely intelligent people. They had nothing and they were very clever."
Bank settles $40M lawsuit over compulsory Hitler parody video
BNP Paribas bank has settled a $40 million lawsuit with a Jewish former employee who claims he was penalized for complaining about a mandatory viewing of a training film that featured Hitler and Nazi imagery.
The multinational bank’s settlement with Jean-Marc Orlando, 47, of Scarsdale, New York, was reported Tuesday by The New York Jewish Week.
The settlement, whose terms are undisclosed, came four months after U.S. Magistrate Court Judge Andrew Peck ruled that Orlando, who is Orthodox, had “presented sufficient evidence to allow a reasonable jury to conclude that he was subjected to a hostile work environment because of the two showings of the Hitler video ..."
The video in question was a subtitled training film adapted from the 2004 movie “Downfall.” The movie has inspired many parodies in which filmmakers insert subtitles into a scene in which Hitler goes on a tirade and yells at his subordinates.
BNP Paribas’ version depicted Hitler as the CEO of the bank’s competitor, Deutsche Bank.
Former MTV Star Tila Tequila: Put Shapiro In A Gas Chamber, Ship Him To Israel
On Thursday, washed-up former MTV star and vicious anti-Semite Tila Tequila spewed more of her bile all over Twitter to her obedient alt-right trolls.
The bisexual reality star said that conservative icon and Daily Wire Editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro “should be gassed and sent back to Israel.”
“Excuse me [Ben Shapiro],” wrote Tila via Twitter. “My council believes you should be gassed and sent back to Israel but since I'm the bigger man I won't hurt you.”
Tila, a woman who briefly made name for herself by flaunting over-the-top promiscuous behavior (What else is a girl to do when she has no talent?) has attempted to grasp onto an iota of limelight by riding the wave of the Trump-supported, racist alt-right. Ironically, the man often retweeting this troll of a woman is “conservative” “writer” Milo Yiannopoulos, a man who happens to be Jewish.
But the tiny woman filled to the brim with hate, suffering from a sad, vicious hunger for attention wasn’t done just yet. She proclaimed that she would “gladly sacrifice her own life” for the “destruction of all Jews.”
WJC: YouTube’s failure to remove neo-Nazi videos ‘beggars belief’
The World Jewish Congress expressed exasperation with Google over the weekend for its “scandalous” failure to remove neo-Nazi videos from its YouTube service, saying the company’s conduct in the matter “beggars belief.”
On Monday, WJC leaders claimed Google “steadfastly refuses to take action against the proliferation of racist and anti-Semitic material on its platforms.”
Though some videos flagged by the WJC were removed from the video sharing service following the complaint, the group said Friday that thousands more remained available.
“Video clips containing obscene songs which, inter alia, call for the gassing of Jews and glorify the Nazi Holocaust, continue to be easily accessible via YouTube,” WJC President Ronald S. Lauder said in a statement.
“Albeit illegal in Germany, Google has no qualms in making music of extremist bands available. Such inaction is scandalous, and it really beggars belief,” he said.
Queen’s milliner who fled the Nazis killed in London road accident
Herta Groves, who died on April 27 at the age of 96, was born to a middle class family in the Austrian capital in 1920, Britain’s Daily Telegraph reported, but left the country for the UK with scarce funds when she was just 19. Prior to her departure, she had used her sizable family home to show other Jewish women how to obtain foreign work permits so that they could leave Austria and escape the Nazis.
Following her departure, Groves’s father died of pneumonia contracted when the Nazis forced him to shovel snow on the streets of Vienna, the Telegraph said. Her mother and younger sister had planned to follow Groves to London, but perished in a concentration camp in Latvia in 1942.
In the British capital, Groves established the London Hat Company, making her own designs into couture head wear. The business was a success, and she opened offices across Europe, even in Germany.
“The British gave us a chance to re-start our lives. We could rebuild everything here,” Groves told the USC Shoah Foundation, an organization created by Steven Spielberg to record the stories of Holocaust survivors. “I didn’t speak about the Holocaust to anyone, when I gave speeches it was mostly about hats.”
HexaTier wins at 2016 Cybersecurity Excellence Awards
Israeli startup HexaTier, which offers a comprehensive security and compliance solution for databases and Database as a Service (DBaaS) platforms, has been chosen as the best Database Security provider in the annual Cybersecurity Excellence Awards.
The award recognizes the benefits of HexaTier’s technology, which prevents unauthorized user access and ensures security and compliance.
“Congratulations to HexaTier for being recognized as the winner in the Database Security category of the 2016 Cybersecurity Excellence Awards,” said Holger Schulze, founder of the 300,000 member Information Security Community on LinkedIn. “With over 430 entries, the awards are highly competitive and winners reflect the best in product innovation and excellence in the cybersecurity space.”
HexaTier (formerly GreenSQL) was founded in 2009. The company provides security for cloud-hosted databases and DBaaS platforms.
Palestinian-Israeli Venture Firm Encourages Diversity in Israeli Startups
If investing in hope could be trademarked, two Israeli entrepreneurs—Forsan Hussein and Ami Dror—would hold the patent.
The two cofounders and managing partners of Zaitoun Ventures—an investment firm that focuses on companies with diverse human capital—say their strategy is proving to be a winning formula.
“We wanted to create a business that inspires hope but also fulfills its mission to make money. It’s an investment company with values, with a soul,” Hussein told ISRAEL21c. “People like us have a responsibility to do something big.”
Dror and Hussein, who knew each other for years, formally joined forces in 2014. They have raised $5 million and invested some $17 million in Israeli startups so far.
The name of the company comes from the Arabic for “olive tree.” “The olive tree is a symbol,” Hussein said. “It’s a story of peace. We Arabs and Jews have a Mediterranean connectedness. There’s something that bonds us. Maybe this is the symbol for the future.”
Terror attack turns Arab Ohio restaurant owner into fighter for Israel
After not visiting Israel for nine years, Hany Baransi, the owner of the Nazareth Restaurant and Deli in Columbus, Ohio, needed to be home in Haifa surrounded by family who would understand what he’s been going through lately — terrorism.
On February 11, Baransi’s popular restuarant was attacked by a machete-wielding assailant. The attacker, 30-year-old Mohamed Bary, was chased and killed by police after he allegedly lunged at them with a weapon. According to news reports, Bary, a Muslim from Guinea in West Africa, had previously come to the FBI’s attention with his radical Islamist statements.
Four were injured in the attack; one victim, musician Bill Foley, was critically hurt. Foley and the other victims have now recovered and he is even back performing at the Nazareth Restaurant.
While in northern Israel this week, Baransi told The Times of Israel by phone that he is sure the attack was a targeted assassination, although he was not at the restaurant at the time of the attack and had not received any threats. He said his staff told him that about half an hour before the attack, Bary had entered the restaurant asking about the owner’s national background. After staff members told Bary that Baransi was from Israel, he left. He soon returned wielding a machete and began hacking at customers and staff.
“I am sure it was an assassination attempt. I was the target. Why else would the Nazareth have been targeted? It wasn’t a random attack. Mine is the only restaurant in Columbus that displays an Israeli flag,” said Baransi.
Baransi, a 50-year-old Christian Arab who has lived in the United States since 1983, has always been proudly open about his Israeli nationality.

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