Understanding the Israeli-Egyptian-Saudi alliance

partners-300x191By Caroline Glick:

Hamas’s war with Israel is not a stand-alone event. It is happening in the context of the vast changes that are casting asunder old patterns of behavior and strategic understandings as actors in the region begin to reassess the threats they face.

Hamas was once funded by Saudi Arabia and enabled by Egypt. Now the regimes of these countries view it as part of a larger axis of Sunni jihad that threatens not only Israel, but them.

The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and its state sponsors Qatar and Turkey, are the key members of this alliance structure. Without their support Hamas would have gone down with the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt last summer. As it stands, all view Hamas’s war with Israel as a means of reinstating the Brotherhood to power in that country.

To achieve a Hamas victory, Turkey, Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood are using Western support for Hamas against Israel. If the US and the EU are able to coerce Egypt and Israel to open their borders with Gaza, then the Western powers will hand the jihadist axis a strategic victory.

The implications of such a victory would be dire.

Hamas is ideologically indistinguishable from Islamic State. Like Islamic State, Hamas has developed mass slaughter and psychological terrorization as the primary tools in its military doctrine. If the US and the EU force Israel and Egypt to open Gaza’s borders, they will enable Hamas to achieve strategic and political stability in Gaza. As a consequence, a post-war Gaza will quickly become a local version of Islamic State-controlled Mosul.

In the first instance, such a development will render life in southern Israel too imperiled to sustain. The Western Negev, and perhaps Beersheba, Ashkelon and Ashdod, will become uninhabitable.

Then there is Judea and Samaria. If, as the US demands, Israel allows Gaza to reconnect with Judea and Samaria, in short order Hamas will dominate the areas. Militarily, the transfer of even a few of the thousands of rocket-propelled grenades Hamas has in Gaza will imperil military forces and civilians alike.

IDF armored vehicles and armored civilian buses will be blown to smithereens.

Whereas operating from Gaza, Hamas needed the assistance of the Obama administration and the Federal Aviation Administration to shut down Ben-Gurion Airport, from Judea and Samaria, all Hamas would require are a couple of hand-held mortars.

Jordan will also be directly threatened.

From Egypt’s perspective, a Hamas victory in the war with Israel that connects Gaza to Sinai will strengthen the Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamic State and other allies. Such a development represents a critical threat to the regime.

And this brings us to Islamic State itself. It couldn’t have grown to its current monstrous proportions without the support of Qatar and Turkey.

Read more

Anti-Semitism and its limitations

france-protest-450x313By Caroline Glick:

Outside the US, throughout the Western world, anti-Semitism is becoming a powerful social and political force. And its power is beginning to have a significant impact on Israel’s relations with other democracies.

Consider South Africa. Following a lopsided vote by the University of Cape Town’s Student Union to boycott Israel, Jewish students fear that their own student union will be barred from operating on campus. Carla Frumer from the South African Jewish Student Union told The Times of Israel, “If they prove we are a Zionist organization and support Israel, they can have us banned and seek to de-register us.”

In Sydney, Australia, Jewish families received a triple blow last week when Jewish children on a chartered school bus were assaulted by eight anti-Semitic drunken teenagers.

The first shock was that their children, some as young as five, were terrorized on their school bus.

The second shock was that the bus driver made an unscheduled stop to allow the anti-Semites to board the bus and harass the children.

The third shock was that after catching six of the eight assailants, the police let them out of jail the same evening.

Taken together, the incident revealed an obscene comfort level among Australian authorities with the terrorization of Jewish children. Jewish families cannot assume that their children will be protected by non-Jews, whether they are school bus drivers or the police.

Unfortunately, these stories do not begin to scratch the surface of the rising tide of anti-Semitism in the developed world. From Paris to San Paulo, from Berlin to Boston the public space Jews can enjoy without fear is becoming more and more limited.

The same is the case in leftist political circles.

Last week, Paul Estrin, the president of Canada’s Green Party, was forced to resign for his pro-Israel views. On July 25, Estrin posted a pro-Israel essay on the party’s website. His post caused a furor among the party faithful. The Green Party’s leader, MP Elizabeth May, distanced herself from Estrin. And almost the entire party leadership denounced him and demanded his resignation.

In an essay published this week in the Canadian Jewish News, Estrin explained that he joined the party because he wanted to make a difference in the spheres of the environmental protection and human rights. He did not believe that working to achieve these goals in the Green Party would require him to disavow his support for Israel. His recent experience showed him that he was wrong.

In his words, “I am now convinced that one simply can’t [support Israel] within the confines of Canada’s Green Party.”

Similar sentiments have been expressed in recent weeks by pro-Israel members of Britain’s Labor Party. After party leader Ed Miliband sided with the majority of the party membership and against Israel in Operation Protective Edge, Kate Bearman, the former director of Labor Friends for Israel, published an article in the Jewish Chronicle announcing that she was quitting the Labor Party.

Bearman wrote, “I feel Ed Miliband’s rush to a condemnation of Israel’s ground incursion into Gaza gave me no choice but to say goodbye to the party I have always voted and campaigned for.”

A survey of Britons taken at the end of last month by YouGov showed that 62 percent believed that Israel had committed war crimes in Gaza. This includes 72% of Labor supporters and 57% of Conservatives.

In other words, nearly two-thirds of Britons believe that Israel has no right to defend itself. And since Israel is surrounded by forces that seek its destruction, we can extrapolate that nearly two-thirds of Britons would, at a minimum, have no problem with Israel being wiped off the map.

This rising political force of anti-Semitism is already impacting previously supportive governments’ policies toward the Jewish state. Bowing to the anti-Israel positions of his Liberal-Democrat coalition partners, British Prime Minister David Cameron decided that arms exports to Israel will be suspended if Hamas continues its current round of war with Israel.

The primary engine propelling Western nation after Western nation to abandon their support for Israel and deny the protection of law to Jewish communities is the rising power of Muslim minority communities in these countries. As Douglas Murray explained in an essay published by the Gatestone Institute this week, when it comes to Israel and Jews, otherwise integrated, moderate Muslims in Europe are quick to join jihadists in denouncing Israel and rallying behind anti-Semitic curses and threats.

Read more at Front Page

Fighting Without Silver Bullets

f140419ns85-1-e1405849325482-426x350By Caroline Glick:

Hours before Israel accepted the Egyptian-brokered cease-fire deal on Monday night, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu traveled to the south to try to allay the fears of area residents.

It’s not at all clear how successful he was.

Residents of the communities bordering the Gaza Strip who evacuated their homes are skeptical of the IDF’s claims that it is safe for them to return.

In an interview with NRG website, Yael Paz-Lahiany, a mother of three young children from Kibbutz Nahal Oz just across the border from Gaza professed profound confusion and concern.

“I really don’t understand what is happening here and don’t know what to think. Just on Saturday we had 10 red alerts at Nahal Oz and I don’t know what to say. I also don’t understand what the prime minister said [Saturday].

I just know that I am staying at Kibbutz Dorot, and here too they are operating on emergency footing, the nurseries are only partially open, and no one is going back to normal. So if 10 kilometers from Gaza they haven’t returned to their routine, how are we supposed to go back to our lives 800 meters from the wire?” Israel’s operations in Gaza so far have been based on the hope that Hamas can be convinced to stand down.

Israel has destroyed its tunnels. The IDF killed hundreds of Hamas terrorists. The IDF destroyed Hamas’s bases.

Hamas’s missile arsenal is depleted. Its leaders are safe only so long as they remain hidden in their illegal bunkers under Shifa hospital. Hamas remains cash strapped and without access to resupply from Iran or other allies.

Assuming that Hamas maintains the 72-hour ceasefire that it requested, in negotiations that may ensue for a more detailed cease-fire agreement if the US is unable to coerce Israel and Egypt into agreeing to open the borders and save Hamas, Hamas will be destroyed through attrition.

If this happens, Israel will have won a great victory.

But if Hamas continues to attack southern communities at any level Israel will have no choice. It will have to send its forces back into Gaza with the mission of retaking control there.

There is only one thing worse than reasserting Israel’s military control over Gaza: Losing southern Israel. So long as residents of the south fear returning to their homes, Israel is losing southern Israel.

This looming prospect of having to retake Gaza would be bad enough if Israel only had to concern itself with Gaza. But Israel enjoys no such luxury.

Far more dangerous than Hamas is Hezbollah. Whereas Hamas’s missiles are unguided, Hezbollah has guided missiles that are capable of reaching every centimeter of Israeli territory. And their payloads are big enough to destroy high-rise buildings.

Unlike Hamas, Hezbollah has anti-aircraft missiles and anti-ship missiles capable of disrupting air and naval operations.

Hezbollah has drones that it has launched successfully.

And the possibility that Hezbollah has some level of unconventional weapons cannot be ruled out.

Hezbollah commanders and fighters have gained massive experience fighting in Syria and Iraq. They have sophisticated intelligence gathering capabilities including human intelligence and signals intelligence assets.

They have advanced command and control systems.

And by all accounts, Hamas’s terror tunnels are nothing in comparison to Hezbollah’s extensive network of tunnels that run beneath the border with Israel.

Read more at Front Page

Congress, Obama and the way to defeat Hamas

By Caroline Glick:

As often happens in war, plans are overtaken by events. Following Hamas’s attack this morning on Givati forces in Rafah during the US-UN ceasefire, I realized that my assumption that a ceasefire is possible, on which I based my latest column was no longer supported by evidence. 

I wrote the following column in light of what I now realize about Hamas’s rationale for fighting. I urge the US citizens reading this column to contact their Congressional representatives and ask them to take action, as set forth below.

Shabbat shalom.

Kerry Hamas

Why did Hamas attack the Givati forces, kill two soldiers and capture 2nd. Lt. Hadar Goldin Friday morning in violation of the US-UN brokered 72-hour cease fire?

Hamas acted as it did, because it thinks it can get away with it. And Hamas thinks that it can get away with it because Hamas is convinced that it will win this war.

And as long as Hamas is convinced that it will win this war, it will continue to attack, no matter what its situation is on the ground in Gaza. It will continue to attack Israel no matter what Israel does.

As a consequence, there is no way for Israel to disengage. There can never be a ceasefire with Hamas for as long as Hamas is convinced that it will win this war.

To understand why Hamas is convinced that it will win, it is necessary to understand first why Hamas is fighting in the first place.

Hamas went to war with one goal, to reopen Gaza to the world.

Hamas is fighting to open Gaza’s border with Egypt, to end Israel’s maritime blockade of the Gaza coast, and to reinstate its lines of finance.

Today Hamas’s leadership, snug in their multi-million dollar villas in Qatar and well-equipped bunkers under Shifa Hospital in Gaza City are certain that they will achieve their goal. They will win.

And as a consequence, they will not stop attacking Israel.

Hamas’s goal of opening Gaza to the world has nothing to do with helping the people of Gaza. Hamas wants open borders so that it can import arms and the means to rebuild its tunnels. It wants to open the borders so that it can replenish its coffers.

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Caroline Glick: A realistic alternative to the failed “Two-State Solution” (With Q&A)

Caroline Glick, Senior Contributing Editor, The Jerusalem Post; Author, The Israeli Solution: A One State Plan for Peace in the Middle East (Crown Forum, 2014); Adjunct Fellow, Center for Security Policy speaks at the Center for Security Policy’s National Security Group Lunch on Capitol Hill regarding a realistic alternative to the failed “Two-State Solution”

With introductions by Rep. Doug Lamborn (Colorado, 5th District), Member, House Armed Services Committee; Co-Chairman, Israel Allies Caucus; Co-Chairman, House Republican Israel Caucus; Co-Chairman, House Missile Defense Caucus

Will Obama Snatch Defeat from the Jaws of Victory Over Hamas?

tunnel2By Andrew C. McCarthy:

Important columns by former attorney general Michael Mukasey and Caroline Glick make the point that in Israel’s defensive war against Hamas, the main thing to focus on is not the missiles; it’s the tunnels. Perhaps more significantly, they demonstrate that the Obama administration, in its mulish appeasement of the Muslim Brotherhood-Sunni supremacist axis that even Islamic governments (indeed, even the Saudis) are shunning, is subverting a golden opportunity to achieve decisive victory over Hamas – the necessary precondition if there is ever to be a stable Israeli-Palestinian settlement.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Judge Mukasey explains that Hamas’s strategic plan for jihad against Israel hinges on the large and sophisticated network of tunnels into Israel that the terror organization built while ruling Gaza during the years since Israel’s 2005 evacuation. While much attention has been drawn to “Iron Dome,” the Israeli air defense system that has responded to Hamas rocket-fire, the trigger for the Israeli ground offensive was more likely the challenge posed by the tunnel network. That challenge, Judge Mukasey writes, “became obvious on Saturday when eight Palestinian fighters wearing Israeli military uniforms emerged from a tunnel 300 yards inside Israel and killed two Israeli soldiers in a firefight.” He elaborates:

The tunnel network gave [Hamas] the ability to launch a coordinated attack within Israel like the 2008 Islamist rampage in Mumbai that killed 164 people. Recall that in 2011 Israel released more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, more than 200 of whom were under a life sentence for planning and perpetrating terror attacks. They were exchanged for one Israeli soldier,Gilad Shalit, who had been taken hostage in a cross-border raid by Hamas. Imagine the leverage that Hamas could have achieved by sneaking fighters through the tunnels and taking hostages throughout Israel; the terrorists intercepted Saturday night were carrying tranquilizers and handcuffs.

Caroline Glick strikes the same note in her latest column:

We have known for years that tunnels were a central component of Hamas’s logistical infrastructure. What began as the primary means of smuggling weapons, trainers and other war material from Hamas’s sponsors abroad developed rapidly into a strategic tool of offensive warfare against Israel.

As we have seen from the heavily armed Hamas commando squads that have infiltrated into Israel from tunnels since the start of the current round of warfare, the first goal of these offensive tunnels is to deploy terrorists into Israel to massacre Israelis. But the tunnels facilitate other terror missions as well. Israel has found tunnels with shafts rigged with bombs located directly under Israeli kindergartens. If the bombs had gone off, the buildings above would have been destroyed, taking the children down with them.

Other exposed shafts showed Hamas’s continued intense interest in hostage taking. In 2006 the terrorists who kidnapped Cpl.Gilad Schalit entered Israel and returned to Gaza through such a tunnel. Today the presence of sedatives and multiple sets of handcuffs for neutralizing hostages found in tunnel after tunnel indicate that Hamas intends to abduct several Israelis at once and spirit them back to Gaza.

There is only one way to deal with this menace once and for all: Israel has to be allowed to win, an argument I posited yesterday, here. As Ms. Glick points out,Hamas is the Muslim Brotherhood, which makes it a big piece of the global jihad. Besides being every bit as much America’s enemy as Israel’s, Hamas is now not only motivated but more lethally capable than it has ever been:

Hamas’s rapid advances in both tunnel and missile technology are deeply worrisome. At a minimum, they indicate that if it is allowed to end the current round of fighting as a coherent, relatively well-armed terrorist army, Hamas will be able to rapidly rebuild and expand its capabilities. As a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas is not a stand-alone terror group. It is part of a much larger web of Islamic jihadist terror groups including al-Qaida and its affiliates as well as the Shi’ite Hezbollah.

But there is a big positive in the equation. As part of the Brotherhood and the global jihad, Hamas is also more isolated than it has ever been. As those of usopposed to U.S. intervention in Syria have contended, by not interrupting our enemies while they were squaring off against each other, we’d see their relations rupture. That is exactly what has happened.

Read more at National Review

The Threat Is Blowback

iraq-isisfighter-450x341by Caroline Glick:

Watching the undoing, in a week, of victories that US forces won in Iraq at great cost over many years, Americans are asking themselves what, if anything, should be done.

What can prevent the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) – the al-Qaida offshoot that President Barack Obama derided just months ago as a bunch of amateurs – from taking over Iraq? And what is at stake for America – other than national pride – if it does? Muddying the waters is the fact that the main actor that seems interested in fighting ISIS on the ground in Iraq is Iran. Following ISIS’s takeover of Mosul and Tikrit last week, the Iranian regime deployed elite troops in Iraq from the Quds Force, its foreign operations division.

The Obama administration, along with Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham, views Iran’s deployment of forces in Iraq as an opportunity for the US. The US, they argue should work with Iran to defeat ISIS.

The idea is that since the US and Iran both oppose al-Qaida, Iranian gains against it will redound to the US’s benefit.

There are two basic, fundamental problems with this idea.

First, there is a mountain of evidence that Iran has no beef with al-Qaida and is happy to work with it.

According to the 9/11 Commission’s report, between eight and 10 of the September 11 hijackers traveled through Iran before going to the US. And this was apparently no coincidence.

According to the report, Iran had been providing military training and logistical support for al-Qaida since at least the early 1990s.

After the battle of Tora Bora in December 2001, al-Qaida’s leadership scattered. Many senior commanders – including bin Laden’s son Said, al-Qaida’s chief strategist Saif al-Adel and Suleiman Abu Ghaith – decamped to Iran, where they set up a command center.

From Iran, these men directed the operations of al-Qaida forces in Iraq led by Abu Musab Zarqawi. Zarqawi entered Iraq from Iran and returned to Iran several times during the years he led al-Qaida operations in Iraq.

Iran’s cooperation with al-Qaida continues today in Syria.

According to The Wall Street Journal, in directing the defense of Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria, Iran has opted to leave ISIS and its al-Qaida brethren in the Nusra Front alone. That is why they have been able to expand their power in northern Syria.

Iran and its allies have concentrated their attacks against the more moderate Free Syrian Army, which they view as a threat.

Given Iran’s 20-year record of cooperation with al-Qaida, it is reasonable to assume that it is deploying forces into Iraq to tighten its control over Shi’ite areas, not to fight al-Qaida. The record shows that Iran doesn’t believe that its victories and al-Qaida’s victories are mutually exclusive.

Read more at Front Page

Pragmatism, Obama and the Bergdahl Swap

article-2646603-1E5E6F6F00000578-125_638x406-438x350By Caroline Glick:

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

US President Barack Obama is an artist of political propaganda. Both his greatest admirers and his most vociferous opponents agree that his ability to manipulate public opinion has no peer in American politics today.

So how can we explain the fiasco that is his decision not only to swap five senior Taliban terror masters for US Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, but to take ownership over the decision by presenting it to the American people in a ceremony with Bergdahl’s parents at the White House Rose Garden? Clearly Obama overreached. He misread the public’s disposition.

This much is made clear by the immediate criticism his actions received from the liberal media. It wasn’t just Fox News and National Review that said Obama broke the law when he failed to notify Congress of the swap 30 days prior to its implementation.

It was CNN and NBC News.

MSNBC commentators criticized the swap. And CNN interviewed Bergdahl’s platoon mates who to a man accused him of desertion, with many alleging as well that he collaborated with the enemy. It was CNN that gave the names of the six American soldiers who died trying to rescue Bergdahl from the Taliban.

What was it about the Bergdahl trade tipped the scales? Why is this decision different from Obama’s other foreign policy decisions? For instance, why is the public outraged now when it wasn’t outraged in the aftermath of the jihadist assault on US installations in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, in which US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were murdered? Politically, Obama emerged unscathed from failures in every area he has engaged. From Iraq to Iran to Syria to Libya to Russia and beyond, he has never experienced the sort of across the board condemnation he is now suffering. His political allies and media supporters always rallied to his side. They always explained away his failures.

So what explains the outcry? Why are people like Senator Dianne Feinstein, who have been supportive of Obama’s nuclear appeasement of Iran, up in arms over the Bergdahl swap? There are three aspects of the Bergdahl deal that distinguish it from the rest of Obama’s foreign policy blunders.

First, the Bergdahl deal was conducted in an unlawful manner and the White House readily acknowledged that it knowingly broke the law by not informing Congress 30 days in advance of the swap. This brazen lawbreaking angered Obama’s loyal allies in Congress who, like Feinstein, were insulted by his behavior.

Second, Obama initiated the story and made himself the sole owner of the swap.

Obama didn’t have to make the Bargdahl swap a story about his foreign policy. He chose to. As commentators have argued, if Obama had simply ordered the Defense Department to issue a press release announcing the swap the story probably wouldn’t have caused more than the normal amount of controversy.

And whereas Benghazi was a story about jihadists attacking, and Obama was pilloried – and defended – for his response to an act of aggression initiated by US enemies, Obama presented the Bergdahl swap as his brainchild. So it is impossible to blame anyone else for this move, or wish it away.

As the administration saw it, the public would rally around the leader over this feel-good story.

Obama obviously believed that the Bergdahl trade would help him to surmount his opponents’ criticism over the Veterans’ Administration scandal and other issues.

And this is where his failure to understand the disposition of the American people comes into play.

Read more at Front Page

Pope Francis’ Unfriendly Visit

popedf-450x273By Caroline Glick:

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman were right when they blamed the noxious anti-Israel incitement rampant in Europe for Saturday’s murderous shooting attack at the Jewish Museum in Brussels and the assault and battery of two Jewish brothers outside their synagogue in a Paris suburb later that day.

Anti-Israel incitement is ubiquitous in Europe and is appearing in ever-widening circles of the Western world as a whole.

Until this week, the Catholic Church stayed out of the campaign to dehumanize Jews and malign the Jewish state.

Pope Benedict XVI was perceived as a friend of Israel, despite his childhood membership in the Hitler Youth. His opposition to Islam’s rejection of reason, eloquently expressed at his speech at the University of Regensburg in 2006, positioned him as a religious champion of reason, individual responsibility and law – Judaism’s primary contributions to humanity.

His predecessor Pope John Paul II was less willing to confront Islamic violence. But his opposition to Communism made him respect Israel as freedom’s outpost in the Middle East. John Paul’s visit to Israel in 2000 was in some ways an historic gesture of friendship to the Jewish people of Israel.

Both Benedict and John Paul II were outspoken champions of the Second Vatican Council and maintained doctrinal allegiance to the Church’s rejection of anti-Judaism, including the charge of deicide, and its denunciation of replacement theology.

Alas, the Golden Age of Catholic-Jewish relations seems to have come to an end during Francis’s visit to the Promised Land this week.

In one of his blander pronouncements during the papal visit, Netanyahu mentioned on Monday that Jesus spoke Hebrew. There was nothing incorrect about Netanyahu’s statement. Jesus was after all, an Israeli Jew.

But Francis couldn’t take the truth. So he indelicately interrupted his host, interjecting, “Aramaic.”

Netanyahu was probably flustered. True, at the time, educated Jews spoke and wrote in Aramaic. And Jesus was educated. But the language of the people was Hebrew. And Jesus preached to the people, in Hebrew.

Netanyahu responded, “He spoke Aramaic, but he knew Hebrew.”

Reuters’ write-up of the incident tried to explain away the pope’s rudeness and historical revisionism, asserting, “Modern-day discourse about Jesus is complicated and often political.” The report went on to delicately mention, “Palestinians sometimes describe Jesus as a Palestinian. Israelis object to that.”

Israelis “object to that” because it is a lie.

The Palestinians – and their Islamic and Western supporters – de-Judaize Jesus and proclaim him Palestinian in order to libel the Jews and criminalize the Jewish state. It seems like it would be the job of the Bishop of Rome to set the record straight. But instead, Francis’s discourtesy indicated that at a minimum, he doesn’t think the fact of Jesus’s Judaism should be mentioned in polite company.

Francis’s behavior during his public meeting with Netanyahu could have been brushed off as much ado about nothing if it hadn’t occurred the day after his symbolic embrace of some of the worst anti-Jewish calumnies of our times, and his seeming adoption of replacement theology during his homily in Bethlehem.

Read more at Front Page

 

Believing Obama on Iran

Obama_Iran-450x305by :

Brig. Gen. (ret.) Uzi Eilam is an octogenarian who served as the director general of Israel’s Atomic Energy Commission from 1976 until 1985.

Last Friday Eilam gave a head-scratching interview to Yediot Aharonot’s Ronen Bergman in which he claimed that Iran’s nuclear weapons program is a decade from completion. He said it is far from clear that the Iranians even want a nuclear arsenal. He accused Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of cynically exaggerating the threat from Iran in order to strengthen himself politically.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Eilam’s interview was his absolute certainty in his judgment.

Eilam, who hasn’t had any inside knowledge of nuclear issues since 1985, would have us believe that he knows better than active duty Israeli intelligence chiefs and US intelligence directors about the status of Iran’s nuclear weapons program. He even thinks he knows better than the UN’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Israel assesses that Iran already has sufficient quantities of enriched uranium to produce five atomic bombs. As Netanyahu has said, the interim nuclear deal the US and its allies signed with Iran last November only delays Iran’s bomb making capacity by six weeks.

In January, James Clapper, the director of US national intelligence, agreed with Israel’s assessment. In testimony before the Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence Clapper said that Iran is already a nuclear breakout state. In his words, “Tehran has made technical progress in a number of areas – including uranium enrichment, nuclear reactors and ballistic missiles – from which it could draw if it decided to build missile- deliverable nuclear weapons.”

Clapper argued that this doesn’t matter because the US’s monitoring capabilities are so trustworthy and advanced that Iran wouldn’t be able to put nuclear weapons together without the US noticing.

Unfortunately there is no reason to believe Clapper is right. Indeed, Netanyahu said as much to US National Security Advisor Susan Rice when she repeated Clapper’s claim during her visit to Israel last week.

And the UN agrees with Netanyahu.

In two reports released in recent days, UN officials have stated that Iran has developed an advanced capacity to hide its importation of components of its nuclear program. According to a Reuters report, this includes hiding titanium tubs in steel pipes and using its petrochemical industry as a cover to obtain valves and other items for its heavy-water nuclear reactor.

According to an AP report, the IAEA is also concerned because Iran is not cooperating with the watchdog group in revealing information about possible military applications of its nuclear program, or allowing the IAEA unfettered access to all nuclear sites.

Iran’s lack of transparency puts paid to the US’s claim that it can monitor all of Iran’s activities. It is far from clear that the US is even aware of all of Iran’s nuclear sites. So even if the US is capable of perfectly monitoring the known sites, it cannot know what it doesn’t know, and so may very well be monitoring the wrong sites.

And yet, despite US’s acknowledgment that Iran already has breakout capacity, and despite the UN’s conclusion that the Iranians are cheating on their international commitments and bypassing sanctions through smuggling activities, Brig. Gen. Eilam, who left the nuclear business 28 years ago, feels comfortable accusing Netanyahu of deliberately misleading the public and the world community.

What gives? It is hard to escape the feeling that there may be a connection between Eilam’s unhinged broadside against Netanyahu and the US’s assault on the credibility of Israel’s nuclear warnings.

On Sunday Iran’s dictator Ayatollah Ali Khamenei visited a Revolutionary Guards Corps base. There he was shown what the IRGC claims is a reverse-engineered clone of an advanced US espionage drone that Iran captured in 2011. According to Fox News, after the RAQ-170 Sentinel drone landed in Iran in 2011, the Pentagon presented US President Barack Obama with three different plans to destroy or retrieve the drone.

Obama rejected all of them because “he didn’t want to do anything that could be perceived as an act of war.”

During the same visit, to the IRGC base on Sunday, Khamenei told the commanders to begin mass producing ballistic missiles to use against the US.

In his words, the Americans “expect us to limit our missile program while they constantly threaten Iran with military action. So this is a stupid, idiotic expectation.

The Revolutionary Guards should definitely carry out their program and not be satisfied with the present level. They should mass produce. This is a main duty of all military officials.”

In other words, on Sunday, a declared enemy of the US, that the director of national intelligence acknowledges already has the independent capability to produce nuclear weapons, humiliated and threatened the US.

At a minimum Iran’s capture of the US drone indicates that the US capacity to monitor Iran’s nuclear capabilities is vulnerable and imperfect.

As for the ballistic missiles, they should be of utmost concern to the Europeans and the Americans. Iran doesn’t need ballistic missiles to attack Israel with nuclear weapons.

It can use artillery, not to mention a human being playing the role of Enola Gay.

But rather than condemn Iranian espionage and aggression, over the past week, Obama administration officials have launched a full court press against Israel.

Read more at Front Page

The Disappearance of US Will

obama-foreign-policy-policy-second-term-john-bolton-620x396-450x287By Caroline Glick:

The most terrifying aspect of the collapse of US power worldwide is the US’s indifferent response to it.

In Europe, in Asia, in the Middle East and beyond, America’s most dangerous foes are engaging in aggression and brinkmanship unseen in decades.

As Gordon Chang noted at a symposium in Los Angeles last month hosted by the David Horowitz Freedom Center, since President Barack Obama entered office in 2009, the Chinese have responded to his overtures of goodwill and appeasement with intensified aggression against the US’s Asian allies and against US warships.

In 2012, China seized the Scarborough Shoal from the Philippines. Washington shrugged its shoulders despite its mutual defense treaty with the Philippines. And so Beijing is striking again, threatening the Second Thomas Shoal, another Philippine possession.

In a similar fashion, Beijing is challenging Japan’s control over the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea and even making territorial claims on Okinawa.

As Chang explained, China’s recent application of its Air-Defense Identification Zone to include Japanese and South Korean airspace is a hostile act not only against those countries but also against the principle of freedom of maritime navigation, which, Chang noted, “Americans have been defending for more than two centuries.”

The US has responded to Chinese aggression with ever-escalating attempts to placate Beijing.

And China has responded to these US overtures by demonstrating contempt for US power.

Last week, the Chinese humiliated Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel during his visit to China’s National Defense University. He was harangued by a student questioner for the US’s support for the Philippines and Japan, and for opposition to Chinese unilateral seizure of island chains and assertions of rights over other states’ airspace and international waterways.

As he stood next to Hagel in a joint press conference, China’s Defense Chief Chang Wanquan demanded that the US restrain Japan and the Philippines.

In addition to its flaccid responses to Chinese aggression against its allies and its own naval craft, in 2012 the US averred from publicly criticizing China for its sale to North Korea of mobile missile launchers capable of serving Pyongyang’s KN-08 intercontinental ballistic missiles. With these easily concealed launchers, North Korea significantly upgraded its ability to attack the US with nuclear weapons.

As for Europe, the Obama administration’s responses to Russia’s annexation of Crimea and to its acts of aggression against Ukraine bespeak a lack of seriousness and dangerous indifference to the fate of the US alliance structure in Eastern Europe.

Rather than send NATO forces to the NATO member Baltic states, and arm Ukrainian forces with defensive weapons, as Russian forces began penetrating Ukraine, the US sent food to Ukraine and an unarmed warship to the Black Sea.

Clearly not impressed by the US moves, the Russians overflew and shadowed the US naval ship. As Charles Krauthammer noted on Fox News on Monday, the Russian action was not a provocation. It was “a show of contempt.”

As Krauthammer explained, it could have only been viewed as a provocation if Russia had believed the US was likely to respond to its shadowing of the warship. Since Moscow correctly assessed that the US would not respond to its aggression, by buzzing and following the warship, the Russians demonstrated to Ukraine and other US allies that they cannot trust the US to protect them from Russia.

In the Middle East, it is not only the US’s obsessive approach to the Palestinian conflict with Israel that lies in shambles. The entire US alliance system and the Obama administration’s other signature initiatives have also collapsed.

After entering office, Obama implemented an aggressive policy in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere of killing al-Qaida operatives with unmanned drones. The strategy was based on the notion that such a campaign, that involves no US boots on the ground, can bring about a rout of the terrorist force at minimal human cost to the US and at minimal political cost to President Barack Obama.

The strategy has brought about the demise of a significant number of al-Qaida terrorists over the years. And due to the support Obama enjoys from the US media, the Obama administration paid very little in terms of political capital for implementing it.

But despite the program’s relative success, according to The Washington Post, the administration suspended drone attacks in December 2013 after it endured modest criticism when one in Yemen inadvertently hit a wedding party.

No doubt al-Qaida noticed the program’s suspension. And now the terror group is flaunting its immunity from US attack.

This week, jihadist websites featured an al-Qaida video showing hundreds of al-Qaida terrorists in Yemen meeting openly with the group’s second in command, Nasir al-Wuhayshi.

In the video, Wuhayshi threatened the US directly saying, “We must eliminate the cross,” and explaining that “the bearer of the cross is America.”

***

There is a direct correlation between the US elite’s preoccupation with social issues running the narrow and solipsistic gamut from gay marriage to transgender bathrooms to a phony war against women, and America’s inability to recognize the growing threats to the global order or understand why Americans should care about the world at all.

And there is a similarly direct correlation between the growing aggression of US foes and Obama’s decision to slash defense spending while allowing the US nuclear arsenal to become all but obsolete.

America’s spurned allies will take the actions they need to take to protect themselves. Some will persevere, others will likely be overrun.

But with Americans across the ideological spectrum pretending that failure is success and defeat is victory, while turning their backs on the growing storm, how will America protect itself?

Read more at Front Page

The Phantom Menace in the Middle East: A Review of Caroline Glick’s The Israeli Solution

glick_israeli_solution_cover_4-2-14-1By David P. Goldman:

By any standard, the Palestinian problem involves the strangest criteria in modern history.

To begin with, refugees are defined as individuals who have been forced to leave their land of origin. A new definition of refugee status, though, was invented exclusively for Palestinian Arabs, who count as refugees their descendants to the nth generation.

All the world’s refugees are the responsibility of the United Nations High Commission on Refugees, except for the Palestinians, who have their own refugee agency, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine. Among all the population exchanges of the 20th century — Greeks for Turks after World War I, Hindus for Moslems after the separation of India and Pakistan after World War II, Serbs for Croats after the breakup of Yugoslavia during the 1980s — the Palestinians alone remain frozen in time, a living fossil of long-decided conflicts.

Some 700,000 Jews were expelled from Muslim countries where they had lived in many cases more than a thousand years before the advent of Islam, and most of them were absorbed into the new State of Israel with a territory the size of New Jersey; 700,000 or so Arabs left Israel’s Jewish sector during the 1948 War of Independence, most at the behest of their leaders, but few were absorbed by the vast Muslim lands surrounding Israel.

Instead, the so-called refugees were gathered in camps (now for the most part towns with a living standard much higher than that of the adjacent Arab countries thanks to foreign aid) and kept as a human battering ram against Israel, whose existence the Muslim countries cannot easily accept.

Some 10 million Germans who had lived for generations in what is now Russia, Poland and the Czech Republic were driven out at the end of World War II (more than half a million died in the great displacement).

Imagine that Germany had kept these 10 million people in camps for 70 years and that their descendants now numbered 40 million — and that Germany demanded on pain of war restitution of everything from the Sudetenland to Kaliningrad (the former Konigsberg). That is a fair analogy to the Palestinian position.

It is a scam, a hoax, a put-on, a Grand Guignol theatrical with 5 million extras. Because polite opinion bows to the sensibilities of the world’s 1.4 billion Muslims, it is treated in all seriousness.

As a matter of full disclosure, I want to put my personal view on record: The mainstream view amounts to a repulsive and depraved exercise in hypocrisy that merits the harshest punishment that a just God might devise.

In this looking-glass world of hypocrisy and hoax, though, the most noteworthy deception is the physical existence of the Palestinians themselves: in Judea and Samaria (sometimes called the occupied West Bank), there are perhaps half the number of Arabs as the Palestinian Authority’s census has counted, or the international community acknowledges. As Jerusalem Post reporter Caroline Glick reports in her new book, The Israeli Solution: A One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East, Israeli researchers have demonstrated that:

The 1997 Palestinian census was a fraud. The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics [PCBS] had exaggerated the Palestinian population figures by nearly 50 percent, or 1.34 million people… First, it had inflated the existing Palestinian population base. In the 1997 census, the PCBS had included 325,000 Palestinians who lived abroad. It had also included 210,000 Arab residents in Jerusalem, who had already been accounted for in Israel’s population count.

The Palestinian census had included an additional 113,000 persons whose existence was not noted in the 1996 Israeli civil administration. When the data was compared to the voter base published by the Palestinian Central Elections Commission (PCEC) in 1996 and 2005, the PCEC data substantiated the Israeli data. That is, the 113,000 people did not exist.

Taken together, these three moves increased the Palestinian base population by 648,000 people or approximately 27 percent. Imagine if the US Census Bureau had predicted that, in 2012, the United States would have a population base of 400 million, instead of its actual 2012 base size of 314 million. The second stage of the population inflation involved exaggerating future growth. First, it predicated the projections for future growth on a population base that — as we have seen — was massively inflated. Every annual growth assessment based on an inflated population model is necessarily false and inflated.

This fundamental problem was compounded by other factors. The PCBS inflated birthrates and massively inflated immigration rates . Moreover, it ignored the high numbers of Palestinians who immigrated to Israel by marrying Israeli citizens. All told, the PCBS census claimed that the compound annual growth rate of the Palestinians in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza was 4.75 percent — the highest population growth rate in the world. Significantly, just as the Palestinians were claiming to be the fastest-growing population in the world, the Arab world, and the larger Muslim world, were entering a period of unprecedented demographic contraction, even collapse.

The data are well known and long-debated; I took the same position as Ms. Glick in a 2011 essay for the Jewish webzine Tablet. But Ms. Glick, an American immigrant to Israel and a former captain in the Israel Defense Forces, draws a bold conclusion: Israel should annex Judea and Samaria just as it did the city of Jerusalem. Jews will comprise a demographic majority well in excess of 60% between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean. As Palestinians continue to emigrate and Jewish immigration picks up, she adds, “some anticipate that due almost entirely to Jewish immigration, Jews could comprise an 80 percent majority within the 1949 armistice lines and Judea and Samaria by 2035.”

Under Ms. Glick’s plan, Israel would offer to West Bank Arabs the opportunity to apply for Israeli citizenship; all would have full civil rights, and those who chose Israeli citizenship would have voting rights as well. Israeli no doubt would earn the anathema of the international community were it to annex Judea and Samaria, but from Ms. Glick’s way of looking at the matter there is little to lose.

Read more at PJ Media

Dead End: J Street’s One-Way Opposition to Israel

Palestinians call for the death of all Jews (Youtube)

Palestinians call for the death of all Jews (Youtube)

by Andrew Harrod:

J Street (JS) supporters “align themselves on the Arab side in the lopsided Arab war against the Jews,” Harvard University Professor Ruth R. Wisse states in the recently released documentary The J Street Challenge.  As the film documents, this leftist Jewish organization hardly embodies proclaimed “Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace” goals, but rather endangers Israel’s peace with myopic, anti-Israel bias.

“We want the conflict to end,” the film quotes JS founder Jeremy Ben-Ami declaring with respect to Israel’s embattled existence.  This desire for peace is “one of the most seductive messages to the Jewish people for the last two centuries at least” Wisse notes.  “Jewish politics is based upon looking for accommodation” in the face of past unrelenting anti-Semitic hostility, Wisse observes.  “You are willing to do almost anything to stop that aggression against you.”  The “label of pro-peace” has “something very captivating,” the Israeli-based academic Daniel Gordis concurs.

A “one-sided blame game,” though, is ultimately what JS’s vision entails for Israel according to Roz Rothstein of the pro-Israeli advocacy organization Stand With Us.  In JS’s assessment of the Arab-Israeli conflict’s suffering, the “only responsible party for any of this are the Jews,” Israeli writer Caroline Glick observes.  JS presents a “classic illustration” of “not willing to believe bad things about other people,” Boston University Professor Richard Landes elaborates.  This is “more than just an intellectual commitment, it is an emotional commitment.”  Such a “utopia where everybody is the same” dominates youth thinking today, states Samantha Mandeles from the anti-Israel propaganda-debunking CAMERA.

Even though the “stupidity of this kind of innocence” is “almost intolerable” according to Wisse, various Jews might actually derive comfort from a blame-Israel-first outlook.  An “inflated sense of importance” for Jews ironically comes from self-castigation in the Arab-Israeli conflict, for example, Glick argues.  It is “much more luxurious to believe that it’s about me” and in a unique Jewish power to obtain peace.  Although Landes condemns this “moral narcissism” allowing Jews “to feel good about ourselves,” such views have led to an “almost…mythical belief” in the Kabbala teaching of Tikkun Olam or “world repair.”  Interpreted according to this belief “Judaism is liberalism and liberalism is Judaism,” the Emergency Committee for Israel’s Noah Pollack states.

Among Jews the “younger generation is embarrassed about supporting Israel,” Harvard Law School Professor Alan Dershowitz adds, even though “as a progressive you must support Israel” and its liberal society.  “Israel taints them,” film producer Charles Jacobs from Americans for Peace and Tolerance concurs.  Young American Jews thus seek “expiation” in JS and “to get out from under the burden of that guilt.”  While “bravery is to be a Zionist on college campuses today…to stand up for Israel,” Dershowitz analyzes, criticism of Israel provides a “way of becoming acceptable.”

Read more at Religious Freedom Coalition

Also see:

War & Peace in the Age of Obama

3333By :

Editor’s note: The following is the text to David Horowitz’s introduction of Caroline Glick at the Wednesday Morning Club.

To order Glick’s new book, The Israeli Solution: A One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East, click here.

We live in surreal times. My privilege and pleasure today is to introduce a remarkable woman who has written an extraordinary book in which she argues that the only viable way to resolve the Middle East conflict is a “one-state solution.” I am going to let Caroline explain why that should be so, but in order to understand the magnitude of the task she has undertaken and the difficulties her solution would have to overcome, you first have to understand the surreal nature of the times we live in.

We are not long emerged from a fifty-year Cold War, which began when the Soviet Empire swallowed Eastern Europe and the Baltic states, and ended only when the United States undertook a vast rearmament, and applied enough pressure over enough years to bankrupt the Communist system and force its withdrawal from the occupation.

The Russian successor to that empire has just swallowed one of its lost treasures, a sovereign domain in Eastern Europe. The response of our commander in chief, Barack Obama, to the rape of Crimea has been to wag his finger in response, and explain to the Russian conqueror that the time for conquests has actually passed. We are all modern people now living in the 21st Century and we just don’t do things that way. Not surprisingly this pablum made no impression on Vladimir Putin.

In point of fact, Russia is a second-rate power and could have been easily dissuaded from this adventure or backed down without firing a shot. But because Barack Obama is such an embarrassingly weak leader and untrustworthy ally, Putin was able to laugh in his face, mass 100,000 troops on the Ukranian border and prepare to swallow Ukraine itself.

The leader of the free world today is a man who does not believe in the free world or in America’s role as its head. In the five years since a Norwegian committee gave him a Nobel Peace Prize for nothing, Obama’s policies of weakness and appeasement have made the world a far more dangerous place than it has been since the end of the Cold War, and possibly its beginning.

From his first day in office Obama has made it clear that he regards America as having wronged its adversaries, and its adversaries as having grievances that are justified. It is a view that is conveniently close to Putin’s own. As should by now be apparent, America’s president is a determined enabler of America’s enemies, and equally determined betrayer of her friends. In the five years since he took office he has lost the war in Iraq, giving up the military presence that thousands of Americans gave their lives to secure, while turning that benighted nation over to Iran; he has lost the war in Afghanistan by announcing his intention to lose it in advance and by forcing our troops to fight under rules of engagement that tied their hands and got them killed. He has lost Libya by conducting a unilateral, illegal and unauthorized aggression against an American ally, murdering its leader and turning its streets over to mobs of terrorists. In the course of these betrayals Obama has violated every principle he invoked as a senator to justify his attacks on George Bush’s war in Iraq. But then, Obama is a compulsive and brazen liar on matters both foreign and domestic.

In the Middle East, Obama has lost Egypt, its largest and most important nation. Until Obama intervened in its internal affairs and overthrew its pro-American president, Egypt had been an American ally for 40 years. In Egypt and throughout the Middle East, Obama and his secretaries Clinton and Kerry, have put American power and influence behind the Muslim Brotherhood an Islamic terrorist organization with attitudes indistinguishable from Hitler’s Nazi Party, except that it claims to take its direction from Allah.

The Muslim Brotherhood is the spawner of al-Qaeda, the creator of Hamas and the source of the global jihad against America and the West. Obama’s support for the Brotherhood has not only cost us our Egyptian ally, but it has opened the door for Putin’s imperial Russia to replace us as the Great Power influence in the region.

On top of these betrayals of America’s interests, Obama has systematically appeased our most deadly enemy in the region, the terrorist regime in Iran. In particular, he has conspired to insure that the Iranian mullahs, who have sworn to wipe America and Israel from the face of the earth, are successful in their drive to acquire nuclear weapons.

While giving aid and comfort to America’s mortal enemies, Obama has turned his back on the only democracy in the Middle East, and America’s most faithful and important ally. He has thrown his country’s enormous weight behind Islamic radicals whose goal – stated in so many words – is to obliterate the state of Israel and push the Jews who inhabit it into the sea. To finish the job that Hitler started.

Read more at Front Page

Video: Glick, Spencer & Ibrahim on the truth about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

hj1-450x250This week’s special episode of The Glazov Gang was filmed at David Horowitz’s West Coast Retreat held at the Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes, California, from March 21-23, 2014.

The panel, titled The Mideast Test, was joined by:

Caroline Glick, the senior contributing editor to the Jerusalem Post who is the author of the new book, The Israeli Solution: A One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East.

Robert Spencer, the director of Jihad Watch who is the author of an upcoming book, Arab Winter Comes to America: The Truth About the War We’re In.

and

Raymond Ibrahim, a Shillman Fellow at the Freedom Center who is the author of his recent book, Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians, published by Regnery.

The panelists discussed their books and how to best confront the threats emanating from the Islamic Middle East: